Saturday, January 31, 2009

Relevant

I've finally been given a moment of rest in order to breath, eat, and post. I just got back from lunch and so the first two are finished now, but I haven't posted three posts this week have I? I would post about the worship symposium but I've been getting so much information from separate sources that, if I were to post about all of it, it would probably seem like one jumbled mess.

I think the one clear message I seem to be getting is that I am no longer irrelevant. I somehow have been placed in situations that put me on kind of the leading edge of some of the things going on in the church right now, and I have a lot to say about these things. I'm definitely one of the younger people here at the conference but I've had some very interesting discussions with people much older than I am about the new-monastic movement, and the emerging church.

All my life I've felt like I've had nothing important to say to those older than me, and now I can't seem to shut up. I feel almost like I say too much now. It's very nice to be able to share my experiences with people who are interested, and to try to offer what wisdom I have gleaned from these experiences. I only hope that people take what I say to heart.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stress

If you're wondering why I haven't posted this week, it's because I'm away at a Worship symposium and in between school and prepping for that I have had zilcho time. But regular updates will start up again once I get back and get on top of life again. Until then enjoy this fine performance from one of my favourite bands. Anathallo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sleepy


(It's amazing what a google search for a specific word will turn up)

So here I am in the sleep lab at school participating in a study for fame and fortune. No, not really. It's actually for school credit and possibly money, which is always nice in these trying times.

You may be wondering what exactly it is that I'm doing at school at this ungodly hour (well, it's not ungodly now but it will be eventually at some point tonight). I'm here participating in a study on sleep deprivation. This study involves two parts on my end.

1)Staying up very late

2)Looking at dots

I know. You might be thinking "Why, that's so simple. I could do that". and the fantastic news is that you can. For the low low price of zero dollars you too can stay up all night in a university building and do nothing.

But I digress. Things are going on in life right now. I'm house hunting, with my new-found roommate James (who coincidentally was sitting next to me about 5 minutes ago until he got called in to look at dots). It's been interesting. Yesterday I went to try and find a landlord to see if I could look at a house and I discovered later (after giving her the wrong address of the place I was looking for) that she is the most infamous landlord among students. Apparently she has crazy rules about housing and evicting students and such. It's madness. So we're not renting from her but looking elsewhere. I'm sure I'll announce when I actually manage to find a house so watch for that.

That's all for now but I'm sure I'll think of something else to post in the next couple of hours....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Complicated

Wouldn't it be awful if I started this post off by quoting "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne at length? That would lose me a few readers for sure. While we're on the subject though I once heard a Ben Gibbard (lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie) cover of Complicated and both the audience and he laughed throughout the whole song. Hilarious.

Shoot, now I can't write anything that doesn't sound like the first line of that song. Why did I do this to myself? Maybe it would help if I changed the title.....no I can't bring myself to do it.

Anyways, sometimes my life has this tendency to get really complicated. I don't know if it's just because I put my fingers in too many pies or I'm not clear about my feelings or I just have the absolute worst timing ever but I somehow manage to get myself into these situations where I don't even want to ask people for advice because it would take me like an hour to explain.

It'd be nice if there were quicker fixes for the problems I get myself into but all I can do is grab a shovel and start throwing poop until things get better.

Wow...that is the wrong way to end a post. Uh....Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Word on Writing

Once upon a time when I was in Grade 10, my computers teacher required everyone to start a blog on a network called Xanga. It was supposed to be so she could keep tabs on this we were getting done and other such business like that, and most people used it for that but there were a bunch of us who continue writing after computers class was over.

I was part of that group of about 5 or 6 people who continued blog, well over a year and a half past computers class ending. Not to be prideful or anything but I think the reason our group kept going was because I used blogging as a way to unload whatever happened to be going on in my life, and ended up being pretty open, to the point where it got me in some serious trouble a number of times. To quote my friend Adam, who was part of our blogging ring at the time

"That Ben Gresik kid...went and deleted his xanga...what a weiner kid. :P But yeah it seems like now that Gresik left xanga that everyone else has decided that it isn't worth posting anymore, including myself, and I think the main reason was that Ben had sweet posts and actually thought them out. So here's to you Ben, for leaving Xanga and ruining it for the rest of us. :P"

At the time, I thought it was the right decision. I made a bunch of really stupid calls in terms of what to post and what not to post, and as more and more of my family started reading my blog they started to get upset with some of the things I was writing and it got to a point where I would write a whole post, not be sure if it would offend anyone, and then I would end up deleting the whole thing.

In hindsight though I wonder. Partially because, though I save all my blog posts initially, I ended up losing them somewhere in the transfer between my old computer, and first laptop, and the theft of my first laptop. And also partially because I don't really write down thoughts on things very much anymore, I just let them stew in my head which is usually pretty unhealthy.

I've been inspired by Matt McKechnie's blogging commitment for this week and, though I don't think I can post every day, I'm going to try and put 3 posts a week up. Enjoy folks, and don't be surprised if the quality level drops off a little initially.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Didn't This Start out as a Music Blog?

In a couple of weeks I'll be attempting to partake in something that I participated in last year, and that's something called the RPM challenge. It's this absolutely insane idea of creating an entire albums worth of music in a single month. I did it last year and produced a pile of songs that currently amount to my entire catalogue of songs.

To be honest I don't really know how I'm going to pull it off this year. It'll certainly be an improvement on last years attempt where I had no recording equipment until 3 days before the deadline, but at the same time I'm trying to be way more ambitious this year in comparison to last year.

My plan for this year is to write a concept album/score based around a book that my sister gave me for my birthday. It's really ambitious because the amount of music I have to write to get this thing done properly is probably somewhere in double album land and I have absolutely no idea how that's going to work because I have to write and record everything in 28 days but this isn't going to stop me from trying regardless.


Friday, January 16, 2009

A Ridiculous Essay on Female Guitar Players

I was listening to Jill Barber today. I consider myself somewhat of a Jill Barber fan even though I don’t own any of her music, largely because I love the one song of hers that I have, and because if I hear that she’s playing on the radio I will listen in. This is of couse besides the point that I’m about to make. As I was listening to Jill Barber today I was thinking about how much I love a girl who can play guitar.
It’s important to note that, especially within the 70’s rock context, and moreso in the culture of 80’s hair metal, the guitar has become this sort of expression of masculinity. It’s all about lots of distortion, flamboyant paintjobs, throwing the guitar around your neck, and strumming it in increasing suggestive poses. One could almost say that the guitar became a replacement for the mideval tradition of using increasingly larger codpieces on the armour as a display of manliness (look at that, you probably feel really smart for reading this right now).
So when I say that I love a girl who can play guitar, part of what I mean by that is that I love a girl who is comfortable and confident enough in herself to enter into a male dominated world, ignore historical contexts, and play anyways. I love the Feists, KT Tunstall’s, and Liz Powell’s of the word, and how intense they are. And I have to say, if I was going to start a band tomorrow, the first person I would look for would be a good female guitar player.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Surviving School

The idea of scholastic success is something that's only ever been a novelty to me. In high school I went at things with the attitude "well, if I do good then that's cool, but I'm quite happy to just get by and enjoy myself". In a certain sense that idea worked out good for me. I made friends, didn't feel like a keener, and enjoyed some of the finer aspects of High School (like riding the bus for 2 hours every day). This whole attitude seems to be carrying over to university though. This doesn't really surprise me or bother me, but it's something that I notice more now that I regularly meet people who tell me that they are going to become doctors and if I get in the way of that goal I will likely be shot and killed. These people are driven, driven in the Rocky Balboa sense of the word, and it makes me wonder if there's any merit in that. 

Would I be any better of a person if I decided that I was going to be driven to get really good marks, beat out all my peers, and get straight on the fast track to making boatloads of moolah? Maybe you think differently but the kind of people that I meet that are really driven just end up coming of as really pompous assholes to me. I would much rather hang out with someone who, while caring about scholastic success in a way that is appropriate, is much more laid back and more amiable. Rather than feeling like I'm supposed to compete with these people, I feel like we can just relax, talk about school, and enjoy our university years with a sense of brotherly love, and maybe a beer or two. 

So while I may not have the university level A's to get into the finest medical schools in the country, I have a feeling that I'm going to enjoy this part of my life, and enjoy the things that are to come happily with my (currently) B average proudly in hand.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

After Decemberween, the Real Party Begins

















Now that this whole excessively length holiday we all call Christmas Vacation is over I feel way too rested. I need another exam period to get stressed out again. While I realize that in a couple of weeks I'll think that was a really stupid thing to say, I feel like it's true right now. Right now I want to be assigned more work than I am physically capable of doing so that I can at least feel like I should always doing something productive.

I made a couple of New Year's lists up last night. I won't post them here because I'd rather not subject myself to the possible public ridicule that the readership of this blog provides but I'm quite excited about this year. I feel as if I can do anything. I'm not sure if that's true or if it's the last bits of turkey and beer in my system that's making me think these things but that is how I feel at the moment.

In other news I'm trying to plan my summer right now, and it's the most uncertain I've felt about summer in a long time. I don't know if I'll be working at camp, working elsewhere, or planting trees in Northern Ontario but being uncertain about these things doesn't really bother me. It's actually kind of exciting to be uncertain of what the future holds.

Here's to the new year, let it be more awesome than the previous one.