Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So I am already tardy in my blogging everyday experiment. I am okay with this because I already feel a bit overwhelmed with this quarter but I know everything will fall into place. I just need to make sure I follow through with my obligations and get a routine. My routine generally includes checking my email 14 times a day. When I did yesterday I received an email that informed me that I won tickets to see Midlake. An indie band from the land of Texas.I had heard a few of their songs, enjoyed them, and was generally excited that I had won something, because it is rare when i do.

What I didn't realize was how laid back their overall vibe was. It was a mix of Travis and Fleetwood Mac. A 70s throwback with a consistent beat, vocal harmonies, and a bit of a groove. Sometimes his intonation reminded me of Rufus Wainwright and I thought that was lovely. The evening was pleasant. As I said I felt overwhelmed by all that needs to happen this week and the weeks coming up so I thought I shouldn't attend this event but then I realized how often it is when I win something. I don't, so I thought I would go, have a pleasant evening, and try something new of accepting that my life is my own and I can choose to make it what I want it to be. So I walked in a bit late, went out to the roof of the Henry Fonda and found myself engaged in a conversation about Politics and the need and desire for change.

I love music and the music community. It's an interesting occasion of people from all over the place engaged in the same experience. This might be the only time this group of people are all there together engaged in sonic vibrations that could be a unique experience or sometimes a drop of a name of who and what you saw. I feel lucky for the opportunity. I love to people watch, to see who is there, and to see who is into it and who is not. I love to watch these musicians play. When the song Young Bride was played, the crowd got really excited, and this small smile appeared on the lead singers face. Its exciting to see that they feel acknowledged, that someone recognizes there art, and in some way their art has impacted their lives.

If you are interested and want to know who is coming to the Los Angeles are check out this website: Has all that you need to know about upcoming shows in the area. Great resource.

Also this weekend there is a festival at the Barnsdall Art Part and the Echoplex. They are giving away free tickets for Devotchka (the music from Little Miss Sunshine) and We are Scientist. If you are interested in attending and want free passes let me know and I can send you the email.

Yesterday's new releases are:
Iron and Wine: Shepherd's Dog
Devandra Banhart: smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Jose Gonzalez: In Our Nature
The Weakerthans: Reunion Tour

I often find my music by email from the distributor and online store: Insound (

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reading and Writing ( I don't do math, this IS Seminary)

I remember getting ready for the first day of school growing up (this is not a picture from my childhood, somebody elses). It was always exciting thinking of what was going to happen that year. Lindsay and I would get dressed in our fall clothes, even if it was still warm, and take our pictures on the front porch. It was hard to see our faces as our glasses were monstrous and took over our faces. Taking a look at those pictures reminds me of what it means to start afresh, start anew.

The first day of school is/was today. Fuller is an interesting place to be for a first day. A bunch of adults trying to find their way through the little place we call Fuller. It's interesting the feelings in the air when it's the first day. Some people dread it, knowing they have worked hard all summer and the possible week or two break just wasn't enough. There are others that have their maps in their one hand and the quizzical looks plastered across their faces. I don't think that I have been nervous but excited to start another year here and know that there is not much more time to go.

This year should be interesting. I only have three more quarters and should put that cap and gown on and prove to family and those who may ever see my resume that i have accumulated debt for the sake of knowing and understanding postmodern theory and theology. I am TAing again this quarter for a class that is taught by my favorite professor, Barry Taylor. It focuses on Youth Culture, Postmodern Theology, and Film. I am excited because I am able to use a lot of the research from Beauty From Within to help work on the Youth Culture side of things as well as trying to continue to be stretched by the Postmodern conversation. I decided to do my classes as directed reading which means all I am doing is reading a whole lot and trying to make connections with culture and theology.

I am happy that its the first day. It just shows how beautiful that life continues and life moves on. I am learning a lot and growing by what I am putting into this degree. Because really nothing just places itself on your lap. The first day school doesn't mean that my life drastically changes but it does mean that I continue to move forward and fit the good fight.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A new start, a new look

The Fall Quarter starts on Monday. I have a lot to do this quarter and a lot to read and I thought I would try a little experiment and try to blog everyday during the week trying to follow certain cultural trends and add some of my thoughts and maybe a link or two. The goal is to continue writing. I need to practice so it can become clearer and I don't have the words I think preface every sentence.

I hope it to be something like this:
Monday--Something about our culture that makes me stop, think, and wonder why that is

Tuesdays--New Music (something that may be new to all ears or just new to mine. This might be the excuse I need to listen to more music or go through my collection and listen to things over again. I promise this won't be all about Wilco).

Wednesdays--Theology (Some thoughts on faith and why it interacts with culture or at least why I see it happening)

Thursday-- Film (Something I have seen or interacted with). I think this might be the toughest thing for me. I don't watch movies that often so this might be the opportunity I need to sit back, watch, and interact with something in this aspect of culture.

Friday--Random thoughts (maybe a picture, maybe a word, maybe this might be about art)

The new look I think separated my thoughts a bit better. I don't know what will come about this. I hope I follow through.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Fourth

For the past week I have indulged into the writing of Chuck Klosterman. I was first introduced to him by his writing in Spin and indulging into his quirky ideas in the book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. He is an everyday (wo)man's cultural critique. He has a way to express an idea that sometimes would look at my life and say 'of course you have that idea, you would be stupid not to.' He poses some of the most absurd questions but they let you sit back and reflect about human nature and when a similar problem arises within culture you oddly have solved the worlds problems and able to go on with your day.

Last week I picked up the paperback version of Chuck Klosterman IV. This is a collection of his essays and articles that could be found in array of magazines (Spin, Esquire, ESPN) or in the Newspaper (Akron Beacon, New York Times). I plunged head first into the book and sat back with laughter with many of the articles. Some of my favorite articles were his question of either the brilliance or stupidity of Brittany Spears (she doesn't see herself as a role model or used for her sexual appeal but claims to be an artist), The genius (literally towards their quest of education) of Radiohead, and his introduction to the man behind the hip-hop solo act the Streets.

My favorite article in the collection is his reflection on Johnny Carson. He reflects that there will never be another "Johnny Carson." Not there will ever be a great funny guy who will entertain a populace during late night TV (Conan). "The reason he was important was because he was the last universally shared icon of modern popular culture." This is so right on. The rest of the article reflects upon the movement of our culture and technology. We have an over abundance of culture and Johnny was the last cultural icon that EVERYBODY knew about. One can debate that but will you win? You might argue Hey Ya! from Outkast. "Hey Ya! was the most universally appreciated song of the past ten years, but it was sill a niche phenomenon, in order to know about OutKast, you had to care about music." This is something I need to remember all the time. We are not really one nation with one ideal anymore but we all take different paths to get to some sort of truth or meaning or significance.

I love me some Chuck. The book is broken into three sections. The first being Things that are True (includes footnotes and funny intros before each little ditty), the second Things that Might be True (have the funniest odd questions before the columns), and the Third is a fiction piece; Something That Isn't True at All.

I loved this book. It is something that pushed me to be a better writer. I hope that I can continue to read great pieces about culture and move my writing to being cynical, witty, or ask really great questions about our culture. I hope my sentences getting shorter but pack more punch. I want to not write the phrase: I think, and I want to writing on a consistent basis.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Graduation (a bit edited)

Last week i walked out of work a friend of mine had pulled out front and yelled that I should step into his automobile and hear the piano work of Chris Martin on the new Kanye West album, Graduation. Post listen this friend let me borrow the record and I think it's quite brilliant.

The record is really laid back. The tracks are really mellow yet hold interest by cutting lyrics. I spent some time in the massive liner notes. Each track having who produced it and where it was recorded. You were probably bored reading that last statement now imagine someone attempting to read a fold out of four pages. What I noticed is that he samples songs from the late 70s and early 80s. Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Can can be found as samples and I think it really sets the tone for the rest of the record. There is a lack of songs that want me to avoid messin with Gold Diggers or remind me that he walks with Jesus. This is the biggest critique of this record but should one compare the present with the past? Does it have to have the drop rockin beats to be considered a great hip hop record?

The recod starts with a really slow intro "Good Morning" that sets the tone for the rest of the record. I wondered why he would set up a record that slow. I remember graduating being the scariest and most mellow time in my life. It wasn't what I thought all the other graduation songs promised it would be. It was scary, hard, and wasn't what i thought it was going to be. I am still working in a Coffee Shop months away from my Graduate degree. I am doing the best that I can with what I have. Which is really close to the best song on the record sampling Daft Punk's Stronger and writing his lyrics on top of that. "Whatever won't kill me / will only make me stronger." What I think he did to this song is what Ryan Adams did to Oasis's Wonderwall, West was able to take a great song and make you feel the essence or flavor of the song. I think you get a great use of the song and makes it literally stronger (no pun intended). This is the radio hit and I did hear it pretty much every time I turned on the radio but I think it's a really fun song. Many are saying that there are no huge hits but I would disagree with that sentiment and suggest you give this song another listen. The video below is for Stronger. Make sure you give it a listen (or two).

Other songs on this album are REALLY laid back. Like I mentioned earlier he uses Chris Martin from Coldplay which I think is quite lovely. Chris gives the song "Homecoming" a pretty simple beat. It's very Common-eque. Which if you didn't realize Kanye is the producer for his records. Mos Def is also used as well as Lil' Wayne, these are not the strongest songs on the album but still worth listening to. I really like this record and if you aren't really into hip hop this might still but a record you might like in your collection (no matter how big or small it may be). I love it. Give it a go.

On another note I was also given the 50 cent record. I didn't even listen to it. I was still trying to injest this one. Why would I want to put myself into a record that I am sure will tell me why he is so tough and why the ladies want him. BORED....I know that's what it would be. He was getting a hand job in the liner notes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why we Fight?

This weekend I wanted to catch up on films that i have been told to see and never had the time (or the money) to watch them. On Tuesday I woke up late and decided I had a few hours before work. Why We Fight is a documentary about the Iraq war and why we would have gone. It focused on how America has become a military-industrial complex.

When it was all over and I wiped the tears away I realized that is literally was 9/11 and we still haven't weapons of mass destruction, we still are fighting, we still our sending troops (though today Bush finally has decided four and half years later that it's time to bring some home), children and civilians are broken and dying.

There were some points that really struck me.
Dwight D. Eisenhower made a push in his farewell speech to be wise of power and the use of military force.
The government in this Administration has not heeded that wisdom
American government makes money from war.
Becacuse American corporations call the shots
The war was pre planned it seems like and the 9/11 attack seems like a good time to attack Iraq rather than the Taliban.
That this new technology may not be what it's cracked up to be and more civilians are dying than the planned targeted attacks.

I found myself not so much angry but really sad. Sad that are greed is getting the best of our pride and our hunger for power. The greed is blinding us. We can put a lot of labels on what is going on but deep down we never see the full or whole truth. They are little half truths and the lies are finally becoming exposed. "We (Americans) have this idea that we have lots of information available. There's so much that's not available and so much of the truth, quote, unquote, is obscured by political actors who don't want the world to see what they're doing." The sad part is Bush won't be around to clean up the mess. I guess that isn't so much sad but somebody else now has to clean up the mess.

I am sad that we quest as a Nation for individualism. We start things not for the good of all people but what's good for corporations wallets. Will we grow closer to peace or wholeness? Can we even dream that one day power isn't the overwhelming choice? I hope that we can see life for all people. That hierarchies are no longer valid and class systems segregate and keep others down. I pray that our nation one day can move towards seeing the value in those that are different from us and that we can see the beauty in all life has to offer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the time is 2:22

I am back to the blog. It has been awhile. I would like to say I was busy but it is also muddled with being lazy. Once that summer quarter final paper was turned in my lovely computer was more of a burden than something I wanted to procrastinate with. I find the busier I am the more I can squeeze into my day.

Because of this I have been watching a lot of movies. I can so I will. I have been on a Stranger than Fiction kick lately. There is something so beautiful in the story that resonates with me. I don't know if people know but I live in patterns. Not the OCD kind of patterns but if I start something and I like it I will repeat them until I am so tired of doing the same activity. It's alot like Will Farrell's character. Not that I do that exact same thing everyday but how I limit things in my life because I end up doing the same things. I know I am not boring but sometimes I can be.

I love this film because I feel like it's moving me outside of my safety net or patterns. I am moving to take chances in my personal life. My academinc life moves without the threats of these patterns because there is a lot of diversity in the writing and the reading. The personal needs a move, a push of sorts. This weekend I woke up to see Sideways on TV. I love this movie because it has some of the same similar undertones but it includes the passion for wine. Something that I love though don't know much about. It's the story of patterns of thinking and how we can so easily get stuck in them for the sake of ease. I think I vented about that topic not to long ago...I think traditions in the church get tangled into this web of thinking. I can see how they get started and how hard they are to break if you have done them for so long.

I think these two stories have a lot of great similarities or how they are impacting me are quite similiar. There is this understanding that we need to change to let go of the past and that or what still haunts you and move to a space that lets you experience something new or gravitates you to what you really desire in your heart.Oddly enough all last week I encountered the numbers 11:11. I like this and 2:22 (because it reminds me of the Julian Theory song) and because I like to make wishes on them. I think they often show what you really want deep down inside and that also isn't within reach. I like to think that I can obtain these wishes or at least do something to get closer to obtaining said wish. It's funny because when I finally sat down to write this blog the time said 2:22. It's funny how these numbers keep jumping up and what pops into my head in return. It's kinda like blowing out those birthday candles.

Concidences and wishes intrigue me.

This week intrigues me. I wonder what else is out there for me?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hot Hot Heat

Everytime you want to move your arm or a leg feels like it might take days or weeks to do. It feels like there is a block on your chest and your arms bolted to the floor. Every sip of water seems just to ooze out of your pores moments later. When it is so hot you can do nothing and any dream you might have is buried deeply under the sand of the beach you might think of when it's so miserly hot.

It's been so hot here. I am dragging big time. This weekend was so hot, over 115 degrees. I puked, drank lots of water, and barely removed myself from the bed that I laid my head under the whirling fan and the air conditioned house. It was supposed to be the weekend where I was going to diligently finish my paper for Writings. I left my computer at home. I left any reading material also behind. It's was so damn hot....

When it gets this hot you don't want to move a muscle. You don't want to do anything or go anywhere. You don't want to read, or eat. It's funny when the weather is this bad you don't want to insert food into your body. I don't want to even lay on my couch because that is hot as well. Motivation was gone. Yet you think of anything you can do to beat the heat. Target, Borders, coffee shops...anywhere where you don't have to sit in front of the fan that recycles the stale air but use up their air conditioning while piling in goods that you thought you never needed but today was the day where that's all you needed.

Today finally the heat has broken and there is a cool breeze working its way through my apartment, that on Saturday was a mere 95 degrees. It's funny how the heat saps the energy, saps the drive the desire, any hope gone. It's all a matter of survival. It's how can I get and stay cool and not hurt or harm myself in the process. Slowly the motivation is creeping back. slowly the eyes see what's really ahppening. The longing to wearing a sweater is growing as well as hot apple cider and scarves. Fall in California happens in about November so there is still some time.....but a girl can dream....