Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BIG BIG FAKE FAKE LIES

Okay so this was my final research paper for English my senior year. Blogger formatting is terrible; I tried my best etc etc it looks like crap, sorry.

The fantastically amazing people over at tmbw.net, This Might Be A Wiki, used a ton of this for their page about the band, which you can read here. I just kind of put it out there and they edited and linked it all up, and it's really really great.

Here is the Thing That I Wrote About the Rock Band They Might Be Giants Complete With In-Text Citations and Hyperlinked Works Cited Screw You MLA Formatting You Are Terrible and Repressive:

“We like playing fun rock music, for the love of it. We only pretend to have a plan for world domination,” answered John Flansburgh, when asked by an interviewer to set the world straight on the purpose of the band he and his high school friend, John Linnell, had founded in 1982 (Dougherty). That band was They Might Be Giants, and twenty-six years later, the two Johns are still making music. They Might Be Giants, loosely classified as alternative rock, is a prolific, unique, pioneering band whose groundbreaking achievements have helped pave the way for other alternative musicians.

On May 6th, 1960, John Flansburgh was born in Lincoln, Massachusetts to Earl and Louise “Polly” Flansburgh. His father is a successful architect whose firm has designed over two hundred schools. His mother founded Boston-by-Foot, a non-profit organization that gives tours of Boston. He has an older brother, Paxus, who is a political activist. Flansburgh married Robin Goldwasser in 1996. She occasionally provides vocals for the band’s songs.

Flansburgh is half They Might Be Giants’ singing and songwriting power. He plays guitar, left-handedly. He is the “businessman” of the band; he’s greatly involved in orchestrating shows and in the design of much of the art/visual aspect of the band such as music videos and album art. He’s had many side projects, the most notable being his band Mono Puff, which released four EPs and two studio albums.

John Linnell was born June 12th, 1959, in New York. He moved to Lincoln when he was nine. His father, Dr. Zenos M. Linnell, is a retired psychiatrist, and his mother is a poet. Linnell has a brother and sister and possibly other siblings. John Linnell married Karen Brown in 1997, and they have a son, Henry, who was born in 1999. Henry has done vocal work on a few of their children’s albums’ tracks.

In concerts, Linnell mainly sings and plays the keyboards or accordion, but he also plays the saxophone, clarinet, Kaoss Pad, and stylophone. He shares songwriting duties with Flansburgh. Before starting TMBG with Flansburgh, John played keyboards in a new wave band called The Mundanes. Linnell has released three solo EPs and a studio album.

Flansburgh and Linnell both grew up in Lincoln, a small, upper class, suburban town in Massachusetts. Though they went to the same elementary school, they did not know each other. Flansburgh recalls being made to write a get well card for Linnell after an accident: “It was this singularly bogus thing, but because our schoolmate John had to go to the hospital, we all had to write him letters saying ‘Get well soon!’” (Schnack). In high school, Flansburgh somewhat sought Linnell out, showing him a play he’d written in which there were 150 acts, each being one line long. Linnell was a little taken aback by Flansburgh’s outgoingness; while he himself was reserved and quiet, Flans was “gregarious” and “kind of interested in just talking” (Schnack). "John was always calling me up, and I didn't know who he was really. He'd call and go, 'So. Linnell. What's happenin'?” (Weiskopf).

They came to be friends through the school newspaper. John Linnell joined the paper’s staff his freshman year and eventually worked his way up to senior editor. Flansburgh also became involved with the paper, and John and John became good friends spending long weekend nights working on putting the paper together. Both of them also liked to draw and, in addition to submitting cartoons to the newspaper, made comic books to distribute throughout the school.

Some time during high school, Flansburgh acquired a sound-to-sound tape recorder, with which he and John made “electronic recordings. They were very strange and kind of unlistenable in a way” (Schnack). After high school, in 1981, John and John ended up moving into the same apartment building in Brooklyn on the same day. The first actual song they recorded was a Yoko Ono cover, “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow), which they sang with Rod Serling-esque voices (Schnack). They continued their collaboration, writing songs and making recordings.

Their first show was in the summer of 1982 at a Sandinista rally in Central Park. The crowd was almost all Spanish, and the band was introduced as “El Grupo de Rock ’n’ Roll.” Flansburgh played guitar while Linnell played the clarinet and keyboards. In January of 1983, the Johns played their first show under the name They Might Be Giants. They took the name from a George C. Scott film about a millionaire who thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes. When asked about the origin of their name, Linnell said, “It's the name of a movie. It's not a very interesting answer, unfortunately; it's not a very good movie and it doesn't hold that much significance for us, particularly, except that we thought the name was good” (Throwrug).

In 1984, Linnell broke his wrist in a bike accident, and Flansburgh’s apartment was burglarized. Though they couldn’t perform or play shows, they still wanted to produce more music. Flansburgh started Dial-a-Song, an answering machine that played a song when his phone number, (718)-387-6962, was called. The song would be changed daily; they used Dial-a-Song as a way to motivate themselves to write more songs. In the documentary Gigantic, Flans remarks that “anything with long sustained notes makes it rewind” because the machine would interpret the noise as the end-of-message beep and that most of the songs on their first album were short and staccato, just so they would work on Dial-a-Song. Dial-a-Song lived on through the 80’s,90’s, and 00’s, offering hundreds of demos, song fragments, and exclusive unreleased tracks to the public.

Throughout the early 80’s, Flansburgh and Linnell played different underground places in NYC such as 8BC, Darinka, The Pyramid Club, and CBGB. The Johns relied very heavily on the reel-to-reel tape recorder during their shows - “playing straight through, pressing play and going” (Schnack). With John Flansburgh playing guitar and Linnell playing accordion or saxophone, the tape recorder and drum machine were the third member of the band, supplying backing tracks and percussion. Early shows were very strange, incorporating props like puppets and giant fezzes and “The Stick,” a literal stick with a microphone attached, which would be banged on the floor to produce a reverb percussion. Al Houghton, who helped produce early TMBG releases, said of their shows, “Some musicians just thought they were ridiculous, you know, it was like the antithesis of the musician” (Schnack).

The style of their songs was very diverse, and critics had a hard time pinning down exactly in what genre they belonged. The Johns called themselves a rock group, and in some ways they were, though very few of their songs were technically “rock.” Steve Dougherty described them in People Weekly as a “mock-arty-garage-polka-metal-country rock duo.” Though some wrote them off as a novelty act, they slowly built up a following and produced a full demo tape in 1985, which they sold at shows. The tape caught the attention of Michael Small, who then reviewed the tape in People Weekly. The review was very positive, and ended by saying, “These guys should definitely change their name. It won’t be long before they really are giants.” This gave the Johns their first national exposure and garnered the interest of Bar/None Records.

They Might Be Giants signed on with Bar/None in 1986 and released their first album They Might Be Giants, known to their fans as The Pink Album, later that year. Reviews of the album were generally positive, though some thought They Might Be Giants to be just a quirky, wacky novelty act. In a review for Rolling Stone, critic Jim Farber states, “They're going to have to create a whole new category of weird to contain They Might Be Giants. After all, what other group around these days would release an album with nineteen songs that incorporate genres from art pop to country to polka, all operating under titles like ‘Youth Culture Killed My Dog’? … No matter how far afield the duo ventures, though, huge pop hooks always keep things firmly anchored. Also tying the genre gyrations together is a relentless, distanced irony, accented by hysterically evasive lyrics.”

Earlier that year, video director Adam Bernstein had seen them at Darinka and told John and John that he would direct a music video for them and pay for it. They decided on the song “Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head,” and spent $1500 and two days in Williamsburg shooting it (Schnack). The video mainly consists of John and John lip synching and dancing in the style of the band New Edition (Direct From Brooklyn). The video was played on television, on MTV, a month before their debut album came out. TMBG collaborated again with Adam on a video for “Don’t Let’s Start,” a song with a wonderfully upbeat tempo but dismal and gloomy lyrics - “No one in the world ever gets what they want/And that is beautiful/Everybody dies frustrated and sad/And that is beautiful” (Direct From Brooklyn). With a budget of $5000, the black and white, jerky, almost spastic, sped-up video was the first indie video to go into the regular rotation on MTV. Sue Drew, former employee of Elektra records, said on their MTV exposure: “I think people were absolutely stunned, because here was a band that seemed to be coming from nowhere and had no relation to anything else that was going on musically” (Schnack).

1988 saw the release of They Might Be Giants’ second album, Lincoln. Containing eighteen songs ranging in style from blues to salsa, Lincoln sold well, spending nineteen weeks on “The Billboard 200” chart. One of the singles from the album, “Ana Ng”, became the band’s first charting single, peaking at #11 on “Billboard Modern Rock Tracks” (Lincoln). They Might Be Giants made three music videos for the album, “Ana Ng,” “Purple Toupee,” and “They’ll Need a Crane.”

The video for “Ana Ng” was one of the band’s most popular videos. The song’s narrator laments over the fact that he and his soul mate, Ana Ng, will never meet. Again, the melody is upbeat with profound, depressing lyrics. “Everything sticks like a broken record/Everything sticks until it goes away/And the truth is we don’t know anything” (Direct From Brooklyn). Filmed at fireman training grounds in New York, the video has a strange, really serious, almost military air about it. The Johns and Adam Bernstein decided not to use lip synch in the video; in its place is very stiff synchronized dancing.

Much of They Might Be Giants’ subject matter during their early years was very dark and dismal. TMBG’s manager, Jamie Kitman, summed up their complex lyrical style: “They’re funny, but they’re sad” (Schnack). Flansburgh has noted that their early songs were downers. “There’s a pretty relentless thread in the text of our songs, especially in the first fifteen years of our songwriting that’s pretty relentlessly, you know, kind of earth-shatteringly dower” (Schnack). For the most part, the lyrics of their songs take a back seat, in matters of importance, to the music. Sometimes the Johns, especially Linnell, add words almost as an afterthought, and for them, usually lyrics do not hold deep meaning. When asked about the significance of his lyrics, Linnell says that they are what they are. “People get everything, and the things they think they don’t get don’t exist” (Schnack).

In 1989, the band signed with a major label, Elektra Records. The following year, Flood, their third and best selling album of all time, was released. The album went gold in December of 1993. The record contains three of the songs for which They Might Be Giants are best known, “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” “Particle Man,” and their cover version of The Four Lads song “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” After Flood, They Might Be Giants’ popularity was at its peak. They were frequent guests on many television programs in the US and in the UK, including Top of the Pops, 120 Minutes, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (Television Appearances).

“Birdhouse in Your Soul” is the band’s highest-charting single of all time, in the US as well as in the UK. It reached #3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks Chart and #6 on the UK Singles Chart (Flood). The song is sung from the point of view of a nightlight. It has a beautiful melody and circular, slightly cryptic lyrics such as “I’m your only friend/I’m not your only friend/But I’m a little glowing friend/But really I’m not actually your friend/But I am” (Schnack). The video for the song was filmed at New York County’s Surrogate Courthouse. The song has an anthemic quality to it, and the music video reflects that, with extras wearing placards saying “Stop rock video”, boldly marching in a kind of protest around John Flansburgh and John Linnell, who are on a platform in the middle of a large, ornate room (Direct From Brooklyn).

The songs “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and “Particle Man” were made into animated music videos for Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures. For many fans, this was their first exposure to They Might Be Giants. John Flansburgh has said that it was strange to him that so many people became fans through the videos because he and John had absolutely nothing to do with their production. Linnell says, “It was the easiest video we ever did” (Direct From Brooklyn).

In 1992, They Might Be Giants released their fourth studio album, Apollo 18. The album, presumably because of its few spacey songs, drew the attention of NASA, who had declared 1992 International Space Year. They Might Be Giants were selected to be “Musical Ambassadors.” The Johns did not know exactly what their role was supposed to be. John Linnell related his uncertainty in an interview with Joab Jackson: “We don't have a super clear idea of what it is we're supposed to be saying about it. … We're supposed to be included on lists of events happening in connection with International Space Year. In other words, on a particular month they'll say in some town there's this lecture about space telescopes and then there's this They Might Be Giants concert. It does seem kind of weird—disconnected to us.” When Flans was asked about what being Musical Ambassadors meant, he replied, “It doesn’t mean anything, actually. We’re like the musical equivalent of Tang” (Guiste).

The album was, on the whole, darker both lyrically and musically that their past efforts. The Johns employed more of an electronic sound than previous records. One of the unique features of the album were the last twenty-one tracks, all short songs, collectively known as “Fingertips.” Typically no more than fifteen or twenty seconds long, they were designed to utilize the shuffle mode on most CD players, being interspersed throughout the album. Two music videos were made from this album - “The Statue Got Me High” and “Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight).”

Linnell and Flansburgh had been pressured by Elektra since Flood to expand to a full band and get backing musicians. At first, they were wary of the idea, not wanting to sell out. John Flansburgh said, “And I think our natural response was, you know, just leave us alone, because what do you know…‘What do you know about how to be a success in rock?’ Here we are, barely successful at all…” (Schnack). Some of their faithful, most hardcore fans actually boycotted shows, telling people not to go see them because they’d gotten a backing band. The Johns finally agreed after Apollo 18 and were joined by Kurt Hoffman, Tony Maimone, and Jon Feinberg. They embarked on the “Don't Tread On The Cut-Up Snake World Tour” in 1992, playing over fifty shows.

John Henry, the band’s fifth studio album, was released in 1994. Their first album utilizing a full band, the record is much more horn- and guitar-laden than previous records. Though John Henry spent only 4 weeks on the “Billboard 200”, it reached, at its peak, #64, higher than any of their earlier records (John Henry). There was a music video made for the song “Snail Shell.” The album’s title references the man vs. machine legend of John Henry, referring to the band’s recent switch to “man” (human drummer) from “machine” (drum machine). With twenty songs and nearly an hour’s worth of music, John Henry is TMBG’s longest studio record. The album determined the band’s new, full sound while keeping all the lyrical and musical quirks for which TMBG had become known.

In 1996, the band released the album Factory Showroom. The album only had thirteen tracks, but the individual songs were longer than on previous records. It was their second album with a full band, utilizing the talents of Brian Doherty on the drums, Eric Schermerhorn on lead guitar, and Graham Maby on bass. The album spent two weeks on the “Billboard 200,” peaking at #89 (Factory Showroom). They Might Be Giants left Elektra Entertainment after the release of Factory Showroom and joined Restless Records.

Severe Tire Damage, a live album, was released in 1998. Three of its tracks were studio tracks. The band made one of the studio songs, “Doctor Worm,” into a music video that was directed by John Flansburgh. The album contained seven hidden tracks, each one of them about the film series Planet of the Apes.

They Might Be Giants partnered with eMusic, an online subscription music site, to release the full-length studio album Long Tall Weekend exclusively online. The band was the first major artist to release a full-length album exclusively online, and, as a result, They Might Be Giants were the most downloaded artist on the internet in 1999 and also in 2000 (Schnack). In 2001, they collaborated with eMusic again with TMBG Unlimited, a service in which users could subscribe to monthly albums of live tracks and rarities from the band. TMBG Unlimited lasted until January of 2002 (TMBG Unlimited).

In 2000, They Might Be Giants provided the theme song to the television show Malcolm in the Middle, entitled “Boss of Me,” and written by Flansburgh who called it “a thirty second song I couldn’t finish for a year” (Boss Of Me). The song won the Giants their first Grammy award. They Might Be Giants also wrote and performed all the incidental music for the first two seasons of the show.

TMBG has written and performed theme music for many television shows. The band performs the theme for the fake news program The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as well as writing all the incidental music for the show. Their song “Dr. Evil” was in the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The Johns also made music for the following television shows: Resident Life, The Oblongs, Brave New World, Life 360, America’s Most Wanted, Higglytown Heroes, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. More recently, They Might Be Giants wrote over fifteen songs for Dunkin’ Donuts commercials. The band has also contributed songs to numerous movie soundtracks. They also wrote and performed the theme and score for the upcoming Neil Gaiman film Coraline. They Might Be Giants was the subject of the 2003 documentary Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns, directed by AJ Schnack.

The band released their eighth album, Mink Car, in 2001. The album’s songs were recorded from 1999 to 2001 in many different studios and had many different producers and guest artists. Because of this, the album is widely viewed as TMBG’s most disjointed.

No!, released in 2002, marked the beginning of They Might Be Giants’ foray into children’s music. The style of the music was consistent with their adult work; the lyrics were made more kid-friendly. John Linnell wittily noted that “Usually on a TMBG record, there’s at least one song that invokes death. Instead of that, there’s a lot of songs about going to sleep” (Quotes). The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard “Top Kid Audio Chart” (No!). It stayed on the chart for eleven weeks. The success of No! led the band to create more children’s music. The Johns released the book and CD set Bed, Bed, Bed in 2003. The same year, a compilation of the band’s music videos, entitled Direct from Brooklyn, was released on DVD.

Clock Radio, a Macromedia Flash-based music streaming application, was released on tmbg.com in 2003. 2004 saw the opening of They Might Be Giants’ online store, one of the first artist-owned internet stores. It also saw the release of the band’s tenth studio album, The Spine. In stark contrast to No!, The Spine is much more “adult” that most of their previous adult records, with darker subject matter and grown-up lyrics. The band collaborated with Mike and Matt Champan, animators of the popular Flash cartoon site homestarrunner.com, to make a video for the song “Experimental Film.” The video drew in many new fans, and the band and the Chapmans filmed several videos, called “Puppet Jams,” with a puppet version of the site’s main character, Homestar.

In 2005, They Might Be Giants released their second children’s album, Here Come the ABCs on the Disney Sound label. The music was accompanied by videos and released on DVD as well as CD. The DVD was a huge commercial success and quickly went gold. Amazon.com named the album the 13th best album of 2005 and the year’s best children’s album.

During their tour in 2004, the Johns decided to write and then play a song about each venue they played at. The band released the results of its Venue Songs project as a CD/DVD set in 2005. The DVD contains music videos for eleven of the songs and is narrated by author and Daily Show resident expert John Hodgman.

At the end of 2005, the They Might Be Giants podcast was born. Consisting of live, rare, and unreleased tracks, the podcast became one of iTunes’ most downloaded podcasts. It has continued on a sometimes-weekly, mostly-monthly basis. As of March 29th, there have been thirty podcasts released, each of them being, on average, twenty minutes in length. The podcast has been seen by many fans as a new, up-to-date replacement for TMBG’s Dial-a-Song service.

They Might Be Giants’ twelfth studio album, The Else, was released in May 2005 on iTunes, in July on CD, and in September on vinyl. Prior to The Else, their last album released in record form was 1990’s Flood. The first edition of the CD came with a bonus disc of podcast songs. The Else also has the distinctions of being the first They Might Be Giants studio album in which every song is over two minutes in length, and the first not to have any accordion. Four animated music videos of the album’s songs were released online. The album’s songs are more aggressive in tone that some of their other work. When asked about this, Linnell replied, “John called it our least cuddly record. Maybe that’s a response to having done two records at once. We also recorded another kids album. Maybe we siphoned the friendlier music to the kids album, and the adult stuff is unalloyed adult material” (Dansby).

Promoting the release of Here Come the 123s, a follow-up to Here Come the ABCs, They Might Be Giants started a video podcast entitled “Friday Night Family Podcast” in late 2007. The podcast consists of music videos from the album and Here Come the ABCs, introduced by puppet versions of the Johns, voiced and puppeteered by themselves. As of the end of March, there have been fourteen episodes. Here Come the 123s was released in early 2008 and enjoyed similar success to the ABCs.

John and John are currently touring with their full band, consisting of Marty Beller on the drums, Dan Miller on guitar, and Danny Weinkauf on bass. They are also presently working on a children’s science album and another adult album.

They Might Be Giants, though once written off as a novelty act, have found a strong foothold in the mainstream music scene. Their innovative use of technology, groundbreaking achievements, longevity, and memorable, unique songs have enabled them to leave an indelible mark on the pages of music’s history.


Works Cited

“Boss Of Me” 29 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/Boss_Of_Me

Dansby, Andrew. “Sleeping Giants? Never.” Houston Chronicle. 29 Mar. 2008 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/music/5594602.html

“Dial-A-Song.” 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/Dial-A-Song

Direct From Brooklyn. They Might Be Giants. 2003. DVD. TMB Productions, 2003.

Dougherty, Steve. "They Might Be Giants, who, on the other hand, might just be hot rock and roll nerds from Brooklyn." People Weekly 29.n24 (June 20, 1988): 67(2). General OneFile. Gale. Cleveland Public Library - CLEVNET. 8 Mar. 2008 http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy2.cpl.org/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

“Factory Showroom.” 29 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/Factory_Showroom

Farber, Jim. “They Might Be Giants.” 9 Mar. 2008 http://rollingstone.com/ Path: Artists; T; They Might Be Giants; Album Reviews; They Might Be Giants.

“Flood.” 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/Flood

Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns. Dir. AJ Schnack. 2003. DVD. Bonfire Films of America, 2002.

Guiste, Averil. “Giants shoot for the stars on current tour.” Detroit Free Press June 1992. 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.web.archive.org/web/20021204094608/icicle.iblameyou.com/regular/920625detroit.html

Jackson, Joab. “How They Might Be Giants Became the House Band for NASA.” May 1992. 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.joabj.com/Music/9205TheyMightBeGiants.html

“John Henry.” 10 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/John_Henry

“Lincoln.” 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/Lincoln

“No!” 29 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/No%21

“Quotes” 29 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/Quotes

Small, Michael. "They might be giants." People Weekly 25 (June 30, 1986): 24(2). General OneFile. Gale. Cleveland Public Library - CLEVNET. 9 Mar. 2008 http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy2.cpl.org/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

“Television Appearances.” 10 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/Television_Appearances

“They Might Be Giants interview.” Throwrug #6 (1992). 9 Mar. 2008 http://www.fullmetaljackal.com/throwrug/i-theymightbegiants.html

“TMBG Unlimited” 29 Mar 2008 http://www.tmbw.net/wiki/TMBG_Unlimited

Weiskopf, Mike. “Early Years Handbook.” 1996. 4 Mar. 2008 http://www.tmbg.org/bandinfo/early-years/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

265 in ten~!~

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah i'm typing a thing i'm typing a thing oh gosh i'm going to die irl if i don't aahah words words words michael gary scott is the most depressing lovely sad terrible lonely person. pretty pretty great and good. pam poor pam. poor pam's mom. andy and dwight's feuds or whatever are the best thing; michael's crying is beautiful. half crying half vomiting half wheezing. bluhhhghhhh. it's beyond words. it's incalculable. i can't ah i can't i don't have any more words. the thing is turning red; it's scary i do not like it. absolutely no words are in my head. completely blank. white pure clear. cleaner than the snow in its perfect perfectness. what is this i don't know lol michael ahah kevin oscar everything owns. every day two words. stephen colbert. voyeurism is cool. I STOPPED WRITING AND IT ERASED WHAT I WROTE that is just terrible what is this website D: lol phyllis said holy crap. ahahahahahahahahaha the crying i love the crying. why are you limping i don't know. back to the future is objectively the greatest movie ever made. arka how the heck did you type this much this quickly? this is making me ridiculously nervous, and it's hard to think thoughts. john colbert. stephen stewart. dan linnell john weinkauf marty miller dan flansburgh so many people named john need to write that christmas carol. will do it for this blog thing! i will! someone should record it ftw. dwight so misguided so conniving so completely separated from anything even remotely resembling reality. everything is pretty great and good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

there is no stanley tree. do you think the world is just crawling with phyllises?

People are terrible and are entirely selfish, gonna go with unfair generalizations ftw because otherwise nothing can be said that's worth anything without mischaracterizing or ticking off people or whatever, I don't care. People are terrible and inconsiderate and greedy and pathetic. Getting caught up in some kind of ridiculously trivial or nonsensical or ultimately unimportant thing and getting mad at the way things are is rad. Serious business. A thing is doing this thing; I don't like this thing; this thing is insulting me personally my humanness my integrity and how can they even do this it's so flagrantly offensive and. People who think they are more than people, more than other people, people are people and we are all pretty terrible but it's okay I guess.

Let me clumsily try to explain in too many inadequate words what David Foster Wallace did in the commencement address he gave to Kenyon College, or just this one song by Andrew Jackson Jihad



i don't know

tl;dr: people...


i can't write blogs every day two words D:

I'm working on making a mash-upped thing of that They Might Be Giants lyrics thing from the other day; about halfway done, but some songs won't import into Windows Movie Maker for some reason, so it's taking a while. Sounds really cool though.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

blood alone moves the wheels of history

Today I was GOING to write about the niceness of Stephen Colbert's butt, but ohoho this, so no.

Stephen Colbert is a man, a great man. He has a dog named Gipper. He has had a space station treadmill, a bald eagle, a turtle, a falcon, an elephant seal, a greyhound dog, a junior ice hockey team junior mascot, a beetle species, a spider species, the five remaining numbers of the Sierpinski Problem, and an airplane named after him.

He has sung duets with John Legend, Elvis Costello, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, John Hall (of Hall & Oates fame), Willie Nelson, Jon Stewart, Chaka Fattah, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Steve Carell, Paul Dinello, and JOHN DARNIELLE.

He has fathered and popularized dozens of words, including truthiness, wikiality, factiness, wordanista, superstantial, megamerican, grippy, juiciful, fract, freem, Lincolnish, eneagled, gutly, and dumb-ocracy.

March 20th has been declared Stephen Colbert day in Oshawa, Canada.

His DNA was shot into space.

He has his own ice cream flavor.

His portrait hangs in the National Museum of American History.

He's a dashing man; his name is Stephen.

And therein lies the problem.

Friends, comrades, let us join together as one. Let us rise up, let us speak out. We must make our voices heard. Let us stand in unisonian solidarity and petition: STEPHEN COLBERT CHANGE YOUR FIRST NAME TO JOHN.

FOR IT IS TOGETHER THAT WE (AND THE NOBLE AND PURE CAUSE OF JOHNDOM) PREVAIL.

That is all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

let's stick together cause we're number eight

everything right is wrong again push me in the face there go i but for my face all i know why it takes that long ago we'd build a time machine and i'll sink it first avenue stage name please call me crybaby check this out i've got something to say if there was a me for you the guy who hit me in the eye out it doesn't cost anything to poke your hand inside the puppet head eating the head on the opposite shores that surround it we're getting mental notes of just exactly where i lost the plot thins she's waiting for my ride but i want to wait inside an empty glass eye hoping you won't be back to brooklyn fell between the grating and we're just go nuts at the top of the tree a finger of my glove and every time push the water let me sail cries the engine siren fills the air and it sticks like a broken record of my unspeakable crimes in previous lives that are claimed and none who have witnessed all you modern day troubadours out from my pockets and cats dance undercover for the man if they're just as embarrassing as we think and i should be allowed to blurt the merest idea to break the chain i came to get my mini-bike returned a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf for all my new friends have seen him hiding underneath every shell there's a story as a shill in a traveling through outer space

Sunday, November 1, 2009

must contain


go outside on a cold fall night. breathe in the smell of burning wood and leaves. take a walk. let the air bite through your jacket, into your skin. look at the fallen leaves illuminated in street lights. walk, keep walking. try not to trip over uneven cracks in the sidewalk. your mind feels clear, save for the word soliloquy. whisper it to yourself, maybe. look up through the canopy of branches and dying leaves above you, at the moon. it is full. stupid terrible werewolf jokes. you hate werewolves. there's a dog across the street, and it is looking at you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

so.

Need to stop thinking so much. Always get depressed when I think. Wish I was stupid. I think it'd be easier.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

my dads

You: sorry
You: that was an accident
Stranger: i'm not so sure.
You: i really meant to paste
You: you disabilities!!!!!!!
You: that
You: but still
You: my fault
Stranger: them dogs is hell don't they
You: YES
You: ima dog irl
You: so it's pretty hard
Stranger: IMA DOG IRL WTF HEH
You: teh
You: teh
You: TEH
You: TEH!!!!!
Stranger: 1.
You: 42
Stranger: Fuckin jerry.
You: jerry
You: good guy
Stranger: meh.
You: teh.
Stranger: have you ever wondered tho
Stranger: wtf ?
You: all the time
Stranger: hm
Stranger: is the answer 42?
You: to life, the universe, and everything
Stranger: disappointing
You: the ultimate question is the thing that is more so important
Stranger: mm.
Stranger: but what does the question -mean-
You: i think it's necessary to figure out what the question IS before what it means
You: so
You: sup
Stranger: Fuckin a.
Stranger: I got a phone call.
Stranger: Sellin the laptop.
You: this one right here?
You: or there...
Stranger: Oh no, I'm on my MAC PRO here.
Stranger: The laptop is over there.
You: oh nice you are a mac guy?
Stranger: I am -the- mac guy, actually.
You: how do you feel about the color yellow?
You: rad
Stranger: Yellow's for faggots; therefore it delights me
You: i see
Stranger: Hate PCs and zunes. Why should we convert our music to .dell files? mp3 is more convenient.
You: mp3 is super lossy though
Stranger: I prefer to encode at 32kbps, then I can fit so much more on my iPod.
You: hah but it sounds like total crap that way
Stranger: It sounds fine when I play it over the school PA on morning announcements.
Stranger: Nothing wakes up the kids like a track from The Locust.
You: And through drive through speakers, I'd imagine.
You: Airplane telephones.
Stranger: absolutely.
Stranger: Or cell phones. Soemtimes I call my dad and just rub the iPod on the phone to make the sound go through.
You: That's sweet :3
Stranger: Such a sad dad.
You: I have two dads!
You: They're really great.
You: One is a girl
You: actually
Stranger: A girl-dad.
You: which sounds weird but makes sense really.
Stranger: A Fe-father.
You: Yeah!
Stranger: A PaPaPuss.
You: My nickname's DoubleDad
Stranger: DoubleDad. What's their nicknames?
You: Andrwe is one
Stranger: Weird.
You: and blazu
You: is the other
Stranger: Weird.
Stranger: Are they glad dads?
You: They're very glad dads.
Stranger: Nice.
Stranger: I'm going to Japan next week.
Stranger: Any recommendations for what to do there?
You: Ummm
You: video games
Stranger: Japs do like their games. Nerd japs tho.
Stranger: Sigh. I guess it's dinner time.
You: Ok. It was good talking to you about my dads.
Stranger: Wish them well for me.
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

omegle.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

shut up shut up shut up

on the legalization of marijuana

I really don't care if it is or isn't, the same people are going to do the same things regardless, basically, and complications and problem'll exist whether it's kept illegal or not...as it is, a lot of time and resources are spent on controlling/policing/cracking down on users. If it's made legal, the same difficulties and restrictions that accompany cigarettes and alcohol will still be there. My personal preference, though, I suppose, would be that it not be legalized, I am not a fan of anything that screws with people's senses of reality/impairs/distorts judgement.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a big sentence

Don't want this to go a month without an entry so.

Wrote this for woofer
which is a beefier, 10x-ier version of twitter.

So the other day I did this thing and it was really cool. A lot of characters. And then so I'm David Foster Wallace and this sentence is going to be a million letters and Hal Incandenza is pretty fascinating and Mario's adorable with his S-shape arms and police lock and ever-present smile, generally being a cool kid, overall, is what Mario is; Hal's interesting and etc, he seems like me, only I'm infinitely less talented, I get Gately too though I've never done drugs or alcohol or whatever, and Eredy with his preparations for executions of quitting and stopping but never completely totally cutting off means of re-starting up that thing, telling yourself over and over that you're done and it's ruining you and the things you care about but you lie to yourself and believe it to a good enough extent, it's like doublethink maybe, for me it's not anything as exciting as cocaine, just procrastination and like putting off things to the point where I majorly screw stuff up or don't do whatever as well as I could, but what I do do is always enough or satisfactory because everything I do is stupidly satisfactorily okay and that's it, but then yes that bug in Eredy's steel grid shelving is great and amazing and is kind of symbolic, in my mind, at least, of every important and vital and big thing and the world in general sort of, that bug hiding in that hole and doing its unseen secret things.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

this...it's a thing

Oh man! Hi! I haven't written an actual blog since BEDA. Which is terrible and depressing and entirely believable.

I mean, I say a blog's-worth of things on twitter every day (two words), for sure, but COME ONE I SHOULD DO THIS MORE OFTEN.

Unless maybe I don't because I don't have things to say, which seems to be the most probable and definite reason the more I type stuff.

Typing stuff in Notepad, because I LIKE NOTEPAD.

Soap operas are horrible.

Sometimes stream of consciousness things are cool, but no.

Skype keeps blooping it up; I've been using skype a lot more often lately, big chats going on pretty much 24/7, and I'm glad I'm in them because normally I feel and am entirely left out by things like this, totally of my own doing though. I just can't stand the possibility of bothering/inconveniencing people by talking to/messaging them, so I don't. All the time, it's like this. And I think and think and think of how fun and cool and excellent it would be to talk to people, but also at the same time I'm totally petrified and feeling entirely inadequate and infinitely boring.

So then! Get this! I DON'T DO ANYTHING EVER. I JUST DON'T FREAKING DO ANYTHING.

Like the Mountain Goats concert that was 10 minutes from my house! I DIDN'T BUY TICKETS IN TIME. Just because I didn't have a concrete way to get there and back and because no one else wanted to go and I just didn't make the effort or something I DON'T KNOW WHY. Well I DO BUT IT SUCKS AND STUFF.

I am lame.

BUT YES SO NOW YEAH.

Failing at Infinite Summer!

Failing at reading anything besides twitter, in general.

I originally ended that last sentence with an exclamation mark, for some reason. It's not that exciting! OH MAN!

Raocow
is a serious, literal genius, in my opinion. He is ridiculously brilliant. I am in love with the way his mind works. He is adorable. The things he says and their context and flow and form is freaking art.

And yeah, whatever, he says he's not like that normally, which obviously, okay, yes, but still, the fact that his mind comes up with the things it does how it does when it does, seriously, I am in love with him.

Rachael Ray is one of if not the worst things ever.

This blog is a fail.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

not a blog

I wrote this for English yesterday. It was supposed to be a persuasive thing, but it did not turn out so much argumentative-like, which, oh well. Very much thanks to Sara who I talked to about stuff and also to everyone else who volunteered, you guys are lovely. It's on the theme of happiness and imagining people complexly, cause that is always good to talk about.


John Green is a New York Times bestselling author. He has tens of thousands of fans, and he interacts with them daily through youtube videos, blogs, live internet shows, twitter, and countless other websites. Many teens cite him as their inspiration for taking up writing; his books have opened up the door to reading for thousands of kids. Through the youtube videos he makes with his brother Hank, he has spawned an entire community of thoughtful, caring individuals. Personally, John has influenced me more than any teacher I’ve ever had, though I’ve never even met him. He is admired by multitudes and is able to do what he loves for a living, but yet John is not a happy person.

One’s initial train of thought upon learning this would probably go something along the lines of “Why not? His life sounds great. I’d love to be in his position. He’s financially stable, works his dream job, gets to interact with this amazing community of people daily. What else does he want?” As humans, we are severely limited in our ability to understand others, and this can make life pretty terrible, but happiness, or at the very least contentment and acceptance, can be found when we realize and keep in mind that we are not alone, that everyone goes through the same thoughts and feelings of loneliness, sadness, and inadequacy that we do.

Author David Foster Wallace addresses this issue in a commencement speech he gave at Kenyon College. After a lengthy monologue about how annoying and unfair and horrible the day to day grind is, during which the crowd actually cheers in understanding, in essence a collective applause acknowledging the unfairness of life, Wallace says that this is the exact opposite of how we should think (79). Instead, he says that the means to a better life lies within us, with how we choose to view the world. We must acknowledge that other people are as multifaceted and complex as we are, and that this choice “involves attention, and awareness, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day” (120). It is with this conscious choice to consider others and have compassion and to realize that they are just as real as we are that we will be able to be more happy, more understanding people.

A few months ago, John Green read David Foster Wallace’s speech during one of his live internet shows. After completing the speech, John discussed the meanings and implications of the text with his viewers:
We want people to acknowledge that we matter, that our griefs are real, that our joys are real, and we want that so much, and we think that being famous will get that, then famous people will care. So when you look at me, you might think, ‘Oh, it would be great to be John because people care about him, and they care if he does well, and they care if something terrible happens, and they like him, and therefore he’s going to like himself, he’s going to feel good on the inside.’ It’s not any different, really – and I promise – than it ever was. Because the truth is that no one is ever going to acknowledge the reality of you as completely as you would like them to. Even if your breakups are on the cover of US Weekly, they won’t feel the pain that you feel as completely as you want them to. (Green)
Accruing physical things, gaining fame, notoriety, respect, etc will not satisfy these needs that so desperately require fulfilling. As John says, we may want to be in his position, as it seems much more desirable and better than our own situation, but no amount of recognition will ever fill that hole…we will never be entirely satisfied with what we have. When we realize this, when we, in the small way that we can, decide to keep this idea in the forefront of our minds and choose to think of things from this perspective, our view of the world will become much more optimistic, and, ideally, we will be more content with our position and surroundings. Recognizing that we are not alone in our aloneness is an important, vital step toward happiness.

Many times, we think in ‘if only’s: If only I could get that promotion, if only I had that car, I’d be completely happy with my life if I was in his position. This greed, this constant desire to obtain, will not be placated by obtaining. In an interview, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, said “[Greed] becomes sort of limitless, sort of bottomless, and that leads to trouble. One interesting thing about greed is that although the underlying motive is to seek satisfaction, the irony is that even after obtaining the object of your desire, you are still not satisfied. The true antidote of greed is contentment” (Cutler 968-969).

Being content with what we have and being comfortable with our lot in life is another factor in determining our happiness. These concepts are not new; the Greek philosopher Epictetus puts forth the proposition that life is like a banquet: “Is a dish brought to you? Put out your hand and take a moderate share. Does the dish pass you by? Do not grab for it. Has it not yet reached you? Don’t yearn for it, but wait until it reaches you” (964). It may sound too simple to be true, but do not be fooled into thinking that this constant mindset of complacency is not easy. It takes effort and an ever-present awareness of one’s position in relation to others to fully attain contentment.

No one will ever feel completely understood; we as humans are incapable of entirely inhabiting the mind of another, and while this is what makes each person unique and special, it can also be destructive. Failure to complexly imagine the other can lead to quick judgments, incorrect assumptions, and unnecessary pain. Accepting this fact, embracing it, and acting upon it is the most vital, necessary part of life. Many of John’s books center around this theme: the importance of imagining the other complexly, acknowledging that it is our duty to consider, to think, to analyze, to care about the world, and, as David Foster Wallace put it, “The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it” (94).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

no, still nothing of real stubstance, i suck so much!

1. What do your friends think of you?
Quetzalcoatal Comes Through - The Mountain Goats [yay Mayan deities]

2. If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
The Day I Knew You Wouldn't Ever Come Back - The Decemberists [apparently it wasn't]

3. How would you describe yourself?
Resonant Bell World - The Mountain Goats [sometimes I am a starling, sometimes I am a kite]

4. What do you like in a guy/girl?
Good Friend - Violent Femmes [cool]

5. How do you feel today?
Greasy Kid Stuff - They Might Be Giants [hmm]

6. What is your life’s purpose?
Book Eight - Hank Green [I HAVEN'T EVEN READ THEM; LEAVE ME ALONE]

7. What is your motto?
Lack of Knowledge - Violent Femmes [that is not nice]

8. What do you think about very often?
Green Typewriters III - The Olivia Tremor Control [lies. i have never once thought of them]

9. What do you think of your best friend?
get away from me - best fwends [THIS THING IS SO MEAN]

10. What do you think of the person you like?
Green Machine - The Apples in Stereo [i have no idea what this song means]

11. What is your life story?
I'm Your Villain - Franz Ferdinand [i am not]

12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sandy Face - The Aquabats [YEAH! tent of diapers! face covered in sand!]

13. What do you think of when you see the person you love?
32 Footsteps - They Might Be Giants [they're walkin away from meeee D:]

14. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Pictures of Pandas Painting - They Might Be Giants [WORST. WEDDING. EVER.]

15. What will they play at your funeral?
Adair - The Mountain Goats [this is kind of fantastically perfect]

16. What is your hobby/interest?
Saigon Shrunken Panorama - The Mountain Goats [okay]

17. What is your biggest fear?
Nova Scotia - The Mountain Goats [basically]

18. What is your biggest secret?
The Saga of You, Confused Destroyer of Planets - Lemon Demon [TRUTH]

19. What do you think of your friends?
Key of 2 - Violent Femmes [prison musicians!]

20. What will you post this as?
Living a Lie - Violent Femmes [no i will not]

Monday, June 15, 2009

oh dear

This is entirely terrible, I know I know I know. Written for some English class a long time ago.

Two Brothers, One Video Blog: A Whole New Kind of Society

Everyone knows what YouTube is; mention it to any teenager, and they’ll most likely give you a long list of videos you’ve gotta see. The popular video site is host to millions of videos, with tens of thousands more being uploaded every day. Though at first glance, the site may seem a repository of TV show clips and videos of drunk guys lighting firecrackers, YouTube fosters a sense of interaction and of community, giving anyone with internet access the ability not only to view the lives of others, but also to influence and participate in them. There is no better example of the utilization of YouTube to the ends of building a community than that of Nerdfighters, the group of people inspired, organized, and founded by brothers John and Hank Green.

In December of 2006, John proposed the idea of starting a video blog, or vlog, on YouTube as an alternate means of communicating. Because the two lived far from each other (at the time, John was living in New York and Hank in Montana), they relied mostly on textual forms of communication, and “because it was always done while they were doing other things,” their relationship was not strong, and they “never really connected.” They decided to stop all textual communication and to instead confer through daily video blogs for the whole of 2007, Hank uploading a video one day and John the next, Monday through Friday. They titled the project “Brotherhood 2.0”.

At first they talked back and forth mostly to themselves, but, as their viewership grew, the project evolved into an interactive society of John and Hank responding to their viewers’ comments and video responses. In mid-February, John named Brotherhood 2.0 followers Nerdfighters, a name he mistakenly took a video game’s title to be (it was actually called Aero Fighters).

Throughout the project, John and Hank initiated ideas or challenges that the whole community latched onto and fully participated in. This is one of the interesting, innovative sides of virtual communities. The instant adoration of and dedication to any suggestion put forth by the brothers reveal an interesting aspect of community: that people are much more apt to participate and fully engage in something when someone else takes initiative first. People like to be led and are happy to go along with someone they admire or respect. It has been frequently brought up in discussions that the Nerdfighter community is strikingly similar to a cult in many ways. Many Nerdfighters pledge their undying allegiance to the brothers and community and adopt a whole way of life according to what Hank and John deem important.

John and Hank have definitely realized and harnessed the power that they have acquired through their fans. They have set up a PayPal account to accept donations for charities; they have organized a “secret project for awesome” in which hundreds of viewers created videos promoting their favorite charities. When one viewer decided to quit college and fly to Bangladesh to use his saved up money to buy food and supplies for the people there, John and Hank spotlighted his efforts and donated money themselves, spurring the Nerdfighters to do the same. When the brothers see another Nerdfighter doing something awesome, they mention and support their efforts on their vlog, thus spurring other Nerdfighters to get involved in their projects. Hank and John have inspired dozens of similar channels which have also gained large viewerships, creating communities within communities.

It is wonderful that the brothers have used the opportunities they’ve acquired for good; they could have just as easily made the project all about themselves, for their own gain. Instead, they have created a community in which other people have been inspired to do something to make the world a better place. They’ve inspired to be more accepting of others, to be more generous, and to have pride in who they are.

The community the Green brothers have created has continued to grow. Nerdfighters are sincere, inspiring, dedicated, and driven viewers. Yet they are not merely viewers, but participants, members of an online family who support and help those in need, who band together to do awesome things, who share a common ideology that the world has the potential to be a great place and that it is up to them to make it that way.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

PEEP STORY

A long long time ago, some nerdfighters from the nerdfighter aim chat, or maybe the dftba chat, can't remember, wrote a story using etherpad.com, which lets you edit text and see others' edits in real time.

There were maybe five or six of us who collaborated on this. Good times.

There once was a Nerdfighter named Pablo. He was a solitary boy. On a particularly damp and lonely Easter Eve, he went to the JohnJacobJingleHymerShmit Grocery Store (JJJSGS, or Triple-J SGS) to buy some yellow peeps, which Pablo enjoyed cooking in the microwave.

BUT! These were no normal peeps. These peeps were really ALIENS!!!
Alien Ostrich Peeps!(AOP)
He bought two packages of the INFERNAL sugar blobs and took them home.
When Pablo microwaved the peeps, they bloated to an unfathomable size, their enormous, accusing, slightly melted eyes staring at him as if to say "WHY!? Why have you betrayed us?"
Pablo loved roasted peeps though, and desperately wanted a snack. Pablo stared at the peeps in the microwave as they continued to swell. They let out a strange growling noise. He began to struggle with his conflicting emotions. Should he give in to his desires for peeps, or give them a chance at life?
Just as they reached maximal size, he hit POWER OFF. He wondered if it was too late to save them.
As he opened the microwave door, a nasty, burnt odor wafted out, permeating the entire house, the smell saturating his jeans and "DFTBA" hoodie.
He turned away, searching the space around him for uncontaminated air to breathe. After waiting a few seconds, he turned back to find an empty microwave.
He examined the inside of the microwave more closely and found nothing but a few spots of sticky marshmallow and a green Post-It. The peeps were gone.
"AARGHH! This is tragedies!" Pablo exclaimed in the manner of a man-zombie who had a hunger, and the only thing that could cure that hunger was more Peeps (and not the alien kind). "I'M HUUUNGRY!"
He picked up the Post-It and read the mysterious note they had left. It said..."we can haz cheezburger? -peeps"
Pablo stood there in disbelief. He thought disbelievingly, "I don't believe this." He made a face. And on that face was a look of disbelief. He had a face, once. The fumes from cooking the peeps had melted it away. Pablo the Faceless Man was still hungry, regardless of whether he had lips or not.
He decided to search for the peeps. He looked high, he looked low, he looked to, he looked fro, but couldn't find even a molecule of marshmallow. "IT JUST ISN'T FAIR!" Pablo burst into tears and slumped down in the corner of the kitchen, utterly distraught.

He glanced up in the mirror. The sight of his face made him cry even harder. But then he noticed a tiny bit of yellow in his hood.

"Golly gee willikers!" he mumbled with his lipless mouth, shrinking in fright. He then grabbed his nearest weapon- a DEADLY spatula- and flipped the little bugger off his precious hood with a manly flick of the wrist.
"GTFO!!!" he yelped with his vocal chords. Thinking quickly, he thrust his hand upon a conveniently placed bottle of Strawberry Hill and commenced to pour it upon the heathen Peep. It let out a moan of peepy pain, then shrunk to its original not-so-intimidating size.
"Eureka!" Pablo shouted with joy. "I have found the cure!"
His elation was broken by the memory of the 4 other peeps that he had not found. They were definitely not in the house, so where could they be? "If I were a giant yellow alien peep on the night before Easter, where would I go?" he wondered. He thought back to the note. He remembered how wonderfully green it was and sighed with contentment.
Pablo locked himself in his room, shamed at his horrid facelessness. The Peeps had not returned, leaving Pablo alone, stricken by guilt. He had not known the Peeps were alive, and wished he had never gone to the Triple-J SGS on that fateful day.
Pablo had no mouth to eat with. He found himself desperately craving Cheez-its and and egg McMuffins. Three days passed. Then a knock came at Pablo's door.
"Yes...?" Pablo mumbled. "Who is it?"
"I am PeepMaster, Lord of the Ostrich Peeps, from planet AOP. You have comitted an atrocity by murdering my subjects. You must pay."
"But...but...I have no face...isn't that punishment enough???"
"NO!!" the Peepmaster boomed. "You must do us a favor. And this favor might be your downfall.." (duuu DUUUUUUUNNNNNNN)
"Wha?" Pablo stammered "Buh, huh?"
"We have been watching your 'vlogbrothers' via verizon broadband wireless for many months now. You must shave off John Green's left eyebrow!!!" the peep laughed manically.
"NOOOOO NEVERRRR!!" Pablo screamed...at least as much as he could with no mouth.
"That is not all." the Peep smirked,"You must buy ten catfish, let them rot for a bit, and then stuff them in Hank's guitar!"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" Pablo cried. "Why would you do this, you decepticon!"
"NEED I REMIND YOU...Hank is responsible for the murder of many of my brethren. And John covered his face in Peanut Butter, which is STRONGLY against Peep law!!"
Pablo cried. He did not want to shave off John's eyebrow, or stuff rotted catfish in Hank's guitar.
"I refuse." Pablo said bluntly.
"If you do as we say...you will get your face back. If not, you will be chained to a gorilla named Poindexter Snuffalufagus for all eternity. In a room where you can smell Cheez-its and egg Mcmuffins, but never can eat them! The will be just out of reach...right where 3 billion peeps will be watching you FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Mandark laugh*<---(Dexter's Laboratory refrence)"
Pablo stood up. "Okay, I'll do it."
Suddenly, in a brilliant flash of light, Pablo found himself standing on a spaceship..or that is what it looked like at least.
"This is Peep Space 9." A small peep shaped like a rabbit said, "Welcome aboard."
"And I am Jean Peep Picmarshmallow, Captain of this vessel," a bald peep said.
Pablo was confused, partly because he had no idea how a peep could be bald, as peeps have no hair--but mostly because Picard, who he assumed this Peep was named after, was not captain of Deep Space 9, which was actually a space station, not a space ship, anyway. He decided to ignore these facts because the situation was confusing enough. Just going with the flow was probably the best idea for now, seeing as he had just been kidnapped by Peeps. Which, according to all previous knowledge, was a very un-peeplike thing to do.
A hole opened up in the floor and a platform raised up with Hank Green.
"What are you doing here Hank?!?"
Hank didn't answer. He just started playing the party blower solo in real time. Do, do do do, do do do, do do do , do do do, do do do, do do do do do.
do, do do, do do do do do, do do do do do do do, do do do.
Pablo rolled over, and hit his iPhone alarm. "Ughh....." He looked over at 2 and half empty bottles of strawberry hill wine, and 5 empty packages of peeps. He then jumped out of bed and proceeded to call Ralph Culver, his best friend and handy-dandy dream expert, on the big white phone.
AND THEN THE WORLD EXPLODED THE END.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

this is water

This was my final project for graphic design. We had to make something with 16 pages or elements, chronicling an epiphany we've had. Originally, I was going to make it about when I first started to appreciate the English Stuff elements of literature, and the text was going to be bits of Catcher in the Rye, Paper Towns, Song of Myself, and the Mountain Goats' Tallahassee, but a few weeks before it was due, John read the speech that David Foster Wallace gave at a Kenyon commencement ceremony. And it kinda totally changed the way I look at and think of the world. Completely. Andbutso I switched to that speech and John's comments on it instead.

It means a lot to me, and I wouldn't share it with my physically present type friends, because they may/might not understand. But I trust you. I trust you, internet, because this kind of stuff is entirely what our relationship is based on. Words and thinking and connecting.

So here:

[click to be able to actually read things]




















Friday, May 29, 2009

Everything is always about John Green.

1. First thing you wash in the shower?
My hair.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
Don't like hoodies very much, but I have one with The Cheat in it, and that is pretty cool. It is black.

3. Do you plan outfits?
Nope. This often results in navy/brown/black combos :/

4. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
My eye itches.

5. What’s the closest thing to you that's red?
My wriststrong bracelet. Stephen Colbert is lovely.

6. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
I cannot remember; I haven't had any vivid dreams in months, but it probably had to do with thisisnottom.com.

7. Did you meet anybody new today?
An oral surgeon.

8. What are you craving right now?
Chipotle. I am always craving Chipotle. Haven't had it since that time in Mr. Tanner's class for some econ party last year.

9. Do you floss?
No. I have sensitive gums.

10. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
Sabotage. Also sauerkraut. And then of course Weird Al. And then twitter. And then Ben Folds.

11. Are you emotional?
no. *icy stare*

12. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
Probably not.

13. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
Depends if it is soft serve or regular.

14. Do you like your hair?
No, it is full of split ends which is entirely my fault; I AM SO LAZY.

15. Do you like yourself?
I like the things I get to do and the people I know and the things I have access to; I only like myself when I think of clever witty things.

16. Would you go out to eat with George W.Bush?
If it was to Chipotle.

17. Would you throw potatoes at him?
Stupid choice of ammunition.

18. What are you listening to right now?
An Icy Hot commercial, and now something about laxatives, now I have turned off the tv and now John Green is reading the prologue of Paper Towns to me. (which you should buy [and also listen to/watch him read...an old revision...over a year before the book was published. I love youtube so much. Seriously it is so good.]) So yeah, I like John Green.

19. Are your parents strict?
I don't do anything; they don't need to be.

20. Would you go sky diving?
No. Not that I am terrified of it, but it just seems like there are a plethora of safer, easier ways to achieve the same end result, which is fear and also exhilaration. Like you could be chased by a dog, for instance. Or skype chat with Hank Green which I am still kind of freaking out about and fangirl a little every time the box pops up that says he's online.

21. Do you like cottage cheese?
Not at all.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
Not in real life, that I can remember. But through twitter hecks YES. Rainn Wilson favorited one of my tweets ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN GOATS NO LESS. And Brent Spiner replied to me. And Paul Feig sent me a DM which I couldn't stop smiling about for hours.

23. Do you rent movies often?
Never ever pay money to temporarily acquire things. I use the library. Or, lately, torrents. Which kind of makes me hate myself.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
blah blah Edward-bashing joke blah blah blah

25. How many countries have you visited?
2 - America and also Canada. But it was only Niagara Falls Canada which is not Canada at all.

28. Have you made a prank phone call?
No, telephones are horrible.

27. Ever been on a train?
Yes, but not out of necessity or as a means of transportation. It was some kind of fun cool thing, to take a 30 minute train ride. What a waste of everything.

28. Brown or white eggs?
White. The brown ones make me nervous. I don't know them and am not familiar with them. Mysterious eggs.

29.Do you have a cell-phone?
Yes, but it is not connected to the World Wide Web, or Internet. What is this hyphen malarkey?

30. Do you use chap stick?
No, it's counterproductive; it just makes me lick my lips all the time.

31. Do you own a gun?
I have a cap gun. Or had. And also a toy gun that you think is just a laser pointer but then shocks you and then you knee the glass display case out of fear and stuff and you think you've broken it but oh good you haven't. And then you feel stupid and hope no one saw. They didn't. MLIA.

32. Can you use chop sticks?
THIS IS AMERICA.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight?
No one, but the newspaper person just threw a newspaper at our house, so that's something.

34. Are you too forgiving?
No one's done anything to me that was so horrible that I've forgiven them and they've hurt me again.

35. Ever been in love?
I fall hard for the ideas of things. But I don't know. I kind of love John Green. And I really love Chipotle.

36. What is(are) your best friend(s) doing tomorrow?
I don't have best friends.

37. Ever have cream puffs?
Lots and lots of expired ones.

38. Last time you cried?
Not sure, it might have been when I reread Looking for Alaska. Or when I came to terms with the fact that it was only my stupidity and idiocy that prevented me from seeing the Mountain Goats. I can't believe me. I am so dumb.

39. What was the last question you asked?
"OH HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. REALLY?"

40. Favorite time of the year?
Winter.

41. Do you have any tattoos?
No, but if I ever get one, it'll be just text, on the inside of my wrist, facing so I can read it, either a Mountain Goats lyric or John Green quote or DFW or Vonnegut. Maybe 'so it goes'. Or Walt Whitman or e. e. cummings, I don't know.

42. Are you sarcastic?
Yes.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
No.

44. Ever walked into a wall?
Not straight on, though I have literally run into a sliding glass door. It was night, and it had just been cleaned, and it was painful.

45. Favorite color?
Blue.

46. Have you ever slapped someone?
Yes, but I've never used all my strength in hurting someone.

47. Is your hair curly?
It was when I was younger, and it would be somewhat curly now if it wasn't so long.

48. What was the last CD you bought?
The last music purchase I made was vinyl, yes I am that cool, but before that I bought John Vanderslice's Romanian Names.

49. Do looks matter?
Unfortunately.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater?
Depends on the kind of cheating.

51. Is your phone bill sky high?
No, I hate telephones, and also SKYPE is FREE.

52. Do you like your life right now?
Too general! Too broad! Impossible to answer unless specific.

53. Do you sleep with the T.V. on?
Only if I fall asleep with the tv on.

54. Can you handle the truth?
I don't know why someone would rather be fed easy lies, knowing that they're lies, than accept the truth. 'for your own good' is idiotic.

55. Do you have good vision?
Of course not, I am a nerd.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?
I try not to hate. Imagine the other complexly. That is kind of a mantra.

57. How often do you talk on the phone?
Why are there so many questions about phones?

58. How do you feel about holding hands?
I am for it.

59. What are you wearing?
My Movies: Ruining the book since 1920 shirt which is unfortunate because I am going to see Star Trek again tomorrow, and I like to wear this one when I go to the movies. And also pants and stuff. Sorry Maureen. I'm #nopants in spirit though. Always.

60.What is your favorite animal?
For some reason the first thing that came to mind was beards?

61. Where was your default picture taken?
Five feet to the left.

62. Can you hula hoop?
To an extent.

63. Do you have a job?
No. I work for ChaCha. But I don't. They are not fun. I could, but I haven't logged in for six months or something. The questions are depressing and make me lose faith in humanity.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought?
A dozen books from an estate sale. Only a dollar. I am very excited.

65. Have you ever crawled through a window?
No, I am not a John Green character.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

anticlimactic

Build up build up BUILD UP LETDOWN.

I don't have things to say! I am lacking in thoughts.

WAIT. Supernovakgirl says PANTS. So I will blog about PANTS.

Pants are the best. No pants are also fantastic. You've got your parachute pants, hot pants, your jodhpurs. Boot-cut, flared, wide-leg, cigarette, skinny jeans. I am a fan of the more leisurely pants, myself. Pajama pants are great. Flannel. Sport pants, wind pants, whatever they are called. Those are my favorite.

And of course, there is the tale of my childhood and its abundance of #nopants. Can you have an abundance of an absence of something? I DO BELIEVE YOU CAN. As a child, I enjoyed the sandbox. So much so that I thought it necessary to remove my pants in order to be one with the sand. And in my excitement, in my three year old frenzy of sheer and utter joy, I bolted into the front yard, where our kindly old neighbor across the street, Mr. Browning, hollered GO BACK IN YOUR HOUSE AND PUT SOME PANTS ON.

So there's that.

INTERJECTION! BILL JUST PLAYED PARTICLE MAN! <3!

Suchducks is great. She likes They Might Be Giants, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Mountain Goats, the Decemberists, the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, the Deranged Millionaire, Anderson Cooper, Craig Ferguson, and beards. Her awesomeness is undeniable.

That is all.

So today is the last day of #BEDA. I will miss the hashtags, I will miss the 11:30 realizations and consequent fits of panic and chaos. I will miss my amazingly lovely, great BEDA buddies. It's been really awesome reading all your blogs and getting to know you guys, and I hope we will keep in touch, which is fantastically easy online. Hooray for twitter!

So, in conclusion:

:]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

At the Point

Sorry! I have to go to bed like NOW. So you get this thing I wrote when I was 14. And very much obsessed with Back to the Future. As is evident. See how many references you can spot! Hah.

“Come on, Breckin, I wanna go on the Dragster! It’s so awesome,” Marty whined.

Breckin shook his head. “Sorry, Marty, you probably can’t. There’s always a long line, and besides, nobody else wants to go on it, and we’re not going to wait, like, two hours just so you can. Maybe next time.”

“Breckin, you’re so dumb. You never let me do anything I want to,” Marty complained.

It was a warm, breezy summer day, and Breckin was taking his younger brothers, fourteen year-old Marty, and eleven year-old Michael, and his thirteen year-old sister, Sara, to Cedar Point. They pulled into a parking space and got out.

“Ah, Marty, be quiet. You always whine,” Michael told him.

“I do not, and anyway, you’re just scared to go on it,” Marty said.

“I am not. I just.... don’t feel like it, and Sara doesn’t want to either.”

“Yeah. Nobody else wants to go, so just quit talking about it,” Sara told Marty.

“All right, fine, but you guys are just scared. You’re all big fat chickens. You--”

“Nobody calls me chicken, Marty. Nobody!” Michael yelled. He started hitting and punching him.

“Guys! Quit! Stop,” Breckin yelled. He was getting really annoyed at Marty and Michael.

Marty and Michael stopped. Sara stuck her tongue out at them.

“All right, guys. Come on, cut it out. Everybody got their passes?” Breckin asked.

They each gave their pass to the gate worker, went through the turnstile, and headed to the midway. When they were all together, Breckin stopped them.

“Where should we go first?” he asked.

“Let’s go on the Millennium. Can we? Pleeease?” Marty begged.

“Yeah. I want to, too,” Michael said.

Sara was quiet. She didn’t know if she wanted to go on the Millennium. It was so big and fast, but if her little brother wanted to, she figured, she should, because if she didn’t, they’d never stop making fun of her.

“Sure, since we all want to, but not now. There’s probably a long line, and it looks so cool up there at night. Let’s wait till later, okay?” Breckin said.

“Well, can we go on the Blue Streak, then? There’s not that many people over there,” Sara said. She liked the Blue Streak. It wasn’t as high or as fast the Millennium, and it was fun.

“Yeah, and then we can go on the Calypso and those little racecar things,” Michael said. He moved his arms back and forth like he was steering a car.

“Let’s go. Come on, you guys!” Marty yelled. He took off in the direction of the Blue Streak.

“Hey, Marty, slow down. You don’t have to run!!” Breckin called out after him.

After they went on the Blue Streak, they went on the Calypso, then the racecars, and then the Calypso again.

“Ugh. I don’t feel so good.” Breckin pretended to puke on Michael. Michael screeched and jumped away from him. “Let’s walk around and decide where to go next.”

They headed over to the bumper cars and the Wildcat. Breckin wanted to go on the bumper cars first, so they all got in line.

Marty ran to his favorite car, jumped in, put on his seatbelt, and yelled, “Hi ho, Silver!”

Sara rolled her eyes. Marty was so weird sometimes. She went to the opposite corner. She didn’t want to be anywhere near Marty when he was driving. Breckin sat down in the car next to her. She suspected that he was thinking the same thing.

She tried to stay clear of Marty, but he kept chasing her.

“Marty, go away,” she giggled.

Marty cackled and didn’t pay attention to where he was going. He slammed right into the wall. Sara drove by him and laughed.

“Ha ha. Reeeal funny. Just wait till I get out of here,“ Marty said sarcastically, but he couldn’t figure out how to get his car to go backwards and get away from the wall. Just as he finally got his car turned around, the ride stopped. “Awww, man! Hey, Breckin!” he called, “Can we go on it again?”

Sara shook her head frantically at Breckin. “Nooo. No more bumper cars. How about the Iron Dragon?” he suggested.

After the Iron Dragon, everyone was tired and getting hungry, so the family went to the Red Garter Saloon to get something to eat for dinner. After they ate, Michael saw that there weren’t very many people in line for the Millennium Force.

“Hey, Breckin, look. There’s hardly anybody in line for the Millennium. Can we go now?”

“Uh-oh,” Sara thought, “I don’t want to go on the Millennium. It’s too big, way too big, and fast.” She began to worry.

“Uh, I don’t know. Do you think we should? Right after we ate? You don’t want me to puke on you again, do you?” he asked slyly.

“Huh-uh. No thanks,” Michael laughed.
“So, let’s go on that later, okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” Marty grumbled.

“Thank goodness,” Sara thought. She did not want to go, ever.

“Can we go on the train? That way we don’t have to walk because my feet are starting to hurt,” Sara suggested. She wanted to get as far away from the Millennium as she could. That way, she figured, they might run out of time going on other rides and not be able to go on it.

“Um, anyone not want to?” Breckin asked.

“I don’t care”

“Sure.”

“Ok, then. Let’s go.”

They all got on the train, everyone except for Marty, that is. He was busy throwing his garbage away and didn’t see that the train had started to pull away.

“Hey! Wait! Stop!” he screamed. He ran along the train and tried to get on, but his foot slipped. Breckin reached for him, grabbed his arm, and pulled him in.

“What were you doing!?” Breckin was mad. “You could’ve gotten hurt. Now you are going to be right next to me for the rest of the day.”

Michael and Sara stared at Marty.

“What are you looking at? All of you are just stupid,” Marty scowled.

“Marty! You are gonna be in big trouble. Mom and Dad are going to be really mad,” Breckin scolded.

“Sorry,” he grumbled.

After the train ride, they went on the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, the swings, and the antique cars.

“It’s getting kind of late. We better get back to the Millennium if we’re going to get on it before we have to leave,” Breckin said.

“Great,” Sara thought, “he remembered. What am I going to do?”

They rode the train back to the Millennium, and the train didn’t leave without anyone this time.

Breckin, Marty, and Michael were all getting in line when Sara said, “I don’t feel too good. Do I have to go? I might get sick.”

“Yeah, right,” Michael said, “You’re just scared. You’re scared of a dumb old roller coaster. Scaredy cat! Scaredy cat! Sara’s a scaredy cat!”

“Yeah, Sara, you’re just scared. You’re not sick. You’re just a chicken. You weren’t sick when we went on all of those other rides. Hah!” Marty chimed in.

“Fine. I’ll go. See? I’m not scared.” Sara got in line with her brothers. Now, she really didn’t feel well. She was scared. She was really scared, but she wasn’t going to admit it.

As she waited in line, she got more and more worried. She looked up at the top of the lift hill 310 feet up. She followed the track with her eyes, then down, then up another huge hill.

Breckin noticed she was looking worried. “Sara, are you all right? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah.” She gulped. “Everything is great.”

“Are you sure? You can sit next to me if you want to. Marty was going to, but I don’t think he’ll mind. They can sit in front of us.”

“Okay,” Sara said. She didn’t want to sit next to Marty or Michael. They’d make fun of her the whole ride. Breckin knew she was nervous.

They went toward the back of the car. She got in the seat next to her big brother. Marty and Michael sat in front of them. Sara was scared, but there was nothing she could do now. She put her seatbelt on.

“You ready?” Breckin grinned. “Come on, Sara, don’t be so worried. Everything’s going to be fine. You know, it’s not like there’s really anything to be scared of. It’s safe. You’re not going to fall out or anything.”

“Thanks, Breckin,” she thought, even more worried than before, “That made me feel a lot better.”

“Clear!” the workers yelled. The train lurched out of the station and quickly started to go up the lift hill. Sara squeezed her eyes shut. The train neared the top of the hill. Sara could hear Marty and Michael scream, but she wasn’t going to open her eyes.

“Yeah!” Breckin yelled. He threw up his hands. She felt the train start to fall, faster and faster. She opened her eyes for a second, but quickly closed them. They went down the first hill and started going up the next.

Sara opened her eyes. “Hey,” Sara thought, “This is kind of fun.” She looked over at Breckin. He had his hands up and was laughing. “But not that fun.”

As the ride went along, Sara started to feel stupid for being so scared. When the car swung around the last corner and back into the station, Marty got out of his seat and took off running down the exit ramp.

“Marty! Where are you going now?” Breckin yelled.

“I told you Breckin, I’m going to that picture thing!” Marty yelled over his shoulder. “Me and Michael made weird faces at the camera.”

Breckin sighed and got up to follow him. Inside the photo shop, Sara caught up to her brothers. They were all looking at their picture. Sara looked up. She looked like she was having a great time.

“Hey, Breckin.” She pulled at his sleeve. “That was fun. Can we go on it again?”


Seriously, list all the references. There are a LOT.