30 May 2007 

Now Broadcasting from...

It's been a while yes, and since I last posted I managed to move myself and most of my stuff to Champaign, go to about 10,000 job interviews, get a couple of offers and actually start working one of them (though still waiting to hear on a few). I do have to say, I am glad that I made the choice to move here. I feel a lot lighter here, and I feel like I'm progressing in life again. Socialization helps, but just taking the steps to make life my own and stop being pushed around by circumstance has been really freeing. Things aren't perfect here, most of the things that I was dealing with in Indy are still going to be bugging me here, but there's definitely a brighter side here.

On the job front, opportunities seem to be opening everywhere, and I actually had to pick between different job offers. And... should I hear back from one of the last interviews I had, I may be changing jobs again very soon. As for the present I took a job in tech support with Pavlov Media as a semi-long term temp/full-time position. Which means, its not a bad place where I can learn some new skills and I wouldn't mind staying at if nothing better opens up, the ultimately I would like a little more security than this job provides, but still, I fit well there and I am enjoying working there so far.

I've decided to learn how to play the harmonica... so far I've got like 2 songs down pat. And its the saddest, meanest blues rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star you've ever heard. I'm also trying to learn a new keyboard layout to improve my typing speed/efficiency and cut down the risk for wrist energy since I think my chosen career has landed me firmly behind a computer for many many years to come. I've largely been avoiding working out so far, mainly due to a crazy inconsistent schedule and the fact that I don't want to pick a gym since I'll probably be moving soon, but I am trying to get out and walk a mile or so after work each day in the meantime.

Socially Champaign has been a breath of fresh air, I've been seeing lots of old friends and meeting new people again for the first time in almost a year, which is really welcome. People seem to have been leaving my life a lot recently, but not many new people had been entering, so it's good to restore some balance if you know what I mean. I also got a new computer since my old laptop died. It was said, because it wasn't that old, but the new one is nice, I've been playing around with Vista and Kubuntu and all in all having a good time with it, learning some new tech skills to boot.!

It's also been nice to return to a church community and live with guys who are believers. Coming out of Cedar was a strange culture shock change, but I had gotten so used to isolation in Indy, and I'm really enjoying that change as well as the opportunity to participate and serve in the church here, start a bible study, meet new people, the whole 9 yards. So... if you can't tell, I'm enjoying life here, and I feel like the decision to move here has really been confirmed. I'm just praying for peace now and trying to give over the things that are hardest to let go of and find some contentedness for a while. But, good to be moving forward again.

08 May 2007 

Common to the Human Experience.

Some bands just connect with you, for whatever reason, the truth in their lyrics, perhaps the the life experiences you share with the songwriters, perhaps they've just found some thread common to everyone, or perhaps your particular niche. As more time goes by I feel this connection stronger and stronger with Caedmon's Call. They write about life, not about idealism, or only worship songs that don't take into account the utter brokeness of those singing them. They sing about doubt in faith, broken relationships, anxiety, pride, friendship, compromising your values, and pain in a way that people can relate to. Perhaps there's a bit of extreme coincidence for me as compared with many, but I feel the words to so many of their songs could have come from my lips at one point or another, and the sheer number of situations in which I find some connection with their lyrics leads me to believe that perhaps Derek Webb and I are of a kind, or that I'm just beginning to experience the pain and joy that are so central to all human experience.

That last thought is reassuring in a way. There's a line from another song by another band ("Child Don't Cry" by Over the Rhine) that goes

"And though we love to numb the pain
We come to learn that it's in vain
Pain is our mother
She makes us recognize each other"

which I think is an unfortunate but redemptive quality of living in a fallen and broken world, joy and love are common to the human experience, but are rare to share, and hard to understand across many boundaries (gender, religion, culture, etc.) but pain, loss, rejection and lonliness are things that everyone can understand, but the beautiful thing about them is that they can bring us together. Christ experienced these things on the cross for a reason, it was more than just a punishment for sin, which is was, but it was more, it was a consequence of sin, and it was an amazing act of reaching out, and experiencing the pain of sinful humanity which allows us to experience fellowship with a God who has experienced things common to all of us. We can recognize the Human deity of Christ for this reason, and we can find comfort in each other for the same reasons.

And though I've never met anyone from Caedmon's Call, nor the songwriters from Over the Rhine, I know I share something of hurt and love both in my heart that they have also. When we put up a facade, when we don't admit to our pain, when we hold it inside we block ourselves from others, "we love to numb the pain, but come to learn that it's in vain." Isn't it interesting that its at the fullest capacities of our hearts to experience something, be it joy or sorrow, pain or happiness, that we feel most in touch with one another, that we feel most in communion with God... Living in the past or dwelling on the future are just ways to numb the present, and keeps us from sharing life with others. Experience and live to the full, let yourself be angry, forgive, heal, cry, and have no fear of those things. Trust is so fundamental to learning to heal, but it doesn't come cheap or easy, but I'm thankful for a God who enables us able to trust after heartache.

07 May 2007 

Hi, I'm a PC. And I'm a Jackass!

These Mac commercials are really starting to annoy me, and heightening my overall disdain for Apple on a daily basis. Aside from being a company that focuses a ridiculous amount of energy on "image" and "packaging," they also seem like, if they were a person, they would be that really self absorbed, arrogant jerk that everyone secretly dislikes. Their commercials are so misleading, I mean, there's actually nothing wrong with Macs, but they aren't that different than PCs, and for being the "non-conformist" brand of computer, they sure don't offer you many options. Sure... let me just put you and your Mac in this super slick, glossy, white package, just like everyone else.

Aside from the whole "image first" problem, I also have a major problem with their business practices. Say what you want about "evil" Microsoft, but Bill Gates has given more money away than anyone in the history of the world, and Jobs... well, Jobs is almost running Disney. And if that ain't evil... what is? In seriousness though, Apple knowingly violates all sorts of anti-trust laws, steals money from artists, monopolizes creative content, and sells really crappy mp3 players at an obscene mark up, because they can. Sorry for two ranting posts in a row, but... Apple sucks.