Monday, November 29, 2010

Music to Make Write to

Writing for me and probably most of you is about following dreams.  This week I wanted to feature some artists who I went to high school with who are following theirs.


I used to walk to school with this guy in 1st and second grade.  We used to climb trees in his backyard and he had a ridiculous looking basset hound (fact-all basset hounds are ridiculous looking.)  In 9th grade he was winning national HS music competitions on the French Horn.  He went to school studying music and composition.  He started a Brass Quintet and arranges their music.  Here's a listen:




I went to school with the next band's guitarist from junior high on.  Not a guy I'd expect to find in an on-the-rise indie rock band.  I'd have pegged him to be one of those guys who gets a quick finance degree and does investment planning and already has 3 kids.  He is in the black shirt on the left. 





I'm going to listen to both of these guys this week and hope it keeps me on track for pursuing my own dreams.  Happy writing, peeps. 

-Chris

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Post of the Ages

Today's post is part of Bessler's blogfest (what alliteration!)  For it I am to post about what I am thankful for.

When considering what angle to take for this topic I ran into a lot of ideas that didn't quite work.  My first idea was to post pictures of different types of beer.  But I'm only thankful for that because it gets me through Thanksgiving, which is a huge "which came first the beer or family holidays?" paradox that I'm not fully willing to delve into.  I thought maybe I'd post a picture of my wife, but then felt that was too mushy and had to immediately crush a beer can on my forehead to feel more manly.  I contemplated using my 5 years of teaching 2nd grade for an idea, but those kids were only thankful for video games, pizza, and recess, which I love, but made me feel shallow.  
The last and best terrible idea I had was to post about family, since that is the point of the Thanksgiving holiday and all.  But I realized something.  I don't really like my family.  Sitting in a room with my family always felt like sitting and waiting in a crowded DMV lobby.  The room was full, you never got anywhere, and there was always one older lady trying to chat everyone up.  Fortunately this revelation led me to what I am actually thankful for.  The little things that accompany Thanksgiving that get you through the doldrums of quality time and leave you driving home thinking that maybe those weirdos aren't entirely that bad.   

Things like Thanksgiving football played by my three cousins and me (what the hell was my older brother doing this whole time?) in the front yard of our Grandmother's house.  Only 25yrds to a touchdown with one first down marker at the ridiculous yew bushes, which also served as first base in the spring.  Basically whichever team had Anthony on it won.  I normally played with Matt, who drew one cut routes for me on his hand and then shook his head as the passes bounced off of my hands.  He'd constantly say, "Bring it into your body," to which I'd reply, "How am I supposed to do that if the ball keeps bouncing off of my hands!" (I didn't quite get a lot as a child.)  We'd play until Anthony got tired, made up a reason to complain, and yelled, "I quit!"  It literally happened every single time and I'm not sure any team ever actually won.  Anthony would always try to claim he was up when we ended and we could never fully convince him that stomping off of the field was like a forfeit.  Oh the good times.

Things like sitting at the kid's table all the way through high school.   My cousin Amy was 5 years younger than me but somehow whined her way to the adult table.  But really not sitting through the silent raging stares of my uncles as they uncomfortably lumbered through another dutiful family social event made that cardboard table in the living room feel like mahogany. 


Things like deviled eggs.  Why do they serve turkey, stuffing, or broccoli cheese casserole when they could just hand me a bucket of deviled eggs?  Hey, remember how your mother was insistent that you try a little of everything and you were convinced that it was just so Aunt Dorris wasn't offended that no one tried her pistachio jello mold and feel like why did I even bother?  Not true.  it was so your glutton of a cousin Chris didn't eat all of the stinkin' deviled eggs.


Things like Thanksgiving football on TV.  What do you mean Barry Sanders has been retired for a decade now and why do the Lions still get airtime?  What do you mean Nebraska/Colorado was never really a relevant rivalry and is even less so now?  Let's watch football on the TV!

Really none of that stuff seems altogether perfect or ideal (other than the deviled eggs) but it made itself special through time.  I guess I'm thankful for that because that is the kind of stuff that sticks with you.  I hope that if and when I have children they have memories that aren't too traumatic that stick with them in the same way.  Thanks for reading.  Leave me some  stinkin' eggs.  


-Chris

Check out my contest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Music to Make Write To

Hippy Music! 


We'll start with one of my favorite new groups Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. I wish I could be so talented that not even a truckload of psychedelic drugs can hinder it.  Probably also the drugs but they seem so stinking happy to be making music.  I want people to see me as a writer and see that, only without having to eat an entire kilo of 'shrooms.  You might recognize the first song from a recent car commercial  I love playing this while I write. 





The next song is from a commercial for the upcoming season of Justified on FX.  Lissie with Little Lovin.  I LOVE the chorus.





Good luck writing this week and Happy Thanksgiving. Come back Wednesday for the Thanksgiving blogfest hosted by Jeffrey Beesler.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Healthyish

So I'm coming off of my bronchitis.  I am down to about 2 coughing fits that make me choke a day, compared to that being pretty much all day.  I hope to be back and posting regularly.  I cannot remember a time where I was this sick for this long.  But alas, it is nice to be getting healthyish.  Last Friday I went with my brother to go see The Aquabats! and Reel Big Fish.  It was nostalgic good times.  Although I think RBF's music is better overall, Aquabats put on an unbelievable show.  Grown men dressed as superheroes singing punk rock and intermittently fighting evil scientists and their monstrous creations.  Also the lead singer co-created this stuff:
 


So it is cool that even though he has to be doing well from that, he has kept this side project going since 94. 

Here is a snippet:



Anywho it was nice to get out of the house.  Tuesday was ESPN's college basketball marathon.  Which meant for over 24 hours live basketball was going on.  It's nuts to think about the lengths ESPN goes to every year to have live games going at 4 in the morning.  My wife and I made the 3 hour drive home for our first K-State basketball game of the year Tuesday.  We beat #24 Virginia Tech by 16.  


Our season tickets are by probably the most obnoxious high schooler ever.  I tried being nice at first, but the guy finds ways to yell out ridiculous stuff while your team is losing that just makes you want to lay down in traffic.  Yesterday he comes to his seat 15 minutes into the game wearing all Philadelphia Eagles gear.  When everyone around starts asking about it he says is was for Monday night football and he didn't even know there was a game today.  Every once in awhile I would lean over and say, "Do you think Mrs. Hufflebaum is upset you are ditching her 7th grade lit class?" or "Vick is looking solid out there today."  He never quite got it, but it made me feel better.  This year there is a woman from the college of ed who sits between us and him.  Makes sort of a buffer, but not enough of one.  Poor lady.  She even made fun of him, like a lot, which made me chuckle.  Oh well.  I guess we were all like that at one point (probably not, again me trying to be nice and failing.) 

I have missed college basketball season.  It is like Christmas running from November to April stuffed with bright lights, presents, as much disappointment as getting a sweater from the family member you drew while you gave away a DVD box set that cost twice as much, and as much joy as getting what you really wanted (money.)  Monday I have tickets to see us play Gonzaga in KC.


So what have you guys been up to this week?

-Chris 

Oh yeah.  I signed up for this Thanksgiving Blogfest.  You should too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music to Make Write to

 This week I need to introduce you to my good friend Sufjan. If you walked up to me and tried to sell me a cd of banjo music, I'd promptly punch you in the forehead to rattle your tiny brain back into place. However, somehow this guy does it.

For the Widows in Paradise


Romulus


Come Thou Fount


Chicago


He has a lot of really good stuff. and I have literally spent an hour or two just clicking different versions of each of his songs.

Again if anyone has song they like to listen to while writing, feel free to share it and I can feature it next week.  Don't forget to check out my contest.  You could win a free dinner out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Music to Not Die of Pnuemonia to

FYI I'm not posting much lately due to pneumonia.  If I'm not dead in the next month or so things will return to schedule. 

Before we get into my picks I had asked for others to share.  This is a song sent in by our very own Alex J. Cavanaugh



This week has no theme. Just what I am listening to right now. First let's start with My Morning Jacket. Then kick it old school with Bobby Dylan
Cannot go wrong with some Bob Dylan.



Ironically the best version was pulled for copyright violation. 


Take care. Feel better than me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sick Day(s)

I'm very ill.  Regularly scheduled program might get interrupted this week, but should return next week.  I'm going to go curl up into a ball now.

Participate in the haiku contest if you haven't done so.