It’s currently 9pm in Hawaii and everyone else in my family (all 12 of them) are asleep, but because I’m a college student and dead week and finals completely changed my sleep schedule (and not to mention the few days of break I’ve had) there is no way I’m going to bed now. Which is perfectly fine with me because it finally gives me time to get some thoughts onto some metaphorical paper.

With the closing of 2010, it’s only natural to think about what has happened in the whirlwind of 12 months that are now almost completely behind us. I’ve always been kind of a sentimental guy; no clue why, but I am. 2010 was one of the craziest years of my life, which seems just about right for where I am in life. I mean, I’m 21 now, shouldn’t life start to get kind of crazy? As much as parts of it hurt, the healing that took place, and the ways that it took place made this year one of my favorites.

There is no doubt in my mind that God used 2010 to pull me closer to him and help me refocus my life. For the first time in my life I’m really not sure where I want to take my career. I do know that I’m ok with that. I figure it will all play out in front of me pretty soon, and I’ve got to know that God is in charge of that.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in 2010 is just how blessed I am to have the friends that I have. A good amount of my closest friends weren’t really my friends until February. 10 months and I already can’t imagine life without them. Sometimes people just come along and they push you in all the right ways and they provide something that you really need in your life. I was lucky enough to have several of them come into my life. I owe a lot to these friends and I hope that they understand just how much they mean to me. It’s my goal to treat them in such a way that they will always know that. I’m really looking forward to growing my friendships in 2011.

As far as 2011 is concerned, I’m looking forward to doing something big. I don’t know what that really means, but I feel like it is out there for me. I’ve tossed around a few ideas with some people and I think there is an opportunity out there. I’ve found myself drawing inspiration from Jamie Tworkowski (found of To Write Love on Her Arms), Jon Foreman (lead singer of Switchfoot) and Donald Miller (author of ‘Blue Like Jazz’) recently. They are all people who have accomplished great things but they are transparent that they are human; they have vices and struggles. I just want to continue to grow and make an impact on those around me.

I might get around to posting a “my favorites of 2010” post, but then again I’m not sure many people actually care. If anything it will give me something to do when everyone else is asleep. I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Know that you are loved.

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I’ve been thinking about a few things for a little while and I figured I might as well put them down somewhere so I can stop just going over them in my head.

For a little while now I’ve been really considering if I want to go into sports broadcasting (working for a college or pro team, nothing to do with news) for a career or not. I feel like I want to do something that I know has a bigger impact. I want to know that my work is helping people or making a difference somehow. When I’ve thought about how to do this I’ve seen me working for a church or non-profit of some sort. There is an energy in that community that I love. I’ve been looking at an internship with To Write Love on Her Arms for a while now, and while I don’t think I have much of a shot at it, I’m going to apply. What do I have to lose?

Over the past month I’ve felt a tug to get closer to God and live a life more pleasing to him. It started when my good friend, Jeff Slobotski, tweeted a link to Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act.” For some reason that really just struck something with me. I just need to do everything I do for Him. Shortly after that I saw something on tumblr that I found really cool.

Isn’t life about loving and helping people? That’s what I want to do. Someone asked me to go to church with them and I knew when she said it that I need to go, so I did, and now I’ve decided to make that my church in Lincoln and make an effort to go as much as possible. It’s just something that I know I need.

On a separate note: I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for some time now. I’ve been dead set on a design since mid-summer and would get it in a heartbeat. There’s one problem: my grandma HATES tattoos. She’s always said if you get a tattoo you lose your inheritance. That’s a problem because she’s helping me pay for my new car until I graduate. I finally decided that I needed to ask my grandma about it. This past weekend I was in Iowa celebrating my grandma’s 80th birthday when we got on the subject of tattoos. To my surprise (and delight), I found out my cousin also wants to get a tattoo. The discussion quickly turned to an argument with my cousin and myself pitted against my aunt, my grandma and my mom. They started with the biblical arguments about it which I’ve heard so I could dispute and they gave up on that. It turned to personal choice; they just don’t like tattoos, and, in a way I guess, they were saying if I got a tattoo they wouldn’t like me. Now I know that isn’t true, but it does seem like what they are saying would classify their love as conditional. It’s frustrating. The tattoo that I want is to remind me of 1)God’s great love for me and 2)how I should love others. It means a lot to me, but that doesn’t matter to them. They hear tattoo and can only think of the ugly ones they see or the ones they say people “regret.” Isn’t it my choice to find out if I regret it over time? I still want my tattoo, in fact my wanting of it grows everyday. But I know that right now I can’t afford to polarize my family like that.

One last thing (this is already much longer than I anticipated). I am now 24 days into No Shave November. Those of you that have seen me know just how, um, “unique” my beard looks. Those of you who have not seen me, be thankful. I knew I’d get a lot of comments on it when I saw my family but I really got tired of their typical response: “You’ll never get a girlfriend with that!” Now I know it’s essentially a harmless, joking phrase but after you hear it so many times it starts to wear on you. Couple that with the fact it seems like every time I talk to someone in my family they always have to ask if I have a girlfriend. It’s almost like my family needs me to have one. I don’t know why, but they do. Now I’m not against having a girlfriend at all, actually the opposite, but I’m not going to just go out and find a girl because I want one. I’m going to live my life and let it happen.

That was probably just a lot of me ranting, but hopefully there was something good in there. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Make sure you take time to be thankful for what you have, we don’t do it enough.

My tattoo design:

 

This is just a few days late, but with school starting and what not I’ll cut me some slack. I don’t really have too many groundbreaking songs to share this month. I find myself going back to the same albums over and over as I’m listening to music now. With that said, let’s give this a shot:

  • “All Delighted People” — Sufjan Stevens: The title track from Sufjan’s new EP is a Sufjan classic. It’s more rocky than most of his songs but I like the direction his music is going in. I’m excited to see Sufjan in KC over fall break.
  • “High and Dry” — Radiohead: I’ve had a cover of this song in my iTunes for years but I never cared enough to get the original until I saw Jon Foreman cover it at an aftershow in August. Jon’s version was absolutely raw and powerful. I downloaded the Radiohead original and listened to it 10 times in a row one night. It’s just a song that hits me where most songs don’t.
  • “Straw Dog” — Something Corporate: I was lucky enough to catch SoCo on their 10-year Reunion Tour in KC in August and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. You could just see how much they loved their music and their fans during the whole show, there was an emotion that you don’t normally see at a live show. This song stuck with me as one of the best of the nights, but it’s had to say that any song was better than another considering it was basically a 2-hour greatest hits set from Something Corporate.
  • “She’s Got You High” — Mumm-Ra: I am not ashamed to say that I absolutely love the movie “(500) Days of Summer” and it’s soundtrack. I can listen to the soundtrack in it’s entirety any day. This summer I came across the (500) Days of Weezy mash-up mixtape (which I mentioned last month) and it made me fall in love with this song again, and propelled me to get a copy of Mumm-Ra’s newest album, it’s spectacular.
  • “Souls on Ten” — The Almost: My taste in music changed when I hit high school. I realized what good music was (for the most part) and tried to separate myself from the crap I liked before. One of the first bands to help me realize this was Underoath. I’m not a big fan of hardcore music but between their lyrics and Aaron Gillespie’s vocals, there was something about them that I loved. So naturally when Aaron formed the Almost I loved it. This is one of my favorite tracks off of their newest album “Monster Monster.” If you like it, they’ll be in Omaha on October 14th with Switchfoot. I’ll be there.
  • “Big Red State of Mind” — Schick and Nick: Ok, so this debuted on Friday, but I’m going to throw it in here because it is simply the greatest song ever created about Husker football. It honestly has some of the best writing I’ve ever heard and frankly, I’m impressed because I don’t really care for the Schick and Nick show. You should definitely give it a listen.

So there you have it. I’d love to know what your songs of the month are, let me know!

Pretty busy month for me and I had a killer playlist ready to go. Then, my 3-week-old Droid X decided to freeze and I lost the tracks that I had written down in my notes program. Turns out there was a “back-up” button that I never knew about. Here’s my best attempt at remembering what was on there. Hope you enjoy and, as always, please leave your feedback and let me know what’s on your playlist!

  • “1000 Time a Day” – The Early November: I had always heard of the Early November but I had never really listened to them until my friend included this song on a mix CD (yeah, mix CDs are still super cool, don’t hate). I seriously listened to this song 5 times in a row while I was driving. I don’t know what hit me originally but it’s just a beautiful song. I can totally picture everything that Ace Enders is singing about in the song, and it makes me hope to find that girl some day.
  • “Roll Away Your Stone” – Mumford and Sons: Mumford and Sons are my obsession of the summer. Their sound is unlike anything I’ve ever listened to and their lyrics are incredible. I really like what this song says about redemption, which is always a message I need a reminder of.
  • “If It Kills Me” – Jason Mraz: I have loved Jason Mraz for a long, long time and this might be one of my favorite Mraz songs of all time. It’s a laid-back love song that reminds me of this dance every single time. It also happens to be what I plan on doing for my wedding dance. I’m going to start stretching for that now…
  • “In Your Atmosphere” – John Mayer: I spent a week and a half in LA working for ESPN at the X Games and part of that time was spent on the stage at the Nokia Theatre. That happens to be where Mayer recorded his live album “Where the Light Is” which features this song. I know it’s cheesy and cliché to choose this song since it talks about LA but I couldn’t get it out of my head the whole time.
  • “Us (Me and Mrs. Officer)” – (500) Days of Weezy: This album combines two of my favorite things in the world right now: (500) Days of Summer & Mash-ups. The movie is absolutely brilliant and mash-ups are the most entertaining things I know of. There is not a week track in this whole mash-up album, making it my favorite of the summer so far.

So that’s it. I feel like this next month is going to be a great month of music and I promise to make next month’s MotM a quality one.

I’ve mentioned Tim Halperin on here a few times. I met Tim through show choir in high school and was amazed by his musical talents. I watched him in The Few and Far Between (probably saw them play at least 8 times during my freshman year). I always knew that Tim would create some great music of his own but what he is doing now is absolutely amazing.

Yesterday Tim released his first full-length music video, and dang, did he do it right. The video for “She Runs” is a continuous shot video which he produced with the help of a lot of his friends and fans. It is a perfect compliment for this great song. It is the official song of my summer and the video just makes me love the song even more.

Do yourself a favor and watch the video right now. Then head to noisetrade.com and download his “Make or Break” EP for FREE. Once you’ve done those steps it becomes really simple: listen and repeat. You’ll thank me when you’re hearing Tim on national radio and seeing him tour with some big names. It’s going to happen. And no one deserves it more than Tim.

Tim Halperin's music video for "She Runs"

Tim Halperin's music video for "She Runs"

Well, this is very late. It was a busy month, which is to be expected of June. Finally got into the swing of summer and everything that entails. So June’s choices reflect summer and just some good music to accompany it. Some old, some new. Enjoy!

  • “Hands Down” – Dashboard Confessional: A classic summer song. This song is especially great for when you have four other guys in your car, all the windows (and sunroof) rolled down and lots of other cars around you. Needless to say, you’ve just got to belt this song when it comes on. It’s a requirement. (On a side note, if you’re looking for a pure summer album then listen to “Dusk and Summer” by Dashboard. It’s perfect).
  • “Konstantine” – Something Corporate: Another oldie for me. I fell in love with this song early in high school but I rediscovered that love this summer. It is such a beautiful song, both lyrically and musically. Plus, it’s an almost ten minute epic which for me means that I get invested in the song. Every time I listen I suddenly feel like I need to find my own Konstantine. It’ll happen someday. And I will love that day.
  • “The Prayer” – Kid Cudi: I’m starting to listen to more and more rap these days. I can’t really say why, but it’s not that bad. Cudi samples the music from “The Funeral” by Band of Horses (feature in the first ever MotM) in this track and creates a unique rap song that really sticks out from any other song. It’s a mix of deep, intellectual thoughts and great one liners.
  • “Love Lost” – Temper Trap: I’ll admit it, I hadn’t listened to Temper Trap before seeing 500 Days of Summer last year. Now, I freaking love them. They are just a great low-key blisswave listen. Their sound is really unique and this song is a great showcase of their talents.
  • “Wavin’ Flag” – K’naan: Like many of you, I caught World Cup Fever this month. Last world cup I was in Europe, more specifically in France when France beat Brazil, and the passion that I saw while I was there completely turned me onto international soccer. So this year I was all in. This song is the theme for the World Cup and for the Coke commercials. It’s got a great feel and is just a fun song.
  • “Bangers, Beans, and Mash” – Infant Sorrow: This is from the Get Him to the Greek soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the movie then go see it now! It is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and one of the main reasons why are the songs that were created. The songs gave the characters great depth and still leave me laughing every time I listen to them. Also, Jason Segel wrote this one, so it has to be golden.

Let me know what I missed! I’d love to get the comments up on this. Thanks for stopping by!

So I wasn’t thinking ahead of time for this month’s music. In the past I had made a playlist and added songs over the month that I kept going back to. So when I sat down to think about what music I had been listening to I had a hard time. I decided I probably have been watching the same videos on YouTube over and over so this is going to be a special YouTube edition of Music of the Month:

  • “Magical Mysteries” – SNL: I think SNL can really do no wrong with their digital shorts. I haven’t seen one that I didn’t like yet. This one is truly amazing and it is even more amazing that they really didn’t have to change much from the original song. Watch the original (Dreams by ICP) and see which one you think is actually a spoof. It’s tough.
  • “50 Cent” – Manchester Orchestra: I don’t know why I like this song so much. Something about the relationship between the subject matter and Andy (the lead singer) is just so strange that it works really well.
  • “Electronic Wuss” – Key of Awesome: The Key of Awesome is brilliant. This song is definitely my favorite mainly because of the awesome lyrics. The music and his style of singing totally nail Owl City. The production quality of the video is great as well.
  • “She Runs” – Time Halperin: I’ve known Tim for about 6 years and his musical abilities are out of this world. He really has the chance to make it in the business and I can’t wait to see the journey. This song is just one that will stick with you for days. Download his EP for free here.
  • “Heartbreak Warfare” – John Mayer: This isn’t as new as the other videos, and its not really a video (rather a slideshow) but the music is absolutely beautiful. I love this version of the song and it makes me want JM to record an acoustic version of everyone of his songs and release it.

I promise next month’s Music of the Month will be a lot better than this one, but regardless I hope you enjoy these videos and thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment if you’d like!