Friday, November 13, 2009

This is the End, beautiful friend...

After a seven-plus year run, I've decided to shut down this blog.

Why, is your question.

I guess the shortest way to say it is, I began this blog at a very different time of my life, and to try to hang on to it, as it is, would be like trying to hang on to a past that has, well, passed. It's done. This chapter of my life is done.

I'm on the brink of some pretty key personal changes. I'm starting to work through some things I've taken for granted as normal. This blog has been an outlet for feelings and emotions that should have been dealt with in the real world. In a sense, over the years, I used this blog as a hiding spot, to avoid dealing with my issues. The "emo" posts I'd spew every so often contained thoughts and ideas that should have been shared with people in my physical life, who could walk with me through them and help me learn how to cope and grow.

Instead, I've been hiding in a lot of ways. And the times when I just couldn't stand wearing the "happy" mask anymore, I'd come here, explode in a fury of emotion and depression, get it out of my system, and go back to hiding. I'd scare the people who loved me the most, because I never vented these feelings with them, so seeing my sadness in print seemed disturbing and out-of-character. All this time, I should have been talking to the people around me, instead of faceless printed voices on the internets.

And I love you guys, all of you who have read my blog over the years. Most of you have stopped reading my blog because you got more interesting lives. God bless you. I hope to follow in your footsteps now. The rest of you, who despite your interesting lives still read my oft-neglected page, I love you all the more for sticking around. I feel like I have built little relationships with each of you. But these relationships are thin and hollow. If you want to get to know me, send me an email, message me on Facebook, find me on AIM. Let's really talk. If you'd rather not, I take no offence whatsoever. Go with my blessing and peace.

I'm going to miss being a regular "blogger." It's been an identity thing, you know? But, as I've ruminated over often in these pages, it's also an ego thing, the idea that my words are important enough to be flung out into space like this. Some of you have fed this illusion with your generous praise. (I'm looking at you, Laura.) Thank you. But there's nothing of value in here that you can't get from me elsewhere. Like I said, Facebook me. IM me. Email me. Connect. I'd love to continue the conversation.

But this old house, these perfect blue buildings, they're full of ghosts. Not of old loves, but of old me. The person I used to be, and the person I'm trying to shake out of like a snake shedding its skin. There's something living inside, something fresh and new that needs to be freed, but to do that I need to leave something behind. This blog represents part of that something. The rest of it, I'm finding ways to scrape off and get rid of as well.

So it's time for a new neighborhood. Goodbye, Perfect Blue Buildings (formerly Anything To Disrupt the Tedium, and Anything to Dispel the Silence [i think]). It's been a good run. Seven years. Mazel tov.

(I feel like I'm reciting the last five pages of Our Town. Goodbye to clocks ticking, and my old butternut tree.)

I should clarify: I'm not disappearing from the internet entirely. Aside from FB, I'll still track my fitness and distance-running progress on the Waddling Bison blog. I'll still post poetry as The Man in the Brown Hat. If you want to see those pages, take a look around the interwebs, you'll find me. But *this* blog has run its course. The emo-confessional/pop-culture-commentary/political-gadfly business. It's done.

As to the fate of this website. I haven't decided. In the next week, I'll be combing the archives for anything worth salvaging, any creative bits i want to save and use elsewhere. Then...I don't know. Some of you asked me to keep the archives active so you can peruse them, relive the highlights and lowlights. Thing is, I think I'd be tempted to do it too. And that kinda defeats the purpose. I haven't decided yet, but I have to confess, i'm leaning toward torching the place. Send PBB off into internet Valhalla, Viking-style.

I'll let you know what I decide, one way or another.

But this is it, internet. Last PBB post. Feels like I should be dropping all sorts of inside jokes and references to past goofiness. (Save that for the PBB Dead Letter Office mailbag? Sure. Send it "Attn: Gerard.")

Actually, I should probably just end this before I change my mind about the whole thing.


Famous Last Words: Jesus loves you more than you'll ever know. He's the only thing worth living for. Find life in Him.

Love you guys. Be good. See ya around.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Linky-Love When September Ends...

(a little early, but i wanted to make the reference anyway)

Lots of links, so let's set these up by category!

TEN MUSICAL PARODIES, MASH-UPS, AND BITS O' SILLINESS FROM "TBT"
1) Nirvana + Rick Astley
2) Beastie Boys + Rush
3) Indiana Jones + Counting Crows
4) Billy Joel + The Office
5) "Fresh Prince" Theme + Folk Music
6) Beatles + Led Zepplin
7) Verve Pipe + College Overeating
8) Shakespeare + Metal
9) MC skillz + pre-flight announcements
10) Superman Theme + Church Organ

FIVE COOL STORIES THAT HAPPEN TO BE TRUE
1) Medical researchers announce that the appendix is not a vestigal organ and actually has useful purposes. The Intelligent Designer of Human Anatomy chuckles to himself.
2) Imagine finding out that you are part of an immortalized piece of American photographic art.
3) The tragic and redemptive journey of NBA "washout" David Vaughn.
4) The story of a college student unable to pay tuition, and a pastor who gathered a community of support around him to help out. Way to go, Christians.
5) Man uses monkey mask to avoid getting speeding tickets from photographic speed-traps.

5 THINGS I OUGHTA SPEND SOME TIME AND WRITE A REAL POST ABOUT (BUT WON'T)
1) A bloody and disturbing PSA about texting while driving, that was released in the UK last month. I think it's worth watching, but it is pretty graphic, so some readers may not want to see it. The question the article poses is, Will this keep people from texting while driving? [Answer: No, because I still text or check email while driving once in a while, even though I know better and am trying to quit the habit.]
2) David Bazan's journey away from faith. (He formerly sang in the band Pedro the Lion. Here's his latest.)
3) The NIV bible is getting another language update, including some slight changes to the gender language uses.
4) This moving and thoughtful article about miscarriage and loss.
5) How kids deal with sharing their birthday with an American tragedy.

10+ THINGS THAT ARE ONLY COOL IF YOU'RE GEEKY ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE THEM
1) The viral campaign for the Sherlock Holmes movie kicked off last month.
2) Top 70 most iconic panels from Marvel comics, according to "Comics Should Be Good."
3) Tonight's the season premiere of "Smallville" (woot!), so here's Tom Welling's take on the new season.
4) The Fine Brothers give 100 TV spoilers from shows past and present. (Do I even need to add "SPOILER ALERT!" to this one?)
5) PASTE Magazine creates a playlist dedicated to the marriage of doughy-faced Death Cabber Ben Gibbard to the lovely (If-Only-She-Were-Mrs.-Teacherdave-Instead) Zooey Deschanel.
6) Literary tattoos. Enough said.
7) Number One on the "Things I Wish Were Real" list (Video Game Edition): Mega Man in 3D!
8) XKCD is now in book form!
9) Fine, I'll go ahead and say it: I think LOLCats is sometimes pretty funny. So?
10) More TBT geeky song links!

Friday, September 18, 2009

PBB Capsule Movie Reviews: 9

Starring the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, and others

[Trailer]

This is a visually beautiful film, and that alone makes it worth seeing at least once. Unfortunately, the storyline doesn't tell anything particularly new or innovative, and the plot is episodic and video-gamey, so it doesn't justify your full nine bucks at the multiplex. Also, it contains scary and disturbing images, and several tense moments, so if you take children to see it, YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Don't do that. There are a lot of really interesting conceptual ideas presented here, and I really wish that more care would have been given during pre-production to developing and thinking through the narrative backbone of the film. Unfortunately, it's clear this was rushed through as soon as the two famed producers signed on, because the rushed result is a lot of rehashed ideas thrown in a blender with some really neat action set-pieces and a muddled, uninspired ending. I noticed several "off-ramps" where the plot could have gone in different and more interesting directions, but instead chose to stay on target and barrel on toward a predictable ending. However, I will say that this sense of familiarity played well during the dread-filled (not at all dreadful) "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sequence.

Final Verdict: I'm not sorry I saw this beautiful, creepy, but sadly predictable little fable. Definitely worth your Netflix queue slot, dollar at Redbox, or buck-fifty at the second-run movie theater.

PBB Capsule Movie Reviews: The Time Traveller's Wife

Starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams (and Ron Livingston for, like, three scenes)

[Trailer]

If you watch the trailer, you pretty much get the gist of the movie. I was willing to give it a chance, and the fact of the matter is, if Rachel McAdams filmed her last five trips to the grocery store, I'd probably be interested in watching it. She's just gorgeous. Unfortunately, the grocery-store idea would have been more compelling than Time Traveller's Wife, which ultimately didn't say anything about the human condition or the eternal power of love or any other cliched theme you hoped would appear to give the actors something worthwhile to do or say. Instead, the movie did its best to completely sidestep any of the thorny implications that any sci-fi nerd knows are inevitable when discussing time travel. Further, there were moments of potential drama that were glossed over so nonchalantly that I was getting frustrated with the film. Then I realized my problem: taking the film to be anything other than a cash-in on the sappy, romantic, Nicholas-Sparks-loving demographic. And as someone who appreciates a decently-constructed chick flick, when even I'm disappointed you know there's a problem.

Final Verdict: Just pretend you've travelled into the future to the point where you've already seen the movie, and don't bother going to the theater.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Different Person Started This Blog

Apparently, the concept of the "seven-year cellular turnover" is a myth. This disappoints me. I really liked the idea of being a completely different person, at the most basic cellular level, than I was when I finished college.

But the fact is, in other ways, in ways that matter, I think I am a good bit different than I was 7 years ago. Want proof?

Today is the seventh anniversary of this blog, formerly called "Anything to Disrupt the Tedium" (or something similar to that).

My first ever post is here.

If you're bored or in need of something to help you sleep, take a peek at the archives. You get to see a lot of my blood and guts and bile and tears and nonsense. I wasn't very good at filtering for the first several years there. Thankfully, the comments have been lost through multiple template changes, so a lot of drama was swept away, and you're just left with my lunatic ravings.

So here's something fun, in honor of the day: Totally Honest Answer Day!

I'll answer, totally honestly, any question asked in my comments today and today only.

(This would be scarier for me if more than four of you read the blog with any regularity.)

Anyway, that's all. Happy blogiversary to me, I guess.

Self-indulgent

I saw a comment on a Youtube video of the revival version of "Company," in which the commenter said this production was "so self-indulgent."

Isn't theatre, at its core, self-indulgent? The whole process is really one big imagination game. The actors often do it as much for themselves as for the audience. Acting isn't a purely altruistic form of expression. It's fun. It's fulfilling. It's thrilling. It strokes the ego.

I suppose the commenter meant to imply that the director/designer/producer was self-indulgent in their creation of this production. But the cheap and easy accusation of "so self-indulgent" is weak on its face because it's theater-critic shorthand, parroted by the overeducated and underwhelmed. A five-word salvo fired off by someone who doesn't have the brains or balls to explain themselves in any way that could be critiqued or defended.

I'm in the mood today to call people on their bullshit. And that comment was. Organic, Grade-A.

Tired of Being Sorry

It's a pretty good song by Ringside (later covered by Enrique Iglesias).

Anyway.

I know I'm not blogging the way I said I would. I want to. I want to give you witty movie reviews, a description of my recent karaoke and drive-in experiences, maybe some discussion on what I've been thinking about lately. General bloggy goodness, in other words.

But...I don't know. I think i've grown impatient with trying to draw out the words. I sit down to write a blog post, and almost immediately get overwhelmed by the idea of going over all the details, re-reading it to make sure I didn't make any big grammatical or logical mistakes, polishing up the phrasing. I guess I'm just getting incredibly lazy, when typing a blog post is too daunting some days. Dickens and Shakespeare would roll their eyes in utter disgust.

I'm not a writer anymore. I guess I just have to admit that. And that...really sucks. Because I love stories, and I love telling stories. Being a writer is part of how I self-identify. Or was. For years, I've seen myself as a writer, if lately a back-slidden one.

Now? I don't know what I am. I still want to be a writer. I loved writing, once. I don't know what's happened to change that. Maybe working with words day after day has started to turn me away from it all.

I'm making excuses.

Here's the bottom line: I want to blog. I do... but I don't. So I'm gonna blog when I can, how I can, if I can.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Poor, Neglected Ol' Blog

Hello blog.

So yeah, I was good-naturedly ribbed by Kim last week that as soon as I got cable, my blog died. There's truth to that. So I'm gonna fill you in, over the course of three or four posts, on what's been going on with me lately. Nothing earth-shattering, but you may be amused.

So this is the "Hi, I'm not dead, I'm just resting" post.

My status, over the last two weeks, in brief: Work is going pretty well, church well enough, marathon training less well, personal discipline and organization least well. I need to budget time, money, and energy better. And seeing friends from college is always fun. The end.

I don't want to get into it all now--I really need to start working at work. (Crazy idea, right?)

But tonight/tomorrow/Thursday, I'll tell you about karaoke with Mr. Lee and Sushi GEEEEEEEEE!, and about how the best movie I saw over the holiday weekend is the one I'm most ashamed to admit seeing.

Also, here's something lovely:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Giving in to peer pressure.

Every fall, I face this temptation, and for the last several years, I've hung tough. I've stayed strong. I've resisted temptation.

Today, I gave in.

I am now a cable TV subscriber.

I feel dirty admitting that.

You may be saying, "Dave, it's about time you quit being stubborn about this. I can't believe you haven't had cable for so long!" But the fact is, I've been doing just fine without cable TV for the past two or three years. You may not be aware of this, but they broadcast television shows right now--for free--over the AIR!

I was content in the past, setting my VCR to record 8 television programs (or blocks of programs) each week. I had my six-hour tape ready, and had to watch my shows pretty regularly so I didn't miss anything. It was fine. It was cool. And it was FREE.

However, the "digital conversion" has now thrown a monkey wrench into my plans. Turns out I have to change channels on Uncle Sam's magic black box, so I can't program the VCR. I made do this past spring, by preparing the night before and selecting which channel to record the next day. But now that the digital switchover is complete, it seems like I'm getting less consistent service. And I still can't get CBS. I'm gonna miss Big Bang Theory if i don't address this.

Cable isn't cheap, but it is easy. And having a DVR to record things and watch them at my convenience is really an inviting proposition.

So, out of curiosity, I went over to the cable company's website, and saw that they were also giving away free money for signing up. Free money's pretty inviting too.

So I did it. It's done. And on Thursday night, I'll have glorious, crystal-clear cable television.

My parents will be thrilled--I can stop clogging up their DVR with my shows.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Greatest Four Minutes in Film History

I will not countenance disagreement on this matter:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too Much Awesome Not to Share



If you don't immediately recognize what this video is parodying, you need to go out and rent the greatest film ever made by humans.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Dear Ron" Letter

(Cross-posted at the Waddling Bison blog)

My dearest Micki D,

We've been together for...ever, really. As long as I can remember, you've been a part of my life. When I was a child, I used to beg my parents to let me go to your house, because lunch with you made me happy, and you always shared your toys.

As I grew, my appetite for your companionship grew as well. My love for you was super-sized, and your affect on me multiplied. Sometimes, in high school, my busy schedule with work and sports kept us from seeing each other so often, and the lack of companionship was as plain to see.

But with college, and especially in the early part of my post-college career, our relationship was renewed, and it deepened daily. I'd stop by and see you in the mornings on my way to work, and sometimes immediately after work, on my way home. You welcomed me at your window, and bestowed your paper-wrapped presents on me.

This affection we shared grew to a deep love, freely refilled day by day. And it's been great, Micki. Really. Believe me when I say, I'm lovin' it.

But something has happened to me. I've started making changes in my life. And I have to confess--I just don't think we can see each other anymore.

It's not you. You've been great. I just don't know if our relationship has been healthy for me. I know I'm the only one to blame in this; you never claimed to be anything but what you are, and I loved you for that. And lately, as you have emphasized your particular values, I have to confess that loving you has never been cheaper or easier.

However, in the last few months, sneaking off to see you has left me feeling guilty every time. I try to pretend I'm only an acquaintance, and sometimes even lie about our trysts. I can't do that anymore.

You've been great, Micki. Really. But my life is taking me down new roads. And you can't come with me this time.

I'm really sorry. But we're through. If we cross paths in the future, it's okay to wave, or say hi. But we can never be this close again.

Know that you will always have a quarter-pound of my heart.

Your special sauce,
Dave

P.S. If you see your sister Wendy, tell her I need to talk to her, okay?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No Iron Man? FINE. How about a Superman?

Since the legal powers-that-be removed the flippin sweet IM2 footage from the internets, here's a recap of the previous season of "Smallville"--in case you were curious what the CW's longest-running series is up to.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Better than Ashley Simpson doing a jig.

I'm gonna break what is generally considered a cardinal rule among elite bloggers. The one that goes, "Don't blog your dreams, because no one really cares." (That's never stopped me before, however.) So here we go:

====

I'm the lead singer of a alterna-rock band, think Collective Soul or something college-rocky. We're doing a live concert in this gorgeous auditorium, similar to the one in "School of Rock," with the balcony and everything. Large venue. This concert is being produced by Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson (the Idol judge, who in my mind has always been an extant member of the Jackson 5). The concert is also being simulcast live on the internet.

It's near the end of the show, and I'm doing the lead singer banter bit, thanking the Jacksons for setting up the event, and teasing them a little. I think i actually made the joke, "Keep it down you two, or we're turning this concert around and going home." But I'm the affable lead singer, so everyone laughed.

We're taking a short break, because I can see on the monitors that display the broadcast that there's a quick commercial for another band playing a future show. The band is called "O. A. F." which I mock quietly (but audibly) by crossing my eyes, and saying "Oaf!" Another laugh. Finally, we're "live" again, so I say something like, "Okay, let's go!"

The music starts. Typical pop-rock radio fare. Except... I don't remember the words. So I start coughing to cover it up. The problem is, there's a voice track to "boost" my vocals, and it's playing while I'm coughing. After the longest ten seconds of my career, as I'm gesturing with a finger across the throat to cut it off, the music ends. The band is embarrassed. Randy and Janet angrily storm out the side door of the auditorium. And I'm there, up front, amid the catcalls and boos. People are getting up to leave, laughing. One guy holds up his iPhone and says, "Dude, this clip is up all over the internet!"

Here's where it gets odd: I ignore the hisses and say something like, "Okay, okay, hang on, everybody! Come back, I wanna say something." People stop walking out, standing in the aisles, shushing a few talkers. Everyone's waiting for an explanation.

I go on to say something like, "Yes, I was using a vocal backing track tonight. I'm sorry if that seems like cheating. There are various reasons why a singer would do that. For example, maybe he's sick, and can't hit his usual notes. Maybe he's having trouble remembering a new song. Maybe...maybe he's just afraid of letting people down. I was. I wanted to give you guys the best show I could. We all do--that's what we do every night. We don't take this for granted, guys. We love playing music and making you happy, and we bust our tails every night to put on a good show, because we know that's what you want.

"I know I let you down tonight. But I want to make it up to you. So, here, gimme this--" At this point, I walk back to the guitar tech and take an acoustic guitar from his hand. As I'm walking back I grab a stool from near the drum kit, and plant myself in front of the mic. "No gimmicks, no machines. Just you and me."

The audience starts to filter back to their seats. Some leave, but most stay, confused and curious what will come next. I look over my shoulder at the dumbstruck band. "You guys can go grab some dinner in the dressing room; I'm good here."

Then I proceed to play an acoustic set. Our songs, covers, stuff I didn't even know if I knew well enough. And the crowd slowly warms up, until we're all singing along, having a great time.

Then I wake up.

=====

A bizarre version of the "embarrassed in front of a crowd" dream. Maybe subconsciously, I'm reassuring myself that, if I fail, I can fail spectacularly and still keep people happy. Or maybe I'm just nuts.

We report, you decide.

Monday, August 03, 2009

In case you're curious...

The old diet blog has gotten a face-lift and has been repurposed for marathon training. Also, the URL has changed, so clicky the linky to get the new one. kthxbai.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

PBB Capsule Movie Reviews: "It's Already August?!?" Edition

Don't know what to do this weekend? Here are four cinematic options, two to look for at your local indieplex, and two summer blockbusters I'm just getting around to seeing at my local $1.50 theater.

I'm gonna spare you the synopsis of each film--check out the trailer, or look it up on IMDB if you're really curious:

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Rated PG-13 for awesome violence and some couple-lovin

Finally! A Wolverine feature! Wolvie's my favorite X-Men character, as he is for many fans of the comics/films. Hugh Jackman has always been the perfect mix of rage and humanity to play this frustrated, broken, violent character. In this film, he shines. It's not a great movie--clearly not a "Marvel" movie, as Will says. (Essentially, there are two production companies who put out X-Men movies; this is from the lesser of the two.) But I tell ya what--if you want a rip-roaring actioner starring your favorite clawed mutant, you could do worse. (X-Men 3.) The film itself feels rushed; I wished it spent more time with some of the other X-Men Universe characters that are introduced and quickly ushered off-screen. (Dom!) Two I really wanted to see more of were Gambit and pre-mouthzip Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds!). Looking forward to hopefully future screen-time for both characters. The one great improvement that this movie makes on past X-Men films is casting the great Liev Schrieber as Sabretooth. Seriously. Amazing actor. If you don't agree, you clearly haven't seen his work, or are incapable of recognizing talent. This dude is legit. And he brings this character so much depth and menace that he ascends to even footing with Wolvie.

Verdict: It's a popcorn movie, not necessarily a good X-Men movie, but a pretty good comic book movie and worth a rental for some great performances that transcend a weak script.

=====

Terminator: Salvation
Rated PG-13 for flesh-ripping violence and brutal robot mayhem

Just saw this tonight. Loads of fun. Here's the deal for you Terminator fans: It's no Judgment Day. Of course it isn't. T2 will always be the unattainable benchmark for this series. But T:S is better than the other two films. I was discussing this with the guys tonight--it's like the first three Terminator films were the "Judgment Day" trilogy--they all focused on preventing it from happening. In "Salvation," there was no time travel, and the whole film was about the survival of the humans. It was focused squarely on "The Resistance." And that made it less of a "Terminator" movie, perhaps, but also more entertaining as an action movie. Christian Bale is great. He's always great, and he's great in this one. He conveys John Connor's determination to carry this colossal persona and set of expectations, as much as it seems to crush him emotionally. He can't just be a soldier, or a leader; he's got to be "The One." (Similar to Harry's Potter's dilemma, I guess.) But the rest of the cast in T:S is also very capable, including Bryce Dallas Howard, Michael Ironside, and Helena Bonham Carter. (Really? Yes.)

Verdict: Big, loud CGI-fest that allows the director to play in the "Terminator" sandbox. Solid cast, good pacing, and good effects. Worth a rental for Terminator fans, or fans of the genre.

=====

Moon
Rated PG-13 (?) for manly booty and some blood

A man, alone for three years, working a mining job. Can't blame him for starting to see things. Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an astronaut on a mining mission, in this deliberate, beautifully-shot and expertly-directed film. The clear influences are "2001" and films like "Das Boot." The film has a claustrophobic feel at times, as the main action of the story takes place on a single station, a few connected rooms. In this story, Sam is two weeks from going home to his wife and little girl, who he has not been able to talk to (on a "live" feed) in three years. Then he has an accident, and... that's all i'm going to tell you. There's a sentient computer named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) who is Sam's only company in the station--at least until... but anyway. The big "twist" of the film is revealed pretty early on, but it's not about the twist as much as the unfolding of the information, and how Sam processes it. It's really a great performance by Rockwell, who's becoming an actor I seek out at the cineplex.

Verdict: Good story (even if predictable), fantastic performance, and interesting themes with a lot of subtext worth mulling over. Check it out at the theater or on video, but definitely see it.

=====

(500) Days of Summer
Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content/dialogue, and heartbreak

"This is a story about boy meets girl... This is a story about love--but this is NOT a love story." So saith the narrator in this cleverly-written, playfully-directed, and wonderfully-acted romantic dramedy about a boy and girl and the slippery nature of love and relationships. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are two of my favorite young(ish) actors in Hollywood, and this may be my favorite film for both of them. I will give this a deeply-felt but conditional recommendation: the film deals with love and sex in a pretty frank manner, but without being what I'd consider gratuitous, and the consequences of some of these choices are obvious. Nothing's free and easy here. And that may be one of the best elements of the movie. While there are many fanciful, stylized bits, the emotional core of the film is DEAD-ON realistic. Every decision the characters made actually made sense, based on how they were set up. In other words, there weren't out of character moments, there weren't blatantly contrived rom-com cliches, and the resolution you are given isn't common, but feels earned. I will say it without reservation: I really, really loved this movie. Not everyone will, but many of you could.

Verdict: If you can do so with clear conscience, go see this film, and pay whatever the theater asks of you, because it's worth every penny.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

summer

when summer leaves
you let her go
she wasn't yours to hold
in fingers clenched
like children throwing sand
losing most of it to the breeze

when summer leaves
you can choose to drown
in the sorrow and booze
and avalanche of twinkie wrappers
overwhelming your night table
but you shouldn't do this

when summer leaves
you can choose to replay the film
over and over, dissecting it
to find hints that she was fading
because they were there but
you were too busy singing to see

when summer leaves
you have to put on a brave face
convince yourself and others it's okay
and that you hope she finds happiness
and one day after you start living again
your "hello" will not sound wounded

when summer leaves
you go to the movies
eat tacos with your friends
go to sleep, and when you wake
you start back at day (1)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hitting the Links

Here we go:

Friday, July 24, 2009

"What a Douglas Coupland-ish thing to blog about."

I was talking last week with Will about writers who use gimmicks we hate in anyone else's writing but love in theirs. The perfect example, and the one cited in the conversation, was Stephen King's metanarrative in the sixth and seventh books of the Dark Tower series. The author himself enters the story and plays a key role in it, forcing the heroes to rescue him in order to save themselves. In that moment, the story acknowledges that it is a written story, while at the same time insisting on its own reality. (Science fiction folks would default to discussions of "parallel universes" at this point.)

This kind of ploy is transparent and tacky--a pure Eggersism (my own term), which was playful and fun when Dave Eggers pulled it out ten years ago (ten years? jiminy) but has since been ridden into the ground by hipster authors seeking the ultimate in metanarrative nirvana. (And what is blogging, if not an excercise in capturing metanarrative in a belljar?)

Okay. So, today, on the train, I was reading the latest (i think) book by Douglas Coupland, one of my favorite writers. The thing I love about Coupland is that his stories are both common and extraordinary at the same time. He takes quirky, slightly neurotic, but otherwise boring characters, inserts these ridiculous events into their everyday existence, and then lets them react to them. In Douglas Coupland's universe, your 9-5 job at a cubicle farm is destined to be interrupted by a biker gang busting through the door, or a nearby plane crash, or a crazed sibling with one arm running around screaming about the end of the world until your boss hits him with a golf club. And then you get lunch.

SO I started reading "jPod" this week, and I have to say I'm a little...let down. I mean, it's Coupland at his Coupland-est--video game designer, works with 5 other individually-bizarre designers, has a pot-growing mom who beats up and occasionally kills her customers and a wannabe-movie-star slash ballroom-dancing-champion dad. Add Chinese human-traffickers/gangsters, a douche-tastic boss who goes "missing," and a bizarre love story thread, and you've got vintage Coupland.

But the question is: Has Coupland crossed over into self-parody?

The opening line of the book is, "Oh God, I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel."

No, really. The characters riff on Coupland's style and characterization several different times throughout the book. At one point, they imply that "Friends" stole its essential idea from Coupland's "Generation X." In another section, they're stuck drinking Zima, and complain that it's a total Couplandism.

The real kicker is when Coupland himself enters the story, on a transcontinental flight with the protagonist, and has an awkward conversation that is capped by a brutally-critical typed note from the writer, declaring how totally jacked-up and self-destructive the protagonist is.

(These things are no less cliched than Stephen King's entrance into Midworld, or his blatant, winking Deus Ex Machina moments in his last DT book. But that was King. And Dark Tower was awesome.)

I freely admit that I'm only about halfway through "jPod" and this could all be intentional on the part of the author as a satire of the self-referential, self-indulgent hipster novels that have flooded the writing scene. But if I give him the benefit of the doubt in this regard, I have to ask: doesn't he sacrifice too much of himself, too much of his own style, in order to make this point? If he is in fact parodying the ridiculous nature of second and third generation metafiction authors, doesn't he offer up his own oeuvre on the sacrificial altar in order to make that point?

I don't know. But I have to say, at this point in the novel, it's starting to turn me off. This may be the first Coupland novel I've read that I just didn't like. And it's unfortunate. (I haven't even gotten into all the annoying diversions he includes--spam emails, random lists of words, whole pages of prime numbers.)

It just feels like he's trying too hard. And he's better than that.

=====

Unrelated: I know, I've been putting off the England accounts. It just feels like that should be done in 3-4 long pieces instead of a lot of little ones, and with all the stuff I've gotten into lately, I haven't really been able to set aside time. However, i fear i'll start losing some of those memories before I pin them down, so I'll get to it soon, for my own benefit as much as for yours. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No jet-lag here.




I'm back, and reasonably rested after yesterday's long travel day. I'll have much to say about the trip in the coming days and weeks. I'm going to try to type it all out, as much as I can remember, and I'll share it with you in words and pictures as soon as I can.

Right now, however, I need to go to the store and get groceries (as soon as my 500+ pictures finish loading onto the computer). Time to restart real life.

Friday, July 03, 2009

So, for anyone not aware...

I'm leaving in just over 24 hours for a ten-day mission trip to the UK. We're flying into Heathrow, spending a short time being tourists in London, then taking the rail up to a town called Darlington. There we'll be working with a local Baptist church, doing community outreach, one-on-one street evangelism, just being the hands and feet of Jesus where needed. It all finishes up with a barbeque dinner event next Saturday, and church the following Sunday. On Monday, we'll head west to Manchester, and fly out of Manchester on Tuesday.

When I get back, you can be sure I'll have stories and pictures.

Talk to you kids in a week and a half. Remember always, Jesus loves you.

Peace and grace.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Linky-love Junk Drawer Post

As I'm leaving the country on Saturday (just over 48 hours--eek!), it's time to drop some crazy linkage on ya.
That's it. I'll post at least once more before the weekend. For reals, yo.

Yes indeed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I love Adam.

Ugh, Thursday.

Took the JibJab down because it was causing too much load-lag. If you missed it, sorry. it was funny.

Can't really talk now. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime, I want you to read this article. Because it is my life in so many ways. The first half, especially--I have trouble finding that happy second-half resolution still. Fact is, I'm a lonely, screwed-up, failing disciple these days. And I have a hard time finding time to seek grace. My only hope is for grace to find me, in the midst of my flurry and strife.

And my knees have started giving out. That's not a metaphor, I mean that in a physical sense. This is not good, less than two weeks before an overseas trip.

There you go. That should give you enough to discuss until I can give you more.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something for the church folks.

I was starting to emo-hulk-out yesterday on the way home from work for some reason, so to combat the rising tide of self-pity, I opened up my Bible and started reading. I opened to Acts, which I've been reading a bit on and off for the past few weeks, and noticed something cool. Thought I'd share.

=====

Okay, pop quiz: who was the first Christian martyr in the New Testament? Anyone? Anyone?

That's right: Stephen. Remember Steve? Gave this impassioned speech about God's faithfulness and fulfillment of prophecy, and once he got to the punchline--"you Pharisees killed your long-awaited Messiah! Jewish Leadership FAIL!"--they freaked out and stoned him to death.

Here's the bonus question: what was Steven's role in the church? Apostle? Prophet? Preacher, teacher?

Anyone? Bueller?

Check it out. At the beginning of chapter 6 of Acts, the Greek-speaking Jewish believers were upset because their widows weren't getting their fair share of daily provisions, as their full-Jewish counterparts were. The apostles said, get this, "We shouldn't spend our time serving tables instead of preaching, so we'll appoint seven Spirit-filled men to head up this committee." One of the men they picked? Our buddy Steve.

Here's what I took away from this:

First, i don't think the apostles were being jerks here. As a lay-teacher, I know what it's like to be asked to run everything for a group. It's frustrating and tiring, and it takes away some of your energy and passion for your first job, teaching the Gospel. So I can understand the feeling.

Second, what's so interesting to me is that God, in His infinite sense of irony, chose to appoint Stephen the Spirit-filled "waiter" to be the first martyr of the Christian church. It was Stephen who gave the impassioned testimony before the group of Jewish elders. It was Stephen who, as he lay dying, saw the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Father. And it was Stephen's death that was approved of by Saul, who immediately started persecuting the church, until Jesus flipped the script on him on Damascus Road and called him to be the greated Christian missionary of all time.

All starting with the death of a church committee member, who wasn't a teacher or a preacher, but a willing and faithful servant.

So here's what you should take away: God uses all of His children to serve His great purposes. Sometimes those of us who may be seen as the most lowly, or feel like we don't count, are the greatest tools in His mighty hand. If you think to yourself "I'm just a facilities person, I'm just an usher, I only serve food at VBS, I merely hand out the bulletin and greet people on Sunday," you will miss the great and glorious plan that the Father of lights has appointed you to accomplish. Sometimes our sacrifices and services are completely in secret. But we are promised that He who sees what is done in secret will bring all to light and will reward us openly.

So as you go about your business, as you go to church, show respect for the lowly servants around you, those who humbly and willingly do for others. They may be having the greatest impact of us all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus. And if you are one of these nameless few, faithfully serving week after week, let me say: thank you for your needed and impactful ministry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Proof that Weird Al Yankovic is a musical genius.

Weird Al channels Jim Morrison (of The Doors) for this psychadelic tribute to the internet marketplace. While not a specific song parody, it's a dead-on stylistic parody, and makes me very very happy:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Moment of Clarity

I was in Best Buy, shopping for a Father's Day gift and a CD for myself (Jeff Buckley's "Grace Around the World" CD/DVD), when I came to the video game section. I used to play regularly, but now it's only the odd weekend that I spend an hour or two with my Playstation 2. I have friends who own the current generation systems, and I enjoy/envy those when I'm over at their houses.

The store had a Playstation 3 set up with a 36 or 42-inch flatscreen monitor, and a demo version of "Guitar Hero: Metallica" available.

No kids around, so I picked up the guitar controller and rolled through a Soundgarden song on easy. Pretty awesome. These latest versions of GH/RB actually have the "singer" actually mouthing the words to the song, giving it a much more realistic feel to it. Then, I played "Sad But True" by Metallica, and holy crap, there's James friggin Hetfield ripping through the song, roaring out the words. I kept getting distracted by the amazing visuals, and dropping notes.

I finished my song and thought, man, maybe I ought to save up and get one of these, because that's pretty rad. There was a guy standing next to me, looked to be mid-20s, scruffy around the edges, glasses. I set the controller down, and with a wave toward the screen said, "All yours, bud." I walked around to the other side, where Rock Band was set up, but both controllers were worn out and not responding.

Scruffy poked his head around and said, "Yeah, that one's all messed up." I chuckled, "Yep. Too much love."

I am about to walk away, still considering how I may possibly afford to spring for a new gaming system in the near future, when Scruffy meets up with his friend (Pastey) coming down the aisle toward us. Scruffy then says to Pastey, "So yeah, my mom is buying me a thousand-dollar sound system for my room..."

A sick, stabbing pain hits my stomach. I grab my earlier selections and hastily proceed to the checkout.

That's why you don't get a $500 video game system, Dave. Because you're a grown-up now. Your Scruffy and Pastey days (if you ever had them), are long behind you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

How Soon is Now?

RG asks, how soon is soon? Now, kiddo, now.

Disclaimer: I'm really tired right now. But I want to post, and a few of you want to listen, so I figure, why not oblige you. You're nice folks. But I may be a little loopy or self-indulgent, so your mercy would be appreciated.

This is going to be one of those (in)famous "This is Where I Am Right Now" posts that the kids like to do on the xanga. Things have been tense lately, and I think a little off-loading would be good for me. Whether it's any good for you remains to be seen.

I'll break it down by area of my life, so that it makes some semblance of sense. (That was a joke right there. But not the funny kind.)

Work

My workplace (Big Hospital) has been dealing with the current economic crisis like everyone else. We started building lots of buildings and hiring lots of people, and then when the bottom fell out nationally and our income was overtaken by our outgo, people flipped out. So the "realignment" began. That's the new buzzword, now that "downsizing" is passe. Realignment. They say they're transferring people around to other vital job openings, but from what i hear, this is rare. Mostly people are just getting canned. The fat is being trimmed. Poor, sad, out of work fat.

The tension is palpable on-site. People are on edge, doctors, nurses, researchers, admin staff. Everyone is freaking out a little more, looking over their shoulder a little more. And while i should know better, while I believe and speak about a God who is sovreign over all situations, I still find myself easily getting caught up in the hysteria. Darn this empathy.

It's been a tense couple of months. And today the sword has fallen on two people in my department--no one on my immediate team, but one of the people who got the heave-ho was a friend of mine, one of the few real friends I made outside of my immediate group. And it stinks.

So now, everyone is supposed to breathe a little easier, since our department is under budget and "safe for now." No one trusts it, though. Everyone is worried that out of the blue, we'll get another "we're still in deep mess" email from The Powers That Be, and we'll have to sweat out another round of layoffs, I mean, downsi--I mean, realignments. (It's like Ministry of Truth double-speak, man.)

What stinks is, when I should be standing firm as a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope and peace in the midst of turmoil, I'm letting myself get stressed out and freaked out like everyone else. This is the time my witness of Christ's work should be strongest, and once again, I fail at being salt and light. I'm a lousy disciple, man. Anyway, that's work.

Health

I'm back on the Weight Watchers wagon, for reals this time. I had my "hitting the wall" moment not too long ago, where simple chest pains (indigestion, as it turned out) led to a small panic attack. I'm tired of living in fear that I am, like that Tom Brokaw health video in "Concepts of Fitness" class says, "a walking timebomb, waiting to explode." (Any other OBU alums remember that video?)

So I'm on the diet wagon. I'm gonna wait to get back into regular exercise (gym-ness) until after I return from my trip next month. So I'm just trying to get used to the food plan again. But this is becoming an issue. See, when you have to stick to a strict diet, that's all you think about. I had a moment of frustration today as I realized that my waking thoughts are being consumed, so to speak, by worry over what I can eat and when. And that's just not healthy either. In fact, I seem to remember Jesus saying something about this issue, during some famous sermon. While his context was more worry than dieting, I think the principle can transfer over. Point is, I'm tired of obsessing about food, even if it's obsession over how i should limit my appetites rather than how to indulge them.

Eventually it will get better. I know it will because I've been through this part of the journey before. But I'm in this for the long haul, and I want to find the right mental pace as soon as possible.

Also, and I'll spare you graphic details, my digestive system is struggling to adjust to the new diet and schedule. Things are not happy in GI town. That's all I'm gonna say.

The first week started off strong diet-wise and then imploded almost immediately. This, the second week, has been much better, and I'm staying on point. Week 1, I lost 2 pounds (1.6, but who's counting? ...oh, right, me). I'm hoping to add a legit number to that one on Monday.

And for those curious, yes, the Big Loser Dave blog will be resurrected. Probably Tuesday or Wednesday. We'll see how things are going, schedule-wise.

Love

Would that I had loads of news in this regard. But you reap what you sow, right? And I haven't sown a whole heckuva lot in this area. (That sounds a little off, doesn't it.) Meaning, I haven't been pursuing a more active dating life, so nothing is really happening there. One date in April, with someone I wasn't super-interested in, but still wanted to get to know better. I don't think she was too impressed with me by date's end, but not for any specific faux pas as much as simple illusion-shattering meh-ness.

There were a few other interesting avenues I was considering, but it seems each of those has evaporated. And it's too bad.

I'm gonna be honest, real honest here: I'm lonely. Not in the friends/family sense, but in the companion sense. And I can't shake the fear that it's because I'm not who I should be at this point, that I'm missing opportunities for relationships that would have been good for me. (On the other hand, the whole issue of feeling "unacceptable" and "just not good enough" is one that I've been fighting for a while, because i don't think that it's healthy, at least in the forms I wrestle with. The lie of "never good enough" has kept me afraid and ashamed for much of my adult life.) So as I struggle with this issue, the temptation is to work, work, work to try to be "better," as if "better" weren't a moving target stapled to a rainbow's end. I know (in my head) that I should seek to find contentment being me and focusing on pleasing Jesus with my life, changing what i should for His sake and glory. Doesn't mean that I don't hate being home alone blogging on a Friday night instead of having a social life.

So I go through my days and weeks, ignoring the issue, staying busy. And when the sadness sneaks it, I humor it with music and films for a little while before shoving it back in its box and going on with life.

England

I'm going to England for ten days in July, as part of a church mission trip. After a day and a half of sightseeing in London, we'll take a train up to northern England, and spend the rest of the trip doing street evangelism and personal contact ministry on behalf of local churches. I'm both excited and nervous about this trip. This is my first mission trip, and rather than something easy like manual labor, we're actually going to be *gulp* missional.

As the days get closer, I find myself experiencing more opposition. (I'm not gonna get all "Bob Larson's telephone exorcisms" on you here, but let's be real--spiritual warfare is legit.) I've noticed that not only are my habitual sins and weak areas becoming harder to defend against, but I'm getting hit by all kinds of depressive thoughts. If you know me, you know that I tend toward an often melancholy mindset, and mild depression is not uncommon for me. But it seems that, in the past few weeks since i started thinking about and praying about this mission trip, I'm getting hit with full-on attack in this area. Thoughts of hopelessness, being overwhelmed, being unworthy and unloved. The full gamut. It's been hard to stay afloat this week. Which brings me to...

Emotion

It's clear my coping mechanisms were not working, when i had sudden outbursts of crying while driving down the highway on Monday--not just tears, but actually keening wails. As if my emotional pressure valve blew the seal and the lid blasted off for a few seconds at a time. I mean, it scared me a little bit, this sudden rush of emotion. There was clearly something wrong.

Has it gotten better? To some degree. I mean, I'm still dealing with a lot of the same stuff, but I'm not freaking out. I just feel so very burdened. Like all of this is too much to lift now. And the thing is, I know all the verses and all the doctrinal, theological truths about laying our burdens down at the foot of the cross, and casting our cares on He who cares for us, and all of that. But it's just hard to do in practice, when your workplace is cheery as a morgue, you're dealing with darkness without and within, and you're expected to be this example--the devoted son, the loving brother, the always-dependable employee, the wise and caring Bible study leader and spiritual advisor, the listening and comforting friend, and don't forget you're a follower of Jesus which means you have responsibilities as His disciple and ambassador.

And it's hard to stare down the totality of that list and not think that you're destined to let every single one of these people down. That you're not good enough. Sure to screw up somehow.

It's hard for me, anyway. I know each of you have a list like this. Maybe you handle yours better. Or maybe we're all basket-cases, and I haven't found a good way to hide my crazy yet.

Like I said, I know the spiritual things I ought to do in this situation. I know the platitudes. There are just some nights when it feels like it falls a little short.

Anyway.

This is the part of the show where I'm supposed to assure you that I'm fine, or I'll be fine, or don't worry about me. But tonight, I'll say this: I know I'm gonna be okay because no matter if I don't feel it, I know in my mind and heart that God has never and will never let me go, no matter how big of a complete screw-up i am. And eventually I'll find my even keel and my circadian rhythm in all this uncertainty. But right now, what i need is rest and grace and kindness. And baby, I ain't too proud to beg.

And the next time we chat, I'll probably be embarrassed by this outburst and deny it happened. Or I'll tell you that i was overreacting or being Emo-Dave, and I'll apologize profusely. But don't believe me fully. I'm sure I will think then that I was being a drama queen now, but this is me being honest right here.

Signing off. Gonna read my Bible and go to bed. Talk to you later. I'll be in a better mood next time. We'll talk about something amusing. It'll be nice. Stick around for that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

No, seriously, it will. Soon.

On the blog-docket: A post about the most famous Bible verse ever, and one about Twittering during church.

In the meantime, as a way to enter the weekend, how about a little...

FRIDAY VIDEO VIEW!!!

Today's "Video View" will focus on a single song and its diverse covers. The song for today is, "Pictures of You" by The Cure. (Stop groaning, I like that song.)

And here...we...go!

The Original:


The (Sort of) Rock Version:


The Dub/Remix Version:


The Electronica Version:


The ...Ukelele Version?!?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blogging will resume pretty soon.

In the meantime, I'd like to share with you one of the reasons I love the internet.

Amazon customer reviews can become brilliant comedy.

Seriously, read through them. Great stuff. Some of it may be a little off-color, but i didn't notice anything too offensive.

Thank you, internet. This made my afternoon.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Linky-Love: Best of April Edition

The 10 best links I've enjoyed in the last month and four days...

Best debut album: Trevor's band's new album. W00t! Fight the Fade!

Best TV Moment: Jeffster!

Best Onion Article: "I know there's a story in there somewhere..."

Best Movie Trailer: "This place has known magic..."

Best News for Neil Patrick Harris fans: Brace yourselves...

Best Newly-Discovered Web Comic: xkcd.com (the linked comic is one of my faves)

Best Swine Flu Info Site: Doihaveswineflu.org At least now we know for sure...

Best Use of a Journey Song: Seriously, worth every second.

...Wow, I can only think of 8. That's sad.

Meh. I'm rusty, gimme a break.

Well you thought you let go, but you're still hanging on...

Yes, I'm back.

Hope you had a good April. Mine was... yeah, it was good, too. In brief: my dad found a job. My job got crazy, and then better. Good times with family and friends. A brief but unnecessary foray into the dating world. God started teaching me a lot of things. I got sick but I don't have swine flu. ...And here we are.

And the big news is, I actually made it through the entire month without blogging or twitbooking. The experience was eye-opening in several ways.

And rather than bloviate about what I learned from the experience, I want to challenge you to do the same thing and find out for yourself. It'll do you good.

Anyway, this is my "checking-in" post. Coming up this week, a concert review (with pictures), a "fave-ten links of April" linky-love post, and maybe some posts of a more personal, spiritual nature. We'll see how the week goes.

Happy Monday, gang. Good to be back.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

May God's love be with you...always...

I guess I should begin with a few disclaimers, to alleviate suspicions and worries.

1. This isn't an April Fool's Joke. Obviously my timing is perfect, but I promise I'm not going to reneg on this tomorrow. Though, as it happens, this came about as I was considering attempting a "quitting blogging" prank.

2. I'm not closing up shop forever. I will be back before you know it. Promise and pinky-swear.

===

Okay, so here's the deal.

I realized that April Fool's Day was approaching, and contemplated pulling a huge, overly-dramatic scam that I was quitting the internet, or at least the blogging world. Maybe I was sick of blog drama. Maybe I was getting in trouble at work. Maybe I had decided to switch my full online focus to Twit/book. Some kind of justification for closing up shop on PBB, before revealing in the comments that it was all a joke.

But the more I considered what I would say in my "final post," the sadder I became. The fact is, I'm likely gonna stop blogging eventually. There will come a point in my life when I'll do more living than commenting, and hopefully when I'll have someone I can share most of this stuff with, so that I don't need to dump all of my inanities onto the online populace. Maybe I won't ever get tired of blogging. But somehow I know that this thing we have, it's gonna change in some fundamental way one day. This made me sad.

I began thinking about why this made me so sad. Obviously this is a question I think about pretty regularly. But my new fascination with Twitter has brought some questions to a head. Namely: why do I (ab)use social networking sites? Is it actually about networking socially? Can you really call a 140-character @statement social?

And, once posing the question to myself, I had to admit that I use these technologies--whether consciously or no--for really narcissistic purposes. I tweet, I "like," I comment because I think I'm clever or have insight, and I want everyone to see that and tell me so. I check back to see if people respond to what I have to say. I wait with bated breath for blog comments.

I'm an insufferable egoist, in other words. And these technologies, however fun and interesting, feed that addiction.

I talked to my friend Amanda about this yesterday (via IM, natch), and she suggested a break. A fast from self-motivated, self-promoting social networking sites. No personal blogging, no Facebook, no Twitter. Maybe commenting on other people's sites, but even that, I'm not so sure about. Because it's still about me. The insistence that what I have to say is valuable, important, or clever.

So I'm out of here for a month. Off the blog grid. Won't respond to TwitBook either. If you want to contact me directly, please do so through AIM or email. If you don't know either of mine, ask around. A little bit of detective work should find them though.

[I just realized I'm going to miss the Fifth Annual Embrace the Lame Day on the 28th. Wow. That hurts. My own fake holiday, that I got strangers from around the world to participate in over the last four years. Ugh. Well, maybe it's just as well.]

I don't know what else to say. Maybe this makes sense to you. Maybe not. Doesn't matter. It makes sense to me.

I'll be back on May 1, hopefully with new insight or at least something edifying to say. From that point on, we'll see how things go.

I love you guys. Yeah, I can say that without having met you. Be good.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One More Linky-Love

One more for the road.
  • Want a free membership to the NRA?
  • Sheep + LED lights = Living Art
  • It's almost Easter--time for PEEPS!
  • Rhys Ifans may be joining the cast for the final Harry Potter film. I wonder if he'll have any scenes involving suspect yogurt. (That's a Notting Hill reference, philistine.)
  • "When they came for my dish detergent, I said nothing..." (Alternate line: "When Cascade is outlawed, only outlaws will use Cascade.")
  • Today, teleprompter. Tomorrow, Skynet. Just you watch.
  • A fun video for both Twitterers and anti-Twitterers. (Of course, if you twitter and follow me, you'll have already seen this.)
  • Related: The lovely Ingrid Michaelson's impromptu song about Twitter.
  • Jason Segel is working on the newest Muppet movie script, but he already has his critics.
  • An AIG exec quit a week ago. His resignation letter is here. Good for him.
  • My favorite version of the classic silent film "Metropolis" is on DVD? Awesome.
  • Random BSG links: Finale review from Time, TV Guide recap, Ron Moore answers questions, Adama discusses the "Plan"-ned TV movie, cool behind-the-scenes interview with Starbuck, and Ellen Tigh comments pre-finale.
  • Lex Luthor wants a bailout. (Funny, but with bleeped language.)
  • Best sandwiches in America? We'll just have to verify this...
  • For the gamers: Top 25 video game spoilers.
  • Neat! New source for indie Christian music--IndieHeaven.
  • Abandoned blog post idea: to copy this article, and change all the references to refer to Guantanemo Bay, just to see what the reaction was gonna be.
  • I'm celebrating "Record Store Day!" Who's with me? (Conveniently, "Vinyl Edge Records" is just around the corner from me!)
  • Neat article on indie filmmaking in a rough economy.
  • Here's an article about "Starbucks spirituality"--reaching out to people in the real world.
  • Five reasons to study theology.
  • Am I a Christian hipster? From the looks of it...probably not. Aside from our mutual feelings on Pat Robertson, TBN, and christian kitsch, the hipsters and I seem to part ways on more than a few things. The definition of hipster here seems heavily Emergent-based, and I'm not down with those kids doctrinally. What can I say, i'm old. Put Christian-hipsterism on the "Murtaugh" list for me.
  • I kinda love this site. Even more than Lark News. Especially for articles like this.
  • Here's a great word about the current economic climate from Pastor Mark. (Related to this, I heard someone on the radio Sunday night say that this economic downturn could be a great blessing for the Western church because it will help us reorient and recalibrate our understanding of prosperity, giving, and contentedness. I couldn't agree more.)
  • A really touching article about the tension of holding to a Biblical view of homosexuality while struggling with those desires. Sexual temptation is a sin-nature problem, no matter its form or kind. I believe there are Christians who really struggle with same-sex attraction as part of their old-nature wiring, and it's our job as the children of God to provide love and support to our brothers and sisters in this struggle.
  • Great article on Bible reading plans for slackers. That's me. It's prolly you too. I'm starting this today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Men, This is for You (Us)

Men, this video's over an hour long, but we desperately need this. Sit down, brace yourself, and watch.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

End-of-Week Entertainment

I'll be gone tomorrow, so here's something fun for you to do.

An imagination exercise:

1) Take a poor man's Michael Rappaport.

2) Make him a conservative/libertarian.

3) Make him insane.

4) Make him alarmingly angry and prone to fits of screaming.

The result? You should have something like this guy.

Every video of his I watch, I find myself agreeing to some degree, and still be terribly frightened.

Happy weekend, gang.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Video View: Wear Yer Green Edition

You knew it was coming. But I have to do it. It's like the law of the internet.

(Language warning on this first one, FYI. But i can't NOT use it.)








Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekend Linky Love

Gotta clear out the links, so some of these may be old--but if you haven't seen them, they're new to you, right?
And finally, an incredibly moving poem:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On the Subject of Diet (and non-diet) Food

I'm experiencing a renewed commitment to taking care of myself over the last week or so. I'll tell you more about it later. But in the meantime, I feel I should share with you one of my great weaknesses in the area of cuisine. That way, y'all can pray for me. Or buy me nuggets. Either way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten Signs You Watch Too Much "Battlestar Galactica"

10. You realized that calling it "BSG" rather than the full name saves you an average of ten hours a week--because you mention it that much.
9. You're simultaneously attracted to and afraid of blonde women in red dresses. (More than normal, I mean.)
8. The words "frakking" and "oh my gods" escape your lips on a regular basis.
7. You size up your coworkers and decide who would be the best CAG in your workplace. (Obviously, it's you, with your clear leadership skills and killer instinct.)
6. Your Facebook profile list of favorite bands includes "Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny."
5. You've started wearing black tanktops over your tee-shirts.
4. You wrote in "Laura Roslin" on last year's presidential ballot.
3. You cut all the corners off your note paper. And post-its. And books.
2. You end mealtime prayers with "So say we all." And then repeat it, louder and louder, until everyone at the table is shouting it.
1. You write a top-ten list that only a handful of your friends will appreciate, because you're geeking out about only having three more hours of the series, starting with this Friday's episode.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I've got nothing to give you.

I'm overwhelmed almost to the point of total mental shutdown. I'm being pulled at and demanded of in every direction, and I'm just drained dry.

I can't do anything for you for the rest of the week, and probably some of the next. Pray for me, those of you who pray.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm not the only one / Staring at the sun...

A radio station in New York is playing 24 hours of U2 today. You should listen. Because they are awesome.

I'm busy today, making up for yesterday's day off, but I'll try to drop some links on you over the next day or so. Take it easy, gang.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday night. Eleven thirty-three.

Another bleary-eyed post? Sure, why not.

I didn't ask the woman to coffee. I had an opportunity, but hesitated. And we all know what happens to he who hesitates.

He plays online scrabble with friends on late Sunday nights. (t's a blast, but still.)

...

I suddenly want to write really sappy love poetry. Something about missed chances. But not the one you're thinking about--I'm now inspired by something else, something i've felt for a while now. I'll spare you the bother of reading it; it wouldn't have been very good, I would have overshared or made it too obviously about the person who would have inspired it, and I would have eventually been embarrassed and taken it down. I'm cutting out the middle man, here, people. For you. Everything I do, I do it for you. Just like Bryan Adams.

Point being, I sometimes long for the fork in the road i chose not to take, seven years ago. But who knows how life now would have been different if that particular butterfly had fluttered by in a different way. A different sneeze, a different stampede. A different Dave.

So i don't wish I could change the past. Just the present. Just the present.

("So why don't you?" Dave's insane married friends say, in low-lit spots around the stage.)

Too many impracticalities. Plus, if I just outright told this person, "Look kiddo, my future is still up in the air, I know i'm not much to look at and my very best quality may just be my ability to make you laugh, but no matter what, I'm fairly confident in the fact that I'm in love with you, and want to make you happy for the rest of my natural days," if I said all that, I'd be met with embarrassed laughter, and a swift rebuttal which would dropkick my bruised ego back to the farthest corners of the friend-zone. Might as well just stay right here and mull.

Just cutting out the middle-man here.

This post doesn't seem as upbeat as the last one. Apparently lack of sleep isn't the leading factor in blog-optimism.

Geez, sometimes these blogs are the textual equivalent of drunk-dialing. Better go before I start naming names.

Goodnight, internets. Tomorrow will be better, I promise.