Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
As I sat there in the back of the coffee shop I thought about what to do next. I thought about if I should do anything next. Plans began to wander their way into my mind and I started carrying them out in the privacy of the coffee shop. I think if people could read minds, people would instantly become much more interesting. Instead of blank faces on the subway, you could see people reliving their dreams of flight from the night before, and thoughts of evenings filled with german board games and dive bars. People’s deepest secrets revealed with only a glance.
I idly began playing with the stir stick in my now lukewarm coffee. Having a moment to myself meant that I was finally able to pause and enjoy the weather outside. Snow had been lazily dropping from the sky for the last couple of hours. When I was outside I hadn’t really noticed it but now that I was inside it seemed like the only thing worth paying attention to. As I watched the snow fall, I wondered what would happen if it never stopped. Snow constantly rising until it reached above the windows, leaving all of us stranded in this coffee shop. From there I immediately started thinking about who would take charge in this post apocalyptic scenario. The overly friendly barista who made my drink seemed a likely candidate for panic. The guy in the suit who was obviously engaged in some type of meeting would probably try and take charge. Who would we eat first once we ran out of food?
This is why I’m here. I take things too far. We were just talking about what movie to watch and all of a sudden my whole life flashed before my eyes starting with a proposal and ending up with me laying roses on a grave stone. It was like I had temporal diarrhea and couldn’t keep my brain locked in the present. Instead of occuring in slices, time got squashed together like roadkill, and I thought about it without any divisions. So I ran away and ended up here.
Sometimes it’s really easy to identify your dysfunction, but impossible to deal with it. Also what do you say to someone when trying to apologize for something like that? “I’m sorry I can’t view time in a linear fashion”? Not a very convincing apology scheme. I can see that whole argument right now and the ending feels really familiar.
I pick up my mostly empty cup and dispose of it, heading out the front door. I feel the blast of cold air on my face and the prickle of snow on my face as I leave the coffee shop. Words start to scramble together in my head which I will say when I get home. I breathe in deeply through my nose and let the air chill the back of my brain. Maybe the cold air will keep my mind from it’s time travelling ways.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
In my plan making madness, I often have fits of inspired thought. The other day I was thinking about making some plans when it occured to me that I was stressing out about making plans with this person, and they had never made plans with me. Suddenly I realized that so few of the people I hang out with are plan makers. There's a few here and there and I tend to hang out with those people fairly regularily, but a lot of my friends seem to be loafers. They don't make plans with me, they simply wait until I make plans with them otherwise we just never hang out.
Am I being ridiculous here? All I really expect is that we can share the load of making plans. I will start by making the plans and then you will make the plans for the next time we hang out. Why can't we just do that? That way we both feel equally involved in the planning process and we're both expressing interest in each other instead of feeling somewhat desperate at times.
People who make plans seem to be the people with the most friends. I have a friend who's a highly effective plan maker and he knows more people than I can possibly imagine. Maybe I'm just destined to be a plan maker who makes plans and reaps some of the benefits of plan making.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Ben, what's your deal?
laughs That's kind of an open ended question, where should I start?
Wherever you want. It's an interview with yourself after all...
Yeah, but the whole point of interviewing myself is so that I don't have to seem pushy...
Ok, what's new in your life?
...because that's so much less open ended. What's new in my life? Well, I picked a new profession of choice for the next six months.
What's that all about?
I discovered recently that I lower my expectations for what career to partake in about every six months. In first year it was possibly medicine, then dentistry, then it was nursing, then it was biology research.
What's this half-year's choice?
Yes, seriously. I was thinking about something that a guest at House Famous said about law . He was recounting the story of how he ended up at law school, and was saying that he tried his hand at a couple of LSAT questions and found he was pretty well suited to that kind of thinking so he borrowed some money, took a prep-course, and ended up in law school. So I was thinking about this one day and though "why not?", mostly because the LSAT contains no information, it's all about thinking and reasoning instead of knowing content. I went to indigo and bought a book, and now I'm looking at writing it in February, depending on how things go.
Are you going to take a class?
They cost like...$1000 so I probably won't consider it unless I'm still pretty serious about this whole thing in a couple of weeks.
Whatever happened to your plans for a music career?
They're still there but I've got so much else on my plate right now that it's hard to find a spare moment to work on that stuff.
What are you doing music wise right now?
I started taking guitar lessons, which is going really well. It's not just guitar lessons, there's a lot of improvising and music theory in it as well so it's there to kind of expand my music vocabulary. I've been feeling really limited in terms of what I can express on an instrument so hopefully this will help me.
What happened to your grand "one song a week" project
It was a spectacular failure. I write songs very slowly, and I need to be in the mood to write, so trying to put out one song per week just wasn't going to happen.
So you just choose not to push yourself creatively?
Sort of...there's a tension there between what I want to do and what I can do. I want to write more music and sometimes goal setting helps me to do that (like during RPM 08) but then sometimes it just makes me bitter about having to output creatively. Somewhere in between accepting how I am and pushing myself to do better, there's a sweet spot where I'm most effective as an artist.
You write about your faith sometimes, without ever really getting specific. What's going on there?
I don't like that phrase "My faith". Faith makes it sound like it's some kind of thing I think about sometimes and then just forget about it the rest of the time. It's so much more than that. For me it translates into a lot of thinking about how Christianity works in North American society where we have so few needs and everything is made a shit-load more complicated by how much leisure time we have.
Ok, so forget "faith". What effects does Christianity or Christ have on your life?
It's so hard to talk about faith without saying something cliche....
What do you mean?
The question, "What effects does Christ have on your life?" initiates this kind of gag reflex. I don't know if it's my inner hipster hating things that get said a lot or what but that's what I think. I suppose I should answer the question though. To me it's so complicated it's hard to comment on. When you get down to it, Christ is all about love and loving those around you and the God who created all of you. But that's so complicated when we live in a society where people are independent. Oftentimes people don't see the need for or the importance of love, and so this entire ideology or way of living becomes this unnecessary set of rules for them and they totally miss out. In the meantime, we manage to fuck it up and distort it in every way possible. Everyone has a story about how they've been burned by the church or by someone who claimed to be a follower of Christ, and it just makes everyone even more wary of those who claim to be followers of Christ.
It sounds like that's something that upsets you a lot...people distorting Christ
It bothers me that no one sees anything wrong with that. It bothers me that there are people in the church who engage in destructive and manipulative social practices like gossiping and venting, and see no problem with it. It also bothers me that people think that they can identify the problems of others better than others can. Jesus says right there in the gospels "Take the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother's eye". That's what we are. We're a bunch of log eyed fools sometimes. I honestly wonder what God is doing with us at times.
I'd love to hear more about this but I think we're getting near to the end of our space. Any last words?
Not really. I'm terrible with endings.
Until next time then...
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Why do I like things? Broad enough question, I know. What I mean to say is, why do I do what I do?
I was thinking about this today while watching the Social Network again with some other people (Give me something engaging and I’ll get completely wrapped up in it. Give me something that I’ve seen already and you’ve given me 2 hours to sit and think). What are my motivations for doing things? I like to argue with people. Sit down and tell me something, anything, it could be about a sports team, a movie, a current event, a lifestyle choice, and I can almost guarantee you that I will disagree with you. I don’t like what you’ve just said even though, five seconds ago, I didn’t have an opinion on it.
This stunning realization while watching the movie gave me time to skim brief life choices. I determined that the real reason I like plant biology is because in High School, a girl I liked told me she hated plant biology so I decided that I would like it. Why am I interested in evolutionary and ecological biology? Because everyone else at my school said they liked life science. What was my first reaction? Fuck them, I like the other stuff. I didn’t have an opinion about it before but now that there’s someone to argue with, I’ll go to town with it. Recommend a band to me and you’d have been better of telling me that they really suck.
Does this apply to my relationship? No. Does this apply to my faith? Yes. I don’t really get it. How did this happen, and what am I supposed to do here? Do I embrace the fact that my first response to everyone is to give them the finger or do I try and change this? I’m not really making decisions for me anymore, I’m being some kind of reactionary jackass.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Right now I'm mixing a Graven EP. Bands always talk about mixing like it's some kind of mystical process and they spend weeks at it sometimes trying to get the "right mix". Since I was once mystified about the whole process, I thought I would sit down here and share a little bit about it with you.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Last night I woke up at 4 AM and all I could think about was how I needed to scoop ice cream sundaes.
This summer I started a new job working as a kitchen supervisor at the camp where I always work. I initially tried to get a job somewhere else doing something else, but then I couldn’t find another job and someone at camp approached me and offered me the job with no previous interest expressed. At this point in the summer I had figured out that I needed the money very badly so I agreed to the job and here I am.
My job involves running the kitchen when another cook is not present. This means doing anything from cooking large amounts of meat (14 kg of ground beef!) to ordering people around ("peel 250 potatoes") to doing laundry.
I enjoy my job but it can be very stressful at times. When it comes to meal times often you'll find me running around, sweating, and generally in a bad mood. Lately it's been troubling my sleep. The last couple of nights, I've woken up in the middle of the night in a panic about having to finish something on time. One night I woke up thinking that I had to put meat in the oven or dinner was going to be late. It took me a solid 5 minutes to get thinking straight and remember that it was night time and I needed to go back to sleep.
So last night I woke up at 4 AM thinking that I needed to scoop ice cream, only to discover that I was nowhere near ice cream or scooping. I think I need some kind of stress release.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
(Note: I meant to do this almost two weeks ago. Sorry it's so late)
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Note: I think I've spent enough time reading reviews on Pitchfork to finally say that I'm sick of reading reviews that seem to have little to do with the music, and more to do with making personal judgements about the artists. Normally I would just talk about how they're stupid, but this year because so many artists I enjoy are putting out albums, I have decided to sit down and write reviews on all the CD's I purchase this year just to see what happens.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
With all this spare time, I've got plenty of opportunities to procrastinate without really procrastinating against anything though. This means lots of random internet browsing. Today's random internet browsing led to me watching the first 3 minutes of "The Hills" before I realized why I don't watch anything on MTV and it's affiliates. It did get me on a page for another article about Heidi Montag's recent pile of plastic surgery.
Just as background (from what I know from skimming wikipedia and reading the article) Heidi Montag felt very insecure and so she decided to go in for cosmetic surgery which resulted in her getting I a whole bunch of stuff done all at once. She comes home and her mother basically tells her to her face that she was prettier before the surgery, that she thinks it was a bad decision, and then proceeds to make fun of her for not being able to eat properly on account of her jaw being very sore from the surgery.
The whole time I was watching these clips I was smiling to myself. I get a kick out of watching big time celebrities get told off by people in a position to tell them off. Watching Heidi's mom tell her that she needs to deal with her insecurities by dealing with the problem on the inside instead of getting cosmetic surgery to fix what she sees on the outside was immensely satisfying. It seemed to validate everything that I believe about insecurity, and made me feel like I was much smarter than Heidi.
I know that this attitude doesn't really line up with my faith (i.e. the whole being humble thing) but some part of me feels validated when I see people who are so engulfed in capitalism and North American living finding out that things are not what they thought they were.
(p.s. what insecurities? She's on one of the most popular TV shows, is on magazine covers, and could probably date any guy she wants. What is she insecure about? I'm not doubting that she has them but I would honestly like to know what these insecurities are because I can't think of what they might be)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I'm moving in a couple of days. I'm packing my things and getting out of this apartment to go life in a trendy 7 bedroom upstairs apartment with 4 friends on the main street downtown. Every time I do this, I'm blown away by how easy it is to just pick up all of your things, plop them in boxes, dismantle your furniture, and relocate. It's like I have no real hard connection to any of the places I live or have lived. My parent's house isn't really "home" anymore, other places I've lived aren't the same after I've moved on, and the house I grew up in is full of someone else's life right now.
I'm a little frustrated about this. I wish I could just sit down and plant some roots and have it be "home" (whatever home means). I don't like having to be in this constant state of possible relocation. It's almost like I'm on edge all the time.
This feeling gets to you after a while. It's like you're living out of a suitcase no matter where you go, and you don't really know when it's going to end. It reminds me a lot of the movie "Up in the Air" where the main character says that he finds traveling to be the place where he calls home. For him, being on a plane is more home than being at "home" in his apartment. Sometimes I feel like that, but on a less extreme time scale. Home is wherever I am at that moment, and not some fixed location.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The bathroom is my favourite room in a house/apartment/hotel room. I don't really know when this started but my mother can attest to the fact that for the last 3 or 4 years I lived at home, if she couldn't find me I was probably in the bathrooom having a bath, or just sitting in there reading with the fan on (white noise is something that makes me feel really good), or occasionally napping. Yes it's true, sometimes I would grab a sleeping pad, a pillow, and a comforter, and take a nap in the bathroom. Some of my best sleeps ever happened in the bathroom, and I realize this is strange but it just seems to be the way I am.
Something else about me. I hate furniture. Maybe that's misleading. I don't hate furniture, but I like to have an extremely high floor space to furniture ratio. Like...I like having nine to ten times as much floor space as I do furniture. I like it so much so that when I first moved into my apartment, I just kept it empty, and sat on the floor when eating or watching TV or the like. It was pretty sweet. Now that I'm moving, there's no furniture in my apartment and I absolutely love it.
So there you go. I'm a little strange. If you take a moment to think about it though, I think you'll find that you too are a little bit strange. I think one of the people who understands this fact very well is Douglas Coupland. He's an author who writes lots of different kinds of books about lots of different things, but something notable about his writing is that his characters are all a little bit strange. They all have something about them that makes them unique, and distinct from the landscape of people that surrounds them.
This is something that I think people need to embrace. We spend so much of our time trying to fit in or trying to be distinct from other people, but if we all just embraced the parts of us that are a little bit strange, I think we could stress out about these kinds of things a lot less.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This friend and I were discussing how another person that we both knew, seemed to have little time to hang out with us. This was ok because we like this person and want to hang out with them, but they just could not make time for hanging out. This led to a discussion about why this is, and I came to a stunning realization. Everyone has priorities.
In and of itself, this isn't a particularily stunning revelation but imagine that everyone has a hierarchy in their brain of how important things are. It's a kind of ordered list where often things like school, or career go up at the top. Take my list for example. Though this is not how I'd ideally like it ordered, it looks something like this.
1) Relationship with significant other
Tie 2) People
Tie 2) Family
So this means that given the choice between spending time with people and studying for something, I will usually pick spending time with people. This has to do with a number of things, but the important thing is that knowing this about me, you could make some reasonably accurate assumptions about how I would make decisions.
I've been attempting to apply this to other situations with some success and it seems accurate. This all makes sense though because people tend to act in accordance with how they feel, and if they feel something is a priority then they feel it's best to act in accordance with that.
Thus I leave you with another hidden bit of obvious truth.