Monday, December 2, 2013

Everything Happens For A Reason. "Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt."

Ever since I was a child, when I've felt down in the dumps or had plans fall through, people have always told me, "everything happens for a reason." Perhaps I bought into that sentiment when I was a clueless kid wearing heart-shaped glasses, but as an adult(ish) I have refused to ever believe that. Still . . . I wonder.

Back in the summer of 2009, before Charlie Sheen had tiger blood and Miley Cyrus started twerking, I planned on graduated college by spring of 2013 - plans change. Four plus years, more short-term jobs than I’d care to think about, an excessive amount of car repairs, a cancelled engagement, and more homework than anyone should have to do in life and I’m still in school. In fact, I’m going to be staying in school for yet another semester and will be leaving Iowa State with a degree in May. But I digress.

Since my tween years I’ve always wanted to have things planned out. It’s not that I fear change, I tend to embrace it, it’s that I hate uncertainty; I hate not knowing things. If I sit down to watch a movie with someone who has already seen it and I’m actually enjoying it, then I don’t stop asking them, “What happens next? Do they die? Does this happen?” I’m the same way with life in general. I want to know what is going to happen, when, how, and if there is anything that I can do to expedite the process. When my big plans fall apart, so do I.

Recently, however, I have realized that that is a silly thing to do. Not because sulking doesn’t get you anywhere but because most of my failed plans have led to greener pastures. Had I graduated seven months ago like I was suppose to, my life would look very different right now and I’m not sure how much I’d actually like it.

I never would have had my current internship, which would’ve meant failing to meet countless amazing people and remaining oblivious to the Iowa music scene (and it is fantastic!). Iowa would definitely not be the state that I’d currently be calling home and I wouldn’t be thinking about possibly throwing a festival of my own some day. Plus last month I met a pretty incredible girl. She’s smart, funny, creative, kind, and whether she believes it or not, she is going places and I wouldn’t mind tagging along (not sure that'll happen, but I'll find out).

Today I am a very different person than I was even just a few months ago – a better person, too.  I may never be able to break my habit of making major plans (and I probably should have some plans). I may never be able to properly write one of these posts without getting distracted by the music playing in my head. I may never accept that everything happens for a reason (which is still up for debate), but I don’t have to because somehow things will simply work themselves out (with a little push).

For staying until the end . . . 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Korn is a band that I have listened to for a long time. I picked up my first Korn album, Take A Look In The Mirror, back when I was in middle school; it was one of the first records that I bought with my own money.

The band has changed sounds and styles so much over the years and has had to deal with some lineup changes as well. Korn's 11th studio album, The Paradigm Shift, was released today and I'm loving it. Lead guitarist, Brian "Head" Welch (who I've actually gotten to meet on three separate occasions), has rejoined the band after having been gone for over eight years. The group's reconciliation has led to it's most cohesive creative effort in years and what is possibly (already) my favorite Korn album.

I have been a bit burned out recently, trying to regain my energy all while new projects and assignments have been introduced. Powerful music that can really move me (literally and figuratively) might be exactly what I need right now and it has been delivered straight to my ears.

Time to step away from the computer and return to dancing, jumping around, and rocking out like a musical fool.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


It does not take a whole lot for me to become a fan of someone or something. I recently became a fan of Des Moines band, Annalibera, because its members were unnecessarily nice to me. I worked the door at a recent show of theirs and they thanked me on multiple occasions, high fived me, and gave me some "van temperature pizza" (I've had much worse pizza by the way). These were small acts of kindness that some people may have brushed off, but went a long way for me. In contrast, other people largely ignored me and one called me a "door Nazi."

By simply being nice to me, they made me a fan of them as people. I decided to throw some money their way via a t-shirt purchase and EP download. After listening to their self-titled, three track, debut EP a few dozen times, I've also become a fan of them as musicians.

Follow the band on Twitter

Checkout the band's music and merch

And stop by their site

Lesson learned? Be kind to others. You never know what may come of it. They might even shamelessly promote you.

(Sometimes) Opinionated

I don't think that people should have political careers. It's not that politics and politicians shouldn't exist, they should. What I mean is that if someone decides to work in politics, then I believe that they should only be allowed to do so for a predetermined amount of time.

This would serve multiple purposes and hopefully resolve some problems. Today, many politicians are not willing to make tough calls or unpopular decisions. They are worried about making everyone like them, so that they can get reelected. But if reelection didn't matter, if they weren't selfish, then they'd be able to take on these challenges.

Running for office should be a public service, a selfless act. So, why has it become a selfish one? Money plays an entirely too big of a role - from campaigns to conventions. If political careers didn't exist, then there would be no room for selfishness, the type of people running for political office would be different, and there would always be new blood.

I know that this little dream of mine will never happen. We're too entrenched in our old ways. Everyone reaches for white or black, calls themselves a republican or democrat, and forgets that there are more colors in the crayon box, more directions to go. Our current government shutdown (which is absolutely ridiculous) is evidence of this my way or the highway mentality.

I could write about this a whole lot more and invest more energy into coming off a bit more eloquently, but then I'd just end up losing myself in frustration and rage over our current political system.

*raises glass* Here's to change.

Worker Bee

This is my last semester of college and it has been proving to be my busiest. None of my classes are particularly easy and almost all of them are reading intensive. I also have an internship where I'll be working 400 hours over the course of the semester. I'm constantly a little behind and I'm usually worn out. I'm still trying to figure out how to manage my time and energy, but I'm loving it.

My internship has been great so far and I believe that it will continue to get better. Occasionally I get a bit intimidated when I am doing something for the first time, but all three of my bosses have been amazing and patient. The core reason as to why I stress out a bit is due to the immense amount of respect that I have for them. They are incredibly passionate, creative, respectful, kind, and energetic people. I want everything that I do for them, no matter what the scale or importance of it is, to be great.

I'm looking forward to learning some new things and I'm hoping that these experiences will lead to future work. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

If I Ran Sony . . . I'd Rain On Microsoft's Parade.

Microsoft is revealing the successor to the Xbox 360 on May 21st. Sony announced it's next-gen console, the PlayStation 4, back in February and has given little new information since. If it were up to me, Sony would be making some announcements of it's own on the 21st and here is why.

Microsoft Won This Generation of Console Gaming

Everyone knows this even though some fanboys fail to admit it. Sony has an early lead going forward since the PS4 is already announced and people are excited about it; keep that momentum going. I think that Sony should keep the punches coming and never back down.

Spike and Gametrailers Have Exclusive Rights to Show the Event Live

The PS4 announcement was live streamed by Sony itself, IGN, and a host of other gaming sites. It was a huge event even though Sony only gave everyone a heads up a week or so in advance-we've known about Microsofts even for about a month.

This lack of exclusivity meant that people could go to their site of choice to see what was going on. Microsoft is forcing people to tune in to specific places to watch the show and I think that is really crappy. What if I don't have cable and can't watch Spike? What if I don't like Gametrailers and don't usually go to that site?

Sony Can Give New Information While Still Saving a Lot For E3

There will be all kinds of big announcements at E3. We will find out about games that we didn't even know where in development and be spoon fed info about big titles that we previously knew little about. Sony can still give away more now while still making E3 feel like Christmas.

Just give us more information about games that we already know about. Infamous is a major franchise for Sony and they can show off more new gameplay from Infamous Second Son since we haven't seen much since the announcement.

Planetside 2 is a free-to-play first-person-shooter that came out for PC last fall. The studio behind the game happens to be owned by Sony. Several months back it was teased on IGN's show, Up At Noon, that the game could be coming to the PS4. More recently, tweets from the team have also implied that the game will be on the PS4. So, Sony, make this rumor official. Tell everyone that this successful shooter that throws hundreds of players into a single battle, will be on the new console.

Why Not?

Steal Microsoft's thunder. Rain on it's parade.

On the morning of the 21st, send press releases out to the gaming media and have them stay tuned. Don't hold a big event with tons of people there, just stream it online and allow all major gaming sites to stream it, too. Have an hour plus long event starting roughly 30 minutes before Microsoft's event.

Show us Planteside 2 on the PS4. Show us more footage from previously announced games (Drive Club, Knack, Deep Down, etc.) and save the really big secrets for E3 . . . except for one big secret . . . Show us the actual console. Show gamers what the PS4 really looks like and give it's official release date.

Because of the aforementioned exclusivity of how Microsoft's event is being shown to the public, a lot of attention could be diverted to Sony. The fanboys (and fangirls) will already be there. People on the fence may turn to Sony and if they get hooked, might not even switch over to see what Microsoft it doing.

I know that Sony would be setting itself up for some future Microsoft backlash, but so what? Sony has nothing to lose by doing this. The company is already all-in and it's future success is largely reliant upon the success of the PS4.

Hit Microsoft right in the face (or groin) and don't stop.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Pitch For Why I Should Receive a Free Fiat 500

Recently, I attended this year's Chicago Auto Show with a few of my best friends. While we were there one of my friends decided that it would be a good idea to climb into the back of a Fiat 500; I decided to join him.

It was much more spacious than either of us expected it so be and quite comfortable. We both loved the rear headrests in particular. My friend Ryan and I are both are 5'10. There was plenty of room for both of us, even when one of our other friends moved the front seats all the way back, we still fit.

During the 10 or so minutes that we spent in the back of the 500 (discussing the car and cars in general) numerous people and by and some even hopped into the driver's seat. Many of them asked us how we were doing in the back seat and if we were comfortable? When we responded with a resounding "yes" and explained ourselves, they always gave a look expressing surprise, but approval. Our presence debunked a fear that many Americans seem to have about the 500-that it is too small. We may have helped sell Fiats.

Another criticism of the Fiat 500 that I've heard from some people is that you cannot drive it in bad weather, you cannot own it and live in the midwest. I used to be one of these critics, but I no longer believe this belief to be true. I recently saw an expresso brown Fiat 500 plowing through a snowstorm that we had here in Ames, Iowa.

If I were ever given a Fiat 500, I would serve as a mobile advertisement. I could prove that 500s can drive both in cities and in the country; on highways and gravel roads; on that one perfect day in June and the many miserable days of snow and ice in winter (it worked on me). You really do not see many Fiats in Iowa (where I go to school) or Illinois (where I'm from). I could help change that.