Saturday, August 6, 2011

5 Awesome Movie Concepts I've Come Up With

1. The Last Unicorn Man - Dreamt this one up, actually. In my dream, I was at a movie and a trailer for this movie played. From what I remember, the basic premise is that unicorns have all but died out, and no one really believes in them except the main character, a school professor portrayed by Russell Crowe, who advocates their existence and does everything in his power to save this dying breed.

2. Avatar Vs. Airbender - In this epic action-packed movie, Aang battles an entire race of blue people in a desperate attempt to redeem his namesake and not tank in the box office.

3. Grand Theft Auto: The Movie - C'mon. You know you'd go see this.

4. 24 - 24 hours of Jack Bauer kicking ass. Only for the hardcore. Breaks prohibited. Anyone leaving the theater for any reason will not be allowed re-admittance.

5. A new kung-fu movie that doesn't suck ass.


If People Only Spoke In Unexplained Song Lyrics/References, Conversations Would Be Infinitely More...Interesting

"All We Need Is A Little Bit Of Momentum To Break Down These Walls That We've Built Around Ourselves," said Steve.

"Wow Steve, really? Lame. What a Bad Selection," sneered Amadeus.

"Listen, Amadeus, I think you really take my Love For Granted. After all, I'm Dynamite."

"SHUT UP STEVE, before you end up Missing."

"I feel like such a Lonely Giant."

"I'll send you to No Man's Land! I swear, I Will!," screamed Amadeus.

"Everything To Nothing," muttered Steve under his breath.

"What the hell does that even mean? Just go to sleep. Here, I'll play you a Lullaby with my Ocarina."

"I just feel like I'm at a Crossroads in my life, that's all. Like maybe soon I'll be Knockin' On Heaven's Door."

"Well, I mean, do you have any idea How Much We Grew? You wanna just Get High Tonight? Maybe that'll make you feel better, If You Can't Sleep," comforted Amadeus.

"Maaaaan that's all we ever do is get high. We Fail."

"Hey dawg, at least we don't have Butter Teeth," reasoned Amadeus.

"True dat homie. That totally ruin our dream of being Popstars," agreed Steve.

"Mayonnaise Salad."



"Let's just Clap Hands."

"Nah, I think I'm Going To Queens."

"But, we're Siamese Twins. I don't wanna go. I just wanna stay here and sleep,"
 whined Steve.

"Listen, ever since we got in that BMX Crash, I know you're a little shy, but I promise you're still Gorgeous."

"Ingo's Theme."



"Why do you keep doing that?"

"Doing what?"

"Spouting nonsense."

"I don't know what you're talking about. Listen, after The Storm, you wanna go on a Crime Spree?"

"What? I can't hear you. The Riot Rhythm of Cait Sith's Theme is too loud."

"Turn It Up Faggot."

"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You."

"You can't. We're Siamese Twins. Also, don't call me babe. It's weird. We're twins."


Conor - The Sport Of Kings

I was in a mini-golf tournament earlier today. It was rad. I tweeted my thoughts in real time, and I've added in details in italics. This is for you, Robert. You would have been devastated, had you been there.

Two and a half hours until the mini-golf tournament begins. The stakes are high, and the scores are low.
     There has to be a golf based movie out there somewhere with this as the tag line. I mean, c'mon.

- Picking out what I'm going to wear to the tournament. Mini-golf is 90% style.
     Business casual is pretty much always a safe bet. Tie encouraged, but not completely necessary.

Mini-golf is a game of mental toughness. considering most of the other kids here are 12, I'd say I have this in the bag.
     This one was a complete lie. Mada and I were the only ones there who were like, casual mini-golfers. I didn't think that'd be a problem, because who ISN'T a casual mini-golfer, right? Wrong. It turns out there are people out there who have spent their whole life honing their skills. It turns out there were 7 or 8 people out there who have been waiting for a mini-golf tournament for their entire life, and they all showed up. All of them golfed in high school, most of them went to high school with me, and some of them worked at the mini-golf course. So.

This kid says he has gotten a hole in one on every single course here. His knees look worrying susceptible to being broken by a golf club.
    Let's see how he golfs when he's bleeding. You can tell a lot about a man from the way he golfs whilst bleeding.

A lot of bullshit posturing from these guys. A lot of talk. They don't notice me in the corner, memorizing names, faces, styles and flaws.
     Unfortunately, they all had really similar styles, which mostly involved really casually getting hole-in-ones.

Playing seriously the best minigolf of my life, and these guys are making a fool of me.
     Everything I did was invalidated by the ridiculousness around me.

The best player was just found dead though!!! What happened here?!?! updated: due to tragic circumstances, I've moved up to 3rd place.
     I wish I had stuck with this joke and just made the whole thing a murder mystery. I like the idea of a murder mystery where one character is fucking obviously the murderer. 

-Yeah no seriously though I just got par. This is a serious accomplishment worthy of praise.
     On course 3. The easy course. 

Falling apart. Everything minigolf related is slipping through my minigolf related fingers.
     On course 2. The intermediate course.

Though I am crestfallen and frustrated, Wabash Golf and Games keeps reminding me of how fabulous birthday parties are.
     There's a sign up at Wabash Golf n' Games that says in big rainbow letters "Birthday Parties are FABULOUS!" I really, really want to steal that sign.

Round 2 went terribly. I was beaten by my female companion, or as I like to call her, "a dirty whore."
     Mada. Mada's a dirty whore. 

"George is 21 under," they say. Yeah. George is still probably going to die alone, though. Probably.
     Wooooah sorry everyone did I say that out louuuudddd

     Also 21 under?! What the fuck!

I don't give a damn that Jake got a hole in one there, Jake didn't take the loop-de-loop, so Jake's achievements don't matter.
    "Yeah, a lot of us don't take the loop-de-loop," Jake said. "It's way harder to get the hole-in-one."
     Twenty years later Jake, while visiting family in Springfield, decided to go back and check out the old mini-golf place he used to work at over the summers. He was a little rusty, but by the third or forth hole it had come back to him. He kept remembering the secrets to each particular course and he would laugh and tell his wife of all the times his friends had at the place. When he got to the loop-de-loop, he decided to take it. He never took it as a kid, but something possessed him, convinced him he should take the brightly painted loop. He hit the ball and watched it go up the initial curve and shoot out the other side. He hadn't remembered the little thrills like this. He thought of all the times he had wasted thinking about statistics, and coldly getting the best results possible, even if that meant sacrificing the little things. A single tear rolled down his face. He turned away from his wife and wiped the tear away, hoping he could make the arm movement seem natural. 

I was joking about these kids all being twelve, by the way. I want everyone to keep that in mind when we look at these scores.
     The bro who won got 85. On 54 holes. ...    .......

Minigolf a sport I'm done with. 127 over 54 holes.
     That's a 2.35 stroke per hole average. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pilgrimage to Macca

by Brendan Cavanagh

I can't say that this has been one of my most productive summers. For the most part I simply slave away the hours at Illini Country Club, shamelessly pleasuring golf pros and club-swinging members alike in the near-fruitless hope of making the occasional extra dollar in addition to keeping my go-to summer job. But my three months of labor literally paid off bi-monthly, and I earned enough to purchase a ticket to the second of two Paul McCartney shows at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Monday night, on August the 1st, my pal David and I made the three-hour voyage north to witness in person a musical legend, one-fourth of our beloved Beatles. In addition to seeing a surely enjoyable concert filled with numerous recognizable hits, we were utterly anxious to simply see Paul McCartney. How many people can say they have seen one of the legendary Beatles perform? The historical significance of our concert trip was enormous. We couldn't even find the appropriate words to speak to each other for the half-hour we waited patiently in our seats on the field of Wrigley, aside from the occasional, "Shit. Paul McCartney, dude."

Promptly and casually walking onstage at 8:30 p.m. (okay, the show was supposed to start at 8:00, but it's Paul McCartney, damn it), the object of David's and my summer infatuation sported a spiffy red blazer and wielded his iconic bass guitar. We got a surprisingly satisfactory pair of seats, literally a stone's throw from the stage. I mean, if there were any leftover baseballs just sitting on the field from one of the previous nights' Cardinals / Cubs game, I could have probably have thrown it and nailed Paul in the face, despite my spindly wrists and lack of athletic prowess.

After a couple songs, he ditched the blazer in favor of showcasing his black suspenders- "It's too hot!"

Having read that the night before at Wrigley Paul opened with Magical Mystery Tour's "Hello Goodbye," I was curious to see if he repeated the song for our show. However, my concert was immediately distinguished from the previous one when, to my surprise, the opening song was, rather fittingly, "Magical Mystery Tour." What a way to kick off a show: "Roll up- and that's an invitation!- roll up!"

Not my video.

From there, the concert only gained energy, as Paul enthusiastically plowed through a massive catalog of Beatles hits, showcasing the group's time-defying evolutionary style, as well as the best songs off Band On The Run, equally enjoyable, more contemporary recordings and two borrowed songs that paid tribute to the two deceased Beatles. Here's a copy of the setlist:

Our audience was blessed with the privilege of hearing a few songs not played the night before, ascribing this particular concert some sort of comforting, unique status. It felt good, as if Paul was personally guaranteeing that we would not simply be exposed to a mere replay of the previous concert.

When "A Day In The Life" transitioned seamlessly into John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance," the entire audience belted out the chorus as Paul took a break from lead vocals, subsequently joining the crowd in a single act of purely peaceful unification. Again, when the extended chorus arose during the show-closing "Hey Jude," the crowd rose to the occasion, and something about 42,000 people singing along to the same song with only good intentions made this a sort of musically spiritual communion. I felt so happy to be so happy, and I realized that this is just a small way of ensuring peace and good will in such a volatile world. I mean, we have all these lines of demarcation and numerous altercations all over the world, but as Paul told the crowd after playing "Back In the U.S.S.R.," even the defense minister of Russia listened to the Beatles- he learned English buy buying and listening to their records! It just goes to show what a unifying experience we find in music.

So the show ran for about three hours- that's including two encores (unprecedented in my concert experience)- and Paul never lost zest. He's nearly seventy years old, and yet he continues to belt out powerful songs through endless tours, playing shows double the length of most other artists or bands out there. And not only does he play all these songs, but he sprints from his piano to his guitar spot, and dances goofily and converses with the audience between songs. He's a powerhouse.

One of many highlights: a literally explosive rendition of "Live And Let Die"

My biggest hope for the show was that he would close the show with one of my favorite Beatles composition, the Golden Slumbers mini-medley ("Golden Slumbers" / "Carry That Weight" / "The End") from the tail end of Abbey Road, as he had done the night before. And if the show couldn't have gone better- as if I hadn't already decided that this was the best show I had ever seen or will have ever seen- he did it. He closed the second encore with the medley. You know that saying often appended to Facebook statuses or tweets by teenage girls who accomplish any simple feat- "omg just saw jobros in concert, my life is complete" or "my mom bought me tickets to the midnight show of twilight breaking dawn part one, my life is complete." Well, I felt like a sixteen year old girl who met Justin Bieber. My life felt complete. The exhilaration I felt after that show motivated and allowed me to make the three / four hour drive home that night. I feel sort of like the disillusioned generation that fought in World War I and didn't know what the hell to do after experiencing all that they had experienced in the war- I don't have the money to throw parties and drown myself in alcohol like they did in the Roaring 20s, but I'll probably just spend a lot of time lying wistfully on the couch now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

America — the land where, fuck it, let's eat candy

Patriotism. What a word. People will look down upon you if you deny it, but will roll their eyes at you if you bear it too proudly. You're supposed to appreciate America, but not be that ignorant asshole who doesn't see any value in the rest of the world. But you can be that asshole, or not give a damn about country. You know why? Because this is America.

Every once in a blue moon, like an internal heat wave, I will feel patriotism burn at my insides. The need to exercise my American rights just for the hell of it comes over me, and I go American all over someone's ass. But it will subside, and I'll grow tired soon, and wish I could legally buy a beer, then question whether this nation really is as much about freedom as Team America: World Police made it seem*.

America is said to be a melting pot, yada yada yada. But when you get to thinking about it, America is a giant salad, where different parts come together without melding to create a varying yet cohesive flavor. In the U.S. — and this thought too just hits me occasionally — you can be any kind of person you want to be.

In West Africa, it is hot. That's pretty much all it is. In Russia, it is cold. In America, you pick the damn weather. We have an entire array of climates to choose from, from tropical to near-arctic. You can also lead a third world life here if you want. Sure, everybody and their mom has a cell phone and computer, but you can really live a life where your top entertainment is cattle branding, if you so choose.

You want to be stupid as shit? America is the place for you! Waste your life buying and using drugs if you want. Watch pro wrestling! A sport that's main appeal is, essentially, "wouldn't it be crazy if people actually thought like this?" And what's better, is that you can actually think like that! You can LARP! How bullshit is that?

Now, I understand that America isn't the only country for such things, but it damn sure is a haven. You can grow up in America and believe the world runs on college football. Or that football is the No. 1 sport. Or that sports are the No. 1 thing. I guarantee more Americans have this mindset than any other country's people. America is the proprietor of white people problems. This isn't a joke; it is becoming harder and harder to fuck up in modern America. Everybody wins. Well, most do.

America is a mountain you can try to climb. There are hundreds of safety nets, and the whole mountain is made of chocolate. What gets you to the top is what you can sell to Americans to use for playtime. Cell phones, iPods, video games, food, purposeless cool shit, and most relevantly, money. Get Americans to buy and sell money and you are golden. But who needs to climb the entire mountain when they can get to a plateau and eat chocolate for the rest of their life? We're done building this country, now we just play in it.

This is the American problem. This is the American complacency.

Here, you don't have to actually be able to do anything except have money. If you have money, you can accomplish everything you need to. If I were to be stranded on a desert island, I would be able to recreate maybe 2% of my current lifestyle. I would also die. I don't feel like the only one.

--Eliot Sill

*-yeah, I know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A promise to myself.

I will:

*never be a hoarder

*not become my parents

*drive across the country and back

*stay in shape forever

*get married

*never stop reading

*graduate from college

*continue to take risks

*keep my childlike wonder

These are promises to myself and rules to live by. Feel free to add to it.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Nick - Adventure!

As you read this post, I'm in Missouri, enjoying the beauty of nature and assuredly going on a handful of adventures. This post is a feeble attempt to show you one of my favorite places on Earth using words; an impossible feat to say the least. So I'm trying to include as many pictures as I can.

But none of these pictures do justice to the real thing. When I was a child, my dad began the yearly tradition of taking us camping at Johnson's Shut Ins. And this trip is always one of the highlights of my year.

Johnson's Shut Ins, described as simply as I can manage, is a place where a river runs through rocks, creating what is essentially nature's own water park. The stream runs in between rocky outcroppings and down a mountain, like a hundred tiny waterfalls and pools. The water collects in a large, blue basin at the bottom, which is a perfect place to swim or jump from rocks.

I can't really turn this post into any kind of coherent story or moral; I simply want to talk about something I enjoy. It's nice to spend a few days remembering that just because I'm not a kid anymore doesn't mean I can't go on an adventure.

Wish you could join me.



Robert Langellier

"Belle-lettres" is a borrowed English word from French, and I'm going to pretend it doesn't essentially mean "literature" and that it means "beautiful letters" because hey I want to talk about letters, similarly, I suppose, to how Brendan talked about vinyl records.

Really, what happened to letters? Technology, I guess, but technology can't stop my complaining. In fact, as you can see on your screens, it only makes it easier for me.

Letters, to me, are far and away the coolest mode of communication. It's the perfect bridge between finely crafted art and standard communication. It's really the only place where the two come together that I can think of, besides on the Facebook statuses of emotionally charged high school girls and, more hilariously, boys. Letters are pretty much the only venue outside reporting other people's quotes for newspapers where you can sound as upscale as you want without sounding like a dickbag. No, instead you come off as sophisticated, because really, who are you honestly trying to impress, besides the one person your letter is to?

What else do letters do? Letters are tangible, one of the few tangible things we still have left, if you can categorize letters as "left." You can hold them in your hand. Man, that's weird that I can use that to sell something. 2011 really kind of sucks sometimes. What else? Well, of course Facebook saves all your messages and chats and all that, and you have an email history, and I'm pretty sure smartphones save texts from before cell phones were invented, but who actually checks that inventory? Letters will pop out as you desperately search for official important documents among your stacks of loose papers, and soon they'll have you rolling in the beloved past, your official important engagements all but forgotten. It can kind of kind of serve as a record of events, or a timeline of your relationships with people. You can see those people's thoughts frozen in time, not discarded and forgotten with each new wave of tweets. For example, my girlfriend and I used to write letters every once in a while, and look at this excerpt of one very early one she sent me: "I think you called me darling tonight. I liked it." HAHA what a pussy my girlfriend was I know! But really I read it and get full of the mushies, because that was a time before any semblance of pet names or cute titles. Alright we're still in a time before pet names, but we use cute titles sometimes, and reading letters like that reminds me of how we used to be and how we used to talk to each other, and it makes me feel alright that's enough moving on.

Garrett and Eliot know what's up. They write me. My friend Bridget knows what's up. She wrote me a letter once and never mailed it. I bet it was nice. But honestly, letters have greatly improved my relationship this summer with two out of three of them, and having them write me was really refreshing for me in a fairly isolated Columbia summer.

Yeah okay I don't have a Facebook so letters are the only way to contact me lol I get it.

Anyway, I don't think I did a very excellent job selling letters tonight. But come on guys, letters are really cool, and getting them makes you feel special as crap, in the figurative sense please. So why didn't you write me one?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nick - Classic Brian Sends His Regards

While Classic Brian is off fighting crime to assure a better future, I appear before you as a humble emissary. Silence your cries of outrage and disappointment, for I come bearing a message from Classic Brian himself.

Classic assures us that he has a blog post written, but is unfortunately trapped in a realm far from any internet contact. He offers his humble apology, and the promise of a double or triple post next week for all of his myriad fans. So until next week, we await his return.

How can you stay mad at a face like this?