It's always crazy when God brings a song, or anything really, to you right when you need to hear it the very most. I've had this CD (Relient K's MmHmm) for a little while now, and only just paid attention to the words of the last song. I'm glad I did.

When I Go Down by Relient K

I'll tell you flat out
It hurts so much to think of this
So from my thoughts I will exclude
The very thing that
I hate more than everything is
The way I'm powerless
To dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
So many things that could've been much more
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregard
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can
Clear myself of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
Into a place where
Peace can search me out and find
That I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
The hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away
So many things that could have been much more
I've thrown away
The secret to find an end to this
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

Any control I thought I had just slips right through my hands
While my ever-present conscience shakes its head and reprimands me
Reprimands me
Then and there
I confess
I'll blame all this on my selfishness
Yet you love me
And that consumes me
And I'll stand up again
And do so willingly

You give me hope,
And hope it gives me life
You touch my heavy heart,
And when you do you make it light
As I exhale I hear your voice
And I answer you,
Though I hardly make a noise
And from my lips the words I choose to say
Seem pathetic,
But it's a fallen man's praise
Because I love you
Oh God, I love you
And life is now worth living
If only because of you
And when they say I'm dead and gone
It won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I life my eyes to you
I won't look very far
Cause you'll be there
With open arms
To lift me up again
To lift me up again

This picture made me laugh (for some reason, the depressive pessimist in me feels like it found a new life motto...). I found it on my friend Ian's website, so I have to give credit where credit is due. That guy is hilarious.

When it comes to movies, it seems to me critics and audiences almost never fully agree. I usually check out Yahoo! Movies to see what sort of letter grade a new movie will average. And more often than not, the critics and the audience ratings are the opposite -- the audience will like it, averaging a letter grade of, say, an A-, and the critics will average something like a C+ on the same movie. I figure this usually happens because film critics are generally, well, more critical about a movie -- they'll take into account, and pick apart, everything from the plot, to the visuals, to the acting. I tend to respect their opinions more than "the audience", because as far as I'm concerned, there's gotta be a higher ratio of no-taste movie goers in a large audience than in a small group of critics (though, obviously, just because a critic likes something doesn't mean it's any good either -- proven by the fact that 'everyone' seemed to love the sixth Star Wars movie, when I thought it was (personally) one of the biggest wastes of my time and moola that I can recall). But in the end, I'll watch just about anything and everything, so I could care less what anyone else (save for my friends) has to say about it...

Anyway, I just went to see what they all had to say about the new movie Stealth, and I laughed! I remember a few months ago a friend and I went to watch some movie, and they showed a preview for Stealth, and after it was done he was like, "Yeah, that looks like a good movie" and then did the universal thumbs-down sign ... meaning, that looks like a load of crap. I think he was right. Check out what the critics said about it.

For your enjoyment, here's a quick summary:

"...a bomb."
"...recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions."
" offense against taste, intelligence..."
"...apocalyptic in its stupidity..."
"...loud, frenetic ooze-fest."
"...doesn't spring to life."
"...fairly pathetic."

When a movie gets trashed that badly, you know its gotta be pretty funny. And for once, "the audience" gave it almost-as-bad reviews.

On the same topic, a few days ago at work another summer student and I were laughing about a review of the movie The Devil's Rejects in the Toronto Sun. I can honestly say it was the funniest review of a movie I have ever read. First of all, the guy gave it a rating of -0 out of 5! He said he would have given it a minus infinity if he had been allowed. He started his review by saying that it was truthfully the worst movie he had ever watched, and he seen a lot of crap in his years. The rest of the article pretty much just went on to explain why, but man, it was hilarious. When a critic hates a movie so much he is downright passionate about it, it definitely says something about the movie. Of course, it's a Rob Zombie movie, so I can't suppose there are too many people expecting something fantastic. I mean, c'mon people -- his last name is Zombie. Rob Zombie? Geeeeeeez. I'd probably expect more from him if his name was Rob I-Like-To-Eat-Monkey-Poo. Actually, come to think of it, that'd be a pretty cool last name. Imagine instead of James Bond, his name was James I-Like-To-Eat-Monkey-Poo.

"The name is I-Like-To-Eat-Monkey-Poo. James I-Like-To-Eat-Monkey-Poo." And while they're laughing at him uncontrollably, he can snap their necks. Pure Genius.

Here is some serious dancing for all of you twinkle-toes out there (stolen from thadwiddle's blog). My favourite part is the Matrix-style dance move. I have a hunch that those guys have way too much time on their hands...

Speaking of dancing men, is it just me or is that "old man" that does the crazy dancing on the Six Flag's commercials the creepiest person on television? He scares me. No one his age should move at that speed. **shudder**

Who needs pain to survive?
I need pain to change my life.
(Billy Corgan, Camera's Eye)

Life is ridiculous. It just is. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, it's just a fact. It's one of those things you've got to accept sometimes. And if you're wondering what I'm talking about when I say 'life', I suppose all I mean is existence, and the span of time that we've created to chart that existence -- from birth to death.

I won't pretend that my life is overly hard or that I've had an extremely rough time of it. God's always been faithful, and I know that I've had a relatively easy life in light of some of the other scenarios I see people trudging through. But I've had my share of challenges, as everyone has.

But life can seem really ridiculous when the cards you're holding in your hand look like they belong in a completely different game. Life is Texas Hold 'Em, and you've got a handful of Jokers.

"Um, God. Weren't we supposed to take the Jokers out of the deck before we started playing?" And God's like, "Are you kidding? It's more fun this way."
And then I'm like, "Uh, God. I've heard you're all-knowing and all that jazz, you even know how to play this?"
And then He's like, "I invented the game, pal."
And then I'm like, "...."
And then He's like, "Yeah, that's right. Sucka."
(Alright, so maybe a conversation with God doesn't sound exactly like that.)

My parents told the family last week that they're moving to Edmonton end of August. It was pretty sudden -- I don't think any of us saw it coming, though they'd obviously been thinking about it for some time. Still, anouncements like that are losing their shock value. I figured it out the other day that in my 22 years on planet Earth, I've averaged a residency of 4 years or so. Actually, that's based on my family moves and only to different cities. It doesn't take into account moves within the same city/town, or my personal relocations. If it did, the average would be even lower. It's actually funny, the more I think about it. I'd make a good fugitive.

One thing I've always craved, though, is security -- safety. I've always wanted a place I could go to that was home. Somewhere I knew I could always go back to if there was no where else to turn. Somewhere safe, somewhere I had roots, somewhere non-threatening. But it takes time for me to build that sort of safety, that feeling of security, that comfort. And the ironic thing is that every time I reach that feeling, that sense of being at peace with my surroundings, God takes it away. Just like that. One way or another, He takes it away.

I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. I couldn't understand why it seems that all of these other people I know don't have to deal with this crap -- this constant churning, repetitive changing. I suppose that's a very 'inverted' outlook on life, and a pretty selfish worldview -- always comparing what I imagine I see to what I experience in my own life. It's ridiculous.

I've designed my dreams around something that has never and will never exist. I'm very much like the man who built his house on the sand. I can fantasize about living a fairy tale life where everything is safe and unpainful, unchanging even, all I want. But that life doesn't exist. It never has. Yet for some reason we human beings want to believe it can. And we spend our lives trying to make it a reality. We work our whole lives trying to make our lives secure, to fill it with things that make us comfortable (reminds me of the best line in Fight Club: "We work jobs we hate to buy sh** we don't need."). We want stability. We want equilibrium.

But we're looking in the wrong direction. We're trying to make it happen by micro-managing everything that comes into our life. We want to be our own gods. We want to pretend we see all, know all, can do all -- and yet when reality throws a stick in our spokes, our wheels seize up and our life goes flying over the handle bars. Then we're stuck picking gravel out of our faces.

At work the other day I was scraping down some random wall that needed to be painted, because I had to get all the old flakes off first. It was very monotonous. But it was good 'space-out' time, where I could let my mind wander and not have to worry about falling into a machine and being eaten alive. And it came into my head that although it was a boring job, at least it was secure. I knew I could do it, I knew I was doing a good job and my bosses were happy, and I knew that I wasn't going to get fired. And then I thought about how terrible it would be to be stuck doing that for the rest of my life. And then I thought about how God gives us things to do for certain times, and then brings change into our lives to take us to even better things -- maybe not "better" in the way the world thinks, but better because they are what we were made to do. And then I thought about how wrong my focus has been in life. I've been craving security, when what I am supposed to be craving is trust.

I know that I'm not alone in all this. The story of Exodus popped into my head while I was thinking about it, about how Israel had the very same problem I do (though obviously on a much bigger and more drastic scale). They wanted security. And yet God has never and will never be a "safe" God. That was never His plan for Israel. Or me. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, they were happy. They were being rescued from a very crappy situation. Working like animals, no union, no coffee breaks (gasp!). So when they had the chance to move out, they took it. And then God does all this crazy stuff. Like open up a sea. Drown an Egyptian army. Lead them by way of a pillar of fire. Feed them with weird something-or-rathers. Defeat massive enemy after massive enemy. And yet they still became afraid. They missed their security, the routine of everyday life. Want to talk about ridiculous? The Israelites begged Moses to let them go back to slavery! At least there they had job security! At least there they knew what to expect every morning!

They didn't trust God. And yet that's what God ultimately demands of every single person. Israel, me, you. Billy Bob Joe. Trust is one of the uno importanto themes in the Bible -- every story in it has something to do with God asking people to trust Him.

"Adam & Eve -- don't eat from that tree. Trust me."
"Noah, build a big boat in the middle of nowhere. Trust me."
"Moses, stick it to Pharaoh. Trust me."
"Saul, you're now Royalty. Trust me."
"David, kill that guy who is a bajillion times your height with a rock to the head. Trust me."
"Hosea, marry a whore. Trust me."
"Israel, you screw around on me and you're going to experience some pretty crappy consequences. Trust me."
"Paul, I'm taking away your eyes. Go see Ananias. Get your act together. Trust me."
For that matter, "Ananias, I'm sending the guy who kills people like you to you. Heal him. Trust me."

And yet I doubt. I don't trust that God will look after me, will care for my needs (or maybe I'm more concerned about my wants?), will stick with me even when I screw up. Yet all He wants is for me to trust Him. It's funny, you know, when Jesus was talking to Jairus, the guy who's daughter was sick and wanted Jesus to come heal her. And on the way some people came and told them that his daughter had died and that there was no point bothering Jesus anymore. And then the story goes, "Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, 'Don't be afraid; just believe' (Mark 5:36)." As if it is just that simple. "Just believe, pal. Just trust me." No formula, no ten-year plan, no paperwork to get through. No deposit needed. No waiting in line. No trying to prove to God that you are 'worthy' of His help. Just trust. Just believe, man. How over-simple does God make the most complicated things sometimes? I can't believe! I need to know! I need to understand in perfect clarity what my next five steps are going to be before I can move from where I'm at. And yet God's trying to gradually lead me to "the Promised Land" -- as cliche as that may sound. He just wants me to trust Him. The Israelites lost a generation of people in the desert because they didn't trust God at His word. There are consequences for our lack of belief.

But I want to be like that guy who said, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

The funny thing about trusting, though, is that it's all about action. Anyone remember that old school DC Talk song, "Love is a Verb"? Well, I think trust is also a verb. If you trust, you've gotta act, you've gotta do something about it. You can't just say, "I trust you" and then sit down and do nothing. If God's saying to trust Him, trust Him -- go where He's asking you to go, do what He wants you to do. No matter how scary or painful or ridiculous it can seem. It is simple and unbelievably hard all at the same time. But ultimately, it's your life. You've gotta make your own decisions, make your own calls, because when you're face to face with Yahweh, He's not going to give a rip about excuses. This is your life; this is my life. All of my wanting to live in someone else's shoes will mean a whole lot of doggy doo in the end. God doesn't give us anyone else's shoes to wear. He gives us our own pair, custom made. Trust that He's the ultimate shoe-maker (as it were). The shoes you've got are the ones He wants you to have.

(Author's Note: That was for metaphorical purposes only. The author makes no claims that people should stop buying literal shoes. Thank you.)


Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
(Bruce Barton)
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
(Anatole France)

Today was a nice day driving home from work -- it seems to me there were only a few idiot drivers, instead of the usual migratory mass of them (who all happen to be wanting to go somewhere ever so important all at the same time and in as little time as possible -- little old ladies in big cars beware.). But it was hot. Hot like a ... big burning ... hot sun . Or something. Yesterday the radio said it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit! What the?! Triple digits? Someone shoot me. With a big, cold gun, filled with ice cubes and ice cream and popsicles. Or something. (It's the heat -- it's getting to me.)

I just finished reading If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, by Jon McGregor. What a book. Man oh man. I grabbed it for like 2 bucks at Chapters a month ago or so, and started reading it, then added it to my continuously mounting to-read pile. I finally gave it the honour of being the next one to go. And I'm glad I did. Just a really very great book. He writes in a very different way -- when he writes that someone is saying something, he doesn't actually do what most every author does -- using quotations. For example, most authors will say something like this: And Billy said, "I rule you. Bow to me, slave woman." But McGregor would write it like this: And Billy said I rule you, bow to me slave woman.

It sort of threw me off at first. He writes the story almost as if it's a free verse poem. But it isn't. It is just very poetic.

Anyway, it is quite incredible. When I finished it this afternoon I (silently) had a fit. I just sat there thinking, "Geeeeeeeeeeeez." It wasn't a cliff-hanger or anything, but it was just so beautiful and thoughtful and made me really think about people. I talked about it a long, long time ago (ie. many, many posts ago), about trying to see people as individuals, human beings with their own struggles and dreams and pasts and relationships and thoughts and such. And this book was like that -- made you really think about all that goes on around you, the things that happen to the people you bump into on the street.

It was actually all quite ironic, because I watched the movie Run Lola Run last night. (What a crazy movie -- it was really good. More foreign films, here I come!) There are a few times in the movie where Lola is replaying certain situations and depending on how she interacts with a person, each time you see that person experiencing a different future. It made me think about how we affect people, how what we say or don't say or do or don't do here or there affects a much broader picture than we may realize.

If anyone saw the movie Butterfly Effect, you'll know what I mean. While I didn't think the movie was all that awesome at the time (though its been awhile and I don't even remember what happened), it really got me interested in the theory -- that small things affect big change. The possibility that a butterfly's wings on this side of the world could create a ripple that ultimately starts a hurricane on the other side of the world, to me, is amazing.

It just says a lot about our choices, I think. About the possibilities that we create and destroy at the whim of a thought or action. You would expect such an idea to change the way we behave, but I know from my own life, it rarely does. I suppose it's easier to forget, to stop thinking about the people I talk to or pass on the road or order my lunch from, to just think of myself and my choices and where I want to end up in life. What a sad, sad reality, considering the unfathomable opportunities for affecting people I could have should I chose to recognize them.

I just finished reading Searching For God knows What by Donald Miller (of Blue Like Jazz fame). Wow. That guy has some stuff to say, that's for sure.

Blue Like Jazz is somewhere on my list of all-time favourite books (well, the non-fiction category anyway). So when he came out with SFGKW I knew I'd have to grab it. It took me a bit longer to read. I bought it, read a couple chapters, and then let it sit for a few weeks. It wasn't that it wasn't good, it was just...different from his last book. It almost seemed like it was going to be a very basic book. It seemed to start off talking about things I felt like I already knew enough about -- namely, what it means to be a Christian. Talk about pride, hey?

I gotta say though, by the time I got half-way through, I realized this book was going to be just as life-changing for me as Blue Like Jazz. This book has a much more structured feel to it, a distinct purpose, and while he still writes a lot like he did in his previous book, it's not as 'essay'-like.

Anyway. My point for writing this was to say that it's an incredible book. When I finished it, I felt like someone had just turned on a defibrillator and gave my heart a jolt. I've been having a few of those the last while. As if after 22 years of thinking and looking at things one way, God's been sending doctor after doctor to shock me into reality, to see things from a new (and right) perspective.

There's something about how Miller writes and what he writes about, as well as his honesty, that makes me stop and reconsider all that I've thought. In this book, he talks mainly about what it means to be a Christian. It is really quite incredible. The funny thing is, he writes about a lot of things I've been sort of thinking through this last year -- and then I read this and realize it's almost like a summation/confirmation of all my thoughts. Crazy, crazy stuff.

Specifically, one of his central points is that Christianity is a relational experience. I mean, I've heard that my entire life -- "Christianity is a relationship, not a religion". But for whatever reason, it's never meant much to me. I never really understood what that was supposed to look like. I mean, I hear it but I don't see it. I don't see 'Christianity' in the same light I see my friends and family.

And yet Miller explains it in this book, about what the Gospel of Jesus really looks like, about what morality looks like, what its goal is, about what it means to be in a 'relationship'. And I seriously feel as if something like scales, as if years and years of unquestioned ideas, are falling from my eyes and my heart. I feel like I'm finally getting it, understanding what it is that God wants from me. And it's like this massive weight being lifted off my shoulders. All these religious practices, all these un-relational traditions I've bought into, have suddenly lost, or are in the process of losing, their significance to me.

One of the most eye-opening moments, and what drew me in, was the following:
Greg told me he had seen a pamphlet with four or five ideas on it, ideas such as man was a sinner, sin separated man from God, and Christ died to absolve the separation. He asked me if this was what I believed, and I told him, essentially, that it was. "Those would be the facts of the story," I said, "but that isn't the story."
"Those are the ideas, but it isn't the narrative, "Greg stated rhetorically.
"Yes," I told him.

Earlier that same year I had a conversation with my friend Omar, who is a student at a local college. For his humanities class, Omar was assigned to read the majority of the Bible. He asked to meet with me for coffee, and when he sat down he put a Bible on the table as well as a pamphlet containing the same five or six ideas Greg had mentioned. He opened the pamphlet, read the ideas, and asked if these concepts were important to the central message of Christianity. I told Omar they were critical; that, basically, this was the gospel of Jesus, the backbone of Christian faith. Omar then opened his Bible and asked, "If these ideas are so important, why aren't they in this book?"
"But the Scripture references are right here," I said curiously, showing Omar that the verses were printed next to each idea.
"I see that," he said. "But in the Bible they aren't concise like they are in this pamphlet. They are spread out all over the book."
"But this pamphlet is a summation of the ideas," I clarified.
"Right," Omar continued, "but it seems like, if these ideas are that critical, God would have taken the time to make bullet points out of them. Instead, He put some of them here and some of them there. And half the time, when Jesus is talking, He is speaking entirely in parables. It is hard to believe that whatever it is He is talking about can be summed up this simply."
Omar's point is well taken. And while the ideas presented in these pamphlets are certainly true, it struck me how simply we had begun to explain the ideas, not only how simply, but how nonrelationally, how propositionally.


But I did begin to wonder if there were better ways of explaining it than these pamphlets. After all, the pamphlets have been around for only the last fifty years or so (along with our formulaic presentation of the gospel), and the church has shrunk, not grown, in Western countries in which these tools have been used. But the greater trouble with these reduced ideas is that modern evangelical culture is so accustomed to this summation that it is difficult for us to see the gospel as anything other than a list of true statements with which a person must agree.

It makes me wonder if, because of this reduced version of the claims of Christ, we believe the gospel is easy to understand, a simple mental exercise, not in the least bit mysterious. And if you think about it, a person has a more difficult time explaining romantic love, for instance, or beauty, or the Trinity, than the gospel of Jesus. John would open his gospel by presenting the idea that God is the Word and Jesus is the Word an the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Not exactly bullet points for easy consumption. Perhaps our reduction of these ideas has caused us to miss something. (Searching for God knows What, pg. 151-153)

Alright. I quoted way more than I had planned -- don't tell anyone, or I might get thrown into jail.

He goes on to explain what it is that we may have missed. And I think he is absolutely right. At least, I missed it. And for the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, I feel like I know what I'm looking for -- like there is an actual something to want from God. And it's a relationship. A relationship and not a religion. An interaction, not a one-way conversation or list of do's and don'ts or a set of rituals or whatever. It's knowing Jesus and He knowing me.

He talks about Matthew 7:22-23, where Jesus says,
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

What an incredible thought, that these people actually performed supernatural acts in God's name, and yet Jesus didn't know them. Crazy, crazy idea. I know that verse has always scared me, and I realize know it does so for good reason. I realize that there is a distinct difference between knowing about a person, and actually knowing a person. I also realize there is a distinct difference between a relationship and a religion.

I think I essentially just butchered his book, and I apologize for that. It is a very, very good read -- well worth the time and money (if you have no library access, that is).

Donald Miller officially has Kyle Stewart's Stamp of Approval. I know he wanted it...

Ever have those days where it is painfully hard to see anything beautiful in life? It's like everything is less wonderful -- all the colours are dull, the birds are silent, the giant, ancient trees are wilting. When it seems like the whole world is under some sort of evil sorcerer's spell? That day is my today. I feel very unmoved. Very unimpressed with everything. Very sad about life. It feels like being caught up in some kind of hamsters wheel -- like somebody thought it would be amusing to see me run around in circles, tempting me into thinking I was going somewhere only to realize I've been seeing the same thing over and over and over again. My reward? A drink of water and some wood chips. Hm. Ok, maybe the analogy only goes so far...

I don't know. I'm just tired. Tired of feeling tired. Tired of feeling like I'm trapped into repeating the same mistakes, the same stupid decisions, the same overwhelming emotions of living. I'd like, just once, to feel like I'm making headway, like I'm getting somewhere, like I'm finding something worth fighting for. In whatever. I don't even care anymore about specifics. Just give me something, God. Give me something to do. Give me something to strive for, work for, fight for, hope for, survive for, become a better person for.

That is my open heart for this day, July 7, 2005. Now I must sleep. I hope that your days are feeling much brighter.

"May barbarians invade your personal space!"

Today I feel random. Once again. So what the heck. Time to write about things completely unrelated to each other.

1. I don't think I've ever posted up here what the meaning of my blog address is: multum in parvo. In fact, multum in parvo is a Latin phrase meaning much in little. I like Latin. I can't speak or read Latin, but Latin is interesting to me nevertheless. In fact, one of the reasons Latin is so interesting to me, and where I stole the aforementioned phrase, is because it is a relatively 'compact' language. The phrase multum in parvo was actually used in an essay I had read (probably on another random day like today) that explained how Latin fits a lot of meaning into few word. Veeeeeery interesting. I thought, anyway. But I think a lot of things are interesting that most people think are trivial. I wonder if that means I have a small brain? Hmm. Iiiiiinteresting...

I actually wanted to have my address as "temet nosce" or "nosce te ipsum" -- both of which, if you will recall from The Matrix (one of my favourite movies, I might shamelessly add) mean "know thyself" (it was written on the sign above the door of the Oracle's kitchen). It's one phrase that's always stuck with me. Unfortunately, about a bajillion people already thought of it, and there was no chance of claiming it as my own save for buying it for One Billion Dollars, give or take a million. And as of right now, I don't have that much. So I went with multum in parvo. Good enough.

..."And that, my friends, is the rest of the story."

2. I love Project 86. Their second CD, Drawing Black Lines, is on my list of all-time favourite CD's. It's one of the few I can listen to over and over and over and not feel sick of it. They were one of the original bands -- along with Blindside and P.O.D. -- that got me into hard music (and showed me that there is an insane amount of talent involved to pull off a good hard CD). They make me happy. What makes me even happier is that all three of those bands have new CD's coming out within a few months. Me so excited.

3. I realized yesterday something in life that makes me feel wonderful. A warm/cool night drive, with the windows down, the music playing, and a coffee to drink. The last couple nights of driving home from work I've been able to enjoy that rare mix of circumstances, and man if it wasn't one of the most satisfying feelings I can think of. I love it.

4. A quote from Jimmy Fallon, because it made me laugh:
New Scientist magazine reported that in the future, cars could be powered by hazelnuts. That's encouraging, considering an eight-ounce jar of hazelnuts costs about nine dollars. Yeah, I've got an idea for a car that runs on bald eagle heads and Faberge eggs.

Oh Jimmy. You're a crazy guy. In fact, why not post a few more?
Researches at Yale found a connection between brain cancer and work environment. The No. 1 most dangerous job for developing brain cancer? Plutonium hat model.
Researches tested a new form of medical marijuana that treats pain but doesn't get the user high, prompting patients who need medical marijuana to declare, "Thank you?"
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, donated many of this writings to the University of Michigan. The papers are an invaluable resource for students majoring in Crazy.

5. On the topic of comedians (see, I'm not that random -- it all comes together in my head), anyone ever heard of Mitch Hedberg? He actually just died a few months ago, and he was pretty young. In his early 30's, I think. Only been doing the comedian thing for a few years. But man, what a hilarious guy. Someone on the Relevant message boards got me hooked. He sounds like such a stoner when he talks, but it's part of what makes him so funny. You can find a ton of quotes on the net (which are still funny) but hearing him say them are even more funny. So either download some files or keep your eyes open at the store. (He's sort of in the same style of Steven Wright, because they both do the one-liners and they're both really weird). Here's some good quotes (but really, you gotta hear him say them):

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, 'Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".'

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

It's very dangerous to wave to people you don't know because what if they don't have hands? They'll think you're cocky.

Someone handed me a picture and said, "This is a picture of me when I was younger." Every picture of you is when you were younger. "...Here's a picture of me when I'm older." Where'd you get that camera man?

(You can find more here, or just search Google. Geez, do I have to do all the work around here?!)

6. I can't think of anything else random to say. So that's all. For now. Feel free to leave comments. Or money. I think you know which I prefer (**cough**comments**cough**).

I watched Coach Carter last night. Glad I didn't spend the extra $4 and see it in the theatre when it came out. Pretty marginal movie. The story was good -- considering it was based on a true story. But the acting was lame, and the script definitely lacked some...oomph. It felt like they were trying too hard to be 'hip', in an MTV sort of way, while still delivering a 'good' message about working hard and moving out from under low expectations. It just all made out to be very unconvincing. And there was this whole speel in the there about abortion that was disturbing. "Oh, what? You have other plans for your life and this baby we're going to have would get in the way? It's ok. We'll get rid of it. We wouldn't want to be inconvenienced..."

Anyway, best part of the movie -- they quoted one of my favourite quotes by Nelson Mandela:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

It seemed fitting to hear that this week.

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