Saturday, June 18, 2011

Conor - One After Another

I'm sitting on this bed, listening to Bon Iver.

Bon Iver -
        Bon Iver's new album, "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" (according to Justin Vernon) is good and online and available for streaming. I'm excited for June 21st, when the album is physically released. This is a pretty silly thing to be looking forward to, seeing as how I have access to it right now. Sortof like how I'm looking forward to my 21st birthday, because I'm wondering what all the hubbub is about alcohol. According to Wikipedia, Bon Iver's name is a play off of the phrase "bon hiver," meaning "good winter."

Good Winter -
        The winter of 1998 was a good winter, I bet. I was 6 at the time. I had mastered walking, talking, not involuntarily shitting my pants all the time (although I still made the choice to do so from time to time) and probably reading? Most other concepts, like chemistry and personal hygiene were still faraway frontiers to be conquered later in life, but in the meantime I was taking what I had and making the most of it. I would like to tell you I did awesome kid snow activities, but I know that I didn't. I had pretty unrealistic ideas of what I, a 6 year old kid, could do with a little bit of snow and a whole lot of creativity, because of Calvin & Hobbes.

Calvin & Hobbes -
        A Dialouge
        Young Conor - "Hey Teenage Sean, can I borrow all of the Calvin & Hobbes books you have and obviously cherish? I will bend all the pages, rip a few covers, lose a few books altogether and maybe pee on one."
        Teenage Sean - "Excuse me?"
        Young Conor - "Can I borrow your Calvin & Hobbes books?"
        Teenage Sean - "Oh, yeah. Here they are all. I trust you."
        Young Conor - "Ah."

Other Things I've Ruined For Sean -
        - Being the best kid in our family
        - Classic PC Game "Sam and Max Hit The Road" and at least one Monkey Island game
        - His Marriage (Work In Progress [It's Not Too Late For Me, Michelle])

Works In Progress -
       - Band Practice's next things
       - My conquest of the 2nd floor of my house (I have slept in 3 of the 5 rooms up here, and that's including a bathroom)
       - My conquest of your heart (Little by little you will know my love)
       - My attempts to make "flaccid" a word you can use about not-penises
       - My foray in the world of facial hair

Facial Hair I Admire -

Hugh Jackman, you devil

John Witter's dad, Randy
(Is this weird of me?)

Fiendish Dr. Wu!

Black Dynamite -
        I will never find any part of this movie not funny. If you have not seen this movie, please, just tell me. I will drive to your house with it and watch it with you. 

My New Job Where I Drive To People's Houses And Deliver Things -
       I work at Jimmy John's now. It's actually a pretty cool job, as mah boy Andy Sweeny knows. I feel sortof ridiculous using this term, but it's chill. It's a chill job. Every time I went to a Jimmy John's in the past I always thought "these people don't seem like they totally hate their job," and hey wouldn't you know it, they don't. Jimmy John's hiring signs say "Rockstars Wanted," and that sortof seems to be the overall idea of working at Jimmy John's. Everyone seems to be pretty cool. Which seems odd, considering the fact that there was no selecting process. I walked in and as soon as they verified I was over 18 they hired me. I'm not complaining. Now I have money to go towards musical equipment and rent.

My House -
       Oh yeah I'm LIVING IN A HOUSE NEXT YEAR WITH 6 FRIENDS. I am preeeetty excited about that.

Things I'm Pretty Excited About -

R.I.P. Heath Ledger -

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sketches of an Adequate Blog Post

by Brendan Cavanagh

I have to work ALL DAY today, which is a bummer because I have all these ideas for a post today, and little time to fully divulge any one of them. So I'll assemble here a small collection of the few things that have been on my mind lately:

Playing Piano

I'm bored. Oh look, the piano. Sigh, I guess I'll entertain you with a few ditties. What's that? First I think I'll pretend like I don't really know what I'm doing. Tickle a few keys here and there. Throw in a few sharps. Oh hey, I'm improvising (even though I don't really know how). Now I'm leading these arbitrary sharps and flats into a real song- Hungarian Dances No. 5? Sure. Now they know I know something of considerable merit. I'll throw them a few bones and play it twice as fast. Bask in their applause.

I think I'll just jump right into an impromptu set list. Up next we have Rage Over a Lost Penny by Beethoven. I'll play it really loud like, sound more important than I am. Just like Evgeny Kissin.

What's that? Something more contemporary? Oh all right then, I'll just play The Beatles' Let It  Be. Nah, I think all I'll give you is the opening piano bit and just a couple notes of the first verse (because that's all I know).

Yeah, okay, let's jam a little bit. I'll play the same two chords over and over and over- Bob Dylan's Sittin' On A Barbed Wire Fence.

Let's play Hungarian Dances No. 5 again, see if we can successfully play that cascading waterfall of notes in the middle of the song. Damn it! I can't do it. Try again. Again. Again. Give up. Start over. Give up.

Okay, let's take everyone's mind off my inability to play those notes and impress them with my best song- Pachabel's Canon in D. Yeah. I think I see a tear in my parents' eyes. This song is still impressive after seven years.

Oh, I'm going to attempt to jam some more, even though I know I really can't do it. These black keys sound real good together. I bet everyone thinks I'm playing a real song. Nope!

Fur Elise! Just the good part.

Uh...Hedwig's Theme!

Rage Over A Lost Penny again. Okay, I give up. I'm going to get up like everything that just happened wasn't a big deal.

Mix CDs

I love and hate making mix CDs. I mean I agonize over making them. There was one time when I was trying to make a then-important mix, and I spent several sleep-deprived nights trying to narrow down 150 songs to twenty, ultimately settling on a double CD containing in total about forty songs. Like anyone, I become invigorated by the prospect of constructing a decent playlist of songs that I feel are important to me for someone who is important to me. Except I think I put too much thought and effort into my mixes. Like, I somehow hope that there's an easy way to arrange all these different types of songs together in a fluid fashion, so that the CD will maintain a constant and unbreaking flow. But that's just so damn hard to do. Eventually what ends up happening is the first six songs on my mix will sound incredible when placed one after the other, but I give up attempting to fit the next fifteen songs in an engaging way that I see fit. But I know it still sounds awesome. And then right when I make it, all of a sudden everything on the CD seems so cliche and then I fear that the mix is too strictly temporal in that it lists the songs I'm crazy about at one particular moment in my life. So I'm afraid that in the near future, even I will find my own playlist dated and obsolete. But maybe that's the great part about my mixes- that they catalogue the most important songs to me in one particular chapter of my life and paint a picture of how I'm feeling at that point. Sometimes I think I should just start making mix EPs because they'd be about five songs long and undeniably powerful and groovy.

An Incomplete Poem Inspired By Mada's Latest Post
(from the point of view of John Wilkes Booth's reanimated wax figure at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, upon seeing the armies of resurrected Lincoln's surrounding him)

My only regret is that I had but one life to live

Four scores of top-hat hordes advance upon my waxen figure
Adhering to the commands of a long-fallen leader
146 years of lying in a tomb culminates in honest revenge
He emancipates his way through courtroom suits


What's your favorite movie, and why? Mine for a long time was Shaun of the Dead. While it's still one of my favorites, I feel like I'm clutching at it, trying to tell myself it's still my favorite, even though I know I've seen many better movies. I think Annie Hall or something has probably taken over its number one position. But I'm afraid to let that happen. What do I doooooo?

Training Days [Open Office title]

The following is something I wrote while on the way to Chicago.

I'm on a train. This may be the first time for me. Quite honestly, I'm not sure. I feel that maybe, when I was a child, I had been here before. In this arena. The slight shaking and constant moving. I'm sitting down and going sixty miles per hour at the same time. It's different then driving in a car because, well, because it is. It just isn't the same thing. I'm with a bunch of strangers now, or as Tyler Durden calls them, “single-serving friends.”

I can't say that this is fun or interesting, because it's not. It's just a train. It knows where it's going, it knows it's going to get there. There's a bunch of tracks ahead. And we're going to cross every single one of them. It brings me back, though, to my youthy youth. Final Fantasy VII begins in a train. They jump off of it. I don't plan on jumping off this train. I think I'll stay in my seat.

A couple seats ahead some drunk guy and some college experts are discussing the in's and out's of beer bongs and boring southern life, with the drunk guy making an occasional aside about the wings he bought. Other than that there isn't much conversation. A girl to my right addresses letters that she still writes. I have boarded this train after a long near-four hour wait at the station. I realize that waiting four hours in a train station isn't what it used to be. I played Nintendo DS and surfed the web to pass time, all while listening to my favorite music on my iPod. God bless 2010. 2000 would have seen me running out of light for my gameboy while I maybe played solitaire on my then state-of-the-art laptop.

I don't know if we should be excited or scared of the future of technology. Something always goes wrong with technology in movies and books. There's the perpetual notion that technology will be man's undoing. That may be true, as technology now is more powerful than it it's ever been, given the human race's reliance on it.

I've stated before how I want a zombie outbreak to end civilization, and I maintain those sentiments to this day. You only get to die once, you may as well participate in the apocalypse. Is that selfish? Sure. Is it reasonable? Surprisingly, yeah. But winter has made me realize something. Zombies don't bundle up. They would freeze, just like the pieces of a squashed pumpkin. The question is, would they thaw out and return to zombie form? I hope so! Long live the zombie outbreak. (“I'll tell ya, I've been to many-a-bar, many-a-restaurant, and nothing compares to the microwaved hot wings on this train.” -Drunk Guy) The zombie craze needs to fade first. Right now I believe planet earth is at its most prepared for a zombie outbreak. We have a critically acclaimed zombie show on TV. There's something wrong with that. I love The Walking Dead. I watch the hell out of it. I find the tactic of focusing the show on character development smart, but somehow belittling. The most central characters have yet to die and seemingly every character that you can tell is a single-episode character exits via death predictably and bereft of emotion surprise and bitterness. They've popped a couple big balloons but nothing to draw a tear from any watching. In my opinion the show needs to pick up in its second season and the characters need to be had. They need to have some zombies shoved in their face and they need to see no remorse. Kill somebody I like. Leave me wondering why to watch the show. Because the characters will be wondering what they have to live for. So bam. That sounds like a damn good option to me.

But furthermore. Let's advance. You me, and 12,000 other people in America survive the zombie outbreak. What the hell do we do? How do we recover? Mankind is not equipped now to handle a post-apocalyptic scenario. All the technology we now take for granted is great, it really is. But we don't know it. For all the advances we've made in technology I think that, granted not everything burns to the ground, it would still take us half the time to catch up to where we are today. That number comes from the time we colonized America. Technology is now known by a select few who, shall we generalize, aren't equipped to handle the apocalypse. They die out? We start over. Who knows how to make a Macbook? Does anybody know how many years it would take American colonists to make a Macbook? Last time it took them approximately 400 years. I say it takes at least 150 to recreate that feat if we are starting from relative scratch. And that's with the ruins of America providing the blueprints. Gathering the materials is another thing. We need to establish the class system all over again. We need to produce fuel. We need to farm shit again. (We still do that? Oh..) But there are sparse people who know how to produce the technology we rely on so heavily. I will say this. Cars, we have covered. Architecture? Relatively covered. There are things that we are heavily familiar with now. And duplicating the remaining technology will be comparatively simple. But in a post-apocalyptic society (zombies or nukes or what have you), America will be fucked.

We've stopped in Mattoon (hometown of Will Leitch), which means it's time for me to listen to my iPod and take a nap. Going sixty miles an hour. Also fuck this baby in the front seat. I hope it fucking dies.


Nap my ass, let's keep going. Tried it for twenty minutes. Drank some Pepsi. Good to go. Drunk guy now is presumably napping as a couple next to me (including letter girl) tries to work something out. Hope it goes awry, just for the sake of the ride. Single-serving friends. We don't care to give them an epilogue. Which brings me to another point. There are so many people in this world. Holy crap there are a ton. You wanna know how much desire I have to meet all of them? Zero. I want to find people I like. I want to find people I don't like. I want to find people who are good single-serving friends.

Like Dave. Dave is a guy I met on a bus. He was drunk. Drunk and very excited. He was donning a sweater and a sweet hat that you'd see either John Witter or KiD CuDi wear (yes I stylize it, it's cooler that way). He was spouting about his new phrase he invented, “slaying sluts,” and how happy he was to be as drunk as he was. He was tall, lanky, black, and had four to six friends who were all drunk to a lesser degree. Dave was shouting about his new phrase, how cool he was, how cool his dorm's RA is, and got everyone in his vicinity a free round of high-fives that were accompanied by a confirming “slayin' sluts” (I'm sorry for high-fiving him, mom. What can I say? He was on a roll. Also it was funny.) until he offered one to the girl sitting to his right. Showing a shred of dignity, she gave him the cold shoulder, and the bus applauded and laughed. Dave's shoulders sunk and he hung his head in defeat. It was great. Oh Dave. What a great single-serving friend. I met Dave again that next morning. He was up early, like myself. 7:30 in the raw of morning, hungover Dave and hungover Eliot met up and talked about our nights. Dave both won and lost, successfully getting really drunk at a party and then successfully throwing up all over his room when he got home, while I enjoyed a mild buzz at an apartment party that cost five bucks. We waited for breakfast. Breakfast opened at nine. Dave wasn't as funny as the night before. Dave gave a scoffing laugh when I brought up his catchphrase, still a running joke between my roommate, Brian and I. (I think we may be losing this deal with the neighboring couple, as they appear to have made up. Damn.) I decided Dave was as cool as neither John Witter nor KiD CuDi. Single-serving.

We arrive in Effingham, where greeting me is Lupe Fiasco's “Failure,” and leaving me behind is drunk guy. How sad. I love Lupe Fiasco. He's a cool dude. Kanye West's latest album has turned a lot of heads. This, in turn, has turned my head. It's getting rave reviews. It's a good album. It's not great. Kanye gives a full effort for once, and his beats are beautiful, but the rap leaves some to be desired and still isn't as good as what Kanye was producing when he was climbing the mountain and not shouting obscenities off the top of it. Also I think I would chop about 20 minutes of fluffy bullshit off the album if I had the power to edit such things. By no means is it Kanye's best album. I think he's had better ones (and certainly worse ones), but CuDi's first Man on the Moon was equally well produced (despite being less budgeted) [Editor's Note: yeah, I've since changed my mind on this subject.] and no one (except former Classic Brian writer Cory Robinson) found it overly appealing. You indie kids suck at rap.

I guess I stopped writing there. Well, that was fun and easy. Hope you enjoyed.

--Eliot Sill

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scarier than zombies

So the other day I was sittin' around ponderin'. The usual. I was all by my lonesome, lettin' my imagination wash over myself and here's what came to mind:



The mall would just be one big cluster fuck of headless mannequins. Fuck that shit. Terrifying.

However, more terrifying would be the ridiculous number of Lincolns running around. Seriously, we have so many goddamn Lincolns. Lincolns from Lincoln's tomb, at least three busts of Lincoln that I know about would suddenly be given the power of speech, all those wax Lincolns in the museum, the terrifying terminator Lincoln outside of the library, just hordes of Lincolns storming the streets of Springfield.

As I sat around thinkin' about Lincoln I realized that with all these Lincolns in the same place there was bound to be a battle. A Lincoln battle royale. Now I'm not going to try to act like I know how that would play out. I'm not going to try to sit here and give you a story of what would happen but i do have a few thoughts on the subject:

1. Lincoln Library Terminator Lincoln is clearly fucking terrifying. There are also two more statues by the same artist in town; a buffalo and a big ass elk. I'm assuming that terminator buffalo and terminator deer would flank terminator Lincoln as he destroyed everything in sight. Whoa!

2. Let's talk about Presidential Museum John Wilkes Booth for a minute. He just woke up in his own personal hell. Oh, and look at that. Lincoln army is approaching. And they look pissed.

3. Finally, the bust at Lincoln's tomb (you know, the one whose nose everybody rubs) is surrounded by statues of civil war soldiers. As a giant head, that Lincoln definitely falls into the wise leader role. The soldiers are his minions, and I'm imagining them storming in and saving whatever battle is going on like Gandalf at Helms Deep. As scary as terminator Lincoln would be I think I would put my money on rubbed-nose Lincoln and his soldiers.

Oh, and I guess I should mention that the Lauterbach Man spends the entire time riding around on the Pink Elephant. Seems appropriate.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Nick - Oh, The Horror

Last week I gave you a short introduction to Pikmin. This week, I'm going to give you a short introduction to how my siblings and I are, together, an exceedingly efficient Pikmin-killing machine. First, an introduction to the players.

Nick - That's me! Good at Pikmin. Age 19.
Ben - Merciless, but still good at Pikmin. Age 16.
Sofia - Doesn't really understand how Pikmin works. Age 9.
Teddy -  Scared of every creature in Pikmin. Age 6.

Now, on to some of the most memorable ways to kill Pikmin.

Forgetting that Pikmin can't swim. (Sofia)

It's not unusual to accidentally let a Pikmin slip into the water and drown. Sofia, however, took this to a new level by forgetting that Pikmin can't swim and drowning a whole army. Enjoy the following 8 second video of Pikmin drowning to death. Oh god, the screams. Those screams will haunt me until my death.

Sacrificial bomb explosion. (Nick)

A yellow Pikmin holding a bomb rock.

Oftentimes in Pikmin, use of explosive devices is necessary to overcome obstacles. However, they can also be used as killing machines. I'm guilty of taking it one step further. If I can't be bothered to fight a creature, I'll have Pikmin pick up a bomb, and then just let the creature eat it. BOOM! Hilarity!

Vigilante Darwinism. (Ben)

If a Pikmin is weak enough to catch on fire, Ben lets it burn.
 Ben's Pikmin philosophy does not tolerate weakness. If a Pikmin steps out of line and into the water, Ben lets it drown. It didn't deserve to live. If a Pikmin steps too close to a sleeping beast and wakes it up, Ben leaves the poor thing to fight the beast by itself. A Pikmin doesn't come when Ben calls the group? That's too bad, it's getting left behind. Ben rules his Pikmin with an iron fist.

Captain Olimar slowly goes insane. (Teddy)

Teddy has found what is perhaps the most disturbing fate that can overcome the entire Pikmin population. The other day, while Teddy was playing, he informed me of something very unsettling.

"Captain Olimar is starting to think he's a Pikmin," he said.

Within the next couple of days, I watched as Teddy robbed Captain Olimar of his abilities, one by one. First, he lost his ability to throw Pikmin. Then to call them. Next, he lost the ability to command Pikmin at all. Finally, Olimar ran around all day vainly attempting to harvest nutrients for the Pikmin colony.

"He thinks he's a Pikmin now," Teddy said sadly, shaking his head.

Driven insane by his isolation on a foreign planet, Captain Olimar and the Pikmin population spiraled into decline due to their incapacitated and insane leader.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cicadas Part 2: To Dust

By Robert Langellier

Yo this is Part 1

Soon, the genocide begins.

The great predators of the air swoop down and attack, day and night, without cease. In droves, they come. The great predators of the air outmatch us in every ability, for they have lived on the earth for many hundreds of suns, and they have grown massive by it and they have learned great flying skills by it that we will never know, because we are to die, and soon. Their talons are sharp and infinitely large, but it is of no matter because we are swallowed up whole by their beaks in an instant. We never have to suffer from the talons.

Those who are taken by the great predators of the air are the fortunate brothers, at least those which have already mated and prepared for their deaths. They are lucky, for you cannot see anything inside the bellies of the great predators, or even in the bellies of the legged predators of the earth. And the sights of the earth have become grotesque as the suns grow hotter and hotter.

I limp across the pavement and weep and shudder and I stop and continue and weep some more. I stop again. All around me lie the bodies of my brothers, littering the concrete like leaves or sticks, only tinier and weaker and barely more alive. My brethren are everywhere, sick and malnourished and weak and ever aging, and they remind me of me, for I am sick and malnourished and weak and very old. I still don’t have a mate.

There are piles of them everywhere I go. To my left, endless bodies. To my right, endless bodies. And ahead of me and behind me, there are bodies. I come to a crack where there are six bodies all dead lined up and touching, and I have no choice but to crawl over my own brothers to continue. I need a mate. I am dying. I have none yet, and I am dying, and there will soon be no more suns. And my brothers are dead everywhere.

The worst part of it is that many are alive, but only enough to twitch and pretend that they are not about to die. I grow jealous of the thought that, perhaps, the great predators of the air and the earth never have to crawl over their own dead brothers and see them piled up like leaves and sticks everywhere they go.

Up ahead a female is weak and lying on her back. She is trying desperately to right herself, and her legs continually flail into the air and her wings are spastic and scared. I see that one of her wings is broken anyway. I can tell that she has no idea what she could do, even if she did right herself. She would simply be stuck again, and again, and again, until she was not strong enough anymore to right herself and let death add her to the myriads and the piles. Perhaps she is already at this point. She is too weak for me to mate with, anyway, and there are too many others for me to help. I limp past her and ignore her desperate struggles, and it hurts me, but I do not let it affect my limp.

By nineteenth sun the genocide is over. The predators of the air have grown fat and healthy, and they no longer care to hunt us like they once did. Many hundreds of millions of my brothers have died at the hands of these predators, and in my safe tree I mourn for them and call for my female with my luring song.

I do not care to continue anymore. Now, on this nineteenth hot sun, even my body begins to concede. My poor and wretched state on this overwhelming earth has been a pathetic stain, and I know it, and only in brothers’ song do I amount to something significant. And so, two trees from where I shed my skin many suns ago, I sing and I do not eat and I sing until nighttime, and I go to sleep and wake up and sing.

On the twenty-second sun, I see two below me on the pavement, on the pavement littered with bodies. The pavement is a graveyard, and it is awful to look at, and it reminds me of my many fears and my very near future and I want to die. The two meet, and the male clicks with his torso, and he turns to her back and they join. I watch them scuttle and limp back and forth together, and together joined, I watch them manifest my dreams below me, and it hurts me. They seem young to me, but I know that they are not. Only young to me. As I sit in the tree I wonder if his song was more enchanting than mine. It must have been.

Now it is late on the twenty-second sun, and I know that my body has died. I sit, clenched upon my leaf, sticking to it without moving, as I have for the past two suns. I have not found a mate. As I listen, I realize that my brothers’ song has diminished. They are dying, too. We are no longer strong like we used to be, and I among the many am now mateless, sightless, and am very much released.