Saturday, February 11, 2012

Conor - Grievances

I scratch and I scratch but the persistent little things on my right palm refuse to leave. Terrible shades of red, brown, black, yellow and green can be found in these scabs, and I'm worried it's infected. It's a small, circular scab in the pit of my right palm, exactly where a scab would place itself if it wanted to be re-opened every single time I caught a frisbee one handed or flexed my right hand at all. Every time I practice piano, every time I ride my bike, every time I play ultimate, it laughs, breaks, and bleeds.

The scab is from last Tuesday when I got hit off my bike by a car. There's a bigger scab on my elbow that's itchy, but all in all I walked away from that incident pretty unscathed. I also have a huge black eye from getting a frisbee directly to my right eye. The disc actually hit my exposed eye, so I'm pretty freaking ecstatic that I merely have a badass looking black eye.

After my concussion last month and several smaller problems, I told my father that "January wasn't my month." "Maybe 2012 isn't your year," he said. Cool. Thanks, Dad.

I'm in Denton, Texas. I'll wake up in 6 hours and go to a bunch of fields and play Ultimate Frisbee for several hours with the University Of Oklahoma Apes Of Wrath. It's my first tournament with the A-Team and I'm pretty excited. I'm a mediocre to sub-par ultimate player, but I just let everyone in this house know that I dominate at Mario Kart Wii. At least when Sean O'Brien and Sunday Robert aren't around.

I don't have much to say. This week has been uneventful, looking forward to the weekend. Life's been stalling, recently. It knows that eventually something will have to happen, but it's very worried it doesn't have enough material to fill it's allotted time slot. Tomorrow and Sunday it has to give me something. We'll see.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Been Living the Blues

by Brendan Cavnagh

I apologize for not creating my regular Thursday post, but I've been so bogged down on an insurmountable amount of homework. I had to read three novels in around one week! I wasn't able to keep upon my reading assignments because of a combination of genuinely reluctant apathy and lack of time. While I've struggled to keep my head above water (I thought one of my many resolutions for 2012 was to avoid using cliches in my writing), what's gotten me through a plethora of admittedly good books- Jane Eyre for British Literature, The Rise of Silas Lapham for American Literature and The World to Come for my privileged Midrash class.- has been my recently renewed interest what I've quickly dubbed through multiple explanations as "primitive, African-American, finger-pickin' blues," played by the likes of Robert Johnson, Leadbellly, Mississippi John Hurt and the like. I only name-drop the latter three because they're pretty much all I know about right now, though I'm steadily enhancing my repertoire. To be fair, my interest in the genre has extensive, close ties to other musical tastes of mine- namely. Norman Blake, the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and even Bob Dylan or Joan Baez.

Seeing as I'm posting my Thursday post on a Friday night / Saturday morning (depending on how you look at it), I'll save the time of writing brief, informative biographies of the aforementioned three blues guitarists and simply post a link to my current favorite song from each (and I mean current).

Mississippi John Hurt - "Pay Day" (1964?)

Leadbelly- "Pick A Bale Of Cotton " (1940)

Robert Johnson- "Kindhearted Woman Blues" (1936)

(Honorable mention, hailing from the Gangs of New York soundtrack) Sidney Stripling "Breakaway" (1941)

(Another honorable mention, revealed unto me through the movie Sounder) Lightnin' Hopkins - "Needed Time" (1950)

Follow the links. Educate yourselves.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Whoosh, as heard from the spiral's midst.

There's some things that give me trouble every day.

1. Whether I'll be good or not:

there's so much concern to be had about one's own image, that it's logistically hard to completely look out for oneself and be confident in what one is doing throughout each and every day to successfully reach out positively to all the people that one would want to reach out to and avoid flirting with those who would not necessarily want to talk to. In short, it's a tough business, putting oneself out there. And thus, I appreciate those who do that daily without giving any shits. It's a really hard thing, because no matter who it comes from, the words "not that good" will stick with any writer until the day he puts the pen down (Tony Kornheiser) for good.

2. Whether I'm qualified —

It's been tough, being a collegiate prospective journalist. There's a lot of me, and all of us went through high school in roughly the same time frame, seeing and reacting to the same things, and grasping the same concepts year in and year out as me. In short, each one of these mofes has had the same experience as me, wants the same job as me and so: it's up to me, literally, to be better at experiencing life than all of my peers. Fuck that responsibility, it's just, frankly, too much. I can't be expected to be better at living than anyone, and I fully expect any of my peers to be able to come to the same conclusions as I am, to be able to make the same rational judgments, and to be able to think the same way about sports as I am. There's a lot of pressure about the competition of being a prospective sports journalist, and having to maintain yourself to David Aldridge-like standards. There's so much to every game that we don't know, and yet, here we are, responsible for putting together a paper.

A newspaper.

Every single day. And, among those of my peers who plan to do this with their life, it seems as though I may be the one to have to lead this boy brigade of sportsjournalistic fools who wanna be righteous and sports journalists in their own lives. It's really hard to commit yourself to the prophecy of interpreting and successfully analyzing sports. And, yo, and.....

I hope you saw my sports column today. I wrote about the consumption of sports, and how it's SO much different than being a sports fan in any other era. It's really hard to be able to accept whatever ESPN tells us, and even harder to — what? — question that and be able to compile counterevidence against that. And be able to prove ESPN wrong. Though, multiple times, it's able to be done, with the slightest bit of fortitude.

It is on us; the new'ns. The ones who can be in college anymore. ;;; to question the media emporiums of today, and say 'hey, maybe you're wrong, media' and prove them so.

I'm just a little bitter. that's all. Sometimes sports minds are restricted by the current standards, and that only leads to consecutivity and continuous bullcrap. ...

3. Whether it's worth it

Oh my. This is the big one. You see, my life is headed down a road of sadness and poorness unless I become rich, which seems obvious, but isn't as much as you'd think it would be. I'm in college, which runs about 27 G a year, most of which is straight up debt waiting to happen, and so I have to be willing to commit myself to missing out on money. Which is fine, so long as I'm able to make good on this college degree business and be able to churn out a job that'll pay for that hefty bag'a debt n crap.

Debt sucks. But it's, at a certain point, the only way to get ahead, as if it's a loan of experience. May society grant you this expensive endeavor, sure, as long as you can learn from it and make it worth their while for the future. And that's the responsibility.

The responsibility. The pitch, the idea behind it all.

The whole notion of investment. And it's so interesting that peers of mine had been invested in.

It's so interesting, the journey to pay it all off. And so, yeah, what it ends up being about, yeah, is the process of becoming enough of a worthwhile person so as to make it worth society's while for throwing money to you to spend to improve yourself; giving you the opportunity to improve.

You better make it worth it: to yourself, to your surrounding folks, to society. To every thing.

You better take yourself, put it to the grindstone, and turn yourself into something fucking cool.

That's it. Are  you worth it? Or are you a waste of time?

Being somewhere in the middle of this equation is, possibly, the most exhilarating part.

Oh, yeah.
--Eliot Sill

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nick - I'm Not Even Payin' Attention

Friday Conor (Today's his birthday!) mentioned this song to me a little while back, and I've only now really got into it.
One line in particular jumps out at me:

"I get better as I get more worn down."

This semester I've been really busy. And sometimes in the past I've told people that I'm really busy when I have a task or two I have to do, but this semester is genuinely really busy in a way that I haven't experienced before.

It's been almost two months since I've played a video game, excluding social settings. I've been trying to re-watch The Wire; my goal is to watch one episode every day, but sometimes I don't manage to.

Generally my days this semester consist of waking up (this is the hardest part), eating breakfast, trying to be at class by ten. Classes last until 2 or 3:30, depending on the day; on the 3:30 days I go running and lift immediately after class. Then I shower and eat dinner and I'm done with that by 6:30 or 7. I give myself a little time to play guitar, then I translate latin. I check the news, and then usually I talk to someone on facebook chat and listen to music while I brief cases. (I'm taking a law course this semester.) Sometimes I have to write speeches or papers, too. I'm in bed by midnight on weekdays.

I just read that paragraph over and realized that this is the boringest post in the world.

Improv is my favorite recourse from my relentless schedule; I'm up to 11 hours of improv a week, on weeks that I don't have Titanic shows.

Anyway, the point I think I'm getting at is that this pace is good for me. It requires more responsibility, and while it's grating, it's not impossible.

So cast your own; soldier on.

Sometimes I fall way short on sleep during the weekend; I don't often have spare hours to work on music; a few of my friendships are straddling a very thin line.

But you guys, I am getting so much shit done.

My goal is to push hard all semester so that I can have some leeway next semester, when I'm going to have a house and I'm going to want all the spare time I can get. Hopefully I can do that without crashing. (I hope we're all in crash position when we hit.)

I want to say 'No Distractions,' but truth be told, the Distractions are my favorite part.