Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tips for a Safe and Happy New Year

Remember, what happens on New Year's... could possibly haunt you for all of 2009 - even in Vegas.

Streaking was acceptable in the ninth grade, tolerated in College, and highly recommended as an adult.

At midnight, should there be no one of the opposite sex to kiss, refer to the following flow chart:

I am....



(And remember to take pictures)



Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you're in the clear. Wine after nine is just fine. Crack after speed, an ambulance you'll need.



If attending a party this evening, remember to thank you host with a gift,



not wear out your welcome,



and get a safe ride home...



Happy New Year everybody!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

An open letter to Chicago Bear fans


Dear Fans,

If you're reading this, you probably already know: your beloved football team lost to the Houston Texans today (31-24), thus denying them a playoff spot.

Now, I have never been a Bears fan. Though, when Brett Favre left Green Bay for good, I vowed to, at the very least "not hate" the Bears so much. I went as far as saying I would be a fan once, but I'm pretty sure I was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a Voodoo curse. However, I am not a big NFL fan at all any longer, so I am going to try to remain unbiased throughout this letter.

First of all, if you are a Bear fan, chances are you were born, lived in, or moved to Chicago (or surrounding area) at some point in your life. It's also very likely that you have been a Bear fan all of your life, you have fond memories the Superbowl (winning) team, you agree that no one will ever match up to Coach Ditka, and you despise the Green Bay Packers (and fans) more than any other professional sports team, ever.

Yes, you my friend are a true fan, and I admire that. I can not judge who you root for (unless it is when your team is playing mine), as long as your rooting with passion. Now, like I said I gave up on the Pack this year. About three years ago I started giving up on the NFL entirely. Egos, six-figure salaries, and crime just don't go along with football very well. I prefer NCAA sports, where the athletes not only don't get paid, but also get kicked off the team for poor conduct and bad judgment. Anyhow, sidetracking...

The Bears put on a decent performance today. The offense was actually looking like they needed to score points to win a football game. Kyle Orton threw two touchdown passes and had no interceptions, and he made some ballsy plays that paid off. He must have turned his headset off because throwing the ball to Devon Hester, in double coverage, nearly halfway down the field, is not in any play Ron Turner is aware of. In a post-game interview I heard Lovie Smith say he didn't even know that the rules allowed for such a pass.

The Bears dumb luck was working beyond capacity as well. The Defense got a chance to score on a fumble...? Incomplete pass? I dunno, let's stare blankly at the refs who didn't blow a whistle or stop the clock and then run with it. Good thinkin.

Unfortunately, dumb mistakes were also in plentiful supply. The Windy City fumbler, err I mean flyer, has incredible legs, but the same can't be said for his hands, or his head. Falling face first to the turf instead of taking on the defenders says only one thing to me: pussy. And his buddy, Daniel Manning couldn't seem to keep his hands on the ball either, leading to a turnover that could have been the difference.

The Bears defense is not good. It never has been. It's entirely overrated, and it always has been. It was not good the Superbowl (losing) year, not last year, not this year. Take a look at the stats folks (and numbers don't lie); the team is ranked 21st in the league in overall defense (total average yards allowed per game). They give up points, lots of points. The secondary (30th in the league) might as well blitz every play. The line, usually ranked in the top 5 in the league, never showed up today. The team should look into cloning Brian Urlacher ten or so times.

The good news:
Robbie Gould went 26/29 in field goal attempts this season. Trade him!
They beat the Packers - Lovie Smith's TOP priority since joining the organization. Winning other games? Eh...
It took three seasons, and the same amount of QBs but the team may have found a decent one.
9-7 would have put you in the playoffs if you were in the NFC West!
We don't have to hear any more Jeff Joniak for like 8 months.

Bear fans, you act like this was unexpected. It boggles my mind. Being a Cub fan, I can understand the die-hard loyalty and belief in a team, but when your head coach is a total QB Schizo who constantly looks confused... come on! You can't tell me that this wasn't going to happen. I'm surprised they won 9 games!

Don't try to rationalize this with me. Don't try to tell me "well, they should have won the Atlanta game and..."
Yeah, shoulda, woulda, coulda! Five of their seven losses could have been wins? Well, 9 of 9 of their wins could have been losses.

Quit wasting your time with this ridiculous team. I know the whole NFL got turned upside down this year: Tom Brady out for the season (but New England still managed 11 wins), Detroit not winning a game while last years' 1-15 Miami team clinched their division this go around, etc etc...
But the Bears suck. They have some talent, don't get me wrong, but it's not in the right places. They have Quarterback identity issues, TERRIBLE management(from the top down), and no cheerleaders!!! (It's an outrage!)

So fans, pack up that Bears hat, the sweatshirts, the t-shirts, your lucky Bears scarf, the punky QB headband that still smells of 1986, and forget any of this happened. As a matter of fact, just throw it all in the fireplace and use it to keep warm (and cut down on energy costs).

Now, take that mall gift card you got from Grandma and head to Champs to purchase as much Blackhawks gear as possible before it all sells out!

Your caring pal,

Ryan

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's finally, kinda sorta beginning to [feel] like Christmas.

It's probably the change of venue, but this year, more than ever, Christmas seems less important. Maybe I've lost some faith, but it seems like there is more to it than that.
Looking back, I suppose the holiday has gradually lost it's intrigue. But Christmas is supposed to be that time of year when we all feel like children.

Problem #1: I always feel like a child.

I'm sure come Christmas Day, I'll be in the spirit along with everyone else. But if I were not headed home for Christmas (not entirely of my own interest), I can conceive a perfectly content day/night of solitude. Maybe I'd watch Christmas movies and weep alone. But to me, that's pretty fulfilling, at this point in my life (wherever that might be).

Nothing feels like home anymore. Maybe that is the problem. Yet, the only thing that tells me that it's a problem is society. I am fine the being alone on Christmas. I have been alone at many points in my life, we all have. So, what's Christmas, but another day?

Well, it's Christmas!, you might say. But, in my perfect world, everyday would be like Christmas; no hate, all love.

We pretend everything is okay on Christmas, though it never is. I'm not saying we should pretend everything is okay all the time, nothing would get solved. I am saying, if we demonstrated the compassion we had for each other and for life in general (like we do on Christmas) every day of our lives, life would be a lot better for all of us.

So, don't tell me "please come home for Christmas."

I don't need that. I need that kind of compassion on a regular basis. I need a friend when I need a friend; I can not help my needs. I feel bad for the rest of you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Post 100

Well, this young blog still has a lot of growing up to do, but looking back on the first few entries (beginning with August 3, 2008), it definitely seems like I have made some progress, both as a writer/blogger and a person.

But instead of making this sappy look back at my past/forward to my future, I'm just going to give you a little treat. Enjoy the Season 2 premier or Flight of the Conchords!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

life south of I-80 (after one semsester)

Champaign-Urbana is like nowhere else. I had no clear picture of what I was getting into moving down here this past August. I went into it however, with an open mind and no direction whatsoever. There, I said it. I really had no clue; not enough money for U of I, barely enough motivation for community college, little money, no job...

I could have stayed back home: no rent, well-paying job, much more security, my good friends, family... but I needed a change. And now, this is home, and I love it. Despite my lower-paying job, increased expenses, crazy roommate drama and lack of sanity, I love every minute of it. It's the college experience I never had, and to be honest, never thought I needed. But it's forcing me to grow up and figure out exactly what it is I want/need to do with the rest of my life. Granted, at first it just confused me more, I think I needed that confusion to shake things up.

I'm still just a lost puppy at this point, but at least I'm in the park with all the other dogs, surrounded by people, places and things that give me more sense of meaning. Though I may not know exactly what it is, I've foundmy raison d'etre and it's right here in Champaign (for now at least).

25 years ago, it was snowing....


my house! found this pic in my room and realized it was taken on my ride home from Northwest Community Hospital (in Arlington Heights - no wonder I love the track so much, lol)
Anyway, pretty cool...

A Quarter Century later, much changed, yet very little

The Year, 1983: Our president-elect was just receiving his B.A. from Columbia. Toto, Prince and Men at Work topped the music charts. Moviegoers were watching "A Christmas Story" and "Return of the Jedi," and staying home to watch "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "60 Minutes." The Raiders won the Superbowl that January! But Illinois got pounded 45-9 by UCLA in the Rose Bowl and the Cubs still sucked. In the news: terrorism, U.S. invasions and polygamy. Reagan proposed his brilliant "Star Wars" plan in '83, meanwhile a record-breaking national deficit was projected ($189 billion - we're now in the trillions). A Sony Walkman (yes, one that played cassette tapes) would set you back about the same as an Ipod Touch, while an RCA VCR would run you nearly double what you could get a Blu-Ray player for today - and that's not factoring in inflation! But gas was only a buck and a quarter a gallon. Though, my last fill-up only cost me a quarter more than that...

I suppose it's only been 25 years, but that's my whole life. It just seems like more should have changed by now. We're still obsessed with "Star Wars" (the movie, not Reagan's craziness) and you can't avoid "A Christmas Story" this time of year. And "60 Minutes" is still the most watched television show by the people who don't even know they're watching television. These things are good; I don't want them to change. But, when we're still dealing with President "Mission Accomplished" 25 years after Reagan was quoted as saying, "(the USSR) is a focus of evil in the modern world," somethin' just ain't right.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make, or if I'm trying to make one at all, but I just felt a bit reflective tonight, and thought I would share with you all the changes (or lack there of) over my lifetime.

When someone lives to one hundred, we gasp, "can you imagine everything he/she has seen in his/her lifetime?!"
I guess I'm only 1/4 the way there but 25 years seems so insignificant, in the grand scheme.

I have enjoyed my 25 years, however. I just wish I could have done more to change things. Tomorrow we will drink some beers to the next 25 years, and to hoping they bring change. prosperity and a better world to us all.

(That's all I want for my birthday.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lost material

drafts of unpublished posts I finally decided to show y'all....


11/18/08

I sit at my desk, paralyzed.
My feelings numbed, but only to the point of confusion. I feel something, but I can not decipher what it is.
It's like waking from surgery, but nothing has been healed.

There is plenty to pass the time, but nothing seems remotely fitting.
So I'll sit, and remain me.
Confrontation lacks my interest.
I will try to meditate, but my mind too far away from me now.

I feel like a planet from another solar system, revolving around another sun.
Intermittently I get close enough to view Earth and the other planets,
but it is short-lived and irrelevant.

I dreamt of old friends last night, and the things we used to do.
I have been dreaming a lot lately, vividly.
It is almost like living another lifetime in my sleep.
Beautifully, night does not remember day, freeing me.



11/17/08

is my mind.

dunno quite who i am, just where i wanna be. sorta

wish i could take flight

the lights in the distance. something is always out there. not brave enough to venture.
the beeps continue. my own creation. irresponsible art.

Suddenly everyone wants to talk. Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Friends, etc. But when it is not a matter of cultural relevance (i.e. breakup, death), it's no big deal.

08/24/08

I'm a human being, first and foremost. After that, I am a writer, then a lover, then a friend.

However, being a human being pretty much trumps all of the following. At the same time, being a human being is an overused excuse for the [....]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This is Life (pt. 1)

While I know I have been/can be a wreck loose ass sometimes, I have decided that this is my life, and I don't know that I would have it any other way.

I know I have things that require fixing in my life, and that is my New Years resolution. About four or five years ago I had a dream; more like a nightmare. A future me came to me and said that, no matter what I did "I would not live past 25." Kind of creepy, considering my 25th Birthday is less than a week away. But increasingly so, over the years since the dream, I have become more and more about living for the moment. I have enjoyed life a lot since that dream, while still managing to survive.

Should I prove the dream demons wrong, and make it to the New Year, I will be making some changes in my life: cutting back on things, thinking before acting more often, just trying to be a better version of myself.

However, I have no regrets. Why bother? I have probably said otherwise in previous entries, but I truly believe that have regrets is pointless. It keeps you from moving forward. There is no sense living in the past. Learning from your mistakes, sure, but not dwelling on them.

life sucks sometimes

The single most definite disappointment in life: people.
At least in this fucked up culture. You can't trust or depend on anyone.
Deception overtakes reality.
Communication is a foreign term.

We text, we chat, we e-mail...
But we take it all for granted.

We give up on each other so easily because we care more about ourselves than anything.
Fuck that.

So close to giving up.
So close.
So close I can taste it, and I hate it.
But I want to show them; you, you all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Playlist

Some actual Christmas songs, some just badass tunes that are Christmas to me:

"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" - Bruce - For the brutish period in which I lived in the same house as my stepfather, this was the song that would wake me up on Christmas morning. It also still is the first song played after Thanksgiving dinner.

"Creep" - Radiohead - Not quite sure, but from the very first time I heard this song up until today, every time I hear this track I think it's a Christmas song. Good song, but has nothing to do with Christmas, I'm pretty sure.

"A Great Big Sled" - The Killers - Badass xmas tune. Very Rock n Roll, yet pretty as a white Christmas.

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - Death Cab for Cutie - For serious, this is the holiday equivalent of Hendrixs' version of "All Along the Watchtower." Like Dylan himself said: Jimmi mastered it. Death Cab went and done the same thing here. Perfection.

"Beautiful Day" - U2 - When this single was first released, at the start of the big U2 revival (side note: All That You Can't Leave Behind, the last good U2 album) I was a sophomore in high school. I remember hearing it beforehand, but when I truly fell in love with it was on a roadtrip up to East Troy, WI to see Pearl Jam with Dan Krall, Mike Wilson, and Mr. Wilson (Mike's dad). Dan pointed out exactly what the song was about: a dude who just lost his wife and kids (divorce) and was just at a really shitty point in his sad life. But the sun was shining, he had hope, and it was a beautiful day. Yeah, a bit sappy, and who knows if that's what the song actually means, but to me that is what it will always mean, It reminds me of my dad, it reminds me of myself, it reminds me of my dog, it reminds me of Christmas morning, New Years Day, and that bitter cold night in October of 2000 - and that's all that it has to mean.

"Bittersweet Symphony" - The Verve - More nonsense from the Broham camp. This is the song I think I listened to most in high school during that drab week that is Winter break; post-Christmas, pre-New Years. Bittersweetness is the best term for that week.

"Hey Parker, It's Christmas" - Ryan Adams - You think I would make a playlist and leave out Ryan Adams? Go back to my first entry and reread my entire blog - you don't know me.

"It's Christmas, Let's Be Glad" - Sufjan Stevens - a) he made an album about Illinois (and Michigan, and last I heard he hopes to cover the other 48 states, no joke); b) he's pretty much a badass; c) he's released a handful of sweet Christmas tunes (which can also be included on this list); d) his name is Sufjan. How do I get that name?

"Little Saint Nick" - Beach Boys - They're the Beach fucking Boys. This is a classic. If you don't like this song you probably hate puppies, so fuck you.

"Papa Loves Mambo" - Perry Como - It's in the second best Christmas film ever, Bad Santa, therefor it is awesome, and oh so Christmas-y.

"Run Rudolph Run" - Chuck Berry - Speaking of best Christmas movies ever, this little diddy is featured in the all-time smash comedy hit,Jingle All the Way, the BEST Christmas movie EVER (among others). Oh, yeah, and it's Chuck Berry, who fucking rocks.

"Santa Lost a Ho" - Various Artists - "Cus' he used to go Ho Ho Ho/ Now he only goes Ho/ Uh oh!/ Where'd the other Ho go?/ Don't know/ Santa lost a Ho." Many artists have varying versions of this masterpiece, but each one is quite exceptional.

Oh, this is all too fun! I know I have more, so we'll call this Volume One. Stay tuned for more holiday awesomeness...

senses numb (a short poem)

I got my ears full of glory
My mouth, a beer can ashtray
My eyes haven't slept for weeks
I feel pain and I feel pleasure
And all I can smell is a musky fear

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

AnA-fUcKiNg-LoG

Awwww yeah. Oh yes. Analog sound in a digital world.

Side A. Side B. Side 1. Side 2.

When the digital world crumbles...

My PREAMP journey. My amazing PREAMP voyage.

I was born a ramblim' man - two decades too late.

Oh technology, how ironic.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Portia Decides - episode 1 part 1 (for those of you who missed it)



this be part one from facebook

Portia Decides - episode 1 part 3



Clearly a Miller Girl. Good choice snake.

Portia will be making many decisions in the future. Please send your suggestions. Portia knows all... she's like Ms. Cleo meets the Horse Whisperer

Portia Decides - episode 1 part 2

video

After I introduced Portia to good beer, she had second thoughts on the whole "taste of the Rockies" thing...

Only one more opportunity could prove me right...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Questions, comments, etc...

Random stuff I have been observing/noticing/thinking lately. Feel free to comment or just ponder...

I am seeing more and more moms on facebook these days. Dads too, but more so moms. Is this weird or is it just me?

I watch most of my actual programming (TV series) online these days. With the exception of news and sports, will television eventually become entirely on demand?

Do college students isolate themselves from society? I can not seem to find many peers down here on campus that I can have a decent conversation with about what's going on in the world. Not just in the world - I mean, I follow local (C-U area), back home (Chicago - try to read the Trib a few times a week), and national news. (I hate to admit it, but the international stuff is a bit much for me.) There was a crazy fire down here a few weeks back. No one knew. What gives?

Thinking of getting the Blackberry Storm. Don't know how I feel about touch screen though. Also, I'm a T9 Word addict; the whole QWERTY thing makes my thumbs cringe. But I do like the idea of full web access (Porn on my phone? Can't beat that... jk)

Just a few tidbits for now. Hope it was worth the read. Later brohams!

Things you need to check out, STAT!

Just a small compilation of cool stuff I have been into lately. Hope to add more soon. If you're bored, check it out...



surfthechannel.com


CALIFORNICATION (Showtime series feat. David Duchovny - see previously listed website for all episodes)

TWITTER!

If you're a gambler... (or a sports guy/girl who wants to bet for free!)
CENTSPORTS.com

HEAVEmedia <<< check it out losers!

The recent releases from the following artists:
Cold War Kids, Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Vampire Weekend and the Dears, among others.

elfyourself.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Elfyourself.com

Send your own ElfYourself eCards