Tuesday, February 26, 2008

School Is For Fools!!!!!!!!!

I wish my Job payed more. I really love it. Today a few of the kids were playing with one of those 20 questions orbs and the object they chose was "Donnie" I'm not sure the balls are meant to guess specific people. There are a few students I really connect with which is cool. I wish I would have had that with a teacher or authority figure when I was in school. It's cool to be looked up to. I need to find something that pays well to work on my off days so that I can keep working here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Lonely Hearts Club Valentine's Day Musical Extravaganza

There have been times in my existence, when I've experienced one thing or another that I've had trouble describing because of either it's simplicity or complexity, or it's ability to be both simple and complex at the same time. Tonight's show is among those things. I think of it as both simple and complex and anticipate that it won't be easy to describe that which I felt, and heard and saw, but I'll definitely try.

Isaac Russell played first. In the place of his sesiter Becca who was supposed to play but became indisposed with work, and sent her brother to represent the family.. Lyrics about hardships, love in many senses, society etc. make me wonder how a 16 year old heart has had love, room, pain, and overall experience, enough to write what he writes. He's a gifted musician, I've known that since I heard him playing a guitar in a local guitar shop a while before I actually met him. And now alongside that fact, I've discovered that he's quite a gifted poet as well. All in all, I'm glad I got to share the stage with him, and I'm also glad I can call him friend.

Next was my close friend and roommate Jeff Stone. He played a set of songs about real life situations dealing with love and loss. Nobody does love songs like Jeff stone. Thoughts he conveyed were done so from a heart that has truly felt both love and loss, and has been both whole and broken, and you could feel it with every word and every note. It was a pleasure to have him as a part of the evening.

Then there was me. In all honesty, I just felt blessed to be in the company of such great musicians, and just great people. I think my set went pretty well, I was a little nervous because of the calabur of those I was playing with, but at the same time, knowing I was in such great company gave me some sort of a boost and I think I had one of my best performances to date.

Right after my set, Chance, of the pop punk band Abby Normal played a song for us. It was a fun anti-love song, played with those in mind who were without a treasured one to share the holiday. Ya know, people like me. it was fun to have him add that to the show.

Colby Stead, was the headlining act, and rightly so. He made the evening magical. He was accompanied by his own guitar, and by the beautiful and diversely talented Amy Robinson (who brought bananna bread for all) on the accordion. Colby has a way of making each member of the audience feel as though they're the only one there, and that he is playing and speaking directly to them. Tonight was no exception. I had only once ever heard Colby play a love song, and it was a very special thing. Last night he played several songs about love in it's various forms. I was blown away by the insightful nature of each song. Which to be honest I should have expected as much from Colby. He was the highlight of the evening for me personally. He gave Jeff and I each a pair of colbystead.com Panties, knowing that we would appreciate the humor in it. (Jeff and I have juvenile senses of humor, and now we know that it's blatantly obvious.) They say "No" on the crotch, which is not just an insightful instruction, it's also the title of Colby's latest album

The evening closed with a performance by Joshua James, a local boy who's seen a lot of success lately. He's toured with the likes of John Mayer, and David Grey. He played one of the two love songs he's written. It was written from the perspective of a man who's died and is seeing his wife with her new husband. It was beautiful, and I believe it's the only time he's played it in public. I was glad to have both Joshua and Chance to add their soul to the evening.

I hope that more of my friends will start taking advantage of the shows here. I don't think people realize the quality, and beauty of what they're missing. Special thanks to Ryan, Al, and Erin, for coming out. You made my night.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

God and Me

I don't usually like to write about spiritual things. Part of me feels like a bit of a hypocrite when I do. I don't want to be perceived as preachy, or holier than though. And I know I've made enough mistakes that others have seen, that in reading this they may disregard my sincerity, I hope those who know me will overlook my mistakes in reading. The fact is I know I'm flawed, and broken. It's from these imperfections though, that most of my life lessons have been learned. I also hold the spiritual things in my life to be sacred, often too sacred for me to share them with a broad audience, such as, The Internet. However, I had an experience today that is jumping up my spine and itching to come through my finger tips.

For the past long while, I've felt dead inside. The course of my experiences and my perception of events has lead me to feel hurt, betrayed by God, and there has been a level of anger towards him that has been increasing steadily. A few months ago I became very aware of these feelings. I felt ashamed of myself, but the anger would not subside. And as these feelings grew, my desire to do good lessened. I want to be clear that I have not taken a path towards the things of this world that I've striven for a long time to avoid. My struggle has been mostly internal. Externally I think I've become more cynical, more sarcastic, and I think some would say, my light has gone out. The side effects of this change have caused more negativity, because people don't enjoy the company of darkness, I've been darker and I think that darkness has been evident to some, therefore I've had less shining people around me, and realizing this only sent me further into the dark. Trials involving my family, my relationships, my friendships etc. have weighed on me. Small miracles went unnoticed, the birth of my nephew didn't even lift me up, although recent thoughts of him, and hearing of his growth and development have brought me great joy recently.

So what does one do when they are plummeting? The fact is, each step deeper into the dungeon that my life was becoming, I would pause and say, God, I can't go any lower, I'll crumble, I'll die, and then I'd soon find out that I had no idea what low is. A girl whom I loved more than any other person in the world informed me that I was not the one for her. I thought it was my breaking point. Not even close. A series of family struggles, to personal to write here ensued soon after which caused much more heart brake than I coud imagine. Still I had further to fall. We lost nearly everything. The further and further I fell the more I began to think that everything that mattered to me in life, all of my hopes, and dreams, and righteous desires, were things I would have to learn to live without. The things that had ignited my passion and my love had become embers, barely holding on to their heat, and I had abandoned them.

The Answer to my previously posed question is, nothing. Sometimes you have to stop kicking and screaming, and stop dictating what you want, and how you think things should be, long enough for God to take over. I moved to Utah for the third time, excluding the two years I spent here as a missionary for my church. My move was sort of a last act of hope. I felt impressed to make the journey, and so I went. It has not been what I've expected. I thought my musician friends here would be how I left them, they are not. I think most of them have been on similar journeys as the one I've been on. And we haven't really been helping each other. I've been desperately missing a selection of friends from home, as well as my family. I've thought, what if I moved back to California and just found an apartment somewhere so I could still be independent, and adult. But the fact is, I know why I'm here, and the things I need to do, can only be done here at the moment. I'm definitely going to settle there at some point. But for now, my place is here.

Today I went to a Missionary Farewell, it's a church meeting where a person who has chosen to dedicate two years of their life to the service of God, and their fellow man, speaks to the congregation. The Farewell, was for a young man who I consider to be the closest thing I have to a little brother, Simon McLaughlin. I was moved by his address. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago even, if he could say something to move me, I'd have said it was impossible, I would have said, there are very few people who could say something, spiritual, or religious, at this point in my life, that would truly move me. But I think something in his innocence, and the simplicity of his message, touched my heart. I felt something from strong from God for the first time in ages. Later in the meeting, Simon's dad, his two sisters, and his brother Derek, who has been my best friend for 10 years, sang a song called draw near unto me, I was moved again, this time to tears. At first I thought I was crying because their singing reminded me of simpler times, before I fell into this state of negativity. It reminded me of my family, and my youth. I definitely think these emotions contributed to my reaction. But the I began to really listen to the words of this song, which I had heard a thousand times in my lifetime.

Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you. Seek me, seek and ye shall find me, ask and ye shall receive.

I felt God speaking these words directly to me. In my despair, and the dying of my spirit, I've been pulling further and further away from him, and from where I need to be. Instead of leaning on him, depending on him, I've been depending on my own logic, and my own strength, but then feeling angry at him when things don't go right for me.

The truth is, being good, and righteous, and being in line with God, doesn't mean that things are going to be perfect. The fact is the world is broken, and so are we. Sadness, cold, hunger, war etc. these things will always be a part of our existence. We will always have cause to doubt, or to be bitter or depressed. But we don't have to be. And we don't have to let it kill our souls. I'm so happy that I went today, and heard those words. I hope I can be wise enough to hold onto it, and seek out more of that light.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Adio Visual

I Went to my friend Smitty's (Emily Smith) house warming party and played some songs. Smitty and I played a cover of Tegan and Sara's "Where Does The Good Go" and Smitty played some songs with her roommate Chrissy who happens to play the mandolin. Anyway here is some eye candy to help you visualize the whole shebang.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Robert Frost Is The Man: Volume V

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I'll forgive Thy great big joke on me.
Robert Frost

Robert Frost Is The Man: Volume IV

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
Robert Frost

Robert Frost Is The Man: Volume III

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
Robert Frost

Peep Shows

Back To The Lab

I've been watching way too many movies lately. I need to find something new and exciting. Like a Labrador or something.

This One's Just Right

I have been on somewhat of a blogging hiatus. Hiatus deleted. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, or stressed, or what have you, I feel stifled creatively. I've been experiencing a bit of this recently. Living on my own isn't easy, but it is rewarding. In spite of my lack of creative milk, Jeff Stone and I poured ourselves a great big bowl of brain cereal the other day, in regards to the script we're working on. We had some major story concerns that had been stewing in both of us since early on in the creative process, however we kept going with them because we had not a noteworthy idea to replace them with, but this week, leaning against the cell phone stand at Best Buy, we had a breakthrough. Wish I could tell you more about it, you're just gonna have to wait until the DVD release so you can see it on the bonus disk.

Let me catch you up a bit on my current life. 'm working with a group of bright kids at one of the local high-schools. I love it. My job is to help students to get their associates degree by the time they finish High School, the completing of which will earn them a full ride scholarship to help them on their way to a bachelor's degree. It's kind of ironic seeing as how I'm basically an eternal student, and have not as of yet earned a degree for myself. But , whatever. I oft receive looks of suspicion from fellow staff members as I park my car in the employee lot. I've been asked numerous times if I have a hall pass, and students upon entering my class-room have at times looked confused when they didn't find an "adult." The funny thing is, I've had a hefty beard the entire time I've worked there. I graduated from high school nearly eight years ago. I fear it's only going to get worse, as I shaved off my beard yesterday.

Other than that, I've been preparing to make a few more short films, along with my pal Charles "CHUCK" as I've dubbed him. And trying to play music from time to time. I have a show on Valentine's Day at vwlour in Provo, which I'm quite stoked about. I'm playing with my friend and lov... I mean roommate Jeff Stone, as well as Becca Russell, and Colby Stead, who happens to be one of my musical heroes, as well as a gentleman and a scholar.

Luz Del Sol Eterna De La Mente Intachable

Just watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Justin, Scott, and I came to the united conclusion that Jim Carey has come a long way since Fire Marshal Bill. Also, we had a minor disagreement about the attractiveness of Kirsten Dunst. Scott thinks she's ugly, I think she has moments of delightfulness. To each, as they say, his own. Kate Winslet has become much more appealing over the years to me as an actress. I thought her performance in Titanic was laughable, but she has redeemed herself many times over since then. And truth be told, she probably wouldn't have had the chance to do so without having made Titanic. It's strange how the film world works.