Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who We Are

This post is probably going to be brief. However, every time I come to the Classic Brian page, I notice something that I find rather funny, and so I'm going to write about it tonight.

The "Who We Are" section is, on all accounts but one, wrong. Obviously I am extremely classic. There just is no debating that. However, let me address these other fallacies.
1. Robert- You will never change, baby. You will always be our Robert and we love you. You know what I'm talking about.
3. Mada- Girl? Where's your proof?
4. Eliot- Did you just say this because Brendan stole puntastic? I love you man, but you gotta do better than that. How about sweet or fantastic? Also, apparently we're a good couple. I just wanted to mention that. I love you.
5. Brendan- Make me a pun. I know youz a funny dude, but I have yet to ear a pun from you. Haha get it? Ear...
6. Conor- HA. HAHA. HA.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I would like to interject something hear. The song Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun has been haunting me since I've arrived here. It has been played at least once at every party I've ever been to, usually upon my arrival. Then, the other day after having a discussion about how this was creepy, I walked into my room. The window was open and I guessed it. THAT SONG. I love it but oh my god, if I hear it tonight while I'm out I'm gonna go nuts.


Conor - Priorities

1. Ultimate Frisbee?
2. Playing in a band?
3. Comedy group/films?
4. Classes?
5. Meeting peoples?

Priorities have always been an issue for me.

I don't fully understand what is and is not important. Or I do, but my beliefs are much different than the generally accepted

In high school I constantly found myself doing things I didn't particularly want to and I didn't really need to because I thought it'd be good for me and because I can't say no to people. I think these things actually did pan out. I played piano for several events due to my inability to refuse, many of which I was totally unqualified to play. I got better due to these situations, and I learned how to accompany musicals and singers. So even though I didn't enjoy working on a lot of those things, I don't regret doing it and the time I spent on those projects. It helped me just as much as it helped them. However there are like a million things I would have rather been doing at the time.

I love comedy. Improv was the best thing I did in Springfield. It's where a lot of my best friends are from, and every single hour I spent there was worth it. Every single minute spent getting crabby at improv sleepovers was worth its metaphorical weight in gold. The thrill that comes from going out on stage unsure of what you'll find yourself doing the next minute is simply awesome. My favorite part of improv was, somewhat ironically, writing the ple-planned material. I think that's what I'm most interested in. One of my fondest improv memories is going to snobizz one day with Tynan, the two of us deciding that we needed another skit in the upcoming show, and then spending the rest of the day brainstorming and writing a scene. We said "we need one more" and then sat down and talked until we had one. The fact that we could do that together was really cool to me. High five Tynan.

I love music. I love playing music with people. I love Band Practice. Band Practice was the coolest musical group I've ever been a part of. Throwing a gig together at the last second with Band Practice and rehearsing all day in the hopes that we wouldn't sound super shitty come performance time was always a blast, and the payoff of performing our own original music in front of a somewhat attentive audience was always huge. I've talked about this in the past, but it bears repeating. We be fresh 2 death.

I have the opportunity to do the things I want here. That's something I've really realized in the few weeks I've been in Oklahoma. A lot of you guys know that my number one school was The University of Miami. I felt like the music school there was perfect. They had very contemporary songwriting programs that I felt good about, but financially it didn't work out. That bothered me for a really long time, but it doesn't bother me anymore, at least not as much. Because if I work hard, I can do what I want here. I don't have the sketch comedy show here that Miami had, but I can make one. I can start one. I can do it if I try.

But that requires prioritizing.

I've been playing Ultimate Frisbee pretty non-stop here. I love it. I'm getting better at it. Every day I head out there I get a little better. I'm still miles behind everybody else, but it's a lot of fun and I love the people. They're all upperclassmen, but they're the most inviting people I've ran into here. Their house is a dirty, dirty place of friendship and wonder. I like it.

I have a friend, Max, who I'm going to film sketch comedy videos with. He's pretty hysterical. I don't understand his humor, I can't compare it to anyone else I know. Which is good. HE'S NOT REPLACING ANYONE. We're doing films and music together. He has an awesome taste in music. So he represents my future hopes for doing comedy and film.

I have homework to do and music to practice.

I need to meet people.

I want everything and I know I can't have everything all the time, but here at OU I'm trying. Eventually I'll fail in my attempts, or I'll find out what's really, really important to me. I'm scared and excited for this day. Until then I'll keep trying.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


You know what? I feel like I've spent a lot of time telling stories throughout my last four blog posts on Classic Brian. All week, I struggled coming up with ideas for noteworthy blog posts, and if I did happen to come across something rather interesting, I just couldn't muster up the gumption to go ahead and write and elaborate lengthily on it. So this week I'm going to take a break from storytelling and be the first participant in Conor's nerve-wracking feature: Project Desperation. Who knows what will come up in the first seven songs on my shuffle? I have a 160-gigabyte video iPod, so that means I put full albums on there without hesitation. WHAT IF SOMETHING I'VE NEVER LISTENED TO POPS UP? Relax, it'll be a musically-educational and (for me) an aurally-pleasing adventure.

Alright, here we go!

One. "Sentimental Guy" - Ben Folds

Oh snap. This is slightly embarrassing. I pretend to be a bigger Ben Folds fan than I truly am. This is honestly the only album (Songs For Silverman) of his I have, unfortunately. It's a shame because of all the songs I've heard of his, I've grown to really appreciate and love his style. Alas, I've haven't had the energy to focus on his albums as a whole. But okay, in regards to "Sentimental Guy," I really like this song. It's got that kind of rainy-day feel to it, you know? where it's sort of jazzy and slow-to-medium-paced. The truth is, Ben Folds could carry every single one of his songs on his own- just piano and vocals- and the song would probably be just as powerful as it is with a backing band, if not more so. However, the reason I think this song benefits from having that backing back is because the inclusion of a French Horn (what a fabulous, albeit underrated instrument) evenly matches his voice at one point and reflects the melancholy of the lyrics. Basically, he talks about how after this one person he was close to "drifted far away," bits and pieces of the nonverbal facets of that person's personality, the "the left unsaid," come out in his interactions with others today, causing him to be more sentimental than he wants to admit, but not towards anyone else since his old friend's departure. I like this a lot because I'm an incredibly sentimental guy who gets bogged down by even the most insignificant circumstances and mannerisms- the way the sun shone on a particular morning, the way someone told a joke. It's ironic that Folds says, "I used to be a sentimental guy," because he's getting sentimental about being sentimental! And when he says, "I don't miss anyone," I get the feeling that he's trying to cover up his real emotions as he tells us his story: as Holden Caulfield so expertly puts it: "Don't ever tell anyone anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

Two. "Hungry For Your Love" - Van Morrison

This really shouldn't be on my iPod. My Dad wanted me to put the title song from the album Wavelength on his iPod, and being a fan of Van Morrison, I decided to throw it on mine too (I have the room, why not?). Truth be told, I haven't given it a full listen, mostly because I don't really care for that period of Morrison's career. I'm all about, obviously, the favorites, Blowin' Your Mind! and Astral Weeks, as well as some of his later material (2008's Keep It Simple is surprisingly good for an aging artist). But upon further listening to this one song here, I guess it's not so bad. What I really like about this song, and about Morrison in general, is that although his lyrics may be fairly simple and straightforward("I'm hungry for your love/ I'm hungry for your love/ I'm hungry for your love....), you can really get a genuine feel of what he's saying through the way he sings those lyrics. He's got this guttural, brilliantly-bluesy, Irish way of spitting out the verses, like he's actually experiencing whatever it is he's singing about. "I got such a lot of love/ I wanna give it to ya," he passionately repeats. Who hasn't felt like that? So desperate to get someone to comprehend how much love you have, you just want to bellow to them. Actually, this song is awesome...

Three. "Ramona" - The Ramones

Talk about simplicity of lyrics. The Ramones cornered that market. But it's like it doesn't matter, they're so frenetic and fun and full of energy. I used to be "That Guy" with "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" on my mp3 player. But a good buddy of mine began to FINALLY expand his music tastes past rap a couple years ago. Lucky for me, he started listening to a genre I hadn't previously given much thought to: punk. While I don't dig most of punk, I kind of like its pioneers, mostly just The Ramones. My friend encouraged me, if I was interested in them, to get a copy of their two-disc Best-Of anthology, so I did. Half the songs are called "I Wanna..." or "I Don't Wanna..." and they're each, like, a minute and a half long. But they're all really good, and some deeper than some critics might give The Ramones credit for. "Ramona" is yet another song about meeting a girl and getting it on with her, and then "wanting to die." What I like about the song is it's first stanza, which varies a bit from the rest of the song. It name-drops each one of The Ramones and breaks that fourth wall by calling out to the crowd about liking their music loud, which gives the song more of a concert-type feel. That's when it introduces Ramona, who must be one of the #1 Fans, who "always wants to come over." Good stuff.

Four. "All Day Day Light" - The Morning Benders

HAHA! I win! Okay, this is one I can really write about. Since I saw them the second morning at Lollapalooza, I've been falling madly in love with The Morning Benders. They played for only thirty minutes, but it was probably thirty of the most solid minutes of Lollapalooza. These guys range from twenty to twenty-five years old, but they're incredible. They have this awesome "California dream-pop" sound that sometimes borders on Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. It's so dreamy, so ambient, making me better feeling. Anyway, this song's not really dreamy, but it's a good example of some of their louder, more energetic songs, and it's good enough to warrant a music video. It's really catchy, complete with some rhythmic hand-clapping that serves as a vehicle by which the listener can properly join in on the fun. The refrain starts each line with "Somewhere someone's...," giving it this repeated alliteration, a smoother vibe, you know? They just sort of smoothly sail through the song. Did I mention Peter Racine and I met The Morning Benders?

Four. "Destination Motherland" - Roy Ayers

Ah! Now see, this is what I was talking about. Something I don't listen to. My dad rides the bus with this one guy that lives in my neighborhood who, as it happens, is this huge Bob Dylan fan. So naturally, we're friends now, and from time to time, we'll exchange music. He's really eclectic, so he's given me some strange music- not necessarily bad- just different. This is an example. I humbly obliged his wishes that I listen to his Best of Roy Ayers CD, who seems to be this Afro-centered musician, and put the CD on my iPod, but never really gave it a proper listen. I think I heard, like, one song and decided I didn't really want to listen to a whole album with that kind of vibe. I pun on vibe here because Ayers is an expert vibraphone player. His song titles are all sort of mystical and some seem to revolve around Africa, as in "Motherland." Plus on the cover, he's wearing what appears to be traditional African garb. there's not much to say about the song. It's a four-and-a-half minute voyage to the Motherland, with vibraphone tinkling, bass thumping and funk prevailing throughout. I imagine this sort of music would be better appreciated live, where you can watch Ayers skillfully pounding that vibraphone and feel a little groovier.

Five. "A Worried Man" - The Kingston Trio

Oh, man, The Kingston Trio is incredible. I decided a couple years back after I was introduced to Bob Dylan (you have two more chances, man, can you please make an appearance?) that I was a fan of folk. Therefore, I picked up some Kingston Trio, some Peter, Paul & Mary, more Dylan, and so on and so forth 'cause I'm a fan of folk and I like popular 60's folk artists and I like folk. My friend's dad, the biggest music buff I know, indulged me by contributing to my collection his four-CD compendium of Kingston Trio hits, a sixty-dollar collection at Recycled Records! It's a beautiful compilation, with all their best songs recorded in the studio and in concert. One of these excellent songs is the comedic and poppy "A Worried Man." It's a banjo-fueled story about this fortunate guy who's got everything- a Cadillac, a lucrative traveling job and a sexy wife named Sue, the "prettiest gal in town." Let's reexamine that: he has a traveling job...and his wife is the town's prettiest dame...."Holy ghost!" this guy's thinking after a stanza of bragging, comforted that he'll be home tonight to ensure his wife's faithfulness. In the third and last stanza he tells us, from his position in the closet, what everyone in the house is up to sexually, exclaiming, "We're worried now, but we won't be worried long!" This is some classic Kingston Trio, incurring in me sun-scorched memories of quiet, cross-country filled summer mornings.

Six. "A Summer Song" - Chad & Jeremy

When this song starts off with that soft acoustic guitar, I always think it's the intro to Carrie & Eddie's acoustic version of The Black Keys' "Set You Free," maybe you've heard of it. Anyway, this is another great song about nostalgia, the best and worst theme to write music to. "A Summer Song" is a soft, peaceful, harmony-driven ditty that transcends all seasons. Despite its title, I can easily imagine myself listening to this song "when the rain beats against my window pane" or when summer's officially over, as school sets in and "autumn leaves must fall." Chad & Jeremy serenade with guitars and horns some lucky lady here about how much they (collectively he) miss those unattainable, carefree "soft kisses on a summer's day." Now this is a theme found in just about all of us. Perhaps we don't all have a past lover that we miss spending time with, but after completing that first math assignment of the school year, haven't we all reminisced heavily about the carefree days of summer? Am I the only one who feels physically pained when I mull heavily over days of yore? This is a song to listen to RIGHT NOW!!

Seven. "The Mistress Witch From McMlure (Or The Mind That Knows Itself) - Sufjan Stevens

Oh! Perfect! What a perfect ending to this post! This song is taken from an album of outtakes and alternate takes from Sufjan Stevens' Illinois album, titled The Avalanche. Now, before this blog post, I had never paid proper attention to the lyrics of this song. Holy smoke. It's pretty wild, but beautiful. Essentially it's yet another heavily banjo-oriented song about Sufjan and his brother discovering that their father is having an affair with another woman. Its sound is sort of similar to that of "Casimir Puilski Day," what with it starting out with a banjo, acoustic guitar and Sufjan's voice, ultimately leading up to the inclusion of brass, more strings and harmonizing backing vocals. From some of this research I've compiled, I found this interesting conversation between Sufjan and a Pitchfork interviewer:

Sufjan: ..."The Mistress Witch of McClure" song is based on some...[pause] experiences that I had.

Pitchfork: Would you care to elaborate on that at all?

Sufjan: Probably not, it might be a little incriminating. [laughs]

Whoa. Perhaps the song is rooted in fact? That's a bummer. Who wants to walk in on their father's mistress chained to the floor, causing their father to furiously chase them while their brother has a fit in the snow? This song, despite its racy, provocative lyrics, retains a level of lightheartedness. It's fairly fast paced, yet beautifully and almost sorrowfully delivered, and ends with presumably Sufjan laughing as the sound fades. I guess I can think of a couple reasons why it wouldn't mesh well with the other songs on Illinois, but thank God Sufjan decided to make an outtake album because "The Mistress Witch" is tight.

So there you go. I hope at the very least you can listen to these songs yourselves and interpret them in your own way. I've offered explanations as to why they appeal to me, or simply why they're on my iPod, but hopefully you can get a kick out of them. It's always fun to vary your tastes, expand your musical horizons, try new things. I've surprisingly inspired myself to listen seriously to a lot of music I've previously neglected or rejected on my iPod.

But I don't even like listening to my iPod right now because it's starting to betray its age. For some reason, a lot of the songs display album artwork for another album, although they appear correct on my iTunes when I plug the iPod into the computer. Whatever. Irrelevant. Go listen to some music.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eject Button!

I've got a lot of shit clogging my brain on this fine evening. Rather than picking one and writing a bunch of shit about it, I've decided that I'm going to write less about several things. In journalism they call that a notebook. I've decided I'm just hitting the eject button on all this stuff in my head.


Birthday Glamour


That's what tomorrow is all about, bitches. September 9th of 1992 my dear sweet mother shoved my infantile body unto the earth, and bam! Now I have that day as a day to commemorate all my glory. Some people tend to be really non-chalant about their birthday. It's just a number, whatever. Some people tend to go over the top with it and make sure everyone knows it's their birthday. I am definitely somewhere in the second category. It's my birthday, so it's your responsibility to give at least ten seconds of that day paying your respects to me. I never got a lot for my birthday, some of you kids with your extended families and crap end up rolling in dough and awesome presents. I was never in that category. So to make up for it I make sure everyone I spend more than five minutes with knows it's my birthday.

Does that make me an asshole? Or do people deserve a day where the world owes them shit. Because, let's face it, birthdays are only a good thing for so long anyway. Once your 25 birthdays stop being cool. You start scrounging for the past and whatnot, so why not live up the birthdays we can fall in love with? And shit, I'm eighteen. I may make a Facebook event about it. This year will be my first birthday away from home, but my brother and dad are visiting to make things a little better. Not to mention I'm in college. It's my birthday weekend. You do the math. I'll do the meth. ;)

Inglorious Bastards

I dunno, guys. Did I spell that wrong or right? Anyway, I am in U of I's College of Media. Media includes things like broadcast journalism print journalism and, what the fuck, advertising? Anyway, the interim dean, an advertising expert, came and spoke to our Media 100 orientation class yesterday. And yeah, ads are as evil as they seem. They just try and get you to buy shit you don't need for prices you shouldn't pay. Cool. Thanks, I'm glad they exist. Their whole career revolves around making the public give money to corporations. Good. What a fine public service.

She spent the first half of her lecture blabbing about how brands are great for advertisers because they make the job easier and they create the illusion of reliability with the consumer. You probably like either Coca-Cola or Pepsi more than the other. You probably like Oreo Cookies. Advertisers' goal is to antagonize those who don't use their product. Oh, you don't drink Miller Lite? Well I'm a hot girl, and I think that you're less of a manly man for drinking Miller Lite instead of Budweiser. Oh also I'm perfect because I love beer, so you should definitely listen to me. Fuck that. Oh, you know Dove for men? Yeah, that shit makes you gay. So don't use it. Be a man, use Gillette. I hate advertisers like that. You know what's a good ad?

Thank God for Old Spice being funny. They satirize the whole manly product image while simultaneously luring dumbasses who don't get that they're joking into thinking they're buying manly stuff. Regardless, advertisers want you to make decisions beneficial to their wallets. They don't care about you. They truly don't. Why do they care about you. Because you give good money. They are and always be that boyfriend who thinks you're too hot to dump. They don't love you. They just love your sex. Your money. I'm kind of pissed that the College I'm in is associated with pricks like that.

Don't get me wrong though, not all advertising is bad advertising. Have you seen those cute ass animal adoption commercials on Animal Planet? Awwwwww.

Campus Wars

I've been at college for three weeks now. One of the more entertaining aspects to the whole college experience is the ways of commuting about campus. There are three modes of transportation you're sure to catch anywhere. People walking, people biking, and people driving. The hilarious part? Traversing by each of these modes of transportation causes you to dislike people who travel by any of the other two methods. Confusing? If you walk, bikers and drivers annoy you. If you bike, walkers and drivers annoy you. If you drive, everyone not driving annoys you.

I ally myself with the walking camp. We use simple transportation, there's no risk involved, except for punctuality, but that's totally avoidable if you plan ahead. And there is no greater satisfaction than walking peacefully by a crosswalk as five cars line up as they wait for your sweet time taking ass. Why? Why am I bitter? Because they have a car. They can get to places in five minutes that it takes me twenty minutes to get. That sucks. They WILL wait for me. Because in the end, they have it better. Bikers are hated by everyone, but in a more bitter sense by us walkers. We really can't do anything about them. If they run into you they win. If they don't run into you, they still win. It's super annoying. Bikes and cars get along like dogs and cats. If you put them on the same road, hell is sure to break loose.

The surprising all-approved method of transportation? Skateboards. More effective than you might think. They speed by us walkers without taking up space or being an inconvenience when traffic gets heavy. Bikers have no problem because they move more swiftly than walkers and take up less space. Cars don't mind them because they move quickly across crosswalks and rarely cause problems if there are no sidewalks to ride on. Advice? Learn to skateboard, kids. There's no flaw in it. Especially longboards. Those look super awesome, in addition to being better at getting you to where you're going than skateboards.

Scary Movie 8

Scary movies have always been a thing for me. When I was younger I would scare easily. I would get freaked out by Goosebumps and other freaky things. You heard previously of my fear of zombies. I just kind of always stayed away from scary movies. I figured there was no point in watching something that's just going to piss me off. When your friends jump out and scare you, it makes you feel zero positive emotions. Especially when they laugh at you afterwards. That's what I always imagined the credits of a horror movie being like. Just the director and cast laughing at you for getting scared shitless by their stupid worthless production. Halloween would come around and the Jason and Michael Meyers movies would blow up TNT and AMC and I would always be the apprehensive one of the group who would suggest just playing more video games. What's wrong with that? Unless of course, you play Resident Evil.

Lately I've changed my mind on the subject. I've started watching scary movies over the past couple years. And yeah, my body succumbs to the goosebumps. But there's an odd feeling of satisfaction watching a scary movie all the way through. I don't know what it is, but when you see traumatic events that someone lives through you sort of get a feeling of relief, and the feeling of fear that bogged you down and was surely removing any chance of self-enjoyment just mere minutes ago is now seemingly gone forever. Weird how that works, eh?

Well luckily for us, the viewer, scary movies have taken a turn for the better over the last few years. Well, the good ones anyway. They've stopped being solely about deranged killers hacking the crap out of kids your age. Finally we get some substance from horror movies, making them all the more scary. The Ring was a good scary movie because it made you freaked you out. It was weird scary, in addition to physically scary. The Hills Have Eyes was physically scary, but not very weird scary. The first Saw movie was relatable scary, and every movie that has ever been made about an exorcism still freaks me out. Last night, my roommate and I watched a Youtube saga which reminded me of Paranormal Activity and The Ring, if you were to combine the two. It is about a guy investigating the tapes that supposedly held the answers to why his friend moved away and halted contact with the guy forever. It is a weird scary, as they play with sound and visuals and go through several tedious steps to make the tale believable. The acting is excellent, and the thrills are quite enjoyable. The series never admits to being false, though it is clearly just an excellent work of fiction. The series is entitled Marble Hornets. It is a 26 part series and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to watch. The use of silence in the film is powerful and shows just how stupid music in horror movies really is. When you rely on added music to make something scare people, it's quite evident that your product kinda sucks.

One aspect that bugs me about this production and Paranormal Activity is the lack of admission to the viewer that the movie is false. This is a very personal annoyance, as I'm sure the general benefit would side with keeping it an unstated truth. But while watching Paranormal Activity and Marble Hornets, I found myself griping the whole time about how this and that isn't possible and how that means it can't be real. Trying to find flaws in the movie rather than embellish the many positives. Whatever.

Happy Appetizer

To change from scared to excited in the (second) best of ways, football season is upon us! Tomorrow, for my birthday, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the good folks over at the NFL have organized a football game for me to watch. How sweet. This one's professional! How exciting!

However, let me take the following paragraph to thank the college football season for doing its part to make me happy.

College football, I don't love you. I could never love you. You lack the consistency, you often disappoint me and lets face it, you just aren't as "good" as the NFL. However, I would like to thank you for providing a shit ton of entertainment to me over the course of the weekend. Week one in college is one of the better weeks. Because you don't have to think about the BCS, some overhyped team always gets upset, and EVERYBODY PLAYS. Thursday started me off with USC and Oregon, a traditional collegiate contest in which the better team won and the worse team kept trying to make it interesting but kept failing to do so. Friday, well, who needs football when you have Friday. Saturday, SATURDAY. Start me off BRIGHT AND EARLY with an Illinois-Mizzou game that was actually interesting, albeit disappointing, while simultaneously uplifting. If that makes any sense. It gave me something to do. Inspired me and my friends to go out and play catch with the football, which is the greatest object to play catch with. Other than like, cats. Or puppies (WARNING: THAT VIDEO ISN'T CUTE) (This one will make you feel better about it though). Saturday night Oregon State and TCU played in a game that was mildly entertaining but footbally nonetheless. Sunday provided us with the gem of the weekend. East Carolina University versus Tulsa. This was a shit game. ESPN had nothing better to show. So when these teams went back and forth down the field to score touchdowns on TEN CONSECUTIVE DRIVES (Note: That's a SHIT TON of consecutive drives) I was more than pleasantly surprised. The final score was 51-49. 100 glorious points. And the final play of the game included a 6'8" guy (imagine Lebron James) leaping up and snagging a hail mary at the highest possible point he could have and pulling it down, sacrificing pain and his wind to catch the ball and bring ECU a fun victory with 0:00 flashing on the clock. What a game. Boise State and Virginia Tech played a stellar game on Monday also, which of course was viewed with higher regards due to the inclusion of two top ten programs. Whatever. ECU Tulsa will always have my heart. Because it's college. It's not like any of the teams could beat the Browns anyway.

Which is why I'm dumping college football tonight, and making my getaway with pro football. It is a million times grander and every aspect of it is more interesting. I <3>

After reading Mada's post yesterday about Big Ten night life (good job by the way Mag), I started thinking about it. Why has society fallen to that stupid level of existence? You go to college so you can drink and hook up? Is that really it? Is socializing a dying art?

Obviously these are ridiculous questions. But at times its hard to see the point when all this crap goes on so much. Getting girls is such an overblown aspect of college and its funny because when you try and argue with these people about their way of life, it suddenly becomes difficult to fault. Yeah, it's a shallow existence that you'll never gain anything from. But if you can get past that (which, trust me, they've all gotten past that) it has an overwhelming amount of benefits. You meet people by signing up for frats and sororities and you intermingle with them and hook up and drink beer and stumble all over campus and are a douche bag and what not. But, they honestly have no regrets. Maybe they just have nothing better to do with themselves. We'll see what their future holds. Historically it hasn't been much of a hold back for people who are coherent enough to do their required coursework and earn a degree.

I certainly hope I can find a group of good wholesome people here at college who don't participate in the douchebaggery that is going out getting wasted and banging people as their only source of recreational fun. Now if you'll excuse me, it's my birthday in three hours. So I've got places to be. Hope you found something interesting in this amalgam of thoughts of mine. Have a good one. Hah...

--Eliot Sill

Mada's usual late post, though not as late as usual..

Tonight I went to a U of I tradition, "Piano Man". Piano Man is where this really drunk guy plays piano and songs at the canopy club every Tuesday night, and way too many people show up and sing along. The Piano Man is always drunk during these performances and always plays the most well known songs imaginable, from top 40 hits to classics like Sweet Caroline and Don't Stop Believing. And you have to understand, Piano Man is a big deal. this is something that everyone knows about and tons of people go to. Different sororities and fraternities are regulars to these Tuesday night performances. The place is always full, regardless of which Tuesday you pick. Now my question is, why is this such a big deal? Why do people love this semi-talented guy singing pop so songs so freaking much? Oh yeah, because they're drunk.

Piano Man is just another excuse in college to get drunk. Once you're drunk it's awesome because you get to sing along to songs and dance like an idiot. Now let's try going sober. Pretty boring. You're standing to the side and mildly swaying to the beat. Awesome. This has been my observation for the majority of Big 10 social life. Drink to get drunk or the night's not even worth it.

Take frat parties. All frat parties play music, but only some have it loud enough to consider the party a "dance party". Most frats just have it on in the background and literally the only activity is drinking or so-called drinking games. If you're a girl, your one objective is to look good enough to get guys to approach you. If you're a guy, the one goal is to successfully approach hot girls. In the meantime you drink your beer and return to the keg for some liquid confidence when it runs out. With this system in place it is pretty much impossible to meet potential friends when going out. At night, girls to don't give a crap about other groups of girls and guys are only interested in talking to potential hook ups.

What I'm trying to say is that the night life in a Big 10 college is about drinking, and drinking is not about making friends. Going out is not where you meet your core group and you willl never have a truly meaningful conversation at a frat party. You want to drink to get drunk and then you want to peacock until you've had your appropriate confidence boost.

So here's my advice for college students. Don't get caught up in partying. It;s fun, but it should never be the center of your social life. Join clubs, get a job, or just strike up a conversation with the person next to you in class. That is where you will really find the people you will spend your time with. The people who will matter in 10 years. Drinking is fun, no one denies it, but real social interactions are funner.

Sorry if this seems too preachy or depressing. It's just what's on my mind at this exact moment. Peace out Classic Brian.


PS sorry for any typos or unfinished sentences, I'm still a little drunk.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nick - Pokemon!

To most of you it was probably a phase. You brought the cards to school, or you played Red or Blue version as a kid. But Pokemon was something I never grew out of. We got to hear about Brendan's love for Harry Potter, and now it's my turn.

I don't remember how old I was.. My parents got me Pokemon Red; my second ever game for my GameBoy Pocket. And I dived right in. I couldn't read. I had no idea what was going on, story-wise. But I knew that I had a Pokemon of my very own. I think I can trace the moment that I started loving Pokemon back to when I got to choose my first one. Basically I stumbled around in the grass outside of Pallet Town, oblivious to what anybody was trying to say to me. I battled on with my Squirtle, a duo determined to conquer this small patch of grass.

I somehow got further into the game and built a team; I remember very little about all of this. I know I had a Pidgey, a Vileplume, and two Gravelers; it wasn't a very good team. But it was mine, and nothing brought my childish mind more pleasure than having a team of my very own. I loved the feeling of catching a new Pokemon to put on my team.

And then I got older, and I learned how to read, and I learned which moves were awesome and which type was strong against another type, and started to implement some strategy. I still love putting together combinations of Pokemon, seeing which ones work well with one another. There are a limitless number of ways you can build your team, and that facts still bears weight in my mind.

I feel that as I grow older, my relationship with Pokemon changes to reflect that, but the core feeling hasn't changed. There is still no more powerful feeling that starting out with just myself, my first Pokemon, and a world filled with limitless potential. I associate it with the feeling of adventure. Like the beginning of summer, the beginning of a game of Pokemon invigorates me. I want to smell the summer air, start an adventure, and dive into that first patch of grass, just me and my Pokemon.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Laying out then class :)

PLEASE tell me how you spent each hour of the day. Please, 18 year old girl, let me know exactly what you did after working out and homework, and make sure to let me know if you’re tired. Also, don’t forget to add that you love life, just so that the rest of us in far off schools can have the relief and jealousy that you LOVE COLLEGE:)

I apologize to friends and acquaintances alike, but if I haven’t asked you, then knowing your class schedule and happiness fluctuations throughout the day aren’t what I want to see when I open Facebook. Granted, I have a Facebook (I mean what should I expect?), but I’d like to believe it’s to make communication easier, and communication, folks, is not shouting out constant glamorizations about one’s life, especially when it all revolves around mundane activities. Before I add another sentence with four too many commas, I’d like to say that I understand exciting things should be exclaimed and shared, even day to day things, but knowing that you just took a shower isn’t one of them.

But dammit, we love advertising ourselves too much, and it’s just so easy. I can take pictures with pretty people and have them up for the world to see in two minutes. Now everyone, from reading the captions and seeing the fun! can understand just how awesome my life has been these days.

I look at my status from last week and cringe already. It only takes a few days to get out of my current element and gain a little perspective. This isn’t to say that we should be real honest with our status or pictures, admitting to people who weren’t there that the two hot frat guys were good looking but real douches, and that the party last night wasn’t actually that fun. I also dont mean that exciting things should be left out of day to day life. What I’m saying is, maybe we don’t need to bling everything about ourselves. Maybe we should substitute self-advertising with self-reflection once in a while. Maybe we should spend some time being honest with people who care about us, giving them sincere updates and conversation about what’s going on, rather than Facebook blurbs for the masses. Or maybe we could just be honest with ourselves and come to the realization that half the kids out there are doing homework and going out too. Maybe, before we have kids, we could realize not everyone is interested in every minute of our day.

For a day,