Thursday, September 30, 2004

costa mesa...again

i made it down here alright today. it's really crazy that i sat by myself in a car for over 12 hours only eight days after doing the same thing. dreadful, really dreadful. thankfully this time i had spent some time with a normal human, packing with my dad and then eating breakfast with julie, so that i could imagine what other people look and sound like. it's nice to get to listen to a lot of music, too, but i just didn't know what to pick today, so even that was hard. well, no more whining. i'm here, and it's good to see these guys again and hang out, even if only for a night. just in case you didn't check this out yet, i can't stop listening and every one of you (oh so many of you, i know) should have it stuck in your heads, so here's the address again.

download all twelve songs, and listen. then listen again. they deserve a lot of attention. listen in sequence, since that was the point of the album. alright, that's all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

newspaper story from texas

i just thought this was a good story with brief, albeit sound, reasons for supporting kerry. and it comes from texas. read on good reader, read on.

Tiny Crawford Newspaper Endorses Kerry

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - A weekly newspaper that bills itself as President Bush's hometown paper endorsed John Kerry for president, saying the Massachusetts senator will restore American dignity.

The Lone Star Iconoclast, which has a circulation of 425, said in an editorial dated Sept. 29 that Texans should rate the candidates not by hometown or political party, but by where they intend to take the country.

``Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq,'' the editorial said.

The Iconoclast, established in 2000, said it endorsed Bush that year. It also said it editorialized in support of the invasion of Iraq, and publisher W. Leon Smith promoted Bush and the invasion in a British Broadcasting Corp. interview, believing Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

``Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda,'' the editorial said.

The newspaper praised Kerry for ``30 years of experience looking out for the American people'' and lauded his background as ``a highly decorated Vietnam veteran.''

Sunday, September 26, 2004

bad sources

the other day my mom brought up the scandal with dan rather and cbs concerning the forged documents that provided the basis for their new story about bush. she thought it was terrible that someone could use such bad sources.

tonight i was going through a bunch of political cartoons online that kept showing how terrible it was that dan rather could use forged documents, and how stupid he was to have been duped. the point often being that there was no longer any credibility in cbs news reporting.

fortunately there were also a few cartoons that reminded us of some other poor sources, and this is what i talked about with my mom: several years ago president bush and his advisors relied on sources we knew were bad because they gave us the evidence we needed to allow us to invade iraq...well, to make our invasion a little more plausible. i heard about this at the time from a history professor at school. it is amazing that a professor at a small school in illinois could know something that only comes out two years later in the 9/11 commission hearings. i agree that it was terrible journalism by rather. in fact, to use a quote i often said when i was editor of my high school paper, "that's shoddy journalism, my friends." but i think that it shows how inconsistant we are as a nation that we can talk about a loss of credibility in a news organization, yet we are heading towards an election in which an administration that should have lost the same credibility may stay in office. and the consequences of their act were so much greater: the loss of life for americans and iraqis, the new terrorism stirred up by our blazing saddles antics, the incredible monetary cost, and the general loss of respect around the world which will hamper future attempts at peace. to me, these are much greater damages than those inflicted by dan rather and cbs. i think it is quite a shame that someone would report something because it seems to say what they want about someone they don't like (foxnews, anyone?) but i think it is worse that someone would use sources that are known to lack credibility to support a political move that will help solidify their power. far, far worse.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

wedding #5

i just got back from attending my fifth wedding since graduation. how surreal to see a friend from high school, one who thinks like me in some ways (of course, not as much in others) get married. i guess it was cool, too, just weird. and odd. and a bunch of other synonyms i'm not thinking of right now.

in other news, it seems that i haven't updated my blog in a while, and that i haven't written anything of any substance for even longer, so for that i apologize. since coming home my bible reading and hauerwas reading have both gone down hill a bit, but are still doing okay. i sang really well today at the wedding. i'm going to be quite honest and what i view as cocky/humble and say that i rocked. you see, the thing about being a good singer, in my opinion, is that it is mainly something you're born with. at least that's the case for me. so when people tell me i have a good voice, all i can do is agree and say i'm thankful that's the one i got. really, i didn't do anything to be born with a good singing voice or an ear that can hear tunes instead of not. so i blatantly say that today i sounded awesome. but i blatantly insist that very little of that has to do with me, and most has to do with the certain gifts God happened to bestow upon me at birth. sure there's been some music theory and some practice, but come on, those things aren't what make the average listener think i sound good. all that to say i was very pleased with how my song turned out at the wedding.

one more not: brian o'neil is the man. that kid crawled all over the front of the stage filming during his sister's wedding. as patrick, brian's older brother said, he has "balls of steel." pretty good for a 14 year old. and with that, i will soon go watch bottle rocket.

wait, one last important thing to mention: i'm stoked that the rhs girls pulled off the win today, and i think it's great that val scored. very cool. the end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

new music

this is mainly for mitch and krispin, though i don't know if mitch actually realizes i have a blog, or checks it based on the aforementioned knowledge. anyway, there is a concept cd two of my best friends from school worked on last year that you can download. the link is this:

there you have it. it's really really good stuff...good writing, and a cool concept. tell your friends.

roseburg again

notice i didn't say home again. i think i really am homeless now. in my mind i'm still a wheaton kid, a roseburg kid, and now maybe a phoenix "adult." it's fantastic to be back, though. hopefully i get to see as many people as possible for as long as possible before i take off for good next week. not much else to say, i'm glad to be

Monday, September 13, 2004

a taste of what i'm reading

i just wanted to post some hauerwas quotes on here. this is the theologian i want to study with at duke, and he's fantastic. so here it goes. this is from "the hauerwas reader," an essay entitled "why the sectarian temptation is a misrepresentation: a response to james gustafson," and is on page 100.

therefore, the most important knowledge christian convictions involve, and there is much worth knowing for which christians have no special claim, requires a transformation of the self. christianity is no "worldview," not a form of primitive metaphysics, that can be assessed in comparison to alternative "worldviews." rather, christians are people who remain convinced that the truthfulness of their beliefs must be demonstrated in their lives. there is a sense in which christian convictions are self-referential, but the reference is not to propositions but to lives. while such a view has similarities to some pragmatic theories of truth, i suspect that the christian sense of "fruitfulness" involves a "realism" that might make some advocates of those theories uneasy.

there you go, some really good and challenging stuff. this is what i want to spend two years studying starting next fall. man, i really can't wait. but i can, since i have to. so i will.

finally, a working vehicle

i just got my car back. everything seems to be working, finally. hopefully it stays that way, and this means that i can make my way to phoenix in the next few days. as soon as i'm done with this post, i plan on heading up to a big mall where i'm going to apply at a restaurant/bar that should produce good money if i can get it. so, we'll see what happens. more job this morning, it's amazing. and yesterday i went to a church i really liked...did i say that already? i can't remember if i posted yesterday after i went to it. more to come.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

riding waves

today we went to the beach for a while and i got my first real taste of boogie boarding. it was awesome, and i really look forward to trying to surf. i would rather go when there are not nearly as many people there, but that's just because i think most people at the beach are idiots.

the 405

no, i'm not talking about the interstate i drove on while getting to costa mesa...that's how much MORE my car is going to cost me to replace some fan and a motor to run it so that my engine doesn't overheat. if it really gets fixed then it's worth it, but geesh. i think we're going to the beach soon. on monday, if my car is working, i'm going to really get on my horse and do the job search thing. it feels really weird to be doing that when i don't even think i want to live here, but that's what i need to do. so i am doing it. i talked to jacob last night for a little bit and i talked to ashley too. maybe tonight i'll try to call aj or val or some other peeps from roseburg. wow, i just almost gave shout outs, something that would have lowered my opinion of myself. for the second time in this post i say: geesh.

Friday, September 10, 2004

more about my awesome car

it turns out that there is no power getting to my relay/fuse box under the hood. on top of that, even if there were, the motor for the engine fan doesn't work. so it seems i'll be needing to drop some dough in the next few days. hopefully it gets fixed in time for when i was planning on going to phoenix, because i really can't go if my car isn't working yet.

i applied for a job last night (did i already post about this...i don't remember) and i think it could be cool. it's at the boys and girls club of huntington valley. i would be the athletic director, organizing an indoor soccer league and a basketball league for something like 1500 kids. yeah, that's a lot of kids. hopefully my resume looks good, it seems that my experience working in residence life and leading the junior high ministry would be pluses.

i've been reading job and hauerwas. it's really funny, because hauerwas's point most of the time has to do with morality and ethics being a practice of the church. he suggests that the church as a body should be growing individuals of virtuous character, and that this is not so they will "be good" or "make society better" but because these things are tied up in our worship of and service to God. right, i said there was something funny. in job, his friends accuse him of doing something wrong. it's funny because they didn't even live in the same community as him. for hauerwas, it would have been better for him to have friends there who were not as wise but who lived WITH him and were striving WITH him toward righteousness. by the way, job is amazing to read, especiall in the message, but God's word is God's word no matter what translation. wow that sounded like cheezy evangelical subculture rhetoric...something i haven't used while meaning it in a long time. feels kind of good...and kind of like i'm selling out. but i'm not. so we're cool. yes, i'm awesome.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

what was i thinking...

i don't know if i'm going to be able to hack it here with brad and stephen. granted, i'm not being driven insane like i thought might happen, but the living conditions here would be a little weird. it's funny that they hang out with a lot of freshman girls. this is funny because the girls they hang out with seem less mature than the high school kids i spent all summer with. and then i remember that, as much as i love brad and stephen, they are two pop-punk emo sellouts to the corporate machine, so their lives are based on feeling sorry for themselves because things aren't perfect. so of course they hang out with younger girls who are also immature...3...2...1...and there ends my self-righteous judging part of the blog. i bougt the message remix yesterday and the stanley hauerwas reader. i started reading job in the message like jacob's been doing, and i want to read a lot of the essays from the man i want to study under at duke. well, i miss the people in roseburg and want to go back, but realized last night that "i just can't do that, dignan." as anthony says when dignan wants him to cut his hair, another thing i just can't do but might have to.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

in costa mesa

my car made it with no problems. it's great that i can drve 70 mph up huge hills for long periods of time and the car is fine, but i can't sit in traffic for more than half an hour without it getting to be too much for the engine. i'm hoping to get that taken care of pretty soon though.

i had a good time with patrick, and now i'm down here with stephen, brad, and the rest of their vanguard cronies. it's already pretty hot here, which isn't a very good sign for me. in the next few days i'll start getting my foot in the door at some different places of work. i really have no idea what's going to happen. thanks for all the comments on the last post guys, good to get some feedback.

Monday, September 06, 2004

should have bought a new car...

so, my car officially sucks. it nearly died yesterday, though i did make it to patrick's. i'm here in berkeley now. he and i went to get some parts for it today that i think fixed the problem. hopefully that's the case, since i plan on driving through the grapevine tonight so that it's not too hot. we'll see about everything though. i'm beginning to think--unless it's fine now, which i hope it is--that i may need to get a new car anyway. and that will suck. or be cool. but probably both. i miss people already. it's funny how the way i perceive things changes based on who they remind me of. so i can see something that would usually make me really happy, but instead of feeling happiness i miss someone because it reminds me of them. weird and lame. that's all for now, hopefully i'll be able to update from costa mesa soon, and even more* hopefully from phoenix not too long after that.

*when i say even more hope i mean it takes even more hope to think i'll be able to make it to phoenix in my car. this is because it seems that i have much less hope of making it.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

i'm gone

well, i'm not gone yet, but by the time anybody reads this i probably will be. i already miss people, and i'm a lot sadder than i had anticipated. stupid emontions and relationships and community...blast. time to go.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

link to a cool transcript

this is a link to the transcript of bono, the lead singer for u2, on the o'reilly factor. i didn't know what to expect, but it is really good, and hits on some of the reasons i think it is important to care what is happening to people that we can't see and that it doesn't seem like we can actually help. go read this story if you have time.,2933,131198,00.html

okay, for some reason this isn't linking. copy and paste is the solution. seriously, it will be worth your time.

opening scene-wedding/airport

Fade in from black to a military wedding scene. Smiling faces, hugs, everyone excited about the ceremony. Ushers seating people. Guests exchanging pleasantries. Every couple shots follow our man, Ashley, as he goes through everything. All the while the song “Sinner’s Prayer” by Ray Charles and B.B. King plays. Finally we follow Ashley as he takes his seat and leans back in his chair.

Ashley muttering under his breath: I can’t believe she’s doing this. Seriously, it’s like she decided to just turn her brain off.

He’s interrupted mid-mutter by a bunch of uniformed marines doing their thing for a military wedding. (research what kinds of things stand out in a Marine wedding)

A: seriously, I just don’t know how she could do this. I mean, just because a guy asks, do you have to accept? Seriously. I don’t know if I could be any more serious.

Unnamed guest: excuse me, you’re being very disrespectful.

A: oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that caring enough to call an insane person crazy was disrespectful. I mean, how else will they ever get help? I guess it’s just better to hold their hand as they walk over the edge. Here we go, let me just grab a prilosec and fall in line with the rest of you. *Fakes pill-popping motion.* There it is, now I’m a happy idiot too.

Unnamed guest: prilosec is for acid reflux disease, don't you mean zoloft or some other anti-depressant?

A: no, i meant prilosec. i get really bad heartburn from crappy weddings like this.

Unnamed guest, disgusted, turns and complains to her husband, who doesn’t seem to empathize with her.

A to himself again: I mean, this is the same girl who told me a year ago that she thought people who got married to someone they met boot camp were being foolish.

He heaves a humongous sigh and sits back popping his ipod earbuds in, finishing the song that began the scene.

Zoom out and cross fade to airport with the title 13 months earlier. Montage of airport scenes that signify lateness and the hassles of flying. Wide shot of people waiting for passengers at airport. Settle back on crowd and scan, until finding a girl who is waving. Zoom in.

Paige: Ashley! It’s so good to see you! Here, let me help take one of your bags.

Ashley: no, I’m really fine. I only have these two carry-ons, and they aren’t a problem. Sorry you had to wait so long. Not that I could really do anything, but I still feel bad.

P: oh, it’s not a problem at all. It worked out better anyway because Bill’s plane was delayed too. I got to just sit with him while I waited for you to get in.

A with obvious scorn in his face: oh, that’s great. So Bill was here…and I missed him…too bad. Maybe next time we’ll finally get to meet.

They’ve been walking and are almost to the exit.

P: do you have any checked bags to get?

A: no, I don’t really like a lot of baggage. Things tying me down, things like that. The less I have to worry about the better off I am, I guess.

P: sounds good to me. My car’s over here.

They leave the terminal, cross the bridge to the parking lot, and ride up to the top. They begin approaching a green mustang…very ugly green mustang.

A sarcastically: oh yeah, I forgot you had a mustang. Wow, that must be great…but how does Bill fit in it?

P missing the sarcasm: oh, he just puts the seat as far back as it can possibly go. It’s really not too bad for him.

A: wow, that’s great.

They get in and take off, some music goes in the car (question whether to use pop music that might have actually been played, or music to help move the story) montage of leaving the airport type shots, parking booth lines, paying, merging, near-wrecks, etc.

Back inside as they drive down the freeway

A: so, you and Bill seem to be getting pretty serious…how’s that going…I mean, are you getting any pressure to get married?

P: oh no, mom thinks that it’s good to live a little before you get married.

A: wow, imagine that.

P: yeah, and I’ve seen too many people in boot camp get close to someone they barely know and decide then and there to get married. I mean, how can you develop a relationship in that kind of environment so quickly? I just don’t think it’s possible.

A: so then you and Bill aren’t serious?

P: well, of course we’re serious. I mean, he was just out here visiting. But I think that it would be a huge mistake to get engaged now. If we can make it through the next six months, while we’re stationed at different bases, then maybe we can start thinking about marriage. But until then, it’s just too soon to commit long-term like that.

A: wow, after all the other sentiments on marriage and relationships I’ve heard in the last month, you are a great breath of fresh air.

Zoom out from her smiling face, cross fade to her smiling face at the wedding. The minister pronounces them man and wife and they walk through the saber tunnel. Cut to Ashley, sitting there listening to another Ray Charles duet, “Here we go again” with Nora Jones. He files out of the sanctuary area, only to get in the receiving line. Multiple cuts showing the awkwardness between him and other guests as he listens to his ipod. As he approaches the bride and groom, he gets several more dirty looks from marines and decides to turn the music down (which happens correspondingly in the soundtrack) and then takes his earbuds out (music fades even more, just a whisper behind the dialogue)

A: wow, umm, congratulations. I guess you guys are married now. Wow. That’s fantastic.

He gives Paige an awkward hug and tries to shake Bill’s hand. The whole time looking over his shoulder at several mean-looking marines.

P and B: we’re really glad you could make it. Your mom didn’t think you’d be coming.

A: yeah, I guess I just had to be here to see it happen. I mean, you know, to "celebrate" with you. Really, congratulations. Wow.

He takes one more look at the marines that have been scowling at him, gives a smile, and puts the earbuds back in. the song picks up, quite loudly, on the organ solo. He makes his way out and gets in his car. As he pulls away the music changes to the title music, “I’ve got it bad” by Duke Ellington, the title appears, and the proper opening montage starts. All things to come.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

the grand circle

three hundred sixty degrees is a long way to travel. fortunately, i did it over the course of three weeks or so, make the journey less arduous. i am no longer a consumer whore, at least not the kind who's willing to go into even greater debt and escalate his monthly insurance payments. no, i am once again quite content to keep the grand prix. after dropping a bit of money today to fix it's air conditioning, i plan on this thing seeing me through grad school.

it's funny, my thinking has changed a lot in the last four years, so that now i care a lot more about money going to the poor. while i don't think that it's inherently sinful for me to have a new car, i do think that there are so many better ways to spend my money, even if that means not spending the money right yet. it's hard to explain exactly this whole thought process, but i am quite glad that i no longer have the intention of going into new debt to get a car. i think that's all i really wanted to say. it's nice to feel like myself again.