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Yeasayer

HAHN: A Take Away Show

Yeasayer

Two years ago a friend of mine, Jake, showed me a music video on YouTube by a band called Yeasayer. It captivated me somehow. I played the video almost non-stop. I made my friends watch it and listen to it. If there was ever an occasion to play music from a laptop I would inevitably switch over from iTunes, load the video and play it. I loved this video — and still do.

The title of the video is “Yeasayer – No Need to Worry / Redcave — A Take Away show.”

The video features four members of the band — Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, Anand Wilder, and Luke Fasano — singing two songs, “No Need to Worry” and “Redcave,” as they walk through and eventually board a subway in Paris.

Hahn

After seeing the video, I got my hands on one of their albums, “Odd Blood.” I enjoy listening to it, from time to time, but it doesn’t have the same appeal as the YouTube video. It lacks a certain je ne se quoi, pardon my French.

What I find so incredibly cool about the video — which sets it apart from most other music videos — is that it was apparently shot in one take, was filmed on one handheld camera and was sung almost completely a cappella. The only instruments used were a few spoons (most likely pilfered from the venue where they preformed just prior to the filming), some bottles of beer, a glass (most likely also pilfered) and a pitch pipe (used for tuning).

This is very impressive to me is that typically Yeasayer uses very heavy instrumentation and musical effects in their studio recordings. The extremely stripped down versions of these two songs have an almost haunting quality than compared to their studio versions.

The video seems all the more cool for the fact the band members even debate whether or not they want to participate in the filming of the music video during the first minute of the video. There is no way to adequately relate to you the neatness, spontaneity or just shear coolness of this video without watching it. Watch it, please.

Kevin Hahn

The cast of the Jersey Shore. Yep, no stringent social code here.

HAHN: Water at restaurants

In late August, my friends and I celebrated the 22nd birthday of my friend Mike. Following the conference of conflicting tastes, wants and needs which occurs every time a largish group of people try to decide where to eat out, we decided to eat someplace where none of us had been before, Gem City Pizza. We got there, walked in and we were seated. As the waitress took our drink orders, something peculiar happened. Out of the seven of us, not a single person ordered anything but water.

Hahn

At first glance this doesn’t seem to be all that odd. There is no rule that seven people can’t all order the same thing. It just seems improbable that out of seven college men not a single one got soda, tea, beer or any of the 26 other drink options listed on the menu. (Yes, I counted http://www.gemcitypizza.com/menu_jpg_6.php.)

Normally, I would have just thought it weird and let the occurrence fade into my memory. However, now I have a blog which mandates that I try harnessing my random thoughts into something useful. Also, since the first instance several weeks ago, I have noticed similar occurrences time and time again.

In order to help put to rest this question and hopefully further scientific progress, I will explore the reasons for this behavior. Following is a report on my attempts to answer this random question: Why do my friends always order water at sit down restaurants?

Through limited study and observation, I have determined four possible reasons why this trend occurs.

***WARNING: This report fails to apply any standards or scientific principles of any type. It fails to meet even the most minimum benchmarks of any science including psychology, anthropology, sociology, ornithology or mixology.***

Theory 1: People order only water because there is a massive underground movement to topple the partial hydrogenated corn syrup industry. This boycott of soda makes sense because corn syrup is a major ingredient in most soda/pop products, and since there is an unexplainable coolness about anything that is “underground,” people feel the uncontrollable urge to participate.

The cast of the Jersey Shore. Yep, no stringent social code here.

Theory 2: Our society is becoming ultra-polite where soon it will be socially unthinkable to order anything different than what the person before you ordered or else you will terribly insult him or her, his or her tastes, and his or her family. This would effectively ruin the premise of the Samuel Adams commercial where four business men sit around a table, two of the snively yes-men order waters until the one young up-and-comer orders a Sam Adams. Upon seeing this boldness the obviously older and most senior business man throws three sheets to the wind and gets a Sam Adams too, thus condoning drinking at business functions. If theory 2 is true, society would effectively stamp out individualism and free thought in exchange for a strict social code. This stringent social stratification is an incredibly unlikely scenario based on evidence proffered by the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Theory 3: Everyone orders water because they are college students who want to save money. Since water at most restaurants is free, it makes sense that college students — who are normally strapped for cash — would opt for the lowest priced item. Even though this is a generalization not backed up by any evidence, it appears to make a lot of sense.

However, I feel safe in saying the following theory carries the most weight and the highest probability of being correct.

Theory 4: Somehow humanity has evolved to a point where some individuals can telepathically control each other’s actions, and then for laughs, those people with this ability get their jollies by making the rest of us order water. This is the most likely scenario. Almost all the evidence supports this claim. We should therefore accept the yolk of our new telepathically superior overlords and simply hope that they spare our feebly minds.

Kevin Hahn

Hahn

HAHN: Good, wholesome blogging

Hahn

Hello readers. My name is Kevin Hahn, and I will hopefully be providing you with some good wholesome blogging for the next few months detailing all things college. You will get to accompany an eclectic, diverse and motley group of my friends and I as we live in, explore and discuss things in and around Quincy.

This blog will span the wide range of things to do AND places to see, all while offering some stunning social observation and commentary. One week might include a visit to a local restaurant, the next maybe we’ll take in a movie, perhaps visit a local store or shop, and who knows this could devolve into a chronicling of the minute life details of a college student in the Greater Quincy Regional Area. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

I am a senior at Quincy University. So, many of my posts will revolve around the area surrounding QU, and in stereotypical college student fashion — I don’t want to spend money on gas. Likewise, as the “poor college kid who thinks Ramen Noodles® and beer are their own food groups,” I won’t be able to review really fancy restaurants. Most likely any restaurants I might review will be ones that I go to in the course of my regular daily life; unless of course, the Great River Restaurant Association wants to start subsidizing this blog (wink wink).

From time to time, I might depart from the everyday experiences in the area and delve into discussions about pop culture, current events or random thoughts that cross my mind. Please bear with me on those occasions, but I’ll try and make them as entertaining as possible.

I hope you are as excited as I am to get started on this blog. I promise that it will be worth your money. I’m assuming of course that you have to pay exorbitant sums of money for the supreme privilege of accessing this wonderful website: www.thelocalq.com. I would guess somewhere around $50/month would be sufficient.

So, if you are a grownup living in the “real world” and you want to relive your time at college, a fellow studious college student looking for some cool unique things to do in the area, or anyone wanting to waste a few minutes before watching a YouTube video of a cat who can stand on its hind legs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVV_HXtEbLo), please check this blog out in the future.

Kevin Hahn

McGuire

The Panel of Women Answering Questions About Women Team

McGuire

My sources (every other commercial stating that He went to Jared, and every kiss in the history of kisses has begun with Kay, which really if you think about does not shine a good light certain women only willing to trade a kiss if Kay Jewelry is on hand) tell me that February is the month of love. Today, being Valentine’s Day is the focal point of all of this whole month’s love. Today millions of people will receive flowers, candies or cards sent by either lovers or by themselves to ease the pain of loneliness. These gifts will be sent out thanks to the Catholic Church designating the day in the 5th century to prevent a bunch of pagans from sticking with the usual tradition of slutting it up on this day… sorry did I kill the romanticism a bit?

With today being Valentine’s Day, it is hard to avoid the pressure of providing all of the right elements to make someone’s day special. I realize that all of you men out there come to this blog for your love advice, and you are relying solely on this article to understand how to have a good relationship. Unfortunately I know nothing, an extensive knowledge of Batman does not impress ladies like you would think, and the method of hiding behind bushes and staring provides little more than restraining orders. In order to gain a better understanding on the subject I assembled a panel of the womaniest women around. These ladies have been ladies for almost twenty years so they are qualified to provide this insight. So for Valentine’s Day questions and more I give you:

The Panel of Women Answering Questions About Women Team (it’s a working title)

The Experts

1) The panel was shown a picture of chocolates, a stuffed animal, flowers and homemade stuff and asked to rank the most desired gift. Homemade things and flowers tied for first, stuffed animals came in third and chocolate in a distant fourth. Comments: “A lot of those boxes of chocolate have good ones but then some gross random ones.” “It is very sweet if he takes the time to make something, it shows he put time into it and it is unique.” “Flowers are always good.”

2) The Panel was asked to put together an ideal Valentine’s Day date. Some sort of surprise during the day, flowers sent to class or to work for example. Depending on the length of relationship preparing the dinner yourself is amazing. Even if you are not a good chef apparently, it is all in the effort and the act. Comments: “Do something unique to make the date memorable.” “One time my friend’s boyfriend dressed up as a gorilla and brought her bananas to class that said “I’m bananas for you,” it was cute, kind of awkward, but she will always remember it.” About the type of flowers: “Red roses are cliché but always a safe bet.” “If you know the girl well you should be able to put together her preference, if not go with the roses.” There was also an expression of hatred for Carnations during this exchange.

3)  Does the Man always have to pay? “No, this isn’t the 1950’s.” “It depends on who did the asking out. If the girl asked the guy out then it she can pay.” “It depends on how long the relationship is, like if it’s a first date then yeah, but should not be expected.” “One guy never let me pay for anything, and it made me feel uncomfortable like I was indebted to him.”

4) Please rank what matters most: A) Looks B) Profession C) Personality D) Intellect E) Financial Status

1. C) Personality was first across the panel. 2 D) Intellect 3 B) Profession/Status 4. A) Looks

Comments: “Personality matters the most by far.” “There has to be an initial attraction but looks fade and do not matter for longterm.” “I’m glad my father is bald so I am use to baldness.”

Next up I read the panel some statistics I found online and asked them to react.

More than 43 percent of women have said “I love you” back to a guy, even though they didn’t mean it. An additional 12 percent of women haven’t told that fib, but they would, if they didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

“Yeah that does not surprise me.” “I believe if women were being honest the number would be much higher than 12 percent.” “It is a very awkward position to be put in.”

Less than 20 percent of women would dump their boyfriend if he became fat.

“Yeah I would not dump him for being fat; I would be concerned about his health.”

75 percent of women cry at least once a month, with 33 percent of women crying at least once a week. Additionally, 99 percent of women believe that real men cry.

“I think mainly our tears come from movies, books and most of all stress.” “Sometimes I have cried just to have a good cry.” “As long as he is too sensitive and emotional, it is okay for a guy to cry.”

Next I presented a couple questions that were submitted by friends.

1. What the hell? Why is….why am I not good enough, this is bull [crap], why can I give and give and it is not enough? What do they want? Do they want presents? A nice guy? A bad guy? I’m a great guy, I have a future, What do you WANT?!

A: ………………..hmmm……..

2. Is it okay to do relationship stuff with all of the new technology such as texting, e-mailing and social networking?

A: “Texting is not an option for important stuff, it is hard to get the message across, never ask a girl out through a text, that is a phone call or face-to-face job.” “My friend’s boyfriend told her he loved her for the first time through a text message yesterday.” (The entire panel looks disgusted, woman number three pukes) “It is hard to figure out on break ups, like if they live far away face-to-face might not be an option, plus when sending a text you do not know what the girl is doing at that moment.”

Next I showed the panel pictures of Einstein (brains), Indiana Jones (rugged, adventurous, a muscley dude) and Captain Jack Sparrow (pirate) asked them to pick most desirable.

1. Indiana Jones (because he would be all of those things)

The answer to everything: Be this guy.

This concluded our panel discussion. I hope that valuable information can be found here. I would like to thank the Panel of Women for being so open, honest and helpful. Men out there … basically be like Indiana Jones. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jacob McGuire

McGuire

Tis’ the season for ugly sweaters

Hater's Gonna Hate

I would like to be the first to inform you all that the Christmas season is upon us. Aren’t you glad that you read this blog for this groundbreaking news? So it’s almost Christmas, time to deck the halls, and go to people’s doors and demand Figgie pudding, whatever that is. It is a time to be with family, until said family has indulged in too much eggnog and dad is screaming about how much you have let him down in the past year, and the cops have to be called because your ol’ uncle Charlie wanted to “wrestle”….just me?

The point is everyone has their favorite traditions during the Holiday season and we happen to be right at the peak of my favorite: Ugly Sweater Christmas Parties.

For some reason Christmas has inspired clothing designers from all over to stitch on reindeer, snowmen, penguins, kittens being cute next to a poinsettia and anything else that might have something to do with Christmas,  a cold environment, or the overall mirth of the season. It seems no regard is taken for how cheesy the sweaters can be; throw in a cute little saying people will buy it for the sake of holiday cheer.

Mike on the other hand was finding all the great stuff.

The existence of these sweaters has made it a holiday tradition for people all over to congregate in a social setting wearing these ridiculous holiday sweaters. I enjoy these parties so much because of the silliness they allow. There is almost no limit on how absurd the sweaters look. One person walks in with a green sweater and Rudolph smiling back at you, and then someone enters sporting a vest that has a Christmas tree on it and real bows on the vest decorating the tree. Interactivity seems to be a must for the sweater designers.

This holiday season I urge you to get out there and get your hideous Christmas sweater. Then sport it proudly to every Christmas function, or even just around the house or on a trip to Wal-Mart. I have always had the best luck finding the worst sweaters at the second hand stores. People who buy them first hand must give them away every year to make room for the latest and the greatest. Be sure to check early though, this year my friends and I made the mistake of searching on a Friday. As that would be the first weekend of ugly sweater parties, the selection was minimal. Salvation Army had been picked over and unless I wanted to snug into a child’s medium (not possible)

McGuire

then I would have to look elsewhere. The crossing had none but one of the employees informed me that they were just recently cleaned out but would have more next week.

With just a few hours before the party I had to think fast. Why not just do what the designers do? I found some holiday decorations and safety pinned them to a red vest. Boom, I spread my Christmas cheer all over everyone. As a bonus I had safety pinned a snowman bag to my shirt and it acted as a cell phone pocket. Functionality meets style. So everyone keep searching the thrift stores, or make your own but eventually you will get the ugly sweater that is right for you. Merry Ugly Sweater Party Season everybody!

Jacob McGuire

McGuire

Rough Monday? Hopefully this can help.

Oh crazy cat never could figure out the toothpaste.

Mondays … Garfield the Cat and I are not very fond of them.

Luckily the internet can provide enough interesting and entertaining content to help get through even the dreariest money. Warning: If you are like me and have a paper due shortly stay away from these links. They lead to more links,  yada yada, more surfing, next thing you know, THE PAPER IS DUE.

McGuire

Comedic Legend Leslie Nielsen has passed away. RIP:

http://www.imdb.com/news/ni5824724/

Up close and personal looks at things you should probably never see up close and personal:

http://www.cracked.com/article_18871_12-things-youll-wish-youd-never-seen-under-microscope.html

I can get behind this:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html

I do not agree with these results:

http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/vader-vs-voldemort-whos-better-chart

All penguins all the time:

http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/EZPenguinCam.html

Cover of the week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ugRrbwzdlc

Giada De Laurentiis

Having an arch-nemesis, also known as Project Pat

Giada De Laurentiis

I am a strong supporter of having an arch-nemesis in one’s life. I am defining arch-nemesis as someone involved in a certain area of your life where there is a level of competition. Whether this competition is legitimate or in your warped little brain, it is imperative to not be out done by the arch-nemesis. This could be a coworker, fellow student, workout buddy, or even a second cousin. The importance cannot be stressed enough.

Having an arch-nemesis helps keep you on your toes. The presence of an arch-nemesis does not allow you to get too comfortable, and can help prevent settling for fear of your opponent one upping you. Batman has The Joker, Optimus Prime has Megatron, Gary Busey has the voices in his head. While the stakes might not seem as high as those examples, I can assure you the danger is very real with my newfound arch-nemesis Pat.

Pat does not want to be called Pat, he wants to be called Patrick or his real name Richard. As he is my arch-nemesis it is part of my duty to never give into his wishes, or unreasonable demands. For the past few months I have been wandering aimlessly, my past nemeses were no longer around. The previous one I took care of once and for all last spring. Just kidding, he graduated and moved on, or did he? I should have known not to get too comfortable, because there is always a new nemesis lurking nearby. Like me, Pat is a Resident Director at Quincy University. Pat oversees a staff of three Resident Assistants, but I have four, so I win. It is a nice gesture to provide the RA’s with a snack during the weekly meeting. I believed that I was doing well by buying ice cream bars for the meetings. In my mind everything was going well, the residents had not burned the building down and the RA’s were enjoying weekly ice cream. Everything changed one week however, when one of my RA’s made the following statement: “Pat makes dinner for his staff every week, and he brought us some chicken parmesan last week, why don’t you ever make us dinner?” Cut my life into pieces. That is how Pat became THE arch-nemesis.

To help combat Pat’s dinner offensive, I called upon the help of the love of my life, Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. Though some might say I am obsessed with Giada, I would not because that has a negative connotation.  I would call myself a spirited fan. I decided it was time to actually look at the recipes and not just the pictures in my Giada’ s Kitchen cookbook: Veal Chop Saltimbocca, Fennel Slaw with Prosciutto and Pistachio Pesto, Swiss

McGuire

Chard and Sweet Pea Manicotti.  Let’s just say these recipes were intimidating, especially because my culinary specialty is eggs in the microwave. I finally found something doable in the Just for Kids section of Giada’s book. The Sweet and Sticky Chicken Drumsticks looked simple and the picture looked delicious. Despite guesstimating the amount of ingredients without a measuring cup, a balsamic vinegar spill, and not reading that the chicken needed two hours to marinate, the dinner got a big thumbs up from the RA staff. I did not have to use the “just in case frozen pizzas” I purchased, and I got to bust my first garlic clove, a proud moment in every man’s life.

So, all together the meal was a success and I was able to keep my arch-nemesis at bay…for now. This does not mean I will rest easy, for I am sure that as I am typing this he is buying his own Giada Cook Book, or perhaps renting Rachel Ray for a cooking session. Who knows what lengths my opponent will go to defeat me, all I know is that I will be ever diligent, and I will buy some measuring cups.

Jacob McGuire

McGuire

Quincy needs to organize some flash mobs

McGuire

My current obsession is something called a flash mob. A flash mob is defined by Google as “a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, and then quickly disperse.”

The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media or viral emails. I have dedicated my daily Youtube allowance (I had to set a limit on my Youtube time or things just would not get done) to watching successful flash mobs all over the place.

Below are a few funny and creative ones:

Frozen Grand Central flash mob

Flash mob prank

Flash mob welcomes home a total stranger at airport

I hope you enjoyed these videos. I love the potential for how much harmless fun this could be, and as you see with the last video, you can even make someone’s day. For these reasons I think it is time to bring some flash mobs to Quincy, but I am going to need some help.

If anyone would be interested in getting involved in a flash mob contact me on my email at mcguija@quincy.edu for more details. Otherwise just visit back here to see how ours turned out.

Jacob McGuire

ironing board

Drop the pants and go to improv class

The other day as I was ironing my slacks, I realized a horrifying truth: I was ironing “slacks.”

Technically they were Dockers Worry Free Pants and they were stain resistant, perfect for some kind of meatball sandwich catastrophe. The sad part was that it was 10 p.m. on a Thursday. I was not even planning on wearing said slacks in the next few days. I was just getting prepared for the next slack wearing occasion. I looked with lust upon the flawless crease, I sighed heavily at the perfect inseam, just kidding I am not even sure what that means.

The point here is that it was a Thursday night. For the past few years my motto was “Thursday is the new Saturday, let’s do something crazy.” (I am paraphrasing a bit, but I probably said something like that once or twice.)

What does this newfound Thursday night activity mean? Am I growing up?  Am I just a step away from “Murder She Wrote,” coupon clipping, early bird specials, comb overs, mispronounced new technology, and incontinence? I fear my gums are receding, AHH! These so called “Worry Free Pants,” were sending me into a quarter life crises.

I became determined to do something fun next Thursday evening. No Angela Lansbury for me, not on my watch. I even wrinkled up the pants I was ironing.*

I have learned in my time at Quincy that great times can be had but sometimes you have to be willing to get out there and make your own fun. The opportunity came sooner than I expected. I was walking to my car after Blues in the District, when I saw in a window a new business putting on its finishing touches. The business is a school of performing arts called Center Stage Music and one of the classes shown on the window was improv.

I love everything about improv, I love the spontaneity, the randomness, never knowing what to expect next. When visiting friends in Chicago one of my favorite things to do is to go to the IO Theater which boasts such alumni as Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Scott Adsit and Tim Meadows. I love the show “Whose Line is It Anyway.” I realized signing up for this class was a must.

I gathered a group of my friends and that following Thursday we attended our first improv class. I cannot stress how much fun the hour and a half class was, so I will try and improv it: The improv class was so much fun it heavily pet me into submission. (Give me a break I only had one class). We played a variety of different games from Freeze to Props. At the end of the class even the friends that I had to drag to the class could not wait for the next week.  Visions of grandeur filled all of our heads, next stop Saturday Night Live.

Center Stage Music is located at 132 North 5th Street. The school is run by Chenille Saunders and offers lessons in guitar, voice, theater, piano, trumpet, ballroom dancing, wind instruments and so much more. The next time you find yourself ironing slacks on a Thursday night, drop the pants and call Center Stage Music at (217)357-6683, and learn a new craft.

*After further thought I realized it would be silly to wrinkle perfectly good pants just to prove a point.

Jacob McGuire

McGuire

Mayonnaise Ice Cream: The Art of Pranks

McGuire

My friend Kevin is a great guy. Kevin takes part in community service, opens doors for others, and believes that children are the future. Kevin is well-read, works hard and respects his elders. Another fact about Kevin is that he is incredibly fun to pull pranks on.

I am not sure of the reason why Kevin is so great as a recipient of these monkeyshines. (I look up prank in a thesaurus.) Maybe it is the high-pitched shriek he lets out when he has been wronged. Or maybe it is Kevin’s polite innocence that opens up so many great opportunities. Whatever the reason, whether it is as simple as a public de-pantsing or an elaborate “Home Alone” like setup in his room, Kevin is just fun to prank.

There has been one discovery that has helped immensely in the pranking of Kevin, or as I just decided we would call it — The Kevbot Assault 2k10©. The discovery is Kevin’s disgust and pure hatred of mayonnaise. Any time someone uses mayo at a meal Kevin gives a look of revulsion. The smell of mayo causes Kevin to tremble and gag. It is like Superman and Kryptonite, The Green Lantern and Yellow, Storm and tight spaces, Aquaman and umm land? I do not know, could Aquaman get out of the water?

The first mayo attack on Kevin was barbaric but effective; mayo was simply wiped on Kevin’s unsuspecting face. A disgusted freak out followed the attack. Recently my friends and I decided to get Kevin again on a more elaborate mayo trick. The setup was to hide some mayo in a bowl of ice cream.

The night of the trick everything was going according to plan. It was around Mike’s birthday, so the setup was that a few friends were coming over to enjoy cake and ice cream to celebrate. We squeezed three large tubes of Miracle Whip into the bottom of a bowl. As everyone arrived I handed them a bowl of ice cream and cake. When Kevin arrived his special bowl was brought out of hiding and it blended very nicely with two scoops of ice cream and cake. Everyone pretended to be going about their business all while keeping an eye on Kevin waiting for discovery of the unwanted ingredient. Remembering the results of the last mayo prank, I inched a trashcan closer and closer to Kevin with my foot. We anxiously waited and waited…and waited as Kevin finished the entire bowl even scraping the bottom. Funny faces were made a few times but that was only a response to the cheesy Steven Segal movie that was being viewed.

My jaw dropped, “um Kevin you just at an entire bowl of mayonnaise ice cream can you please explain yourself.” “What, that was mayonnaise? I thought the cake just tasted really bad but I did not want to hurt your feelings.” Kevin’s politeness ruined the prank. Thanks a lot Kevin, your politeness saved you … for now.

The next day I did a follow up interview with Kevin and he had this to say. “I’m a little sore about the whole thing.”