Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh, may I join the Choir Invisible...

Last night was an interesting night. We played in Waco at Common Grounds, which is on Baylor campus. It was the first night that we had our EPs so we went ahead and sold them. I'm not sure exactly how we did but Paul said we did well, so that's good. It was also the first time anyone heard "Preaching To The Choir Invisible, Part I." We all loved playing it live. I think, more than we expected. And we played it well, so I was really happy. Paul kept commenting on the strangeness of debuting that song on one of the most Baptist campuses in America. Maybe it was weird or offensive to some people, but if it was, no one said so. In fact, someone did come up to me and thank me for not censoring ourselves because of our proximity to Baylor. The song isn't obscene, but it may be uncomfortably personal for some people. Betsy said she liked it but she did feel "heavy" after we played it. Whatever that means.

We were talking about it on the way home and I confess that I do worry a little bit about losing religious fans, but at the same time I feel like even most liberal, self aware, Christians are going to find a lot to relate to in the new songs. Surely, everyone has felt like they're praying to nothing at one point or another, even if they're determined to hold on to their faith.

Anyway, Paul had the idea of having a contest where people make Quiet Company essay videos and the winner got to ride along with us last night. So, in the van, we had myself, Matt, Paul, Justin (our video director), Greg (from the Austin Music Examiner), and Jaqueline (our contest winner). Tommy and Jeff both took their own cars for their own reasons. Everyone was nice and cool and I think had a good time. I'm hoping that Greg embellishes on his adventures with us in whatever story he writes about it. Something like, "I woke up on the floor of Quiet Company's van with the band members standing circled around me, dressed in blood red cloaks, holding candles and chanting in unison. I had strange bruises all over my body and what looked like Stigmata..." You know, something more interesting than, "they fed me pizza and made fun of Owl City a lot." Which is what really happened.

Anyway, the show was fantastic. Since the other two bands also featured ex-members of Jeff's old band, Ethan Durelle, they had a reunion show after our set. It was really good to see them play again. I love watching Jeff play drums and I don't get to as much now that he's always behind me, so that was nice. I still love that band and I wish they'd just found another drummer when Jeff left and continued making music. They were, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite bands to play with.

So it goes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If my friend, Matt, is ever eaten by a shark, I've agreed to hunt/kill that shark and feed it to people at his wake so that Matt lives on in all of us

Yesterday, Leah and I took her father and his wife to Austin's Park and Pizza.

I don't know if anything kills my mood the way a bad game of Lazer Tag can. As much as I love the game, I seem to be on the receiving end of a curse. Whichever Lazer pack I pick will most certainly malfunction on some level. Usually, it's something small like, "My rapid-fire won't work." Yesterday, my pack would take hits, and my lazer would shoot, but it would not register on anyone else. I was utterly defenseless and just wandered around being murdered. I came in last place, with a whopping 0 points. I didn't want to play anymore after that. Besides, it smelled like B.O. in there, something fierce. And don't say that I just suck, I tested my gun at point blank range several times and it just didn't work.

Austin's Park and Pizza sucks ass. There are so many things there that should be awesome, lazer tag, go carts, video games, mini golf, batting cages, pizza buffet, etc. But somehow, nothing is as cool as it should be. The employees couldn't possibly care less and Leah said "Surely, these people are getting minimum wage." I proposed that, perhaps, they weren't being paid at all and were, in fact, slaves.

I think the best thing we did was the batting cages. I've always hated baseball because its so damn boring, but we had a lot of fun at the batting cages. I'm actually pretty long as someone is lobbing softballs slowly at me.

We ended the evening by, unwisely, doing the spinning teacups on a full stomach. I can spin the shit out of those things and did so, at my wife's request. And that is why I felt bad for the next hour and a half.

Oh well, still not a bad way to kill an evening.

Todd and Hollie, graciously, babysat for us, so we got to hang out with them for a while when we got home, which I was glad of. We're getting pretty close to their due date, and then who knows how often we'll see them. I hope it's still often, though.

Also, when I got home there were about 7 boxes full of our new EP waiting in my foyer. They look and sound fantastic. Yay, discmakers!

So tonight, we'll be on channel 10 in Austin on the Infynit Hour, playing a live set (God, I hope it sounds good) and tomorrow, we'll be in Waco at Common Grounds and we'll be selling the EP a little early.
Good times.

Did everyone download the mix I made you? What were your favorite tracks? Were there any artists that you didn't know that you want to hear more of now?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

That's some real conversation for your ass.

When I first started this blog, I had an idea to occasionally make digital mixtapes and post them for readers to download. Leah didn't think it was that cool of an idea so I never did it.

Anyway, I decided to do it this weekend. I had to break it up into 2 parts though, so be sure to download both.

Here is part 1.
Here is part 2.

Here's the track listing:
1. Civil Twilight - The Weakerthans
2. Cactus Flower Rag - Harper Simon
3. Drummer - Coconut Records
4. Moses of the South - Colour Revolt
5. Bloodbook on the Half Shell - Danielson
6. Bearing Witness - David Bazan
7. Still Lost - The Features
8. What Should We Do With Your Body? (The Lightning) - The Paper Chase
9. Mama, I'm Satan - Cursive
10. The Songs of National Freedom - Richard Swift
11. Wait For Me - Sean Lennon
12. The Shadow Proves The Sunshine - Switchfoot
13. Die A Little - Viva Voce
14. She's Walking Out - The Stills
15. Beautiful Child - Rufus Wainwright


Friday, April 23, 2010

Pure. Unadulterated. Shit.

Last night, a lot of Leah and I's favorite shows were new again. Community is still my favorite new show and it did not disappoint. The Office was good, too, but I think it has plateaued. Glee is another of our favorite shows and Leah and I watched this weeks episode online in bed, because we didn't have room on the DVR for it.

I've caught a fair amount of shit from the other guys about liking Glee, but that show is generally great. That being said, I think this weeks episode was one of the worst things I'd ever seen. I should preface this by saying that I have a deep seeded hatred for the music of Madonna, so take that information and feel free to write off my opinions if you love it. That episode was really hard to watch for me. The whole thing was just one instance after another of trying-too-hard. "How much Madonna can we cram into one episode?" I felt like there was as much shitty Madonna music as there was story, probably more actually. I was really conflicted while watching it because I want to know what happens to the characters but I was miserable the whole time and really just wanted to watch something else (and/or rip my ears off). Even I was shocked by how much I hated it. Even I didn't know I hated Madonna that much. I think I hate her more than Lady Gaga... weird. I think I hate her more than The Police.

Why do I hate her? For, essentially, the same reasons that I can't stand Gaga. To me, the definition of being pretentious in music, is when your actual songs are secondary to your image. Image is important in music culture, I know that. But there is a big difference in an image that is an extension of your art and yourself, and one that is deliberately manufactured to sell. Madonna has probably been the most successful at periodically manufacturing a new image to sell, each as disingenuous as the last. At the end of the day, you have to look at her art and wonder if it's all bullshit. You see so many versions of her that it makes every version as unlikely as the next to be an accurate representation. As the wise man, Kurt Vonnegut, said "Any work of art is half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you."

Also, (and arguably, most importantly) I think her music is awful. Pure. Unadulterated. Shit.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's the terror of knowing what this world is about...

If I could steal anyone's voice, my priority targets would go like this:
1. Freddie Mercury
2. John Lennon
3. Thom Yorke
4. Lee Bozeman
5. That is all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This day is alive and this day is hungry.

Right now, I'm listening to the practice recordings we made last night. Considering that they are, largely, the result of hanging one mic from the ceiling in the practice space, they sound pretty OK. Last night we brought Cody and Landre, tromboner and trumpeter respectively, in to learn the two new songs, so that we can start playing them at our CD release show on May 7th. The horns are pretty out of tune in these recordings but they'll be great on the 7th, I'm sure. Definitely not bad, considering it was their first time to really even hear the songs.

I'm really excited about each of these two new songs. Probably more so than I've ever been excited about a new song. Turns out there is some merit in everyone working together to shape a song. Well, it turns out that there is some merit in Tommy, Matt, Jeff, and I working together to shape a song. For most of my musical life, it was definitely more productive to arrange the song all on my lonesome, not to mention far more conducive to my "vision." *Pretentious. Anyway, when we were playing last night, it struck me, as it often does, how lucky I am to have these guys as my musical brothers. I didn't tell them that, though, because I'm always telling them that kind of thing, and they never tell me anything of the sort unless I compliment them first. What a bunch of assholes. Thoughtless...selfish...assholes.

I'm kidding of course. I have to clarify when I'm kidding because the internet has no sense of humor to speak of.

Leah's mom's dog, Sally, died today. She had kidney failure and the decision had to be made to put her to sleep. I am truly, truly sad, not just for Leah and her mom, but also because I will really miss Sally. She was an amazing dog. She was sweet and maternal and friendly, and when I first met Leah's family, I think it's fair to say that she was the most welcoming member right off the bat. Leah's blog about it almost made me cry at my desk.

This day is dragging and it won't stop.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I don't know if I'm fighting the "good fight," but I'm certainly fighting.

The internet is full of people, this much we know for sure. All kinds of people, really. Just look at this blog! In this one tiny area of cyberspace we have quite the smorgasbord of intellects and ideals. Let's look at religion.

We have people like myself and Green (hope you don't mind being lumped in with me) who've done our time in one sect of Christianity or another and though finding it unfulfilling (to put it very lightly), we're still skeptically open to the possibilities.

We have people like the good Teresa, who is very sure that there is no god, and more power to her.

We have people like Travis, who is completely sure that there is a god, and although he has failed to convince me that the case is concrete, god bless him, he keeps trying.

And then we have people like my wife, Leah, who remain comfortably disinterested in the whole matter. This is the stance I envy the most.

So here we are, this quaint little community. I think everyone is, generally, polite, courteous, and pleasant. Even Travis, who opposes almost every single thing I say about religion, does so in a respectful, even tempered, way. For this, I am very thankful. It's not like this everywhere else, as I've just experienced.

Remember The Naked Pastor? I wrote about him, briefly, a while back. Well, David Hayward (the Naked Pastor), has recently decided to leave his church. He just feels like he doesn't belong there anymore for whatever reason and he is leaving on good terms. Of course, this is met with an outpouring of support from his friends and blog readers. I, personally, sent no note of encouragement because, while I enjoy his blog, I don't really care if he works at a church or not. But he seems like a decent guy and I do wish him all the best.

So then there is a blog called Remonstrans written by a guy named Norm who goes by the alias "Dissidens." I believe the blog is set up to be a critique on the "emerging church" but honestly, I haven't looked at it past the post in question. Dissidens doesn't like Naked Pastor. Seems to have a vendetta against him, to me. So he posted this blog about David's leaving. I didn't really find anything terribly awful in the post. He's entitled to his opinions. I thought calling David a "basket case" was petty, but mild.

The only reason I found the blog was because David linked to it in his response. But it wasn't until I saw the first two comments that I thought I should speak up. Here is the conversation, as it pertains to me, in its entirety.
Team Us is in bold.
Team Them in italics.

Dissidens said:

That’s true: the horror of this hits someone who has read Dave’s jitney creed and the sycophants he’s attracted.

When these people desire a theology that commends itself to their sad intellects, this is what they get and this is the price they pay! Hayward questioned everything but himself, and this is his legacy.

What a grisly soul.

So I said:
Sad intellects? Jesus, you guys clearly know everything. Better a sycophant than an asshole.

It was several comments later before anyone thought that what I said was worth commenting on and it came from someone calling themselves "The Divine Passive."

I can't tell if Taylor is both praying AND cussing, or merely cussing. The NP would be proud either way I suppose.

Well, I couldn't have people think I'm praying so....
The Divine Passive,
I'm just cussing.

Simple enough, right? I really thought that I was done there, but Dissidens couldn't have me leave without a dose of good ol' scripture.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Do you not fear God, Taylor?

Well, he asked me a question, so he deserves an honest answer. I've always thought the terminology of "fearing God" is strange, but I've had it explained to me in more ways than I care to remember so I get it. I know what Christians mean when they say it, more or less.
If there is a god, then I'm relatively sure it's not Jehovah, so I would say that I fear your god about as much as I fear Santa Claus.

Also, I guess I should clarify that I don't fear Santa Claus

Now here is where it gets really juicy. Dissidens comes out swinging!

Now see, this is exactly why I think Hell was a brilliant idea. You’re not sure there is a god, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t one particular god, and on the strength of that uncertainty you blaspheme his name when he explicitly told everyone not to.

If you can’t reason with such a person, what more appropriate future could there than eternal confusion?

So not only is this lovely soul glad that there is a hell (or glad he can think there is, anyway) he's particularly pleased that I'm going. Now the concept of hell is a discussion I'm not trying to have right now, but I will say that the idea that god will forgive child molesters, rapists, and murderers but has no room in his heart for people who are not easily convinced of the far fetched, is....weak sauce. Anyway, this was my favorite response because his was so primed for parroting. So I said....
Now see, this is exactly why I think cussing was such a brilliant idea. You've got no empirical evidence that there even is a god, but you're somehow certain that you've picked the right one, and on the strength of that unjustified certainty you belittle and condescend to people who differ from, but are still just as clueless as, you. At least the folks over at Naked Pastor seem to enjoy a sense of self awareness that you're apparently not privy to.

If you can't reason with such a person, what more appropriate future could there be than to be eternally called an asshole?

So he said...
Who says a) that I don’t have empirical evidence for the existence of Yahweh? and b) that only empirical evidence is sufficient for belief? Why couldn’t faith derive from logic and first principles?

You’re as good a philosopher as Dave is a theologian. I can see how you would appreciate his sense of self-awareness.

And then I went home and lived life and Todd and Hollie came over and we played in the park and ate pizza and watched Lost and went to bed. So I didn't have time to respond and in my absence, Mike The Infidel stepped in and said a lot of what I wanted to say...
I'm more than a bit amused by someone who describes hell as 'eternal confusion' in a comment on a post talking about people's attitudes being non-biblical. Where, pray tell, does this conception of hell come from?

As for:
a) Please, provide it.
b) Faith is enough for belief, certainly, but why should faith be valued?

Before Dissidens could get back to him, The Divine Passive was back and he had some questions for Mike and I...
Mike and Taylor

How should I (or any other Christian) understand your hanging around Christian sites if your "spiritual journey" has taken you away from Christianity? And what is it about the NP that you find attractive?

Well, I don't recall being much of a philosopher on here, but this is great, I've been looking for someone who has all the answers and here you've been all along. If it weren't for the Naked Pastor, I'd never have found the one person with empirical, testable, verifiable, evidence that not only does god exist but we know his name.
So, although Mike already beat me to the punch here, if you've got such evidence, prove it. My email is taylorglenmuse (at) gmail (dot) com. If you don't mind, write me an email explaining and demonstrating this evidence. If it is truly empirical, then you should be able to prove yourself right, beyond a reasonable doubt. Try to remember my "sad intellect" though and use small, concise words.
However, if you can't really prove it, then all you've proven yourself to be is an unyielding, arrogant, person who puts theology ahead of people. In other words, you're a pharisee, and we all know how Jesus felt about them.

The Divine Passive:
I can't speak for Mike, but I'm only on this blog because NP linked it, and then this guy called people that read NP "sycophants" with "sad intellects" so I called him an "asshole," and so on and so on. I guess the shorter answer is "because I have a lot of free time at work, and I find religion interesting even if I no longer partake."
What I like about the NP, is that he's often pretty funny and/or insightful, and while a lot of Christian blogs tend to sell what I consider unjustified certainty, while being completely unable to understand how anyone could disagree with them, it's refreshing for someone to be the slightest bit humble about their faith while understanding how some can not believe.

AND HERE COMES DISSIDENS...only he doesn't really want to talk...He'd rather talk about talking.

God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? I don’t guess we get many readers via, but then not many people get to Nineveh via a nasty fish. God appears to have a wicked--if I can use that word--sense of humor.

I can see you’re having trouble focusing here, Taylor. I understand how a steady diet of the assumptions and platitudes one gets from Hayward could encourage a habit of sloppy thinking, but let’s tidy this up a bit. Back while you were scrambling for a spell-checker you said, (comment #28) “You've got no empirical evidence that there even is a god…”. That is the kind of self-serving assumption a lot of skeptics make about my life.

If you read my answer more carefully than you read the opinions on NP, you will discover that I never said a) that I ever had empirical evidence, or b) that I could “prove it”—your words. I was challenging your own claim that I had no such empirical evidence; you don’t know if I have or if I haven’t. So here right at the beginning of your gymnastic routine you’ve already fallen slap off the beam.

Make A Note: I didn’t say I had empirical evidence, I said you couldn’t know whether I have or haven’t. That was your first faceplant.

It might—but probably won’t—interest you to know that I believe God is 1) invisible, 2) inscrutable, and 3) ineffable; I cannot see him, I cannot comprehend him, and I cannot explain him—even to myself, let alone to a miseducated skeptic. If God doesn’t want you to see him, he could sit on the bridge of your nose and whistle to you and you still could not detect him, even “empirically”.

Your second faceplant was the assumption that the only way I might come by reliable knowledge (or faith) was empirically. If your Mom could go to the bookstore and bring home an idiot’s guide to flossfy, you could look up the word “empirical” and learn that not all knowledge comes through experience or science. If your Mom won’t do that for you, go here and follow the links.

Read Kant if you can, he’s helped many people all over the world.

"Don't say I don't have evidence!!!" OK, what evidence? "I NEVER said I had evidence, you're stupid. Read Kant."

And then a newcomer joined in, by the name of Warren, and he's got a few assumptions he'd like to make...

I enjoyed the Pharisee slight from someone who believes that Jesus was wrong about Theology and therefore people anyway.

I also like the fact you borrow from Theistic morality to judge. Unless of course you can define morality from naturalism.

I clicked on his link only to be unsurprised by the kind of up-our-own-ass apologetics that are so tiring. "If you want me to believe it I need proof" "You won't believe it no matter what the proof is!!" "Well, we'll never know until you actually show me some, will we?" "First you prove me wrong!" *Facepalm.

While I was drafting my final response, a fella named Joshua Allen joined in. I'm not sure what side he's on but I got a chuckle out of his response, either way...
@Taylor: You're challenging the wrong person. You should demand proof from God Himself. You should challenge God to a game of chess, and publish the challenge details far and wide, so that God cannot fail to hear you. If He shows up and beats you at chess, you'll have a story to tell. But if he doesn't show up, you'll be able to tell everyone that God doesn't exist, or at least that you are a better chess player than God.

Clearly, God would not let a challenge from a mortal like yourself go unanswered, since it would be so damaging to His reputation. Therefore, failure to appear is proof of lack of existence, or else fear of something even worse -- being a bad chess player.

Alas, I already know that I am a horrible, horrible chess player and I'm painfully aware of what a waste of time this has been and would continue to be. I just wanted to throw a little support behind David, call an asshole an asshole and be on my way, so I said...
Well, as fun as semantics and assumptions can be, I don't appear to have been wrong, do I? I said you didn't have evidence, you implied that that was not the case, I asked for it, and now you want to make the argument about whether or not you ever really said you had any. And you want to accuse me of intellectual gymnastics?

I know this is a complete waste of time, but if god is all the things you say he is, how did you come to know so much more about him than everyone else? There doesn't seem to be anything of substance here, just a theological "I know you are but what am I?!"

"...I believe God is 1) invisible, 2) inscrutable, and 3) ineffable; I cannot see him, I cannot comprehend him, and I cannot explain him—even to myself, let alone to a miseducated skeptic."

How convenient. You'd think those beliefs would lend themselves to a more humble approach but I suppose Kant can explain how you should be a dickhead to everyone that disagrees with you. I think we're done now. You talk a lot but don't say very much.

Is it not possible to disagree with some things a person says and agree with others? Just because I don't believe that Jesus was god doesn't mean I don't think he said some lovely things. I would ask you to explain how Theists have exclusive rights to morality but I'm probably not going to be around to read it. I would also ask why you assume I'm a naturalist. Naturalists aren't the only thing you can be if you're not a theist, you know.

So that's what I've been doing. It was a good time but I won't be going back to see if anyone responds further, because I don't want to get drawn back in, and I know I could be. But it did make me appreciate the conversations that we have here that much more. I kind of understand them calling me names and saying I'm painfully ignorant or whatever they would say, but I think it's really weird to have that level of animosity towards David, who differs greatly on a lot of issues, to be sure, but still believes the same basic things. Seems theologically cannibalistic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The third installment of Quiet Company: Behind The EP is up and now you can all have certifiable proof of what a ham Leah really is. She's cute though. So is Harper, who also stars in the new video.

I really want to hear their voices right now, but Leah didn't pick up when I called. Guess she's busy. Oh well, she'll call back.

I'm looking forward to tonight. Todd and Hollie are coming over for dinner. We'll be ordering Domino's Pizza, which I never thought I would ever do, but they've really turned themselves around. It's pretty delicious now. I'm always really excited for my friends when they have babies, and that's especially true for Todd and Hollie. They're going to be great parents. They're both loving and kind and open and talented. Anyway, suffice to say, we love them and are so happy for them.

Todd almost joined Quiet Company not too long ago, but then he didn't.

We had our weekly rehearsal last night, and it was good. New songs are coming along nicely and I think everyone is having a good time playing them. I think that I don't care if we ever play "Brother, I Think You're In Love" again. I like the intro and the chorus but overall, I think it's one of the weakest songs I've written in a long time. Some people really love it, though, so I don't know what we'll do. As it stands, I can't see putting it on a proper record. I'd put it on an EP, probably.

I used to be a Jimmy Eat World fan. I mean, I still think they're OK and that Static Prevails kicks ass. I think the record they started to lose me was Bleed American. That's when they went from "band that makes great records" to "band that has a few good songs on each record." Mainly, I think it's because I don't think that those lyrics should come out of 30 year old men. Anyway, I'm not trying to do an in depth critique, but earlier today I had my Ipod on shuffle and a song from their newest record came on. I had kind of a "ewww yuck" reaction to it and skipped ahead. The song it landed on was Marilyn Manson's "The Dope Show." I thought, "Yeah, this song rules," and let it roll.

Just weird to think that if I went back to 1999 and told Past Taylor that one day he would prefer Marilyn Manson to Jimmy Eat World, I don't know what his reaction would be, but I doubt that he'd believe you.

Also, I was killing some time in the Barnes & Noble music section the other day, listening to the samples from this record or that one, and I found Harper Simon's record. That's Paul Simon's boy, in case you were wondering. I only got to listen to the samples but what I heard sounded great. Has anyone heard the whole record? He sounds like his father before he tarnished his name with those awful, cheesy, African drums and other world music tomfoolery.

Anyway, I'm going to try and snag a copy of that soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion

I am of the belief that, if you do horrible things, or knowingly allow horrible things to occur when it is in your power to stop them, you should be held accountable, no matter who you are. That's why I believe that every Catholic priest who molested children should be in jail. That's also why I believe that the Pope should be in jail. That's also why I believe that, seemingly, half the Vatican should be in jail.

If your priest touches your child, he should go to jail, or into a body bag and I'd probably opt for the latter. But the Catholics just let that shit happen. They trust in their precious popes, and bishops, and sexless nuns, their Bill Donohues, and their personal priests. They trust that those people of "authority" have the best moral judgement, I guess because they know god so well. I'm flabbergasted by the naivety of it all.

Hey Catholics, you know who generally makes good moral judgements? The fucking police. Maybe call them next time.

I'm glad that someone is finally trying to hold these sex offenders accountable, but the fact that it took 11,750 cases of sexual abuse, 11,750+ lives ruined, all in the hopes of keeping the Catholic church from looking bad, is heartbreaking to say the least.

And let's not fail to notice how G.W. Bush stepped in to save the pope from accountability last time. To me, that makes George W. Bush an aider and abettor of child molesters. Which is just as bad as being a child molester. So rationally, George W. Bush is a child molester.

Here are a couple of gems from LOL god.

Leah has launched her new baby fashion blog, Lennon Closet, and it is adorable. Go check it out to see the best dressed babies and whatnot.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's already Friday.

I generally don't think that I am a person with a lot of pet peeves, but today, I discovered one capable of bringing about an immediate and fiery response. While in a political discussion (which I generally try to avoid, being the only Socialist in the office), one of my coworkers said "Ah, you're never going to change."

Seems simple enough, right? He said this because I made a statement about how I would never vote Republican (again). I've had a two friends say this about me before as well, and it always gets under my skin. While I would normally think that maybe this is a good indication to look at one's self and wonder if, perhaps, they're right about you, I'm just calling bullshit.

First off, what they really mean is "You should agree with me, and I'm unable to convince you to." Your inability to make a concrete case for your position actually says nothing about my inability to change mine. I think it's an even more ridiculous thing to say about me when I think about how much changing I've done over the years and how many people I know that I've never known to change their position on anything.
2000- I was a fundamentalist Christian. I thought it was wrong to intermarry races. I thought homosexuality was a choice and a sin. I thought George W. Bush would be a great president. I thought evolution was a lie. I was convinced that Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Militantly pro-life.
2003- I became a liberal Christian. Realized how ridiculous racism is. Began to understand homosexuality. Thought George Bush mishandled war. Realized there is probably no scientific conspiracy regarding origins of life. Remained convinced of Michael Jackson's guilt. Still pro-life, but not militant.
2009- Realized I could not find a good reason to consider myself Christian at all. Joined Socialist Party. Proponent of equal marriage rights. Evolutionist. Think's Michael Jackson was probably innocent. Not a fan of abortion, but pro-choice.

Those all seem like pretty big changes to me. So when I say I'm never voting Republican again, it's because I have before. If I don't switch to your side, it doesn't mean I'm stubborn, it just means I don't agree with you. I'm very capable of change and before you accuse me of being hard headed, perhaps you should wonder if your case is as solid as you think it is.

Anyway, that's annoying.

Side note: I think it's weird that more Christians aren't Socialists.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We found a magnet in the parking lot at work that says "MANWHORE." Now we just have to decide who's car it's unexpectedly going on

I get awkward in front of a camera.

This is, I know, an unfortunate characteristic for someone married to a photographer to have. The truth is that, over the years, I've gotten much better and much more comfortable in front of her lens. That being said, I am still painfully awkward in front of a video camera. It takes me a long time to feel comfortable in my skin when that little red light is on. Making these small mini "documentaries" (for lack of a better word) is challenging to me, because I know when I'm being awkward, and if I'm talking about our music, I feel like I'm sounding pretentious and self absorbed, as well. All that to say, whatever gene people have that enables them to turn on their charm when the camera's on them...I do not possess.

So, next week, we're scheduled to release the mini-doc for "Hold My Head Above The Water," and fittingly, we thought it would a great idea to include Leah in the video, since she's the star of that show. So yesterday, Justin, our friend and director, came over to get an interview with Leah and I. I didn't perceive it when we were filming, but Leah later convinced me that I was not myself, and came off as somewhat cold towards her. That really bothered me all night. So today I asked Justin to come back out and refilm the interview, and he agreed to. Leah said we didn't need to do that, but I told her to be a good biblical wife and submit to my will.

She'll call me out for repeating this, but I thought it was a good line. I also told her, and I meant it, that "I would sooner have people think that I'm a Nazi sympathizer, creationist, Lady Gaga enthusiast, than think that I don't completely adore you."

I'm also looking forward to reshooting it because it provides us an opportunity to pay homage to my favorite celebrity power couple.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Separate...and far from equal.

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about how I would feel if my child were bullied or was a bully. Today, I'd like to talk about what I'd do if my child was gay, wanted to take her same sex partner to prom, the school cancelled the prom because of it, the media got wind of the story, the school realized how bad they looked and decided not to cancel the prom and told her she could bring her date, and then organized a special prom for her and 5 other rejects while inviting every other student to the real prom, successfully managing to keep it a secret from her.

Yeah....That really happened.

Now, I don't know this girl, so it may be that she is a total asshole and even the people who realized it was an awful thing to do still didn't want her around. But I really doubt that that's the case. So how is it that not one single person, not one student, not one teacher, not one parent, stood up and said, "Hey, this is the biggest dick move ever?" No one. What an awful place that must be to live in.

I'm not someone who thinks that people should run and get a lawyer over every little thing, but if that were my kid, I'd sue the shit out of that school. And then I'd move. They'd be eating beans and gruel for lunch everyday after I got done with them. Someone needs to make an example out of these people.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do you think Jehovah has a nickname for Yeshua?

Today on the radio, they were talking about the shocking levels of teen suicides that are the direct result of bullying. It broke my heart, and it got me thinking about the ways that I was bullied, but more importantly, it got me thinking about how I would react if Harper was bullied. A lot of parents, I think, tend to have a "that's just what kids do" mentality. To them, I would like to say, "Wake the fuck up! That shit is serious." I think the only thing that would break my heart more than someone bullying my child, would be if my child were the one doing the bullying. I have no idea how I would react if I found out that Harper was bullying someone, but I'm sure that it's a version of her father that she would not like to see.

But let this stand as a formal warning: If anyone ever bullies my child, I am going to hurt you.

Anyway, looking forward to a relaxing evening with the family and a new episode of Lost. I'm enjoying this new season, but I'm not a guy that sits around and formulates theories about what's happening. I just trust that, by the end of it, I'll know what the hell is going on, more or less.

We had practice last night and spent almost all of our time working on "Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part I." I'm really excited about what we've come up with. We had been starting the song with just me singing over a strummed electric guitar, but I really hated it. It reminded me of Travis. And I love Travis, but I hate when they do that, like in that song "Paperclips." Now it's driven by bass and Fender Rhodes, and I like it a lot. Anyway, who cares?

We went to the park yesterday, like almost every other day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am constantly reminded of why I love my wife.

Here is the truth:
Ninja Gaiden 1, for Xbox, is way harder than Ninja Gaiden 2, for Xbox 360.

We went to Tyler this weekend to see our buddy, Ryan, get married. It was a nice time, but I really hate that drive. Leah was in the bridal party so her weekend was a lot more involved than mine. I mostly just hung out with my parents and Harper except for the rehearsal dinner and wedding.

The wedding was nice and the weather turned out perfect. Ryan cried like a bitch when Tori came down the aisle, and he got good laughs when it was time to read his vows and he said "I'll try and keep this short," and then pulled out a scroll which unrolled to be a few yards of paper. He also sang "Sweet Caroline" but I wasn't in the room to hear it. I was outside with the guys, decorating his car. The only problem is that no one would write anything awesome, funny, and obscene on it. I didn't feel it was my place to, really, since I wasn't a groomsman or anything and they all seemed pretty sure that Tori wouldn't be pleased. So it was my beautiful bride who came out and manned up. She wrote/drew some pretty amazing things, the least of which not being some stick figures having sex and saying "do my butt!" Everyone started saying how funny it was that a girl was the only one with the balls to do it, so I got to make the observation that yeah, she has my balls, so that's why she's awesome enough to do it.

Anyway, I'm happy for Ryan and wish them all the best.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Apocalypse

In keeping with my post yesterday, I wanted to post some more lyrics. These are new and I'm not really sure what I think of them yet. So I'm going to open it up to you guys. Tell me what you think. This next record is going to be fucking dark!

My Apocalypse
Crawl out of this skin
Hard explosive
Reaching for that pin

Feel thy name extermination
Desecrating, hail of fire

So we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!

Deadly vision
Prophecy revealed
Death magnetic
Pulling closer still

Feel thy name annihilation
Desolating, hail of fire

So we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!

My apocalypse? Go!

Crushing metal, ripping skin
Tossing body mannequin
Spilling blood, bleeding gas

Mangle flesh, snapping spine
Dripping bloody valentine
Shattered face, spitting glass

Split apart
Split apart
Split apart
Spit it out!

What makes me drift a litter bit closer
Dead man takes the steering wheel
What makes me know it's time to cross over
Words you repeat until I feel

See through the skin the bones they all rattle
Future and past they disagree
Flesh falls away the bones they all shatter
I start to see the end in me
See the end in me?

Climb out of this skin
Hard explosive
Waiting for that pin

Violate, annihilate
A loser to my eyes
Obliterate, exterminate
At last accept, deny

Feel thy name as hell awakens
Destiny, inhale the fire

But we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!

Tyrants awaken my apocalypse!
Demon awaken my apocalypse!
Heaven awaken my apocalypse!
Suffer forever my apocalypse!