Saturday, October 30, 2010

Conor - Hard Work or Boy, Achieving My Hopes and Dreams Is Turning Out To Be More Of A Hassle Than I Thought It Was Going To Be!

That's me up there. I'm taking a class in looking disheveled, yet simultaneously sophisticated. And drinking what appears to be fatal amounts of coffee.

Heads up everyone REAL TALK.

As you all know, I've been dabbing in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee as of late. One would assume by the amount of time I've spent talking about it that I would be good at it, but alas. This is not necessarily the case. The past 2 weeks there have been tryouts for the A-Team, the elite squad we send to tournaments and what have you to represent us, and last night I was informed that I didn't make the cut. This bothered me for a while, and hey, I mean it still bums me out a little bit, but that's not what this post is about.

I failed to achieve a goal I had been aiming for, and I think that might be the best thing that could've happened to me.

Upon first hearing that I didn't make the cut, I looked at the list of who did make it, found the members who I believed myself to be better than, and cursed their names, aiming all my frustration and disappointment at their unworthy souls. I was at a party so I then drank more than I'm used to drinking, decided that my failure would make wonderful inspiration for song, and left the party to go to a practice room and play piano. Immediately after leaving the house I made several wrong turns and ended up far away from where I intended to go. By the time I made it back to campus I was tired and no longer wanted to play music, so I went to bed instead.

A quick note to Laurie and Dennis O'Brien: Mom and Dad, work with me here. You're not my audience and I try to ignore that you read this, but the rest of this post should redeem myself, so stop planning how to awkwardly advise me not to do that again the next time I call you.

Anyway so I was pretty bummed out for the first half of today and just moped around for several hours. Eventually my train of thought led me to a couple of topics.

How many times have I actually, 100% applied myself? The answer is extremely, extremely rarely. By the time I'm giving my all to a project, it's often too late to realize it's full potential. For instance, I would routinely devote the 20 hours before an improv show to quickly throwing everything together with the rest of the troupe and trying my best to make sure things went all right, and they pretty much always did, but what if I had started planning weeks in advance? What if those fliers I always naively believed I could make happen actually did happen? What if I had remembered to get a cash box so we could make change when the audience showed up? Band Practice gigs were usually preceded by 4 or 5 hours of intense practicing. What if I had made time to do that 2 or 3 days before? I can make excuses for all these things, say I was busy, and I was busy, but the fact is I didn't really give it my all.

I don't super regret the way I did things. Thanks to the people I worked with and pure dumb lucky, everything always worked itself out, but I have to realize that this won't always be the case.

I didn't make the A Team and that's making me attempt, at least, to change my ways. I have something to prove right now. So I'm working. I went to conditioning and only 4 other people showed up, but we ran anyway. I wasn't running because I like running. Running is stupid dumb. People who run track and shit are insane, and I will never feel 100% comfortable around them, because no reasonable person will ever enjoy doing that. I was running because if I run I'll get faster. If I'm faster I'll be able to cut harder and get to where I need to be on the frisbee field. If I can do that, if I can get open more often, I'll be a better handler. If I'm a better handler I'll play more ultimate and better ultimate. I love ultimate, so that's what I want. So I'll keep running. Maybe if I had made the A Team I'd have rested today, but I didn't, so I didn't. I went out there and ran. I'm going to have to work, but I guess that's not the worst thing that could happen to a guy.

This doesn't only apply to ultimate. A couple of weeks ago Mada was telling me about some of the local bands she's seen in Champaign, she put a certain emphasis on saying they were "actually good." When I joking/not joking protested that Band Practice was good, she said "you guys were basically the best band in Springfield, isn't that kind of sad?" or something along those lines. That was pretty lame. I would like to think that we make good music, not just "good for us" music, if you know what I mean, but it's not like we were pushed very far as a group. I'm not saying there was no competition or anything, but there was no real drive to become constantly better. Our goal was to make good music, and I think we did, but we should have tried harder, gone farther.

I've spent several hours at piano today, and a couple more listening and talking about my favorite music with friends. I played several of the pieces I've already written in different ways. I took away sections that I had settled for in the past, and tried to find new ways to do what I want to do. I watched a Wilco documentary last year, and one of the band members said something that I've always found really cool. He said that when they come up with a new song, the first thing they do is tear it apart, and get rid of all the details. They leave only the skeleton standing, and then decorate as many ways as they can. I write a song, go "oh that's cool!" and leave it as is. It's time to cut that bullshit out.

College is meant to teach me how to get where I want to be, right? I think I've taken the first step today. I know I won't always be as inspired as I am right now, but this isn't something I'll forget terribly quickly. I'm happy right now. I think this is going to pay off. Life's hard to do right, so I'm trying to balls up as soon as possible and continue barreling on towards my ultimate goal of being the very best. The best there ever was.

But first, Mario Kart.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Epickest Fail

by Brendan Cavanagh

Last Tuesday, the Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) of Ross Hall, the dormitory in which I reside at Butler University, sprang for a small group of freshmen to go on an excursion to the local movie theater, where we would see The Social Network- yes, for free. Not only did I immediately jump on board for this activity because I'm a freshman, and when I hear the word "FREE" I sign up without hesitation, but also I had wanted to see The Social Network quite badly for a while. Incidentally, I convinced my buddy to drive us to see it in the heart of Indianapolis on opening day a few weeks ago. On the way, he decided that he would much rather spend his money on a Lebron James jersey to wear to the Jersey Party we would be attending that weekend. Furthermore, aside from the expenses necessary for the jersey, he decided from that moment forward he was going to be more frugal in his spending and called an end to unnecessary purchases- fast food, assorted candies and snacks and- you guessed it- movie tickets. Held hostage against my will in his car, I spent the next three hours either trapped in Indianapolis' Rush Hour on the freeway or in a mall in the middle of nowhere that seemed to be a cultural hotspot for African Americans. Although it was a neat experience to literally be a racial minority for once, I was pretty well bummed that I didn't get to see The Social Network.

But I digress. Another friend and I met up with the FIR and his wife, who were waiting on a group of freshmen ladies. My eyebrows were thus raised. This movie trip could be a valuable experience in which I could get to know several girls in an intimate setting, something much different than the weekend parties. No one honestly goes out to a party hoping to make friends that happen to be girls, unless, that is, physical benefits stem from the relationship. By attending the movie I could maybe make some girl friends (not girlfriends), something I've been lacking a bit since I left Springfield for college. We waited for these girls for ages, and I was getting anxious to get to the theater in time to make the movie and most of the previews. That's one of my biggest fears- arriving at a movie too late. I honestly don't think I could watch a movie after missing one minute of it. So thankfully, these girls finally showed up, and to my initial displeasure but subsequent delight, they were not too terribly attractive. Perfect! I wouldn't have to be concerned with trying to woo them or make an effort to make myself appear a little more appealing than usual. I was simply hoping to have an entertaining jaunt complete with some intellectual discussion afterward with girls that could potentially become my pals. However the bonding would have to be postponed, as at that point, I anxiously jumped in my friend's car and stressed that we should hurry in order to make the movie on time.

I'll fast forward a bit. The movie turned out fantastic, and I was actually able to secure a seat moments before the trailers rolled! When we all congregated in the lobby of the theater afterward, the FIR announced that the secret, special treat he used as a potential incentive to come (if the free movie wasn't good enough) would be cupcakes from the famous pastry shop in Broad Ripple (the nearby campus town) called The Flying Cupcake. Well, I wasn't one to complain about free cupcakes. We therefore departed from the theater and booked it straight back to the dorm in anticipation. However, my friend and I realized that we had no idea where to meet the FIR and the ladies for cupcakes. We wandered the halls for a little while before desperately stumbling into the FIR's apartment within the halls of the dormitory (which should have been our first guess). There we found everyone gathered around a little coffee table in the middle of this quaint, softly-lit, cozy living room. The FIR's wife presented me with a glass of cold apple cider, and we sat down to join the conversation.

It was pretty mundane, to be quite honest. We didn't even discuss the movie for a while, as I thought was the intent for gathering afterward, but rather listened to the girls swap stories about dorm life or their doings back at home. I just grabbed one of the few remaining cupcakes- lemon, yuck! What was I thinking? Oh I know, there was a sugared candy on the top in the shape of a lemon, which I had hoped was just a red herring- and quietly sipped my cider. I was very careful to retain a level of detachment throughout in order to give off that cool, aloof, James Dean vibe (to no avail), as one of the girls brought her very attractive friend to join us.

Now, I don't know if it was the cider or the rush of sugar from the cavity-inducing cupcakes or what, but somehow I began to feel intoxicated with a sense of humor and took it upon myself to join the conversation. At first I simply clapped my hands together excitedly while another girl related her difficulty in sleeping at night and exclaimed, "Well how about that movie!" Thankfully the conversation touched briefly, then, upon the basic themes and characters of the movie- okay, we didn't discuss the movie all too much, but we managed to stay relatively on-topic by occasionally delving into everyone's opinions of the inner workings and perpetual redesign of Facebook.

But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted to distinguish myself, you know, make a joke or two to lighten the mood a bit more and maybe make myself someone these girls remembered in a positive light after that night (and impressing the cute girl was definitely motive enough). But every time I attempted entry into the conversation, my quips and references were either met with silence or one or two pathetic chuckles induced out of pure pity for me. For instance, eventually the conversation switched gears for the nth time, and the FIR's pregnant wife enthusiastically related to us the tribulations she and her husband had been experiencing in coming up with a satisfactory baby name, whose sex has yet to be determined. I jokingly advised them to choose a sexually ambiguous name ahead of time in order to avoid any disappointment when the sex of the baby is revealed at birth. Unfortunately no one found this amusing until one of the fine ladies present, sporting a sideways trucker cap with her ponytail sticking out of one side, appended my suggestion with a real gem: "Yeah, like JIM!" which had everyone in stitches.

What? Jim is not sexually ambiguous at all. Whatever. I let this slide. There was still plenty of time to horse around later.

As the evening wore on, each one of the girls chatted incessantly about the most banal topics, referring either to the movie or to mutually-attended occurrences (I honestly was too steamed to pay attention), preceding each sentence with the word "Remember...?" This little detail sparked my attention, leading me to believe the time was ripe for a well-timed Chris Farley impression. After allowing a couple girls to speak their piece, I leaned over to my left, where the FIR sat (because he was the only person in the room who I thought would definitely understand my reference, if no one else did, though I deluded myself into believing it would be commonly recognized. He's a 30-year-old, sort of hipster-ish, APPARENTLY cultured guy who happens to dress a lot like Tynan Shevlin) and murmured just loud enough for all to hear, "Re-remem...remember Beatlemania?" Inside I was consumed with fits of silent laughter, invisibly patting myself on the back for telling such a great joke. To my astonishment, the FIR looked at me suspiciously and replied, "Yeah...?" Alas, this was the most involved response I got. I consequently looked around the room at everyone's faces, which all stared back at me bemusedly and silently. I was clearly referencing Chris Farley's uncomfortable interview of Paul McCartney on the Saturday Night Live "Chris Farley Show" skit on what I assumed to be the universally-viewed compilation Best of Chris Farley. At that point, I really felt like Chris Farley- in my head I thought to myself, "God! Damn! Idiot! Stupid question!" I hastily explained aloud that I had made an admittedly obscure Chris Farley reference and apologized sincerely. But there was nothing sincere about my apology. I was disgusted by my repeated, fruitless attempts at getting involved and making friends with such frivolous girls.

After that I just shut my mouth and feigned laughter at their crummy jokes and uninteresting stories, reluctantly throwing in the towel and ashamedly attempting to blend in, until "That Girl" announced that she regrettably had to depart prematurely in order to "study" for a test the next morning, at which point everyone stood up and decided it was time to go. I thanked the FIR and his wife for their generosity and hospitality and returned to my room (on the way, my friend informed me that my jokes were truly bad and embarrassed him terribly), while the girls made the walk back to their dorms across the street. I was depressed. One of the first times I had a serious intent to make girl friends ended in disaster because I was stricken blind with my narcissistic love for my humor, similar to the love John Mayer has expressed for his singing voice, and made myself out to look like some sort of unfunny, cornball geek.

Although I failed in my attempts to make girl friends that night, I am at the very least satisfied that for once I made a conscious effort to interact with girls on a friendly and unromantic level. I understand that every attempt of mine will not always be met with girls I particularly desire to hang out with, but I know that they are out there somewhere. It's hard finding new girl friends after having such funny, intelligent and unique ones before I left for school. But I have not been thwarted in my attempts to keep searching for those rare girls that will inexplicably laugh at my numerous eccentric jokes. I don't know where they are...but I will find them, even if they live in a van down by the Butler canal. Desperate, you say? LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING FOR SOME FEMALE INFLUENCE.

Picture reprinted with permission from Tynan Shevlin

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I bet I can churn out one more EATIT post... ABOUT BASKETBALL.

Tonight is a great night. Yesterday was opening night in the NBA, featuring a double-header that saw the Miami Heat lose their opening game and the Lakers winning on a last-second shot that was not-to-be for the Houston Rockets.

Now the rest of the league gets to join in the fun. In honor of the beginning of the NBA season, I have decided to present to you the starting lineup (and reserves) for the Easily Amused Teen Improv Troupe (August 2010 edition).

The fact is, Improv is a team sport. That's why we practice improv. To get good comedic chemistry. There is a reason for it. It's like a basketball team. You can score a joke, assist on a joke, or rebound a missed joke. You see? We aren't so different, you and I. (Said the basketball to the improv comedy.)

The fact is, I miss our Improv Troupe. It was a great excuse to be around ten really funny people for two hours a week. But I'm not gonna write a whole post about it. Okay, well I am, it's just got a little hint of creativity to it.

Without further ado:


(idiots guide to position: main ballhandler. doesn't score as much as he finds the open man to score. runs the offense.)

Obviously. I had to put him at point guard for a multitude of reasons. First off, that's the position of the only basketball player Conor knows. Secondly, he runs the show. He orchestrates everything and provides guidance to our team of dominant players. He can score a joke or two when needed, but mainly he's great at giving the rest of us easy bits of hilarity to feed off of. Without him we'd be a bunch of hilarious people with nothing to talk about. He was no slouch, and one of the best at what he did. Great defender, as in, scenes will never go to shit as long as he's in them. He will pull something relevant out of his ass and more than likely you will laugh at it. He gets all the glory, because he's Conor O'Brien. Everybody loves him. Except maybe Roy Schribner.

Backup Point Guard: Ben Shane

A little more unique style. He wears thongs. Awesome. He has some inherent leadership qualities about him that make you think that what he's saying isn't utter BS, though it more than likely is. Overall, he's a good defender. At the very least he will have a coherent conversation and save the scene from those scary awkward silences that are the death of anything that's supposed to be funny. Russel Westbrook. He's starting for the troupe this year (or as I like to call them, the JV squad), and despite the last joke I just made, I feel like they're in good hands.


(idiots guide to the position: scores. gets open, gets the ball, knocks down the shot.)

He's really funny. Give him an open look and he'll knock it down. If there's an opportunity for a joke he usually nails it. A comedic Ray Allen. He has literally gotten jokes that I didn't even intend to make. His level of comic thinking is realllly high. He doesn't have sincere thoughts. Sorry Hannah, he's dating you because it's funny. He can't exactly work all the pieces the way Conor can, but the kid has jokes. Through and through.

Backup Point Guard: Eliot Sill

Me. I'm funny. I give Robert the nod because I don't like to come off as a douche. But I feel like I can hold my own. I understand comedy. I try to make jokes too. Try to. You be the judge.

Actually fuck that I know I'm funny.


(idiots guide to the position: varies. can be utility guy. can be a big guy, or a shooter, defensive specialists or superstars. like lebron.)

Funniest person I know. He is probably the best improv-er I know also. He can make one-line jokes, create funny concept-jokes that everyone can feed off of, and if need be, he can run a scene. Versatile and I've never seen him do a scene I didn't laugh at. He's a superstar. Our very own LeBron James.

Backup Small Forward: Nick Dietrich

The ULTIMATE glue guy. He can do anything as well, although he doesn't get the fanfare of guys like Conor O'Brien and Tynan, but the quality of our shows would dip severely without him. He has impenetrable defense (scenes don't go down the drain if he's involved). He probably can't run the show with his own jokes as well as guys like Conor and Ben, but he is a compliment to anyone. Also he dominated practices. Dominated them. (Doctor, Oil Spill, "I didn't trust her") Can't say enough about Nick Dietrich. That's why he's a Titanic Player. And I reminisce about the improv troupe I used to be in. Nick Dietrich is a Bruce Bowen. Nick, you're Bruce Bowen.

Alternate Backup: Andrew Rogers

He's better than third-string, but we just have too many studs at his position. He's taking on a similar role in the offense and defense that Nick had. He shows a lot of similar qualities. He's really funny but doesn't get the credit that other showstopping performers might get.


(idiots guide to the position: these are the 6'10" guys who take the ball and dunk it really hard on everyone's head.)

Kevin Tkach? You mean KEVIN GARNETT? KT is reallllly funny. Absolute hilarity. Impossible to go wrong with him. Well I suppose you could, but it's hard. He can't come up with ideas and dish them out. He isn't Conor O'Brien. But if you get him something to work with. I mean ANYTHING. He will hammer it down and you will fall over laughing. And if you take a shot (at a joke) and miss it, Kevin will be there to pick up the rebound and make it funny. He's hilarious. Through and through. Enough said.

Backup Power Forward: Connor Lohse

Shout out to The Basement. And the guy who runs it. He's funny. Like Kevin Tkach, only a little less loud. Like JJ Hickson, he's an all-star waiting to happen.


(idiots guide to the position: defensive stalwarts, offensive beasts. a little slow because they're so big, but inavaluble nonetheless.)

Centers are big, right? What else is big? Elephants. Well Mada is an elephant. IN THE ROOM. Because she is a girl. Unlike everyone else so far. Also she has to be the CENTER of attention because all hell breaks loose if the girl gets tired. As for actually complimenting her, chemistry between the point guard and center is of the utmost importance, and Mada and Conor are on another plain of thinking. It's amazing to watch. Alley-oops upon Alley-oops. It's awesome. To watch. Better to understand. But you guys like it nonetheless. She might as well be Joakim Noah.

Backup Center: Evan Kararo

He's tall. (How cruel would it be to end this paragraph here?) But also he is the closest thing we have to Mada, looks-wise. Sometimes I can't tell them apart. Also he has a tendency to be the best at executing certain roles. Evan can take on characters and do them better than everyone else. Overall, when he shows up, he's funny as hell.

Alternate Backup: Hannah Kolkmeier

Mada's gone. Who's a girl? Looooooooovee youuuuuuuuu


Sean Freeman- I just didn't see him enough to fully assess his humor. SHOW UP TO IMPROV PRACTICE MORE. I love you nonetheless.
Adam Barber- Too young to judge. But he has a lot of upside. A freshman who has a good concept of what it takes to be a Robert or me.
Catherine Reid- Don't have an excuse not to write her a thing but if she wants to gripe about it I'll buy her next Steak N' Shake. Also show up to practice more.

So I think, as a post, I missed every audience I may have possibly had. If you aren't in improv, you don't care, and if you are in improv you probably don't care about sports. Certainly not basketball. But I love improv. And I love basketball. So this was fun to do. Plus it's fun to analogize improv to basketball. It's doable. I know the improv part of this is so far off topic, improv was over three months ago. I know. But basketball is ON. And I found something neat to relate it to. See ya next week.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Proof That I'm A Girl


This weekend I went my cousins wedding in St. Louis. I was pretty annoyed to have to do this because I had gone out of town the previous two weekends and I had a lot of homework and laundry waiting to be done. So not the time for a weekend long of family-time. Plus I have been to a number of weddings in my life and the excitement was wearing off. I went anyway of course, and decided to be a little excited about it since I do really like my cousin Brent (the groom) and his now wife, Sydney.

I am by far the youngest cousin on my dad's side of the family so I have never been too phased by my cousins getting married and having kids. They were adults and that's what adults did. i was a kid. Weddings were boring and they never asked me to be the flower girl. Hello? I'm adorable. Anyway. Brent is different. He's only ten years older than me and he was always like the an older brother to me. He would include me and entertain me at family gatherings even though he was never in the same life stage as I was. He is also the cousin that lives the closest to me and therefore the one I would see the most. These frequent visits also allowed me to become well acquainted with Sydney, his ladylove. She is pretty, extremely nice and subdued. The subdued part is important because my family is full of big personalities and it takes a very chill person to put up with us.

Shit got real weird for me as soon as i saw Brent. There he was, sitting at the head of the table, laughing and joking about the coming events of Saturday and all I could think about were the dumb turtlenecks he wore in high school, laughing at the projectile vomitting in The Menaing Of Life with him and how bad his feet smelled when we hiked the grand canyon together. Then I looked at Sydney and thought about meeting her a few years back as Brent's new girlfriend, how she had cut all her hair off for locks of love and how she had almost cried when she showed us her engagement ring and told us how Brent had proposed. It was like a movie. I couldn't imagine my favorite cousin Brent getting married like an adult even though I already felt like Sydney was a part of our family. I had never had anyone I was truly close to get married and I couldn't make it make sense in my mind.

I ended up sitting in the back of the church right by the doors. As the ceremony started the doors opened and Brent walked down the isle with the preacher wearing a tux. I had never seen him in anything nicer than jeans and it hit me that this was really happening. He was standing in front of his whole family saying that he had found someone he loved more than himself and he was willing to announce it to the whole world that he never wanted to be with anyone else as long as he lived. At that point I knew I was in trouble but I decided I wouldn't cry. The bridal party processed through and the doors were closed in preparation for Sydney's entrance. The doors opened and there stood my cousins fiance in the most beautiful dress I have ever seen with a look on her face of the purest happiness I have ever seen. She shined. She walked down the aisle and I lost it. I had seen Sydney so many times and spent so many gatherings at the same table and seeing her usual shyness completely wiped away and replaced with a look of someone who was so sure, so happy and so in love was overwhelming. I cried. It was embarrassing.

I tried to collect myself but as Brent and Sydney joined hands and began to say their vows I realized there was now hope for my composure. I was witnessing something that is so rare in life. They stood up there so wrapped up in each other and so in the moment that they might as well have been alone in the room. All they needed was each other. I have never felt so blessed to witness something in my life.

I understand that this is the point of weddings and that it is assumed that every couple that does this feels the same way as Brent and Sydney but this was the first time I was close enough to both parties to really comprehend it. There's a reason there are so many songs and poems about love. It is something bigger than a person and it is really an awe-inspiring entity. I hope that Brent and Sydney have an amazing life together.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jane Austen - Procrastination

You know who's the worst? Publishers. I mean, shit. I've got like three more days before the deadline and I don't have diddly squat written down. I mean seriously, I can't churn out anymore of these bullshit love stories.

And you know what's worse? I'm so goddamn hungover. Like seriously. Have you ever tried to sit down and write a lovely little novel about pompous brats while hungover? Let me tell you, it's the fucking worst.

Okay, here's what I've got so far: I'll slap some title on it that's all deep sounding and shit. Make it sound real nice. Let's take something that sounds real introspective and stuff. Like arrogance. And pride. "Arrogance and Fucking pride." That just has a lovely fucking ring to it. I'll come back to that later. It can be my working title.

Don't they just look like a lovely couple of dipshits.

I think I'll start this out with a pompous better-than-you prissy little bitch like all of my novels. Oh god, this is the fucking worst. I don't think I can write another line. All of this shit about marriage and being proper-like. I need to give myself an outlet. Let's go ahead and give the bitch a slutty sister. That oughtta make this book more fun. Yeah, there we go. Critics will eat this shit up.

And I can't stand all of this properness bullshit. I think I'll have our little prejudiced bitch end up with some old pervert. This'll liven things up a little. Yeah, that's fucking great. I'm starting to like this story more and more.

Okay, how many pages am I at? Well fuck me. Whatever, this ain't no fucking English class. I'm done. This little masterpiece here doesn't need an ending, I'm just going to stop writing. Let's add a nice couple of sentences about staring longingly into each other's eyes and shit. Yeah, that's real nice. I can just imagine all the little brats reading this thing and deluding themselves about fairy tail love and all that shit.

Well, this is a nice little work I've slaved through. God, listen to me. I'm bitching like this Elizabeth girl now. Well, whatever. I'm done. I'm done with this shithole piece of fiction.

I need to go take a drag.

-Jane Austen

(Thanks to Connor Lohse for the suggestion)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gorillas: A Man’s Best Friend

--Robert Langellier

If there’s anything I’ve learned from making friends over the course of my post-pubescent life (I had none before that), it’s that friends suck and are not worth it. They make fun of you and they razzle you and they require you to be around them every once in a while. I need some alone time, damn. I’m not going to the freaking park with you. 

This is why I have Soshi Keesha Malone. He’s a gorilla. No, Joey, you are not my best friend. Soshi is my best friend.

Soshi is half the cuteness of T-Rex (more than you) and twice the personality of any human being. He’s infinitely more obedient, and a lot more furry. He’s softer than any flesh, and he doesn’t poop. He’s also not alive, scientifically. All that means is that I don’t have to feed him and I have the liberty of tying him to the ceiling fan whenever I deem necessary for my entertainment. He is Ultimate Friend, and there is no one like him.

My godmotherandaunt gave him to me when I was a wee little 2-year-old. I bet he was shiny then. As if there was anything wrong with him now. Sixteen years later, he doesn’t have a scratch on him. Except for those emergency stitches that one time when I almost ripped his arm off (I’m still so sorry about that, baby). Anyway, my cousinandgodmother’sson also allegedly received one simultaneously from my godmotherandaunt, because we were born around the same time. I have never seen him. I refuse to accept his existence. There is no one like Soshi. He is Ultimate Friend.

Many do not know about Soshi. Rarely do I speak of him in public. I apologize profusely for this. To Soshi. Maybe I was jealous, and maybe I didn’t want others stealing him from me (see Classic Brian Malone + T-Rex). I don’t know. All I know is that I feel at home in the arms of my little inanimate cuddlemuffin. But don’t take it from me! Take it from other Soshi admirers (who I keep relatively at bay when possible).

“He’s got the perfect volume and texture to snuggle with,” said Mizzou freshman Natalie Cheng.” “He’s not TOO soft where you try to hug him and end up hugging yourself, and he’s not so firm where it’s just not comfortable.”

If I could open his mouth to kiss him, I wouldn’t like girls.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced Ultimate Snuggliness, but it’s the coziest feeling in the world. It’s like walking inside on a snowy winter night after making a fresh batch of snow angels and finding a ready-made mug of steaming hot chocolate, topped off by marshmallows, chocolate chips, and whipped cream. Then you go into the living room where your father has just finished stoking a roaring fire in the fireplace. You change into soft sweatpants and that one t-shirt that wraps you purrrfectly, and then you recline on that big lazy boy recliner and your cat jumps up and sits on your lap and purrrs at you. Then your mom walks in and hands you Hobbes to hold while you watch the Packers walk on the Lions on Monday Night Football. That’s what Soshi feels like. (I keep accidentally typing “Soshio.” Also cute.)

“He is such a good spooning partner,” said Cheng. “He doesn’t feel emasculated when I ask him to be the little spoon. He has a little trouble being the big spoon, though.”

Soshi may be small, but he’s nothing if not ruggedly experienced. He’s caused my head to split open as a ball in a game of hallway football, he’s been on many a vacation, and he was notoriously a top fighter in the famous Stuffing Wars of the 3rd and 4th grades. He is everything you cannot be to me.

Weird fact: His birth name is his now-middle name, Keesha. Also known as my grandma’s belligerent black frizzy hissing cat. Eventually, though, he was christened a catchier first name, and a last name, becoming the Soshi Keesha Malone he is now. It’s starting to hit me, just as I’m writing, how ridiculously Classic that is. Look at that last name and try not to shudder, ladies. Try.

Every post needs an underlying point, though. All I want is just for you to know how you need to treat me as a person. With stillness, utter compliance, softness, nonstop hugs, indifference to beatings, and willingness to remain in my attic or closet or on my bed in my dorm until I actually need you. I look forward to this next phase in our friendship.

Joe Cool!

Monkeying around!

Oh no!

Hitting the ball

These are like a mix of what Nick did to T-Rex and Conor's love for cats!

Hollow To The Brim

A young man stands on a balcony on a cold night. Another man offers him a cigarette. He calmly accepts. He lights it and inhales, not understanding why, only knowing that it brings him a moment of peace. But that moment is fleeting, disappearing in a flick of ashes and a puff of smoke. Now the young man has nothing. He is left to fall back into the raging storm of emotions that is his mind, alone in a crowd of people.

Intoxicated, he trudges down the steps and out onto the street. He has no plan, no idea where he's going, or where he'll end up. He's searching for something, but for what, he may never know. All he wants is to escape It. It. The ever-present feeling of all-consuming nothing. His life is hollow. He's been robbed of its meaning, and has been frantically searching for it ever since. But where to begin? The world is so big...he's just one man.

The nighttime is the worst for him. He tosses and turns, consumed by the void. His head spins with thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. He begs for sleep to come, but his plea falls upon deaf ears. He is doomed to lie awake, listening to his music, that conduit to his soul, until finally, so very early in the morning...he falls asleep. But now that sleep has taken him, he is unwilling to leave its embrace. He is so very tired and his room is his sanctuary. What motivation does he have to leave it? His obligations slowly fall by the wayside as he continues his search for that lost meaning. He'll try anything to find it.

Every day he skates by. It's so pointless. It's so futile. He only wants the weekend to come so he can hide from it all. But even the weekend does not protect him from some things. He knows what nearly every weekend will almost certainly also bring. The thoughts spread from his brain through his blood, burning mercilessly. Thoughts of days. He knows not if these days were better for him or if they were worse, only that they had meaning, and to him, that's all that matters. He can't let them go, no matter how much he knows he should, because they are all he has.

What has he become? Not able to please, he can only disappoint. Failure, failure, failure. Can he do nothing right? Why is he such a fool? It's small wonder he is so very alone. He's grown so cold. The line has become blurred for him, and as he stumbles along it, he rarely knows which side he is on, or what direction he is headed. But he stumbles on.

What will he do when he once more grasps the meaning, if he indeed ever does? What then will he pursue? Will he be satisfied, or is he doomed to forever search? In finding meaning, will he also lose meaning? Must he always live like this, hopelessly lost and confused? Perhaps he'll never understand. Perhaps he shall always be consumed by It.