Sunday, April 4, 2010
What else? Got two papers to write by Wednesday, so that never changes when I'm writing blogs. One is my introduction page on a 7-8-page paper on why kids should be educated about same-sex unions so they don't grow up being queers. The other is on the development of music during the middle ages. Wanna know about music in the middle ages? 'Kay. Started as religious chants. They were in free-verse, meaning they could basically sing whatever rhythm they felt like. There weren't really pitches written in stone, either. It was kinda just like words people said together at approximately the same time. Then they came up with something called polyphony, which is where there were more than one melodies at once (harmonies, duh). And uhh...most of the monks who wrote the music didn't put their names on it, so we don't know who wrote most of the songs. Also, there were troubadours who were secular and played music on the streets. Now, I have to make everything I just told you into a three-page paper. Hm. Maybe I should change my topic.
I learned this wicked awesome drum fill today. It goes (hi-hat and bass) snare snare snare low tom low tom hi-hat bass, snare snare hi-hat hi-hat hi-hat hi-hat snare snare bass bass high tom snare bass bass snare snare high tom low tom bass bass low tom snare bass (bass and crash). In other words...
And I'm doing track. That's my life as of now.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
So what is confidence, you might ask? Well, confidence is getting hired. Confidence is jumping from an airplane. Confidence is performing in front of thousands of people. Confidence is talking to that girl you think is hot. Confidence is taking risks. Confidence is confronting people you have an issue with. Confidence is being comfortable with who you are. Confidence is tearing up your note cards while giving a speech. Confidence can get you further in the world because no one wants to hire or be around someone who is uncertain of his capabilities. No one wants to hire a guy who is afraid to talk to customers. No one wants to date a guy who apologizes for being himself. Confident people stand out. Confident people aren’t shy and they aren’t ashamed of who they are and what they have to offer (Kanter).
Anyone can be confident, too. There are no excuses. As some anonymous person once said, “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” If Christopher Walken or Willem Dafoe (the Green Goblin from Spider-Man) can become famous with faces like that, then you surely can get through whatever you’re trying to accomplish in life. How about Danny Davito? How about Michael Moore? Drew Carry? Rick Moranis? John Heder from Napoleon Dynamite? Steven Tyler of Aerosmith? If someone as nerdy as Bill Gates can be…Bill Gates, then you have no excuse. Confidence is not who you are, it’s how you envision who you are and how you use your credentials.
On a side note, confidence can also make you seem funny. One method to this, as commonly used by comedian Dane Cook, is to yell everything you say. He simply goes on stage and yells about every day happenings. An example might be, “This morning I put on A BUTTON-UP SHIRT AND BLUE JEANS WITH THE HOLES IN THE KNEES! You know what I like about holes in the knees? I like to think about the POOR LITTLE ASIAN KIDS WHO ARE SITTING IN THE FACTORIES PUTTING HOLES INTO JEANS! AHHHH!!! And then I HAD SOME BREAKFAST!”
This is truly the trickiest part of the art of confidence. First, you need to analyze yourself. What are you good at? What are your good qualities? What are your bad qualities? What do you look like? How much money do you have? Not that any of those things matter when you have confidence, but you need to analyze them before you can properly use it. You do not want to show any vulnerability but instead, you want to work with your bad qualities and make them be in your favor. If you’re 5’9 and weigh 350 pounds and you are joking about being a short guy, it’s not going to cut it. It’s a deflection of insecurity about your weight and everyone can see right through it. If you, instead, joke about how you camp out at the bakery, everyone is laughing with you and you’ve just built up your confidence. Maybe you can even get some tattoos of ice cream cones and popcorn to show everyone that you’re okay with who you are.
But I realize not everyone is a 5’9 350 lb man, and there are other situations to be addressed. One way people work on their confidence is through practice and experience. If you have a fear of something, work through it. If you’re afraid of crowds, expose yourself to them more often and your fear will eventually pass. Keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if you make yourself look stupid and try again. Confidence comes much more naturally to some people than others, but once again, claiming a handicap is not excusable. Work with what you have, emphasize your strong points, play along with your weak points, and don’t fall victim to irrational fear.
Now that you have your confidence, you need to learn where and how to use it. As singer/songwriter for the Lawrence Arms, Brendan Kelly, pointed out in his blog, confidence is the driving force behind every advancement made in human history. It’s risk-taking. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a jet plane because of confidence. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery because of confidence. The US Constitution wouldn’t have been written if it were not for confidence. Music would have never evolved if people weren’t confident enough to try something new. Shaun White would have never gotten his snowboard off the ground without confidence. No one would ever get laid if they weren’t confident enough to approach the person they want to sleep with and say, “Hey! I’d love to have sex with you!” And without that, none of us would even exist (Kelly) (Raduga).
Indiana Jones would not have gotten across that invisible bridge in the Last Crusade and gotten the Holy Grail if it wasn’t for confidence! In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith’s character, Chris, went to an interview with a shirt covered in paint on and with his confidence, he got the job. The interviewer asked him, “What would you say if a guy walked into an interview without a shirt on and I hired him?” To that, Will Smith replied, “He must’ve had on some really nice pants.” That is confidence at work.
Another thing that Brendan Kelly frequently preaches is that the only thing women find attractive in men is confidence. One might argue that women are attracted to money. No, women are attracted to the confidence that comes with having money. One might argue that women are into guys with good looks. Wrong again. Women are attracted to the confidence that comes with having good looks. Take Nick George as an example as to why good looks isn’t the only important factor. Confidence is missing. So in order to get that girl you want, you must have confidence in yourself. Do not point out when you feel awkward. Don’t bring up things from the past. Don’t ask if you’re doing alright. Instead, know that you’re doing alright. Know that you can get with this girl and make her happy. And really, same thing goes with girls trying to get with guys (though confidence isn’t all guys look for, to be honest) (Kelly).
All of these things boil down to risk-taking. Take risks. Do things that no one has done before. Do things that you have never done before. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger and only one thing in each person’s life will kill them but chances are, taking one risk to move up in the world isn’t going to be that one thing. Be spontaneous. Be reckless if that’s what the situation calls for. If your boss is telling you to work overtime, shoot out his headlights. When he asks if you did it, look him right in the eye and say, “Yes, sir. And if you don’t quit giving me hours after 10, I’m taking a crowbar to your windows.” Chances are you won’t be getting any more late night shifts from that guy.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Two-hour delay tomorrow AND Alex's birthday! Happy B-day, bitch!
Talked to my dad about college today...and by "talked to my dad about," I mean "got preached to about," of course. So I wanna go to Potomac State because I'm too much of a puss to run off into the world and go to college at this point and my dad hates that college...so! He tried to tell me how much he hated it...but I didn't really care. And I want a car because I need one for jazz band and track and other things...and I'm not sure I'm getting one right now!
I've been stressing about college and stuff since then, though. My mom isn't stressing it on me too much. My sister is pregnant. My brother may be coming back to public schools. I'm graduating. Life is just full of changes!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I've really been thinking about things...well, sorta. But anyway, I really don't know what I'm going to do with my life. I really wanna get I Forget up on its feet and out into the world at least a little bit. First step seriously is to get these songs learned (and written) so we can run in and record them and make an album. Marc Phillips has been hashing out (I'm around Mr. Leonard too much...erg) our album cover. The album has been renamed for the third time and is now to be Flannelcore. I'm excited. You don't understand the half of it!
So more news on that coming later. Anddd...I'm sick of dog and cat piss. Anddd...I haven't rewritten my paper yet. Anddd...the new Alkaline Trio album came out today and I need to go buy it!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100223/music_nm/us_pickle That made Yahoo! News. Maybe that means there's enough people out there who know Nickelback are terrible to make an impact.
And there are some Against Me! videos of them playing new songs live out there on Youtube, so if you're liking Against Me!, check those out. And...uhh...yeah, that's about all I have for today. Insightful, huh? Alex is having a birthday this Friday. Happy birthday! I'm uhh...still gonna do stuff with your sister.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Kyle Wagoner is a student in a College English class who owns a Facebook page.
Ever since the invention of the internet, people all over the world who previously had no voice have finally found a platform where they can complain about everything and criticize everything that displeases them, pleases them, or even things they could care less about one way or another. Now you don’t have to be an expert on a subject for the world to hear what you think about it. A Youtube comments section is all the further you need to go for proof of this. But I digress…my real point here is that the internet may connect people, but at the same time, it creates a lot of division. And what a better nonsensical debate is there to talk about than the one between networking sites being good, bad, or ugly?
It kind of upset me when I saw that this argument had made it as far as a college textbook when I was assigned to read some pages in my College English class earlier this semester. Here we have a world filled with hate, greed, genocide, war, starvation, tragedy, and countless other environmental and social issues and we’re being assigned to read about two people’s opinions on the subject of Facebook. The sides of the argument are cliché at best. Kurt Soller’s “Facebook: Why I Love It” says he likes connecting with his friends. Sarah Kliff’s “Facebook: Why I Hate It” says Facebook consumes her life. Having a Facebook of my own, I see both of those arguments at least a dozen times a day. I read statuses like, “Should be studying. On Facebook instead.” Or I see where an older friend of mine will meet up with someone they haven’t spoken to in x number of days/months/years and be thrilled to have found them again.
So why do I think both arguments are bad? Well, quite simply, both arguments are pointless. They’re strictly personal opinions. My opinion about Facebook wasn’t shaken an inch while reading either essay. Maybe I’m a little biased since I have one myself and have already been able to develop a personal opinion, but even those who don’t have their own Facebook page probably know the basic concept of it. You sign up, you meet up with your friends, you share what you’re doing or thinking with each other.
Anyway, let’s dig into some examples here. Soller is a staff writer for Newsweek, the essay says. I don’t see why that’s important. How does that make him any more credible than anyone else who owns a Facebook page? Is he or Kliff, who is also a staff writer for Newsweek, a “Facebook opinion expert”? Even if they both were “Facebook opinion experts” due to working at Newsweek, they would still both be equally as credible.
Now, we can look at these essays in a different way: how objective are they? Well Soller thinks that God sent Facebook from to earth as a savior for those who missed the Jesus bandwagon as he says that joining Facebook was one of the three highlights of his senior year in high school right next to graduating and being accepted to college. Kliff, on the other hand, thinks that Facebook is one of Satan’s tools to keep us from living a fulfilling life. I mean, I know I’m kind of exaggerating, but the point here is that there is no grey line. One thinks Facebook is great and cannot be swayed to believe otherwise and won’t consider the other possibility and the one who belongs to the other possibility thinks just the opposite. Soller tries to fight the arguments against Facebook with the history of most inventions initially being looked at with frowns and Kliff fights the arguments against Facebook being good with her opinion of it being filled with pointlessness and mentioning all of her fake friends and meaningless Facebook groups that her friends join.
If I had to make a conclusion from all I just mentioned, I’d say that both writers come out at about being equally as stupid-looking except that Soller pulls from history some examples. That doesn’t cover the fact that he’s flogging a dead horse and arguing that he feels…exactly like half of the people that own a Facebook page. If Newsweek thought this was a good topic to have two of their writers to cover, then I really think that the country does need some new hobbies. Or maybe Newsweek just needs to hire some new writers…or some new directors of telling people what to write about or whatever that position is called. I believe neither essay serves a purpose, but the historical references would make Soller come out on top if you really wanted to make a worthwhile debate out of the two.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Okay, so we also didn't have enough cars to take all of our stuff, SO I had to call (and by "call," I mean text) Kylie and say, "Yeah, we need your mom to help us take shit." So Jenise comes and parks in the neighbor's driveway, Brittney and I start walking across the fuckin' shittily shoveled snow-covered yard with tons of equipment. Maybe not "tons," but a lot. Maybe a thousand pounds...probably not that much. Anyway! We carried a quarter of a ton of equipment across the yard and I already had blisters before I left from shoveling. So we get to the venue like an hour later as always and we have to jump through hoops to get the stuff in the door because there's three foot of snow surrounding the sides of the building. Then we set up, I ride with Nick to his house to get another pair of Rock Band drumsticks because I knew mine wouldn't last en entire show. I'll get to that later.
So we're all set up and there's like 20 people there. We start playing with the typical "Get a Clue," "for.the.$$," and "That One Song." One stick snapped halfway through "Get a Clue," another broke in the middle of "for.the.$$" and the last two broke a few seconds into "That One Song." So I had to play an entire show with pieces of drumsticks. I broke a broken drumstick for the first time in my life. It was interesting. I deserve a reward for it. Needless to say, it was a kind of sloppy show. Not many people seemed to care that we were even there...but oh well. We got $50 from it, we got to play basketball, we got to rap, and we got to go have Denny's afterward. A nice Friday evening in spite of everything.
Don't play a show with Rock Band drumsticks. Trust me. Buy Vic Firths or Pro-Mark or something.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
So! Tomorrow we return to school after being off for two weeks. I've had a paper due for almost 3 weeks but we haven't had the class to turn it in for that long, SO I continue procrastinating. That is the story of my life, as those of you who follow me on here probably have realized. Hence posting something two or three times a month instead of like...27 times. None of that is either here nor there! Moving on again!
New I Forget album. It's gonna kick nuts. That is a promise. It's been over a year since we last recorded, I think. MAN! It's been almost two years since we put out our last album. THAT kinda sucks. But oh well! This one is gonna be worth it. More information on that to come.
So I've been spending a lot of time at Alex (my fellow blogger) and Kylie's house (Kylie being his younger sister). AND my mom is finally catching on to the fact that I'm not going over just to see Alex, when in fact, he's often not home at all when I go over. She instead has realized that I have been going to visit Kylie. Why is that significant! Well! I'm 18, she's 15, I could get in trouble with the law. So Alex! If anything happens between your sister and I, please don't turn me in. Unless, of course, I do something way out of line, then I fully expect to face the legal consequences, but that's not in my nature. Anyway! That chat with my mom was GREAT.
Also my mom told me that she cannot take Zane anymore and she has had her last straw in trying to teach him at home. SO! Zane Wagoner will be returning to public schools in the near future. Zane, I wish you luck.
New Alkaline Trio album comes out in a few days. It's amazing. I'm gonna buy it. Have I covered that? It's great. I'm getting sick of people saying, "They aren't even trying anymore." I don't even know what that means! Seriously, though. It's worth picking up.
And umm...political stuff.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I've had a paper that was due a week ago that I still haven't written because we haven't had that class to turn it in. That's kind of awesome, but it also feeds into my procrastination. I should have been one of those people who didn't realize we had a delay on that Monday morning a week ago and wrote it that night. But I was keeping up with the news and knew we didn't have school. So here I am. Wait, it's actually Tuesday, so it was even longer than a week ago it was due. I assume I'll write it sometime soon because I'm going to get very bored. I watched Forrest Gump last night in lack of things to do. That's actually an awesome movie. I guess I'm kinda late to that party, but I really enjoyed it. Makes me feel like I shouldn't ever waste the time I get in my life.
I really wish there was something in life bothering me so I'd have something good to write about! Damn! How about complacency? I could talk about that. Okay. Complacency. That's when you're satisfied with how your life is going and you quit trying for more. It sucks. Well, it's kind of cool, but it sucks in the big picture. One day you get to a point where you look back and say, "Well shit! I could have been striving for this goal this long ago and instead I just sat there and stared at myself naked!" Or what have you, ya know? I might get complacent and not try in college or something and then one day my circumstances will change and I'll be fucked! It's entirely possible. I'm complacent and sit online all day when I could be out like...improving my physical health or something. Or! I could be doing my homework! Or my senior project or a research paper or something.
Tim says our research paper for British Literature has to be on something in Medieval times. I'd do it on the like..progression of music in that time, but I don't even understand what those terms mean. So maybe that could work to my advantage and I could just make up shit to fill four pages and Mrs. Dean would just think I knew what I was talking about and give me a good grade. I really should get on the ball since by the time we get back in school, it'll be about time to turn all of this shit in. Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffff......
Listen to Refused. They kinda changed my perception on music.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Anyway, I'm supposed to talk to my dad about getting a new car sometime this weekend. I'm not picky...I just want something that runs, won't break down, and doesn't cost millions of dollars to drive around. My whole thing here is that I'm dirt poor. Did I ever tell you about my new dog, Gretta? There might just be one "t". Anyway, she just came in my room. She's a Westie. That means she's adorable. Wanna see a picture of a Westie? Look it up yourself; I don't feel like posting images.
New Alkaline Trio album leaked. Did I take advantage of that? You bet every nerve of your ass I did. And what do I think of it? I think it's truly excellent. Not much like anything else they've done, really. It's leaps and bounds less overproduced from Agony & Irony. Not that I hated that album, but it really was my least favorite. I kind of worry about getting to that point as a band...where we just kind of lose touch of what is simply great and throw a billion unnecessary loops and sounds and guitars on top of a perfectly good song. So yeah, this new album, This Addiction, is much more simplistic and easier to enjoy. That and the songs are fucking great. One sounds like El Hefe plays trumpet on it and Fat Mike wrote it. That's pretty unique for the ol' Alkaline Trio. Anyway, next topic of talk.
New semester of school is here. I got the college classes first block still. Second block, I have guitar, third I have Algebra III, and fourth I have Civics. Now let me go over how simple the last three classes are for me. First off, I've played guitar for 5 years. I know all of the parts to a guitar. I can read music. That class is just a bunch of stuff I already know. Algebra III, it's a bunch of stuff I did in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. Bunch of stuff I already know. We started Civics with a blank map of the US and we were to fill in the names of all of the states. The only one I didn't get was Iowa because I couldn't think of its name. So far, a bunch of stuff I already know. That and Mr. Cowgill is a really good teacher, so for everything I don't know, I will quickly understand. However easy this semester looks, I must do my senior project, a research paper for British Literature, and fill out some college forms...like the FAFSA. Did I mention that I'm planning on going to school at Pot State for free and not leaving this place for a while? Yeah, this is the same Kyle talking that was on here a year ago...things change.
But for real, I have I Forget and for now, Dogjaw. This is like finally my break. We've been setting shows up on our own and people have been attending. We have people that come to every show and the number increases with each show. Dogjaw is another band that we can play with that we fit in with well and we get along with well and they're just a good band with great songs! I truly believe we can get people interested in music again around here. The weird part about it is that I think my band is going to be a strong leader in it. I want to be the Ramones of West Virginia. Or the Youth Brigade of Fort Ashby. Just leadin' the way for getting music out there to the kids. Now I hope to get some outside bands to start playing in Fort Ashby, too. That would REALLY help get kids into a range of good music. I wish we could get big bands, but one step at a time...
So music, music, music! School, school, school! Ryan's party tonight! I was up to 5 AM last night. Fuuuuck, right? Well maybe I'll be able to stay up tonight for the party, which is a sleep over. Or MAYBE I'll still be fuckin' tired. Hrmm! I could use some good eatin', so I'm anticipating some for tonight.
I ran from my house to Alex's on Wednesday and my legs still hurt. That's four miles. Thanks to Alex and Kylie for taking care of me when I got there. I might not be here to write this if they hadn't been. Running is brutal. Especially when you don't stretch before or after...which is my own damn fault. I'm ranting now. That was just written for record's sake.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I also just read that one of the guitarists from the Canadian hardcore band, Fucked Up, starred in the movie Camp Rock II with the Jonas Brothers. Now tell me that's not fucked up! Ha! Get it?!
Show at the high school was a huge success, I think. We played quite well. Dogjaw played quite well. I think the locals are starting to dig the music, which is awesome. I played two shows with the jazz band on Thursday...one at the capital building of West Virginia for a bunch of politicians and the second at Embassy Suits for a bunch of politicians. The show at the Embassy Suits was like a...meeting of some sort to "discuss" Mineral County and try to help it. I said to Nick, "I Forget and Dogjaw are helping Mineral County far more than anyone here can ever do." It kind of made me want to puke. Bullshit politicians.
Speaking of which, I'm a registered voter now. I'm Independent. Woo!
I really have nothing insightful to say. Nothing is bothering me. Nothing to rant about. I'm quite sorry...