Thursday, December 24, 2009

Recording Preparations

Everything's coming together nicely now. Played a show with Matt McKechnie and Graven on Tuesday. Was a sweet time all around. Now I'm on the usual Christmas tour, although it's not the musical variety. Just hanging around with family and trying to prepare myself for the two weeks that will follow.

I've got a day and a half booked in with Tyler on the 29th and 30th, and then after that it's me and whoever decides to show up in my parents garage. Right now I'm trying to think of what to listen to in order to prepare for the writing and recording. I've made a playlist of songs that inspire me to write better songs and am listening to it on repeat. It's listed below (when I finish it).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Misinformation

I got this chain email from a friend today. You may have recieved one like it. You know those lengthy "inspirational" email forwards that you get that are supposed to make you a) rich b) think or c) safe from some kind of computer virus, and they always have a billion lines tracing the emails lineage back a hundred generations.

Anyways this email was supposedly a quote from Ben Stein. If you're interested in reading the email you can get the text here. The email starts with some comments about Christmas and people being all politically correct and some-such other interesting banter. Then it goes into some kind of rant about how we've turned our back on God as a nation (the USA of course..) and it's coming back to bite us. Now I don't want to speculate on how God reacts to our actions or anything like that but after doing a little digging, I discovered that a) the second half of the email I recieved, though attributed to Ben Stein is not in fact written by Ben Stein and b) there is a fact included in the email that is not true.

I used to be part of this Christian Gaming clan called Christian Team Servers ([cTs]) and they had a forum. On this forum people used to circulate this kind of stuff, among other things. Something else you used to see a lot of was debates that involved facts that were either not true or were misrepresented.

This leads me to a kind of moral quandry. If people are passing along things and conducting debates without thinking about what they're saying and ensuring its true, are they spreading truth? If you pass on a fact that is entirely false in the name of "spreading truth", doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of the endeavour? Doesn't the bible specifically say "Thou shalt not give false testimony against your neighbour" (oh and good luck interpreting that one)? Are some of us sinning in our arguments, debates and evangelism?

I say these words with caution as I recognize my own tendency towards this kind of thing, but if we do not speak up about the problems we see, about our quarrels, where will we end up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

(Insert topical post here)

Dear Mr. Woods

According to Wikipedia your real name is Eldrick. I'm gonna stick with Mr. Woods though, seeing as how I've never met you before in my life and you're 13 years older than me. I hear things aren't going so well. According to various tabloid reports (which I hope you're not reading), you're "on the verge of a mental breakdown". That's heavy stuff for other people to be saying about you. I can empathize with you on a very minimal level. I've never had my family, reputation, and career come apart simultaneously but I have made some pretty big mistakes in my life and I know a little bit of what you're feeling.

You're probably wondering why you're getting this letter from me, or maybe you're not. I'm not sure if people mail lettters to celebrities anymore. I always thought that there was no point since there was no way you would ever have time to read all the mail people send to you, but yet here I am writing you a letter. I was just thinking about you and thought you could probably use some encouragement at this point.

Mr. Woods, you made some mistakes, but you're on the right track to fixing things up. You've taken a break from your job to devote your full attention to trying to repair some of the damage you've caused in your family, and that's a good sign. Things may not necessarily become magically repaired because you've left your job, but it definitely improves your ability to try and restore things.

People are probably saying a lot of things about you right now as people so often do, but don't let it get to you. We're all pretty much in the same boat. Everyone's life is just as messed up as yours and mine is. That's the thing about people; we make a lot of mistakes. We seem to be predisposed towards it. But what's done is done. You can't go back and change what you've done. You can only really change what happens from this point on in your life. You decide whether you keep doing what you were doing, sit there and sulk, or try and make things work.

And not to get preachy or anything, but there's a big man in the sky who's looking out for you. Hard as it may be to believe right now, he loves you and would like nothing more than to hear about what's going on in your life. You don't even have to tell anyone that you're talking to him, you can do it in your head, but he's there. Give him a shout sometime if you need someone to talk to.

Mr. Woods, I hope things turn around for you, and I'll be praying for you, whether you're into that sort of thing or not.

Sincerely
Benjamin Gresik

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Future

I have this theory. Everyone is scared about the future, with this fear peaking around 21, but everyone deals with it in different ways. Some deal with it by not thinking about it, some deal with it with plans, but everyone deals with it differently.

Some times I think it would be nice to turn into a character in a Douglas Coupland novel, reaching that point in life where you look back and wonder what happened with your life. I would like to be there right now, without the intervening meandering. I wish I could skip the back story and go straight to the epiphany.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yeah...

Yeah, sometimes I run. So what?

Sometimes I run in the snow, at night. You already know how I feel about the snow. The white carpet crunching rhythmically as I trot along, the cold nibbling at my fingers, the cool air penetrating my lungs. I run and think about the wind on my face, the stillness of the world, and how it feels great to run.

Sometimes, in the summer, I run barefoot in the grass. I dash, my feet pounding into the soft earth, my legs exploding in a flurry of muscle contractions with each stroke, sometimes cutting to avoid someone else. Once in a while I pull of my shirt while I sprint in the grass.

Sometimes I run in the city. Fully clothed, and in completely useless footwear, I run to shake myself from the complacency of the city's slow pace. I sprint with glee to my destination, home, a friend, a loved one, anywhere worth getting to faster.

Yeah sometimes I run. You would too if you knew how good it feels.

Snow


I'm currently parked in my parents living room up in Westport, studying it up for my exams which are this week and next week (man... how did that happen) and I'm looking at the snow outside my window. Actually more specifically I'm looking at the snow on the ground outside my window and the dirt mixed into it.

There's something beautiful about the freshly fallen snow (before the snowplows come and muck everything up). After the ugliness and death of autumn comes down, there's this little coat of frosting that comes along to pretty everything up. I always loved that about winter. It's the attractive period between brown autumn and soggy spring where everything looks nice for once.

And there's that glow the sky gets to it in the winter, you know the one that comes from the reflection of the streetlights of the surface of the snow. That yellow look outside that makes it look like someone turned on the sky. I can remember being tucked into my bed at night as a kid and looking outside at that yellow sky. I love the winter night's sky.