Wednesday, August 25, 2010

7 years???

Where did the time go? It just seems crazy that this is my seventh year of school. It reminds me of the classic scene from one of my favorite movies, "Tommy Boy."

Chris Farley: "Hey, did you hear I graduated?"

David Spade: "Yeah, and just a shade under a decade, too. All right."

Chris Farley: "You know, a lot of people go to school for seven years..."

David Spade: "I know. They're called doctors."

But, yeah, for those who haven't been keeping tabs on me, I'm going back to school. I got my schedule printed off today. I'm taking 15 hours. That's only 5 classes, but that's a lot more work than I usually do. Obviously, I haven't been working hard at school, or I would have already graduated by now.

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In other news, I got a new tattoo. I now have 3. I'd had this idea in my head for a couple days and decided to go get it done. I got the words "DON'T WORRY" on the inside of my wrist and "BE HAPPY" on the outside. Below are some pictures.





I guess I have sort of a tattoo theme going on, as this new tattoo is sort of along the same lines as the smiley face I have on my left arm. I try to be a positive person and I like to remind myself of that. I'm not saying that I'm always happy and never get depressed. That's not true at all - I'm a normal person, I get sad and have bouts of depression like everybody else. I just like to have that reminder on myself to smile and not worry.

Note, those pictures were originally posted on my twitter page. I haven't blogged lately about how cool twitter is. Just click the link and check it out - http://twitter.com/chris_slater. Also, click the "twitter" tag at the bottom to see what I've written about it in the past.

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If you read my blog regularly, you probably noticed at the beginning of the summer that I started a music countdown. it's a list of the top 50 most-played songs on my computer's iTunes. For a refresher, click here to see the blog where I introduced my countdown.

I started this list at the beginning of the summer after I came to the realization that I really didn't have a lot of interesting stuff to write about last summer. I just wasn't motivated by much and didn't really have the urge to do a lot of writing. With this list, I figured it would at the very least give me some basic content to fill my summer months out with. I knew I wasn't going to post something every day, so I reasoned that this would take about 60-70 days or so and eat up most of my summer.

The problem with that is that I posted a lot less than I thought I would. We're approaching September and I'm only halfway through with the countdown. I expected to be done by the beginning of August. I don't want to just throw the list out or post all of the remaining songs in one entry. I'll just try to get this summer-only project out of the way quickly. I've started posting 3 entries at a time, so that'll help out. Click the "Top 50" link at the bottom of this post to see all the entries in the countdown.

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Speaking of blog content... I've missed the first two Student Government Association meetings of the semester. I have a night class Wednesdays at 4 p.m. which is the same time as the SGA meetings. I've actually wanted to take this class for about 4 years now, but I always chose SGA over the class. I finally decided to pick the class.

Will I do any more "reporting" in my blog? Yeah, probably. I just have to get around to it. I guess I won't be doing the weekly summary of the SGA meetings like I used to. Hopefully somebody at the staff of The Concordian will realize how important the SGA is and cover it like they should.

But, I have some ideas in my head for blog content. I've talked to a couple people here and there about some stuff. I won't be going to the weekly meetings, but I'm still paying very close attention to the SGA.

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That's all for now. I searched YouTube for a clip of the "Tommy Boy" scene I mentioned earlier. I couldn't find it, so I'll instead leave you with this classic scene. If you haven't watched this movie, you really need to. Chris Farley was a great comedic actor, very underrated, and this was before David Spade became a parody of himself.

23 - "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," Nirvana

1994 was a bittersweet year for Nirvana. They released one of their most diverse albums - "In Utero." It quited complaints about their breakthrough "Nevermind" album sounding too mainstream. "In Utero" featured hits like "Serve the Servants," "Rape Me," "Pennyroyal Tea," "All Apologies," "Heart-Shaped Box," and more. In addition to that album, Nirvana also participated in one of the most popular editions of MTV's "Unplugged" series. Stripping down their sound and showing their true ability as musicians, Nirvana opened themselves up to new opportunities and new exposure.

Nirvana was on top of the world. And then Kurt Cobain killed himself.

We're not going to go into the conspiracy theories here, but the widely-accepted story is that Kurt Cobain disappeared on a several-day-long heroin bender, then shot himself in the head with a shotgun.

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana left behind a rich legacy as the voice of an angst-ridden generation of early 90's youth. With the success of their "In Utero" album and the widespread acclaim they were winning over for their "Unplugged" performance, they were opening themselves up to becoming one of the biggest bands of the decade. As it stands now, they were huge for a very short period of time.

Some of their music doesn't quite stand the test of time. A lot of it does. One of the last things Nirvana did musically was their "Unplugged" performance. The final song from their set is a cover of a 1940's blues song by Leadbelly. Nirvana's performance of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" really shows the depth that this band had. They were a lot more than loud grunge. They were musicians and they were good.

They could have been one of the greatest bands of all time, if whatever happened to Kurt Cobain that fateful day hadn't happened. Now, history will show that they were an important band that could have achieved so much more.

24 - "Black," Pearl Jam



Every so often, a band releases one of those songs. You know what I'm talking about. A masterpiece. A great song. A song so great that words don't really do it justice. "Black" is one of those songs. It's a simple premise. There are tons of songs about this - a man lost the woman he loves. But, Pearl Jam has written one of the best songs about that subject ever.

25 - "Where the Wild Things Are," Metallica



We're at the halfway mark in the list of the top 50 most-played songs on my computer's iTunes. This is Metallica's second appearance on the list and their first from their "Re-Load" album.

I initially liked this song upon the first time I ever heard it. This song received a lot of plays - and thus moved up the list - around the fall of last year when the movie "Where the Wild Things Are" came out. I had never thought to put a connection together, but after seeing commercials for the film I wondered if the Metallica song was written about it. "Where the Wild Things Are" is, of course, a popular children's book that was adapted into a great film. And, if you listen to the lyrics, you can definitely hear some similarities.

Aside from that, this song has that "epic Metallica feel" that I like about them. A lot of their earlier 80's stuff was very "thrash" and fast and loud, and their sound transformed into songs like "Where the Wild Things Are" in the 90's. The song starts out soft and slow, then gets really loud and pounding for the chorus and middle of the song, then settles down again near the end.

Metallica checks in four more times on the list, including three songs in the Top 10.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to school

I just finished my first week of classes at Concord. Yes, I am trying to be a student for the fall 2010 semester. As of right now, I'm not a student yet. I don't have an official schedule nor do I have a bill that needs to be paid. I'm in the process of finalizing my schedule, then trying to figure out the mess that is the financial aid office at Concord.

At the moment, I have 12 hours. That makes me a full-time student. It's four classes. I'm likely going to add one more, and possibly a workshop. I could potentially have 15 or 16 hours. As sad as it sounds, that would be the heaviest workload I have had in several years.

I made the decision back in January to take the spring 2010 semester off (click here to read about it). That was fun for a little while. Then, it got mind-numbingly boring and repetitive and I actually started to miss school (click here to read about that). And, so, here I am trying to attend classes at Concord University again.

I'll see how things work out in the next week or so once I start to get things finalized. I'll give an update when it becomes available.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Me & Candace Nelson...

I've known about this for a couple weeks, so it's not very exciting to me, but since it just hit Facebook today there's a bit of a buzz going on. I have a girlfriend. Her name's Candace. She's pretty cool.

The story of how we met is kind of unconventional. We came to each others attention through Twitter.

About two months ago I was playing around on Twitter when I noticed the "list" feature. I hadn't checked it out in a while and noticed I was on several lists, which is where users can group others users together. I clicked a list for "tweeters" from West Virginia and started looking at some of the people on there. I noticed this girl named @Candace07 and clicked her profile. I noticed two things - 1) she was cute. 2) she was Editor-in-Chief of West Virginia University's newspaper. So, I followed her.

She actually made the initial contact, over Twitter Direct Message. We sent a couple messages back and forth that night. Then I sent her a message about a week later. A couple hours later we were texting each other and it progressed very quickly from there.

To make a long story short, texting each other turned into visiting each other, as I blogged about a couple times (click here & here to read those). I've driven to Morgantown to see her three times. She drove down to Princeton to see me once. One time she was in Beckley and I saw her there.

It's really weird. We've only known of each others existence for about two months. We've really only seen each other five times. We've only been around each other about 12 days. But, there's something there. It's hard to explain. Emotionally, physically, there's a connection. I like to look at her. I like to talk to her. I like to be around her. I don't know. It's weird.

That seems like enough for now. I'll probably have some more thoughts later. I'll let you know how this whole dating-a-girl-who-lives-3-hours-away thing works out.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Virginity Hit

This movie looks pretty funny. Produced by a group that includes Will Ferrel, "The Virginity Hit" should be released this fall.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

26 - "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll," The Killers



Little-known fact about me: I like The Killers.

One of the things I like about "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll" is that it's so anthemic. It's a song about how cool indie rock is. The irony, of course, is that they're a mainstream band. But, at one point they were a small-time band and this song seems like an homage to their roots.

It's a fun song with a nice beat. It's good for repeat listening.

27 - "Church On Tuesday," Stone Temple Pilots



Yet another appearance from STP in the list of the top 50 most played songs on my computer's iTunes. What can I say? I like this band. And, in particular, I like this album - No. 4.

There's a couple theories on the name of the album. The popular theory is that it's called No. 4 because it's the band's fourth album. The more interesting theory is that it's a heroin reference. Lead singer Scott Weiland was sentenced to one year in jail for heroin possession shortly before the album was released in late 1999.

28 - "Violet Hill," Coldplay



Musically, this song is heavier than what we usually expect from Coldplay. Lyrically, it's also a little darker than what Coldplay usually sings about. I don't know if I would call it a "protest" song, but "Violet Hill" was written about Fox News and George W. Bush and it shows a displeasure with those two. In addition to that, it's just a really cool song.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fuuuuuuuck

My 24th birthday is a couple weeks away. Do you know what feels like it just happened a couple months ago? My 23rd birthday.

August 18, 2010, is closing in upon us. But, August 18, 2009, just doesn't feel like it was a year ago.

I don't understand where the last year of my life went. At the beginning of last summer, I came up with a list of things I'd like to get accomplished. I didn't get any of them done. A few months ago, I realized it was summer again and I could accomplish them this time. Again, they didn't get done.

The last 5 or 6 months in particular have just been a blur. I attribute it mainly to not having any real stimulation in my life. I do the same thing every day, every week, every month, etc... and I've finally started to realize it.

I don't like to use the term "dropped out of school," but I guess that's what I did. I prefer the term "took a break." Anyway, I took a break from school last semester thinking it would help recharge me mentally. I just got burnt out of school and thought a break would help me.

It didn't. I just became a walking zombie. I know it's hard to comprehend how you can just wake up one day and realize that half the year passed before you. But, that's what happened. I realized my birthday was coming up and suddenly wondered where all the time went.

I'm just in a rut, I guess. Maybe I'll get out of it soon. I've realized there's a problem in my life and I know that I need to correct it.

Will I? Ehhhhh... We'll see.