Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tell Your Friends The Things They Wanna Hear and See, Start the Drums, Band Against the Enemy

The last of the embarrassing pictures from the past. This one from the bicycle rodeo when I was in the first grade, you see my sisters were 'cool middle school' kids, and they didn't want me to participate, they were thinking I was going to make a fool out of myself, hence make a fool out of them. Well, I came home with a second place trophy, and I had to compete against 3rd and 4th graders! BOOYAH!

Yepp, all you have to do is do the 'left sign','right sign' and the 'stop sign.' After that, you have the figure 8, and then you had to navigate thru the cones. I did it on a banana seat bike too! YIPPIE!

A few years back I took the motorbike version of this course, didn't do as well, but practice makes perfect. I miss those days of innocence, now I'm just a hater.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Don't Worry About the Government

Is anyone disgusted with all the mudslinging going on as it pertains to politics? Is anyone accused of being unpatriotic because you believe one way or another? Are you sick of generalities uttered by politicians about 5 subjects, and the mass populous 'debating' over stem cells, abortion, wars, and morality?

Times change, politicians change, but never empty promises and attention span deficits. I'm appalled that 80 something percent of the country has their mind made up before they even hear issues. I'm appalled by people's accusations that the media is bias, despite the 50 different flavors of organized media you can digest. People are influenced by the media? Are people who watch Bill O'Reilly and listen Rush Limbaugh 'objective?' If these are objective, what is 'right.' To imply there is liberal media bias means there is a 'right' bias and a 'left' bias. Is Fox news in the 'middle,' I doubt, just listen to the way O'Reilly attacks not John Stewart, but the watchers of comedy central, calling them flunky potheads. Brotha, well that's not objective.

Truth to be told, stats tell people what stats WANT them to say. I watch or listen the spectrum of news, from O'Reilly and Limbaugh, to Chris Matthews and Maher, BBC, Reuters, and yes, the Comedy Station. Isn't one who's exposed to this a better judge of objectivity?

Why do so many people have a 'center' on politics? Deeper than politics there are critics and artists. The role of the critic is as important as the role of the artist, and leaders emerge on both sides of the fence that are capable, good men and women.

The problem is these good individuals are defaced because of the lack of processing power of the American popular to determine things based on a more individual basis. Abortion or no? Stem cells or no? War or on war? It's never that simple, and things in Washington never move that dramatically, and the next talking head will take the place and try to fill the aspirations of its particular political machine. It's terrible that the political bickering contest has to paint someone 'far left' or 'far right,' but worse is people fall for this, OVER 80%.

I'll always be the swing vote, why? I vote on the issues and individuals. In the end it's a power struggle between two different ideals, I'm going to consistently vote for the individual that admits this, and who I will is the individual who has the guts to go against his political party if it means doing the right thing, and yes, for the most part, I believe the smarter individual is going to achieve this more effectively.

The beauty of this country is there are two powers, one attacking the problem from the 'top' and one attacking the problem from the 'bottom,' and both are for the most part right, and they have met in the middle, and my made up statistic says for the most part, Americans want moderate thinkers in the position of authority.

There's my rant, hopefully I'll get it all out of me soon, like World Wide Wrestling and video games.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Diamond is a Diamond, A Stone a Stone, But a Man's Not All Good nor All Bad, Call Them As You See Them

Body, Mind and Heart

That's the theme of this posting, the catalyst is the my buddy looking inside, and my observations. This kinda stuff is what I like to read, often I think, is it good to 'expose' yourself in this manner, and my gut feeling is......The system is watching you as it is, you may as well use it as a mechanism for self discovery. In reality, few people 'bite' on subject matter like this, and below, a possible explanation why.

I see too many couples struggling to make it to zero, or the fight to stay afloat - which obviously leads to detachment, and doesn't allow for positive victories for where it counts in your soul. I always wonder what is the distinct reasons in the minds of others who struggle, most can be hand picked from a standard list of human elements, what shocks me is that these sorts of people know their own hands hold them back, and justify the reasons of their actions, relying on 'feelings, and the heart.'

People need other people, I'm often asked about settling down and all that stuff, and simply put, I say, I'd rather be alone than with the wrong person. Since I've been 'alone,' I'm able to cultivate close relationships with family and friends, while still be able to be 'available' for the right person. People who know me could say I look a bit too much into these things, and I say the same thing over and over again, but the beauty is in the subtle details.

I used to think with the heart, just as Ben Folds said he used to be a 'sentimental guy,' and here is an explanation of why it hasn't worked and probably never will work for me in the future. The heart can be mislead, the heart can fall victim of 'love' endorphins (which fade over time), the heart breaks and drama and sweatpants phase usually follow. I've been thru the ringer with the 'follow your heart' cliche as it applies to human emotion, and I chose not to go that route again.

One may look at this and think, how sad, but the contrary is actually the truth. The mind doesn't lead your soul into dark alleys of fools vultures and undertakers, unless you ARE a fool, vulture or undertaker. Your mind should be that pit bull you keep in the backyard to keep the 'terrorists' out of your house.

A connection of the mind and body is only possible if both 'participants' have reached that state of mind of comfort with their own body and soul. It's a strong bind which bears no confusion, no indifference, certainly no drama, but it carries understanding, respect, and enlightenment. I know what I'm missing, and I know what I'm holding out for, it's really easy the way I see it.

This a package deal, and the heart will tag along, a person's mind holds the lasting key to someone's heart, and over time, this endeavour is much more fulfilling and will keep you from becoming a statistic.

Shame on me for shunning destiny and things like this, however human beings are means to an end, and serve an individual purpose. If you believe this, there's many ways to get from point A to point B as it pertains to this stuff, it's a matter of cognitive individual choice, and the more you use the head on your shoulders, the better off.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tired Like The Beggar with the Cold Inside His Bones, Looking for the Pleasure that he Knew was so Far Gone

What a night, certainly can't recap, but it was an evening with Mr. Sugarland Gillar, at the Mucky Duck in Houston checking out The South Austin Jug Band.

An interesting night, considering the jug band was playing to a packed house who paid 12 bucks a pop to get in the door. I was jokingly saying that the SAJB draws a crowd of 8-10 people when they play in Austin.

The Duck sat in the midst of old money Houston, the Houston crowd inside was very pleasant, a different sorta vibe, can't be bothered to expound brain waves at the moment to articulate.

We ran into this dude (Wittenberg) (Wittenberg is where ol' Martin Luther slapped the 95 Thesis on the door, just before the Pope said 'Off with his head'). A pleasant night of involved conversation and chill music, and 2 dollar bills and 50 cent pieces as change.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This Gun's For Hire, Even If We're Just Dancin' in the Dark

First off, I LIKE this place, Mohawk Austin, it's a proper place to chill have a beer, great indoors, great outdoors, great upstairs, great lighting, great prices, great entertainment, yea.

Sarah B, my Austin friend displaced in NYC was in for a visit. As she tells me how to 'make your small Brooklyn apartment comfortable, we soak up the atmosphere.

Speaking up soaking up, Ashley and Mike D came out later in the evening, and while Sarah B and I were drinking some intoxicating wheat beers, Ashley and Mike D opted for for the liters of Dos XX. And yes, the beers are bigger than Ashley's head!

Other pictures for the evening, geeze I just can't seem to get ride of those chins or those baby fat cheeks. Patience on the pictures, I'm trying to get a 'system' down in this CSS universe. Ugly but work in progress.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Gossip's Bearing Down on Me, The Kids are Pairing off in Front of Me, I Should've Stayed Home

If I had a slogan to put on a bumper sticker, or one to articulate what I was thinking in the picture below, the tag line is what it would be. I'm sure that's what I was thinking back then, just didn't know how to explain it, in my 14 year old body.

If I can recall correctly, this was the FIRST night I went out in a social setting like this. I didn't know how to process it all, can you see the fear in my eyes, zits on my face, and hair on my head?? I went with one of the hottest girls in our class (thanks Jamie) as my date, and I was PETRIFIED of the implications of a 'date,' (still kinda am I think), so petrified that I was miserable the entire night, and had trouble looking anyone in the eye, not to mention that was one of the first time wearing a suit and all that jazz.

Yea, the picture captures adolescence at its finest, luckily the football team made me cool by saying things like 'Bruns don't wear your socks like that, etc, etc, etc --- meanwhile scratching these things down in my little notebook.'

Zits and hair gone, and the eyes a bit more seasoned, I still approach the bar scene with the same contempt. I stroll in, everything seems so fickle and shallow, not the people, just the environment and games and bad music, and the mere idea that integrity and togetherness is not rewarded in this type of environment. Like Chris Rock would say about all the hoes dancin' on the floor, 'Man, I hate to see the guy that's got to pick a wife out of this mess.'

Out with mates and dates and friends is the way to go, pub style. Good conversation is always a plus, or rather a must. Yea, that's the way to roll, for me at least, because the average girl that grinds up on me still makes me blush :( ---

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

He's A Bandit and a Heartbreaker, Oh But Jesus Was A Crossmaker

Mom made us go to Sunday school, to the extent that my two sisters had 14 years of perfect attendance, and I had 13 years. I still remember the Sunday I missed, I was about 12. I was really caught up in a Lost in Space episode and I couldn't be bothered to make the trip to Sunday school. Well, mum didn't talk to me for about 2 weeks, so therefore I didn't miss a Sunday ever again.

Notice 3 Bruns kids in the picture, my two lovely sisters in the back row middle and just check out that mop of hair I had on my head!

I'm glad Mom stressed for us to go to Sunday school every Sunday. If not for this, I would have slept in on Sunday most of the time, instead I always learned something, was exposed to different ideas, and met a lot of great people in the process.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ummmm, This Used to Be My Playground??

Diggin' through an old shoe box full of pictures is always a surprise, more to come of old school pictures, for the purpose of archiving. This is in Shiner, Texas, the little league team 'The Mints,' circa, damn I can't even remember. ('Mints' because we were sponsored by the First National Bank, Shiner....I think)

Actually our uniforms, especially our hats looked liked pirates, arg! We were the best team in the league two years in a row. Just look at that dorky PiMP on the far right!

This makes me think of the Feb 10th Shiner Alumni baseball game, in which the old roomies are asking me to play.....Boy that's an accident waiting to happen. I can just see myself, some little 17 year old punk pitcher throwin' a 70 mile an hour fast ball up there, I take a whiff, there goes the back.

For the record, back in the day, I either would hit a foul tip or a home run, and I didn't hit too many home runs...:(

For Blog redesign sake.....I'm workin' on a 'built in drop shadow' for my pictures Ashton, just wait, pretty soon I'm going to get you!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Career 2.0

Here's what I want to be when I grow up, at least for the next ten years. Everyone hears about web 2.0, myspace, and all the other goodies out there to digest on the web today, but I think very few understand shortcoming of the digital era and what impedes its growth.

For those of you who have been trapped inside a closet, there is a social revolution going on, and technology is driving initiatives which crush borders and streamline communication among different human 'digital services.'

Today, people are able to be heard, they are able to interact interesting ways, and they are able to participate in digital communities all around the globe. 'Entities' can / will / and are exploiting these social circles not only for monetary benefits, but for power and influence as well. This is nothing new, but its just much more easier and much more in depth in this day and age. It's subtle, but over time, anything you do on the web is 'in the system' and is used for historical trend analysis (i.e. Google may know more about you than you know about yourself, what you were 'doing' 4 years ago that you probably can't remember, etc)

Which begs the need for an identity management system, where the individual is put in the center of this ring of chaos, and they control the content they wish to have on the web, they control which entities they decide to interact with, they have more control over their personal information and thus more control of their lives. A few players are emerging in this 'battle' for federated identity (as it pertains to the web), OpenID, Cardspace, as well as a collage of products from IBM. These players are counting on a ring of trust and compatibility that will put the individual at the center of a happy circle of confidence.

Crazy thing is all this is brand new, the problem has been there for a while, but its really just now starting to be addressed, therefore we are on the forefront of what could be one of the 'coolest' (in the uncool 'professional' sorta way) undertakings of our time, with implications all over the place.

I'm reading a white paper that explains the challenges in 4 different views, Social, Technical, Legal, and business, I'll spout my two cents on what each of them mean to me, based on my knowledge of the subject.

Social - You ever stop to think about what kinda teen drama (and even adult drama) goes on in the confines of myspace? As the web gets more usable, interactive and popular, think about that sorta drama on a 'world wide web' basis. Think about the instances you could be victim of someones rant, and think about instances where privacy does matter, even in a social environment, especially when it comes to the integration of ideas (i.e. merging your blogger account with with your wiki site, (or obviously something with greater stakes) etc, etc). With a proper identity online, this aids in accountability of the things you say and the things you do on the web, and could perhaps provide a means of getting slander or other bad stuff 'out of the system.'

Technical - Besides Skip, Microsoft and Tivoli, all sorts of institutions will begin to spring up to 'hold' your identity, and the technology is going to have to provide a means for you the individual to 'use' your personal information and credentials at different services, i.e. banks, academia, employment, government, etc, etc. Hence federation of identity. I still think the major players are still scratching their heads on this one, but when the dust settles, the individuals will climb aboard a system that they trust is safe and easy to use. I believe this to be a big challenge.

Legal - It ain't in the books yet (OJT IT IS), so another facet of challenge. It's interesting to watch different groups fumble around with DRM laws, and interesting how A**le is the biggest supporter of DRM, in lieu that music downloading service they have. When it comes to digital law and digital content, I believe the creative commons has it down, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation currently works to protect your digital identity. Think about how much easier this would be if they had a way to uniquely identify your identity across websites. This is the foundation for lawyers to protect you from 'bad things' on the web.

Business - Decentralization is cutting into the profit margins of all digital content providers, and step one isn't DRM (don't you get pissed when you buy a 'music player' and it doesn't do mp3, or wma, or mp4, ogg, etc, etc, etc), it's an identity metasystem that works across the board. Also, this goes back to the good ol' supply chain management, streamlining interactions between your buyers and sellers, therefore reducing 'cost per transaction,' therefore making some CEO happy, hey, maybe that will be me one day. :) -- It also helps corporate infrastructure with 'user maintenance,' and provides 'single sign-on' access for different systems and different applications.....blah blah blah....

One may ask, well how does this help people? Off the top of my head I can think of a few things. Think about every time you search for something at Google, think about a 'quasi fascist' politician fighting the 'war on terror' subpoena'ing information from your Google account. Well, you're not a terrorist, but we found this, this, and this suspicious behavior.......It's that 'slippery slope' people often talk about. Think about all the websites you have to sign up for a new account with...I do about 5-6 per week. Think about how convenient it would be to have your information in one place and these websites work around you. Think about identity theft and misrepresentation. Think about all the personalized spam you receive and how to combat that. Bad people go pfishing, if you have a good identity system, what are they going to find? Think about all the walls we build in society (and even on borders< &#^%!) -- With better identity control, once your 'in the system,' as long as there is nothing at stake that is exposed, a bad guy goes, it sucks in here, I'm leaving. Think about being able to reduce artifically produced viral marketing. The list can go on and on and on.

To conclude, this stuff spans many knowledge areas, it will always be exciting and heated, I'm thinking your selfish, greedy, and especially control freaks type people won't get what all the hub-bub is about, while the road is being paved around them. This is the revolution, and I believe we as a society for the sake of progress need to put a 'meter' on it......a meter that 'works' for all parties involved, with concessions being made by all parties.

Ahoy!!! The ship moves, but it moves slowly.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Party is Jumpin', With the Bass Kicked in and the Vegas are Pumpin'

Guess global warming is influencing the weather in South Texas. Once in 86 I built a snowman, there was enough snow, I've never made a snow angel, its on the 'to do' list.

What I CAN do almost every year is set a pitcher of water on the porch, and to my excitement in the morning after a nice freeze, I get to see the water frozen. :) --- Cheap entertainment I tell ya!

Later in the evening, The Beast comes over and we go looking for ice. At the park, it's BITTER cold, wind blowing like crazy, making my feet feel like they're going to fall off. How the heck am I going to do Everest one day.

We take a stroll down Shiner town square, not a soul to be seen, beast doing his version of Wipeout on a slippery / iced over bench.

Here's a van, completely covered in ice, was some pretty cool imagery, and the frozen beast in front of the van.

Last stop on the list, Bernie's crib for a refreshingly warming cocktail. Beast is growing long hair again, If it wouldn't be for that beard, I couldn't tell these two dudes apart!

We contemplated 'wimping out' and getting a ride home, but Bernies Bronco had the ice coat on it as well. Instead we humped it a tad bit over a mile against the wind to the other side of town.

The nightcap was taking some long loops on the back roads, looking for trouble (so we could help, obviously.)

I guess this sorta weather isn't pleasant for the long haul for human beings, but the rain sure does make the grass happy :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

And When you Pray for Independence, Boy, You Better Stand Your Ground

The weekly review -- let's see, the highlight of my week was Friday night, geeking out with some private stock, and listening to none other than Bon Jovi's New Jersey.

If I were a rock star from the 80's it would have to be Bon Jovi. Why you ask? Well, if you look at the track record, he's thrown the best parties, he's still together with his band, of course you have the typical track record of dating super models, he still sells out abnormally large places in Switzerland, and on top of it all, he's in control, and he's a nice guy.

It got me thinking about another nice guy, in a roundabout bizarre kinda way, Perry Farrell. First years of college I LOVED the 'Kettle Whistle' version of 'Been Caught Stealing,' in which Perry has the following one way dialogue with a 'fan(s).' I can't remember it fully, but it goes something like this.

"You guys like stealing?" -- "What about another man's girl? Would you steal another man's girl?" -- "Is there no chivalry in your soul?" --
-- "How insecure are you pal?" -- "Do you need to steal another man's girl,
or can't you find one on your own?" -- "I just wanted to ask you

This got me thinking about the differences between chivalry and cowardice and how they play the role in modern day society. I don't know how I'm linking this together, but somewhere in the course of the last ten years, this is how my mind interprets things.

I would think almost everyone of us has these two traits working transparently within us. I used to be a coward in many senses, but one day something snapped in me that said, "Hey, If that dude can do it, so can I." Pointing back to Mr Wise Sondre Lerche says 'nothing stays the same, I stand in my own way,' a great line that speaks of the cliche that you yourself are your own worse enemy. (Isn't it funny how so many songs or poetry speaks of the same scenarios, but is able to phrase things differently, putting emphasis on different subtleties....---I'm sure there is a literary word for this, but I don't know it.)

Chivalry, loosely define --- brave, courteous and honourable behaviour -- (one day I'd like to write a book 'Feminism, from a dude who has sympathy to the cause --- for I believe true feminists are a 'sect' who truly 'get it,' along with true progressive patriots like MLK and this dude.

I think about how chivalry affects us as individuals. I try to take the 'high road' in times of question, because it projects 'good energy,' and there's no tellin' what your sphere of influence is most of the time, I guess you could consider it the 'role model' train of thought.....sorta. Before I go to bed, I often think about the people who are closest and dearest in my life, the ones who have played a major part in shaping who I am, people who have had a lasting contribution to my life, as certainly I give the nod to the gods to say, I wish GREAT THINGS to all these people, and I forgot who said it, but I've come to the realization, it's not a crazy life, its just life.

I believe chivalry in this day and age is support, tolerance and understanding. I've always known it's easy to turn a cold shoulder to a misunderstanding (especially when it comes to 'problems of the heart), however, I've learned if you choose not to turn the cold shoulder, you can gain a tremendous incite as to who you are as an individual human being, and that knowledge is power, at least I think it is.

There are other viewpoints.....I saw a bumper sticker...said 'Fake, It's the New Real,' and I think gee, if that is the case, my whole charade up there about chivalry is trumped by being 'fake', which is the new real in many circumstances. Being fake is an extreme form of cowardly behavior. It says, I haven't took the time to figure out who I am, and I am going to do the best imitation of myself, and mimic the fashionable trends and ways of life that are 'safe.'

I can see a light at the end of the tunnel on an idealized chivalry, and I need help to get there, and the puzzles pieces have to fall into place, and lace some luck in with it all. In the meantime, all we can do as individuals is work with who you are and what you've got, but I think most of us would be lying to ourselves if we thought we 'had it down.'

It takes courage to stand for what you believe, and often it goes un-noticed in society because fake is the new real. We live in a society where the good guy doesn't slay the dragon and save the princess, it's not that easy anymore. Now, it's inner demons, and they are worse than any sorta medieval dragon one could encounter, it DOES involve pain to look inside......but THANKFULLY (dripping sarcasm) we have a pill for that. :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And Your Shape on the Dance Floor, Will Have me Thinking Such Filth and Gauge my Eyes

I once heard you know you are getting old when the phone rings on a Saturday night, and you hope its not for you.

That being said, it was no problem staying home to watch The Shins performance on SNL, consider our Austin clan has been going ape sh*t over them as of late. Even though the performance was 'Phantom Limb' and 'New Slang,' its nice to see Mr Crazy James Mercer in action.

Here's a crazy Shins / Interpol / NME bickering contest which I find funny. Says Interpol and The Shins are pretty much polar opposite bands, and NME sucks. I agree with all those sentiments, and it reminds me of a buddy of mine who is a big New Order (which I think Interpol is a big rip-off, of) fan.

It's really kinda crazy, that even in the digital era, there are still people who are pretentious about music, i.e. 'my tastes are better than yours,' and I'm more exposed than you are, etc, etc. Well, there may be people that spend more time seeking out 'new talent' and things like that, but for the most part all the cross referencing mumbo jumbo out there on the web these days, anyone can be a 'pro' when it comes to 'indie' music in a short amount of time.

There comes a saturation point however, I've talked with a few friends who are big in the music scene down here, and when does it get to a point where you just can't 'fake it' anymore, and go yea, 'I know you're my friend, but really your band isn't that great..... :-(' The true talent will float to the top, and the 'myspace' exposure is there for everyone to see and enjoy, and by golly, that's how it should be.

I guess it all depends on how many 'eggs you want to put in the music basket,' and priorities will change with age and the season or whatever crisis you have at work, etc, etc. I do believe in 'trained ears' and perfect pitch, but for the most part its about opinions, and everyone's opinion counts.

I have always thought that genuine musical connections are those of 'word of mouth,' even on the advent of, amazon match, pandora, and all the other stuff......because, as a paraphrased quote once says something like ......'individuals have to feel unique, and they also have to feel they are part of a community.'

THANK GOD the indie community is growing, hopefully it will have enough muscle to take on the synthetically produced pop stars one day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Idiot Wind Blowin' in From the Front Door, Idiot Wind Blowin' in Thru the Back

Two catalysts for this post, one, GW Bush (#%$^$%&# goof ball) says he's going to send more troops to Iraq, and two, during my hair appointment today, I spoke with a girl who's husband is over there fighting the fight.

I'll spare the media analysis on the subject of will a troop surge help or not, I'm sure there are valid arguments on either side of the coin. That being said, at first thoughts, I'm why the hell are we sending more troops, what's the plan for these peeps, and will it actually do any good.

On further thought, I'm thinking we have to chip away at the problem from every angle. As much as I don't like the idea of sending more troops to the region, perhaps it will aid in making the area more stable. As much as the average right wing nutjob doesn't like the idea, there should be dialogue with Iran and Syria about how to best handle to cultural conflict, these religious groups are seeded in these respective countries. What else can we do? we can let the UN do their job, acknowledge the Geneva Convention, and if we are going to ever act the aggressor in the future, negate the significance of things like Nuremberg Trials, otherwise war becomes a 'do as I say do, don't do as I do' agenda.

Troop surges, hmmmm, I really do support our troops and it's a shame we can't figure out that the whole 'lets force our ideology down your throat approach' to foreign policy doesn't work. What part of history do we not understand.

SINCE our troops are SMART ENOUGH, I don't see a need to privatize any efforts of war, things get icky that way really fast, just ask the dude who created 'Iraq for Sale'. Now if I were Billy Bob from Shiner, and I worked next to Mr. Haliburton, I'm getting paid 15 bucks an hour, he's getting 150 bucks per hour, well, that would lead to some moral problems to say the least. If the government of the United States has the gall to attack a country based on a hunch, leave private industry and war profiteers out of it. Now if Hitler #2 comes into power, that's a different story. When did we lose discretion in this country thru collectivist thought, or lack thereof.?

To sum it up, I'm often asked about my political affiliation, and Chris Rock says it best. If you vote before you hear the issue or the stance on the issue, you're a f*ckin' fool. There's some things I'm liberal about, there's some things I'm conservative about. Crime, I'm conservative, prostitution, I'm liberal.

Simply for the record, I can't see how the right can blame liberal media bias anymore with the advent of fox news.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fortune Depends on the Tone of Your Voice

I just got back from a congrats dinner thrown by some fellow PM*'ers. I got a nice certificate, I call it my 'get out of jail free' card.

During the lunch, I cited a quotation, figured I share it. I don't think leaders have to know a definition of a leader, but for people who 'don't get it,' I think its a good assessment.

"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity in his intent. Without passion, boldness, and focus, consistent success is elusive."

Nice, Very Nice ----

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I'm Not Crying, Familiar with These Strange Realities

Let's see where to begin, like my wonderful niece, I'm going to try to pop a 'heavy' blog posting out there once a week. What will probably be a long rant, full of misspellings and contradictions.

Lets see, if I can recall what went on this week, I have that can't remember sh*t disease. Biggest thing that strikes my mind was the 'Emo's Free Week' night on the town, and the topic of this rant shall be........

Tenacity vs Normalcy with a touch of what is meant by authenticity.

Tenacity -- I used to be under the perception that tenacity was the way to be 'cool' when it came to a night out on the town. Don't get me wrong, tenacity is cool when it comes to fulfilling endeavours, but when it comes to trading stories of how drunk one got, or 'I got drunker than you', etc, etc, etc.....In this context, eventually you face the music and admit there's always someone cooler than you, and the 'payoff,' well really isn't a payoff.

Well, someone said when you're young, popular, and beautiful and if you rely on this, you've only got one way to go, and obviously that's down. The new edict I'm trying to sell, is that super cool people are ambitious, having a realistic vision that you are able to articulate, and you trying to sell it. That's the cool version of tenacity.

Normalcy -- This young lad and I made friends the other night people watching. It's interesting watching as an 'outsider' when it comes to a rock n roll lifestyle. Three dudes, walking down the street, starched collars (one of these probably cost more than my entire wardrobe), lots of product in the hair, lookin' like men on a mission. Three girls, walking down the street, 'party' attire, giggling amongst themselves, perhaps at some dudes absurd pickup line, but maybe just like Cyndi Lauper says 'girls just wanna have fun.'

I think I've had a pretty good grasp on normalcy, and it lies somewhere between the collar shirts, and my $8 Old Navy special that's a few years old. I've got to work to bring myself to the level of ummmm, maybe a nice, ummmm, Polo? shirt.

Normalcy in terms of moderate drinking is surely is on the horizon, it's started and it feels great. The nail in the coffin will be a new job.

The Shins talk about 'posts that you can heat your faith on,' obviously one being religion, and one day I'll further bash about this bureaucracy between you and a God, but for now lets just say it's a work in progress trying to sift thru the 'tools we devise to make sinking stones fly.'

Another post is the human need for togetherness. I recently read an article about can the human mind actually process 'freewill,' and my opinion is 'HECK no, sure can't.' That being the case, stability becomes more and more important to you. Individual choices (not bad choices, just choices) have temporary landed me a harbor with sis, and yes, it does make me feel like Robbie Hart, Wedding Singer style. Stability comes with 'settling your a$$ down', and more of that is probably on the horizon for me.

Many people face an uphill march, when it comes to the taboos of society. Weather it be the idea of short changin' yourself in a relationship, accepting a savior in the ether, wondering if you really do love big brother, or just plain turning left when society turns right, I'd like to think the uphill march is more fulfilling, and I'll try to make the hike in whatever circumstances I can.

Authenticity, whew, how many dudes in franz ferdinand suits did I see the other night? How many gals did I see in prom dress type getups with hair poofed this way and that. The look is authentic, until you go to a place that has 1,000 people that look the same (don't get me wrong, ATX is way cool, and maybe I'm just envious b/c I can fit my a$$ in a size 28 waist.)

True authenticity is really a state of mind that comes from tolerance of different things, and can be achieved thru engagement, not only in all things cool, and all things digital (i.e. your favorite websites, new, hangouts, and IPOD), but also trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone, and for the extremely hip culture, that means caring about your parents and showing a genuine interest in other people's lives, and other lame stuff like that, many things in which people in general don't take the time to do.

That's authenticity to me, keeping in touch with the cool kids (but not in competition), bustin' your butt to keep up with society, information and technology, and finally tackling the overhead of life gracefully.

Puttin' all your stuff into different silos, knowing which one is which, and when to take the tenacious approach, the normal approach, and keeping in touch with authenticity, the hygiene factors in your life should be more favorable. I'm getting it sorta worked out in my head as I type, hey that's what this is for, right.

For 2007, I'm considering ditchin' the 'what's in my head' approach to the blog, and focusing on a an approach more like this or this. It gets old, it gets boring. I'm going to write in a more engaging, instead of the 'as a matter of fact' approach, and see how that works, and try to encourage feedback, etc.

O well, enough is enough for now, If you've read this far, like Mr. T would say, 'I pity the foool.'

Friday, January 05, 2007

Time Passes, You Got to Reel Against It

Happy Birthday to Abbey celebration! Today marks the Abbey-meisters birthday, and me taking some irrelevant, non flashed pictures, just happy that I found the ol' camera.

First and every picture comes from the top of Maggie Mae's, one of the best places in Austin to 'people watch.'

Not to mention, the Blind Pig's upstairs patio bleeds into this patio, hey they had a live band kickin', which was better than.....scroll to next picture

A U2 coverband downstairs, if that's not 'ok' enough, the downstairs was being broadcasted upstairs, hmmm, I understand sold out SXSW shows, might be a somewhat cool idea, but yea, whatever.

Happy BDay Abbey, a more humorous posting coming outside of this one.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I have no Experience but I'm a Big Fan of Money. I like it, I use it, I have a little. I Keep it in a jar. I'd like to put more in It.

It's that time of life, you know, everyone knows it, it's RESUME BUILDING TIME, and JOB INTERVIEW TIME!

Let's examine why I hate both of these things so badly. First off, the truth, I'm usually not nervous at a job interview, even when there is a board of 5 people throwing questions at you rapidly. I have no doubt about my skills and what's represented on my resume, and I can provide plenty 'meat' to cover the content I provide to a perspective employer.

Resumes -- Yea, you gotta beef that puppy up with a bunch of fluff half the time to 'get in the door.' You're bullshitting bullshitters so to speak, lacing the resume with keywords so 'bots' like Resumix will pick you up in the crowd, and if you are so lucky to get picked up by the bot, you are subject to 'evaluation' from an HR department that half the time doesn't know how to 'read between the lines.'

Interviews -- What is going to distinguish me from some other dillhole in the course of an hour long interview? Is it the way I present myself in that amount of time? I have to buy a suit for this experience, or Deanne Carter said it best for her poor date 'Did I shave my legs for this?' Tell me about yourself? It says here that....? Do you like to work by yourself or as a team? Or you can get let Googles complicated computer algorithm decide if you are the pawn that gets thru the door.

We really all know that who you know is just as important as what you know in a job hunt. When did the 'pure' human element get lost in all this stuff, and can you imagine that poor manager sitting at a desk somewhere going, 'What kinda craplications am I going to get today for this job that I need a 'good body' to fill?'

Well, I don't want to be that guy, I want to portray a realistic view of who I am. When that staffer looks at my resume, I want him to go hmmmm, it's got potential, do the meet and greet, get our job talk on, and in 6 months from that point, that person / organization will go 'Damn, I'm sure glad we hired that guy.'

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Here Come Johnny and He'll Tell You the Story, Backbeat the Talkin' Blues

RTFM, I used to have a shirt when I thought those sentiments, as I transition from computer geek to 'business professional,' I think differently about that age old saying.

Rookie advice --
Sh*t About Contracts --

-- Plan your purchase
-- Plan your contract
-- Request Response
-- Select Sellers
-- Administer Contract
-- Close Contract

....and pay close attention to all this sh*t, all the time -- non-verbal communication and all that jazz.

In any case, in ANY contract negotiating, buy a lawyer to read sh*t in advance of anything you sign, intentions swing like pendulums, and contracts are written for different circumstances, and most importantly, what Jerry McGuire taught us the whole 'But'cha do have my word, and it's stronger than oak' simply doesn't hold water.

If you don't understand what you're getting into, all things considered, find someone who does.

Que Sera Sera, psychohistory says things are they way the are, and the way they should be, and in dealing with contracts just stick to ol' boy scout motto, "BE PREPARED."

......and yes, I do practice what I preach

Monday, January 01, 2007

When In Doubt, F*ck the World, Forget all the Things You've Heard

Well, Steve will probably be the first to tell you that my blog has suffered from content this year, as opposed to 2005. There are several reasons for this lack of rock n' roll lifestyle, which I can explain later, but first the highs and the lows.

First high is 'keeping the blog going.' Damn, its hard to keep something like this up and runnin', main reason is you're are scrutinized by all the critics, life overlaps, and it's hard to stay relevant and somewhat captivating (even for myself as I write) in the context of life and all the personalities involved in life.

Travel, well it's been a good year for some trips. I was fortunate enough to take a hop across the pond to Germany to witness back to back epic gigs of The Babyshambles and The Divine Comedy. I was able to head out to LA to see Belle and Sebastian with the LA Philharmonic, and The Shins opening for them. I was able to make a Turkey Day out of Roswell and other Land of Enchantment touristy sites. A nice slingshot trip to the chocolate city for a best bud's bachlor party.

Speaking of that, Manuelabor and Lacinator deserve a paragraph in and of itself, they put it into words better than me, but for lack of sentimentality, it's very special.

I've had the opportunity to get to know my two Round Rock nephews, their cool personalities, and a glimpse of what it's like to have kids, and it's not all that bad, but for me, not anytime soon if ever.

On the flip of that, I've diverted back to the life as a vagabond. The long story short, couch hopping, and finding solace with that wonderful sister of mine. Pink Floyd gets it right when they say 'when I come home cold and tired, it's good to warm my bones beside the fire.'

Why the lack of content on the blog? Well perhaps the biggest reason, other than the travelling, the drama, inner demons, character attacks, (and what seems to be leading down a self-victimization, which I hate, thus I'll stop), the PM* program, and damn I had to study quite a bit for that thing, I actually went 'back to school' for a while, and personally I hate academia, ol' Rhett says it best, 'You don't learn anything, you're just waitin' around.'

Looking back at Dec 05, holy sh*t, I seemed to be a tormented kid, and I recall exactly how I was feeling, what I was thinking, just one of those 'healing' times in life, where I had to think thru things, and yes, I'd be lying if I wouldn't admit that most of the turbulence was my sentiments about a girl. I never shrugged, but have put things into perspective, and thru my own process I've made lemonade out of lemons.

I recall a comment a buddy made on one of these posts earlier, and he said to just keep everything into perspective, and know what you are getting into, and accepting it for what it is, and don't think things will ever drastically change. This gem of wisdom finally stuck with me, and that's something that is going to carry over with me into the new year. This applies to life, love, work, people, war, all these things.

The Diz has been the backbone for 2007, I applaud and respect his rationality and together-ness, and damn, I can't wait to be like that one day soon.

2007 holds a lot of interesting challenges for me, I'll be getting a new job, I'll be trying to save for a trip to Japan, I'll be looking at the whole human element with a tad bit more hesitation, and I hope to go to a billion or so shows, even though the back is giving out, and I'm officially not a 20-something anymore.

Thanks for all the perspective this year from everyone, thanks for the tough love and love love, and I look forward to making another year of not as cynical happiness in 2008!

Time for a Tylenol, time for bed.