Saturday, June 30, 2012

when opportunity knocks .

I used to be a part of a sort of church rock band called Spirit Alive while I was in high school. We would play for masses every month or so and were made up of the music minister and mostly teenagers. I stopped after I graduated high school, but this past month was asked to fill in because the normal drummer couldn't make it and they knew I would be able to pick up the music quickly. One of the guitar players there (a VERY talented guy named Chris) happened to be playing with a group for the annual Colts Neck Fair, and my mom went to see him, since she sort of runs Spirit Alive now.

affection .

I haven't done a quotables post in ages, so that's what this is going to be. George Eliot once said "Affection is the broadest basis of good in life." I feel like whenever I write these quotes, I immediately say afterwards, 'this is so true!'. But affection certainly does allow you a broad basis with which to express it. It can be as simple as a smile and a wave, or endless hugs and kisses all night.

the little things .

When people enter relationships, or even before that, there are some things you can usually tell right off the bat. It's easy to tell when someone is willing to go above and beyond just to put a smile on your face. I call these, 'the little things'. These are the things that you don't expect, the things that catch you off guard, the things that make you instantly grin ear to ear, the things that pop into your head over and over throughout the day and make you think 'I can't believe they are so thoughtful that...'.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

love & the internet .

Online dating is an odd concept. Sign up for something, pay some money or don't, be connected with randoms and try to guess who is real, who isn't, and who is just a creep. And there are TONS of sites out there that do this. Take your pick, honestly. But, there is something that I really hate about the online dating world. It seems too easy. Now for those of you who instantly thought, "are you fucking kidding me?!" let me explain what I mean by that.

You don't have to search for anyone. It all comes to you. Some random system matches you up. What do you actually do other than click a button? Granted, not many people find love from these things, but some people do!

friendship & sacrifice .

The other day my parents and I got into an argument about helping my sister move down to DC. She currently lives in Philly, but recently got a new (and better paying) job down there, and thus will need help moving stuff from her Philly apartment down to her new one in DC. My parents suggested that I use both days of one of my "weekends" to do this, or even take off from work to help. I have a huge problem with this, and before you think I'm just a terrible person, let me explain why.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

dating tips for girls, from a guy .

I feel like there is a lot of material out there that tells girls how they're supposed to act or what they're "supposed" to do in regards to getting a guy to like them, or to make themselves stand out from the others. I also feel like all of these things are written mostly by women in magazines that make you feel like shit, and therefore their advice is pretty much shit too. So I figured I'd take the time to write something up in regards to this topic. I suppose at the end of the day, these are really just my preferences, but I think that it might be at least worth thinking about.

jesus and the alien .

The inspiration for today's blog comes from a little comic I read about in a devotional-esque thing I get in my email.

Friday, June 22, 2012

attn: cyclists .

When they first get started, people see cycling as maybe a mild hobby, or just something that keeps you sorta kinda in shape. What you eventually realize is that there is a huge community of cyclists out there and that they all are ADDICTED to it. I am one of these people -- and here are some suggestions / guidelines / advice from it all, should you get to that point.

hartshorne in a a heat wave .

Feeling ambitious, yesterday I scheduled a morning ride with a coworker up at Hartshorne Woods. The woods is located in the Highlands area of New Jersey, which is probably one of the coolest areas. Think steep hills, woods, nice houses, and a great cliffside view of the oceanic waterways. Despite the multiple-day heat wave (which honestly is 10x worse because of the feckin' humidity) we decided to go for it. Traffic in the morning was a bitch as it usually is during rush hours, but we made it, and started with a steep, rooty climb up the fire road.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

chemistry .

No, I'm not talking about the subject in school -- I'm talking about person-to-person chemistry.

Let me explain a little bit about how I operate when it comes to dating... I'm generally a bit shy and timid person, and the fear of rejection and anticipation of an answer when you ask someone out is very intimidating for me. Therefore, I like to spend lots of time with people before I really ever make a move to make things official -- basically I play it safe so that I know whether or not things are going to work out. It certainly saves the pain of short relationships, because it never was a relationship in the first place.

such great heights .

I just happened to stumble upon this tonight and it sorta blew my mind. I'm not super into the verses on this song, but the chorus was absolutely excellent. It's always interesting to look at covers of songs and see what people have done with them.

Whenever I do covers, I'm always inclined to try to reproduce it as close to the original as possible -- but honestly, what fun is that? Covers are about taking something that you really enjoy already and making it your own. The great thing is that you have that opportunity and freedom to do what you want with it, whether it's turning it around and flipping it upside down, or just getting creative and seeing what happens. Mad respect to those who cover stuff all the time -- and I think that the more covers you do, the more you start to find your own sound and eventually start making your own music! Love supporting the indie / underground music community.

So without further ado, Such Great Heights (originally by The Postal Service), covered by Confide.

**Warning: If you don't like anything heavy, don't watch this. But seriously, the chorus blows my mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

bullet update .

A few quick things for today:
- I'm looking at grad schools -- can't wait to move and get a new fresh start
- Did some money calculations today -- may not have enough to make it through the school year. In fact, definitely won't.
- As a result of the previous bullet, I'm looking for a third job. Would love to barback somewhere... if anyone hears of openings, let me know.
- I'm rediscovering my love for the drums, and would love to play in a band and get some gigs together. If anyone's interested, let me know.
- A Day to Remember has been playing all day.
- I think that there's something good in the works for me, and I'm really excited to see where it goes.
- My brother's graduating on Wednesday, never to be a high-schooler again.
- The weather has been pristine past few days. I have no issues with it being 50 degrees at night; I leave the windows open.
- Congratulations go out to Orla Gartland whose single came out recently, and has really been making an imprint on the music world
- To Hannah, if you seriously pester me further about including my butt in a post I just might... maybe. Persuade me. Give me all you got!
- Went looking through some posts I wrote while in Germany. I miss it dearly.
- I've been going to bed around 1130 lately, and getting up at 6. I like this schedule so much better.
- June and I have failed miserably on our goal to start 365 days of face photos, so we're going to start in July.
- Congratulations to Steph, who just graduated high school -- big achievement.
- Everyone send a few prayers and such up for Stacia, who's been enduring some rough times.
- And to my dear friend Angie, we haven't chatted in quite some time. I miss it! Will be sending some snail mail your way soon.

Hope everyone's doing well. I know I may not comment much, but believe me, I'm reading your stories and keeping up with all of your lives. Always good to see new things from you all.

listen to the lyrics .

Some songs are just too good to go unnoticed. The messages they send, through the beat, through the vibe, through the rhythms and just the slightest combination of sounds they bring together. Today I've been on an A Day To Remember trip. I have always liked them, but today started to really listen to the lyrics of stuff. Wow is all i can say.

If you've never heard of ADTR, here's the main gist. They combine a sort of pop sound with a much heavier sound. They have very good voices, but can also scream like a motherfucker. Imagine something sort of along the lines of Attack Attack. But personally, I think they're better. If you like heavy driving sounds with some GREAT words, this stuff is for you.

no escaping .

When you have demons that torture you, there is no place to go. It doesn't matter where you run. I'm so ready for graduate school. I feel lost at home, I feel lost at school, I don't want to be at either, and I don't want to be at work. But being at work is the only reprieve for the bullshit at home. I don't want to argue, but year after year it proves to be inescapable. Whatever the cause, I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I have a feeling that when I leave home after I graduate, I may very well not ever come back.

Money is such a bitch. It feels like you need it to survive, to do anything, and I don't even have to worry about food on the table or anything like that. I'm in my early 20's. I'm in college. This is supposed to be the best time of my life. The time where I should be trying new things, doing some fun things, experimenting. However that may be. After an argument with my father over several things he notified me I owe my parents around 2 grand. That is probably about a good quarter of what I'll make this summer, if not closer to a third. I know how much money it takes for me to survive in school -- and even with the loans, the continuing expenses will pile up and I know that I won't have enough. I may look for a third job before the summer is out. Yes, you read that correctly, a third.

I hate feeling so locked down, so trapped. But that's what money does.

The homily that the priest said this morning talked about how America is such a greedy country. And maybe we are, but who isn't? Everyone wants to live comfortably. I can't imagine what stress does to you over years of worrying about money and how the hell you're going to pay for all these things. Maybe it's seriously easier to just be homeless, where you know that you'll never have money. Your luxury is having life itself, not buying things or having a place to live or a car.

What the fuck, life. Be less of a bitch.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

baseball butt .

At work yesterday, one of the other employees there asked me out of the blue if I had ever played baseball. With a bit of a confused look on my face, I answered, "Yes, for 13 years..." and probably continued to look a little puzzled. She immediately turned to her friend and proceeded to say, "See, I told you!!"

The friend smiled and said, "Why don't you tell him how you knew." Her reply?

"Your butt! You have a baseball player's butt!"

I laughed and replied, "I'll take that as a compliment."

Apparently, baseball players have a very distinctive butt. Of course, the other attributes are usually tall, lanky etc. But you know what? As much of an ego-feeder as that might be, I was flattered and don't at all have a problem with having a ballplayer's butt.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the hunt for a grad school .

When it came time for me to look for my undergraduate college, my Mom did an incredible amount of work. She narrowed down schools based on things that I looked for and parameters I sort of had an idea about. I have to say, I definitely didn't have any perfect school in mind, and was open to pretty much anything -- as long as it was far away from home. I had also had the experience of tagging along on all of my sister's college visits. While we were and are interested in completely different fields, it was still interesting and enlightening to see all the campus facilities, different available lifestyles, accommodations, commodities and more. It sort of gave me some loose boundaries about what I wanted my college experience to be like. Clemson, oddly enough, was the very first school I visited for myself, and that's where I ended up going. I think I ended up doing alright. But I'm ready for the next step.

the perfect 3 .

It isn't often that I go and talk about music on a day that isn't Music Monday, but this is going to be an exception. I, unlike 99% of the general population, still own a 'dumb phone.' That is, I don't have a smart phone. Therefore, I can't just play music on my phone; it just isn't that simple. And so here's the first part of this story: Because work can be quiet sometimes and early in the morning or late at night you may be doing something completely alone in the building, sometimes it's nice to add a little soundtrack. Because the XM radio can be spotty (especially on a day with bad weather), I wanted to find a speaker that would satisfy my musical necessity that was tiny and easily attached to my iPod. What I found was a $7 tiny rectangular speaker that attached directly to my iPod using the same port that charges the battery.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Music Monday #72

This week's song is The Veldt feat. Chris James by Deadmau5. And yes, you must listen to all 8-almost-9 minutes of it.

california v. new york

I've been working my way through Steve Jobs's biography lately, and it's a really awesome book. I'm probably about 3/4 of the way through. Often times there is the comparison made between the people on the west coast and the east coast. In particular, these comparisons resonate frequently about New York (more specifically New York City and all that that entails) and California.

Throughout the book, it appears that these two areas had greatly opposing views. West-coasters seemed to be viewed as more open-minded, whereas the east-coasters were all business, simply in it to make quick cash and a profit. Steve Jobs constantly blasts the New Yorkers, saying that they just "don't get it" and that they're complete idiots. Of course, Steve Jobs was a bit of a loose cannon, so I'm not saying he's entirely right, or even partially right.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

celebrity-ism sells .

We've seen it time and again. The Hollywood persona pays, quite literally! Now before I start out on this commentary, let me preface it with the fact that I think we can all appreciate what the people in the Hollywood spotlight do. Whether it be acting, singing, dancing etc. It's incredible to undergo that sort of pressure and still come out.. dare I say, alive? I think all of us may sometimes want a piece of the spotlight, but only to some degree. I think if we stepped into their shoes for a moment we may realize it's harder than it seems. So to see people perform with such grace and humility in a position such as theirs is inspiring. And now on to more fun stuff...

Friday, June 8, 2012

welcome to restaurant life .

It occurred to me today that while everyone is celebrating the fact that it is Friday and that they get to enjoy their weekends and relax and veg out and just enjoy life, that I don't ever have this luxury in the summer. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, to the restaurant life.

Though I may no longer work in the Food and Beverage (F&B) department, and have since switched to another department at my same place of work, we all still have to work on that lovely schedule that constantly sacrifices your weekend with brutal severity.

words and shit .

I watched a video today on Youtube that hit everything about words and what they're used for spot-on. Dcigs is one of those entertaining Youtubers that has no filter, that is entertaining, funny and more. Generally his stuff includes rants (sometimes publicly) and other silly things like goofy music videos. However, this time he addresses why people get so upset over words. Watch this video first:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

feeling cool & seeing warm .

The past few days in my neck of the woods have been absolutely glorious. Despite some torrential downpours, sometimes for hours on end, it has been awesome. Why, you ask? Because it's been a beautiful 65 degrees out almost every single day for the past week. This means that at night it's cool. This means that you can leave the windows open all day and there is that perfect "fresh-air" smell all through the house. This means that there hasn't been any humidity, and if it is, it's hidden by the clouds and the cooler temperatures. Honestly, I could care less if it's cloudy outside, as long as the temperature stays down. Oddly enough, all of my friends from down South are bitching and moaning about it being "too cold" and whatnot. Phew, I wish it was like this all the time! If I knew I could walk outside all the time with pants on and not sweat my butt off and end up with a severe case of swampass by the end of the day, I totally would take that deal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

comical words of wisdom: the food edition

After the last set of these that I did (which still remains nameless, because NONE of you even attempted to come up with a name!) was wildly successful and entertaining to many a reader, I've decided to bring it back for another go. This time, food, is the subject of satire, and these are obviously things that all of you will want to remember first and foremost throughout your lives.

Feel free to read Part 1.

Music Monday #71

This week's song is Welcome Home by Radical Face.

Monday, June 4, 2012

how i approach finding a job .

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about jobs, interviews and the like. I have a good number of friends who were lucky and determined enough to get an internship this summer, and as much as I tell myself that my time for that will come in time (while it is rapidly running out) I can't help but feel extremely jealous of their position. It's great to get some experience under your belt, and it will really open options for them. In my studies on what people look for, it seems that the number one item they look to check off their list before hiring you is that you have some experience. The more, the better. But it's not easy when you have none and you're trying to get your foot in the door. I mean, my gosh, SOMEONE has got to let you in, right!? Or so I thought.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

offsetting your work woes .

Despite all the things that may happen at work, despite personal problems, issues with coworkers, the bad days that too often sneak up and smack us in the head, do you enjoy yourself there? I realized today that even with everything that may happen at work, I've made some good friends (oddly enough, more or less all a generation older than me) and had some good chats, good times, had some laughs. It's always nice to enjoy the company of others at your workplace. That's not to say that there are some people you'd rather not have to tolerate during the day.

Today was absolutely pristine at work. I've been working more or less all later shifts this season, as in something like 12-8 or 1-9, occasionally later. I really don't mind it all that much -- if I want to do something with friends after I get off from work, I can, and I don't have to worry about being up super early. Over the past few days, the weather has been perfect. It was a nice 65 or 70 degrees today, sun shining, a thick breeze rolling across the course.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

ether .

I have written some seriously high praise for the man behind Dabears, and this post is basically just gonna reiterate that... Yesterday a new EDM (electronic dance music, for those of you who are not aware) mix came out, and it is flawless. It always seems like each new mix couldn't possibly be better than the last... and then it is.

One of the best things about them is that it always provides new music, and really opens your eyes (or rather, ears) to a ton of new artists and music that is out there. I can't imagine the amount of time it takes to get these things together, but he's already done almost 40 I think, so I'm sure it's been years. Cheers to Mike, again, who is seriously doing some awesome stuff. You should seriously go listen to it. The mix is around an hour long, but it's worth it. Warning: May cause people to get up and start a rave in their house.

Also, just because:

musical musings .

it's time for me to go get outta this place
it's time for me to get out while i'm tryin' to save face
it's not the weather or the sun or the moon
it's just i'm tired, fuckin' sick of this dismal and dead mood

you gotta realize time has now belied the cornerstone of life and we lied but never died man
for every photo we took since we were two
has found its way into the history books between me and you

despite the fact that i'm rollin' my eyes, hopin' you realized
the things that you gave up in time
feels like the memory was only mine

back when it was all just fine
and i promise you,
i tried, always did, always do,
until the day i die, until the day i die

am i headin' to the west? is that where i'll fit best
cannot say for sure, what's knockin' at my door
and in, perfect time
i'll add another rhyme
to a beat i call my own
just one more stepping stone

but now i think it's time to move on
'cause i am sick of this song and the memories it prolong
while i am gone i'll let the world just move on
and keep on keepin' on, as they did before the dawn

because it's what you always did best
you never needed the rest
i just provided a test that you failed under duress
with just the little of pressure it took, it just unraveled and look
it's like something out of a book

and i am not a rapper who spoke
but in reality i'm just a guy who struggles with dope
and i ain't talkin' bout the fuckin' methamphetamine cake
nor am i talking bout the shit you fuckin' smoke, wake and bake
brotha listen, can't you hear me? straight up because i'm tellin' you
pouring out my motherfuckin' soul i swear it's easy to
thinking 'bout the line that took my soul and folded it in two
and pointed me in one direction

Okay, I got inspired and had a pretty fresh beat in my head tonight, and while I don't normally write down with the intent of something being a rap, that's what happened tonight. This isn't done, but I'm gonna finish the words tomorrow and record it. I know, I know, I know exactly what you're thinking: "He always says he's gonna record something and THEN NEVER DOES. LIAR."

If this is you, your frustration is warranted. I'm a lazy bum (not really, I work two jobs...) -- well, perhaps musically. Be patient, I'm excited about this one so it will not really go quickly and most definitely won't be finished soon. I know I owe you guys another post, but I'm just gonna be ahead and be content with being one day behind for the time being.

**JUNE: Note that there is NO JUMP BREAK in this post! You ought to be so proud of me.
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