April 30, 2008

i got tagged.

tagged by...


the rules are...

1. the rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
3. at the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. ten years ago I was doing...

ten years ago i was attending oak park elementary school where i was obsessed with long division and i took second in both the spelling and the geography bee. i got out on the word "rigorous" and some question where the answer was "hurricane" and i went with "typhoon" respectively. in retrospect, i think i had decided that my knowledge of what a typhoon is was more impressive than actually winning the geography bee.

2. five things on today’s to to list...

1. go to class at 8:30, 9:30 and 5:30 (check)
2. write a concert report for my intro to music class. (check)
3. go to the batting cages and play tennis. (che... i've done half)
4. write a "rising down - the roots" review blog. (coming soon)
5. clean my room. this has been on my to-do list since i came back from guatemala. hm.

3. things i’d do if i were a billionaire...

i'd buy coffee for the person behind me in line every single day at every single coffee shop for the rest of my life. i'd also take trips with people who want to go places. like when someone says "i've always wanted to go to [blank]." "well lets make it happen. i've got a billion bucks. lets go."

4. three bad habits...

1. i bite the skin around my fingernails. especially when driving between kc and manhattan. not much else to do.
2. when i pitch, i have a bad habit of overthrowing, not bending my back enough and leaving my arm up. this causes me to leave pitches high in the zone. this makes them one of two things: 1. a ball 2. a hit. then i get more frustrated, throw even harder, and make more mistakes. i think what i'm getting at: i have a bad habit of self destruction.
3. i have terrible posture. i blame my legs; they don't fit well under most tables which means i need to stretch them to the side of the chair or slouch so i can tuck them under the chair. i was genetically destined to this habit, however, so i do not view it as a flaw.

5. five places i’ve lived...

1. sugarland, tx
2. nowata, ok
3. overland park, ks
4. manhattan, ks
5. monterrey, mexico (3 seperate trips)

6. five jobs i’ve had in life...

1. grocery sacker/cashier
2. hillcrest student intern
3. waiter
4. barista
5. landscaper (sophomore year of high school i made some serious mistakes, and as punishment i re-did a portion of my backyard for my parents. i built a wall, filled it with top soil, and planted a tree. it looks great to this day.)

7. tagged ones...

1. christian.
2. nick.
3. jon.
4. rachel.
5. karlie.
6. erica.

i understand if you dont want to do this. dont feel obligated.


April 28, 2008

nfl draft.

ok lets talk about the draft and how kc rocked the ally and freaked the oop.

glenn dorsey?! boom goes the dynamite. in retrospect i shouldn't be too shocked he fell all the way to us at #5, i was confident that either oakland or new york would come out of there with mcfadden. i guess the surprising thing is that atlanta took matt ryan. i didn't know they were that desperate to replace vick*. i would've thought a better idea would be to take dorsey and then trade up for matt ryan. he wasn't going to go until baltimore anyway at number 8, and new england was looking to trade out of the #7 spot anyway. instead the falcon's divisional foe, the saints, traded up and picked up Sedrick Ellis (who i am predicting records at least one sack on Matt Ryan in 08).

I was expecting to have to hop on here and complain all about how disappointed i am with the Chiefs' picks, but i find next to nothing wrong with them. We're still weak at DE - the dude we picked up in the 7th round will fill the spot - but with dorsey on the line...who really cares?

The Chiefs pretty much pulled three first-round quality picks. dorsey, branden albert, and brandon flowers in the second round - but he's good enough to have gone middle of the first round i think.

I'm most intrigued by the Chiefs' third-round picks in RB Jamaal Charles and TE Brad Cottam. I'm confident that charles can make an impact next year. I'm nervous about cottam though - he had five serious injuries in college in four years. that scares me. hopefully he's a quality blocker too cause his numbers are nothing to be excited about, but everyone seems to think he's got tons of untapped potential, so i'll hope that too.

i give the chiefs an A+++. the jared allen trade is an afterthought now - dorsey is a beast, will be better than allen and ALMOST as exciting to watch.

first round trade questions i have of two other teams:
1. how did the lions benefit AT ALL from trading us #15 for #17? they picked up a late rounder, but they also missed out on branden albert and took godser cherilus instead? both albert and jeff otah were better options than cherilus and with the 15 pick detroit had their shot at both of them. i'm just confused. maybe they see something in godser that i dont. maybe its just his name. i'd rather have godser cherilus than jeff otah. otah ust sounds moron.
2. the jacksonville jaguars traded up to the number 8 spot with baltimore. baltimore wanted matt ryan probaly, but when atlanta swiped him they were able to wait for a while. but the jags gave baltimore a 1st, 2nd, and 4th rounder so they could pick Derrick Harvey. Thats essentially what Jared Allen just went to minnesota for. unless you're trading up to take mcfadden - no way you give up that much for anyone in this draft. my guess is that harvey will turn out to be worth it, but i'm still shocked at what they had to give up for it.

i wish the chiefs had looked into a quarterback though. namely dennis dixon. i can only DREAM of a mobile quarterback. elvis grbac, rich gannon, steve bono, trent green, damon huard, brodie croyle. are we joking? those are the quarterbacks since joe montana in 94. i want a quarterback who can do something. bring me someone with another dimension besides 'thrower'. someone who can avoid a sack or even roll out. or even run for a first down without getting mentally destroyed by robert geathers**. but if they're not going to draft one, maybe they'll pick one up in free agency or trade for one. i propose byron leftwich - he's available, and i'm a fan. naturally they should take him immediately for those two reasons. but the chiefs probably want to establish a long-term quarterback. croyle isn't it though guys. sorry.

overall: high five to the chiefs. makes me excited to be a football fan around 2012.


* - apparently since michael vick is being held at leavenworth prison in kck, the kansas city t-bones are having "Michael Vick Day". players will wear prison uniforms and they will have special mini-events between innings and all proceeds go to dog fighting awareness or something. i think its hilarious, but i can understand how people wouldn't be happy about it - its borderline supporting vick, and thats not too cool. i think he's supposed to be pulled out so he can throw out the first pitch. i might've made that last part up though, not sure.

** - that sounds like a book. Mentally Destroyed by Robert Geathers.

April 27, 2008

you are my dancing rhythm.

sometimes life is so good and other times life is so miserable that you don't think you can handle it. other times you get a wonderful blend of those two lives. that is where my life currently dwells.

life is pushing along and i'm finding hope and joy in so many things. i'm growing and developing a deeper love with others as well as my Father, but just as i think i'm reaching a level of joy that i haven't found in quite a while something happens that makes me feel completely alone. regardless the scenario, i find myself taking refuge in Him, and that excites me. in the good, He's there to smile with. and in the crappy, He's there to cry with. and when i end sentences with prepositions and start them with conjunctions He doesn't care, cause He loves my flaws.

life is getting rougher. i regularly feel like i'm being torn in two. i feel mature and naive simultaneously. guilty and free. confident and embarrassed. disgusted and in love. furious and timid. sometimes i feel like Satan is sitting on the bed next to me whispering in my ear that i should run away from it all - "just leave it behind and let it sort itself out. you're not responsible for everything around here." and while this is true, i realize that Satan is a coward and a deceiver. running away is for those kids of cowards. not me. luckily, i realize that Satan is a major SOB and that my God has my life under his control.

i apologize for being almost entirely too vague. i told myself from day one of blogging (lameduck - february 11, 2004), that i refused to allow myself to utilize blogging as a public venting tool, and i don't want to unleash negativity and borderline depressing thoughts on you. i wanted to dedicate this mug to my readers, not myself. it was to inform about my life, my thoughts, what i've learned and what i hope brings joy to YOUR life. not my own.*

so in that spirit, i'd like to share the following: God is good. always.

i think that is the thought i keep coming back to in this life right now. He has it figured out and knows whats best for the whole. so while things may look bleak at the moment, He's not going to let me out of his hand...the Bible says that somewhere. i think in John.

i guess thats essentially what i have to share with you tonight. deep? not particularly. new information? not at all. but, instead of the 57 things that could be destroying my emotions tonight and tearing up my heart, THIS is what remains on my mind and in my heart at 9:00 pm on a sunday night. simply that God is good. i feel like that needs to be in all caps and on its own line. and bolded.


there. but for now - i'm going to bed. i'm running on empty and i refuse to rely on red bull until at least monday morning. its not really a goal. its just tomorrow.


* - that is not to say i gain no joy from blogging. hopefully you gain joy from my blogging. henceforth, i am joyful too.

April 23, 2008

later jared. later mike.

two big-deal-in-my-life athletes have just been removed from my teams: michael beasley is going pro and jared allen is going to minnesota.

being a fan of sports is difficult for me nowadays (except for baseball - that is a game that doesnt hinge on performance or individuals - it simply more lovable). my teams in the ncaa and in the nfl suck basically. no, i'm not fair weather, its just incredibly difficult to cheer for a team led by damon huard or a college that is notorious for disappointing its fans.

so i put my love in individuals instead. if the team is horrendous then i can at least support a handful of individuals. i can find my enjoyment out of just one person's stats or one person's energy or one person's ability in general. but those individuals have started to spite me as well.

beasley doesn't hurt much really. it wasn't like it wasn't expected that he was going pro. and even though he might be 19 and love sponge-bob squarepants - he's still going to run to the money. but not only that, he's wasting his talent at this level. he can compete against people even better than this, so why wouldn't he?

jared allen hurts though. for a depleted chiefs team without many glimmers of hope to cling to - this is a rough blow. sure we get a handful of draft picks, but they'll just turn out to be great and disappoint me too probably. can't catch a break. i blame carl peterson. ruining my life.

it has become clear to me that my ability to cheer for sports without being disappointed and/or emotionally unhinged is limited solely to baseball. it's more than just winning to me. it's going to games, supporting catchers making $440k when i could be supporting individuals making $26m. who cares if an individual bats .222? it's baseball. its great.

so. besides baseball, here is what i have elected to do: hope my favorite teams win, but root for everyone. this may or may not extend to ku. i haven't decided yet. but as far as the nfl, nba, and ncaa goes - i'm for everyone. i'm for good games, underdogs, dynasties, overtimes and game 7's. forget hating - 'cause where does hating get you?' sports are incredible and i'll support those who deserve to be supported*.

sports are incredible and can bring so much joy - why would i waste my time being disappointed and bummed about about performance? i'll be a chiefs fan regardless their record, but i'm done being disappointed. its just unhealthy.

that having been said - good luck beas. good luck jared allen. you'll shine elsewhere** and i hope you continue to lead the league in everything and sacks respectively.


* - this no longer includes chad johnson who is turning out to be way more of a punk than i expected him to be. sad times chad. just play the game and love it. its not that hard. and major props to marvin lewis for handling the situation EXACTLY how i think it should be handled. i have a new favorite head coach in the nfl.

** - i hope beasley goes to the supersonics. and then i hope the supersonics end up in OKC. and then i hope i can go watch him play again. i'm going to miss it here in manhattan next year. but its alright. luis colon is still here - final four here we come.

further manifestation of high fidelity in my life.

i'm slowly feeling more and more like rob gordon every day. i wish i was more like dick though. cause instead of being almost entirely cynical - he's the one 'gettin' some.'

for those of you who haven't seen that movie - bummer.

typically i'd attempt to write some sort of legit description of each of these. but i'm lazy, tired, and i haven't digested any of them to the point where i feel comfortable releasing my thoughts publicly.

albums i'm currently attempting to digest:

left to right, top to bottom: 'lupe fiasco's the cool', michael jackson - 'bad', al green - 'let's stay together' and 'i'm still in love with you', pharrell - 'in my mind', common - 'electric circus'. they're all neatly hyperlinked to amazon. as are most of the album photos i put up on this mug.

its pretty much impossible to sufficiently install all of these albums into my brain in a decent amount of time. chances are my list of to-digest music will get longer before it gets shorter. that list will probably be highlighted with the release of the roots' "rising down" (april 29) and then al green's newest album (may 27). so amped about both of those.

thats about all i have to say about that. i'm really striving to find things that are more meaningful to my target audience (everyone with access to the internet), but i'm really struggling. i should make a list of things people care about and try to write about them all in individual posts. what an audacious endeavor. what a solid vocabulary.


ps. i rule at tennis. late.

April 22, 2008

excerpt from buck.

reporter: do you ever have a bad day?
buck o'neil: what is that?
reporter: really. do you ever have a bad day?
buck: no. there are no bad days.
reporter: but you would have so much reason to be bitter...
buck: i stayed at some of the best hotels in the world. they just happened to be black hotels. i ate at some of the best restaurants in the world. they just happened to be black restaurants. in fact, those were better than most of the white restaurants because some of the best cooks in the world at the time were black.
reporter: but i guess someone would say to you: how could you not hate?
buck: where does hate get you?

- The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America - Joe Posnanski


April 18, 2008


anyone who believes 'rock paper scissors*' to be an entirely luck-oriented game is frankly naive. the game is a socially inept individual's nightmare. there is technique. and i will try my best to explain.

please note: all these judgements are directed at the apathetic player. those that think there is no skill are most susceptible. also morons.

there are three types of people in this world: aggressive, passive, and neither of those.

aggressive individuals have a natural tendency to play rock. they want to crush their opponent and rock is the only answer for that crushing desire. these aggressive individuals are the easiest to pick out. usually they have large shoulders and enjoy playing halo. hint: watch their wrists - rock players have a tendency to hold their fist a little tighter than paper or scissors players. if you can see muscles flexing or tendons jutting out then its safer to bet that they're prepared to drop a clenched fist.

passive individuals have a natural tendency to play paper. they're more likely to want to slowly wrap around their opponent to defeat them. this may be both because they truly would prefer that method and because they're not entirely comfortable smashing others and they're not alright with chopping others either. they're connect much more with the gentle suffocation of the paper. paper players are more difficult to spot than rockers. in my experience they tend to be more timid and bashful; they don't want the attention, they simply want to slide away with a slick win. however, watch yourself around the quiet ones - they tend to be the most conniving.

and the others: scissors. this is by far the most difficult to judge. i like to call this the "tricky" maneuver. first off, i would like to assert my opinion that MOST individuals fall under this category. it is the most desirable option because people do not have a natural yearning to be labeled as passive OR aggressive. so they take the remaining tricky option in scissors. this fact alone already shows that scissors** players take more into account than both papers or rockers. they're already subconsciously thinking about what group they want to be offiliated with. this is why i find them 'tricky' - this means they have a greater tendency to deviate to other options. tricky individuals are likely more intelligent and more likely to try and fool you by impersonating other actions. (this is when the rock hint comes in handy - if they dont flex you can more safely play a scissors because if you know its not rock your options are a) they play paper and you win or b) they play scissors and you go again). also watch for a flexing in the pointer and middle finger (the scissor fingers).

but dont fall susceptible to reverse psychology! an intelligent being could intentionally flex their wrist and then throw scissors in hopes that the other might assume a rock is going to be thrown and that they're going to throw paper in return.

the real skill in RPS: out-thinking your opponent.
i hope you all disagree cause that means you'll comment with something angry and i like it when that happens.


ps: i have a tendency to throw rock because i believe most people throw scissors naturally (including me), but i really wish i was a natural paper.

* - furthermore, anyone who lists the game's name in an order other than r-p-s needs to get it straight. 'paper scissors rock' is unacceptable, 'paper rok scissors' is even more incorrect, and 'scissors rock paper' is right out.

** - not even close to the phonetic spelling. so many things are wrong with that spelling. SIZZERS. thank you.

glow in the dark tour.

kanye west's "glow in the dark" tour started wednesday in seattle. i'm currently jealous of every last individual who found themselves in the KeyArena for the opener. here's the review from the seattle times.

"so now imma be takin' no days off, til my spaceship takes off."
sorry mr. west, but its been officially launched.
should read:
"so imma be spittin' every day, no matter what the lyrics of 'Spaceship' say."

and with that one phrase i have quickly posted my most creative post to date.


pic jacked from kanye's blog.
i don't see kanye being one to object to more publicity.

April 17, 2008

Not One of Those Christians

"I need to talk about contemporary Christianity. There's something that concerns me.
We've seen so much abuse of the term "Christian" lately that many of us are now hesitant to be associated with it. We may serve God and be followers of Jesus, but we don't want to be associated with the bigoted right-wing extremists who are known only for their judgemental statements and boycotts.
We believe Christians should be known by their love. (I think John 13:35 says something along those lines.)
We cringe every time we see Pat Robertson on the news. So, we do everything we can not to be identified as one of those Christians. We try to get ouseid the Christian bubble, love others, be open minded and live in freedom. So we drink - but just in moderation, of course. We cuss, but just for humor or effect. We watch movies that our pastor wouldn't, but it's because we're a lot more in touch than he is. We criticize TBN, cheezy Christian music and everything else about the Christian subculture. We hang out in the bars and clubs, originally to be "light in the darkness," but now really just for a good time.
And here we are, without even realizing it, living exactly like the world.
Please hear me, I'm not advocating close-minded, hate-filled Christianity, and I do believe we have freedom in Christ. Moderation is a God-given right. But truly following Jesus is not found in either extreme. After all, Romans 12:2 does say, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world" (TNIV).
So where does this leave us? It's not an issue that can be resolved in this column's 600 words, but it's one that all of us must personally and deliberately answer, because without clarity on how we need to live our lives and impact the world around us, at best we will be inconsequential and at worst, harmful to those around us.
Stewardship is something I've grappled with lately. (Go read Matthew 25.) God has entrusted all of us with gifts, material things, a calling and a realm of influence. The question is, what are we doing with what has been given us?
Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples. How well are we following that challenge in our lives on a daily basis? Are we making the most of the time and opportunities given to us? Or are we worrying about this debate or that opinion, when there's a world dying around us?
We look to one side and see Christianity being mocked in the media because of stupid public statements by leaders who make us all look like idiots.
But so what?
We look to the other side and see a free-will, all-paths-lead-to-heaven kind of Christianity that renders our faith completely ineffective out of fear that we might offend somone who doesn't agree with us.
But, again, so what?
Neither of those need to define us. What other people do is of zero consequence to how we have to live our lives. The decisions we make and the love we show to others are completely up to us. No one else will account for your life but you.
So how are you using it?
Like most of us, I'm tired of being clumped in with the stereotypical, suburban, materialistic Christianity. But we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I believe that God wants us to think for ourselves and follow the Spirit. If it's scriptural, we've got to deal with it. But if a man came up with it, I give it a healthy dose of skepticism. It's called discernment.
We need to not only embrace grace and freedom, but remember that we're called apart, that what we have in our spirits separates us from the world. We are supposed to be in the world, but not of it. We have a hope and a freedom and a faith that the world is looking for, and they need to see that difference in us. Otherwise, what's the point?
I want to be known for passion, love, and a heart that follows God. I want people to see that about me, first thing. There's something different about my life, and it will also change their. I don't want to blend in.
Our generation is looking for something to fill the void in their lives. We have what they're looking for. We just need to bring the truth with grace and love. But we do need to bring it. We each have a sphere of influence. Now what are you going to do with it?"

-Cameron Strang - Relevant Magazine June/July 2006 - emphasis mine.

April 16, 2008


so three nights ago i went to the establishment formerly known as "america's drive-in". maybe it still is called that, but i think they're probably getting better business with their new set of commercials (the ones with the two guys. the ones with the girl aren't really funny).

i wasn't hungry - i just wanted a fruity non-alcoholic beverage to wet my whistle. i'd been sitting at home reading and eating out of my gallon carton of goldfish for about two hours solid. side note: finished the gallon today - it took roughly three weeks. but i was thirsty.

i made my decision in record time. sonic is typically my worst nightmare - i'm possibly the most miserable decision maker in the world. this does not mean that i'm usually not pleased with my final result - when i pick its fine. it's just that my ability to actually make a decision at all is pitiful. i've had countless conversations with various friends that went as follows:

various friend: so where do you want to eat?
me: eh. i dunno...
vf: well what sounds good?
me: anything. up to you.
vf: you were the one who thought to get food.
me: no kidding. i'm hungry.
vf: well then where do you want to eat?
me: uhhhhm....
vf: chipotle?
me: YES.

i've burned countless gallons of gas this way. i dont really make decisions. i think it's because i dont want to come up with something that the other person doesnt approve of. i'm very sensitive like that. that is two sentences in a row ending in a preposition.

ANYWAY. sonic. so i'm there. i'm at the drive thru and i'm thinking and thinking. there are two cars in front of me, so this helped me actually narrow my decision from 168,000 to 1. turns out that 1 wasn't a choice in the 168,000. i knew i wanted a fresh fruit slush, but i didnt want the lemon berry slush. or the lime, or a berry. i wanted a LIME BERRY. that does not exist on the sonic menu. so i settled for a lemon berry slush. and, as is customary at the drive thru, a conversation ensued:

drive thru operator: welcome to sonic. order when you're ready.
me: i'm so ready! i'll take a lemon berry slush please.
dto: uh. i'm sorry. we're out of slushes.
me: ...
dto: sir? hello?
me: you're what? out of-
dto: slushes, yes sir.

wow. are you kidding me? how is it even possible for this to happen? they've managed to run out of crushed ice, water, and ALL fruit flavors? thats ridiculous. that'd be like dairy queen runing out of ice cream. or panera running out of bagels. it just doesnt happen. and of all the times to get gypped*! the one time that i can order at sonic without being completely uncertain in my order i get shot down.

dto: can i get you anything else sir?
me: uh. nope. ouch.

moral of the story:
never get excited about anything. you can never be let down.


* - i was not aware it was spelled this way until writing this post. i tried "jipped" first but it was clearly underlined in red.

edit: i went to the daras instead. thats the gas station by my house.

April 15, 2008

gnarls on snl.

so i was having a terrible day.

but on my 14th time checking youtube for the gnarls performance from saturday night live - its finally been uploaded and my crummy mood is no more.
granted the bass player isnt a storm trooper*, but man i love gnarls.
there are very few things that are more enjoyable than cee-lo plus danger mouse.

they played who's gonna save my soul too.


* - best live performance i've ever seen. period.


top 5 things that make me want to get out of manhattan, kansas.

5. radina's customers.
4. trucks and belt buckles.
3. i'm only involved in one middle schooler's life.
2. the local music scene.
1. wind.

there are more. but those are just the top five.
i'm ready to move on in life. things are stale.
but this is funny:


April 14, 2008

the evolution of 'heart of the city'.

where did this come from? who would've thought that at the end of the day i'd be hooked on bobby "blue" bland? well, dear readers, let me tell you how it happened...

september 11, 2001. while most conversations surrounding this exact date are dismal and depressing, there is one bright spot: the blueprint. jay-z released (what i think) is his best album. some may argue the black album (i think thats the only other contender, though i have a soft spot for kingdom come), but my top vote goes to the blueprint. my all-time favorite jay-z track, "heart of the city (aint no love)" resides on the heart of the album. it's amazing how one track can change your musical perspective. this song is a perfect example.

i discovered at a much later date - we'll say a year or so ago - that it was produced by mr. kanye west. it's no wonder i love it. this has caused me to dabble in his other produced work (common, john legend, talib kweli, pharrell, selected jay tracks). turns out, if kanye produced it, i basically love it to bits*. i had never really understood the concept of a producer before this song. what a revolutionary moment.

however, there was more. this song was much more than just a sick beat kanye came up with and threw behind something s. carter spit out - the thing i think i liked MOST about this song was the sample that kanye used (sample is an extremely loose term here - there is so much sampled here that you could basically consider it a remix). so a while after i started researching everything kanye had produced, i started checking out all the samples he'd used. both on his own albums and on the other tracks with other artist he'd with whom he had collaborated. being a limewire enthusiast at the time (this is about 6 months ago now - soon after kanye released graduation), i promptly downloaded "aint no love in the heart of the city" by bobby "blue" bland. aaaaaaand boom goes the dynamite**.

at the time i didnt know what i'd uncovered. since the 'remix' had relied so heavily on the sample, it wasn't really a shock that i liked it, but i had no idea that it was just the tip of the iceberg. i've been sitting here for months with a bobby bland track; i never thought to dive deeper. it was like i'd been holding an unopened Wonka Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight with a golden ticket waiting inside forever. this evening, jon managed to open that fudge bar from across the pond***.

around 7:18 pm CST (2:18 pm CET) i was sent the full album. oh. my. goodness. my musical mind has just transcended the genres to which it was previously attuned. suddenly i'm hooked on a blues artist from the 50s, 60s and 70s. suddenly i want to make a trip to 18th and Vine in downtown kc. i want to hit up the blue room. i want to tour the negro league hall of fame. i want to sit in a smokey lounge and soak in an hour and a half blues set that only consists of one song. i want to understand this genre of music that i've somehow missed.

and if that wasn't exciting enough - get this - i cashed in a border's gift card for joe posnanski's book The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America (more to come on this incredible book/man - everyone can learn a thing or two from buck o'neil). but this book totally encompasses the same time period, music, and overall idea. in a chapter early in the book, posnanski writes about what 18th and vine (the location of the negro leagues hall of fame) was really like back in the days of blues. back when every bar and lounge in the jazz district was exploding with heartfelt, soul-filled blues. apparently after the bars would close up, the bands would just move it out into the street, and the different players from the different establishments would compete, collaborate, steal each other's sounds, listen to each other, tweak their own sounds and wouldn't charge a penny. what a scene.

anyway. now that i'm on my 11th trip through dreamer i feel like i've got a decent grasp on how great this sound is. bobby sings about jilted love mostly. which is beautiful for so many reasons, but most of all, i think, because it can encompass a dozen different emotions which quickly can be turned into an album with so much contrasting emotion its hard to handle at times. sorrow, confusion, anger, glimmers of hope, disgust, jealousy and mistrust. killer piano, passionate brass and saxophone, and some serious electric guitar all they're mixed and matched with varying tempos and so much vocal emotion that you can't help but wonder why the h adam paul cooper hasn't dabbled in it before now. what a schmuck.

and why, pray tell, do people no longer dress like bobby b? where can i find a shirt like that? hawt. that nearly puts justin timberlake to shame...eh.


* - what a queer phrase. not queer meaning peculiar. see definition 2.
** - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W45DRy7M1no
*** - referring to the atlantic ocean. apparently.

April 10, 2008


here's a handful of things that i feel i need to address quickly in one post as opposed to trying to put out a handful of unnecessarily pitiful ones. not because i dont want to devote an entire post to each of them, but life continues to happen and john buck continues to impress - so i fall behind on these other non-in-the-moment blogs.

so enjoy a list blog of things i feel inclined to bring to your attention.

1. i have completed the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. i finished it easily within a day. what an obviously great image of Jesus. its an incredible book - ridiculously well written. it reminded me of a video we watched at the hillcrest easter performance a few weeks back called "sunday's comin" which i have generously linked here. pretty powerful i think.

2. baseball has started. this means 162+ moments of excitement. i have the following goals: 20 games. at least 2 of which are at stadiums other than Kauffman (which now boasts what i'm told is the largest HD screen in the world). i'm getting a head start tomorrow and saturday in kc. friday night buck night and saturday night billy butler powder blue replica jersey night. holler.

3. i feel like my excitement to blog is directly proportional with my excitement to get up every morning. as you may or may not have noticed (i don't know how committed of a frequenter you are), i've been blogging a lot lately. every day i get closer to summer the more excited i get.

4. an interesting event happened on tuesday that countered the last sentence in point three. one of my professors (the same one i've posted an email from in the past) sent me another lovely email telling "all" that our final wasn't on tuesday, but was on friday afternoon of finals week. this means i'm in manhattan an additional two days, so although tuesday went by wonderfully, i recorded a -1 in my count down to summer.

5. wheel of fortune is the best thing ever.

6. relish won the hot dog race in the royals' home opener. jumped out of the gate early and just continued to pull away. just an statement for the rest of the season to come. ketchup and mustard don't stand a chance.

7. also my watch broke. sigh.


April 09, 2008

into the fountains.

just want to make sure everyone notices the addition to mr. incred's stat tracker to the right.
it landed in the fountains in left center. what a bomb.
first of many big flies for johnny b.

and tomorrow night is buck night.
and we all know why they call it that.


April 07, 2008

open letter to kanye west.

mr. kanye west -

i'm writing you in a desperate attempt to improve the world of college basketball. last night the ncaa tournament ended and, as always, cbs played the annual "one shining moment" video montage. i'm not sure if you are familiar with it - most people have turned their television off by the time it airs anyway - but it is the cheesiest segment i've ever experienced in all my life. apparently it is a tradition. it began back in 1987 and apparently the public went bonkers. i'm not necessarily sure why they insist on the tradition today. its pitifully boring. the worst part is the lyric "you're a shooting star" - guaranteed that more than 90% of the montages incorporated one of the best in college basketball shooting a slow motion jump shot during that phrase. he is a shooting star. what a feeble pun. it takes a bunch of ballers and makes them look more like baller-inas.

however, i believe you, kanye, can single-handedly do something about it. sample copious amounts of the song, add a beat, throw down some family-appropriate lyrics and send it into cbs. there are so many lines you can sample for choruses and there's a legit piano going that you could mess around with. like you did with laura nyro on graduation (the glory). just make it a little more energetic and amped instead of leaving it sounding like i should be watching frolicking* unicorns. heck, call up john legend to hammer it down on the keys if you want, or i bet common would jump at the chance to help you out for a verse. or consequence. or mos def. or chris martin. or jay. (this contradicts the "single-handedly" i referenced earlier, but its your prerogative, kanye.)

it is painfully sad to watch incredible athletes perform to such a cornball song. its even more painful knowing that it is going to happen again next year. and the year after that. 21 years of this nonsense is plenty. please help me out here man. you've got a year to work your magic. ready break.

adam paul cooper

* - sick.


a while back i had a really lenghthy conversation about short term missions and just how successful they really are. are they effective? are they the popular thing to do? it's encouraging to hear that i'm not the only one thinking it. its even more encouraging to read a blog with thorough answers to these questions.

"Are short-term missions becoming faddish? That's a rhetorical question. The answer is: YES. I estimate that 75% of STMs are done poorly (that is, not meeting many of the standards of excellence referred to below). Robert Priest estimates that as many as four million a year go on STMs. You do the math on the waste there.

Those going are increasingly ill-prepared and what they do is of questionable value given the resources invested. Sadly, many participants are narcissistic, they have little cross-cultural perspective, and often their experience does little to advance the Kingdom." -- seth barnes

sometimes i get the vibe that people go on missions because they should. not because they're called to go or because they truly have a heart for the work they're doing there, but simply because they know its the right thing for Christians to do. especially teen and college Christian groups. this mindset boasts a lack of passion, prayer, effort, and ultimately a lack of change.

now this doesnt mean God still can't work through this, but is it worth the money we're spending? withthe list o' lacks above it's likely that just donating that money to something would perhaps be more effective? i don't know. i guess i'm alluding to the "waste" that barnes mentions in that quote.

a couple cool blogs regarding STMs:

are short term missions becoming faddish?

the case for short-term missions.

what does an excellent missions project look like?

i'm finding STMs more and more intriguing (both the pros and cons). they're definitely necessary. and they've definitely changed the world. i hope this continues to be the case more often than 25% of the time. i've been on both sides of the percentage - maybe you have too.

just thoughts. check those blogs and talk to me about them. maybe we can involve coffee too.


oh last thing. i copped this picture of three guatemalan women from one of the other blogs. check the kid on the right. i laugh out loud every time i glance. the best. hahahah.

April 04, 2008

march madness: final four edition.

i'm completely disinterested in the ncaa tournament now.
i think i'd rather go to san antonio to see the alamo than to see either one of these games.

k maybe thats not true. i'd rather watch the jayhawks get steamrolled by the tarheels.
and memphis/ucla is going to be a pretty incredible matchup: dorsey/love and rose/collison.

however. here are my minimal thoughts on the final four this year. other than that its a total snoozer having all #1 seeds.

north carolina 82 - kansas 69.
memphis 77 - ucla 74

i have ucla winning it all - but i dont see that happening.

extremely impressed: memphis.
very impressed: north carolina.
not impressed: ucla.
who cares about kansas?

combined seeds played:
memphis = 16 + 8 + 5 + 2 = 31
unc = 16 + 9 + 4 + 3 = 32
ucla = 16 + 9 + 12 + 3 = 40
kansas = 16 + 8 + 12 + 10 = 46

i'd be interested to see if any team has ever played higher seeds and made it to the final four.
i bet not. lame.

i wouldn't mind seeing memphis win it all.

i also wouldn't mind seeing bill self run off to stillwater after they lose tomorrow.

sports i'm more excited about than ncaa basketball right now: baseball.


i've decided that for the first 15 minutes and the last 5 minutes ku was employing magic.
tyler hansbrough was under the imperius curse
and the san antonio spurs (who lost by 26 last night in utah) deviously switched places with the jayhawks by drinking polyjuice potion:

tony parker = mario chalmers
manu ginobili = brandon rush
fabricio oberto = russell robinson
kurt thomas = sasha kaun
michael finley = darnell jackson
tim duncan = cole aldrich.

this was all the work of former kansas guard and now san antonio reserve jacque vaughn.
....so that explains it. its like harry potter meets space jam.

kanye west - reebok - s. carter series.

yes, i realize i just posted about brokenness and how our needs get in the way of needing Christ.
but that doesnt mean these aren't super tight.
if anyone wants to get me a belated bday present...


April 03, 2008

back from guatemala.

i've been putting this blog off for a couple weeks because i've been trying to figure out its meaning in my life as well as our benefit to those in san juan la laguna and elsewhere in guatemala. i was a little bit frustrated because i didnt think that it has worked substantially in MY life. it was fun. and i think our group did an incredible job showing Christ to the both the kids at the school we taught at, the homes we visited and to the community as a whole.

my direction in this post is unfocused and i'm anxious to see what becomes of this. hopefully i can move in enough of an organized manner so that you all will follow me. ready break.

so i went to guatemala. our group worked almost exclusively at an elementary/middle school teaching english classes, bible classes and physical education 'classes'; we also hauled cinder blocks and tied rebar at said school. our students were great - all went well - 200 kids showed up each day - most were cute.

the cuteness was unmistakable. you just wanted to ask every single one of the kids if you could throw them in your luggage and take them back to kc with you. however, due to the language barrier this was not possible. otherwise i'd still be hanging out with my buddy reyes. the sad thing - if i may be borderline ethnocentric and potentially the worst human on the planet - was at one point on the trip i turned to one of the 5 male hillcrest students and said the following:

"man. these kids are so adorable. too bad they grow up to be so ugly."

i wanted to slap myself in the face, and feel free to do so too. i felt an overwhelming amount of guilt and i couldn't help but dwell on that statement. guatemalans in san juan la laguna have rough lives. i met or observed or heard about individuals who did the following:

1. carried bundles of logs the size of their body up the aptly named "buns of steel hill" (left) over and over and over every day.
2. worked on the side of the volcano in the coffee fields for days at a time without returning home - 72 hour work 'shifts'.
3. preached in a city on the other side of the mountain and would hike 4 hours over the mountain to preach and then hike 4 hours back in the middle of the night.

these individuals look OLD. their bodies are dirty, their hands and feet are callused, their faces are wrinkled and oily. and you look at their offspring and it just rips your heart out to think that these adorable kids have this future awaiting them.

however, it didn't take more than about a day to realize what a beautiful thing this was. here i was in guatemala freaking out about the fact that i needed to make sure i had my bracket filled out and spending substantial time debating whether i should pick george mason to win a game (mistake). these individuals have next to nothing. they work day and night to provide for their families.

a small group of us visited a home together on tuesday night. we brought about a weeks worth of food for the family. we were led by a pair of 8 year-old twins - juan benito and noami - to their tiny little home about a mile away from our hotel on the lake. when we got there only their older sister (12) and older brother (17) were home. their mom had gone into town to buy candles because they were on their last one. the 17 year-old (whose name i can't remember) had just returned from 3 days in up on the mountain in the fields. their father had recently died.

that was enough to get individuals tearing up - you could see God working in their hearts and the cogs turning in their heads. no one could've showed up at that house and not have reconsidered their own life. however, this family went on and on about faith and Jesus and hope and love and i'm sitting there on the bed with juan benito in my lap thinking about how lucky these people were that they didnt have to care about the final four. they had reached such a level of total depravity that they had no choice but to set their sights on Christ alone. and while part of me thought how unfortunate they were another part envied them. no question that their father was in heaven loving life more than i every would on earth - even if portland state had beat ku first round - there is no happiness that could compare to the joy little juan benito's pop was feeling at that moment.

our group barely spoke all the way back to the hotel and when we got back it was clear that none of us really wanted to talk to anyone. God was speaking to the group and that was what we wanted to listen to.

and as we left, i thought about the amount of "good" we had done for that family. and i kinda had to shrug. we brought them food. cool. we'd talked to them about Jesus. sure. but WE were the blessed ones. WE were the ones that had been changed because WE were the ones who needed it more. americans are always the ones who end up crying and thinking and blogging about their experiences in poorer countries.

i realized that Guatemala has it figured out - we don't. sure they don't really have it figured out by choice, but it became evident that they were in a position in their lives where it was significantly simpler to connect with God. places like south america and africa are just exploding in Christ, and its not surprising why. they've got nothing in the way. they're stuck at the end of their rope and the only place they have left to put their trust is in Christ. they need nothing else to make them smile, and it was incredible to feel it myself and witness some of the students at hillcrest discover it too.when we left, all the kids helped us carry our luggage down the "buns of steel hill" to the boats that would take us across the lake to panajachel. they weren't asked and i tried to tell reyes that i didnt need his help. but he insisted and refused to let me carry it. that is love. God is love. the whole community was just exploding in God and that was so exciting to see. they may be poor and needy, but WE'RE the poor and needy ones when it comes to Christ.

anyway. i hope i have more thoughts to come. if not, adios.


(props to laura roxberg and ian mcgregor for the pics.)

April 02, 2008

4th floor hale library. 2nd nook on the right. 1:00 am.

welcome to my sociology term paper. feelin good.
please take time to appreciate the urine coloured walls of hale library.

note: i clearly have not been given wings.


April 01, 2008

homecoming ft. chris martin.

this might as well be a commercial for the city of chicago.
but then again, when i put out my third album all i'm going to do is rep kc.
hopefully chris martin's silhouette will be playing piano and singing in mine too.
awesome video though. love the fireworks at lakc michigan.

i want to go. maybe sometime soon.
or maybe when i graduate college.
perhaps forever.