Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I discovered John Green a couple years back. Back then, the author had just released his third young adult novel entitled Paper Towns.  I heard about it from a hyperlink of a hyperlink of a website I once heard about from a website I regular read.  

I found Paper Towns in local bookstore and I purchased it.
Began it.
Devoured it.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Finished it. 
Told everyone I knew about it.
And then returned to the bookstore to purchase Green's two previous books Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.  
John Green's books share the stories of teenagers who arrive at life altering events.  Events that most adults can relate to, and events that many teenagers are anticipating.  And then in some of the most honest writing about teenagers I've ever read, the characters journey through their events.  The stories are filled with emotion and humor that create some of the extremely enjoyable reading I've ever had.  
In his latest release, The Fault In Our Stars, John introduces us to a group of teens who are dying.  They are dying, like we are all dying, but their deaths have a side effect of cancer.  It's a story of cancer, and death after life, and questions of life after death and love.  It's an honest story mixed with a sense of hopefulness and hopelessness.  It's brutally honest, and yet, it's beautifully honest.  
I would suggest you go pick up this book today.  I assume it'll cost more once it starts winning all the awards.


Song: Ho Hey by The Lumineers

I heard this song on the soundtrack of a recent tv show.  I'd share with you which show it was, but quite honestly it's not all that impressive of a show and I'd be embarrassed to openly admit that I've seen too many episodes.  However, it has on more than one occasion led me down the path towards good or decent tunes.  And the lead actress is kinda cute.
The song "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers is one of those songs.  It's a rather simple song, but for some reason I resonated with the lyrics and melody, and now it's been stuck in my head for the past several days.  I've liked this song well enough that I haven't even begun exploring the group's other music yet.
This Youtube clip is one of the best recordings of the song, although you can find a number of live performances online as well.  Enjoy, the lyrics are down below:

'Ho Hey' by The Lumineers
Verse 1:
(Ho!) I've been trying to do it right(Hey!) I've been living a lonely life(Ho!) I've been sleeping here instead(Hey!)I've been sleeping in my bed,(Ho!) I've been sleeping in my bed (Hey!)
Verse 2:(Ho!) So show me family(Hey!) Or the blood that I would bleed(Ho!) I don't know where I belong(Hey!) I don't know where I went wrong(Ho!) But I can write a song (Hey!)
1,2,3 I belong with you, you belong with me in my sweet heartI belong with you, you belong with me in my sweet (Ho!)
Verse 3:
(ho!) I don't think you're right for him(hey!) Look at what it might have been(ho!) Took the bus to china town(hey!) I've been standing on Canal(ho!) And Bowery (hey!)(ho!) You should be standing next to me (hey!)
1,2,3 I belong with you you belong with me in my sweet heartI belong with you, you belong with me in my sweet heart
The love we need is nowIts hope for someThis love we need it now
Chorus:I belong with you you belong with me in my sweet heartI belong with you you belong with me in my sweet (Ho!)


Video: "Not Where You Saw"

I think this video is ridiculously clever and hilarious.
It's two brothers watching childhood home movies.  As they watch them they offer commentary on the movies as if they were legitimate Hollywood produced films.
I seriously wish I had some childhood home videos to do something like this:
If you enjoyed this video, make sure you watch all three.


2012 Goals: Scheduled TV Breaks

I've fallen into a small routine that I don't really care for.  
When I arrive home the first things I generally do are, kick off my shoes (just right of the front door), unload whatever I've hauled in with me (my backpack), turn on the TV (the silent apartment disturbs me) and grab something to drink (Dr. Pepper or a Capri-Sun and a bottle of water).  
The shoes part I like, no need to track dirt around the place. 
The backpack part I like, because it's silly to walk around your castle with a backpack strapped to your shoulders and one shouldn't leave their laptop in their car.
The beverage part I like, because I'm going to drink something ever night.
But the TV thing annoys me.
One of my annual goals is to read 40 books.  And last year I just didn't think I read as much as I should have.  I can do better.  But not with the squawk box killing my attention span.
So I'm taking Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays off from my television.  

Now again, I'm not legalistic with my annual goals, and there are a couple exceptions.
If I'm playing trivia on Wednesdays and there are televisions on every wall, I'm not going to be running around like a crazy man trying to avoid them.
And If the MLB playoffs and World Series are on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday...well...I've got to watch.  However, in view of my first 2012 goal I won't talk about it.

My Girl Friday (#5): "cause God knows we're worth it"

I think this is beautiful...

My Girl Friday
- #1
- #2
- #3
- #4


2012 Goals: No Sports Conversations

I really enjoy sports.  I absolutely love baseball.  But what I really am starting detest is when the only thing some people talk about is sports.  In the great grand scheme of things sports mean nothing.  Which isn't to say that depth of character, and the beauty of a story cannot be found in the realm of sports.  But the conversations I typically find myself in are not those.  Rather they're just a lot of noise about stats, and Monday morning quarterback decisions, and mutters about games that I know nobody in that conversation really has a concern about.
Fantasy sports have really pushed this to the next level.  We talk about the scores and stats of games and players that we would never concern ourselves with otherwise.  And we speak about them as if our lives really in balance.
And I guess I'm just frustrated that I'm easily drawn into these conversations.  And I don't want to say that I think talking about sports is wrong.  You and I go out to lunch and talk baseball for hours and I would complete enjoy that discussion.
It's just that I want my life to be about more.  And I'm willing to purge this portion of my life, for the small percent of my time on earth, in hope that the Spirit of God might be powerfully displayed.
I want to have conversations in my life that have greater depth and worth.
I want my words to be filled with grace and truth, not stats and scores, so that that the powerful work of the Spirit in my life could possibly bring life change in someone else's.
I could have picked several of topics to ban myself from instead of sports.  It could have been movies, or television, or food, or music, etc, etc, etc...  But I chose sports because I think it's going to be incredibly difficult.
I'm not even sure how this plays itself out.  Can I listen to others speak about sports?  How do I politely excuse myself from engaging in a discussion (something I wrestled with today while speaking on the phone with my dad and he asked me about the 49ers and the NFL playoffs)?  I'm foreseeing a couple of exceptions to this discipline, but I'm not looking to pursue this on a legalistic pursuit, so I'll be willing to offer grace to myself in certain scenarios.
And I'm sure that I'll fail with regular consistency.
I just think this is something I have to do.


2012 Goals

For the past several years I've posted several of my yearly goals on this here blog.  While I've not been very consistent with blogging I figured I still should continue this exercise.  I had some goals for last year, which I was extremely successful and extremely unsuccessful.  I hate failing, but I'm actually okay with my failure (it's becoming a lifetime habit).  However, I'd like to do a little better this year.
So here are my goals for 2012:
No Sports Conversations

Scheduled TV Breaks
Read 40 Books
No Fast Food
Attend Andrew Peterson's Behold The Lamb of God Concert
Track Everything I Spend
Attend a Monti Event (and tell a story)
Visit a City I've Never Been To
Some of these might need a little explanation.  I'm going to attempt to share a few thoughts on each of those over the next few days.