Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No Beard New Years

Beards and moustaches, they're everywhere. They're in the NHL Playoffs, they're in November, they're in December, they're in the wild. You really just can't get away from them. It's gotten to a point where most of the year seems to be centred around growing a beard and/or moustache.

It's time for a break. It's time to face the facts. Some people just don't look good in facial hair. Some people can't grow a beard. Sometimes you need to shave.

This month why not participate in "No Beard New Years". It is an opportunity to give everyone a break from our facial hair. It is a chance to use those fancy shavers we've been given for Christmas. It is a time to celebrate the time honoured tradition of waking up ridiculously early to spend ten minutes shaving.

Anyone can join in. All you have to do is keep your face free of facial hair for the entire month of January. This year think about starting things off with a clean shave.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve (Apologies for the Melodrama)

This is probably going to sound depressing, which is more a comment on what we think about holidays than on the state of my life, but I'm spending my first Christmas eve alone. I work tomorrow at 6 AM. I get paid more so that's nice, but I wish that I had someone other than The Roots in the house this evening.

I was thinking about "A Christmas Carol" on the way home this evening. Scrooge goes to bed hating Christmas, and when he wakes up in the morning he wants nothing more than to be with other people and share joy. I wish people had dreams like that more often. The world would be a better place.

People don't change as quickly as we'd like. When you get into the nitty gritty, a lot of the teachings of Christ have to do with the fact that people aren't perfect and we need to figure out how to deal with it. I fantasize about people having textbook climaxes and turnarounds all the time, but I've almost never seen it happen. If you know of someone who's done that, let me know. I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm reading Blue Like Jazz again. Amanda found a copy in her apartment and realized it actually belonged to Brendan (a former housemate). It sat on my desk for about two weeks before it's gaze attracted my hand when I was hunting for some bathroom reading material. I flipped it to a chapter called "Grace" and read through it. As I read, I found that Brendan had highlighted some things and written some notes. Reading this chapter was kind of like doing a book study with Brendan, except that he wasn't in my bathroom. I got to learn a few things from him. It was great.

Yesterday I was reading another chapter called "Love" (I know, they're pretty ambiguous titles like some of my posts. Maybe that's where I get it from). Don (the author of the book) starts talking about leaving the church world and hanging out with hippies, and how he feels about all of this. One of the things he says specifically is this.

"My Christian communities had always had unwritten social ethics like don't cuss and don't support Democrats and don't ask tough questions about the Bible"-p.210

I was cleaning and doing some painting today so I had loads of time to think. A comment from a coworker had reminded me about my ongoing struggle with reconciling what I learned in school with what I have learned from personal experience (science and God). I find that talking with people in The Church about it really doesn't help me to feel any better. I usually get some mixture of "aren't those evolutionary scientists just part of some conspiracy to oppress Christianity?" and "just pray and everything will be fine".

I really wish we could take people's questions more seriously in the church. If I'm interested in pursuing pastoral ministry, I don't want to just dismiss peoples struggles of faith. I'd rather allow people to struggle with these issues than simply shove them aside.

I read this quote recently. It rang extremely loudly for me.

"I think the reason some people get so upset when you question their beliefs is that you're giving a voice to their own doubts, which they try so hard to keep silent." Eric "Bubba" Alder

 More people are wrestling with big questions than we realize, and these questions become such a big taboo because everyone is scared shitless of getting the answers wrong.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Can Write Songs...

I went to a concert last night with Amanda. We saw Bon Iver at Massey Hall. It's really hard for me to be objective about concerts because the only reason I go to a concert is because I have strong emotional ties to the artist. The only piece of criticism I could offer about the night was that if you like Bon Iver then you should go see him live. He is definitely part of the group of musicians who sound better live. Massey Hall also did him tons of favours. What an awesome venue.

I've managed to be moderately successful at writing more. I wrote a song last week. It's not very good but on my next day off (Sunday) I will record it and the other one that I wrote and post them to bandcamp.

Also I'm pretty sure I'm going to drop the lame solo project name and just use my name to write music under. I'm finding that the writing process is so individual that the value of a solo project name is quite limited. I write the songs without much assistance so we might as well just be clear about who's making the music. I'll work on that whole bandcamp thing for that.