Saturday, January 7, 2012

Conor - I'm A Big Dummy

Hey can I text you content of my Classic Brian? I don't have internet where I'm at now.

A Classic Brian in 160 character installments. A Classic Brian for the twitter age.

Okay. This text plus those first two make up the introduction. My statement of purpose. Hello, Classic Brian readers. How have you been?

Also Nick keep in mind I'll probably be sending you this over the course of the night. You're a good friend. Nick Dietrich, everyone. He's a real cool bro.

Let me set the scene for you guys. Here I sit, on a couch in a condo in the Durango Mountain Resort in Durango, Colorado. I've been here since Monday night.

It's a nice place. There are decorative skis on the walls, which seems sortof silly. There is a virtual fireplace. Also silly.

Nick you better be seperating these texts with paragraph breaks. These thoughts are grouped together for a reason, god damnit.

Not that I don't trust you.

I'm currently watching episode 5 season 1 of the Wire with the 5 other people I'm on this trip with.

I slept for 12 hours today and I've spent the day alone in the condo, reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and listening to music.

Had things not turned out how they did, I would've been snowboarding all day with the rest of these guys. That's how things were looking, before The Incident.

Capitalize The Incident, Nick.

Snowboarding is hard. Let me tell you. Snowboarding is very difficult. Mountains are big and steep, and even when you master turning left, there's still right.

We've been snowboarding all week, and things were going swimmingly. I'm not the best at snowboarding but I've seen some dumb fools up here who are eeeven worse.

So Thursday, our second full day of mountain time, we agreed to meet for lunch around 12:30.

I've been sticking around with my friend Caitlin all week, because we are pretty much the worst of our group.

Mike sucks way worse than us though because he switched to skis midway through our first full day. He's not a soldier. Caitlin and I? We're soldiers.

I would dedicate more space to insulting Mike more I don't have much more material. Skiing's weak though.

So anyway around noon Caitlin and I get to the bottom of the mountain, half an hour before our agreed lunch meeting time.

I decide to go up the mountain for another run, and Caitlin, not caring for my personal safety, decides to stay.

Let me phrase this in no uncertain terms: everything that happens after this point is Caitlin's fault.

The rest of this story is pieced together through secondary sources, because I have no idea what happened. I lost 6 or 7 hours of memory.

12 minutes later later Caitlin finds me at the bottom of the mountain. She waves, but I don't acknoledge her. I don't seem to recognize her.

When she approaches me I tell her I can't remember how to take my snowboard off. I tell her that I think I hit my head, that I need to go get it looked at.

Apparently they took me to urgent care. I proceeded to have the same 2 conversations with everyone for two hours not remembering that they had already occurred.

After a little while I didn't improve, and they decided I needed to go to the hospital and get a CAT scan.

For anybody who's interested, the first conversation was about the color of my socks (pink), and the second was about whether or not I was acting like myself.

The long and short of it was I got a concussion. The CAT scan showed up clean, and I was let go once I became more coherent. Which I eventually did.

Shout out to Chris Larberg, who stayed with me the entire time, and who also witnessed some reportedly interesting events.

Shortly before I got more sensible I went "fuuuuuuuck. This painting is trite. I hate this place. Let's escape."

Even a dehabilitating head injury could not quell my revolutionary impulses.

The painting in question was a house in a meadow. It was painted in broad, impressionistic strokes, and it was truly a little unnecessary.

It's scary, losing several hours of your memory. For a while there I lost a lot more. I forgot several things that happened over the course of the year.

Everything's back, excluding the hours leading upto and after the crash, but still. That was honestly really scary.

Nick, embed a youtube video of some really sad music here, to really sell this part. Your call on the song.

I forgot things about winter break. Things about this last semester.

I did not forget anything about the Wire.

Or the spelling of chords, I guess. Chris said that one of the only things I consistently knew was chords.

It all came back over the course of the night, thank god. My sister Betsy tried to trick into thinking I owed her $80. Soooooortof a bitch.

I can't excersize for a week and my head hurts like shit, but all in all, things turned out okay.

So that's the past 32 hours of my life. C-Dawg out.

Nick, feel free to title and tag this whatever you want. You're the man.

Tell me when you post that.

Wait, one more thing. I have stats that my friend Becca took while I was in urgent care. When she realized how many times we were going to be having the same

conversations, she started keeping track. Here are the counts.

How long have I been here in this room - IIIIIIIIIIII (12)

How long have I been here in Durango - IIIIIII (7)

What day is it? - IIIIII (6)

My socks are pink - IIIIIII (7)

Should I have this ice on my head - IIII (4)

Have my parents been notified? - II (2)

How did this happen? - IIIIIII (7)

Was anyone with me? - III (3)

When did this happen? - III (3)

Have we had similar conversations? - IIIII (5)

Can I go to sleep? - I (...1)

Can I sit up - III (3)

Is this a real medical concern? - II (2)

I blame myself for what happened - II (2)

I blame my friends for what happened - IIII (4)

Have you posted that shit?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Have a Happy Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year, which I consider currently over despite today being the 11th day of Christmas and almost close enough to January 1st to still wish store clerks a happy new year on your way out. Almost.

The holidays are also a trying time of year when life actually becomes a family-first operation and you are exposed to a near-lethal dosage of non-nuclear family members. This can wear on any good countenance rather quickly, and soon you're prone to throwing Aunt Leslie's card (which has no money in it AGAIN this year) back in her face and spitting on your nephew Ethan who won't shut the hell up and stop crying that he didn't get an iPad. He's seven. That's ridiculous.

But, believe it or not, there is a way to make your winter downtime something wonderful, and I've got some simple tips to help you keep your sanity, and hey, actually maybe enjoy yourself next time around. Of course this would have been a heck of a lot more helpful about three weeks ago, but you have to live it in order to learn it sometimes, and better late than never (two cliches in one excuse, it's like killing two birds with one stone!) (not really, but the math is there).

1 — Have yourself no kids. No kids at all.

Kids suck. The life out of the holidays. Instead of being selfish and whatnot, you're forced to deal with being a provider, which is fine normally, but around this time of year that means being fucking Santa Clause. Or, Jewish light-gift guy. If you're going to have a good, stress-free holidays, that means you have to be on more people's lists than you have on yours. Kids are really poor, typically, and what money they do have, you often give them. Sometimes kids are too young to be able to purchase things or have thoughts. Despite these disabilities, they demand heaps and heaps of shiny, spiffily wrapped presents.

Next time when you're at the abortion clinic, consider this: your holidays will never be as good if you don't do it. Just do it. It's okay. Happy holidays.

2 — Be single.

The last thing you want a girlfriend or boyfriend seeing is how crazy your family actually is. And all those needless minglefests that come with a family holiday dinner are seriously less than worth your time. Unless you're married, you should abstain from bringing a girl or boyfriend around the family in time for the holidays. Because in order to properly unwind, you have to be able to be as weird and dysfunctional as the rest of your family is. Such things look bad to the significant other.

Also, that runs up your Christmas budget significantly. All the while, you're certain that the gift you give them is way better than whatever they're planning on getting you (they are too, that's just how that works) and also you run the risk of your family trying to purchase couples gifts which should be saved for a wedding and then promptly returned upon being recognized as crappy.

3 — Destroy your bank account.

Not literally. In fact, to literally destroy it would be the opposite of a good idea (in other words, a bad idea). Instead, remove the inhibitions you have from ravaging your savings fund and expunging all aggregated income on slight delicacies and purchases you would otherwise find to be extremely wasteful and stupid. This will help you to feel opulent, even though you're obviously not.

The more money you have, the better of an idea this becomes. See, the fact that you had money at one point leads me to personally believe that you have a decent chance of gaining back some of your thrown-away money once the holidays are over. Also, your self and group purchases will be all the more costly and ostentatious. Instead of three-ply toilet paper, your holiday gift will be something like a car or a jet ski. Something that lasts. Or, steak.

4 — Make sure your parents are divorced.

This is very important. Two Christmases! As an extremely preferred alternative, you could have one Jewish parent and one Christian parent, so you're getting your gifts at once and one at a time. It's a similar effect, but it does lack the parental competition and general sadness of having divorced parents. There's a give and take to it.

This way, you'll have two parents making you their best dinners (Christmas Eve and Christmas), competing to give you better gifts, and generally working to outdo the other. Plus, it's a great excuse if you don't like one of the gifts you've been given (mom already gave me this!). Remember kids, just 'cause it's your fault they split up, it doesn't mean they don't owe you the world for doing so.

5 — Get the green light to drink from your parents. And go, damn it, go.

Remember, this experience is "new" for you, so there's a lot of things you want to "try." If they take exception to your desire to imbibe, you have an arsenal of excuses to unload before you give in:

— It's legal in Europe
— It was legal when they were younger (in some states)
— You just want to try some (this is a lie)
— Have another drink, mom
— What is age, really? I mean, I feel like I'm fairly mature. Do you feel I'm not mature enough?
— You let [older sibling] do it when he/she was my age (they didn't, but they don't remember)
— We're all going to die at some point, what does it fucking matter?
— Mom lets me do it when I'm at her house

If none of these work, sneak that shit. And make sure your parents are drinking too so they won't notice. How you drink is also important. I've found the ideal way to Christmas drink is to stay buzzed throughout the entire Christmas process. Start on Christmas Eve, then Christmas morning make sure to get your buzz back. It will be easier if you don't brush your teeth and still have last night's alcohol on your breath. Optionally, you can finish by overdoing it, with a grand-Christmas-finale.

Or you can just be wasted the whole time, depending on how bad mom and dad's break-up was.

6 — Root for sports teams that play on Christmas, and ones that win at that.

The Bulls and Packers had lovely Christmas victories this year. (Pats self on back)

7 — Don't get sick.

It's a sign of weakness. Wait till after the holidays to turn into a mucus-puffed slug.

8 —Don't forget New Year's!

You can take a few choice days off at the end of December, but you have to be ready to go again on New Year's Eve. Even if this requires significant napping the day of, you have to keep in mind that New Year's is a late night and not to freak out because someone's drinking Cider on your bed at 7:45.

Don't blow midnight. Be there and be awake and be ready. Obviously New Year's is very unimportant, but you can make it feel kind of significant if you work at it. Also, New Year's Day is a great time to enjoy another sports victory, especially one that clinches your favorite team's first ever 15-1 season. Hell to the yeah, Packers.

9 — Don't forget the reason for the holidays.

While you're sipping the bubbly in your ugly sweater and rolling your eyes at another one of your dad's slurred jokes, don't forget why humans do this. Yes, there's the Christianity aspect. The Jesus-was-born-so-I-get-presents phenomenon. But I mean, people keep telling me that Jesus was born by a virgin, which is crazy. In fact, Mary might be full of shit. Then again, they say she was full of the son of God, so let's not call her a bullshitter just yet. They say Jesus didn't cry when he was born. What a composed mother fucker. And just like that, give or take thirty years, this proclaimed son of God said we could do whatever we want, so long as we recognize God's existence/greatness and that he gave his son for the people of the world. Why would God make that deal? I'll take that deal. Thanks, God.

So what we want to do is have the holidays. To have a time in winter where we indulge ourselves and turn the darkest time of the year into the "most wonderful." We did that. If everything sucks, fuck it, ignore it. Life is greater than every other thing that we know of. So don't take it for granted. And in the worst of times, remember: the fact that we have any times at all is better than not existing. So quit your whining, and enjoy your egg nog, even if you need a little whiskey with it to do so.

--Eliot Sill

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nick - An Unedited Cross Section Of My Brain

Rather than write something for you guys today, I've scanned every page of my Statistics 100 notebook that didn't just contain notes. See, I got bored in that class often. It was a bored classroom in the basement of the art museum, marked by a roughly 15% attendance rate.While listening to Lu Gan, my extremely bored-sounding grad student TA, and occasionally distracting my friend Amber, who was taking real notes, I drew all of the following.

I had no intention of posting them at the time. Click the picture to go to the next one, click the magnifying glass to make them bigger.

Robert - Hot Drinks

You can tell a lot about a man from which kind of hot drink he prefers. Let's review the main three.

Coffee: The man's man will take a cup of strong black coffee, as will the lesser man who sees the man's man taking a cup of strong black coffee. Coffee is the lumberjack of hot drinks, albeit one who has been lately pacified by superchain Starbucks and Splenda. It doesn't take any shit from anyone. It is birthed from the loins of Colombian or Ethiopian coffee beans and injects itself right into your bloodstream, readying you for all the caffeine you could possibly need for your day out in the woods hunting for meat and stuff. Coffee is not to be fucked with.

Never mind the sky blue polo and pink table settings. This man is tough.
Tea: If coffee is the lumberjack of hot drinks, tea is their philosopher and yoga instructor. Tea's main function, as far as I'm aware, is to clear one's sinuses and refresh one's system with all-natural herbs and spices. It is also apparently a soothing drink that massages your throat and vocal cords, bringing your body into a more peaceful, centered state. Mostly it just tastes like hot water, though. One two separate occasions, I've tried my very best to get into tea. I mean, what's not to like about the idea of tea? It's accepted and nonaddictive. But as much as I can pretend I'm an east Asian monk or a British royal elite, I can't get around the plain boringness of tea.

That's great that you support animal rights, but unless you're Passion Fruit flavored, get out of here.
Hot Chocolate: Fuck yeah. Hot chocolate is the prostitute of hot drinks: delicious and exciting. You can't put marshmallows in coffee or tea, can you! Personally, I don't drink coffee or tea; they're icky. I don't need a caffeine rush and I'm centered enough as it is, so I keep my unwavering allegiance with hot chocolate. What'd you say? Hot chocolate is a juvenile drink, and I need to mature into something more fitting for my age? Maybe you didn't see my point about the marshmallows. I don't care how old I am. The day I decide that hot chocolate isn't super fucking delicious is the day I wish to die.

My ideal woman.