Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vet Trip

Hey everyone! Welcome to Boyd's World, for all you new-comers. For those of you who haven't seen it, I have a guest post on Consumable Sarcasm that will be posted sometime today (Thursday). I'm totally going to blame my week-long silence on that, instead of plain-old laziness.

So, yesterday we took our cat Mozilla in to the vet's to be fixed. Our vet is in a town half an hour away, which is actually fortunate. You see, the town it's in was built around a sugar beet processing plant, which is really just a horrible concept. For those who don't know, the processing of sugar beets releases a smell into the air that can best be described as a combination of burning crap and stagnant, rusty water. And it will get in your car. And it will make you sick. And if you don't breathe, it will get on your tongue and you will taste it.

Anyway, we take him to that vet because the prices there are way better than anywhere else. It's a pretty old-school place, where they make no attempts at appearing to be a hospital-type place. They don't wear gloves, they don't sanitize the tables between animals, and they're incredibly laid back. That might sound like a turn off to some, but it's actually kind of nice. The place comes highly recommended by all the professionals in animal care, which also says something about him.

We picked Mozilla up the next day. As soon as I got inside the reception area, I was gagging with the smell inside. It reeked of cat pee in there, which let my mom to comment, "Wow, I couldn't imagine living with an animal that smelled like that." Yeah, I couldn't either, until we got to the desk and asked for our cat. "Oh, you're picking up the stinky cat? He's responsible for this smell." He sprayed in the office sometime after his operation, and it was horrible. To make things worse, the receptionist told us we couldn't submerge him in water to bathe him for a couple weeks. I don't know what would happen, but I assume he would start to turn inside-out at the point of incision or something.

Driving home, he sprayed again. By this time, between the smell of him and the smell of the town, I was dying. When we got home, my mother tried to get him clean with washcloths and disinfectant wipes, but it wasn't really working. He reeked, and refused to stay confined to the laundry room (the only room that could handle the stench). To make things even worse, my girlfriend was coming over in a couple of hours, and it would be the first time she hung out at my house. I wanted her first impression to be one of "hey, this is nice" and not "why, why does it smell so bad??".

We ended up rushing into town to buy some candles, and managed to cover up the scent pretty well. Mozilla helped out by constantly cleaning himself, which was actually pretty effective in stench-removal. He still stinks, but it's manageable now.

Well, I hope you all a happy Festivus and a Merry Christmas! Don't forget to air your grievances today, and to engage in feats of strength with your family!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowed-In Sunday

Lazy, snow storm day today. I woke up at 8 this morning, and I haven't left the house since. Shockingly, there's only so much time you can spend on the Internet before it gets really boring.
To make things worse, our DVD player is starting to break. Fortunately, we made it all the way through Scott Pilgrim before it did. I'm not sure what I would watch if it was working, but it would probably be better that the three channels I get over the air.

To make things worse, I'm at a loss for bookage. I have been reading the His Dark Materials series, but I finished them Friday night. Looking past the very controversial aspects of the series, they're incredibly captivating and great. I was completely sucked in by the writing, and now I can't think of anything that will be able to fill the hole they left. I seem to recall having similar problems last time I read them, although that time I didn't know how they ended and was even more crushed by the sad ending. I picked up Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman to read earlier, and I'm hoping the short stories will ease the transition back into reading again.

To make things worse, I loaned Bobby my only microphone, so I can't make any more recordings. I suppose that's for the best, considering my voice is completely shot. Mixing a persistent asthma cough, a possibility of tonsillitis, and about half a gallon of Arnold Palmer spells out serious issues for my throat.

To make things worse, now I'm disguising an average post about a lazy Sunday as a theme post. Hopefully, the ends justify the means!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Laptop Recording

Guess what is only a week away? Christmas break! Sadly, teachers are giving more homework than ever to compensate. Even worse, textbooks and notebooks are larger than ever, and it's nearly impossible to carry all of them home at once. Stupid pictures in textbooks...

Anyhoo...

Last Friday, I spent the evening home alone whilst my mother was volunteering at an event of some kind for some sort of organization. In an attempt to be productive during the 6+ hours I had to waste, I decided to move my guitar and amp into the basement, and set up a mic. I recently found out about a local youth center that has a complete, professional recording studio set up in their complex that is free to use for anyone ages 12-18; In preparation to go there, I need to practice singing into a microphone, and tighten up all my songs.

Anyway, I played in my basement with my guitar and the microphone for a while, and I was really happy with how it sounded. However, I couldn't be 100% sure I sounded good without recording myself and then playing it back. Instead of going and getting my mp3 player and making really crappy recordings like I would normally do, I decided to try and use my computer - and the mixing software on it. I recorded a guitar track, then layered on a vocal track, and finally made a really simple, generic drum track to go with. I mixed them all up, made them sound all pretty, and listened to the final product (link to our page; it's the one titled "I Don't Know").

It sounded really sweet. So sweet I had to take down the version of the song that was on COS's Facebook page and add the new one. When compared to the new one, the old version sounds like a whiny, off-pitch 10-year old singing a generic break-up song over a super-slow, messy guitar. Meanwhile, the new one has a fast, crunchy guitar, favorably distorted vocals, and...still sounded like a generic break up song. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

I'm really excited about re-recording all our songs in this manner, which will hopefully tighten everything up and make us actually sound like we know what we're doing. Maybe?

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Christmas Carol

The play went well! Sorta well, anyway. The lights went well every night, with only a few silly mistakes on my part. The hours of working were pretty crazy, but hey, it was for a paycheck, right? Yeah...

The final night, after the show was over, we got our checks. I made...[drumroll]...$30. For six nights of 3-4 hours each. That means I made between $1.25 and $1.67 an hour. I hate to complain about not making enough money, but that's not even enough to pay for the gas driving 40 minutes each way. Well, if I hadn't gotten a ride with Stephen, that is. My biggest complaint is really the fact that I could have been working in my grandparents' shop those nights, and avoided getting in trouble for getting home at 11 P.M. on a school night.

Well...at least I can say I'm a professional lights technician now, right?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Post

Happy Thanksgiving, American readers! I personally have absolutely gorged myself on food today, starting with cinnamon rolls at breakfast and ending with an entire box of Sour Patch Kids at the movies.

I started my day out with a run, in a misguided attempt to be at least a tiny bit healthy today. However, my three cinnamon rolls didn't sit well, and I had to take a walk break about halfway through.

Thanksgiving dinner went well, with my grandparents and uncle coming over. The food was delicious, and sitting around talking after was nice. My uncle brought his guitar over, and we both played a little as well.

After the family left, my mom and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. It's absolutely fantastic, despite being the darkest of them yet. I really liked the camera effects, which really made the movie look realistic. It was actually quite scary at parts, particularly in a scene where a snake leaps out of the screen at you. Everyone in the theater knew it was coming, but it still managed to make the entire crowd jump.

I also liked the symbolism in the movie concerning the Ministry of Magic. When it's taken over by Voldemort's people, there are a lot of connections to WWII Germany. There are soldiers with red arm bands and storm trooper boots, leather trench coats are worn by the "top" bad guys, and there's a campaign against impure muggle blood. It was pretty noticeable, but I don't recall making the connection at all while reading the book.

In other news, I have a temporary job! I'm the professional lights guy for a local community theatre's production of A Christmas Carol. I'm actually being paid, which is awesome. There were two other guys who live in the town of the production that were considered, but I got the job because I actually called the director. They were brought on as backups, but won't actually be running the lights during any of the shows.

Stephen, former drummer of COS, got me the job because he does piano for them. I must admit that it's a bit terrifying working with very serious actors that know their lines and are completely competent. Actually, it's been quite funny at practices: there are all these adults working very hard onstage, and then there are four teens sitting on a balcony in the back goofing around. Don't get me wrong, we've been doing a good job, but we aren't at all as serious as anyone else there.

The premier is tomorrow night, so be sure to watch for an update on how it goes!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Town Happenings

Hey there. I apologize for a lack of posting; there's been a bit of drama in the town I'm in the past week, which has made it kind of un-blogworthy.

The short, summarized version is that a husband and wife were attacked in their home, and stabbed about 20 times each. The husband died saving his wife, who was put in ICU at the local hospital. She is a teacher at the junior high, and every single student in town has her for EMP at some point.

Now, there are three people responsible. The two who broke in, as well as the victims' own daughter. Her and one of the boys were dating, and her parents didn't approve. They plotted the killings over a few weeks' time, and are currently in jail.

I was really good friends with the girl, and I'm still friends with the brother of her boyfriend (the attacker). It's inconceivable that a good friend of mine, someone I had lunch with the day it happened, could have planned something like this. Everyone liked her, and she was very active in many organizations. She was honestly the last person anyone would expect.

So basically, the entire town is still trying to get over what happened. Nothing much has happened around town that isn't related to the stabbing, so there hasn't been much worth writing about.

I'll make sure to have a less dismal post soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Murder In The Air

Hello there! I imagine you're all very excited to hear about the play last weekend. Well, let me fill you in!

Thursday was our dress rehearsal, which was kind of alarming to be at. It became apparent we weren't 100% ready for the premier on Friday, especially in the sound/lights department. For example, we didn't test our sounds at all. I finally learned how to do the lights properly, and then discovered I did literally nothing for the entire show. The skits before the main play, however, required very dedicated lighting, because they featured so many different sets and parts of the stage.
On Thursday I also discovered something totally awesome, and terrifying. The director, whom I will refer to as coach because I can't spell her name, has had a problem with one of the actors for quite a while. He never comes to practice, which means I've had to run his lines a few times to fill in. Well, on Wednesday before practice, our assistant director Cortny was telling me about how he had been threatening to quit the play if coach yelled at him one more time. I said, "Hey, if he does quit, tell coach I know all his lines." That night he was two hours late to a 2 1/2 hour practice. Coach decided to kick him out, and told me to start practicing the lines.
Bear in mind, this happened THE DAY BEFORE the premier. She decided he could do his part opening night, but on Saturday I'd be doing it. I got my picture all hung up in the hall alongside the rest of the cast, and started practicing like crazy. On Saturday, I was freaking out. I barely knew the blocking for the part (read: where to stand on stage), and I had crazy nerves. I was also supposed to do a German accent for the character, one of the only accents I can't do. I decided to try a very snooty, affected English accent at the last minute, and delivered my first line (introducing my character) perfectly. After such a good start I figured I had it down, I mean it was starting to make - Wait, what? Was that my line I just missed? Why is everyone staring at me? Yeah, I forgot my next line. I delivered it about ten seconds late, without standing up or using the accent. From that point on, I was a bit too quiet, and I completely lost the accent. Still, all in all, I didn't horribly ruin the play. I suppose that's not too bad after only two days of practice with zero stage time.

Going out of chronological order, the first night went well. I barely screwed the lights up at all, and the actors did a great job. The best part of the night, however, was going to Denny's afterward. It's a tradition in our club, a tradition I missed out on last year due to illness. I ordered the infamous Cheese Melt Sandwich, along with pancake puppies and ice cream. To wash it all down, I had about three of these drinks that were an incredibly delicious mix of Sprite and pineapple-orange juice. Needless to say, by the time we left I was sick as a dog. As my friend Tanner described it, I felt "juicy". To put it as another friend worded it, we were all fruited out.

All in all, I'm really glad I chose to rejoin drama club this year. It was way more fun than the year before, and I got to hang out with some awesome people I wouldn't have otherwise met. In addition, I got to write an epic blog post! You're all welcome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Weekend

OK, today I must post about last weekend, because this weekend is going to be yet another blog-worthy time. It's the school play, which is guaranteed to be interesting (not to mention it has a special, amazing, fantastic twist!)

But I digress. Last weekend was, of course, the weekend of Halloween. Not much happened Friday, other than me wearing my red skinny jeans for the first time in about six months. Actually, French Club (a social club of which I am a member) had a bake sale that day. I brought in my snack (chocolate-chip cookie bars), dropped them off at the table, and went about getting my books and leaving them in first hour. After that, I headed back down to the table to buy some hot chocolate. While I was standing in line, our principal came up to Gabby and me and asked, "Are you two in French Club?" When we told him we were, he said, "Good, get behind the table and help." We got trapped into working, and they ran out of hot chocolate before I got any. Well, I at least got to be really late to first and second hour.

On Saturday, Bobby and I went to see the local theater production of Rocky Horror Picture Show. After I went last year, he became quite envious and wanted to go if they put it on again this year. I didn't think they would do it two years in a row, but apparently it was popular enough last year to do an encore. It was a great show, with more jokes and departures from the movie than last year. The tickets were a bit pricey, but I'd say it was well worth it.

Sunday was, of course, Halloween. This year was the first year I haven't gone trick-or-treating, which was sad. Of course it was a bummer not to get all the free candy, but that wasn't the only reason. It was just weird in a general sense. I feel mature, which is good but strange. Anyway...

Instead of going door to door and begging candy, I went to Gabby's house and passed out candy with her. She lives in town, so her house actually gets people. That's something I've never experienced, having spent all of my memorable life in the country. It was very fun, even though trick-or-treating hours in town were from 5 to 7. Ridiculous, right? I think a curfew on Halloween is stupid in general, but at 5 it's not even dark yet. How lame is that?

Well, that sums it up for last weekend. Tomorrow is the premier for the play, plus the drama club's traditional trip to Denny's (which I am really looking forward to). Saturday is going to be the showing that's more important to me, for reasons I'll give in my next post. Saturday is also the cast party, which is great. Last year I couldn't go to either Denny's or the party, because I was super sick. Swine flu sucked...

Well, time has certainly flown whilst typing this. I'll make sure to update you on how the play goes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Corn Fight!

Hmmm...it seems I'm another weekend short of my posting schedule. Oh, well, lets look at the next chronological week according to my posting (the one before Halloween weekend).

The Friday of that weekend, I went to a Halloween party. I probably mentioned having gone to the same party last year, thrown by my then-girlfriend Courtney. This year I went without a date, as Gabby was unable to go. I must say, the party was just as fun this year as it was last year. As soon as I showed up, my annoying locker partner Jon and I started jumping on the trampoline in 50 degree weather, which quickly caused others to get on as well. It ended up being myself, Jon, and my friends Kyle and Halie. I'm pretty sure we maxed out the weight limit, which was kind of freaky considering it was pretty old and there were holes in the fabric. I almost fell off at one point, and put my leg up to the knee into a gap in the springs. I ripped a big hole in my jeans and bruised my shin, but that was it.

When it got dark, everyone piled onto the hay wagon Courtney's parents set up and headed to a local corn maze. I originally set out with a group of people to try and find all the stations in the maze, but soon Kyle suggested something way more awesome. "You guys wanna have a corn fight?"

Kyle, Jon, and I started throwing corn across the field at another group of guys we knew would be willing to fight, and soon it was in full swing. Towards the start of the fight I had to, ahem, use the bathroom, and shouted to Jon and Kyle, "Cover me, I gotta pee!" This was, in retrospect, a bad idea. I tried to move out of range of the corn, but pretty soon there were ears flying by me on all sides. To make matters worse, Jon and Kyle ran by me screaming, "Run away! Run away!!" in their best Monty Python voices. Apparently, the other team had began throwing entire stalks, which I discovered myself after one nearly hit me. I finished my business and ran out of the corn, trying to catch up with Jon and Kyle while the others were moving in closer.

Pretty soon, the shells started to fall. Jon disappeared, and Kyle and I were being hunted two to one. We could see the others by the masks they were wearing, which glowed brightly in the full moon. I kept refusing to retreat, despite Kyle's protests, and despite the fact I was getting hit in the arms and chest. Well, while trying to get someone a few rows over, Jon's brother Will flanked Kyle and I and started running at us, chucking corn the whole way. Kyle ran, and I tried to keep him back by returning fire. When I turned to launch an ear, "BAM!" I was hit right in the face.

Now, believe me when I say harvest corn is as hard as a rock. I was hit in the lip, and started spitting out blood as well as what looked like teeth. I ran after Kyle, trying to avoid getting hit more. When we got out of danger's way, I had him check my face with a flashlight. The entire right side of my chin and lower lip was gashed up pretty bad, but I hadn't lost teeth. It turns out pieces of corn are the same exact shape and texture as teeth. It was pretty funny when Will came up and said, "Holy S**t, are those teeth?" He got hit in the face too, with a black eye to prove it, so I wasn't too worried about revenge.

My lip is still healing, and my chin was pretty nasty looking for a few days after the party. When I got in the car after the party, my mom took one look at me and said, "What did you do?" when I told her, she just shook her head and said, "Guys are idiots."

The next day, I went to a haunted house with Joe. It was quite a bit of fun, although I doubt you want a blow-to-blow description, as this is already a super-long post. Honestly, if you make it this far, I'm super impressed. Drop a comment and I'll give you an award.

As for Halloween Weekend, well, it looks like that's going to be another post on another day. Soon, considering I need to catch up. Sooo, until next time...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not The Most Recent Weekend, The One Previous

Dearest readers, my apologies for not posting, especially considering my promise at the end of the last post. As I mentioned, last weekend was pretty awesome. This most recent weekend wasn't too shoddy, either.

Starting with the Friday after my last post, we had a really great last football game. The seniors in marching band got recognized in a big ceremony thing, and it was quite impressive. We also did well on our new entrance to the show.

The following morning, we had our big regional marching competition. On the way there we took two school buses, divided by "Freshman-Sophomore" and "Junior-Senior". Now, I'm a sophomore, putting me on the first bus, but Gabby is a Junior, putting her on the second. I'm not too big on the people in my grade or the freshman class anyway, so I decided I really didn't want to ride the first bus. I went to Geurbe and said, "My class and the freshman class both kind of suck. Can I ride the other bus?" She rolled her eyes, sighed, and said, "Fine, Drew." Yet again, it's proven that asking for things often gets them for you.

We did pretty well with our actual performance, getting an overall rating of 2, with the best possible being 1 and the worst 4. Our showmanship was amazing, and my nearby friends and I really rocked the dance moves on the song "Born To Hand Jive". The audience went crazy during that song, and it was great to hear them start cheering and applauding.

After I got home from the competition, I lazed around the house for a while. That night, my mom's friend Joe was taking me to a haunted house. It's a tradition for us to go to them each year around this time, because I think they're really fun but my mother starts to hyperventilate as soon as she gets inside of one. We went to the same one as last year, because it was very well-made and quite terrifying. However, upon arriving at the farm where it was, we discovered the barn it was in had burned down last December. The owners were still doing a hay ride, and had built a makeshift "fog maze" for those who didn't want to go on the hay ride. it was impossible to just walk away, especially after the lady told us that all the profits were going towards getting a new barn built. The fog maze was OK, considering the circumstances. It was really just a maze, that three teens in costumes followed you through. It wasn't terribly scary, as you were mostly left to your own devices.

Actually, getting through the exit was terrifying. Joe saw the doorway leading out and walked right out. When I tried to follow, however, a girl in costume jumped in my way and started screaming, "Wrong way, Morgan!!!" (In retrospect, it was a mistake to wear my varsity jacket with my name on the back in glowing white letters). I tried to explain that Joe had the keys to the car, but somehow that didn't sink into her zombie brain. Eventually, I gave up and said, "OK, I'll just stay in the maze. Can I have a costume and work here?" She just stared at me like I was the crazy one. I headed back into the maze, but my path was blocked by another dude in costume. There was really loud music playing outside of the maze, and the guy started dancing to it. The girl appeared on my other side and began dancing as well. I figured, "Eh, might as well have fun," and began dancing myself. When I did, the girl shrieked, "GET OUT!!" and finally moved out of my way. Perhaps they knew dancing among peers was one of my worst fears?

The next day, Gabby and I went to see Easy A. It was pretty good, although a bit cliche. I still really enjoyed it, partly because Emma Stone played the lead role. We had the theater almost to ourselves, with only one other group of teens in it. I had a lot of fun, and it was Gabby and my first "date" that had nothing to do with school.

Well, I hate to say this, but it doesn't look like I have the room or the time to blog about this most recent weekend. Rest assured, I intend to, because the events that occurred were of epic proportions. I got in a fight that resulted in a bloody lip and fear of lost teeth! Don't judge me yet, however, because you haven't yet heard the full story. Bet you can't wait!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday In Chicago

Hey everyone - sorry about not getting this one up sooner. We didn't get home until 11:30 on Sunday, and since then I haven't been able to go through the pics from the trip. However, I'm stuck in a B&N Starbucks for an hour and a half, so nothing can stop me now!

On Sunday, we woke up super-early to go watch the race. It started at 7:30, and we were by the 20th mile. I was amazed at how soon the wheelchair racers went by - they were super fast! The elite runners weren't far behind, either. After them, everyone was looking worn out. The 19th, 20th mile area is where most people hit the wall, and you could tell. Some of the runners were sobbing as they walked by, and most of them were limping. It was really hot that day, which only made things worse.

After we watched the race for a while, my mom decided she was hungry. We were in a very Mexican neighborhood, and a church nearby was running a concession stand. I had to go get my mom food, which just didn't turn out well. Doing something like that in a city, where everything moves really fast, would have been hard enough if everyone was speaking English. At first I couldn't place my order right, then I couldn't tell which order was mine. The lady taking the money spoke English pretty well, but the cook serving the food spoke nothing but Spanish. I tried to take someone else's order on accident, then had to go back and figure out where the forks were. All in all, it was just super-duper stressful.

After watching the race for a while longer, we went to brunch. The place we went was a hipster haven, but they had really good food. I got a potato and corn scramble, with tots and toast. Their tater tots weren't Napoleon Dynamite style cylinders; they were huge fried spheres, that you practically had to eat with a fork and knife! We watched more of the race from the front window of the restaurant, and were glad not to be out there.

We went to a bakery to pick up cupcakes, which was sweet because it was a 'punk-rock bakery". They had screen prints of famous album covers, millions of band stickers, etc. So far, I've had those same cupcakes for breakfast every day. They're quite delicious, so it's all good.

That was pretty much the end of the trip. Unfortunately, most of the pictures I had planned on posting aren't on the computer yet, so those will have to wait.

In other news, I got my varsity jacket! It's pretty sweet, even though my friends have all told me it goes against almost everything I stand for. I don't really care, because it's sweet.

This weekend is going to be jam-packed with fun, so you can definitely expect a post! Football game Friday, marching competition Saturday followed by haunted housing, and then a trip to the movies with Gabby. Going to be an awesome weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chicago: Day Two

Day 2 of being in Chicago! To start off the day, I got up around 7:30 in the morning (way too early for a Saturday, especially when no one is forcing me to get up). Christ made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, which were awesome. Who's that, you're asking? Oh, just a friend. Yeah, I'm friends with Christ. Pretty cool, huh?

My mother, her friend Rachel, Rachel's infant and I went downtown for a while, which was fun. We went for a walk through Millennium and Grant Parks, and narrowly avoided being trapped in a country music festival. Fortunately, all we had to hear was the drummer and bassist warming up.

My mom and I went into the "Fine Arts' building on State St., mostly because it looked cool. There was a sign out front advertising a used book store on the second floor, but it was closed when we checked it out. The building seemed to be full of music students heading to and from various symphonic instrument lessons. While we were waiting for a herd of them to clear out of the stairwell, one of the kids slipped on the bottom step and landed on the neck of his cello. It was in a case, but from the way the neck of the instrument looked, he definitely broke it. My mom now thinks I'm a curse to classical instruments everywhere.

We went to Old Navy, which was quite an experience. This particular establishment was three stories, and the bottom floor (women's) was a total feeding frenzy. They had a big $16 sale going on, which we totally took advantage of. My mom, the infant and I abandoned Rachel in the chaos downstairs, and went to look for cool clothes for me. I found a really nice looking pair of black corduroy skinny jeans, for the crazy price of $16. Buying clothing at that store for full price would just be foolish, they have such insane markdowns sometimes.

We headed to a place my mom found on her Blackberry that had Chicago-style hotdogs. It was in this nasty cafeteria, but the food itself was awesome. I got a gyro, and shared some chili fries with everyone (except the infant). After we finished eating, my mom pointed out a lady changing a baby on a table. I felt a bit queasy after seeing that, trust me.

We picked up some Chicago popcorn, then took the El home. A little while later, we swung by a huge, supermarket size liquor store, then stopped by a Mexican party store. I got a glass bottle of Pepsi imported straight from Mexico there! Now I'll never be able to drink regular Pepsi again...

The rest of the evening is going to be pretty low-key. The Michigan vs. State game is on TV, and my mom is making some kind of soup meal for dinner. tomorrow, we'll be watching the marathon and cheering people on, then driving home. Of course, you can expect a post about that when it happens!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Well Earned Trip

I'm blogging from Chicago! Pretty sweet, huh? I totally skipped school to drive down this morning and spend the weekend. Of course, this weekend is the Chicago Marathon, which is how my mom "justifies" this trip. Marathon or not, this city is awesome!

The drive here was fun, considering it was five hours on the road. We arrived around 1:30 (Chicago time) and dropped our bags off at my mom's friends' house where we're staying. After that was all taken care of, we hopped on the city bus and headed to the convention center where the race expo is. Even though we aren't running it, expos are always fun to go to. Lots of free food, and good deals on running stuff like clothes.

After taking the bus back home, I came to the conclusion that I'll never be able to depend on public transportation on a regular basis. Waiting for the bus, we actually witnessed a gang-related thing of some kind. I'm not totally sure what was going down, but two thugs were met by a third thug in a car (that parked right in front of the freaking bus stop!) and they flashed each other gang signs. Fortunately, the bus showed up quickly. The ride back home was interesting, and not in a good way. The bus was totally packed, and I had to stand for a while. I don't mind giving up my seat for someone, but it is pretty tough to stay upright while in motion. Then this tool with a cell phone got on, and proceeded to give parents on the bus plenty of reason to cover their children's ears. I was really glad to get off the bus, is what I'm pretty much saying.

We hung out at my mom's friends' place for a while, watching their new infant play. I read most of that time, and was totally zoned out of any conversation that occurred. Apparently, it was decided that we would go to eat at an Italian/organic restaurant near Wicker Park called Crust. The place was full of hipsters, but the food was awesome. Actually, we ate in an enclosed outdoor area, which was nice. The table next to us had a dog sitting at it, which I found pretty weird. We ordered a bunch of thin-crust pizzas, and I had a very tasty root beer. The pizza was incredibly delicious, and it was really high quality.

Well, I think I'm getting up early-ish tomorrow, so I'm finishing up this post. No clue what we're doing with our day, but since it's in Chicago, it will definitely be fun!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homecoming & The Dance!

Go Bulldogs! Yesterday was homecoming for our school, and today was the dance. Pretty awesome weekend!

First, the actual day of homecoming and the football game. We did almost no learning in school yesterday, because we had no 5th or 6th hours and teachers didn't want to screw up their schedules. Also, everyone was absolutely insane and impossible to teach. After 1st hour, some geniuses on student council decided to dump about 20 trash bags of balloons in the hallways, which went just about as well as you'd think. I felt like I had to duck and cover, because balloons were exploding left and right. I saved one from the melee, which we later used to play hacky-sack during 5th hour. About halfway through 5th, we had our pep assembly. The pep assembly is pretty sweet because the entire school walks to the city park across the street, with the band leading the "parade". From that point in the day on, anyone in marching band was total property of Guerbe (band director).

We had practice for the show right after the buses left, and then we just hung around the high school until the parade started. Then we had to uniform-up, start walking through the streets of town, and make total fools of ourselves in front of everyone not cool enough to be in band. Good times.

The football game was great. The first play our school made resulted in a touchdown, and half the band was still getting into the bleachers when we started the fight song. The final score of the game was 58-14, with us the victors. Our show went pretty well too, even though we had to change it around a lot for the homecoming court announcements. We cut two songs from the show, and then made a tunnel for the court and stood there playing "My Heart Will Go On" over and over again. Still, musically it was nice. At least I didn't completely blow my voice out by screaming, like I did last year.

Then we get to today, the dance. I'm normally not nervous before dances, but I actually was today. I went to work at my grandparents' shop in the morning, and I couldn't concentrate I was so excited. I spent forever getting ready, and I think it was totally worth it. I met my date, Gabby, at her house before the dance for pictures, of which there were many. That was super, super awkward for some reason; I think it had to do with going to her house for the first time, and having a camera in my face, and being all dressed up. Still, we got some nice pictures.



The self-caused awkwardness at her house was over eventually, though, and we got to the dance. It...was...AWESOME! I had an incredible time. Even though they didn't play "Pour Some Sugar On Me"....I didn't realize they hadn't until it was too late to request it. I did dance; it was a bit awkward and geeky, but in a charming way - like Michael Cera. Having a good time was made a lot easier by having an amazing date, of course.

All in all, I've had a really great weekend. I hope everyone had one as good or better than mine...did you?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Woohoo!

Just a quick update! I asked the girl I wanted to go to homecoming with, and she said yes! Later that day, she made me clarify if we were going as friends or a couple, and I took a chance and said couple. I have a girlfriend! Her name is Gabby, by the way.

Also, Crush Of Society's facebook page has some new songs posted. We had a practice yesterday, and worked for almost the entire four hours. It was pretty intense, but we still didn't get half of what I planned done. Still, the demos sound pretty good. My computer's soundcard is finally fixed, after almost a year of being broken. That means I was finally able to use my fancy music editing software to cut out all the extra noises at the beginning and end of each song, and put in some minor effects.

That's pretty much all I had to post for right now...I have to head on over to school in a minute or two. Have a super day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Western Band Days!

Hey! guess what last weekend was? Western Michigan University's annual band day! They invite high school bands to come out to their school, learn an entire show in one day, and play it during halftime of a game that night. I went last year, and it was one of the most epic trips I've ever been on. I met quite a few people there that would turn out to be great friends, and it felt like my true induction into high school. This year I knew the trip wouldn't be as awesome as it was last year, but it was still amazing.

Actually, everything but the band days part was awesome. That kind of sucked. My Bronco Buddy (the college student they pair you with) was really crazy, and not in a good way. I also think she thought I was a bit slow, because she treated me like an idiot and was constantly checking up on me. "Are you OK?" Honestly, I might have brought a bit of that onto myself, because I answered everything she asked in short, "yes" or "no" type responses. Oh well, it's not like I'll ever see her again. Next year, I'm going with a trumpet, regardless of the fact I can barely play one anymore.

Next Friday (not this one) is homecoming. Saturday is the dance, which I'm actually a bit nervous about. Last year, I already had a girlfriend, so finding a date wasn't a problem. This year, I've got to actually ask someone. Actually, I have my eye on someone, and I'm asking her today. Until recently (at Western, actually) I'd never hung out with her before, but all of a sudden I've got a major crush on her. Weird, huh? I'll let you know how that goes.

Homecoming is also looking really expensive. This year, I plan to go to dinner with a group of friends before the dance, which is going to cost a lot more money than I have. Also, tickets are $20. I'm not sure if I should be expected to get my date a ticket, so there's that doubt too.

Well, you can expect another post pretty soon. I'm planning a COS practice this Sunday, so I'll make sure to keep you updated on that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Week Of School

School is back in session. Being a geek, this naturally makes me happy. However, having insanely bad allergies that always are at their worst this time of year makes me unhappy. At the beginning of each school year, I manage to set the first impression of "got up 20 times in 5 minutes to blow his nose...how weird." instead of "Wow, he seems like a pretty awesome student!" I was fine the first three days, but Friday was absolutely horrible. I almost wanted to go home early, but since there was no one who could pick me up it seemed pointless to ask. Also, we had a football game that night that I planned on having fun at.

Trust me, no illness could possibly prevent that. The game was really fun, as always, and our team won for the first time this season. I don't really care much about football, but it still seems like a statistic I should be proud of. Our half-time show sucked, mostly because no one had practiced at all in two weeks. I doubt the crowd noticed anyway, so it doesn't matter much.

So far, all my classes are going well. In my 1st hour, Government, we took a citizenship test on the second day, as a way for the teacher to illustrate why the class is necessary. If you had a 70% or better (the requirement for U.S. citizenship), you'd get extra credit. I was the only person in the class to pass the test, with a 84%. I suppose that means I already know most of what the course teaches, and therefore don't have to pay attention.

2nd hour is English II, a class that should be a breeze for me. The teacher made us write 5 paragraph essays about ourselves, which was harder than one would think. Still, I'm pretty sure my essay is well written enough for the teacher to get a good idea of how I write.

3rd hour is Chemistry, a course that looks like it might actually be difficult. However, teachers always up-play the difficulty of the class to get us to pay attention, so that's probably what's going on.

After that I have 1st lunch, which I kind of like and kind of don't. I like it being earlier, so I'm not starving through 4th hour. I was initially bummed that not many of my friends are in that lunch, but at the same time, it seems like a really good reason to hang out with other people. I certainly need to get back into being social, after an entire summer of being a downer and not liking people. So far, I'm falling back into school and getting along with people quite well.

4th hour is French, which is the only class I don't have too much of an advantage with. I know almost nothing about foreign languages, so it's a bit more of a challenge. However, I'm pretty quick to catching on to the main idea of what people are saying in other languages, so that might help. it's the speaking that could present a problem.

5th hour is Algebra IIa. I'm good with math, so the actual class shouldn't be a problem. However, the teacher is a quizbowl coach who's known for being difficult to deal with. She likes me, which helps, but I'm used to a far different kind of math class. For the last three years, I've had guy math teachers, with very laid-back classrooms. Her classroom is so silent I'm afraid to move, and I really dislike not being able to work with someone else on math.

Of course, my final subject is band. I got the double bass back from the repair shop on Thursday, and the teacher is starting our concert band music Monday. I didn't get a bow for the instrument, because they were quite a bit more expensive than the budget Guerbe gave me. I'm looking forward to playing it in class, but not transporting it to and from the school. It's pretty heavy and awkward.

If you made it this far into the post, congratulations. Looking at what I've typed, this post is absolutely massive. There's some really fun stuff coming up in the near future, so I'll be sure to blog about it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

School Tomorrow, And COS Facebook Page!

In about ten hours, I'll be sitting in my first class of the year, tired as all get-out. I'm sort of looking forward to it, and sort of not. It's going to suck getting up early, but it'll be nice seeing friends again. I've haven't done very much hanging out this summer, which is a bummer. I can blame some of it on being busy with work, but a good portion of it is just me being anti-social.

The only reason I'm still online instead of sleeping is because I finally got around to making a Facebook page for my band. Bobby has been bugging me to do that for only what, 6 months?

Crush Of Society

I'm not sure if that link works for anyone but me, so let me know. I'm working on getting songs uploaded, which is proving to be difficult because of file types. I have to upload the files to a file-conversion website, wait for them to do the converting, and then upload them to Facebook.

Well, I have to go to bed, so I'm not a complete zombie tomorrow morning. Please add us on FB!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Double Bass, And How Band Camp Went

Hello! All apologies about the lack of posting - I've been working non-stop on painting my grandparents' house to try and pay for repairs on my bass. Sadly, I've only just started putting color on it, and the front isn't even done...At this point, it looks like it's going to take a couple weekends of marathon-painting, with some help.

Speaking of my bass, the repairs were supposed to be done last Tuesday. I called Wilson (the repair guy) to confirm and he said he was just finishing it up, and to come on in whenever to pick it up. A few hours later, however, I got a call from him. Apparently, while restringing it, he discovered a new problem; something called the bass bar was coming loose inside the instrument, and the only way to repair it was to take the entire instrument apart (a very expensive procedure). He said he would try and think of another solution, and that I should come in so he could explain it better.

When I got there the next day, he showed me the problem. Basically, the bridge of the instrument (what the strings sit on) would punch a hole in the body if we tried to ignore it. A normal, conventional solution would cost somewhere around $1,000, which would be worth less than the instrument. Fortunately, Wilson had another idea: he would drill holes in the front of the bass, use some wood screws to get the bass bar back in place, and epoxy the crap out of it. It'll look ugly as all get-out, and he's never done it before, but it's only $100. He told me the repair would be done by this Friday, but when I called on Friday to confirm, he told me he was going to try the repair on another instrument before he did it to mine.

So...Band Camp! It went great. The bass section sounds way better than last year, because we got rid of all the people who can't actually play (and there were a lot of them). Our section leader was a trombone player from the Western Marching Band, and he really knew what he was doing. At times, Guerbe (our band teacher) just let him take charge of the band. Hey, he actually knew how to teach a band, which is better than her.

While I was there, I asked Guerbe if I could play the double bass in band and she got super-excited about having one. Somehow, I also convinced her to get the school to buy a bow for it, even though they won't need one once I graduate (I'll probably offer to buy it from them at a lower price...clever, right?)

Although I have a lot more stuff to include in this update of my life, I'm going to have to refrain, because this post is already dangerously long and approaching unreadable. Perhaps if I blog more often, this wouldn't be an issue...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just A Bit Of An Update

My apologies about the downer post concerning my bass. I took it to a shop and they're fixing it, and it will be done in a few weeks. The damage is $300, which I'm working my butt off to pay off, in addition to the money I already owe my grandparents for buying the instrument.

Somewhat related to that topic, I've discovered I'm addicted to guitars. Despite being $700 dollars in the hole currently, I almost bought a new electric bass today. It was very cool, and I had it all justified in my mind, but I had a bad feeling in my gut about it. Maybe it will still be for sale in six months or so, and I'll get it when finances aren't as bad. It was in an antique store anyway, and a bit of a fixer-upper, so it shouldn't sell too fast.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see Paramore with the environmental organization Reverb. I'm taking a friend who really likes Paramore, but I'm starting to regret it. She's been really, really irritating and negative about the whole thing from the second I asked her. She complained about the lawn seats, which made me want to say, "You know what? Buy your own tickets, and don't forget to pay for the $40 pavilion ones!" But, I'm just keeping a smile on my face and looking at the bright side.

Anyway...just wanted to give you a bit of an update. Next week is band camp, which will be *awesome*! See you then...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Double Bass

You will never guess what I got yesterday! Oh...yeah, it does say it in the title of the post. I got a double bass yesterday! Pretty sweet, eh? And it was only $350, a total steal!

Since I got it, I've learned a ton about them already. For example: did you know the neck is designed to snap off from the body when you drop them? Neither did I until I leaned it against a box and turned my back on it.

Seriously, when I heard it start to fall, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut while burning $350 in my face. Once I got it all secure and out of the way of more harm, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and not get up.

We're taking it to a luthier tomorrow, who will hopefully not completely screw us on repair prices. Once it's fixed, I'll post a happier post about it and why it's awesome, but for the moment I'm pretty upset and don't really want to talk about it until it's working again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

While I Was Absent

Gaaarrr, I haven't posted in over a month!! Well, we'll just have to pick up where we left off.

Since my last post...
  • Bobby and I had a great band practice, and I got to use my new bass amp in a recording for the first time!
  • Leah and I went to the mall, and I got Golden Harvest by Beck and Rust Never Sleeps (the movie) by Neil Young. Both are totally awesome! Although the Beck CD is seriously creepy...
  • I started my summer job of painting my grandparents' house. After three weeks of working, I still haven't touched a paint brush.
  • I got a keyboard! I've been wanting one for a while, mostly so I can learn to play the song "Sam's Town (Abbey Road Version)" by The Killers. I totally can already, although not exactly well.
  • I went and saw 34bliss again, this time with my parental unit and her friends. They were part of a 4th of July festival, but they played at the same theatre. The show was way more packed, and they played very well.
  • This weekend is our town's "Bologna Festival". As my friend pointed out, how odd is it our town celebrates processed meat with a weekend festival? All I know is that Yale Bologna is manufactured by C. Roy's Inc., a company owned by my great-aunt.
  • Next week is our county fair, in which I'll be taking three trophies for shooting. More on that once it actually happens.
Hmmm...I'd say we're about up-to-date again. I've got to go; I'm headed to the Bologna Fest, because I'm marching in the parade with the band this evening. Hey...let's not wait so long next time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

34Bliss Concert!

Does anyone remember me mentioning I would be going to a concert by my friend Jared's band 34Bliss? Well, tonight was that concert! They played at the Emerald Theater, in Mt. Clements, MI. It was a really amazing show, and I had tons of fun.

Jared had me go as his "bass technician", which is a fancy word for "roadie that carries my amps". Hey, I got in to a $10 concert for free! Plus, I got to go onstage to set up his amps, which was sweet. I'd love to do it again (at the concerts without a minimum age), but some circumstances I'll mention further on might keep that from happening. It's nice because it's a chance to network a bit, and get to know some people that could help me with my own music. A bunch of my friends went as well, including Jared's sister and our mutual friend Leah (who I'm sure I've mentioned on here before).

34bliss...played...amazingly. I have their E.P., which consists of 5 tracks, 4 of them original and the fifth a cover of some Alice Cooper song I don't know. The E.P. (Scream) is pretty good, but live they are exponentially better. Their singer, who has had 5 years of opera singing lessons, was much more intense and passionate onstage than in the studio. The guitarist had a bunch of great solos, as did Jared. They also played a cover of a blues song that isn't on Scream, and it is definitely my favourite song of theirs.

They were opening for another local band, Steven Who?. They were not great. They should have opened for 34Bliss, not the other way around. They had two bassists, one guitar and one drummer, and were a (very sloppy) cover band. Actually, I probably wouldn't have minded them too much, except for the fact the main bassist dissed Jared's soloing, saying "Anyone could do that...". Trust me, he couldn't have. Jared's an awesome bassist, while the guy who criticized him looked more like he was going to accidentally stab himself with his ridiculously pointy guitar than play anything exceptional. They were also very young, around my age - and the singer might have been younger.

So, although it was an awesome concert and an awesome night, one thing did go quite poorly. I rode over there in Jared's car, with Jared driving. I had promised my mom his parents would drive, but I opted to ride with him so I could show up at the same time as the equipment. I made a really bad choice, and I regret upsetting my mother's trust. I wouldn't have done it if there had been even the slightest chance of danger, because I'm very cautious and good at worrying, but doing the exact opposite of what I said would happen was wrong. As it is, I'm grounded, and there's a good chance I won't be able to go to another show for a while.

All in all, a great concert, with a bunch of good friends and some great music. I'm glad I went, and I had a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fear Not, I Remember You

All apologies for the lack of posting. Really, nothing very fascinating has been going on around here lately.

Studying for exams, basically. School gets out next Thursday, but in pretty much all my classes we're doing nothing important anymore. Studying...Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week are the actual exam days, with an hour and a half period for each class, meaning two classes per half day.

I've got lots of partying to do for the next little while, though. Tomorrow, I'm going to a dude's house for an end of the year party. Next Friday my friend Tia is having a pool party, followed by the band lock-in. Th Saturday after, I'll sleep off the lock-in, then go to a 34bliss concert (my friend's band). On the topic of 34bliss, the aforementioned friend is going to have some of his CDs for sale at school tomorrow, $5 each. I'm totally getting one!

And now, I must head over to the High School to start six hours of glorified study hall. Have a super day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Epic Rave Birthday Party

I went to an amazing party this evening! You may recall (but probably not) a bassist friend of mine named Jared. He's only a Junior, but he's in a band, 34Bliss, who are already playing paid gigs. Anyway, his birthday was yesterday, and he threw a sweet party today.

Now, Jared's a bit of a frightening character. It's not that he's a bad guy or anything, he's just a very hardcore metal fan and dresses that way. I wasn't too worried about his party though, because he has a sister in my grade who is semi-preppie and quite nice. She invited friends as well, so she wouldn't have to hang out with her brother's friends all night. Also, Jared hangs out with some "normal" (because who really is?) people, and a lot of them would be there. In the end, both he and his sister's friends mingled and hung out together.

When I got to his place, I headed out to his shed (featuring an all-out studio for his band), where there was some intense guitar hero playing was going on. Some of my friends were there, and one whom I hadn't seen since he graduated. For a while, we just hung out and drank a ton of soda and listened to metal at insane volumes (did I mention he has most, if not all, of his band's stage speakers?). After a bit of time, some pretty awesome people showed up that I got to meet.

Lets see...there was Izzie (I assume that's how it was spelled), who was a guitar player. When he showed up, he was wearing a skeleton face-mask and a duster jacket with flame embroidery, complemented by his waist length hair. I knew he'd be a cool dude right away, because anyone who can wear that and have a sense of humour about it has to be pretty sweet. There were also some people from school I'd seen before at the party, and it was nice to get to know them.

Before the sun went down, the party was pretty mellow. They have a pond in their front yard, where most of his sister's friends were, and one of my good friends (Leah). They begged me to come in, even though I had no bathing suit or a change of clothes. Eventually, I decided to go out to the platform they were on in a paddle boat. To make a long story short, Jared's sister (Taylor) cannon-balled into the water right next to me, getting my clothes soaked. I had to walk around the rest of the night with no shoes, my flannel shirt off, and my pant legs rolled up like a hipster. It was refreshing, though.

After the sun went down, the real fun started. You see, Jared has a lot of money (did you pick up on that yet?) and he had his shed completely decked out for a rave. There were 8+ strobe lights, the huge speakers I mentioned before, a smoke machine, and 68 glow sticks. Everyone grabbed a ton of glow sticks, the lights went out and the strobes went on, and we started dancing. Let me tell you, rave-dancing is my kind of dancing. At school dances, you're always goofy looking when you jump around like crazy and flail your arms about. Not at a rave, with a glow stick in each hand and music made to jump to. I was full of insane energy, and probably danced the most.

After one song, Jared turned down the music and said, "[so-and-so] requested we moshed to this song. If you don't want to, go outside." Well, I wanted to, despite the fact I was barefoot. Moshing is...intense. It was totally fun, too. Everyone was slamming into each other, bouncing off the person next to them and knocking each other over. All my fellow mosh-ers had to pause a few times to catch their breath, but I kept on jumping and waving my glow sticks around. I knew doing it barefoot would be a horrible idea, but I felt nothing the entire time I was dancing. Afterward...well, let's just say I had to use a flashlight to make sure my feet weren't bleeding. Still, it was amazing.

In between rave-sessions we went and hung out by the fire. Jared played some of his band's songs, which were awesome. They're a great sound, which is really hard to compare to another band. The best I can do is say they have semi-mellow, almost acoustic sounding verses, with punk or grunge-ish sounding choruses. I was a bit surprised, because they sounded nothing like what I would imagine Jared playing. Anyway, I'm going to see them next month, on the 19th, with Leah and a few other people who were at the party.
All in all, it was an awesome party, possibly the best I've ever been to. I had a ton of fun, and for those whom I wish to inspire, all this fun was created purely through my own mind and no "chemical influences". I think it was a great way to spend a Saturday night, and I really enjoyed hanging out with new people, as well as my tried and true friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shopping Trip

Today after school I went to Utica and went shopping! If you'll recall, Utica is the odd city made up completely of suburb-hell and retail stores. Despite the suburbs, it's a great place to go shopping. Shopping may not seem like a huge event to some, but it's been quite a while since I've been. Trust me, I'm not a bubble-head who's obsessed.We went so we could visit Dick's Sporting Goods and see if they had any roller skates. Notice the emphasis; I want nothing but the most vintage of items. Long story short, they didn't have them. It looks like we'll have to order them online...hey, what's one more week?

However, there was a huge thrift store right next door. We headed in, and spent about an hour and a half just looking around. Apparently, my pant-size is very uncommon (30-32). Furthermore, those that are in my size are never in any style I like (boot cut or skinny). They did have a few Oasis CDs, a band I've wanted to get into for a while now. I also got something else very awesome: non-prescription glasses! They look totally real, too.

The only problem is the fact that they pinch my head after a while. Oh well...it's not like I can wear them to school anyway. Why, you ask? People would constantly say, "Oh Drew, I didn't know you wore glasses." I'd say, "I don't," and be all witty and sarcastic and whatnot. Then the person who asked would continue asking stupid questions, like "Wait...so why are you wearing them then?". What isn't clear about the first answer? People don't think enough and talk too much sometimes.

After we left the thrift shop, we headed to dinner at a cool Italian restaurant who's name I know I cannot spell. We had a thin crust pizza, which was delicious. Their cannoli was really expensive, so we went to a local grocery store and got some bakery cannoli.

Eventually, we headed to our final destination: Old Navy. I needed a new pair of jeans (my reason for looking at the thrift store) and I figured they would have what I needed. They did, and more. I got a sweet pair of boot-cut jeans, as well as a button-up shirt that's made of corduroy.

All in all, I'm happy with today's trip. We didn't actually spend too much, which was nice, but it was fun. Someday, perhaps I'll even post a picture with me wearing any of the three items I got today! (Of course, I'll be playing guitar in it.) Did you have an awesome Friday? Please, do share!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trip To Cleveland

As many of you know, I've been training for yet another half marathon - since the last one, actually. Well, it was yesterday, in Cleveland. We drove down on Friday with my mom's friend Juliet and wandered around on Saturday.

When we got to Cleveland, we set up in our respective hotels and then walked down to the House of Blues for dinner. Our waiter was a really cool dude, who took his time conversing with us. He approved of my Velvet Underground T-shirt, and supplied an anecdote about seeing Lou Reed in concert recently. The food was pretty good, as well. I got one of my standards, a bacon cheeseburger. After dinner we visited their store, which, despite having a cool denim jacket, held no special appeal to me.
During dinner, I had approximately five diet cokes. I visited the bathroom once or twice while we were there, but obviously didn't take care of the liquids in their entirety. My foolishness quickly became apparent while walking about the town, which seemed to close down around 7 P.M. I could find no open stores with public restrooms for me to use. I became very agitated, and was probably a pain to be around. We finally made it back to the hotel, and just in time. I was very angsty/depressive for about ten minutes after, lamenting my stupidity and complaining that "I'll never be as awesome as I could be because I'm such a stupid idiot and have such a small bladder." I stopped after my mom started crying, because she was upset to see me upset with myself.

The next day we went to the race expo, where we got lots of free goodies and listened to an inspirational speaker. After the expo, we checked out a cool submarine tour, which featured the USS Cod, a WWII sub. It was shockingly tiny, but it supposedly housed 97 men. Crazy...
Sunday was, of course, the marathon. I had a goal for my time, which was 2 hrs 10 min. My actual time, measured by the chip located in my bib, was 2:07:45. Basically, that means I rock. I ran the entire race, only stopping at a few water stations because I'm unable to drink and run at the same time. I had a great run up until about the sixth mile, and after that it was just mildly uncomfortable. The worst were the last three miles, because they were on a freeway. I saw the tenth mile marker and thought, "Great, only 30 minutes left!" After 30 minutes passed (or so it felt), the eleventh mile arrived. Yes, they were very long.

After I finished, I was able to head back to our hotel that was a block away and take a shower. My mom texted me at the twelfth mile, and I had just enough time to limp back to the finish line and take her picture. A bit after that, I got a terrible, splitting headache and was forced to head back to the hotel for a long, long nap. When I woke up and my headache was gone, we went to eat at Fat Fish Blues, a great Cajun restaurant that let us sit right next to the sweet blues band that was performing.

Today, we visited the best part of Ohio - The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I actually got to see props from The Wall concert!! We also saw U2 3D, which was sweet. Walking around hurt (a lot), but it was worth suffering through. I also got to see cool stuff like Jim Morrison's Cub Scout uniform, and one of Kurt Cobain's custom guitars. At the gift shop, I got the CD Rust Never Sleeps, by Neil Young. I've started to really get into his music for some reason, probably because it's fun to play on guitar. I also got a sweet poster of Kurt Cobain playing guitar, which will look great in my room.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. I'm proud of myself for running the entire 13.1 miles, and I had a lot of fun doing tourist-type things. Now I have one question: when's the next one?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

COS Show, And My Party

The party was great! Bobby and I played a show, I dominated at pool, and we rocked out to records and told jokes the whole night.

Obviously, the show is the main thing I want to talk about. Okkayyy, maybe it was more like us saying "Hey, we're playing a song, so shut up!" in the middle of a much larger and longer jam session. Five of the eight people there play guitar, and we were all making tons of noise and banging on the drums and what-not. Fortunately, my awesome bass amp totally overpowered everything else, so I could be star of the show whenever I wanted. Don't worry, I wasn't too much of an attention whore.

The songs we played were "Basement Song" and "I Don't Know", plus an as-of-yet unnamed acoustic song by Bobby. The first two, despite having lyrics, were sans-vocals. The third did, but they were almost impossible to hear if you didn't know they were there (Bobby sang them). "Basement Song", which Bobby wrote and I penned lyrics for, went OK-ish. We've never played it 100% perfectly, because we both seem to have slightly different mental concepts of how the rhythm should go.

"I Don't Know", which I wrote in its entirety, was a bit better. I was on guitar and Bobby was on drums, and we put on a good performance. We actually had to play it the whole way through twice, because during the first time through someone else had a guitar plugged in and they were standing right in front of their amp, causing terrible feedback towards the middle of the song. We were recording the show, otherwise I wouldn't have cared. The recording is our first "official" one, because we played the entire song through without stopping for mistakes and we were in front of real people.

The rest of the night was pretty chill. We sat around and told funny stories while listening to "Hunky Dory" by David Bowie, then a live album by the Dropkick Murphys. After all the funny stuff we could think of was exhausted, we employed George Carlin's "Class Clown" to keep us amused.

All in all, it was a great party. I had a ton of fun, and I think everyone else had a great time too. In fact - let's do it again real soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daily Anecdotes

So, interesting anecdotes from my day.

My mom and I went running today, because the half marathon is in nine days. I came home from school, changed into my running shorts and crappy T-shirt, and packed clothes to put on after (because I wanted to go to Barnes & Noble). I knew my mom wanted to go pick up some new shoes, but I thought she would go to a stand-alone sporting goods shop. Turns out, she intended to go to the mall.

"What are we doing here?" I asked, somewhat panicked. I did NOT want to go into a mall full of my peers while wearing shorts that come up to the middle of my thighs and act nonchalant. However, she was very insistent. I swallowed my pride, got out of the car, and headed in. It was pretty early in the afternoon, fortunately, so there weren't too many teens yet. Still... To make matters worse, my shorts had severe static cling and were sticking to my legs, accentuating my odd-looking quadricep muscles.

I managed to make it out alive, thankfully. The run went pretty well, and my mom's new shoes worked great. I changed into my casual, not obnoxiously short clothing, and got all excited about going to B&N. Sadly...as we went down the main road, my mother observed a lack of working traffic signals. The power was out all across town, and the store was closed. We had to go out of our way to get gas for the car, but were fortunate in that our house (25 min. out of town) had power.

Although these stories seemed much more relevant in my head, they don't look it written out. Still, it's my opinion that a crappy post is better than none at all. And who knows? Perhaps you, the reader, will find relevance in my day-to-day activities.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Concert, Basement Practices, And A Birthday!

Hey hey, what's up? The concert, as well as band practice, as well as my birthday, went great. In order? Okay!

The concert was actually somewhat non-eventful. I played my two songs for jazz band perfectly, "Green Onions" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". I had intended to get video of me playing, but my mom and I forgot the camera, so no dice. My friend Nick played with me on 'Green Onions", and it was cool sounding with two basses. A guy name Jared, an amazing bassist at our school who is actually in a ''real" band with a record deal, played an amazing bass solo that just showed why he's a professional. Of course, he had thousand-dollar equipment and pedals, but still...what he played took some skill.

Band practice was very awesome. Turns out Bobby can sing! Well! He had a few new songs to show me, and one of them we worked on quite extensively. He's described it as sounding very much like Neil Young, which I agree with. I made a sweet bass line, and we recorded it a few times.

He also took a look at my new stuff, and at some lyrics I've been writing. Some of my songs have both lyrics and a guitar part, some are just guitar, and a lot of the lyrics are without music. He came up with a melody for one of my songs, Zen Stereo (mad props to the blogger I borrowed that name from!). We also just chilled and played video games while listening to George Carlin records, which was really fun. It's been a while since I've just chilled and hung out with someone, so it was nice.

Have I mentioned that today is my birthday? Well, it is! Woohoo! I didn't tell anyone, but a lot found out through that darned facebook. My mother got me a pair of old-school roller skates, but the store was out of my size so they are a bit delayed. Ah well, no matter. she also gave me a $25 discover gift card to use when we go to Cleveland for our half marathon in 2 weeks. Keeley (my girlfriend) made me 3 mix CDs and got me a bunch of really cool guitar picks. They're really nice, and very thoughtful. Joe got me a Barnes & Noble gift card, which is great considering I really need something new to read.

My grandparents got me exactly what I requested, which was a really big bass amp. It's 100 watts, and it has a bunch of effects built in (that I can't seem to get to work yet). My uncle got me a new gig bag for my bass because my old one is broken, and a pack of new strings. Those, along with my new amp, are making me sound better than ever. Seriously, the amp is intense. I can out power pretty much any guitar amp, and when I use it in our living room ant about half the max volume, the house shakes and pictures wobble threateningly. it's sweet.

So...I've talked about me; how are all of you doing? Hopefully well! See you soon, but I have to go to bed now.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quiz Bowl Tournament And Touring With The Band

Weekend Ho! (like "Land Ho!". Ya know, pirate stuff.) I've been looking forward to the weekend for most of the week, mostly because a) the high school band has a concert on Saturday and b) Bobby is coming over on Sunday for a band practice! Woohoo!

This week has also been a bit of a downer, but things are looking up again. For a bit it looked like m girlfriend and I were going to break up, but it seems as though things have resolved themselves.

This last weekend, I went to Lansing with the Quizbowl team for the state championship. Although I'm a freshman and played JV all year, I'm getting moved up to varsity next year and they thought it would be a good idea for me to go so I could get a feel for things. Of course, it helps that my mom is a coach, and that the other freshman going and being moved up is my girlfriend.

We had a lot of Western - style antics at the hotel, but this time instead of hanging out with a bunch of band geeks, I got to hang out with a bunch of quiz geeks. Surprisingly, the two groups don't overlap much. Of course, we had to stay up until 4:30 in the morning, watching fancy hotel TV and having deep, philosophical discussions. A few of the topics were: how every character in Batman can be diagnosed with a mental illness, the various representations of good and evil in Stephen King's assorted works, and of course a discussion of various bands and their quirks.

This past Wednesday, the high school band did its yearly tour of elementary schools to put on a show for them. It was a great reason to spend the day skipping class, and we got to eat at McDonald's for lunch. I was curious as to whether any of my old teachers would recognize me; they did not.

Well...this post has been a rather quickly typed but lengthy one. I'm in a great mood, so I figured it would be a good idea to post now. I'll make sure to report back on the two musical events of this weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Album Review: Pinkerton



This album is really freaking awesome! In the last few months, I've really been getting into Weezer. I especially like their earlier stuff, because it's the perfect mix of grunge and emo. Pinkerton is my favourite of their albums, and I can easily say it's my all-time favourite album. I listen to it when I run a lot, usually on longer runs.


The reason Pinkerton is my favourite is because it is just dripping with raw emotion. In the very first song, Tired of Sex, Rivers Cuomo starts out mumbling, whining, and is soon screaming to be heard over the guitars. The beat is heavy and the guitars are droning.


As the album goes on, the songs tend to have the same qualities as the first. It's basically 35 minutes of how it is to be a rockstar but still be terrible at talking to girls. He wishes for a meaningful relationship, pines after a girl he's afraid to talk to, reads us his love letters, and falls for a lesbian.


The lyrics are very poetic, with a lot of dark humour. The guitar and bass compete for the top sound, and every solo is screeching and dirty. Each song fits what's being sung about perfectly in tone and mood.


Really, how can I describe it any more? Go out and find it. Listen to it. It's my favourite, and there's a reason. Obviously, I give it five stars. Oh, and the picture of the album cover? It was labelled "Buy It!" on Google Images. Trust me, it's worth the money.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lansing, Pt. 2

If you don't know what I'm referring to with the "Pt. 2", here's part one.

So, as mentioned in my previous post, I went to Lansing this weekend for a 5K. It's the same 5k I ran last spring break, and let me say, I've improved quite a bit. Last year my time was 34:42, this year my time was 29:11.

The really cool part is that I took third in my age group, 14 and under. I'm 14...and 11 months. The award wasn't a medal, but a steel bookmark. Honestly, it will get used more anyway. I'm just surprised I did so well. Woohoo!

Of course, while in Lansing, we also did the obligatory money-burning. We went to a cool store that we visited last year, a "vintage clothing" store. "Vintage" is a good thing to call a selective thrift store, but their stuff is sweet. They had a sweet cardigan that looked just like Kurt Cobain's on MTV Unplugged, and it had a pin on it featuring Kurt's face. I wanted a bunch of stuff there, but I was wise with my money.

We also went back to FBC, where I spent approximately 5 minutes, 4 of which were checkout. I simply walked over to the "B" section, saw Hunky Dory by David Bowie sticking out, and grabbed it. When I did, Ziggy Stardust followed it up. I've been wanting both, so I saved everyone some time and finished there. I'll be going back in 2 weeks, anyway.

My mother's friend, Anne, took us to Urban Outfitters. I was initially wary, fearing a store similar to American Eagle or something. However, I was delighted to find a ton of really cool clothes, plus some cool novelty things and books. I tried on a pair of cool corduroy skinny jeans, and they looked so awesome on me my mother had no choice but to get them. They are incredibly comfortable and soft.

The band practice I mentioned in the last post fell through, by the way. I have to have one soon, though, because I got a great new amp at the pawn shop. I'll post more about it later, but this post is already getting tedious.

...And the last sentence would be my cue to finish the post. Stay safe, internet!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Beggining Of Spring Break!

Hey blogger community, what's up?

The weather has been freaking amazing lately. I wore flip-flops to school on Thursday, the first day of April. Normally in Michigan, I'm still trudging through snow to get to school in April. The windows are open, the AC is on in the car, it's beautiful out.

I know I emphasize the flip-flops in the previous paragraph, but they weren't just because of the wonderful weather. I hurt my foot running last Saturday, and wearing shoes hurts. It wasn't too terrible after the first day, but then I went running on it again on Monday. Come Tuesday, I was walking with a terrible limp and was very whiny.

Fortunately, my chiropractor is a miracle man and healed me. Well...not completely, but he did identify the problem and made the pain much less severe. It doesn't hurt at all when I'm barefoot, but shoes put pressure on a swollen nerve and make it sting. Therefore, flip-flops.

It's spring break! So far, it has been completely uneventful. I've gone to work both days of it, and nothing else. We're going to Frankenmuth on Monday, where we will eat chicken and ice cream. I'm trying to plan a band practice sometime this week, which will be nice because both Bobby and I have come up with some new stuff. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) my girlfriend Keeley's parents will let us go to the movies, but it's a bit unlikely because they don't seem to want to let her go on dates until she's 16.

Our mini-vacation will be going to Lansing (our lovely capital city!) to run a 5k and go record shopping. I haven't ran in a week, because of my foot, so it will be interesting. I know it will be fun, however, so it will be great.

Well, this post has flown forth quickly from my fingertips, and it seems to be done. I'll update you on the band practice, so I'm sure you'll be waiting with bated breath!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, And Other Happenings

Wow...I need to blog more. All apologies, I've been very bored, boring, and tired lately.
I do have something incredibly epic to spread the word about, however - Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's a short film that started out as a web mini-series created by Joss Whedon during the writers' strike. It's a musical, and it stars the incredibly gifted Neil Patrick Harris as the title character. I can't really think of much to say about it, other than the fact that I've watched it three times in 24 hours, and I've been annoying the crap out of my friends by singing the songs from it constantly.

I finished my Anthem essay I recently wrote about. It was due at 11:59 PM on the 20th, and I hit the "submit" button at 11:49. I had the entire thing written by 11, but I wasn't happy with it, so I delayed sending it. At 11:15, I had a flash of brilliance, and set to fixing my paper at once. I added a paragraph that outlined a second thesis, and then went through what was already there to make the new stuff fit. The new, improved paper kicked the old one's butt, and I'm very happy with it. If you want to read it, here it is. The awesome last-minute paragraph is the second one, by the way.

I passed driver's ed! I went to the Secretary of State's today, to get my permit, but I didn't have all of the necessary documentation. They would have been closed by the time I went home, got the stuff, and came back, so I am license-less.

Well...The spark of writing that caused me to start writing this has passed. Even typing a closing paragraph is incredibly tough, all of a sudden...goodbye!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Netflix

Has anyone ever watched the show Freaks and Geeks? Probably not, since it only ran for 16 episodes in the 90s. Somehow my mom heard about it, and we've been watching the series on DVD for the last few weeks. It's hilarious, but I can totally understand how it got canceled. It shows two very distinct groups in high school - the burnouts, and the completely socially inept losers. Both groups seem to demand you completely immerse yourself in their lifestyles, and I don't think that has been reality to most people. Furthermore, the characters do things that are so weird it makes you uncomfortable. Example: the main "geek" character's gym teacher is forcing the class to all take showers. There's a long struggle where he tries to rebel, blah blah, eventually he takes one. The bullies in his class shove him into the hallway, naked, and lock the door. A montage of him running through busy hallways with nothing but a blue dot follows. See what I mean? Uncomfortable.

By the way, the way we're getting the DVDs is Netflix. Since we don't have satellite or cable, and movies are too expensive, it's a pretty good deal. However, I seem to end up wanting to own a lot of the movies we get. Namely, Empire Records - an epic film - and more recently (we got it yesterday) Blades of Glory. I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for Will Farrell movies. He's hilarious, and I think I like every movie he's in. Plus, in Blades of Glory, he seems to be channeling Jim Morrison. Between his hair and his constant drunkenness, he reminds me a lot of Val Kilmer in The Doors.

Well, I have to go get ready to go shopping...it's a Saturday, and that means new food in the house!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Driver's Training

Wanna hear something that seems to have adults around me, especially my mother and grandparents, in a panic? Next Monday I start driver's training. After three weeks of that, I'll have my learner's permit.
Mildly frightened to being sharing the road?

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Quick Update

What has been up, bloggers? Nothing much happening over here.

We had another snow day on Friday; it was much better than the last one. My mom and I went shopping for what had to have been the first time in weeks, because it was a paycheck Friday and the previous one we had to pay the propane bill. It was a lot of fun.

The even better news: we finally got our gym membership back! My mom's coworkers organized a corporate discount, and we had been planning on it anyway. It's too nasty outside to go running, and our half marathon is approaching rapidly. I've felt rather un-athletic lately, and I've lost a bunch of muscle. We've already been there 3 times in four days.

There hasn't been much else going on. I've been playing the guitar a lot; I found out that even though it annoys my mom, turning my amp way up makes the guitar sound better. The notes seem fuller, or something along those lines.

Well...this has been a good update post. Short, succinct, and a nice reminder that I'm still around. What more could you lovely readers ask for?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wreckess Eric Covers And The Rest Of My Weekend

Hey hey - what's up?

I got my class ring on Friday! It's pretty sweet looking. For those who don't recall, it's silver metal with a garnet stone in the middle. It's also huge and somewhat garish, which is exactly what I wanted.

I spent most of Friday night learning to play a song on guitar. It's not just any song - it's one I can sing and play! At the same time! It's "Whole Wide World", by Wreckless Eric. It's in the movie Stranger Than Fiction, in which Will Ferrell's character plays it on an acoustic guitar.

I intended to videotape myself playing it and put it up on here, but the camera seems to be out of batteries.

On Saturday, I had solo and ensembles for band. My trio group had only gotten our music the day before, so we didn't expect to get that great of a rating. However, we hadn't counted on not getting one at all; our song was not long enough, and they couldn't give us our medals. I was only doing it for my varsity letter, and now it seems like it'll take me another year.

Urggg...my mom is sleeping on the couch and snoring, loudly. I'm going to go get headphones, and tie up the post with that.

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 Years!

Guess what, everyone? Today is Boyd's World's 2-year anniversary! I knew it was soon, and when I went back in the archives to check I was delightfully surprised by coincidence. I had hoped to have my 200th post tie-in with this, but unfortunately that's still ten away.

Just as a few general updates go, it's midwinter break. We've done pretty much nothing exciting, but sometimes just being lazy is great. The heat was turned on a few hours after my whiny post last Wednesday, in case you were wondering. The people from the propane company were "waiting for us to call them back", which made no sense. It was freezing, why couldn't they take initiative?

On Thursday, my Language Arts teacher called me up to her desk during silent reading (how much do you love having that every day in advanced classes?). I had recently written an essay that was apparently good enough to get 100%, a grade rarely given. Because of this, she suggested I look into a few writing contests. Actually, the one she mentioned in particular is the Ayn Rand Institute's essay contest. I was very flattered that she thought I write good enough to be eligible to participate, because I've wanted to participate in it since I first found out about it.

The 8th-10th grade contest is based on questions from the book Anthem, while the 11th-12th questions are on The Fountainhead. I've already read Anthem, because a friend recommended it. Oh, and did I mention there are cash prizes? The Anthem essay has a $2,000 first-place award, and The Fountainhead has a $10,000 prize. I'm totally going to enter, because I could definitely use that.

Other than that, not much has been going on. Last week I started the mandatory half-year of P.E. that is required. It's not too horrible. I don't mind being forced into working out for 45 minutes every day, although I hate having to do sports. I'm not inclined to be good at sports, especially basket ball. Guess what we play every single time we have free-time? I'm sure you can.

I hope everyone else is having interesting times. As for me, well, Internet articles about nothing can be pretty interesting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cold....Brrrrrrr

Snow day today!! Actually, this is not a good thing. You see, the school would be warm. However, the inside of my house is about 38 degrees Fahrenheit. We ran out of propane last night, just as an eventual 8 inches of snow started coming down. My grandparents are on vacation, so we loaded up the dogs (yeah...their puppy and 14-year old dog are staying with us) and headed over to their house.

To be honest, I have no clue how I managed to live there. I think it was a bit less terrible while we were there, but that's probably denial. The water that comes out of the tap is yellow, the shower is a tiny concrete pit in the basement (I've never left a shower feeling less clean than when I got in before), and it's just generally non-conforming to my cleanliness standards.

Right now we're back at home, waiting for the propane delivery dude to show up. It's cold as all get-out in here, and we have to leave in about an hour to go to town. Well...if the guy hasn't shown up by then, my mom will have to leave for town. I'll stay in the cold house and wait for propane dude.

Other than the cold, I'm kinda hoping tomorrow is a snow day as well. If it is, we'll have a seven-day weekend. You see, midwinter break starts Friday. I'm kind of hoping to visit Winter-Fest in Detroit this weekend, and maybe go to a hockey game with my girlfriend Keeley and her family.

Well, if you get a chance, please picture enormous bonfires and think in my direction.