Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Out of Control

Every Monday night I lead a men's group of guys who are around my age who attend my church. (Church@Hoboken. Sorry for the plug, but this church is something that I am VERY proud of.) Dinner Group as we call it has been one of the best experience of my life. I always look forward to each week. The conversations you can have around a freshly grilled meal in plastic chairs on a balcony in Hoboken is just an overwhelmingly amazing experience. Its weird to say this but I honestly think that Monday is my favorite day of the week solely because its the day I get to know, learn, grown, and serve with some of the most respectable men I have ever met. The most comforting thing about the group is just knowing that you have 10 other guys who honestly care.

Any who, the reason I bring them up is because one of the guys in the group made the statement before group started on Monday that, "death is the only thing in life that we cant control." While I'm not going to make the argument that death is in our control, I disagree that its the only thing that we do not have control of. Although this is all assuming that we are all on the same page that there are things in this life we don't have control of, and to me that is because of a higher being. (But debating that can last forever, and if you would like to have that conversation get a hold of me and we'll work out a better forum to discuss that.)

Perhaps I am jaded but I really don't think love is something that we can control. I am not so sure that who we love is really in our control and I am sure we all know that we can't control who loves us back. If love was truly in our control would we still "fall in love?"

Like death, love is something that finds us. Sure we can choose eat healthy, exercise and other things to help avoid death, but its still not in our control when a drunk driver crosses the center line. With love, we can make choices to help love find us, or purse us, such as the way we dress and behave. (Take note that I mean this in the the sense of love and not lust we are trying to find.)

If love was something thing that we can control then we would find it a truth that we could force ourselves to love anyone else. I don't know about you by there is no comfort in someone who is forced or is forcing themselves to love you.

I know some people will be turned away when I bring Him into this but hang with me. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in all of Law he replied that the second greatest was, "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31) The problem is that when people try to love our neighbor as ourselves, they then try to hard to force that love. I do not believe that genuine love is something that can truly occur without building a relationship with that neighbor. It can also be said that a lot of the time people try to control the situations in which they love our neighbors, and again how real is the love when one person is controlling the environment?

Maybe this is where a lot of relationships problems are created. Sometimes we send so much of of our time forcing ourselves to love someone, controlling the situation, or even trying to convince them to love you back. When in the end, really its just out of our control to begin with.

After writing all of this, the only thing about love that I am confident is that "Love is not something that is in our control."

I think there are more things out their such as joy, perhaps peace too?....but I'll save that for another post.

How do you feel about the subject? Is love something you feel like you can control? Is there something besides love that you feel is out of the control of peoples hands? Or do you feel like everything is in your control?

... if so I think we'd all enjoy hearing your thought, you can use the comment section below to share your opinion or a link to your site with your response.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Face to Facebook.

I guess I have to address my absence, but I warned you this would come. I appreciate everyone who has been eager for my next post, I just feel as though I dont want to cheat you by writing a half assed article, therefore if I am going to write I need to be motivated. Plus, with my grammar as bad as it already is that would make it like a quarter of and assed article.

Below is a response I wrote to one of my friends blogs, Click Here to read her post, and the below will make more sense. Feel free to contribute with your own thoughts as always, like I've said before if anything I dont just want this to be my thoughts.

In reply to Twitter-fied,

I enjoyed your article, I think you make some solid points, and thought that I might try to defend the other side a bit more.

First I'd like to say that I am currently not apart of the Twitter community, however I have considered several times about joining, but at the end of the day I end up deciding against each time. To me I see Twitter as more of a fad, as we have seen in the past with pogs, pocket pets, and beepers. I would say its most similar to the fad of the beeper, in that both forms of communication are very one demential which will eventually lead to its downfall.

With twitter you can only really express yourself in only 140 characteristics, to me thats just not enough. People dont just want sentence updates about your life. They want to see pictures, They want to know your opinions. They want to see who your dating, how you spent your weekend and what your views on life are. These are the elements that make Facebook superior to Twitter.

Another thing that will lead to Twitters failure is that they are never going to be able to get out of being compared to facebook. As a result of this relationship, twitter is going to fall into the trap of become more like facebook, losing its only uniqueness. Eventually, twitter is going to believe it will need to offer it customers more. Twitter gained a lot of its popularity though its ease to update through texting ability, but this is a feature that Facebook can easily and already can do.

I'll try to get back to the point of your article. I thought I would just back fill a bit with the difference between twitter and facebook.

Kelly, you talk a lot about getting away from real world communication, but you have to ask yourself would that communication exist if Facebook wasn't there? No one would disagree with you that nothing compares to real face to face contact, but what do you do when that isnt an option.

A lot of this issue comes down to time. While I would agree that I waste my share of time on facebook. I dont have the time to have conversation to give updates to all of my friends across the world, and I think that facebook makes for a good substitute to that. Personally, I consider myself blessed if my schedule and my best friends schedule works out well enough to have a 15 minute phone conversation.

If anything, I think its brings us closer, I am able to share the beautiful sunset I saw in the morning on the way to work with people that live 300+ miles away from me, or tell them how I feel about a concert I saw the other evening. In a way it is a giant scrapbook of my life, that I dont want to lose. Just a few weeks ago I was able to use facebook to catch my friend up on the 6 months she missed while she was away in Asia, which without it I would just have stories, but through facebook it brought those six months to life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


At the beginning of the year like others I decided to set some New Years Resolutions for the year. One of them was attending more live events, specifically music concerts. In high school and college I worked mostly to fuel my love of attending live concerts, but that stopped when I turned 20 because I just couldn't stand being overcrowded, pushed around, and I became very envious of the people who could watch shows calmly from the bar area.

As a result, I told myself I wasnt going to another show until I was over 21. Unfortunately, this hiatus ended up lasting until I was 23 and since than have only seen a handful of shows. Thus, I decided that this year since I am blessed to live in an area that has so many venues, each diverse in their own way and so many bands that I enjoy come to play that I would make a better effort to attend their shows.

My first concert this year was Kings of Leon at Madison Square Garden. The show was okay, it was only a disapointment because my friend Jason and I waited until the last minute to get tickets and our tickets ended up being behind the stage, so we spent the entire show running from security. It was ridiclous to see so many people in one place for a music concert though. Below is a picture from the show, and shows how enormous the crowd was for the concert.

Two Monday's I attended a Jimmy Eat World concert at Terminal 5 with my friend Ryan, (I came to find out that he is in a very successful band, Tokyo Rose, which has toured with a lot of the bands I love) The show was fantastic. We had a great place to watch the show from the 3rd floor looking down with a clear view and only five feet from the bar, so we never had to worry about losing a spot when we went to grab a drink. (picture above)

The show was very unique from any other show I have been to. This tour Jimmy Eat World was playing their album Clarity, that put them on the map, and playing front-to-back. Meaning that they would play there entire album from the first song all the way til the last song. What an great way to thank your fans and celebrate a ten year anniversary of an album. I am hoping this is a growing trend among bands. Late last year Ben Folds Five reunited for myspace to play, "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner" album (Click here for the show.)

Having some time to think of this I came up with a list of albums I would love to hear live. I am not saying that these are the best albums of all time, more like I have a personal connections with the albums and enjoy the entire album from front to back, and when you go see the bands play they dont play everything from the album. I apologize if you know me well because this will be rather predicable list for you:

  • The Blue Album -- Weezer. My friend Josh once got me surprise tickets to see them play live for my birthday, easily one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts I have ever received. I would just love to go to see them play and open with "My Name is Jonas" and even more so close out the show with a long rendition of "Only in Dreams". Heck they could even do an encore of the Pinkerton Album after and I would never go to another show in my life.

  • Something to Write Home About -- The Get Up Kids. Even though they generally start every show with "Holiday" you cant beat how the album start with a gigantic guitar slide. The album just has such a good flow to it. I cant start this album without listening to the entire thing.

  • Parachutes -- Coldplay. It would be incredible to hear them play this in an intimate setting because the arenas they are accustomed to just wouldn't cut it. I would also love it if they played this whole album acoustically.

  • Open Eyes -- Snow Patrol. Again I'm gonna need a small venue for this one.

  • Whatever & Ever Amen -- Ben Folds Five. If you never seen a Ben Folds concert I highly recommend it. I have never witnessed anyone play with such passion and work the crowd like he does. He genuinely enjoys playing because you can really witness him just having fun and the only time hes not touring is when hes making another album. Anywho, because of the passion he plays with it would be something else to see him play this album straight through. Oh and hes got to play with the original band because the harmonies wouldn't be the same without the other 2 members.

  • Emotion is Dead -- The Juliana Theory. This album is so good it really makes you wonder why they couldnt reproduce anything as close to good ever again until their inevitable break up. Similar to Weezer, I love how they end the album on a long drawn out song.

  • FutureSex/LoveSounds -- Justin Timberlake. If this album doesnt get you up and moving you might not have a pulse. Unlike Coldplay and Snow Partol I am going to need this concert to be in a giant arena. Also Rachel, Jolleen, and Erika must be in attendance.

  • Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo -- MxPx. The thing I love about this album is I can sing every single lyric to this album out of no where. Such a fun album.
So that completes my list tell me what you think or share yours in the comments below....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Lenzian Calendar System

Hard to believe how quick this month flew by, but I love it because we are inching closer to the inevitable spring. The quickness of this month got me thinking that maybe it was just that the month is 2 or 3 days shorter than the rest of month. That got me thinking, we need a Lenzian Calendar System (LCS) in which every month was only 28 days...

28 days a month times 12 months gets us 336 days in the year, leaving us two ways of going about the remaining 29 days:
  • Option One -- Forget the 29 days all together. Doing so would screw up the weather calendar and seasons since each year we would fall behind by a month. But who cares though its not like we can tell what the weather is going to be in a given month now a days anyways? Heck this week alone it will probably be 75 on Tuesday and the following Tuesday we will get 4 inches of snow. One benefit of this would be that those people who have birthday in winter months can now look forward to having a summer birthday for once! This same idea really screws up holidays like Forth of July and Christmas, which would people in a outrage when it snows at your Forth of July party or that your plastic baby Jesus in your lawn melts from the hot summer sun. Okay so option ones got some flaws so lets move on..

  • Option Two -- Add a 13th month of 29 days and every four years a month of 30 days to replace the leap year. Now if this going to happen we are gonna need to make a rule that when this month does happen everyone in the world is not allowed to work (well not everyone, food service /entertainment industry I am looking at you) and we need to have a global party. It would be great to because it could be the first holiday in the world that everyone would celebrate, since not everyone in the world stops for holidays like, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years as the Western world tends to believe. Plus who wouldn't look forward to every four years when there is ginormous global party on the 29th and 30th!
I like option two for the Lenzi Calendar System, so let's expand on that...

Where do we place this extra month? Placing it at the end would be bad idea because New Years is already a holiday and if were going to make a new holiday we don't it to clash one that already exists. With that in mind we need to look for a time where there is a gap in the holiday schedule and I cant think of a better place to put this new month that in between July and August. Currently we have July 4th and then nothing til Labor day, time to break that up right? Placing it here would be beneficial too cause we can start giving people whole new thing for people to complain about since this idea wouldn't be ignorant of western society but of the northern hemisphere society.

So who wouldn't like the 13th month? While they would no longer have to worry about the 4-4-5 schedule, accounts would hate the idea of not having even quarters in the year. Solution make your quarters run off of the season changes. Cant really think of any one else who would be impacted so much, but I think business would like it because it would make comparing monthly easier. Same goes for you at home too with your utility bills and establishing a budget.

Under the Lenzian Calendar System holidays would be unaffected by the calendar shift, since there are no major holidays that fall after the 28th. If you are thinking Thanksgiving or Memorial Day you're forgetting that because they are flexible holidays, in which they occur on the final Thursday/Monday of the month their given month.

Now for the people who have birthdays on the 29th, 30th, 31st of the month, they can pick any day they want with in 5 days of their birth so that there is not a flood of birthdays on the 28th or 1st. Think about it, if the people born on a February 29th get over it and so can you.

As a person who loves consistency, I would enjoy the LCS because until the year change every day would have a designated day since the month would always start on the same day. Therefore those of us who get payed bi-month, like myself, would know with certainty what day you were getting paid. Plus it would be even 14 days each time. For example, next month is going to stink because I am going to get paid on the 13th because the 15th falls on the weekend, and then will have to wait a staggering 18 days until I get paid again.

So lets get some comments going. Whats your thoughts on the Lenzian Calendar System? What do you like or dont like? Where are there flaws or benefits that I am missing?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beauty is in the Sky of the Beholder

Today I chose to share with you my favorite picture that I have ever captured. I took this picture on the walk to the subway to work one morning last year. I love the variety of colors in the sky and how all the colors just work in harmony together so naturally. The way the light reflects off the flowing river or even how a city of the size of New York City can be silhouetted against the power of the sun. There is so much going on that we take for granted every day that it just eclipses the city. Which is just the complete opposite of the truth since it doesn't take many hours here to come to the conclusion that the world revolves around NYC (WRONG!)

While all those are good reasons to love this picture it has much deeper meaning to me. Allow me to share...

Even though Hoboken is now where to be seen in the picture, every time I look at this shot it helps me recall the reasons that I enjoy living in Hoboken. A lot of people I work with in the city like to rag on Hoboken, mostly because it's in New Jersey and they believe its as terrible as the rest of the state. But that's far from the truth (except the corrupt government, they would tax the homeless if they could find a way). The only ones I tolerate are the people that actually live in Manhattan, but they don't get the pleasure of seeing the sunrise over the city, having an apartment that you don't feel like your living in a shoe box, or my favorite part the ability to escape! Brooklyn may be nice because they get to see the sunset on the city but I guarantee the majority of them are too busy still at work to take notice. And then the totally unacceptable is the people from Long Island, which is pretty much just New Jersey with GED.

The other pleasure I get from this picture is that I like to think that this is the sun rising or a new beginning to a new point in my life. I guess that means I'll have to retire in on the West Coast, so I can take a picture of the sun setting on my life. On second thought I'll just be dead or too busy watching Matlock to need that picture in my life.