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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Here is a link to the audio of mine and Tiffany’s interview with Tia Graham to discuss To Write Love On Her Arms and the issue of self injury.

The interview was cut short due to technical difficulties we were beginning to experience on our end. But, there’s still plenty to chew on and to spark interest. Also, it serves as great evidence for my ADD and lack of ability to properly explain things when I’m under the gun. 😉

On a personal note, I have to give credit to Tiff for being brave and discussing her own problems with SI.  If you ask me, it’s pretty gutsy to do that when society says that these things should be swept under the rug.

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions…


In a few moments, my girlfriend Tiffany and I will be making the drive down to Maryville to the Capitol Coffee House.  There, I will be joining the World’s Biggest Blog Party.  It’s a blogging throw down that will run from today, October 27th—the Day of Awareness—to November 17th—National Family Volunteer Day.  It’s dedicated to raise awareness and funds for all manner of charities, from Habitat for Humanity to Heifer International.

Back in July, I was approached by my friend Tia Graham about adding To Write Love On Her Arms to the list of charities.  Needless to say, I was all for it. And, now that it’s begun, I’m super excited to be helping to spread the word.

Tia will be interviewing me for, who is sponsering and covering the event.  You can listen by going to the WBBP website and clicking on the radio widget.

I encourage you to listen in and to donate money to whatever you can.  They have some great causes, and everyone needs a helping hand.

I’ll post the archived interview here when it becomes available.  And I might post a few things from the coffee house if I get the chance.  Stay tuned…

And stay tuned to the WBBP site.  New blogs are popping up every hour.

This really moved me…

Found this via a longer post from To Write Love On Her Arms on their MySpace. I encourage you to read good words, and you can read some of theirs here. The blog of Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman can be read here.

J. D. Salinger and St. Paul and dark black smoke
by jon foreman

So I’m listnin’ to the jason molina box set. reminds me a bit of sun kill moon in a really good way. with some atmospheric “spirit of eden” things every now and then.

it’s grey out. it was grey out yesterday. but it’s not raining. it was raining yesterday.

still trying to get any news about home. rough. feels like a world away. fires.

So I find it strangely appropriate that we’re touring to support habitat for humanity, an ironic twist in the plot, with the homes burning back on the west coast. It’s so strangely fitting that I wrote a song with Thieson for this tour on a bus that burned down a few hours later. But you see, this plot, this divine comedy strays awfully close to tragedy.

It’s a strange book and I’m inside it. So I’m trying to pin down the details about the the plot in this book. The one where I’m the protagonist in a plot much larger than I am. A book that I can’t simply put down when I’m frustrated. With no bookmark, no remote control. The pages write themselves with very little effort of my own. And yet I’m in there. I’m written into the book.

I was wondering today whether the houses that we help build with Habitat in SD are still standing. I don’t know how this ends.

Ruth has gone on downstairs, the bass frequencies are vibrating everything in the room… and a world away houses are burning down in my hometown. What can you do?

The good guys get gunned down. The bad guys do fine. That can’t be the end of the story… But the fires are still burning back home… and this thought kept running through my mind all day, “Oh God, have mercy on me a sinner.” I think that’s the prayer in Franny and Zoey… But St. Paul says the same thing

Pray that God is merciful,


Being broke as I am, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an actual job instead of pandering around for work studies that don’t materialize. I will likely not get one due to school requirements, but the idea’s been fluttering around in my head anyway. So, I figured…why not check with the local Apple Store? After all, I love Apple, and it’d be awesome to earn money for loving them. 🙂

So, I go to the Apple website and look through their employment section. I pull up the job descriptions
and…well, if I was to get a job at the Apple Store, I’d definitely want to work under the title of Apple Concierge. I mean, forget the description—just the title alone is worth giving it top consideration.

“So, what do you do apart from school?…do you work anywhere?”

“Yeah. I work in the Apple Store.”

“Oh, cool…so, do you sell iPods or what?”

“Oh, no. Sales isn’t my thing. They chose to put me in the Concierge department.”

“Concierge? Wow……..*starry eyes*”

And, this is me just speaking as a college student, but…anything that I can tell people that would add any amount of prestige to my existence—which usually consists of surviving on Ritz Bits and Yoo-hoo while trying to get my homework done before I reach the point of screaming out of rage and jumping out of my window—that’s a wonderful thing.

Well, as if the title isn’t enough, I read the job description, and I was floored. It’s either the cheesiest position write-up ever done, or it’s the most beautiful. Decide for yourself:

Job title : Concierge
Business Group : United States-Retail
Job description : Apple builds the coolest products on earth. And Apple builds the most beautiful stores. But the real secret behind the success of the fastest-growing retail chain in history is our commitment to the customer. Apple is already known for legendary service and now we are extending that experience with the Apple Store Concierge.

Meet the Apple Store Concierge

Perfect customer service:

• Verbally embraces the customer with a five-star welcome and a fond farewell
• Can orchestrate the store adventure in the best possible way
• Understands customer needs and connects them to the right person at the right time
• Provides every customer with a superior customer experiencePerfect fit:

• You exude warmth, energy and charisma
• You love meeting new people, you inspire them
• You thrive on the unexpected
• You get people, and people get you
• You have a passion for customer service
• You have a passion for Apple products
• You nurture all budding technology crushes and lifelong Apple love affairs


Reading it almost gets me teary-eyed…

You know, if only class descriptions sounded this good. I could probably be talked into taking a class on the history of the toothpick. 😀

Clingman’s Dome 3

Written late last night…

So many days and nights have passed since my last entry. Some held things worth writing about, though I didn’t feel motivated to write. Some held very little importance. Well, for whatever reason, here I am, writing…

University of Tennessee, round three. Taking 12 hours, and I continue to struggle. I know in the back of my mind that it cannot go away overnight. Yet, I expect to—not change—but to have already changed, to be perfect now. I know I will never be perfect; that is, that I will always struggle. Why do I go on living without struggle? I don’t—but it’s the delusion I clothe myself with every day.

But, I haven’t dropped below full time for the first time in two years. And I have no reason to. So, all is not lost…

I have met a girl. Wonderful, delightful, cute, funny, precious, beautiful, smart, witty, thoughtful, sweet, kind, and lovely are her names. But, for short, I call her Tiffany along with the rest of the world. She is unlike any human being I have had the pleasure of sharing my life’s moments with. She makes me undeniably happy.

Differing religious views abound within her. This is perhaps our greatest difference. No—it is our greatest difference. Though, I understand (as much as I can) her place in life. I don’t think for a minute that I can enter her world and touch her and watch her become a Christian before my eyes. Foolishness wouldn’t even begin to describe that mindset.

Any change would be long in coming, if at all. More importantly, I accept this. Yet, I’m the guy that always has to skip the adventure and peek into the Endgame scenario. When I do that, a question mark appears, and that scares me, makes me want to run. But this has always been the case: I HATE the unknown in life. It scares me. So, this is no different, really.

She deserves my patience, love, care, kindness, and understanding every minute of every day—nothing less. And I wish to give these things to her so much. She is a wonder.

A marvel.

A Godsend.

It’s time to sleep…I suppose I’ll write more when the mood strikes.

Profound Despair

Last night, my girlfriend Tiffany counseled a friend of hers who is undergoing a massive personal and emotional crisis.  I won’t go into details.  But, the situation reminded me that many students have been through situations that I can’t imagine bearing.  And it brought to mind this passage from one of my favorite books.

May God have mercy on all those who suffer tonight.

I want other people to be happy. I tell my friends who are religious or spiritual but haven’t yet found anything like this to wait, to pray, to meditate, to try to clear their minds of whatever is blocking them from their own happiness. Often, it’s stress—school, with its homework keeping us up till 3 AM, or people, relationships, parents. And to older people, it all sounds so trivial! Here we are, comfortable, affluent, well-fed, even bored, and we couldn’t be more miserable. Do adults understand this? I like to think that they at least wonder about it, whatever answers they come up with. Most adults seem surprised, even shocked by the depth of emotion that people my age experience. We’re not always eloquent, but we get across the message in scars and suicide attempts and overdoses.

A Tiny Step Away From Deepest Faith: A Teenager’s Search For Meaning by Marjorie Corbman

I love quotations. I actually own a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Here are some of my favorites from various sources. This will likely be one of several posts related to the topic.

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” –James Boswell

“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” –A. A. Milne

“The superfluous, a very necessary thing.” –Voltaire

“The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.” –Samuel Butler

“In the great human comedy, one day we are spectators and the next day performers.” –Garrison Keillor

“‘Pinky, are you pndering what I’m pondering?’
‘I think so, Brain. But if we get Same Spade, we’ll never have puppies.'” -Pinky and the Brain

“‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be;and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, itain’t. That’s logic.'” –Lewis Carroll

“True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.” –François, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

“To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.” –Anatole France

“So close my eyes and hold my heart. Cover me and make me something. Change this something normal into something beautiful.”

Jars of Clay’s “Something Beautiful” is one of my favorite songs ever, and often one of the most meaningful. Here’s an acoustic version from the 11 Live DVD…which is a great DVD, by the way. 🙂 The lyrics can be found here.

He walked past the couch to the open window, and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.

“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”

“The Naval Treaty,” from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle