Sunday, January 31, 2010

...And I can't sleep

It's 1:30am on my weekend. I got back from a wonderful trip to Atlanta earlier. Lauren and I went to the Centennial Park ice rink (on the day before it closed until next year,) which was a lot of fun. Lauren, turns out, is a pretty good skater. The ice there hadn't ever been zamboni'd, it seemed, so neither of us were able to really let our skating skills take off. It was a great time, though. I really need to go to sleep, but I kind of really don't want to. I feel like there's a lot going on in my life that needs some thought. Not least of which is the fact that I just submitted my Application for enrollment at Georgia State University in the fall. I'm excited about it. But I'm facing a lot of anxiety over it as well. Talking to Lauren earlier tonight, I realized that I haven't made any type of big, future-slash-life-career decisions like this since I decided to join the Navy. Since then, everything's been happening on its own, almost. I was sent to Monterey, given Arabic, and sent to Augusta to finish my enlistment. The idea of planning and decision making kind of terrifies me, due to my lack of exposure. I have an idea of where I want my life to go, but what I "want" hasn't mattered in six years, so the very idea of control is kind of new. Many people that want to get out of the service re-enlist at the last minute, I've come to find out. I always marveled at that idea as I've known several of these people. They're all set to be out of the military, only to decide to stay in for another four years for no apparent reason. I think I see why, now. It really is overwhelming and foreboding and terrifying. This life of choices and decisions and responsibilities out there is scary. I sat staring at the "submit" button on my online application to GSU, going through all of the pros and cons. "What if I get rejected and miss my chance," "what if this isn't the right school for me," "what if I'm supposed to be somewhere other than Atlanta..." It was hard. I was, for the first time in a long time, faced with the possibility that I might make a career move that not only would be wrong, but might also land me in a place where I shouldn't be. I'm still not completely confident that I'm doing the right thing, but I feel like I am. Lauren was gracious enough to talk through it with me at 1 in the morning, which helped to calm my mind. And, I'm sure that god is in control of all of this; that He will be faithful to me in keeping me in the places he has for me. I am excited about the prospect of living in Atlanta, regardless. Being close to her will be wonderful, of course. Though my prayer is that she wouldn't be my only reason. A new city with coffee shops and shows and pick up soccer and international food is sooo appealing to me. And, like I said, God has a design for my life and that is what I want to facilitate. I guess we'll see.


photo by Lauren, btw

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by Mondo D.
Lauren and I went photo'ing when she came in town this weekend. Here's my favorite of the trip. It's a rusted out greet trash can up close. The color is pretty awesome looking, I think.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Mirror is Harder to Hold by Jon Foreman

You could stay a while longer
We could stay up and talk about last summer
We could go down to the water
Watch the sunset going under

It's not that I'm a stranger to lonely moments
I've had my share of those
Please don't go, please don't leave me alone
A mirror is so much harder to hold

I could try and point the finger
But the glass points in my direction
Sure you've got your sharp edges
But my wounds are for my own reflection

You've got nothing I could ever hold against you
I've got fatal flaws to call my own
Please don't go, please don't leave me alone
A mirror is so much harder to hold

I met a man who's looking for perfection
Said he'd never met a girl who's good enough
His eyes are getting old like they'd love to love again
Such a lonely man, such a lonely man

I see him in my reflection
Taking steps towards me these days
So I hold you that much closer
And pray we don't throw this away

It's not that I'm a man who couldn't love you
I know what these arms are for
Please don't go, please don't leave me alone
A mirror is so much harder to hold

A mirror is so much harder to hold
Please don't go, please don't leave me cold
A mirror is so much harder to hold

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kitchen Nightmares

In a glorious turn of events, we've started to receive a live stream of BBC America on our computers at work. This has brought me into contact with a show called Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. The premise is that this world-renowned chef, Gordon Ramsay, travels England and North America, visiting dying restaurants and coaching them back to success. I've come to love this guy, as at first he's really a heartless, confrontational British asshole. Half of his dialogue has to be bleeped out, in true cockney fashion. As the show progresses, though, we realize that he really does care for the people he's helping. I've been trying to figure out what his appeal is, outside of the Simon Cowell meets Paula Abdul, "set-your-hair-on-fire-because-he-cares-so-much" persona. I think a big part of it is in the people (restaurant owners, chefs, etc.) that Chef Ramsay is there to help. As most ordinary people do, they all have some distinctly unlikeable characteristics about them. They are arrogant, whining, coniving children oftentimes, that refuse to admit their insuffecieny and accept their dependence on someone else. They represent things I don't like about myself, often. It's therefore so easy to watch the show and make up dialogue that would "put them in their place." I tell myself, "if I was there, I'd tell that guy he's an idiot, that he needs to grow up, etc."
But, therein lies the beauty. All those comments that I tell myself I'd make, Chef Ramsay makes. He picks some impressive fights on the basis of truth with people that need to be confronted; fights about a) their inability to acheive whatever they think they're capable of, and b) the inherent dependence on others that life brings with it. He calls men out for being babies and making excuses. He calls women out for being too emotional. He calls out young people for thinking they're invincible. He calls out old people for their refusal to change. It's like Gordon Ramsay is this alter-ego that I have that goes out and tells people what they need to hear, regardless of how they will receive it, and regardless of how they will feel about me afterwards.
I wonder, often, if I enjoy this show so much because I can hide behind it, in my fear of confrontation, and feel like a strong, courageous man vicariously through Mr. Ramsay. Have we become a culture that is too concerned with how people will perceive us that we refuse to shed light on the truth that we see? Am I so insecure that I have to live out truth-saying in mere fantasy through a streaming television show? Or is truth-saying not something that I should aspire to, outside of deepening relationships with people I care about? All I know for sure is that I love this show.

Monday, January 11, 2010

While I'm not an advocate of pop music, this mash-up song by DJ Earworm is something that I like. I wish it was around for me to study during last semester's YL club season, though. Keeping up with what songs kids listen to is hard work for a lame 24 year old white guy, like myself. Anyway, song and video:

DJ Earworm - United States of Pop 2009

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Be Not This

A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read ‘The Lost Symbol’, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.
— The Economist (via mudd up, peterwknox)

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Year, New Cast, New Photos, New Post

As the title would imply, it's a season of new birth here. I went in to the doctor today, expecting the cast on my left arm to be removed for good, only to find out that I was going to be in it for another four weeks, bring my total to 13 weeks. i should be bothered by it, but at this point, it's kind of whatever. Life moves forward whether or not I can pick things up with my left hand.
Moving along, I got to take Lauren back to StL for some day-after-christmas festivities. We had a lot of fun bumming around the Lou in a whirlwind trip that wore us both out pretty well. We attended a week-long Missions Conference called Urbana down at America's center, which was fascinating. A great time of growth and revelation that Jesus had lined up pretty well for both of us. Still no answers on what the future looks like, but the conference was a refreshing reminder of His control and perfect plan for my (and our) life(s). But, yeah. I'm back at work, Lau's back in AtL, the world is falling back into place. Happy 2010. Photographs of the last couple of weeks are up at the flickr site. Peace and love.