Thursday, August 24, 2006

...write that down...

I was watching Van Wilder the other day and it gave me a few key pieces of advice, that I'm trying to keep locked in my head prior to my Boston-adventure. The advice is as follows...

"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."

"Don't take life too seriously...you'll never get out alive."

The wise and all-knowing Mr. Wilder was dead on with both of these little quips. I know I've got a big hill to climb sitting in front of me with this move. I'm going all the way across the country to a place that I've only been to once and that was for three days to find an apartment. I've got no job and I'm pretty much guaranteed to get nailed in the face with a fist full of culture-shock.

But what's a brotha gonna do, right?!

That's right. I could freak out about it, but that's not gonna make it any easier or better for me. I can't assume that any of the afformentioned facts make this a life or death situation (unless I get mugged)...so basically, I need to sit back. Enjoy the time I've got left here in the Midwest and just roll with the punches from here on out.

Which should be fine, because that's how I roll...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Unemployable?!

As many of you know, I'm currently engaged in a rather unsuccessful job hunt on the east coast. Thus far the most response I've received from any potential employer is either "sorry, we've already filled the position" or "thank you for your interest Mr. Graves, we'll be in contact."

The "sorry, we've already filled the position" thing...that I can handle. I mean if you found someone better, great. I'm happy for you. I don't have a lot of experience in anything except being a library bitch, so I can understand that.

It's the whole "we'll be in contact" bullshit that's really starting to twist my corkscrew. These people, these "professionals" if you will, give you this quick one liner that is supposed to give you a slightly elevated sense of hope and maybe even a quick shot of euphoria (which tastes just like a Scooby-Snack, by the way). However, when about a month has passed and you've found yourself making numerous additional inquiries with little to no feedback, the afformentioned hope and euphoria are replaced with negativity and self-loathing (which tastes a lot like dog piss, by the way).

During the four-plus months that I've been scrambling to find employment in Boston, I've received a total of ZERO...that's right...none, zip, zilch, nada, not a single f'n call-back. Now this would seem logical if I'd simply sent of resumes and left it at that, but alas that is not the case.

In this four-plus month employment marathon, I've sent out nearly 100 different applications, resumes and/or cover letters. In addition to the paper work, I've called and/or emailed a majority of these potential employers and received the good ole "we'll be in contact" line.

"We'll be in contact." It seems like such a simple little phrase. One that imply someone may contact you. In fact, it doesn't just imply potential for contact. They don't say "we might give you a call...or maybe not"...no, no...what they say is "we'll be in contact." Perhaps contractions are a bit more complicated on the east coast. Maybe we'll isn't actually the combination of WE and WILL. Maybe in Beantown we'll actually means "there is no chance in hell that we will..." (insert: be in contact).

Roughly ten minutes ago I made a phone call to the Massachusetts Historical Society. I was applying for a job as a Library Assistant person or something...it doesn't f'n matter. The point is...I called three times. I emailed twice. I sent out my resume and cover letter two days after the job opened.

Finally, today...nearly three weeks later...I actually got through to a human being. Once on the phone she didn't have the fortitude to actually tell me that I wasn't getting the job. Instead she beat around the bush and told me that they had a lot of applicants and they usually hire people from the library school down the road.

This was followed by a long, rather awkward silence.

It was at this point that I figured out she was trying to tell me it was Game Over for this job...but she didn't tell me. She just sat there and then gave me a quick "good luck..." and hung up, like she was scared. Very professional way to handle the situation.

I'd like to keep ranting, but I have to go back to work. The job I DO have...for at least another two days. *sigh*

Hopefully, this whole job thing takes a very positive turn soon...because this shizzle is really starting to drag a brother down.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Musical Theory 101

Do you ever just get really into certain songs? I get that a lot. Like, I'll hear it one day and then I'll either scramble to find out who it was singing it or whatever so I can download it (because I'm too cheap to buy a CD).

Now once I've got that biznatch downloaded, you can expect to hear that song about 10,000 times within the next four to six hours. Why? Beats the hell outta me. I always complain when a song is overplayed on the radio...Rob Thomas and Santana "Smooth"...this means you! Yet, I'll do the same thing when I have it on CD.

Today I'll try to explain this paradox by using some recent examples combined with various theories I have as to why I overplay songs...

EXHIBIT A: The Music Video Effect
EXAMPLES: "Our Lives" by The Calling and "In the End" by Linkin Park

Now although this song isn't new by any means, it is a song that I've been overplaying like crazy lately. This is because of what I'll refer to as the music video factor. Most times when I hear a song--and I've never seen the actual video--I make up my own music video in my head. As such, for "Our Lives"...I picture a music video that is largely a montage of me and my friends growing up together and hanging out and whatnot and then the eventual split-up that is unavoidable in all friendships as we all go our separate ways. (PS: "Separate Ways" is totally a Journey song that I've also rocked out too...) Now this one has a slight edge over the others as I actually made a video montage of me and The Boys and used this song as the closing song to the video...so by default...that will ALWAYS be what I picture when I hear that song, as I assume it will be for everyone else as well. The Linkin Park song consistently makes me think of wrestling. Travis and I always talked about making a music video to hype a match between the two of us...and this was the song we wanted. As such, I always picture that music video in my head.

EXHIBIT B: Pure Love of Voice and Music
EXAMPLES: "Change" by Tracy Chapman and "Such a Way" by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

Now this one was a rare situation where I was so entranced by the song that I actually ran out and purchased the CD. Yeah, I know....the Dutch guys prys open his wallet--with a crowbar, mind you--and purchases a CD. Crazy! Well first and foremost...Chapman has the most incredible voice ever. I just want to make love to her voice. It's not even funny.

This one caused a chain reaction that had me playing this song, accompanied by about half the other songs on the CD, for nearly a month and a half. The same has become the case in recent memory with a Massachusetts based band called Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Basically these dudes rock my socks clean off. The song "Such a Way" has more soul and feeling in it than most angry, lesbian poetry...and that's a lot my friends...a whole lot!

In this scenario...there was no music video effect. This time there was only the pure love of the voice and the music. In this case, overplaying a song or songs is--in my mind--not nearly as large of a tragedy because the music rocks. If I were doing this to a Jessica Simpson number, however, I'd pretty much need to be shot.

EXHIBIT C: Danceability and Sing-a-Longitude
EXAMPLE: "Gimmie Some Lovin" by the Spencer Davis Project

In this example...I can't say it was the "Music Video Effect" or even the "Pure Love of the Voice and Music"...the reason I overplayed these songs is two-fold and in my case...two of the most common reasons.

Danceability and Sing-a-longitude. This is a classic tune that you can't help but start jiving to and if you're strong enough to make it all the way to the chorus, it is next to impossible to avoid belting out the phrase..."Gimmie Some Lovin'" at the top of your voice...just try it. You'll see what I'm talking about.

EXHIBIT D: Old School
EXAMPLES: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey and "Be Like That" by 3 Doors Down

Everyone has a list of maybe 5-10 songs that seem to pop up fairly regularly either on burnt CDs or in their MP3 playlist. these are songs that have been around for awhile...some a LONG, LONG while, but still remain favorites.

I have a decent list of these songs and if you ask any of my close friends...and/or...anyone who has ridden in my car more than twice in the last decade and they'll pretty much be able to rip off about half-a-dozen songs that you could expect me to have on any given CD I ever burn.

These songs are there because they are old school favorites. Songs that have a certain meaning from the past or simply are your past. Songs define a big part of who we are and where we are in life when we think of a song. "Freshman" by Verve Pipe is one that will reverberate with my generation forever, as is anything by Hootie or the unforgettable "Closing Time" by Semisonic. These songs stick with us and send our minds immediately to a certain place and time. For about five generations of kids The Beatles have been a mainstay in the Old School category. Face it. Whether you're into EMO or Punk or Rap or whatev...you still have a favorite Beatles song. If you say you don't...you're a f'n liar!

So there you have it...my four theories for why I overplay songs. These songs I hear fit into one of those categories...and/or a fifth or sixth category that I'll think up when it's not two hours before I need to be to work...ugh!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Worst Blogger Ever...

Hmmmm...I'm not much of a blogger. I had a blog. I did it for awhile, then I quit. I had a blogging site dedicated to baseball and the other dudes bailed, so I quit. I tried blogging here, but quit.

I think the moral of the story is I'm a horrible blogger.

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However, here's a quick recap of things going down in the World-o-Graves.
1) I have one week left in Mankato...I -HEART- Mankato

2) This time next month I'll be living in Boston.

3) As of right now, I'll be unemployed when I get there.

4) I'm still getting Red Sox tickets.

5) Johnny is in California. Johnny stole my state. He sure as hell better stay away from San Diego...or else!

6) Travis is madly in love with me.

7) I'm nearly done slaving at the MSU Library and I'm contemplating sabatoging the place on the way out...just because I can.

8) My dome light fell out. I don't even know how, but it hit me in the head and now it just dangles there.

9) Craiggers makes a mean hot dog, but alas, Mike makes a better burger.

10) It's RibFest!!

11) I miss Grace...

12) The Twins could be in the playoff hunt!

13) I think I could play for the Kansas City Royals. Not a starter, but like a fifth outfielder.

14) I like scramby eggs...but not with onions in them. I do, however, like onions on/in other things...just not my f'n eggs!!

15) See...this is why I quit blogging....this is so f'n lame!