Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Final Fantasy Marathon...For Awhile

Tonight is a night full of bittersweetness, in more than one way. The main reason I say this is because, like the title says, this is our last final fantasy marathon for awhile since we'll be going to college soon. It's gonna be an awesome weekend, but I'll be really sad when it ends. The other bittersweetness involves some of the people that visit. I love them all, but some people *coughrobertcough* are HATERS. Also, fuck you Nick. You're never right about aaaaanything.

I'd like to dedicate my weekend to all the awesome things that these marathons involve.
1. Lack of sleep. Fuck sleep. Who the fuck needs it?
2. As Conor said in his post, Monster.
3. Wheat Thins. Deliciousness in a little yellow box.
4. Gushers/Fruit Rollups/Fruit By The Foots. They never last long enough.
5. Good company. More is always seriously, someone come save me from these fuckers RIGHT NOW. I'm TRAAAAAAPPED.
6. Walgreens in general. Thanks for being so cheap, but at the same time providing for all my wants and needs (like Conor's mom).
7. Scented candles. Day's End will forever be my favorite smell, despite the fact that I no longer remember what it smells like.
8. Game soundtracks. They are unparalled.
9. Conversations comparing/contrasting different aspects of various FF games. Shit guys, there's even a list of that now. Although I don't always partake, they're always fun to listen to.
10. Obviously the games themselves are awesome.

Bottom line is, this shit has been one of the highlights of my high school career. Thanks everyone and everything for making that happen. I'm a little sad that we didn't discover this sooner, but at least we did. I'll miss it. Don't worry though, next summer, and every summer in the foreseeable, we will be doing this. I love you guys.

Conor - Misc.

Yesterday I went through something really significant. None of it directly affected me, but I had to see some really nice people go through something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I was with a friend of mine when her brother died in a car accident. I spent the night with her, observing as an important part of her life fell apart. I want to be able t o convey the night accurately, so I'm not going to be writing about that this week. I'm tired, and I want to just finish this so I can go to bed.

Instead I'll be writing a few short paragraphs on a few subjects I find interesting.

Lollapolloza- HELL YEEEEEAH.

Monster Energy Drinks- Monster is great. Monster is unnecessary. I drink Monster when I'm going to be staying up past 4 in the morning. I don't buy Monster to assist me in my goal. I sortof just buy it as a mission statement. The purchase of a monster is me saying "I'mma try to stay up, world. The ritual begins here." Monster drinks probably don't enable me to stay up any later. It's a mind thing. I recognize this, but still. The ritual lives on.

This song - The top one. The one by Tennis. I like it a lot! What a pleasant song! A lot of the song just sounds like a new variation on a classic tune. Something from Grease, or something. The line the keyboard is that kind of melody that you know the first time you hear it, in a nice and familiar way. The keyboard sound it's presented in sortof puts a new twist on it, puts it in a new context. The singers voice is put through some kind of distortion that disrupts the pretty, harmless feeling of her voice. It adds a little mystery. It's harder to make out the words, lending it a sortof light mystery. I really like this song. It's catchy, fun, and happy.

Buffalo Wild Wings- I've had a long, strong bond with BDUBS. It just has a great feel. That's something some restaurants nail effortlessly and some spend millions trying to achieve. BDUBS has it. BDUBS also has good wings. It'd be a little embarassing if the wings WEREN'T good. But no worries. THEY ARE. It has unfortunately come to my attention that BDUBS is home to one of the worst "amount of food" to "money" ratios ever. I'm almost embarassed that I only discovered this recently. I can no longer go there on days where there aren't special deals. Never again, BDUBS. Never again. OH ALSO. The trivia game they have has a horrible "time spent playing" and "time spent staring a screen that's promising you you will soon be playing" ratio. Man, fuck that place.

Doom- When I was little I called this game SHOOTGUN, because I was three. I hit the ctrl button, and the gun would shoot. I was three, and I enjoyed the blood and violence. I enjoyed the grunting sound the main character made whenever I made him hump the wall, searching for a secret room. There's a crazy, crazy sound these demons make whenever they see you, man. It's fucking terrifying. Every couple of months Mada and I have a 20 minute conversation about Doom. It's always the same conversation, and it's always awesome. I wish that conversation happened more often.

OKAY THAT'S ALL I GOT. I'm so tired.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I know It Is a Day Late, but Fuck Off!

I was really drunk most of yesterday, so bite me. I'm not that far off from Thursday! It's been like, 16 hours since it was officially Thursday, so at least I gave you guys something. I'm sorry this was so short, and not really about ANYTHING, but I needed to make up for my missed post; I don't want to get murdered or raped or stabbed or shot or tied down naked and burnt with hot metal or even have my nipples pinched. It all sounds bad, and those are all things I happen to know CONOR is capable of. The bastard.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cut the bullshit, I fucking love Springfield

What a pathetic title.

Don't get me wrong, my head is hung in shame as I write this post. It's just, I never feel like Springfield gets any credit, ya know? Everyone always talks about how much they want to kill themselves because of the drab nature of this city. You people are all young. Young and restless. Your expectations exceed the realm of reason. Sorry this town isn't a Vegas for high schoolers. You need something to do? Find people and do them. If you can't find any people in this city then you need to look harder. Because they're there. In the corners reading books and playing video games. Strip those glares of judgment off of your body and be who you want to be. You'll likely find other people doing the same, and you know what? I'd bet those people are pretty cool.

Springfield isn't perfect. In fact, it's flawed to an almost laughable degree. But so's your mom. So are you. You come to accept those flaws and even love them. Like the fact that there is ALWAYS construction being done at super inconvenient stretches of road, or that Steak N' Shake is the ONLY place to eat after 11:00 unless you're wasted (or I guess just foolish) enough to go to Denny's, or EVEN, so long as they're pulling over OTHER people, the Jerome and Leland Grove police. They're a joke. LG has a bike cop who accrues like half of their citations. Our public school system literally may be the worst thing in the world (not that our Private Schools are much better) (specifically SHG) (fuck them, if you hadn't noticed), but hey, we made it out alive. We are a haven for shitbag politicians. We are abandoning the inner-city and sort of rolling over westward. We lack Wendy's, Chik-Fil-A, ample Taco Bell's, White Castle (blessing in disguise, I have no doubt), IHOP, a place for Gondola's, a worthy mall, and worst of all, a population of hot college chicks just walking around at all times (damn you Chambana and Bloomington)!

So? What we do have? We've got horseshoes. We've got Steak N' Shake. We've got two Sonics. We've got the State Fair. We've got Relay for Life. We've got City Tournament. We've got Andre Iguodala. We've got Tara Hills. We've got the intersection of Chatham and Monroe (speed through it, it's a rollercoaster). We've got Sno-Biz. We've got Butler vs. Owen Marsh, a real school rivalry. We've got SHG football. We've got Veterans Parkway. We've got all the bullshit that we won't miss until we think about it one day when we're gone.

To me this city's an old friend of mine. It raised me, eventually I got to know it better, and now we hang out every night. I've walked from Buffalo Wild Wings to the capitol, thus conquering the city and being able to truly claim it as my own. It's literally been years since I've ran into an area of town I had never seen before. In the same respect, this city has seen me start to go places more often that I've previously only drove past or been sparsely. It's watched me change, make new friends, do new things, it knows I have a new job. It knows I like to use my mom's car more than mine ten times over. It knows I enjoy having alone time with it. It finds it very comforting that I stay up with it until it isn't shrouded in darkness anymore. It knows I hate wearing jeans in the summertime. It knows I love wearing shorts in the summertime. (That joke is IN boys! and I'm butting my way inTO it). But seriously, I know this city better than I know most of my friends.

Okay, yeah, that last paragraph was weird. But shamefully true. I'm not saying my love is reasonable, but I'm saying it's there. We have a nice location, a nice population, some nice features (Knights Action Park, fact that we're a capital city, Washington Park), and there is a familiarity now that I (and maybe you feel this too) am reluctant to let go of. Trust me, I will. I am getting OUT of here. But not because this city bores me. There's plenty to do. But being a journalist means I had better find a way to do better than the State Journal Register. Because that shit sucks. Notice my lack of compliments for the newspaper I've been getting since I was born. It's a stupid goal to set because of how it's run by the Griffin mafia (P3!!!) and how much they're going to be dead in four years. Anyway. Yeesh. I'm leaving here, you're leaving here. We're all leaving Springfield. Some with contempt, others like me will leave with love. I, for one, will miss you Springfield.

It's been a pleasure.
It always is.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shark Week starts Sunday, August 1st

On Thursday, August 19th, my parents and i will drive to Champaign-Urbana, spend hours unpacking boxes of my shit, probably go out to lunch and walk around for a bit AND THEN THEY'RE GOING TO LEAVE ME THERE. Seriously have you thought about how weird that is? We're going to drive to a different city and one of us isn't going home. I've never even moved houses before, let alone cities, so this concept blows my fucking mind. Also the parents that my parents are leaving me there ALONE. I'm starting to think that I don't even know how to really live a life. Literally the only preparation I've made so far for my new living situation is buying a wall clock. You don't even need a wall clock at college. At all. You need other things, like bedding, a shower caddy, hangers, etc. But have i purchased any of these items? Nope. I've bought a wall clock. It's a pretty sweet wall clock...

Anyway, my point is that college is fucked up and weird and I'm probably not going to go. Also have you guys ever thought about how weird marriage is? A subject for another time I guess...

PS To all my fellow Classic Brian writers, you might think that my posts are short because i don't care but I'm just using the blog slightly differently than you guys. Don't worry about me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nick - I Guess We Could Talk About Music

Am I a musician?

I play music, so, yeah.

Am I a good musician?

Ehhhhhhh. Ummmmm. Not really? Maybe. Kind of.

Here is the thing: I'm bad at writing music. I'm bad at writing melodies. I like writing words, though! I also like playing in funny time signatures, especially on drums. Those are a couple of things I'm kind of good at.

I'm in a band. Hahaha. I laugh after I say that because Robert and I always laugh after we say that. We like playing music together, but we've formed so late in the summer that it's only a matter of time before we have to disband, though maybe we could play together on breaks and stuff if we get some songs written. Anyway, I'm in a band that has no name and no finished songs, but our half-finished one has three time signatures, which I'm pretty proud of.

Here's the reason that I haven't been in any bands until now: if you know me, you probably also know Conor O'Brien and Tynan Shevlin. Actually, my musically talented friends aren't the real reason; the reason is that I have very little musical ambition, and just don't really spend much time playing piano or trying to write songs. And while drums are fun to play, you can't really write a song on them.

I like writing words. I believe I've stated that before, but it's kind of a big deal to me to be able to write words. I always wanted to be the singer in a band when I was a little kid (and didn't realize that wasn't really a viable career) and I don't have a super fantastic voice. (But I do like my voice. It's unusual.) So if I want to sing I have to either be able to play piano well while I sing, or write really good lyrics, or more probably both.

So here are some words. I like to call this song "Escutcheon" (look it up) but it is actually just a poem because I don't have any music for it:

What black frost of discontent
Has settled in my glade?
What heinous force could circumvent
My stalwart palisade?

Under the aegis of your placid seas
I assumed my fortress safe
If your waters churn from this ominous breeze
The first wave was only a taste

And if even you will turn on me
Where does sanctuary lie?
And if your word is no guarantee
How forsaken, then, am I?

Why did no one panic
When our paling fell to dust?
Our protectors became satanic
And the problem isn’t them; it’s us

Were we not supposed to watch?
Yet we let this go unchecked
Now these evils must be stopped
Will we fail to interject?

At what hour did our vigilance fail?
How did these demons flourish?
I fear we’ve fallen beyond the pale
Unless our zeal is nourished

Why did no one panic
When our escutcheon fell to dust?
Our island became volcanic
And the problem isn’t them; it’s us

So, there's that. I've been working on playing piano in styles that aren't classical, so hopefully I'll be able to write some actual song-y songs sometime.

Oh! Hey Robert, want to call our band "Practice Band?" It's so original and clever.

- Nick.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bullies = Poop

--Robert Langellier

Anyone who went to the same high school as me is going to associate with this a lot more than the rest of you.

It really sucks spending 4 years growing up with bunch of weird, funny, (pretty) nice kids and having your final impression of them being one of total disgust. But that’s how it is with a lot of my friends who I have little desire to see again before college. A large circle of friends (as well as kids who
want to be friends with them) have taken up a mass crusade of ridicule against some kid that none of them know on any level other than as a joke, mostly because he was pretty rude to Nick Lanzotti in science class.

To them he’s an easy target; he doesn’t know any of them on a personal level, he’s somewhat awkward upon first appearance, he’s studious and has a technology hobby, and (as pathetic as it is that this makes him targetable) he has a physical disability.

It’s one thing to make a joke of someone amongst yourselves when you consciously know you’re kidding. Conor, Nick, Eliot and I have done it at least 4 times, right guys? Aw yeah we have. But it’s another thing to do it directly to that person on such a large, unceasing scale that it not only affects that guy’s life, but it actually develops unconsciously from a joke to an honest hatred. Or more likely, saying “I hate that douche” is just an easy way for a stupid kid to get agreement from a really popular mob.

I’m not saying this guy’s perfect (I barely know him). And I’m not saying it isn’t entertaining (it’s pretty entertaining). But the reality is sickening that every time he stands up for himself (which thankfully he’s smart enough to do) he gets shot down by 3 or 4 people and called a bully in the grandest act of irony I can imagine. Anyone who thought his recent reaction (his rap) was uncalled for is honestly dumb enough to the point where I don’t care whether or not they understand that it was made up of grandiosity and exaggeration, because that’s what songs and poems and raps are: exaggerated emotions. If anything, it’s just a simple reflection of what dicks some of my friends are, but they’re too smug and safe behind each other to see it.

The point is, a few of these are kids are people who I’ve known for a long time, and seeing them systematically trying to rip this person’s facebook apart because it’s fun is super depressing. They’re kids who I saw at their very best on my old school’s Kairos retreats, and I guarantee their Kairos selves would kick themselves in the nutsacks if they saw what they were doing. The depressing part isn’t the fact that I've had long friendships with these people. The depressing part is that, from a much wider perspective, it really makes me second guess which part of a person is more honest: the deeper, virtuous core, or the asshole on top. I don’t think the answer’s as obvious as it used to be for me.

The Life Of Brian (Like The Monty Python Movie...Get It?)

Improv Comedy Music Variety Funtime Show in 3D was awesome. Good work everyone. The acoustic acts were very touching, EATIT was funnier than ever, and Trotsky and Band Practice rocked. I had a lot of fun. Which brings me to the topic of my post, and which is kind of a downer.

The 2 things i most regret not pursuing at this point in my life are improv and music. I'm not saying that I would have necessarily been successful at either, but I really wish I had at least tried. I know I would have really enjoyed both. I know that it's supposedly "never too late", but I feel like it is. I'm going to be going off to college in a few weeks and I probably won't have time to pursue things like that, especially since I'd be starting from scratch. I realize that it's entirely my fault for not trying. I foolishly bought a guitar, thinking "I have quite a bit of spare time with my lack of extra curriculars. I'll teach myself to play." Nope. Turns out I suck at teaching myself anything, especially music. I lack the motivation to learn alone, and the money to hire someone to teach me.

That's why seeing my friends play music is always a bittersweet experience for me. They're all fantastic at what they do and i love listening to the awesome music they make, but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking, "Wow, it'd be really sweet if I could do that. What the fuck, Brian." That always makes me a little sad. I know I sound pathetic talking like it's too late to learn, and I'm going to try to actually make the effort sometime soon, but I lack faith in myself in this respect. Hopefully I can get my ass in gear and get some shit done.