Sunday, August 31, 2008

Coming to ears near You

In the last year I came to terms with all the "illegal" music I have. Being on a college campus 3 years ago meant access to plenty of music I didn't purchase. So slowly I have begun to either delete the music I can do without or purchase the CDs. But this brings up a tension I have. (The fact that this is a "tension," shows how blessed I am to have discretionary money).

I love music and having the CD case with the jacket completes my passion. I have fond teenage memories of buying a CD and going to my room, playing it, and lying on my bed reading every single lyric. Not only is the music a form of art but the images from the jacket add to the artist' creation. Reading the words adds a literary dimension. Everything from who the band thanks, the equipment they use, and the font, gives depth to music.

In an effort to simlify my life I am in conflict with my CD collection. There are a lot of CD's I want to purchase but that means taking up more space in my apartment. I appreicate the simplicity of the digital era but I am just a traditionalist at heart. It would be like getting a digital copy of a book to read on my computer. Sure, the book will be "read." But I don't just read or listen to music for a utilitarian experience of finishing a task. I read and listen to music because it is a passion, not a mundane motion.

To tie this all together there is a lot of music coming out this fall I am looking forward to. My favorite artist and 3 of my favorite bands are all kicking out albums. This is crazy. Why can't they just pace it out over the course of a couple of years. So after a period of famine here is the feast....

Denison Witmer Carry the Weight Nov 11

Cool Hand Luke The Sleeping House Oct 14

Brave Saint Saturn Anti-Meridian Sept 14

The following two are supposedly suppose to release stuff soon


Sleeping at Last

Saturday, August 30, 2008


This is a picture of Ndjoka Punda, where I will be going in less than 2 weeks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

High School Level Writing

According to this website you have to be in the 6th grade to understand this blog. It is probably a fair assessment but unfair to Adam. I'm confident I bring down the "readibility" of our blog. Just punch in a website and you'll get the results, enjoy!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Running with a Purpose

I'm going to tie a couple of things together....I use to run because I played soccer and ran track during high school and college. After I graduated college I kept on running but with no real purpose. To be honest, running without a purpose, is pretty, well, purposeless. It just gets to be a routine and not much fun.

So it was nice when I joined a couple of soccer teams in the area because running helped with my fitness. But it still hasn't been very rewarding. I don't know what took me so long but I finally realized it was time to run a race.

On September 27th, Lawndale Health Clinic, in Chicago is sponsoring their first 5k run/walk. Last week I was in the city taking a class on urban ministry. It was an incredible class. We visited all different types of churches, social programs, community developers, City Hall, Cook County Jail, the Chicago Judiciary System, and a lot of good places to eat! Our "home" base was Lawndale which is one of the most underdeveloped areas of Chicago. A church there (Lawndale Community) has revitalized this area by creating affordable housing, a public health clinic, a drug recovery house for men, and more.

So the last couple of years of running have a purpose now. They have prepped me for this race! My two mile time is less than 12 so I'm going to aim for 18 minutes. It's great to have a goal in mind which leads me to my brother-in-law. Starting yesterday (his birthday) he has begun a quest to complete 101 goals in 1001 days.

I'm the type of person who makes goals everyday. I don't consciously sit down and write them out but I love accomplishing and achieving. But you bring it to a whole new level when you make your goals public because that means there is accountability and more room for recognized failure. So props to Eric. I'm starting small by publishing this one goal in the next month. We'll see where it goes.

Bumper Sticker

I saw this in a parking lot recently.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The People's Olympics

I shared an idea a few days ago that has turned into an inside joke with my friends. It's called the People's Olympics. This is the setup: four years before the next Olympics people are randomly selected from each country to compete in an Olympic event. So for instance, a committee sits down and out of a hat draws names for the 4 x 200 meter race. You could have a 70 year old senior citizen, a college athlete, a soccer mom, and a 12 year old boy. Of course you can turn down your nomination or selection but would you really want to?

In other news....Michael Phelps is a decent swimmer. I would definitely want him to be selected for the U.S. in the next People's Olympics

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Smiles and Eating Bugs

I haven't seen the movie Pay it Forward but I know the plot. A boy does good deeds for three people and they have to do good deeds for three other people as a payment. So I tried to pass on a spirit of joy on Thursday. When I was coming back from work on the bike path I decided to smile at everyone I passed. The first 10 people I got 9 smiles back. Not too shabby of a percentage. (But then some lady honked her horn at me and permanentely ruined the smile experiment). The only reason I had the idea to pass on a smile is because the first guy I cross paths with was grinning ear to ear at me. So pass on a smile today....

I also swallowed a bug on my ride back. It reminded me of the childrens book/song "There was an Old Lady who swallowed a Fly." As good ol Wikipedia summarizes, "The song tells the story of an old woman who swallowed increasingly large animals, each to catch the previously swallowed animal." I remember reading this book in second grade, in Mrs. Fregies class. Now looking back I'm wondering, "Who thought this up?" It is a bizzare and twisted childrens book/song. They should start putting parental ratings on childrens books as well as video games. ( Heavy sarcasm for those thinking I'm serious)

Also my bro and his wife got a new blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Did you hear about Brett Favre?"

"Did you hear about Brett Farve?" became the inside joke with my family this weekend. If you haven't heard about Brett Farve then congratulations and don't bother with the whole drama.

On Monday in less than 3 hours, I heard opinions from John McCain, the lady who scanned our groceries, Tiger Woods and my 9 month-old neices. (last one is a lie, they can't talk). That morning, sitting down and watching one full episode of Sportscenter the sports anchors beat the story into a pulp, squeezed it into juice, drank it, then regergitated it for scientific investigation.

I like sports and Sportscenter but how many talking heads can talk about one thing? This is what it sounds like: Brett Farve retired. He un-retired. He wants to play football. The Packers don't want him to play for them or for anybody else. He might get traded. Did he fly in on a private jet? What do the fans think? ALERT! This just in, Brett Farve believes in global warming and prefers Bananas to Apples.

The media is obsessed with this man and a story that isn't much of a story. The "Brett Farve Saga," is an addiction. We take a healthy intrest and then it begins to dominant. It feels like the media is making news to have something to report on.
This reminds me of Jr. High when Chad broke up with Lisa because he didn't like her anymore. But than Amber, (who doesn't even know Lisa), becomes indignant and righetously angry at Chad and creates a scene in the cafeteria. That is what the media is. They are Amber. You know the girl, creating commotion just to be involved and to be heard.

Of all the things going on in the world, and even the world of sports, I think there are other voices for us to listen to.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Man Crush

man crush \ˈman ˈkrəsh\ n. 1. a feeling of excessive admiration or nonsexual attraction toward a fellow male who embodies many of one’s ideals 2. a desire to imitate the character, skills, or beliefs of another male 3. a strong identification with the values, priorities, or public image of a male figure. The object of a man crush is usually not personally known by the subject.

Man crushes need little justification. All men have them whether or not they would admit it. Each one reflects some trait that a man wishes was more prominent, more developed, or truer in him than it currently is. Man crushes can reveal a man’s personal aspirations and ideals, more about who he is becoming, and more about what he hopes and maybe even fears.

Typically, men will not use the term “man crush” to identify those public figures whom they respect or identify with. But do not be fooled, they are man crushes. Here are a few telltale signs of a man crush.

Macho compliments: Listen closely to veiled compliments for more-or-less famous men. They will say macho things like, “He’s a stud,” “Spurgeon is the Man” or “A lesser man would’ve crumbled under that pressure.”

Frequent references: Some men, however, will not so readily voice their admiration. In that case, pay closer attention to the frequency with which he refers to certain men. To whom does he often tip his hat?

Little-known facts: Oftentimes, your man will attach small but significant details to his appeals to their authority. It may sound like this: “C. S. Lewis had something to say about that in The Four Loves,” or “He’s holds the record in the league for [obscure record].” or “He sold that company when he was 38 for ten-point-five million dollars!” These details indicate that he’s done his homework. Be sure to listen also to the content of these details. The content will tell you more specifically what your man admires in his man crush. (For bonus points: Tell your man how you’ve seen him exhibit these qualities [but not in the same conversation]. If you are his significant other, he will likely stop what he’s doing and kiss you. If you are not his significant other, he will probably ask if you want to make out. If you’re his guy friend, don’t. That would be weird.)

Here’s a quick example of how to interpret a man crush. Consider “Romosexuals”—die-hard fans of football quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. There are a number of potential insights one could draw about Romosexuals. If you are to understand what your man see in another man, you may need to do some homework of your own to learn about a suspected man crush. After a little research you might come up with a few possible conclusions about Romosexuals: (1) They prefer to hide behind larger men who will protect them from those who could harm them. (2) They would like to be idolized and worshiped. (3) They would like be Jessica Simpson’s boyfriend, and any benefits accompanying that title.

A man can have many or few man crushes. If the number of man crushes is large, expect that your man spreads his ideals somewhat evenly across them. If the number is few, expect that he identifies deeply with those few. The man with only a few man crushes will be much easier to understand because there are only a few wells to draw from and those buckets are more likely to draw out what your man is so smitten by.

Whatever the case, man crushes reveal that all men want to be better men. This is a noble thing and something that can usually be encouraged. If you find that your man has man crushes on ignoble men, beware. The same truths still apply.

I had merely intended to define and list a few man crushes of my own, but it is generally the case that I find myself working backward to provide background first. Now that you know what man crushes can reveal, which I had not intended to reveal so forthrightly, I will share with you five of my man crushes, which was my original intent with this post.

Ravi Zacharias
Ravi is one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. He can stretch your mind with a deft analogy of a brilliant concept one minute and then, on a dime, bring you (nearly) to tears the next by telling a story that captures the precise point he’s making. He brandishes speaking skills to capture mind and heart unlike any speaker I’ve heard.

John Piper
Two words: “Christian hedonism.” This is the essence of his book Desiring God. His book captures the intersection of deep theology with passionate love and longing for God. It is a holistic system for the heart and mind of man and a centerpiece for my faith.

Shane Barnard
Shane spreads a passion for and knowledge of God in music (He's John Piper for music fans). His lyrics are immersed in the Word of God, but he unites it with music that grasps at the emotions wrapped up in a dynamic relationship with God.

Dallas Willard
I got to shake his hand once. I said to him, “I read Renovation of the Heart. It took me about 8 months.” He responded, “That sounds about right.” I thanked him for writing it. Willard captures in that book a way of understanding the human person that resonates with me, one that helped me make real progress in my journey toward God.

Christian Wiman
This guy’s a stud. He’s the editor of Poetry magazine and a poet himself. I think you can only truly appreciate his work when you hear him read it aloud. His baritone voice sounds constantly straining, managing a few more words before taking his next breath. It makes me believe I’ve actually been to west Texas, where his poetry was born(e).

Share Your Man Crush
I’m sure that every guy reading this post can think of at least one man crush. Leave yours in the comments, or blog yours and leave a link.