"This is not music made in venom or spite, or in the name of fashion photography. This music is meant to conquer and to comfort. It's meant to be human. There is an essential truth and honesty to Canada's indie music...It is music shaped in large part by our cultural landscape....It cuts with an intensity that other music doesn't possess (or, as far as I can tell, even strive for). This current crop of succesful Canadian indie bands has helped revive music worldwide."
(Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, Time Magazine, April 4, 2005)

I picked up a copy of Time magazine yesterday because I saw something great on the cover: the Arcade Fire, "Canada's Most Intriguing Rock Band". And not only was there an article on them, there was a whole spread on 'Canadian Indie Music'. Woohoo! It's hard to believe, but I am actually proud of some of the music we're exporting. When I made the comment to a friend last night that at long last "Canada actually has some good music", he replied by pointing out that we've always had Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, the Tragically Hip, the Guess Who, etc. So I had to rephrase it: at long last "Canada actually has some good music (strong emphasis on 'good'), that I like (strong emphasis on 'I')."

For the first time in, well, my entire life, I regularly listen to Canadian bands -- and love them. Bands I'm liking: the Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Metric, Stars, the Dears, In Medias Res, the Stills, Sparta, the Constantines, Death from Above 1979. Finally.

And I should mention that there have been quite a few 'Christian bands' that've come from Canada. The few that I can think of at the moment are Thousand Foot Krutch (aka TFK), Starfield, The Undecided, and Stutterfly, though the latter might not be considered 'Christian' and hasn't exactly made it big yet. But they will. Oh yes. They will.

You shall wait a very long time indeed if you wish to hear [a television] preacher refer to the difficulties a rich man will have in gaining access to heaven. The executive director of the National Religious Broadcasters Association sums up what he calls the unwritten law of all television preachers: "You can get your share of the audience only by offering people something they want." You will note, I am sure, that this is an unusual religious credo. There is no great religious leader--from the Buddha to Moses to Jesus to Mohammed to Luther--who offered people what they want. Only what they need.
(Amusing Ourselves to Death. Neil Postman. Pg. 121)

The above quote is from a book I just finished reading for a class I'm taking. It has taken me
a year to get through it -- and while I'm not the fastest reader on the planet, a year to read 160 pages is a little ridiculous. In all honesty, probably the only reason I have even finished it is that I have a book report due on it this Friday. But I am glad I did get through it. I think I found it hard to finish because it was excruciatingly hard to get past the first chapter (that can be a problem if you want to get to the end). Still, after I reached about mid-point in the book (it's divided into two parts) I ate it up.

The book is generally about how TV (more specifically, taking TV seriously) has ruined our ability to take anything of importance seriously at all. His argument basically centers around the cultural shift from reading to television, and how the former, along with our ability to
authentically learn, has been devastated by the latter's obsession with disjointed and out-of-context information, as well as with image and over-simplified thought. I'm not doing it any justice, but I highly recommend it. By the end, though you might be angry (heck, I was at some points), it'll change the way you think and watch TV. Truth be told, most of his arguments seem almost impossible to debate.

In other news, it turns out Prince Charles of Wales is the Anti-Christ. Who'd have thought? I gotta tell you, I often wonder if some of these "Biblical Prophecy Experts" didn't smoke one-too-many doobies in their teens...

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. And if you haven't yet, make sure you read up about those Marshmallow Peeps.

As another Easter comes to a close, and the crowds make their way to Wal-Mart stores wordwide in hopes of finding discount candy, it is important we all take some time out to really appreciate the science behind the sugar.

The following is the introduction to Peep Research, a not-for-profit organization working to better understand the infamous "Marshmallow Peep":

As we plunge into the 21st century, it is time we take a closer look at the technological wonders we create. Here, we try to discover just a little bit more about the world around us through the miracles of science, technology, and preservatives.


To the delight of conservative religious groups everwhere, the Easter Bunny was pronounced dead on impact by the city coroner early yesterday morning. Reports indicate he was struck by several motorists as he attempted to cross a busy intersection, apparently on his way to deliver festivities at a local children's hospital. Foul play is not suspected, but authorities haven't ruled it out.

The Easter Bunny is survived by his 137 children.

His remains will be served with a light gravy dish at St. Joseph's Cathedral at 2pm, March 29. Dessert to follow.
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I went for a walk today and was listening to some music, and came across a song called "Theologians" by Wilco. The song starts with these lines:
Theologians/They don't know nothing/About my soul/About my soul/I'm an ocean/An abyss in motion/Slow motion
The song goes on to talk about how life isn't a textbook -- it's a complicated, dirty, emotional experience. When I had first heard the song my first reaction was, "Hmm. Next song..." But I listened to it a few times and started to understand a bit more where the guy is coming from. It's like he's reacting to the mentality that someone can write a book and think he has the human condition figured out, as if he understands the complexity of being human, as if he understands God. It made me stop and think about how I treat life and my faith and my beliefs. I find myself at times being very uncompassionate in my responses to peoples' pain, struggles, problems, issues, failures, and deep emotional scars. I pull out a textbook answer, like saying that evil and pain exist because of Adam's mistake, and that it isn't God's fault, etc etc. These answers aren't wrong, but there is something very detached in them -- something very impersonal, unhelpful, uncompassionate. In my arrogance I assume that having a couple of pat answers like those makes me somehow understand the psyche of all humanity. I think responding to peoples' sincere pain with a textbook is like giving them chunky milk (the thought just made me gag a little) -- it's milk, sure, but it isn't doing them any good...

My thoughts branch off from there into a lot of different directions. But one of the things that struck me the most about all this was how aware I was of what this guy was saying. Why did I make an effort? Because there was a chance for misunderstanding the meaning, for missing the point behind the words, because at first glance it didn't click with my comfortable ideas. And then I started to wonder why I do that mostly with "secular" music. I pay attention to what they're saying, and then I filter it through my understanding of what God says, and then take from it what I can. But I never really did that with "Christian" music -- if I bought it at the Christian book store, I assumed I could shut my mind off and be "safe". Afterall, this stuff has been pre-approved by those who know what's best for me, right? Then I remembered something I'd read last summer in a book called "The Journey Towards Relevance". So I pulled it out, and quote it below. He makes some really good points. (BTW, don't tell anyone I quoted this much text...)
"Some of the efforts perpetuated by [Christians who seperate themselves from the World] are commendable. After all, the world does produce some pretty rotten stuff at times. For example, some secular music glorifies rape, abuse, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexuality. Obviously, feasting on this type of music is toxic to one's spiritual health.

But guess what? --- there's bad Christian music out there too. This bad Christian music might even be slow and without drums (shocker). Bad Christian music mostly comes in the form of bad theology. By "bad theology," I'm referring to songs out on the market that present God in an unbiblical way. Perhaps they present a God who is merely accomodating or a God who wants to be your buddy and not your Lord. I'm much stricter on what comes into my ears with the name of Jesus stamped on it than with secular music I hear in the mall. Why? Is that a double standard?

Anything that comes in the name of God is intended to affect and influence the way I think about Him. There are a lot of unbiblical and unorthodox views, teachings, and descriptions of God that come under the Christian label. This to me is a greater danger than blatant "secular" music, because it's often subtle and goes undetected.

Preachers who tell their congregation to follow the Berean model of searching the Scriptures, rather than obeying church lists of approved media, ought to be commended. We need to enter the Christian bookstore with the same caution. In my opinion, the labels of "Christian" and "secular" have done just as much damage to the Church as good. There's a tendency among some believers to allow the labels of "Christian" and "secular" to become the discerning factors about what a person should or should not consume. Such practices dull our discernment and dependence on God."

(The Journey Towards Relevance, Kary Oberbrunner, pg. 50, 51)

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Alright. Ok. How to begin. How to begin...

I checked my e-mail not 20 minutes ago (I check my e-mail every 5 minutes, roughly) and had a letter from my big sister -- she sent me some money to help me cover my rent! What in the world?! I think I am experiencing blessing-overload right now. When you live with the mindset that life is a series of bad-happenings (ok, I don't always live there, but lately I seem to have been) and a bunch of incredible things start happening to you, your head seems to verge on exploding. {Insert Scotty: "Cap'n. Your brain, I'm givin' it all she's got, but she just can't take it. She's goin' ta blow!"}

I feel very humbled. It wasn't a week ago that I was complaining that I wanted to get away from people, that I couldn't handle being around them so much, and about how I wanted to live "independently" (it's fun to quote/paraphrase yourself -- very exciting). Well, here I am, having been blessed by other people and changing my tune. Maybe this is one way for God to correct my selfishness.

I also want to note that I wasn't writing all this as some sort of fundraiser! So for any of you out there with a million dollars, no need to send me any (wait, what am I saying? If you have a million dollars, please do send some!). I was only just sharing some of my head with you (whoever you may be), and I mean none of this for any other reason.

But to those of you who have blessed me (my sister Steph and Dave, Karla, and Malcom) thank you so incredibly much for helping a brother (hey, that works literally and metaphorically here -- whoa!) out. You're awesome.

And the rest of you broke people out there -- you're awesome too. Just not as awesome.

I kid!

Lord, grant me that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
Today was insane. I think this is literally the fastest answer to prayer I have every experienced.

This morning my roommate and I went down to Labour Unlimited (a temporary job service) to get some work for the day. Rent (and a quarter million other bills) is due next week, and I don't have nearly enough money (if only I had some Martha Stewart stock), so I was hoping to get some moola that way. I mean, the place always has jobs for people who are looking. And yet today, for some reason, me and Dave were left sitting there for 2 1/2 hours and no work. What a fun morning that was. After we left I was just thinking, "Ok, I'm royally screwed..." All sorts of thoughts were going through my head about how I was possibly going to pay my bills (considerations ranged from selling my action figures to selling my body -- if there was anyone desperate enough to invest). It's the long weekend, so L.U. isn't open until next week. That gives me four days next week, which just isn't enough time.

After getting home and calming myself down with a coffee (oh baby!) I went to check my e-mail -- and what do I find but two e-mails: one from some friends in Fort Nelson telling my they were sending me money, and the second an e-mail from the bank saying I'd received a money-transfer. WHAT THE HECK?! Believe it or not, I literally jumped out of my chair and did a little dance. Well, it was sort of like a dance. It was more like a drunken stupper, actually.

I can not fathom why God blesses me like He does, not only by filling practical, physical needs, but with the friends He gives me (who I don't deserve, by the way). How do you get over the fact that He's always looking out for you, no matter how bad things seem? I went through one of those moments today where I wasn't sure whether to cry, laugh, or scream. I might have done all three (which would explain why the police came by asking about a domestic disturbance).

It's strange, too, because as my needs increase I tend to second-guess myself and what I did with the money I did have. The problem, though, is that I instead of questioning why I bought such-and-such CD, I tend to think, "If I only hadn't given [random dollar number] to this person" or "If only I hadn't given my tithe just yet." Why am I so selfish like that? I've become so me-focused. And yet God always has grace on me, gives me a few smacks, and tells me to stop being such an idiot. I'm glad He does. I need it. A lot. And often. Believe you me, I need the help!

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

What happens when Public Works drinks on the job. Tsk Tsk. Posted by Hello

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. (William Makepeace Thackeray)

This morning I did a phone-interview for a job I'd applied for in Ontario for the summer, at a factory that works with fiberglass. And beautifully enough, I got the job. So I am feeling a bit of relief at the moment, now that I have an idea of where I will be for the summer. The job is a total blessing; it pays well and it's close enough to my parent's house that I can live rent-free for the summer. Phew. God is good.

There's a subject I've been thinking of lots for the past few days -- God's goodness. I was thinking about how hard that is to believe sometimes. Perhaps it isn't so much that it is hard to believe as it is to feel. Isn't that how we tend to evaluate our beliefs? I wonder why that is. We believe what we feel. And if we aren't feeling it, we question the depth of our belief. I don't think that is the way it should be, though.

I think belief is a choice, like love, that we choose to do or not do. Feeling isn't an ingredient of belief, as much as it is a product of belief. In other words, feeling isn't required to believe something, but sometimes (ie. not all the time) it will result from our choosing to believe something. What that ultimately means, then, is that our intellect does play a big part in what we choose to accept as truth and reject what we see as fiction. This shoots a few holes in what some people call 'blind faith', where we accept something simply because we got goosebumps when we heard it, or because it's what we've grown up hearing.

But when we accept that belief is a choice, we lose all of our excuses. We can't say we don't feel like serving God, we can't say we don't feel like loving our roommate, we can't say we don't feel like helping the less fortunate. It has nothing to do with feeling, and everything to do with choosing to do it. If we believe, we are required to do, regardless of whether we get goosebumps or not. Any worship leader can manipulate a crowd to feel one thing or another -- that's the power of music. But when the music isn't making us feel warm and fuzzy and all tingly inside, and we still choose to worship a God who is above and beyond such human endeavours, that is true belief.

I've started reading The Confessions by Saint Augustine, and I am so humbled. I am beginning to see my life in light of the history of the church, and to respect the deep devotion of the people who came before me. It both encourages and inspires me. I've always been a bit put off by the showy (and what I'd call flaky) church services I sometimes go to. And the more I read these books by people who were so devoted to God but didn't have all the hype we do, I am drawn to their kind of faith -- a real, dirty, intimate relationship with Creator God.

Yesterday my roomate (Dave) and I went into Vancouver for the day to visit our old boss and some youth from the Reserve who had come down for an Aboriginal Youth Conference. It was a really great day. It was one of those days where I just felt good. I didn't have to worry about anything and didn't have to think about anything. Those are the best ones of all!

And it helped me bounce back from the crappy few days leading up to it. Whereas I had been feeling like my life was a complete waste of air, Saturday was the sort of day where I got a chance to see some of the cool things I've had the chance to be a part of; namely, working on the Reserve for the past year and building genuine relationships with the people there, from the kids to the youth, to the parents and my bosses (there always seemed to be so many of them!).

And we got to go hang out in Vancouver, which is fun anyway. I love walking around downtown in big cities. I love the little stores and the people you pass and all the little details that come out of a place where you have so many people in such close proximity. There's so much character. Ok, not all cities have character. But Vancouver and Seattle are two that I enjoy hanging out in.

[/end meaningful conversation, begin random thought]

You know, making people laugh is always so much fun. Honestly, the last few months I've felt like the furthest thing from funny. I mean, I'm no Jerry Seinfeld, but I can crack a few jokes. I think it really depends on who I'm with, actually. My jokes tend to only be funny to people who know me. If I've just met somebody, I ain't funny. I tend to say the lamest things, the sort of things that cause people to look at each other and roll their eyes, or pretend they didn't hear me. It's probably a good idea I don't go on dates with strangers.

[/end random thought, begin another]

I also just bought 'The Confessions" by Saint Augustine yesterday. I've read a bit here and there so far, and it looks awesome. It's one of those classics that I have no idea why I haven't read before. It's also one of those books that I can already tell is going to change my life, so I'm really anxious to read it. Alas, I have another book to read by next week for school, so I need to get through that first.

I had a teacher last year who read a book-a-week. I was impressed when I first heard that, but then I was thinking, that really isn't that big a deal, especially if you don't watch TV (which I don't think he does). But I guess it must take some self-discipline (afterall, TV doesn't require much effort to watch, while books force you to think -- ah!). Still, I want to try to commit to reading a book-a-week. Or maybe start off with something more attainable, like a book-every-two-weeks, or a book-every-three-and-a-half-to-four-weeks (you get the idea). Just means I can't be lazy anymore. My problem is that I get intimadated by all the books I want to read (I have this huge list) and then give up before I even start. Boo for me.

I think I have a problem with control. Recent events (as in, things from the last few days) have led me to believe this is true.

Last night I had a conversation with a 'friend' who made a comment that just made me snap. I don't want to go into specifics of said comment, but I will give a general briefing: when I told [Random Person] a possible job I may have for the summer they wondered if I would be able to 'handle it'. The job is a physical labour job, and the insinuation was that I couldn't handle doing a physical labour job. Some might think I am overreaching, but I assure you, this isn't the first such comment, and there was no mistaking the tone [Random Person] used.

Let's just say I wasn't saying the nicest things when the conversation had ended. I was fuming. The thought that some person thinks I can't do something isn't what necessarily bothers me. What does bother me is the underlying attack on my masculinity. Now before you go thinking I'm off my rocker, understand that this isn't a new thing coming from [Random Person]. For the entire time I have been friends with this person, I have always been held up to their standard of what a man should look like. And I ain't it.

I wish that it didn't bother me so much. I wish I could just brush it off. But maybe it's because I am fairly 'close' with this person that it bothers me so much, that it cuts so deep. I never get so angry as after some of the conversations I have with this person. It's ridiculous. They bring out a temper in me I didn't even realize existed. Of course, I never show it to their face. No, that's not the Kyle-Way. The Kyle-Way is to silently (or not so silently, depending on where I am or who I'm with) fume, let the anger and hate build inside of me until I either explode in a long-line of swear words or resign in apathy and go about my life like nothing happened. Last night was more the former. "That's not healthy," you say? No kidding. I don't need a counselling major to explain to me the importance of getting these feelings out. But who I do I get them out to? I don't know how to speak what I feel. I can only write it. So that's what I'm doing now, I suppose.

It sort of dawned on me, last night, as I was laying in bed, how much of my self-identity I get from other people. I feel as if I have no real sense of who I am. All of me is dependent on the ever-changing opinions of those around me, including the images I see on TV and magazines and the billboards lining the highway. I've never liked myself. Never fully, anyway. I hate that I hate myself so often. I hate that I never feel comfortable -- I never feel at ease with being me. I feel too flawed, too problematic, too weak, too fat, too quirky. How do I get out of this cycle? How do I stop looking at what other people think of me and simply come to terms with who God has allowed me (I say allow because sometimes it is simply hard to believe God could/would create a flawed human being -- but that's a whole other subject) to be? I want to not care if someone thinks I'm not 'man enough'. I want to simply be, and be allowed to be, and not be harassed for being. God, help me to see what you see; feel what you feel; think what you think.

Another thing occured to me today that sort of flows along the same line as what I was just talking about. I've got this issue with control. I want to be in control of my life.

See, one of my things (heck, call it a quirk) is that I can't relax in a mess. I can't sit down in a messy room and feel at ease. I just can't. When I live in a messy house or when I go over to a friend's house that is messy, I can't sit back and feel comfortable. It isn't that I'm a perfectionist (I certainly don't think I am, anyway). And it isn't that I need my living-space to be up to Martha Stewart's standards (sure, we share the same last name -- but there's no connection. I think. I hope). But I like order. I don't enjoy chaos. I like things to be in their place. And I've noticed how that runs over into other aspects of my life aswell. I don't like being in situations where I lose control of everything. Which, oddly enough, is one of the reasons I've never been remotely attracted to serious drinking/partying. I just don't like the thought of not being in control of myself. Weird.

But the control problems run even deeper. Like I said, I think it relates to how I feel about myself and how I feel about what others think of me. For one, I can't control what others think about me. No matter what, the thoughts they have in their head and the things they say to me or about me are completely out of my hands. Which is also a good thing, I know, because it means that their feelings, bad and good, are genuine. If I forced people to like me, they'd be robots. Interesting connection to the idea of 'Free Will'. I wonder if God ever feels like that too?

The second part is that I seem to have a hard time controlling myself, controlling my life. My addictions prove it. I am a diabetic and yet I still find it near-impossible to take my health seriously. Why is following an eating-routine and controling my sugar-intake so difficult? Why do I have such a hard time controlling my spending habits (this is an addiction to 'stuff' -- things I don't need but I want for whatever nonsensiscal reason)? Why do I have such a hard time controlling my exercise and losing weight?

The frustration lies in that I want to be in control, but I will never really be in control. Wow. What a thought. Where does this unfillable desire come from? Where along the line in my life did I start to have this problem? I'm going to have to give this some serious thought, I think. It's going to take some time. It always does.

(After writing all that I suddenly feel very concious of how messed up I am. But I refuse to pretend to be anything else for anyone else's sake. I can't afford to. My heart is at stake.)

I also want to make sure I don't leave the impression that God has been silent the last few days. I know He's there, poking and squeezing and breaking and fixing me, gently and firmly all at the same time. It's the reason I'm even writing all this -- because He's in there, messing around with my comfortable misery. Last night I read Psalm 46, because it's always been a favourite and I just thought to read it. It encouraged me and challenged me, as usual. It always makes me step back and realize that God is in control, not me. And to really get that, I need to stop talking and listen to Him. As verse 10 so beautifully says it, "'Be still, and know that I Am God.'" So that's what I'm going to do right now...


Ever feel like you're trapped inside some small box that you just cannot get out of? That's how I was feeling today. It seems to me that I feel this, and feel it this intensely, every month-to-two-months or so. It's a scary, scary feeling. I don't like it. Nope. Not at all.

I'm not sure what sets it off, though I'm thinking it might simply be being unhappy with life. Today I was just feeling sick of everything, feeling trapped in my life, in my body, trapped by the people around me and the house I'm in and the city I live in. Maybe it comes from this desire to be independent, to be that metaphorical 'island unto himself'. I don't know why I'm like that. I just've always been, as far as I can remember. I want to be able to survive alone, by myself, not have to be responsible for anything or anyone else, not have to depend on people to live. And then it just hits me that I will never, ever be truly independent. It's a fantasy of the imagination, some targetless longing in me that I can never fill.

Sometimes it hits me when I go for a walk. I see all these people drive by, and I get so frustrated that I can't go anywhere and just be alone for a while. When I lived in the dorms, I felt the same way. I was trapped in that building; I had to be around those people 24/7. Then I moved to Fort Nelson for the year and lived with a friend's family. I just could not relax unless I was in my room, because I always felt like a guest, not a member of the household. That was my own problem, I have no doubt. But it is so hard for me! The feeling subsided once I got my car. At least then I could temporarily escape if I needed to. I loved that.

Now I have no car, and I live in a crappy one-bedroom basement suite with my roomate. He's a good guy, but it is just so hard for me to be around someone for such a long period of time and not have anywhere to go to be alone. Add to that that if I ever need to go into town, I have to rely on borrowing his jeep or catching a lift with him.

And then today rolls around, and I feel so crappy anyway, and I just want some peace and quiet, some alone time, and a bajillion and one people come over -- into a house that basically has no doors. Sweet mother of all that is good and sane. I'm losing my mind.

I want to just cheerfully admit this is God working on me. But I'm not cheerful. And I don't want to admit it, or just give in and go with it. I want my way. I want my rights to be respected. I want to be selfish, for crying out loud. So terrible, I know. I know, I know!

God ... help me. At least give me some strength to learn from all this and grow from all this.

I read an article today that I thought would be good to recommend to anyone who happens to read this humble little 'Betty'.

The article was written by N.T. Wright, who also wrote a textbook called 'Jesus and the Victory of God' (those of you who took Christology at SPC will remember). Good stuff. He's also written a bajillion other books, most of which are on the Apostle Paul.

I think he's European. Not that that matters or anything...

Anywho, the article is super short -- two pages. It's called "Farewell to the Rapture'. It's about how to bake a good pie. I kid.

(BTW, you'll need Adobe Acrobat to read it -- but most computers have it, so no worries.)


- - - - - -

In other news, I think I am going to make another blog. Already. Just so I can have some order to what I post. Perhaps one page for recipes, and one for world dominion strategies? We shall see.

Well, like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to post the lyrics to Pedro the Lion's lyrics of the song "Secret of the Easy Yoke". And since I have absolutely nothing productive to do right now, there is no better time to do so than the present. For your consideration:

Secret Of The Easy Yoke
by Pedro the Lion

I could hear the church bells ringing
They pealed aloud your praise
The members faces were smiling
With their hands out stretched to shake
It's true they did not move me
My heart was hard and tired
Their perfect fire annoyed me
I could not find you anywhere

Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen you
And some days I don't love you at all

The devoted were wearing bracelets
To remind them why they came
Some concrete motivation
When the abstract could not do the same
But if all that's left is duty
I'm falling on my sword
At least then I would not serve
An unseen distant lord

If this is only a test
I hope that I'm passing
Cause I'm losing steam
And I still want to trust you

Peace be still

[End Quote]

This song messed me up (in a good way). Maybe it was because I first heard the song at a point where I was completely fed up with church; maybe it was because I heard it right around the time I was having some serious anger issues with God; or maybe it was because it was just such an honest and emotional song. Maybe it was a blend of those things and others. I'd challenge anyone to listen to the song and not feel something of what the singer is saying.

I could (and still can) relate to how he feels; he isn't feeling the things everybody wants him to feel, and he isn't thinking the thoughts he is supposed to.

Where was it along the line that the church got replaced with a wax museum? I almost feel like we should change the name from 'church' to 'Glee Club'. "Good morning, sir! Welcome to The Church of The Perma-Smile. Is that a frown you're wearing?" **SLAP** "I said this is The Church of the Perma-Smile. Hard of hearing? Let's pray for healing..."

Why does honesty make us so uncomfortable? It seems to me that if I stood up in a church and spoke those lyrics as I would my thoughts, there'd be more than a few comments about needing to trust God, needing to shape up and read my Bible and pray more. Why are we so uncompassionate?

The heart is a big place. There is a lot going on in there. I know there's a lot going on in mine, anyway. And yet I find it so difficult to let those things out, because I don't know anyone to tell them to who wouldn't immediately try to send me to counselling (or try to fix me themselves). Ok. That isn't true. I have one close friend who I know listens to me and never tries to tell me what he thinks I should do.

And then I hear this song. And it feels like someone knows some of my struggles, and isn't afraid to talk about them.

Then the closing line comes: "Peace Be Still."

I can't remember when the last time was I felt so emotional after listening to a song. My heart just kept saying, "Don't worry, Kyle. Don't try to fix everything. Don't try to fix all your problems, or solve the world's problems, or worry about future problems. Just be still." When I first heard that song I felt like God Himself had come down and whispered in my ear. Maybe He did.

Well, it's income tax season, and with the paperwork comes the fun of having some extra dollars in the pocket. Granted, said dollars aren't worth as much as American dollars, but they are dollars nonetheless. Which reminds me of something funny...

[Insert funny story: a few months ago, when I was working for the Fort Nelson First Nation native band, the powers-that-be shut the community down and had a two-day training session for all employees. They brought up a lady from the States to do a course on the book "7 Habbits of Highly Effective People". I won't go into detail on why the training was or was not a crock, but she did say some funny things. The funniest, and the reason I am even mentioning this, was when she tried to give an example for some point she was trying to get accross. Here's what she said: "So my husband and I went shopping at [some local market], and I saw some flowers that I really wanted to buy. But my husband wasn't too keen on the idea, since they cost about $80 -- oh wait. What's that in Canadian Pounds?" Canadian Pounds? What in the world? You'd think you'd do at least some research on a place before you go there to teach. End Funny Story.]

Anywho, with my recent Income Tax return I was able to indulge in my hobby of buying CD's (an expensive, but fun, hobby -- hence the "It's Income Tax Time So Now I Can Buy Some CD's" attitude). I thought I might as well use this place to recap some of the music I'm listening to right now, and what I think about it.

From most recent to not-most-recent:

1. Matthew Good - White Light Rock and Roll Review
Not too bad. I bought his last CD, Avalanche, awhile ago, and loved it, so I ordered this one from Columbia House to see if I really do like him or if the last CD was a fluke. Gotta tell ya -- I do like him. I do, I do. He's got a rad voice. This CD almost sounds more like old-school rock and roll (hence the name -- doh!). I think I still like Avalanche better. On this CD a couple of the songs have that 'twangy' Country/Western thing going on in the background. I'm not digging that. Overall, this one only has a few specific songs that I actually like. And as for the lyrics, well, so far they sound like his other stuff: some weird songs, some really cool songs, some songs that I have no idea what he's talking about. Marijuana is still illegal, right?

2. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
I haven't listened to this all the way through, but so far its pretty good. Really different. I read somewhere that these guys take a few listens to really enjoy. Well, I've only listened to it once so far (and as I was falling asleep, no less -- so I don't really remember what was going on for the last half of it) so I can't give you a serious idea of my opinion.

3. Pedro the Lion - Control and It's Hard to Find a Friend
I think Pedro is one of my new favourite bands/singers/songwriters (I'm not too sure if it's just the one guy now, David Bazan, or if there's a whole band). He's depressing. Or maybe it's melancholy than depression. I'm not sure. And he's got some pretty different opinions. Control was the first CD I heard, a year and a half ago, and I didn't like it. I felt like he took things too far (anyone who's heard the CD will know what I mean). But now I think he's got some good things to say. I've read a few articles about him, including some interviews, and he definately isn't just going with the average Christian flow. He asks a lot of hard questions and doesn't shy away from being controversial. But his lyrics have really challenged me. And heck, I like depressing music. Also, he's got a song called "Secret of the Easy Yoke" on ...Find a Friend that is incredible. I call it the best modern day Psalm. I'll have to post it up here sometimes soon.

4. Friday Night Lights - Sountrack
I loved this movie. One of my new favourites, I think. The music was crazy good, so I really wanted to pick up the soundtrack. I'd read that the band Explosions In The Sky did most of it, and I've heard a lot of good things about them. I'm pretty sure they're all Christian guys (don't quote me on that). All there stuff is instrumental, but it's rad. The soundtrack itself is fairly mellow, almost surreal. Really good moody stuff.

5. Doves - Some Cities
I'd heard their last CD, The Last Broadcast, a long time ago, and I'd liked it back then, so I thought I'd listen to the CD. I went to A & B Sound and listened to it quickly and then took a chance and bought. Love it. Some songs are forgettable, some seem a bit repetitive. But overall, great CD. A lot of atmosphere, a lot of mood. Some songs are more upbeat than others, but they all work.

Anyway, those are the current main-plays in my CD player. I have some songs on my computer by Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, and I love them. I've been looking for their CD's at every store I go to around here, and no one seems to have them. Son of a Motherless Goat. Soon, soon my precious.

Today some friends and I were downtown, going into stores to look at things we can't afford, dropping off resumes at stores that won't hire us, cutting-off old ladies in traffic -- you know, doing the generic "lazy afteroon" things.

Then we went to House of James (a Christian book store). I don't know why I even bother going in there anymore. I used to love stores like that. All those books, and CD's, and spiritualized paraphernalia. Now I go in there and am blown away by how expensive everything is, let alone how over-commercialized Christianity has become. The things they sell are ridiculous -- Jesus pencils, Jesus shirts, Jesus coffee mugs, Jesus Bibles (as opposed to the non-Jesus Bibles, I guess). You want a sign of the end of the world? Go take a tour of your local Christian book store...

Anyway, I went looking through the music section and found one of those comparison charts posted on the wall. You know the ones. "If you like Eminem, then check out: Jars of Clay." That might seem like an over-exaggeration, but believe me, it ain't. The one that made me laugh the most was the following:

"If you like Maroon 5, Blink 182, and John Mayer, check out: Scott Krippayne!"

Alright. Um. I haven't heard anything by Scott Krippayne before, so I don't really know what he sounds like. But I'm having a hard time trying to figure out exactly how he could sound like all three of those bands. Is it just me, or are those the three strangest bands to reference as comparisons? I mean, sure, he could sound like John Mayer, or maybe more like Maroon 5, but like Maroon 5, Blink 182, and John Mayer? That I'd like to see. Er. Hear.

Well, I did it. I went with the multitude of finatics and gave in and got me one these nifty things cursedly named "Blogs". Spicy.

I swore I would never do it. Then again, I swore I'd never own a cell phone. And now look at me. And when I was 12 I swore I'd never listen to 'non-Christian' music. Bah. I'm sure somewhere along the line I probably swore I'd never smoke cigars. Well. Too bad. I gave in. To everything. I'm weak.

But really, there is a point to all this. No, I am not doing this for fame. No, I am not doing this for wealth. No, I am not doing this for the ladies. Well, ok, maybe for the ladies. No, no. I...must...stay...strong. Must...not...give in.

I'm doing this for me. Plain and simple, cut-and-dry, 100% Alberta Beef. Whatever that means. I love to put what's in my head onto paper, but since I have such a hard time being consistent with the real-deal, I'm going to try and see how the ol' e-paper works. Fingers crossed.

I am not expecting this "blog" (I have to come up with a better name for this thing. Maybe I'll call it "Betty".) to be read much. Maybe someone will stumble onto it. But for now, I just want to write about what's in my head, about what I'm reading, about what I'm listening to, about what I just watched, or about my world domination plans (The wheels are spinning, ladies and gents. They are spinning.).

If you are someone, thanks for reading. If you are me, well, well-done Kyle. Well done.

the sounds of music

the reading rainbow

  • A Generous Orthodoxy
    Brian McLaren
  • Brave New World
    Aldous Huxley
  • Catcher In the Rye
    J.D. Salinger
  • Smoke & Mirrors
    Neil Gaiman

motion pictures

people i spy on

internet tourism

recent gibberish

ancient history