Friday, January 26, 2007

sometimes i swear it feels like this worry is my only friend (trouble/ray lamontagne)

lately music has been affecting me more than usual. i've been paying attention to the lyrics of some songs that i've heard over and over, but never really paid attention to. now they seem to scream out their message to me. i feel a connection between what's happening in my life right now and what the song is about.

"hands open" snow patrol
it's hard to argue when
you won't stop making sense
but my tongue still misbehaves and it
keeps digging my own grave

"most uncommon thing" five times august
so take me as you please, i want you
and say you'll be my ease
and promise the same things i promise you
just that will do

"star mile" joshua radin
and all the gold dust in her eyes
won't reform into a ring
you had and lost the one thing
you kept in a safe place
remember the face
of the girl who had made you her own
and how you left her alone

"time of your song" matisyahu
moonlight illuminate my night and my days sunray
make the people say
and a vision something's missing so they're screaming out loud
keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds
i'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and i will go
and i know and i go and i go, get up and go
make me feel it's for real, tell me what you know

"waiting for my real life to begin" colin hay
any minute now my ship is coming in
i'll keep checking the horizon
and i'll stand on the bow
and feel the waves come crashing
come crashing down, down, down on me . . .
and you say, "just be here now,
forget about the past,
your mask is wearing thin" . . .
on a clear day
i can see, see for a long way

Friday, January 19, 2007

keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds

last night i went to the matisyahu concert in park city. i first found out about matisyahu from my friend lori - the music sherpa. i remember being at best buy and she was talking about this jewish reggae/rapper/beat box guy that was really good. we saw the cd live at stubbs and i bought it. i love reggae - the classics like bob marley, ub40, ziggy marley, jimmy cliff, wailing souls, as well as black uhuru (reggae with a twist of africa) and sublime. so i was in instant like. i downloaded youth from itunes and have been enjoying him immensely for about a year.
a few days ago, my fellow matisyahu friend at work told me that he was coming in concert to park city for the sundance film festival. we got tickets a day before the show and paid more than we would have liked, but it was all worth it when matisyahu walked on stage. it was an amazing show - especially once we snuck past the ropes into the VIP area to the front row. despite all the drunk quasi-celebs spilling their beer and sweating all over us, it was probably one of the best shows i've ever seen (lori - if you are reading this, the show was awful. a HUGE waste of time and money. so not worth it. not at all. you missed nothing, promise. oh - except when we saw ian ziering and jenna von oy standing by us in the coat check line.) his beat box set was incredible - i've never heard anyone better. he puts on a great show. it was concert purism!
i love matisyahu for his convictions, his talent and his lyrics. a lot of his songs are about his religion, God, zion, and standing for something. from what i've read, he is very religious, completely orthodox. we noticed that he would never touch the hands of any female fans on the front row (including myself and my friends) but he would bend down and sing to us, then grab the outstretched hands of the guys. i don't know much about orthodox judaism, but it was interesting to watch him. it was easily one of the best concerts i've been to, i'm so glad i went. reading the lyrics to "king without a crown" brings it all back.

Strip away the layers and reveal your soul
Got to give yourself up and then you become whole
You're a slave to yourself and you don't even know
You want to live the fast life but your brain moves slow
If you're trying to stay high then you're bound to stay low
You want God but you can't deflate your ego
If you're already there then there's nowhere to go
If your cup's already full then its bound to overflow
If you're drowning in the waters and you can't stay afloat
Ask Hashem for mercy and he'll throw you a rope
You're looking for help from God you say he can't be found
Searching up to the sky and looking beneath the ground
Like a King without his Crown

Matisyahu - Beatbox (filmed with a digital camera, so the sound isn't great, then posted by brad on

Monday, January 8, 2007

welcome, 2007

things that i'm loving right now:
my new toyota corolla!
pita chips from costco
reality - gut wrenching as it is
wanting to serve others out of desire rather than duty
V chocolates
being so busy every day that i fall into bed exhausted
reading five books at the same time
water - i could drink gallons of the stuff
indian food
10 items or less todd the butcher = hot
my new workout schedule - 5 x a week, 45 minutes of bike, treadmill and arc trainer
that 70s show
five times august and secondhand serenade (thanks ben!)
"to do" lists

things that i'm over:
buying a new car
playing it safe
MTV reality shows
people who say one thing, but really mean another
soda pop
mexican food
hot chocolate
hating my singles ward
high heels
filler conversation

Friday, January 5, 2007

finding the stockdale paradox

i’ve been reading the book good to great by jim collins and i have to admit that at first i thought it would be incredibly stale. i’ve tried reading it before and i got bored before i finished the first chapter. but this time i’ve really gotten into it. i think the subject of what makes or breaks a business is fascinating. there is one chapter where the author talks about what he calls the “stockdale paradox.” i’ve heard of this before, but i didn’t know that it came from this book. the stockdale paradox refers to admiral jim stockdale who was a p.o.w. during vietnam for eight years. during that time, he didn’t know whether he would be killed before the war ended or if he would ever see his family again. after reading stockdale’s book, in love and war, collins asked him how he handled being a p.o.w. for eight years and how he survived. stockdale replied, “I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
when asked who didn’t make it out of the prison camps, he had an interesting answer: the optimists. meaning, the ones who counted on being set free by a certain date; which would come and go, and then they would say another date, which would also come and go, and so on until they ended up dying of a broken heart. stockdale said that the most important lesson he learned is that, “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” this principle came to be known as the stockdale paradox – that in any situation in life you can have faith that you will prevail in the end and at the same time accept reality, however brutal it might be.
i thought this was a really interesting point of view. it has always seemed to me that you can either live in faith or struggle with reality, but not both at the same time. i guess that’s why they call it a paradox. the last few weeks have been full of intense introspection for me. the brutal facts of my current reality have seemed overwhelming – the last seven days have seemed especially difficult due to a few unexpected things that occured. but I like the idea of staying positive without expecting any particular outcome. i think what stockdale is saying is that faith and expectation are two very different things - in his case, it was the difference between life and death.
i’m so glad that i’m reading this book now – given my professional and personal goals this year, it could not have come at a better time. i love stuff like that – when things seem to fall into place at the perfect time. i live for that, and i have never been disappointed. things always seem to fall into place when they are right - although sometimes at the last minute. i know it's a clich
é, but there really is a silver lining to every cloud. post nubilus phoebus (after clouds, sun).

more words of wisdom:

You cannot step in the same river twice

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one

The obstacle is the path

Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth

You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into

We become aware of the void as we fill it

Never order pizza when you want chinese