October 30, 2008

why voting or not isn't enough.

i get this vibe from a number of young evangelicals like myself that they'd rather not vote than select between the "lesser of two evils" in mccain or obama. neither of them fully embody Jesus's values, and therefore these individuals refuse to pick between them. typically when i'm presented with a comment like this my internal and external reactions are very contradictory. in my mannerisms and my speaking i feel like i come across very understanding and respectful; i nod a lot and utilize the phrase "fair enough" probably more than i should. however, on the inside i'm screaming at them asking them "how? how can you abstain from selecting one of them?"

if you are extremely uninformed then i understand not voting, but i don't understand the logic in consciously choosing to not cast your ballot. maybe you're trying to avoid the guilt you may feel if your selection doesn't do a fantastic job by the time 2012 rolls around. that seems pretty cowardly to me.

but the thought i'm left feeling most passionate about is this: if you don't vote then you have no right to complain about our country. it's plainly put, but it's the absolute truth. if you don't care enough about this country to voice you opinion when it matters then you shouldn't have the freedom to voice your opinion about the state of this nation for the next 4 years.

however, shane claiborne posted an intriguing article this morning briefly mentioning a tweaked alternative to this viewpoint:

"If you are completely paralyzed by imperfect choices, writing in “Jesus” is an option but should also come with grave responsibility. Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you can’t critique any more than owning stock should be a prerequisite for decrying the patterns of Wall Street. However, if we do not vote, we had better be spending every day of our lives trying to create alternative solutions to the questions of how 48 million folks can have health care, how we can live without fuel, how we deal with violent people … and on and on."

this really is the truth. if you're not going to select between this year's presidential options then you better be doing everything under your power to fulfill the changes you wish to see in this nation on your own. i agree with you when you say that you can't agree 100% with either candidate - i don't either - there are pros and cons to both individuals, but if you aren't going to pick what you believe is the best option for our country then you better be prepared to step up and change this nation on your own.

except my final thought is this: why can't we do both? there is nothing that is keeping us from electing the best candidate AND stepping up and changing the world the way we'd like to see it changed. we all have the ability to do both, and we all ought to be exercising our abilities to their paramount.

so if you tell me you're not voting, and i tell you "fair enough", you can be certain that i don't honestly believe that is truly "enough". likewise, if you tell me you're voting for mccain or obama or nader (or writing in Jesus' name for that matter) and give me your reasons - i don't believe that to be enough either. as a Christian, the ticket does not end with your choice on Nov 4. we all have the power to change this world for Christ; i think we ought to go ahead and do it ourselves.


on holiday.

there are three types of holidays:

1. important ones: things like christmas, thanksgiving and easter. holidays that mean something more than just a random day people felt like commercializing. and though christmas and easter have been extremely commercialized too, they obviously have greater importance than just a special day. and have you noticed that thanksgiving hasn't really been commercialized much? i mean grocery stores put up deals on butterballs and pumpkin pie filling, and, yeah, the detroit lions are always playing football on tv, but if they had really wanted to commercialize thanksgiving with football don't you think they'd've picked a team besides the lions to watch every year (probably why they've since added the cowboys to the mix - america's team doing their best to americanize a wonderful holiday).

2. pitiful ones worth celebrating out of sheer humor: groundhog day, national talk like a pirate day, and april fools day come to mind. groundhog day is a personal favorite - probably thanks mostly to bill murray - but it's just one of those holidays that you can't help but enjoy slightly. that prognosticating rodent that thinks he can tell you how far away spring's gonna be. as if he could be the month's meteorologist for the entire nation. and has anyone noticed that spring comes early regardless? situation 1: he doesn't see his shadow and we have an early spring. situation 2: he sees his shadow and we have 6 more weeks of winter. this means spring would begin on march 16 which is still 5 days before spring actually starts. see? it's a win-win. how can you not enjoy such a holiday?

3. holidays that truly suck: st. patrick's day is an obvious example. this could be rephrased as an excuses to drink and/or act in a manner that is less than typically desirable to the general public. especially in a college town. its absolutely disgusting how people live during that weekend. the bars open at like 8 am and they're packed all day, all night, and all day the following day. nothing i'd rather do than blow some serious cash on green booze and make myself miserable for the following 24 hours. stupid.

halloween falls under category three for me. is dressing up fun? eh. sometimes. my best costume ever: a tree. typically it's too much pressure and ends up not being worth the time. best ideas i had this year: jack skellington, mormons, a Q-Tip. but the things that i really hate about halloween: sleazy costumes and haunted houses. first of all, i really feel like halloween is an excuse for all the dirty girls out there to wear something sick nast for the evening and not get frowned upon by society...much. pretty lame. and haunted houses are not something i enjoy dabbling in. am i too scared? something like that. there are a lot of haunted houses where people pray for demons to come and actually possess the building. THOSE scare me. people are toying with things that ought not be toyed with, and THAT scares me.

so. people. enjoy your halloween if you choose to celebrate it. try not to do anything stupid.

i'll be handing out candy to door-to-door youngsters with a retired mime.


October 27, 2008

top 10 lip syncing tunes.

typically i don't like to blog about how awesome i am. not because i'm intentionally trying to exude an aura of humility, but because i consider it inherent knowledge with which my frequenters are duly familiar.

however, i must brag today. for i am an exceptional lip-syncer. i'm uncertain where i've managed to acquire such a useless skill, but i've spent the last 10 minutes or so sifting through my itunes and finding my top 10 favorite songs to lip-sync to. it's a difficult process, because i could probably manage a top 15 or top 20 list, and there are always a few stragglers that you feel got jilted and some bubble songs that maybe don't have any business being on the list instead of the jilted ones (sounds like the ncaa tourney), but the line has to be drawn somewhere. and that line is at #10.

10. Encore - Jay-Z
9. Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake
8. Understatement - New Found Glory
7. Motown Philly - Boyz II Men
6. Back in the U.S.S.R. - The Beatles
5. The Distance - Cake
4. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solomn Faces... - Ben Folds Five
3. Holiday - Green Day
2. Can't Take It - The All-American Rejects
1. Monkberry Moon Delight - Paul McCartney

now that i have a playlist created it's possible that you'll find me in front of full-length mirror practicing for hours at a time for impromptu performances in the future. add this to the list of skills i have that won't likely lead to any sort of lucrative career. also on the list: disc golf, foosball, and eyebrow control.


EDIT: i'd like to change number 10 to The Pretender - Foo Fighters. i discovered this after half an hour of pumping myself up for an ultimate game that never happened due to a lack of opponent.

October 24, 2008

welcome, class of 2013.

today is campus tour day apparently.

in my 5 years on this campus i've never once taken a campus tour. some of my friends get paid some meager cash to actually lead them, but i've never once felt the urge to jump in with the crowd and hear the particulars of the university i attend.

maybe it's because i'm a detective and i like to figure things out on my own? yep. thats probably it.

but these prospective students and their parents are everywhere today, and i can't help but think three things:
1. they're all wearing expressions like they've just discovered hogwarts*.
2. guaranteed none of them ever manage to utilize interlibrary loan to the degree i have.
3. probably most importantly - they look so young.

when i was entering college, these students were entering their second year of middle school. it makes me feel extremely old and somewhat uncomfortable. i'm happy for them though. they're about to enter into one of the most exciting, different - potentially regrettable - and memory filled years in their life. heck, their future husband/wife could be in the group tour with them right now.

college is great guys. don't grow up too fast, and don't be afraid to change your major as many times as you feel necessary.


* - which they haven't yet, they are on the 2nd floor, and hogwarts is up on the 4th.

October 23, 2008

poor wording courtesy of david cook.

From RollingStone.com:

American Idol winner David Cook admits he enjoyed playing with people’s expectations and consciously threw curveballs on the show, his upcoming album is all business. “I just want the songs to kick you in the teeth or make you want to cry — or do something drastic, like jump off a building,” says Cook.

It is likely that i will lean toward the doing the latter.

Never been a huge DC fan, but admitting that some individuals may be inclined to kill themselves after listening to his music just earned him some points in my book.

EDIT. this is not to say that i condone suicide. i'm just pleased that DC understands the direct effect he has on society.


October 22, 2008

adventures in itunes.

in light of this being my 300th post on blogspot, i will do nothing special whatsoever.

three things that drive me crazy about itunes.

3. if any song is checked as "part of a compilation." for some reason when i rip an album into itunes and it auto-sorts it into my artists under Compilations" instead of the actual artist name it just makes me want to cuss. which truly is ridiculous because it takes roughly 4 seconds to correct. i'm not an itunes elitist, however, it is maddening for me to not be able to find an artist only to discover that they're under the new "Compilations" section of my artists that has managed to reappear since the last time i deleted it.

2. the "genre" option. as many of you know i'm a fan of some groups/artists that don't necessarily qualify under any type of genre. gnarls barkley for instance. or n.e.r.d. the whole idea of a genre somewhat annoys me. especially at best buy when THE ENTIRE CD SECTION is comprised of 4 different sections:
- rock/pop
- rap/r&b
- religious/gospel
- international music/latino
just the same, to sort music into different genres is equally absurd. i do think it's funny that "acid" is an option. as is "general unclassifiable."....what.

1. "Genius is unavailable for the song [insert song here]." i hate it so much. don't get me wrong. genius is genius. really. the fact that i can click a song, click the little electron cloud in the corner, and get an incredible playlist based on that one song is fantastic. but when it wont let me it is SO disappointing. especially when i KNOW that it is in the itunes store and for some reason the program can't figure out that it's the same thing.
don't you DARE tell me i can't make my "another dumb blonde" playlist because you can't find the song. Hoku is IN YOUR STORE. don't gimme that you can't mix and match other great hits to come up with a list for all the hoku lovers out there. i mean look at it's popularity. OFF THE CHARTS. talk about criminal.


October 20, 2008

if jesus ran for president...

this is pretty clever, and i feel like one could pull a lot of really terrific criticisms about today's political ideologies from it. especially those pertaining to 'turning the other cheek' and giving out 'free love'. (1:30)

i also love when they refer to him as "mr. of nazareth". super funny.

also, i voted today.


copped from revolution in jesusland.

October 18, 2008

pray for the chiefs.

123rd and antioch, overland park, kansas.
took it on my phone this afternoon.

October 16, 2008

kansas city sports sanity and kurt vonnegut.

i'm starting to realize how cubs fans actually do it - how it is that they can go for 100 years and counting without winning a world series and still be as passionate as ever about their team.

it hasn't even been two years since the chiefs limped into the playoffs with a measly 9-7 due to a denver crumble and a last minute 49er field goal on new years eve. the royals haven't played a post-season game in my lifetime. i've been fortunate to have been a cardinals fan for most of my life, but now that i've seen them win it all i really feel as if my true loyalty is with the royals. i'm a kc fan. thats just the way it is.

with immense failure comes equally immense disappointment. after a while that disappointment turns to humor. cynicism? perhaps, but at some point the missed tackles, strikeouts, pitifully immobile quarterbacks and hopeless franchises start to make you smile. expectations flip upside down and you find yourself rooting for alex gordon to strikeout so that it will enhance your argument that teahen should be moved back to third and alex should go rip it up in AA again.

i'm realizing that when you truly love a team and they have the collective ability of eric warfield there comes a point where their disappointment is no longer abrasive to your emotions, but it is almost somewhat warming and fun - like an 4 year-old who gets caught coloring murals on the walls - you'd rather the kid didn't, but let's be honest, it's pretty funny.

how do the columnists do it? how about the cubs columnist who's worked for the chicago tribune for 40 years following 40 years of inept chicago baseball? how do they want to write another depressing article about the team's past, present and probable future? doesn't jason whitlock ever get tired of writing to fire carl peterson? doesn't joe posnanski ever tire of covering the royals' latest "hope" coming up in omaha? imagine that stretched out over 40 years! the only possible articles the worth writing would be at the sake of humor.

this is when kurt vonnegut comes in:
"laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. i myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

"humor is an almost physiological response to fear."

does the man hit the nail on the head or what? where else is there to go but to the funny papers with this? i tell you what, if someone had started a comic strip called "wrigley field" back in the early 1900's they would've just made a killing over the last century through all sorts of dark humor. maybe someone should work toward a strip called "arrowhead" or "collapsing with carl" or "youth movement".

i will hope and pray that the chiefs and royals improve, but in the meantime i'm just going to chuckle and root for john buck. he's my coping mechanism. God forbid someone else takes him away from us.


james earl jones recites the alphabet.

copping props to cdoubledizz.


October 15, 2008

fire carl.

"It’s no secret that the Chiefs are an organization burning in flames, and Edwards seems to be getting more and more comfortable letting everyone see the gas, matches and electric fans sitting on Carl Peterson’s desk."

"The way the club is currently managed, a coaching staff filled with Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Bill Walsh, Don Shula and Hank Stram couldn’t lead the Chiefs to .500."

-- Jason Whitlock

relatively unrelated thoughts to social theory.

yesterday i spent five hours overwhelming my brain with sociological theory, so far i've only really landed three thoughts that just barely pertain to the information i've been staring at.

1. sociological theory it is a bunch of malarkey.

malarkey - (mÉ™-lar'ki) - n. total crap; completely made up information; something not the slightest bit grounded on anything worth anyone's time : sociological theory is such malarkey.

i officially decided this at about 8:45 PM CST when i finally put away my study guide of about 112 words that i was responsible for defining.

my word-defining spree has carried over on to my blog in my definition of malarkey. i also determined the phonetic spelling of the word on my own.

2. i should have pursued speech pathology instead of sociology.

however this would have put me at this school for another 3 years probably, and there isn't a chance i'd ever subject myself to any more of this place than may 2009. i've been in school for 20some years now, and i'm counting down the days...213.

but phonetics is the class-related topic i've been most interested in since coming to college by far. linguistic anthropology has been my favorite college course. easily. it was challenging, yet really fun. and i was good at it. unlike sociology. its neither challenging or fun.

but truthfully i feel like i'm on the right path - the fast track out of college - i'm very ready to begin the next phase of my life. it's starting to piece together somewhat. and lastly...

3. friday can't get here soon enough.


October 09, 2008

voting Obama does not make me a Christian.

i'm nervous that my voting for Barack Obama is turning into a way for me to feel holy. do i believe that Obama's ideals are closer to that of Jesus than those of John McCain? yes. i've expressed those thoughts a number of times on this mug and those thoughts likely aren't going to diminish anytime soon.

my fear is this: am i substituting living like Christ with voting for Obama?

there's not much to voting really. i check a box. thats really all it is. i'm aware that my vote means very little and that i can't alone make a great difference in the election. perhaps thats why i've attempted to educate myself and share my thoughts with friends and family and on here on occasion. so that my vote is more than just me checking a box, but that it is me witnessing to others why i believe Obama to be the best choice.

but is that witnessing overriding the witnessing i ought to truly be doing? is my political agenda interrupting the agenda i ought to have for Christ?

rephrased: is my hope in Obama? or in Christ?

i'm subscribed to feeds from God's Politics and every day they have a "voice of the day." today's voice is St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

i read this thinking, "how cool would it be if America looked like this?"

and then i stopped and thought, "no. how cool would it be if I actually looked like this too?"

voting for Obama does not make me a Christian. somewhere between august and october - so probably in september - my mindset slowly tweaked into one hoping to get America on the right track and away from questioning my own actions. i have tried my best to approach political decisions by asking, "where is it written?" however, in my haste to answer this question for today's worldwide issues i've managed to ignore answering that question in terms of my own life.

this is not to say that i've been dwelling in a pit of sin, but simply that i need to focus on the spirit of my own heart more than i do.


also. everyone ought to go to karlie's blog and watch the video.

more post-season prognostication.

i don't really care to get into reasons.
but here are my new picks since i was 1/4 in the divisonal series.

alcs: rays in 6.
nlcs: dodgers in 7.

cmon rays. keep it up.


October 07, 2008

10 ways to eat more bacon.

there are two things that are amazing about this article to me:

thing 1: um. hello. the obvious one? bacon is one of the greatest delicacies ever. if given the choice between bacon and a snickers bar, i'd pick bacon. thick-sliced, hickory smoked, low sodium, they're all good. even the bacon that wendy's flops on their JBCs is actually somewhat tasty despite being splattered with ketchupy mayo. the ones that jumped out to me:

thing 2: my best friend told me about two months ago of an adventure in the kitchen. he was working at planet sub and was rather bored in the afternoon. so when he went to the back to throw some cookies in the oven he decided to try his luck at some bacon chip cookies. he claimed they were delicious. i thought they sounded bizarre. turns out a major cooking website is promoting them as well (except it appears they've just placed bacon on top of the cookies instead of bakiing bacon bits into the cookie dough. either way, i'm buying some bacon to go with the next batch of cookies i make.

an adventure in my kitchen may be happening soon. gosh i love bacon.


coincidentally enough, pat forde has mentioned chocolate-covered bacon on a stick in today's Forde-yard Dash. also he mentions the 6 really good teams in the big xii. kstate is not one of them. they may be team #12.

sorry ben.

i need to apologize to ben folds for publicly bashing his new album online. i was naive and had clearly not digested enough of your album to write a decent album review. Way to Normal is pretty great. not life-changing, but great. i still think you've gotten angry, or maybe you just fooled me all those years with songs like "brick" and "jesusland". i guess you've just taken your anger and put it into pretty chords and terrific harmonies.

you rule man. i'm sorry. you're still in my favorite artists on facebook.


October 06, 2008

life isn't supposed to be like this.

i was born in 1986.

as i've developed, so has technology. these are unrelated happenings.

and as technology has developed, those of us who live in this world have become more and more exposed to the media.

and as the exposure goes up, our understanding of what this world is really like has also gone up.

so it might seem like a surprise to most that violent crime has actually been decreasing drastically since about 1994.

that isn't what this blog is about though.

this blog is about how even though crime is decreasing, and even though i'm exposed to stories about disaster and terror all the time there are still articles that just absolutely ruin me.

this is one of those stories.

it just infuriates me. first of all, suicide infurates me. second, murder infuriates me. third, what the hell do you have to say to your friends and relatives that would ever want to be read? your reasons? your apologies? your justifications?

in tragic situations i always ask the question "what does God have in mind here?" and typically i can come up with something pretty easily. but then crap like this happens and i can't help have a moment of panic. as if God really doesn't have it all figured out. this also makes me entirely too nervous about what i want to do with my life. it's easy for me to stand by and see the brightside after a while, but is that just because nothing tragic has ever happened to me? what if this was one of my friends/relatives? would i fold and completely lose my faith? i just don't know if i'd manage.

but its not about me. its about the family and friends of this family. its about the teachers and counselors of the sons and about the brothers and sisters and close friends of the family. i pray that somehow they can manage. that Christ show his face even in this dark hour, and their souls are met with joy and happiness on the other side of life. i pray that Heaven awaited them all.

life just makes me weep. it isn't supposed to be like this.


October 04, 2008

a list.

i have discovered in my years of blogging that lists are a terrific way to be certain that your frequenters are reading the material you post. especially if you utilize links successfully (not necessarily to be clicked, but mostly so that words stand out in another color - in this case blue). in fact, chances are most of you have skipped this paragraph in order to dive straight into the numbered section of the post. fair enough.

1. low expectations are key to happiness.

2. the cubs and white sox suck. this also brings happiness. to me at least. (sorry tuff.)

3. i have two papers and two tests on tuesday and wednesday.

4. garageband is super fun.

5. if the chiefs won every week my life would be unbearably terrific. this week has indeed lived up despite my neglect of point one.

6. sometimes i wish i could see a glimpse of my future so i could make life decisions now without worry or fear. however, this is probably so i can learn life lessons along the way. just like why Dumbledore didn't give Harry all the answers in book six.

7. reading is also a key to happiness. and information. but happiness is the more important of the two.

8. lists are essential to blogging; semicolons are not.

would you look at that. i've now introduced 8 different points to spark interests. and since everyone has different interests, and since this is viewable to the entire world, i've potentially reached a much wider audience than this post or this post. just saying. i probably won't adhere to this style on a regular basis, but i have much to do (see point three) and i don't have time for excessive blogging. unlike in september - 26 blogs in 30 days? freak.


October 02, 2008

Review: Way to Normal

somehow in the transition period after the Rockin the Suburbs/Songs for Slverman era and now Ben Folds managed to create himself as solely a performer. no one could ever develop an argument against ben's ability to entertain the masses - he stands on his piano, plays with his toes, and conducts audiences in three part harmonies - who knows what he'll do next. when i saw him in des moines when he was touring with john mayer last year he finished off one angry dwarf by chucking his tripod stool at the keys for the final chord.

but it seems to me that his ability to entertain hasn't crossed over well into his LPs. he's gone from a great artist who happens to be an incredible entertainer to a great entertainer who doesn't consistently put out solid work with which to entertain.

that isn't to say that Way to Normal is awful, but it's really hard to take him seriously as a 42-year-old. his immaturity is really starting to bother me instead of make me laugh like it used to. songs like "bitch went nuts" (a detailed account of what his girlfriend did to wrong him) - and "effington" (a ballad incorporating extensive use of the word 'effing') just don't thrill me anymore. when he's on stage improvising tracks like these on stage they're hilarious, but in album form i can't help but wish there was a heavier theme behind some of his songs.

he does throw down a solid synth track in "free coffee" a catchy head-bopper in "you don't know me" - with regina spektor - and a thundering piano track in "hiroshima (b b b benny hit his head)". the album isn't a total bust, but overall it's a relatively weak record (much like the handful of EPs he's released since Songs for Silverman). he just comes across as ticked off.

however, i'll be thankful to know all of these songs when he starts performing them live soon. i'm beginning to feel like his only motivation in releasing new tracks is so that the crowd will know them when he entertains with them later. it's not a total bust, but i would've been much more pleased with a less-angry LP.


EDIT: upon further review, the pound-it-out piano tracks are super fun when driving and when cleaning my room. it's a productive album apparently, and i can't wait to see ben perform these.

October 01, 2008

post-season baseball prognostication.

oh, how i love october. the cardinals and royals aren't even in it, but october just oozes with excitement. this is why october is my 3rd favorite month of the year. i was forced to hammer this out quick this morning during my environmental sociology review session due to 1) a busy schedule this morning, 2. the regular season ending just last night and 3. the first game of the playoffs starting in...12 minutes. so here are my predictions for this year's divisional and wild card series:

the angels were the best team in baseball this year, and they're going to continue into the playoffs. the red sox are hurt, they're without josh beckett for the first few games at least, but even if he does get the ball, he'll get it in game 3 or 4 in fenway which likely means he'll be pitching for his team's survival. i think they win that game when he's back in game 3, but conserving the bullpen for him will cost games for the sox in games 1 ad 2. this angels team is just really good and haven't had any problems all year.
angels in 4

the white sox will win one of the two games in tampa when mark buehrle takes the mound, but otherwise i see the rays being the better all around team here. they also have something to play for too, which i don't see the white sox having. yes, tampa's new to the post-season, but they're going to continue to ride that young energy in the playoffs. the games in chicago won't be easy wins, but this team has shown heart throughout the year. and i hate the white sox.
rays in 5

this is my favorite match-up this october. i really like both of these teams, and it's unfortunate they have to play each other here. i think the brewers can win at will with sabathia on the mound, and suppan is terrific when he wants to be (see the 2006 post-season). especially when he's starting against adam eaton - arguably the most disappointing pitcher in the league this year (4-8, 5.80 ERA making $8M). i think the brewers can steal this one at the hands of suppan and sabathia (twice).
brewers in 5

i had the joy of visiting wrigley this past may, and it is a nightmare for opposing teams when the crowd is hyped, and any time the cubbies are in the post-season there is no doubt the crowd'll be in it. the dodgers snuck into the playoffs through the addition of manny ramirez, but one offensive presence doesn't win 3 of 5 games. pitching wins series, and the dodgers don't match up with the dempster, zambrano, harden. throw in home field advantage and this one might be over pretty quick. i hate zambrano, so i'll bet against him game 2, but otherwise this one belongs to chicago. ugh.
cubs in 4

ALCS: rays/angels
NLCS: cubs/brewers

see you in the championship series. cmon rays.


rainbow blob dude.

i straight up don't understand how this is possible. but it's amazing.