Saturday, July 10, 2010

Conor - My post got sent to June 3rd because I'm an idiot

Friday, July 9, 2010

Conor - Things I am going to bring with me to college

My name is Conor O'Brien and I will be writing things on Sundays. I'm approximately 6 feet tall.

Sometime in August I'm taking everything I consider necessary for my life and putting it in a small room in Norman, Oklahoma. This is fact. This is going to happen. So over the next couple of months I'm going to have to decide what I need. What I really, really need. I've made the decision to make bad decisions. Here are some of the things I'm really determined to bring with me, and why they beat out clothes and bedspread which I will find in Oklahoma.

My Giant T-Rex Plushie Toy-
First, a visual aid. I feel like that should silence most people who would originally question why this is coming with me. For those who you who somehow need more convincing, I must emphasize just how soft and cuddly this thing is. A competition sprung up when I brought T-Rex to Jazz Band last week, in which people would take turns trying to hold T-Rex and not smile. Few lasted more than a couple of seconds. I would also like to use this time to encourage everyone to join me in my movement to rescue T-Rex from Brian Malone, who is holding him hostage. I would hate him more if he weren't so damn classic.

Bop It Extreme-
In order to make this a reality, I need to buy Bop It Extreme, but that's not an "if", that's a "when." Bop It was always one of those games I would find at a friends house and spend 30 minutes playing non-stop. I don't think it will ever get old, honestly. I feel like every time I see Bop It I will pick it up and spend 30 minutes playing it. Hell yeah. Heeeell yeah. Bop It Extreme is just tons cooler than regular Bop It. Why would I bother with a machine with only three features when I know that, for another 20 dollars or so, I could also be Spinning It and Flicking It? Sorry, regular Bop It. Be less shitty next time.

My bike, Rocinante-
A friend's (how do I refer to Mada? Do I say "Mada Larson?" Do I say "Mada?" What's the protocol heeeeeere) dad gave me and old bike of his after he saw my bike. He felt so bad he just up and gave me another bike for free. Okay, sweet. It's coming with me to college because I so badly want to be that kid who's like "ohlookatmeI'macollegekidwithabackpackandanold(er)bikelookguyslook." That's gonna be me. I'll also be wearing a graphic tee. The cool kind.

A Radiohead poster and a Flight Of The Conchords poster -
Rather than having people at OU actually get to know me, I'll provide them with posters, so they can make the broad generalizations I want them to.

Annoying, unreasonable quirks I'll claim to have -
Oklahomans will never know that I don't actually have an incredible fear of breakfast cereal, because they won't actually know that my uncle wasn't actually killed at an actual cereal factory, and even if they do, I will still refuse to come out from under the covers until my roommate puts that Cinnamon Toast Crunch away.

That's all for now. I encourage you all to prioritize. Consider what really matters.


Okay woah there are some details in here that make it obvious that I wrote this towards the beginning of Classic Brian, but there's something weeeeeird going on with this post. So I won't edit it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thinkin' like a sociologist...

I've made it through high school. I'm basically almost able to refer to myself as an adult. However, I can say for certain that I know what childhood is like. At some point or another your parents let you go off and do things with other neighborhood kids you make some friends you do some wacky stuff and then you go to school and you meet people there and you do some fun stuff with them then you go to middle school and you meet even more new people and you do some cool stuff with them then you go to high school and you meet a lot of people and you do neat stuff with them.

What is the basis of these friendships? Why is society so addicted to having buddies, and where does this need come from?

I love friends. They're great, they make jokes, they provide alternative perspectives, they offer interesting life anecdotes, they make you feel better by appreciating your personality. Yeah they do all that stuff and we like that. But there's different ways to view friends. Some people go through phases, are outsourced by a group of friends or they outsource a group of friends and move on to the next one. Some people create close bonds with a select few, the quality-over-quantity kids. Some people seek approval like an election vote and just want a general yes from as many people as possible. Personally I don't want to categorize myself into one of these groups right now, I'm sure you can do it for me. Done? Okay, cool.

I believe the asset better known as friendship is based on the purpose of experiencing things together. Which seems kinda shitty compared to how much time we invest into our friendships and social networks. But really, if you think about it, there isn't much more to it. When you need friends most: when something really awesome is happening, when something really shitty has happened. The important thing is that people know from experience what life is like. I believe it explains the basic appeal behind a lot of things. Thousands of people go to music concerts. Millions of people watch the Super Bowl. Everyone and their mom sees epic movies like The Dark Knight. Is it because these things are the best that human life has to offer? I think not. They are interesting and definitely have appeal, but the life experience that you can share with so many others is worth so much.

Experiencing shit brings people together. Everything like a job to a class to a shitty Catholic school system known as Sacred-Heart Griffin to liking a football team to reading a book. You wanna know which people have been brought closer together than any people in the world? Comrades in war. One of the most profound experiences in which one can partake would logically warrant the closest relationship between two people.

So you see what I'm saying. In life, I feel that a phobia that so many have along the same lines as the basic fear of death is the fear of being alone. There are some who go off into the woods and become lumberjacks never to be heard of again, but those people are worthless. Human nature incites us to search out companionship and flourish in it. In high school we are practically immune to loneliness just due to the amount of time we are forced to spend with so many others. Eventually, though, we have to see this world for what it is. We don't want to be in this alone. So we want to have friends. To experience this phenomena called life along with us. That's why you do stuff with your friends. You experience a movie together, a show, a restaurant, a run, a video game, you experience drinking smoking and other mind altering substances. Doing that shit alone is possible, but it just isn't the same.

Are we afraid of being alone or is it just a preference to be with people? I say the former, because this world is big and life is scary. And when we go through it we want others to be there. There is a tendency for us to get wrapped up in friends and forget about ourselves. We need to remember who we're really here for. Ourselves. That's why everyone needs alone time. Take some. Back to the point, though. Your friends are proof not only that you are a likable person, but also that you've done what you've done. When you lose friends, you lose the experiences that you've shared with them, at least in a way.

Crossing the gender line really complicates issues in this aspect. If you start thinking of boy/girl friendships and how we dance around the blurry line between platonic friendships and love interests, it opens up a whole other complete file of questions that we don't know. Why is there a need for a boy and a girl to fall for each other after finding happiness in platonic friendship? I say it's to experience the love rollercoaster, the same as experiencing a day at Six Flags. Just another thing to do, only with higher qualifications. What is the root cause of the dissatisfaction that leads to the end of most relationships? Is it that being in the relationship with that person makes you truly UNhappy? My vote is cast under the category of NOT EXACTLY. The reason behind this being I think people just know they need to budget their time. And you want to spend more time sharing different experiences with new people rather than doing the same-old same-old with whomever night after night.

Boredom is a really misleading term. People often see it as having nothing to do. That is what we perceive boredom to be, but that's not what boredom is. Boredom is losing interest in doing the same things again and again. We are bored of playing piano or bored of listening to that same song over and over again (Conor). There's never really time when you have nothing to do. Only times when you get tired of experiencing life the same way more than once. That's what boredom is. Other than reading this post. (Self-deprecating joke? He IS still funny!)

So when we get "bored" with friends, we move on from them. If we can no longer experience new things, things need to change. They often do, oftentimes at a price. But the important part comes when the friendships are created. It starts at an experience. You both go to the same school, or the same church, or you both play basketball, or you both smoke weed or drink. Friendships stem from the experiences we share and they grow based on the experiences we continue having. I hope you can all love me now for experiencing this blog.


--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Less is More

Bike rides. Netherlands. Jimmy Johns. Muni. Perfect day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nick - This Whole "Text Messaging" Thing

It was maybe two months ago now, I think, that I got a new phone to replace my crappy $20 one. And not just any phone, mind you; one with a keyboard. Needless to say, I am fascinated by this strange and alien technology now in my hands. How long has this clandestine web of discreet communications been winding under my feet without my knowledge? I realize that I'm a little late to the party on this one, but hear me out; from an outsider's perspective, this whole thing is astounding.

Text messaging, or "texting," if you will, frightens and fascinates me. It's like a whole other facet of your relationship with someone. It's a way to get a quick word in with someone who you might not see for awhile. If I really want to tell somebody a story, or apologize for something slight, or ask a trivial question, I pull out my phone, type what I want to say, and wait eagerly for this mysterious contraption to shudder and vibrate, signaling the arrival of a reply. Now even if I haven't seen a person in awhile I don't feel estranged from them.

Some crazy things that I've noticed so far:

-I'm a little bit alarmed when I hear people complain about not receiving a reply quickly enough. I've got stuff to do, y'know?

-I'm always secretly a little bit disappointed when a get a text message from somebody I get text messages from all the time. When I feel my phone sputter and buzz, my mind is immediately filled with the image of a person whom I only slightly know revealing some dark secret to me. But then it's just my mom. This process leads me to be slightly disappointed by about 90% of the text messages I receive.

-I tend to read text messages in their most serious possible intended connotations. For example, when Conor texted me earlier today "Note to self: never talk about music around Nick," I immediately assumed he was angry, even though it was obviously a joke. Actually, he probably was, a little bit.

-If I never get a reply to an initial text (And I don't mean if they stop texting me back and forth, I mean if they just never answer my first text) I tend to worry that the person is annoyed with me, even when I know they aren't. There's kind of a bitter taste in my mouth until I see or hear from that person again.

-The amount of punctuation and capitalization in text messages is directly proportional to the coolness of the author. Actually, that's probably just what I want to think because I type with perfect grammar.

-Texting is minuscule compared to interacting in person or on the phone. As soon as I talk to a person face-to-face the worry that they might have been angry about a text message or annoyed and didn't answer me just vanishes. It's hard to explain, but you know what I mean.

-There's a very very slight difference in how I feel when I'm alone. I went on a bike ride today and hung out at my place in the park, and then biked through Terra Hills and a few other places. But while I usually feel totally secluded for awhile, there's now this nagging feeling that anybody could talk to me, they just aren't right now. I'm not sure yet if I like that feeling or not.

The last thing I want to mention is that I'm worried I'm going to get in trouble at work. But it's not the getting in trouble I'm worried about, I just don't want to be that guy who texts while he's supposed to be working all the time. It was my little holdout, my one untouchable reason for why I was the best employee. And now I'm just a slacker.

So I'm going to have to work on when I can and can't be checking my phone. When I'm bored at home texting is great to have, when I'm at work or on a bike ride is not so great a time, and when I'm alone in the park I'm still not sure about.

I don't know why I'm choosing to write about something you all (I assume there are maybe seven or eight of you) clearly know more about than me. I hope it's interesting to get a different perspective on something you probably take for granted.

Anyway, I'm going on a long car trip to Missouri this morning and I expect you all to entertain me via text message.


Sunday, July 4, 2010


--Robert Langellier

What makes a true music listener, appreciator, connoisseur? Is it the ability to draw chord progressions from a layered chorus? A pitch perfect ear? The number of gigabytes taken up by your iTunes library? Nay, I say. I say it is the ability to produce MIX CDS.

Now, I've only recently immersed myself in the great ocean of MIX CDS, so I'm somewhat stealing a subject that Conor could probably do better. I'd have a conscience about it, if Conor actually posted on his days anyway (EDIT: Ironic because I didn't post this on my day).

MIX CDS are more than a stupid collection of your stupid songs thrown onto a disc. They are carefully constructed pieces of artwork, which anyone who's seen or read High Fidelity already knows. They allow you to perfectly express a string of emotions, without actually articulating them by yourself. It's a creative way to utilize other people's musical creativity without actually having to display your own. (Hey, wouldn't it be ironic if I put a Girl Talk track on my MIX CD?)

Anyway, there are no legal rules regarding the construction of a MIX CD. Although there should be, because the only thing a crying child hates more than returning to the orphanage is returning to lame transitions track after track after track. Like come on. So if you're brave enough to put in the weeks or even months of effort required to produce your very own MIX CD, here's an example of some general rules I've set for myself regarding their production.

1. Carefully place tracks so that each one carries into the next smoothly. Seriously, do it for the children.

2a. Have some big name tracks that everyone recognizes and loves, but not too many. Even MIX CDS need singles, just not 20. For a 20 track MIX CD, 3 big name songs are probably enough.
2b. Introduce the listener to new bands or songs they haven't heard. To me, listening to a MIX CD is just as much about discovery as it is about appreciation. That's why it's important to find a few diamonds in the rough to hide in the haystack (STOLEN APHRODITE, BEAUTIFUL AND MIGHTY!!).

3. Unless you have an alternative view on the scope of the MIX CD, try to make it flow like a real album. Have slow songs, faster songs, light and dark.

4. Make a big deal about it to all of your friends until they begrudgingly request that you make them a copy. Then take a long time doing it to build suspense.

5. Name it. If there's a theme to your MIX CD, tie the name into that. Like Conor's current and final high school MIX CD in a long line of high school MIX CDS is appropriately titled It's Been a Pleasure. Or my current summer MIX CD, filled with happy folk ditties, captures my peers' final grasp on youthful innocence before college, and is aptly named Younger Now. A good name makes a cool first impression.

6. Provide a tracklisting. A legible one. Otherwise you're dumb and don't deserve to have people like your MIX CD.

7. Make sure it doesn't skip (STOLEN APHRODITE, BEAUTIFUL AND MIGHTY!!).

8. Be good at what you do.

That is all. MIX CDS are artworks, so treat them as such. That is, with general indifference, unless it's yours. Then think it's worth everyone's ears, whether they know it yet or not.