Archive for December, 2010


The Best of 2010

So as this year ends, we bring in a new one. Thats the way it works. I’ve never quite understood the cliche of  “ushering in the new year” cause it comes on in, like it or not.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be good to look back and reflect on some of the best times in 2010. Not all of these things happened this year, but this is the year that I found them.

This year had some big moments for me; first year anniversary with my wife, I got my first dog, I turned a quarter of a century in age, got my first blog, I got a twitter, I graduated college, I lost friends due to differences, and solidified other friendships at the same time.

Ive seen some great movies, but this list wont include just movies that came out in 2010, but movies I saw this year

Best Movies

1. Inception

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

3. Iron Man 2

4. Hes Just Not That Into You (yeah, I saw it)

 

Music defines so much of who I am. I love or at least appreciate just about any kind of that I hear from any time. Its hard picking out just five for this list, but I feel pretty good about a list of music I have found this year.

Best new found artsits

1. Mumford and Sons

2. Barcelona

3. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

4. The Black Keys

5. The Dead Weather

In Relation with music, I love live music I have been to some of the best live shows of my life this year, and I cant wat for more this new year.

1. Mutemath

2. Athlete

3. John Butler Trio

4. OK GO

 

I love books, but with school and such, I have had a slow year when it comes to reading.

1.The Complete Verse of Rudyard Kipling

2. Anthem by Ayn Rand

3. Lullaby by Chuck Palahinuk

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Steig Larsson

 

So I have a whole lot to be proud of this year, and I hope to have a whole lot more in the next year. I’m not big on New Years Resolutions, especially since I heard the statistic that most everyone has given up on them by the end of February. If I want to improve my life, I don’t wait till January 1st,  I start immediately. Pretty much all of these have been goals of mine ever since I graduated, so I figured that I can call them new years goals as well… So that being said, here are my goals for the year

1. Be more conscious of what I am eating and putting into my body.

2. Continue to run outside and stay in shape.

3. Become more fluent in Spanish.

4. Continue educating myself past what I already know.

5. Blog at least once a week, but try to hit as many Monday and Wednesday posts as possible.

6. Finish the rough draft of my first book and begin looking at getting it published.

2 sizes too small

Alright, so you want a feel good Christmas post? Too bad. Christmas is when the animal comes out of people, and we all start acquiring a mob mentality that leads to people being hurt, and others getting depressed.

Thats what I would have said the last few years, but this year I have sworn not to be a grinch. This post is for all of the other Grinches out there who need their heart to grow a couple of sizes.

Wow, I just threw you for another juke. I had no idea I started off so many blogs like this…

So the first thing that gets me upset about Christmas? Traffic. I mean people run red lights, hold up intersections, and will flip you off for almost anything! I mean, I cant help but get a little road rage from time to time, but the honest truth is that you have to leave your house a little earlier, plan your trips a little wiser, and make the decision that random bad drivers dont get the priviledge of ruining your Holiday.

Then theres the music. Its the same 10 songs sang 1,000 different ways, right? No! Christmas songs are a piece of history. Songs like “Joy to the World” were written in the 1700s, and they range from then to even the last ten years! Pay attention to the songs, and realize that even though some get played WAY too much, give them memories from childhood (or make new memories now) and get a little cheesy with them.

Still sick of it? Try out the soundtrack for the movie “The Holiday”. It was written by one of the best composers of our time, and it is guranteed to put chills up your arms.

People can also get nasty during the holidays. They camp out all night for the best deals, and will let no one stop them from getting everything on their list. Its quite unavoidable, to be honest. I mean whole movies are written to show how far a parent will go just to get their kid what they want for Christmas. But, before you go “Jingle All The Way” all over someone, make a point to be courteous to others. Yeah some will try to snake your parking spot, cut in line, or grab something out of your cart, but that doesnt require a fistfight to solve!

Heres the basis of it; either your Christmas holiday will be spoiled by strangers, or be enriched by friends and family. Its that simple! Be good to people, and remind them why they are supposed to be happy, and maybe you can make someone esle’s Christmas better for it.

Lastly, a shout out to my family this Christmas: I love you guys, and I’m sorry I cant come out this year. I love you and will miss you all.

There, you feel it? All you haters, Grinches, and Scrooges out there have a warm feeling in your chest. No, its not a heart attack, its your heart growing to normal size. Now get over yourselves and have a Merry Christmas, like it or not (sounds like a new song for next Christmas season).

College Life

So this past Saturday I finally graduated from college. Its been 6 years, but I have been through a change in schools, and three majors since I started in 2004.I’ve taken so many classes that at this point I think that I was about 6 credit hours away from a degree in everything-ology. I have considered dropping out twice, changing schools again, and at times even going to grad school. This post is for all of those who might want to reminisce, learn about, or even try to change how to survive college.

1. College is all about the professor. I know that you will have professors that you agree with, as well as  plenty that you hate. I had a good friend that abhorred his English professor for his ultra- liberal views. The hard part? The fact that he still had to write the guy papers, and this teacher had to aspprove his topic. What did he do? He found common ground with the guy, and wrote a paper on a topic that he saw eye to eye with him. Having a topic that interests the teacher is going to put him in a state of mind where he is willing to forgo some mistakes for the sake of something intriguing.

On the flipside, I wrote one of the best papers of my life for freshman english. We had to compare and contrast two movies, and I had to brilliant idea to use the movies Van Helsing and Underworld. I had some awesome thesis that explained how we have replaced religion with technology in comparing the two, and I was sure to bring this woman to tears as she realized that she worships her computer more than she worships her god/gods. I got a C. I was counted off for things like “too many ‘be’ verbs” and “incorrect gerund phrasing”. Turns out, she was not interested by the subject at all!

Some Professors want you to speak up and ask questions. Others want you to sit back and let them hear him/herself speak. The point is you have to find out what your professor likes, and stay on his good side. This could really mean the difference of a whole letter grade sometimes.

2. Skipping class is touchy. I know that you’re an adult now, and that no one calls your mom when you don’t show up, but there are some people who have skipping down to an art. Every time before spring break, Thanksgiving, or even the Pastafarian holiday “Talk like a Pirate Day”.

3. student loans are not free gifts

4. you can work… and overwork

5. dont be a stereotype

throwback time!

So has anyone noticed the old throwback drinks in their supermarkets? How about the old jerseys in the NFL right now, have you seen those? Well then step into my bubble bath time machine, and  jump on this bandwagon to check out the music from a distant era.

Now step out from my lavender scented tub, dry off and look around. Its not the courtyard in front of your old college, full of stoners with Led Zepplin shirts, we are in the 70s!

Now I never understood why this music from the 60s and 70 was still so big. I mean how many people do you see walking around listening to Elvis or Buddy Holly? Do you see people dressed like these guys walking around the street (if you live in Vegas, then you don’t count)? Then why are there still so many people walking around listening to Bob Dylan and wearing Greatful Dead shirts? So many people write these stereotypes as hippies or stoners, but I have found that there is really so much substance to this music, and in a lot of ways, it parallels us today.

Lets start with the social aspect of this era; music had long been segregated just as much as the black people themselves were. My History of the Recording Industry Professor one told me that by the 1950s, the only real difference between Country music and R&B was the color of the artist’s skin. It was a separation of music that was as obvious as the separate bathrooms. Black artists like Chuck Berry were only able to succeed in white communities because there were no pictures of Berry on the album covers, and because they thought he sounded “white enough”.

But then, by the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the music was growing together too. People started ignoring racial or social boundaries, taking conventional rock and roll with old R&B, and started experimenting with their own style. It began to grow together as a melting pot for the first time in our country’s history. This same professor told me that if old blues artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson could have sued guitarists like Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, they probably would have won! So this music formed the way that we hear music today.

On a political side, there was a highly contreversial war going on in Vietnam. Now Im not trying to make any parallels with Iraq or Afghanistan here, other than just trying to show some of their basic similarities. This war had been going on for years, and thousands upon thousands were dying each year, pushing many peaceful people to their limits. What made it worst was the fact that there was still a draft, so many of the soldiers were forced into serving this country despite his family or career.

This war greatly influenced people to write and sing too. Many of the lyrics were well thought out, so as to help make their argument more understandable to its listeners. It seems that  when our country has its biggest fires, it draws more passion and strength from its people,  which in great part created this genre. This war brought out sentiments so strong that anti war artists were actually getting play on pop radio too. I mean think about it; do you think that you can see Ke$ha singing “Blowing in the Wind”? Or watching Christina Aguilera sing “White Rabbit”?  Me neither, but good luck getting that awful image out of your head.

So if you take anything from this entry, just give this music a chance. Sure, there were some crazy drugs taking place, and it definitely had its part in shaping the music too, but what you are also hearing is History.