Friday, January 28, 2011

Couchsurfing and Global Climate Change...

So Brittany and I host Couchsurfers. If you don't know what couchsurfing is, goto the main website and check it out (here). Essentially, we let perfect strangers stay at our house as they are journeying across the country for one reason or another. Every experience we've had has been great. We really enjoy the lives and stories that have been shared. We've gotten to meet some very interesting people.

For instance, this last week, we hosted a middle aged couple from Canada. He is a retired accountant and she is a retired chef. They've chosen to live a very simple life and, because of that, retired in their early 40's. They live in a 500 sq/ft house off the grid in Canada and run a small organic farm. He taught workshops on alternative energy sources, composting, and gardening. They were fun people and great conversationalists. The vegan meal she cooked for us on Wednesday night was fantastic and the talk that followed was thought provoking.

These Couchsurfers were passionate about living simply and conserving our planet. We talked lots about how they do that, what choices they've made, ways the world is over-consuming natural resources, and practical steps people can begin to make the in right direction. Basically, they felt that we have to start doing something now, because if we are lazy and put it off any later, it'll be too late. It won't be the next generation's problem. It is our problem. Now.

It got me thinking... about how I live. And about how we all live. Particularly, how we as Americans live. And is it too late? Should we say: "Screw it. Its too late. Eat, drink and be merry... for tomorrow we die."? Or should we actively seek to change things? What if global climate change is all a bunch of BS? What if I do everything I can and no one listens to me about why they should change their lives?

There's lots of questions. And few answers. Then I ran across this YouTube video today. He makes an excellent point:

What are we going to do? Nothing? Something? Anything? And what sacrifices are we willing to make to change our planet? And what if it really is too late?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Its very peculiar...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best Book of 2010

I read a lot in 2009. A whole lot. It makes me feel bad that I haven't read as much this past year. I still read plenty, just not as much as I did. And its still been almost entirely fiction. I just can't read a bunch of non-fiction lately. Don't ask me why. I don't know why. I just can't get in to it. I'm currently reading Donald Miller's "Through Painted Deserts" (again).


Last year, reading Chuck Palahniuk led me to Christopher Moore. After I read everything of his I could get my hands on, I then looked for other authors that Chuck recommended. That led me to John Irving.

I had heard of this book. I had also heard of the movie. I decided to read the book first. I loved it. Its a story that reminds you that life is real and we better be aware of the decisions we make. The main characters in the book are forced to come face to face with their humanity and the lives they choose to lead. This book is not for the faint of heart. It deals with every hot topic under the sun, and still tells a story that both filled and tore my heart.

Everyone should read "The Cider House Rules." I'm sure that some uber-conservatives will hear that its about abortion and therefore avoid it. But the story is about something so much bigger than abortion.

Get it. Read it. You'll be happy you did.

PS-The movie sucked... a lot. I hated it. Its not even a decent movie if you look at it apart from the book. But when comparing it to the book, its almost blasphemy because it wanders so far away from John Irving's original plot line.

Oh, the YouTube comments section...

Just read this in the comments section of a YouTube video:

"You say Lady Gaga, I say DEADMAU5
You say Hannah Montana, I say METRIC
You say Owl City, I say MODEST MOUSE
You say Jonas Brothers, I say GORILLAZ
You say Justin Bieber, I say DAFT PUNK
You say Taylor Swift, I say MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE"

I may not agree with every selection here, as this person is obviously really into electronic music, but I agree with their point and thought it was worth noting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Album of 2010

This one was easy. Too easy, actually.

It starts off with a quote from Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." It finishes with one of the best compositions I've heard in a long time. I saw them in concert at the War Memorial auditorium a couple of months ago. It was literally some of the best 2 hours of my life.

If you have not listened to Mumford and Sons' album "Sigh No More," you are not complete. I seriously mean that. These songs will get into your mind and heart and bounce around in your chest. They will make you sing. They make you feel like music is important. They make you feel like the moment matters. They make you remember why art is so valuable.

I don't know exaclty when I got my hands on the album for the first time. I do know that "Little Lion Man" was the first song I heard. I thought "Winter Winds" may be my favorite, then they played "Roll Away Your Stone" as the final encore song at their concert with Cadillac Sky and Old Crow Medicine Show on stage in Nashville... and my mind was instantly changed.