Friday, March 4, 2011

#25 - "You've been forewarned of the shake-shakedown."

Day #25 - Put your ipod on shuffle and give the first 10 songs....

Now, I know some of you may have been anxiously awaiting this one, but I should warn those who may or may not be let down, that my iPod is very (take that to mean ridiculously) eclectic. Take that to mean there is everything on it....including some very choice guilty pleasures and songs that are so ridiculous they are simply there for certain moments.

1. "Lowell, MA" - Death Cab for Cutie: the title of this post also comes from this song. Death Cab can always take you to a special place. I'd like to thank Seth Cohen and my old roommate for this one.

2. "56 Barz" - T.I.: T.I. reminds me of how I am more hood than sweatshirt. Ha. Definitely, one of my favorite rappers to listen to and it just so happens he mentions my favorite rapper in this track. Props to Andre 3000.

3. "Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame) - Ray LaMontagne: Not LaMontagne's finest achievement, but this man is one heck of an artist to listen to. "Til the Sun Turns Black," "Three More Days," are great, but "Hold You in My Arms" is his greatest achievement. Meg and I have a few great memories that involve that song.

4. "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" - The Used: People can say what they will about The Used and I will mostly agree with most of their arguments, but this album cannot be debated. Harsh, unrelenting, and honest; this album is wonderful. I love this song and I particularly love "Blue and Yellow."

5. "You're Trailing Yourself" - Kevin Devine: Relevantly unknown to the masses, Kevin Devine is one helluva songwriter and a super nice guy (I met him at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH and he talked my ear off). Don't believe me? Look at this line, "The sputter and blink, a streetlamp / Makes you taller then shrink." Beautifully poetic.

6. "We're Going to Hell" - Cursive: Great lyricists. A bit dark, but great nonetheless.

7. "Non-Zero Possibility" - At the Drive-In: American post-hardcore at its' absolute finest. Two of these men went on to form The Mars Volta. You can see their genius beginning to form on this album. Most people know them for "One Arm Scissor."

8. "Whenever" - Kid Cudi: Chill and smooth, that is the Kid.

9. "Pleasure and Pain" - Ben Harper: One of my all-time favorites. He was bound to show up considering I have all his albums on my iPod.

10. "I Got Your Money" - Ol' Dirty Bastard: "God made Dirt and Dirt'll bust ya ass." 'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

#24 - All These Things We've Learned, but Just Now Are Beginning to Understand.

“Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle. He is going to fight and he is going to lose. But what makes him a man is at the midst of that battle he does not lose himself. This game is not over, this battle is not over.”

I used to live my life in some sort of cinematic haze; trapped somewhere between the melodrama of say One Tree Hill and Friday Night Lights. For some reason, I pictured life as this fairy tale where, although I might face my share of obstacles, life would provide me with obstacles much like those characters I see on the screen (theatrical or domestic). I’ve always thought that once the initial pursuit of a desire has passed, each relationship, obstacle, dream, etc. will remain in this perpetual state of bliss. I lived a life of longing towards moments where I stand upon my desk and recite the lines, “Oh captain, my captain.” These moments filled with me with a somewhat false expectation of what life has to offer. I don’t mean this in any type of depressed, woe is me fashion, but instead I am making a simple observation that life is not what I had expected as a youth.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking or even saying aloud (depending on how perturbed you are thus far with my diatribe), “Wow, life isn’t what you expected it to be? Imagine that.” We all expected something more during our adolescence. We all shared the same bright, wide-eyed naïveté. Unfortunately, most of us found out that the world is not as generous and accepting as we once expected it to be. We found that graduating high school does not grant every one of us the college of our choice (or the financial assistance, for that matter). Within months of our college graduation, we discovered the job we had entered into the world of post-secondary in search of would not be handed to us so quickly. A few weeks later, the realization appears that simply having a college degree doesn’t guarantee you shit. Sure, you may be better off than others who were not shown or offered the privilege that a college education bring, but in the end I see heartless collectors of college debt and immense amounts of resumes completed and delivered to seemingly phantom employers. I see SB 5. I see failed levies. I see hiring freezes. I see teachers on the verge of losing their jobs and people who don’t value their worth in this world. I hear arguments that the profession I got in, because I had a passion concerning educating the next generation, is overpaid for a work day that ends at three in the afternoon and receives three months off. I’ve learned that people are quick to pass judgments based upon surface observations. I’ve discovered that most people are unaware with the entailments each profession brings and, while I do not know the life of an attorney, construction worker, state employee, or doctor, they have no concept of the inner trappings of the profession I am now in the midst of beginning. The long days of planning, grading, and preparing that more often than not spill into the dark hours of the night are unnoticed. Hurray, teachers get summers off, but I invite any person to take on the full load of education and make these same declarations. I dare you.

I’ve learned that my journey in life varies greatly from those of my peers, friends, and those people I have yet or ever to meet. I’ve learned that although I am blessed to have a loving family, I had to move away from them to pursue greater opportunities. I’ve learned that, although it may not present itself in an extraordinarily cinematic fashion, incredible and enduring love does exist and I’ve been blessed with that. I’ve also learned that, despite my increasing anxiety for what waits upon the horizon of my future, I have the courage to face each day and the support of others to remind me of that fact.

These are things I have learned and continue to understand.

Oh, and SB 5 sucks.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

#22 and #23 - A two for one firesale

I'm not sure what the rules of blogging allow, but these two prompts are synonymous for me. They are pretty closely tied together, so I thought perhaps I could write one blog for both prompts. Is this cheating? If so, deal with it.

First off, my favorite city would be Boston, Mass. It is also my favorite vacation. It's my favorite city, although I've only been there once, for a few reasons. One reason is that it is the home of the Boston Red Sox; one of the biggest obsessions of my life. It is the home of one of the oldest and most famous baseball parks in the nation, Fenway Park. Now, while Fenway Park is not the most comfortable of all parks, one has to love it for the atmosphere alone. It is absolutely wonderful. The park, its' surroundings, the people.

Another reason that I love Boston is that it is absolutely beautiful. I should preface this with the statement that I am not a big city kind of guy. Columbus works for me, because of its' Midwest idealism and the fact that it is not that large in respect to say New York, Boston, Chicago, etc. The great thing about Boston, aside from its ease of transportation, is that it is extremely clean and I really appreciate that. Meg and I spent days just walking around and it was wonderful getting to see the city. It has some great spots, which can packed with tourists, but it is a thrilling city.

The reason it is my favorite vacation (and one of the reasons it has now championed being my favorite city) is that, while Meg and I were there, I proposed to her. I think moments like that change your ideas and impressions about a certain place and time. I had thought Boston was great, but it holds a special place in my heart after this moment. I can't wait to go back.

Preferably, to see another game.

Friday, February 25, 2011

#20 - picture

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-"invictus" William Ernest Henley

I like this picture, because I look like I'm the captain of my soul. I like to look at it and imagine someone is chaffeuring me around to my next destination. I almost look like a mobster, but I would settle for something far less sinister.

#20 - What's in a name?

"You're not allowed to give yourself a nickname. This holds true in life as well as in poker." -Richard Roeper

Ah, nicknames. Those gifts given that can either be a blessing or a curse. For instance, during a temporary substituting stint I had a kid in class who was lovingly dubbed "Binky" by his friends. Here's the story: He came in one day saying that he would now be referred to as "Nuke" (we all know we can't choose our nicknames). The problem was that he proceeded to write it on the board and spelled it "Nuk" (which apparently is the name of a pacifier). Hence, the nickname.

I myself have only had one for the majority of my life and that has been "D. Reed." Original, right? Some brief ones that made an appearance during high school: "Marshall" because I had bleach blond hair and was dating a girl named Kim. "Coach" given to me by a few of my black friends because I always brought them to practice (think about it: one white guy driving a car with 4/5 black kids sitting in it...kinda looks like a basketball team, right?). Somehow, around the time of college, a friend of mine starting calling me "The White Devil." Not sure where he even came up with that one, but he's the only one that refers to me as such. For the most part, it's been "D. Reed" and always "D. Reed." So much so, that everyone from brief stint at Otterbein College may not have even know my first name or at least never used it.

Aside from my nicknames, I wanted to convey the immense number of nicknames I have given out over the years. It's just something I do. Here's a short list:

Megan (my fiance) - Curlhead
Megan (my sister) - Ria (one of our cousins couldn't say her full name "Megan Reed" when she
was younger, so it came out as "Megan-a-Ria." It stuck. Also, my sister
had the unfortunate name of Porkchop, simply because her brother was a goofy idiot.
Bethey - Freckles
Katie R. - K. Rob the jewelry store, tell 'em make me a grill
Judith - J.Ho
Grace - Prez Keplinger
Lacey - Grace/Buzz
Eric - E.coli
Phil - Fat Milk
Anokh - Brown Cow
Ashley G. - Twinks
Ashley Rill - The Rilla in Manilla
Randi - Trips
Emily Whipple - Redi-Whip
Kaitlyn Hoobler - Hooberific

Thursday, February 24, 2011

#19 - Days spent missing the days we never realized we'd someday miss...

Today's blog involves something that I miss....Well, other than the obvious (family members who have passed away, days where I had no responsibility, days where I didn't worry about not finding a job, etc.), I would have to say I miss the summers with my closest friends. The long days and nights where we hung out with one another every single waking minute. The nights where we partied well into the morning and got up only a few hours later to go to work. I was talking with a friend of mine, who shared a summer job as a camp counselor/aide sort of deal with me, about how we used to stay up so late hanging out with all our closest friends, knocking back a few drinks, just to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to stumble into that job at 7/8 a.m. We honestly could not figure out how we were able to do that day in and day out. I mean, nowadays, if i only get 6 hours of sleep my body feels it and, as a result, so do those around me.

I miss the days where we all used to sit around and play this card game entitled "casino" for hours on end. Ironically, not one of us can remember how to play the game anymore and we have yet to find it on the internet, because apparently we just made that name up. Those same nights were filled watching terrible horror movies such as "Sleepaway Camp," "American Gothic," "Night of the Demons 2," "Basket Case," "Mikey," etc. I remember our friend Brittany's mother stocking the cupboards with Poptarts and Fruit Roll-ups for the group of us that would inhabit her house everyday. I remember one night, partying out in some field and losing one of our friends only to find out he had tripped in a hole and twisted his ankle. He felt that just laying there and not calling for help was the best option.

One of the things that I miss the most about those times were the cabin trips that my friends and I took where it was just the guys out in the middle of nowhere. Playing cards and drinking...becoming one with nature (HA).

These are the things that I miss and they still happen from time to time, but with age comes responsibility and with responsibility these things often get lost somewhere in the ether. I wish I had those days back, but I'm looking forward to the things my life has in store upon the horizon.

P.S. I don't feel like editing today, so deal with it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

#18 - Regret is six letters of pain, but an endless supply of self-help.

The Past is the textbook of tyrants; the Future the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot's wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before. ~Herman Melville, White Jacket

There are plenty of things
I could regret in my life though it gets me nowhere. The largest regret I have would be not telling my stepfather that he was a great person, one who did all the fatherly things that he never really had to, and that I loved him. I struggled with this after his death, despite those conversations with my mother reassuring me that he already knew whether I ever told him or not. The fact remains that I let our pissing war over who was the man of the house and my immature adolescent attitude get in the way of enjoying the all too brief time he was on this Earth.

I also regret the martyr-like ways I pursued relationships in the past. I seemed to find myself in relationship where I felt like if I cared about someone enough that I could help them through their internal issues and emotional hang-ups. In the end, I found that, more often than not, this is not the case. I did learn a great deal from these somewhat awful experiences and I have been able to apply what I've learned, so maybe it's not entirely bad.

There are other regrets. Some of which I am not entirely comfortable providing for all my devoted readers. So, we'll leave it at this: A person can regret any number of things, but they can also learn a great deal from these instances of regret. Regret should be for learning; not mourning.