February 23, 2006

Fun stuff

I will be taking a temporary hiatus (don't worry, it's just for the weekend) from this blog as I travel to Iowa State to visit some friends. When I get back, I'll hopefully get time to finally wrap up my thoughts on Steve Kelley and Becky Lourey in time for the caucuses. I'll hopefully also do a post or two on the gubernatorial debate-- which, BTW, is happening next Tuesday, Feb. 28th, from 8-10 PM in the President's Room in Coffman. Steve Kelley, Becky Lourey, and Kelly Doran will be there. (Random side note: I had a weird dream last night in which Mike Hatch was a long-haired hippie. It didn't look like him at all, either, yet it was completely believable. WTF?)

Anyway, I figured I'd make this a fun post, highlighting some great (and not-so-great) things I've found on the internet. If you're bored, here ya go.

*Check this out: William Shatner's take on Hamlet
*Continuing the Star Trek theme, here's Leonard Nimoy's hobbit-themed music video.
*Horrible, but extremely funny, TV show concept. I do not condone the graveyard scene at all.
*I just have to throw something political in here, for old times' sake. Wonder if Abramoff's feelings are hurt?
*Support Max and Monica for MSA Prez/VP
*Watch the new video from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Gold Lion"... I predict this song will be big. Karen looks completely insane in this video-- she reminds me of the robot girl from Metropolis, if anyone's ever seen that. [Try watching it here if you want better sound quality.]

Have a great weekend.

Posted by smit2174 at 4:59 PM

February 19, 2006

Wankers of the Day (aka the Oasis fanboy post)

This blog has survived more than a year without declaring a "wanker of the day." As it is a powerful derogatory term, I feel it is something that should be used sparingly (not daily, despite what the term implies.) That said, I feel I must stand up for my principles and declare Pandagon, a blog for which I have the utmost respect, the very first a plain picture Wankers of the Day:

The worst song in the history of music, nay, hearing, nay sound.

Wait for it…

Wait for it….

Wonderwall by OASIS! Heh heh, EAT IT JEDMUNDS!!

As a die-hard Oasis fan, I must object. No matter how bad, how musically derivative (even of their own previous work), how lyrically mindless and/or nonsensical, how filled with hubris and delusions of grandeur, everything by Oasis must be considered PURE GOLD. Yes, I agree that "Wonderwall" has been overplayed, and there are far better Oasis songs. (There are also far worse Oasis songs.) But declaring "Wonderwall" the worst song of all time is utter blasphemy. Please listen to the following playlist, handpicked by your humble servant, yours truly, and revel in the glory that is Oasis. Ride the B.O.A.T. (Best of All Time)

Acquiesce
Wonderwall
Digsy's Dinner
Stay Young
Live Forever
D'You Know What I Mean?
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Mucky Fingers
Gas Panic! [live]
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) [live, Neil Young cover]
Morning Glory
Slide Away
The Masterplan

Encore:

It's Getting Better (Man!!)

Some Might Say

Listen to this playlist in Rhapsody
Get Rhapsody for $2/month (if you are a U of M student.)

Posted by smit2174 at 1:24 PM

February 16, 2006

Ah, the good old days of AP English

I was just brushing my teeth and had an interesting revelation...

[Funny, isn't it, the illuminating power of brushing one's teeth? I highly recommend it... for those of you who don't brush, you should try it. It's fun! and good for you!]

This week is turning into 12th grade AP English redux. Last night and today comprised one of Lady Stip's trademark "nightmares of death and destruction," as I stayed up 'til 3 AM, then got up at 8:30, to finish a paper-- on a poem about death, no less. Then, as luck would have it, I had to spend the rest of the day (when I wasn't in class) prepping for a Russian test I wasn't prepared for at. all. (So why am I up right now at 2 AM? God only knows.)

And there were other parallels. First off, we're reading Hamlet in my Shakespeare class. It's a great play, and even better the second time around. Then, in my British Lit survey, we're reading (well, skimming, unfortunately) Tennyson, and one of the poems we're studying is the classic "Ulysses":

...Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

That last couplet has been quoted and analyzed so often it's become almost cliched, but it's lost none of its power since I first read it in the Perrine's poetry book. Tennyson is great. So are Keats and Wordsworth. I really need to read more of their stuff.

While we're on the subject, I don't miss high school all that much, but I do kind of miss the classes. I miss the days where you could sit down every day and talk about a book, or analyze a poem in real depth, rather than going to a lecture in which the professor tries to cram in so many texts and authors that we are unable to get down to the good stuff in any of them. Or going to a "discussion" section where 3/4 of the time is taken up by ridiculous quizzes, stupid procedural questions, and dumb-ass comments by people who don't know what they're talking about, and lukewarm responses from a TA who doesn't really care.

Posted by smit2174 at 1:56 AM

February 7, 2006

To celebrate the Grammies...

I've posted a new comic at shiftyeyes comics, in tribute...sort of... to Grammy nominee 50 Cent. Check it out!

Posted by smit2174 at 6:14 PM

November 8, 2005

I voted

That is all.

I'll have a election round-up sometime soon.

Posted by smit2174 at 7:29 PM

September 27, 2005

A sad day...

One of my high school classmates, Pat Kycia, drowned last weekend in the Red River in Moorhead. I didn't know him too well, but he was a friend of a friend. I feel so bad for everyone who knew Pat, especially his closest friends and family. My sympathies go out to them.

From the Pioneer Press (registration required)...

MOORHEAD, Minn. - A body found Tuesday in the Red River was believed to be that of a missing Minnesota State University Moorhead student.

Patrick Kycia, 19, of Stillwater, had been seen last in the early-morning hours on Friday at a fraternity party.

There were no obvious signs of trauma, police Lt. Bob Larson said. The body was to be taken to Ramsey County for identification, but the clothing, physical description and items found in the man's pockets led police to believe it was Kycia.

One of Kycia's friends, Ricky Sayarath, said Kycia drank a lot of whiskey at a Phi Sigma Kappa house party.

"Guys just kept giving him shots," said Sayarath, who was at the party. "He must have been pretty drunk."

Kycia's wallet - with cash and bank cards still in it - was found about three blocks south of the fraternity house. Police said Monday night that a shoe found in the Red River matches a description of the shoes Kycia was wearing when he went missing.

[...]

Just very sad, all around. Police say they don't suspect foul play, and, while I don't know the details of the investigation, this kind of thing seems to happen all too often: college students drowning on river campuses, usually after parties. I hope this doesn't seem insensitive, because I feel really bad for him, but hopefully this is a wake-up call for people that they need to keep themselves safe, especially when there is alcohol involved.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:58 AM

September 5, 2005

Surreal moment

One band I have adored for quite a while is the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. I got into them because I heard that they sounded like Radiohead. I have kind of grown tired of Radiohead, but I still love Sigur Ros. Their music is great because it is so emotionally and musically satisfying, and, since I don't speak Icelandic, unencumbered by the meanings of the lyrics.

Anyway, I just had an experience that proves that an event doesn't have to be big or important or life-affirming/-altering to be surreal. I was listening to the new Sigur Ros single, called "Saeglopur" from their album (which comes out in ONE WEEK!) Takk, while simultaneously reading articles about and looking at the pictures from the horrific disaster in New Orleans. The combination of the words, images, and music produced a wave of emotion that can only be described as surreal. I was at once saddened by the vast tragedy of it all, brimming with rage that much of this destruction was totally preventable, and yet, strangely, filled with hope that everything will someday get put back together. I suddenly seemed to understand the song completely, though I didn't understand a word.

Posted by smit2174 at 9:05 PM

April 7, 2005

Cat blogging

Hey! Exciting news! So, you know how we had to put my old cat, Miguel, to sleep? It was a sad day. He was older than me. I basically grew up with him. We had him ever since I was a baby, except for the time when he ran away for an entire spring and summer after we got Buster, the bad dog German shepherd. He was a great cat. I miss him a lot. I feel we had a special bond, because he would always sleep on my bed, and he would spend most of his time with me. He was a constant companion when I was reading and doing homework.

Well, I guess I don't have to be sad anymore! My family has adopted a stray kitten that showed up on our neighbor's porch. I haven't been home to see her yet, but they sent me a picture:

cat 003.jpg

She still needs a name. Help us out! Post it in comments if you think of anything amazing.

Posted by smit2174 at 8:49 PM

March 30, 2005

Wow. What a worthless day.

Today sucked. I got absolutely nothing accomplished, outside of going to class. I couldn't focus on anything. Mostly because I was extremely tired and sick. I even failed at napping!

The general suckiness of today may have had something to do with the fact that it was grey and rainy outside all day. That's weird, though-- normally I enjoy rainy days.

Oh-- one good thing-- I got a 99 on my Film midterm. That made me happy. Especially because I'm sure a lot of people bombed it. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Wait, that didn't make sense. Yep. It's just that kind of day.

Ah well. Tomorrow will be better. And if not, maybe the next day. For sure the next day will, 'cos it's Friday, and it's "Opening Night" of the College Democrats convention which UDFL is hosting here at the U. A lot of cool speakers are (or might be) coming-- Patty Wetterling, Matt Entenza, Dean Johnson, Amy Klobuchar, possibly even Mark Dayton. (If he comes it will be on Saturday.) Who knows-- maybe my hero Dan Miller will be there! *sigh*

And, if we can pull this off, it will be sure to be the highlight... ELEPHANT PINATAS!!! I think the kid who was in charge of getting them screwed it up (yes, even some Democrats are completely incompetent), so we probably won't have them, but if we did that would be sweet. It would give me great satisfaction to beat the hell out of that hated symbol of Republican indecency, corruption, meanness, and all-around un-American-ness. And then, once it was on the ground, I would stomp on it. Ha. Well, it's fun to imagine, anyway.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:00 PM

March 28, 2005

reach into the mail bag...

I got this email from Donny today:

subject: "jeanny" by falco

listen to it, learn it, because we're so doing it this
summer. hard. real
hard.

should be a synth, a piano, drums, and a hell of a vocalist
+ many backups.
brett, prep yourself.

dp


Jeanny, komm, come on
Steh auf - bitte, du wirst ganz naъ
Schon spДt, komm - wir mЭssen weg hier,
raus aus dem Wald, verstehst du nicht?
Wo ist dein Schuh, du hast ihn verloren,
als ich dir den Weg zeigen muъte
Wer hat verloren? Du dich?
Ich mich? Oder, oder wir uns?

*chorus*
Jeanny, quit livin' on dreams
Jeanny, life is not what it seems
Such a lonely little girl in a cold, cold world
There's someone who needs you
Jeanny, quit livin' on dreams
Jeanny, life is not what it seems
You're lost in the night, don't wanna struggle and fight
There's someone, who needs you, babe

Es ist kalt, wir mЭssen weg hier, komm
Dein Lippenstift ist verwischt
Du hast ihn gekauft und ich habe es gesehen (inflection)
Zuviel rot auf deinen Lippen und du hast gesagt:
"Mach mich nicht an"
Aber du warst durchschaut, Augen sagen mehr als Worte
Du brauchst mich doch, hmh?
Alle wissen, daъ wir zusammen sind ab heute,
jetzt hЖr ich sie! ****Sie kommen
Sie kommen, dich zu holen
Sie werden dich nicht finden
Niemand wird dich finden, du bist bei mir

(chorus)

Newsflash: In den letzten Monaten
ist die Zahl der vermiъten Personen
dramatisch angestiegen. Die jЭngste
VerЖffentlichung der lokalen
PolizeibehЖrde berichtet von einem
weiteren tragischen Fall. Es handelt
sich um ein neunzehnjДhriges
MДdchen, das zuletzt vor vierzehn
Tagen gesehen wurde. Die Polizei
schlieъt die MЖglichkeit nicht aus, daъ
es sich hier um ein Verbrechen handelt.

chorus x2 or x3 with falco screaming and such

Prepare yourself for more Brad Halen madness. Crap. I hope I don't have to play bass again...
COMING SUMMER 2005.

*Please submit your suggestions for other songs we can play.*

Posted by smit2174 at 10:55 AM

November 29, 2004

Tragedy

You may have heard that a guy on my floor, Marcus, committed suicide last Wednesday. He fell out the window. The day before Thanksgiving. Now that we've come back to school, his death has really hit me.

I didn't know Marcus too well, which is another small tragedy. Talking to others around the floor, it doesn't seem like anyone really did. I studied economics with him once, ate at UDS with him maybe a couple times, and said "hi" whenever I saw him, but now that seems too little, too late. When I read Marcus' obituary, I learned more about him in those tiny paragraphs than I did in the two-and-a-half months he lived just around the corner from me.

Suicide is something that I'll probably never completely understand. I understand what it's like to be depressed and hopeless about the future, and I can see the attraction of ending it all. Since I don't know the thoughts that went through Marcus' head, or his particular circumstances, I cannot judge his decision. If he felt that killing himself was the only solution to his problems, then I think he was wrong, but I understand how someone could think that way. Life is hard sometimes. If life was hard all the time, I don't know what I would do. Being the person that I am, I'd like to believe that, no matter how bad things get, I would keep my head up and look to the future. But I just don't know.

I know that no one is probably reading this right now, and that's OK. If you are reading it, that's great, but I am really intending for this blog to be a way of getting my thoughts out. People who know me well know that I am not a great talker about feelings, and this is one way I can sort out my thoughts to myself. (Plus, it's way cooler than having a diary.) I'd just like to say this, though: I may not be a great talker, but I am a damn good listener. If you ever, ever have a problem that you need to talk to someone about, please, do not hesitate to call or visit. God knows I don't have all the answers. None of us do. But I will try my best to be a good friend or a good shoulder to cry on.

Last night, we, as a floor, had a long meeting about Marcus' suicide. Floor 9 has a reputation as a very close, fun-loving community, and I enjoy being a part of it. We decided that we are going to do a candle-light walk across campus, both as a show of respect to our friend Marcus and a show of solidarity against suicide. We are also going to try to join a "yellow-ribbon" suicide awareness campaign. I hope these efforts succeed, and I hope that this tragedy makes our floor community stronger. I know that I am going to make a stronger effort to get to know everyone a little better, and reach out to people more.

I am still sorting through my emotions about Marcus' death. Even though I didn't know him well, it is still a shock, and it raises a lot of personal questions for me. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. I know it must be a hundred times worse for them. I will probably be writing more about our march when that goes down, but I guess that's all for now. Thanks for listening.

Posted by smit2174 at 7:28 PM