Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some Post Debate Observations

Warning: political observations ahead. Do not continue if you hate politics, are easily offended, or have a natural bias against libertarians.

No, I have not seen the debate, but I didn't need to. I'm already what they call a "disillusioned voter," and I have no intention of being wooed back to the Republican party to vote for Romney. If they didn't want us before, why should we come back now? So what I'm about to say probably doesn't mean anything as far as either establishment goes.

I've been listening and observing around my campus and on the internet after the debate last night, and there's one thought that has kept running through my head:

I am SICK and TIRED of people acting like Obama and Romney are any different.

Hint: They're not.

They may have different strategies, but a vote for either of them is a vote for more deficit spending, more foreign entanglements we have no business getting into, and more regulation and laws that are NOT NEEDED.

I'm tired of hearing that Obama is "for the middle class" when he signed into law the massive "Affordable Care Act" that will become a massive burden for everyone, most of all the middle class. I'm tired to hearing that Romney is "better than Obama" when they both support continual renewal of the Patriot Act.

This is making me depressed.

And if you don't believe me, here's 100 Ways Mitt Romney is Just Like Barack Obama from the Independent Voters Network. If any of you are so happy and excited about supporting one over the other, I would really rethink that. I'm not telling you to just change your views because I said so, but in the words of Mark Twain, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

And where will I be this November? Still voting. Still planning to send in my absentee ballot. They may marginalize me and pretend my views don't matter, but I'm still going to keep expressing them by either voting for Gary Johnson or writing in Ron Paul.

Wasted vote? No. It's not wasted because I believe in whom I'm voting for. Can any of you say the same?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Endless Shrimp?

To the waiter at Red Lobster that let us leave the restaurant with more shrimp than we ate in the evening and lots of cheddar bay biscuits:
Thank you. Your kindness will not be forgotten.
A Poor College Student

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tickle Me Pink

I know...yet again, I probably don't have much of a readership left other than the Lovely Q. And maybe a few others that don't comment very often.
If you're here, welcome again! Thank you for taking time to visit my poor neglected blog.

I'm posting again for a few reasons.

1. My best friend in real life started writing a blog. You should check it out. This guy is amazing, both on the interwebs and in real life and is an inspiration to me in SO many ways.

2. I've moved! Instead of living Somewhere Sort of Near Houston, I now live Somewhere in the Vicinity of Dallas for school. I'm a University student now!! And as such, I have some thoughts on my experiences and people that I've met so far. Names will be changed to protect the nerdy.

3. I've missed blogging. Yeah, yeah, if I've missed it, why haven't I written?! Well, I haven't had much to say for awhile. This syndrome has affected me in other regions; I'm normally pretty consistent about keeping my journal, but lately that's been neglected as well.

Aaaaand, now that I have administrative business dealt with, I leave y'all with my current favorite song that I wish to purchase in the future.

(the video is rather weird, but I LOVE this song.)

"Pray for the people inside your head for they won't be there when you're dead."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

John Green is SO Right

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” 

“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreperably broken.” 

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” 

"You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot."

"You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you miss them."

"'Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them,' I said.

'Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.'"

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep-slowly, then all at once."

"My love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful."

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Stream of Consciousness Discussion of the Nature of "Christian Artists" by Genre

(Mid-way edit: This is becoming a bit of a train of thought, stream of conscious discussion, so bear with me.)

I've been pondering the nature of being a Christian artist but not a "Christian artist" by genre for a few weeks. (I've thought about it before, but I've been mulling around this particular train of thought for a few weeks)

This has come to a climax this evening when I watched the movie Godspell for the second time within a week. There are few "Christian" movies that minister to me the way Godspell does. The only one that comes even close is Bella, and even that movie isn't quite "Christian" by genre.

If you'll allow me to digress a moment, I'll go to an interview of Andy Hunter, my favorite trance artist who is also a Christian, who says, "I think what I find frustrating is there are so many talented people within the church that are just not given room to express their gift in worship.  So it’s always the same format and songs. On a weekly basis where’s the poetry, painting, dance, sculptures, different genres of music?"

Bringing this back to Godspell, I connect more to that show/movie/music than I do to most contemporary Christian music. I'm trying to figure out whether it's because I'm a theater actor myself, and as such that genre ministers better to me than the Christian music genre. Or, I've wondered whether it ministers better to me because the church environment I've been influenced by for the past seven or eight years takes things so dreadfully serious all the time and I think God has a better sense of humor than they do.

Watching the movie more than once recently, I was struck with something that I love. The movie portrays Jesus (played by Victor Garbor, who is fast becoming one of my favorite actors) as our teacher and master, yes, but also living WITH us--as symbolized by his dancing in the background in other characters' solos. He's the God of the Universe, but He doesn't have every solo. He clearly values every disciple's artistic contribution.

This brings me to another section of this overall "Christian artist" discussion--- Owl City is becoming one of my favorite artists these days as well. He is another artist who is Christian but is not a "Christian artist" by genre. I was touched by his music before I ever found out he was a Christian. 

Here's an excerpt from that interview: 

"Q: When you write, do you ever consciously think, "This will work well with the Christian market; that will work well with the mainstream"? Or do the songs just fall where they may?
A: In a manner of speaking, my music has an extraordinary way of writing itself, and I'm usually just "the guy at the desk"—and the same goes for lyrics. I never consciously think about what specific line or lyric will resonate with what audience. I merely try to push all that aside and write sincerely from the heart, as if myself and God will be the only ones ever to hear it. In that way, I believe it keeps my music very pure and uncontaminated by whatever preconceived notions I might start injecting into the writing process. I just sit down to write a song as if it's the first and last piece of art I'll ever have the privilege of working on. And a privilege it is."

The "preconceived notions" he mentions is something I wonder if Christian fiction writers (by genre) struggle with. One of the problems I have with Christian fiction is the fact that they can kind of be god themselves when writing whatever situations their characters get into. The one they use the most that also annoys me the most is the typical Christian character who doesn't think they "evangelize enough" but then when they least expect it, some other character they had no idea had any interest in religion is touched by their (the main character's) life and ASKS the main character about Christianity and boom! The secondary character hears about Christ and is saved then and there.

Now, I'm not saying God doesn't use situations like that. But they're not exactly the norm unless I'm very much mistaken.

Whenever I've considered becoming a "ministry actor" by trade (meaning I only perform in Christian plays for the purpose of devoted ministry or evangelization) I've resisted the idea, partially because I don't like a lot of Christian-by-genre movies for those trope-y reasons. I had a fleeting thought because of that once that maybe I was wasting my talent on secular entertainment, but I don't think I am.

As spiritual and thinking beings, we don't have merely physical desires. We also have desires to be challenged mentally, to laugh, and to FEEL. If I can make someone laugh who has had a bad day in a farcical role, then I've made a positive impact in the world. It doesn't matter if I'll never write a play or portray a Tony award winning role in New York. What matters is that in my own little corner of the theater world, I've made a positive impact. 
If people have the same emotional response to the song "Fireflies" that I did, then Adam Young has made a positive mark on the world, not with a "Christian song," but with a song written for the glory of God. Likewise, my stage performances don't have to be only of historical Bible epics and Christian contemporary cliche stories to be to the glory of God and to have a positive impact. Paul didn't say "Do all exclusively Christian things to the glory of God;" he said "Whether you eat, drink, or WHATEVER YOU DO, DO ALL for the glory of God." 

And so I'm gonna keep playing my drunks, whores, and comedic villains to the glory of God. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Angsty Quote Day

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." -Corrie ten Boom

Not leaving: an act of trust and love,
Often deciphered by children." -Markus Zusak

"His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink." -Terry Pratchett

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Computer Crashed...

...thankfully, I have another that I use for school, so I'm not messed up there.
My hard drive is fried, so I lost anything that wasn't backed up. Taking inventory of the stuff I know I lost, the thing that made me go "OH, CRAP!!" when I thought of it while lying in bed this morning was my book inventory...oh, I know I backed it up at some point, but I don't know whether I backed it up after the last major overhaul.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Music That Makes Me Happy (Well, Sort Of)

Celtic Woman's new album is great...this is my favorite, but I also love You'll Never Walk Alone, Follow On,  A Woman's Heart, and many others.

This is a very poignant song...I have the "real" version, but I first heard this song on the Muppet Show, so I thought I'd show y'all that version.

I LOVE the single they released from the Hunger Games soundtrack. It has just now inspired me to read all the books again before the movie comes out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last Night

I sat with one I love last night,
She sang to me an olden strain;
In former times it woke delight,
     Last night-but pain.

Last night we saw the stars arise,
But clouds soon dimmed the ether blue;
And when we sought each other's eyes
     Tears dimmed them too!

We paced along our favorite walk,
But paced in silence broken-hearted:
Of old we used to smile and talk;
     Last night-we parted.

-George Darley

P.S. Yay for finding books such as 1000 Years of Irish Poetry at Half-Price Books!!! I knew there was a reason I always went to the bookstore when I'm melancholy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Internet Community, Take Note!!!!

Federal government censorship is NEVER acceptable.
Please take a stand against SOPA along with all the other sites blacking out in protest.

Here's's form to Senators that you can send off.

Remember what Faber said to Montag about what happened after people stopped reading--"So few want to be rebels anymore."

Resistance is victory!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Have You Hugged Your Constant Today?

I watched my favorite episode of Lost the other day because...well, I just had the urge to for no reason that I can really say. It made me think how fantastical and awesome this individual story arc was even IF the ending sucked.

Just think hypothetically for a moment. What if you and I were dating. In love. Looking to marry. Then I suddenly cut off the relationship and joined the armed forces.
Two years later, after not hearing from me at ALL, I call you and say I need to see you. You refuse. I then track you down through your father.
Though irritated, you let me talk. I tell you that if you ever loved me or still have any hope for our relationship, you need to give me your phone number and keep the same number. I'm not going to call for eight years, but when I do I NEED you to answer.

Those of you who watched Lost will, of course, recognize that I am talking about Desmond and Penny's story arc, specifically the events in The Constant. (probably my favorite episode of the series)
Though Desmond never specifically tells Penny that he's jumping through time, watching it again made me think about that (almost entirely) unlikely scenario. How in the world do you tell someone that if you don't make contact with them in eight years (during those eight years, we WON'T talk. At all.) you will die of disorientation by time travel.

Asking someone to be your constant is an incredibly serious thing to ask. Literally life and death. It has a bit more leverage than asking someone to be your valentine. Whatever that means today.

And so, I'd like to present you with

Lady Brainsample's Guide to Choosing Your Constant

When considering a constant, there are many important factors to consider. This guide endeavors to help you explore the important questions to ask about the person who potentially qualifies.

1. Is your candidate familiar in both time periods?

This isn't the time to call up Susie from second grade. The candidate should exist in both time periods and also be someone you can potentially get ahold of in both time periods.
Lady Brainsample recommends taking very careful consideration about using parents or grandparents because of this qualification.
As our posterboy Desmond Hume knows, there can be a large amount of time between the two periods one is shifting to and from, so if you happen to have been isolated on an Island for a few years and suddenly need a constant, you don't want to call on your Great Grandma Louise who was on the brink of death the last time you saw her. Likewise, even if you are pretty sure Susie would agree to be your constant, if you haven't spoken to her since the last time you attacked her with snowballs, (with the assistance of your tiger) she probably isn't the ideal constant.

2. Is your candidate someone meaningful to you?

You may have your old boss's phone number burned into your permanent memory banks, but if you toss and turn in your sleep with nightmares of your boss's former demands that he needs you to come in Saturday, you probably don't have a meaningful relationship with him.
Because the whole reason you need a constant is to avoid a brain aneurism, you don't want to speed up the process by your only contact being someone who threatened to do so every day of your life you worked for him.
To avoid dying by brain aneurism by time travel, your constant should be someone whose voice and presence bring about positive feelings. Our posterboy Desmond Hume, for this reason, picked the woman he loved, Penny Widmore, to be his constant.

3. Is your constant likely to believe fantastic phenomena?

Though Desmond Hume didn't directly tell Penny about his time travel problems, Lady Brainsample recommends being more straightforward to your candidate about their duties as your constant.
If you are great friends with your physics professor, but he makes a comment about how only nut jobs believe time travel could ever be possible, it's probably a good idea to be discrete about your time travel problems and look for a constant elsewhere.
On the other hand, if your conspiracy-theory loving best friend sports an X-Files "I Want to Believe" shirt with the appropriate spacey planet earrings and green eye shadow, she is probably more likely to believe your time traveling tales and be more than happy to assist you.

If you answer yes to all three questions, then congratulations! You've found yourself a good candidate! All of us at Cease Repining wish you the best in your traipsings through time travel.