Saturday, October 8, 2011

An Ode To (Some Of) My Friends

Stalwart and brave
Hair flowing atop his tiger mount
True beauty

Maniacal genius
Always prepared to make things awkward
Reason why people hate puns

Far away and lonely
I dunno, the guy plays Ultimate I guess
Huck master

Sexy and sleek
Tied with many as to the number of current girlfriends he has
A Real hottie

Sassy and energetic
Got more guys to hit on her than me
Truly gifted

Kind and thoughtful
Best rur view

Witty and articulate
Always lookin' rul good
My summer love


Conor - It's All About The Points

Being straightforward is something I've been trying out lately, to middling success. My being straightforward is usually not the problem, it's usually the juxtaposition of me being straightforward and other people not adhering to that idea.

What if all of life had to be as clear and quantitative as I would like it to be? What if life had to look each participant in the eyes and say "yes, good job" or "that was a mistake man" after every single decision or event?

What I'm fantasizing about (or suggesting, really, if anybody in charge is reading this) is a point system. Instant feedback for everything. You get constant high fives or put downs from the universe based on your performance, in the form of either green or red numbers popping up over your head after each happening. I realize I'm an extremely competitive person, but there's no way that I'm the only one who wants this.

This scoring system would be purely contextual and completely hilarious. Life will finally be able to blatantly tell us that yeah, it's been a huge fan of irony this entire time.

Let's say you hookup with the secretary at the office that always looks super cute. Nice! 100 points! But then immediately afterwards you meet the woman who is unquestionably the love of your life and you drop everything with the secretary. Yikes! -15 for every time you pass her while walking into the office and you can't make eye contact with her because you're really embarrassed, and you might be doing this on a daily basis. And she can see these numbers appear, too. Months later, while you're eating dinner alone all of the sudden -500 appears above your head and you have no idea what's going on until you hear that the secretary's pregnant! Oh god!

My friend Holden is over there blatantly scratching his balls through the sweatpants that I'm letting him borrow. Those are my sweatpants. What a party foul, Holden! -50 points. 

I'm midway through The Bourne Ultimatum right now, the third movie in the Bourne Trilogy. I can't decide how much completing movie marathons should be worth. I'd say Caitlin gets 30 points for watching all three without interruption or distraction, while I get 25 points for watching all of them but writing a blog post during the final movie. Holden and Nate get around 20 because they missed a large chunk of the second movie, and Nina ended up losing around 10 points tonight for promising to watch these and then sleeping through all of them. Obviously all of these values would be tripled if we were talking about tackling all three extended editions of The Lord Of The Rings. 

Don't even get me started on what Jason Bourne's score would be, jesus christ. Every reflexive punch in the face has to nab him 500, at least. That car chase in Moscow towards the end of the Bourne Supremacy? I would give him 10,000 for that, easy. To put that in perspective I'd say you get like 3,000 points for becoming President.

I'm thinking that the system for Final Fantasy marathons would be you gain points while you're playing the game (as if you had cast Regen) and slowly lose points while watching (as if you were poisoned.) You lose 50 points for attending if you are Nicholas Dietrich.

Points will accumulate. You can track your stats! How interesting, I score a disproportionate amount of points on Thursdays but often end up with a net loss on Tuesdays. Huh! August was apparently a good month for me. I have 1,459 points as of right now. Is that good? I don't know, compare with your friends! Imagine how bitter things will get when life very clearly tells some people that they are better than others. I'm probably like, one point ahead of Mada.

There's no end to the possibilities. I think I'm going to just live my life as if this system was in place. I will fight and struggle for points.

And I will win.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


"Whatever you, do, Sophie, DO NOT appear in the sequel. And if you even consider Halloweentown High, I'm taking my pointy hat back."

by Brendan Cavanagh

And how! Yes, it's already the end of the first week of October, and while most of my friends have either decided on or mulled over options for their costumes for the extended Halloween weekend coming up at the end of the month, I alone remain costume-less. I've heard some solid ideas, some cliche, many inventive and funny. Unfortunately, I can't seem to think of anything that I could be. Boy, back in the ollld dayss...

Back in the old days, choosing a costume was easy. From about the ages of four to eleven, with a few exceptions, I had the same three standby ideas: a staggeringly charming little pirate (due, in part, to a single eyepatch), a spot-on- dare I say it again, "charm"ing- interpretation of Harry Potter (before the movies came out) or a Converse-sporting ninja (trained in the martial arts by repeatedly watching the 3 Ninjas trilogy and Surf Ninajs [God bless the 90s]). Though in fifth grade I was Yoda...with my gardening gloves, painted green face and imitation Dagobahian ears (is Yoda's race even known?), I looked less believable than Frank Oz's puppet in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Just for kicks, here's great scene from Surf Ninjas, featuring Rob Schneider as a neurotic redhead surfer who is afraid of surfing and Tone Loc as a grumpy FBI agent.

Eighth grade was fun. I got away with technically "not trick-or-treating" by accompanying my friend's family as his little brothers trick-or-treated in their grandma's neighborhood. My friend and I still, in the true spirit of Halloween, deemed it apropos to dress up for the night, so we went as greasers, having read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders in my mom's literature class earlier that academic term. I recall doing my own take on C.S. Thomas Howell's take on Ponyboy Curtis from the cinematic adaptation, while my buddy unintentionally more closely resembled Dally. Needless to say, he and I had more candy in our bags at the end of the night than his three-year-old brother in a full-bodied Winnie the Pooh costume.

By sophomore or junior year, people started having Halloween parties. However, in my post-eighth grade, post-Catcher in the Rye, post-Cold Stone blues, I didn't care to dress myself in an obvious manner, choosing instead to assemble various articles of clothing and materials from my house in order to fashion a costume of someone not usually imitated on Halloween. For a couple years I basked in my eccentricity and cleverness. For instance, junior year I wanted to be 70s singer-songwriter Jim Croce, so I wore one of my mom's jean jackets, threw on a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt, and fashioned myself a mustache from fake hair I removed from a three-faced Cerebus mask made for an eighth-grade art project on Greek myths and legends. The resulting appearance was uncanny, amiright?

C'mon. C'monnn. Jim Croce! Wouldja just look at it!

The following year was a tough one. Unfortunately, it took me until the day of the big Halloween party for me to decide on something just obscure enough to preserve my uniqueness, but recognizable enough that I wouldn't have to tirelessly explain to everyone who I was. Ultimately, I decided on Bill Murrary's groundskeeping character in Caddyshack, Carl Spackler. My mother and I spent the day furiously driving from Kohl's to pick up a gray shit to Birds & Brooks Army Surplus store to buy a pair of once-used, high-waisted olive drab pants. I went home, threw on a pair of snow boots hidden in the Bermuda Triangle section of the closet in my foyer and found the khaki bucket cap I wore one Halloween to put the proverbial cherry on the top of my previous Gilligan costume sundae. Even more unfortunate than my last-minute scrambling to assemble an appropriate costume, I had some sort of weird disease on my face at the time. Yeah, I don't know, probably from scrubbing the communal bar of soap on my face one time in the shower. Whatever happened, I had a little bit of tenderness on my cheeks where I was healing up, but I was a mite shy, so I went in the front yard and spit in some dirt, thus creating mud to rub on my face, completing the Carl Spackler project and adequately deceiving my friends in the dimly-lit basement later that night. Here's a good photo:

 Here we have, from left to right, a "pussy," Shaun of the Dead & Carl Spackler.

Man, last year I wasn't prepared for Halloween at all. I figured that an idea would come to me, but it never did, and the long weekend began- two or three nights of parties, for which most people wear two or three different outfits. The day before, probably, I went to the local thrift store with my friends, where we searched for clothes and/or accessories that would aid in the construction of a makeshift costume or two. I came across a woman's leather jacket and felt terrible for buying it as a joke costume when there were rather less-fortunate-looking families and individuals in there buying clothes, I'm assuming, because the prices are cheap. I bought the jacket anyway because it was dirt cheap and dressed up as Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. I even shaved all of my facial hair except my long sideburns. I did a good job; however, no one recognized who I was. Understandable, I guess.

The next day, trying to come up with an idea for that night's festivities, I was about as fruitful as someone with writer's block struggling to come up with a five-page paper due the next day. Finally, I decided to cut up my new jacket into a leather vest, under which I wore a white t-shirt. I knew it looked stupid, but it was the closest I could get to looking like a member of the Warriors, from the 70s gang film of the same name.

"Warriors! Come out to pla-a-ay!" A tense scene.

In hindsight, I guess I didn't look too bad. And that's me on the right. Though I feel I bear a slight resemblance to John Cena on the left there.

So what should I do this year? I've been growing out my facial hair for a while, and now I have a healthy beard which I should like to shave, but I don't because there might be a good costume I can do this year that involve a beard or a mustache. I mean, there are like four nights of this year's Halloween weekend, so I have to be prepared for any possible outfit. Can you think of anything I should go for? I'm open to all suggestions.

A true bummer

You see, I thought this would be cool.

I thought it would be fun, you know, try being hurt for a few weeks. Nah, actually, being hurt sucks. Not depressingly so, especially if functionality is maintained as well as mine was over the past couple weeks with my hand cast. Nonetheless, I wish I had had two hands these past two weeks.

It's causing me to get behind, slow down, curl up, close books and ask others to open doors for me.

All the while I get to beat shit with my left hand. All in all, a little disappointing in terms of the trade off.

It's late, I'm tired, I'm swamped, I'm anxious, I'm crammed, I'm worried, I'm thinking, I'm blanking, I'm typing, I'm typing two-handed, I'm getting to the point where I can be normal again, I'm normal again, no I'm not, I'm limited, I'm far off, I'm far out, I'm concerned, I'm carefree, I'm busy, I'm doing nothing, I'm behind, I'm okay, I'm lucky, I'm screwed, I'm blowing it, I'm doing it, I'm trying, I'm failing, I'm failing, I'm failing, I'm fine.

I'll be okay.

I'm just disappointed, that's all. I wanted time for you. I missed you. I've wanted to say something. Other than I've wanted to say something. Yet, I'm here. I'm here. I'm only merely just barely here. I can't make it further. I could, but I can't. I can, but I won't. I will, but not now.

I've got ground to make up. I'm tired, but I'll get there. I need a few weekends. I need a few hours. I need a few minutes to collect myself and correct myself. I can get this right. I need a do-over. I don't need anything. I need to calm down.

I need to go longer, I need to go deeper, I need to go more worthwhile. I need to become wholesome.

I feel fragile. I've cast a wide net, and I feel like it's not very strong. I need to mend it, to strengthen it.

And pounding in my head is the burning desire to play video games.
And to work out.
And to play music.
And to play catch.
And to get going.
And to get to bed.

But I don't have time for any of that.

I don't have any time anymore.

I don't want your time. I don't deserve your time. I've had your time, I'm sorry. I wish I could give it back. I wish this wasn't about I. I believe you understand why it's about I because I don't have time for it to be about anything else.

I can't sell you on me. My mind, it's its own thing. You shouldn't need to worry. You don't need to be bored with this. But you need to be given something. This is all I have. Time for. I can't help the fact that I couldn't help the fact that I was lazy; lazy and handicapped. I was under the influence of the cast. The cast held me down. The cast held me up. The cast held me still for a lot less time than casts have held people still. Yet nothing else stood still. Everything flew by. Everything is in front of me, I need to catch up.

And, oh yeah, this finger smells terrible.

Anyway, back to the music.

--Eliot Sill

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nick - 'Zen' Is A Word That I'm Using Now

So I'm going to start a thing. Mood music, please:

Ignore that video, there, just listen. This past week I've gotten really into the word 'zen.' And I intend to start saying it all the fucking time. But it has a very specific use. You can't just be like, "dude, that new shirt is so zen," because shirts can't be zen. Zen is a state of mind.

According to, zen is, "A movement that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means."

According to me, zen is whenever you're doing something so spiritual and chill that you can't possibly not be achieving enlightenment through it.

For example, all the time I put old Mountain Goats albums on shuffle for like an hour. Just an hour of listening to a dude with a guitar recording songs on his boombox. That's pretty zen.

This is easily the most zen picture ever.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is pretty zen. That show has all sorts of interaction between the spirit world and the physical world and stuff. Very zen.

One time I showed up really early to rehearsal and meditated and played guitar in a dark room until the rest of De Bono showed up. That was definitely one of my zenest moments.

I hope you all have learned something today. Go, spread my work.


Nope Not Tonight!

Fuck you guys!

I practically feel justified with this picture.