Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cool New Music Review

sorry about the title but I had to get farley to read my shiiyt somehow.
First off, I guess I'll say that this is not going to be "poetic" (House 1) but rather, I just want to share my feelings with you guys about a few things. I am clearly known for making the classic pity jokes around our group of friends. I have thrown out so many divorce and fat jokes that I am completely desensitized to them. I am saying that in the hope that those jokes are not where you mind will go when you read the next few sentences. As all of you know Rita and I broke up after just over two years of dating. I don't like to show it or talk about it that much but i has been really hard on me. I suppose that it isn't hard in the traditional sense. I think that I made the right choice and it has helped me grow in ways that I don't really know how to explain. It hurts because for two years I put the majority of my efforts into that relationship. I showed her more of myself and gave her more of myself than almost anyone (insert a dyson dirty joke here), but seriously it is hard seeing something you pour so much of yourself into fail like that. It's hard knowing that 3 months ago I was holding her in my arms thinking she might be my wife someday. I cant explain why it has been hard but I just has been. I said all of that to set up my main point (clever transitional writing).
I was reading Romans today and came across something that I had read before but really caught my attention for some reason. Paul says, "By Gods will I hope to come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed." I hate when people pull out one sentence from any piece of literature and push there own agenda with it, but I can't type all of Romans 15 so bare with me. If you have the time read it to get the full context. It is so amazing to see that he views spending time with these people, his friends, fellow believers whatever as refreshing. I thought about you guys, my friends. Some of the only times of my life that I would call "refreshing" have been spent with you guys. I thought about Paul the people he planned to visit. I wondered if the prayed every second they were together and fasted and studied scripture. I kind of doubt it. I bet they ate together and laughed. I bet they spent time talking and simply enjoying each others company. Like us I bet they told stories. I don't want to list specific examples but some of the only things that have helped me get through this stuff with Rita has been the good company, the good conversations, and all that comes along with having such incredible friends.
I really do love all you guys and I love how special what we have is. I know that inevitably I will be an ass to one of you soon or I will be the opposite of refreshing or simply not be a good friend, but with that in mind I hope you all know that your friendships mean the world to me. Hopefully this hasn't been boring to read or think about. Just remember our jobs are to love each other well(semi-impossible) and in some way help each other towards God.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It Is Just Easier to Forget

"Hey man, can you spare some change"
"Sorry, I don't have any money on me."
...Except the freaking debit card in my wallet.

Don't worry. This post is about Food in the Fort, not a rant on how I (slash we (we = people (people = fortunate people))) don't give a shit about people who can't give me anything. Well, maybe it's both. The above exchange needs no explanation. It is so so much easier to walk by a person who is calling out for help from poverty than it is to take time to do or think anything. Even when I do stop, the motivation tends to be, "you know what, I (key word) am going to do something for this man. I'm going to do something good (2nd key word)." Wow. I bought a homeless man a quarter pounder to avoid feeling guilty. Here is the deal. I support buying homeless people quarter pounders, I'm just pointing out what dirty rags my efforts to do good are.

So what? Feeling guilty is in no way the answer behind any cosmic door. Where is the change? Perhaps I can offer one place: Food in the Fort. Here is what volunteers do there that resembles volunteer "work": nothing. You walk around with the different people who come in and take food off shelves and put it in a bag. These people know the rules and they have hands, basically the only physical contribution you make is being sure each person does not get more than their fair share. And yet wednesday mornings at Redeemer are so freaking powerful. Why? I finally get to stop DOING and I get to start BEING. All your contribution is just being there, listening, talking, remembering names, and looking people in the eyes. Food in the Fort is not about the volunteers, it's about the people who are seeking help. They have stories. They have personalities. I stood one week and listened to a guy tell me his life story for 20 minutes and then try to convert me to Christianity. I am not saying I don't have selfish intentions there too, but it is much more difficult when I am not actually doing anything to feel this sense of self-rightousness.

Sure you can give monetarily (I would definitely encourage it - checks with Food in the Fort on the Memo line), but it is on Sunday mornings when there is none of this, "I did something GOOD for you. Hope you are grateful." Oh yeah, they need plastic bags too.

Final take-away for me: loving is a whole lot of being and some doing. I need desperately to learn this in my own relationships. I can't buy friendships and I can't buy salvation. All I can do is show up, and I know that God is working through me to sanctify my dirty rag of a soul.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The End of "Manliness"

I am writing this specifically for the Galbraiths out there. I will be brief, for I am sick, and wish to snooze. But a frightening thing happened last night at the Oscars: we saw a man awarded for being feminine.

Let's travel in our minds to the heart of Africa, where the deer and the antelope play. Now focus in on the great plains of the sun: wild rivers, gushing watering holes, African Wattle trees, and (of course) Pride Rock. Now, bear with me...a gay lion.

Are we serious? Yes we are, says Hollywood. The big boys from the West Coast have flexed their guns and defied scientific reason. It is with great remorse that I admit that the words "manly" and "girly" are now loose leaf terms. What is a man without "manliness"? What is a female without "femininity"? With this I implore the consideration of the birth of a new genre of sexes: the Feman and the Womale. With these new titles for the gay man and lesbian woman, we need not be confused anymore by the meaning and implications of words such as "manliness" and "girlishness". Hell, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The way I see it...

Heres my take on why the new U2 album is genius, why my opinion hardly matters, why Monger has listened to too much WmtnN to appreciate it, and why THIS Journey music video plays a part, (take a few minutes, click the link and watch that video, its gold. Specifically 2minutes 8 seconds in). First of all listen to the album on, maybe while you read this. Sorry if my post is too long winded.

Let me start off by saying: I know less about music than probably everyone else. 'cept maybe Galbraith. (just kidding dude, i just wanted to say "cept") But really I'm no music critic, I dont read pitchfork or musicblogs for fun, I haven't seen all the Oscar nominated films from the past 10 years, I dont read books by Ron Weasley's quidditch keeper try-out counterpart, and I dont know what Mickey Rourke's favorite color is. So take everything I say as coming from a low place, and all my lyric analysis as probably wrong and misinterpreted...

This album is amazing, the band seems to be more contemplative and unified as they have gotten older. Signified by some slower almost retrospecive songs, and some songs that the band sings parts together (check out Unknown caller), Bono's voice can't even be discerned from the rest and I think thats pretty cool.

The album opens with the title track No Line On The Horizon. Too often we don't think about why artists or bands choose album titles or song names, and honestly I hardly ever delve deep in to the darkian depths of music.

I think the title and the song simply convey the idea that there is no clear cut idea of where we should be heading. We can't really discern an up or down, wrong or right. Its kind of ironic how the older U2/Bono gets, the lyrics are just as confused about the way things are as ever, maybe even moreso. Still hopeful though. I like the song musically alot, lots of classic Bono "Oh's" and "Whoa's"

Im going to dissect a few songs just for the heck of it.

Track 2: Magnificent- Bono's attempt at a worship song,
"I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…"

Still, with confusion he adds-
"I was born to be with you... After that and ever after I haven't had a clue"

and for some reason the lyrics "Only love, only love can leave such a mark But only love, only love can heal such a scar," echo with no trace of cliche in my mind the more i think about them.

Also noteworthy is Edge's guitar playing. Though the whole song is filled with typical Edge-style-delay-effect picking, his solo at 4 min. in is really of the ordinary for him, and I love it.

Track 3: Moment of Surrender- The song opens up with a beautiful symphonic swell, and moves into a groovin' soul filled tune carried by Bono's screaming voice. The guitar solo near the end again is totally different for Edge, Claptonesque and so so tasty.

This song lyrically is pretty heavy, Bono adresses relationships. He talks about the strange paradox of marriage:
"I tied myself with wire
To let the horses run free
Playing with the fire
Until the fire played with me"

I Think we can all relate to that- we all want to let our horses run free if you catch my drift, but in order to do so we have to tie ourselves down? Its a strange frustrating concept, for guys like me atleast. Also, the "fire" that is sexual connectedness is far more dangerous than we realize.

"Two souls too smart to be
In the realm of certainty
Even on our wedding day"

Im not sure if he's saying the uncertainty is a good thing or not, but I think it ties in with the idea of surrender, to God and to the oneness of marriage. We dont really know what were getting into, but surrender is the only option for new-good-change to come over us. Maybe THIS is the answer Bono is searching for in this yearning song.

Back to the song, "The stone was semi-precious" is a tasty morsel of a line.

Lines like:
"I was punching in the numbers at the ATM machine
I could see in the reflection
A face staring back at me"
"Every eye looking every other way
Counting down till the pain will stop"
"I did notice the passers by
And they did not notice me"-point to a irrelational world, think about it, I'm looking into a screen right now as I type this "relating" with you as you read it on a screen. The line counting down till the pain will stop is a sad reality for so many people walking around, and we do nothing to help each other.

Track 4: Unknown Caller-
I think this song is again about the technological mechanical world we live in "Force quit and move to trash" is something we've all done, and the lyrics in that part of the song are almost chanted. At the same time I think its about seeking to listen to a God we know nearly nothing about, calling us to do things without answers. Make sure and listen to the end, for another amazing guitar solo, and some organ playin thrown in there.

Track 5: I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight- guuuughhhahhh, this song is awesome. This is where the Journey video I mentioned earlier comes into play. I am here to propose that U2 was inspired by the Journey song "Faithfully" (which coincidentally appears on the latest Girl Talk album on the track Play Your Part pt. 2) to write this song. Ok not really, but the opening to "I'll Go Crazy" sounds eerily similar to Journey's love ballad, Who cares if it uses the word "baby" 3xs in a row like some other U2 song, when it sounds exactly like Journey? Anyways its a great mixture of 80's melody hooks, plus some lyrics dealing with doubt and struggle.

This song has a few good lyrical gems as well:
"Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?" references 1 John 4:18.
"Change of heart comes slow...It's not a hill its a mountain" is a pretty cliche line, but it reminds me of the wise words of Bill Delvaux.
Also anyone remember Mr. Dark writing "kick at the darkness till it bleeds light" on the board? well Bono gets close with "Let's shout until(into?) the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light"

I did a little research and the line Mr. Dark quoted is from a Bruce Cockburn (go ahead and laugh, giggles-wise) song. That U2 actually referenced in their song 'God Part II' on 'Rattle and Hum': "heard a singer on the radio late last night says he's gonna kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight". So if David Dark, Bruce Shaftblister, and U2 (mentioning it twice) think this is important, it must be.

Track 6: Get On Your Boots- I like most disliked and mock(and continue to do so) the sexy boots line, i still dont really get it, but I think what Bono is trying to say connects with the lines in the song:
"I don’t wanna talk about wars between nations
Not right now," and "you dont know how beautiful you are."

When we are apathetic about war/politics/life we dont realize the worth of human life and ourselves, we cheapen it, we dont get it, there are people who alot of times are more worried about sexy boots, (Bono included, I think) than bombs destroying houses in the middle east. Its kindof a jab, a bucket of ice-water in our face when he shouts sexy boots.

Welp, thats all I can conjure up for now, I'll leave the rest of the songs alone. I do however encourage you to look up the lyrics online and read them as you listen, and think about them obviously. Its theraputic.

I'll leave you with one last lyric snippet
"Choose your enemies carefully, 'cause they will define you...They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends."

U2 copies U2

New album is up on Myspace. Doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary for U2 minus a few exceptions such as the beginning of "FEZ-Being Born". One of the new songs "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" uses the same "baby, baby, baby" line as in the song "Ultraviolet (Light my Way)" off the Achtung Baby album. Also, some parts of "White as Snow" have the same melody as "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". Im not saying any of this is bad but simply that as a devote U2 listener I kind of expected more. Some of the other new songs even make "Get on your Boots" seem not that bad. Nonetheless, I am still planning to see them in concert when the oppurtunity arrises.

I give No Line on the Horizon 3 Bonos / 5

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The End of the Masturbating Bear???

Let's hope this isn't the end

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just thought this was interesting

Saturday, February 14, 2009

wild moutian nation

might want to check into this

Friday, February 13, 2009

The most effective way to get to the front.

For most of us, excluding four, valentine's day will be full of loneliness. It will be a day where I sleep late and lay around all day. While some people will be getting ready for a fun night of lovin' with their ladies, I will be sitting at home watching 50 First Dates 3 or 4 times. I will sit around bored, that is until night time. Saturday night The Features will be playing a show at World Grotto. If you haven't been to World Grotto, that is enough reason to go in itself. It looks like a cave. You go down steps and enter a cavern world full of beer and music. If you have been you can attest to the excellence of the room. The Features are great. They hail from Nashville, or home to all but two of us. 3/4 of the band works at Grimey's (don't hate of Grimey's). They are a great band live. If you have not listened to them before I would recommend checking out the Contrast EP, but their two other full length albums are great too. I look forward to seeing them play some of the new material, GMF in particular. So if you want to come, I will be there. It's going to be a really good show. My last bid to get you to come is that the World Grotto attracts a strange crowd, as do The Features. The last time I saw them I was front row. The lead singer has a great voice live, it was cool to be up close watching. After a bit some charlatans who had imbibed a little too much slid up behind me. Then began the awkward ritual of a girl trying to grind on you so that you will let her in front of you. It sucks. It is the most cruel move in all concert going. I felt a hand slide across my stomach, up to my chest, and I threw it off of me. She took that moment to slide right in along the side of me and get in front. She continued to dance and I hung my head. I had lost, she had grinded me out of the front. I retired to the back of the venue to just watch. Did I mention that she was 30? So if you like grinding with 30 year old women, come on saturday to the World Grotto.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shisha Smoke Rings

I thought this was really cool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chase Sampson, FAIL

props to herron for finding this one

Monday, February 9, 2009

Voyce insoid moy yeeaadd...

You may have heard already, but last night at the Grammy's Blink-182 announced they are picking up where they left off "and then some." Heres the official statement from the band:

Hi. We're blink-182. This past week there’ve been a lot of questions about the current status of the band, and we wanted you to hear it straight from us. To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed. 17 years deep in our legacy. Summer 2009.

Thanks and get ready...

I dont really know how many of you were or are blink fans, but i know me and Herron were discussing them recently and I personally can't wait to see what they put out. Also I'm sure they'll go on tour and I want to see them and get in a brawl with some emo kids.

Tis the Season...

...for a sweaty grundle. Yes, sadly it is true. The warm weather has made its way up from the tropics and the earth’s orbit and tilt are slowly turning closer to the sun. The warmer and moister the air, the more perspiration goes down near brown town. I made the mistake of wearing pants today; well it wasn't exactly a mistake because this morning it was around 40 degrees, a little chill for my shorts. When my 3-hour studio class let out at 12 I knew I was in for a sweaty time. Fortunately I got a ride to Shelbourne with a friend so I avoided the chance of a sweaty grundle, for now at least. I walk to my second class after grabbing a quick lunch and I cursed myself for not changing clothes. I was starting to get sweaty and I took of my jacket, quickly realizing that this would not suffice. Having class in the basement of HBB is like having class in a sauna. It is warmer down there and with the aid of 20 or so bodies it creates a sweaty sauna-like effect. After sweating through an hour-long class I anticipate the cool breeze of the outdoors on my face and chest (not bare, mind you). To my dismay, I get outside and feel no cool air of any sort. The weather is so mild and moist that my grundle lets out a silent curse at the sun. Having to walk down to the strip to get to Walgreens did not make the situation better. To save the sweaty details, I got back to my apartment with some slightly damp boxers and immediately changed into some non-sweaty clothes. Why grundle, why do you have to sweat so much. I think it is time to retire the jeans until the arctic chill comes again.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I don't know if you have seen this, but I hear that it is true.
I thought this story was pretty powerful.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. =2 0 It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.' I had quite a we ekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him... He looked up and I saw this ter rible sadness in his eyes My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking fo r his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.' They really should get lives. ' He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.. I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! 0A =2 0' He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on G eorgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out a nd actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!' He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. ' Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began 'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends.... I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.' I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met. <> He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. 'Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me fr om doing the unspeakable..' I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others. Pass this on to your friends or I did 'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.' < /FONT> There is no beginning or end.. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Carpe Diem

I don't think Phillip wanted his post to turn into a Carpe Diem speech so I have decided to take up the mantle and say what I feel needs to be said. CARPE DIEM. I'm normally one to sit in the shadows and just read these blogs so it takes a lot for me to feel strongly enough to post something. As some of you may or may not know, I have struggled with a severe and disabling depression for two and a half years and am just starting to come out of it in the past week or two. Its almost like being given a new lease on life and everything is new and wonderful again. And this new lease has opened my eyes to a few things around me.
First off, I'm realizing that very few things I stress out about in life are a big deal. If you fail a test, so what? Pick yourself up and take another one. Fail a class? Take it again. I know what I want to do with my life and I'm going to do that. If you don't know what you want to do with your life, so what? Tons of people don't know what they want to do in life and end up alright. Its not a big deal where your going to live next year or how your going to survive a certain class.
The second thing is actually what the whole post it about but live in the moment. I hope I don't come across as arrogant or self pitying but I think I've been through a hell and back for over two years and it has just further cemented into my brain to seize the moment and live for the day. Enjoy the fact that you can walk to your classes. Enjoy the fact that you can jump and play volleyball. Enjoy the fact that you can watch a sunset. Enjoy the fact that you can taste, feel, touch, and hear. I don't know if my depression will be back tomorrow, next week, next year or if it will ever come back. But I am determined to live every day to the fullest and enjoy it to its fullest.
My final thought is to thank all of you as my friends and being grateful for your friendship. Friendship is one of the few things that I believe to be a big deal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Growing Up (Thanks For Reading)

It is quite amazing the depth of knowledge and thought that finds itself pooled here. I tend to wonder what I might add that resembles originality. Perhaps a few thoughts will suffice.

I was recently asked to describe my college career in a word or two (yes, by Brent). It did not take too much thinking to get past the cliche "roller coaster" and arrive at the slightly less cliche title of this post.

Rarely do I remember what I learned in class, and this at first was very discouraging to me, but I realized that it is all a part of me growing up and learning how to think. When I graduate, I may be able to offer a bit of knowledge from class, but it will mostly be knowledge from living life. Even beyond ideas like responsibility, time management, and how to write, I think I am learning in many ways that I suck/don't know everything, there are thousands of other ideas that I can learn from, and change is very possible. I get to experience real people first hand and understand that relationships are hard but valuable. I have thought more than once how thankful I am to have screwed up relationships here where I can actually learn from my mistakes before I enter into more permanent relationships. I can try new things, travel, make mistakes, and work random jobs in ways that I will probably never get to do again.

So this is not so much a carpe diem sort of thing; it is more a written realization that there are so many facets through which to grow that only exist in this strange and small window, and I feel both drawn and obligated to take advantage. This blog is the perfect example. We can learn new ideas on music and movies, be inspired to be part of a literary undertaking, and just share how we are growing up.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Michael Phelps: High Sailin'

Michael Phelps. He loves gold medals. He likes those dank nugs. Before every race, Michael Phelps prepped to win by smoking bud. "It really gets me in the zone, the water feels kinda like pudding when you smoke so I just imagine that I am a really hungry fat guy who wants to eat all of the pudding before the other people do," said Phelps. After training for over a year, Phelps' lung capacity was so large he could hold over 3 bong hits in each lung. The effects of marijuana on athletes’ performance have never been considered in the scientific world because it is not thought to boost ones performance. There is much controversy and argument among scientists whether call it a "performance enhancing drug" because in most cases people act extremely slow and retarded while under its effects. It seems to have done the opposite for Phelps as he has 8 gold medals to show for it. "I really have to give some of the credit for my success to marijuana because without it I would of been in touch with reality and scared shitless over what I was about to go up against," said Phelps, "Honestly I would recommend it to any athlete who has nerve issues before competitions. It helps me bulk up and regain my strength after performing because I head straight to Taco Bell and get 11 cheesy gordita crunch supremes."