Saturday, July 2, 2011


Imagine a perfect world. Just picture it in your head. Isn't that nice? It's a place where you never want for anything, where your every desire is at your fingertips. It's like having infinite wishes from a genie, but you cut out all the bullshit of a middleman screwing you over for fun. Now, before the cynics and realists jump in and say how the word "perfect" is ambiguous and means something different to everyone, thereby causing a paradoxical existence, I just have one thing to say; Shut up, please. Let's skip all that jazz about conflicting ideals and let's go back to that nice place we were at. Everyone has everything they could ever dream of, and for the sake of this utopian vision, somehow everyone coexists in complete harmony. What would your piece of the world look like? How would you shape your life?

I spend more time then I'd like to admit pondering what it would be like to accomplish my deepest desires with a mere thought. Let me give you a brief peek into my fantasies.

First things first; Classic Brian is now a master of all things musical. That's right. Not only can I masterfully play every instrument known to man, but I can also sing b-e-a-utifully and write kick-ass songs. I don't have to be the best, though. I just have to be amazingly talented.

In the batter's box; being fluent in every language. Some people might wish that everyone spoke the same language. Not me. That's no fun. I just want to know them all. It's sad to have to acknowledge that there are countless languages out there, and I'll never even be a master of the one I was born to.

From there it's pettier things. Of course no one would ever have to work again, so no one could ever use excuses like, "Sorry, I can't stay. I have work in the morning", or "Well, I really wish I could go to that music festival with the killer lineup with you, but I can't get off work. Besides, I couldn't afford it anyway". Enough of that garbage. No one would ever have to worry about money again. Don't worry about the how. Just know that it's a fact. In my world, you have virtually all the time in your life to dedicate to doing whatever it is you wanna do and just being happy. And on that note, to free up some more time in everyone's life (and by some more time, I mean about ~33%+ of an average person's life), sleep is now optional. There are no side effects to not sleeping. No one gets tired, but if you really enjoy sleeping, that door is always open. Imagine how much more fun can be achieved now that that's out of the way.

I have to admit that my greatest comfort in life at the moment is my room. Boy, do I love my room. In my new world, I wouldn't change all that much. The walls would be Gengar purple, because that's my favorite color, and if I got tired of that, I could just change it at will.  I'd have a huge TV, of course. All movies and games would be at my disposal. There would be ping-pong and a pool table and all that jazz. There'd be room to par-tay. It'd be awesome.

Anyway, I could go on forever. Trust me, I think of new things every day. But I live in the real world, and right now I'm going to Sno Bizz with some hoes. That's about as close as I'm gonna get to paradise, for now.


Conor - Obsession

I am an extremely ritualistic, obsessive person. I'm cool with this, too. It gives my life order. Brings me back from the edge of chaos. 

Everyone has their default activity. In the Big Lebowski, when he's not lamenting the loss of his rug or being tortured in the coolest way possible, the Dude and his friends are bowling. That's just what they do. They're bowlers. 

What am I? Well I have many obsessions. Being a bowler makes you sound cool and focused. I don't want any of the titles that my obsessions would grant me. Most of them are really specific and geeky. Most of them I share with a group of friends or at least one individual, but some of them are personal, individual things. 

Like my BEN FOLDS obsession. Sure, I got this from my brother and sister, and my friend Griffin holds Folds* to a similar level of worship and admiration, but I keep this to myself as much as possible. I'm embarrassed, really. Normally I'm a pretty objective person, but, uh, not with this guy. Even though some part of my brain is horribly aware that he makes terribleannoying music sometimes, I will allow none of your sass. Every year or so I'll go through a big Ben Folds phase and break out all of his piano books that I own (every single one) and spend weeks biting my tongue, fighting the urge to bring his music up in conversation. Every now and again this terrible thought emerges from some deep crevice in my consciousness and I think: What will I do if Ben Folds sucks? What will I do if one day I just take a good, hard look at the music I grew up on and based an extremely large part of my musical taste on and realize he's just not all that good? After some soul searching I decided that I will never actually have to face this crisis, as I am extremely good at lying to myself.


FINAL FANTASY. Yeah yeah yeah, I've talked about this enough. One of the thing that's so fun about my Final Fantasy problem is that I have several other friends who have been tainted with similar levels of Final Fantasy obsession and geekdom. It gives us something to talk about. It gives us something to do every night there aren't other pesky plans getting in the way.

TV SHOWS. I can hardly claim this to be anywhere near unique, but rolling through a season of a TV show I just got into in a matter of a few days is oddly rewarding. What's that? I feel sick and I'm staying home from school today, oh sure why shouldn't I watch Season 1 of 30 Rock. I watch all of Arrested Development every other year, usually by introducing it to a friend who has yet to be enlightened and then using them as a reason to watch the series from start to finish. I just started watching the Wire and I can't stop thinking about it. Wednesday Eliot needs to get his shit together and clear up his nights so we can finish season 1 with his older brother.

DINOSAUR T-SHIRTS. Why should I wear other things when I have theeeeeese

MINI-GOLF falls into the same category as RAQUETBALL, FOOSBALL, VARIOUS DRINKING GAMES, MARIO PARTY 2 and BOUNCY INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSES LIKE YOU SEE AT AFTER-PROMS, These can all be  accredited to the fact that I am a terribly, terribly competitive person. The O'Brien side of my family blames that on the Barnes side of my family. When asked if they are the competitive douches they are accused of being, the Barnes side of my family shrugged and kept on winning. 

That's what's up with me. I'm sure none of this is terribly new information to anyone reading this, but that's just what I was thinking about tonight. I also wanted to use this blog post as somewhat of an EXPERIMENT. In an effort to make this more of a discussion than a one shot statement to no one, I want to end with a question. Post comments about your obsessions. Write about something that you're super into, something interesting, unique, or something I/the average reader wouldn't know about you. This post will look VERY SAD if no one writes back, so have at, people. Please participate. This could be fun.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Drive My Car

"I got no car and it's breaking my heart / But I found a driver and that's a start"
                         --"Drive My Car" by The Beatles

by Brendan Cavanagh

This is a good year to buy a car. Thinking in the present, I realize how much I depend on other people for rides to and from various locations in Springfield. It's always a treat when I get to drive my family's sole car, which is a 2003 Mercury Monterey, a minivan. It has a good deal of horsepower, but unfortunately every single one of the horses that was initially involved in the manufacturing of my car has is dead. Except one. Therefore, I can only go from zero to thirty miles per hour in about sixty seconds, but once I get up to a moderate speed, the car shudders violently and practically screams at me to go easy on it. So I respectfully decelerate, but the brakes are pretty shoddy, which means I have to slow down in advance, mindful not to slam into the back of a car in front of me, though the whole process is really out of my control.

Thinking forward towards next semester, I realize how beneficial it would be to be able to drive to CVS every other day, or to drive into Indianapolis  to see the occasional show. And then the best reason to have my own form of transportation would be to travel to other schools and visit my friends once in a while. Indianapolis' bus / train system is virtually nonexistent to my knowledge, and no one seems to want to take me to another school over any weekends. What up with that?

I often dream of the day that I'll come into a ton of money. Like...a million dollars. I know the first thing I would buy is a black '96 Chevy Impala. Yes, the exact same model my grandma drives. It's probably the best car you can get nowadays. It's sleek exterior allows for smooth driving, and being lower to the ground than I would be in a minivan would be a nice change of pace. The sound system that comes with this type of Impala is sublime. When you roll up the windows and crank the bass to a modest level, you really get a good feel of the music you're playing. Also, the leather interior is unique and fun to sit on. I think the only downside to getting an Impala like this is that it comes with a device that heats up the driver's seat, which I strongly dislike. Not only does it cause my bottom to sweat profusely, but also it is usually on when I drive it after my grandma uses it, and I don't realize it for a while, so it's rather uncomfortable to realize what's going on and trying to adjust the temperature when I'm busy keeping my eyes on the road.

Pickup trucks are over-rated (except Carrie's). SUVs are obnoxious, and can be tough to distinguish from Law & Order: SVU when mentioned verbally in conversation. Hybrids are for queers.

Props to Carrie for the blog post suggestion.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Oklahoma trip

Wisps of air perpetually shoot through and along the side panel of the car door as my hand coasts flippantly through the billions of air molecules. The feeling of the wind coursing through my hair is one of the most tangible episodes of freedom I have. As the sun looks on from away and above, me and my two favorite allies head southwest to brave America's interstate highways and experience a unique journey to a place only one of us has been before.

Air conditioning, driving music, a full tank, a bite to eat, no shoes, no parents, no bosses, no schoolwork, no problems. We pass cars to show them who's boss. We alternate turns sleeping in the backseat, driving, and riding shotgun. We lament our lack of preparation as we scrounge for solid directions, bereft of a fully functional GPS and with no correct Mapquest directions printed. The countryside is dark at night, and lively in the day.

Our destination is a fence, on the other side of which is a massive clearing of grass. There are woods to our right, a dead end in front of us, our freshly traveled path still glowing with the remnants of its metaphorical blaze. This is Oklahoma. You've made it. Now turn around.

A Frisbee is a fascinating object. Much like a kleenex or a band-aid, it is actually something else. Frisbee is the name of this toy Wham-O came up with. Referred to simply as a disc by its manipulators, the frisbee is the sole purpose of our trek. Without it, I would have been home this weekend.

The true destination of our trip was yet another vast clearing. This one in which hours upon hours of Ultimate Frisbee (referred to as Ultimate due to the aforementioned brand thing) were played. As games went on, Classic and I occupied ourselves trying to occupy ourselves. After long hours, we succeeded in this battle, as Conor took up the task of impressing his peers and higher-ups in the frisbee community.

Overall, the game strives to be fun. It provides a previously untouched niche that ties together the laid back and the competitive, separating sport and serious in a way very few games do. Ultimate is a community. The game has very, very few fans, merely because if you like the game, get off your ass and play it. "Community" goes beyond a game to 13 points. "Community" stretches throughout the course of the entire weekend, with free beer, rampant pot smoking and friendliness and sociability. I came here with little more to do than to judge these people, and left with little more choice than to  respect them. I also left sunburnt.

As we left Tulsa, diving deeper into the state of Oklahoma to Conor's home city of Norman, I admired the landscape and the 75mph speed limits. Eventually we came to Conor's house and relaxed. We did this for a period of over 24 hours. It was more like 44 hours. I got to know some of Conor's frisbee friends (because "Ultimate friends" is too complimentary for a group of people that don't belong to me). I liked them, and can hope, free of the threat of consequence, they liked me too.

We left Norman on a day and began driving. Eventually, we realized how ridiculously far away our endpoint was from our point of departure, and all of eight hours later, we parked in Columbia, Missouri, outside a sports complex in the middle of MU's campus. Volleyball was played. I saw a couple friends of mine. It was nice. In this city we slept. We awoke bright and annoyingly fucking early, and drove home to Springfield. I, in the back seat of the car, slept for the first time all trip, drifting off as we left Columbia, coming to as we headed down Veterans Parkway into the heart of Springfield.

I got about half of my things out of Conor's car (leaving behind two pairs of shoes, a pair of shorts with my keys and wallet in them, and my phone) and went inside. There I saw my brother and mom. I went to sleep. When I woke up, I was still home.

How was the trip to Oklahoma? Good, thanks for asking.

--Eliot Sill

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Women's Sports!

Mada Larson

As some of you may know, this week marks the beginning of the 2011 FIFA women's world cup. The majority of people in the world could not care less about this event. The goes doubly for America where soccer is considered a sport for fairies. These facts aside, the women's world cup is still a major event. The first women's world cup was held in 1995, when i was still too young to understand or care. Four years later, however, I had established soccer as my favorite sport and I was fascinated by the idea of professional women's soccer.

I still have a poster I bought at an elementary book fair of the 1999 women's soccer team after they won their second world cup. There's obviously Mia Hamm, probably the most famous female soccer player in the entire world. She was immensly talented, an amazing leader, and according to many interviews; completely insane. (it seems she was one of those throws-chairs-if-we-lose type of leaders).

There was Briana Scurry, the goal keeper. Not only did Scurry play pro soccer but she was also took time off from that to play pro basketball. Ridiculous. The US won the 1999 world cup in a final round of PK's which basically means it is completely up to the goalie to save the team's ass. And she did just that.

Right in the middle of the poster is a picture of Kristine Lily. You guys probably have no idea who this is but she is probably the most impressive person on the poster. Lily played in four world cups before retiring. That means that, until this year, she had participated in every single women's world cup in history. That is 20 years of consistency

I used to stare at these women every night before I went to sleep with awe. They were my heros and I was pretty sure they were the most badass women in history. The fact that not a single one of them is on this year's team almost doesn't make sense in my mind. They are women's soccer. What we have now are new heros in their place.

Abby Wambach, the US' current leading forward is one of those new heros. She is their leading scorer, team captain and has a scary butch hair cut that shows that she means business. Wambach's latest quote about the cup? "Excuses are for losers. We should win this tournament". Baller.

Lauren Cheney is a newer forward who has been on and off the starting line up but proved herself this morning by scoring the first world cup goal for the US off a header against North Korea.

Hope Solo is also on her way to legend. If her name wasn't enough to make her a badass, she is inching closer and closer to Scurry's level of skill in the goal. North Korea put multiple, quality shots on goal today and Solo made all of them non-factors.

I guess this means i should start looking for a new posters. Too bad I never go to book fairs anymore. i do have one major regret about this tournament and that is that Natasha Kai is not on the team. Natasha Kai is not only amazing at soccer and Hawaiian, but she is also covered in the sweetest tattoos I've ever seen. Unfortunately Kai had shoulder surgery in 2009 and is still not fully recovered. I'll just cut out a picture and tape it to the poster I buy.

 My girlfriend Natasha

The US women's team plays Colombia next on July 2nd at 10:30 am, and after that Sweden on July 6th at 1:30 pm. I would like to encourage all of you to watch these matches.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nick - All Alone

We here at Classic Brian like to write about doomsday scenarios. Especially zombies. And while zombie breakouts may seem fun and exciting, I do not care much for them. If there were a zombie breakout, you and I would probably not be main characters or saviors. We would be hapless survivors at best and victims at worst.

But what if you woke up one morning to discover that you were the only person left on the planet?

Suddenly, no matter what you do you become the main character. What do you do? Do you take time to do what you've always wanted to do? To dance on the grave of society? Maybe take time to read a book you never got around to? Or live in an expensive house? I cannot answer any of these questions for you. But I can tell you what I would do!

. . .

I wake up, and everyone is gone. There is no noise coming from the street. Nobody at home. Even the dogs are gone. The only thing left is eery silence. Unfortunately, it would probably take me a while to notice. I'd probably wonder where everybody went for a few hours. Any other person would let the time tick away, waiting for something to happen. But not me. I would come to my senses, then hurriedly confirm my suspicions, and then spring into action. After all, I've written a blog post about this.

The scariest thing about this situation is that we don't really know how long electricity would last without any human oversight. The general consensus I get from Googling this is that the power would probably go out within the first day. Thus, the first day is the most important. I would frantically get to work before the power went out, forever.

Probably my first task would be to collect a gas powered generator and as much gas as possible. I would get to the gas station and fill as many gas canisters as I could fit in my car.
You know. These things.
Then I would go to a hardware store or something and take as many gas powered generators as I could find. Also I would grab several lengths of clear tubing so that I could learn to siphon gas from the many cars left behind by humans.

Finally, I would pick up enough food to fill a fridge and freezer, and settle into my new lifestyle. I would take as much cereal as I could; it will last until the end of time. Also I would get all of the ice cream, because I only have one shot at frozen things. And I would take a ton of milk, because I love milk and I don't really want to raise cows.

Obviously this stuff can't last forever; I would definitely be making frequent food raids at stores. However, having food and electricity could help me transition into an unpopulated world until I get better at scavenging.

After living this way for a long time, I would probably get very bored and lonely. Maybe it's time for a road trip? At the very least, I can go check out the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, and all that other natury stuff. I would pack food and gas with me, and if I ever had car troubles I could simply find a car with keys in the ignition. I hope. Maybe I should find spare batteries and stuff too.

Probably when I get to experience the glory of nature without any people around, I will become a part of it myself. I will live in the wilderness, and learn to live in peace and harmony with the animals. I could live in the shadows of the mountains at Yellowstone Park, spending my leisure time watching the geysers and swimming with the fish.

Of course, I would get bored of that too before long. And then what kind of future awaits me? Maybe I'd go try to fly a plane. I guess I really don't know what I'd do next. But when all of you are dead, I'll find out.


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Robert Langellier
Bikes are good.

Bikes are fun. Bikes are great. Bikes get me to that place faster than my feet can. Bikes can randomly and suddenly switch from pedestrian to vehicle depending on which is more convenient, as far as I’m concerned. Bikes are colorful and can be lifted up the stairs to my apartment easier than my car can. Bikes can shove bugs up my nose and I’ll think of only the joy of the wind in my face. Bikes can go up hills and down hills and even over flat land. Bikes take me down those really short, really steep hills with those four ft. high wild grasses and weeds, and then when I’m done, I am going fast and am adorned with wildlife in my handlebars and spokes and toes.

Bikes are the perfect medium between cars and feet. Bikes go fast like cars, but are simple and easy like feet. Bikes can be understood without knowing how to change a tire. Bikes allow me to be that huge fast dick on the crowded sidewalk where it’s already almost uncomfortable just to walk. Bikes take me into the woods when cars can’t. Bikes take me deep into the woods when my feet can’t. Bikes make me worthy of that subtle, important head nod from other bikers who bike past me. Bikes make me on time for things, or less late. Bikes don’t talk back to me or tell me I should head home as it’s getting dark out.

Bikes are dangerous.

Bikes don’t tell me I should head home as it’s dark out because bikes don’t care about my safety. Bikes ignore stop signs and blow through intersections when it’s pretty super dark out. Bikes knew that there were no cars in that intersection simply because it was indeed so very dark, but bikes did not inform me of that bike cop trailing somewhere behind me. Bikes require red lights at night that are too complicated for me to figure out how to attach them.

Bikes are addicting. Bikes demand continual riding, so that I am riding bikes continually. Bikes fall approximately 2% of the times that you ride them, and people are watching you 90% of the times you are riding them. Bikes break their own rear handbrake so you may only use your front brake whilst searing down very steep pavement toward very fast cars. Bikes flip over forward when you need to use this front brake quickly. Bikes get your foot caught between its pedal and some twisted segment of metal, but you’re not sure exactly which twisted segment of metal because you’re going about 25 mph and preparing for your impending pain-filled crash right in front of that car whose day you are about to make. Bikes demand I ride them down steep steps even though I know this is soon going to hurt me very publicly. Bikes want me to hurt so good.

Bikes are very close, very bad friends.

A Person Called Prace That Ain't Nothin to Fuck Wit'

(The following is an average interview with Prace, the rap prodigy from Springfield, IL)

Hello. How about you introduce yourself before we start.

Hi. It's your friendly neighborhood rapper (it's funny because Spider-Man and I both share a common first name with 595,181 in the US) here to spit some found knowledge on some real talk ish.

But Prace, what do you mean when you say that?

Well, for the past year or so I've been meticulously teaching myself the ways of the expressive nature of hip-hop. From the funky beginnings at block parties to the soulful samples of today, I've watched documentaries and read articles to understand how hip-hop's transformed itself from the styling art of the freestyle to the dos and don'ts of making a masterpiece studio album.

But Prace, Why?

Well, why not? If I want to be a rapper, I need to know how to actually be one. I can't wake up one day and simply say to myself, "I'm a rapper, today" because the truth is saying you're one doesn't mean you're one. And though my mediocre-unlistenable rapping will never amount to much, I'd rather culture myself to the point where at least I sound credible to those around me. If school has taught me one thing, it's that you can never learn too much. There isn't a single rapper that can truly tell themselves they've reached the peak of their potential without knowing it's a lie. There isn't even a single person that can say that (Sorry, Lebron...). So, I want people to know that I mean business even though I don't. Though, that's mainly because I'm not a business man, I'm a BUSINESS, MAN.

But Prace, how do you expect to do that?

Well first, I have to prove to myself that I'm actually a rapper. That means making the opposite of this. Don't get me wrong, I love that song, but godamn a playa can do better. Despite not taking myself too seriously, I know I have potential that far surpasses the likes of MackAssurance, The Cellar, etc. To me, that's the first step. How do you think horrible rappers like my boiz WAKA FLOCKA and OJ DA JUCIEMAN got famous? They believed in themselves and that's all it takes sometimes.

Do I believe in myself? Sometimes. There's those moments when I write what I think is an amazing verse and I'm like "PRACE, YOU GOT THIS HOMIE", and then there's moments when I'm like "PRACE, YOU HAVE NO FLOW AND BAD RHYMES". It's a struggle right now, but it aint hard to tell that I'll excel and then prevail.

Second, I have to finish my mixtape, A Racine Family Reunion. It's been in the making for over a year now, and every time I tell myself to start recording some tracks, I back off and tell myself I need better songs, lyric and beat-wise. The more songs the merrier, right? As of now, I have over 20 tracks planned, with beats as stolen as my style. Is 20 tracks going to happen? Never. Is this mixtape going to happen? LOLProllyNot, but wishing is better than giving up.

Third, I have to get signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment. Why Rhymesayers? because they like white guys. Hey, I'm white. Once this happens I'll positively be a rapper, and have cred with the hipsters and the hood rats.

Last, I'll start my own label and rule with an iron fist. I will let greed and money's evils seep through my bloodstream as I inject that shit straight through the vein. Then, I'll kill off my top artist, create a beef with another label, release his posthumous album, and roll in even more money. RAPPER LIFE COMPLETE.

But Prace, that's kind of fucked up?

Life is fucked up.

But Prace, what about the kids?

Oh, I got something exactly for the kids to sing, but then I'd be biting.

Thanks for your time, then. It was great talking to you, Prace.


Okay, buh-bye.

(End of interview)


As an added bonus (and because I want to keep writing), I will provide reviews (sort of) to two classic hip-hop albums that I have been bumpin' an excessive amount recently and why they bump.

Would you fuck wit' them?
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Possibly the definitive album of what the Wu-Tang Clan represents, this album from easily the most well-known hip-hop collective comes heavy with the rhymes and light on the beats in what seems to be a perfect blend. The Wu never lose their character throughout the album, even when they stop to breath in their hilarious breaks between the rhymes. The Wu knows they can't be touched and songs like "C.R.E.A.M.", "Wu-Tang Ain't Nothin to Fuck Wit'", and "Bring Da Ruckus" successfully relay that mentality. The lyrics are hard hitting and aggressive, providing the listener with a look at the rough side of New York City. The beats are also exactly what you'd want from a group like this. Simple yet catchy with samples that make Kanye jealous. On that note, "Wu-Tang Ain't Nothin to Fuck Wit" has my favorite drums in a rap song ever.

My face is on there somewhere.

A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders

Yeah, yeah. A lot of people (critics) would tell you Low End Theory is the definition of ATCQ music, but fuck that. Midnight Marauders is the smoothest album my ears have ever had the joy of listening to. From the robot woman voice contributing random facts that are actually quite relative, to Q-tip and Phife Dawg's funky rhymes about all that's happening around them, the album is as conscious as it is chill. Tracks like "Award Tour" and "Electric Relaxation" are perfect examples of ATCQ's style and treat your eardrums to beats that are silkier than a kimono. Jazzy samples, hard drums, and catchy bass are reasons enough to listen to this album, but what Q-tip and Phife brought to hip-hop is something that won't ever be matched. Groove to it while cruising in your car late nights with the window's down. If you don't, you're a Sucka Nigga.

On a mostly related note, I had the opportunity (illegally) to see A Tribe Called Quest's new documentary. It's well-made and interesting, so make sure to see it when it comes out.

I like providing links.

Thanks, homies.

- Peter (Prace) Racine