father knows best.

Dear Dad,

I should be asleep right now.
I know that because you taught me the value of getting up at a decent hour instead of wasting my life on the Internet.

You turned 50 today.
I can say that because you never had any problem being honest about your age or tried to dye your hair or anything like that.

I sent you a card.
You probably haven’t gotten it yet because the U.S. Postal Service and I still don’t get along very well…mostly because I expect them to perform miracles and jet things across the country in the course of a day.

I made you a cake.
You can’t eat it because you’re 3000 miles away, so I did the next best thing…I brought it to my Bible study group and they ate it.

It seemed appropriate since you taught me the importance of both Bible study and “breaking bread” among Christians. Bread, cake, waffles…it works.

The hands are supposed to be "five zero" if that's not clear.

Thanks for being a reflection of my heavenly Father.

I love you. And I know you love me back. And I don’t think you’re old.

Happy Birthday.


leaving the kids’ table.

And now, finally, my first post from adult life.

I’ve been done with college for five weeks, a member of the workforce for four. I had another birthday and finally got a California driver’s license. The photo, as per DMV usual, looks like I’m a crystal meth addict.

So…how is post-grad?

When I was growing up, I thought adults had the lame end of the stick. The kids got to run around and have fun, while the parents watched and picked up after us. If they had a free moment, all they did was cook or clean or sit around talking.

Now I think I’m starting to get it. The kids were the ones missing out.

Whether wandering the Santa Monica pier, people-watching in Hollywood bars, or sitting around a secondhand kitchen table, the conversations and explorations that have happened in the last month have been fantastic. I have a solid group of friends, and I wouldn’t trade the memories I have with them for all of the coffee in Columbia.
As grownups, we have the ability to soak up the richness of our days in a way kids can’t.

Ping pong, the pool, and people. A recipe for YES PLEASE.

I thought leaving college would be depressing…I liked school. But now that I’m out where the people are, I’ve realized that there are so many things to do. It was all well and good to have everyone I knew living within the same square mile, but now we go places. We cook, and it usually works. We have jam sessions around bonfires. We talk about things like career paths and churches and skinny dipping. We make spontaneous plans.

I’m working on a script that’ll be filmed in Brazil, researching web startups, writing for a communal blog, and contemplating moving to NYC. Because I can, and I haven’t before.

I’m still getting a grip on being officially grown up. As my brilliant friend Annie put it, “I have an existential crisis every other day.”

But I’ve figured out this much:

There will always be books I haven’t read, songs I haven’t heard, and conversations I haven’t had yet. There will always be more things to try.

Life is sweet.

plays well with others.

I will of course begin by wishing everyone a happy Judgment Day. Followed by some lame joke about the wi-fi signal in heaven.

That aside, I’ve been thinking about albums. Collections. Compilations.

Last year’s Kanye album to me is a Thanksgiving weekend road trip. Turning onto the bedazzled Vegas strip as “All of the Lights” begins booming out the subs in Justine’s Aerio and Jordan and I fight over leftover Chipotle chips.

Derek Webb’s “Mockingbird” album brings me back to high school drives to Boca to give guitar lessons, then Coral Springs for volleyball practice. Long stretches of State Road 7 were all I needed for my brain to start mulling over lyrics and what I really thought of Jesus.

There’s something lost when every song is a “single.” The pick-and-choose iTunes world is turning musical albums into a gimmick for hipsters or a lost art for the classically trained.

Sure, there are some songs you don’t like as well as others, but once the super-catchy opening track starts losing its punch, there’s more. Some songs even grow on you.

And the best part is that when you’ve listened enough, you expect the second song to start after the first. It seems funny if it doesn’t. Like something’s been interrupted.

You don’t just read one chapter of a book. You don’t have just one semester of college.
There’s a reason the good and less-good ones are all lumped together, which you might not realize until you come to the end of the whole thing.

I graduate in a week.

the times they are a-crazy.

So, contrary to popular belief (in my own head), I’m actually going to graduate college.

Who knew the papers ended eventually?

I also just got an email from the guy who was the DP (that’s Director of Photography for all of you non-filmies out there) on THOR. Even though it was a three-word message confirming that he got my memo about the production meeting, I still feel slightly like the coolest person ever. Aaaaand I get to meet him today at said meeting.

I honestly was a lot more worried about graduation last year, when everybody had big plans and no one had to follow through on them yet. I’m probably going to be miserably poor for the next couple of years, but it’ll work out.

In the meantime, time to work for legit people for free some more in hopes that they’ll hire me before I have to start paying my loans back.

they stole my heart and made me sing.

I went to see Mumford & Co. in San Pedro last night. Even better than I could have hoped.

Concerts (or “shows”) have always fascinated me. Why do we endure so much for them?

You pay more for the ticket than the band’s album. You pack into an arena and then choose whether to remain at a safe distance, or subject yourself to dozens of peoples’ body odor, stand for hours, and often lose the use of your arms in the pursuit of a closer view.

We obviously chose the latter.

The answer, which was more obvious than ever last night, is presence and community. Having something in common with a bunch of strangers and all singing about it together is a concept that’s a lot less common outside of church. And it’s a powerful thing.

I hadn’t been to a show in a while, and briefly hesitated about buying a ticket because I felt like it might take away from the observance of Good Friday. But Mumford is one of the bands that has actually helped me grow spiritually this year, so it seemed to fit.

The incredible thing was how much the lyrics spoke to me. I expected it of Mumford: lines like “You were born to meet your Maker” and “I know my call despite my faults” have helped me to refocus time and time again.

More surprising was Edward Sharpe’s performance. Their song “Janglin’ Soul” was only familiar to me as part of a Ford Fiesta commercial, and I’d never heard the second verse:

Well your wartime is funny, your guns don’t bother me
I said we’re out to prove the truth of the man from Galilee
Well your laws are for dummies, yes, your institution’s dead
I say we’re out to blow the trumpet to wake you all from bed – from bed

Hearing a chorus of people sing those words, even with the token smell of marijuana wafting through the crowd, was beautiful.

And the amount of community at that show was ridiculous. As you can see from the finale.

So much more I could say. There was a lot of good attached to that Friday.

This train is bound for glory, don't carry nothin' but the righteous and the holy.

love is the coal that makes this train roll.

I just stumbled across my dad’s LinkedIn profile and teared up. I guess I miss home.

Also, do yourself a favor and listen to The Black Keys when you have a free moment.
The fact that you’re reading this post means that you have a free moment. Go.

Bask in the knowledge that The White Stripes breaking up isn’t the end of the world.

(This is one of those times when a fan video is actually remotely clever. Though pointless.)

Thanks to a solid university education, I have successfully managed to become too much of a multi-faceted person to tie myself down to just one occupation.

Use that line the next time someone asks if you have a job lined up for June. Cheers.

learning how to build with mental blocks.

Sometimes I legitimately think I have a mental handicap. One of those cool mental handicaps that people who are otherwise geniuses have, of course. But still a handicap.

There are just days when I know that there is ONE THING to finish that will make my life 50x more relaxed when I’m done with it…so I spend the entire day working very diligently on everything except that thing. For no apparent reason.

“But wait,” you say. “That’s not a handicap, that’s run-of-the-mill procrastination.”

First off, I didn’t give you permission to interrupt my blog post. Geez.

Secondly, I beg to differ: this is more than just procrastination–it’s a more bizarre, beastly, fantastically-warped thing. Like that guy with the eyeball hands in Pan’s Labyrinth.
I get really weirded out by it (and him). Why wouldn’t I want to make life easier for myself?

The best solution I’ve come to is that I’m a deadline junkie. I thrive on knowing I only have ten minutes to submit a paper…which is making being a part-time student hard, since so many of the deadlines are self-imposed.
Which is why my new iTouch and I need to do some scheduling.

I bet he could teach me a thing or two about the iTouch. Get it? Eye-touch? Forget it…

i have read and agree to the terms of service.

It’s been said that the above sentence is the most common lie in the world.
And it’s probably true.

I don’t know of anyone who actually takes the time to scroll through all of the text before buying something online or downloading an application.
Why bother? You know the gist of it.

The problem is that I’m beginning to feel that way about everything. Skim skim skim. Three and a half years of college and I can pull a topic sentence out of almost any paragraph at light speed. No need to read closely.

We’re re-reading Plato for class and it’s become almost ridiculous to me how slowly we read it. It’s like the guy meant every word to have a purpose and value. And all I want to do is figure out which section I need to highlight.

(Kind of like you’re probably looking at this post trying to find the main point.)

It makes me think that we all too often say that we have “read and agree” to the terms of Christian service…when we’ve barely skimmed John 3:16.

Is acting on our beliefs okay when we’ve only got the gist of it?

they build buildings so tall these days.

I’d so much rather be in a situation where I get hurt than one where I have to ask for forgiveness.

In this particular situation, I lost something that belongs to a friend. And it bothers me like nobody’s business. Even though I can replace it.

Also, I’ve decided to start ending posts with those sentences that I run into from time to time that just seem to scream “story!”

This past month has been a little rough here in Las Vegas, where I attend dental school.

I will, of course, give neither context for nor analysis of any of these sentences. Because that would be no fun.

choir robes and last first days.