a realistic dose of cynicism

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The sound (or sight) of music.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course on the history of music going back all the way to… creation, you’ll be very disappointed. (Side note: I wonder what Eden sounded like. We all know what it looks like because we had Big Picture Bibles as kids… we see Eden as lush fields and green pastures, perfectly maintained orchards bearing every fruit, when animals were all vegetarians… but anyway.)

I’ve been using last.fm to record what music I listen to on my computer. I’ve been using it since March 2005, and have thus generated 188 weeks of data so far, of what I listened to and when I listened to it.

I recently found this tool called LastGraph, which pulls data from last.fm and visualizes it in graph format. The resulting plot is below… and it’s quite interesting. It makes me reminisce about the different seasons of my life and how they were reflected by the music I listened to. (click for big version)

Some interesting tidbits:

  • I’ve been to a few concerts in my life, Switchfoot (fall 2004), David Crowder Band (fall 2005), OK Go (spring 2007), Anberlin (fall 2008). Each of those concerts is followed by an explosion in listening to that particular artist. No surprises there.
  • The bands I’ve listened to consistently for the longest time are Coldplay and David Crowder Band. Their CDs are still in my car.
  • When a particular artist piques my interest, they’re all I listen to for about 4-6 months. Then I get tired of them and don’t listen to them again for a while. For instance… Mae, Coheed and Cambria, Death Cab for Cutie, The Format, Switchfoot, The Fray. Listened to them non-stop and then got really sick of them. Especially Coheed and Cambria, after realizing that the lead vocalist is a guy with a really high pitched voice.
  • After traumatic or otherwise sad events in my life, there’s an explosion in the amount of music I listen to. Usually including a lot of David Crowder. I wonder why that is… oh wait, God is awesome.
  • I listened to Imogen Heap for a long time because I thought she was actually a very talented musician. And then the series finale of the OC aired, followed by the infamous SNL skit. Sigh.

Anyway, I love visualizing massive volumes of data.

/end random tired Sunday thought.

okay time to study. for TWIGS.

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Filed under: music, , ,

Recession watch, part two.

“We’re in a recession.”
-Jared

Some may say we’re in a recession of sorts. But today… well, I beg to differ. *begs* Today, as you should know, was BCEC’s Unity Celebration Event. Or just “Unity” for short.

“Hey, are you going to Unity?”
— “Yeah, I just made this batch of almond dofu to bring.”
“Okay, see you there!”
-overheard on the T

To the untrained observer, it may appear that Unity is an exclusive nightclub. Nightclub? Not so much. Exclusive? Definitely. Exclusive to humans.

But for God to bring 1,000+ people and copious amounts of food, drink, and dessert to a CASTLE! replete with moats and windows that archers can shoot out of? We’re definitely NOT in a recession of any kind. Want more proof?

photo

Yeah. Does that look like a recession to you? But anywho, let’s update the Recession Scoreboard.

Recession scoreboard.

[ 1 ] “Yup, we’re definitely in a recession. Receding, if you will.”
[ 1 ] “What recession? I just bought this bag of chips. More like concession.

Filed under: uncategorized,

Recession watch, part one.

Today I got a shipment from Sweetwater. It’s where I order all my music-related stuff. I could go down to Guitar Center and pick one up yes, but Sweetwater is generally cheaper, and if I can wait a few days, shipping is free, too. So I picked up another set of strings and a guitar strap for Sasha.

In the box they usually include a Sweetwater catalog (which is pretty hefty, a few hundred pages) and a few handfuls of assorted candy, like Smarties, Atomic Fireballs, Life Savers… good quality candy. But I open the box and lo and behold,

img_0644

Not only is there no catalog… but there are only six! pieces of candy.

It’s confirmed, gentlemen… We’re in a recession.

edit: this candy isn’t very good either.

edit 2:

Recession scoreboard.

[ 1 ] “Yup, we’re definitely in a recession. Receding, if you will.”
[ 0 ] “What recession? I just bought this bag of chips. More like concession.

Filed under: uncategorized,

The brighter side of being sick.

As some of you know I’ve recently come down with a… virus. Not exactly bubonic plague hacking death, but it’s been fairly serious. And painful. In fact, I’ve been WingFH the last few days. Actually, since Monday… and since today is Thursday already, and I’ve been at home all week, I won’t go in tomorrow, Friday. Which means it’s impossible to have a pop quiz.

Due to my sickness, I’ve been bed-ridden for unconscionable hours of the day. I also haven’t been able to eat solid food. It turns out that being sick is great for losing weight. In fact, if I were to write a book… “How to Lose Weight” or “Losing Weight for Dummies” or “Acing Weight Loss” it’d have one page:

___________________________________________________________________

How to Lose Weight
Chapter 1

1. Get sick.

___________________________________________________________________

Know what else being sick is good for? Well let me tell you; I’ve been sick for a week and I’ve had time to think about these things… heh heh…

  • Turning your friends back into acquaintances! Oh come on, it’s not that bad! After one week trapped in the annals of your own home, you’ll have a chance to get to know them all over again!
  • Losing weight. If you’ve been trying to drop those pounds… or those inches… just visit your local dairy farmer and get yourself some salmonella. They won’t bite! They will, however, wreak havoc on the internals of your digestive system and make you curse the day you were born. But just look at me! My pants literally fall down all by themselves!
  • Getting your skin ready for that nice summer tan. I mean, if your friends are gonna notice that tan, they’re gonna need something to compare it to. In your case, it’ll be your pale, ghastly pastiness.
  • Brushing up on those classics so you can merely have the appearance of being a cultured individual. I mean classics like Shakespeare, Joshua Harris, and let’s not forget 24. I say “Damn it” a lot.
  • Trying out facial hair. I mean, if no one’s gonna see your face for an entire week, there won’t be anyone to laugh at your patchy sideburns or your hereditary polka-dotted half-beard.

I’m sure I’ve left out something…

Filed under: uncategorized, , ,

Your love is strong.

by Jon Foreman, lead vocalist of Switchfoot, on his solo EP Spring and Summer,

two things You told me:

that You are strong,
and You love me… yes, You love me…

Filed under: music, ,

what God wants.

At heart, we’re really impatient people. That’s why we microwave our food (or end up eating ramen), that’s why we send e-mails… that’s even why Facebook and GChat exist. We’d much rather check up on someone by opening Firefox and typing and clicking versus calling or meeting up with them. So many facets of our lives are fueled by impatience. I could name a few others. For example, I looked up how to solve the Rubik’s cube instead of trying to figure it out for my own (it may not have taken me 26 years), I drive through the express car wash rather than doing a much better job by hand, and I hate traffic.

I often pray for patience, for myself, and for others. I admit sometimes it’s one of the things on my laundry list of “good/spiritual-sounding” words, along with faith, hope, trust, wisdom, clarity, love. Patience to let go of our own desires, patience to wait on God’s will and God’s timing. Patience to lay our own wishes and wants down at God’s feet, and let him lead and guide.

I, too, often wish I weren’t single, that I’d have someone to share life and love with. Someone to sacrifice for, someone to care for, someone I could serve. But the problem is that I want it… now. I’m not really a patient person. Naturally, I would rather not wait on God’s timing and on his good and perfect provision. I’m of the opinion that if you want something, you should go get it. Instant gratification. “If you want to be in a romantic relationship with someone, go get ‘im (go get ‘er).”

Is that what I really want though? Is that what God wants for me? …maybe. But I definitely know what he DOES want, and it’s for me to love him more, and thus, obey him more. He wants me to grow in my walk with him. He wants me to be rooted in his word. He wants me to cultivate godly, loving relationships with his children, men and women. He wants every relationship to be a chance for me to show God’s love to others — the selfless action and obedience in love. Not the often-selfish feeling of love, but the seldom-selfless obedience of love. “Love and serve others as Christ loved you first,” God tells me.

And if this selfless action and obedience of love draws me closer to a human being that I might marry someday? All the better. But I know that first it’ll draw me nearer to Him who loved me first.

Love is patient.
-1 Corinthians 13:4

Filed under: thoughts on christianity, , ,

the lost retreat: the choices we make. (UPDATED)

the video that never got shown at retreat this year, due to unforseen circumstances. Condolences to Pastor Ted and his family.

Filed under: uncategorized

sugar is tweet and so are you.

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