Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Morning, New Day

Fighting his way out of the soothing clutches of sleep, he sat up. Well, he didn't sit up so much as roll over on his side and prop himself up with an elbow. He blinked several times, trying to make his vision less blurry. He could feel the heavy coat of sleep crusting his eyes. That's what he gets for wearing his contacts to bed. Again. He really had to stop doing that. He'd read somewhere that it would decrease his vision or something. Plus this crustiness was the worst.

Leaning out of bed, he glanced toward the clock. Noon. That wouldn't do. He had places to be today. He needed to get up.

The effort was enormous, but he dragged himself out of bed. His brain was in a fog, his throat hurt from a lingering cold, and he still couldn't see right. A shower was what he needed.

He stumbled his way over to the closet, rubbing sleep from his eyes the whole journey long. He opens it. It still smells like that body spray he had put on the night before. Good work, man. He smiles. Taking off his shirt, he throws it in the back of the closet with the rest of the would-be laundry. He grabs his shower caddy, dons his college-colored flip-flops, and marches down the hall. To the showers we go!

As he opens the door to the bathroom, he is greeted with a blast of steam to the face. Invigorating. In he strides to his favorite unit. The door is ajar so he shoulders it the rest of the way open. Oops, sorry dude, I didn't realize you were in there. The door was open and everything and...oh, what's that? You're leaving? Great!

Entering the shower, he proceeds to -

Fully refreshed, he is ready to start a new day!


Conor - Nothing Much, You?

I'm going to bed at a very reasonable time tonight. I did last night, as well. I'm on my best behavior, recently.

Tomorrow is Just Plain Nasty, or JPN for short. It's a frisbee tournament put on by my team on our home turf. It's one of the first tournaments of the year, and it serves as a sortof a kickoff to our team's year.

Tomorrow's going to be fun, a lot of fun. I've gotten slightly better at frisbee, so that's a plus. I probably won't make a complete fool of myself tomorrow, so that's something, too.

I'm going to bed, and I'm going to listen to OK Computer by Radiohead as I do. It's my favorite album. It's a lot of peoples favorite album, but that's cool. This is the opening song off of OK Computer.

Here's a cover of that song.

I saw The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Tonight, too. That was cool! Here's a song by them I like a lot.

Wheeeeeelp I'm going to bed guys.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Calm Down Calm Down Calm Down

I'm on fall break and currently located in Ohio. I have a good post planned, but unfortunately I cannot find time to write until tomorrow. Cut me some slack, jack!

Brendan Cavanagh

There's always this

Always, no matter what time it is. I can detach myself from whatever life is currently throwing at me and write.

Writing is so much of things these days, it seems. I've been writing a paper for history for the last forever and I'm writing a blog post.

Again, here I am, trying to think of ways to evoke thought.

The main thing I've taken away from blogging is that, if you aren't into it, you're fucking the dog. Because, if you are to just come to the threshold and throw your thoughts on the page, what value do you expect from them?

It's like freestyle rap. If it rhymes, it's proficient. But writing doesn't pass in the same way a freestyle rap does. Writing is there and is supposed to be substantial and not a mere vomiting of thoughts that aren't thought about.

What I am saying is that, I can't honestly write about something and put it on you to care (I know I say this like, every other week and I'm sorry but) because I'm not even thinking about it. I'm just ... thinking it. So, if I don't think about what I write about, how can I expect you to think about what I write about?

I just want a reaction, on a good day. A sign of approval or a deference of interest. But I feel like today, on days like today, you read it, think "okay" and go about your business.

And that's my fault. Because I want to be someone who can make you remember a piece of writing, not someone who gives you shit that goes in one eye and out the other (I'm just gonna pretend that works).

Maybe that's what defines a great writer. He thinks about what he's writing as he's writing it, he doesn't just think it. The thought behind it comes naturally. It's as if he's double-thinking. Because if you can step up and just write something that evokes thought on behalf of it being well thought out, it's like your words — one written is worth two read. Hope that makes sense.

I'm a busy busy dude. Especially on Wednesdays. I may be dropping one of my classes, though. Being assistant sports editor at the DI is killing my academics. I have no daytime procrastination. So that turns into nighttime procrastination. So homework goes to the beach.

Priority list:
1. Daily Illini
2. Socialization
3. Procrastination
4. Homework
5. Food
6. Appearance
7. Classic Brian
8. Sleep
9. This class I was talking about earlier

Why is DI my number one priority? I don't know, what else is it gonna be? I enjoy the job, and it's something I have to do. If I do neglect it, I fuck some nice people over. Which isn't what I'm going for.

God, I have to do
16. My tax returns
17. This paper I'm working on
but once I'm done with that, I'm like, done for the week. Which is nice. Because this weekend I'm going to Joplin, MO for a mission trip. I probably shouldn't be dead tired the whole time so maybe it's time I get back to work.

Good night, my beloved Classic Brian
23. family

--Eliot Sill

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exciting News

Ok So I am going to use this blog to pretty much just gush about my recent acceptance into a study abroad program! Next semester I will be studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. I originally tried to apply for the program in Uppsala, Sweden because I did not know the Stockholm one existed but by a lucky twist of fate (though it didn't seem like it at the time), Uppsala was full and my adviser informed me of this program. Stockholm is supposed to be one of the prettiest, most progressive cities in the world. On top of that, Swedes seem fucking awesome and I'm determined to find the underground rave scene.

Things that have sucked so far:

~My adviser is the devil. She is an unhelpful airhead. Not only does she take at least 4 days to respond to my emails but she usually doesn't answer whatever question I had and simply rambles off some piece of information we've already gone over. When I set appointments with her to fill out paperwork she almost always refuses to fill out anything and will only "discuss" the paperwork with me so we can fill it out at a later date. I don't need 2 appointments for you to sign 1 piece of paper!

~Classes. KTH is a technology school meaning that it pretty much only has technological and engineering majors and classes. I though this would be ok since I am a math major so I would be ale to use some of the classes. However, though everyone in Stockholm (supposedly) speaks English, they still use Swedish for their every day language. As it turns out this means that only really high level classes at KTH are taught in English and the rest are in Swedish. This posed a problem when I realized that I did nit have prerequisites for almost all of the English classes. Luckily, I managed to find one math class I could take and 2 Swedish society classes as well as my first level Swedish class.

Things that make me terrified:

~I know approximately 5 words in Swedish. How am I supposed to read maps and road signs and instructions and posters and menus and everything else?? I plan on learning as much as I can over winter break but still...

~I literally know zero people in the whole country of Sweden. Going to college was hard enough and I knew a large handful of people here. Zero people. In the whole country. I have recently found out that I girl a couple years older than me that I knew from my high school will probably be there next semester as well which is easing my anxieties a lot but who knows how much we will even be able to see each other.

All in all I am ecstatic about this opportunity. I have never been out of the country and really have no real proof that Europe even exists. I have never been anywhere where the culture was more than a little different than my own, I have never been in the minority and I have never done anything so bold as living alone in a foreign country. I expect this to be life changing. And if it isn't then fuck every single person who has gone abroad and told me it was life changing.

Oh and also Carrie and her boyfriend are going to Glasgow, Rachel Zook is already ion Germany and will be in Austria next semester, John Witter is going to Spain and it's just going to be an all around European extravaganza!!!!



Monday, October 10, 2011


Dear Grunlik,
I've been having a problem with my boyfriend. We hang out all the time, but he never wants to go out anywhere. I mean, staying in and watching a movie is great sometimes, but is it too much to ask to go out to dinner or something occasionally?
Abby, Richmont PA

IT IS I, GRUNLIK. Although Grunlik does not know what is watching a "movie," Grunlik knows much about staying in. THIS IS BECAUSE A TROLL IS NOT PERMITTED TO LEAVE FROM UNDERNEATH HIS BRIDGE. Your boyfriend is a pathetic troll, and you should crush his bones with a mighty club. If his bones are too sturdy for your weak human muscles, bring him to Grunlik. Grunlik will crush him. GRUNLIK WILL CRUSH ALL.

Dear Grunlik,
I'm turning 16 this December, and my mom won't let me get my driver's license. She doesn't want me driving because she doesn't think it's safe, but she also says that I'm responsible for getting myself to school when I turn 16. I think she's being unreasonable. What should I do?
Robert, Colinsville VA

Grunlik has just turned 1600 himself. When Grunlik's mother comes to visit Grunlik, she often disapproves of the way Grunlik takes care of his bridge. While this may be a nuisance to Grunlik, she is often correct in pointing out dirt on Grunlik's bridge. AND DIRT ON GRUNLIK'S BRIDGE IS UNACCEPTABLE. Grunlik recommends listening to Grunlik's mother.

Dear Grunlik,
My girlfriend is always telling me to clean my room. We don't live together or anything, and I think that I should be able to keep my room however I want to. But she always acts like it's a big deal and sometimes she won't come over, saying that my room is too messy. How can I make her understand that it's none of her business?
Forever yours,
Marcus, Seaside FL

YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO ALL GOOD TROLLS. A good troll must keep his bridge beautiful. How are you to be respected if your bridge is soiled with the blood of travelers past? GRUNLIK WILL NOT SET FOOT ON YOUR TERRIBLE BRIDGE.
Dear Grunlik,
My grandma has offered to pay for plane tickets for me and my brother to come visit her over the summer. We both want to, but I have a crippling fear of flying. How can I overcome my fear and see my grandma?
Rozalin, Portland OR



Robert - Congress on the Go

Across the country dirty, unemployed and uninformed 20-somethings have lined up with protest signs and vague slogans about corporate greed. The media has shot them one laughing glance, declared them anti-capitalist 60s flashbacks and moved on to bigger and more newsworthy things.

But if I could defend Occupy Wall Street for a second here...

The biggest problem, I think, is the word "protest." When people line up with picket signs and march through New York streets, the world expects them to have an specific issue and an established goal they're trying to achieve. To raise minimum wage, to end the war, etc. Occupy Wall Street's grievances range from animal rights to war funding to student loans. That's pretty vague. Their point that many of America's problems right now are caused by unregulated corporate greed is a valid one, but what do they propose to do about it? Well, nothing really yet.

Nothing yet, but that seems to be, from what I've seen, what Occupy Wall Street is determined to find out. In probably the best piece of writing on the protests I've read so far, Douglas Rushkoff defines and separates what he calls "20th century protesting" and "21st century protesting." The difference, according to him, is that this new social media-age movement is less designed to achieve a preset goal than it is to create a national discussion. As he later said in an interview, Congress' job is to argue and debate issues, come up with solutions, and come to agreements on them, and since Congress has elected to withhold from all that stuff to make way for party posturing, the "99%" decided to take it upon themselves to do that for them. Yeah, they came up with the lame catchphrase, "We are the 99%," but I can forgive that in the name of protest.

The media's been pretty unkind to OWS. It paints them as wildly idealistic, which they pretty much are, and it paints them as kind of stinky, which I'm sure they also are, and it paints them as angry, but that's also about where they stop with the painting. Here's the thing about journalists, of which I am kind of one: they like to take the most extreme, most colorful, most newsable corners of any event, and then turn them into obscene caricatures to be whipped out at the public in soundbites before deadline. Because that's marketable. But I seriously doubt that these guys are accurate representations of the protests.

The way I see it, these protesters have reasons to be angry. The middle class is dying. Banks are committing housing fraud and being punished with bailouts while enjoying tax cuts. Okay, the US saw a profit after banks repaid bailout money, but let's say mom bakes me and my brothers cookies. My older brother punches me right in the mortgage and eats my cookie. I'm not going to feel that much better when mom bakes us all new cookies. As Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laurette in economics, put it at the site of OWS, "We are bearing the costs of their misdeeds. There’s a system where we socialize losses and privatize gains. That’s not capitalism. That’s not a market economy." And what else— Corporations have influential grips on both the media and our politicians. America has seen a debacle of an administration followed by one that hasn't followed through on the fantasies that it promised and that voters bought into. We're still funding shitty wars.

Congress has transformed from law-making body into Obama-blocker, so in light of the many valid issues that OWS brings into play, I think this national discussion that it's trying to bring forward is a pretty good idea right now. Now, whether you call this a "protest" or a "movement" or whatever you will, what I've seen is a massive self-teaching. What I've seen is a bunch of mostly confused, fully frustrated, kind of dirty, young and old people gathering into a forum and educating themselves on American economics, on their government, and on the way corporations function. On the barest of margins, even if no saving legislation is passed and no Wall Street revolution occurs, I consider that a success of American assembly.