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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Sick Obsession

I get on my laptop everyday and the first things that pop up are the Blogger dashboard, Amazon, and of course Facebook.  They are set as my home pages and I don't even think about it really. They just open.  So since it's already up, I look through some status updates, check on birthdays, and look at some pictures.  It's almost second nature to me.  But next thing you know, I've spent my last hour not really doing anything.  It's an odd phenomenon that I don't really understand.  I maybe have like 20 or 30 people that I actually care to see what is going on in their lives.  Yet I still have found a way to find over 500 friends.

I sit down in my big lecture classes and all of the laptops that are open have Facebook open.  It's almost as if it's encoded into our brains.  We see a computer and feel the need to open up Facebook.  And it's not just college kids.  Facebook has claimed high schoolers, middle schoolers. parents, grandparents, musicians, businesses, and even politicians.  Facebook literally has almost no bounds.  If you can use a computer, you can get on Facebook.

It's a great tool for people to stay in touch and for businesses to get themselves out there but when is it too much?  We've been turned into drones that are programmed to need Facebook.  I don't know if I'm for it or against it really.  I mean, it's not like I fight against it at all.  I have it on my computer, phone, and my iPod.  However, isn't it getting ridiculous?  They issued me a Facebook email address the other day.  Everything that happens is eventually going to come through Facebook.  School grades, paychecks, bank accounts, the whole works.  I'm all for social networking but I'm not really down for the whole life networking thing.  Facebook is monopolizing the internet.  I just need a little space Facebook, or this relationship isn't going to work.  Just keep me in touch with my friends and that's all I want. No less, no more.  If you agree, LIKE this page!! 

I'm just kidding, but seriously, I think you actually can.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Movies

Recently I started thinking about my movie collection and which ones are my favorites.  Being true to my dorkiest form, I went to the Excel spreadsheets.  I made a formula to combine how much I like the plot, the actor, how many times I've watched it, and how cool the movie is.  With a little bit of work and some adjustments to the formula I finally perfected it.  This is what I came up with. My top 5 movies:

5. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Since I was such a nerd even as a child, I grew up being infatuated with the Star Wars saga.  I had all of the toys, the lightsabers, the action figures, the costumes, I had it all.  Of course there are 5 others in the set, but this one is literally perfect.  There are so many amazing things getting packed into these 2 hours.  Luke starts actually being a Jedi, Han and Leia get together, we meet Yoda and Lando, and of course the quote, "Luke, I am your father".  When I think of Star Wars I think of that, Han being carbon frozen, and the epic cave scene.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch the movie. You won't regret it.  If nothing else you'll get to see the best Muppet version of Yoda you can imagine.

4. Peter Pan

We all watch Disney movies as kids.  For most of us they are just a time killer given to us by our parents.  But for some reason I never played into that.  To me, these movies were my life.  I never grew out of them.  I don't really know why either.  It could just be that they're great, or it could be their moral lessons, or maybe it's just the Peter Pan effect.  I always liked the idea of not growing up.  Although it is impossible in some respects, I'm keeping it up in others.  Even if it is for kids, Peter Pan teaches us that we can't just run away from growing up.  We just have to embrace it and make it ours. That's how it got to number four, it taught me about the spirit of youth.

3. Finding Neverland

I know what you're thinking now, two Peter Pan movies in a row? This kid must be obsessed. So maybe I am.  But childhood is something that is important to me.  It's such a vital time in our lives that makes us into the people we are now.  We are never as pure and innocent as we are when we're children.  This does an amazing job of not only telling the Peter Pan story but really going into how it came to be.  It goes into the stuff that you never knew and didn't even know existed.  Not to mention, Johnny Depp is by far my favorite actor of all time.  He has that innate ability to display emotions without even saying anything.  Every time I watch the movie I just sit there and think what would it be like to be able to create my own world.  I love that idea.  Creating a place to escape to. It doesn't get much better than finding your own Neverland.

2. Batman: The Dark Knight

This is where we get really serious.  It goes from straight childish movies to a childish comic that has grown up.  In addition to my Disney and Star Wars I also love some super heroes.  My favorite, of course, being Batman.  The caped crusader.  It doesn't get much more awesome than Batman.  He's got the gadgets, the suit, and the car!  So when Hollywood takes something that was very much a part of my childhood and makes it so adult, it's almost a guaranteed favorite.  Not only are the special effects and costumes and everything perfect, but it also has a great lesson.  It goes to show that sometimes being a hero isn't easy.  You are expected to take on much more than you could imagine handling and do it flawlessly.  If nothing else, you could watch the movie just to see Heath Ledger perform like you've never seen.  It literally ended up killing him.  It's by far the best sequel you could ever ask for.  Just remember, the Knight is darkest just before the dawn.

Now you've got to be thinking, what could top the Dark Knight on this kid's ridiculous list?  Some of you are going to hate it, and some will love it, but either way just hear me out.

1.  A Christmas Story

24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS! Everyone's favorite right?  Every year when Thanksgiving roles around there is only one thing on my mind.  It isn't turkey, pilgrims, or football.  It's the annual first view of A Christmas Story with the family.  It kicks off the holiday season perfectly.  I love it because of all the little subtleties that only me and my family think are funny. BB gun mania knows no loyalties.  It gets me every time.  I started out watching it one Christmas Eve at about eight years old when I couldn't sleep.  I caught it half way through so when it was over I started it again.  After I got back to where I was I kept watching until the end.  That night a new tradition was born.  Ever since then I've stayed up all night on Christmas Eve watching it over and over until Santa came.  As I've gotten older it's gained more and more clout with my family.  My sister has even joined in in recent years.  It's just one of those movies that I could watch over and over any day any time of the year no matter what.  I've probably seen it at least 100 times and can't wait to see it 100 more.  It is without a doubt, my favorite movie of all time.

T.C. Street

Erik Ainge Shock

So this is a lazy post, but anything counts in my battle to post every day of March.  Seeing as I work for the UT football team it is really wild for me to read a story like this and see that no one knew anything about it.  So here is a link to the story of Erik Ainge's drug saga. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The College Experience

Toga! Toga! Toga!

When we think of college, we all think of different things.  Some of us think about late nights in the library, some think about a bunch of drunken lethargic kids, and some think about young adults trying to advance their future.  Though these all seem different, however accurate they may be, they are all linked in a way.

In college, we are all looking for one basic thing.  A degree.  It seems like it is more complicated than that with all the different majors, scholarships, and  organizations but those are all just a means to an end.  Even though the goal in college is very simple, it is a complicated and confusing time for the people who attempt to conquer the endeavor.  We find ourselves staying up all night studying for midterms and working all day to pay our tuition.  We meet new people and have all kinds of relationships to maintain.  We have to find a way to balance school, work, and having a social life.  There are those weeks where we have 4 tests and 2 presentations and a full schedule at work and everything seems to pile up.  Every day is a test of our mental and physical endurance, until Friday night (or Thursday night for some) comes along.  This is when everything changes drastically for most.

Out come the button down polos, khaki shorts, boat shoes, and inexplicably dirty white hats for the guys and rampant amounts of jewelry, unnecessarily short dresses, and high heels for the girls.  Oh, and don't forget the most important part, the beer.  For me, I've never been real geared up to go to the club and dance behind some girl I don't know or go to a party and not remember how I got there, but most college kids dig that kind of thing.  But my question is why? When most guys are sitting around figuring out how they can stack their beer cans or streak at the next football game I'm pondering stuff like this.  What makes the weekend such a time to lose yourself?

Some people say they just "like to party" and some just call it hanging out with friends, but I think it goes deeper than that.  I've had plenty of times where I just wished I could get away from all of the stress of college. Forget about my tests and quizzes and the grades and my next homework assignments.  So my assumption, which I have heard bad things about those, is that college kids get so drunk on the weekends just to forget about the stress of college.  They need some way to escape from the long hours they put in during the week so they just get drunk.  For those 3 or 4 and sometimes 8 hours, they don't have anything to worry about.  All they have is the moment they are living in.

Obviously I'm against it, but my real problem isn't even with that.  It's that we have so much unnecessary pressure put on us.  I'm a business major but I'm worried about speaking Spanish and doing advanced calculus.  I stay up writing papers about African history and memorizing populations for world regional geography.  I can't help but think how will this ever help me?  Does it really make me well rounded or does it just fill my head with useless stats and facts until I don't even know what is important anymore?  I'm all for learning everything I can about the business world and being well rounded and knowing Shakespeare and being cultured.  I just can't comprehend spending four semesters learning an inadequate amount of Spanish to ever even put into use.  I don't call memorizing dates of different bone discoveries in anthropology class being well rounded.

We have been pushed to be more of robots that go in and out of the system than we are encouraged to be individual students living through a learning experience.  The one thing that I will take away from college is probably just how to deal with people.  Whether it is jumping through their hoops, or being a good friend, or keeping them from snapping on someone else, I am learning how to deal with people.  That's sad to me.  I'm here paying boat loads of money, but not for an education.  I am paying for a slip of paper with my name in fancy writing and an experience that hopefully can guide me through life a little bit smoother.  For me, it's worth it.  But for others, what else does it cost?  I have to put up with the courses that are just pawns that play like kings, but they have that AND the consequences of forgetting about them.  One night stands, bar fees, DUI's, a lot of puke, bad memories, and no memories.

At the end of the day, the system won't change.  Neither will the kids.  There will always be ridiculous classes that we'll never remember, and there will always be ridiculous parties that the kids won't remember.  It just sort of scares me that not many people question either one.  It may be a case of the chicken or the egg but it is a question worth asking.  Is it all worth it?  Are we going to college to receive something that we couldn't make it without or is it just an overrated ideal that has turned into a requirement?  Maybe time will tell, but who knows, maybe it's just as much a riddle as the chicken and the egg.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Kid Inside Us

I was thinking earlier today about how much more complex life seems now.  I'm in college and I've got a job and rent to pay and tests that decide my future and I kind of take care of myself now so I feel like I've got a million things going on at the same time.  It made me think how I miss so much from my childhood that just made being a kid great.

I miss sharing my ice cream cone with our dog.  I miss thinking 11:00 was late.  I miss Jamal Anderson and the "dirty bird".  I miss walking from my back yard and into the woods and stepping into a while new world.  I miss having every Disney movie on VHS.  I miss watching TBS's Dinner & a Movie on Saturday nights and only understanding about half of what went on.  I miss being able to sport a different basketball jersey to class every day and it being cool.  I miss kite day at school.  I miss the rectangle pizza in the cafeteria that was terribly unhealthy for you.  I miss birthday parties where you got to go down slides and got bouncy balls as party favors. I miss dressing up to the extreme every Halloween.  I miss being freaked out by "Who's Afraid of the Dark?".  I miss roller blading like it was awesome.  I miss having lighsaber wars in the basement. I miss lowering the basketball goal to 6ft and dunking off of my neighbors skate ramp. I miss camping in the back yard.  I miss taking all of the sofa cushions out and jumping over them onto the pullout bed like I was in the NFL.  I miss my Bat-cave play set I had.  I miss Growing Pains and Boy Meets World.  I miss doodling in church.  I miss bringing lunch to the swimming pool and staying there all day.  I miss arguments over which Ninja Turtle was coolest, which by the way, is still Donatello.

All in all I think I just miss not having any pressure put on me.  I could just do whatever I felt like doing. But if I'm really honest I still do about 75% of the stuff that I just said I miss, so my childhood isn't quite over yet.  Maybe one of these days I'll grow up and want to do things like go to bars and stuff like that, but thats not really growing up to me.  To me growing up is more about figuring out who you are and where that is going to take you in life.  I guess that's why I finally stopped doodling in church.  But the greatest thing about growing up is that you never have to stop being a kid.  You never have to give up the innocent heart that you started out with.  Some people may call it being naive but I just call it being hopeful.  I hope that somehow what innocence I have left will rub off on the people around me, and then the people around them.  Until soon, even though it may be tiny, it has made a difference.  Who knows, I could just be rambling into cyber space about nothing.  I just hope that somehow we can see the best in situations.

I hope that we can see princes in "street rats" and great lovers in hunchbacks.  I hope that somehow through all of the craziness in the world we can find the time to think about what the 10 year old version of ourselves would think if they saw us today.  We have all of these standards to live up to but it's important to not forget where we came from.  The kid in us never dies, it just gets hidden more than it should.  So sometime, dig up your childhood, and dream all the way to Infinity and Beyond!

T.C. Street

Friday, March 25, 2011

King of the Misfits

I feel like a popular/interesting thing to do in blogging is to talk about who you want to be like and although I'm not too comfortable doing anything that's popular or trying to be like someone else I do like the idea of the post. So if I had to pick one person that everyone knows that I could say I admire I think it would be Johnny Depp.

This is weird for me because I don't agree with many of his habits or lifestyle in some ways but admiration comes in many forms.  I admire his mindset.  Of course most people know him for Pirates of the Carribbean, but in his other roles he almost makes a point to be a misfit.  He does these movies like Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and Don Juan DeMarco where he plays characters that aren't very appealing at first.  As you watch the movies, he has a way of teaching you that you actually share something with these people.  We're all misfits in this world.  We can kid ourselves and say that we're "normal" or we "fit in" or whatever but it's just not true.  We're all different. You're a freak if you're not different. I love the way he plays that out in his movies.  It's like he's screaming at us to let go of our statuses and just be ourselves.

“If there's any message to my work, it is ultimately that it’s OK to be different, that it’s good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.” -Johnny Depp

For a long time, and still in some ways, I was afraid of letting go of all my labels and standings and just be me.  It is scary, I admit that.  But once you do, and you allow yourself to be the purest form of yourself it's incredible who you'll find.  You'll find yourself happier than ever, not because you are better than anyone else, but rather because you're better at being yourself than anyone else could ever be.  That's where true beauty comes from, letting yourself become truly unique.

T.C. Street

The Pan Effect

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Scary Truth

So I'm REALLY nervous about writing this post because it's a super controversial topic. However, I have a bone to pick with the Christian community.  This is my community, so that's what makes me nervous, but it's something that has to be talked about. So if I step on anyone's toes I am very very sorry, but the truth hurts.
One of my friends from elementary school is an open atheist and the more I talk to him about it the more and more I feel like he has some big misconceptions about Christianity.

For starters, as Christians, we are all by nature hypocrites.  But we have a big problem claiming that title.  Of course our intention is to be as true to our religion as possible.  The only problem with that is that we are ALL sinners.  Every last one of us sins. I don't care if you're the pope, a homeless man, black, white, or Dr. Phil. You are a sinner.  It's tough to really admit to that and to own it, but if you think about it I'm sure you sin every single day. I know I do.  Whether it's judging someone, cutting someone down, or accidently idolizing Johnny Depp, I sin.  For some reason we, as Christians, like to portray ourselves as some kind of miracle to the world that does no wrong.  Maybe that's good in the respect that it encourages us to do less wrong, but think how intimidating that is to non-Christians.  There's no way that would make me want to become a believer if the standard was being perfect all the time.  Plus, it's part of why God is so beautiful.  He sets this goal for us that He knows we can't achieve but hopes that it will help us grow into better people.
"For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)

The next thing gets really sticky and icky. Church.  I know just as much as every other Christian how vital church is, but at the same time, I get how uncomfortable it can be.  Here's my problem with it.  When being a "good Christian" becomes dependent on going to church.  Now stop what you're thinking right now.  What I mean is that I don't like it when people say "I go to church" as a response to are you a Christian.  Being a Christian isn't about how many times you went to church or how many Bible verses you have memorized.  It's about your relationship with God.  That's it.  Don't get me wrong here, please.  Church and the Bible are two of the BIGGEST tools for a Christian.  The problem is when someone that isn't a Christian that doesn't go to church and doesn't read the Bible decides they want to change their life it gets confusing.

Of course there's no set list of rules to get into heaven but the way I have been taught and what I believe is that church is a community for believers to learn from each other's experiences.  Then the Bible is a source of God's word and stories that help us through tough times and teach us how to live.  Both of them have the purpose of bringing us closer to God. So I'm here to tell you that you can have the entire Bible memorized word for word in three different versions and two languages and it doesn't matter unless you use it to advance your relationship with God.

I guess my real problem with how we treat Christianity is that we have tried to take the passion from it and just make is like a class in school.  Not everyone, but just enough to make a difference.  It just scares me that someone could be lost and finally turn to God for help and then be pushed away by the way religion is presented.  So if you're a Christian, next time you see someone new in church make them feel welcome, even if they're dressed in rags.  Or if someone asks you about sin, tell them how much you sin, it will let them know we aren't perfection robots in a cult.  Be the community that God wants us to be.
"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all". (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

And if this struck a chord for you and you realized that maybe you've misinterpreted the reason we become Christians, just take a step back and ask yourself, "What's my goal as a Christian?". Hopefully it is to go to heaven.  Then start from there.  There are a bazillion resources out there and it can be scary and confusing, so find someone you trust and talk to them about it.  And when you don't know what else to do, just pray. God will be there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just a Spot in the Sky

It's funny how a star in real life is much easier to see when you're in a small town.  Away from all the smog and lights and distractions they really seem to glow.  But when you go to a big city only the really bright ones make it through the clouds.  It's kind of like that in real life too.  The whole big fish in a small pond analogy.  When we're put into a bigger environment it's almost impossible to shine through.  That's why I stopped trying to be a star a long time ago, my real ambition is to be the moon.
Even though it is scarred and kind of distant, it's always the brightest thing in the sky.  It can make the dead of night nearly as bright as day.  That's kind of my life goal.  To turn things from the worst of the worst to the best for people.  Because, just like people, we don't see how the moon effects us. Until one day is sends the tide up to soak your towel at the beach.  But that's just a prank. Just take the time to go look at the moon and how beautiful it is.  Then maybe you'll realize who plays the role of the moon in your life.  Hopefully they can teach you how to turn dark into light.
T.C. Street

Defining Yourself

There's so much that goes into making us the people that we grow up to be.  As a parent it must be a tremendous pressure not to mess up in any way.  But as a child you don't even see it happening.  The more and more we see how movies and quotes and stories and people effect us, the more we realize how shapeless we are born.
Constantly we are molded and formed into the grown ups that we become without ever really taking the time to look at why and how.  Of course we have our friends and family and religions, those should be easy to see.  But what else contributes to us becoming who we are? Do we only believe in what we see around us or do we also see things that we don't believe in?  Is it possible for us to not know who we are but to know who we aren't.  It seems like backwards thinking but hang with me.
I've never received anything but positive encouragement in my life. I couldn't be more thankful to my friends, family, and to God for that.  However, it has left me blind.  Although I can't imagine how much harder life is for someone who is surrounded by negatives, I feel like it makes it easier to see what you don't want to become.  Sure we are just a product of our environment but we still have our own heart.  We all have the ability to search within ourselves and question why we are who we are.
It is sort of a scary thing when it just said like that, questioning why you are who you are, but I feel like it's important.  It is really the essence of why we decide to get up every morning and do whatever we do.  At 20 years old I'm just now starting to get acquainted with myself and understand why I am who I am.  I'm learning what inspires me and how and why and what it really means to be inspired.  I'm learning why I have God on my side and why He is there for me at all times.  I'm learning that life can be hard and that to get through it alone is impossible.  I'm learning that I want to be me, and not everyone else.
So if ever I made a challenge to you, and to myself for that matter, let this be the one to test.  Take the time to question yourself.  Learn who you are and why.  Ask yourself elementary things that seem so mundane and simple that they may just stump you.  Question things, and question yourself.  It is amazing what you may just find out about the person you thought you knew best.  Before you know it, you'll be able to define yourself simply by who you are instead of who you aren't.

Monday, March 21, 2011

TED Really Does Talk

I thought this was a really neat video about how our society is lacking a very essential piece of the puzzle of life.  We have found a way to separate emotions and logic.  The video speaks for itself and I hope you enjoy! It makes for a lazy blog day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Go Live

I started blogging as a way to get my ideas out in the open and to figure out my own mind.  But the more I write on it the more it becomes an advice column.  I thought about that for a little while today and asked myself what is the best advice I know to give right now, at 20 years old.  The best thing I could come up to is to just live.

Live and explore.  Explore everything around you.  Learn everything you can about yourself, your family, friends, city, and everything that is important to you.  Go all the places that you've always wanted to go.  Figure out your favorite thing to do and do it every single day.  Find something to be passionate about and someone to passionately share it with.  Think.  Think about everything that happens and why it happens.  Think about what you care about and then fight for the cause.  Set a time to go back to your childhood and remember what made you laugh.  Remember what made you happy.  Get in the car one day and just drive, drive until you're so lost that you need directions.  Stay up all night long one night and then sleep all day.  Turn off every electronic device you have for a full day.  Let curiosity grow you until you can't grow anymore.  Read a book that no one has ever heard of.  Find God, trust me, He helps!  Don't be effected by everything that is bad in the world.  Be the cause that effects people and makes them happy.

All I'm trying to say is that nothing is certain.  Nothing is for sure, not even time.  We don't have much time here on Earth, let's be honest.  So use what time you have.  Dream, and dream bigger than anyone else ever could.  Build yourself a life that makes you wake up smiling.  Be the person that defines what life is instead of letting your life define you. Just go live.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Relationship of Steel

Thursday night was a big night for me.  My best friend finally proposed to his girlfriend of 5 years and she of course said yes!  I got to go and help him out with it and see her cry and shake and all that good stuff.  It was neat to see him be so relaxed about it all and it just work out perfectly.

Being 20 years old, I can't even imagine taking care of myself, much less another person.  But when people asked me if I was worried about him getting married so young I always say no.  He never seems to worry about anything.  For some people that can be bad, but for Nate, it works perfectly.  He just lives his life at his own pace.  We always joked as kids that I was batman and he was superman but the more we've grown up together the more true it seems.

Most people get nervous about stuff or get down about stuff but he never does.  He has a great perspective about what really matters.  I really admire it.  He has such a short memory about bad stuff and doesn't get effected by anyone.  He's a pole vaulter at the Naval Academy and that in itself is a testament to his strength. He's one of those guys who can do absolutely anything he wants to do.

And as for his fiancée, Courtney is maybe the only person who could ever keep up with him. We go back and forth, and have for the past 5 years, but it is all in good fun.  She has always been Tinkerbell.  She actually mirrors Tinkerbell in the fact that she is extremely cheerful and fun to be around.  She leaves that trail of pixie dust everywhere she goes that makes you happy.  Although she does has a fiery mean side, just like Tink, she only uses it when she has to.  It's always fun to see Courtney because even when I'm making fun of her she's always in good spirits.  That's why she is perfect for Nate.

So when people say, aren't they a little young, this is why I always say no.  Because if anyone can make it work, it's these two.  They work more perfectly together than anyone I have ever seen.  It's almost as if they were just made for each other.  I guess that's why I'm writing this.  Because in a world that so many people just get together on a whim and end up getting divorced, Nate and Courtney break that trend.  I feel like watching them over the past 5 years has been like watching a love story unfold.  It may have been romantic comedy, but still a love story nonetheless.  They're a testament to the modern relationship and that it can work.  I'm really proud of them and can't wait to see their relationship keep growing!  It's really been a superheroes fairytale.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hate Me

    Hate me because I'm white, middle class, and going places.  Hate me because I'm a Christian and screw it up every day that rolls.  Hate me because I'm in college and don't really care about much.  Hate me because I have long hair.  Hate me because I have the best friends in the world.  Hate me because I seem cocky.  Hate me because I steal people's styles.  Hate me because I read GQ.  Hate me because I won't hate you.  Hate me because I am critical.  Hate me because I'm a cynic. Hate me because I LOVE Glee.  Hate me because I want to be Captain Jack Sparrow.  Hate me because I like Lady GaGa and Ke$ha.  Hate me because I work with a team of football players.  Hate me because I have stuffed animals.  Hate me because I wear plaid swimming trunks.  Hate me because I sing with the car windows down.  Hate me because I think about everything and have opinions about it all.  Hate me because I don't like westerns, James Bond, or beer.  Hate me because I'm weird.  Hate me because I have a crush on Zooey Deschanel.  Hate me because I still like Hansen.  Hate me because I'm a virgin.  Hate me because I won't drink even once I'm 21.  Hate me because I wear flip flops in mid winter.  Hate me because I try to rap with Eminem.  Hate me because I'm a blogger.  Hate me because I can wing my speech and make an A.  Hate me because I'm a Kobe fan.  Hate me because I have a man crush on Johnny Depp.  Hate me because I spend my paycheck on movies and stock.  Hate me because I would rather watch a Disney movie than an action movie.  Hate me because I am in love with God.  Hate me because I have the mind of a 8 year old.  Hate me because I believe in love.  Hate me because I dream.  Hate me because I'm Batman.  Hate me because I love my family.  Hate me because I wear a bandanna for no reason.  Hate me because I'm so different.

     I'm begging you to hate me.  Punch me, spit at me, cuss me out, throw sticks and stones at me, avoid me, start rumors, glare, do whatever makes you feel right.  But please, please, please fall in love with hating me.  Because I'm not going anywhere.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In everything we do, say, or hear we have a vision of how it will unfold.  When we ask our friends to go to the movies we expect that they will want to and will be able to.  When we study for a week before a test we expect that we will make a good grade on it.  Even when we hear a story, we have some preconceived notions about how it will end. 
But what happens when our expectations aren't met? The image in our heads is almost never lived up to.  Our friends have something to do or the teach throws a curve ball, and we get disappointed.
We obviously have good intentions for these expectations but how do we take them from the hope stage to the expect stage? Because, make no mistake, that is what we do.
I go to the beach and expect to lay in the sun, throw frisbee, throw football, and just hang out.  When I bring people with me I automatically think that is what they'll want to do too. That's where my thinking is wrong.
It's almost like some kind of subconscious selfishness.  I do it without thinking.  But at the same time I don't how to combat it.
I feel like it's a symbol of growing up and becoming up tight and not being able to just go with the flow.
Going with the flow, it sounds so easy, it actually used to be easy. For some reason it has gotten harder and harder for me. I'm constantly challenging myself to live a better, happier life and this is another thing I want to add to the list. Just go with the flow.
Still work hard, play hard, and love hard.  But don't expect anything in return. Always hope for the best, but expect nothing, ever.
T.C. Street

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Go Fly a Kite!

My Kite at 300ft Out
After being at the beach a few days and being bored of not being able to get in the water because it is too cold and tanning all day, I decided to go get some things.  

I went to the local CVS and bought a kite and 200 feet of extra line.  I just went down to the beach and let it go as far as it would.  I was some of the best, easy fun I've had in a long time.  

It's neat to see something that has so much detail in it become just a speck in the sky.  Sometime, when you have an hour or two, you should go out and do it.  It seems childish and stupid but trust me, it is peaceful and relaxing.

Just don't forget, tie good knots!
T.C. Street

Monday, March 14, 2011

30 Places I Have to See Before I Die

For most of my life I have been amazed by many different structures, both man made and divine alike.  It made me want to make of list of all of the places that I wanted to see most.  I couldn't come up with a specific order but here are 30 of the most amazing places I can think of:
Macaque Monkeys of Nagano, Japan

1. Yucatan Peninsula
2. Niagra Falls
3. Rome, all of it
4. Cape Town, South Africa
5. New Zealand
6. Nagano, Japan
7. Paris, France
8. Giza, Egypt
Christ the Redeemer Statue
Rio de Janeiro
9. North Pole
10. South Pole
11. Himalayas, Nepal
12. Machu Picchu, South America
13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14. Sydney, Australia
15. Agra, India
16. Queensland, Australia
17. Uninc, Arizona
18. Las Vegas, Nevada
19. New York, New York
Easter Island
20. Hawaii
21. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
22. Easter Island
23. The Great Wall of China
24. Fairbanks, Alaska (Aurora Borealis)
25. Peten Basin, Guatemala
26. Kyoto, Japan
27. Venice, Italy
28. Angkor, Cambodia
29. Athens, Greece

So I want to stop at number 29 and note something.  All of these things are places or events that really anyone can see or experience.  But my last one is something special.  Somewhere that not everyone gets to go.  Even though you can't go before you die, I figured I can always dream.

30. Heaven

T.C. Street

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm in Jacksonville on spring break with limited internet so no consistent posts for a while. Sorry to anyone who actually reads!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Now or Later?

     Today I Stumbled Upon, literally and figuratively, two very different videos with the same theme.  One was a statistician talking about our decision making process and how our perspective ruins it very easily.  The next was a short film talking about what someone would do if the world were to only last four more hours.  The statistician was sort of “preaching” that our decisions are much worse when they are between now and later.  Meaning, we would much rather take $50 now than $60 in 3 months.  He was eventually and maybe not verbally making the point that we can’t get affected by the “now” bug.  Now isn’t always as attractive as it seems.  But how great is living in the moment?  Flying by the seat of your pants and making split second decisions is just so freeing so why isn’t it right?  I can get you a girlfriend or a job just out of spontaneity.
     If both can be right, planning for the future and living in the moment, then how do we sort out when to do which?  Is there a guidebook for when to be random and spontaneous and when to plan?  If there is then it must be hidden underneath the pyramids or written in some cryptic text because I haven’t heard of it.  It’s something that no one really thinks about very much.

     Of course we want to plan for our future in finances and education and work but what happens when you get to be 65 and you don’t feel like going out anymore?  What happens when you look back and say I wish?  How do we avoid wasting the prime of our lives while still being responsible enough to preserve our later years?  I wish I could sit here and just type out a really simple answer to this really big vague question but I can’t, I don’t know that anyone can.  It sort of defines us; it is basically the question of what is your life’s philosophy? 

     That is why it is so interesting to me, because I don’t even know how I would answer it quite yet.  I assume that is how most people are, they don’t truly know their own “life code” so to speak.  Most of us only live into our 70’s, which is a long time all things considered, but why does it take us that much time to really figure ourselves out?  The smartest people in the world will have figured out by the age of 25 exactly who they are, who they want to become, and why they want to do it.

     You can say, “I just want to live for God and do His work.” That is easy.  But it is a shortcut.  That is like saying that you just want to make art or you just want to run a business.  Sure those are great things to want to do but how do you do them?  This is where you have to be specific.

     One of my biggest life goals is to simply help people.  I don’t really care if it is poverty, disease, famine, or just whatever.  My big decision is how do I do it most effectively?  I spend a good deal of time questioning a lot of things.  So in my crazy mess of a brain it is really hard to make things simple.  But the best way I can find to simply the answer to this question is this:
1. Set Goals
2. Categorize You Goals
3. Prioritize Them
4. Achieve Them
5.  Have Fun In Between

     Goals are great and useful but if we lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve in the long run, then they are pointless.  Don’t forget that there is today and then there is tomorrow.  We live today to get tomorrow sometimes.  Today deserves our attention just as much as tomorrow.  We can’t have one without the other is what I guess I’m trying to say.  Just like we can’t have later without now and now is sort of pointless without a later.  They go together, all we have to do is figure out how.

T.C. Street

Too Funny to Pass Up

Photoshop Fun

Here's my first try with a little Photoshop experiment I'm running

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words To Live By

Below are 5 quotes from 5 of the most inspirational people I can think of. Any time I need some encouragement I can look to them for some random, smart, and sometimes Goofy advice!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

"I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended." - Nelson Mandela

"Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings." -Walt Disney

"Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life."
— Bob Marley

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

None of Your Business

Once again I had an assignment in my Management class that I thought brought some insight to play so here it is:

To me, leaving a legacy isn’t about how large or how small your name becomes.  It isn’t about being the CEO or everyone knowing you.  IT really isn’t even about being a legend, which is what I associate the word legacy with somehow.  You see, to me, leaving a legacy is about making a difference in the lives of the people around you for the positive.  I see three main things that can be done to achieve this.  Leading by example or with integrity, being there for people when they have a problem, and treating everyone like they are on the same level as I am are three very simple actions that I think are essential to leaving a legacy that matters.
                I know, leading by example is so clichéd and EVERYONE says it.  But does anyone ever look into it? Or is it just kind of the good thing to say?  How do you lead by example in the work place where everyone has a million very different jobs and you never really see anyone for more than 30 minutes at a time in the meeting room?  In my mind leading by example has always kind of been a cryptogram that really meant lead with integrity.  Because if John Doe that works out in some plant only sees you for 45 minutes every week he doesn’t have much to judge you by other than those 45 minutes.  So in those 45 minutes your job is to show him you are getting your job done AND doing it in the right way.  This means no shortcuts, no cheat codes, no under the table deals, just hard work.  Where I work people are always saying work smart not hard.  I half way believe in that.  But it makes more sense to do both.  I mean, they both are possible.  We don’t live in a sitcom world where you can either be the high school quarterback or the nerd but only one.  Both just seems to make the most sense to me.  So when John Doe comes to that time where he could cut a corner or save himself some effort by cheating the system, MAYBE he will think of me.  MAYBE he will remember how I did my job and HOPEFULLY that will give him enough incentive to do his job right.
                The next principle I believe in can be said in one word, understanding.  Every day every person in the work place has some problem.  Whether it is a headache or a sick kid at home or financial troubles, people deal with stuff that they tend to keep bottled up.  Not only as a leader but as a person I feel like it is my job to help people out with these problems.  So if I notice someone is down I am most likely going to ask them what is wrong.  Even if they don’t want to talk about it, it helps to know that someone cares enough to ask.  Sometimes all people need is someone that will listen, they don’t even need advice or compassion they just need someone to help them carry the weight of their problems.  The funny thing about people and their problems is that most times we let out all of our small problems but the big ones we are afraid are too big.  We let our big problems kill us internally and talk about the little ones as if they are killing us.  Even if the problems don’t concern the workplace and won’t help the company to be solved, a person is still a person.  We all deserve to have one person that will listen and care.  I want to be the guy that cared.
                Last is just a simple as the previous.  Equality.  People tend to shape up their act when the boss is around.  They don’t really do it because they think they’ll get fired if they don’t, it is more because they want to impress you because you’re important.  That can be good and bad.  On one hand it shows they want to work hard for you, but it also creates a divide between you and your employees.  I want the guy that drives our 18 wheeler to know I think the same of him as I do our best salesman.  Not only because he is just as essential to the business, but because he is just as human. It shouldn’t matter if the person is black, white, purple, tall, short, fat, skinny, gay, straight, minimum wage, a billionaire, a genius, an idiot, male, female, old, young, good looking, ugly, or superbly average in every aspect of life.  Every one of those qualities have one thing in common, they are still people.  We push money and bottom line all the time in America now and sure it is REALLY important but what does it matter if we have to treat people like slaves to get it?  I don’t care if you’re Bill Gates or Steve Jobs the most important and lasting legacy you can leave is that you treated every single person equally.  Because one day that minimum wage person is going to have a kid and teach that kid that same lesson.  They’ll say I worked hard for my boss because he really cared about me. It will get passed on for generations.  It’s bigger than some news article saying how rich and famous you were.  It is something that people can feel.  I would love to say that there are no pawns in businesses but there are actually a lot of them.  But no one should EVER feel like one.  That’s the difference maker.  It is the bridge between working for The Company and working WITH my boss.
                Overall it is hard to say what challenges will be presented to me every day, or year, or decade.  Maybe the toughest thing will be not forgetting what I just wrote.  To not get sucked into meeting the deadlines and making quotas so much that I don’t remember to be a person.  My biggest fear is turning into some robot or puppet that only cares about the business end of my company and forgets about the personal end.  Maybe that’s a good fear to have, it will hopefully remind me not to fall into it.  It seems like such a naïve concept that those simple three things could leave a legacy for me that is bigger than anything I could do as far as the business is concerned but I believe in it.  People are what make any company work, end of story.  So I want to make people important, not just for the business sake, but for theirs too.  That is my legacy, to make people important.