Saturday, November 19, 2011

Conor - Let The Games Begin

Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do.

Instead of doing anything else this weekend, I am currently packing my backpack to go to Tulsa, where I will play in a tournament, on our B Team. Normally I would be playing a majority of the points, but I got my shoulder x-rayed yesterday and I have an AC sprain in my right shoulder.

I'm still going, though, and I more then likely will still play. I can play ultimate with my shoulder, it's just sortof painful.

I don't want to do any of these things, but I am.

Wednesday I'll be back in Springfield, which is comforting, but it seems amazing to me how incredibly far away Wednesday currently is.  I have a list of foods I will eat when back in Springfield. It is a comprehensive list, and I will not compromise in my completion of my goals. If that means eating 4 meals a day while I'm back, so be it.

I can't remember what it feels like for my shoulder to not hurt right now, and in all likelihood I'm going to hurt it some more this weekend and just slow my recovery down. But after this weekend, I don't really need to use it anymore. After this weekend I won't play anymore ultimate for weeks, maybe even months. I don't like that fact, either.

I have to get packed for my fun-filled weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paul Fucking McCartney
by Brendan Cavanagh

Over the summer, my friend and I spent countless hours in his basement spinning records, shooting pool and exchanging personal philosophies on each and every iota of life's minutiae. A slight argument arose while discussing which Beatle's voice each of us would prefer to have as our own, if we had the ability to sing. He chose John Lennon, whereas I chose Paul McCartney. It was hard, at that time, to articulate exactly what it was about each voice that we admired, so we made a pact to make each other a mix of the songs we felt best conveyed the particular style we wished to possess: the unique or emotionally evocative way a song, or even just a single line, is sung. The process took a while to initiate, but ultimately we compiled what we felt were adequate mixes, and we'll exchange them upon my return home from school this weekend.

Admittedly, it was an agonizing process. How can one be asked to narrow a plethora of perfect examples of songs to an hour and twelve minutes worth of playtime? My friend made the pointed observation that all of the songs rejected from the definitive CD could be slapped onto another playlist to produce just as good of a mix. But after hours of painstaking, meticulous construction, here are the songs I feel demonstrate the desirable nuances of Paul McCartney's voice, assembled in a fashion I felt flowed well as a CD (I sure hope he doesn't see this before I give it to him):

Paul Fucking McCartney

1) Why Don't We Do It In The Road? (The Beatles, 1968)

2) Medley A. Kansas City B. Hey Hey Hey (Beatles For Sale, 1964)
3) I've Just Seen A Face (Help!, 1965)
4) Magical Mystery Tour (Magical Mystery Tour, 1967)
5) Fixing A Hole (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
6) I've Got A Feeling (Let It Be, 1970)
7) Oh! Darling (Abbey Road, 1969)
8) When I'm Sixty-Four (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
9) Got To Get You Into My Life (Revolver, 1966)
10) You Never Give Me Your Money (Abbey Road, 1969)
11) Get Back (Let It Be, 1970)
12) P.S. I Love You (Please Please Me, 1963)
13) I'm Down (B-side to "Help!", 1965)
14) Lady Madonna (A-side with "The Inner Light", 1968)
15) Michelle (Rubber Soul, 1965)
16) Baby's In Black (Beatles For Sale, 1964)
17) The Fool On The Hill (Magical Mystery Tour, 1967)
18) Helter Skelter (The Beatles, 1968)
19) Free As A Bird (A-side with "Real Love", 1995)
20) Lovely Rita (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
21) Hey Jude (A-side with "Revolution", 1968)
22) I Saw Her Standing There (Please Please Me, 1963)
23) Blackbird (The Beatles, 1968)
24) Golden Slumbers (Abbey Road, 1969)
25) She's Leaving Home (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
26) All Together Now (Yellow Submarine, 1969)

Do you have any differing choices? Or an arguable case for another Beatle's voice? Drop a comment below.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I just peeked into my floormates playing Skyrim. Holy shit.

This brings me to my next point: I will die without having digested every delectable bit of media out there I would so love to consume.

I've always loved video games. I am, after all, a boy who grew up in the 2000s. There are so many massive and finely crafted video games that would entrench my consciousness for dozens of hours, if I played them all, I would have no time for anything else in my life. I've bought 3 video games this year, 2 of which have bogged me down significantly in the weeks in which I devoted myself to them. I can't simply play games at a tepid pace, they must be beaten fast and furiously, with urgency and prioritization of the fate of whatever fictional world I'm exploring over that of my own well being. Seeing, only for a moment, a friend of mine, playing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I saw what could be sixty fewer dollars and a couple hundred fewer hours of my life. I could, but I won't. I'll restrain, and I'll miss out on a beautifully made fantasy world that was designed for the sole purpose of me to enjoy exploring it. Additionally, I could do this at no risk at all to my actual self, aside from gaining a few pounds maybe.

My senior year, I fell in love with music. I have specific groups or artists whom I do not miss. On the flip side of this, I have artists who, while I acknowledge I'd probably like them, I skip out on to keep my circle tidy. I don't have time on this earth to listen to every last song. This fact saddens me, because each song could be the one that provides a new feeling of comfort or enjoyment. And I let most of it slip through the broad cracks.

I also just finished The Wire. I cannot deny now that I have spent at least 88.5 hours in the past four months watching that show. It's checked off the top of the list. Now comes the rest of the list of television productions I want to thoroughly explore.

I read a book once, I'd like to take the time to do it again, if I could ever find it. Reading gave me a feeling of accomplishment and positivity that the other media don't provide. It also made me yawn and fall asleep early.

People spend lots of time on smartphones, if they've got them. People frequent games such as Angry Birds, Words With Friends, Four Square, and countless other network creations. I am panicking here. I cannot imagine allowing myself to indulge in such time consuming stimulative yet entirely meaningless side forays. I spend enough of my time jerking off Twitter and Facebook to tire me out for the day.

Class! Have you guys seen this shit? Unrealistic reading assignments, for one class per week, let alone four (or five or six). I'm taking a class in which they literally expect me to be able to recall and analyze moderate-to-major events of a 2500-year period. I have another class in which I consistently get 5-out-of-10s on my current events quizzes. And I work 15 hours a week. Yet they somehow expect me to write a novel in papers over the course of a semester. And yet I somehow expect myself to oblige.

Shit, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie in theaters. It was, maybe, X-men First Class? Which I saw twice. Over summer. When I had nothing to do. I see all these movies coming out to up and down ratings, all the work that actors and actresses I gravitate toward being thrown into a pile known as movie to-do lists. And yet all I really wanna do is watch Black Dynamite again.

I enjoy people. I like being around them, interacting with them, and getting satisfaction from improving their mood. I like the feeling of tipsiness that comes over me when I've had a few alcoholic drinks. I like the word "score" in the context of obtaining something, whether used by patrons old or young. I miss the shenanigans and endeavors of the middle-school child. I miss being in the middle of responsibility and risk-free adventurousness. I miss climbing. I miss falling. I miss not realizing the danger of environment. I want to seek out such feelings of liberation with people I enjoy the company of.

All this and I'm supposed to remember to pray before bed.

Sleep is such a comforting feeling. It is more so now than it was then. It used to mean the end of getting to do stuff. Now it means the end of having to do stuff. Such is the difference in leading a life rife with responsibility. The freshman fifteen missed me last year, this year it's gone straight to my eyes. I yearn for respite and am greeted each morning with a feeling of overwhelming. I am fighting a war against my bucket list, and I am losing as it grows to disheartening lengths.

Balancing out the necessary with the enjoyable is what makes adults adults. That responsibility, that resistance to doing nothing but work and Six Flags for the rest of your life, that's awfully hard to accept. In college, I feel (I hope) this sensation is magnified. It's all being shined on for the purposes of conditioning us, so that when we get out of here, we find ourselves with a nickel of time at the end of the day to sit back sip our own Kool-Aid. We learned how to get our work done quick, and now we have time to breathe each day. Or maybe not. Maybe this stimulus overload is something of a superhighway from this world to the next.

And to think, we have the balls to want to create.

--Eliot Sill

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nick - Five Things I Did While Quarantined In My Room

So this weekend, because I have mono, I did not go anywhere. I didn't go to parties, I didn't go to PK Barnjam practice, and I certainly didn't go to CU Improv Fest.

But I did do some interesting thing. Here are five of them.

Start a Blur cover band

I figured, hey, I can't go anywhere, so I'll just bring the party to me. So I started a cover band. It was me on drums, I played lead guitar, and I filled in for the vocals most of the time. Unfortunately, our lead guitarist was terrible. We could never find a bassist. The singer never learned the words to any Blur songs. And when our drummer developed an opium addiction, everything just went downhill.

Fantasy Football
I found this by Googling "how do I football"

Yeah, I know, I'm no good with football most of the time, but I figured I might as well learn. So I started a fantasy football team. I'd call this a success. My team scored a lot of touchdowns. Our defense was really good. Our offense kicked the ball a lot of times. My linebackers drew way more lines than any of the other teams in the league.

Learn the language of clocks
I found this by Googling "clocks talk"

You probably hear it all the time. That constant, ever-present ticking. Whether it be the wristwatch of the guy next to you or the clock in the back of the room ticking so faintly that you've tuned it out. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's way more than just a noise they make. Clocks are expressive creatures. And if you're willing to put in the time to listen and understand them, clocks will open up to you. In fact, if there's one thing I realized this weekend, it's that I no longer have any use for human friends.

Reach enlightenment
Little known fact: when you reach enlightenment, your chakras glow.
One day, I was just sitting here thinking, and then I realized the nature of all things. It's pretty zen. I would explain it to you, but you probably wouldn't understand.

Begun my new life as ruler of this room

I found this by Googling "I am their ruler"
After reaching enlightenment, I suddenly felt empathy toward all living creatures. I realized, these poor creatures have no structure to their lives. They live in anarchy. Who better than me to give them government? I dumped out my large canister of oatmeal, and proceeded to name each and every grain. Then I assembled my new subjects, and gathered all the objects on my desk for a conference. After an extensive election process, Nick's Room now has a fully functional democracy. Nick's Running Shoes were elected president, with That Funny Metal Coily Piece On The Back Of The Refrigerator as his vice president. Parliament consists of two parties; the National Democratic Labor Party, run by The Halloween Card My Aunt Theresa Sent Me, and the Progressive Party, headed by a very special piece of oatmeal named Klobb. I'm happy to report that this new system is so far stable and functional.

What did you do over your weekend?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Robert - Influence

Conor came to visit this weekend. Sort of. At some point he noted the pressure that surrounds our friendship at every second, in that the sum of its parts essentially amounts to a competition more than it does a friendship. It was an astute comment. I noticed my already-stellar sense of humor unconsciously sharpening to a point this weekend.

Soon, a terrifying existential crisis began to form. Without my friends from home, without Conor, do I simply deteriorate slowly into nothingness? Do I depend on him for personality sustenance? What am I without him? My unstoppable comedy was quickly replaced by mortifying fear and chewed fingernails. I kept all lights dimmed for fear of seeing my own reflection in the mirror, or worse, Conor's. I began to dwell on what makes Conor me.

My entire pattern of speech, apparently, and all the jokes I make. Much of my being, really, has been his result. I say this not under my own conclusion but on the conviction of every single person that has ever interacted with both of us. Repeatedly, friends of Conor's who are acclimated with his style of speaking will see a picture of my face and conclude that I talk exactly like him. I don't understand how this is. After double-digit occurrences, though, it's hard to continue ignoring it. There is a pattern here, and an unarguable conclusion which must be drawn: I am Conor.