Why Oh Why?! She Cried to the Sky

Sharing my life with those who either don't have one or who are interested in what I have to say. For your sake I hope it's the latter. Kudos to you either way. ;D

Friday, January 14, 2011

Death Penalty in the United States

A grisly double homicide took place in North Carolina on the night of June 2, 1990. After a heated argument over money, Steven McHone shot his mother and father with a shotgun, intending to kill them. He was successful. McHone was sentenced to death with two counts of first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill (Montaldo).

In a separate incident in Arizona, Ray Krone was convicted of murder and sentenced to death based on the fact that his teeth marks matched the marks left on the victim. He received a new trial three years later, was found guilty again, but had his sentence reduced to life in prison (“Innocence”).

McHone was guilty of his crime and died by lethal injection on May 11, 2005. Krone, however, was not guilty of the crime for which he was accused. On April 8, 2002, Krone was released from prison and was freed of all charges associated with the murder. DNA testing proved that Krone had nothing to do with the murder and even allowed the state to find the real assailant. The only similarity between McHone and Krone is that they both brushed shoulders with the death penalty and spent stints on death row: McHone for 15 years and Krone for 10 (Montaldo; “Innocence”).
Perhaps the main disagreement over the death penalty stems from the various views of its purpose. People against the death penalty say it is “useless as a deterrent” (Ballaro), whereas supporters of the death penalty say “opponents of the death penalty…miss the point: The death penalty is about the punishment of a crime, not the deterrence of all crime” (Bowman & DiLascio). Either way, the death penalty remains a topic of hot dispute.

Economically, it is common knowledge that the death penalty, and prisons in general, cost a lot of money. Because maintaining the death penalty involves so many resources and costs, it might seem to some that the use of the death penalty should have an effect on the crime rates. However, “FBI Uniform Crime Report data show no statistical difference in crime rates based on the existence or frequency of use of the death penalty” (Ballaro). Even with this disappointing data, the fact remains that if someone is put on death row and executed, that person will never commit another crime. The cost does remain a concern, however, because it takes a lot of money and doctors to make sure a person is executed humanely. It is unethical to execute a sick person and even illegal to execute someone who is cognitively impaired, so sometimes medical bills are involved in making the inmate physically fit enough to die and psychiatric evaluations to insure mental competency. In 2005, for example, New Jersey found that the death penalty had cost taxpayers $253 million since 1983. In 2004 Tennessee’s Office of Research found that trials involving the death penalty cost an average of 48 percent more than trials seeking life in prison. And in California $90 million more was spent for the death penalty than for typical capital cases (DPIC). For better or worse, the United States does feel the financial burden of execution, but in comparison to the cost of human life, both victim and perpetrator, there must be no monetary unit too high for justice.

The effect of the death penalty on the United States is not exclusive to the U.S. The “Supreme Court…has not yet seen fit to end the practice that nearly all civilized nations have already ended” (Ballaro), straining our ties with other democratic and ‘civilized’ nations. The United States stays with the death penalty mainly because of its citizens, more than half of whom are for the death penalty and do not want it abolished. An international issue could be brewing, although the lack of effect resulting from our policy thus far has led some to believe that the death penalty will not affect international alliances. In contrast, America shares the status of legal death penalty with numerous countries including Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Egypt, North Korea, Vietnam, and many others. According to Amnesty International, 137 countries have rid themselves of the death penalty. The United States has not turned a blind eye to the countries that have abolished the death penalty. In fact, it played a role in 2005 when the United States deemed it unconstitutional to execute criminals if they committed the capital act when they were under the age of eighteen or if they were cognitively impaired (Ballaro).

The history of capital punishment in the United States is a long and colorful one. From killing witches in Salem to hanging rogues in the Wild West, America has often and typically enthusiastically, taken part in various legal executions. From lynching people in the South to lethal injection in 36 states, executions provide some sort of twisted entertainment, something to talk about, and, for some, a sigh of relief. With such a bloody past, and the practice of execution since America was founded, no doubt there must be something effective and final about it. Capital punishment is so ingrained in America that to abolish it completely would surely mean the country is taking a turn. The death penalty has been abused, even supporters of the death penalty will admit this, but measures have been taken and laws have been made to inhibit excessive use of the death penalty and use of frivolous executions. Now, in nearly all states that incorporate the death penalty, murder, sex crimes, murder for hire, treason, kidnapping, and aircraft piracy remain the major crimes that warrant the death penalty (DPIC). The crimes and punishments vary from state to state, so what could cost felons their lives in Colorado might not be punishable by death in Arizona.
In the end, the outcome of the death penalty is still up in the air. People against the death penalty remain confident that states have slowly but steadily been banning executions and that the pattern will continue until no state will use capital punishment. People in favor of the death penalty are confident that Americans will continue to choose the death penalty and stay in favor of it with the mentality “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and the ever popular “the capital crime deserves the capital punishment”. Either way, the debate over the death penalty will remain hot and most likely progress slowly. In the end, it comes down to each individual to decide the value of life and what punishments should be used.

Works Cited
Ballaro, Beverly, and C. Ames Cushman. "Point: Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished." Points of View Reference Center. EBSCO, 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. .
Bowman, Jeffrey, and Tracey M. DiLascio. "Counterpoint: The Death Penalty Is Necessary." Points of View Reference Center. EBSCO, 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. .
Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). Death Penalty Information Center. Web. Winter 2010. .
"Innocence Cases: 1994 - 2003." Death Penalty Information Center. Death Penalty Information Center, 2010. Web. 21 Dec. 2010. .
Montaldo, Charles. "Steven McHone - Murderer." Crime and Punishment Home Page. About.com, a Part of The New York Times Company, 2010. Web. 21 Dec. 2010. .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Worship is More Than That

Worship is more Than That

All too often church-going is a routine, once-a-week or once-a-month or even once-a-year, that is tended to only by necessity. When at church, worship is usually only thought of as singing with the other congregants and nothing more. The time of singing may even be called ‘praise and worship’. But the word worship seems as though it should involve more than just singing. Worship is the most significant act a person can partake in because it is spiritual, meaningful, self-revealing, and necessary.

In order to begin examining worship, one must first define it. It is within these parameters that an understanding can be formed, and from that understanding an opinion can be made. Webster Dictionary defines worship as “n. religious reverence and homage; act or ceremony of showing reverence; adoration.” It is obvious from this definition that worship is a deeply religious concept. With this assertion, it is appropriate to seek the definition as stated in the concordance of a Bible. The New Living Translation (NLT) dictionary/concordance defines worship as “the appropriate response to God’s self-revelation”. Both agree that worship is an act, and as an act it cannot be passive. However, Webster’s definition encompasses a broad range and not all of it refers to a necessarily spiritual or religious view. The NLT definition says worship is completely spiritual and a rather simple concept.

Perhaps to decide whether worship is spiritual, it would be helpful to have a concrete base of what ‘spiritual’ is in order to build off of it. Generally speaking, anything spiritual concerns the spirit, which is what makes each person unique. If worship is spiritual, then, it concerns the very core of a person. Because adoration is involved in worship, it logically follows that a person would only worship what has deep meaning for them personally. This could be either religious or something more material, such as an idol or a hero, which have their own categories of worship (idol-worship and hero-worship). Because the spirit is the core of a person, and because people only adore what they feel something for deeply, it follows that worship is spiritual. It can even be said that worship without spirit, such as singing songs out of routine, is not worship at all because it no longer involves the core of that particular person.

If a person ‘worships’ without their spirit involved, then that worship loses all meaning. Worship cannot be worship if it is not meaningful because if it is not meaningful it cannot be spiritual. When something is meaningful on a spiritual level, a feeling is associated with it. This feeling is a stirring of something deep within a person, an awakening for most, which brings with it clarity and a desire for that moment to never end. It is similar to having an epiphany, but on a more spiritual level than a cognitive one. On the cognitive level, everything is about learning and logic, while on the spiritual level there are more emotions and perceptions involved with the experience. Worship in itself brings on this spiritual state, this meaningful moment, and when in this state a person can learn a lot about himself or herself and his or her object of worship.

Worship is self-revealing not only because a person is deeply spiritually self-aware during it, but also because what a person worships can tell a lot about a person. Since worship is so intertwined with the core of a person, what a person worships is also an integral part of that person’s spirit. This is where the danger and the beauty of worship can be seen. People can devote themselves to a drug or a cause or a belief or God to the point of worship. Once a person gets to the point of worship they share who and what they are with something outside of themselves. Although the two do not become one, the spirit and the outside force, they do mix and mingle and learn. When worshiping God, a deep peace can settle on the worshiper and they can hear or feel God’s plan for them. When worshiping something inanimate, a person could only mix their spirit with their perceptions of that object because that object is not alive and so cannot provide its own insights to the worship.

If an inanimate object provides no real insight into worship, the question arises as to why a person would worship something without life. The answer comes from the innate need to worship. People have this feeling of longing and searching that is deep within them, coming from their spirit, which cannot be satisfied until the person can worship something and the spirit can mingle with something apart from itself. At this point, it can be said that because an inanimate object does not itself contribute in worship an inanimate object will not fully satisfy this longing of the spirit. For a time, worshiping something material can occupy a person’s core. But without new perspectives on an idol or a hero, that worship becomes stale. God offers Himself in worship, feeding the act and, in turn, feeding the worshiper. The only truly spirit-satisfying worship comes from God, who is alive and is love itself.

Worship is more than singing songs or bowing down. It is an intimate feeling and need within each person, coming from the soul. It shows what is most important to a person, and is similar to a marriage in the sense that a marriage between a person and something lifeless will soon grow stale, whereas marriage between a person and love itself will never go stale on the part of love. Without worship, a person will continue living, but they will not be tied to anything, and nothing will be constant or meaningful to them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Refuge

Sometimes a messy house is proof of it being lived in, other times a messy house is just that: a messy house. Occasionally, hidden by the mess, is evidence of comfort and an invitation to stay a while and add your piece to the mess that tells the story of the house. The LaCore home is never meticulous, but it offers something few other places have. It welcomes a guest in to stay and enjoy this refuge for as long as its protection is wanted or needed.
The LaCore house is snuggled as far from Duluth as possible while remaining part of the Duluth area. The property spans a broad section of countryside, the house far-removed from the thin dirt road. Pine trees stand sentry on the land as a border, swaying in the wind, bending with the ice, and standing proud in the sun, unchanged through the seasons. The tall grass on the right of the driveway hints at a field of wildflowers in summer, while the newly erected chicken coop and expanding vegetable garden nearer to the house tell of growing self-sufficiency. As soon as any car pulls into the driveway and nears the house it will be accosted by Danny, the hyper-active yellow dog, who will play fetch with such gusto he will not even stop when his teeth begin to bleed. Danny is the first inhabitant to offer welcome, and nearly always the liveliest, in his desperate attempt to find a new playmate. Danny is the newest resident at the LaCore house, but remains the only dog.
Danny is strictly an outdoor friend, but the LaCores will open their doors to all types of people, which they have been doing ever since they built their home nearly two decades ago. The joint product of a family and its friends and relatives, the house was built with loving hands to offer shelter and comfort to the family living within it. Over time, other than just housing Mark and Casey and their children, Jon, Bryan, Tim, and Anna, the LaCore’s have shared space with three friends for extended periods of time. Jon and Bryan had two friends who were brothers and needed a place to live while they transitioned. The LaCore’s opened their home readily, wanting only to offer what they could. Years later, Anna had a friend who needed somewhere to stay for a couple of weeks. Again the LaCore’s offered a place at their house, a place for her to organize her life and get back on a straight path.
Although those residents, along with Jon, Bryan, and Tim, had bedrooms in the basement, the soul of the house has always been in the large communal area that serves as living room, dining room, and kitchen all in the same space. Walking in the side door of the home, while struggling to keep Danny outside, one will notice immediately the clothes and toys strewn over the furniture and floor and the other random objects that are always left around a place where people feel comfortable. After adjusting to the disarray, it is fairly easy to see what is actually going on. Straight ahead sits a white-tile table, always covered in papers, books, and dishes, unless it is being used for everyone to eat around together, in which case it would be cleared off and set neatly, even though the utensils and dishes might not match. When not used as a dining table, it is used by Anna for a place to do college homework, Mark to do an early morning Bible study, and Casey to organize her schedule. Casey is the Executive Pastor of the Duluth Vineyard Church, and so is always busy setting up events and making sure things will run smoothly, along with her other pastoral duties. Across from the table is a sliding glass door through which the forest can be seen, as well as the beautiful pink sky at sunset. The door makes the space feel very open and allows so much light to flood in that the overhead lights are rarely used during the day.
In the living room, a set of three adjacent windows overlook the driveway and open space of the yard. Occasionally it is possible to see the majestic Aurora Borealis, shimmering colors in the night sky, from a small loveseat leaning against the windows. The stars in the night sky are extremely bright that far north, and cuddling with a blanket to admire God’s handiwork is a favorite pastime. A large and sinking couch makes an almost ninety degree angle with the loveseat, but faces the TV, which is often tuned to a Twins game. Unsorted baskets of clean, dryer-scented clothes sit next to the couch, practically overflowing, but not urgently calling to be put away. An antique wooden box sitting next to an old yellow wing-backed chair in the corner holds toys for Brijette and Adelynn, Bryan’s daughters and Mark and Casey’s first grandchildren. Although Bryan has not lived at home in years, having moved out and started his own family, he and his still visit ‘poppa and grandma’ quite often. The girls take out their favorite toys which do not always get returned to the box immediately after they leave, so watch out for plastic toys that are painful to step on.
The end of the carpeted area signals the transition into the kitchen, which nearly always has some container filled with fresh vegetables or fruits sitting on the counter, a satisfying testament to Mark’s many hours spent taking care of his growing garden. The dishes in the sink are kept under control, and the cabinets are rather organized in contradiction to the rest of the house. When food is cooked, it is often a home made meal as well as an experiment with different organic foods and seasonings, the scent wafting lazily through the entire house. The results are always tasty and later replicated for friends. Looking up at the walls, it is important to note the types of pictures that hang. Each picture is of family, with the only exception being a stunningly detailed depiction of a bunch of flowers painted by Mark’s mother. All of the pictures on the walls, other than the painting, are photographs that either Mark or Anna took, most of which are of Adelynn and Brijette. It is obvious how important family is to the LaCores.
Even more important to the LaCores is God’s will. Since building their house, both Casey and Mark have been youth leaders at their church. They have always felt that it is important to offer their hearts and homes to those in need. For as long as Anna can remember, there were always teenagers at her house. They had an open house so people could come as they wanted or needed to, and someone would be there to talk to or watch TV with or to help them get a meal. The LaCores are not the type to tell a person how to live, they are more likely to show a person how to do something and then let them decide for themselves if they will or will not. Casey raised four exceptional children and is not about to start babying people now. It is best for people to be able to think for themselves so that they can function out in the real world when that time comes. Spending time in the LaCore’s house can help prepare someone for that difficult transition.
In the future, the house will remain unchanged. Neither Mark nor Casey are making plans to move, and with so much history already in the house and family nearby, it is unlikely they will ever change residencies. Anna will eventually finish college and move out, as will Tim. Brijette and Adelynn will continue visiting their grandparents, and all of the kids will stop home every now and again to see their parents. But even with an ‘empty nest’, the house will not be empty. Friends will still stop by, and maybe another person, a new church member perhaps, will need a place to live for a while. It is guaranteed that the LaCore house will be there and be ready and willing to help shelter and comfort anyone who calls upon it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Shawn Hornbeck Influence

I frequently talk to my TV. That morning in October I said, “That’s nice. I think he’s alive too, but he’s dead. No one lasts four years. It’s going to be sad when they find his body, but at least that’ll be closure and you can move on.”
The mother, who was trying to keep her emotions under control, was telling the rest of the world about the event that forever scarred her life: her son had been abducted four years prior. If the fact that a mother of a missing-for-four-years boy had been able to get on the Today Show was strange, the connection I felt to the case was even stranger.
I was thirteen at the time and I knew about kidnappings. I had seen lots of horrible stuff on the news, countless victims, and the justice that comes when it almost seems like it doesn’t matter anymore. Quite honestly, nothing about any of those previous events affected me too much other than to make me feel lucky to be alive and have the family I do. It is so easy to stay detached from an event through the glare and static of a TV screen, with the newscasters moving onto a new topic every few minutes. Too easy.
Maybe it was the mother’s emotion. Maybe it was her ability, which I am still surprised by, to get on the Today Show with such an old case. But I don’t think so. I think what drew me in was the mother’s hope. Except it was more than hope. She knew Shawn was still alive. And in that instant, while my world stopped and all thoughts left my mind and the only thing that existed was what she was saying, I knew it too. Shawn was alive. It was beyond a hopeful statement given by someone who has begun to lose hope, because if anything she seemed to have gained hope. It was like a fact. Her reasoning, in a maternal way, was sound.
“If Shawn was dead, I would have felt it.”
Part of me agreed. There was something like a direct line from my heart to wherever Shawn was. And he was definitely on the other end. He was just lost.
While I felt all of this, this tangible connection that made me ache inside with a need for him to be alive, I began to prepare myself for the announcement of the finding of his body. I may not have known the actual statistics, but I did know that in over half of all abduction cases the victim is dead within twenty-four hours. The rate of death goes up drastically every hour over that. Sawn had been gone four years. He could have been killed hundreds of times, statistically speaking, so what were the odds that he was alive? I didn’t want to suffer a broken heart over someone I had never met or even heard of until that morning.
Eventually I came out of my trance, the interview over, and continued in my daily preparation for school. The monotony kept my mind fairly free, kept my mind able to stay abuzz with thoughts of Shawn. I mentioned the news story to someone that morning, while walking to class through the claustrophobically full halls, and was surprised by their total lack of interest or even reverence. It struck me, perhaps for the first time, that not everyone feels the same things; that what mattered so much to me may, in fact, mean very little or nothing to someone else. The revelation broadsided me. Now I had this epiphany combined with an unexplainable, stronger than blood, connection to a missing boy and I was thrown into a new, broader perspective I had never known before.
After the first person’s reaction, or lack thereof, I didn’t mention Shawn very much. That didn’t mean I didn’t think about him. I did. A lot.
I would pray routinely for him and his family; for him to be found, for acceptance and closure. And I prayed he was alive. God was the only one I could cry out to, the only one who knew exactly what this connection felt like to me, the only one who knew how much distress I felt over this incident. I recall, at one point, wanting to take Shawn’s place, because his family needed him back. But I was still struggling with whether he was alive or dead. Logic and heart collided in an agonizing emotional minefield. To this day I still don’t know why the connection was so powerful.
In three months the memory of the interview had faded, and the connection didn’t make me cry at night anymore, but I had by no means forgotten about Shawn. I don’t think I could have even if I wanted to.
In one of those strange moments of déjà vu I was in my living room, once again struggling to get ready for school in time, when a name mentioned on the TV once again stopped my world and me. “Shawn Hornbeck”. Found. Alive. Reunited with his parents.
I remember, quite distinctly, the image of Shawn being escorted out of a cop car and into some sort of facility or police station. His hair was longer, his ear was pierced, and he was wearing a dark sweatshirt. The image was in stark contrast with the photo of the clean-cut young boy that had been flashed on screen repeatedly during the interview with his mom. It didn’t matter in the least, because, did I mention, he was alive? I am not a crier but that day introduced me to tears of overwhelming joy. Shawn was alive! I told people, my mom that morning, and my friends at school, because I could not contain myself.
Again I was met with a lack of enthusiasm. A lack of caring. People were amazed, that’s true, but they forgot about it soon after I told them. My mom was most receptive, but that was just because she could see from my face and my exaggerated gestures how excited I was.
The lack of response made me quite angry. Shawn had been abused, or shall I say tortured, for four and a half years. And the response from those I told was not enough to even fill four and a half minutes. It crushed me, tore at my soul, broke me down.
I became obsessed; I can admit it now. I found out all I could about the case, and then later found out that about half of the information I thought I knew was false. The Internet cannot be trusted. When Shawn’s story aired on 60 Minutes I watched it, at least twice, and read the script to it once. Then, when that obsession budded and bloomed, the once pure connection I felt was tainted. Once I found out all I could about the case I realized what I had done. I felt ashamed that I could become so fascinated with something so horrible, especially when it involved someone I cared so deeply for.
After that I stopped thinking about the case so much, it was becoming unhealthy. I knew that it was. And thinking about how Shawn is, the amazing and forgiving and strong man Shawn has become, I feel even more contrite to have perverted the connection I felt to him.
Shawn does not want vengeance on Michael Devlin, the man who stole him, his childhood, and his innocence. All Shawn wanted was for Devlin to be “locked away for a long, long time so he can’t do that to anyone else”. Shawn is an awe-inspiring person who has recovered and moved on with his life. He has friends, is going to college, is working, and is pursuing his interest in motocross.
I think, after recovering from my obsession and moving back to a more distant perch, his case may have renewed my hope in people. What Devlin did was repulsive, but what Shawn did was truly shocking: he stayed alive and he offered forgiveness. I am looking into psychology now; I want to be able to help people: both the people like Devlin, the monsters, and the people like Shawn, the miracles. But more than anything, in the fashion of a proud parent, I want Shawn to make the most of his life, and I have no doubt he is. Every time Shawn’s name pops up in the media I will pay attention. Not because I have to, but because I want to. He inspires me.

A Little Treat From A Friend

A friend and I were talking the other day and he recommended a 'melodic metal' band to me.
Melodic Metal? Sounds pretty sweet, I know, so I checked out the song he told me about.
Horizons by Parkway Drive.
I've only listened to it once all the way through, but it was great. Great doesn't do it justice actually, but I've been rather strapped for good adjectives lately. (school kills my creative spirit and memory, maybe my brain in general)
Here are the lyrics, I liked the beginning best, the words are poetic and I really like how they clash and give the desired feeling. I recommend finding the song and listening to it sometime, with lyrics (unless you happen to be great at understanding screamo), and enjoy it. Think about it a little.
So it begins

Our eyes drawn open,
Free from the thought of doubt,
Free from the selfish conflict.
Now blind these words,
Chase us.
With open arms we stand,
Before the dawn.

The sun seems to have been rising,
Ever since I can recall,
Branding a sense of permanence,
To this lying world.

Your words like icy air,
Your lies like merciless, burning flesh.
To hope for something more,
To dream of substance.

Like a martyr before us,
We need to die.
Like a martyr before us,
We dream to die.

Masochistic to think,
This would be remembered (would be remembered).
Sadistic, perpetuation
Of stagnation.

There is nothing as empty,
As waiting to die.
We've spent our lives,
Wasting, as time eats us alive.

Your sunsets go on be-falling,
Ever since I can recall.
The only sense,
Of permanence,
In this dying world.

Sit back and watch,
As time eats us alive.

Everyone who know me,
Know me.
Destined to die,

The marks I left upon this world,
Will wash away,
in time.

In time,
And so it ends.
In time,
It all finds an end.

In time,
And so it ends.
In time,
We all find an end.

With broken arms,
And hollow eyes,
I'll wait to return to oblivion.
Embrace our last,
Empty horizon.

Embrace our last,

I got the lyrics from darklyrics.com.
That's pretty much it, just wanted to share.
(Also, I'm stalling on a school assignment, but I suppose I should get to that :p)
Cuídate and God bless,

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Key To Getting A Job

Okay, so apparently the key to getting a job is to give up all hope in getting one, accept the fact that you can't do it by yourself, pray to God, keep in mind that you can not do this alone, get an interview and have your hope revived, don't get over-excited, pray, remember you aren't alone, pwn the interview and get hired on the spot. (Maybe telling the world via blog that you've lost hope helps, too. But I'm not sure about that one.)
Who knew?
I guess I just needed to reorder my life and my priorities, and it was strange how appealing the idea of having a job became to me after I gave up all hope. And so I prayed for the right job. Hopefully this is it, I don't know why it wouldn't be since it worked out so perfectly and the lady is SUPER nice.
It sounds obvious, but relying on God works. It's hard, though. And I don't want to sound self-righteous, because if I wasn't quite so apathetic and hopeless it would've been harder for me. Realizing I don't have it all together and that I can't make anything happen by myself pretty much brought me down a couple levels and invited God in to change my life. :D
Well, I will go in for my first day of training in about an hour, and I am excited and nervous but I think I'll be okay, because God'll stay with me. Always. That's kind of a major part of what He does.
I had to share the news.

Too all those still job searching, I wish you the best and don't be afraid to humble yourself.

Peace out and God bless!

Monday, July 5, 2010

i love this picture

The last two are from the same photographer. I don't know about the first.
I love these pictures. Especially the first. They speak without words, which is cliché but true.


So, finding a job is hard. But actually getting a job is harder. Who wants to hire a sixteen year old with one previous employer that only half counts because it was volunteerism? Apparently no one. Now there are only two months of summer left. I don't know if I'll be able to keep a job during the school year, school drains so much from me.
I can finally, very remotely, sympathize with the job-searchers. I'm kind of one of them.
Honestly, it is a bit half-hearted, I only am looking because I'm being forced to by my parents, but part of me actually has started to want a job. At first, all I felt was panic at the thought of a job. It may surprise you, but I am not a huge fan of commitment, and a job requires quite a bit of that. And I felt, and still feel, like getting a job will finally, truly, close the door to my childhood. And I didn't want that. I still don't. But childhood left me a long time ago and I've only been clinging to remnants of a psuedo-childhood that I'm not 100% sure was ever really there. It's time for me to let it go, whatever it was, and move on.
Now I kind of look forward to actually getting a job, although I don't have much hope in it. I think it'd be nice to go somewhere that I'm needed, or at least paid to be needed, and do something with my time. I'm not quite sure what I've been doing this summer with all of my 'free time'. I've just been sort of dazed, and that is no way to live. I don't know what happened to the ambition I possessed at the end of the school year for my summer, my goals of learning new things every week and of reading Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego to learn more Spanish. I've only gotten through a page and a half of it.
I just wanted to share my frustrations with you. Because there aren't enough frustrated people on the Internet as it is. :)

God keep you,

Sunday, February 21, 2010



A terrific example of a movie that didn't get the exposure it should have.
I have no idea why, but occasionally I will fall in love with a movie that is fairly cheap and has borderline acting. Well, actually, mostly the acting was good, it was just the plot that had a few wrinkles.
I don't know, it just happens.
It has Chris Marquette, who I immediately pegged as 'the friend from The Invisible!'. He is much better in this movie, and he was my favorite character, easy to pick out with his green hair. I'll upload the trailer for ya'll.
The movie's not rated, but I'd give it a PG-13. What I read on the website was for Violence, Language, and Suggestive Behavior. Something like that. I had no problem really with it, but then I am not exactly a great judge of these sorts of things since I go to high school and hear so much of this stuff that it doesn't bother me any more because it's more like a cultural thing. Or a stupid teen thing. Either way, check it out for yourself.
The movie is about four friends who decide to rob a bank on graduation day because it's a small town and everyone will be gone. They need the money to pay medical bills for one of the kid's mom, who has cancer. It goes incredibly smooth until one little mix-up that sends the whole movie crashing.

Ending was highly unlikely, as was the whole movie, but I still liked it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Insane Supernatural!!! Only one I watched of season 4!

Just ignore the tab/window that opens when you click on the player, it's not important so you can just close it and then enjoy the episode :)

It's about Sam and Dean going to an Asylum, I found it very much like Folsom Prison Blues and Asylum put together. But it was still AWESOME! Dean pulls off crazy incredibly well, he has the best parts in this episode, and Sam does angry-crazy scarily well. Love the air-punching. Love the 'PUDDING!' outburst. Just loved it. So many great lines in this one! Yes, I am Supernatural-deprived. hehehe.

Thanks Vinz! Totally right. Love this.
5 stars!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Chosen Band (*****)[5Stars]

If you have not heard, The Classic Crime is my favorite band. Officially.

You see, they possess a raw sound. It's incredibly refreshing to hear some raw rock instead of the overly digitalized and computer-perfected music that so many other bands have succumbed to. That does NOT mean their sound is bad quality. They have stellar sound, and the fact that it's real makes it that much better.

Lyrics. Now, they are very important to me. Bands can sound great, but have the worst lyrics. I need the lyrics to be up to par with the sound. TCC delivers. Plain and simple. The lyrics are raw as well, because why candy-coat life when we already know life is not a poof of cotton candy? Real problems, real life. Not corny. Approved.

Christian. Not under label, but in content. Of course, what do people expect from me anyways? I think it's funny that so many bands shun the 'Christian' label. But I have to agree with the various reasons, to name a few: alienation, not the entire band is committed in faith, all band members do not share a single soul, and my favorite 'How can an album be "saved"?'.

New band. They've only been around for a couple of years. Have the albums 'Albatross', 'The Silver Cord', and 'Acoustic EP: Seattle Sessions'. In February the next album is coming out, and I am stoked.

Touring! They were on tour with Relient K and OwlCity, some other bands too, but I can't think of them, and I was so upset I hadn't heard until after the tour was over.

That would've just about been my dream line-up.

Luckily they are going to be touring again in February for their new album, and I really hope they come to southern Minnesota so that I can see them. That would be incredible!

Music Videos! They are good! Weird, yes, but weird is good. Very much so, in fact. Abracadavers gets me every time. The Coldest Heart is pretty beautiful. I haven't watched Seattle yet, but I know it'll be good, I've seen little blurbs of it.

This is the awesome T-Shirt I want to get. Obviously it goes with the album 'The Silver Cord'. Very interesting, I like looking at it.

I will keep listening to them for years, I hope. If not, I will probably be dead.


Rock on, mi compadres.

May God keep you.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sorry...Again//Essay #1 Child War Casualty

I need to keep updating this blog. I just stopped. Sorry about that. There is a slight want but not much desire, if that makes sense. With school I'm trying to stay a little busy, not really but sort of. I have been gifted with an English teacher who actually teaches, praise the Lord, so the essays have been refreshing. She even reads the essays! I missed having a good teacher.

Anyways, one of my favorite essays to write so far this year has been Child War Casualty. Basically she showed us a slide show of a bunch of different war-type themes, posing the question 'How would one of the people in the picture respond to fighting for independence?'. I chose the picture entitled Child War Casualty. This is the essay I wrote about it, yes I am American and yes, I share some of the views I gave the man in the picture.

Here is the picture, so you can see for yourselves, and below is my essay. Comment, please. Agree, disagree? I like opinions.

Child War Casualty

There is no such thing as independence. Always, someone will hold power over me. I believed my country would succeed in its revolution. I believed that we would become a democracy. I believed it, how foolish I was! Even in democracy there are laws and people telling others what to do. No, independence is only a whisper of an unachievable dream. The United States lies when it claims to be “independent”. Americans still have laws telling them what to do, they may have more freedom than I and my countrymen, but they are a far cry from independence.

I had wanted to go to the United States earlier in my life. I thought that their so-called “independence” would be what I had sought after my entire existence. But when my mother became sick and died of AIDS and my father and half of our village was murdered by soldiers, whether they were soldiers fighting for independence or soldiers trying to crush the revolution I do not know, I gave up all of my dreams. I decided that all I needed was to live and protect my baby sister. My innocent baby sister, who, at seven, didn’t know any life other than the mixture of war, pain, and suffering that she was exposed to every day, was still able to make jokes and play simple games. My dreams had died, but I still held hope; hope that I would be able to give my sister a full life.

I remember the day my hope died. I was at the market, trying to barter for something edible to feed my starving sister. She was at our village, over a mile away, playing with the other malnourished children who were still able. I heard the bomb before I saw it. When I came out from hiding and saw the smoke of the fires in the direction of my village, my heart clenched. I started running, sprinting, to my home and my sister. I had never run so fast in my life but it still took much too long to get to her.

Debris covered everything, and the smoke was so thick I could hardly breathe. Eyes watering so much that I could not see, I walked down the crude roads I had traversed my entire life, knowing them by memory. The majority of the bomb’s blast had hit the center of the village. I was thankful that our house was set on the border. A house with thin walls and dirt floors is no match for a bomb. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. The stone building in front of my house had thrown itself almost completely apart, the large rocks flying in every direction from the explosion. Two had gone directly through my house, collapsing it.

It took me no more than five minutes to dig under the debris and find my sister. She was still warm. I picked her up, ignoring the blood that soaked her tattered clothing and ignoring the truth of her death. I walked out of the village, staring down into her face the whole time, crying and unable to stop. Now she will be just another casualty of the war, another nameless statistic and unmarked grave. Fighting for independence caused her death. Independence, the unachievable vision, is stealing the lives of millions. I could never fight for something that takes so many lives and offers only the condolence of “their deaths were for a good cause”. There is no good cause for early death.