Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sweetness!


OK, guess what? I got a bass guitar!!! I've known for a while that I was getting it, though...

So, when I was shooting with my grandpa last Sunday, he got a phone call from my grandma, who was shopping with my mom. He put it on speakerphone, because the earpiece doesn't work on it. Naturally, being a teen, I listened in. My grandma told him that, after they were done at the fabric store, they were going to the music store. Hmm, and why would they need to go there? I figured it was because my birthday is soon. After I got home, I asked my mom where her and my grandma went. When she only said the fabric store, any doubt was removed from my mind. The weird part was, last time I got a guitar, I found out beforehand too.

On Monday, she asked me if I wanted to get my birthday gift extra early. I said sure, and told her how I already knew. She just laughed, and said she knew grandma gave it away then. She described it to me, and said we couldn't pick it up until Friday.

Needless to say, the rest of the week was pretty unbearable. I bugged my friends every day, increasing the annoyance level a little bit each day. Finally, Friday came. I practically needed sedatives to keep me in my seat, I was so excited during the school day. It too finally ended, and we went straight to the store. The guy pulled it off the shelf, and I fell in love with it. Check out it's pic and you'll see why. He plugged it in an amp, and I played a few little riffs I learned before hand to appear skilled. The amp stunk, but I could already tell it was a great sounding guitar.

He let me try it in the amp I got, and it sounded a lot better. We got it, and rushed home so I could play it. I played for three hours straight, took a little break, and played for another hour. By the end of the night, my fingers were practically bleeding. I need to invest in some superglue, I can already tell.

I'm having Crush Of Society over on Tuesday, and I'm hoping we sound good. I need to get a cover of something recorded by June, which seems daunting. I'm thinking Blister In The Sun, because I can play the bass part, Bobby can play the guitar parts, and the drums are incredibly easy. My only concern is the lyrics, but I think I'll just stop singing during any bad parts. maybe I'll do a cool string-pop, like the Violent Femmes do.

Don't worry, you'll all get free tickets to the first concert.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stayin' Alive

Good day, Boyd's World readers. Last night at school we had an Activity Night, which is the marketing word for a school dance. I mean, sure, you COULD play in the gym or play guitar hero, but pretty much everyone is in the room with speakers. I was, anyway, as were my friends.

It was pretty fun, in all, except for one thing. Setting up. Now, it's not like I hate working. I like to help out with easy work, and as a bonus I got to get out of the last two hours of school. The problem was the people I had to work with...all the preps that populate the Class Officers and Student Council. Not to say everyone on them is, but the people I like on the Student Council were noticeably absent. I'm sure I've been left out of stuff, too. Somebody is making the decisions, but it's definitely not me.

The people I did have to work with, though, literally made me sick. I had to take Tylenol just to get rid of the headache they gave me. The odd thing was, the nicest of them were the worst, yesterday. The worst was when they were making fun of this kid that is, well, awkward. "Ohh, don't forget to hang a row of lights in the back for [person], so he can dance all alone in that weird way he does". *cue spastic imitation*. Those tools. Right after that, they were going on about how bad they felt for him. Ohh, you must feel pretty bad, mocking him!!! Hypocrites. They were also being horribly homophobic, calling everything gay and anyone who disagreed or did something wrong a fag. In my book, that's pretty much on par with racism: unacceptable. As a dude with long hair and a pierced ear, I hate it. But enough with the bummer; on to the fun.

I think I definitely set an impression. I achieved this by wearing a biker jacket and all black the entire time, which people commented on the whole 2 hours. I had sunglasses on in the beginning, but they were really hard to see it. I know, fashion is pain, but they tend to make my head feel all weird if I wear them indoors too long. All the teachers I saw that knew me started laughing when they saw me, haha. Actually, when I went to get the projector cart for the Guitar Hero room, the librarian, who was taking all the pictures, said, "I HAVE to take your picture." She took about 13, and about 5 turned out nicely. There's one where I look like Joey Ramone off the cover of their first album, it's very cool. I'll probably post them on here when she gets them developed.

I also set an impression with my dancing. I'm not saying I dance well; I suck. However, I am an attention whore. I got up on the stage in front of the DJ and danced twice. I did the YMCA with a mob of people, and I discoed to Stayin' Alive with this one 7th grader. Needless to say, all my friends were mortified to even know me. The YMCA was kinda embarrassing, cause it turns out I did the "C"s backwards. Umm, yeah, I meant to do that...sure... Probably something to do with my left-handedness there. I also probably looked the most like someone from Village People, because of my jacket.

In conclusion, it was pretty fun.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CD Review: The Black Parade


OK, I know I haven't done a CD review in, well, forever, but I've got nothing to really write about. Plus, this CD has an interesting story to go with it. Interesting in my head anyway, maybe not in words.


So, the album's name is The Black Parade. It's by My Chemical Romance, a band I've never listened to before. I'm not into the whole emo-pop movement, and they are. However, one day while IMing, Ashley told me I should watch a music video, of the song Welcome To The Black Parade. I did, and was pleasantly surprised. It had all the makings of a good song: slow piano intro, cool lyrics, sudden change in tempo, and a sweet video.


I still didn't really care much about the band after this, however. I didn't get re-interested in them again until, one day while cruising The Wall's Wikipedia page (ya'know - to see if anything was added) when I saw the song The End off The Black Parade compared to In The Flesh? off The Wall. I immediately became curious, because that's one of my favourite songs to listen to.


I pulled up The Black Parade's Wikipedia page, and read a little about it. Turns out it's a concept album, which tends to be a major selling point to me. I'm not sure why, I just think any band that puts that much effort into an album deserves recognition by me. I also saw the main character of the live show compared to Bob Geldof in The Wall, which was cool. I had to hear this album.


I recently discovered something: on MySpace Music, you can listen to almost any album, in it's entirety, for free. So, I went there and pulled up the album. As I started listening, I grew more and more dis-interested. "This isn't art!" I said to myself. "It's just loud, obnoxious noise!! There's no plot line!!"


However, I kept coming back. I listened to it again and again, compelled to for some strange reason. The songs kept getting stuck in my head, and I found myself humming them. I almost bought it, at one point, when my mom and I were at Best Buy. We were looking for the new Killers CD, and while looking at other stuff we came across The Black Parade. I told her I really wanted it, and since she was getting 2 CDs, couldn't I as well? We decided to head on over to F.Y.E., to see if they had it used. To make a long story short, they didn't, and it was more expensive brand new. So, we went home, me without it.


I had it all justified in my head, that I didn't want it, anyway, but I still kept listening to it. By the day before the trip to Lansing, I knew I had to own it. I asked my mom if she would pick it up from the store for me while I was at the range, and although she said she wasn't going to, she did. 'Cause she's cool like that.


Now, I've listened to it almost 45 times. I was listening to it as my grandparent's store was robbed, I listened to it most of the drive to Lansing, and I listened to it as I ran the 5K. I've got favourites chosen, and all that good stuff.


I'm not going to lie: it's a bit loud for my tastes. But, it is infectious. It went from despised to loved in just a few weeks. I've also been noticing a lot more talent hidden under the obnoxious rhythm guitar. The lyrics are brilliant, the basic sound of each song is well-chosen, the piano provides a great base.


So, in all, I give it a:

4.245 out of 5 stars

I recommend you buy it, or at least check it out on MySpace music. It's pretty darn good.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lansing

So, on to the mobile post that was supposed to occur yesterday. It's not really a mobile post anymore, because I'm sitting in my cozy home. Well, it's a vacation post, at least. kinda like when Tom Green went on trips and brought the cameras with him.
We went to Lansing for a 5K yesterday and today. OK, when I say 5K, I mean going shopping all day and eating wonderful food, then spending the next morning in a great deal of pain and discomfort. I've been looking forward to this trip for a while, and I've also been looking forward to a blog post about it.
So, my main goal for Lansing was to visit all of the record stores I knew about there. I also wanted to visit the poster shop, which is amazing. OK, the first record store I went to was pretty lame. It was dirty, and dusty. I got 2 CDs, though. A Clash CD and a R.E.M. CD. They're both pretty good (that's why I bought them).
The second record store, however, was something else. The place's name was Flat, Black and Circular. I went there during my trip last year, but I didn't like as much music as I do now, so it was pretty much a waste of time then. Now, it was sweet. I got: Aladdin Sane by David Bowie, Tommy by The Who, and...(drumroll, please)...Pink Floyd's The Wall!!!!! It sounds great, too. I only turned the volume dial up to a third of it's maximum capacity, and the floor was seriously shaking. I and seriously happy, because it's just one more version of The Wall to add to my collection.
We were also visiting a friend of my mom's, whom I've only meant 2 other times. She's pretty fun, and her and her husband made a great tour guide. We went and ate at a place with Mediterranean food that was delicious. I got a Gyro, but it wasn't wrapped like usual. It was on a bun, that I was told was home-made. It was great!
The 5K was, well, horrible. You know how they talk about that "elusive runners' high"? Well, it is more of a "wall" than a maintained condition. After a few minutes of it, you get to the other side, where a world of hurt awaits. I ran the entire way, which was very cool, but I suffered. I thought I was going to puke the whole thing, and towards the end my hips started to hurt (they tend to when I'm running). I had my headphones in, but for some odd reason, it seemed to be skipping. I didn't even know MP3 players COULD skip. My finish time was 34:42. I was really proud of myself, even though I couldn't even walk in a straight line. Fortunately, they had water and orange slices.
The very worst part, though, was the fact I was writing this blog post in my head the entire run. Enjoy the products of a delusional, dehydrated mind.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Breaking And Entering

Hello, readers. Today's post was supposed to be a mobile post, but because of some VERY uncool recent events, it won't be. Instead, I'll be ranting about the said uncool events.
OK, so last night, I got off the computer at about 12:20. About ten minutes later, 12:30, my mom came into my room and scared the crap out of me. I was still awake, lucky for her, because I've been known to punch people that try to wake me up (true). She told me I needed to get up, and that we were going for a ride. She was very quiet, and very vague. I was freaking out, and then she told me what was happening. My grandparents' store had just been broken into, and there was stuff missing.
I was ready in record time, and we were in the car. My mom said we were going to drive around the block, looking for "suspicious activity". At first, we were a bit suspicious of the neighborhood punks, but because of the way their yards looked, and some other conditions, they were pretty quickly moved down form "suspect" to "person of interest". We didn't see anything, even though everyone was pretty much suspicious in our eyes.
We pulled into the parking lot of my grandparents' store, and headed out to the shop. There was only one police car in the lot, which was a bit concerning. When we walked in, no one really tried to do anything. They had us give them the info on everyone who had the command codes for the security system, they got the data on the guns stolen, etc.
It turned out the robbers went in without doing their research. They grabbed guns that were, well, junk. We're pretty sure only one guy actually went in to get them, and just grabbed as many as he could in a bear hug before heading out. Not really the brightest, although he's so far evaded capture.
The worst part, though, was my grandma. She was rather farklempt (look it up; it's Yiddish). She felt that the police officers weren't doing all they could (they were, actually), and expressed this in blatant terms. She was almost at the point of tears, and wasn't really making any sense. It was sad...the worst part was the fact she wasn't even getting mad at the right guy. The one she kept yelling at was really polite, considering the amount of verbal abuse he was taking. The rude guy, who was really cocky and arrogant, somehow evaded her scorn. So it goes.
Apparently, this afternoon, my grandpa and a few friends found footprints in the cornfield, footprints that led to a tag from one of the stolen guns. Now, the police are dusting the door for fingerprints, despite the fact every single family member has touched it since it happened. I'm hoping they catch whoever it is, cause I'm kinda ticked off. I mean, they had to have known the layout of the store to have been able to get in and out so fast. Also, they must have been pretty observant to see how to get the back door open.
So, that was the reason for my not posting about my day today. I'll just post tomorrow, and you'll have to wait. Deal with it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Utica Is Frightening, As Is The Local Dump

Hey people, what's the happy-haps? Sorry, I've been watching too much Scrubs for my own good. But darn it all, those docs are hilarious...
Today was cool. OK, only partially. Because I'm kind, and I know you all don't want to wait, I'll tell you the bad (and therefore more amusing) first. We had to make a trip to the local dump...*vomit*.
We've been storing up our garbage in our garage all winter, to keep from being slaves to the garbage pickup industry. It created a sweet little mountain in there, after about three months. The cans filled up pretty fast, so we just started putting it in cardboard boxes. We were waiting until we had an entire truckload, which is apparently a very large amount.
We went to my grandparents' place to get their truck, and as a price for using it, we had to take over a wheel-barrow full of shingles from when they put an aluminum roof on their house, in October. Yeah...after sitting in a tub of stale water for half a year, they start to smell. Bad. Needless to say, my nice work gloves were ruined.
Actually, once we got to the dump, it wasn't too horrible. All we really did was back up to the big pit and shove all the crap out. Going to the dump is really saddening, because I know all the trash there is just gonna sit under a pile of dirt and pollute the planet...I feel bad for my grandchildren.
After going home and changing my clothes in an attempt to silence my irrational germophobe tendencies, we went into town and did a few errands. Once they were done, we headed over to Utica (in Michigan), to go to a running shop. Utica is very messed up place. I was scared one of the suburb housing plots would eat my soul if I got too close... Also, the parts of the town that aren't suburbs are like a giant, open-air mall. Expensive, too. After spending about half an hour driving around in the insane maze they had as an excuse for roads, we finally found the place, right next to a used record store. We didn't go to the used record store.
When we were done there, we went to a different, nearby strip mall to go to a thrift shop. I figured, since it was pretty nice town, they'd have nice stuff. All I got were a few cool books, to read on my way to Lansing Friday. I discovered something, too: when old people die, their records go to the thrift shop to slowly rot on the shelves. I know they made good records; I have a few. Why are they never where I am? There were no good CDs, either.
So, basically, that was my day. I know some people hate posts that just define their lives, like a journal entry, but that's not really my problem.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Swimming

Guess what I did today? Went swimming at the new local YMCA!! Our town's old one was really old and worn down, but the new one is awesome!!!
So, each year around this time, we have to take a swim-test for Boy Scouts. In it, you have to swim the length of the pool 5 times, 4 regular and 1 on your back. You also have to be able to float for at least 5 minutes, and save a person using a hook and a floaty-thing. It's really really hard...I'm not exactly a "capable" swimmer. I inhale water as I'm going, I get tired, etc...it stinks.
After we do the test, we get to have an open swim. Before they opened the new Y (the week after last year's test), we just swam around in the deep end. Now, however, there's a sweet water-park sorta thing set up...a current pool, a water slide, one of those odd pipe structures that sprays water...After I finished the test, my head was spinning like crazy. As I told my friend Bobby (Crush Of Society guitarist), up is down and down is somewhere...over there. Did that stop me from racing up the stairs to the slide, though? Of course not! Safety is for squares.
Once everyone was pretty much bored with the waist deep water, we went back to the pool and were having fun pelting each other with the sort of balls one might find in a children's ball pit. It was smashingly fun, despite the fact everyone was getting covered in painful welts and bruises. But of course, the stupid leaders had to go and ruin the fun.
"Hey guys, instead of acting like normal kids, why don't you go and organize some swimming races??" To be totally honest, there might have been paraphrasing there. We pretty much ignored the scout master in question, but he persisted. He told the top scout to get us to stop and to set up the lame races. Did he stick up for us? No. Did he comply willingly to the stupidity, like the puppet he is? Yes. What a tool...
After the thing ended, my mom and I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for a tasty treat and some coffee. I got a latte and a poppy seed bagel that I'm sure would get me fired from anywhere that does mandatory drug tests. As the dude at the register went and got my coffee, the lady that had been mopping the floor came up to me and said, "You should be on TV." I looked at her quizzically, and she said, "you know, you just have a face for TV." I was really puzzled, but I replied with, "Well, I'm gonna be a rock star, so I'll be doing all the interviews and live performances that come with the jobs." She smiled oddly, and walked away. It was really really weird, and it had me laughing the whole way home. She probably wouldn't pass a mandatory drug test, either...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Road Trip: Shooting Competition

I had fun today. I went to a shoot with my grandpa and a bunch of the dudes we shoot with normally, that lasted most of the day.
It started out with me waking up. Despite the fact I was told we were all leaving at 9-ish, I didn't set my alarm clock and wound up waking up at 8:13. I was freaking out, because I didn't think I'd make it in time. I did, actually. We didn't leave until 9:30-ish, either.
We drove there in a caravan, with me in the most loaded up car. There were four of us: my grandpa; Doug, the youngest guy in the group other than me, somewhere in his forties; Me, obviously; and Freddy, a friend of my grandpa's that doesn't actually normally shoot with us, but is really cool and liked by the whole group. My uncle and his friend Mike were in a truck full of guns from the hock shop were my uncle works, and King (a guy who shoots with us a lot in the summer) and Mark (a guy who sometimes shoots with us, that used to be in charge of the club) were in another car.
We got there after about an hour of driving, and I was pretty much immediately impressed. They had a very clean, nice club, with full time employees. The clubhouse had a snack bar, a bunch of table set up with products, and an upstairs room with a bunch of cool antique-stuff. They had a 5-stand (look it up), a sporting clays trail (once again, look it up), a bunch of trap and skeet fields (do I have to keep telling you?), and some other ranges I didn't see.
We went there to shoot sporting clays, something our local club does not have. It was a big, twice yearly competition, in which you could only shoot side by sides (refer to above parentheses). I was the only person in the building under 30, other than one puller who looked about my age. We got out to the sporting clays trail right after we got there, and I had a TON of fun. If you were too lazy too look it up before, and don't know what it is, let me describe it the best way I can; it is basically putt-putt golf, except with guns. It's designed to simulate real-life hunting, for those of us who aren't big on the whole killing thing.
I did pretty good, finishing with a 21 out of 50. My grandpa got a 22 out of the same, so I figured I got the highest possible score possible without having to walk home (never beat the person driving). They don't often pick up hitchhikers with guns. We sat around and shot a few lines of skeet, while waiting for the big dinner they were serving. It was steak...I'm really not that big of a fan. I'm just not big on food that tires your teeth when chewing, and requires a special knife to cut it.
One of the guys in our group actually tied for 1st place. He lost the tie-breaker, but it was still pretty cool. We left pretty soon after, and I slept the way home. I think it was a good trip to take, it was very cool. It seems like "Road Trip: Shooting Competition" should be an article on The Art Of Manliness. Like, not my version, but one written by the authors over there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st Insights

I'm ending Boyd's World.
APRIL FOOLS!!
Yeah, I don't plan on ending this place anytime soon. One of the blogs I follow was deleted today, and even though I wasn't the biggest fan, it was still upsetting. Don't worry, I won't do that to you guys.
Anyway, I'm just posting to alleviate some of the boredom that comes with having all my homework done before school and a computer at my fingertips. Ohh, guess what else comes with April 1st? that's right the first day this year we can wear flip-flops. I don't actually obsess over sandals, like some people do, but it's fun. I mean, what isn't fun about getting frostbite while making a fashion statement? Inversely, sometimes I like to wear my Doc Martens on this day every year, so I can "accidentally" step on peoples toes. Gotta keep it even.
I'm in a bit of a boring time, reading-wise. I don't have the money to purchase books brand new, the used book store that has the best selection in town closes at an hour that makes it impossible to visit (who closes at 4 PM?), and the library doesn't carry much of my favourite. Well, the two local branches I visit don't, anyway. I could order the books from another branch, but that would involve waiting a few days, then driving in to pick them up, which would probably invoke complaining. Right now, I'm re-reading a favourite of mine, Outrageous Fortune by Tim Scott. He's only written two books (so far), and he's so unknown he doesn't have a wikipedia page. Despite this, he is the most insanely hilarious humour/sci-fi author one could imagine. His writing reminds me quite a bit of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series. I also have a book of Jim Morrison poetry from the library. His work sounds best read aloud, but it's not often one can read aloud to himself without sounding like a nut.
Well, there's the bell. Peace out.