Saturday, March 19, 2011

Conor - 30 Day Photo Challenge

 Day 1 - A picture of yourself with fifteen facts
1. My name is Conor O'Brien
2. My handedness is right
3. I needed to write a Classic Brian today (yesterday)
4. Classic and I are bomb at hide and go seek, as seen in this picture
5. There are 5280 feet in a mile
6. Trust only goes so far, and I will double check Classic when he tells me that there are 5280 feet in a mile
7. Eliot was hurt when he learned he wasn't in any of the following pictures
8. I am 19. I have not always been this way.
9. Film is usually shot at 24 frames per second, or as we say in the industry, 24 frames per sec.
10. Cake. A food and a band.
11. The Packers won the Super Bowl (football)
12.  Things that don't happen could have.
13. This list is being written by committee.
14.  We're sortof bored of writing this list, so we've begun to ignore the original prompt.
15. Phew.
 Day 2 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for awhile
Nick Dietrich and I are prets tight. Here is us as children. I'm making sure Nick doesn't get away.
 Day 3 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Every 2 years or so I re-watch Arrested Development. This basically means that odd numbered years are better than even numbered years.
 Day 4 - A picture of a habit you wish you didn't have...
I often trick old, senile people into thinking needles are cell phones that they just don't understand. I'm not proud of this.
Day 5 - A picture of your favorite memory
The weekend Band Practice got to record in Chicago was pretty sick. Imagine me trying to do that thing where people, like, snap but using their index finger somehow. Iunno, I've never been able to do that.

 Day 6 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
This would be a busy day. I would start filing divorce papers, I would kill any children I might have that would mess up the rest of the plan, and then I would fly as close to Springfield, IL as possible. I would drive the rest of the way. I would go to 2013 Glenwood Ave and walk up to the second floor. I would take my first left at the top of the stairs and then go in the door to my right. I would hang out in there until the 24 hours are almost up, and then I would lay on the bed and drug myself into a near catatonic state.

Soon after that, something magical would happen.

 Day 7 - A picture of your most treasured item
T-Rex's don't wear glasses! Or top hats! Or bow ties! Sometimes my friends are so god damned silly.
 Day 8 - A picture that makes me laugh
 Day 9 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
We've had some tough times, Conor and I, but damn, we've passed every obstacle with ease.
 Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with
If cats could talk, and like, tell people what we do together I would be arrested.
 Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
 Day 12 - A picture of something you love
The first two Swan Princess movies are classics, but man, things sure got wacky in the third installment.
 13. A picture of your favorite band or artist
Things are going pretty well for Conor O'Brien's budding solo career
 14. A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
LOL me again.
 15. A picture of something you want to do before you die
 16. A picture of someone who inspires you
 Day 17 - A picture of someone that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Dan Dietrich. That guy let Band Practice record in his really really legit studio in Chicago for free for a weekend. For realz I love this guy. And Frank, his sound engineer. Big love to Frank as well.

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity - N/A

Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little
I wish my mom took a video of this rather than a picture, because I was no jokes running full circle around this thing. It/I was amazing.

 Day 20 - New York
 Day 21 -A picture of something you wish you could forget
I forget why I chose this picture.
 Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Tricking girls into thinking I'm interested in what they're saying. This dude's a pro.
 Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
I'm not choosing a favorite book, but the book I'm reading right now is Machine of Death, which is really interesting. It's a collection of short stories about this invention where you can learn how you die, and how people would deal with this knowledge.
 Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Imagine a world where every meal is candy
 Day 25 - A picture of you day
Final Fantasy VIII, Eliot, Classic, Allison, Nick, Andrew. Why else would I be up at 5:13 in the morning.
 Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
These games hold an embarrassingly large percentage of my capacity to love things.
 Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Here's my mom's side of the family. Check it out. That's me in the upper left corner. I'm young and I'm wearing a Bears sweater. Foreshadowing my eventual evolution into the perfect athlete.
 Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Marathons. This guy just got done with a marathon, was handed a gold medal, and then it looks like he died. If you die in a marathon you die in real life, friend. Marathons should be punishments.

 Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Noooooo waaaaaay. That blur there to the left of the dancing bro is a toddler. That's totally like a baby. That guy just kicked the little fool in the face while breakdancing. Absolutely destroyed him/her. That's so awesome.
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss
R.I.P. Heath Ledger

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rain Check

by Brendan Cavanagh

I'll have to write later.  Sorry, readership, Classic Brian's taking a backseat to my spring break.

Go Dawgs!

Kiss my ass(istant editor)

Hey guys,

On behalf of Classic Brian, I would like to apologize for the general failure that we have been this week. Everyone just has those weeks, from time to time. You know, the ones where it's really nice out and it's relatively sunny and warm for the first time in multiple weeks, spring breaks start to happen, people get in generally better moods. People don't like to write when they're happy. People like to write when they're pissed, sad, drunk, paid, or obligated to. People who are content don't like to write, because they have no reason.

As for you guys, you guys hate reading long paragraphs.

However, that isn't the point of this post.

I got a promotion this week! Hurray for me.

As a columnist for the Daily Illini, our student newspaper, I took on the task of (applying for) the assistant editor('s job). I am underqualified for this position. Know that. But hey, I mean, I'm young, which apparently is the new demand in journalism. I really want to move up, (by that of course I mean I'm supposed to but I really actually want to keep the easiest job possible for as long as I can.)

Supposedly if I "keep up the good work" until I'm fifty-two I'll be able to be a columnist for an organization I respect. However, this is the first step.

What an asst. editor does is he (or she, if you're Sammy) is edits every piece that goes into the DI's sports section and they try to give corrective suggestions to the people who write the articles. I have to go to work 5 days a week now from 4-7:30; approximately.

Now apparently I was the only person to apply for this position. This tells me two things: apparently I didn't, ya know, "win" the position, and that everyone who knows what this position is knows that it sucks.

Regardless of all this I am excited to take on the job. Because it's a promotion in journalism, the first that I've ever really truly gotten. It's an enlarged role. An enhanced, more difficult role. A scary role if you will. But, in journalism, we take on the scary, the beast of getting a job (Robert wrote about this well), the beast of being respected, the beast of actually being good. The beast of finding satisfaction in a field that, for the most part, is empty calories. A lot of what you do in journalism goes for not. Because, people don't like to read bullshit.

You know, bullshit? The shit you see in the paper that you never want to read? Yeah, that's actually how most of us earn our chops. So, next time you see a story in the newspaper and think no one wants to read it, remember that somebody put an obnoxious amount of effort into that piece, and that journalism puts in more than it gets out..

It's a hard spot.

Writing is tough. Reading books as a kid, you know they're gonna be good. Reading articles, you know people have a standard to live up to. Writing a piece, it's all on you. A weight of interest on your shoulders. Blog posts are kind of like that. Except for the fact that you can totally mail one in and it does zero harm to anybody. Like this.

But hey, I mean, Robert said it: writing is a fool's job. To think that you can interest the everyman with something that comes from entirely your own muse?

It's a job for fools. But hey, I'm an editor now. I take the judgmental, easy position.

This next year is gonna be tough. But I'm excited, ready, willing, crazy, and like to critique people. For example, your hair isn't nice enough to read this blog. Neither is mine to write it. Oy.

Anyway, I have a position now that I dunno if I'm ready for. Journalism is about meeting the mark. Let's go get it. I will be in a position of power, and that scares me. But at the same time, I couldn't be more excited. This is the beginning of making the leap. Let's hope it's a good journey.

I'm sorry, guys. I love you.

--Eliot Sill

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nick - A List Of Things That Are Cute (To Nick)

Time for a self-indulgent list!! I've discovered that I think really odd stuff is cute, so here are a few of them and a feeble attempt at explaining why.

1. Cacti
Come now, I can't be the only one who thinks that these things are adorable. Cacti usually have a very definite shape and a really pretty color. They have spikes, but somehow that only makes them more endearing. I always look at them and think, "aw, cute, they look like they could try to defend themselves."

2. Hermit Crabs
Aren't these little guys cute? Look, they live in a shell. And they've got those tiny eyes, and the little feelers. They just look curious all the time.

Also, if I haven't mentioned, they live in shells. And when they get bored, they find a new shell. They kind of remind me of little people; always curious, constantly outgrowing their surroundings and sizing up.

3. Jellyfish
To me, jellyfish have always represented the concept of going with the flow. They just drift around and... pulsate. They kind of have this bobbing, wave-like motion. It's hard to explain, but they're very calming to watch. I almost think of jellyfish like plants; they don't have a face or other animal-like characteristics. In fact, I tend to think of their stingers as comparable to the spikes of the cactus.

If I were an octopus, I would totally make a jellyfish garden.

4. Hedgehogs
I'm pretty sure this one goes without saying. Um, I guess I like things with spikes?

Fun fact: I used to have a hedgehog, and her name was Rico.

5. Tangs
Tangs are the most adorable of fish. Hippo tangs are especially my favorite. Did you know that hippo tangs have freckles? We have one at my home, and it likes to hide in between rocks. It's pretty cute to see it hide even though it's obviously in plain sight. Perhaps they just aren't that good at hiding?

6. Clouds
They drift around, kind of like jellyfish. They just seem so nonchalant. Like they're enjoying their journey to wherever they're going, and just enjoying the scenery. Also sometimes they rain, which I like.

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that I think about? Yeah.


Robert - Responsibility

What's worse: Ignorance, hard-earned failure, or apathy? If you're going to be a writer, you're probably going to achieve one of these three things, unless you have to have an intelligent, well-rounded voice and something special to give to your audience. Otherwise you're useless or you're sensational. You have to have a point to what you're saying, you have to have lots of supporting details to back it up, and you have to be better and smarter than the other voices. Otherwise, what purpose do you serve; in what way aren't you interchangeable?

It's important to find a niche where you can give something that people can't get elsewhere. Screenplays, novels, letters, poems, articles, essays. There are lots of mediums to start from. But this is 2011. Everyone writes, and nobody reads. The clamoring for eyes is getting tougher now. Take journalism: If I quit writing for the school newspaper, thirty other writers are there to write my articles. If I drop out of the journalism school, there are hundreds of prospective students readying to wash away my minute impact. If the University of Missouri burns to the ground, there are tens of other top-notch journalism schools in America churning out journalism automatons by the thousands.

Everyone wants to leave something behind, whether it's a child for biological posterity or some piece for intellectual or artistic or mechanical posterity. Everyone wants their little humble share of immortality. Writers can forget about biological posterity; they're not getting laid. But their work is pretty likely to get completely overlooked, too. On the off-chance that you somehow eventually find a publisher willing to print your new novel, who's actually going to read it, honestly? Even if it's brilliant, it's doubtful anyone will pay any attention until you commit suicide. So the only choice is to be the very best, and to hope for just that. To illustrate with imagery so subtle no one but you will ever notice it and to pack every sentence with adjectives and metaphors wherever you can like it's your job, because it is. You might stumble into a wonderful talent for stream-of-consciousness writing, or you might find that you're really good at analyzing certain aspects of modern society. But somehow, in some way, you have a responsibility to give the audience something accurate, unique, and thought-provoking to write home about.

Writers don't see their services as comparable to an oil change or a roof repair. Writers tend to be dreamers. They want their pages to forge new pathways, to enlighten and entertain the world in ways it has never seen before, to draw the world with words and, with any luck, to change it. They're also performance art majors in disguise. They will jockey for your eyes and struggle with all their might to hold them. It's attention whorery for those who, for whatever reason, don't want attention. Or, it's a voice for those who speak better with their pens. And it's all one can hope that the world will need that voice. "Derek says it's always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can't top it, steal from them and go out strong," says Edward Furlong in American History X. I don't think I buy it.