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Category Archives: Blogging

I finally did it.

About 7-or-so months ago, I began wondering if I needed another space on the Intertubes to be a repository for the random things I want to comment on or share that, somehow, just don’t fit here at twelve:one.

You can now find this place at geekymusic.tumblr.com. It’s called “The Extra Lettuce,” and it’s what’s known as a Tumblelog. Follow along or just check in sometime…you never know what you might find.

And credit goes to my friend Dn. Kyrill for the blog’s title. It just fit so perfectly that I had to steal it. 🙂

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 Funny Pictures

…why can’t we keep it together?

So, I sat through a lecture on the School of Information Sciences today in a communication class. The speaker was talking about how quickly information technology is changing, and, of course, he mentioned blogging. And other people have mentioned blogging to me lately, asking me to post this or that to my blog. One of those people was probably me. As a result of all this, I figured I’d post an update of sorts.

The semester is off to a good start. By “good,” I mean good. I’m at the end of the first full week of classes, and I’ve already done homework in the library twice. I’ve spent about $50 of my supplemental campus bucks (the folks around these parts call them “Dining Dollars”) on things like Starbucks, ice cream, cheese dip, and plenty of Dr. Pepper. I’ve been to two OCF meetings, one of which involved pasta with vodka sauce, some chocolates, and yummy strawberries.
OCF Student Advisory Board stuff is going well, too, though last week I didn’t feel great so my OCF Buddy (an OCF presence on AOL Instant Messenger) shift took a back seat to sleep, and this week it got overlooked because I had just gotten in after looking for a parking space for about 30-40 minutes. But, next week will be better, and the week after will be much better because I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the spring SAB meeting. Which means friends. And Sheetz. Joyous day. 🙂

Tiffany and I are going strong, as well. The beginning of the semester brings its stress, of course. But the nights bring opportunities for sleep, and that helps things on all fronts quite a bit. And with the three-day weekend coming up, I think I’ll be signing up for the concurrent three-day workshop in sleep and relaxation techniques, which will be held at my dorm. Space is limited, and the slots are full. So, better luck next time. But, at least I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Yeah…until around Tuesday.)

To make a long story short (too late), it’s CRAZY around here. But it’s awesome, too. The OCF podcast feed is finally up on Ancient Faith Radio at ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ocf, where you can listen to some audio from the East Coast edition of the OCF College Conference. Oh…and there’s a little interview with the keynote speaker conducted by yours truly. It was my first one, and it was pretty cool to do. Maybe I’ll get to do some more for them. That’s definitely a possibility at this point, as is anything, really. There might be some more stuff that will go up, mainly from West Coast…but that’s uncertain right now. It just depends on if the stuff can get tweaked the right way and all of that. We’re really anxious to come together at the meeting in Pittsburgh before we come out with the official first episode of the podcast.  So stay tuned here and go ahead and subscribe at the address above so you can get it fresh when it hits the airwaves.
…or the Internets.

…the tubes?

Well, the above was hacked out on Friday, as you can likely tell, but it didn’t get out of editing until today.  So, let me say that the three-day workshop in sleep and relaxation techniques was fantastic.  It was fully attended and everyone was satisfied with the topics offered this year, and we hope to make it a semi-annual event in the near future.  I’ll let you know when you can get your tickets to the next one.  😉

That’s all for now.  More goodness is on the way as soon as it can get cooked up. Tiffany and I planning on going to Lexington next weekend to stay at a friend’s house and go to church in Nicholasville, so that will surely be an adventure.  Expect cute pictures of my little buddy J.P. and maybe a story or two to come out of it.   Those of you in the Nickville area should email me if you’re available Saturday or Sunday.

Oh…and I’ll post the unnamed thing(s) previously mentioned sometime this week after getting them posted to YouTube.

Before I go, let me plug fullnessofthefaith.com.  It’s an upstart modern apparel Orthodox store (if that’s coherent) that is run by my OCF Chaplain, Fr. Justin Mathews.  Tiff and I highly recommend the “hummus is the new peanut butter” shirt.  Anyway, give him some love and order something.  And tell them Jonathan at the twelve:one blog sent ya.

(I’ve always wanted to be able to say that. 😀 )

[P.S.  Fr. Justin’s CD is pretty good, too.  You can check it out on his website here.  :)]

[P.P.S.  No, he didn’t pay me for this.  But he did promise to let me play with his iPhone for five minutes.  Maybe since I also plugged his great CD, he’ll even turn it on.]

Take care, kids.  We’ll see you soon.

A few thoughts…

–Last year, I wrote about my Charlie Brown Christmas and the possible end of a 30-something-year tradition in my family. Well, I’m actually quite content in reporting that it ended this year (that is, we didn’t have it), though for reasons different from what threatened it last year. It was brought about by a certain needed movement in our family life, and for that, I’m grateful. I’m also thankful that it precisely isn’t because of the issues I discussed last year. Essentially, it was caused by someone’s personal progress and not someone else’s personal tragedies.

–The 2008 OCF College Conference is coming up in two days. Wow. It seems that just yesterday I was telling some friends that I would be seeing them in 10 days. And now it will much sooner be upon us. Last year, I was a first-time attendee and was awestruck at what I experienced, being so impressed by the love and friendship and spiritual focus and unspeakable “other goodness” (for want of a better term). (Oh…and, did I mention that’s how I was introduced to Sheetz? 😀 ) This year, I’m a member of the OCF Student Advisory Board and someone who is hoping to be involved in an upcoming object called the OCF Podcast (until something catchier develops…), something I proposed to our executive director this past summer. To my knowledge, I was the first person to seriously mention it in as much detail as I did. I assume this because I didn’t hear back, “We’re already working on it,” but “Hey…that’s a great idea. Let’s talk more about this in a few days when I get back home.” For once, I’m in a place where people listen intently to the ideas I have and are brave enough to explore, rather than putting me off and assuring they’ll “get back to me.” I can’t wait to tell this to our fellow students at the conference, because it’s what our organization is built on: listening to the students and shaping OCF to serve them and the greater community to the best of everyone’s ability. If they will listen to me, they’ll listen to anyone. I hope someone is encouraged by this, has some spark of an idea, and runs with it…and ends up blowing us all away. What a joy that would be.

At any rate, we’re going to try and record as much of the talks as humanly possible, as well as gather some photos and other randomness throughout each day and and post it all either to ancientfaithradio.com or ocf.net. If we post anything, I’ll link to it here.

–I’m grateful for super cheap airfare, enabling me to jump down to Florida shortly after my return from the conference so that I can meet Tiffany’s family. Though, the idea of it being warm enough to visit the beach in January slightly weirds me out.

–For the first time in years, the grades I’ve received so far for my semester’s work do not go below a “c”. I still have an incomplete in one class, but that will be dealt with shortly, and I’ll likely do fine. Also, there are no plans whatsoever to change majors or schools anytime soon. In fact, I’m adding a minor–in journalism. 🙂 Couple that with the news I discussed about OCF and the Podcast and so on, and you’ll have an idea of where I’d like to be heading as far as career preparation.

–In semi-related computer comments: If you’re a writer of any type who is easily distracted, and your computer of choice is Mac, I highly recommend a little app called WriteRoom. It makes your entire screen black and puts a little blinking green block-style cursor in front of you, making it easy to just write. No distractions, no menubars, no Firefox windows in the background…just the appearance of typing on an old Apple //e. It’s what I used to write this and my last post on being lost in Virginia, and I’m very pleased with it.

–Speaking of writing, I want to continue to thank the people who read twelve:one, whether regularly or just passing through. And thanks to those who have put me on their blogrolls. Honestly, I am frequently surprised and humbled by the stats that show up in my dashboard when I check it. Someone from China viewed one of my entries through Google translator the other day. How cool is that?!? Also, the fact that I average roughly 20-35 hits daily for one entry alone (“To Write Love On Her Arms“) is indicative of a) the growing amount of exposure for the organization, and b) the aching need many have in our society…and communities and workplaces and households…for signs that hope and rescue can be something they can experience. If you’re one of those people, I hope you can find such signs in the joy of this season—which, I know, isn’t joyous for everyone. If you’re not one of those people, then, please, be that sign to someone. Smile, or offer a hand or an ear or your time this Christmas and into the New Year.

Anyway, back to the writing…:) Thanks for reading and for your comments made both on and off the record. It is through your encouragement that I’ve decided to look into media production for OCF and to minor in journalism. Basically, you’ve helped this writer get a slightly better handle on his future than he would have had otherwise. Thank you.

–It’s Christmas. It’s the celebration of when love and grace and redemption broke into our chaotic world. By the Incarnation—and the Resurrection—we are moved to freely love, serve, and forgive. Even if you’re not Christian, I ask that you consider allowing these things to break into your life. Let go of bitterness and malice and rage and slander and vengeance…and let go of yourself. Embrace the unspeakable wonder that is selfless love. For those who want to lengthen their days, it’s an imperative. (Research actually shows this time and again.) In fact, some say you can live forever if you desire that your life be transformed by Love. But, even if you’ve no interest in true Christianity, give love a shot. It’s amazing how much your existing world, with all its bitterness and cares and worries and vendettas, can crumble, while a new one is built up in the place of the old one. Yeah, you’ll likely still have some of those things for a while, maybe as long as you live. But you’ll be a million times better the more you can let go and forgive in love. Try to be a humble example of redemption to someone you know.

–Ill leave you with this hymn, one that we Orthodox will hear plenty over the next week:

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,

Has shown to the world the light of wisdom.

For by it those who worshipped the stars,

Were taught by a star to adore Thee,

The Sun of Righteousness.

And to know Thee the Orient from on high,

O Lord, Glory to Thee!

Troparion for Christmas Day

Merry Christmas. Christ is born! Glorify him!

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.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wbbp/blog/2007/10/27/Oct-27-2007-302PM

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 blogtalkradio.com, 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.

So, I noticed today that I’ve received over 1000 views this month. I’ve never gotten this many. In fact, it’s roughly one-third more than I’ve ever gotten in a single month, and the month isn’t even over.

So, I just wanted to say thank you to all who read this blog, whether regularly or just passing through. When I started this blog 10 months ago, I just wanted a place to put down those thoughts which were a little beyond the normal realm of MySpace blogging. I never thought that people would be interested in what I write here…

Pardon me if I’m being corny, but it’s really humbling.

Thank you.

This was posted by my very good friend Dusty, to whom I’ve previously linked and replied here at twelve:one. He writes about two talks he gave to the youth at his church (my former church). The main focus is his talk from this past Wednesday. The main point of the response I posed follows. The full texts for both can be read here.

(Post)
I was finishing up about dating when I tied the whole two weeks together again by drawing focus to the main point again, which is that we should be DEVOTING A LIFE TO CHRIST, and not just sundays and wednesdays.

I explained it further by using an example using math; I love numbers and facts. LOL 🙂 But anyways, here is what I found.

The average person right now lives to be 75 years old, and 79 for women. So then, I let my mathematics do the rest….. and if a person just worships GOD on sundays alone which is a lot of christians, that makes it 3,900 days / 557 weeks / or 11 years. WOW, that information is disheartening. I mean, here we are…. we should be devoting a LIFE to Christ and all we’re giving HIM is one-seventh or 11 years out of 75.

But, here is what GOD showed me even further [in the middle of the talk]: Most people who are christians only go to church for no more than two hours in a day, and that’s all the worshiping they do… with that said, here is what GOD showed me: If you take those same statistics and replace the 24 hour day for 2 hours, you get 325 days / 46 weeks / or less than 1 year!!!! THAT IS VERY MUCH DISTURBING! Here we are, suppose to be devoting a life to Christ because HE wants us to, and because HE saved us, so we should thank HIM with our life, and we don’t even give HIM one full year out of 75 years. I’ll say that again, if all you do is go to church on Sundays and never worship or pray or read the Bible for the rest of the week, then all that amounts up to, is One year of your life out of 75 years! That does not sound anything like an entire life to me! Well, then you might say, “I go on wednesdays too.” Ok, then just double the numbers: 650 days / 92 weeks / or around 1.5 years! Wow, that’s a lot better…. I can definitely see how 1.5 years seems like an entire lifetime.

It’s no wonder that most christians stay “baby christians” in their walk, it’s because in the big picture of it all, we’re just giving him 1/75th of our life! Maybe, if we christians would start to reflect a LIFE of Christ and not just on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, then maybe, just maybe we could change the world, or even just ourselves. And, what hurts even more, is that a lot of christians don’t even go on Sundays and Wednesdays at all, and then they wonder why GOD hasn’t talked to them in awhile, or why does all this bad stuff keep happening? It’s because we’re not getting close to the Savior like we should be doing!

Then, the question might arise of, “ok, how do I best live a life devoted to Christ?.” Well, of course go to church on a regular basis so you can at least get that one year out of 75, then I would say, watch how you react to the rest of life…. What are you watching? What are you listening to? How are you treating people? Understand that you might be the only Bible that someone ever sees in their life. In fact, I tell people all the time, the best way to show someone Christ is live A LIFE for Christ and constantly try to better yourself. Besides, most people that don’t know Christ won’t care about what the Bible says, because if they don’t know Christ, why are they going to believe in the Bible? So, be an example and stand up for THE WAY, stand up for THE TRUTH, stand up for THE LIFE! […] I pray that all of us, those who call ourselves christians, will stand up for Christ and reflect Him all of our life, and not just one or two days a week.

(Response)
–Really….you’re dead on. I would even take it a step further and say that we don’t need to be Bible-believing as you say. Christ-following is better. That is Life. Not believing a book. Yes, believe the scriptures. But, if I simply believe the plank of wood standing in front of me with the shiny round thing in the middle of it is a door, what good does that do me? It is only when I turn the knob and open the door that it allows change (e.g. moving from one room to another.

Christ said “I am the door.” Therefore, don’t simply believe Him, or believe in Him, or the Bible, or whatever. Every day is a choice of action, not just a retention of belief. Daily, we should choose to follow Him to the Cross, to love our neighbor (friend and enemy) along the way, and to enter through Him and we will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

May I and may you choose the narrow path this day and tomorrow. Amen.

You know what bloggers are like: just write and write and write. I don’t understand why, because they’re not getting paid.

Jon Ronson, This American Life #338 “The Spokesman”, Act II

I’ve performed a much needed update to the About page.  You can now also find a link to my contact page, which you may utilize at your peril or whimsy, however you prefer to think of it.  🙂

Now…Plotinus on Beauty, then bed.

Blogging An Undivided Life

I am entering an experimental phase. One filled with thought and execution, trial and error, fun and games, arsenic and old lace…

Okay, maybe not that last one.

But, I have reached a point where this blog, as it is, may or may not suit my wants/needs. I like giving my perspective on things, as you can clearly see. I like the way having this blog and reading others often causes me to think differently. Yet, as stated in the Headline, this blog is about my life in Christ. My whole life. Undivided.

Obviously, a great deal of this life includes reflections on my faith, whether I write them here or not. And it will continue to be so. Yet, there are other aspects of this life that make up a great deal of who I am. Music. Technology. Literature. YouTube.

So, as fellow Orthoblogger Seth Earl ponders in his post “Complete Randomness“, I have reached a point where I might have to start another blog. If I went this route, it would be dedicated to just things I enjoy talking about, or things that strike my fancy that aren’t particularly spiritual in nature. Not that I want to compartmentalize my life, as that is not a good practice at all. But, I don’t like the idea of cluttering this mostly spiritually-reflective blog (for want of a better term) with random things about MacBooks, homemade screenprint t-shirts, or the missing pages of Lewis Carroll’s diary.

This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that several of you read in order to get my perspective on things (as you’ve told me) as an Orthodox college student. So, as a solution, I may start a new blog and just post links to new entries on that blog here. That way you can tell from the RSS feed if it’s worth your time. Or, I might simply keep everything on here and have indications in the title if it’s out-of-the-ordinary. I don’t know. Personally, I think it’s better to centralize everything, both in writing and in life. If one says he is presenting himself, he should do it wholly. Otherwise, he ends up displaying only a fraction of the man he truly is.

Whatever the case, please bear with me. This blog will always be a place where I will wonder aloud at things I come across while on the path to salvation. It just might begin to include some things outside that scope.


Father’s Day

The inspiration for this blog came, primarily, from Father Stephen Freeman. He demonstrated to me that it was perfectly acceptable to blog about theology and Orthodoxy and icons and Bob Dylan. He’s also my parish priest, and a wonderful man. I’m blessed to call him a friend.

However, this blog would not exist if not for my love for writing. The credit for that is primarily due to my own father, Jerry Bush. A former English teacher of all grades from sixth to college-level, and a life-long educator, he taught me early on that the English language is beautiful when used properly (sometimes even when used improperly) and that writing can be a very satisfying medium for expressing oneself. Thanks to him, I love writing of all types, though some more than others. I love putting thoughts into words, whether poetry or prose (though I can’t write lyrics, which always frustrates me). I also love the quickly-disappearing art of writing letters by hand. (In fact, if anyone ever wants one, just ask me. Seriously! I even have a Speedball pen, a bottle of black ink, and blank stationery, and they’re just waiting to be put to use. 🙂 )

Beyond teaching me about writing, he teaches me about life. He’s also my go-to guy when I have a question about literature or education. I can’t think of anyone else I could randomly call up to have a very detailed conversation about Harvard reviewing their core requirements to see if they should be relaxed in the name of relevancy. (“If they do that, they cease to be a true liberal arts college; they cease to be Harvard,” he concluded.) And I’m very blessed to realize these things now when I’m 25. Mine won’t be a story of coming to understand somewhere around age 48 that my dad was cool and intelligent and would talk about anything that was on my mind, no matter how trivial. Which is good, because he’ll be 80 and senile, instead of just 57 and oddly silly. (Now you know where I get it. 😀 )

So, as Father’s Day winds down, I just want to give credit where credit is due. He was my first teacher, he’s half the reason I exist, and he continues to contribute to my mental instability like no one else. 😉

Thanks, dad. I love you. May God grant you many blessed years.