Check it out! Heartwarming. Say all you want about the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but what do you know about dreams? Cornhuskers are making them come true apparently.

So if you read these posts, you may remember me chiming in about the iconic hipster-esque, “I heard/saw about [blank] before you did.” This is another one of those moments. Being a graduate of Maryville High School, and a semi-proud Spoofhound, I could not respond to this video without mentioning… WE DID IT FIRST. 

The condensed story is that the Benton Cardinals were down by a couple of touchdowns with about fifteen seconds left of gameplay when the Benton coach asked the Maryville coach if they could let their player with Down Syndrome, Matt, score a touchdown. The rest is heartfelt history. 

Whoever started the ‘trend,’ keep it up. ESPN needs stories, and these special kid athletes need some well deserved excitement.

A Song With Meaning

There’s been a song that has meant something special to me since I was about twelve years old. It was the song that my sister a chose to play as I filmed mock bar scenes with my brother Josh at my her house in Portland. It wasn’t until at least five years later when I actually heard the song again and had to find out who it was by. Rainbow, by Jack Johnson and G Love. This was perfect. By the time I found out that the song was by Jack Johnson, (G Love too, but I had not heard of him yet) I had already been playing Jack Johnson songs in my ‘repertoire’ for some time. Just three verses, with a repeat of the first at the end.

Well I woke up this morning,
Rainbow filled the sky
Yes I woke up this morning,
Rainbow filled the sky
That was God tellin’ me,
Everything’s gonna be alright

Well so long, good friends,
When will we meet again?
I said so long good friends,
When will we meet again?
Well I don’t know, I don’t know,
But I guess I’ll see you then…

Well I’m gonna pack my old guitar,
Move on down the road,
I’m gonna pack my old guitar,
and move on down the road (where you gonna go?)
Where I’ll go, I don’t know, 
But I guess I’s gots to go

Well I woke up this morning,
Rainbow filled the sky
Yes I woke up this morning,
Rainbow filled the sky
That was God tellin’ me,
Everything’s gonna be alright

I don’t need to wake up to a rainbow every day to know that everything’s gonna be alright. I’m thankful that, for whatever reason, that idea has already been instilled in my mind. If it takes a God to tell you that, then so be it. Different strokes for different folks.

The second verse is the one that takes the most impact on me. I’ve had more surreal moments in my life than I could ever take the time to appreciate. I’ve met people I’m still waiting on meeting again. If I end up packing a guitar and hit the road to see them again, that sounds pretty damn surreal, doesn’t it? I’m feeling stoic just typing about this…

Anyway. I covered it. 

I changed the lyrics a bit, too. Watching myself play in this video makes me cringe. It was so nerve racking to think about trying to do the tune justice that I think I tried way too hard, and I did not get what I was going for. Anyway. Here’s a song with meaning. If it means anything to you too, le’mme know.

Fame

Fame is baller. It’s perfectly possible to be of famous renown and not be a jerk, and making music is just one way to get famous. If you’re picking up a guitar in hopes of becoming famous and awe inspiring, I would not tell you you couldn’t do it. It’s counter intuitive to squash that kind of initiative. What I would tell you is this; don’t quit your day job.

At this point in my life, I’m not one-hundred percent about anything. One of those being whether or not this hobby of mine can ever pay for itself. Fame and success are near synonymous in my eyes, and if I had to define success in this context, it would be making money from a hobby. Especially when it’s a hobby that costs money to start in the first place.

Back on the topic of fame; it’s kind of tricky if you ask me. When someone or something becomes famous, there will almost always be mixed reviews. For instance, I heard the Black Keys live at a festival before they were half as heard-of rockstars they are now. Same thing happened to me with Skrillex. I hadn’t heard of either of them before I saw them and when they hit it big I had no choice but to utter the iconic hipster-esque, “I heard them before they were cool…” 

Society has proved there is almost a completely separate business to being famous; reporting what happens in the lives of famous people simply because they are famous. Once again, there are lovers and haters. When I try and see it for what it is, I guess all I have to say about fame is don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Meeting New People

When I was preparing myself for my first year “away” at college, I was told numerous times about all of the new people I would meet in my classes and spend time with. Being a commuter for my first year, this couldn’t be more wrong.

Sure, I’ve met plenty of people. Whether they know I met them or not is where the lines are blurred. In my experience so far, meeting new people usually only comes about depending on whether or not a  class involves group projects, or who you sit close to in class. Until you’re actually required to make yourself opaque to the student body, I feel like most of us are just kind of translucent to the whole. 

On the other hand, meeting new people is usually pretty rad. If I feel like it’s worthwhile for someone to know my name and not just my face, I’ll introduce myself and then we’re pretty much cool by that point. I’m not exactly a social butterfly, but I definitely don’t dread making myself heard by others.

I guess if you see me around, then I don’t bite!

 

Underappreciated

I find it hard to truly proliferate any of the things I find underappreciated simply by telling people about them. For me, and possibly many, the first thing that comes to mind is music. If for some reason anyone has read all of my posts thus far, you’d recall me talking a whole lot of baloney about guitar. For this post, I feel like some of the most underappreciated music forms I’d like to rap about is something completely different: dat old school roots hip hop and rhythmic rap. Now, if you know me in real life, you’d know that I am absolutely caucasian. If you knew me well enough to step into my bedroom during leisure however, you may be surprised to find my play queue is most likely comprised of Mos Def, Digable Planets, Talib Kweli, a Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and so on and so on.

Considering that I still need all 6 hours of practicum in mass communications for my major, (and I plan to include work on radio to meet those hours) it’s kind of funny how much distaste I have  developed for the choice of hip hop and rap that is played on X 106.7 KZLX LPFM Maryville. It’s current and it’s trending, but it is GOD AWFUL. Give me the widely unheard lyricists spitting rhymes with personal meaning from twenty years ago. Scratch that, give the people a taste of something different. Mighty Mos Def has more to talk about than the rappers of today if you ask me, and he is one of the godliest freestylers ya ever seen on the spot, son.


(you can ignore Kanye, he just needed to reassure everyone he’s a genius, too.)

Relaxation

This is one of the things I think I can gladly say I do best. If I need to relax, my order of operation is usually as follows:

  • shower (if after work)
  • music
  • incense
  • drank
  • comfiness

When the rest of that is all taken care of, sometimes I’ll read on my 10 year old stack of guitar player magazines, or just fashion a pillow-chair on my bed and play guitar til I get sleepy. It’s really easy to chill myself out just by playing open, airy sounding chord progressions by fingerpicking and using as many open strings as possible. Sometimes I think that I don’t worry enough when it comes to my responsibilities at college; that I spend too much time chilling. I hear a lot of people stress out about the things that they will end up doing eventually. In the long run, I think it pays off to keep a level head and a relaxed position. I may think differently in the years to come, but for now I won’t fix what isn’t broken.

Prized Possessions

If I ever say I’m humble, tell me to think a bit harder. When it comes down to it, I am motivated and attached to things. Those are things that I paid money for and that money is something that I worked for. In my instance, it seems like these possessions all usually get their 15 minutes of fame, but some still stand the test of time longer than others. Here’s some of my faves.

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This is my original Bob Dylan songbook that my dad gave me. It once got chewed on while opened to my favorite song  by a weiner dog my mom used to have. I had never been angrier. Still, prized possession.

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This is a safe I got for my 16th birthday made from an old PO box. Secrets go here; which is why the glass window is blocked with a ticket stub.

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I wanted this guitar so bad before I got it. Even for guitar-challenged people, it’s “the pretty one.”

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This is the Canjo. It’s a fretless banjo made from a can with no tools but a pair of vicegrips and a pocket knife. If you’re interested, check the video hyperlink for more details.

This is not exactly a detailed or ordered list of the things I can’t live without. But what it is, is a collection of things most conveniently photographed for this post. 

Humble or not, a man needs his toys.