I have never been a big fan of sandbox games. I tend to either finish the main (and often lackluster) story without ever engaging in the side quests or just screwing around(Fallout 3), or I meander around the world for a few hours before getting bored and moving onto something more focused (Skyrim). Far Cry 3 is the first sandbox game to truly suck me in. Every time I saw a side quest, a hunting contract, or a radio tower, I felt compelled to drop whatever I was doing and go kill the specific pirate, hunt the tiger, or scale the disturbingly rickety cell tower instead. Somehow Far Cry 3 managed to push all of the little “100% completion” OCD buttons in me, and I loved it.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector is my favorite Christmas album. Featuring the Wall of Sound treatment on all of the songs, it is Phil Spector’s greatest LP statement. Spector’s signature sound is well suited to the child-like and festive qualities of Christmas time, although the Wall of Sound hadn’t become spiritual yet at this point. The vocals of the girl groups are very innocent and a little erotic: good for Christmas time, but maybe a little too innocent for record buyers at the time of its release, the same day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The album was a commercial flop, foreshadowing Spector’s decline from his position as the most successful record man in America. But it’s worth a good listen—especially this time of year!
A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
Label: Philles Records
at 11:40 AM
Downtown Portland is really something that should be taken advantage of at Christmas time. The lights and view down each street blows my mind each time. I never want to leave. I’ll try as hard as I can to intentionally have a few hours to spend eating, getting hot chocolate or something, taking pictures, or just wandering whenever it’s possible.
at 11:37 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The OES Fencing program certainly has not been the one under spotlight for the past couple of years. With few people participating, and a small number of tournaments every year, are reasons that this elegant sport loses attraction. However, with a lot more new blood and motivation, this year the team may make a difference.
at 10:44 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The albums of the 1960s.
The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds,
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks
These two introspective albums from the 1960s are the greatest pop albums I have ever heard. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison’s first solo long player, is otherworldly. Released in 1968, it defies all genres. Musically the album is built on endless wandering woodwinds and strings over repetitive chord changes and Morrison’s rhythm and blues influenced descending vocal lines. Each song has a unique affect, conveying a moment of intense emotional clarity. The songs, which run together in stream of consciousness fashion, depict a person’s personal emotional narrative. Maybe I formed these ideas through the bit of pretext I picked up years ago from some newspaper clipping I read that saying that the album is about the failing of counter culture in the 1960s. I was surprised how subtly the music and lyrics evoke innocence on side 1 of the album. In fact I am convinced the newspaper article’s interpretation of the album is merely speculation; the album is much more enigmatic. It is true that on the second side of the album, the singer seems much more knowing, wise. However, he is no less overwhelmed by his emotions. I don’t know how real the idea was that supposedly filled the heads of the youth of the 60s and that supposedly declined to some extent in the proceeding years.
at 9:41 PM
With all the stress with finals coming up, I've been able to keep sane by watching hilarious videos and visiting websites with random, and hilarious gifs and pictures. I hope these cheer you up!
Ok... I've realized (as I'm uploading these links, videos and pictures) that I have way too many random pictures that I've screenshot over the years of looking up random funny things. So...look for a part 2 in 2013!
at 11:25 AM
There is a lot of information that is starting to circulate around the Upper School regarding this year’s developments for the Student Leadership initiatives of last year. Though the general consensus regarding the initial proposal last year was negative, there are some who feel more hopeful this year. “We've come to a consensus that there will be two groups that have been labeled temporarily as social and policy,” said Alex Chabert, Student Council President. “I think is a really good idea,” said a student. However, they did voice the concern that they think “there should be one president and those two different groups.” “It is important to note,” Chabert emphasizes while explaining the two possible StuCo groups, “we have not severed ties between the two.”
There are some students who echo the concerns of last year. “Honestly, I think they are trying to hard to fix a system that wasn’t really broken in the first place,” another student says.
This is obviously a challenging topic. But the OES Student Body is willing to tackle the issues. “My personal motto is ‘you don't know until you try,’ so who knows. Changes could make it better or worse, but the way this process has gone, we won't find out which until we have tested new methods,” one student responds. "But that doesn't mean I don't like it. I feel that the current form of student council runs things well," the student adds.
The changes that have been made so far (the new responsibilities for class boards), however, have been well received. "I like the set-up this year," a student said. So far, it sounds like we might be on the right track. More to come soon on this issue.
If you have any concerns or suggestions, please visit the Student Council Website.
at 11:10 AM
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Last Tuesday (27th) StuCo met for half of the school day to present their research (which they have been doing since the beginning of the school year). All four grade reps (Cameron S., Alexandra U., Michael B., Aya T.), the dorm rep (Howard X.), Secretary (Galen P.), Treasurer (Sean J.), President (Alex C.) and Vice President (Cammie O.-F.), were accompanied by head of Upper School, Jordan E. and a faculty advisor, Deb W. to discuss their research.
at 9:46 PM