Friday, December 31, 2010

snowboarding .

So I went to Camelback Ski Resort today, which I have dubbed my home mountain. All I can say is what a perfect day for it. 40 degrees in temperature, fresh powder on the slopes, sunny day; the only thing that was detrimental to the day was the fact that there were a ton of people there. The drive up went smoothly despite one bottleneck from an accident. All in all, it was a great way to sort of finish out the break [I'm leaving for Clemson on Tuesday].

Snowboarding has got to be one of my favorite things to do, and even though it's so expensive, I'm pretty much willing to run my bank account dry if I can get myself out on the slopes. It is certainly nice to have my own gear so that I don't need to rent from the mountain because Lord knows that is redonkulously expensive.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

texting & driving .

We've all done it. We've all seen other people do it. Heck, we've been in the car with other people doing it. Texting while driving. Everyone I know texts so much that doing it while driving seems second nature. Why wait until I'm at my destination? I can practically type without even looking at the keyboard. I try to justify it to myself by saying that I just won't look at my phone and whatever grammatical or spelling errors I make are simply trivial and I'll fix them when I get to the next stop light or stop sign.

will this dang video work??

well, blogspot normal video upload is being a poop. and thus, youtube, for the win!

no sound though, provide your own tunes to optimize your viewing experience. :)

However, recommended music can be found here!

reminders .

Today I'd like to talk about those things that we all have lying around -- those things that remind us of a very specific person, those photos enriched with memory, those that make you laugh and smile at the thought of the person, and those that unearth heartbreak and loss. In particular I'm talking about relationship keepsakes. I just felt like talking about them generally, and then maybe going into some more specifics. [I'm also going to include pictures and video if it works of the snow that we had here in Jersey!]

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

poppy .

Just a quick side note before I begin, I was going to take pictures of the snow today, but didn't have a chance. I woke up around 1130, and promptly marched outside in full snow gear to shovel my neighbor's driveway with my brother -- which happened to take 4 hours. I'll try to take some within the next few days though.

And on to the main topic. Poppy was what I affectionately knew my grandfather as. I remember hearing the story of how it came about, how they were trying to get my elder sister to say grandpa, and yet she refused and instead said poppy. And thus, Poppy it was.

Monday, December 27, 2010

snow .

Today my brother and I opted to go to an earlier mass than the rest of our family. I usually do the same and go alone, much earlier; it's just better that way. When we got back, there were a few flakes in the air -- and within a half an hour, it progressed to a steady blanket of the white fluffy stuff, falling casually towards the ground, coating it softly. Since this morning, it hasn't stopped, and has persevered to cover the world around me, one bit at a time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

commercial christmas .

Well, another year passed and another Christmas Day celebrated in pure holiday fervor. Yet at the end of the day, there is yet another opportunity to contemplate the day's activities, and more importantly, those of the season. Had I done what I needed to do to prepare myself, mentally, and spiritually for the season?

It also forces me to look at the world around me, and what goes on there to prepare for the holidays. I think it's easy to tell where the minds of most are at this time of the year -- children have come to expect the presents and benefits that come with having a commercial Christmas. Ads on TV start before Halloween, and gimmicks and sales penetrate the average person's mind with upsetting ease. Then there are the annoying commercials that you simply cannot ever get out of your head (the Hess truck theme song comes to mind) and of course the looming reminder that as soon as Thanksgiving is over, you better be ready to put on your elbow pads and shin guards to get through the open doors first on Black Friday.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

why am i doing this ?

Sometimes it's interesting to think about why I started this blog in the first place. Sure, it's a place to unload thoughts, mentally discuss, and hopefully put a positive note into some other people's lives at the same time.

But it's more than that.

I feel like blogs have evolved a lot over time. I never used to be a fan of them -- and thought they were pretty pointless to be honest. I figured it was just a place for people to randomly vent, complain about what they had to do that day, and basically let out all their steam. I guess some people still use them in that way, and that's just dandy for them, although to be honest I sure won't be stepping anywhere near it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

women .

The other half to men? The descendents of Eve? Aliens from Venus?

Wherever you want to say they come from, and whatever you want to call them, women are some of the most confusing creatures I have ever met. Pardon me, let's call them humans, as that is what they are, yes?

It's no secret that relationships are tough. And that you clearly have to work at them. We've all been there -- we've all been dumped, we've all had to make the decision to break up with someone. Either way, it's not easy going through that. A lot of times people ask what happened -- let me take this opportunity to quote one of my favorite movies; he asks 'what happened with them?' and she replies 'what always happens? Life.'

Amen, right?! There's just something that always happens. And the interesting thing is that you can usually put your finger on almost exactly what it is too. Somehow, things can be 100% perfect and the next second you're getting booted out the door of their lives, your luggage packed (except for that favorite hoodie she borrowed and you'll probably never see again, because despite the fact that it's one of your favorites and she thinks she hates you, she'll probably keep it as a memento to your relationship).

There are a billion things I could talk about on this subject, but I'll just do my best to collect my thoughts and hit on a few.

First, let me mention something entertaining that Jeff Russell brought up in a vlog. Girls and facebook. It is no longer simply social networking for them, but also a life photo album! Girls have a billion and a half pictures up there, and if you didn't know someone you could practically fabricate an entire life based upon the pictures they have up there because there are so many. Not to mention they think they look absolutely terrible in every single one of them, and look to you to affirm the fact that they are gorgeous and beautiful! And even then, sometimes some are so stubborn that when you try to tell them they are indeed beautiful and you mean if from the bottom of your heart, they constantly disagree to the point where you no longer want to compliment them anymore! And then here's the best part -- "oh yeah, I look terrible in that picture"

Then why is it your profile picture!?!?!?

And now on to a few more serious things, after that humorous digression.

I am a flirty person. Probably too much sometimes. I have always been more of an introvert, or at least I thought so. So when introverts meet extroverts, it's easy to carry on a conversation. I also love relationships. Which means even if I'm not thinking of it specifically, it always carries on in the back of my mind. And it also means that I may come off seeming like I'm super into somebody and maybe wanting to start something when I'm really just having fun and getting to know someone better. Because I try not to just jump into things without knowing someone well. Or at the very least, spending some good solid time with them.

It's also probably pretty common for people to like to have options. There's always people I could see myself potentially dating, some more than others. So when people ask if I like anyone, I usually don't have an answer for them, other than that there are people I could see myself potentially getting involved in. However, usually people really try to pursue one person to start something with, and that may be where I am different. I like to get to know everyone equally well -- because even if I don't date them, I still want to be good friends, because if they passed my standards to the "dating potential" level, then in my mind, they are clearly good people, and their hearts and minds are in the right place. That's attractive to me, end of story. Naturally, I'll want to spend time with them, talk with them, etc, just to sort of feel things out.

The problem is that there is a line between hanging out as friends and getting to know someone, and leading them on. The last thing I want to do is be viewed as a heartbreaker, or someone who led people on and on and then snipped the cord. But maybe that's just what I tend to do. I really enjoy female companionship and company, because as said in previous blogs, I'm always worried of what happens if I don't find the right person, and thus I tend to lean toward spending lots of time with them. I also am a person who really enjoys humor, and really enjoys making people laugh. Thus, doing so and joking around can be taken as flirting. But who's to say it is or isn't?

There is no rule book when it comes to the relationship between a man and a woman. True, there are general moral codes, and although those seem to be having less and less of a presence in today's relationships (as sad as that is) I am completely prepared to uphold them. However, in terms of the time before an official relationship begins, there is no code, other than to be courteous and chivalrous (or at I least that's what I think should happen!)

Usually you can tell if someone is really into you. Maybe I'm just really hard to read, because apparently it's not easy. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is hurt somebody -- because I have been on the receiving end of that far too many times, and I know how hard it is, and I know how confusing it is. So in a sense, perhaps I am just as confusing as any woman out there -- life does not simply revolve around football and beer (haha). In the end, I just want to get to know you. There's no need to ever rush things, I believe, since we all have our entire lives ahead of us! And usually rushing through just makes things more complicated in the end, resulting in both parties getting hurt, and the asphyxiation of a relation begins. How sad, given that there was so much potential.

I'm not saying that I'm saying this as a disclaimer to getting to know me. And perhaps I should rethink the way I act around people. But I think that before you pursue a relationship and jump into things, you should get to know each other first as good friends (a great girl taught me that once, and always reminded me that patience was a virtue -- and a good one to follow at that!).

I'm normally that guy that takes a relationship super serious from the very beginning. But with all that serious contemplation -- what happens to the fun? Wish I could tell you, but it just flew out the window along with the relationship. The fun is what makes it worth it -- I need to keep in mind why I was interested in this person in the first place; because we had a lot of fun together!! I truly believe that in some cases, starting a relationship can just muddle things endlessly, and no one wants that.

On that note, it may very well be that women are incredibly confusing. Confusing to read, confusing to understand, confusing to interact with. But I suppose I've just proven that I am equally as much of a headcase. Howeverrrrrr, I think we can all agree, that we need each other. And it's that constant putting up with each other and the letting it all just flow as necessary, that makes it all worth it in the end when you are finally happy with the one you were meant to be with forever.

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On a side note, I am happy to say that my direction of writing lyrics is going to take a different direction, and I have finally decided what that direction will be. Instead of dwelling on the things that hurt me, and the time I have had my heart broken (as great as that material may be) I am beginning to ask myself what I see in life that is beautiful. It can be something as small as the wind in my face, or the vibrancy of the blue sky, or the simple colors on a page. What is in life is indeed beautiful, and sometimes it's not always easy to see. This is where I come in. Using music as an outlet, I am able to take the beauty and majesty in this world, and pass it through a conduit to sounds and words, where it messages can be heard, understood and celebrated. Sound good? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

reconsidering .

I wrote a blog a while back about music being the dream that I always wanted to pursue, the thing that I would love to be doing instead of going to school. But I never really had that "ah ha!" moment.

I read Adam Young's blog, (if you don't know who he is, he's the man behind the magic called Owl City, Swimming With Dolphins, and Sky Sailing) and since I came into it partway, I decided to go back to the beginning and read all of the entries (which you can read here if you so desire).

One of his entries, entitled I Am a Moonlighter, described how his uncle loaned him his first guitar, and he couldn't tear himself away from it, playing until his fingers bled, loving every feeling that instrument gave him.

To put it short, I've never had those feelings.

Sure I love playing guitar, and I love love love music. Listening to it, singing along with it, creating it (although I am never satisfied with what I create). Granted, I've really only gone in 1 direction with music -- that being acoustic guitar. I've always wanted to learn piano. I feel like the complexity of the instrument begs for it to be taught, as opposed to learn on your own. Despite the fact I've taught myself guitar and drums, piano would be a completely new endeavor.

But reading about musicians and their first inspiring experiences, especially this particular one, makes me wonder if that is what my dream really is, or if I just say that and don't really believe it.

I've owned a guitar for maybe 2 or 3 years now. Never have I rushed home to play guitar. I'll admit I write a fair amount, songs/lyrics/poetry or whatever you'd like to call it. But recently, not so much. Many times I'm very pleased with the words I come up with, but can't make it happen for me when I get to the music. I throw a few simple chords along with it and then just record it. A few hours of editing and I'm done with it.

Makes me wonder -- if I really wanted to do this forever, and I mean REALLY wanted to to this forever, wouldn't I be constantly compelled to write, play, sing, edit so much more? It would be like I'm married to the music, like I could never get enough of it no matter what. But hearing these other kids who would run home from school and drop everything so they could get to the guitar, or whatever it was that brought them into the musical community, well that was just never there. My routine when I came home from school was always eat a snack, poop (because let's be real, who wants to go in the school bathrooms?) and watch tv, play on the computer, or play video games until my mom told me it was time to start homework. As I got older I would just sort of start my own homework.

Maybe I'm too practical, too worried about not getting my work done. I always say I want to play, I want to record, but then I never do. Could be just procrastination. But I think it goes deeper than that. It's hard to find that one thing that you want to do, love to do, and could never live without. Because, after all, isn't that the goal in life? To be happy what you're doing in life? To wake up every morning and say I cannot fathom how the heck I get paid to do this because it's just fun and games? All that makes me wonder whether I'm on the right path at all. I clearly have some serious soul searching (how's that for alliteration) to do.

Maybe I just need to go in a different direction with my music. I've been overdosing on Owl City lately, and I love the sound. Someone who commented on his blog described his lyrics as 'whimsical'. How true. They're simple, but they mesh together perfectly, cohesively, like the words are naturally supposed to go there. Specific lines that stick out are 'but the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly' or 'as many times as I blink I'll think of you tonight'. It's just magical. And it seems so easy.

Writing the lyrics has always been the easiest part for me. One bit of inspiration, and I can run with it. Needless to say it's a great outlet for those trials in life that cannot be overcome just by sitting around, and I can really have fun with literary flourishes and fluff.

But then there's those things I'm constantly disappointed with: My guitar ability for example, and how I don't know scales, can't solo well, usually make songs with just chords, and nothing special or out of the ordinary. I have a friend (Bryan) to whom those things seem to come so naturally, and I have witnessed it. (I'm pretty sure he's majoring in musical therapy, so dude, since I'm pretty sure you're reading this, from my point of view, you are doing what fits you best!) Secondly there's my voice. When I sing along with things I'm constantly disappointed how I can't sing as high. I used to be able to, but then puberty happened. I've always been a fan of those higher voices like Dashboard Confessional, Owl City, Death Cab for Cutie, and the list goes on. My voice is more at a Jack Johnson or John Mayer range, which is fine, but in my music I generally try to pursue a voice that is higher than that.

Not to mention there's the feeling of hearing yourself sing after you record it. I could write an entire blog on the things that bother me about my voice. How it sounds so breathy, how my vocal chords can't just hold one freakin note without wobbling all around all over the place (and not in a vibrato sort of way). Granted, there are things you can do with recording these days to fix the imperfections in music and in voice, and I guess to some extent that makes the ability to make your own music less impressive these days, because it has gotten so much easier to do.

Gosh there are so many loose ends I've created in this blog that I need to tie up now.

Okay, in terms of the music, most people are content with what they are able to do, and if they're not, they just try to learn as much as they can, soaking in everything. I have the unbelievable programs (Logic Pro, Garageband). I have a guitar. My brother has another guitar. We both also have an electric guitar, and small amps. I have a microphone. We have a full size piano, even though it's not tuned correctly. We have a keyboard. We have a synthesizer; it's not great, but it exists. I clearly have music options. But I don't know how to use that stuff very well. It's easy to get lost in programs like Logic because there are so many detailed options and things you can add. Thousands of loops, hundreds of thousands of combinations. Loops are great, but I want to create the beats myself, I want to make it mine. I don't know why that seems to be so hard but it does.

In terms of the instruments themselves, I've never really challenged myself to play something difficult so I can get better. I'll go at it for a bit, and if I don't get it, I'll just sort of give up after awhile. I bought a book on the basics of piano so I could teach myself that, and that only lasted a few hours. I've bought tons of guitar books with tabs of songs or even techniques or chord diagrams. I never really use them.

But despite all of these things I still record -- but it almosttttt feels like a chore and that I have to make myself do it. That's going a bit far and a bit too harsh of a wording to correctly express how I feel in regards to that, but that's the closest I can get.

There are also all of the technical setbacks I have. I don't know how to mix music, I don't know how to use all kinds of things like sequencers or condensers, much less even know what the heck those are. I don't even know how to correctly record something without just plugging a microphone into a computer. And I mean literally, into the mic port, without sending it through anything first. Take the people on Youtube for example, who are so great with their music. Alex Goot, Tyler Ward, etc. Their music sounds professionally produced. How do they do that?! It blows my mind, and I wish I knew how/had the setup to make that happen. But the thing is maybe I really don't need a lot of things to make it happen. Let's be honest, that's a lot of money I simply don't have to spend.

Maybe what I need to do is just invest in a really nice mic and work with that. That certainly can make a big difference. I'd love to work with a basement artist like Alex Goot or Adam Young or shoot, even just watch them do it so I can see the whole process start to finish. The thing is, no one taught them either, they taught themselves. If they can do it, why not me? Lack of motivation? Lack of money? Those are just excuses. In the end I begin to think that that's not what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't even know anymore. If something begins to feel like a chore rather than fun, then it's probably not my life's dream. But there must be another reason while I still pursue it, or say that I really love it. Is it in hope's of becoming famous? I would assume not, given that I usually don't care much about that. Making money? Could be, but early in a career in music the possibilities of immediately making it big are slim to none. Don't think so. Maybe because it just sounds cool to say you're a music man? Probably a good bet.

I also wish I had different topics to write about than the same old thing all the time. Or at least if I wrote in a different sort of manner. When I listen to Adam's words, it represents a celebration of life, even if the topic is not the happiest. He constantly describes his music as optimistic, and I don't believe there is a better word for it. I seem to prefer to wallow in my sorrows and record those undertones on the page, and maybe that's one of the reasons I'm not motivated to do it. Who wants to sit in grief and stress and sadness and loneliness for hours and hours, revisiting those feelings over and over as they record it?

There's a lot to think about. And I think if I try to cover it all here and now, I'll never finish. So, let's make a list of goals.

Short term:
Learn some piano chords, start to try something new. Keep it simple. Write about the things that amaze me, the ones that give me chills, the ones that make me want to jump and scream out that I love the world. Stay away from relationship issues, heartbreak and the usual things I write about. Start out using loops to create some beats and things like that, keeping it simple. Loops are easy to make songs with. Experiment with some effects and just see what they do, and how it changes the music.

Long term:
Play daily. Whether it's guitar, or piano, or synth, play daily. Maybe invest in a really nice keyboard at some point (Christmas present anyone?) Research the sorts of things that go into editing and recording. Figure out what makes things sound better, in terms of vocals and such especially. Most importantly, figure out if this if what I want to be doing -- if I'm not having fun doing it, don't. It's that simple. Begin to produce my own beats, sounds, loops. A lot can be done with a repeated phrase. Make magic for myself, give myself chills.

And I guess that's about the best I can express all that just went through my head in about the 5 minutes it took for me to read Adam's one blog entry. Amazing how stuff like that inspires you. If you have any words of wisdom, or comments, this would be the one entry to comment on. I need the advice, the suggestions, new ideas. I'll thank you in advance. Until tomorrow.

reunification .

Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing some friends that I haven't seen in a very long time.

It's truly amazing how you can not see someone for forever, and not really talk to them at all, and then all of a sudden hang out and have everything be perfectly fine between you. No problems, no grudges, just pure fun, something that will last a lifetime. It was that that I experienced tonight. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, or just enjoyed myself to that extent.

Returning home to the people that truly appreciate you -- well, there is no better feeling. Spending time with those you care about, and knowing that they care about you just as much, is awesome.

That's not to say that I don't love my friends at school, and those that I've met through school. Clemson has been a truly unique place for me that has grown to become quite near and dear to my heart. It's been a place of learning, but also of perseverance and determination, discoveries about both myself and life in general, and a place where I can really see myself as a part of something great. I do not regret choosing that school in the least.

Anyways, I don't really plan to spend a lot of time elaborating on this reunification of friends from home in this blog, but I simply wanted to state that to those of you who make the effort to get together, it is much appreciated, and really makes me feel loved at a time when I really need it. Sometimes I just need to get away from my family and just enjoy myself with some friends. You guys are the best, and I hope our friendship never changes, and that it will seem just as easy to maintain as it is now.

On a side note, I accomplished some great stuff over the past few days -- musically anyways. Recorded a lot, mixed it, edited it, and basically set it all up and finished things off.

Oh, if you only knew what was coming your way....

Until tomorrow,

God bless.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

weather phenomena .

It's no secret that there are some things in the universe that simply cannot be explained. Some things just seem to be magic, despite the fact they are most likely purely scientific.

Take for example, the northern lights (aurora borealis). They create a shimmering shower of colored light that flickers and dances across the sky. It's unreal. Let's look at something a bit simpler -- snow, for instance. It has to be the perfect temperature to form, too cold or too warm won't let it happen. And somehow the cold from the upper atmosphere lasts all the way down as it floats slowly towards the earth like a leaf falling from a tree. The silence that comes with snow, and how the clouds seem to blanket the sky.

There are the natural disasters, like the way a tornado wreaks havoc along a path leaving behind a trail of destruction, with a roar like a train passing by. The hurricanes, as they spin rapidly, hurtling along coasts, picking up steam, and eventually fizzling out. A tidal wave, triggered by the movement of the earth's tectonic plates below the ocean. A wall of water traveling in all directions.

And no matter what happens, there is nothing we can do to stop these things, or start them for that matter. The weather, is the weather. All you can do is prepare yourself before you walk outside.

Which brings me to what I'm actually getting at here; tonight there is a lunar eclipse. the article I found out about it is here . Granted, relative to the time that these sorts of things occur compared to the life of earth is peanuts (300 years or so compared to 4 billion) but to us, it's clear that these things are a once in a lifetime opportunity. I already missed the solar eclipse that happened earlier this year, and I remember being really bummed that I did. So, in the spirit of living it up for the weather, I will be staying up until a not so unusual late time to catch the lunar eclipse tonight. Should be pretty sweet! I'm excited, at least. It's always neat to see things that are just occurring in nature all on their own that are amazing, or puts you in awe, or beautiful.

If you know me, you know I'm a fanatic for sunrises and sunsets. I took a billion pictures of sunrises this summer and of just the sky looking beautiful, since I had to get there by 530am at the latest. Unfortunately I had to restore my phone and I lost all of the pictures that I took -- but at least I still have the memories, and if I work the same job again this summer, I look forward to being able to see that gorgeous sky every morning.

There's something that is just awesome about seeing all of those things -- maybe it's because it all happens on its own, and maybe it's because it just looks pretty. Whatever the reason though, I hope it never stops. If we ever get to the point where we have polluted our planet to the point where there is only a layer of smog in the sky, that will be quite a disappointing day. So I pray that day never comes, and for now, celebrate the great visual feats that happen around me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

connections .

As I was laying on the couch today trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do with all this free time, when an interesting thought crossed my mind.

(random insert, sometimes I just want to tell my parents to go fuck themselves.)

SO anyways, I realized after a while that it seems like no matter what happens, if you want to hang out with people when you are home on a break, you have to initiate it yourself. It seems like people never want to do anything, or at least they don't want to make a decision to do so.

Why is that? Every year when I come home for break, I always make a list of people I want to make sure I see, people I make sure that I keep in contact with, and people that are important to me that I want to stay connected with. And when I come home and suggest that I hang out with some people, they all seem so gung ho to do it, and then it never happens.

What is it that about plans that is so hard to carry through with them? I don't get it. If you want to stay in touch with someone, and want to hang out, why not just suggest to do something? But I guess that's just typical for anyone. If there is no set time and date for something, it will cease to exist until that set time and date is voiced and agreed upon.

This is disappointing to me. If someone is going to make the effort to stay in touch with me while I'm away at school, I'm going to remember that. Especially since I go to school so far away. And I'll do my best to try to make some time for them and hang out with them at and make some time for them. And why shouldn't I? These are people that mean a lot to me -- I wouldn't ask them to hang out if they didn't. And I feel like if I'm gonna put myself out there and try real hard to stay close with them, the least I deserve is at least the same respect in return.

Instead, I find myself the one to make the plans, and constantly remind someone we have plans, or something like that. After awhile, and after it happening with a bunch of people, the last thing you want to do is to even attempt to get together with anyone. But I'd rather not sit at home and do nothing all day. Granted, I have things I could be doing instead of just lying around. But regardless there always seems to be a lack of motivation there. That's just life. If it takes even a bit of effort and if I feel like I have to do it, I most likely won't make it a priority on break.

Regardless, I do want to hang out with these people, and I do want them to know I care about them -- which is saying a lot, because I really don't care much for the town I grew up in, or the people in it. It was just everyone is so rich, and so rude and or immature, or arrogant. I don't need that.

But maybe this could be a wake-up call to people in the future. That if they realize someone's really trying to get in touch with them and stay close, they'll put in that effort; if they feel the same way of course. Obviously if you don't want anything to do with someone you're not going to try hard to hang with them. That's cool. Just let them know first, so they don't waste their time.

Break is already a quarter over -- just trying to make the most of it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

work .

Today, I broke my record for the longest work day ever recorded for me.

A 17 hour shift. 9am-2am.

It was pretty ridiculous -- but that's the way the club is. (a country club, not like a club club)

Don't get me wrong, the pay is great there, but sometimes it's just ridiculous. The management is rough and everyone is telling you different things to do and trying to point you in different directions. My guess is that if the pay wasn't so good people would never even want to work there in the first place. People are in and out so fast you always are seeing new faces. But, there are always those ones that continuously stick around, and for those, it's worth it.

There is some sort of bond between you and your coworkers immediately, even if you never met them, once you work such a long shift together. It's just rough, and the only way to get through it is to pull for each other and really work together and keep everyone in good (or at least satisfactory) spirits.

I remember really enjoying that the first shift I ever had, which happened to be 14 hours. I had only come back today to work this one bar mitzvah, but it reminded me how difficult it was to realize you would literally be stuck at work all day. For those of you who complain about a 10 hour work day -- well, I just worked 2 days worth of hours.

I started out busing tables and helping with prep and setup. Eventually I was moved to an outside job, refilling water coolers and icing them as well. Pretty much anything outside was my domain. There were pluses and minuses to this. The good things; well I escaped from the craziness of inside. I got to sit all day, instead of stand.

The bad? Instead of just my boss checking up on me it was the general manager and golf pro of the club. I had a radio on me, so I was constantly available and constantly told by multiple people that I wasn't doing my job fast enough (any faster would have been physically impossible) and that I needed to do their request instantly or faster. It was also brutally hot outside this summer, so that was rough, i always wore suntan lotion and I still got roasted daily.

But one of the worst things about working on the course and not inside was the lack of camaraderie with the other employees. These were people I really liked and felt comfortable with, with the exception of maybe a few. And yet when I was out on the course, I didn't see these people except for meals when I came inside, or anytime I happened to have a spare minute walking around inside. I missed the smiles, the laughs we shared together and the jokes and little pick-me-ups here and there. It really got to me that I was outside, sort of out of the loop, and feeling like I was slowly drifting apart from everyone who worked there.

One group of kids there always all hang out, but they all go and drink and party. Granted, that's never been my thing, at least not to that extent, but although I feel I am good friends with most of those people, I have never once been invited. That's fine though, everyone picks who they want to hang out with and not. And I'm not one to butt in and ruin the fun. It's just interesting to me. I try to help everyone out at work as much as I can, because I know how crazy it can be inside. Whether that's shooting a smile or just asking if they need anything, I'll try to do it. Maybe they feel that because I'm nice, I wouldn't be that fun outside of work.

Who knows..

I guess the point is though that where you work is an important place. It's important to develop those coworker relationships, and I just didn't want to miss out on getting to know all of those people better, even if it was solely in a work environment. But, there's nothing I can really do. I'm good at the course setup, and I do enjoy it. It just gets lonely sometimes... 

Friday, December 17, 2010

conspiracy .

I was inspired by a guy I follow on youtube called Daytime Jeff, who was talking about conspiracy theories regarding the Obama administration, and much time beforehand. He had a link posted to a full length youtube video called the Obama Deception.

I've always considered myself a democrat, in the sense that I put the environment over the success of financial administrations, and that I just tend to be more liberal in terms of government. But in truth I think no one is entirely democrat or republican or something else. We're all kind of mixed up, it's just a matter of to what extent.

The movie addresses many of the political movements that have happened in the past, from the past few years all the way up until over 100 years ago, talking about how the banking administrations have tightened their grip on the political world, making the presidents past and current their puppets as they work towards creating a world bank that functions in a sort of world dictatorship.

I've never been a fan of conspiracy theories, and I've always hated politics. I feel like there is never an honest politician, and all are working for personal gain. That may or may not be true, but I think we can all agree that corruption in politics definitely exists, and pretty often too. It's just a matter of what gets leaked and what doesn't. After all, there are so many secret government organizations and happenings (just look at the existence of the CIA and the FBI), who's to say that they really really know what's going on in our country, and in the world? I sure as hell don't.

Especially with organizations such as the CIA and FBI, British MI6, and any other intelligence gathering administration -- they tell us (meaning the public) what they want to. There is so much trust that is imperative to politics and establishing a good relationship between the public and the politicians, as well as the military officials. People are beginning to fight back regarding the government's happenings.

Just take for example all of the things that have been going on lately regarding the TSA, and the intrusions that are going on in terms of airport security. In my opinion, I'd rather be safe than sorry, so feel free to take the necessary security measures, but don't abuse that policy. Patting someone down is fine, and I'm sure it's no more fun for the airport employees than it is for those of us who are forced to endure it.

Going back to widespread politics though, what if it was true that there was a financial banking oligarchy that has the world's most powerful politicians in their pocket? What if it was true that there was a private offshore bank that was controlling everything in our world through Congress and the White House? And what if it were true that these banks were working toward a New World Order where there was a world dictatorship with its own civilian army?

I'm not one for starting a revolution. And I generally disregard conspiracy theories, especially ones that say that the government purposely bombed the World Trade Centers. How could anyone possibly be that cruel? I'd like to believe that the general morality of today is greater than that where someone could be so careless with lives, especially with citizens of their own country.

However, it's pretty scary to think about all of this stuff, and if it is true. There's really no way to know. And that's one of the things I hate most about politics -- there are so many ideas and thoughts out there. And out of the mess that is the world of politics you have to create your own viewpoint on all of these things. It's not easy. And when I still seem to be at the starting point of my life -- the last thing that I want to hear is that a dictatorship is in the works, not just for the country, but for the world. The similarities they showed between Obama and Hitler and Stalin were uncanny.

My dad brought up an interesting point though, there are 2 things that will always yield an argument no matter what : Religion and Politics. How true.

So regardless of what you consider yourself politically, I'll include the link here if you care to check it out; I'd say it's a well-spent 2 hours. So feel free to watch it. I would say definitely don't believe everything you hear or see, but try to get as much information as you can about things and then make a decision.

I have to say, I really don't really enjoy talking much about politics, because to me it seems like they are generally frivolous tireless arguments that never end. However, I figured I'd talk about it today, since it just sorta hit me. Have a great weekend.

[[ here's the link to the film: ]]

winter .

So, until about 10 minutes ago I had no inspiration for a blog today.

Funny, because it stemmed from the fact that my mother was making me collect the trash in the house, take it out to the can, and take the can out to the curb. Well anyways, when I walked outside, yeah it was cold but I was only in a t-shirt. And yet, I couldn't help but stand still and stare up at the sky. It was absolutely perfect, every star shining brightly and not a cloud in sight. The moon radiated with a magical luminescence, and there was enough light for me to tell the sky was like a rich navy blue.

I could hear a very soft hum of traffic, but other than that it was dead silent, the occasional whistle of the wind through the trees. It's something about winter that I love. That stillness that seems to arrive and stick around only when it's cold. I also notice it all the time when I go snowboarding. When you first get on the lift, all the people are bustling around the lodge and the music is blasting. But the further you get up the mountain, those noises quickly disappear and replaced with a stillness that simply cannot ever be replicated except on a winter day.

I love when you walk outside in a blizzard and no matter how much traffic or what's going on that day, there is complete silence. It's like the snow has this magical quality where it simply refuses to allow noise to pass through it. How cool! (I know, that sounds very lame and childish) Regardless, I can't get enough of it.

On Tuesday when I went snowboarding I brought my iPod with me because I had gone alone; no one was home from school yet to go with. Maybe it's something about it being so cold, but it ran out of batteries really fast. And after all that jazz that was buzzing through my eardrums all of a sudden there was nothing. It was like I was watching a movie and all of a sudden lost power. Everything was dead, there was nothing but the wind whistling through my helmet, blasting my face with a bitter cold (and honestly, freezing my runny nose -- is that a good or a bad thing?)

I quickly became lost in the sound of the snow as it swished along the bottom of the board, and the crackle of the ice as it was cut by the edges of my board. I began to feel the rhythm as I swerved down the slope, adding in erratic syncopation of movement, avoiding obstacles and dancing dangerously along the edges of the trails. There is something about those times where I'm flying down a slope that I can't get enough of, and I can't tell you what it is. The rushing wind, the feeling of sliding along snow, the frigid air burning through your lungs; I don't know but it is truly beyond awesome.

Needless to say, snowboarding is not my sole favorite part of winter. The entire season is great. It gives you an excuse to bundle up, sit down by a fireplace, and just enjoy life. It is a season filled with breaks from school and breaks from work, not to mention the holidays themselves, a time to spend with those you care about.

I remember when I was much younger, every winter I would pray and wish for snow with all my heart, not just to get a day off from school, but to be able to just play in it all day, come in for hot cocoa and some soup. Those were certainly the days -- I've had some great experiences making igloos in the driveway or dodging the spray from the plows, or hiding in the neighbors' pine trees and throwing snowballs at cars with my brother -- and almost getting caught! (RED JEEP!!)

The sad thing is it seems that the older you get, the more you begin to hate snow. It becomes a nuisance, only a way to make your drive to work longer and more stressful, another chore you have to do cleaning off your car before you go to work, and the magic is lost all of a sudden. It's like living in a Peter Pan world as a child, and then all of a sudden losing the imagination that enabled you to fly through your dreams, play with a person that didn't exist, create stories and build things out of complete nothingness. That playfulness in a child is priceless, and I pray I never lose it.

I'm thankful that it is not 20 degrees 365 days a year, but at the same time I certainly love my winter. The long drag of icy air that you first take when you walk out the door, the amazing sunrises and sunsets, and being able to see the stars shine on crystal clear nights, where Orion's belt is in full bloom. It's good stuff, and one of the small things I can constantly celebrate in my life, and be almost positive that it will never ever change on me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

short and witty .

I'm gonna be honest. I need to sleep since I'm going snowboarding again tomorrow and would rather not fall asleep at the wheel again (that was enough excitement for one week) butttttt I figured I would at least write one interesting thing from the day --

I went to drop off my brother's saxophone today after his school let out, and i realized that no matter what I told people about New Jersey and my hometown, I was sitting in the car waiting for him to come outside to get his instrument, and shit, I have never seen more Mexicans and guidos in the same place!

And on that note, bedtime!!

**Note -- this is not meant to be offensive in any way

thank you guardian angel .

In the past few years my parents have become more lenient in what I'm allowed to do on my own -- in particular with long driving trips or traveling in general.

Since high school I've driven to Vermont by myself, an 8 hour drive from where I live. I've been flying on my own back and forth from school, and took a trip to NYC for architecture where Ryan, William and I spent most of our time on our own.

The past few winters I've been driving back and forth from Camelback Ski Resort, my home mountain where I snowboard. It's a 2 hour drive each way, and coming home it's usually hard to stay awake given that I just spent a whole day out on the slopes.

Not once have I ever had an accident, despite all this traveling, much of which was on my own or close to it. And as long as I throw some gas in the truck and let them know when I get there and when I'm leaving, it has never been a problem to go. Normally they are iffy about me snowboarding by myself since they are worried I might get hurt out on the slopes and not have anyone there. But I've still been allowed to do it.

Today when I was driving home I was the most tired I have been driving in a long time. I was literally struggling to keep my eyes open, and flashbacks of my sister falling asleep and totaling our third car was most definitely in the back of my mind. I kept telling myself that I should probably stop for a nap before continuing on, and eventually began to start looking for a rest area where I could shut my eyes for a bit.

A few miles before then, my eyes had closed without me realizing, and when I woke up I was drifting towards the wheels of an 18 wheeler going 70 miles an hour. Realizing what was happening, I jerked the wheel back to the left to stay in the middle of my lane. And I swear my heart almost stopped when I awoke and saw what almost happened. I'm not sure what I would have done had I a) totaled my dad's car, or even got in another accident (I've been in 3... :/ ) or b) gotten hurt while out on my own like that.

It really makes me thankful to have that guardian angel constantly watching over me, and I truly believe that we all have our own special guardian, whether you believe it's an angel or not. I mean in all honesty, what a cool concept, to have an otherworldly figure watching over you day and night, making sure you don't get into too much trouble, and if you do, they are there to pull you out of it.

I wish I could "meet" them. Him, her, whatever. I was watching TV one time, and Sylvia Browne happened to be on a channel I flipped to. For those of you who don't know who she is, she supposedly has psychic abilities and can also communicate with those who have passed on. Well, this is the advice she gave in order to communicate with our guardian angels: "What you do, every night, or in the mornings -- find a special time for yourself and lie down, and just kind of relax yourself all over. Take yourself to a seashore. Put your feet in the sand, put your back against the palm tree. Feel the sun on your face, and the wind on your hair. And then just ask your guide, "Come out of the shadows and talk to me." If you do this, for a week to 10 days, I promise you, you'll begin to see your spirit guide and your angels."

Whether you believe she's legit or not, it can't hurt to try, right? It's the same concept as religion -- no one really knows what's going to happen after we die. So we can spend our life living in skepticism or we can celebrate a religion of our choosing. If we die and what exists is what we believe, then we are saved from eternal torment. And if there is simply nothingness, well there is nothing lost, and those beliefs in our current life probably got us through a great many things. Usually I fall asleep soon after or during my prayers at night so I don't get a chance to try to communicate with my guardian angel. But I do feel that there is a presence looking over me sometimes. I've had my fair share of feelings that there was someone or something looking out for me. There's also the problem that I am usually so exhausted that if I lay down for a moment I'm completely out of it until the next day.

But now it's winter break, and I can take it easy a bit, and maybe try some of this stuff out and see what happens. It'd be pretty sweet to almost have a friendship with a guardian angel, or spirit guide, or whatever you'd like to call it. For right now, though, I'm just happy I made it home safe and alive today. With me being as tired as I was, it certainly could have turned into a very stressful day. So thanks, I needed it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

breaks .

Every time there is a break, and in particular winter break, I always make myself a list of things that I want to get done during that time; a list of goals persay. But no matter how much I write down on that list, it seems like I never get everything done that I wanted to get done.

Why is it that I am constantly unmotivated to do things that I even want to do? It's always a good list -- hang out with so and so, go snowboarding alot, record a lot of music, write a lot of things. I don't know though, for some reason it just simply never seems to get done.

Motivation is a tough thing to understand. For me it seems like if it's going to get done I need to literally have a deadline for it. Regardless of what it is, it won't get done without that pressure.

That just might be one of the main reasons why I did not sleep for a combined time of over a month this semester... hmm.......

If only I could actually focus on things and be good at time management, imagine how much stuff I could actually get done! Though I find that when given the opportunity for free time, I end up wasting it doing something like watching tv or playing playstation or wasting away time on my laptop doing absolutely nothing. The last thing anyone wants to do over a break is work, but I feel like that might keep me more in line, at least with my time management.

It's one of the things I've struggled with the most, especially since I began to have a more congested life during high school and in college. For whatever reason, when I finish something I just want to do absolutely nothing. Lack of sleep is one thing, and taking naps during free time is, believe me, completely and totally acceptable. However, it's when I have plenty of time and don't have anything pressing to do, and I do virtually nothing that kinda bothers me.

Take today, for example. I went to bed at 3am, woke up at noon, played a load of playstation, played on the computer, looked at potential jeeps on my laptop, and did not change out of my sleeping clothes the entire day. How productive. Oh yeah, and I played drums for about a half an hour. Tomorrow, I'm planning on going snowboarding, despite the fact it is supposed to be 20 degrees and windy. Oh well. I'm sure I'll survive. And hopefully in the coming days of break, I won't waste them doing nothing and actually do some stuff that I want and should get done. Most importantly though, I want to hang out with some old friends. People relationships are most likely the most important, and though I love my music, I suppose it can wait for now.

I should really get to bed so that I'm not completely drained, and I'll do my best to have a more interesting topic for tomorrow. For those still finishing up the semester or school year -- good luck on those finals and I'll be praying for you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

who am i .

When you first meet someone, a popular question is always, tell me about yourself. When asked that question, a lot of people may say, oh there's nothing really interesting or anything about me. But come on, why else would I ask if I wasn't interested?

So if you ever wondered who I a, inside and out, consider this part 1. I'm sure I'm not gonna cover it all in 1 post.

I was born in New Jersey, and have lived here all my life. I'm used to the towns that run straight into each other, traffic circles, jughandles, diners on every corner, seagulls in the mall parking lot, and getting tailgated or honked at everytime you drive.

I live about 20 minutes from the beach, though I rarely go. Better get there at 8am if you expect to get a parking spot within 10 blocks of the shore. People use "dts" as their abbreviation to go to the beach if they are from north Jersey. If you go to the boardwalk, expect to see a lot of people. Everything costs money, from parking spots to the arcade games, to even getting a daily pass to get onto the beach (usually about 6 bucks for a day pass).

I like the bustle that is constantly happening, but in a more toned down manner than that of NYC. No matter what the rivalry between NY and NJ, I love both. Though I do admit NY has much better sports teams generally...

I live in a really rich town where everyone drives cars like Mercedes', BMWs, and Lexus', although seeing a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, or Bentley is not uncommon. I'm used to my gas being pumped for me, and it's always by an Arab, a Russian, or a Mexican.

Growing up I was a sports fanatic. I played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. As I got older some interests were lost and other new sports were gained. I played street hockey for years, and dropped soccer after playing on a travel team. I played on my school basketball team for 8th grade (and by played I mean rode the bench) and a travel team for a few years as well. But I dropped basketball after I didn't make the high school team. My favorite sport has always been baseball, but I would say it recently switched to either snowboarding or volleyball. I often played on 3 baseball teams in the spring, and sometimes more (rec league, school team, travel team, all star team). I stopped playing baseball when I got cut from the school team my senior year of high school, and haven't really picked up a ball since.

I have a secret love for cooking; and I am a firm believer that it always tastes better when you cook it yourself. I have no doubt that in a future married life I will be the one to cook dinner every night, and I'd be happy to oblige to do so! So long as I don't have to clean the bathrooms.. haha. For those of you who ever want a home-cooked meal at school... send me a recipe and buy the ingredients, and I'd be happy to make it happen!

I started art classes a long time ago, and though I haven't picked it up recently, still have a great appreciation for it and enjoy doing it. Any yes, movie making and photography is most definitely included in art, at least in my opinion. My favorite medium is charcoal, though I enjoy pastel, pencil, and pen and ink. The hardest thing for me to draw is faces and bodies by far, but that's probably not uncommon. I wish I was more motivated to do more art more often.

I love music, always have and always will. There are a ton of instruments I would love to play, like bagpipes, harmonica, piano, violin, banjo -- the list goes on. If I could buy them all and learn them all that would be amazing, but I don't have the time or money for that. I wish most the I could learn piano -- it's so versatile and you can play anything in any style that you want. Someday, maybe I'll learn. Music is, before almost everything, my passion. I almost wish I was making music for a living instead of training and studying to be an architect. It is a drug that I cannot get enough of, but a healthy one. It is my go-to help-me-in-a-rough-spot thing, whether I'm listening to it, writing it, or playing it. I literally probably wouldn't be able to live without it. Someday, I'd love to put an album of mine out for purchase... someday. I taught myself both guitar and drums, and I love singing, though I'm not really comfortable doing them in front of people (especially singing). I WISH i could sing with vibrato -- but my voice is just not that advanced yet. No matter what people tell me, I'll probably never believe I have a good voice.

I love tattoos, despite what other people think about them. I don't care about being judged, I just wanna do me. They mean a lot, and I see it as another art form on a canvas that is my body. I truly respect the artist that has given them to me, so much that I asked him to sign my body in ink under his work (he wouldn't, and said absolutely not no matter how much I begged). Mad props to you, Nate! I don't think that they are sacrilegious in any way, and I can prove to you that the Bible does not denounce it. I think and hope I've changed a lot of conservatives' minds on it, and a lot of people seem to be blown away at the depth in my reasons for them after they hear about them.

I love nature. I find it sad that people don't go outside as much as simply waste time away on their tvs or computers. I love camping, and just being outside in the woods or hiking or sailing, is awesome. I wish I had more time to be outside. Even rain is cool, as long as I don't have to walk a long time in it. But I don't mind being outside in it as long as I am properly prepared for it.

I have a lot of dreams -- and a lot of them are kind of random. Join the Air National Guard (or even active military, at some point). Spend time working as a truck driver. Sell my house and leave behind a static life and just travel. Snowboard in 6 continents (as in, all but Antarctica). There are more, that I can't really remember right now. Just ask if you're curious about more.

I love religion. I can't understand how people don't believe when you really have nothing to lose. I work so hard to maintain a pure life and a good relationship with God, and I feel that it is 100% worth it. I love going to church, especially by myself. It's easier to have a good talk with Him that way.

I'm scared of death, and scared of endless loneliness. They are the 2 biggest fears in my life. I don't know what's going to happen after death -- and I worry that I am not leading my life in the way it should be led.

There's alot more to be said, but I think that's a pretty good start.

As always, if you want to talk to me about any of this, just ask. I'd be more than happy to.

home .

As I sat in the airport yesterday morning, it was an interesting feeling. It took awhile to hit me that I was going all the way back to New Jersey.

It's almost like leading a double life, when I go home.

Though what I've kind of realized is that I miss the people I'm with all the time at school more. It's not the same when I come home anymore. Going home is always sort of like going on a short vacation. The plane rides give it much more of a separation... I'm not sure how so many people live so close to school and within an hour or less of home. I've come to realize I need that separation between school and home. That it provides a mental break from the endeavors of my academic life.

Coming home is always weird -- it makes you get in touch with those people who you haven't seen for so long, and often, haven't talked to in a long time too. People always think it's weird when I'm at school and I say I'm going "home" when I'm going back to my apartment. Though to me, my apartment is my home -- at the very least for 9 months out of the year.

Family dinners has got to be one of the weirdest things when I come back home. All of a sudden there are people who expect to be involved in riveting conversations, talk about your days and all that. What if I wanna just eat and run? Not really possible. As weird as it may seem, I've had some lunches with friends that are more or less silent. And I've had some meals with friends that are on some really interesting topics, and not really talking about my day at all.

I really miss the fact that you can eat with so many different people. Seeing all those different friends all the time is one thing that is really awesome about college. When I'm back in Jersey it's like all those friends have disappeared for a bit. And then the ones from home sorta pop back up into your mind. Hence why I feel like it's a double life.

There are so many things different here ... from the traffic to the general attitude of people. And of course I'll miss that comfortable loveseat that I so often fall asleep on when I'm supposed to be working. I have to steal wireless internet from the neighbors instead of having the luxury of getting it anywhere. I'll have chores to do, and errands to run for my parents. It's like I'm just another pair of hands that can become a slave to the house. Slave is probably a bit extreme of a word to use... but I'm just saying. I get nagged for not making my bed, or leaving my clothes in a mess. Parents are all stressed out when people come to visit and have to clean everything. I think it's understood when you visit friends at school that things are going to be a mess. We're in college, it's what we do. And there is certainly nothing wrong with being a little messy!

I do have to say, I love being able to drive around again. But I miss the trips around campus on a bike or a longboard. However, driving is one of my favorite things to do. Who cares where I'm going, as long as I can enjoy the drive there!

Also, on a humorous side note, to all of you who told me that if you came to Jersey you'd see guidos everywhere, I realized there are actually a lot more than I let on (insert embarrassed face here haha, and I know some of you are going to be dying laughing while reading that lol). I went to the mall with my brother today and was like wow, lots of orange people. Granted some are really attractive... not gonna lie, but the guys with the bedazzled graphic tees and extremely gelled hair are pretty ridiculous. So silly. What a stupid culture I'm a part of when I'm here haha. Someone commented on my pants, and I got a lot of weird looks too. Eh, it's New Jersey. What are you gonna do.

As much as I make fun of Jersey and say it's not the best place to live, I do like it here. I feel like it's the alma mater of my life; I was born here and raised here. It's a great excuse to be a bit of a jerk, since the people are on the general not as polite and such. But that's what I'm used to.

Despite the missing friends from school and not having roommates to always chill with, I have to say, it was nice to get off the plane and breathe that Jersey air. It's good to be home.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

the pursuit of happyness .

One of my favorite movies is The Pursuit of Happyness, in which Will Smith stars (also one of my favorite actors). The movie is absolutely fantastic, but there was one part that really stuck out to me in it... the quote is this -- "It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?"

Couldn't be more true. Sure, you could say Thomas Jefferson was a genius and mastermind that somehow could foresee the future and the problems that many would endure in their pursuit for their own happiness. But I have a feeling that this is not a new phenomenon. There are studies that say that the current average person changes careers 3-7 times over their lifetime. My guess is that this is because of the lack of happiness that people are able to find in their lives.

That's not to say that finding the right career is an easy thing. As a kid, everything is completely carefree and we really don't worry about any problems. Your lunch is always packed for you for school, if you want to do something you do it, you don't need to worry about money -- it's all just kinda set up for you and you know what to expect.

Things change when you grow older. Now that I'm in college I'm realizing there a lot of things that are a lot more difficult than I had imagined. For instance, managing money. Things aren't as easy for you to shell out a few bucks for when you know that in the back of your mind there is a debt of 20k+ owed to the bank for your four years of schooling ... or in my case 6.

It's not easy as a high school student to simply say, okay I want to go here and study this and do that for the rest of my life. I am blessed in that I was inspired to try something, I had a chance to check it out via an elective in high school, and ended up really loving it. But part of me will always wonder, what if I had gone a different route? What if that one decision were a different one that would set me on a completely different path in life? It's hard to say.

But ultimately, we all end up searching for what makes us happy, right? Whether that's a career, the money to travel the world, money itself, that one convertible that you want to drive, your dream home, and of course that one significant other whom you can love to no end. The fact that this happiness seems so unattainable is a daunting thought which would deter the weak in their cause. However, if not for happiness, what else is there to live for? I am a strong advocate that you should do what makes you happy, regardless of what it is. Sure, I feel that there are some certain moral codes I feel that should be followed, but that's getting off of the subject.

The movie really captures this struggle in order to overcome the obstacles of life to achieve overall happiness. And I think that's what really gets me to the point of tears -- is that I realize, after watching that movie, that I have life really good, and some others, simply struggle to even find a place to stay for the night. So maybe my idea of happiness is skewed. Perhaps it is human nature to always want more than you currently have. And in that sense, I could understand my desire for more. Does that make me a self-centered selfish person? Maybe that desire changes based on competitive spirit that may or may not be a genetic thing. Who knows. I'm not really educated enough to comment on that stuff. But my point is for someone who has nothing, one little thing can mean everything for them. The entire movie, I sit there, pulling for Chris to sort things out, between his wife leaving him, keeping his son with him, earning enough money for food, finding a place to stay, and finally getting a job. No matter the obstacle -- he never gives up. I wish I had that kind of self-motivation. His came from the desire to provide his son with both the fathering and a secure stable life that he never had as a child.

His determination reminds me of a quote I heard on Scrubs, actually. I can't remember who said it, but that's really unimportant in this situation. But they said that 'nothing in this world is too hard if it is worth having.' That hit home with me as well. As an American we are born with those freedoms in mind -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Well, I don't know about you. But, if at the end of the day I feel like a can't go on, I need to dig deeper. If I feel I'm at the bottom of a hole that is too deep to climb out of, try another way to get out. If I'm at the end of a road, turn back around and take another path. Okay, so obviously there are a ridiculous amount of metaphors I could use here -- but my point is that if I encounter challenges, why not fight through them instead of giving up. That pursuit of happiness is pure gold -- the ultimate goal. Money is no object, as long as I'm happy.

It's possible I'll never get there. That's a cynical view, but anything is a possibility. So maybe i won't get there... but I'm damn sure gonna try, and every little bit of inspiration along the way helps.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

unknown future .

When someone asks me, where do you see yourself in a year? or 5 years, or 10 years, or anything else like that... I never know what to answer.

Sure I have an idea of where I might want to be. Sure I have goals in life. But to be honest... I have no idea. I don't know what the future holds. And frankly, it scares me. The lack of knowledge of the future is one of the most interesting, scary and confusing things about life.

I'd love to know exactly where I'm going in life and know that everything is gonna work out the best for me and be okay. That'd be awesome -- but at the same time it would take away from the hard work that gets you there, and the unwavering faith that is virtually a necessity to help you in your quest of your dreams.

But I'm not thinking about way in the future -- I'm thinking about simple things, like where am I working next summer? Will I even have a job? Is architecture the right career choice for me? Is the right girl out there for me? Is my belief enough to keep me strong in my religion?

So much unknown, waiting to be discovered... but it seems like there are tons of things in life that are constantly hiding themselves away. That no matter how hard you try, they are just going to keep slipping away, out of reach. And that they'll never be discovered. Things like that really bother me. And I know I'm being really vague here, but it's true. I don't want to have the power to know everything... absolutely not. But some things... it'd just be good to know.

A lot of turmoil in a person is caused from the unknown. And I feel like this is not just with me... think about today's economy. One day you could be perfect, and the next you could be out of job. One day you could be in a happy marriage, and all of a sudden you are divorced and lost the kids. What does my future hold? What special plans are out there for me, if any? I don't know. I'm gonna try to just live life and let whatever happens happen. Go with the flow and just let it all be. John Lennon was onto something when he wrote that song.

This is a really random blog, and I feel kinda distracted right now. But today just got me thinking when I thought about how we all go home for various breaks and you have no idea what's going to happen in that time. Time is just an interesting concept. You can never know what's really going to happen next and how soon.

Okay, I'm starting to get redundant with this, and I'm kinda distracted. So, apologies for the shortness of this one, but that's all I got for now.

my special place.

I wrote an essay for an English class a few weeks back, as a reader response to one of the works we read in class. It brought up some old memories of a place I used to spend a lot of time at when I was younger.

When I made the transition from middle school to high school things were a lot different. New school, much bigger school, more kids, new classes, new times, more serious sports. High school, I feel, is not really an easy time for anyone. It's a real transition period from the laid back fun of middle school to the pressure of the work world closing in on you. High school, after all, is where you make the decision of where to go to college, and even more importantly whether or not to go to college. For me it was never a choice of whether or not to go. Though it crossed my mind to go straight into the military, I knew what my parents wanted. Needless to say I chose a school. That's not to say that I regret that decision. I'm just saying. But anyways, that decision in high school of where to go to college sets you up for the rest of your life. Quite a scary thought.

I've always been a pretty thoughtful person, and I've experimented with various outlets (this being one of them). But one of the most helpful that I found was to simply sit in silence. But being in the town I was in, there was never a free moment.

One day I was hanging at my friend John's place, and we took a walk through his neighborhood, eventually stumbling upon some dirt paths that led into the woods. We went all through it and through the various places that it led to. The woods was not large, as there is not much space left in my town unless it's on a golf course... but it was enough to separate you from the monstrous houses and constant rushing of the cars. It was here that I found one of the most meaningful places of serenity that I have ever encountered.

At the very center, where all the paths converged, was a small creek. The water happily babbled along the rocks, yielding to gravity without a fight. Leaves floated down the water, unknowing as to where they would end up. And a small wooden bridge stretched across the river. There was something about the way you could lie down on the bridge and let the sunshine dance across your face through the canopy of the leaves that was intoxicating. Here I felt like I could just be myself and do whatever I wanted and no one would care.

Though I rarely ever went back there with John, I often came by myself, whether I was walking or biking. I'd see one of the paths and just travel back to that special little place where I could just be, and not worry about anything else, but simply exist. I really miss that place, and I wonder often what it would look like through the passing seasons; I only ever really went in the summer.

Despite the fact I haven't been in years, it was a great place to just lay down and close my eyes to escape for a moment, if only for a moment. Do any of you guys have that one place that was just the perfect place to go to hide from the world?

Unfortunately it was ruined for me one day, and I'm not sure if I can ever return to it and have it be in the same sacred state that it was in. I was filming in there once, making a music video, when some boisterous kids approached on the path, obviously drunk or something. I packed up everything and ran. Haven't been back since...

Since then I have simple enjoyed the thought of the place, though it no longer carries the purity it once did. Regardless, it was my place for a long time, my special place, where no one could find me and I could lay back and think about life until dusk. It was times like these when I had to shake my head and say, 'there is no WAY that there isn't a God.'

So, to the big man upstairs, thanks. For giving me a place to escape, when I needed it most.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

tattoos .

As many of you know, I have tattoos.

Whether you are for them or against them, whether you want some or regret some, I thought I would share my position on them. To me, a tattoo is not about looking cool. It is a permanent way to memorialize something that is very near and dear to you. It's not about showing it off, or looking cool. I would never get anything that didn't mean something to me. I find it to be an art form, using the body as a canvas. It takes perfect precision, and its permanence makes it mean that much more. It's pretty amazing that everyday people are willing to let tattoo artists permanently mark their bodies.

I have never had a bad experience with them; I take care of them while they heal and the artist I go to is such a nice guy; I would never go to anyone else. He'll work with you to make sure you're getting what you want, the way you want it.

If anyone ever tells you that people aren't going to judge you for having them, they're lying. I was one of those people that used to say, 'oh, it doesn't matter. Once they talk to me they'll realize I'm fine.' Problem is, it is a deterrent for people to talk to you. Growing up always watching my back and not saying more than a few words to people I don't know, this isn't a big issue for me. But you definitely get some looks here and there. Some are interest, but the majority are condescending, and sometimes even a look of disgust. I ignore it; they don't know me, and judging by their actions, most likely never will. My tattoos are things that will never be separated from me by my own choice. It's their loss if they choose to look down upon me.

I currently have 4 tattoos total... and planning to get 7 or 8 more (for now). So if you were ever wondering what they meant, or where my mindset and justification is for having each one, here you are:

1. Jesus with wings
Location: back

This was the first one I ever got. It was the day before I left for college. I have been raised as a Catholic, and being that college brings about many new experiences and challenges, I knew that through it all I did not want to let my religion be affected with all of those changes. My mother begged me to wait a year to think it over. But I knew then and reaffirm now that I was right in my decision to get it then. It almost gives me a visible guardian angel to look over me every second of every day in my life. Everytime I see it in the mirror, it is a reminder that I chose this religion, and I intend fully to keep it.

2. brothers forever
Location: left bicep

If you know me well, you know I'm not big on my family. We've had a lot of issues and I don't talk to them much. I just feel like we don't get along. Despite that fact, my brother and I are especially close. We agree on a lot of things and get each other through a lot. Not sure where we'd be without each other. I can't promise that we'll always be able to easily see each other -- but one thing will always remain true: The fact that we are brothers forever. The design is ambigramic in nature to represent the reciprocation of help we give each other, as well as the reciprocation of love.

3 & 4. courage/inner strength
Location: inner forearms

On the left forearm is the chinese characters for courage. On the right in the same place, lies inner strength. Why Chinese characters? I wanted something symbolic, not necessarily just words. Something that I would know what it meant, but most others wouldn't. The whole reason is as follows. If I approach a fork in the road in life, and don't know which way to turn, I want to have the courage to take the road less traveled. However, on the other hand, if I know that path is the wrong one for me, and represents temptation, I want to be able to have the inner strength from God to make sure that is not the path I choose. Their juxtaposition is the reason why they are on opposite arms.

The next part is a list of future tattoos I plan to get, and the reasons why.

5. phoenix bird
Location: left side of ribs

This was supposed to happen early on, but I couldn't make it happen due to lack of time and money. The inspiration was from the movement from high school and that living style to the completely different style of virtually living on your own at school. In a sense, it was a sort of rebirth, in the same way that the phoenix turns to ashes and begins anew. It was a new point in my life, and there will continue to be those milestones in my life that are a big deal.

6 & 7. Hail Mary & Our Father
Location: left inner arm and right inner arm

This one should be pretty obvious. These prayers, though seemingly monotonous when said every week at mass, mean a lot to me. One venerates the virgin mother Mary and the other to our heavenly Lord. They'll be written in script on my inner arms, right beside the inner strength and courage tattoos, a constant reminder that no matter how it may seem, I am never alone. All I have to do is pray. At some point I think I'd probably want to eventually get the Nicene creed on me as well -- for that is what Catholicism is all about. Some people have asked me what Catholicism is and the best way to explain it is through the Creed. That is our profession of faith, that is what we believe as Catholics.

8. in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
Location: collar bone

This one is "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Another religious tattoo, though that's pretty obvious. This one thing is so simple, but it means a lot to me. Making the sign of the cross is one thing a lot of people do without much thought. But one of the things that's special about it is that it is so simple. It can be done anywhere at any time as a little self blessing to get you through a hard spot. The Holy Trinity is exercised (perhaps not the best word choice there) through this, and having it on me would make me think in a more profound way when I make the sign of the cross.

9. 09/11/01
Location: over my heart

9.11 was one of the most devastating days for our country, but for me it really hit home. I was only in 5th grade, and I can remember that day to a T with vivid clarity. There isn't a single detail that I have forgotten, despite how long ago it was. I knew kids' parents who worked there and died there, or were declared missing for weeks as they eventually were erased from existence as more and more that were missing were proclaimed dead, erasing them from existence. It was all horrifying, and I remember one of my favorite places in NJ, Sandy Hook, you can actually see downtown Manhattan. That day, though I wasn't there, I knew that all you could see was smoke. I can't stand when people say that it was a plot that the government did behind the public's back. How ignorant can you possibly be; try telling that to the families that lost their kids or the kids that lost a parent or a friend or a loved one. It makes me want to punch them in the face. It's the one thing thus far in my life that I have no idea how I will explain to my kids, and even if I manage to get something out, I know I'll have tears streaming down my face. It really hit home, is all I can say. And thus I feel the need to memorialize it, and never forget what happened that day.

10. "Happiness is only real when it is shared"
Location: right ribcage

I plan to have this written down my side in script. The quote is from the movie Into the Wild, which I strongly recommend if you haven't already seen it. Basically a boy decides to leave everything behind, with no way of finding or contacting the rest of the world, and just live life. In the end he realizes that there is no point to all the greatness around him and all of the natural wonders, without someone to share it with. This quote also embodies my longing desire to have someone to eventually permanently share my life with. I don't know when or where it will happen, but I really hope it does. I simply can't see myself being truly and completely happy without having that one particular significant other in my life. I hope you're out there, whoever you are.

11. Cross sleeve
Location: entire right arm

Filling in the extra space of my right arm I want to get a sleeve of crosses; I haven't yet decided if I want them to be all different styles or all the same style. But it's one of the simplest symbols in Christianity, yet such an important one. Each one would drive home the point of how much Christ endured to save all of us from our sins. That means so much, and words can't really express how amazing that is to me.

12. My world.
Location: back

This one is still in the works -- but I'm in the process of designing some stuff in photoshop. Basically the concept is that there is a globe, but all the continents are things that make up me; distinct things that are specific to me, that are things that truly represent who I am. It can be anything -- and it's definitely a work in progress for now. My thought is to put it sort of behind / underneath the tattoo I currently have on my back. I like that because then it would sort of show that Christ is in the forefront of my world, and is the biggest part, or at least should be. However I don't want to taint the purity of that one image on such a clean slate of skin with another tattoo. If you have an opinion or comment on this, feel free to share. I certainly would love to hear responses.

Well, that's all I have planned for now. There's definitely some work to be done. Everything I get has a story, has a meaning, has some sort of special quality to it. And I love that about tattoos. It's a great way to remember things and memorialize them, if that's your fancy and you're willing to deal with the pain. A close friend once told me that he respected me for "taking the 'body is a temple' concept to a whole new level." That's really a good way to put it. I'm sure there will always be people who look down upon me for them, think I look trashy, or think I'm defacing my body with crap. But, it's my body, and my temple, and I intend to celebrate the one body I've got that God made me. If you want to talk about tattoos at all, from discussing an idea to me going with you to get one or anything else about the process, just ask. I'd love to hear from you.

I hope that this post, despite its length, has maybe opened your eyes to why I love tattoos so much, and why I've chosen the ones that I have. The ink truly runs deeper than the skin -- it goes straight to the soul.

**sorry this post is late, I know I wanted to post everyday, but I'll have another up later today I promise.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I started smoking almost 3 years ago.

It was the only way for a long time that I could find reprieve from the world that was around me; an escape from a life a deemed terrible with no brightness in the future ahead. Both of my dad's parents died from smoking-induced cancer. And yet it didn't matter.

It was and still is one of the most popular things I turn to when I'm feeling alone, scared, or just upset. There's something about sitting there and being able to think that is relaxing. And I still don't even care that it could kill me one day. It is a dependence that I don't think will ever fully disappear.

Luckily, it's not the cigarettes that have me, though I have been tempted. But cigarillos and a pipe have been the one way that I can escape from the worst things in my life. Sure, I can write a song about it or plug in the headphones. But there is always the smoke for when the worst things happen.

Everytime I think I might give it up for good there is a relapse. And in all honesty I don't think I'm really trying that hard for it to end. For me one of my ways of coping is to grab a pack and just go for a long drive or a long cold walk. Something where I'm completely by myself, and just breathe away my life. On the other hand, there is something about having yourself completely cut off from the world that is appealing.

There have been times when I am upset that I have driven to one of my favorite towns nearby home, Red Bank, and just walked. My music is calming yet loud enough to block out the excess noise. And I just sit somewhere staring out over the river and smoke away. As I walk through the town I study the faces of everyone. And everyone has a different story. You can see the pain in some people in the laughter in others. Some people's eyes twinkle when they smile and in others you can see their indifference in the world they live in; a slave to the corporate world that they are forced to endure to get by in their life. The innocence of the children as they play along the water at Riverside Park. And the careful caution of their parents to keep them from getting in trouble.

If there was ever something that could calm me down the most... smoking would be up there. And I know it's not an attractive quality to many. So instead maybe I'll just accept that isolation that comes from it, and let it be.

I'm not saying I smoke a pack or day or anything like that. But I would be lying if I said it wasn't one of the first things I turn to. I'll be happy one day and the minute the bomb hits I'm back on the park bench with my drug.

I'm a strong advocate of being who you want to be, and ignoring the opinions of others. I do my best to do me, and not let anyone else get in the way. This might be one of those opportunities where it'd be best to accept some help. Yet something tells me that no matter what, it will never end. And I think I'm okay with that. Maybe it will lessen, but there will always be something to break me. I suppose there could be worse habits out there.

Maybe this surprises you, to be reading this. Maybe you had no idea. But it was something I was thinking about today. That special time for me to sit down and think comes through the smoke and I don't mind sitting down for hours if it means I'll have some time to think. Consider it one of my faults if you will, but it has gotten me through some tough times in my life, even if that's not the best way to go about it.

I'm not really sure how to wrap this one up. All I can say is that when the shit hits the fan, and emotion gets too strong to take; whether I'm hurting or just lonely, don't be surprised if you see me sitting alone somewhere. Just watching.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


For the first time in a long time yesterday, I sat down and had a long chat with my brother via Skype. I have to say, it was much needed and really put a smile on my face.

As I'm sure many of you reading this know, I'm not very close with my family. I purposely went to a school that was very far away from home, and I only ever have gone home for winter break; all the others I stay in Clemson or go somewhere with a friend. It's been that way for a long time, and my parents and I especially have a vast amount of differing opinions on how life should be. At one point I thought about always writing down the things that ticked me off about them each day so that in the future I would have something to look back on when I had kids of my own.

That only lasted a few days, but the point is still the same; we don't get along. I have a tendency to compare my quality of life with that of other kids', which is, unfortunately for me, rather upsetting since it makes a lot of things in my life seem unfair. Since I started high school, I have always been bickering with my parents in my spare time. I don't go to church with my family, I have gotten tattoos, I don't answer their phone calls and they've stopped calling because they know I won't answer.

Generally, I dread going home. Coming from a rich town means all the kids' parents feed their kids' selfishness and gluttony. People get cars like Mercedes', BMWs, and Jaguars for their birthdays, on the day they first get their license. Parents have financed their booze-ridden parties and supplied drugs for others. I don't feel like I fit in in this town, and we have a terrible reputation for being stuck up and arrogant. I'm almost ashamed of where I grew up. And that's why I hate going home, is because I have to see these people. In their eyes, I perhaps disappeared off the face of the earth, basically leaving for South Carolina without so much as a facebook status. I used to wonder if anyone who I left behind from my town wondered where I went.

I no longer care.

The point is, this time, I'm kinda looking forward to going home. Talking with my brother last night realized how much I miss him and miss having him around. It's like I'm missing out on a big part of his life (high school). And I know 100% all the garbage he has to put up with being the only one at home with my parents. Things get blamed on you, you get constantly harassed to do your work, you are not allowed to do this or that, and there are a billion and one rules to follow. They make you go to bed, and argue that because you're up, they have to stay up until you go to bed. I never understood that. Maybe I make them sound worse than they are... but I know from experience it's always been a struggle with them, and my brother has the same issues with them that I did and still do.

As the years went on and I went off to college, I feel that the bond with my brother has grown stronger, despite the fact that we don't talk very much and we are a long ways away. We are always able to sympathize with each other, because we both go through a lot of the same stuff. We are extremely similar in the way we handle things and what ticks us off. I do my best to set a good example, but I would say he helps me just as often as I help him. (He probably doesn't even know it, either, while he's reading this)

I'm really sorry for all those out there who don't have a strong sibling bond like that, or all those who are only children and may not ever experience it. It's really something special, and that's why I decided to memorialize it with the tattoo on my left arm, saying Brothers Forever in an ambigram-ish sort of way. The ambigram is symbolic of the reciprocation of the help given and received, in a never ending cycle. Not only will he always be my brother by blood, but he'll be the best thing in a family I could ever have asked for.

I appreciate him more than he knows, and I'm always pullin for him, whether he knows it or not. It kills me when I see him get let down or dumped or having my parents dump their problems on him. It's not right. But just so he knows I've always got his back, no matter what. When he's old enough, I'm told the plan is to get the same tattoo, so we'll be matching.

But for now, I'll settle for just being able to spend some quality time with home over break. He also turns 17 on Thursday, so happy birthday buddy. Good to have you in the fam.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

still looking

Over the past few years I've dated a few girls, and there have been a lot that I started talking with and thought, hm maybe.... but it seems like no matter what I do, something is always a bit off. I guess you could say I'm picky when it comes to people. There's a few things I truly look for: a focus on religion, the same view as mine with sex (as in, not until marriage), trust, and honesty.

Though it seems like I can never find the right combination (except in maybe one case). And I can't help but wonder if that one person will show up one day. I always get my hopes up too high and I end up getting let down. I know that I just have to be patient, that God has someone special for me. But I can't get it out of my head that maybe there won't be. Maybe I'll just end up going solo. Strangely enough, I feel like I could live with that -- but then I always think about my dreams of having a family someday, and being able to watch my kids grow up, and being able to be with someone I love unconditionally and who unconditionally loves me.

Emotionally, I consider myself a special case. There's a lot of things that go through my head and I guess a complex heart. There's a lot I don't share about myself and though I may seem real outgoing and talkative, it's generally not about those things that are near and dear to me. There's a lot of things that may bug me that people don't even know about. If you break down that wall and can talk to me about things that are real important to me -- consider yourself lucky. Because I don't often open up unless I really trust you.

That being said, I have no idea how the heck the right girl will ever happen. And I think that maybe I want it too bad sometimes. That I want to be able to share my life so badly and have a special bond with one person that I may overlook things that bother me and not bring them up for fear of them not working out.

Maybe I'm just such an odd mix of things that the combination is just not very compatible. And I think that's one of the reasons why the military is so appealing. Not only was my grandfather in the navy which was inspiring, but I've always just wanted to do it. Life would be less complicated that way, right? Taking orders, and just doing what I'm told. Always a single clear goal, one objective at a time. In the daydreams I have about it, when I envision the arrival back home; I see all the other soldiers having families there waiting for them, or a girlfriend or wife, and when I walk off the plane, it's just me. And I just feel like that's the way it'd be, and I can't for the life of me tell you why.

Sometimes I see myself just sort of living my life for me, and not having a family or anything like that. The sort of life where I don't even have a home, but just travel around and experience life and the world around me, with my guitar or something like that. But I feel like I'd miss out on a lot if I did that.

I think there's just a lot going on in my head right now. I wish that everything was crystal clear, but I guess where would the fun be in that? Nothing is truly clear cut, and that's one of the most interesting and challenging things about life. I often don't understand why things happen to me, or why they happen in general. But regardless, they happen. And I'd like to think God has some extraordinary plan out there for me. But, maybe not. Maybe I'm just gonna go through life, and that's it. I feel that, at least partially, life is what you make of it. And so I suppose my goal should be to put in as much as I can.

I have so many goals, and time seems to fly by. It blows my mind that I've already lived for 20 years. But maybe I need to put aside my desires and wants for awhile, and just let life happen. You know, stop worrying about what has happened and what will happen, and instead, focus on what's currently happen. The other day on the way over to Lee Hall I just looked up and took a good look at the sky. Have you ever noticed how perfectly blue it is? Pretty amazing stuff. Living in the present is one of my biggest challenges, because I am always worried about what is going to happen next, whether that future event is going to be minutes or hours or years later.

Who knows what's going to happen in the future. I know I want someone in my life for the long haul, someone I can start a family with and really spend some serious time with. I know I want my relationship to God to be a good one. And I don't want to lose my religion; after all that's what that one tattoo was all about. I'm getting better in my religious relationship -- but I haven't found that person yet. And it hurts every time things don't work out. So, I have no idea what to do. Because if those things happen, there's nothing you can do about it. It's just -- well, it's life. It's pretty much out of our control. So until then I'll write out my feelings and sing out my emotions, do my best to be a morally good person and let God know, that I'm ready for Him, and whatever great things he has planned for me.
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