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September 18, 2007

My Conversion

So, this guy pictured, Leroy... he has officially turned me into a "cat person". His sister, Elenore, is cute, but look at that little face. Each morning when I come down to take a shower, he meows, walks up to my feet, and waits for me to pick him up.

I was raised with dogs, and always thought they were a superior animal. Plus, I've always had minor allergies to cats. However, now that I started with the kitten, I think I will forever love this guy, and his kind.
Karen's mom explained it to me like this:

"It's like babies! They suck you in when they are little and cute and innocent and they grow on you and you get used to them - and then when they turn into "teen-age" Conrads (one of their three cats) and bite you - it's ok because you remember when they were cute and cuddley!"

I knew I was in deep when I ran upstairs just to get my camera. Elenore was doing something "cute".

Posted by cory at 1:28 PM

September 17, 2007

The Giant Golden Book of Cut Up Charley Harper Illustrations

So. Remember when I said I found this awesome book, with Charley Harper illustrations?

Well, it turns out it was a first edition. Check amazon, and ebay for how much they're going for...

Whoops. I guess I could have potentially made 600-800 dollars. Oh well, they look nice on my wall. I should frame them for sure now.

Posted by cory at 10:55 AM

September 9, 2007

"Something To Write Home About"/My First Emo Band, Dolly Comma.

The first image that pops into my head, is me, 16 years old, loading my huge Marshall Amp into the back seat of my 1989 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. It's fall, I'm wearing my favorite blue hoodie, and I'm on my way to Seth Miller's house for band practice. This is the first thing I see, in my mind, at the opening of "Holiday" off the Get Up Kids, Something To Write Home About.

As the years have gone on music is less and less exciting for me. It's sad, but at the same time extremely beautiful. My favorite albums now will probably be my favorite albums for the rest of my life. And it's not necessarily because they're "good" albums. They're just "my albums". It's the music I grew up to.

The following will be a series of my (very) personal favorite albums (CD's, or Records, if you prefer those terms. I've always called them "albums"). The first, The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About, was the first album that brought me into my emo phase.

I guess I'll start with when I first heard it. It's 11:45 pm, I'm on a bus, a church bus, and the teen group is heading to a golf/arcade/lazer tag all-nighter. I'm next to my friend, Caleb Palnau, and we're not talking. We just listen to our CD players. I was listening to Five Iron Frenzy, or MxPx, as this was still my Ska phase. Every now and then, I could hear Caleb's music coming from his headphones, and I think I remember being surprised by it. It didn't sound like the usual thing we listened to. After spending 6 hours or so playing lazer tag, driving around go carts in the freezing cold, playing mini-golf (hastily), and trying to sleep in the arcade, we got back on the bus for home. Caleb was too tired to listen to music, so he let me borrow the album he was listening to, telling me, "It's really good. My friend showed me it. It's emo."

As the sun was rising, I couldn't believe my ears. The melodies were strong, and the guitars were complex. It was beautiful music. Passionate. Sad. Emotional..uh...Emo. When I got home I listened to nothing but the 30 second samples of the album on AudioGalaxy (Did anyone else use that? It was like Napster). I NEEDED to buy it. This is something I miss, that feeling of NEEDING music. And perhaps I did it to myself downloading so much music, but I don't feel like I NEED music at all anymore. I like things, and I "love" things, but I haven't really fallen in Love with anything in a couple years.

Fast forward a few months, I'm at another youth group meeting, this however is not my youth group, but my friend TJ and Seth's church. We're at a small "cool, christian" coffee house. The type of place that sells Jones Soda, Lattes and books cool christian rock bands. Somehow, while Seth and I were talking, the Get Up Kids popped up. A friend had just showed them to him, and he couldn't believe how good they were. Again, fast forward a few months, and Seth asks me to start an Emo band with him.

The first practice is me, Seth, and Ryan Rhadigan. I always saw Ryan around school, and at Herb David Guitar Studio. I knew he was a cool guy because he had a MxPx sticker, Five Iron Frenzy sticker, and Get Up Kids sticker on his guitar case. We play in the corner of Seth's basement. A place I still miss. We wrote a song that night. I don't remember the name of it, but needless to say, it was incredible.

After rounding up a few more people to play with us, we formed, Dolly Comma. I was not there for the naming, as I had to go home. It was a school night. They told me the next day in the hallway.

"Okay." I said. It sounded good enough to me. "Why, though?"
"It's...[blah blah blah]."

It was the mix of something, and the choir teacher's accompanist, Dolly. Later, at one of those "if-you-sell-enough-tickets-talent-showcase" in Detroit, at the Majestic theater, we were called Doly's Coma. That was our last show together. Our first show together was at a high school party, in someone's backyard next to their half-pipe. We screwed up our song. We played it again. We messed it up again. We finished our set with an improvised cover of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So". I kind of knew the guitar part. After us, Petting Zoo played (who also featured our singer, Mike and bassist, Mike), and a kid got naked on the half-pipe.

The Get Up Kids were our main influence. We all listened to "Something to Write Home About". Our sound was a mix of them, The Cure - so we were told after a show-, and the pixies (we covered "Where's My Mind?").

Somehow this post has strayed away from the Get Up Kids to Dolly Comma. And it makes sense. This is what I mean about my favorite albums not being about the albums. It's about the important memories, and moments when I grew up with music. Listening to "Something To Write Home About" (as I did tonight on the way to, and back, from Nest), all I can think of is being 16. My sophomore year of high school. Dolly Comma. Hanging out with people I miss a lot now. This is getting sentimental, and too nostalgic. I feel like this isn't even going to be fun for anyone to read.

I really want to have a Dolly Comma reunion, and record the experience. I think I'm going to email everyone, or "Facebook Message" them about it. If we can't play the songs anymore, maybe we can just listen to The Get Up Kids, Radiohead and Bright Eyes, and talk about old times.

Posted by cory at 9:58 PM