Archive for September, 2010


Some Epic Songs

So now its time to get back to music. I love music so much it hurts, and I just may go on about it till you hurt too.

I don’t know what brought this on, bit I wanted to tell you about some of the most epic songs in my life. I love all kinds of music, maybe even polka. Maybe. Anyways, I just wanted to hopefully inspire you the ways these songs have inspired me.

There are just some songs out there that do so much more than make you sing ” ga ga ooh la la”. They can take your own feelings and emote them in a way that you never could, or maybe it’s so strong that you feel like they stole it from you.

Anyways, heres my list, it’s here to get that Lady Ga Ga song out of your head, ready or not.

Athlete, Tourist. One of my favorite songs all time, just a great song by one of my favorite bands ever.

Barcelona, Its about time. This is a band that I am addicted to. I hit play and cant turn anything else on for weeks.

Kings of Convienience, Homesick. Like a modern Simon and Garfunkel, I just love to sit back and enjoy them.

Mutemath Noticed. So good! I saw them live a while ago, and they put on the best performance I have ever seen, even better than DC Talk. They are a great band with very moving lyrics.

David Crowder Beautiful Collision. I love this song, and especially this version. If you want to know how I feel, check out my blog on my most influential albums.

TLC Dont Go Chasing Waterfalls. Such a great song from the 90s. I love the message in this song, its like its speaking right to me. I used to chase “waterfalls” all the time, and now that I’m sticking to my rivers and lakes, I feel so much more balanced and happy.

Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism. What moving lyrics. I mean how many 7 to 8 minute songs can you listen to without changing the song? It just builds and builds with so much passion and emotion

Regina Spektor Samson. Regina seems to be the child of Elton John and Salvatore Dali. She is so proficient in piano playing, and writes very moving lyrics, yet there is a certain feel of lucid dreaming in her lyrics. Even though her words dont really make sense all of the time, you still get the feel of what she is trying to convey.

South Loosen Your Hold. This is a band that I used to keep secret, cause I wanted to be the only one who knew about them (how uncharacteristically hipster of me), but I hope you enjoy them.

Decemberists Engine Driver. These guys have been transported from the 1800s, brought here to write their era’s music through a modern means. I’m not being metaphorical, I honestly think that they have to be over a hundred years old, and you can’t tell me any different.

Joe Purdy, Wash Away. Listen to this song and try to feel sad. Just try it. You can’t, can you? Well thats cause Joe Purdy Rocks. I first heard him on Lost season 1, but it took me forEVER to find out who he is.

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/user/thisisdanjones/5429752/playlists  I tacked a few others on here for your enjoyment, I hope you like them!

Also, note that TLC is not on the playlist. Thats cause I was joking.

Pet Peeves Part 3!

Alright, I know that I get controversial from time to time. I mean that bubblegum article get me a few threats, but alas, I move on to another set of pet peeves.

So for anyone that has read more than Dr. Suess and Wayside School, its quite obvious that writers from the United Kingdom write and pronounce some words differently than we do here in the States i.e. colour, grey, drive through, etc. Well when America was still a colony, we actually purposefully changed a lot of these words to (as best I can understand it) make them more efficient.

With that little tidbit in your brain, you should know to avoid extremes of any kind. Even too much water can kill you, you know? That being said, speaking in an abbreviated fashion like you are in middle school talking on AIM is such an extreme that may just get you killed (ok, maybe I’m being extreme with that statement).

Acceptable Abbreviations:

POW (Prisoner of War)

AOL (America Online)

Abbreviating cuss words

BP (British Petrol)

MIA (Missing in Action)

BBQ (Barbecue)

IHOP (International House of Pancakes)

Unacceptable Abbreviations:

OMG,

LOL,

LMAO,

BAMF,

ROFL,

BRB,

STFU,

BBQ,

PDQ, and so many more!

I’m not including their meanings, because they don’t matter. That, and some of them were quite vulgar.

Just realize that the common people who talk like this are pre pubescent kids who still spend their Saturday mornings watching cartoons. Even if you were one of those kids once upon a time, you need to grow out of it like the other things you did; your mom is so fat jokes, your Power Ranger dolls, and telling dirty jokes you don’t get yet.

Its not political part 2

So Remember how last post I wrote that Glenn Beck and the 8/28 rally inspired my post, and then I didn’t mention it again? Well now I’m here to wrap it up for you in a little bow.

So on his show, Glenn repeated plenty of times that this rally wasn’t about politics or parties. I figured that he meant he didn’t want it to be a protest, but a celebration of history, followed by his advice on where to lead the country. He would talk about politicians that held similar beliefs, and he would talk about how he wanted to refound our country on its old principles.

Well, I was pretty wrong.

I really wish that Joanna and I could have gone to the rally, but we had to accept that we couldn’t make it happen. Thanks to DVR we were still able to watch it in our house that Saturday evening.

It was amazing to see who all he had speak and pray at this rally. There were Native American Chiefs, Rabbis, Imams, Priests, and Pastors all present to support Glenn and his message.

His message was simply this; solidarity. The whole rally was centered on uniting all Americans regardless of where they were born, how they look, who they worshiped, or what their political ideals were, and to honor our troops that give their lives every day.

The troops were certainly honored as the heroes they were. They honored the men who died, and others who gave their chance at a normal life. There were men there who were proud even though they were missing parts of their bodies. It was amazing to see so much money donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

It really gave me a new perspective. This whole time I have seen my ideals as what divides me from others, but this showed how we can still be a united country. I mean just because some people are against healthcare, others want to solve the national debt, doesn’t mean that we cant still unite under what we agree upon.

I honestly think that the path we were headed down was more than just two parties standing on different sides of a fence. We were becoming a divided country. Maybe it wasn’t north and south, but there was a divide that was growing that may have eventually torn our country apart. Our mindsets were on how we disagree, and we avoided those who disagreed with us.

I think that after this rally we can really look forward to uniting our country, having civil debates on our disagreements, and finding that which we can hold up to unite us.

http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/15295.html is a great article about the true message of this rally.

I think that Dr. King was honored by this, even though it was not purposefully placed to land on the day of his “I have a dream” speech. Some might say that I have no place in making that statement, since I am not black, but could not disagree more. His speech is a part of my history as well. Dr. King’s speech was just as much for the white as the black, and I am someone who surrounds himself with people of character, not of any specific color.

All this put out in the internet, I want everyone out there to try and stop patronizing those who don’t agree with you. We overreact and name call because we feel so passionate about our views, but we have to step back and decide why we disagree. Here are some facts that I think we can all agree on;

-The world is getting warmer, and this is alarming.

-There is a large number of people who have to work so much harder to get out of poverty because of their living situation

-Our healthcare system is so expensive and insurance is hard to find if it is not offered by your work.

-One day we will run out of oil.

-We buy some of our oil from questionable countries.

– Injustice is committed all around the world, and there are people who are threatening us.

-There are a lot of people who illegally break into our country and work unfair wages because they are not citizens.

-Terrorism (both in a McVeigh and a Taliban sense of the word) is a threat to us, and it is the Government’s job to do something about it.

If we can agree on these types of terms, we should be able to respectfully work out where our country can go from here.

Its not political.

As soon as I saw the 8/28 rally on the Lincoln Memorial, I was blown away. I knew I had to write about it, and I’m glad that I already have a medium.

Ok, so when I first started blogging, it was going to be a purely political blog. I have been taught principles from a young age, and I consider myself to be well informed and very opinionated. I started to realize as I wrote that I didn’t want to be a political commentator/blogger firsthand. I don’t know that I’m supposed to be involved in politics so deeply as to write about it constantly, but I do keep myself informed. I think that being actively involved in politics on all levels and having a strong opinion is such a necessary quality that its should be commended as much as you are commended on breathing.

I attended the first Tea Party rally last year on tax day. I was blown away by the patriotism and unity to say it simply. People were upset, but not angered. We were in disapproval of how our taxes were being spent, not mad about having to pay our taxes. I think its safe to say that I didn’t fit into the mold that the media painted the rally as; rich, white, and racist. I may be white, but I think I made about $20k that year before taxes, and I don’t have any need to prove that I’m not racist. I am a patriot, and nothing more. I love this country, and I want to see it prosper like never before, and that was what the rally was really about; a group of patriots who didn’t want to see our country go the wrong way.

What I didn’t like was that it was hosted by the local GOP. They had opened up a new office, and had taken this protest and stamped their name on it. I’ve said before that I don’t like to label my political ideals with a party, because I don’t really believe in either party.

The next rally was not long after, but I was unable to attend. My wife attended and expressed how disappointed she was in how it had changed from a movement of people to a promotion for the GOP. She said that they hit subjects that have always been Republican ideals, and she left not long after it started. It really made me feel somewhat cynical  towards what direction the country is headed in. I was worried that these people would be broken up by parties and political agendas, not to mention  the negative light that has been shed on this movement.

I joined freedomworks.com , read The 5,000 Year Leap and A Patriots History of the United States,  and tried to soak up whatever knowledge I could. I can’t say that I really spoke up much. I wouldn’t let a friend blast my beliefs, but at the same time, I got tired of arguements that all went the same;

Person: ” The current administration’s actions on (Healthcare, abortion, global warming, border control, national debt, take your pick) is finally a step in the right direction.”

Me: “Thats debatable, I think that there are other ways we can deal with this.”

Person: “Well what about what George Bush? He didn’t help out one way or the other.”

Me: ” I didn’t say I was for Bush, I didn’t support him, and I don’t think that this is a step in the right direction either. Here are some ideas I think are a better idea (add ideas here)”

Person: “(Ignoring my suggestions) well we are doing what other countries have tried, so we know the end result.”

Me: “These other countries are in trouble too. Most have only been doing this for up to 20 years, and look at their problems and debt now.”

Person: “Debt is not a big deal, this way works, your ways are just theories.”

Me: “Agree to disagree I guess.”

Then person usually leaves with a red herring like “I wish people would stop being racist” or “why do some people want to hurt progress?”

So I learned to pick my battles, and to definitely to do my best to bite my tongue on the internet. Its just so impersonal that you could lose a friend just by what you think is a civil disagreement.

All I knew to do from here was to simply wait for elections and vote for who I saw fit for office.

To be continued on Wednesday.

Long time no post

So I know that I havent posted in a while, which is only my fault. I had a great birthday this year, Joanna and I had a wonderful day together. I got books, clothes, CDs, an Xbox game, and even a flashlight! It was really great to hear from everyone as they wished me happy B day, and I wanted to go ahead and say thanks in the laziest way possible; right now. Don’t like it? Too bad, its my Birthday and I do what I want.

I have found some new exciting things to read, and its been really tough choosing which of them to read, and play my game as well. I’ve also been working on my book that I have set to the side lately. I know that I want to write, I know that I have a story to tell in my head, but at the same time I just seem to make too many excuses. My sister Sarah recommended me to start following a guy on Twitter, and just a few days later, he was tweeting about excuses he tells himself to keep him from writing. It really got me thinking about the excuses I make up

1. I’m tired. I’ve been at work all day, I mowed the lawn, and now I just want to sit back and do nothing for a while. I don’t believe in “days off”. If I don’t have to clock in, then theres at least ten things that need to happen around the house. I feel guilty for waking up in the morning and sitting around the house all day. So I clean up around the house, put in a load of laundry, mow the lawn, and take some time to relax, never thinking of the notepad next to my desk. What I have started to remind myself of, however is that I am not making it a priority. If I want to be a writer, I have to write. Plenty of people work two or three jobs, all I have to do is make it a priority as my part time job.

2. I don’t have the energy for it today. I have 40 hours of work, plenty of things to do around the house, and a wife to spend time with. If I think of writing after all of that, I just begin to feel too mentally worn out to do anything. Its like after your U.S. History final exam. You spend so much time memorizing dates and pulling your brain across land, sea, and time as you answer your exam as quickly as possible, that you can’t possibly comprehend going to your English test on Shakespeare in the next hour. But the truth is that you decide your own endurance level. Whether physical or mental, you have the ability to set your own endurance.

My Dad told me a story of a marathon runner whose goal was not to hit the 26 miles in his older age, but to go one mailbox further every time he ran. If I asked you to run a 26.2 mile run in a few months, you would probably laugh in my face. Yet if we get ourselves one more mailbox further every day, we get to define our own endurance. So now, I try to write every day. Even if its just a few sentences, its taking my mind a little more juice to write, making it easier the next time.

3. I have nothing interesting or original to say. I mean, come on; Nicholas Sparks took all the good romance (using GOOD as a loose term implying only he has sold a lot of books), Stephen King took all the creepy stuff, Dean Koontz and Tom Clancy have the suspense, and Anne Rice has a whole lot of wierd. How am I expected to have anything original when I haven’t even needed to talk about classic authors?

Here I don’t have any solid words of encouragement for any writers like the others. You can’t tell yourself “you are unique and special. Everyone will love what it is you have to say.” I really can’t though, because some people just aren’t that creative. What I tell myself is that I have to try. I have things I want to write; in blogs, stories, and songs. I want to write and see for myself if its possible to become a writer. Essentially, if you are supposed to do what you do, work hard at it, and it will work out one day.

Anyways, this post is done and I’m working on a few more.