December 18, 2008

burrito wednesday.

a conversation i overheard yesterday while waiting outside room 134 in the derby dining center:

girl: hey brian, are you going to burrito wednesday today?
guy: what's burrito wednesday?
girl: it's when you eat burritos for lunch on wednesday. its today.
guy: wait. what?


December 17, 2008

the resurrection of "the OC".

it is freaking freezing in kansas.

granted most of you know this. 90% of my frequenters are from kansas, and the other 10% are mostly comprised of iowa, oklahoma, missouri and utah - the first three due to friends and family, the last one due to my recent interest in absurd religions. whether this is old news or not, the fact still remains that it is currently 4 degrees and 11 degrees in manhattan and kansas city respectively.

i hate cold weather. it makes me want to do nothing. like at all. which is most unfortunate considering the amount of school work i've had to generate in the last 2 weeks. but i'm almost done. after noon today - just two more exams to go. and then just one more semester to go and i will have graduated college. it will likely be around 75 degrees outside the day i graduate. how pleasant. i will not be avoiding the outdoors in may like i have been this december.

however, one perk to nasty cold weather: plenty of time to watch the best tv show to ever air: The OC.

don't you dare knock it if you haven't tried it. yes, i will concede, i have a history of hating on things i haven't tried (i.e. tumblr, the twilight series, green beans, etc.), but this is different. okay. no. it's not different. but i'm begging you - give it a shot.

reason #1 to love the OC: seth cohen. adam brody's character is easily the funniest television character ever. terrific sarcasm coupled with a never-ending wit. he is the source of an endless supply of one-liners. he jokes at inappropriate times and makes light of situations far more serious than he lets on. and he has an unbelievable wardrobe*. also he has great hair...but i'm probably biased.

anyway. since a winter wonderland has manifested itself outside and has brought with it nearly sub-zero temperatures, i have been able to watch the first three discs of season 1 in the past 4 days. i'm productive while i do this (usually) - reading, studying, eating, cleaning, etc. there are few things i enjoy more than the never-ending emotional turmoil and excessive hoots of laughter spurred by seth cohen love triangles.

i have a history of converting people too. i think my OC conversion count is somewhere around 15 people. all haters turned obsessive lovers in the course of a few hours. never will a show capture me like this one. not even the office, lost, arrested development, project runway, heroes**, jonny quest, or any other show i've ever watched on a regular basis. the OC easily beats them all. i'm not even sure pat sajak and vanna white can trump this one. okay maybe them. but game shows are a totally different arena.

so thank you to the cold weather for resurrecting my love for the OC.


* - it may by unknown to many, but seth cohen is the source of my love for the puffer vest. (see espisode 1.12 "the secret") and then kanye west and pharrell williams copped his style, confirming my love for all three individuals as well as their wardrobes.

** - for the record: heroes is the only one on that list that i did not enjoy.

an invitation to environmental sociology: community.

i'm taking my environmental sociology final in 2 hours - so naturally, i'm reading the material the exam covers for the first time right now: chapters 10 and 11 in "an invitation to environmental sociology - 2nd edition" by michael mayerfield bell.

unlike the course material in my other 4 classes this semester - i've read almost every page of this book. i slacked around chapters 7 and 8 due to time constraints and just skimmed it, but chapters 1-6 and 9-11 i have read word for word. interesting that my grade will reflect my dedication to the reading. i currently have a 94% in the class and have to pull a 78% on the final to keep my A. banner day - i'm proud of my grades today.

it's rare to develop a perspective on life via a textbook. well, at least it is for me. i guess a lot of people could read history texts or something and formulate their world view accordingly, but this is not something i take part in regularly. the word "text" in front of the word "book" is typically something i shy away from. perhaps i've been conditioned to avoid them by the textbook monopoly created by varney's in manhattan - overpriced and no where else to go. or it's probably just their relation to school - an institution for which i've developed a great discomfort over the last 17 years.

but i'm really excited that i spent the time to read this text. chapters 10 and 11 have taken this 350 page textbook in an extremely interesting direction. the book's early chapters center around consumption, production, and the interconnectivity of society and the environment - put simply: we shapes the environment and the environment shapes us in return.

chapter 10 centers on the idea of the "tragedy of commons" - a theory by garret hardin. a quick overview of this idea: if there are a bunch of herdsmen who share a pasture who each have a bunch of sheep and they want to maximize productivity they might do it by adding a sheep or two to their flock. but if all the herdsmen add some sheep then there will be too many sheep for the pasture and there wont be enough grass for the sheep to eat and the land will die and so will the sheep. therefore, by adding a few sheep each herdsman has now lost sheep and, in turn, productivity.

this translates over to things like pollution and hunting/fishing. lets say theres a community by a lake. one individual has some waste product that they decide to throw in the lake cause its the cheapest way to dispose of it. it's not a huge deal - just a little pollution. but when everyone does it in small portions it has drastic effects and ruins the lake. likewise in hunting and fishing, if everyone catches and kills more than they need then there will very quickly be nothing to shoot or catch. its a "you killed 589 lbs but were only able to carry 200 lbs back to the wagon" type of situation. if everyone wastes half a buffalo then there wont be any buffalo left to shoot. this is a true story. love oregon trail.

none of this probably sounds exciting to you. but what came next is why i loved it: common ownership (which we all have in sharing the environment) relies heavily on community. there is a relationship between interest and sentiment between one another. this is how hardin's "tragedy" is avoided - through communication, common interest, participation and an avoidance of individualism.

individualism versus community. that is what environmental sociology ultimately centers on? it was surprising to hear, but really awesome to hear. dialogue between people is how any sort of effective social and environmental change takes place. when we take each others interests into account we can easily avoid the destruction so imminent in hardin's theory.

the interesting thing for me reading this is how central to christianity this sounds. in terms of taking care of "God's green earth" but also in terms of life in general. the idea of change and growth through community is something that America has lost sight of almost entirely. urban sprawl has us driving a car by ourself every day to work and having very little interaction outside our home. and when home becomes work - as it does for most everyone through taking care of kids, paying bills, cleaning and fixing things, etc - then it increases this disparity even more. but that through communication and interaction we can not only increase our own growth and achieve our own interests, but also assist in the growth and interests of others. the fact that production and consumption culminate to an ultimate emphasis on community is something very cool about society and how it functions.

it paints a really cool picture about what really matters in life. typically there is the phrase "you can't take it with you" when we talk about material-related topics like production and consumerism. but this trust-based and community-centered relationship between sentiments and interests boils material success and personal gain down to the importance of community anyway. which is what is really matters in life.

success is more effectively achieved through relationships and communication. what an awesome idea. one that ought to be focused on more in this success-driven (yet completely individualistic) society we live in today. very interesting.


December 15, 2008

kc sports: what a thrilling topic.

one of the great things about rooting for sucky teams is that you get used to disappointment and your heart isn't broken as often as it might be if you had some sort of expectation. so when the chiefs pull what they did on sunday it's pretty easy to shrug your shoulders and think "hey. draft pick sizzler."

one of the crappy things about rooting for sucky teams is that sometimes they don't have playoff success for decades, and while some teams are acquiring c.c. sabathia and a.j. burnett simultaneously, i get to celebrate the signing of kyle farnsworth to a two-year deal.


December 11, 2008

why tim tebow will win the heisman.

because this season has boiled down to the following question:

SEC or Big 12?

and the heisman voters will pick according to which quarterback is the BEST in the BEST conference. half pick the SEC. half pick the Big 12.

colt mccoy and sam bradford will split the votes given to the Big 12. and tim tebow will get all the votes given to the SEC. and tim tebow will reign for the second season in a row.

thats my take. have any thoughts? comments? concerns? i don't have a tumblr so feel free to leave any of them here.


December 09, 2008

do what you love.

i've been living with my friend nick for the last 3.5 years. nick is graduating in four days and leaving for kansas city. he's going to be missed in manhattan - especially on elaine drive. he's stepping into a job at Garmin where he gets to build and break and fix things. this is also what britney spears has done with her career.

last night nick was showing me his latest project: some sort of wacky voice distorter. he built the board and attached wires and knobs and switches and put it all inside a neat little cardboard casing and plugged it into his computer so that when he jiggles the knobs and flips the switches his voice is altered to sounding like some sort of robot/theramin/exhaust pipe.

as he was showing me this i first thought "freaking sweet. how on earth is anyone capable of doing this?" and then i thought "it's awesome that he'll be doing what makes him happy as a career" and then i thought "do i possess any skills that will translate to my life after college that are this impressive?" i decided that i don't. at least not ones as impressive as his. however, i do really enjoy making fun of middle school girls' obsession with the Twilight series.

my point is that it really excites me when i see individuals doing what they love and what God created them to do. whether that be mechanical engineering, elementary education, making music, accounting, hotel and restaurant management, youth ministry, professional bowling, painting or whatever - it's really cool seeing people excelling and planning a life built around what they love. that's how it ought to be.


December 08, 2008

most obvious reason why ou probably deserves it.

this stat was really surprising to me. no other team comes close to OU's winning percentage against Top 30 teams. their 6-1 record is by far more impressive than any other team (only loss to texas on neutral turf).

i'm peeved by the bcs just as much as the next guy - but i think they got it right this year.


December 07, 2008

bowl thoughts.

the bcs still sucks, but whining about it does nothing. so...

good things about this year's national championship:

the winner of the big xii is playing the winner of the sec. these were the most dominant conferences in football this year. florida handled alabama for their spot, and oklahoma handled missouri for their spot. both of these teams deserve their shot at the bcs championship game.

the big ten is not in it. finally we have a game between two evenly matched teams. ohio state will not get rolled over in the national championship game (though they will likely get rolled over by the longhorns in the fiesta bowl instead). that ought to be fun to watch.

bad things about this year's national championship:

the longhorns got screwed. if oklahoma wins and the longhorns destroy the buckeyes like they should, then texas will have a serious argument for why they should have been in the championship game. texas beat oklahoma on neutral field earlier this season, but oklahoma dazzled the bcs voters enough to get them a shot against mizzou in kc yesterday. (the bcs vote was the 5th tie-breaker in the big xii south.)

why'd it have to be ou and florida? i'm so tired of seeing the gators in championship games, and (besides ku) the sooners are the last team in the world i'd want to root for.

i will be rooting for the sooners against the gators this year. the big xii deserves this one this year. sure alabama and florida are great teams, but after that the league stinks. imagine if florida had texas, oklahoma state, missouri, and texas tech on their schedule. you think florida ends 12-1 with THAT schedule? looks a lot tougher than florida state, georgia, lsu, south carolina.

that having been said, i will be rooting for the big xii and against the sec in every bowl game. except maybe for ku against whoever they play in the insight bowl (probably minnesota) - man i hate ku.


December 04, 2008

prop 8: the musical.

digression: this blog has not been proofread or edited for potentially offensive content. i apologize if it comes across a bit direct and heated at times.

everyone needs to watch this video. everyone. there is so much truth, humor, and genius found in this. best line in the whole thing:

"well then friend, it seems to me you pick and choose (we pick and choose!) - so please choose love instead of hate - besides, your nation was built on separation of church and staaaaaate!!"

amen jack. this video is good on so many levels. high five to jack black for speaking truth in a hilarious way. i'm so tired of the church dictating what people can and can't do in a way that is so hurtful. do we condone gay marriage? no. but is there a distinction between Christ's morals and the morals this government enforces? absolutely.

perhaps we should focus on loving individuals (read: homosexuals) for who they are rather than trying our hardest to restrict things we see as sinful. does that seem very loving to you? many gays don't even believe it to be a sin. what if we outlawed ALL sins? should we outlaw alcohol? fine the use of swear words?

the church needs to remember that it is not up to the government to enforce God's laws. and every time we try to make God's laws and the laws of this nation the same thing there are thousands of hurt individuals left furious at the church and so much more unlikely to come to Christ. why can't we realize that love is the answer and not hate?

what a rant. watch that video and enjoy it. i'll leave you with this california church billboard:


december 4th.

there are certain days where you simply must respect certain musical artists by dedicating the day to listening to their music. however, it is rare for these days to manifest themselves as an annual event. usually it's just phrased "today is a (insert artist here) day."

however. today is a jay-z day. as is every december 4th. there is a point during every december 4th when i remember jay-z's mother on track 2 of the black album: "shawn carter was born december 4th..." and my day is immediately altered.

example: i'm currently at my favorite manhattan coffee shop (the one that didn't screw me out of a job) writing a paper. i was listening to johnny cash and just chuggin along without any idea how my day was about to change. then i went to read my introduction and realized i hadn't included the date in my header at the top of my essay.


and i realized it. oh goll. 'shawn carter was born december 4th.'
later jc*. hola hovito.

im not sure if there is any other artist that constitutes an annual musical adjustment to my life than jay-z. good thing i have 212 different jay-z items in my itunes on 8 albums, 1 accapella album, 5 mash-up albums and an additional 23 tracks as a featured artist. this translates to 14.2 hours of audio. ought to be plenty of time to get me through a day packed with article reading, studying and paper writing.

i'll leave you with three of my favorite jay-z tracks.
minority report - jay-z (feat. ne-yo)
produced by dr. dre
album: kingdom come (2006)

heart of the city (ain't no love) - jay-z (feat. bobby bland)
produced by kanye west
album: the blueprint (2001)

dear summer - memphis bleek (feat. jay-z)
produced by just blaze
album: 534 (2005)

also shawn wears scarves. i don't have one. sigh. yet another great reason to go get one.
my list of reasons include:
- they're awesome looking.
- karlie likes guys in scarves.
- it's freaking freezing outside and i have to walk to campus.
and now
- jay-z rocks a scarf.

ugh. thats it, i'm getting one.
have a gay jay day.


* - in this situation "jc" equals johnny cash...not jesus christ. also, listening to rap/hip-hop does not mean i am forsaking my Savior and following the devil. on the contrary, it brings me closer to Him. but that is for another day and another post - just turn on minority report and listen for Jesus' voice. he is there.

December 02, 2008

erwin mcmanus.

“When interacting with unbelievers, we’re not, in a sense, trying to ‘close the sale.’ We’re trying to make meaningful friendships. Because the gospel is transmitted in the most healthy way through genuine care and concern.”
Erwin McManus