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A guide to set your compass…

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

President Obama’s recent victory on health care got me thinking about the election days, and the talent he demonstrated therein.  While mulling over some old youtube clips I stumbled over this snippet of a Colin Powell ‘Meet the Press’ sitting, where it was billed that he would publicly endorse the Senator from Illinois.  He did do so, but what stuck with me was the beautiful, eloquent preamble he gave to his endorsement.  I remember seeing this clip when it happened, and I distinctly remember thinking how refreshing it was.  Here was a major political figure being completely candid on national television.  When does that ever happen? Gen. Powell is a patriot of the highest order, and – in my opinion – couldn’t be more dead on in his assertions.

The good stuff begins at 4:30.

Enjoy…

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Categories: About Me, Religion Tags: , ,

Whoa

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

About 5 years ago I gave birth to a hideous depression that lasted a startlingly long time.  Embarrassing as it is to admit this, I probably listened to the tune above more than any other during that particular stretch.  Today I stumbled across it again for the first time in a long while, and… well, I’ll say this: if you ever want to get some perspective in your life, try rediscovering what you were listening to in the bleakest periods of your past.  It’s heavy stuff.

… still, the song does kind of rock.  Doesn’t it?

Categories: About Me, Music, Uncategorized

No snowflake is the same…

January 8, 2010 1 comment

Categories: About Me, Travel Tags:

Face in the Crowd…

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment

A lot happened in 2009.  I went to Korea, I returned from Korea, I took the LSAT, I travelled to and from VT several times, and still somehow – even after only seeing two shows in the orient – I was able to cram in a heap of solid live music.  So, if you were out on the scene, you may have seen me at these shows…

Yo La Tengo – Olympic Park – Seoul, Korea

PARA/Tenniscoats and Secai – Club O-West – Tokyo, Japan

Yo La Tengo – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT

Allman Brothers/Widespread Panic – Merriweather Post – Columbia, MD

Art Brut – The Black Cat – DC

Girls/Real Estate – The Black Cat – DC

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones – Strathmore Auditorium – Bethesda, MD

Mastodon/Converge/High on Fire – Patriot Center – Fairfax, VA

Monsters of Folk – Kimmell Center – Philadelphia, PA

Phish – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

The Low Anthem – The Black Cat – DC

Pains of Being Pure at Heart/Cymbals Eat Guitars – The Black Cat – DC

The Levon Helm Band – Levon’s Barn – Woodstock, NY

Dawes/Langhorne Slim – Rock and Roll Hotel – DC

Project Object – The 8×10 – Baltimore, MD

… and of course, the Book ‘Em Blues Band – Nectar’s – Burlington, VT

…p.s. – Any of those artists would be worth checking out if you’re curious.

Categories: About Me, Music Tags:

What’s Goin on tonight?

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I remember a time when I didn’t know how to text.  It’s a vague memory, but one I’m cherishing more and more.  It started out as a slow process.  First I learned how to send a rudimentary text – often entering one letter at a time, and usually to embarrassing results (‘Wht tim is t?’)  Then I took the next step; I finally gave into the trust fall known as ‘t9’.  Who knew that a simple cell phone could reliably guess what word I’m meaning type after only a few letters?!  The notion seemed strange at first, but now is a facet of my daily life as basic the newspaper or hot water.  Then I began to send picture messages – slowly at first, but with more regularity once I realized there was an audience for such things.  Being abroad – in both South Africa and South Korea – only emboldened my sms-habbits.  I had always assumed that Americans lead the world in our pension for texting.  How wrong I was.  And now I’m here: 24, a college grad, and a hopeless, fervent texter.

At first texting seems ideal.  After all, how many times have you called someone up to ask a question, only to hang up the phone 45 minutes later without an answer, and an unnecessarily vivid picture of what someone did over Spring break?  People like to gab.  They feel it’s the friendly option, where terse, direct speaking can come off as rude, or aloof.  (Hold on, I need to hit the can…) Ok, I’m back.  But let’s be frank: most of the time, phone calls are meant to convey a brief message.  Therefore, texting seems to be the better option.  All the information transference, and none of the awkward social niceties.  But like facebook, emailing, and most of the other tech-oriented features of our cultural zeitgeist, texting has mutated into an insidious, life-sucking beast.

I am now almost crippled when it comes to phone conversation.  I speak when I’m not supposed to, I laugh at the wrong times, my cadence is totally off.  I’m a sniveling, awkward mess on the phone, and texting has made me so.  I hardly call anyone anymore.  But at this point, I can’t even lie and say that it’s due to the convenience of texting.  It’s not.  I don’t call people anymore because I’m afraid to.  The fear of exposing myself to another person on a field I’m so incapable of navigating is a dreadful feeling.  It’s like I would rather exist as this amorphous avatar in the texting world.  I can be anyone, and speak however I choose in the texting world – as long as I do it in fewer than 160 characters.  The truth is that texting is starting to do irreparable damage to my psyche.

And so from this moment on I am committing myself to a strict regimen of phone calls.  I will continue to text as the moment demands, but know that I am willfully weening myself off the text message.  Never again will anyone be greeted by a dead phone when they call to confirm a text I’ve sent.  This, by the way – the act of texting someone and then not picking up their call a moment later – is the clearest evidence of a person hopelessly in the grips of a disease more heinous and pervasive than h1n1: Conversaphobia!  I’m a sufferer, but are you willing to admit that you are as well?  No more!  I will be calling you.  We will be talking, awkwardly albeit, and we’ll be bettering ourselves all the while.

Who’s with me?!

Iron and Wine w/ Calexico – In the Reins

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Of all the albums in my collection, this one sits atop a very sacred category: the growers.  Time erodes most albums, leaving them thoroughly discovered, and thus lacking most of their original luster.  In the Reins, on the other hand, continues to expand with each listen.  And by the way, I’ve always supported the opera interlude!

Categories: About Me, Music Tags: ,

There’s Only One

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

nycpic

I’ve been going to New York city at least twice a year since I was a wee boy.  I didn’t appreciate much back then, especially not much of what it meant for me – a kid from the DC ‘burbs – to be in glorious New York.  However, I did get a feeling from the city – an intense buzz I would say is akin to watching the lions get fed at a zoo.  Truly.  I don’t know how old I was, but I distinctly recall sensing that I was in middle of something startlingly different from my own life, something important, something great.

Not too long ago, I was in New York city, and sure enough, after 18 months NY-free, the feeling came flooding back.  Not only had my body not forgotten it, but it hadn’t lost one ounce of its intensity.  Now, I’m not saying New York is my favorite city – it’s not.  Nor do I think I could ever live there.  But, what is abundantly clear to me, is that New York is the greatest city in the world.  I’m not trying to be a douche, but I’ve been to great cities all over the world.  Seoul, Tokyo, Barcelona, London, Paris, Hanoi, and I’m not even going to mention all of the big American guys… all of these grand metropolises, and none can come close to conjuring up the vivid electricity I feel in the Big Apple.

To all my friends now making their lives in ‘the city’: I admire you, I wish you the best of luck, and I humbly ask in advance that you retain a couch so that I may come and get my fix from time to time.

Categories: About Me Tags: , ,