Pretty Pointless.

We went out last night, for some pretty run of the mill Thursday night stuff, like dropping 10 dollars on 50 cent beers and riding home in the trunk of a car. This isn't a story about boozing, though. This is a story about friendship.

I was talking to this girl who I have had a couple classes with and would say I am loosely associated with. Define "loosely associated" here as only chatting with each other in social contexts where alcohol has played a role. However, when ever we encounter each other during the weekday, a greeting does not pass. What gives? we wondered. It just doesn't add up. Why can't we be friends when we're not hammered? There are a couple reasons, I guess. The prescient worry that blacking out has erased the memory of your tavern encounter or the trepidation that you will appear as a friendless spazz who translates talking in a bar to real friendship. Either way, once you leave the bar, you're pretty much strangers again.

I recognize that this course of events plays out all the time. In fact, it happens so much that my friends can be labeled as one of two things: my bar friends and my real world friends. A lot of people have this categorization in their minds, and I feel like it's a system that works. But, occasionally, you might want to bring one of your bar pals into your real life sphere. This can be a tricky transformation, but it can be done. First, you have to get hammered. This helps the process by getting everyone loosened and in their natural element. So, once you get nice and plastered you have to broach the subject. Say something like, "Hey, man, let's be friends in the real world." Then, shake hands. It is imperative that you shake hands. Boom. You're friends in the real world. It seems easy, but you've got to be careful. I don't know why, but I always like to include a little caution in my articles.


Crystal Castles

Update. Crystal Castles have a new album out. This album is also called Crystal Castles. Kind of confusing.

The new album improves on their old album in every way possible. Crystal Castles seem to be causing quite a stir these days between the live show outbursts, artistic plagiarism, and show-canceling controversies they have developed a rather love/hate relationship with many people. There is no denying the entertainment that most definitely is a Crystal Castles live performance, but now they will be able to take their live show to the next level with the depth that some of the tracks from their new album have. Not many other bands can turn a ton of strobe lights and onstage thrashing into a captivating live show. Alice Glass and Ethan Kath have seemingly made the music to do so.

What makes this latest album even more impressive to me is the fact that Crystal Castles' first album was released near the end of a bloghouse/nu-rave/entry level electro. But now they have surpassed it, becoming indie world stars whose sound is renown. Their innovative sound that they have stayed true to since the beginning has begun to take large bounds towards becoming something very special indeed. This new album is very, very good.

Celestica - Crystal Castles

Baptism - Crystal Castles

Intimate - Crystal Castles


Ireland/re-uniting with Nystrom and her crazy posse

Ireland. I had pretty lofty expectations for Ireland after my dear friend Katherine had told me how much fun she had there a few weeks before I went. Also, one of my close friends back at CU has been studying in Limerick this entire semester and has told me some pretty great stories about it. So I was pretty excited to be getting into Ireland for a long weekend.

We flew into Dublin early Friday morning. I went there with three girls from my ISA program and planned on meeting up with Lindsay later that afternoon. We found our hostel right away as it was relatively easy to find; very close to the train station. For that morning and early afternoon, we walked around Dublin and checked it out, trying to get relatively familiar with the area we were staying at. A couple of us went to a park in the center of Dublin and checked out the beautiful greenery and abundance of Irish tweeny-bopper hipsters. I got some great pictures and met some good Irish folk.

We went back to the hostel and eventually met up with Lindsay. We decided to grab a bite at a nice restaurant down near the Temple bar. We had great food and great music as both Lindsay and I got our indie hard-on's as they played the entire self-titled Vampire Weekend album through all the way. After the restaurant, we went to the Temple bar and checked out a couple others as well. Lindsay and I decided to stay out a bit later than the three other girls as we continued bar/pub hopping. At this time I would like to address to how amazing Guinness is in Ireland. Back in the States, I really couldn't care less if I had a Guinness or not. It's fine, but nothing that special to me. In Ireland, Guinness is amazing. It is so smooth and the head is on the beer until the last drink. Sure it is filling and more like a tasty treat, but it has booze and tastes great. I loved the Guinness in Ireland.

Anyway, Lindsay and I eventually made our way back to the hostel after an interesting encounter with a drunken Irish man who was in what looked to be a nasty 4 wheeler accident. We had quite a few alcoholic beverages and had no problem passing out. The next morning we were blessed b our dear friend Sahr's presence. Herself and two of her friends were supposed to get in the night before and come out with us, but they got in too late and we were already passed out. Nevertheless, we met up with them the next day. Lindsay and I decided to part from the group and get a little breakfast since we got up a little later than everyone else. We then proceeded to walk around Dublin a bit more and check out a few shops. We grabbed some fish and chips and irish stew and a guinness at a pub, then met up with Sahr and co. and went to the Guiness Factory. The Guiness Factory was pretty cool. They like beer and I like beer, so we all got along. Plus you get a free pint at the end of the tour and if you are like me, you jacked the glass they gave you. Whoops. After the tour, Lindsay decided to go back back to Limerick to get prepared for our arrival the next day. That night, Sahr and I went out with our friends. We had a good time and I enjoyed spending time with her and getting to know her better.

The next day, we got on a bus and made our way to Galway. The bus ride there was long, but gorgeous. The Irish countryside is really unrivaled in its beauty. The bus rides were actually some of my favortie moments in the trip. We stayed in Galway for most afternoon, really just walking around and checking everything out. It was cool, but I didn't like it nearly as much as Dublin nor as much as I was about to like Limerick. We hopped on an evening bus to Limerick and got there around 7 or 8 at night. We caught a cab to Lindsay's campus and started meeting her roommates. This is where my true Irish experience began. Lindsay's roommates were characters to say the least. She lived with one other girl and the rest were dudes. Real Irish bros at that. They like to have a good time, to put it lightly. Extremely friendly and very generous, I had a great time with Lindsay and her friends. Lindsay and the girls I was with did a nice job making dinner after which we decided to have a few drinks and check out a club the Lindsay had recommended for the evening. So we checked out the club and it was pretty cool, though I couldn't but have slightly bad taste in my mouth right away as they charged all the dudes 5 euro to get in. But it is what it is. Okay, so we were all dancing and having a good time and then some shit went down. Long story short, they turned on AC-DC and just don't know you are supposed to dance to it. Of course, coming from America, I do so I proceeded to start a 'polite' mosh. By this I mean, I was far from belligerent and was not trying to piss anyone off. Well the bouncers (all 25 of them there) didn't like it and gave me the boot. Ha. I waited outside for the rest of my crew to come outside and we made our way back to Lindsay's place, with a quick pit-stop at a local fast-food joint. We got back and a few of us decided to have a few drinks and just chill. Well we were chillin, but Gavin, one of Lindsay's more meat-headed roommates proceeded to slug on a handle of cheap vodka and start shattering bottles. Lindsay made it very clear to us that this was a very normal tendency for her roommates to break their alcoholic beverage bottles once they are done with them. So I was ready for that, I wasn't however ready for him destroying the front of their microwave with his fist. Yeah, that took me off-guard. The rest of the night was pretty weird, but cool. I ended up passing out on one Lindsay's couches.

The next day, we grabbed lunch with Lindsay and parted ways. We caught a bus back to Dublin and made our towards the airport. I had a great time in Ireland. I really liked Limerick (stab-city) a lot and found Lindsay's campus to be very beautiful. I wish we would have spent more than one night there. I did my worst job of getting pictures on this trip. I really dropped the ball getting a few of me, Lindsay and Sahr. Oh well. Lessons learned. I would love to go back to Ireland. I feel like it will definitely happen again some day in the near future.



Incrediboy and Beechnut were out of town this weekend, so this post isn't funny.

I've been taking a lot of heavy, upper-division English classes lately, and it's really amazing how much of this stuff they actually expect me to wrap my head around. Here is a topic from class discussion a couple weeks ago: Was Richard III evil because he was deformed or deformed because he was evil? It took a lot of brainpower to not reply: Uh, he was an ugly, bad dude, who, uh, got on a chick, then, uh, killed some people. (Note: if anyone is dying to know the answer to aforementioned question, I have a paper about it--it's boring.)
So, yes, some of this stuff is a little dry and tedious. But, then again, there are some pretty choice bits I'm picking up, too, most awesome of which is the idea of conceptual art. Conceptual art is product that results from the school of thinking that asserts that the manifestation of the idea behind a work is more important than the traditional aesthetic or material value. Artists who could be labeled as "conceptual" include Marchel Duchamp, Damien Hirst (whose The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living is pictured above), Tracey Ermin, and, ironically, anonymous British graffiti artist Bansky. Banksy probably hates being mentioned in the same breath as his ideological antithesis, Hirst, but, hey, I'm calling them like I see them. A lot of 'chillwave' bands sometimes get labeled as conceptual artists, but I disagree with this.
Anyways, the cool thing about conceptualism is you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want if you keep the idea alive. If someone disagrees with you, that's ok, because different ideas mean different things to different people. Or, if someone disagrees with you, you can tell them they're not smart enough to 'get it.'

'A dead shark isn't art? You don't know art.'

In the past I have railed against the over-commercialization of conceptual art, and, to clarify, yes, I still don't think it's worth a hundred million dollars. But I do recognize and respect--even envy--the thought that went into, the raw emotion that charges it, the intention it took to create it, and the internal unquiet invoked by the posing of the title and piece. And if that's not art, I don't know what is.

Most of the stuff I've had the chance to do isn't nearly as cool as anything a 'real' conceptual artist would do, plus it doesn't readily lend itself to digitalization (I'm still a humanist in this respect). But, if the opportunity arises I might put it up, or I might not.

In the meantime, here is one of the dopest blogs I have ever encountered: Werewolves Fuck Your Face. I actually have borrowed a few pictures from here for various projects (love the Internet) and think it's pretty sweet what this guy's doing. Note: the collage for March was way sweeter, but this guy doesn't archive so let's hope May brings him back to top level.

The Tobacconist

Tobacco is a great product. Most girls hate it but most guys crave it. However, how you go about consuming this plant says a lot about a person. Here is how I see and grade the tobacco and its consumer.

One of my favorite ways
The Person - probably chill, and likes to do tricks.
The Process - this is one of the most social ways to smoke. Its a smoke for both sexes to enjoy and the most flavorful. A down side is that it is expensive to start and is easy to break.
R.I.P Black Diamond

My least favorite
The Person - usually trashy, you're gross, get out of my face, you smell bad and its your fault for smoke free zones. Thanks
The Process - its simple, you smoke a stick usually by yourself and then throw it on the ground.

The Can
If you see me with this then I mean business
The Person - usually a hard ass who enjoys some country, partying, and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty. If you are a girl then.. um.. quit please..
The Process - can either give you a great buzz or send you spinning and puking your guts out. THIS IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. The potent poison usually starts your day or ends your night.
Copenhagen Berry Blend or Straight are my preferences.

The Pipe
The most enjoyable in my mind
The Person - classy, simple and laid back.
The Process - usually smoked if you have time to kick back. Has a variety of flavors and is a unique smoke these days. Windsor and Black Mamba from the old market here in Omaha are among the leaders. Can be difficult to get a bowl that lasts, but is an accomplishment when you do.

I like to make fun of these people
The Person - wimpy and the light weights of the tobacco world, but they think its acceptable.
The Process - buy a beautifully decorated can with cute names like Frost and Spice packaged in little pouches to place in your upper lip. For no reason.

You have either been traveling or you have some money to spare for a good smoke
The Person - likes to take time out of the day and enjoy a true "smoke break."
The Process - classic/classy. If you are trying to impress I suggest that you use cedar flakes to light your cigar then proceed to have an intelligent conversation or stress your modern day concerns.

The Pouch (not that wimpy pouch you put in your lip)
I'm talking chaw, chew, stuff that makes your scrotum tuffer and your 'stache stiffer. This is where the goods are at, i'm talkin Levi, Beechnut, Red Man, etc..
The Person - prolly a friend of mine. Also likes the outdoors, has a hard working job, can fix things and could care less if people think its gross (if you tell them it is they will probably spit it in your eye.. and you deserve it.)
The Process - grab a wad of delicious moist leaf and throw it in your mouth. Once it starts getting dry you chew or gnaw on it then fill up a can.

Enjoy Friends,
and if someone says its bad for you and you need to quit then you can either put out your cigarette or cigar on them, spit you chew or dip at them, blow your pipe out at them and hit up side the head with it. or if you have a pouch you can try to throw it at them but then you better run.

Stronghand's Old Favorites: "My Backwards Walk" by Frightened Rabbit

My boy AlejandroPablo put me on to these dudes as sophomore year started out and I was pretty instantly in love. This song above all others stood out to me on their "Midnight Organ Fight" album. There really isn't anything too fancy-pants going on musically here (I do love the transition toward the end of the song though), but the lyrics are just incredible. I think everyone can relate to at least portions of this song, and recently it's been stuck on repeat for the last week or so. Enjoy.

Frightened Rabbit: "My Backwards Walk"

"I'm working on drawing a straight line, and I'll draw until I get one right."


Game On.

Okay, everyone, I just want to clear the air before I get too into this post. I am not an unrepentant, recalcitrant boozehound. I know that the nature of the majority of my posts is discordant with this claim, but I’m only giving the people what they want. I know my reader (hey, Harrison) and I know they would much rather hear about this stuff than any other topic I employ a semblance of authority over. What’s more exciting, a story about how Incrediboy and I got butt-housed and wandered through a bad neighborhood or the development of the post-revolutionary American identity as expressed through the novel? I mean, I could replace all the stories about me yakking in the bushes with considerations on the functions of the comma in dialogue, but let’s be real, no one wants that. That being said, let’s talk about boozing.

This post is about when it’s ok and when it’s not so ok to drink certain things. We live in an age of seemingly limitless alcohol selection and myriad social settings. Pairing the right alcohol to the right surroundings is not an easy task, but if you keep your wits about you most major crises can be avoided. Note: none of this applies to Hurricane Brien. That guy can drink whatever, wherever, whenever.

Coors Light/Crown & Coke

These are your safe zones. I compare Coors Light and Crown & Coke to khaki pants and a polo shirt. It can be classed up or made casual. You can untuck the polo and spend 20 bucks on dollar bottles, or you can iron your khakis and just sip your Crown with supper. If you’re not sure what to drink, drink either of these. They’re both rugged, American brands that earn you some modicum of street cred with the ardent loyalists both these labels have inspired. These are your safe bets.


I’ll be the first to admit, I used to a detractor of this beverage. I thought it was for girls or people on beaches or in Mexican restaurants. I was wary of any drink that chartreuse. Then, I slugged a few $2 day-margs at Danny’s and all my dismissive presumptions went right out the window. A margarita is like tequila candy. Children love candy and Mexican cowboys love tequila, and if I drink too many margs, my coherency will degenerate to the level of one of these. But when do you drink a marg? Generally, it’s ok to drink a marg if it makes you look like a badass. To elaborate, a marg is best enjoyed early in the day (the oft mentioned and revered “day-marg”), preferably over a meal featuring beef, while talking about sports and/or outdoor activities with 4-5 of your buds. All this machismo will cancel out any feminine connotations the margarita may carry. Also, I’ve found that cutting out the “-arita” from the name makes enjoying it easier. Finally, it is important to remember to always drink more than one marg. Two to three are necessary to ensure that people know you’re aiming to get pile-drived, not just enjoying a cocktail with lunch. Oh, and get it on the rocks, salt on the rim. That's the only way.

Keystone Light/Natural Light/Busch Light

These three beers are all ranked together because of their similarities in taste (watery), quality (low), price ($14-$17), quantity (30 pack of bust), and appeal (near universal). This is basically the same beer sold out of three different cans, a beer known as “the Easy Drinker.” And while the Easy Drinker renders mass appeal, there are a few regulations for its consumption. As the Easy Drinker is sometimes known colloquially as “frat water” it is best to keep it within those frat-tastic confines. The Easy Drinker is reserved for house parties, gamedays, grillouts, field days, or booze cruising. Any situation that calls for a large group to congregate and chill out while downing copious brewskies is acceptable for the Easy Drinker. The Easy Drinker is not welcome in contexts featuring people who are above you and your peer group in social station and rank; if there are parents or other older, semi-respectable types present, the Easy Drinker ought naught be.

Keystone Ice/Natural Ice

A doctor would probably say that it’s never okay to drink this puissant libation, but doctors are lame and most of them can barely spell. That being said, the same provisos that apply to the Easy Drinker apply here, with one added stipulation: no girls. Never, ever under any circumstances should you drink Ice beer around girls. They may not look like they’re judging you, but they’re judging you. Sipping from a black can tall girl is par to having spinach in your teeth or rubbing french fries on your hair as a surefire way to not successfully chat up a gal. Ice should be reserved for when you and the boys want to get full on plastered in the comfort and safety of your own home.


If you can somehow get your hands on a Zima, you drink it as soon as possible and savor every drop. Also, put a Jolly Rancher in the bottle for a fun flavor.

Bud Light Lime

The rules for drinking more than one BL Lime:
-it has to be summer
-you have to be outside
-you must be wearing sandals/Sperry’s
-reggae/Vampire Weekend has to be playing
-you can not buy in quantity greater than a 12 pack
-if you do not oblige the above, you better be lacking male genitalia.

Alternatively, there is a more radical approach that makes drinking BL Lime outside the aforementioned parameters ok, but few have the gumption or time to commit to such an endeavor. This approach involves pouring the BL Lime from its markedly lame looking can/bottle into something a bit more respectable; an empty Steel Reserve or Axe-Head can is best suited for the job. This toughens your image up enough to keep you with society’s tolerable range. Or, you could just paint some fire and skulls on your bottles. That works, too.


Any alcohol that can run a gas generator has to be approached with caution/circumspection/awe. This stuff should not be taken lightly. I have seen EverClear send people to the hospital. I have seen a lit cigarette ignite spilled EverClear and burn a hole in a picnic table. I have been paid $50 to mail a bottle of it to Virginia, where it is illegal to sell or purchase. The motto “don’t fear the ‘Clear” is entirely infelicitous by nature, but “just respect the ‘Clear” doesn’t have the same ring to it. If you don’t give EverClear credit where credit is due, it will knock you on your ass, spit in your face, and steal your bike. EverClear is only to be enjoyed—and I use that word very loosely—within a large group, preferably mixed into something, thus limiting the potency of its chemistry of nearly pure alcohol. Oh, and one more thing: any time you drink EverClear, it is imperative that everyone knows you are drinking EverClear so they can recognize how hardass you are.


Excluding a glass or two with a nice meal, drinking wine in a social (read: house party) context could be opprobrious to your reputation. Even though wine has a higher ABV than beer, there’s nothing respectable about walking around with a glass of wine. I don’t know what it is because the social constructs and mores at work here are beyond my grasp, but it’s just not cool. However, if you are going to insist on drinking wine at the next frat house rager, there are a few ways to do it with style. First, do not drink nice wine. The cheaper, the better. If the wine you’re drinking tastes like Kool-Aid mixed with nailpolish remover, you’re on the right track. Also, try to get the biggest bottle for the lowest amount of money. If your wine comes in a $12 gallon jug, it’s no longer a beverage; it’s a personal statement. A box of Franzia is the gold standard here. Second, drink straight from the bottle. No cups and for God’s sake so wine glasses. This is a party, not a poetry reading. Grasp the bottle by the neck and drink in overblown, forceful motions, like a hobo looking for a reason to eke out one more second of wretched existence. If at all possible, finish the bottle. Bonus points for breaking it.

Alright, that’s all I got for today, as anthropology class is winding down and schoolwork calls. I hope this guide is a handy reference as you wander your local liquor store.

Get weird.


Paris/Versailles, France

Nantes - Beirut

Easter weekend was fast approaching and I had just gotten back last Sunday night (March 28th) from an incredible 9 day trip to Greece. I was still kind of playing "catch-up", if you will, with life. My sister, Rachel, and her boyfriend Andrew got into Paris on Friday morning and I planned to meet up with them later that evening. I got into Paris about 6:30pm and had to take an hour long bus ride into the main part of the city. Ryan-Air (the cheap airline that all the students travel with in Europe) flies into all these small ass airports that are located out in the middle of nowhere and it takes a costly bus ride to get into the main city in that area. Once I finally got into downtown Paris, I realized that the easiest/quickest way to meet up with Rachel and Andrew at our hotel would most definitely be a cab ride. So I coughed up and grabbed a taxi and took it to our hostel. It was great getting to see Rachel (and Andrew!) as I don't get to see her enough as it is because she lives in Washington D.C. and I am usually in Omaha, NE or Chamberlain, SD. It had been a pretty 'roller coaster' past week for me to, so it was great to see some familiar faces since I've been abroad and family at that. We decided to grab a bite at a nice little restaurant that was near our hotel. It happened to be an Italian joint (of course), but nevertheless it was really good. We also had our first of several crepes with nutella at this place.

The next day we woke up early and decided to make it to Versailles, which is just outside of Paris. After a short, 40 minute metro ride into Versailles, we were greeted what seemed to be the Easter tourist special in Paris/Versailles that weekend. There were quite a few people standing in line to get into the palace at Versailles, but surprisingly it really didn't take that long at all. The palace was beautiful, pretty much everything you would expect from a palace that played host to Louis XIV, XV, & XVI located in one of the most historic and wealthiest parts in all of Europe. Rich people had it pretty sweet back in the day. I found it rather comical that Louis XV was such a partier and even hosted parties in his bedroom in the palace of all places. Not sure as to what exactly those parties entailed, but I'm sure your imagination isn't too far off. The hall of mirrors was definitely the most iconic area in the palace and pretty amazing. After the palace, we decided to briefly look around the gardens located behind the palace. You could literally walk around those gardens for days they are so vast. They were pretty magnificent and I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my favorite childhood stories/movies, The Count of Monte Cristo. I had no problem envisioning a french masquerade ball being held there back in the day.

After Versailles, we grabbed a sandwich at a place located pretty close to Notre Dame cathedral. Notre Dame cathedral was pretty fantastic. Definitely one of my favorites I have seen while Europe (and trust me I have seen my share!). Andrew pointed out to us that the best view of Notre Dame is actually from the side/behind it. It was a beautiful church and once again the history of the Catholic church astounded me. After the cathedral, we walked over toward the Louvre. We sat outside of it taking pictures and decided that we needed to find the place where we would be doing the wine tasting seminar, so we decided to put off doing the Louvre until tomorrow (Easter). So we found the wine tasting place after some 'clever' navigating and fund that it actually took place down in a cellar. The wine tasting was fantastic, as was the guy who hosted. I felt as though I actually learned quite a bit and got to try some fantastic French wines, including a champagne. There was one wine that really stood out to all three of us as our favorite, but I cannot recall the name of it so maybe Rachel or Andrew could help me out with that. It was fantastic though. Maybe my favorite wine that I have had. The wine tasting was great and we all walked out of there having our fair share.

After the wine, we decided to make our way towards the Eiffel tower. We decided to walk and it ended up being a pretty decent hike, but in the end it was well worth it. The Eiffel tower was stunning to say the least. I am kind of glad we decided to do it at night as the ambience that it gave off was rather gorgeous. We eventually got in line to go up to the top and it goes a lot higher up than you might think. The Eiffel tower was the biggest surprise for me that weekend as I had actually underrated it going in and was taken by it after viewing its grandeur in person. While in line at the Eiffel, we met a couple on their honeymoon that had been here the past two nights in line and had still yet to make it to the top of the tour. Hearing that, I was just glad that we made it up there. After the tower, we made our way back to the hotel and stopped for a kebab along the way.

The next day, we found a church near by and made it to mass. I have been to my share of mass in Italian, so hearing it in French was even more of a blur. Either way, it felt like mass and it was Easter Sunday. The plan after mass was to make our way to the Louvre and then it would be time for me to get on the bus and head back to the airport. Unfortunately for us, the line to get into the Louvre literally went on for miles. I did not have enough time wait in line and expect to be able to see all I wanted in museum and make my bus to get to the airport. So we took our blow to the chin and missed out on the Louvre while we were in Paris. Andrew told the Mona Lisa looked like a third grade finger painting anyway, so that made me feel better. The way I look at it, I sacrificed the Louvre for my soul as I did Easter mass as opposed to the infamous French museum. In all honesty, yes of course I wanted to go in the museum and see some of the masterpieces that are Van Gogh's Starry Night and what not, but I have been to so many museums since I have been here, at the time it was just kind of like, okay whatever. Besides going to mass on Easter was much more of a priority to me anyway and really the trip in general wasn't really about Paris for me. It was much more about getting to see my sister and Andrew and getting to spend the weekend with them. I was put in charge of what we were to do until I had to leave so I decided that we should dine-in at an authentic little French cafe getting coffee and crepes. I was a big fan of it and was glad we were able to have the French Cafe experience.

My trip to Paris was great. It was a short weekend trip and quite honestly I didn't have near enough time there, but I plan on trying to make it back at some point in my life. Paris was a beautiful city, rich with culture and history. It was definitely the most romantic city I have ever been to. The French culture fascinates me as it seems to be quite romantic in general. The language is beautiful. At the time, being in the most romantic city in the world wasn't necessarily ideal for me, but by the time it's all said and done, I will make it back there to experience the romanticism at its best.


Music is Simple

I found this video quite humerus and figured it qualified for the blog. I remember teaching myself how to play the guitar and realized that once I got a few chords down the doors opened to many famous songs. Turns out these guys figured it out too and are a little better at it than myself. Enjoy.


Let Go - jj

Before going further into this post, it should be brought to the attention of the reader that this post is entirely dedicated and intertwined with my my experiences in both a foreign culture and I suppose what some may refer to as an exotic location. With that said, Santorini was probably one of the coolest, most unique places I have ever been. What a beautiful place. When pulling into the port, I noticed that the city of Fira (though I had no idea at the time what city it was) sits high up on the cliffs of Santorini, far above the sea level on the port side of the island. As you can kind of tell from some of the pictures I took, once we arrived in Santorini we had to get in a bus that zig-zagged its way up the side of a cliff until we reached the top and were taken to our hostel. Once we got to our hostel, I was rather confused as the hostel laid right next a black sanded beach (which was extremely cool looking). What confused me was that I had not realized that we had slowly gone back down to sea level. I don't know, I was really confused for some reason.

Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast from Greece's mainland. The largest island is known as Thēra (or Thira, Greek Θήρα [ˈθira]), forming the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2001 census population of 13,670. (via wikipedia)

Our hostel was very nice and it was extremely convenient that it was located right on Perissa Beach. On a random note, we did run into a girl from St. Cloud, MN who was also staying in the same hostel as us. She knew some of my friends at CU, so I definitely had "small world" experience while there. As you can see on the map below, Perissa Beach is located almost on the complete opposite side of the city of Fira. It would make for one hell of a long walk and we really didn't feel like killing half of our walking while there. So we decided to find some type of transportation while there. We found a local automotive rental place and decided to rent either a vespa or an ATV for 10 euro for the entire day. Seemed like a pretty good deal to us. So we did both, getting one the first day and the other on the next. It was definitely a good idea as it was a good 15-20 minute drive to Fira from our hotel at Perissa Beach. Once we got to Fira, I immediately enjoyed the vibe of the city. First of all, because we were there a little early on in the season, there were hardly any tourists anywhere we went. In my book, this is awesome. Frankly, for the most part, tourists (people in general, kind of) suck. The city of Fira is the capital of Sanorini. I would have no idea how many people actually reside there, but it there was definitely a lot of action there but it still had that small town feel. Every where we ate was fantastic and very authentic. We climbed towards the top of the city and took advantage of the breathtaking views by snapping a few photos. Fira was a very cool city and we ended up coming back there on our last day to grab a bite and kill a few hours before we got on our Ferry to head back to Athens.

On the second day in Santorini, we decided to check out a beach. The beach we had heard most about was simply referred to as the "red beach". This beach was located pretty close to Fira and was again a short vespa ride away. Once we got there, we realized how nice it was to be 2 of the 7 people that were on that beach at all during the time we were there. The beach itself was unique in that the sand and the rock surrounding the beach were red colored (of course) and really reflected the sunlight giving it a radiant appearance. The beach was super chill and we spent most of the afternoon basking in the sun, taking in rays and exploring the beach. Fun in the sun. To my comrade Pistol's request, the first song I jammed while on the beach in Santorini was played and posted at the top of this note. It was a relazing day at the beach, with beautiful views and perfect weather.

We got back on the atv and headed back towards the direction of our hostel, stopping at a local grocer to grab some food. That night we had a nice dinner at a restaurant located right next to our hostel. It was fantastic as we ordered several different dishes and split them all family style. The lady who served us owned the place with her husband and treated us extremely well and gave us free ouzo at the end of the meal. Ouzo is a licorice flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece. I would compare it its taste to that of absinthe. Seems like it is very hit or miss with non-Greek people. Personally I enjoyed it but Caitlin was not fond of it. The owner also gave us a shot of some dietary cleanser that was served to us warm. Not sure what I thought of this one as it tasted kind of like Pine-Sol. Oh well, free booze and booze that cleanses. Have to drink it.

Santorini was an amazing island and quite possibly my favorite of the three places I went to in Greece. The perfect way to cap off my spring break in 2010. So relaxed. Hard to say it was my favorite because they are all three so different, but Santorini was definitely the most beautiful. I definitely felt like I got the authentic greek experience in the 9 days I was there and through the three places I traveled to. Going into it and planning the trip, the authentic experience is what I really wanted, so I was satisfied to say the least. Greece was a beautiful country with the most hospitable people you will meet. I loved my time in Greece and look forward to making my way back.


Chiddy Bang+Sufjan=The Bees' Knees

Not really much to say here... Just a really bad ass song. Love these guys.

Chiddy Bang: "All Things Go"


LCD Soundsystem "All I Want"

James Murphy is an interesting dude. First of all, he's kind of old. This is fine, but this coming May 17 he will only be releasing his 3rd album (under the LCD moniker), This Is Happening. Just seems kind of odd to me that a guy who is over 40 years old is just releasing his 3rd album and says it may be the last for LCD Soundsystem. There are a lot of weird things about this guy, but right now I'm not going to go into that. I want to talk about how much I like his new song, "All I Want".

All I Want - LCD Soundsystem

Like many LCD songs, this song really is not that complex. There is a steady trap beat, a few keyboard chords being pounded out, and a guitar rift that slides around and this keeps up for the entire song. Eventually a synth beat comes in and jazzes up about halfway through and really comes alive in the last stretch. Anyway, it's basically the same thing throughout this song. Normally I don't go for that kind of thing, but Mr. Murphy just has a way of making it work. "All I Want" is so damn catchy. It's one of those songs I can just throw on repeat and not grow tired of and can't help but tap my foot to. The thing that really makes this song though is the passion Murphy has put into it. "All I want is your pity/ And all I want are your bitter tears" he admits to without shame in the song's repetitive, yet emotionally moving chorus. The longing he shows for the one he messed up, "Look, for the girl who has put up with all of your shit." The honesty and ardor that Murphy sings with when he declares "Take me home!" near the end of the tune really opens the listener up as he bares his soul. Well done James.

This Is Happening is out May 17 and can be streamed in its entirety right now at LCD's website. Enjoy.


Walking Around.

Alright here's a little story about travel. I'm not going to pull any punches here. I'm going to get on the level with you and have you know that this story involves no exotic location, fast-paced frivolity or foriegn cultural experience. This is more of a story of two wayward sojourners on a listless, protracted stumble around their own backyard. This isn't a romance, it isn't a mystery--although some details remain unclear--this is a record of what happened last Friday.

It all started with a few of us heading out for a tasty lunchtime meal of wings and a day marg. We settled down at a Buffalo Wild Wings, our hunger for wings trumping our love of cheap margs that usally leads us to Danny's. This may or may not have been a mistake. We were seated and immediately met our waitress. Her name? LT. Her business? Being the worst waitress in the history of wings and waitressing. She arrived, resplendent in her glory, and took our drink orders. Then we waited. We would soon learn that we were going to do a lot of waiting this lunch. The drinks arrived. LT disappeared. We waited. When we were halfway done with our beverages, LT came back. We ordered. We waited. By the time our chow arrived we were done with our margs, afraid to order another for fear of wait, and debating the concept of a negative tip. We chowed in silence, then got the hell out of there. I usually feel bad ragging of various waitpersons and those who deliver things to me, but, wow, LT was really bad. Hopefully she was just having an off day and she picked her game up before the dinner rush.
The one plus side of our waiting was the opportunity to formulate a plan for the coming evening. Some nice gals we associate with were having a cookout at their house (BYOB, BYOMeat) so it was for certain that we would stop by. It wasn't until later, in a backyard game of bags (Beechnut and KMart roundly destroying myself and Incrediboy) that we hatched a brilliant scheme centered on a brilliant concoction. Tonight, we declared, we will drink Witche's Brew (note: beer, vodka, lemonade) and we will make it with EverClear. The motto of the day soon became 'Don't fear the 'Clear' as we rushed around the neighborhood gathering the necessities: kites, coozies, hot dogs, cups and booze. Quick digression here: we are the apogee of liquor store economics. We have devised the formulas for price to alcohol content. If a case of Keystone Light costs the same as a case of Natty Ice, you have to buy the Natty Ice because there's more alcohol in it. It's like a science. The practice of our craft held us up a bit on this day though as we fervently debated what to purchase. We could get two handles of McCormick's for $22, whereas a fifth of EverClear was $15. Howver, by forgoing the 'Clear, we would be abandoning our day's motto. A reasonable solution was reached, and we got a handle of vodka and a fifth of EverClear, along with a cool 30 rack of Natty Ice, two bags of ice, four cans of pink lemonade concentrate, and two 2-liter bottles of diet Sierra Mist, to both tamp down the booziness and keep the sugar content low. With this shopping spree we were on our way.
We pulled up to the cookout prepared to, in the word's of Beechnut, "get totally butt-housed," as we proceeded to dump our ingredients into a RubberMaid cooler named 'Chazz.' Then, we got loaded. Oh, boy, did we get loaded. I'm not going to go into specifics because you don't have that kind of time, but when a fire is built and Incrediboy starts singing LFO songs, you know you've been hitting the sauce. We were "butt-housed." Somehow, we made it back to Incrediboy and Beechnut's house, but I'm not sure how.
Here was the fork in the road. Do we collapse in on ourselves or do we forge ahead? KMart and Beechnut crashed, blackout on the floor and a couch, respectively. Incrediboy and I decided to keep going, abandoning 'don't fear the 'Clear'--because there was obviously something to fear--for a new motto: how many times do you live? We headed downtown, and here is where things get fuzzy again. We made it back downtown and there began the long march. We went to Whiskey Tango, and the bouncer made me comb my hair before I could come in. Whiskey Tango sucked on the inside. Too crowded, not enough cool people, we decided to hit the town and ramble to every bar we could find, as long as it didn't have a cover charge. And ramble we did. Keep in mind, it is around 10:30 but we were so drunk it might as well have been closing time. This gave us a leg up on the competition.
The details of this adventure are hazy, as by this point of the night I was extremely near blackout. What little record of the night that could be collected comes from various text messages sent to myself commenting on what ever tavern we had wondered into. Listed below are the collected messages. I'll try to elaborate when I can, but some of this was new information to me when I looked at it the next morning, so don't get too excited.

10:44 p.m. The foundation. 2 floors. Pool. Metallica crowd. 25 beers on tap.
-I don't know who this bar was geared towards. It seemed very chilled out with the 25 beer taps lined up like bats at a batting cage, but it gave off a state school vibe. I don't think anyone there was actually drinking. Mostly there were just sitting there with their greasy hair wearing black t-shirts. There were four pool tables with no one playing. This place confused me.

10:53 p.m. Dubliner. 3 dollar cover.
-I'm not paying 3 bucks to drink, not now, not never.

11:01- Billy Frogg's. Cheetah. Mean bouncer.
-Ah, the return to Billy Frogg's. In the last six weeks we have been kicked out of Billy Frogg's a couple of times, even being told to never come back last time. Why? That god-damned cheetah. Billy Frogg's is decorated with various knick-knacks and junk, and among this detritus is a small statue of a cheetah. From the first time we saw it, we have tried to swipe it. We get caught everytime, and we get tossed everytime, including one very near physical encounter with the aforementioned 'mean bouncer.' We didn't stay here long. The place was packed with assholes.

11:12- Mr. Toad. Scott. Jamesons
-Mr. Toad is a chilled out place. They have bookshelves and leather chairs and an old guy named Pops sitting in the corner booth. Also, the bartender has the same birthday as me which is usually good for a shot of Jameson's every now and then. So, Incrediboy and I saddled up for a quick shot of Jameson's and continued our journey.

11:20- Old market tavern. Dummies.
-I guess the Old Market Tavern was full of dummies.

11:24- Little king. Peligro.
-We walked into the Little King. We had forgotten, in our stupor, that Little King is, in fact, not a bar but a sandwich shop. At the time, it was a sandwich shop that was preparing to close. We stumbled in, I tripped over a 'Wet Floor' sign, and we ran out shouting the first word that sprang to mind, "Peligro!"

11:32- O'Connors. Not old enough. Not irish enough.
-O'Connor's looked like a combination between a Red Sox game and a Jersey Shore tryout session. Kill me.

11:34- Eat the worm. Still cool.
-We only ducked into Eat the Worm, but it stilled smelled like tequila (aka margs), tacos, and chips. Yep. Still cool.

11:42- Downtown blues. Yikes. Rapist paradise. Get me out of here.
-This was a creepy, almost completely empty jazz club with two bald, fat guys drinking Bud Light and some guy mic checking on the stage. Yikes.

Quick digresson. At this point, Incrediboy and I stumbled out of Downtown Blues headed back to Whiskey Tango. We had caught wind that some of our friends had set up shop there, and were willing to give it a second chance. We started heading in a direction we thought was north--towards Whiskey Tango--but we soon became confused. "We're going the wrong way," I said. "No," said Incrediboy, "Whiskey Tango is north of here. We're walking north." I was puzzled. "Then why," I asked, "is the UP building behind us?" Incrediboy looked. The UP building was, in fact, behind us. Incrediboy shook his head in disbelief, then shook his hands in the air, "How'd we get so discombobulated?!" With that, we turned around and headed north--the real north.

11:53- Whiskey tango. More babes. Crowded.
-Yeah, there were more girls there. But there were also a bunch of douche bags. We lasted anoth ten minutes.

At this point we had had quite enough bars. It seemed like the Old Market had nothing to offer us. We had seen all it had to show, and were left wanting. Then, Incrediboy remembered the Happy Bar. Between Creighton's campus and the Qwest Center there is a godless tract of land that Creghton hasn't decided to build anything on yet. This is an area of empty buildings, a pawn shop, a bakery, and Happy Bar. We had passed it often on our way to basketball games, but had not ventured into it. Tonight was the night. Our trip to Happy Bar was nearly derailed when we wandered into Pioneer Courage Park, where there are like a hundred statues. These statues were so fun to fuck around with that we nearly forgot that closing time was drawing near. We bid our stautue pals good night and hustled under two Interstate bridges (aka hobo hotels) to Happy Bar. This place was not happy. Unless, I guess, your definition of 'happy' equates to 'two female truck drivers playing darts while the surly bartender stares you down and Creedence plays on the jukebox.' However, Happy Bar had a strange allure and we discussed a few strategies to get the bartender to let us drink after hours, but when he shot us the dagger eyes at 1 we booked it.
The walk back to the neighborhood was uneventful aside from the bunch of black kids fighting in a parking lot and a fire in McGloin. Incrediboy and I turned down three offers for rides, preferring to maintain the bilocomotory theme of the night, stumbling home like bums.
What did we learn hear? Not much. Just that a couple of buddies can hit the sidewalk and enjoy a night of carefree joy in each other's easy and jovial company.

Oh, and don't fear the 'Clear.


Ah, Mykonos. Of course when we were pulling into the Mykonos port, I had to play the indie jam by Fleet Foxes relating to this beautiful, mythological island. Have to say, the song is very suiting for the island itself. Once we pulled into port, the first thing you notice is all of the white buildings covering the island. Literally every building on the island was painted white. I can't remember seeing one that wasn't (and I feel like I would have remembered it, if it existed). Once we got off the ferry, the owner of the small hostel we stayed at came in her jeep to pick us up. On our way to the hostel, I noticed the landscape in Mykonos reminded somewhat of a desert in that it was pretty barren but with gorgeous valleys and greenery. I loved it. Our hostel was actually a pretty good distance away from the main port and city of Mykonos. I don't know exactly how kilometers transfer over into miles, but I do remember it being a hell of a hike. Once we got to our hostel, both of us were pleasantly surprised at how accommodating our host was. She felt more like my long lost grandmother than the owner. Mina Studios was the name of the place and if I ever go back, that's where I am staying and Mina will most likely pick me up then too. What a fantastic lady. The hostel is the quaint little joint with a lobby that is really more of a kitchen in a house. When you walk in, she offers you some sort of fresh new baked good she has just conjured up. Herself and her husband run the place. She showed us into our room and it was way nicer than I expected. I usually expect to get less than what I paid for in Europe, but in this case I felt like it was the exact opposite. From our hostel, we located within 5 minutes walking of three beaches. We ended up checking out all three and all three were spectacular.

The first evening we were there, we decided to walk on one of the beaches to get some photos and check out the area. It was beautiful and we were treated to a gorgeous Greek sunset. From there, we decided to walk into town to check it out and grab a bite. Well like I referred to earlier, it's a long walk from our hostel, which was more in what I would call the beach-countryside, to the main city in Mykonos. We eventually got there, though I felt the need to stop at a local grocer and pick up a tall girl of Mythos. This leads me to the next topic: Mythos.

Mythos is Greece's finest beer. I have to say I really wasn't expecting too much from beer in Greece. Maybe because Italian beer is just 'okay'. Well, Mythos was fantastic. One of the best beers I have had in Europe. It's nothing really special just your simple pilsner style lager, but it just had a really fresh, smooth taste to it. Only problem with this beer is that getting it outside of Greece will prove to be a problem. Damn.

That night we ended up having a nice dinner right next to the main port in Mykonos. We hung out around the town till pretty late into the evening and caught a cab ride back to our hostel. The next morning, we got up early and walked back into the city. We went to a couple local grocery stores and shops, just walking around and checking out the local scene. We talked to a store clerk who explained to us why Mykonos' no-named streets can be rather confusing. Back when they first were building the city, apparently the island had a pirate problem. So they built the streets and buildings in a rather crooked, slanted, uneven, confusing way. He also mentioned that pirates weren't the only ones who had problems with it, drunk people seemed to struggle with it quite a bit too. This probably makes it pretty entertaining for the locals in summertime as Mykonos is renown for its nightlife. While we were there, a lot of stores and clubs were still closed because it was very early on in the season. This kind of sucked because it wasn't the true atmosphere of the city, especially nightlife, but it was also really nice because nowhere we went in Greece was packed with tourists. In fact, when we went to beaches while were both in Mykonos and Santorini, sometimes we were the only ones there! Hard to believe really.

The rest of that day we spent on the beach. It was awesome, just chilling and going in the water when I got a little warm. Super chill afternoon at a beach in Mykonos? Why yes, thank you. If you readers know me at all, I have been called a pretty chill bro at times, so chillin' on greek beaches for an afternoon was alright with me. That night pretty much entailed some more of the same as the previous night. More awesomeness in food, drink, and atmosphere. I believe this was the night where we had the awesome calamari. Wow. Can't say enough about it. It will never taste as good anywhere else I feel like.

Overall, Mykonos was definitely the 'chillest' stop on our break. It was a gorgeous island, with great food, great nightlife, great beaches, and amazing hospitality. I can't say enough about the way we were treated by our hostel's owners. They were wonderful and most definitely enhanced my experience while there. Mina dropped us off at the port a couple hours before our ferry left for Santorini, so we grabbed a bite, picked up some postcards and hopped on the ferry to our next destination, Santorini.


Greece...Part 1: Athens

Long over due. Well on March 19th, my friend and I took a train from Florence to Rome at about 9am. There were actually a few people that 'said' they were going to do this trip with us, but everyone bailed and it ended up being just Caitlin and I. Our spring break then was to entail a 9 day trip to Greece, covering Athens and the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Our flight for Athens was the next day, so we decided to go down a day early and spend it in Rome. I had not been to Rome since the very beginning of my trip, so it was really cool to go back. Rome is just one of those cities that I feel like no matter how many times you go there and see everything, it never gets old. We tried to do nearly everything in one day and as impossible as that may seem, we came pretty close. The only things we really didn't see again were the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. We spent an extended amount of time in Vatican City which was what I wanted to do anyway. We stayed in a nice little hostel fairly close to the train station, so it made it easier to get up and get to the airport as soon as possible in the morning.

Our flight to Athens left on time and went smoothly. We got there around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. I just know that we lost an hour getting into Greece. Now let's talk about Athens' transit systems. This was one of the parts of Greece that I didn't like. That and the cost of this trip. But anyway, Athens transit systems suck and unless you reside there or have been there recently, you will be like us and have no idea how get around. There is really no way to describe the dysfunction and inconvenience that is Athens' trains that will do it justice. I will just give you an example. Pireaus is the name of the port city that is basically a part of Athens but is a bay area where all of the ferries get into and out of Athens. From our hostel, we had to walk to the train, get on a train, get off that train, get on a bus to take us to another train, take that train to another bus to one more train that finally took us to the port. All of this while we thought we would be able take one train all the way there, because that is what the map says in the train station and that's what the front desk worker at our hostel said. Yeah, nope. Athens transit systems suck. If you go, prepare thyself.

Okay, negativity set aside, Athens was awesome. We were there for two full days so I definitely felt like we got to experience everything there. We lost two hours when we first got there due to the shitty transit, but ended up getting to our hostel around 4:30 in the afternoon. We went out and explored the city the rest of the evening. We had a pretty decent walk from our hotel to the heart of Athens, where everything worth seeing resides for the most part. First of all, it should be made clear that the heart of Athens is way different from the rest of it. Outside the heart of the city, Athens is kind of dirty. The buildings and streets just came across as dirty and unkept to a certain extent. It was rather underwhelming. Just another city. What I imagine the Dirty South in the US to be like, ha. The heart of Athens is so cool though. Once we got there, we decided to look around a bit and find somewhere to eat. There were plenty of options. Greek food definitely gives Italian a run for its money. I am not going to say which one I like better, but Mediterranean food in general is definitely my favorite. The gyros there are so good and actually pretty cheap. Sorry Pistol, but I am going to have to take these ones over those of King Kong's in Omaha. Heartbreaking, but true. All of the greek food was fantastic. Definitely spent too much money on it. So anyway, the rest of the night we walked around Athens at night (which looks incredible by the way), through all the streets checking out shops and what not and eventually making our way up towards the Acropolis. We couldn't actually go up to the Acropolis that night because it was closed, but we got high enough up to give us an awesome view of Athens at night. It was fantastic. It also seemed to be a popular place to take your girlfriend to swoon her and make out. Understandable, given the view. So yeah, that was a little awkward but nevertheless, I got my high from the view and that was good enough for me. We ended the night by getting a couple drinks in downtown Athens and headed back to the hostel. Greek television entails a lot more english than Italian, so we got to go back to our room after couple drinks and watch Catwoman. I know, awesome. Hallie Berry, what were you thinking?

The next morning we went up to Acropolis. It was flat out stunning. The ancient structures just towered above and looked over the city of Athens. Just thinking about how historic and old the structures actually were gave me goosbumps; as did the view from the top. Definitely one of the best views I have gotten. You can see the city of Athens (which is huge), the Mediterranean Sea, Greek landscape, and the layer of pollution that hovers above the city, haha. No, it was fantastic and I got some great pictures. The rest of the day we just kind of roamed around the city, checking out other sites like the Parthenon and what not. It was really cool and really chill. We ate more awesome food, checked out shops, and talked to the Greek people. Greek is a very difficult language, right up there with Latin, but luckily all of the greeks spoke perfect English. Greece was also home to the most friendly, hospitable people I have met yet in my time abroad. What an amazing culture. So friendly and just happy about life in general. They love America too, which is cool. Honestly though, very down to earth people. It was uplifting to receive that as I was a bit nervous due to the country being completely bankrupt and riots breaking out the past few weeks. All of my experiences with the Greek people were very positive.

The next morning we made our way to Pireaus to catch our ferry to the island of Mykonos. I already explained how wonderful our connection from Athens to Pireaus was, but once we got there we hopped aboard our ferry and made our way toward Mykonos. I really didn't know what to expect with the ferry, but it was some kind of combination between a nicer airplane and a cruise ship. We rode second class so we had airplane like seating, but first class was able to get a room and bed to sleep if they like. We were also able to get up and walk around and sit in a booth to get something to eat or drink if we liked as well. The ferry experience was pretty cool and I'm glad I did it, but it just takes a while to get from isle to isle. It was about a 4 or 5 hour ferry ride from Athens to Mykonos, but we left at 7:30am so we got there in time to spend an afternoon right away in Mykonos.


The Best Mash Ever? Nope.

Though I know there are other posts/other things in my life that I should be focusing more on, I couldn't help myself on this one. Thank you internet for providing all of these extravagant distractions.

Wow. I can die now.

In other news, I know this blog has some avid Wavves fans. Well these peeps may be excited to know that Mr. Williams has announced that the new and improved Wavves will in fact be releasing the follow-up to last year's highly touted/widely discussed album WAVVVES. If nothing else, it's always entertaining to keep up with Nathan Williams.

I also enjoy the fact that of all the great music to come out in 2010 and coming out in 2010 and hell just music news in general, we here at 31st & Chi like to focus on the most prevalent of bands, Wavves.

Mickey Mouse - WAVVES


This Guy Is Missing

Hey. has anyone seen this guy?

I feel like he was just here, telling us how some kid "has no redeeming qualities whatsoever" and listing off a bunch of things he thinks "suck" then he was gone.
I know he's not very big, but there's no way we could have just misplaced him.
I feel kind of bad because we didn't even notice he was gone until our finances were completely fucked and we had spent all our money because no one had presented us with an annotated monthly report.
When we went looking for him, all we could find was a dusty folder full of receipts, some shredded wheat that could make you "fart out of your ass all day" and the "coolest box of animal crackers ever." Other than that, nothing.
We continued our search, but we only turned up a few clues, until finally we stumbled upon his trail and set off in hot pursuit!

We were alarmed to see some ruffians trying to put him a giant sack, but we were helpless to stop them.

Later, we saw him trying to make a break for the sea, but his time in captivity had made him wary of friend and foe alike, so he scampered away from us on his nimble, deer-like feet.

Finally, we caught up with him in a distinctly un-American looking city. We approached him, eager to bring him back into our lives, to take him home where he belonged where he could once again laugh and smile and do our taxes.

However, as we drew near, we noticed something was off. The khaki pants. The sensible shoes and socks. The glasses, the polo shirt, the windbreaker, the inability to feed himself correctly! It became apparent that this guy had suffered so much duress in captivity that it had aged his mind to an advanced stage. While he still looked like our friend, he was now an old man at heart.
So, we walked away that fateful day, with a small shred of hope that our friend would return to us in his original condition.

Or, maybe, he could come back a little cooler. Like this.

Come home.

Giving Up the Gun, Play by Play

Okay, this video is pretty awesome, and because I don't really feel like paying attention in anthropology this morning, I'm going to try to break this down into a blow-by-blow of the important details. Warning: Ezra is loving the dreamboat shot in this vid.

00:02- Japanese characters.
00:07- The RZA presses play on 'vintage' boombox.
00:13- Goth girl from 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' video arrives in tennis wear.
00:17- Vampire Weekend arrives, appropriately attired as sporty hipsters.
00:30- Disney Channel tweensation strategically placed to increase YouTube hits.
00:33- The RZA says, "Begin."
00:45- Tennis action.
00:56- JoBro being a total cock.
00:58- Where is Ezra's guitar?
1:00- Dreamboat shot 1.
1:07- Shining allusion.
1:11- The last samurai
1:15- Female truck driver
1:20- Dreamboat shot 2.
1:27- Daft Punk in motorcycle helmets.
1:36- Dreamboat shot 3.
1:38- Rostam looks like a rapist/like he has to poop.
1:40- Token shot of the rhythm section.
1:48- Tennis action.
1:55- Here we revisit the 'A-Punk' video.
1:56- Ezra has a guitar now.
1:58- Rostam needs attention.
2:06- Donnie Darko arrives, swigs peach schnapps.
2:13- Rostam looks like a rapist.
2:17- Donnie Darko threatens murder.
2:21- Dreamboat shot 4
2:23- Donnie Darko disrobes.
2:36- Artsy dreamboat shot.
2:39- Rostam looks like a rapist.
2:41- More schnapps.
2:51- The RZA makes a call.
3:09- Hit in the butt.
3:19- Awkward hug.
3:22- Dreamboat shot 5
3:25- Evil twin arrives.
3:32- Homeless guy in background?
3:47- Seriously, Ezra, cool it with the dreamboat shots.
3:55- Tennis action in which defeat seems imminent.
4:07- Pep talk in French from hip-hop meme Lil John.
4:24- Ball on fire.
4:34- Whoa.
4:42- Our noble champion.
4:44- Loser.
4:50- Milk?
4:57- The RZA puts on 'Holiday' and hits the road.

Man, that's kind of a weird video.


"On this precious we can end it
This love's for gentlemen only,
That's with the fortunate only,
And now that you're lonely,
Duel it, duel it, duel it, juggle it, duel it, duel it"

-thomas mars


The Underdog

Sometimes it's cool not to be 'the man'.

The Underdog - Spoon


Baseball, etc.

On the eve of Opening Day, I found myself musing, "How great would it be if my favorite team and my friends' favorite team somehow managed to drag themselves through their respective leagues and meet in the World Series?" I immediately answered my own question, saying, "Uh, really cool."
Is it really that impossible to imagine that the Rockies and the Twins would meet in the World Series? Some say yes, and to them I say, "Suck it." I admit it might be improbable. But impossible? No way.
Rather than back up my argument with a single statistic, analysis or expert opinion, I'm just going to assume that I'm correct and go on with a discussion of how cool it would be to see these squads go head to head for all the marbles. Please find below my analysis on this hypothetical match-up based on a few categories, including: deserving, home city, star player, and--most important--impact on me, personally.

1) Deserving
Both these cities need the Series to keep their hopes up. October is a rough time in Denver and Minneapolis. It's too early to ski in Colorado, too early to ice fish in Minnesota. Coloradans are tired of the mountains, Minnesotans are tired of the lakes. A little baseball would do these folks some good. Another disastrous first-round exit similar to last seasons would be the ultimate trigger in a relapse to the self-pity/self-loathing fans of both these long suffering clubs have grown all too accustomed to.
Edge: Even

2) Home City
Both these teams hail from cities that are pretty awesome. However, neither city proves to be sensationally overwhelming. In fact, Denver and Minneapolis are both enigmas in the sense that they are totally rad cities that are remarkably undistinguished. Check out this side-by-side skyline comparison.

I bet that Beechnut can't even tell the difference at first blush. Seriously, these are both just regular, decent-sized cities with good culture and local scene. They both have their fair share of tall buildings and a lot of suburbs with names like "Roseville" or "Arapaho". Really, it's hard to hate one more than the other. They're both just kind of there.
Edge: Even

3) Star Player
Here we see a head to head contest of two erstwhile titans of the diamond. I'm talking, of course, about the Twins and Rockies respective star players Joe Mauer and Todd Helton. This may be the most enticing section of this post, seeing that Helton and Mauer don't really have that much in common. Mauer just signed a contract worth $184 million, while Helton just renewed his for two years to the tune of a cool $2 mil. On the other hand, Todd rocks a banging goatee, while Joe can't grow facial hair. Words are failing me. Let's go to the photos.

Here we see Joe Mauer on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

While here we see Todd Helton moments after being told that there is free beer after every Rockies win.

This is a picture of Joe Mauer's girlfriend.

This is a picture of Todd Helton's breakfast.

The decison here boils down to the same deciding factor most of my decisions come to: who would I rather party with? Well, the answer leaves us split again. I just can't decide which one of these dudes is more awesome. For the record, Joe Mauer for the hot chicks, Todd Helton for the beer bongs and Kraft mac and cheese.
This one is too close to call.
Edge: Even

4) Impact On Me, Personally

Once again, I find myself with a conundrum on my hands. Originally, I thought that nothing would make me happier than seeing the Rox capture the title. Then, I realized my ratio of friends that are Rockies fans to friends that are Twins fans is something like 5 to 18. As great as it would be to celebrate a Rockies victory with five of my friends, it would also be great to not have 18 of my friends bitching and moping around until the Vikings win a few games. So, while my heart is in it for the Rockies, the rest of me--the part that goes to the bar--says the Twins can keep more people in high spirits.
Edge: Even

Well, damn it, folks it looks like I have produced absolutely nothing of conviction or worth. I have left you with a product that wasted my time writing it and your time reading it, and, collectively, we are all slightly less better off than we used to be.

But, hey, what else is new?