Wednesday, December 22, 2010

robin of christmas.

it's 1:33 am, robin hood is playing on the television, roger is asleep on the couch's fold out bed and neil is bobbing in and out of attention to the film while his head keeps resting on my right arm. i'm still awake compliments a winter break schedule that little regards night and day, and christmas is now approximately seventy hours away. 

as much as i remember each christmas holiday, i remember just as well past christmas breaks that accompany it, at least since high school when i really started giving it an effort to make my breaks count. i do enjoy it. 

and what's the point of this post? nothing i can put my finger on. it's now 1:53 am and writing two paragraphs has apparently taken twenty minutes. by the time i post this, it'll likely be around two am even. i'll post this for the sake of its posting rather than the sake of any content.

Monday, December 6, 2010

dangerous living.

dangerous smells, dangerous tastes,
dangerous fuels sold at dangerous rates,
dangerous folk in a dangerous place.
oh dangerous people, the dangers you face.
--terrance long

people love throwing around statistics. it's a sort of societal hobby we have, and though most of us are hesitant to accept many statistics we hear as true without some investigation, we still love hearing them. we love believing them, devaluing them, relying on them, disproving them, pointing to them accusingly, and coming up with them ourselves--sometimes legitimately.

i won't bother posting any as there is a practically infinite number of other blogs that will readily present them if you drop them into a bing search. anyway, some of the most popular statistics to make their way amongst us by way of facebook statuses, blogs, pop magazines, and your insightful friend are ones that compare the danger of a more traditionally frightening event to a less traditionally frightening event and end with the statistics that show that fear of the more frightening event isn't justified. for instance: "i don't know why you're so afraid of riding a roller coaster. did you know that one out of every (very large number) people will die in a roller coaster? one in every (smaller number) people will drown in the bathtub!"

i think we all acknowledge that some of these statistics may be true in principle, but a large majority of them include exaggerated or entirely fabricated numbers. likewise for the actual activities as well. rather than try to examine this issue, let's just take it as face value.

i would guess there are three reasons we seem fascinated with this type of  statistic. one, it makes a possibly boring fact (roller coasters are relatively safe) seem much more exciting by tethering it to apparently exciting or shocking fact (baths are very dangerous). two, these statistics can (if the listener takes it as a truth) be very persuasive. three, and the one which i find intriguing, is that i think we like the idea of making boring activities seem dangerous.

who does the media idolize? amongst others, the media idolizes people who live dangerously. action stars, daring spies, brainy detectives who pack a desert eagle. these people live dangerously and we enjoy, and possibly envy, their exploits as we watch. so, is our making the bland seem dangerous an effort for us to get the odd thrill by thinking crossing the street holds more mortal danger than juggling loaded pistols? perhaps. a very minor and boring idea to take up this much text, but one i felt like writing on.

so. want to live dangerously? take a bath.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

jane and pandora.


the box, once opened, try as you may,
will remain open, its contents forever free.
the insides, once hidden, will from now till last day
a burden, a blessing, a knowledge will be.
--terrance long

it's been a fun month or so since my last post. all sorts of entertaining updates that i'll be sharing with you, my two dear readers. nothing too crazy, i grant you. just the same, things worth writing about. though by that standard i could probably share just about anything--i'll limit myself. we'll keep it to two big developments.

first, i've had the opportunity to hop back into theater as of recent. through a friend of a friend connection i wound up auditioning for 'austenland,' a play based on the book of the same name. what's more, i was cast. it is, in short, the story of jane (our protagonist) who finds herself in a resort based on the regency period and world of jane austen. i'll leave the summary to wikipedia, but suffice to say it's a winner. rehearsal's been going on for a few months now, and performances are tomorrow. all three unlucky audiences will have the responsibility of hearing my british accent and watching me pretend i'm charming. lucky you that you're only reading about it.

that being said, the show on the whole is turning out quite good. i look forward to watching the recording of it after the whole bit is over and congratulate jenny and the company on the fruition of her writing and directing efforts as well as the efforts of the whole ensemble. way to be. 

second, in october i opened the pandora's box of vegetarianism. what began as an experiment to get me in the habit of a)eating more vegetables and b)making myself more aware of my diet has become something that very well may be a permanent component of my diet. before i give the reason, i preface with this disclaimer: it is my choice as pertaining to me as much as its your choice pertaining to you, dig? so if you feel differently than i, i assure you i'm not upset in the least, and would find it reasonable for you to not be upset likewise. and on to my reason...

basically, after going a month without eating meat or other animal products (in the sense that it came from a dead animal) i made the realization that i didn't really miss them all that much. a bit, sure. but honestly, it was far more a shift than a struggle. this being the case, considering what takes place in order for me to eat a bit of meat, i can't really justify it. the same way that i enjoy a good michael jackson album but wouldn't exchange a finger for it, i just can't see me eating meat or bone scrapings or whatever else as reasonable. this is the pandora's box i've opened. prior to october first, i was unaware of this fact. by the end of october, the lid was wide open. and thus it is. 

so there you go. two updates for two readers. til next time,

p.s.--i'm undertaking a new pet project. check it out if you fancy. you'll find it here--the weekly wikicast.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the chair.

"and if by my efforts
i become someone i like,

maybe that someone will be a somebody
in time and history's sight."

--terrance long

a chair is a delightful thing. chairs come in a remarkable variety of styles, colors, shapes, sizes, and aesthetics. a good chair can be practical or frivolous, large or small, ornate or homely, and belong to one or many persons. if we're thinking in terms of plato's theory of forms, any chair could be the chair given that it suits the role its been assigned.

as i've recently read many a text on world issues, global struggles of various sorts, local problems and those plaguing distant lands, i've wondered what role i've to play in being a positive force in relation to any of them. i find hope in the chair. some of the best chairs i've encountered in my life have been modest in appearance, upkeep, or even comfort--but suit their opportunities to play their parts blissfully.

my goal in life is to suit my part blissfully.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

blogging about paper.

to read this post, click on the giant notebook. feel free to scroll down after you read it.

now feel free to scroll down.

in case you were curious, this is what it looks like without the flip--with matchbook authenticity check even! just click on this notebook to see it in a better, more glorious resolution.

Monday, October 11, 2010

remarkably pleasant things.

"love is like a butterfly,
as soft and gentle as a sigh.
the multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings."
--dolly parton

i love dolly parton, and i love this song. it's delightfully pleasant. and this prompts this thought--that i feel sometimes that pleasant things are under appreciated. the fact is that when people could have something exciting, new, or especially "wow!" they'll typically choose it. that's my guess as to why much of classic folk music has lost its popularity. we've, as a society, swapped out the pleasantries of folk music for the loud, zippy beeps and rubbish lyrics of dance hall music. why? because while dolly parton's pleasant, she's not as exciting or ridiculous as lady gaga. because while the dubliners are charming, they're not as sexual as fergie (thankfully). because while listening to burl ives and drinking an herbal tea is hard to beat, you can't escape the beat of a heavy dance hall anthem.

there is a place for different genre's for certain. i don't especially enjoy dance hall music, and i never listen to it. likewise, i'm sure there are others who'd say the same for folk music. the important thing here is that the same way for every adventure you go on, you should have the moment of relaxation to match--for the loud and exciting music of your fancy, enjoy something a bit more soft and pleasant. i assure you, it's an enjoyable experience.

and if you need somewhere to start, by all means, dolly parton is a great jumping point.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

illusory correlations.

"of course i failed--i forgot to wear my lucky trousers."

the most clear and concise explanation of illusory correlation that i've found comes from wikipedia: "the phenomenon of seeing the relationship one expects in a set of data even when no such relationship exists.
" data here can be taken as traditional data (statistics, reports, etc.), and can also be applied to a broader scope in understanding it as events, experiences, perceptions, and so on.

this is a common phenomenon and examples of it can be found in most any context. stereotypes are an extremely common example, studies claiming correlation between environmental factors and personal effects can readily fall victim to it, and people simply seeking explanations will typically find them, though they may be completely irrelevant and utterly incorrect (conveniently animating this principle). this is why someone may think that people named trace are not as handsome as neils or rogers(after people meet me, neil, and roger), that pot roasts cure colds (after an ill child pips up after a bit of beef), or that a pair of trousers dictates his or her academic fate (after a success or failure in a pair of 501s).

i've not failed any tests as of recent, but illusory correlations have certainly seemed to have played a role in many of my recent actions. both in the way i make decisions and in the way i explain the reasons of their successes or failures, retrospect and further experience seems to be showing where various correlations were indeed illusory.

from merriam-webster:
based on or producing illusion.
the state or relation of correlated. specifically : a relationship existing between phenomena or things.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

conversations with sheila.

"good mornin' starshine, the earth says hello.
you twinkle above us, we twinkle below.
good mornin' starshine, you lead us along
my love and me as we sing our early mornin' singin' song.

glibby gloop gloopy, nibby nabby noopy, la la la lo lo.
sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le le lo lo.
tooby ooby walla, nooby abba nabba,
early mornin' singin' song."

--sheila (hair, 1967)

the preceding selection contains one of the most unappealing bits of lyricism i've ever heard or would care to imagine. i find them such for the two main reasons of one) them being nonsensical, cheap rhymes and two) failing to make up for that by not even being pleasing to the ear. they don't roll off the tongue, and they don't flow to the ear, and they don't drive to the heart--or anywhere else in the body for that matter. now don't get up in arms--i do like this song. i hate the "early morning singin' song," but do enjoy the bulk and presentation of it. and besides, to a degree i can appreciate the fact that though sheila sounds ridiculous (not in an entertaining or mutually enjoyable way, but in an "it hurts to watch" kind of way) she very well may be trying to say something very reasonable--maybe even important.

i can relate to that at times. i've something relevant or important to say and all i can do is speak the early mornin' singin' song. it's rather frustrating, as i'm sure at least one of you two readers can relate. but oh, the things i would be saying if i could be saying it. what secrets are being held hostage by sheila's inability to escape the early mornin' singin' song? maybe many, maybe few, but the tragedy is that we'll never know. at least until the sequel to hair comes out...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

clever harry.

"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack."
--Harry Emerson Fosdick

harry was a clever guy. i don't agree with all that he supported or lead, but some i do. and whether or not i agree with any of it, i can at least acknowledge that he is a very clever harry. a very clever harry indeed.

cynicism isn't a good thing. i'll rarely be so absolute in my statements (the fruit of being a psych major--you qualify everything you say with "usually," "often," or something equivalent), but i feel bold enough at this moment about this particular point that i'll just go hog wild. webster defines a cynic as "a faultfinding captious critic; especially: one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest." "captious" being "marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections." honest, practical, pragmatic, realistic--these are the vessels or reasoning that, often, cynicism will use to present itself. the fact is, you can be honest, practical, pragmatic, and realistic without being cynical. it's the difference between "we've poor odds" and "don't bother trying" or "i haven't had the best experiences in dating" and "screw dating."

i'm a cynic at times. depending on subject and timing, i certainly can have a cynical streak as i suppose many of us can. i guess it depends on when and where you talk to me--but if you know me well, you probably don't even need to. either way, like harry pointed out, it's typically an absence of something, and i'll add negative experiences, that lead to cynicism.

this being the case, i think just about every person i know has "discover[ed] what [i] lack" already.

logically, though, i can't seem to make the connection that this means one can see what a person is optimistic about, and see what they have. my best conclusion is that an optimist is a person who may or may not have a lack in a given area, but fails to see the point in being a cynic about it, and sees the value of positive outlook.
in some areas i'm quite the optimist. in others, eh, not so much. but according to the logic i've pieced together--that's very stupid. i should just be an optimist.


Friday, September 17, 2010

fluid inspirations.

there are several years between the writing of stephen king's "pet semetary" and its being published. this is, in part, because of its inspiration. the book was inspired by a series of events taken place in his rented home in maine. the house was just alongside a major truck route which would be the cause of death for man local pets. because of this, there had been established a pet cemetery on the other side of the freeway. after burying his daughter's cat (a victim of the busy road), the principle of 'the cat came back' came to mind. the idea of this dead cat being buried and coming back, as he puts it, "alive but fundamentally different." a zombie cat, if you will. the question was then, what would happen if a person were to be buried there? it was this, in combination with a recent experience of narrowly stopping his son from being struck by a car that gave inspiration to the feelings, ideas, and story of semetary. however, when king had finished the book, he didn't review or submit it for publication for several years. he saw the inspirations of the work, and he simply wasn't ready to touch something with roots in the idea of a loved child coming back from the grave to kill--particularly as that idea was at least partially rooted in the experience of his own son nearly being killed. not for a period of time, anyway. eventually it was published, of course, and gained great popularity.

i'm not writing a novel, and nothing that i'm working on has near as deep or upsetting roots. however, to a degree, i can appreciate the idea of creating something and whether in the act or ex post facto, having some serious misgivings about it because of what inspired it. i think that's why i tend to take the more liberal feeling towards art and say that art's inspiration and meaning are flexible according to the environment surrounding it.

i don't normally post stuff i write--mainly because i feel if i'm going to share it at all, i'll play it. but, for this once, i'll break that rule. this is a song i wrote on my mission while in boston, england. we drove by a fish and chips shop called "queen of the sea" with the word "fish" before it and the word "chips" after it. i scrapped the "chips" and stole the remaining words to make the title of a very simple song. at the time, it had some loose inspirations. about two years later, the meaning would change, affecting my perception of the inspirations, happened again about a year after that, and is still changing today. anyway, i thought i'd share it. and as a sidenote--this is a sad song, but it's played with cheer. so as you read it, don't let it sound too tragic.

"fish, queen of the sea."
so swim, oh swim away. swim away oh sea queen.
you know i love you dear, but we know you're no ruler here.
you off and heading home, with and among your own,
means more than you being mine.

so swim, oh swim away. swim away oh darling.
both families wondering now why we are even bothering.
i wish that we could be, a royal family.
you know i'd walk and swim the line.

but you are a sea queen, and i'm a man king.
we fell into love's trap, now we have to mind the gap.
the problems we're to face aren't solved by being in love.
where could we even live--what place is neither underwater nor above?

and my people say of me, "our king is crazy.
he sees her fleeting whim, he sees it as her loving him.
he sacrificed and sought her, old retired triton's daughter--
did he think fate would care?"

but please my lady, do be pleased to know
it's i that's over them, and i still love you so.
put water out of thought, still if you i'd caught
you're optimistic dreams i would share.

but you are a sea queen, and i'm a man king.
we fell into love's trap, now we have to mind the gap.
the problems we're to face aren't solved by being in love.
where could we even live--what place is neither underwater nor above?

sea queen, oh sea queen. stranger love old time has seen--
but no doubt we're the strongest love that's been all as strange.
cruelest of jokes it seems. tinkering with our hearts and dreams.
no doubt we're the pride or shame of all the loves time has arranged.

you know i love you but farewell.
me to the sea, you to the land.
we do not match though we belong.
i hope our hearts will understand.

was this song originally written with a girl in mind? why yes, yes it was. over the years, has this been about the same girl? no. has it always been about girls? no. in fact, for quite a while it was about my not being a theater major. long story short, at this point, the inspiration (though sentimental) has given way to application. i apply this song to my current situations when i play it, as i do with everything i've ever written. i like it that way.

so. why was stephen king able to publish this story? i think, in part, because there comes a point that you can stand apart from your own work and its inspirations and at least begin to appreciate and view it objectively. when that happens, you can enjoy what you made without having to enjoy where it came from.

wow... this post has gotten long winded. i'll try to wrap it up.

i started a song on monday and finished it wednesday. its inspirations and implications are already changing. that fluidity is greatly appreciated. so what's the moral of this post? could be that some things are changing, could be that i'm a non-linearist when it comes to time, could be that whatever is causing a person upset can be altered by perception, or it could be that i've a motive i won't bother sharing.

ironic as it may be, its changed a few time while writing it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

doin' the fresh water jive.

just a quick note. the last post up, "fresh water," is an assignment for a biology class that was requested to be turned in via a blog. i figured you, my two readers, may be confused as to why i decided to post such. so there's your explanation. and to make this post more than just a paragraph of announcement, here's a delightful bit of music for you to enjoy.

with hippie love,

fresh water.

Imagine, for a moment, a dinner party. You've enough food for ten guests, but you only have five guests present. You've more than enough. However, if you were to have twenty guests, the food which was so abundant before is now hardly enough, if enough at all. This problem is kin to the problem facing us today with our supply of water. We are not losing water per say, but we are increasing in the number of people requiring it. As mentioned in Kingsolver's article, the same water that was here for the dinosaurs remains here today--but the demand is dramatically increasing. There are two basic components to the solution to this problem. The first is that we must preserve our current supply by preventing and, as best we can, reversing the effects of pollution on our water sources. The second is actively seeking to distribute water in a way that that allows needs to be met while ineffective or abusive uses of water are minimized.

Water here in the past is water still here today. However, if we are to use it we must maintain the integrity of our water sources. Returning to the dinner party analogy, polluting our water sources is the equivalent to setting out a portion of the already limited meal to rot. We cannot seek to successfully meet our water needs without ensuring we're maintaining our water sources. Hottam makes note that the sources of the pollution may come from a variety of sources as it does for the Ganges river, including refuse, as well as corporate and human waste (2010). It is not a situation where any one is the sole party responsibility. Instead, the polluting was a group effort, as will need to be the correction.

In addition, the results of pollution are not simply directly into water sources, but also in affecting climate. Moving weather patterns and adjusting water flows have significant impact on those who reside in places where the water will no longer go. Humanity's role in these changes is a topic of research and debate for another time. However, it is important that we recognize that at the very least, we may play a part in it, and that we certainly have reason for concern over it. Again, we must act as a society in a direction that minimizes our impact on the environment.

We all need water. We all want water. Where these to divide is an important place to mark. If we all are to have the water we require, we must be able to distribute and share our limited resource amongst ourselves. Kingsolver mentions the example of cattle ranchers sharing a pasture. Without self-imposed, agreed upon limitations to grazing, the resources of the pasture are quickly lost as it is over grazed. Limiting use is the key to maintaining the resource. In the same way, if unchecked, use of water without consideration of the whole of society leads to overuse in some areas, limiting its availability in other areas. An example of this is present in Beijing. As noted by Zhang and colleagues, in 2003 Beijing's population overcame it's water supply with demand from a growing population. While currently making do, it was not without some adjustments being made to the operations and use of water that the city was able to do so (2010). Applying this principle on a global scale allows one to begin to appreciate the potential problems we are facing. Likewise visible is that it can be addressed in a way that it can be managed by public law and policy concerning the appropriate distribution and use of limited water resources. This may be on local, national, or global levels, but are necessary whatever the path they take.

Water is a building block of life, and it can be difficult because of this to think of it as limited in more than a personal sense of sprinklers and water supplies, but in a broad, global way. Water can only be spread so far, and we must act in a way that allows what resource is available to be used effectively and equally between all of us. By addressing concerns of pollution and taking action to keep track of and effectively control water use we can address this issue in a way that allows needs to be met. In short, ten plates can be enough for twenty guests.

Works Cited

Kingsolver, Barbara. "Fresh Water. (Cover story)." National Geographic 217.4 (2010): 36-59.

Hottam, Jyoti. "How India's Success Is Killing Its Holy River." Time 176.3 (2010): 28-33.

Yingxuan Zhang, Min Chen, Wenhua Zhou, Changwei Zhuang, and Zhiyun Ouyang. "Evaluating Beijing's human carrying capacity from the perspective of water resource constraints." Journal of Environmental Sciences. Volume 22, Issue 8, August 2010, 1297-1304.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

george michael.

my friend laura is currently undertaking a project having to do with grief, made up of visual and written components. whilst discussing it, one thing she pointed out is the fact that often grief is sourced in the death, not of people, but of relationships or opportunities. and that made me think of george michael.

i should have thought of wham, but i thought of george michael. forgive me, andrew.

this is one of my top ten songs of all time. possibly my top five, depending on when you ask me. this is the song i listen to when i'm grieving, so to speak. not death related grief, but for grief related to everything else. end of a relationship? missed internship opportunity? red head didn't return my flirtatious advance? time for some wham.

i could go into an in-depth analysis of why this is. but i shan't. suffice it to say that this song is perfect for it. this song is a lament of the loss of something loved, the acceptance of a loss, the celebration of the future. i can dig that.

that being said, i don't want you, two readers, to think that things are bad right now. things are going well for me, and i'm enjoying them at that. this conversation just sparked this thought and i thought i'd share it in case either of you needed a good break up/grief song. it is, in my opinion, the best of its breed.

and in case you need a pick-me-up more than a break up song, don't worry--we're still covered. enjoy!

check a box, before you go go.

p.s.--one of these days i'll have a reason to post the best "things are great" songs. i guess... i gotta have faith.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


four months is a long time to neglect a blog. i don't feel guilty for the months i was at scout camp. i only had the twenty cents a minute kiosk from kinkos in logan to access the internet, and only on saturdays at that. i do, however, feel i owe you an apology for the weeks since i returned that i spent not writing to you. you understand it wasn't an issue of not wanting to do--but simply not doing. it doesn't excuse it, but perhaps it can help you understand that i meant you no ill.

things have been good for the last while. school is busy and my reappearing social life is treating me well. i'll spare you the slur of more detailed updates and assume that you'll be content to know that things are mostly good with enough bad to keep things interesting. it's a balance i'm comfortable with for the time being and will be enjoying until the equilibrium changes. i've been following the epicurean ideals in my own way for a while, and plan on straying from that soon. we'll see if the wave goes up or down after that.

sorry i've not a lot that's especially exciting to share with you. hopefully i will soon. i hope that if nothing else the break has been a time for you to relax, enjoy the slow pace of the summer, and that my returning to you will be a welcome back and not a 'let's have one more month' sort of situation... either way, you know we were made for each other. and i appreciate that.

with love,

Monday, May 24, 2010

the tragedy of 'skip track.'

i think the feeling that i have towards cassette tapes is reminiscent of the feeling those in generations prior to my own have toward vinyl. there's a certain romantic quality to a cassette tape.

in my mind, an album is (or can be) as much a piece of work as the tracks themselves. a song can be made or broken by the songs surrounding it, and it's no small credit to cassette tapes for making me feel this way. because it was quite a pain (though possible) to fast forward through tracks and hit the next one at its beginning, i never bothered. as a result, there were several songs that i wouldn't have enjoyed that become favorites.

today, i favor a mix cd over a tape. for one, my car doesn't have a tape player. for two, i can make a mix cd in about fifteen minutes, as opposed to the hour or two that mix tapes take. here's the rub. when i make a cd of new music for listening, i find myself skipping tracks. tracks that i apparently thought good enough to put on the cd in the first place, but in the moment impatience all too often wins and a morrissey track gets skipped because i'm never giving it a chance to soak in. therein lies the tragedy. with the convenient ability to freely roam the field of any given cd comes the loss of the obligation to listen to it all. and really, i miss that obligation.

Friday, May 7, 2010


so... it's been a while since i've posted anything and it'll probably be a while yet before i have a chance to post anything really substantial.

so i decided just to post something so any of my three readers will know that i haven't forgotten you, i've just been busy and/or lazy. my apologies, and here's a link to hopefully entertain you for a bit to make up for my lack of posting.

ladies and gentlemen, i give you the edgar winter group.

until next time,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

respectowiggles and drinks.

"good morning, guests. though when i say good i don't mean it won't turn to rain or it might be snow, or fog, or thunder. you didn't get any sleep, i dare say."

there's something innately good and wholesome about reading in public spaces. i think the stereotypical yuppie reading in a coffee shop is onto something.

today i finished the silver chair from the chronicles of narnia. it's my third time reading through the series, and it's been quite enjoyable rereading and finding the stuff i'd missed in the readings prior. i've been reading through the series at work on break and when the cleanings done at the end of shift. today at work's end i had just short seventy pages left, and on the way home stopped at a local burger place and finished the book over a 'stubby double with cheese' and an order of fries. i'm not sure why it is, but for some reason reading a book in my room is completely different from reading somewhere outside the door of my apartment. i think it's the fact that you're going out of the way for leisure. you're not bored at home so you read. you're not going out to take care of business. you're going somewhere with a book for the purpose of doing something you don't need to do, you just want to do it. and there's something very freeing about that.

tonight, keeping with typical habit, i picked up a soda with the meal and enjoyed about a can's worth of dr. pepper and coke (a lovely little pop cocktail, or poptail, called 'black gold' according to the burger king soda charts). it's interesting. i used to get medium drinks. i don't anymore as i made the realization that my satisfaction with my drink has nothing to do with the size and everything to do with simply having that annoying, but nonetheless satisfying sort of growling noise you get when there isn't enough soda left to fill the straw. this started as i realized that a medium drink is often double or double plus the size of a can of soda, yet i'm as satisfied finishing one as the other, and the can typically doesn't end in the same digestive unease. so i started getting sodas that are closer in size to cans than kegs. i'm now actually enjoying the meals more. just an interesting little observation. if you're big on big sodas, i might recommend giving this a try.

and that's about it for now. thrilling business, no?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

my religion.

i'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. i was raised in the church, had the opportunity to take part in various responsibilities within it growing up, and spent two years as a missionary in the united kingdom. since returning from that service, i've been able to have various more responsibilities.

the reason i bring this up on this fine Easter day is that as i thought about it, i'm not sure i've ever really brought up the church in my blog. that's a shame, really.i love the church. so today, i just thought i'd share a few things.

for those who aren't members of the church, you should know that twice a year the lds church holds a conference. rather than a traditional sunday meeting during these instances, leaders of the church share messages from the church conference center in salt lake city, utah. members attend these meetings in the center, in meeting houses throughout the world where it is showed via satellite, and listen on the radio and television where it is available. it's quite enjoyable. we have the chance to hear the leaders of the church and feel the Spirit of God teach us and let us know what we're hearing is true. if you'd like to hear such, the broadcasts and individual talks are available here. take a peek. it's good stuff. altogether, there are four two-hour general sessions of conference each time. morning and afternoon on saturday and sunday. and if you're feeling particularly greedy, the archives of conference talks goes back a fair way, so you'll have plenty to enjoy.

anyway, conference this time around happened to fall on the same weekend as easter, i thought it was a good time to buck the precedent i've set in the past and simply have a religion based post.

i'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. i know that we've a Heavenly Father who is God. i know that the true church of God was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, and is witnessed by the Bible, The Book of Mormon, and other scripture that has been given us. and i know that it's through Jesus Christ that we can find happiness here, happiness in the next life, and understanding of the plan that God has for each of us.

happy easter, everybody. i hope you all enjoy yourselves. if you've any questions about the lds church or anything else i've mentioned in this post, feel free to drop a line, and i'll do what i can to answer. and again, the church website is an excellent resource for questions you may have.

you'll probably see a bit more of this sort of thing in my blog in the future. probably not quite as deliberate, but probably a few things like the clip i'll be stapling to the bottom of the post. it's one of a series of clips the Church has produced over the last year or so, and features testimony of the Savior by leaders of his church on the world today. again, if you're feeling greedy, you can find more of them here.

until next time,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ending words with a zed.

as of recent, i've found myself doing things that i'd be far too lazy to do before. or perhaps too terrified. it may be some new found inner working or perhaps just being around shanise or maybe something different altogether, but it certainly is something.

one of these examples is improvisational comedy. for those of you unaware, back in my high school days i had the chance to take part in an improv troop at my high school. twas a fun venture that was quite fun while it lasted. at least for me. maybe not for everyone else, but they can write their own blog entries...

so last weekend shanise and i went to a local improv show by comedy sportz. (note: sportz, not sports. thus making it funny, or unusual.) i always loved doing improv back in the day. maybe it's the fact that i became lazy or whatever else, or maybe a busier schedule, but when i came to college and didn't find a troupe to join readily available i just didn't bother with it anymore. and now, for whatever reason, it's been five years since i've done any improv (outside of a myster dinner i did last year). but watching this show somehow awakened my love for the stuff, and i'm now signed up for their workshops. on one hand, it'll be fun just because it's a place to just play around doing improv. more importantly, though, is that the way they do 'auditions' for the proper troupe is seeing how they like you during said workshops and then, if you make the cut, inviting you to keep going and so on.

so we'll see what happens. i'm going in with the intention to try to get in since otherwise it seems a little silly to just go to workshops, dig? but at the end of the day, whether or not i do get in it should be a good time. we'll see. we'll see...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

quando quando quando.

"do one thing everyday that scares you."
-eleanor roosevelt

in other words, you should be going out of your way to do frightening things everyday. i think eleanor was on to something. as of recent, i've been trying to implement this little gem. in lots of ways.

we'll assume that 'to scare' can be defined as instilling fear. the merriam-webster dictionary defines fear as "an unpleasant, often strong, emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger." danger is defined by the same source as "exposure or liability to injury, pain, harm, or loss." therefore, in order to fulfill this advice, i need to do something that the excites anticipation or awareness of potential injury, pain, harm, or loss. when i map it out like that, it's not so hard.

using the preceding as our jumping point, if i do one of the following things a day, then i'll be following eleanor's words of wisdom.
  • correcting people.
  • cooking something that i'm not experienced at cooking.
  • doing most anything in front of large crowds.
  • doing things i've claimed to be good at.
  • submitting applications.
  • participating in competitions.
  • dancing.
  • looking down from heights.
  • trying particularly foreign foods.
  • giving presentations.
  • showing people personal works (music, writing, etc).
  • going into particularly dark places.
now, of course there are many things on this list where saying they scare me is a bit of a stretch whereas others are a bit more unnerving. eating a somewhat frightening foreign food is nothing close to looking down from heights. and heights aren't near what other things may be. however, everything on that list at the very least make me uncomfortable. and at that, many of them are things are things i do pretty often, and even enjoy doing. again, foreign foods are always fun. they still can make me a bit uncomfortable. that's the whole point, though.

it is my belief that eleanor advised this because we're simply a big bunch of sissies in far too many ways. indeed, i am often nothing but a big sissy. and how does one cure one's self of sissiness? by making his or her sissy self face the music. eat a bug, sing to a crowd, and go cliff diving.

and so i shall. sooner or later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

dear blog.

"it's a butterfly. or maybe a fella in glasses... hey everybody, hold on a second... i know, i know, it'll only take a second. come check this out. it's pretty cool."

dear blog.
how are you? hope things are going well.
it's interesting. sometimes i wonder who's reading you, and imagine people in far off lands wondering what an american psychology student does with his time. it's pretty exciting. maybe a bit frightening. maybe you've a reader who's a friendly herb doctor in the southwestern united states reading about my new album. perhaps another is a small pakistani boy from islamabad wondering about what i asked santa for christmas (and let the record show, you really did have a hit from islamabad reading your "dear santa" post). maybe a swedish hacker who's ip address is traced to singapore, but who is really in ireland. or perhaps another psychology student in russia, comparing his own blog to you and thinking his is much better. if he's right, i apologize.

at any rate, i'm glad we can see at least where in the world people are that are reading via the geo-traffic link on the right side of the screen, even if we can't see who it is. then again, if i knew who it was, it may weird me out... maybe that's for the best. either way, it's good fun.

well blog, need to finish a paper for psychology now. but i just wanted to write and say hi. hope all is well. i'll do what i can to get you some new readers, but i think we've already a few all stars in our fanbase. see you next later!

--the little lund that writes you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

freshman year.

hey friends and others.
so, about four years ago now, i was a freshman in college living in helaman halls on byu campus and living the dream. part of said dream was to make beautiful music. what instead was realized was the creation of noise loosely described as music. that being said, over time it's been fun to share my wastes of time, and am finally putting forth the effort to do so. these tracks were done with the blessed hammerhead rhythm station and windows sound recorder along with film quotes as you'll hear. at any rate, it was a monster pain editing all of them, so it makes me all the more proud of them.

also worth noting before we get started are two things of practical application. one, i'm still unaware of a way to simply post these tracks as wav or mp3 files, so they're still being posted as movies(yes, the visuals are boring, but i can't be bothered to actually do anything visually for stuff i made four years ago). if you want to be able to download any of them, just get a hold of me or leave a comment and i'll just e-mail them to you. and second, while some i'm quite proud of, others were more me just playing around and trying to figure out how to work. for this reason, i'll only be posting the worthwhile ones, which are few, but there just the same.

so, here are the tracks, loosely in the order of which i favor them. i wrote these under the name "coat hat and cutlass" in case any of you burn these on mix cds and distribute them among friends. then when they ask who they're by, you can express that it's by coat hat and cutlass but they stopped putting out tracks a few years ago and sound very hip and knowledgeable.

as you mixed.

super micro fun.

frankly reanimixed.

your one unheard message.

try to enjoy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


as you may be aware from interaction with me or from blog posts past, i have some fairly varied interests. one of them is sci fi, and more specific to this post, planet of the apes.

in the original series' fifth and final installment, battle for the planet of the apes, humanity and apes are living in a fairly tense balance. they live in villages with humans as second class citizens. ceasar, the chimp leader of the ape revolution and leader of the establishment, feels that mankind had their chance and chose to war with and kill one another as well as mistreat apes. therefore, it was the ape race's role to care for society and assist humanity in maintaining its existence, as they've proved to be somewhat inept at it. and in order to prove they're of sterner stuff, apes establish a code of laws, the hallmark being 'ape must never kill ape.'

well, while ceasar is a worthy chimp with worthy intentions, others are not. enter aldo, the leader of the gorillas, the warriors of ape civilization. he has a rather tenacious dislike of humans and is eagerly trying to find an excuse to do us all in. well, he plans out a clever little way to do so and assembles a meeting of the gorillas to discuss a way to get martial law in order and attack a nearby human establishment. well, by some chance ceasar's good son cornelius (who aldo also hates as he always bests him in ape school) happens upon this little war council and scurries off to inform his father and the community. but aldo thinks fasts and hacks down the branch on which cornelius is perched, dropping him from the treebranch to the sickbed. then, while ceasar is at cornelius' side, aldo takes order to his own hand, starts the attack on humans both in an out of the village. in turn, cornelius passes and ceasar leaves the small home to find what's gone on in his absence.

the battle begins and in a moment of rest, one citizen makes it known that indeed cornelius' branch didn't break, but was hacked away. aldo has broken the great law. the crowd, realizing the gravity of aldo's action, circle and begin slowly chanting the horrible truth.

ape has killed ape.

i guess why i bring this up is that it's all too often that we become what we've faulted someone else for. myself included, as i always am in these sort of soap box posts. but it's really true. the practice can be found in politics, social circles, fashion, pop culture, and any number of other things. we seek to replace the humans only to follow their faults.

just something to think about, and it's always fun for me to have a chance to talk planet of the apes. and as i rarely get to with people face to face, i'll do so with my blog.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

the learning machine.

as you may have read in last month's issue of alternative press, there have been rumors of me finally recording an album after years of playing shows to audiences of anywhere from one to six people. while some of you may have been spreading these rumors, and many more of you hoping they were true, up to this point they have indeed been nothing but rumors. with this in mind, i'm happy to announce that such is no longer that case, and in fact, you'll be able to have a copy of my debut 'the learning machine' for your household come this summer.

that being said, things are very much still in development. the eleven track album currently has seven songs guaranteed their respective slots and the remaining four slots have a few potential tracks to fill them. i won't bother telling you what's included as the song titles will unfamiliar to everyone, but eleven tracks it will have. also, though the seven certain ones are fully written, there has been no recording as of yet. that and then deciding what to do with the tracks once i have the album assembled. while i would love to actually have a proper album produced, i may just wind up burning my own and selling them for two dollars. that being said, if any of you have any insight on producing an indie album, do tell.

anyway, shortly put, look for 'the learning machine' in some format this summer, and you'll find it. i'll keep relevant updates coming on here. until next time,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

little yellow demons.

if you've children in the room who are already picky eaters, you may want to shoo them away. if they are adversely affected by the opinions held in this post, the writer hereby dismisses all responsibility.

i hate corn. i hate the smell, the taste, and the texture of corn.

that's basically the summation of this whole post. now, of course, the rest of the post is explaining what that means.

now, i want to be clear. when i say "i hate corn," i'm using a very general term ("corn"), to describe a very specific food (plain corn). i explain this because i don't want people who have been kind enough to feed me before (particularly my mother and people from my mission) thinking that they gave me meals i had to gag down. in complete honesty, i can remember very few meals past the age of thirteen that i had a sincere dislike for. why is this? because if corn is in it's proper place, it's really not all bad. let's take a look at corn's pleasant side, shall we?
good corn.
corn is basically good when it's not left to its own to taste like corn. corn in a casserole? delightful. corn on the cob? what a treat. popcorn? no one could question it's appeal. however, you'll note that in each of these, corn is one of two things. a) fresh, or b) part of a greater whole. one of these two elements must be present. much like myself. if i'm not a) fresh (as in, "funky fresh," not as in sexual harrassment "fresh"), or b) part of a greater whole (with other people), i can become very unpleasant to be around. possibly because of my smell. that could also be the same as corn. however, i guess corn's smell dissipates when with other things. i'm not sure mine does... but i digress.

see? i can enjoy corn in a sense. if it's not overpowering, it's fine.

but all too often, i get a glimpse of corn's darker side...

bad corn
i wonder if corn just needs a chaperon, because it isn't bad when it's supervised. it's only when we leave corn to it's own design things get bad. really, this is only canned, creamed, or frozen corn served as a stand alone. a side. something to be eaten kernel by kernel. yes, rest assured, it is that bad. to me, anyway. i'd like to say that's not the same as me like we compared earlier, but i'll let you all decide for yourselves.

the smell, the taste, the texture. i cannot bring myself to enjoy corn in this capacity. i'm sorry, and i'm sure that most of you disagree with my frightening caricature of the corn kernel. however, i stand by my position. sorry corn, you're like the friend i only want to see if you're with other people i want to see more. or like me, as i generally am the friend people only want to see if with other people they want to see more. dig?

well corn, have a good day. i'm sure there are still plenty of people in the world that are still happy to devour your wicked little self. now if you don't mind, i'm going to hang out with my friends, the peas.

Monday, January 18, 2010

rockin' in the treetops.

for those of you who don't know me as well, you may or may not be aware of the fact that i enjoy making up stupid little songs typically narrative or first person in nature. and good news to fans of stupid little songs typically narrative or first person in nature, it would seem the typically narrative or first person in nature spark is back. whether this "good news" is actually good is of course debatable. however, it is nice for me.

when i first started playing music (on a conventional instrument) i was taking piano lessons in elementary school. i was going to play the trumpet in school band, but thankfully my mother offered the piano lessons as another option, and with liberace dreams in tow, i accepted them. now, i only kept these lessons up for so long, and today, i am admittedly no expert on the piano now, but two very valuable things came as a result. one. i can still remember several songs i learned to play including "money can't buy everything," "magic man," "money can't buy everything," and one i'm particularly fond of, "oom-pa-pa." two. to this day, most of my understanding of music today remains based in what i learned during this time. after said lessons, i tinkered around with the piano off and on, never really taking it too seriously, and talking about how much i'd love to play the drums.

key in a few years listening to weird al and whatever my brother listened to. mainly fat wreck chords and moon ska. thanks, sky. twas a good time.

then onto my high school years. desperately trying to fit in as a punker with my bleached, twisted-spike hair and cut off cargo paints my parents were kind enough to simultaneously give themselves perpetual headaches and me great happiness when they purchase me a drumset for a birthday. with saturday morning lessons, and constant noise in the house, i can honestly say that i learned to love creating music ("music" being used liberally here) and my piano lessons started showing how helpful they really were as i got more curious about other instruments as i began to actually gain some ability with a drumset. it was a long process going from trying to play the tune of the a-team theme song to actually playing drum like i was "supposed to," but it was a lot of fun. also fun was having a bassist and a guitarist ask me to be a drummer. before you ask, no. we never did anything but school talent shows. but i'm fine with that. it was a delight, even if it wasn't for the audience.

also, my later years of high school offered me the opportunity to try my throat at singing. it was... entertaining, if not a bit painful for everyone else. still, between the kindness of a good drama teacher and a remarkably patient choir director, i was able to survive and enjoy performing in musical theater, the audience was able to survive my performance, and anyone in my car was able to survive the ride home in my jeep. and by "survive the ride home in my jeep," i mean listen to me singing west side story all the way home. passengers were allowed--nay, expected--to join. it was wonderful and i to this day have a soft spot for show tunes because of these experiences and my theater friends. and i'd imagine you can sometimes hear some broadway influence in what i sing now.

as high school went on, my parents were again kind enough to humor my musical annoyances and i was able to try my hands at both guitar and bass guitar. between lessons for both from various sources and my brother's humoring me, i really grew to enjoy them. there are still a few very basic melodies i wrote on both instruments that i'll still play when i pick one of them up. it's usually a little embarrassing, but very nostalgic, so i still do it. same with a few i made up on the piano, including the sea-sick saloon number that my mother still may have nightmares about. you probably would too with the number of times i played it on the house piano.

cut to high school graduation. upon ending high school, i leave my home, guitar and drumset to go to my freshman year at byu. i buy a djembe hand drum and exist for a while doing nothing musically other than "bang on my drum all day." well, that and making amateur tracks with hammerhead rhythm station and windows sound recorder. they were good days... i really should post some of them. they're very much amateur, but entertaining just the same. and i can say that because i'm at least somewhat subjective now thanks to the fact that i put them together about six years ago.

cut from college to the mission ("the mission" being a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). lots of work and not a lot of anything else for some reason spark a lot of ideas and many lyrics were written in a two-pound tesco notebook at night when we had half an hour of free time.

then back home. for the first few months back i had the opportunity of finally finishing/polishing the songs i had started on the mish and was able to put the words to some acoustic guitar and was able to reacquaint myself with my drum set which was delightful. after that, i returned to byu, school started again, and i essentially have spent the time since then playing the same four songs over and over and over again... and wishing i had something more interesting to play.

last year for a few months i was able to play with some computer software and write some digital music which was great, but the analog half of my musical self was still unexercised and flabby with neglect.

but finally, it feels like i've the drive to actually have something more interesting to play. two big reasons i think. first, it's just been so long since i've done much of anything creative that hasn't involved a computer that my desire to finally peaked high enough and it's gotten me out of my creation slump. second, for the first time in ages i've found people to play with, which is a huge boost. this vague shape of a band is a wonderful excuse to start creating again. and funny enough, i find myself being willing to sing in the thing.

that's really what the whole post comes to. i don't consider myself a singer. to be honest, i don't really consider myself a musician. save the drums, my competence on any of the instruments i profess to play is really quite sub-par. i hesitate to consider myself any sort of artist, but if put to the rack over it, i'd consider myself a writer. if you were to take the time (as i admittedly have, and you'd rather not) to look trough my old class notebooks from high school through college you'll see notes sided by countless poems i'd written about anything from my loathing of math to royalty lamenting the need to marry outside of the family. if you look at other sources you can find pieces for the stage including monologues about self confidence and witch burning, and a one-act about story-telling elevator boys. look at even more obscure word files and you can find dozens of unfinished short stories and who knows what that i started and abandoned for whatever reason. after all of my experiences, i still find myself most comfortable with a pen and paper in a desk or performing something that was written there. or eating a grilled cheese. that's also very comfortable. anyway, i guess after ten years of pretending to be an artist, i'm ready to forget the fact that i'm not a singer and sing anyway.

and so faithful reader, you just read twelve paragraphs of lund history so you could read the that last sentence and finally realize what this post is even about. and really, that's the entire post. i think i'll put that line at the bottom in fancy text to make up for making you read all of this for one line... i'm now writing stuff and putting it to use. as in, acting like they're viable works and having people play along with me. should be fun.

goodbye. sorry for being so long-winded and unentertaining. and much thanks to my parents for being supportive in my many worthless and musical pursuits, especially when they were the same ones. goodnight all!