Friday, November 25, 2011

Me gusta

Over the weekend, I had a chance to attend a hymnfest that was happening at a local church.  What's a hymnfest you ask?  Well, let's see.  Imagine, if you will, Kiss, a Tyrannosaurus rex, 1,000 apple pies, and a year's worth of fireworks all got together for one hour of fun.  Now picture the opposite of that.

Boom, Hymnfest.

                                                         Bizzaro Hymnfest.

I kid.  In reality, it was rather interesting.  In all, it was about two hours of history, choir singing, and Lutheran humor followed by an hour-long coffee and cookie session in a church basement.  Not bad. Not bad at all.

The highlight of the afternoon came when we were about 15-20 minutes into the program.  At that point, we were far enough along into the program that one could gauge how much of the show was remaining by simply looking at the bulletin.  I was bolstering my determination to make it through the program when I happened to look at my dear 82-year old grandma sitting next to me; she had begun to slouch in her chair as her breathing leveled out into a nice, sleepy rhythm.  My brother and I had spent the morning with my grandma attending church, dining, and playing Rummikub, and even I, in my youthful, energy-filled state, was beginning to droop.  I slightly nudged my grandma to make sure that she kept from snoring when she jumped a little and squinted at me.

"Hey, you woke me up!" she joked as she poked me back.

I could not stop laughing.  Being in a chapel filled with people dutifully listening to choir music did not help the situation.  Those settings only seem to make things 10x more comical.  I dry-heaved and snorted for about 5 minutes before my mother shot me a "SHAPE UP, SON" look.  Man, it's been 10 years since I've gotten one of those.

All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon.  I just had to share that moment with my grandma.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The man exhaled a quiet, triumphant sigh; his lungs had long awaited this moment.  As the man stood, he instinctively began to straighten his back.  He had learned to pleasantly endure, and now almost began to expect, the argument he began to hear as his body realigned itself to the world.  No more would he have to subject it to long hours of odd positions and grueling labor, his mind struggling to keep itself committed to such detail.  He could finally rest.  He had finished the house; his father, had he lived to see this moment, would certainly be proud.
As he dusted off his hands, his wife appeared from inside the home. “We did it,” spoke the man.  His wife nodded to him and returned inside the house.
As the man entered the house, rather his home, he sat down next to a radio that was ablaze with unusual activity.
“…nobody knows where or what this even is.  Nothing of this likeness has ever been reported or even talked about.  This is absolutely something out of legend. Or myth. Or… God knows what.”
“Can you speculate its direction? Where is this thing headed?”
“It seems to be traveling in straight line and…”
A strange curiosity began to creep into the man’s recently forged mental state.  The same story was being broadcast on each station that the man could find.  Piecing together the scattered reports, the man learned that a strange column of light had appeared out of seeming nothingness.  The column of pure, inexplicable light was methodically tracking its way through nearby townships to the north.  Estimates placed the column close to 72 feet in diameter, yet acknowledged that the sheer luminosity of the column made it difficult to measure, let alone observe.  As the pillar traveled, it engulfed everything in its path, leaving nothing behind but scorched earth and debris in its wake.
An uncomfortable weight pressed the man as he walked outside and to the end of his lane.  To the north, the man could barely begin to see outlines of a strange, swirling cloud formation.  A line of cars caught the man’s eye on the nearby county road; most made their way north, but a few were seen making their way freely to the south.  The southerly cars were made even more peculiar by the belongings that were strapped at every angle to them.
The man returned to his home and began to clean up; the white paint on his hands masked a few of the cuts and scrapes on his weathered hands.  The house had welcomed the changes he had brought, but that was not to say that it had not put up some resistance at times.  Splinters, scratches, and a bruised thumb adorned his hands.  He scrubbed and scrubbed until the last flecks of paint were off of him. 
The man returned to his porch, unwilling to glance to the north.  The pit in his throat reminded him of the distraction that the world had briefly focused on moments before, but that it was already beginning to grow weary of.  There would always be another storm, another catastrophic sampling of nature to be sought out and found.
The evening drew on.  The man, tired from his long hours, put on his best suit despite having no plans for the evening.  He preheated the oven to warm up some leftovers from the night before.  While he waited, the man returned to his porch.
The column now roared one-hundred yards from the man’s home.  The man could audibly hear a groan emit from the churning, radiant beast as it methodically crept towards him. 
As the man finally addressed the column, he hated it.  He began to feel every muscle tighten, every aggressive thought that he had long since buried begin to come forth.  Yet the man could not condemn the pillar; a strange attraction could be found within its terror.  The man rose from his chair, a blank look on his face.  Again, he straightened his back as he had begun to do so many times before.  The oven’s timer sang that it was ready.
The remaining travelers that continued to track the light stood in still in their shock.  Since their banding together, they had not witnessed anything of this scale, this unsettling inevitability.  The light had journeyed for miles and miles and destroyed anything it touched, yet it had never encountered another property or structure.  The column now seemed drawn to the home, just as the man now drew himself closer to the light. 
The man stood squarely in his yard, tall in his determination.  A constant, blank glaze on his face was all that the onlookers could make out.
Slowly, one by one, the onlookers began to wave, to jump, to yell at the man to move, to get out of the way.  The man stood undeterred; the blank look was all that he betrayed.
A few onlookers began to move down from their observation point as screams began to quicken in their urgency.   No one would be able to reach the man, despite the strength of their legs or lungs.
When all had seemed final, the man raised a fist.  Brows furrowed and legs apart, he began to yell, to scream at the column.  Spittle flew from his mouth as he raged against the light’s encroachment upon his life.  His home, all that he had built, he argued and fought for, challenging the light for each inch of ground it swallowed. 
And then he was gone. 
The light engulfed the lawn, the fence, the porch, and finally, the home.  Room by room, the column screeched.  Efficiently, systematically the light left nothing to be pieced together following its aftermath. 
The column then began to flicker as it seemed finally satisfied in its task.  The dim roar faltered, finally ending altogether.
The onlookers took a moment to hold one another, to make sure that they could do all that they could to help each other out.
Then, one by one, they began to disperse.  They returned to their houses, their homes, and returned to their lives.  No one spoke of the man.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Good day, interwebs!

After over a month of not writing down any one of my thoughts, you would think that this would be going a little more expediently. Sadly, however, I have now watched a full twenty minutes of The Simpsons before daring to venture this brilliant opening paragraph. This is what I get for trying to write at home. Bah. I've never even voluntarily watched any of the Simpsons shows. I'm losing my mind.

The past month has been a blur. As I review former posts, it seems like a decade has passed since I was rabidly drooling over the new Thrice album that was to come out in September. A lot has happened since then.

Like Shark Week showing up on Netflix.

While that's great and all, it seems to cheapen the anticipation of Actual Shark Week. The other 51 weeks now lose a certain dark charm by having sharks accessible 24/7.

      "This shark's main diet is helicopters and man's desire to ever go near a beach."

                                                             Seems legit.

I've now moved on to Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations." I have dearly missed my friends Bourdain, Zimmern, Alton, and The Soup after having axed cable at the start of this year. I've saved a boat load, sure, but I had nearly forgotten how engrossing these travel-the-world-and-stuff-your-face shows could be. I'd have to pinch myself each morning if my 9-to-5 was to simply eat, drink, and be merry to earn my keep. Well, I'd excel at it for a few weeks before my puns became passé or my liver decided that it didn't want to be pickled alive.

Bourdain just used the word insipid. What a fun word. I, too, shall find a way to slip it in here somewhere...

The argument for Shark Week parallels an argument I heard about baseball earlier this week. As the World Series wrapped up, baseball became the topic of every radio show that I listened to while driving to work. That's quite remarkable considering that we're well into football season.

The argument was made that although baseball interest may be rising in the States, Major League Baseball is not marketing itself as well as other sports leagues (except you NBA. Nobody will ever like you). The argument continued to say that the availability of baseball was hurting it's success. On any given day, one could find three or four games being televised, analysts reviewing past games or bickering about on-base percentages, Little League updates, fantasy statistics, and on and on and on... It was no longer the hallowed time set aside each week to watch your favorite team handle the opposition with skill and precision.

To be honest, it would be nearly impossible to record one week of games and actually look forward to watching them at a later time. At some point, you and I both know that you would come across an outlet that would leak out a score or a grand story of so-and-so's late-game heroics.

It seems to be a theme that can be related with many other situations. Be it food and drink, shark watching, a national past-time, a band (guiiiiilty), or work, I'm stressing moderation. It seems that an excess of what you want has its drawbacks.

Be thankful that we live in a time and place that allows us to have what some online jokesters have adeptly coined First World Problems. The next time your phone takes three seconds (instead of two) to unlock, traffic seems at a standstill, or the reception on your TV shorts out (Yeah. It still happens.), please, keep your cool.


Children of the Mind - Orson Scott Card
Justice - Michael Sandel

Thrice (naturally) - Major/Minor
And whenever I study, any blues or jazz rock that I can get my hands on.

Go Raiders.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"You have the right to remain SPRAYED IN THE FACE"

Good day, interwebs.

I fired up my computer with all intentions to promptly begin writing. Those intentions evaporated as soon as I noticed Pandora's new format. As I toured the updated site, nostalgic ol' Sum 41, Blink, Zebrahead, and Goldfinger helped keep my feet happily tip-tapping as I began to confuse people sitting nearby. Then Bowling for Soup popped up and quickly shattered my mental vacation. They're the closest thing to having someone hold your head steady as they vomit directly into your ear. Blech.

There have been a few things in the news that have made me shake my head of late.

News broke out about a handful of protesters in New York City that were doused with pepper spray by a rogue officer with an itchy trigger finger. I certainly don't know all the details surrounding this event, so I'll attempt to restrain myself from assuming too much about what happened.

Essentially, there has been a group of protestors - apparently comprised mainly of young, twenty-somethings that have declared war on the bourgeoisie for being rich, fascist pigs, or something along those lines - who have occupied a stretch of territory near Wall Street to hold a week-long gathering. As it so happens, the NYPD were inevitably asked to reinforce what could and could not be done while the protest partied onwards. At some point, the police were setting up a makeshift fence and bumped boundaries with a small section of the protestors. As showed in a video, an officer seems to randomly - and without provocation - douse four or five young ladies as they mill about inside the fence. This scene has prompted an explosion of responses worldwide debating things from the Constitutional rights of the crowd to the demanding of the officer's resignation.

                "Would somebody PLEASE stop whoever is playing 
                            that damnable Bowling for Soup?"

Here's my take:
A) It's one officer. I realize that the NYPD has some notoriety for being brash, violent, and thuggish, but one should keep in mind that this is a single officer's action, not the department as a whole. The sheer volume of responses that directly accuse all police in all locations of being brutes that abuse their power is sickening. I don't feel as though someone could claim widespread police brutality from this lone incident. If the police were authorized to use such force to ensure the general tranquility for the rest of the public, then the officer's actions are excusable to a certain degree. Again, I'm not privy to that kind of information, so I can't make that assumption.
I am going to assume that at some point in his career, the officer has been subjected to a battery of verbal assaults from the general public. Frustrated by having the police interrupt their day, John C. Public seems to think that it is fine to lob his frustration at the officer that has confronted them.

It's similar with telemarketers, I guess. People love to tell stories about how they challenged a telemarketer and beat them in a trolling game of logic. Congratulations. That solves nothing. It only makes you look like an ass.
The police also have the lovely task of directly dealing with the portions of society that are usually avoided by others at all possible costs. Officers get it from both sides: sneered at by the public, insulted by frequent offenders, and now accused of being tyrannical agents of the faceless government. Being chastised daily by people is certainly no excuse to randomly start spraying people, but it wouldn't kill us to be civil and respectful to the people charged with upholding our statutes and laws. Is it any wonder that there is enmity between the police and the general public at times?
Again, I don't know the officer. Maybe he is a grade-A d-bag.

B) Someone hacked into the NYPD's records to release the information of the officer that did the spraying. That's concerning. Where's the public outcry for this officer that had this happen to him? "Oh, F that guy and his rights. He's a jerk. We're worried about our Constitutional rights, not his. Who cares if we broke some laws to distribute this man's information. Breakin' laws is a great way to get the support of the police." Double-standards. Sheesh.

C) After cruising their website - the group is called "Occupy Wall Street" - I had a general skepticism towards them. I also realize that I am biased towards the law enforcement in this situation (biased enough to write this, I guess). The group comes off as your average, run-of-the-mill squad in many regards. They do make use of the word 'revolution' a tad much for my taste. They also make it a focus to videotape everyone saying reinforcing phrases such as, "We are the 99th percent," and, "Join us. Join our conversation." There is also a large portion of their website dedicated to show abuses the NYPD has shown some of their members.

(Yes, I had some Conspiracy Juice this morning and a tiny voice in my head is claiming that the pepper spraying is being used a publicity stunt. If that's the case, next time simply hire a bunch of skateboarding cats wearing cute party hats. That's always a crowd-pleaser.)

                                  ...go on. You have my attention.
As a twenty-something, I certainly emphasize with some of their points; but not their tactics. The military-esque feel of the march and protest - it all feels like a great way to spend a week with your friends, but not really a stellar way to get your message across. Sure, you can heckle the wealthy or make fresh, exciting promotional videos to gain support, but I feel as though it somewhat reinforces some of animosity between the groups. If I was a wealthy, monocled-and-top-hat-wearing fat-cat and I was getting ribbed by a group of good-for-nothin whippersnappers, I wouldn't stop to hear their points. I would simply rue the fact that I hadn't purchased a warehouse full of 1980's sunglasses to sell to them.

Overall, it's not the most jaw-dropping bit of news out there by a long shot. I'm sorry to report that I was sucked in to a non-story by sensationalist media. Shucks.

In all reality, it's a topic that's incredibly important to some, and I apologize if my light-hearted take failed to address certain points. I realize that there are many sides to this story and I'm sure that I could write plenty more on this. However, this seems to be quite long already. I also hoping to address the new laws dictating drug testing for unemployment or welfare candidates, but that can wait for another day, my friends.


Xenocide - Orson Scott Card
I'm on a big Card kick again. Empire series was OK, but I'm back to finish book three of Ender's series. Hiphip!

Your Republic Is Calling You - Young-Ha Kim
Korean spies! Eep!

Major/Minor - Thrice
It seriously may be the last music you'll ever need. It's glorious.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heavy Metal Painting


Two posts in the short span of 24 hours?
Holy crap.

I spent the day demolishing a basement and attempting to rebuild and frame new rooms. It was a blast. After we ate supper and wrapped up shop for the evening, I used my newly-found love for crafting things and I returned to the garage to continue the mayhem well into the evening.

On impulse, I selected Dragonforce to accompany me on my mission. I'm fairly certain that I caused the neighbors and random passerbyers quite some confusion as I screamed, sawed, and painted to Dragonforce's sweet, melodic tones. As you cruise through the rest of this note, please feel free to turn up the following link to eleven and pleasantly begin headbanging at your leisure.
I used some leftover materials to fashion a gift for Paul, a roommate that has to put up with the wreckage and construction noise right outside his door. Since he enjoys inviting friends over to play beer pong, I plan on making a neat soccer-themed pong table for him. I sanded down an old section of a shelf and primed it for tomorrow's painting. I hope it ends up looking decent. Regardless, I (roundhouse)kicked open a Rolling Rock, threw my fist up in the air, and majorly rocked out to some intense priming.
Phase one: Primed.
I thought it necessary to wave the brushes in front of the camera for this shot. I'm an idiot.
With the creative juices still flowing, I ventured onto my next project. I've been yakking about carving a chess board since, oh, May, and decided that tonight was as excellent a night as ever to begin practicing on how to go about making a homemade chess board. A few weeks ago, Phill and Seth helped craft a model Lego chess board which turned out fairly well.

It was also kind of fun to spend a Saturday evening playing with Legos. Perhaps I should go out more...The chances of me meeting my dream girl would be substantially higher if I was out and about as opposed to playing with Legos in my kitchen. Hmph.

What's also cool - my dad found a little tin soldier tucked away behind a furnace hot-air return duct. The soldier's in the photo with the Legos. It was a sweet little treasure find, I'll admit.

Anyways, here's a shot of my first ever wood carving. It looks like total ass. If Pinocchio ever had a illegitimate, alcohol-fueled love child with Sorry™ piece, this is what it might look like.
Horrific, right?
It's a start. Try not to pay attention to the crack on his right hip. I kinda sorta chiseled him in half. Perhaps I'll hold off on the Rolling Rocks until after the sawing/chiseling.

                    Me bottle caps. Me precious, precious bottle caps.

Right. Well then. I'm off to either sleep, p90X (hahahah yeah, right), or watch some Premier League. If you have any artistic suggestions or recommendations, feel free to comment. I could certainly use a hand!


The Templar Knight - Jan Guillou
Meh. Still...meh.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stairway to Failuredom


A conversation about things from the 80's sparked my interest this afternoon. While speaking with a friend as she cut my hair, we discussed different ideas for an 80's party that is coming up in a few weeks.

Let it be known that I'm watching "The Song Remains the Same" while I write. It's a movie chock-full of Led Zeppelin doing what they do best: blowing peoples' minds. Page is strutting around in huge lifted shoes as Plant jiggles by himself off to the side. It's awe-inspiring. Between just the two of them, there's enough chest and head hair to choke a horse.

                              "Do you feel a draft, James?"

While the Zep isn't permissible for an 80's gig, plenty of other things are still open for use. But this is not what is consuming my brainpower for the afternoon. Instead, I was trying to remember some of my earliest memories from the (gasp) 80's. As strange as it might sound, some of the easiest memories that I could dust off involved regrettable actions on my part. I'm not overwhelmed by the fact that I can't let these things go. I mean, there's little I can do now to change them at this point in time. For some reason or another, I'll share with you all some of my saddest, most embarrassing moments. Bon appetit!

*Side note*
The camera just panned to the audience during Page's solo in "Since I've Been Loving You." Every person had a blank stare and a jaw scraping the floor. It might be the drugs.

1) Psychological Warfare
Growing up with two other brothers, people always ask me if we fought often. The answer: No, not really. However, when my older brother would, inevitably, beat me in a game of knock-out or let's-kick-a-ball-real-far, instead of shaking his hand and commending his brilliant efforts, I'd slink off towards his room. Once there, all blurry-eyed and full of 5-year-old Hulkrage, I'd mess up his bed, drop clothes on the floor, and kick stuff over. Rage subsided, I'd nonchalantly stroll off with a winning grin on my face.
When I spoke to Ben about this, he calmly replied that he never once noticed that I had ever done that. Hmph. I'm just going to have to step it up a notch next time...

2) Dearest Friend, Under the Bus You Go
Each summer, I would get to spend one bliss-filled week at church camp. The week would be filled with chewy, mass-produced meals, awkward "Oh, look a girl! Let's get her to like us by pretending she doesn't exist" tactics, and card games. Lots and lots of card games. One afternoon during recreational time, I was learning how to play Euchre with my friends in our cabin when I noticed some strange kids about to enter the adjacent hallway. From what I recall, these kids were slightly older than us, and being so, were subject to our scorn. While they passed by our open doorway, I spoke a little too loudly to my friend that those kids were "gay (or whatever classy 90's word kids were using back then)." The kids stopped, backed up, and came into the room while asking who had said that. There sat brave little me on the floor, straight-faced and sober, as I slowly raised my finger to point at my friend, Brian. Nothing happened after that, but I still feel shameful for being such a coward. I brought this moment up to Brian a few years back who mentioned that he, too, didn't remember such an event. He is a greater man that I. God Bless you, Sir Brian.

*There was just a backstage moment where some policemen kindly let in a few teenagers through the back door so that they could enjoy the concert. Completely astonished, the kids thank the officers and skip towards the show. That's how legends are made.

3) Open Mouth, Insert Foot
This last one takes place a little more recently than the others. Fresh out of college, I was working nights as a security guard around Omaha. Oh, it was glamorous. I was armed to the teeth with a company Jeep, a shiv-proof vest, and a book of Sudoku puzzles. I was also dating a wonderfully perfect gal at the time. It was a summer filled with moonlit walks, conversations over coffee, outdoors plays, and Chinese food. It was heavenly. There was one downside, however, and that took form as a large and unavoidable crossroad towards mid-August: she went to school in New York. One evening, she carefully trekked into this as-yet-unmentioned territory. My response? Something to the effect of, "Oh, yeah. I'll still write you from time to time and you can be my go-to-gal whenever I'm failing to understand future girlfriends." Single-handedly the dumbest, most asinine thing someone could say in response to that question. A Romeo, I am not.

Geez. This is getting long. Apologies.

Have I learned from my past? I'd like to think so.
Are there more stories of stupid things I've done? But of course.
But that's for future posts.

Go out and do some good, peeps!


I rediscovered a Mp3 disc that I had made back in 2005 recently. It's packed with Blindside, Jimmy Eat World, Thrice (naturally), Hoobastank, Foo Fighters, Metallica, 311...and some other bands of which I'm not too proud of. Needless to say, I found myself driving the long way home so that I could listen to a few extra songs. Yay!

Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
I tore through this in a matter of hours. It comes recommended, but it can be demoralizing. Picture Catcher in the Rye mixed with Californication.

The Templar Knight - Jan Guillou
Meh. It was a Border's-going-outta-business sale. It'll be a nice little break from anything too heavy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gee, I wish all my posts made cents...

Hello, all!

While cruising through my inbox this morning, I came across a forwarded message that had all the markings of "Psshaw! Not readin' this crap!" spam. I made a few emphatic raspberry noises, one while selecting the adjacent box and one while selecting delete, and then giggled to myself over the fact that I still derive pleasure from making those aforementioned noises. You should try it sometime, though. It's quite satisfying.

*Note: The first toot has to be of a higher pitch than the second, more drawn out noise.*

                                      ,,¡ɥʇqqqqqqqd `ɥʇqqqd,,

I tracked down the email in the deleted column and, for no odd reason whatsoever, I began to read it. Immediately, I was transported back to when I encountered my first chain letter. I was an inquisitive youngster somewhere around the 2nd grade and I found myself the lucky owner of a note from someone who I had, at the time, considered a friend. Little did I know that if I failed to pass the note on to ten of my other friends, I would break this letter's ancient streak and some unknown tragedy would befall me. I was close to tears as my mother, after having glanced at the note, lightly tossed it towards the garbage can and politely told me not to worry about it. I cursed whoever had given me the note and began to prepare for the worst. Long story short, I guess mom was right (yet again) as everything turned out to be just fine. I haven't suffered any mystical maladies of recent memory, but I do have an odd looking butt-chin and horrible luck with women.

I don't think that those stem from a chain letter from the 90's, though. It's also strange that this is one of my earliest memories, too. Hmm. Moving onwards...

I cruised through the email which told a blahblahblah story about a woman who questioned her fantastically wealthy boss as to why he stopped one evening over a penny before picking it up and placing it in his pocket. Her boss replied that he always stopped to pick up loose change since the words "In God We Trust" inscribed on the coin reminded him to pray. Bam. My perspective on finding random pennies was forever, uh, changed. I love encountering things in my daily travels that remind me to pause and thank the Lord since I can be somewhat scatterbrained as days go on.

Less than an hour later, after having ordered a coffee at the 'Bucks, I walked out onto the patio to find two pennies sitting at an open table. I put my new Penny Philosophy into action and laughed a little to myself about how amazing the world can be. I took one penny with me and ever-so-benevolently left the second one for the next wayfarer.

It sure beat the old "Oh, hell! That penny is upside down! AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE!" philosophy of years past.

I hope you're all well in your worlds! Keep a steady watch out for loose change!


Lamb by Christopher Moore - It's a comical view on what Jesus' possible antics were between the ages of 6-30.

Trying to get into La Dispute. It's random...but there's hope for 'em yet.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Afternoon ramblings (Now with more calcium!)


Pleasantries aside, I'll get right into the thick of it.

Since the creation of this page, I have been restlessly awaiting for the time at which I'll actually write a few lines of stimulating content. Comical run-ins and fan-boy worshiping of bands - however incredible they might be - should not define the extent of which I write.

Rather, I would wish to write of times where I have devised, stumbled upon, unveiled, or witnessed ideas or events that simply begged themselves to be shared with others. At these times, I feel an energy and a passion that rarely hits me. It is the type of fury that causes me to latch onto an idea, expand upon it, excitably theorize "what-ifs," and ultimately sprint off on tangents before I can sufficiently resolve the originating idea. I will attempt to explain myself more clearly, but if I should come across as a wee bit deranged, well, at least this could prove to be an enlightening glimpse into the vanishing mind of a crazy person.

While reading at a local coffee shop (a familiar site to a high proportion of these 'epiphanies'), I had the wherewithal to quickly scribble down some of the concepts that I wished to lay out on the examination table for operation. I was reading through "Speaker for the Dead," a sci-fi novel associated with the more recognizable "Ender's Game," and found myself wandering from the pages to dream and philosophize about some of the concepts that were taking place in the book. Normally what would happen would be that I would think these heavy thoughts, tell myself, "Attention, Self! Important thoughts ahead!" and then return home to eat a sandwich and inadvertently allow the thoughts to fade into obscurity.

Oh, no! Not today! The sandwiches can wait!

I'll reveal my notes to see if there's any support or interest in what I spent my walk home contemplating. Secretly, I wish to write a novel someday that would centralize a few of my thoughts on the world, behavior, relationships, etc. into one orderly, tangible place. I'll also note that I have a tendency to think an idea or passage is pretty stellar, only to come back to it the next day and think to myself, "Wow. What a load of garbage." So, some of these 'epiphanies' may not be all that great once the dust has settled. I'll also split them up over a few separate posts. I don't want your mind to wander too far. FOCUS!

We'll see where this goes...

Note 1:
Humans "advanced?"
-food, sex, reactions

In Speaker for the Dead, there is a commentary on humans feeling pity for other things that aren't quite as great as they are. The book describes the collective observation of the Hundred Worlds (mankind) as a new alien race is found on a planet. In all of mankind's existence, there was only one other life form, the "buggers," that was encountered. Ultimately (**spoiler alert**), the buggers meet a grim fate as they are systematically destroyed out of fear and misunderstanding with the unwitting help of the protagonist, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. With the discovery of another race, the "piggies," Ender leaps at the chance to make sure that things go differently this time around. There are many more sides to this story which undoubtedly provide more depth, but I simply cannot do the book justice with my limited review. It's great; read it.

The author, Orson Scott Card, uses the piggies to critique some of the inherent flaws in man. It felt similar to the style C.S. Lewis used in The Screwtape Letters in which he used a discourse between a few demons to illustrate similar flaws in human behavior. Card describes the debates at which people argue what's best for the piggies without even understanding some of the piggies' simplest of actions. Simply put, it aggravated me to read about the actions that were discussed, however plausible and valid they seemed to be.

I left the pages at this point to daydream about this concept of mankind's place in the hierarchy of things. With technology, careers, constructions, and statuses, who wouldn't want to be human? Nevermind if one should find themselves lacking in one of these areas. Nevermind the selfishness that runs just below the surface of our skin; the first reactions to secure one's self before others (that's MY parking spot, that's MY spot in line [MY time], the you shouldn't have that, I shoulds). Nevermind the deceit, corruption, war, hatred, discrimination, and intolerance of others.

Well...I might be stretching on that last line. I need to lay off the caffeine.

I simply want to convey that while being part of the homo sapien taxonomy is unarguably great, I don't want to lose sight of where we could be going. Where we can make advancements in the way we think and communicate. Where we set our eyes onwards and upwards to greater things. It's too easy to become complacent behind this feeling that mankind is at its peak. I can certainly feel like the most dignified and evolved chap in the room during any given day, but once you place a stack of BBQ short ribs in front of me or let me pass by a swimsuit calendar at the mall and it's bye-bye 'civilized' me. I rather wish that more people would recognize this urge-driven beast inside them so we could formulate plans and means to go about dealing with it.

I wonder about what we would hold as important once we began to solemnly and resolutely address our shortcomings and ignored a few of the distractions of the world.


Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card
Lamb - Christopher Moore

Someone this summer renewed my interest in Sum 41. And yes, I can still sing along to 90% of the songs. It's miraculous how the brain works, no?

Random picture to illustrate my stance on the whole pirates vs. ninjas thing.

Ninjas win. Ninjas always win.

Saturday, July 23, 2011



It was, yet again, another wonderful week of adventure out at camp!
My weary soul could not wait to get home, brush my teeth (soul's have teeth?), and begin to make a list of next week's preparations. I added the list for one main purpose, however, and that was so that I could have something to put off for another time in order to nap. Procrasto-naps are the BEST. You should all try one sometime. But not now. Do it later.

I received a warm welcome from my brother and friends and quickly set about catching up on recent news.
Then I picked up a magazine, laid on the couch, and, well, I don't remember what happened next.
It was heavenly.

During a mid-nap stretch, I rolled over to a nearby computer and squintily began to see what was going on in the world. Being in a forest all summer has somewhat limited my exposure to world events. For the most part, I've been OK with that. The hipster in me wants to begin a rant about how much "Daily News" is actually news, but I have something much, much more substantial to jabber about.


Thrice released a free download of a new track listed on their Major/Minor album due in September. There were also tour dates, a kind message of support, and lots of chatter from fans about how "epic" Thrice is.

How did I react to this information, you ask?

Well, it's now 2:30am and sleep seems far away. "Yellow Belly" is on repeat and I am in absolute euphoria.

I am thankful for moments like this.

Here's the link to Thrice on PureVolume if you'd like to check it out. Lyrics are linked through Lyrics make everything better.
No, Thrice makes everything better.

More to follow, I'm sure.


Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card

I think you know.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Hello, all!

Summer is fast approaching its midway point for me. Without any doubt, I can say that the past six weeks have been a true blessing. The counselor position came about so unexpectedly that I hardly had time to consider what I had gotten myself into before I found a dozen energetic hobbits all awaiting my leadership.
I attempted to jot down quick reminders of the moments where I had to step back to fully grasp what was occurring around me. There were brief periods of time where I was cognitively aware that in THAT exact moment something important was happening; however, I fear that as time marches onward, I am growing unable to accurately depict these almost euphoric surges of awareness.
Times such as when I found myself fully encompassed by night as friends dared a thunderstorm to safeguard a swimming tank from high winds. With only snapshots of light thundering over us, we navigated terrain in Frankenstein-esque motions towards our goal. It's a miracle that we all made it back safely to shelter without anyone from our adventure team getting fried.
Or the times where I found myself completely surrounded by the stillness and beauty of nature.
Or the jubilation of watching groups of once-strangers bond, grow, and take care of one another.
As I look back at some of my older posts, I feel slightly ridiculous. I originally started this page in attempts to explore whether or not I could seriously write something that others might be interested in reading. Yes, being at the mercy of a renegade train is comical, but I am not overly proud of what I have written to date. I hope that once things settle down, I will be able to write some posts of substance.

There will still be fart jokes, mind you, but they will be substantial fart jokes.


The Bible
Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

Sum 41, Bob Dylan, has been a beautiful evening.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CHOOCHOO chuggachuggachuggachugga CHOOCHOOOOO

Yikes. Has it been a month? Why, yes. Yes it has.

Onwards, men!

I did try writing after an energizing conversation with a friend and fellow blogger. I whined about not having my X amount of factors in line that I deemed necessary to write: a theme of substance, a quiet place to write, gallons of coffee...She told me to suck it up and to just simply write something. Motivated, I returned home that night determined  to kick out the world's best post...EVER. As it turned out, the Blogger site was down for that evening. Now I could have quite easily written in Word or Notepad, but I gallantly tossed my head to the said and said, "F that!" Still, I couldn't help but laugh at the coincidence.

It wasn't the only incredibly blatant, comically unavoidable event that happened to me in the past week. There have been quite a few, actually. It was enough that I regretted not carrying around a little notepad to jot down life's happy little moments.

This past Monday, my cousin's car broke down as he was returning from a four-day concert binge across the Midwest. The poor guy hadn't slept in a few days and was caked in mud, overpriced beer, and other people's sweat. To make matters worse, his car then crapped out on him after he pulled over at a rest stop for a few hours of shut-eye. I guess, to look at the brighter side of things, he wasn't assaulted by rogue truck drivers armed with bottles of lotion for him to put on his skin.

                   Don't make me do the No-Wang Dance!! 'Cause I totally will...

Yeah. I'm not proud of that caption. Suggestions are welcome.

Anyway, his phone is near death, so the only information I get from him is that he is at a rest stop on the west side of 680 near Shelby, Iowa. That puts him about 30 miles outside of Omaha near Avoca, Iowa. Oh, it's also 7:30am. I call a few nearby gas stations that pop up on good 'ole Google Maps, but no good comes from that. Unsure of what to do next, I resign myself to driving the 30 minutes to search for him. I was actually glad for the quest. I love my family and I enjoy helping others out. That being said, I did drop a few random curses at things on my way out to BFE, Iowa.

His directions were fairly accurate. Sadly, I have absolutely zero sense of direction, so I ended up taking the world's longest route to the lovely hamlet of Shelby, Iowa. I find him on my first pass and we quickly attempt to jump his car, but his ride simply whirs and buzzes twice before finally dying completely. Defeated and dejected, we drive to a nearby gas station, call a tow truck, and dine on a fine breakfast of Nutrigrain bars and coffee. Mr. Tow Guy comes, jumps the car, and proceeds to take my cousin's arm and leg, all in the span of 15 minutes. My cousin and I high-five one another (a high-ten being impossible) and decide to call it a day. With my cousin happily back on the road towards home, I also turn west and I quickly begin to dream about all the sweet napping I can get in before work that evening.

Being slightly sleep-deprived, I decide to cut through Council Bluffs on the way home so that I can take care of a quick client for drug testing. Great idea, you say? No. Not at all. The client doesn't answer, so I get a nice laugh out of the articulate message I could have left for him had I no attachment to keeping my job. The bridge I'm close to that takes me over the Missouri River and back to civilization is out, so I wiggle around backwoods Council Bluffs aimlessly as I begin to create new and ingenious ways to swear at inanimate objects.

My breaking point hits when I encounter a train crossing. There sits this train. This stupid, stupid, butthole of a train. It sits at a dead stop covering up the intersection with no end in sight. Underneath the train, I can see happy traffic on the other side waltzing about on their daily business without a care in the world. And there I sit stuck on the wrong side of this enormous metal bastard practicing karate on my sweet, innocent steering wheel. The train begins to inch forward and I perk up as I assume my arduous climb out of hell will be resuming momentarily. Ah, but the train then brakes, backs up, and returns to its original spot. The 100ton turd-on-wheels proceeds to do this three more times as I nearly choke on my tongue out of pure rage. The train could have been carrying a payload of magical kittens to an orphanage of cute, British-speaking children nearby, but as I sat and watched in horror as the engineer cackled and flipped me off, all I could do was picture myself driving into the train, backing up, and driving into the train again and again.

I then notice that there is a car behind me further back with a father and his young son standing in a ditch. As they watch the train troll me mercilessly and without end, the kid claps and smiles as he points a finger at the choo-choo.

I come down from my Mountaintop of Hate and remember a random quote about patience that I had come across recently. I'll butcher the phrasing here, but it essentially described a man talking about praying for more patience. The man is not surprised in the least when he his faced with things to test his patience, rather than just having copious amounts of patience loaded into his being. Humbled, I pulled my head out of my butt, turned off the radio, and spent a few moments in contemplation.

Leave it to a little kid to remind me of my place in the world.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's kind of what kids are good at doing.

I returned home in silence and resolved myself to be slightly more cheerful going into the evening.
And the day was good.

Well, most of it, anyhow. The punchline to my story had yet to hit me square in the face.

After being home for a few minutes, I receive a call from my supervisor about a work referral in Avoca, NE and she asks if I'd like to take it.  I broke down into tears and raised two fists towards the sky as I shouted, "Khaaaaaaaan!" It was quite theatrical; you should have been there.

I wish you peace through the rest of the week as you all go about your work. And should you find nothing but Asshole McChoo-choos blocking your path, think of the man who asked for patience and use the roadblocks as chances for training.

See what I did there?


The Idiot - STILL

New Bayside
New Young the Giant
New Thrice (circa summer, 2011)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sittin' round, singing songs 'til the night turns into day

Good evening, interwebs!

I've got a free night.

That being said, I've already tried reading and playing music (two of my favorite pastimes). The books that I'm mining through just didn't seem to hit the spot. First off, I'm halfway through two separate books. This is simply something that I have always tried to avoid. It seems as though I get mentally fatigued within a few pages of either book and I just end up faceplanting after only a few brief moments. That's certainly one way to spend an evening; however, I'd like something that is a little more fulfilling (and that won't leave ink splotches on my forehead).

The next step was to move to the basement, twist my amp to 11, and knock out some high-decibel ear candy. This went well, but I ran out of steam after about 30 minutes. I have since drifted to my computer where I am now listening to random music via YouTube.

And it's quickly becoming the best night. Everrr.

The only lowlight came while I took a wee break from all this writing to grab a burger from a local bar (re: Dundee Dell). There, I was subjected to watching the NBA playoffs while my order was being artfully prepared.

Basketball is awful.

But the music, food, and drinks are not. I'm not getting much writing accomplished, but I am air drumming/falsetto singing like a madman. It feels great.

I'd like to open up a discussion on philosophy, romance, world events...but nothing's really forthcoming.

If you feel so inclined, toss me some new musical suggestions. I can't get enough!

I hope you are all doing well and that you've found your own ways to spend this great, great evening.



The Trial of Socrates - I.F. Stone
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevski

Gypsy Woman - Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
Every Power Ballad song ever written
Drum solos on YouTube of all things Thrice


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What we have a failure to communicate

Good day, everyone!

I apologize for the long drought in coverage of my life's events! I hope this message, albeit brief, will help suppress the masses clamoring for some form of contact from me.
And by masses, I simply just mean my mother of whom I suspect logs in to hit the refresh button 5 times a day to give me hope (it's working).

It does feel great to just sit and prattle on, though. It's a nice release of sorts.

I'm currently awaiting an ambush I've set for a client at work. I know they are here visiting with their therapist. They've been dodging my weekly meetings with them and I plan to bump into them afterwards. I could wait patiently, or I could subtly interrupt their session with a kindly reminder that I exist.
                                 LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR FEELINGS

Hmm. On second thought, that might not go so well.

I am pleased to have some...mandatory down time? You know, the period of time where you are scheduled to do something, but then that said something suddenly becomes axed for some reason or another and you find yourself with some extra-added-super-bonus time. Oh, it feels great.

Work (or, not work) aside, I did follow through on my last posting and I ventured out to buy a few random albums last week. I planned on an in-depth review of my selections, but I'm afraid that would take up an afternoon. I've only got so much extra-added-super-bonus time, peeps.

The albums I grabbed were Wilco's A Ghost is Born and A Skylit Drive's Identity on Fire. Wilco's appeal came from, you guessed it, a post from years ago by a member of Thrice that had mentioned it on their site. A Skylit Drive was compeltely was also on sale for $7.00. That might have influenced my 'random' selecting of it over other CDs that were peddling for $10 or more.

In short, the Wilco album had much more ear candy on it as opposed to the Drive's. If you enjoy easy-listening mixtures of light rock, country, with a few added electronics, Wilco's for you. I enjoy bands that can find grooves as they play, and Wilco is certainly one that can hit those moments well. They did happen to lose my attention on some of their longer songs (one being 10 minutes and another 15) with repetitive beats and a severe lack of movement until the 7-minute mark. But even then, there were parts of those marathons that made waiting for them worthwhile. There are probably some Wilco fans out there that will cringe at my synopsis, but I like to fancy them as falling somewhere between the Eagles and Weezer in the grand scheme of things.

As for Skylit Drive, they turned out to be an interesting option. Their CD featured some decent hooks during choruses and appealed to my love for intermixtures of screetching and harmonic vocals. The lyrics were, well, the lyrics caused me to laugh at times. Nothing spectacular there. But the fast pace of some of their highlighted songs made me want to listen to a few tracks over and over. My combination of bands for these fellers would be comprised of Coheed and Good Charlotte. A fine selection if you're late for your weekly "Twilight" book club meeting.

Oh good golly. How time flies. I'm not uber-proud of my first attempts at reviewing music, but I am happy to have slapped something together in such a limited amount of time. Huzzah!

Thanks for reading and be well!

Vonnegut - Sirens of Titan

Mostly Thrice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is this a decent title?

nothing of any substance is discussed in the following post.

Good afternoon, folks!
I hope this post finds you all feeling well and enjoying life!

I find myself with plenty of time to sit and write this evening; however, I lack any direction as to what I should write about. My attention span seems to be all of three seconds.
I like turtles.
I even played a round of Chess Titans to get the blood flowing to my brain. Sadly, while I did defeat the all-powerful Level 2 Bot (on the first try, no less!), he did take about 98% of my mental stamina with him on his way to Chess Hell.
Sigh. This could go any number of ways.

I could ramble about music. Oh, how I do so enjoy music (said with a twangy, southern drawl with the little voice in my head. Think...Hannibal Lector, maybe? I felt that I should clarify).
This would lead to, as those who know me well could testify towards, a lengthy article worshiping Thrice. While it would be entertaining to write, I am afraid that it might leave one wondering who to contact to see if they still make those cute, white jackets with the handy sleeves that tie together in the back.

On the other hand, I do think that I need some vindication for voluntarily confessing that I attended the Beibertron 2000 movie a few weeks ago (see below). That seemed to have hurt my credibility somewhat.

I still like turtles.

Since this is not going anywhere (quickly, might I add), I think I'll wander the aisles of Best Buy in search of a new CD.
If you're bored and have nothing to do, this is what entertained me for a few minutes while I struggled with finding something to write about.

If you happen to have a Facebook page, click on the link that allows you to "Add languages you know." In the area that appears on the following page, experiment with some of the options that appear in the drop down box. For some of my personal faves, type in: "cat," "who," "i have a," and "org."
***Note, the last two might shock a few people, so hide your grandmas***
                                     Disapproving Grandma disapproves.

Oh dear. It looks like I'll be joining Level 2 Bot shortly.

Have a good evening, everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And the only prescription was more cowbell

This past Sunday, I celebrated my 26th birthday.
By no means is that a remarkable event in itself. It just so happened that a few other events also timed themselves nicely to all land on that fateful Sunday.

After weeks of bitterly chilly weather, the clouds parted and outside thermometers triumphantly climbed towards 60 degrees. Old friends called to sing me a rowdy rendition of "Happy Birthday" amidst snorts and giggles. At 7:32am, I had also received a phone call from my folks. My mom tried to get a heartfelt birthday message in while my dad made crying noises and screamed things that I had said as a child in the background. It was classic. I had also completed my taxes in record time and was expecting a lovely, stress-reducing amount of bankage to arrive in my lap. Money isn't everything, but I won't argue when it knocks on my door and asks to help out.

The day was off to a fantastic start.

I was scheduled to work that afternoon; however, seeing as I was Birthday Boy, I felt that it would take a lot to slow me down.

Like, Cyborg Hitler riding on a Tyrannosaurus lot.
                            (closest representation I could find for an image)

The family I was working with that afternoon was scheduled to visit the movies. The little seven-year old girl had asked her daddy to take her to see "Tangled," a recent remake on the Rapunzel tale. Now, I do not watch a ton of newer movies, but of the recent kiddy films that I have seen, there seems to be a fair amount of material that is aimed at amusing the parents. "Tangled might not be so bad," I told myself, still riding high on birthday cheer.

I picked up the little lady and headed to the theater to meet her father. As we entered the front doors, we were greeted by a display for the movie "Never Say Never" which featured Justin InsertGirlyScreamHere Beiber. In slow motion, the little girl's jaw dropped, hand raised to point, and head moved with pure jubilation to face her dad.

"Daddy! Daddy! Can we go see the Justin Beiber movie?"

My heart sank. I knew what would come next. Her dad looked at me inquisitively as the only thing that moved on my body was my left eyelid in a twitchy, spastic motion. He smiled at his daughter and said, "I guess we can, Sweety."

OK. Whatever. Dear Justin Beiber: Challenge accepted.

We bought our tickets and filed inside the theater. What followed was an hour and thirty minutes of ...

a documentary?

It was not two hours of girls shrieking and professing their love for Beiber (there was some, mind you. Picture the Egyptians protesting Mubarak, only add more pink, more signs asking for marriage, and more cars on fire). It was not two hours of his damnable music. It was not two hours spent wishing I had been struck by a fire truck in the parking lot.

Now, before you start pointing a finger and labeling me with "The Fever," I did rationalize my presence there with some consolations. It was only for a few hours. The little girl and her dad spent some quality time learning about rigors that celebrities go through. I was getting paid.

However, it did make me laugh. My allegiances were bought for a measly $25. If you find yourself needing your house painted or an extra kidney, I'm your man for the low, low price of $25 it would seem.

Would I go see the movie again?
No, no. Nononono.
Do I now know more about Beiber than I care to admit?
Uh, yeah.
Did it give me something to write about?
I guess.

That's enough of a win in my book.

May you all have a wonderful, enlightening, and, with any luck, Beiber-less filled week ahead.


"Anna Molly" - Incubus
"Breakfast Cat" - RX Bandits
"The Thief" - Minus the Bear

"Nurtureshock" - Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Time magazine's "2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nothing new under the sun

A blank page holds a certain level of intimidation it would seem.
There. Now you don't seem so scary, Senor Page. Let us begin.

I'm sitting in a local coffee shop and seem to have situated myself in a somewhat less than ideal spot; I'm within reach of the front door and near a large window facing west. The sun is simply destroying my fair haven't-seen-the-sun-in-three-months skin. And just when I get a good sweat built up, a sweet, innocent customer arrives and opens the door. This brings about a pleasant blast of arctic wind to sweep across my glistening body. These poor customers. The first sight they see upon entering the shop is a sweaty looking guy with a look of absolute confusion on his face.

Right. Well. This is turning out to be a thrilling read, no? On to some meat and potatoes.

While listening to NPR yesterday (yup, an NPR namedrop to boost my apparent level of civility in the readers' eyes), a discussion formed on the protests occurring in Egypt. In attempts to hinder the spread of the resistance, the government has crippled cell phone usage as well as blocked access to certain internet sites. I departed from the interview and began to mull over what would happen should something similar happen in the States.

I hate to say it, but I take the internet for granted. I also find myself horribly addicted to the darned thing as well. I think we've all been there before; you're working on a class paper, work project, or personal endeavor (such as a sweet-ass blog that everyone loves), and you happen to have your browser opened to, say, Facebook. As you toil away at your project, you begin to sense a wicked, insatiable, and rapidly swelling notion rise in the back of your conscious that suggests that you scan across the Facebook tab to see if a (1) has manifested itself next to your name. You realize that this pesky little notion will not help you finish your task-at-hand any faster, so you tell yourself, "Hey, self. Pay no heed to that tab. It's not important. You don't need to check that."
This, as we all know, is a horrible, horrible attempt at lying to yourself. In a last fit of defiance, you decide that you're just not going to look at the screen to erase any risk of inadvertently scanning across the tab and hurting your work proficiency. All reserves of focus are assigned to stare intently at the letter "t" on your keyboard as your laugh at the thought of your silly little subconscious' attempt to control you. Then, an audible popping noise is heard by those around you as you successfully give yourself a brain aneurysm. As the medics haul you into their ambulance you raise a weary hand and draw one in closer.
"What....(cough) What notifica...tion?"
"Wha....oh, uhm, Stacy Herzburger 'liked' the photo of your cat you just added."

Ah, success.
I might have exaggerated a tad, but I think you catch my drift.

A few weeks back, the internet to our house was accidentally cut off. I woke that morning and felt as though I had been transported back in time. Instead of venturing outside to save someone important, hunt dinosaurs, invest in Yahoo, etc., I was just simply reminded of how rusty I was when it came to navigating the world outside. I felt disconnected and a little out of synch. I passed the time by plugging/unplugging the router numerous times and watching the lights blink on and off. Fascinating. My first instinct to call for tech support led to a facepalm of grand proportions: Oh that's simple! I'll just look their number up onli...AW DAMMIT.

It did make me sit back an reflect on some of the clients I work with. A good portion find themselves without internet, consistent phone service, or transportation on a daily basis. THEN, on top of that, throw in electric bills, lack of groceries, medications, and 4 or 5 screaming kids. If this depiction does not describe you, then I wholeheartedly urge you to take a moment and reflect upon your fortunes.

Back to the internet conversation and, hopefully, some semblance of coherency. A co-worker recently explained to a few of us at an early meeting about her quest to disconnect herself from certain things. She would still communicate work-related missives, but she would do so in an extremely limited manner. I'm not sure about her motives, but I would assume that it would be in attempts to bring some sort of balance to her life between work, home, and whatever time in between.

I found myself intrigued. I too find myself looking for ways to simply enjoy what's around me without any outside 'noise.' Don't get me wrong, I love the interaction that is opened up through such avenues as Facebook or Hotmail. Checking those (1)'s of (2)'s next to your page can certainly be stimulating and personally rewarding. And the desire increases exponentially when you're waiting to hear from someone you're looking forward to hearing from. In looking for a relatable way to transfer my thoughts, I happened to catch the sunset out the window (the same window that was recently responsible for helping to roast me).

Bam. There you go. How do even begin to describe that moment of synchronization? I find myself understanding the poets and writers throughout generations a little more that took it upon themselves to perfectly describe the worldly beauty around them. I won't even try. I'll just simply say that it was hot. Believe me. 

It looks like I need to take some of my own advice and disconnect a little bit.

We live in a marvelous world. I hope that as you read this, you're in a comfortable and appreciative place. Have a great week and may this note help leave you in a brighter, more radiant place.


P.S. Oh snap. Someone tagged a photo of me...I'll check it out, THEN sign off. I swear.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And the writers kept writing....

Word has it that forty-nine states have warmly welcomed Old Man Winter and can proudly point to evidence of his arrival within their boundaries. The only holdout, Florida, being the defiant little state that it is, continues to tell off the Old Man by wagging a giant, peninsular middle finger at him. Being so close to having a full set, Winter can't be happy about Florida's resistance.
"You're going to get snow and you'll like it, Florida!"
"You can't tell me what to do. You're not my real dad!"
"It'll just be for a little while. All the other states have it and they're not whining!"
"Gah! I hate you! I'm going over to Cuba's. He understands me!"

Poor, poor Winter. Always just barely missing out on the medal ceremonies in the grand Tournament of Most Loved Seasons. Sure, there are those that love winter and all that it brings. Without winter, Spring would lose a bit of its redeeming and restorative charm. History books would have pictures of snowmen in Terracotta Army-esque rows, hot cocoa sales would plummet, and Santa would make his annual rounds in Hawaiian shirts and Birkenstocks.

Moving on, I can't remember exactly where I ran across this little theory, but I think it was somehow linked to a video I watched on the chemistry of attraction between people. The video dealt with the various explosions that go on inside our skulls when we're around loved ones or people that intrigue us. It made for an interesting evening that would have otherwise been busily spent being alone and wishing that I had an army of cats that I could name after the main characters of Bonanza.

Hoss. HOSS! I saw that! Don't you smack Little Joe, you naughty wittle kitty! That's a bad kitty!

And yes. They would all wear tiny cowboy hats. Always.

At some point in this video, I came across an interview with a gentleman that was explaining his thoughts on a mean (not angry, but average) level of happiness that people seem to orbit. Undoubtedly, people have their up and down days, but ultimately, he proposed, people return to a reoccurring level of happiness. I'm sure there is an official title for this, as well as piles of research for and against it, but I do know that it seemed to have some lasting effect on me. If a person could cognitively be aware of where their level was, and thus make efforts to improve or restrain that said level, could a person's happiness be determinate upon their will? Or can someone really point to the cold, dark days of winter and say with a certainty that it was a lack of interaction with the sun chemically altering their brain and making them incapable of appreciating anything (I'd like to take this time to recognize whoever coined the term Seasonal Affective Disorder. We get it. It's acronym is SAD. Good job, you clever devil, you.).

There certainly is a link here between each side (Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of today's practice of prescribing pills for everything, especially when there is not direct linkage between the medication and desired outcome).
I don't think someone can simply wake up and say to themselves, "Selves, today, come what may, we're going to be completely happy." Nor do I think that some light therapy, a few spoonfuls of Vitamin D, and some prescription pills mark the path to happiness. There is also no magnificent Do-This-and-You-Will-Be-Eternally-Joyous theory for everyone to follow, despite the people's clamor for such a theory. It's something that one must discover individually.

I do think a possible answer lies somewhere in the social factor needed to keep us human. Interactions with people these days has become somewhat of a rare and special occurrence. A fair number of people are running on their time, which is of course more important than your time, and have little patience for any of life's hiccups. What's this? You left out the cinnamon dust on my latte? My six-year-old son will now be late for yoga. THAT GIVES ME LICENSE TO YELL AT YOU AD NAUSEUM (furthering our lateness?). RAWR.

People are connected 24/7 through their smartphones* and simply cannot wait to see who has last poked them. Sometimes, they also determine that this poke is somewhat more important than, say, driving their car. Then laws are made to keep people from destroying one another, tickets are issued, and cops are labeled as jerks with nothing better to do.

All I'm asking for is that you take time in your day to think of others. Thank your grocer for bagging your groceries. Show patience for others. Leave a thank you note for your mail carrier. Smile and wave (all of your fingers, not just one) at the person that used their blinker when merging. After reading a fun and entertaining blog, give the author a high-five the next time you see them. I know that this has all been preached before, but seriously, in these little interactions there can be a sort of karmic, if not a self-sustaining, reward.

I have enjoyed writing this all down, even despite the fact that it makes me out to be somewhat of a crotchety old man complaining about the good ol' days. I don't mind. Also, get off my porch, you meddling kids. Make note that I have not lost faith in society, not by a long shot, and there are many, many people out there that devote their lives to others and get little thanks or recognition.

For those of you that made it this far, thank you for reading. Again, it was a pleasure to write and I pray that it also was a worthwhile read for others.


"The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi

Tunes, or rather, songs that popped up on Pandora while writing:
"Can't You See" - The Marshall Tucker Band
"Ruby Sees All" - Cake
"Asleep in the Chapel" - Thursday

*heavy sarcasm intended

Thursday, January 6, 2011

\m/ ( o __ o ) \m/

And the Battle Begun” – RX Bandits

First timer here, so please be gentle.

For starters, I hope this note finds you all doing well and enjoying your place in life.

For a few months now, I have wondered what it would be like to join the online legions of people that openly share with the world some of their ideas and passions. From a brief tour of this site, the majority of pages I came across dealt with photography or pet cats 'writing' their own comments about their masters, their diets, or world domination. That's great. Good for them.
However, it did make me paws (HA!) and consider my motives behind wanting to join this online nation. Honestly, what more could I possibly add to the kadrillions of similar conversations already in line clamoring for people’s attentions? It’s mind-blowing when you stop and consider it.

Daedalus” - Thrice

In the end, well, I guess it’s evident which way I swung.
“Reposed” was born.

I now find myself both entertained by the idea of conversing with others in this new medium, while at the same time, feeling a bit overwhelmed. I mean if this thing takes off, there's going to be book deals, movie scripts, fundraisers, squash dates with the President. My, my. The possibilities.
Or, more realistically, I now have an excuse to camp out at local coffee shops, guzzle profuse amounts of sugarcoffee, and appear to be toiling away at something both incredibly scholarly and important. Huzzah to that.
I was looking forward to the squash, though. Sigh. Someday.

I hope to use this site to discuss with others the social oddities I find amusing, recent book reviews, worthwhile new music (or lack thereof), and the occasional sporting event. I highly encourage participation from others and will tweak my rambings accordingly.

"Seven Bridges Road" - The Eagles

Well. It's a start. A rough start, but a start nonetheless. I apologize for this not being very edgy, entertaining, or awe-inspiring. It will get better. I promise.
If all else fails, I do have some pictures of my megalomaniacal cat lying around here somewhere...