Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dark Spire

The tower loomed in front of his wavering vision. It was a dark, twisted spire; a monument to evil. No sunlight ever touched this black marble monolith. It was a forsaken place. He was not welcome here.

As he approached the gates, the icy fingers of fear gripped his heart. Even he, the bravest of men, was chilled to the bone by it. It was said to be caused by a dark enchantment cast in ages past.

When he finally arrived before the place, he had no doubt that the rumors were true. There, upon the charred-black, spear-like tips of the fence, were countless impaled bodies. The dead, hollow eyes seemed to be staring at him, following his every movement. Tattered black robes blew in the wind, still clinging to no longer living hosts. He knew what they had been; evil men who had thrown themselves from the ramparts, sacrificing themselves to keep people from this place.

Shaken, the man paused. Everything inside him was screaming at him to turn around. He wanted nothing more than to be gone from this place, safe by the fire of his camp. But he had come too far, been through too much to turn back now. He had to do this. People were depending on him. Taking a deep breath, he pulled his cloak tighter around himself and pushed upon the gate.

It swung open easily, creaking and groaning from years of disuse. He was not surprised that it hadn't been locked. The creators of the tower, cunning though they were, were supremely arrogant in their ways. No doubt they thought that their enchantment would keep any trespassers away. And even if they didn't, there were countless perils inside to end any threat. A petty locked seemed unnecessary.

Trying not to dwell on these thoughts for too long lest he lose his nerve, the man pressed onward. He trudged wearily up the dirt path toward the giant double doors; the mouth of the beast. There he would enter, for to truly end the threat, he needed to strike at the heart, deep within.

Not bothering to slow, he threw open the doors. What he saw then struck him like a blow. Tears stung his eyes. He took a staggering step forward before collapsing to his knees.

"Hello, Tanis."

He knew that voice well. It was gentle and sweet, almost melodic. He had loved that voice, just as he had loved the woman it had belonged to. But that woman was gone, dead for years. It just wasn't possible...

"Sarah? It can't be... NO! This has to be some trick. You're dead! I held you in my arms as you died! Who are you? Why are you here!?"

"Why, to kill you of course...," she whispered softly.


Conor - Would You Look At This House

Something to listen to while you read the rest of this.

1042 Leslie Lane. Norman, Oklahoma. 73069.

It's not much to look at, but it has a lot of personality.

Nina says "hello." Nina is one of my roommates.  One of the 6 other people living in these halls with me. Nina, Maggie, Caitlin, Trent, Nick and Michael. And me. The social dynamic is something that will probably take a lot of time to figure out, but that's something I'll harp on later.*

It's been over a week since I moved in here, and I'm still pretty in love it. I want to share this with you. I've taken some pictures, in the hopes that a visual element will make this at least slightly more interesting.
Someone brought/bought a ping-pong table! Alright. I'm totally cool with this. I am not very good at ping-pong, but a year ago I wasn't good at ping-pong, either, and look how far I've come in such a short span of time. There's a lot more space to the right of this picture. This is our first of two living rooms. You heard me.
Someone bought/brought a kitchen! That chair looks too comfy to be in a kitchen. It does not belong.

 As promised, a second freaking living room. I kid you not. This place is practically the Ritz. 
 The hallway to my room. The four other doors are Caitlin and Trent's rooms, the bathroom and the laundry room. Unimportant rooms in the grand scheme of things.
I've spared no expense to cover this room in posters. I have only two goals for this room. A bed and a piano. The piano will theoretically go where that pile of stuff currently is. I'm working on it.
 Please don't be mad at me for occasionally wearing these sunglasses. I found them on a couch on campus. They allow me to be someone, something I could never hope to be. Allow me this. Look at that stupid grin. It's still me, guys. It's still me.

Also look that's my new bed! That's where I sleep nowadays and fuck, is it comfy!

I'mma go to bed now.

*Harp on? Like, what would it be like if you "harped on" me. What is it to harp on something?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nothing's Gonna Change My World

by Brendan Cavanagh

Upon returning to my seasonal home at Butler University for my sophomore year, I face a minor dilemma. Does the fact that I am no longer a freshman make me that much different than the innumerable n00bZ that clutter the campus with their false displays of confidence and know-how? Of course it does! It took me a year, and I successfully earned my right to strut about in a royally snobbish fashion, casting the most awfully scornful looks of dismay and disgust at the supposed freshmen (hope they're not previously unseen sophomores!) who mindlessly clutter the lunch line or lollygag talkatively to one another as I try to pass through the clogged arteries that are the school's corridors.

Of course, I don't really do all that, but damn it if I don't think these terribly sadistic thoughts all the time. I have this weird inherent desire to distinguish myself from freshmen this year; most likely an amalgamated fear of blending into the crowd and going on unrecognized for my extra year of experience. Perhaps this stems from my choice to distance myself from the fraternity process. Without a house porch upon which to smoke cigarettes and spy on passing freshmen, or myriad articles of clothing boasting the letters of a particular house, I rely solely upon aged external features to wordlessly profess my seniority, so to speak.

Then there are internal conflicts that cause me to question how much I've really changed in three months. For instance, I still make it a bi- or tri-daily custom to stroll along the very same adjacent neighborhoods blocks that I habitually traversed in my second semester as a freshman. As I pass along the same tired, posh houses I've viewed a million times before in undisturbed peace of mind, I could truly be any age, living out any year of college. Hardly anything has changed around the neighborhoods, and as for me- same outfits, same music, same routes- how can I honestly argue that there exists a major dichotomy between me and the person who walked these same streets last semester?

But what am I trying to prove? Why should I strive so hard to have freshmen respect that I am older than they are, and thus "more experienced?" If my freshman self conversed with my bitter, sophmoric conscience, he would think to himself, "Wow, that piece of mind is a dick."  I know that all I wanted last year was to be respected for what I was able to bring to the table, willing to be molded and impressed upon in the hopes that learning from an adept, intelligent and college-weary mind would better me. I assume most of these freshmen are the same; they know they're freshmen. They know they are the bottom of the barrel, but they also know that they have to start somewhere. What right do I have to discard their enthusiastic and humble beginnings of the next chapter of their lives? Hell, some of them are indubitably smarter and more talented than I am (for the time being). Instead of harnessing all of my energy into non-verbally assaulting their inferior status, I should strive to serve as some sort of mentor, aiding them in their first year of schooling. That being said, I will not help all of them because some are already obvious douchebags and are beyond my assistance. Try as I might, I'm not Oskar Schindler.

"Eleven hundred freshmen are now capable've done so much."
"What about this car...or my ring...I could save five more. But not that tall kid who rides a longboard; he's such a status-obsessed toolbox."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good morning, No. 3

I shifted my weight around on my bed, trying to convince my subconscious brain to let me get back behind the wheel of my actions, and despite a valiant fight from my leaden limbs I emerge victorious. I rear my eyelids back as far over the balls of my eyes as far as whatever muscles that work your eyelids will take them, so as to say, "alright assholes, wide awake, we're actually doing this now."

Exhausted from the strenuous internal battle, I let my head fall back on my pillow, my eyes not daring to lower themselves any. Day 3. Here we g'oh shit. What time is it?

For a brief moment I allow my eyelids to close. Breathe in, breathe out. I turn over and grab my phone. 8:34. Ha. And here I was worried. It explains why my alarm clock hasn't gone off yet. After using a few synapses to offer a very brief mental apology to my eyelids, I allow them to close again There it is. Alarm clock fires away. I turn over to shut it up, and climb out of my lofted bed, embarrassingly impressed with my 3-day on-time streak.

It's a new year. Yeah. That's for damn sure. Hopefully I can keep this up. Habituate myself. Timely Eliot. That's what they'll call me. Damn these showers. I'm sitting here waiting for a decent shower (criteria: hot water, fair amount of water pressure) to open up, and of there it is, dick number one. The showers at my dorm suck. No median between the shower room and actual shower, there's no place to put clothes if you want to keep them dry, and your shower hook is outside your shower. I'm in for a ton of dicks this year. Whatever. So yeah, a shower opens up.

I've been working so much at college thus far. I'm surprised I'm not dead tired. I'm dead tired. I need coffee. I need cocaine. I need something. I am not going to fall asleep in this shower, but I will be chillin' in here for 45 minutes unless I get something. I've had no time for fun. I've had no time for nightly socializing. And it's goddamn syllabus week. I'm overdevoting myself, clearly. Fronting, so I can see that I'm getting A's. Then I'll stop caring.


Why can't I give a damn this year? I mean what's so different? Towel. I mean, what's so different about those next weeks. Yeah sure, there'll be more to do. But I'll be interested. That's the core value. Have interest. Then you'll succeed. I could do really well this semester. I just have to not get distracted every damn night by stupid unimportant things. Damn unimportant things. Why're they so damn interesting?

Clothes. Music. Shoes. Sunglasses? Fine, sunglasses. My red ones, as they sortof go with my black and red-pinstriped polo. No undershirt. I can pull off no undershirt, yeah, so you know I'm older. I'm not a freshman. Clearly, I mean, look at me. I absolutely know what the fuck I'm doing. On top of my red sunglasses I stuff my 130 dollar headphones. They sound wonderful; they are wonderful. They look slick. I look slick. I am slick —headphones and sunglasses. Together, they are my don't-fucking-talk-to-me accessory.

I'm gonna take the shit outta these notes. Rich Martin? He won't get a word off without me analyzing its meaning, entendres, undertones and linguistic origin. Oh my gosh this is so boring. I wish I were closer with ... a lot of these people. Journalists come from all angles, though. Some of these fuckers are just here because they're nosy. Some of them are here on the sole premise of loving sports. Some just want attention. Some people've got it, though. A lot of these kids have got it. It's about the molding the scoop. Taking the scoop and turning it into story. Not turning it into an article. Not into a fantasy though, either. Just a good story. Virginia Tech. Reporters. Yeah. I don't know how exactly I fit into here anymore. Pretty good. Maybe not perfectly.

I need more flair with my writing. You can't say fuck in journalism. You can't even say I, really. At least not until you've reported yourself soulless. I'm pretty good for it, though. I mean, the stories I do do are typically good. Shit, I've got like nothing down. And this is not keeping me awake. I need to get breakfast and coffee after this.

Why do people make their coffee the same way every damn day? Here I am, making it the same way I did yesterday, with not a strand of questioning in my body. Not much of anything in my body, really. Better down this coffee. Augh it tastes so bad. It doesn't taste good, it feels good. This drink feels good to drink, but it doesn't taste good. Yeah ladies, headphones, sunglasses and coffee. I am so indie. And yeah, these are fucking Reese's Puffs.

--Eliot Sill

On Getting Older- Mada

In a lot of ways Sophomore year is exactly the same for me as freshman year was. I live in a dorm, I still have no idea what to say when people ask why I'm a math major and I still don't know how to shotgun a beer. Despite these similarities, I still look at the freshman in my dorm with kind of an "aw, look at them go", condescending type of look. Why is it that I feel so different from them even though I am basically in the exact same situation?

I guess the biggest difference is the lack of stress. I'm not saying I have U of I all figured our but I know what to expect much more than a freshman does. I know that I don't need to have all my books before my first day of classes. I know I should take advantage of syllabus week while it's here because this is the most relaxing time of the semester. I know where most of the buildings are and more importantly I know how to look them up efficiently. I know that frats are boring but music shows aren't. Basically, I just have a level of comfort on campus that comes with familiarity.

I know that a lot of these freshman are smarter, prettier, more driven and better connected than I will ever be but I still feel a twinge of superiority over them. I scoff a bit when I see them walking around buried in their maps. I know it's dumb and immature but I guess at 19 I still have enough of high school Mada left to believe that being a couple months older makes me cooler and wiser.

I'm sure I will lose this notion for the most part as the school year goes on. U of I has a way of beating the freshman out of you in a few weeks. I think I changed more in the first two months of college than any other year of school. Hopefully as they change, so will my outlook on younger students, but for now I will still laugh a little bit whenever I see someone completely lost on the quad.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nick - Hey I Wrote This

Not exactly happy with how this turned out but this is what you're getting HA.

Oh, I guess I should add lyrics. Because you're so intrigued by my lyrical genius.

I live in the moment
At least I do right now
I'll never feel sad or dejected again
Now that you've helped me out

Confidence can't be faked
But mine's been earned
I'm not ready to let this game end yet,
So wait for my return

And this is what I'm dying for
And this is what I'm dying for
Give me more

Finally everything went just right
There was no falling short
Hey, by the way, you get bonus points
For being such a good sport

And this what I'm dying for
And this what I'm dying for
Give me more