picture 15 – mmmmm… marriage-y

Here are the fine groomsmen I was with for my buddy Adam Benjamin’s wedding. It was a great time – very well might be the most enjoyable wedding I’ve been to. This could be a result of actually being in the wedding in full and seeing what it’s ultimately all about.

Highly recommended, by the way. Being a groomsman, that is. You get all the perks with no committment.

Well, except maybe the getting laid afterwards but not feeling guilty when you wake up in the morning. I didn’t try to test the theory out.

Today was a good day. Just wanted everyone to know. That is all.

And that’s a lie… there’s more.  Here’s something funny. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday reading The Fountainhead, and I heard this woman talking extrodinarily too loud, so I thought I may as well eavesdrop because she was clearly violating my soundspace. Anyway, some of the memorable quotes were:
“Oh yeah, guys in minivans turn me on! There he is, with his three kids… and probably his girlfriend in the passenger seat…”

“You know, you should totally use MySpace and bitch her out. Tell her how great life is for you… that things couldn’t be any better”

“Oh, but you know, I’m a bitch. Well, she’s a bitch, and I’m a slut”

[Talking to who I first mistook as her husband, but apparently just a friend] “Oh, you know I could take you on. I know how to deal with guys. All you have to do is rub a certain area for long enough.”

…That’s about when I left. She wasn’t my type.


the beginning of a new week

(edit: at the behest of Tricia Dituro, I’m finishing this entry, so beginning of a new week doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, really)…

Things are much better, now. I’ve come to find that often the interim and its frustrations can be assuaged by working through them. There’s something very Godly about Zen – sometimes the best thing one can do is embrace the things we’re hurt by and walk through them. One of the most crippling things in times of stress is observation.

I’m still in my quest to read The Fountainhead, and as I was reading tonight, I found this great conversation between two characters – Dominique Francon and Alvah Scarrett. I found it to be rather indicting for Christians. Quickly, Dominique says that she’d rather have zero expectations from people because she’d rather not have to deal with people making heroic things happen, only to find they go to a burlesque show for entertainment. I read that and thought about all the people who have turned their backs from Christianity becuase of people who do little to reflect Christ in their lives. And, to be honest, I have frustration on both sides: Christians, why aren’t we trying to live a less dualistic, more faithful lives; non-Christians, why aren’t you giving us the grace you so expect from us in return?

It’s a place that all Christians on their journeys have to face to make it relevant to theirs and others lives: when does one let go of making their own decisions and let themselves be lorded over? When does the pursuit of holiness take precidence over popularity? In fact, when does the pursuit of holiness trump every other worldly desire? It doesn’t mean that popularity doesn’t come, but it can be fleeting and put to sacrifice for God’s sake.

Which, to go back to the top of post, is the tweak I like to think that makes Zen and Christianity compatible: the only constant is the triune God. I cling to Him and He holds me, and everything is worth letting go of.

Anyway, I’m heading to bed. Good night, dear ones. Much peace.

getting through the week

This week has been one of the more difficult in my short life thus far.  Consider:

  • I drove upwards of 1000 miles in 4 days from Erie to Grove City to Cranberry to Saxonbug to Butler to Grove City to Butler to Cranberry to Westminster Highlands to Erie to Greenford to Youngstown to Greenford to Youngstown to Greenford to Youngstown to Erie.
  • Half of that driving was for my grandfather’s surgery.  It went well, but it was stressful, and I had about 3 hours of sleep the night before it, so I was tired, and haven’t really woke up yet.
  • I’ve had to make up for mistakes from being burnt out in May after everything that happened then.  Mainly, I’ve had to fix not really taking care of my keys to well to the apartment building, and now more recently I can’t find my walkie-talkie.

I feel frustrated because I’m making up for things I did months ago, and feel like I’m being drug around so that I can’t take the time to reflect and get going.

I’m better than how I’ve performed, and while I know I’ve had stuff happen, it’s still frustrating.

God still loves me.  I have a life.  I have a soul.  Tomorrow will be a new day, and my students will come.  I will feel like the capable staff memeber I am.  It’s the interim that always sucks.


old post

…I saw this because someone had searched for it, and it came up.  Anyway, I really like this entry.  I was suprised I wrote it.

A couple things got into my head today and I figured I’d share if for only my own benefit.

When I first came to Grove City, one of the first things I looked at were the two rocks in front of Harbison chapel. Of particular significance was the one towards MAP. On it were the Men Of The Year. Awarded by the honorary, it shows the best and brightest men ever to walk on the campus of Grove City. And I said to myself then that I’d work to get to that level and perhaps be lucky enough to have my name on the rock. And here I am in my Senior year and I thought about the rock today with a certain twinge of sadness. I look at what I’ve done over the last three years and see that I could match up to the graduates last year – A member of OB, and RA and an RD, community activities, active for awhile in the Prison Ministry, Delta Rho Sigma Chaplain, and an actor in the Grove City College one acts. I mean, I’ve done it… except honoraries. My grades sit at a 3.24 – .6 below what they need to be to be thought of for ODK, the main honorary. No Operation Top Management, no nothin’. And it bothers me because the main reason I wanted to be on that rock was legacy – I wanted to feel like all I’ve been doing to try to make Grove City better would be worth it, and people would look at that rock and say “Adam Anderson, he must of done something”

Nothing scares me more than anonymity. To be one of many. To be another face in the crowd and not making a difference. It’s one of the driving factors in my life – to be and do something with this world and to encourage others to do the same. And I felt like it all culminates on a plaque on a stone in a place where everyone on the entire campus walks by.

For a moment I sat here depressed. And then I thought about it and realized how silly that all is. How arrogant of me to think that a rock makes a difference. How silly to think I can’t make a difference. I’ve always wanted to see my work in people come through, and I look at the guys on my hall last year. I look at Paul Peal and Elizabeth Dunn and see what God’s doing in them and how incredible each of them are, and think that maybe God used me in their lives. And the more I thought, the more I realized that God doesn’t want a flashy servant. Jesus speaks about the fact that when someone’s serving and giving, don’t let the left hand know what the right is doing. In the end that’s the point. To be the best servant I can be for God and for others, I can’t be aiming for the accolades, but for the joy that serving entails.

Because in the end, I’d rather have one of my guys feel I made a difference in their life than receive a thousand Man of the Year awards.

prayer request

Hey all, if you don’t mind, I could use some prayer/thoughts/concerns/etc about my grandfather.  Apparently his heart is fairly deteriorated, and will be having a triple bypass and valve replacement surgery next Tuesday.

I’m really nervous about it.  I feel like it’s a mix of knowing my grandpa is nervous about it, but also being two hours away from my family and knowing there’s absolutely nothing I can to remedy anything.  I can only be here.  I have a cell phone and the proper numbers.  I have a car, but what good will that do me until Tuesday?

I also have a job, and it starts on Monday anew.

It is times like this (as, to be honest, all times should be) that I learn how to depend more deeply on God and His grace and perfection, though this a task that isn’t easy.

On a positive note, my office is looking great, and my apartment got a much needed facelift.


dear will sinclair,

Hey Will.

You might never read my blog again.  That makes me sad, becuase I think what you wrote was compelling.  For those of you who might not have read your comment, here it is:

The sooner the Arabs and the Jews exterminate each other as well as the entire U.S.of A. the better for the rest of the world.
The Bible and Koran are total myth and fable. Harry Potter is as believable.
All of you “believers” live in fantasyland.
Will Sinclair

Anyway, I’m bringing this back up again only because I want to maybe spurn some conversation about this stuff.  You bring up two great subjects:

  1. Arab and Jew fighting against each other
  2. My faith (and I think more specifically Christianity in general) and how I live with it

Hopefully over the next couple entries I’ll have a chance to talk about both of those things, not becuase I want to prove right or wrong, but to add something to the discussion.  Understand, Will, the last thing I want to do is get on your case, or try to beat my beliefs upside your head.  What you do with the info is your choice, but I’m here to provide.  So please, Will and anyone who has something to say about either of those subjects, sound off!

I had been planning on write a few entries on worldview, and specifially this reformational worldview I’ve found so attractive.  But not tonight.  Tonight is sleep!

Much love to all.

first day back in erie

…and I’m sure I could write about a whole heck of a lot, but I’m going to join the blogosphere buzz and talk about The Roots new album Game Theory.

For those of who are long time readers of my blog, you know I’m a HUGE Roots fan.  When I think about where my own musical style has gone and has been influenced over the last few years, few artists have as much sway with me as The Roots (maybe only Ben Folds and Sufjan Stevens have the cred in my mind equal).  The biggest reasons for my love is that they take hip-hop and apply creativity and intelligence to create art.  What makes them even more special is that they do it in a music genre that struggles for artistic relevancy.  This fall, I’m planning on FINALLY seeing them in concert.

Anyway.  On to Game Theory.  It’s coming out at the end of the month, but they released an EP, and I was able to snoop out a couple other tracks.  The drummer and musical genius of the group, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, said this would be their darkest album yet, and that the MC (which, in my and in others opinion, one of the best ever), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, is dropping back from is, diss-heavy, KRS-One spitting, and developing narratives and social commentary – a move that I think reflects the ethos of The Roots in general.  The Roots, and the group best associated with them (Common, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott) are thoughtful about the issues concerning race.  To be more forceful in their lyrics is a great transition.

I find as I’m listening to the couple tracks I have (specifically the EP, Baby, and Game Theory), I sense a couple things.  First, they’re forging new territory.  Don’t Feel Right, their first single, has a top-notch piano vamp that compliments BTs MCing.  Tariq has one of the best rhythmic senses of any hip-hop, and his ability to syncopate is second-to-none.  Secondly, they’ve brought some of the best pieces of old-school Roots (Malik B?  Rhazel?  Yes, I’ll have some of both.)  In Right, Rhazel’s doing his thing in the background.  Third, again, a stronger play on social issues in BT’s rap.  ie (emphasis mine, and ps – it’s explicit, and I edited for you… but I make no apologies for explicit lyrics… it’s art, man.  C’mon.):

It don’t feel right, it don’t feel right
It don’t feel, it don’t feel, I can’t feel it no more
It don’t feel right, it don’t feel right
It don’t feel, it don’t feel, I don’t feel it no more
Things don’t feel right over here
Lately I ain’t been seein’ clear
It don’t feel right, it don’t feel right
It don’t feel, it don’t feel, I can’t feel it no more
It don’t feel right, it don’t feel right
It don’t feel, it don’t feel, I can’t feel it no more
Seems to me nowadays things have changed
I don’t know if I feel the same

[Verse 1-Black Thought]
Yo, in the land of the unseen hand, and hold trouble
Theorize your game, it’s difficult to roll a double
The struggle ain’t right up in your face, it’s more subtle
But it’s still comin’ across like the bridge and tunnel vision
I try to school these bucks, but they don’t wanna listen
That’s the reason the system makin’ its paper from the prison
And that’s the reason we livin’ where they don’t wanna visit
Where the dope slang and keep swayin’ like Sonny Liston
The money missin’ and there’s mouths to feed
Yet the brain kickin’, thinkin’ of a thousand things
Remember back in the days, when the kitchen had eggs
And pancakes, thicken and greens and Kool Aid
When the ‘fridgerator naked then the cupboard is bare
People got to strip naked, stick ‘em up in the air

Wasn’t lies when they told you wasn’t nothin’ to fear
Somethin’ don’t feel right out here, nahmsayin’? Check it out


[Verse 2-Black Thought]
Look, my eyes open ‘cause I’m really a rocksmith
And when inviting me thoughts, I’m really unboxin’
My main adversary in this silly concoction
Freeze your face like bosilium toxin
If you ain’t tryin’ to get popped, then give me a option
Helicopters choppin’ from Philly to Compton
The Jones is the richest since dismissin’ the Johnson’s
If you ain’t sayin’ nothin’, you a system’s accomplice
It should play with your conscience, do away with the nonsense
I’m overseeing anything within my circumference
This ain’t a press junket, I ain’t seekin’ responses
I stand where the people got the heat in they pocket
You mesmerized by the calm nonchalant-ness
I spit a dart, rub on some John Hitchcock s***
If you ain’t speakin’ your life, your rhyme’s adopted
If it don’t feel right, then stop it, you nahmsayin’?


[Verse 3-Black Thought]
Yo, field you work in, weapon producin’
Natural disaster got the planet in a panic
We all gots to make that livin’
Sex, drugs, murder, politics and religion
Forms of hustlin’, watch who you put all your trust in
Worldwide, we coincide with who sufferin’
Who never had shit and ain’t got nothin’

But most strugglin’, and make you wanna run up in the ma’ f*****’
With hots on for a piece of the cake back
I can’t work for it, I can certainly take that
I’m fired up, thinkin’ about the payback, except
You f*** around and be a enemy of the state, black
Ill, but that’d be too real for TV
It’s crazy when you too real to be free
If you ain’t got no paper then steal this CD
Listen man, I’ll let you know how it feel to be me, it don’t feel


There’s an angry fist being raised, and I think this is going to turn some heads.  Also, this isn’t to say they weren’t thinking about this stuff before, but I like they’re making it a point on their first single.  Speaking of, now that they’ve moved from Geffen to Def Jam and Jay-Z, I think there will be a better distribution, and finally we might see The Roots get the public accolade they so sincerely deserve.

But I don’t know if they will.  Folks who were die hard fans in the 90s and albums such as Illadelph Halflife, and Do You Want More?!!!?? are often jaded by Phrenology and The Tipping Point, saying the former are “true hip-hop”, and the latter are just sell out albums.  Me?  I love the latter stuff.  For the same reason I love The Roots – progressive thinkers.  Which really, might be the best way to describe The Roots – the thinking man’s hip-hop.  So, please.  Take a listen.  Go to ?uestlove’s MySpace page and download the latest track.

On a more current note, it’s about 90 degrees in my apartment tonight.  I’m going to remedy this by taking a trip with Hernandez to the Hookah bar in town.  High fives.

Much love to the people still reading my blog.   I’m back.  And this year is going to be huge.   I can feel it.