Evan LaBrant's Blog

A Bit of Sustenance.
February 26, 2010, 7:39 am
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Somewhere early on, my musical tastes diverged irrevocably.  My interest in Nu-Metal was a stark contrast to the love for jazz I discovered in high school.  Undoubtedly, I would never have moved forward from Nu-Metal and into new areas of music if not for several important events.  First, I found myself playing in a jazz band at school.  While this band may not have been stellar, the experience required that I listen to this vast and previously unexplored genre.  (I speak egocentrically, of course. I, personally, had never explored jazz.)  Second, I met a gentleman my senior year by the name of Craig.  Mr. Wiley poured new and strange musics into my head, I think with the intent of instilling an understanding of the history of punk and alternative music.  What I came away with was something much more transcendental.

Many may spend their entire lives without ever allowing more than 30 seconds of unpleasant music in.  Melodies, chords, and rhythms (or lack thereof) never previously encountered can, at first, be odd and unappetizing.  Most individuals I have discussed music with generalize unfavored genres with onomatopoetic outbursts, accompanied by a snarl and profuse salival discharge.  Hearing the odd meters and spoken vocals of Slint for the first time, I too snarled.  The Jesus & Mary Chain pushed the limits of “acceptable”.  Listening to new musics didn’t necessarily bring me to full appreciation of punk or psychopunk or anything in between.  What listening to music from Craig taught me was the ability to listen to music I initially disliked, hated even.

I would argue that one’s musical “tastes” are a sum of divergences.  As of right now, a divergence many years ago has led me to where I sit: between two disparate and irreconcilable genres.  I imagine two tree branches.  Thick.  Aged.  Years ago, these two branches were part of the same tiny cluster of cells.  Now, each protudes meters into the wind to soak in that cosmic, mysterious energy music seems to contain.  Two examples:

It may seem silly to write for twenty minutes about the nature of a musical dichotomy, but after comparing these two songs you may understand.


February 23, 2010, 6:57 am
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Boy meets girl in chemistry.

Boy thinks there is chemistry.

Boy does shit-loads of chemistry homework for girl.

Boy does shit-loads of thinking about girl.

Boy discovers there is no chemistry.

End of semester.

Girl evaporates.

End of story.

General Update on Project Ish
February 18, 2010, 7:18 am
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So, not a whole lot has happened in the last couple weeks but here’s how the project is coming along.

A couple weeks ago I planted about 400 seeds, some of which are both transgenic and herbicide resistant, some that are not.  This weekend I sprayed them with a lab-grade herbicide; plants died.  So the plants I have left are assumedly transgenic.  Today (2/17) I transplanted about 75 plants into pots to grow out.  Unfortunately, I was hoping for more like 200 plants, but this will have to do for now. 

The post-doc I work for, Paolo, also just dumped a huge load of callus material from tissue culture on me to analyze.  While this might seem exciting (for those who understand my nerd spirit that lives deep within), I can’t help but be a bit overwhelmed. 

So, this may sound terrifically boring; it is.  But I’m buried and would have it no other way.  The best part about science is that one is never expected to simply surmount any given body of knowledge.  We are simply required to remain at the forefront of intellectual progression and chip away at the information frontier.  I can only hope I have the privelage to remain at this forefront, carefully chipping and cataloguing.

On a lighter note, I met David Hasselhoff today.  Asked him how Pam was.  Got a good chuckle.  Good times.

Oh, Wednesday. Wherefore art thou Wednesday?
February 10, 2010, 8:52 pm
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Everyone seems to have a horrible case of the Wednesdays.  Literally every girl I’ve run into today has been exuding exclamatory signs of the raging red tide and every guy in class has been unshaven and grumpy.  Maybe the party of the century happened last night (a Tuesday night? Doubtful).  It could be the humongous storm quickly sliding over the Tucson Mountains to the Southeast.  By the time I have finished this blog, the storm will be flailing huge drops of rain against my eighth story window. 

I’m thinkin’ it’s the latter of the two. 

Anyway, the subject of the day happens to have nothing to do with Wednesday or PMS or rain or any of the above. 

My high school career was spent well outside the social construct of the “social elite”.  Seeing this odd bunch from the outside, I have come to both resent and loath the culture.  I hate to pigeon-hole anyone into a stereotype, but profiling can reveal shades of truth about most social groups.  I resent the social elite for their elaborate lives and endless reserves of cash flowing from mom and pop’s wallet.  My loathing derives from the group’s existential attitude of superiority. 

Now, I have been referring to “them” as one collective; I understand that every school has their own batch of plastics.  But as a conglomerate, they become a metamorphic amalgam of money and attitude.  Put two clusters of plastics in a house with booze for long enough, and what do you get?  One beautiful mess of vomit and streaked mascara. 

Obviously, I am a tad jaded.  Here the resentment shows its shadowed face.  The social elite did a fabulous job making high school hell.  And while I’m two years and 1,500 miles out of high school, I still remember the exclusive lunch tables, prom limos and parties to which I was never privy. 

This is where I’m praying for a deus ex machina.  I happen to have met someone who could save the entire population in my head.  This would be quite a feat, and a wonderful rarity as my entire experience with them seems to be rotten.  Cheerleader, athlete, prom queen, wealthy, valedictorian, etc, etc, etc.  Saving grace, or last nail in the coffin?  Only time can tell.

Here Goes Nothing
February 2, 2010, 3:18 am
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Well, as required by my fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, I am reactivating my Facebook.  This could be a good thing, I suppose.  I could use it to stay loosely connected to people wherever.  Mind you, I will be unfriending 300 or 400 people, but they are simply humans I can’t even say I’m “loosely” connected to.  Yeah, we went to the same high school, but so did several thousand OTHER people.  Anyway, I’m back on Facebook.  Hit me up.