Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conor - I Fell Asleep For A Little Bit While Writing This

Mom. Don't read this. And if you do, don't call me afterwards, complaining. C'mon Mom. I'm an adult. I can handle this.

Hey there guys. Sorry if I worried you there for a bit. I'm fine. A little tired, but fine. I haaaaven't gotten a lot of sleep this week due to schoolwork, ultimate, work, et.-

Fuuuuck. It should be noted that originally the name of this post was "there's actually a really good chance that I'll fall asleep while writing this" but after finishing the sentence fragment I woke up to find a couple dozen w's behind the sentence. Yikes.

Oh god and now it's Saturday and I'm awake. Oh god. Not even joking, this all happened naturally.

Guys, sleep is hard. Sleep is difficult and hard, and I will react to this like I react to most challenges. By backing down and just acting like I never really wanted it at all.

So I've been running on very little sleep as of late. It bothers me how well I've been able to manage, honestly. I'll be running on two or three hours of sleep but I'll still have enough energy to get back until 3 or 4 AM the next night so I can get two or three hours of sleep again. I don't even have a lack of energy on the Ultimate field or anything like that (it's sad but true, if my lack of sleep started affecting Ultimate I'd probably change my life appropriately), all I do is whine more. And I whined a lot to begin with.

I work at Pickleman's now. Pickleman's is a nice place filled with nice people. I like my job a lot more than I like a lot my classes, which is why I'm continuing to work it, even though I don't have time for my 19 hours of classes as is and Pickleman's schedules me for a midnight to close shift on Wednesdays even though I have 8:30 classes everyday. See this is what I meant I just never stop whining.

I've been playing some sick Ultimate. My cuts are impeccable and I've been working on my style, which is 90% of the game.

Started a new file on Final Fantasy VII, because I wanted to feel nostalgic and miss Brian Malone and Eliot Sill and be really glad I'm nowhere near Nicholas Dietrich.

I bought these red bro shorts and I'm wearing them ironically but how long can you wear something ironically before you're just wearing something.

I'm currently sitting in a Jazz Combo rehearsal. We meet from 9 to noon, Saturday mornings. Why. Whyyyyyyy.

Three songs I've been listening to a lot.

The last song off of Wilco's new album. It's long, extremely repetitive, and really pretty. On my way to class the other day I was sortof freaking out because I was unprepared for an exam and I had only gotten 2 or 3 hours of sleep, and I used this song to calm myself down.

Don't don't don't watch this video. It will make you dislike the song, and while he is super dumb for having made this video, Owen Pallett doesn't deserve your resentment.

Do watch this video. She's number two on my list, second only to Tina Fey.

Have a good week guys. Sorry.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Netflix Dilemma

Brendan < nearly unlimited Netflix freedom < time < money / education / social activity

by Brendan Cavanagh

Like a freshly-struck match, August seemed to begin and end in one hot, instantaneous flash of major personal changes. During what seems now a very brief month, I stopped working near-daily shifts at Illini Country Club for the summer, left my family at home to begin life as a sophomore at Butler and just before the month was extinguished, I bit the bullet and entered into an account with Netflix.

I felt like it was manifest destiny. The problem is I would sit in my dorm room with nothing to do, and I'd want to watch a movie or a television show. I don't have a car, so I couldn't rent a video. Once I got a video from the dorm's help desk in the lobby, but there collection is really only useful if you're a fan of every single installment of every single blockbuster franchise from Transporter to Disney / Disney Pixar to James Bond: 007 (by the way, the movie I borrowed was Disney's Sleeping Beauty. It's one of my favorites). And then, I would always try to catch up on television episodes I had missed from present or past seasons on the Internet, but there would only ever be a few available episodes to watch, if any. Ultimately, an undeniably innate moral obligation guided me to Netflix.

Did I want to pay monthly fees? Well, there is a one month-long free trial, and if I only pay for instant watch on my computer, I only pay $8 a month and can still borrow DVDs from other libraries that I plan to watch at some time in the near future when I feel like it. And $8 a month is a pretty pretty pretty small sum of money, if you think about it. I thought about it, sought some advice- basically, the third base coach was waving his arms frantically and yelling at me to run home. So I ran. I ran fast.

Since then, I've consumed instantly watchable movies and television programs as I imagine would a man who's just returned home from months of isolation on an uninhabited deserted island in time for Sunday dinner. Let's take a glance at my viewing history:

Holy ghost. A minute ago I arbitrarily searched Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide on Netflix and discovered that it is, in fact, available to watch instantly. And although only limited episodes are available on DVD (except, for some reason, Iceland has all three seasons), all three seasons are on here! Take that, Iceland!

I started off hesitantly, afraid and unsure of the power I had just been afforded. The first thing I felt like watching was a Scorsese-directed documentary on Bob Dylan I had seen three times already, No Direction Home. So after I fortunately found it, I spent a few days watching it in casual installments of varying length. Then the following weekend, for some inexplicable reason, I just had an insatiable craving for some terrible stand-up comedy, which in itself is hilarious, so I did some browsing and came across an interactive improvisational comedy performance hosted by Whose Line Is It Anyway?'s Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. Despite my fondness for Colin back when I thought Whose Line was absolutely hysterical in fourth grade, I knew this improv bit with the less-gifted, recurring guest, Brad, had to be dumb enough. Boy, did I hit the nail on the head. The first night I subjected myself to gloriously punny program, Two Man Group, I made it through about seven minutes of a painfully unfunny "sound effects" sketch followed by one in which Colin & Brad, like puppets, could only speak to one another, their bodies manipulated entirely by two willing audience members. Basically the show's formula consisted of unfunny sketches initiated and further exacerbated by lame audience participation. Essentially Colin & Brad played comedic custodians- like a janitor might attempt to contain and clean up a first-grader's vomit with that ubiquitous, malodorous sawdust, the two man group took bad sketches and made them just a little bit more tolerable. Anyway, I wound up wanting to watch seven more minutes the next night, but since then I've lost my taste for it.

If you don't believe me, see for yourself.

I went on to watch an uncharacteristically substantial amount of stand up before easing my way into contemporary, small-time shows I never finished or got around to watching when they were on the air. I plowed my way through The League's defensive line, laughed at Louis C.K.'s believably bleak life in Louie, revisited season four of The Office, began season season four of 30 Rock, fell in love with the unfairly and prematurely cancelled Party Down and ultimately embarked on a mission to work my way through the entirety of Rescue Me, a show I had always looked over before it wrapped up on TV this month. So far, I'm on season three and still going strong. In addition to the aforementioned titles I've started several seemingly random features, though most can be attributed to nostalgia, like an episode of Rugrats, Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

The problem is this: am I spending too much time watching Netflix? I manage to squeeze it in most days between procrastinating on homework, eventually doing it, spending time with friends and accomplishing other banal tasks. So I guess I really am not wasting my life away on Netflix. My instant watch history just seems overwhelming when viewed all at once. At the risk of looking like Peter Sellars in Being There, I feel like it's not done me too much harm. Though I do wish I would spend more time reading books or getting homework done in advance. But then that's just it- if I allot myself small proportions of Netflix-watching time, will the inevitable monthly payments be worth it? Should I watch as much as I can in order to get my money's worth? At this rate, I will be, but I don't want to feel like I'm contractually and fiscally  obliged to watch obscene amounts of TV. My first scheduled payment is in two days. Do you think I should go ahead with it? They have Ned's Declassfied...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


--Eliot Sill

You're Doing It Wrong

I have been reading for the past 6 hours and I still have like 3 more hours of reading left to do. I feel like I must be doing it wrong. Look at all these other people doing it wrong:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Nick - Guiltiest Of Pleasures

I'm sure you've all been asked before, "What's your guilty pleasure?" as part of an icebreaker or something. And you probably said something really dumb, like, "Sometimes I listen to Taylor Swift," or, "I still enjoy watching iCarly when it's on."

Well, those aren't really guilty pleasures. Not compared to, say, watching greedily as strangers' relationships fall apart, which just so happens to be my guilty pleasure.

I love reading relationship advice on reddit. ( This is where people go when they are desperate. Reddit is already home of a myriad of nerds in need of social skills, so this particular section of the website is riddled with poor communication and awkward situations.

Some threads currently on the homepage include:
"Boyfriend told me he's gay but still wants a relationship with me (female)... how do I deal with this??"
"I'm in love with a woman who isn't my wife"
"Problem finishing and it may be upsetting my gf [nsfw language]"
"Friend lying to her husband. Am friends with husband. What to do?"
"Girlfriend just left me, needs time to think, what does this mean?"

I have no interest in contributing to any of these discussions. I don't have any advice to give to these people. I might read it and think, "well, clearly you should do this..." or, "this is a perfect example of why communication is important in relationships," but I will never say anything. I just lurk. I just watch as some stranger on the internet spells out for you that your relationship is over.

Maybe I do it because I want to learn, for future use. After all, the frequent posters give great advice. Maybe I do it because I think it will help me should I ever need to give a friend advice. Or maybe it's a habit derived from some bitter, subconscious schadenfreude, helping me feel good about myself by bathing in another person's incompetence and misfortune.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Robert - Mocha

Update: Mocha has been located. Move along, now. Nothing to see here.

I don’t understand. I should be inspired. This should be my best work. I should be able to leap from buildingtops and come down with written masterpieces—where is that? Instead I feel frozen, fixed in my seat with nothing to say.

I remember when my last cat died. Pixie—I was really young, but I still envision her as everything cats should be; all other cats are judged and compared and condemned with Pixie as a reference point. I even called Mocha by Pixie’s name on accident, every once in a while. I recall stalling, ten years ago, my uncomfortable baby blue polo and starchy navy shorts huddling against her unknowing cat body on the bathroom floor, and my eyes welling up and spilling over. That was the only day my mom ever permitted me to be late for school—the morning Pixie was to be injected.

That’s still one of my most vivid memories, and it was then the only time I’d experienced what it means to lose a pet. It’s not like a person—with a person, you’re allowed to grieve. You’re drowned in sympathy and empathy from other people. With a pet, there’s none of that. You carry on where you left off. You don’t cry in class. You don’t cry the next day, because it’s only a pet and pets aren’t people. And it’s a secret that only every pet owner in history knows that none of that is true.

When Pixie died I knew it. I knew that when I came back from school there would be no ball of black and white fur covering in some evil way every seat of the couch. That was devastating, but I understood it. When there’s a phone call and I’m told that Mocha is lost, clawless, and less capable in the wild than Darwin from The Wild Thornberrys, well, I don’t buy it. It’s not real, because there’s no huddled goodbye in a bathroom, because I don’t have my uncomfortable baby blue polos anymore, because it’s impossible for things to be beyond my control. And so my denial is vicious and merciless. Underneath that, a thin film of acceptance, which just completely ruins that denial. It makes an ugly, consciously tainted image that, if I just don’t ever think about it, everything will be the same as it was and Mocha will be sleeping in a peaceful circle of cat fur on my parents’ bed when I come home for Thanksgiving. I can’t help myself from thinking that way, if it’s true or not.

I’d like it to hit me. Not that I want or like to be hurt. But I want to feel it, at least, just so to wake me up. I don’t like that I haven’t exploded, that I feel frozen, instead. But of course that’s because nothing happened to Mocha. Nothing, goddammit.