Saturday, April 30, 2011


Today has been extremely unproductive, so I wouldn't wanna ruin that now. Instead, cleanse your palette and watch 10 of the top videos on Youtube when you type in "funny".



This one's for you, ConCon.

You may hate soccer, but who doesn't like seeing people fall or get hit in the balls?

Nice work Steve. You bored her to death. Take a picture.

Makes me wanna be on a game show.




Just kidding.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Putting the "Er" in Hipster

by Brendan Cavanagh

I tell ya, it's tough being a hipster. Just when I thought I was hip because I had a copy of On the Road: The Original Scroll and a pair of Asics' Tigers, my friend starts wearing the same flannel shirt every day, plays Ryan Adams songs on guitar and writes poetry. I've had to seriously up my game this semester, but with limited things at my disposal that would earn me hipster credibility, I feel I'm still, as someone so succinctly put it, a "half-hipster" (it was me). I've decided to put together a veritable grocery list of hip stuff that will make me look half as credible as the senior English major, Emile-Hirsch look-alike with a mustache and a fixed-gear bike. But among required hipster accessories are also necessary toiletries and such:

Items to Include in my Suitcase Next Semester:

1. An umbrella to replace the one I lost just before it consistently rained for two weeks at the end of this semester.
2. A pair of gloves whose stitching leaves more space between its stitches than those made by a senior Christian ladies' sewing club.
3. Osage Rub aftershave, because Gillette just doesn't have that Jolly Rancher-green, face-melting sensation I crave.
4. Flannel shirts that are slim-fitting and not meant to be tucked in by someone of larger girth.
5. Any air freshener (likely that Hibiscus Febreeze one) that will mask the odor that naturally arises after living in a room for eight-and-a-half months with another young man.
6. Lucky Strikes, even if I have to order them over the Internet from Korea, like my Korean pal, Kenny, did. "It's toasted."

Items to Leave at Home:

1. All of my towels except two (hopefully the aqua-green and the sky-blue) because I've found that no matter what simultaneous use is required of my towels, I can always find a way to dry off with one before I do my laundry every two weeks or so.
2. Boombox. With an iPod and a computer (and a potential resurrection of the portable turntable), why would I ever play CDs? Radio? Isn't that a movie?
3. All three of my favorite plaid shorts, because my friend says I should never wear them again. I consequently had her cut up my corduroys and khakis so I could roll them up a bit and wear them as shorts (though not in this lousy, monsoon weather).
4. Inflatable Budweiser chair. I haven't the space in my room, nor the energy to blow it up, nor the desire to sit in it to watch T.V.
5. Red pens/highlighters. I don't know why I'm so adamant about having them every school year since I haven't used them since 5th grade history class.
6. Crumby bike with a super high seat that is entirely impossible to adjust and a perpetually flat front tire. I'm gonna get me a thin, smooth Schwinn. Maybe with a basket.

Rain, rain, kiss my ass

April has been a stone cold bitch this year.

Not the kind that's brutal and unrelenting and utterly undesirable (November), but the kind that draws you in with a beautiful but feigned first impression and then slowly but surely eats your consciousness away and leaves you worse for wear. And wet.

It has been raining for the last two and a half weeks straight. Straight. There has literally been like, zero days, in which the weather was just nice since the very beginning of the month. And even now, it will be nice for a while, then later in the afternoon, as I'm walking home from class perhaps, it will rain on me and laugh in my face. Sometimes it waits just long enough for Mada and Adam to get to Lincoln/Allen Hall before the tornado-like conditions take hold. Asshole.

Did you notice something in that last paragraph? As I was writing it, I did. I referred to my tiny shabby dorm room as "home." (No, I did not do that for the mere sake of referencing it in this paragraph, as I am writing this post without direction. Sorry. Keep reading anyway, I swear the future's bright!) As I previously stated, it's April now. It's April and I'm very much used to college. I'm running on five hours of sleep and am used to operating while tired. I was always able to stay up late, but I had to sleep until 2 in the afternoon to do so. Can't really do that at this point.

I think I'm just beginning to fully embrace the life of a college student. I'm no longer just living until the next break. Yeah sure, I'm looking forward to summer and how it starts a month earlier than usual, but I don't feel like I need it. I feel like I'd be okay, being here for a while, and if I needed to, I could stay here over summer without any particular feeling of homesickness.

Along with that, though, comes weird adulty feelings that I don't like at all. I went home for Easter last weekend and was like "Hi, parents, it's nice to get to see you." What am I, forty?

But anyway, after another shitty day, I'm ready to dump stupid ass April. I've become practically immune to rain, and actually take pride in taking it like a champ while people fumble their umbrellas and run to the nearest awning for shelter. And while this feels cool, it is not a healthy life choice, and one that I need to extricate myself from.

April is a tease, and even from a day-to-day basis, it shows me how beautiful it was when we first met, but then it will rain three hours later and remind me that it hates me. So fuck April, bring on muggy ass May, buggy ass June, swelteringly hot July, and swelteringly muggy ass August.
no i haven't been working out.

Summer's gonna kick ass.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Did You Know You Can Change The Font?

Cause you totes can.

I have a new goal for myself: To become the real deal.

Today I was thinking about music and literature and other douchy things when I realized that I know next to nothing about everything at all. I consider myself a well-educated person because I have read  a decent amount of books. I have read enough books that if I talk about reading with someone who does not like to read, I seem really smart. However, if I talk about books with someone who has a strong interest in literature and reading, I sound ridiculous. "Oh yeah, I think I have heard of that author." "No, I haven't read any of those but my Dad did once." Or I just straight lie and say that I read Into The Wild when in fact, Allegra read Into The Wild and I just watched the movie.

Music? I love music. Music was almost my major. This is the first year I was not part of both a choir and taking piano lessons. I always say that I love Classical music and can name a lot of composers but when it comes to actual pieces, identification or referencing, I am pretty useless. I know the pieces I played. I know a lot of Gershwin. That's about it. I just fake those conversations because luckily, very few people my age know anything about the genre at all. And Indie music is even worse. No matter how many recommendations I take from people, I will never know as many bands as Robert Langellier and Carrie McMenamin. Plus, once you know a shit load of indie music, what about the classic rock douches? How do you compete with them. And the folk snobs. Impossible.

Sports.I've literally never heard of any team for any sport at all.

Oh and the news! Absolutely nothing makes me feel like a more useless human being than when I try to talk about current events and I realize that I have no clue what is happening outside of my 4 mile radius campus town.

Back to my goal. To become the real deal. I want to start trying to actually be able to back up my opinions with real facts and not on-the-spot decisions. This summer I am actually going to read Into The Wild so I will stop referring to the main charactyer as Chris McCandles. I am going to pay attention to what I am listening to when I put "classical" into my itunes search bar. I am going to read AT LEAST the front page of the newspaper in the mornings. I might even open it for the continuations of stories. Maybe. I will probably not watch any sports.

Here's to being better than everybody else come next August!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Nick - Kids' Show

It's me, Herbert The Clown! I'm your host on today's episode of HERBERT'S HAPPY HOUR! Sit down and wipe the snot off of your stupid noses, because I've got a great episode for you today!!

We're going to learn about colors!

This is the color "green"! Green is the color that grass grows, or the color that Herbert's garden grows in his basement!

This is the color "blue"! Blue is the color of the sky! Blue is also the color you feel when you are sad. Blue is how Herbert has been feeling since the divorce!

This is the color "my bitch ex-wife"! Bitch ex-wife is the color of a cheating whore!

Oh, look at that, kids! We're all out of time for colors! Time to go to our Word-of-the-day Corner!! We've got three special words for you today!!


Our first word for you today is "loneliness"! Loneliness is what you feel when you have no one you can go to for support. You can tell when you're feeling lonely because you don't have anyone around you, or because you're drinking a bottle of gin by yourself at 7:30 on a Tuesday night!


"Alimony" is the invention of the devil! It's when you have to pay your ex-wife, even though she's a good-for-nothing cheating trollop who's never worked in her life!


Our last word for you today is "suicide"! Suicide is what you feel when you're tired of life, and just want to end it all! This morning I woke up and realized that I've done nothing with my life! My parents kicked me out of their basement! I've got no money! Stay in school, kids, or else you'll end up like ol' Herbert!

I know we're only fifteen minutes into the show, but Herbert has to get going! His drinking buddy is here!

So long, kids, and I'll see you next week! That is, if I'm still around!

...You whiny little fuckers.

(Nick and Ben Dietrich.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 8

Hi! Do you know Garrett Richie? He was a guest writer here once. Anyway, he's my good friend here at the University of Missouri. ...And Eliot's and Brian's, sort of. ...And in a way, kind of Conor's. ...And in a vague way, Mada's. Basically, he's at least Facebook friends with every member of Classic Brian. Anyway, he's a really cool guy and a good writer who gets Writer of the Week almost as often as I do at our campus newspaper. But unfortunately, as they say, there are only seven days in a week, so he can't write for Classic Brian. But that hasn't stopped him from starting his own blog, Day 8, named after our very own. So you know all those times where you're thinking, "Wow I need more Classic Brian"? Yeah, Tuesdays.

Please read Day 8.

--Robert Langellier

For the Love of the Game

-Robert Langellier-

There’s a thick divide between these coaches and fans and their players, between these adults and the adults who know they’re watching 12-year-old youth baseball. The divide is so obvious it’s almost visible. I can see it in the way Starpath Blue’s manager glares at his second baseman as he fumbles a groundball, before recovering it in time to make the out.

Number nine makes it to second base on the play, but is nearly tagged out after not sliding. A short, round 40-something long past his high school varsity prime yells angrily through the wad of dip in his mouth. “What the hell are you doing out there?! Are you even paying attention?” The kid turns back to the first base coach and responds with half-hearted, hesitant force. “Shut up! Shut up…” He’s not a snooty kid, I can tell, from my position in between the pitcher’s mound and second base. His voice and his face are more tired than they are rebellious. This is just an innocent looking 12 year old who will eventually grow up to quit baseball for the same reason that I did. “I’m trying! I’m trying!” he says. “No,” his coach sneers, allowing about a five second awkward pause as he cooked up his commanding, authoritative response. “You’re not.” The round man looks pleased.

The divide is so obvious it’s almost audible. I can hear it as the Mud Hens’ head coach publicly humiliates his pitcher for wearing the wrong color undershirt after the plate umpire politely asks for it to be removed. I can hear it for two hours, as fans from both teams ridicule and mock me to the back of my helmet every time I call a strike on their child.


Going into an umpire job is like going into war. As I and the other prospective part-timers arrive at the complex for training, General Dullard, our boss, gathers us inside the concession building for a briefing. He dedicates about half of his speech to the rules of umpiring and the curious and uncommon game circumstances we’ll have to govern. He dedicates the other half to the enemy: the foaming coaches and the physically volatile parents. As we go outside to take a look at the fields, I overhear one veteran ump who calls himself Junebug tell a story of a fan who charged him after a game last year. Junebug is a tall, black man with an age-worn face and a terrifying presence behind the plate and who, as I learned later, once held the Missouri record for the 100m dash. I would sooner swallow my shin guards than be charged by anyone bold enough to attack Junebug.

“Just call ‘em as you see ‘em,” stresses General Dullard in conclusion. “Make sure you yell out your calls with enthusiasm, and you’re less likely to have them questioned.”

I am just a base umpire, most of the time. I’m new, and so I’m given the rookie, low-risk positions. It’s important to distinguish between the base umpire and the home plate umpire, because the difference is as wide as “front-line infantry” and “medic.” The plate umpire positions himself at the exact spot at which the scorn from both teams’ bleachers intersects. He then calls strikes and balls on every single pitch and futilely hopes that the 11-year-old in front of him stops every 55 mph pitch coming for his throat. I’m content with remaining a rookie until the end of all known time, but I still occasionally sit behind the plate for verbal and physical thrashings of my very own. On good days, though, umpiring is the easiest $25 I’ve ever made.

I am, however, not the victim. I’m a big boy, and I can remind myself that I don’t have to become these people in my own future, even if I have to subject myself to them for my next paycheck.

When I’m the base umpire, my main duties are to call people safe or out at first, second, and third base, as well as verify that pop flies and line drives are caught and not faked. In other words, I only perform when something significant actually happens, a semi-rare occurrence in baseball. I spend most of my time inventing numeric games on my ball-strike counter and observing as the cockroaches of parents and major league expectations bleed through the gilded final product of that 1-2-3 bottom of the third.

BC Baseball is the most competitive youth baseball league I’ve ever seen. I distinctly remember not being as good as these kids when I was 12 years old, and I ruled Clark Griffith Little League with an iron fist. I see diving catches, curveballs being taken to right field for bloop singles, and first basemen that could beat me up. When General Dullard says that BC Baseball is as competitive as any youth baseball league in the nation, I believe him; these kids have been molded into some damned talented players. At a cost.

I see a lot of players who already see baseball as a job, where hard work is rewarded with statistics in the wins column and more hard work. This is why I quit baseball in high school. I hated that baseball was no longer a game, but an assignment. I was put out by the fact that our high school sports system has made it impossible to compete in athletics without taking the entire concept so seriously it consciously drains away any element of “fun.” Four hour, 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning practices and daily endurance-focused weightlifting regimens aren’t fun. They’re designed to tear down the childish aspect of sport and rebuild its athletes into mechanical players that only continue, according to testimonies from my own ex-teammates, because they’re too used to baseball to quit; it’s all they know. I see the same type of effect in ten year olds who don’t even know what girls are yet. And that’s bullshit.

But let’s be honest. Eight out of ten coaches are really nice guys who treat players and umpires with respect. Most of them come out after the game and shake the umpire’s hand and thank them, even if they disagreed with his calls. And a lot of them treat their players like younger brothers and know that the worst-case scenario is not losing a Tuesday evening league game, but seeing an 80 ft. pop fly crack off their pitcher’s head. The head coach of the Blaze is one of my favorite people I’ve met this year, for example. But one bad egg can spoil the bunch; some of these people are absolutely despicable. There are two kinds of these, I’ve decided. There’s the first type, who are simply obnoxiously competitive, obsessed with winning of any sort to the point where they cannot be stopped by the feelings of children or the tendons in their arms en route to a regular season win in an 11U game of youth baseball. I call them bad coaches. The second type is the kind of people who want their kids to go to the same colleges that their parents did, to live their parents’ glamorous, unfulfilled dreams instead of their own. The ones who see their children as extensions of their own bodies. I call these bad parents.

“Good God, those coaches are dicks,” I say to my partner Andy between innings, referring to the Mud Hens’ abusive head coach with rat-like eyes and the first-base coach with the braces. The former had spent the previous half inning degrading his players in the field, and the latter had taken the liberty of about 40 seconds to denounce what a fucking disgrace Andy’s strike zone was.

“Ah, it’s fine,” he says. Andy looks like a high school quarterback blended with a bit of country. “They’ve been out here all day and they’ve been losing pretty bad. It’s not a big deal.”

Later that game, a 10-year-old Cardinals player slides into home plate and afterward wipes off the dirty home plate for Andy. Andy smiles and gives the smiling kid a fist bump and a “thanks” as he gets up to run back to his dugout.

“Oh, okay, so that’s why we’re not getting any calls!” comes the immediate response of a hostile Mud Hens fan. Several surrounding fans loudly voice their agreement that Andy is very obviously manipulating the game in the Cardinals’ favor.

Okay. Listen, parents. I don’t care how badly you want your team to win. I can guarantee you, almost without a shadow of a doubt, that none of the umpires or referees are rooting for the other team, ever, and nor are they ever intentionally doing anything to help either team win. Especially in little league baseball. This goes for about 40% of the rest of America's sports fans as well. Those terrible, stilted umpires are making their calls on an individual, exclusive basis. There is no agenda, I can promise you. Your son is just not a fast runner, regardless of whether or not he is from the same county as the umpire. Berating me for calling him out, followed by berating your son for not being safe is not the solution to the disgrace that your son has brought upon your family.

Kids are not machines. Athletes now are nurtured and shaped at younger and younger ages. Full-grown athletes achieving unbelievable feats may be fascinating to watch, but they're created at an expense. There is, for one, the hundreds of thousands of kids who will become disillusioned to the idea of actually playing sports by the endless hours of working to field mock groundballs at shortstop. There’s a certain divide between creating a solid team and demanding too much out of your kids. We must take care not to cross it.

“Still think they’re just having a bad day?” I say to Andy after an inning littered with potshots and on-field yelling matches. Andy laughs.

“It’s just ridiculous,” he says. “These people need to stop acting like children. And you know it’s going to be rubbing off on these kids, too.”

There are plenty of times when I see the divide crossed where I want nothing more than to quit and walk away from the debacle. But then I remember that $12.50 an hour and that head coach from the Blaze who makes his pitcher and his catcher smile to each other every time he makes a mound visit during a rally. So for now, I’ll just keep calling ‘em out as I see ‘em.