Tuesday, August 28, 2012


When your future plans are questioned, you doubt.
Doubt what you've done.
Doubt what you're capable of.
Doubt yourself.
But sometimes all you need is a little perspective.
It's unbelievable how empowering something as simple as a sunset can be.
Other than the obvious beauty of a sunset, why is it so empowering?
Because even when darkness falls, the Sun shines it's hardest.
Ever resilient in the face of looming bleakness.
Proving that you too can shine your hardest.
When you're discouraged, remember you are human.
Show them what you're made of.
You're unstoppable.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Sinner Kissed An Angel

Would you question someone you've looked up to for years if you'd heard a rumor about them?
Someone in my past may or may not have done something terrible.
For years I wrote it off as simple gossip.
That they were crazy to think it was true.
And yet, it could be me who's the gullible one.
Trying to see only the good in people.
Not acknowledging that it's human nature to slip up and make mistakes.
This person was a role model of sorts.
IS a role model of sorts.
Because I still refuse to believe it.
Is it that it truly couldn't have happened though?
Or am I just repudiating the claims because I don't want my role model to have turned out a bad person?
I would say that his good acts far outweighed this one not so good act.
But then again, two wrongs don't make a right.
It just seems unfair to deem a good person a criminal based on nothing more than a rumor.
Especially when it's hard to find someone with such genuine kindness, passion and morals.
Even in the off chance it did happen, it was a mistake.
The authorities did a damn good job keeping it hushed up.
In conclusion, I won't believe it.
I'll remember him as the person who cared.
Who gave you the time of day.
Who gave his family and friends all the love he had to give.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swingin' Down The Lane

Do cops get a bad rap?
You see one driving behind you. What do you do?
You immediately reassess your driving. Take turns slower. Drive at a more appropriate speed. Eyes flicking nervously back and forth between the road and your rear view mirror. Heartbeat beginning to pick up.
A friend tells you of their recent altercation with a cop, ending with a hefty ticket and abrupt, commanding conversation.
Newspaper headlines screaming "Police Corruption," "Cops Kill Execute Innocent Man On Street," "Police Kill Teenager After Shooting Him Five Time In Back."
Of course we're only going to hear and pay attention to the bad things.
Despite these stories, what people seem to forget is that there are more good cops than bad cops. There are more good cops than bad cops as a whole.
Admittedly, it is difficult for someone to look at a cop and say "Thank you for doing your job."
Yes, they're protecting our streets, making our cities safe for everyone.
But when the only times we've ever spent time with a cop end with a fine, it's difficult to swallow your pride and move on.
The conclusion I've arrived at is looking at the situation as similar to your relationship with your parents.
Well...my relationship, anyways.
Kids are little shits.
They're kids, they don't know any better.
That's what childhood and being young is for. Being pretentious.
So of course there were times when I was probably hard to handle.
And disciplinary action followed, thankfully.
Then, I hated it. Didn't understand.
Now, being twenty years old, I'm extremely thankful my parents weren't easy on me.
You shouldn't beat your kids, but punishment to some degree, in my opinion, is necessary.
So look at your cops as you see your parents.
They'd do anything to save you, they'd jump in front of a bullet for you.
But vice versa, if you step out of line, they won't hesitate to punish you.
Just take it with a grain of salt, and realize they do a lot more for you than you do for them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Take An Old Fashioned Walk

It's funny how wiping down a table for the hundredth time can make you feel dead.
I don't mean that in the exaggerated sense, or the "I'm gonna go online to complain like a little bitch," sense.
I mean it in the parallel "not alive" sense. 
Working any job for an extended period of time with a constant unwavering, regime will make anyone question their current position in life. 
Rather than focusing on not feeling alive, I instead wanted to reflect on the moments in my life in which I felt the most alive. 
Since most of the moments are precious to me and would take far too much time to extrapolate, I'll instead provide glimpses.

Stumbling into a pond as an infant, having mistaken it as a patch of grass. Water enveloping me, the light form the Sun breaking through the surface. A strong hand grasping my wrist, pulling me sharply upward.

The cold night air whipping my face as the cruise boat sliced calmly across Coeur d'Alene lake, the town's Christmas lights in the distance. A heavy coat keeping me warm as a friend and I stare intently into the distance.

Opening a can of Root Beer in a movie theater, surrounded by laughing, raucous comrades.

Four young men, jumping off a dock into Liberty Lake, skinny dipping on a warm summer night. 

Relaxing on steps leading to Riverfront Park's river. The hushed quacking of ducks moving quietly through the water. A head lightly resting against my shoulder as dusk approaches.

Wandering through Times Square, people teaming past me, the bright lights illuminating what seemed like the world.

A gentle kiss, tears falling, promises fervently made.

The barrel of a shotgun resting against my temple, a short man screaming, demanding money.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dancing In The Dark

I'd like to address two people I greatly look up to. Russell Seaton and Eric Whitacre.
Russell Seaton was the choir director when I was in high school.
He was a father figure, a man with morals, and someone you could always count on to make the right choice.
One of my greatest memories is his wife and kids visiting him during class.
His two young daughters running to him as he bent down for an embrace.
Seeing that is what made me want to be a father one day.
The look on his face was the look you see on a completely fulfilled man.
Someone who is completely content and happy.

Eric Whitacre is another choir composer, one I don't know personally, but whose music I can turn to and feel at peace. When he speaks of his music, of how he makes it, he sounds genuine. Like it came from his soul. 

Maybe it's just something about choir music. When I hear it, it's magical. Poetic. Peaceful. 
It's pure.
That's probably why I can't listen to modern day pop and hip hop music nowadays.
I mean, to each his own.
But it's not pure.
Auto tuning isn't pure. And therefore, it's fake in my eyes. A mask.
Pure human voice is something so beautiful, and always seems to bring me back to the phenomenon that is human voice. It's transcendent. 
It sends a shiver down my body, as cliche as that sounds, I get it now. It's a literal, physical reaction from head to toe, and it feels like Heaven.

Until The Real Thing Comes Along

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Best Is Yet To Come

While I'm on the topic of "Things That Motivate Me," I'll share a poster I have hanging in my room.
It's a manifesto from a company called Holstee that specializes in recycled clothing and accessories.
It's bold, to the point, and encourages me to give it my all every time I walk out that door in the morning.

Out Beyond The Window

One of my more reliable sources of news comes from a popular youtuber, Philip Defranco. You might've heard of him. He said something on today's show that really struck a chord in me, so I'd like to share it.

"True greatness is found within, and the only person you should aim to be superior to is yourself. 
Greatness is not listening to family and friends who say you can’t. 
Greatness is overcoming whatever unfair hand you were dealt with this life, and greatness is overcoming your biggest enemy always and forever: yourself. 
That’s really the only thing that ever stifles change and sadly it’s the only thing that can provide success. Because at the end of the day, you are the one that is either not doing or doing
The moment you realize that, the moment you overcome it, that is greatness. 
Not going through the motions or throwing yourself against a wall several times expecting a different result."
- Philly D

You are the one in control of your life. Not anyone else. You. Get up and make a change.

New York, New York

Took my first trip to New York City last week, and boy howdy, was it somethin'.
Hot, humid, sweaty, packed, streets full of garbage. But I loved it. Every moment. 
What an experience.
From the numerous hot dog carts to the persistent beggars on the subway to the cockroaches on the walls.
Nothing sums it up better than one word: Character.
It has something from every culture, yet it is a city with a culture of it's very own. 
It's odd coming back to my small city of Spokane Valley. It almost feels empty. I would go back to NYC in a heartbeat, but I would never replace it with my hometown. Much more...room, I suppose. 
It's interesting how you can be surrounded by throngs of people, and still feel lonely. 
But there was never a dull moment. 
Though I didn't see a Broadway show, and the only "celebrity" to speak of that I saw was an anchor from Fox News, it was an incredible trip.
Central Park, the West Village, the shops in Greenwich, Chelsea Market, Wall Street.
Getting off the subway in Harlem to nothing but a sea of black people and a Popeye's Chicken.
But my favorite experience was relaxing at the Pier in Lower Manhattan after a long day.
Seeing the sunset hit the buildings on the opposite side of the water, a stoic Brooklyn Bridge in the background, waves gently crashing the side of the docks, a man playing Motown Blues on his guitar a few feet away. 
Though my camera died, I'll never forget that memory. 
Some advice to others planning on seeing NYC in the future:
Stay for at least a week.
You'll need it.