Monthly Archives: December 2012

Clutter

Some people really dislike clutter. I’ve never really minded it. In fact, I find it quite interesting. I think a person’s clutter can say quite a few things about them. My desk is currently covered with a few books left over from this semester, an enormous box of Reece’s peanut butter cups, my cross that I usually wear, my Kindle, a half-full, orange coffee cup (which I am currently drinking), my iPhone, a story that I wrote and printed out for my friend (which I still need to give her), my Bible, a pair of fingernail clippers, my favorite hat and my camera along with the box and instructions it came in/with. These things are all surrounding the computer that my brother made me. All that’s missing is my little box of guitar picks (which is downstairs with my guitars– go figure). If that was here, you would basically have me represented in stuff. Luckily I have an enormous desk. I also have a very small bed. My room is basically dedicated to hats and clutter.

The other day I started on my “Piles” project. Instead of making piles however, I just wandered around my house and looked for them. Although I wouldn’t call all of my photographs “Piles” in the way one would normally think of them, I did find some things that were “naturally” grouped together in ways that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. I’m going to include those because I think they are interesting and I think it’s probably ok to think outside the box a little.

Somehow I’ve managed to keep “busy” in the past few days even though I haven’t really been doing much of anything. I did go to the studio to start recording my song “Understand” yesterday. Other than that I’ve been playing a lot of video games and watching a lot of TV with my brother and cousin. I did spend a few hours writing a couple days ago, which was fairly productive. Long story short, I haven’t got the software for my camera on my computer yet, but once I do that I will get some of my pictures up for you guys to see.

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Happy Christmas!

I slept obscenely late today. After the holidays I’ll get that back under control. Anyway, I would just like to say “happy Christmas” to all my readers. I hope you will all be warm and happy and with your families for the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I just hope that this is a time of joy and goodness and giving for everyone.

I also hope that this will be a time of remembering for people. I hope that you will remember the simple things, remember love, remember those who may not have what you have and remember what this holiday really means.

I wish you all the best. Happy Christmas and happy New Year! 🙂

Love– Do It!

Good things do happen to good people. The clouds do eventually go away and the sun does shine. Although it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, love is abundant in this world. Most people really do have an enormous capacity to love. Furthermore, love is contagious. It will spread as long as you let it. Love is easy. It has no boundaries. Love is creative. It brings about new ideas and feelings and inspires people to do what is right and good, but also to innovate, step out of their own little worlds and empathize, not just sympathize with their friends, coworkers, neighbors and maybe even their enemies. Love is forgiving. In love there is always a second chance. Love understands. Love waits for an explanation and is never quick to place judgments. Love has no boundaries. It transcends age, race, gender, economic status, intellect and religious belief. Love is comforting. It is the feeling you get when someone is there for you; when that person feels for you; when that person feels with you. Love is a gift. You have love inside of you, whether or not you know or believe that you have someone to give it to or receive it from, and this should be comforting. Love never ends. It will keep giving, keep creating, keep inspiring, as long as you let it. (I stole a bunch of this from First Corinthians 13: 4-8).

The point is that there is evil in the world. Crazy people do crazy things. Bad things happen for reasons that are beyond us. We cannot give into hate, skepticism and mistrust, however. We just have to love and trust and believe and see that this world is good and the people in it are good. The crazy people and the disasters don’t happen every day. Love happens every day, every hour, every second. If we can believe that, we can act on it. Love doesn’t take much. People remember little things, so do little things and spread the love you have. All this takes is something like a smile and a “thank you” to a perfect stranger.

I really hope this was helpful. Please reblog this if you thought it was helpful. I think it can be a lot easier to see the glass half empty sometimes, but I think we’ve come to a point in our history when that kind of thinking is dangerous. I think we need to learn to be more open and more willing to love and to be loved. That’s just my two cents. Thanks for reading. ❤

Good News

I don’t have too much to say this time around. I mostly didn’t want to have something depressing as the first post on my blog.

I’m about half way done with my exams. As I mentioned, Shakespeare went very well. I just have to look over my philosophy paper one more time for grammar and organizational type stuff, but it’s pretty much ready to hand in. This afternoon is reserved for studying for my science exam, which I’ll take tomorrow morning. Then all I’ll have left is an English project that is due on Thursday.

Provided the world doesn’t end on Friday (the 21st), we’ll be having some neighbors over. I know at least one of my friends will be back from school, so he should be coming. That will be nice. He’s obnoxious, but I still love him. 🙂

A week from Friday I’m going in for a recording session at the studio. Once I get this new song recorded I’ll have half my album finished. I’m really excited for that. The titles of my songs are as follows:

Searching: an instrumental with two guitar parts and symbols

Stuck In My Head: A song about a song being stuck in my head with guitar and piano

You Answered: Worship song with 2 guitars, 2 part harmony, bass, drums and piano

Passenger: About going somewhere late at night and a friend is driving: 2 guitars, bass, drums and 3 part harmony–metaphorically about faith, but probably no one will get it unless I explained.

Understand: I don’t actually know what it’s about to be honest: Currently I only have the melody and one guitar part planned. I’m going to figure out more of the arrangement before I go in to record it.

Just Be Nice: Sort of self explanatory: I may go the uber simple rout and do just one guitar and one vocal part

Missing You: Worship song: Will probably have 2 guitars, bass, drums and 3+ part harmony (I want to go crazy with this one). It would be sick if I could get my friend to play violin and/or piano on it.

Julia: I wrote it for my friend’s birthday a couple years ago. I haven’t recorded it yet, but It will probably have 2 guitar parts, and one vocal part. I haven’t decided on the rest

Sweet Avenue: Jets To Brazil Cover: I’ll probably do it just like they do but change the key. I don’t want to mess with it too much because it’s my favorite song.

Summer Day: About a party my family used to have every summer. Will probably have 2 guitar parts, bass, drums and possibly vocal harmony.

I have a new song called “Christmas Song” about half written, and I was thinking about putting it in with the others once I finish it, but it doesn’t quite fit as nicely. I’ve written a bunch of songs besides these, but these ones are my favorites and they will sound awesome together, I think.

Connecticut

I had my Shakespeare exam today and it went quite well. My mom picked me up afterwards to go run an errand and pick my brother up from high school. She needed a new pair of shoes, and as we were checking out we heard a guy talking to a woman who was presumably a wife or friend or girlfriend about the shooting that occurred in Connecticut today. I hadn’t heard about it until then (around 2:00). My mom hadn’t said anything in the car between my school and the store. We had been talking about my exam and of course I had gone on a tangent about how wonderful my professor is and how wonderful Shakespeare is.

It really bothered me (as I’m sure it does everyone else) that someone would be so cruel and insane that they would shoot a bunch of innocent little kids. Later, I was doing some research for my Philosophy paper, and I went onto a website that had an article about trauma and fear. It listed all the shootings that have happened this year. They didn’t give an exact number and I didn’t count, but the list was extensive and disturbing.

I am a person who always tries to find a light in the darkness, but I think it would simply be short sighted to say something like: these kinds of things happen to somehow bring those who are left closer together (an answer I think some people are quick to give). These things just shouldn’t happen, especially not to kids.

I hate guns. I have for a long time. People shouldn’t be allowed to get them. I’ve gone back and forth on the issue to an extent, but this is the final straw. I think it should be against the law to own a gun. There are too many crazy, evil people out there for it to be safe to allow it. I feel very sorry for the survivors of this shooting and the parents of the kids who didn’t make it. My prayers will be with them tonight.

To My Readers

I haven’t done this in a while, which I feel a bit bad about, but I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has come across, liked, commented on and followed my blog lately. As someone who loves to write, it is so gratifying to know that people are reading my stuff and are actually interested. It is so good to know that I’m not alone in this strange place of writing for no one and everyone all at once. Do I sometimes wish I could make money off of what I write? Of course, but that’s not really the point. Just the fact that people are reading brings light to my day and I get a kick out of every email I get telling me that someone liked my blog. No matter what I end up doing, I’m sure I won’t be leaving Flyinguineapig any time soon, so thanks again.

The “Piles” Project

This one will be quick, but I feel compelled to write. I thought I’d mention an interesting project that I intend to work on over break. I’m calling it “Piles.” I’m basically going to take stuff I have just lying around the house and maybe some things from nature, and I’m going to make literal piles and photograph them. Some of them will be “themed,” but some will just be random piles. For whatever reason I’ve started taking interest in photography. I saw something in one of my classes today that would have made a cool picture. Someone had wrote the word “true” on a whiteboard in one of my classrooms. A girl in my class sat in front of it without knowing it was there and sat in a perfect position with a perfect expression on her face. I wanted to take out my phone and take a picture, but that would have been weird on many levels, I suppose. I don’t have a good camera. My mother insists on buying me an iPhone for Christmas even though I told her I don’t want anything. Supposedly the new one has a good camera, so I suppose I’ll see if she actually gets me one. I don’t know if she’s getting me one or not for sure, so if she doesn’t I’ll just splurge for once and buy myself a nice camera. My cousin’s girlfriend is into photography so I could ask her what she has. Once I have a few pictures I’ll post them. I’m going to make at least one Christmas themed pile. I have a lot of other ideas already. I only have a week of school left, so the end is near! 🙂

Well it’s about time to go to class, so that’ll have to be it for now.

Tragedy, Beauty and Empathy

Just for the record, I’m not writing this because anything sad happened. I’m just obsessed with Shakespeare’s tragedies.

What is beauty? I’m not really even sure I know. If you asked me why I thought a certain piece of music or a poem or a painting was beautiful, I probably couldn’t tell you. I certainly recognize beauty, as most people do, but I don’t think I could define it accurately. I went to a friend’s blog to see if he’d posted anything new….. He hadn’t, so I reread a bit of one of his old posts. He mentioned Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. The two famous lovers kill themselves because they cannot be together. M said that if it were real life it would be horrifying and tragic, but somehow Shakespeare manages to make it beautiful. I think M is right in saying that it is beautiful, but I don’t understand why!

In my Shakespeare class we’ve just finished reading this play and we were just discussing this question. My conclusion was that there is beauty in the love itself and not so much the details of it. It is a very simple, pure love. They are so young and so innocent. At first their love seems almost silly. Juliet is not even 14. I didn’t have my first (and only so far) crush until I was 15. I would argue that their love is so beautiful because it simply cannot happen and we as the audience want it to very badly. Even in the few moments they have together, they are constantly afraid of getting caught. In a sense it is a paradox. It is sacred and yet forbidden and because of this, it ends in death.

I thought about avoiding this, but I’m wondering; is there something intrinsically beautiful about tragedy? I want to say “no,” but I just feel that a straight “no” is somehow wrong. If the answer is “yes,” then how are beauty, tragedy and emotion related? I personally find emotion to be exceedingly beautiful. There is something very powerful about extreme joy or sadness or anger in another. I think seeing so much energy focused into one particular mental state is like reading a very clear confirmative statement; this is what it is to be human. So on the surface, the relationship is pretty clear. Tragedy leads to emotion and emotion is beautiful, therefore, tragedy is beautiful. I think this is why we hear about it so much in the news. Tragedy, for whatever reason seems to be more compelling to most people than “good” news. I think it is because when we hear about horrible things happening far away, it gives us some kind of gut feeling that is similar to anger or sadness, but we don’t have to deal with it right at home.

What about when we have to deal with tragedy in our own lives? Is it still beautiful? I’m going to use the example of Hamlet since he is the most “real” of Shakespeare’s characters for me. Hamlet had tragedy and betrayal all around him and it really affected his outlook on life. He says to his “friends” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he still recognizes the beauty of nature, etc, but it means nothing to him now. Granted, Hamlet’s situation is pretty unusual—his father comes back from the grave and tells him to kill his uncle—but in another sense his situation is probably quite relatable for some people. His father died and his mother married another man within a month or two of his death. That could and does happen. For Hamlet, his own tragedy is not beautiful; in fact, it causes him to lose everyone: his lover, his mother and his friends (with the exception of Horatio). For the reader or the audience however, Hamlet’s tragedy is exceedingly beautiful, in part because of Shakespeare’s language, but also in part because of how plausible it is.

Interestingly, I don’t think the Bible says much about tragedy or how to deal with it (granted I don’t read the Bible nearly enough). The only place I can think of where it vaguely addresses it is Ecclesiastes “There is a time for everything…. a time for mourning and a time for rejoicing.” (I’m quoting from memory, so I probably don’t have it exactly). There’s a little comfort there, but you have to read into it a little. Sure, things may be bad now, but they’ll get better. I think the implication is that the Bible doesn’t address tragedy that much because we as believers are supposed to look to God for support. That’s great in theory, but not always great in practice. We can pray for those we’ve lost and ask God to take care of them and believe that He will, but most of the time, our primary concern is “Where can I find the closest hug?”

So why is there a disconnect? Why do people like to read about or see or listen to tragedy if there is no beauty in it when it happens to them? Perhaps seeing it somewhere else is some kind of relief. “Oh good, that’s not happening to me.” I think that’s part of it, but I also think it is because of human empathy. I think we like to be able to feel for or comfort people. It lets us feel that we are doing something worthwhile and helpful.

I could go into more detail on that, but this post is already sadder than I had planned on it being so I think I’ll stop here. I’ll write a happy post soon, I promise! I’ll be done with my finals and on vacation next week!

Eclectic

I posted yesterday about my family’s Christmas party, and when I checked my email I saw that some people had come across my blog. Usually the people who read my blog are also bloggers, and I like to see what my readers write about. I’ve had all kinds of people read and like or comment on my blog and I just love to see the variety. It’s interesting because as a writer I’d like to cater to my readers, but that’s a difficult thing to do when you really don’t have a specific audience yet. Imterestingly I’ve got everyone from parents to artsy college students to pastors to philosophers to atheists. I’d love to find subject matter and a specific audience to work with. The problem is that I find the world and the people in it so interesting!

Considering the fact that the subject matter of my posts is all over the map, you may not even realize that I am primarily an aspiring writer. I thought I’d just talk about a couple other writing projects of mine in case anyone is interested. I have two book ideas that I will hopefully work on over Christmas break. The first idea is for a fantasy novel. I’ve started working on the first chapter already, but I need to work out some details such as names of specific places in the story. It’s basically about a civil war between the northern and southern regions of a fictitious country. The south uses magic, and the north uses advanced technology to fight. It’s told from the point of view of Kevin, a soldier who runs away from the northern army because he believes that they are cruel and immoral, Peter, an innocent prisoner of war who is resqued by Kevin and Kithryd, a girl who lives in the south near the border and raises dogs. She hides the boys and runs away with them when the north invades. I have a few chapters planned out in my head. I just haven’t had time to write stuff down.

My other book idea is one that my mom gave me. She’s actually going to be a coauthor. From her perspective It’s going to be about raising a kid with muscular dystrophy (me), and from my perspective It’s going to be about growing up with it. It should be a pretty fun project. We’ve always said life is an adventure and I think it will be pretty fun to write it all down. In some cases my mom’s perspective has been a lot different than mine, so that should be interesting to deal with.

Well, I think It’s time for massive quantities of coffee and homework. In that order. 🙂