Saturday, November 27, 2010

Conor - In My Element

Springfield, IL. Population, 118,033. It's a nice place, filled with nice people.

I've been back since 3:30 AM, Wednesday morning and immediately I was reminded why I miss this place so much. 3 friends were waiting for me when I got here, and after grabbing some stuff to eat from the local supermarket we got down to to business and played 2 hours worth of Mario Kart. They left around 6:30, and I crashed into bed.

Such was my welcoming party home. It was grand and extravagant and everything I wanted. It's not like I've missed Mario Kart terribly (although my hours invested into this game has decreased worryingly this week. 8 hours? DEPLORABLE.), I've just missed our special brand of competition, hate, and love. Brian and Eliot fought for last place, gloating inappropriately every time they finished in 9th instead of their usual 12th. Everytime I managed to edge out fucking Baby Peach for 2nd place, I did my victory ritual, which looked something like I imagine a pterodactyl's touchdown dance would look. We complained constantly about how lame it is that Robert plays with the steering wheel thingy, ignoring how soundly he defeated us pretty much every single race. At around 6:30 in the morning my dad came downstairs to start his day, having been woken up slightly earlier than normal by Robert's shouting of "FUCK FUCK FUCK" one of the few times that I beat him. We played through every map consecutively because we were too dedicated to a joke. Brian was mean. Eliot was spiteful. Robert and I were perfect.

This is what I miss. This is what I had been waiting for. The good times have been rolling since I got here, and I have no reason to believe the good times will halt said rotation anytime soon.

Tonight was pretty perfect. I practiced with BAND PRACTICE for 5 blissful hours, where we made some of the best music I think we've ever come up with. Things just really came together today, thanks in no small part to Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, who is amazing. Call mez. I got to pretend to be a rockstar again tonight and I cherished the opportunity. I got to see a bunch of old friends, and I'm making new ones, too. I'm talking to people from Springfield who I never got the chance to know when I lived here. I'm glad I'm getting to opportunity to know them now before I fade awaaaaay.

I went to Little Saigon, this brilliant Thai/Vietnamese place with a couple of really good friends. There's a transition here, trust me. Tynan and I played the game there. The game is a concept I keep coming back to in my mind. My friends and I, here, in Springfield, we play the game constantly. The game is our life. The game being the way we joke. Someone makes a joke, some continues, and we hit the concept back and forth to eachother, volleying it like a tennis ball. Sports! Seriously though, it's like a sport. We compete, always trying to take the idea one step further. Today the game resulted in the idea of Meatboy, a superhero who shoots meat from his wrists like Spiderman (only with meat [instead of spiderwebs {the difference between Meatboy and Spiderman is that Meatboy fires meat}]). He also has meat breath, which has a pretty disgusting sound associated with is. See, in Oklahoma, they don't play the game. I'm not saying they don't play A game. I have tons of friends in Oklahoma who are as funny and witty as anyone I know in Springfield. We just didn't spend the past few years honing our art together. I need to give it time. I'll find another game to play with these fools.

Which leads me to another thing. For now, at least, these two worlds have coexisted wonderfully. I'm happy in Springfield and Norman. I realize there won't be a party every time I'm back. I realize I won't be able to see all of these guys every break. I realize that a lot of these friendships can't last forever. But so far, they pretty much all have. I've been keeping in touch with all my friends back home remarkably well, while managing to live a life in Norman. For now at least, I can have it all. I'm really liking that.

Tonight I got everything I wanted. In a selfish, awesome way everything went right for me tonight. I don't demand more nights like this, I mean I wish they happened more often, but I'm content with this one while it lasts.

This night is lasting pretty damn long, by the way. I've downed one Monster (I refuse to acknowledge the contradiction in my recent decision to stop drinking soda for my health, and my terrifyingly regular Monster consumption [fuck]), I've had a bowl of Frosted Flakes (with 2% milk instead of my regular choice of skim [fuck]) and Brian, Eliot and I are playing Final Fantasy XII. We, uh, we haven't made much progress. But that's okay. A beautiful poet told me that it's about the journey, and she has never led me astray. Why would she start now.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and here's to the next, better holiday that's on it's way. Ham > Turkey. Let the asshole who disagrees be known to the world.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Feeling Groovy

by Brendan Cavanagh

Lately I've been in a funk of depressed creativity. I've had about ninety million ideas for a good blog post, all of which seem to revolve around making a list of movies, music, books (not really, Eliot)... These ideas will likely one day be revisited, once I get in a couple posts without resorting to numbering my thoughts, 'cause you know what? I'm starting to feel a lot like Cash Bundren these days.

I’ve had an outstanding week off school, spending every second of free time with family, friends and food. It’s wonderful to be home and around people I love, but for some reason I just feel glum. Perhaps I’m dreading my return to school, which means homework, unfamiliarity and intolerable roommates. I think it’s just the perfect storm of powerful emotions: euphoria, depression, anger, ennui and the deadly assassin nostalgia. My mind is in a constant state of tumult and consequently I’ve been moping around the house today, listless and unable to extract myself from the Monty Python’s Flying Circus marathon on IFC. I had begun writing a post on Thursday, but Thanksgiving forced me to put it off, and it’s such a major concept that it will take longer to complete than I anticipated. It shall be done though. I began to think I would simply have no blog post this week. But then I flipped through my iTunes collection of videos I once illegally looted from Youtube, mostly just music videos and filmed performances, and rediscovered an old favorite: the video for Mocedades' 1973 hit "
Eres Tú."

The only reason I ever looked into this song is because I was curious as to what exactly about the song made Chris Farley and David Spade sob as they blasted the song on the highway in the movie Tommy Boy. One night I finally decided I'd just look the song up on Youtube, and found out that it won second place in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, being Spain's entry. Despite losing out to some other song, it became a single and achieved international renown, subsequently leading to this video being created. And it's surprisingly inspirational.

There are so many things about it that simply make me feel good. For one, who doesn't like to hear a song in another language and pretend they know what exactly to say, and what exactly it means? Falco's "Amadeus" made every amusement park-frequenting, acid-washed phony in the 80s believe they could speak German. Julius La Rosa's "Eh Cumpari" taught formerly uptight Americans in the 50s that they don't necessarily have to speak Italian in order to sound like they are, if they can grunt and make exclamations remotely similar to the emotional language. And similarly, Mocedades' "Eres " had everyone in the 70s saying, "Oh yeah, You Are right...yeah I speak Español. Como una duh duh ERES TÚ." That sounds scathing, but it's true for you and me. Even though I can speak Spanish relatively well these days, it only makes me more pretentious if I try to showcase my knowledge of what the song says. It's not pretentious if you figure it out quietly for yourself though, don't worry.

The song is good enough with the woman taking lead vocals- she has a pretty voice- but "Eres Tú" gets infinitely better once the verses end and the song rises in crescendo to create this anthemic climax sung by all six members of Mocedades. It makes you want to join hands with them and sing along, too. And when I get in that mood, I really belt it out.

But all aspects of the song aside, the video is where it's at. The six members of the band, two with guitars, are in a room full of mirrors, which allows for some trippy cinematography. The lead vocals, a cute chick in a pinstriped suit, spits a couple verses until the camera pans out frenetically and begins a sweeping shot of everyone in the outfit-

1. The most Hispanic-looking guy with an acoustic guitar.
2. The suavest man I've ever seen. He's got a hell of a beard and looks so smooth in his blue
sweater and seems confident in his corny dance moves. He's the man I aspire to be.
3. The aforementioned female lead vocalist. She's the type of girl who is admittedly pretty cute,
but you tend to kind of pass her over because she's wearing a suit. But underneath that
"masculine" apparel lies an attractive girl.
4. The "hot" girl in the band. I think her peasant's blouse and dark hair are really sexy for some
reason. She has a really pretty smile.
5. The guy I imagine to be really quiet and apparently nerdy, but secretly hilarious and witty.
He's like a cross between Spencer from Criminal Minds and me, with those goofy, thick
glasses. He's equipped with the electric guitar.
6. The sex appeal. Clean shaven, handsome, nice hair. Kind of a Spanish John Cleese.

This is a later picture of the group. My suave idol grew his hair out more, and the "nerdy" one who reminds me of me grew an ENTIRE beard. I bet he’s the Spanish Richard Manuel.

I don't know. I guess I just like the fraternal quality of the video- how everyone's friendly and happy and singing along together. It's one of those simple pleasures. I don't need cryptic and ambiguous lyrics or meticulously constructed, synthesizer-laden songs all the time. It's nice to be able to relax and enjoy the inherent simplicity in music. It kind of takes you back to the roots of music- a nomadic clan gathering around a fire at night in order to relax, eat, share stories and engage in musical appreciation. And maybe I can't do exactly that, but I sure can appreciate what music means to me and share it with others. At the very least, this song makes me feel a little less depressed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What do I want to be?

This is a late post, point taken. But I still haven't gone to sleep and woken up on Thanksgiving so it counts in a way for me. Anyway, the post I was writing earlier got delayed by a bunch of things. I won't explain them if you don't ask.

Here's what I HAD going:

And ya know what pisses me off the most?

Is that there are people that tell me the ONLY way you can get into heaven is by following Jesus Christ (his ways, not the actual guy). That makes me mad, but the worst part is that I've already told them that I'm Christian.

So what do you suppose is the reason they let me know so urgently of this revelation?

Because they want me to go tell other people that they're going to hell. They want me to be that know-it-all asshole who thinks God sent him a secret note containing "The Plan". HE DIDN'T. I DON'T REALLY KNOW. That's why they call it faith.

Everyone should have their own beliefs and be content with them. My brother is in possession of two little Christian comic books that basically say if you don't love Jesus your life is missing its most important aspect. And you're going to hell. And there's nothing you can do about it. Except follow Jesus. They're funny in an "oh my God I sincerely hope this mind bullshit never works on anyone but if it doesn't it's hilarious" kind of way.

Anyway, (sigh), as Thanksgiving approaches rapidly, it's time to decide what we're thankful for, mutter a quick thanks before dinner, and then not worry about it for another year.

Things I'm thankful for: sports, music, my family sectors, turkeys, holidays, fans, heaters, Cloud Strife, hate, people who are better than me, people who are worse than me, irony, black people (all kinds), the word "awesome", other countries, water, marijuana (which, mom, dad, I don't smoke), television, Apple, apples, steak, wind and Sara Matherly.

It's approximately quarter after six as I resume this blog post, and there is still no sign of sun today? What if the sun just didn't come up on Thanksgiving? That'd be hilarious. Well, it's a moot point since undoubtedly the sun has risen between now and the time you laid eyes on this post.

So November, why in the hell are you so damn awful? Everybody hates you. Nobody is ever comfortable during you. It doesn't snow. It just rains. It's fucking cold and it rains. The air is as dry as death, meaning my lips are super duper chapped and it's November's fault. Nothing is ever important about November. The holiday, the sports, the vacation (it's a week off of school. SUCH A TEASE. Give me a real vacation like XMAS break where I get a month off and can do stuff and not just wish I had more time to spend with people I like), or even the specials. Have you ever seen a "Thanksgiving" anything? It's the same product with a turkey in the background. (I'm talking of TV-land here by the way (and no, not the channel)) Everything's just sorta meh. I love Thanksgiving, but it's to commemorate a time when a bunch of people ate a bunch of stuff. That's like throwing a party in honor of that one time me and Rob got really wasted. It's awesome, but it isn't important. Same with the sports, no post-season, no beginning, no end, just middle. Meh.

So what do we have to look forward to?

Everything, because this is our calendar's rock bottom. Every month is better than this one. We're almost out, and we don't have to come back for a long time.

So remember when I was talkin' about religion n stuff up there?

I went to church tonight for the first time since..... well it's been a really long time. It was the most packed our church has been since..... well it's been a really long time since it's been that packed. It reminded me of when I was a kid, as I looked into the congregation to see kids of ages I used to be wasting time in ways I used to waste it. I read a passage during the service, and I realized, I'm an adult now. I'm one of those who understands what's going on. I don't have to fidget for an eternity just to get through a church service. It was weird. But oddly enough, church still sucked. It was boring for the most part and I wished I could be dancing at a rave or something. Or maybe even running. Uy.

So what's this post about? Poor time management and thought organization. I hate it when I come to the keyboard and think "well here we go, let's start writing." I wish I had sermons for you guys once a week. Not about God. Yeah wouldn't that be a cool job to have? Be like a pastor for something that's not a church? (Doesn't make sense--I know, but listen) In the aspect that you spend the first fifteen years of your adult life doin' a bunch of crazy shit, and then spending the rest of your adult life writing about a particular subject and occasionally drawing on the fifteen years of crazy shit you did for inspiration. I want to be a basketball pastor.

The thing is, I love writing for Classic Brian. I wish Classic Brian had a billion and five followers instead of 18 and I never had to work and I was Hugh Hefner and life would be great. So in order to help me reach those dreams, you guys should really start purchasing more of our merchandise. It helps a ton. A lot of you seem to not know that we have merchandise, but we do. It's the compliments I dole out when you give me money. College is expensive. Help a brother out. Now you seem to think I'm running out of things to talk about. Well I am. It's 6:30 leave me alone. You're sleeping and I'm writing. I'd rather be me but I'm obligated to be you.

Next week I'll write about something better. Something awesome. Something... I dunno, SOMETHING.

But let me otherwise be the first to tell you, I hope your Thanksgiving sucks. Why not?

--Eliot Sill

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nick - Things I'm Not Thankful For (But Probably Should Be)

We know what causes sickness. It's hard to imagine that for hundreds of years people had no idea where it came from. They assumed it was caused by spirits or some other crazy stuff. They never thought to look at RNA fragments with protein coats.

Snack foods. There didn't used to be snack foods. There was potatoes and maybe chicken.

Bathrooms are inside. I should probably spend at least an hour every day being thankful that I don't have to walk out into the cold to go to the bathroom.

SHOWERS. Imagine a world where nobody showers because they aren't invented. Everyone would be disgusting.

Not only do we have video games, but we also have wide access to books. People didn't used to have books. What did they do all the time? I don't know. Maybe sports!

News. Seriously, for most of history people lived without newspapers or any other form of news source.

Some amount of decision-making ability. You can pretty much grow up to be anything. You don't have to be a carpenter because that's what your dad does.

Birth control. People used to just have children. Lots of children. The average family used to have close to ten kids.

Cold medicine. I shudder to think.

Peaceful deaths. For most of history people died much younger than they do now, because pretty much any disease could be fatal. Not to mention safety regulations and living conditions nowadays. We now have at least the hope of dying peacefully.

Communication. There was no telephone. There were letters.


Police departments. I know the fuzz isn't particularly popular most of the time, but most of the people for most of the time lived in a world where soldiers were the regulators and the only court system they had was a monarch.

Comfortable clothes. Have you seen pictures of old British people?

Air conditioning.

The power to remove rodent and bug infestations from houses. I like to imagine that peasants used to spend hours chasing little roaches or mice around their cabins trying to chase them out. This might make a good cartoon.

Beds. What did people sleep on before beds? Ground and hay I guess.

Music. Guitars, pianos, even harmonicas were not easily acquired in the olden days.

Speaking of which, recorded music is another big one. You couldn't just listen to music.

Civilized government. I really like how we don't put political opposition to death. [Bush joke goes here]

Razors and scissors. Imagine trying to shave with what is pretty much a blunt knife.

Transportation. Traveling to another country was more or less a permanent thing back in the day.

Time. Clocks and watches were not very widespread items for a long time.

Check back later today when I update this post on the music of Final Fantasy,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cold Water

--Robert Langellier

Look up to the ceiling and whisper a quick prayer. It’s coming. I know there’s darkness around the corner. There really is nothing like the terror of realization that pain is about to envelop every fiber of the body.

Right now I don’t think it would be too far out of the way to say that I’m the safest and most comfortable that I’ve ever been. The world around me is soothing, and I feel just fine that I’m at my most vulnerable within it. I can feel everything peacefully cascading over me, forcing my eyes closed, covering me in a womblike shelter of comfort. Everything is well.

That’s when I remember how the only certain thing is change. I’m on top of the world, and there’s only one way things can go from here. I know what the future holds, but I’m afraid to face it. So I hold out. I hold on to the warmth I have for as long as possible. I cling desperately to my comfort until it’s not even comfortable anymore. It’s nothing more than a hideout from the world. I’m happy, but I continuously have the nagging remembrance that I’m living a lie.

Eventually I have to face up to the fact that it can’t be like this forever. I’ve buried myself and built myself a veritable tomb. I can feel my skin wrinkling. I have to reenter the real world at some point. I start creating visions of what the future will be like. In my vision I’m standing, naked and freezing, alone. I’m soaked to the bone, and every wisp of air causes me to shudder. My knees want to bend and break. My skin, at the root of every single hair, bubbles up into goosebumps.

I want nothing more than the world to stay this perfect, but the fear of falling has already tainted it. There’s nothing left to do but to let the cold breeze of change sweep over me. It’s coming. I take a deep breath and hesitate briefly while I soak up my last few seconds of comfort and pleasure. My mind finally resolute, I reach down, turn off the shower and open the curtain.