Saturday, March 17, 2012

Conor and Brian and Nick - We're In New Orleans, doing New Orleans things

Oh hey guys. I am sitting criss-cross-applesauce in a bed, that is in the far corner of the room from the door.  I'm going to establish cardinal directions in order to provide a more easily imagined scene, but know that this cardinal directions are bullshit, and that I have no idea which way is north right now. Anyway, this bed is in the northwest corner of the room, and the door to the outside hallway is along the southern wall, slightly east of its center. In the northeast corner there is another bed, one that has obviously not been tampered with in a while. Stuffed animals cover the blankets and lean preciously against. Snoopy is cuddling with a big gorilla who is holding big ol' hearts that say "Wild About You." In between the two beds is a white dresser with some lotions, a lamp, and a flashlight, just in case that lamp sucks I guess. Next to the door is a TV on a stand. An old, Sanyo TV. A big brick compared to the thin compact ones we see nowadays.

All of this is significant because it is New Orleans. Because if I walk outside and look to what I have decided is the southeast, I see two bridges that lead across the river from the West Bank where we currently are (huh... This is called the West Bank. I'm not allowing this to change my declaration of the directions) into the city proper. Last night I was in the city proper for a short while.

And it was really cool.

I flew here with my two native New Orleans roommates, Maggie and Nina, yesterday. I'm staying at Nina's house for the next several days. Tonight, Classic Brian and Monday Nick shall join us*. They're on their way now**. We will all sleep in this small, nice room. I'm going to try to convince Nina to abandon her room and take one of the beds in here. I'll sleep on the floor, for the sake of solidarity, and cuteness of the story. It will be like a 3 or 4 day sleepover*.

I'm about to go on a bike ride in New Orleans*. I'm pretty excited about it.

*in New Orleans
*to New Orleans

Friday, March 16, 2012

Something Stupider

by Brendan Cavanagh

Again, I find myself taking an apologist stance here at Classic Brian. I'm sorry for my lack of regular, well-thought out Thursday blog posts. For today, here's basically what's been on my mind this week.


Damn! I am once again helplessly infatuated with Kristen Stewart. Her character, Em, in Adventureland is so pretty and cool and...imaginary, but still. I'll get my Em, someday.
Thank you, and we'll see you here next week!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just something stupid

He found it lying on the ground just outside his house, a crinkled, dirty piece of paper. Out of curiosity he picked up the discarded single leaf and turned it over to see what had been so worthless to someone that they would throw it out to wind up in his front yard.

Go and find the missing tomb,
for the keepers of the secrets, 
are after the treasure of the stolen blade
Howard saw this crudely written message as some kind of sign. He needed to get out and play, using the world as his playground, just as he had in summers past. He had played with the neighborhood kids, staging battles with enemies that were friends over territory that didn't belong to anyone. They fought battles in the Ohio summer heat with water balloons and super soakers that were never quite big enough. 

It was time to reclaim that glory that must have been 10, 12 years behind him, so said this crudely written note, scribbled by what Howard estimated to be a clumpy 9-year-old too naive to realize how profound his poem would seem in the wrong hands.

This summer was the end of the world. A college degree and employment were once happily married, but seem to be unhappy with each other, leaning toward divorce. He was caught in this separation. What's a degree in environmental sciences good for in a state that is characteristically not progressive? A job that pays $13.00 an hour apparently, all tips considered, as a server at the Olive Garden. Howard used to love eating at the Olive Garden. It would soon provide him enough to money to move out of his parents' home, if all was to go according to plan.

Shelve that, he thought. He changed into his oldest pair of worn sneakers and loosest fitting jeans, and set off into the forest that fondled his old high school, where Howard and his more persuasive friends would smoke pot after school on half days and climb trees to unintentionally ward off any female attention. No pot today, just a piece of paper that probably was snatched up too soon before it could arrive at its fated destination, where it would be of some use to somebody who could benefit from relishing their youth instead of a college grad who didn't fit into the future's extensive plans, internships and entry-level positions he should be focusing on unearthing— nevermind. Shelve that.

As he looked around the patch of trees — it had become much less of a forest as Howard grew older — for something to do, he read the note again and felt bored. He ran his hand through his coarse, bronze-brown hair, and rubbed the gristle on his chin, and thought about going home. But he had already invested nearly an hour into this foray back into his childhood, and was determined to do something worth telling friends about, or at least his mom at dinner.

He circled around a large rock that seemed to be partly lodged into a bank otherwise covered in sticks and negligible, green brush, and his focus was drawn to the rock. He decided to push it. Because that's where the buried stolen blade probably was. And because he would have wanted the strength to push over such a rock when he was younger. He exerted himself quite a bit, but was able to dislodge the rock with an awkwardly angled push with the rock pressed against his hands and right shoulder. The rock tumbled down the bank, moved for what was likely the first time in years, exposing a cavity the size of a full backpack. He pressed his hands against the tender, damp dirt.

He looked at what the rock had left behind, and again looked at the note, which had, along with his hands, become dirtier already. He hadn't found a tomb. He wasn't worried what the keeper of the secrets were up to. And the treasure of the stolen blade sounded as far away to him as it would to the mayor of New Jersey — this effort was fruitless, he thought.

He grabbed for his cell phone, and saw that he had nothing to attend to, and carried on. Twenty feet away, he spotted a Miller Lite bottle and looked down at the cavity he had just created in the embankment. He sat beside it and laid back, letting his head land on the mostly soft ground, he reached back and flipped a stick away from where his head was, and exhaled as he looked up to the trees, flush with color, huddling over him. 

He began to sing and noticed his head lean from side to side, to make sure high schoolers weren't smoking pot behind a nearby pine, busting a gut at his expense. Finally he let his eyes close and his voice lost its vigor, and his singing diminished into a hum, and he sat up, spotted a tree he could climb, and situated himself on a branch that sturdily hung almost parallel about eight feet above the ground, with one arm hanging off the tree and the other acting as a pillow, Howard once again closed his eyes and let the breeze, which he wished was a tad stronger, blow through his hair.

As he opened his eyes, he slid off the branch, landing on his feet, ready to turn back, when he saw another piece of paper. This piece seemed to be a brighter, less dirty white. He walked over and picked it up.

Nothing was written on it, but a corner had been ripped off. Howard gave it a crumpling squeeze, and dropped it, striding for home. He stopped by where he had pushed the rock away. With his already-dirty finger, he drew a smiling mouth, two eyes, and inwardly tilted eyebrows to give his face a menacing look. He then grabbed a patch of leaves, and placed them under the mouth, forming a sort of beard. The leaves would probably blow away, but that's ok.

As he walked back headlong into the lowering gaze of the setting sun, he saw a child run down the opposite sidewalk, and turning over his right shoulder away from the dull wind to watch the kid's awkward jaunt, he pulled the paper out of his pocket, ripped off a tiny portion of the top, gave the rest of the paper a crumpling squeeze and released it into the wind, where it moved lazily along in the direction of the child. The child turned left and slowed to a stroll. The paper continued to tumble away from Howard, and he turned forward and walked on. 

Howard washed his hands and changed into athletic shorts and a clean shirt. He put the ripped piece of paper in the top left drawer of his personal desk. He made dinner for himself and ate in his room. He wondered where the paper had blown to. He grabbed a copy of his resume that had been sitting on the top of his desk and looked it up and down. 

He balled it up and threw it across his room and banked it off a wall into his trash can. Again he laid his head back and closed his eyes. "Fuck," he exhaled. He decided he would print another copy in the morning.

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goals for Adulthood

Learn Swedish, German and Spanish
Live in Europe more than 5 months
Work on an organic farm
Get married
Have some kids
Learn to like shrimp
Find a cause I care about
Climb some badass mountains
Own a home
Own a flat in Europe
Own a moped
Stay fit
Learn to cook really well
Own a boat
Be a part of a comedy troupe (sketch or improv, don't care)
Dress well
Coach sport for my kids
Go big
Don't go home

Only when I accomplish every single item on this list will I allow myself to be happy. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nick - Law In Limerick

I had an ungraded test in my Law And Representation course the other day. Because it was ungraded, you had to stay for a full hour to get attendance points so that people wouldn't just blow it off.

I finished in 30 minutes, and spent the rest of the time turning all my answers into limericks.

Section 1: Prevents the hiring of Arabic police and private security contractors.

The scrutiny applied here is strict
The measure will surely be kicked
It's fueled by hate
You can't discriminate
Just because the applicant's Arabic

Section 2: Gives preferential hiring to veterans when two applicants are equally qualified.

A veteran classification
Not protected from discrimination
The relationship's rational
So I guess that it's passable
Despite being poor legislation

Section 3: Discourages hiring of non-native English speakers in public service jobs.

The scrutiny test that they choose
Will decide if this should win or lose
Disproportionate, surely
But not racist overtly
I don't know what I'd do in their shoes

None of you understand law enough to get any of this. Get the fuck out.



robert langellier

I am not a gravedigger but a gardener. My cemetery's plot is sprawling grass, a deep green grass, well fertilized with well-placed organic fertilizers, three inches of dried blood under all its infant trees, catalyzing wondrous growth and making this place of death a beautiful place of death. This is my place, and I take great pride in making it a place of life, in a way that overwhelms the sense of grief that litters the living bodies of its streaming visitors, takes over that sense and makes it wholesome.

This is not a shovel. It is a whisk that churns up the earth and plants bodies. It is the spark of an invisible circuit reaching for the hundredth time the beginning of its next round. I lower attractive and easily degradable caskets—laughingstocks of defiance against nature—slowly and with dignity but with tangible happiness into the earth. Over the next few decades, termites, roots, and water will penetrate the varnished wood and in measured steps dilapidate it. Once the walls are fallen, scavenger bugs, the maggots and the worms, will parade inside in throes and devour the decaying tissue of the once spunky and charismatic woman who met her untimely end on a mountain road one day. Eventually that tissue will be inside the bodies of thousands of bugs, who will then die themselves and fall likewise into the clutches of the earth. Those pieces of human will scatter then, carried by water and gravity, and by still more earth-swallowing vermiform creatures, and they will scatter again as fish swallow water and birds swallow earth-swallowing vermiform creatures, until the beautiful Rebecca Gold spans the length of seven states. And eventually, those little microscopic morsels of carbon will be in the aid of new growth—atoms will combine and attach, detach and reform, move like currents within the loam, and with no real finality culminate in a great new being of life.

And then my gardening will be complete.