In my last post I mentioned how much I loved to swing (on the swings). I also said I like to go for walks. Well, the other night while I was trying to waste some time I did both. I like walking at night because it's usually quiet, and it's nice and cool, and it just feels very peaceful -- good thinking time. And cigar-smoking time. MmMm.

Just before I got back to my house I stopped and sat on the swings for a little while and thought about life, yadda yadda (all of my introspection must be making some of you sick by now). And I was thinking about why it is I like to swing so much. See, the thing about swinging is that it's something that requires work, but the pay off is visible, it's noticeable. Once you're on the swing, you have to put in the effort to get yourself moving -- but once you do, you get to experience the reward. I think that is life in a super-condensed form. It seems to me that anything worth having in life will require effort, hard work. Sometimes the effect may not be obvious, it won't be visible, for a little while, but it's there nonetheless.

I think the swing set is a good description of the hard change of going from kid to adult (stick with me here). When you're a kid, you want to be pushed. You don't want to have to pump your legs, do the work, get yourself moving. You don't want to put in the effort -- you just want the result, to feel yourself swinging high and fast. When I worked on the Reserve in Fort Nelson, a lot of times we'd take the kids to the park for an afternoon, and the kids always wanted me to push them on the swing. But there was only one of me, and I could only push so many so fast, so some kids just had to wait. I tried to teach them how to get the swing going on their own. I even showed them. And I think a couple actually learned. Yet even after all that, none of them would do it -- they just wanted me to push them. Kids are like that. They don't want to put in the effort, to work for anything -- they want dad to do it for them. And believe me, that isn't a bad thing. That's a part of growing up (both for the parent and the kid).

There's an age, though, where dad isn't there to push. No one is there to do the work for you. And you have to decide, is it worth the effort to get the swing going or not? I think that moment of decision is a line that has to be crossed to move from kid to adult. Awhile ago I wrote about how I still felt like a kid, and how would I know when I wasn't? I quoted 1 Corinthians 13:11:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

I think the moment you decide that you're going to do the work yourself, you're going to stop relying on someone else to push the swing, that's when you begin to put "childish ways behind [you]".

I think the swings give a lot of other parallels to life. I was thinking about how long it feels like since I've sat on the swings with another person (other than the kids at work). The swings can be a solitary place or a place shared with someone else. In life, I think there's going to be a lot of time where it needs to be solitary. Being alone is, I think, a basic requirement (a temporary one, yes, but important) to learn self-identity and learning to know God and how He sees you and growing into that adult mindset that you had to embrace when you began moving the swing yourself. But somewhere down the line, the swing beside you is going to be occupied by someone else. Remember when you were a kid and if you were swinging beside someone and happened to get in the same rhythm as them everyone would say you were "in the bathtub together"? (Or was that just me?!) Well, in a non-sick way (though technically, if you're married, it could mean...oh never mind) I think it's pretty true -- that other person is going to be swinging right beside you. And I think that's what love really is -- it's sharing the same rhythm, being right beside someone else. And when they can't swing anymore, when they don't have the energy or they're hurt or confused or broken, you get off your swing and go give them a push. I think that is how God wanted marriage to be.

Ok, I gotta go to work now. Feel free to chew on this or spit it out.

Alright, I'm feeling random (it seems to be going around lately), so brace yourself for some unrelated topics. (Note: You don't literally have to brace yourself. Unless you want to. I won't argue.)

First off, to see a hilarious video (American Idol at its finest), click here. I laughed so much. Oh how I laughed.

I bought the relatively-new Hillsong United CD the other day, Look To You. Such an amazing CD. The last CD, More Than Life, was officially my favourite worship CD, and now this one is getting up there. It is just great. I love it. Y'hear?! I love it!

Last night I went and saw Madagascar with my sisters and my cousin. Man, what a funny movie! I was really impressed. I mean, who doesn't love psychotic penguins? I laughed a lot. At one point, I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe and I was sitting right beside this guy and his girlfriend and I think I was like shaking and making his chair shake too and I don't think he was liking that too much. That's just what happens when something's really funny -- I can't stop laughing, and then it gets painful. But you should go see it...even if the critics say not to bother. Who cares what they think! You gotta stick it to the man, I always say.

Also last night, I had to stay up until the wee hours of the morn'--so that I could sleep all day today and go to work tonight--so I rented a couple of movies. I finally decided to rent In Good Company, after having picked it up and then put it back every time I've been to the store since it came out. But man, I was surprised. I thought it was a really good movie. The ending was a little ... surprising/disappointing ... but overall I thought the story was impressive.

See, here's the thing. I don't really understand this about myself. When I'm with other people watching a movie, for some reason it seems that my mind automatically guards against being 'too' vulnerable. So if I watch a 'sappy' movie (or any movie that makes a person feel something) I have a really hard time getting in to it, or feeling those emotions, or showing them, or whatever. But when I'm alone, watching that movie, and I know no one is watching with me or will see me, I can completely let it out. And then those movies mean so much more to me. I think if I had seen that same movie with other people, I wouldn't have responded in the same way. Does that make sense?The thing is, it really only happens with movies. In other circumstances, I don't seem so guarded about letting my feelings show. I don't know. Just strange. But watching that movie last night made me think about that -- I probably wouldn't have really liked the movie if I'd been watching it with, say, a group of friends. It's messed up...

One of my little sisters turned 18 on Friday. What a weird thought that is. My other little sister turned 16 not too long ago, and even that felt weird. But now it's like, there's only one out of four who isn't technically an adult yet (and soon only one who'll still be in High School). And soon I'll be 22, almost a quarter of a century old (I find it therapeutic to think of ways to make you sound older than, in perspective, you really are). What a cruel, cruel world.

I like to go to the park and swing on the swings. It's one of my favourite things to do on a nice day (though, for some reason, I have yet to find a girl who likes to swing on the swings also, which makes me sad -- actually, come to think of it, I love to go for walks, and I have yet to meet a girl who likes to do that also -- what in the world?!).

I don't understand how a week at work can feel so long, and then a weekend feels like it didn't even happen. It just isn't right, I say. No, no it isn't...

As I was driving to work today, getting frustrated by slow drivers and then by having someone ride my as...tail...for 10km, I was thinking about how crazy it is that there are currently 6 billion people on the earth, and another who-know's-how-many billion who have lived and died, and how all of us are unique. I mean, we've all been told we're like snow-flakes -- no two are identical (unless you're a twin, in which case no three are alike, unless you're a triplet, in which case...oh forget it). But I'm talking about a different unique.

Think about. We're all unique in that we're all separate. None of us are the same person, not exactly, never completely. Sure, there are a lot of people who share same characteristics -- language, skin colour, gender, favourite meal, preferred colour of nail polish (I'm not one of them). But no two people have everything in common. There's always something different. Always some difference somewhere down the line. And even more amazing, we're all separate entities. We all have our own soul, our own body, our own mind. No one else is me. No one else is you. You will always be you, even after you're dead. And I will always be Kyle Stewart, even after Kyle Stewart is dead. No one past or present or future will ever be who I am, or who you are.

That might seem pretty juvenile, I know. But it just amazes me. It makes the word "individual" mean so much more in my head. "Person" suddenly doesn't seem so generic. God has created 6 billion + however many unique, unduplicated, irreplaceable human beings, with no signs of stopping (ok, there are signs -- and it will end someday. See Bible for more details. Apocalypse sold separately.). But what creativity! It's incredible.

It seems to me life has more meaning than maybe I once thought. If I can be someone that no one else can ever be exactly, why should I apologize for that? Why should I ever be ashamed of that? I know I'm not like everyone. No one is like everyone! No one is like anyone, for that matter! Not really, anyway. Such a strange thought.

It's also made me appreciate other people. Those people who are driving really slow on the highway, they're incredibly complex, unduplicatable (new word!) human beings, with their own histories, their own presents and futures, jobs, families, mistakes, victories, illnesses, flaws, body parts, thoughts, dreams, destinies. It reminds me of a quote (which I think I even posted up here once before):
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

And I do need to remember that. To respect what God has made, to embrace that uniqueness and individuality in myself and every other person I meet (or drive behind).

Really, how hard can it be?! {insert eye-roll here}

In that last post, I listed the song "On Fire" by Switchfoot as being one song I listen to a lot and/or that means a lot to me. Well, it's both of those things. This past while (being, oh say, the last 2 years at least) has been strange, in that I've been changing and growing and sometimes un-growing in ways that I always find hard to put to words (and no, I'm not talking about puberty, folks). And like I seem to keep saying, whenever there are big changes in my life, I've gotta deal with a whole new set of issues. This song is one of my favourites -- of any song -- because I always just feel it in my gut when I hear it. I feel like God is actually right there with me. I wanted to post the lyrics up (just because I can), and hey, go listen to the song and maybe you'll be feeling it too. (The italicized part is one of my favourites, also.)

Switchfoot - On Fire

Tell you where you need to go
Tell you when you'll need to leave
Tell you what you need to know
Tell you who you need to be

But everything inside you knows
Says more than what you've heard
So much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words

And you're on fire
When He's near you
You're on fire
When He speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries

Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see
Give me everything You are
Give me one more chance to be near You

When everything inside me looks like
Everything I hate
You are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance I'll take

When I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fire
When You speak
And I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries
these mysteries...

I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge

And I'm on fire
When You're near you
I'm on fire
When You speak
I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries...

It seems a metaphorical torch has been passed across the metaphorical web, from Sha to moi (geez, what a nice rhyme -- that is, if you pronounce it "Shaw" -- fingers crossed). So as to make her proud, I will try my best to answer the questions truthfully, honestly, and rightly. Wait. That's a bit redundant. In that case, I will also try to answer them with dignity, honour, and pride. The torch has been passed, my friends. It has been passed.

Total volume of music files on my computer: Right now I'm using my sisters computer, so the technical answer is none. On my piece o' junk computer that I would normally use, I have about, let's say, hummmm, 679.4 GB. Alright. No. Maybe like...4. Bytes. Giga-ones. I don't really put my music on my computer though -- only what I download off the net. It's too much of a pain, and my computer is too far below par. Hey, that rhymed too! Man. See, I'm musical...

The last CD I bought was:
House of Heroes - S/T

Song playing right now:
Eye by the Smashing Pumpkins

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
1. On Fire - Switchfoot
2. Pioneers - Bloc Party
3. More Than Life - Hillsongs United
4. Magazine/Secret of the Easy Yoke - Pedro the Lion
5. Your Hand In Mine - Explosions In The Sky

And that's it. Now I would like to bequeath (it's a real word! Look it up!) this torch on to the following people: G-Off, Ang, Zenon ... and, well, anyone else who needs a torch bequeathed to them. That means you.

I just read this morning that 50 Cent's real name is Curtis Jackson. I find that pretty funny. Mr. Gangsta is really Mr. Joe-Blo. I think it's about time for me to get a cool rap name. Maybe like...Glass Pain. See that? 'Pain' instead of 'Paine'. Clever hey? No? Hm. How about Automobillionaire? Except I'm not rich, and I don't have a car, so that doesn't really work. Geez. I guess I'll just have to give this some more thought.

I went and saw Unleashed last night. What a rad movie. It didn't get super great reviews, which I don't really understand. I mean, not only was it one of the better 'action' movies of recent memory, it also had a great story. I've always thought Jet Li was awesome, but this movie proved he's actually a decent actor (and besides -- even if he wasn't, he could still mess you up boy. 'Quit your jibba-jabba!' Oh wait. That's Mr. T). Yeah. I recommend it.

Funny thing was, while I was watching it, I noticed it had a ton of possible allegories in it. I was going to write them in here, but I think I'll wait a few days. One of the parts that still sticks out, though, is after Danny has been with his new family for awhile, and has been learning and changing, and finally takes his collar off -- and the girl says, "Now everything about you is new." For anyone who has watched it, could you relate to anything there? If you haven't seen it, but do go, keep your eyes on the look out for some symbolism.

By the way, I realized I never mentioned anything about Crash. I went and saw it last week and, wow. Powerful stuff. Really. I almost lost it at one point in the theatre. I usually only tend to cry in movies when I'm at home & alone, so that's saying something about this movie. Go see it! Two things I pulled from the movie: one, don't be quick to judge people based on stereotype, apparent character traits, or things they may have done -- you don't know anything about them, where they come from, what they are going through in life -- and two, people can and do change, for the better and the worse -- and we all contribute to that in each other.

It's making me sad how little I've been writing. There are these huge gaps between posts. I love writing, too, which is what makes it so depressing. It's like not peeing for a few days. Ok, ok -- it's not that serious...

In the last post I mentioned that (and I quote) "[t]wo of my sisters are still in high school, and at times I almost wish I could be back there" (Kyle Stewart, The Business of Being An Adult, May 5, 2005). Well, I take that back. After work this morning (night shifts, y'know) I went looking for a McDonald's -- because I had a craving for a Sausage & Egg McMuffin -- and ended up driving down through this long stretch of street with a bajillion high schools and elementary schools on it. To my joy, it was right when all the parents & buses were dropping off kids, so I had opportunity to sit and contemplate and reflect on the Business of Being A Teenager. And to my aforementioned statement I say this: a gang of rabid space monkeys couldn't get me to go back to high school.

Alright, high school really wasn't that bad. I don't have any horror stories or anything. I had great friends, and had some good times. But high school sucks. There's just no two ways about it. "I bite my thumb at you!" That's what I say.

I guess I've been dealing with the "Grass Is Always Greener" syndrome. Every time I move, or go through some big life change, I have to deal with it. Unfortunately, there's no real medicine to treat it save to just keep doing what yer doin'. I also like to force myself to remember all the hellish memories. That way I'm not kidding myself into thinking "then" was paradise and "now" is an abyss.

In fact, work is going quite well. While I was working last night I was creating a rating system in my head to help me chart the goodness-level of all the jobs I've had. I don't have time to reproduce that at the moment, but tomorrow I will (oh, sweet weekends). But basically, I rate all my jobs on five categories, on a scale from 0 to 5 (0 being worst, 5 the best), and then add the scores together, and compare. The perfect job would hit 25, the worst, well, 0. Tomorrow I shall put it to paper -- it shall be a day of reflection, introspection, contemplation, etcetera etcetera. It has henceforth been decreed.

Today was my "first day" of work. Spent half of the day reading safety manuals and watching hilariously cheesy safety videos (one of them had a host who looked and talked like the guy from Unsolved Mysteries -- it was awesome: "The day was April 8, 1977, the location Alabama." **insert chilling horror music**). Spent the other half trying to learn/memorize what I'm supposed to be doing. I hate first day(s). I hate that feeling of not knowing how to do anything, not understanding. I know it's only the first day, but it still feels blah.

I hate being an adult. Of course, I'm still a young guy -- not really much of an adult. And it isn't that there aren't perks. There are some great things about it. But the responsibility! Oh, what a wretched thing it is at times. It feels like a continuation of that "alone" feeling I mentioned in my last post -- it's the independence. It's very, very embarrassing, especially since I'm the guy who kept saying how much he longed for it. But the reality of it is very -- I don't want to say scary, but its the only word I can think of at the moment. In all truth, though, I'm not even completely independent. I'm living with my family, using their vehicle to get to and from work, eating their food, etc. There are just times where the reality that, yeah, this is my life and I have to take initiative can be a daunting thing. Two of my sisters are still in high school, and at times I almost wish I could be back there.


I think I'm whining. But I don't mean to. I'm just putting words to thoughts/feelings I had today.

I still feel very much like a kid. I suppose this is around the age where you've got to start growing up -- the transition from boy to man. But where is that line? When does one cross it? I keep going over this verse in my head:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

(1 Corinthians 13:11)

I keep thinking, "What are my childish thoughts and what are the thoughts of a man?" I feel as if even asking the question puts me in the category of the child. Does one simply know? Or is it an undetected change, something that happens without conscious thought? I think it probably is. But what a scary trip it is sometimes. Maybe that is part of the process of becoming a man -- owning up to how I really feel.

It's been a week since my last post -- a ridiculous amount of time, I know. But it has been for good reason: I didn't have the internet! I'd love to post things using only telekinetic powers, but I can't seem to bend the spoon, let alone access the internet via my brain. Oh well.

The past week has been eventful. It's crazy to think how much can happen in such a short period of time. Last week was the end of the semester, with the week finishing off with graduation. It was a very weird experience seeing a good chunk of the people I started college with four years ago walk across the platform and get their degree. It's such a big change, it's hard to comprehend it sometimes. Life is strange.

The last couple of days I spent in my apartment were very...different. I had no internet, no cable, not even any books -- save for my Bible -- to entertain me. My roommate was gone, and so was my furniture. My house had practically nil left in it. When I got home on Friday night after grad, and after the bonfire, I was suddenly overwhelmed with this huge weighty feeling of loneliness. It was weird, not because I've never felt lonely, but because of how intense of a feeling it was. It sort of dawned on me that I probably deal with my loneliness at times by occupying myself with whatever I can -- TV, internet, reading, whatever. As soon as it was all gone, I felt like I had nowhere to turn to. Thankfully, I still had my Bible with me, so I read a few stories, and started to pray. And it really sunk in about how God is always-present. It's a massive comfort for me to know that, and I often wonder how a person who has no relationship with God could cope in that situation. I would be crushed. On top of that, I began to see why God gave Eve to Adam. He knew a thing or two about relationships. Man needed another person of flesh and blood to interact with. It says a lot about our makeup, if the perfect man himself could be lonely, even with God walking and talking with him during the day.

Anyway, now I am in Ontario for the next four months, living with my family. It's both weird and great to be back. It has been a long time since I've lived at home, so it's almost strange to have sisters around, and to sit down and have supper with them. But it's also great because, well, it's family. And it was such a relief to come to a place that is CLEAN. Oh. My. Goodness. I was telling my sister that I don't know if I can handle living with people again who have no sense of cleanliness or order or how to set-up a house so it looks nice. But it seems to me there are few guys who can do that. Which means I need to get married. Soon. :)

Today I drove out to where I will be working this summer. It's about 45min to an hour drive from where I live. So that means I've got a good drive to and from work. Goodee! But there is a couple who live closer (and she works at the same place) and offered to let me stay at their place whenever I need to. They're very generous, though I don't know them very well so it seems a bit...awkward. Oh well. We'll see. The job itself looks alright. It's in a factory that makes fiberglass threading (for tires and such). Nothing too exciting, but hey, pays great and the people seem nice. So I guess I'll be updating on that as time goes on...

Can't think of anything else to say at the moment. So that's it.

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