Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beer Pong Table

HAHAHA This Was Too Funny To Not Post

Bathroom Antics

So I've just had one of those pivotal bathroom moments. It was just as I would have imagined things happening. And it was hilarious.

Enter Grant. There are five urinals against a wall.
Grant walks himself to the furthest urinal from the door.
Enter person 2. Four urinals left.
Person 2 walks himself to the furthest urinal from anyone else. Thus closest to the door.
Enter person 3. Bumps person 2 on his way in.
Apologizes. Three urinals left.
Splits the difference and positions himself right smack in the middle.

I would like to think that upon entering the bathroom in person 3's situation, I would take the urinal right next to the person whom I bumped into and strike up an awkward conversation about the need to get a colonoscopy or something.

While still peeing. Grant laughs while thinking about the above idea.
Person 2 and person 3 look at me awkwardly.
Two shakes and a zip.
Wash hands. Use paper towel to open door. Trash the towel.
Write blog.


Okay, so I’m tired of hearing about how our generation is not politically minded. Or that every college student is will vote for a democrat. On top of that, those who vote for a republican are bombasted with ridicule over that choice. While I agree that most people in our generation have no real clue as to what really goes on in the world, and I’m not claiming to be any different. However, over my years on this planet I have come to my own opinions about things, without prejudice and minimal influence from friends and family, who have different opinions about things.
1. I am pro-choice. While I don’t condone abortion, as republicans will claim pro-choice people do, I don’t think I should stop people from having them. I do believe, as state law says, late term (3rd trimester) abortions should not be legal because at that point a baby CAN, not necessarily will, be born alive.
2. I am pro-capital punishment. In fact I believe that the law should extend to include those who rape children under the age of 16. “Rehabilitation” as some call jail, is not going to fix someone that messed up. I’m sorry. I also believe that the appeals process should be abolished for capital punishment cases. Or limit them to one appeal. We spend way too much money keeping these criminals alive in jail when they’ve been sentenced to die. If they lose their appeal, take them out back and execute them. End of story. It was a sad one anyway.
3. I don’t think that marijuana should be legalized. While I do see the overwhelming case to legalize it in this economic time, there just isn’t a good enough way to test for abuse yet. While alcohol can be tested very well, down to a 0.00 trace in BAL, marijuana just doesn’t have that. Until that point is reached where one can distinguish whether someone had a joint last night or a week ago, it should remain illegal.
4. I think that nonviolent crimes should be less punished. Again, I’m going back to the idea of saving money, and I feel that this is honestly the best way to do that. Nearly a quarter of all the people who are in jail around the world are in US jails, as such I feel that we should let certain nonviolent criminals go. If they are not a hazard to those around them, why keep them locked up. I also think that a fair substitute could be larger fines and having those who spend time in jail, pay for their time in jail. With the cost of housing prisoners going up and the number of detainees also rising, why not have those who are incarcerated pay for their time. By reducing sentences in number of years and having the jailed pay for their time, national and state debts would be reduced drastically. The law allows for half of a worker’s pay to be taken from them for things like alimony, etc. so by using the same logic, have their income used to pay back the state or nation for housing them in jail for their crimes.
5. I hate Fox News. I knew that would get some of you looking! However, it isn’t just Fox News that I hate, I hate all news, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS. The news media, as they like to call themselves, has lost its credibility over that last few decades as I’ve seen. They don’t “report” the news so much as comment on it. The newscasters, and those that write their scripts would rather you, the public, hear what they have to say about something, then allow you to think for yourself. This is what I believe has led to the unwavering number of “liberals” in the country. By being force-fed “news” all day, we’ve become victims of overstimulation and commentary. The one person I see comment far less than any other newscaster is Shepard Smith. Bill O’reily is a jackoff who gets his opinion out there more than others, Nancy Grace is a mockery of the legal world, Anderson Cooper will stop at nothing to get his name on anything and everything he can, and even local news persons are spouting commentary more than news. It’s sad.
6. I think that gay marriage should be legalized. I feel that marriage is a religious right. If a church feels that gays should be allowed to be married, then why not let them. This is a case of, what I feel is, the state getting involved in religious affairs. I know several gay couples that have lasted longer than straight couples could hope to last and the state says they’re different then us. Some say that it is because they can’t reproduce and have children, well then sterile couples shouldn’t be allowed to get married, and elderly couples where the woman has gone through menopause should have to separate. That makes no sense. Those who claim that it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, do you really think that God intended for people to use an atomic weapon and kill several million people, because we still have more than 3000 armed nuclear weapons in our possession, and you’re not out there yelling at the president about that. Yes, marriage is a religious act, so if you have religious ideas that don’t allow for gays to be married, I understand. However, neither everyone, nor every faith has those same ideas, let people get married to whom they want.
7. All that being said, I still vote republican. Now you say to yourself WTF? Why? It’s simple. I feel that the best way to finance a nation is by spending just what you have and not taxing more to cover “new” expenses. If there is something that has to be done, figure out a way to move money around, or raise money through encouraging people to spend. During war times, in the past, obviously not now, when we went to war, the nation got behind the effort. Thousands if not millions of jobs were created to help the effort. Now, there are so many people against the war, rightly in many cases, that there isn’t any support for such job creation. These jobs then gave people the money they needed to spend on useless junk that they want, which in turn gives the government more sales taxes. This is how the government was supposed to run. Now I don’t believe that sending people a $600 check and expecting them to spend it when the economy is in the tank is dumb. People are going to put it in the bank or a shoebox. FDR ran the New Deal and created millions of jobs nationwide to fix the economy after the Great Depression. Trust me; there are more than a million things that need fixing nationwide. Get rid of Cal-Trans and their union that causes them to work ridiculously slow and put in a new group.
8. Unions don’t serve any purpose anymore. When I worked for Albertson’s all those years ago during the strike in 2003-2004 I remember reading the deal before and after the strike. They were nearly exactly the same. Sadly, I knew people who lost homes, cars, and marriages over the strike and the reported “deal” that everyone was going to get. They also want actors to get paid more. Are they serious??? Over the last decade the price of a movie ticket has doubled! It is no longer the cost effective date anymore. And they want more? For Transformers 2, Michael Bay was paid $150 million dollars, $150,000,000; more money than most anyone I know will ever see in their lifetime. They served their purpose a century ago when they reduced the work day to 8 hours from 12, and got minimum wages increased. However, their existence is what is causing there to be a need to increase wages at all. Construction unions get workers a higher wage for their work, as a result home prices go up, now a teacher can’t afford a home, so unions get teachers a higher wage, but health care prices are still too high because the nursing union just got their clients a better wage too, so the teachers need another raise or they’ll go on strike, now homes are being sold more frequently and the construction workers want their cut. Whole cycle starts all over again. Unions are ruining this nation. They also have nearly every lawmaker in this nation, in their pocket, insuring that they will be around for a very, very long time.
9. Lobbyists can go to hell; you’re causing more harm than the unions.
10. Ten just seemed like a round number. If you think of something else you’d like my opinion on let me know.

Crazy Ass Dream (Now In Technicolor)

Four friends go to a house. Two nice guys (one of them a little more scared than the other) and a couple. Guy in the couple is an asshole. Staying at a creepy house. Night time descends. Little boy comes out of one of the rooms. Scares everyone. Asshole goes downstairs with the boy. Huge thud happens and he comes back upstairs alone. Tells everyone that he killed the boy, didn’t know who he was, wouldn’t matter. Loud noise happens and the couple goes to investigate. One friend standing freaked out, other hides under the sheet. Suddenly quick flash of boy flying through air, standing friend gets taken out with a scream. Scene under sheets, sheet ripped off, head suddenly ripped off, body just lying there. Couple comes up and sees the scene. Asshole walks into room picks up head, it screams and he drops it. Turns around and sees the boy. Freaked out he tries to run away to no avail. Boy corners him and slowly walks toward him. In quick flashes he rips off arms and legs, starts clawing at neck. Slowly the head becomes detached with screams. Turns to girl who is cowering in the corner. Walks to her, whispers in her ear, she passes out. Wakes up to nothing. She’s sitting in the car, seatbelt on. She starts driving away pretending nothing happened. As she hits the intersection a car freaks her out and slams on the breaks, as she does her boyfriends head comes flying forward and slams into the windshield.

Untitled 1

When the night draws to a close and the moon sets in the east to a perfect sunrise,
We go back to the start of another day, the beginning of another beginning,
The light rises over another set of mountains, another ocean, another tree,
And we are set on the reflective nature of ourselves, the nature we refuse,
It’s the side of us that we refuse to see, refuse to acknowledge, refuse to understand,
I aim to grasp that which has alluded me for the thousands of years, ages even,
Of which I have no knowledge, no understanding, zero tolerance,
We seem to disappear into the darkness of our diluted thoughts,
The venture into a shadow we don’t recognize or even see at times,
When the light is cast through the blinds, the bars create for us a prison,
And this is our chance to escape, break the window, the mold, and the bars,
There are a billion other people out there that trying to understand themselves,
A billion people who are trying the grasp the unreachable, touch the invisible,
For the billion people reaching there are another billion who sit motionless,
It is those who we need to motivate, to push toward any light, sun and moon,
The orbs that run our days, our months, our years, and in turn, our lives,
The light can only shine for so long before it is cast out,
Fading into the darkness that we have aimed to understand all these years,
The evil that lurks in it, the shadows that disappear into its nothingness,
Where are all the lights in the world, the solitary forces that will emerge,
I wish that in some sector I could be a force of light, and a knight to peace,
That there was, in some place of my being, an understanding of the darkness,
That can only come from understanding it, seeing it, and being in it,
Revealing its corners, its darkest of darks, the places we refuse to go,
I can only imagine those who have spent there lives there in the shadows,
For the days I spent there pail in comparison to the lives that have met an end,
Turned down the wrong alley, cut just a little too deep, tied it just a little too tight,
And met an end to the light that they so desperately sought, the fog rolled in,
Covering a light that might have brought them home, back to a love misplaced,
The light is always reaching, casting shadows in the darkness, leaving its mark,
Letting us know that it is there, hiding in the open, the light in the middle of the room,
Asking us to see it, begging us to grab its hand and walk with it,
Back to a room full of light, without shadows, without darkness,
The future sees all of these places, both dark and light, hidden in plain sight,
It is up to us to seek them, to understand the ambiguous, see the invisible,
Only then will we be truly free to see, touch, hear, taste, smell, and grasp,
Not in our hands, but within our minds, the only place we are truly free.

The "Ultimate Question"

What is this life really? The whole notion of where we come from, where we are going. The Ultimate Question as posed in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy leaves one asking. What is the answer? There are many given answers through many outlets. Whether it is religion, science, or just a personal perception, there always seems to lack a certain finality to it all.

Religion poses that the reason we are here is to bring glory to God, to be beacons of light in a world full of darkness. While to me this seems like a pretty good answer, what about the rest of the universe? There are an infinte number of stars, atoms, galaxies, solar systems and, in all honesty, other forms of life in the universe. Why then are we put here for the sole purpose of glorifying God? With all of the infinite combinations of both living and unliving things placed throughout the ever expanding universe are we the ones that are bestowed the task of glorifying God? I've seen a butterfly flapping its wings on a slow motion video that proves to me that there is a God more than any person alive today has in my lifetime. Just the thought of how much there really is out there is phenominal.

Science offers another side to the answer. Nothing. Science seems to be of the notion that all life on earth is just a trillion things going right all at once. We just happen to be the exact distance from a sun that is just the right size to keep life alive on a planet that has just enough water and an atmosphere with just enough oxygen and another long list of things that make life on our planet possible. The notion that all matter came from a single infinitely dense atom nearly 14 billion years ago that suddenly exploded seems far fetched. However, the ever expanding knowledge that seems to spew out of the scientific community seems to continually prove this theory. The one thing I love is in a book I'm reading about Einstein's trials to find an equation to explain everything in the universe. It talks about how the more that Einstein learned about the universe, the more religious he became.

That brings me to the third, and certainly not the last, notion about answering the "ultimate question." The combination of the previous two. The idea that Einstein becoming more religious the more he learned about the universe seems to make the most sense to me. Another great scientist, Stephen Hawkings, said "If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God."

There is also the Deist view that God is merely a clockmaker. That he created the universe and placed people within it and just let go. That God is just siting back in an armchair somewhere watching the world unfurl. This to me is the hardest of all theories to believe. In my short existance here on earth, I believe that I am a shining example that God must exist and must be involved here on earth. The fact that I am alive is proof enough to me that God must be involved here on earth. No one is that lucky. Seriously though, that is no joke.

While I do believe that species evolve and that there is enough scientific evidence to prove the theory of evolution, at least within the animal world, I also believe that God must have created the universe. Science goes so far back as the Big Bang, it cannot go further than that. What existed before the Big Bang? What created that infinitely dense piece of matter from which the universe exploded? I was just thinking about these questions tonight and thought I would bring it up to you all.

So what do you think? Wholey (Holy) Devine? Purely Scientific? Both? Clockmaker Theory? Or do you have a theory your own? What do you all think?

Moreover. What do you think is a better "Ultimate Question"? Why we are here seems vague to me. What would be a better question?

Car Accident

Here's some pictures of the accident immediately after the fact. More to come later.

So the basic story about this is that we were cruising in the car pool lane next to this truck in lane one. Problem is that his lane was stopped due to traffic ahead. Well, Mr. Truck Man decides not to stop and rams into the work van. The force of the impact caused him to jut into our lane right as we happened to pass. This caused us to fish tail sideways and start to roll. Now when we landed I had no idea what just happened, just that we were alive. After about five minutes of making sure that we were all alright, and five more minutes of "did that just happen?", my dad gets out of the car to see another car about 50 feet down the freeway. Upon checking on the driver he finds out that after the initial impact with our car, we preceded to roll about 3 or 4 times and at one point we were upside-down over her car, a Honda Pilot, without touching it! The main thing is that we were all alive and able to exit the car under our own accord. The last picture is my sisters arm and that is the worst visible injury.

Bungie Jumping

This was up at the Strawberry Festival up in Camarillo.
150 jump. And yes that's me!


so i finally did it. i got tattoos.

this one is a sword with the holy trinity on center with the hilt and a crown of thorns. to me it represents both the power and the love of God. the crown of thorns being remnant of Jesus dying on the cross, which the sword looks like.

this one in actuality has a much deeper meaning to me than i would ever put up here, however the main gist of it is that you can always find love in a time of change (look closer). also....I love the Beatles, who gave me this idea.

30 Songs and 3 Doors Down the road I'm a little "Panic"ed

So first off, while Rock Band is one of the best games I've ever played, it gets annoying from time to time. While I'm not the person who purchased the game (James my roommate is the games investor), seeing the demise of the original guitar and drumset has still made me quite sad. This was furthered by the fact that 30 songs into our endless playlist, 58 songs straight thru, while pausing to buy replacement parts for the drumset, we were booted to the main menu. Annoyed, we vowed to try again on another date. Here's hoping that the second generation version of this game is a little more sturdy.

Second, I am super stoked to be going to see one of my all time favorite bands, 3 Doors Down, in concert next month. Finally decided that I couldn't hold back anymore and, upon finding a friend with a shared enthusiasm for the band, bought tickets for the April 17th showing at the Grove in Anaheim. William and I should have a ton of fun. Who knows, maybe we'll get a drumstick to replace the one for Rock Band that mysteriously broke. So, with the forthcoming yet to be titled Album set for release in May, hearing some new songs from them should be really awesome.

Finally, Tuesday I went out and bought the new Panic at the Disco album Pretty.Odd. (They have dropped the "!" since the last album) This album is a far shot better than their first album, released a couple of years ago, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Pretty.Odd. marks a huge genre change as well as a more grown up attitude for Panic. While there are still subtle carnival sounds the overall tempo of the album has shifted. No longer a punk, pseudo-Fallout Boy, Panic has come out with an album that resembles a mix between Sufjan Stevens at times, Modest Mouse, Nickel Creek, and Pearl Jam. All this floods together to make a wonderful new sound for a band that at first seemed to be just another fish in the sea. The overall theme of the album is, like most, about love and loss. However, the lyrics are really odd (an extension of the title maybe) in describing it. All together it is rare to see such a dramatic change in sound turn out so well (we all remember Garth Brooks alter ego Chris Gaines). While I'm not going to say that Panic is anywhere near the Beatles in overall talent. . . . . this dramatic yet fluid shift has some very Beatle-esque characteristics. We shall see over the next few years where Panic goes. Lets hope they don't get Senioritis on their Junoir album.

Finals and After

With finals quickly approaching here at the wonderful CSU Pomona, many thoughts are fluttering around in my mind. However, the most prevalent thought is "AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!" That's right, there is one singular voice in my head screaming about the forboding future that is next week. Here is the set schedule that I will be following next week:

Monday: Wake up around 9am, eat breakfast, go to study hours for Highway Engineering at
11am, take Highway Engineering Final at 1:30pm, take Math 224 final at 3:50pm,
turn in Highway Engineering Lab Final Project at 6pm
Tuesday: Work (Probably in the Field), Study for Chem when I get back, Sleep
Wednesday: Wake up around 8am, study for Chem, take Chem final at 11:30am, go to work
around 2:30pm
Thursday/Friday: Work (Probably in the Field)

Then i get a four day weekend. Essentially my spring break. That sunday is Easter.

Monday the 24th of March will go down as one of those pivotal moments in the life of Grant. For on that day, James and I will be attempting the Ultimate Set-List on Rock Band. This consists of 58 songs, straight through, that must be played on medium or higher (not too bad really), without much fail. Super excited about this, gonna have people over to hang out, have some drinks and witness history.

Tuesday I'm going to Six Flags, anyone that wishes to come with, let me know. So far my sister is going and Cheryl and her little might come too.

This was just a random blog that didn't really have a point. Just wanted to vent about next week and share my excitement about what is to follow.

The Importance of Understanding

Sometimes we need a re-evaluation of life. What's important, who's important, why things are the way they are in your life. I've been doing a lot of this recently. Mostly the what part. I've known for a long time who is important in my life, people come and go from this list, but the best one's are always there. Why things are important is pretty consistent as well. Love, desire, passion, interest, caring, faith, need, worry, fear, hatred, all reasons to make something important.

There are always those things that we take for granted in our lives. Air, funny, but true. Air is important because of need. We need air to live, to talk, to sing. Its something that we assume will always be there. What happens when it's gone? Suddenly nothing else seems important. The question then is, does the same go for other things. When you lose a friend, do things seem to disappear? Things that worried you before seem trivial. However, this loss makes you question your other important things. When you lose a friend, or family member, it can make you question God (faith), or make you grow closer to other family members or friends for (fear) of losing them too.

I'm sitting here after a long day of school and work, watching August Rush, questioning again where my understanding of this world really stands. After talking with my parents, my sister, and my grandparents for the better part of an hour it's fair to say that family and friends top my list of most important things in my life. I know that this has not always been true and may not always be true, we all make mistakes, as for now, they are what drives me. They keep me going both emotionally and spiritually when I feel like the walls are caving in.

I've always considered myself to be a Christian, and continue to, however I continue to lack a fuller understanding. I know that there is something out there that I don't understand, I want to feel a closer connection to my faith but I feel that it is harder and harder each and every day. People say that God should be at the top of your list of important figures/things in your life. God is infallible, always right, and people aren't. It's true that people don't always make the right decisions, I'm living proof of that a thousand times over, but there seems to be something comforting in the tangibility of people. The ability to receive a hug from someone when you're feeling down.

Music would have to be third in importance. For the same reason as God, this falls to a lower bracket. It's intangible. While music is always a comfort to me no matter what the circumstance, again it can't reach out to shake your hand. Despite this I am ever impressed with the power that music holds over my emotions and the rest of my life. I constantly find myself downloading more and more music from every genre possible to fit every mood imaginable. I know that when I'm feeling sad I can listen to "What's This?" from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. When I'm angry I can listen to basically "Bleeding Mascara" by Atreyu. "Southern Belle" by Elliott Smith is a new find, and keeps me in a higher state of happiness. I can reminisce to the sounds of the old No Doubt (Tragic Kingdom days). And look to the long future of such artists as The Foo Fighters, Damien Rice, and Paramore. Basically lets just say that music has more emotional control over me than any other medium, living or inanimate.

Finally school and the things that it brings. There has always been an underlying passion for me to learn new things. Whether this is at school, at church, around a bunch of people playing "I've Never". There is an infinite number of things we can learn about an infinite number of things. School seems to be the place where we are supposed to learn all these things. Or at least a very very small fraction of these things. This acute, but somehow powerful, amount knowledge that we gain from our small, but somehow increasing, amount of time in school gives us all this sense of empowerment. As though we were told upon our exit, "this is all you need to know to succeed in the world, but the real world might be scary so you can come back here and learn more if you want." That was kind of random, but then again, this is just me rambling. Basically what I'm getting at, without getting anywhere near there, is that I enjoy school a lot. I've made a lot of friends through school, learned a lot about the world around me, but most importantly, I've learned a lot about myself.

"If school has taught me anything" is a phrase that I hear in movies with somewhat regularity. Well, for me, if school has taught me anything, it is that there is more to this world than meets the eye, and there is more to me than anyone else can see. The whole point of this re-evaluation of the things i hold dear, was to really understand myself more. By understanding what is important to me, i gain further knowledge about myself. When I go about life, routine turns into boredom, which turns into idleness and then out of nowhere, a year has gone by and I have no idea what happened. There have been many things testing me over the last year, and for a while i became idle. I don't want to be the person who stays the same from high school all the way into adulthood. I know that about myself. I also know that I am more ready to face life's challenges than I was six months ago. And even more so than a year ago. Life will continue to throw things at us, by understanding myself and where i want to go, i figure that once in a while, I might catch something. But now its time for bed, and time to stop this incessant rambling....

I miss the snow. Only went boarding once this winter. : (

Calculus Poem

this is kinda random, but i found it again and had to post it cause it made me laugh. if you like math, i think you'll get a kick out of it too. it was our final project for calculus bc after the AP test, instead of a final test.

Calculus Poem by: Grant Toneck

The power, the force, the sum of all fears,
Its enough to bring a grown man to tears.
To take all of this with increasing grace,
To do it all without a boastful "In your face!"
Its not rational, you see, to expect such things,
But when you circle the spot, youll see what I bring.
I bring an odd point of view, one thats out of the box,
Its both positive and negative; itll rock your socks.
This inequality, my life, has no absolute value,
Its infinite, whichs all Im here to tell you.
Even though the range is little in this magical rhyme,
Youll see the origin of me; youll see the sine.
My names Toneck not Tonic, my voice aint monotonic,
When you integrate the name, youll see that its ironic.
The T stays a T, the N becomes an E,
The O is now an H, cause Hookes Law dont apply to me.
As we continue to go its easy to say,
That the E becomes an M and the E is now an A.
The K becomes an N, now Im "THE MAN,"
Just to let all the people know who Im greater than.
Now while I coordinate my style to the slope of a tool,
I gotta shout out to Bart, because the Simpsons Rule!
Before I get back to work, I must assess the situation,
Cause this is really hard, like sigma notation.
It aint no error I function all the ways that I do,
Just like Outkast said, "Roses smell like poopoo"
Even though that last line made absolutely no sense,
Its just the way that I am, it just intersects.
But if you think this rhyme stinks, that I aint cool,
Ill Nth term test your butt back to middle school.
So just sit back and relax and take it in stride,
If you cant do this, my suggestion is to run and hide.
Cause Ill be there where you are, parallel to your house,
All with no noise, a substitute to a mouse.
Im outta here now like a bullet from a gun,
But fore I do I gotta say...Riemann Sum!

A Fond Farewell To A Friend

Chris Nolan's Goodbye To Heath Ledger:

"One night, as I’m standing on LaSalle Street in Chicago, trying to line up a shot for “The Dark Knight,” a production assistant skateboards into my line of sight. Silently, I curse the moment that Heath first skated onto our set in full character makeup. I’d fretted about the reaction of Batman fans to a skateboarding Joker, but the actual result was a proliferation of skateboards among the younger crew members. If you’d asked those kids why they had chosen to bring their boards to work, they would have answered honestly that they didn’t know. That’s real charisma—as invisible and natural as gravity. That’s what Heath had.

Heath was bursting with creativity. It was in his every gesture. He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again. He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren’t many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them.
One time he and another actor were shooting a complex scene. We had two days to shoot it, and at the end of the first day, they’d really found something and Heath was worried that he might not have it if we stopped. He wanted to carry on and finish. It’s tough to ask the crew to work late when we all know there’s plenty of time to finish the next day. But everyone seemed to understand that Heath had something special and that we had to capture it before it disappeared. Months later, I learned that as Heath left the set that night, he quietly thanked each crew member for working late. Quietly. Not trying to make a point, just grateful for the chance to create that they’d given him.

Those nights on the streets of Chicago were filled with stunts. These can be boring times for an actor, but Heath was fascinated, eagerly accepting our invitation to ride in the camera car as we chased vehicles through movie traffic—not just for the thrill ride, but to be a part of it. Of everything. He’d brought his laptop along in the car, and we had a high-speed screening of two of his works-in-progress: short films he’d made that were exciting and haunting. Their exuberance made me feel jaded and leaden. I’ve never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents. That night I made him an offer—knowing he wouldn’t take me up on it—that he should feel free to come by the set when he had a night off so he could see what we were up to.

When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we’d have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we’d done with all that he’d given us. Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.

Back on LaSalle Street, I turn to my assistant director and I tell him to clear the skateboarding kid out of my line of sight when I realize—it’s Heath, woolly hat pulled low over his eyes, here on his night off to take me up on my offer. I can’t help but smile."

When we cherrish the memories that we shared with someone, we create a small place in our hearts for them. They never truely leave us. I can't put into such illustrious words what it was like losing my great grandmother two weeks ago, however, I can say that I know she's still around. The things she taught me about life, the way she laughed, the face she made when she was serious...they will be here forever. You can't easily forget what has helped to shape you into who you are today. Like this message from Chris Nolan, when I look back on all the great times we had together, GG Grandma and I, I can't help but smile.

She made a great impact on the lives of everyone around her. Just this past weekend, while moving things out of her appartment, my grandfather and I were stopped by another elderly lady who asked what we were doing. When we told her that we were moving things out for my great grandmother, she instantly broke out into praises. She talked about all the wonderful stories of the adventures that my GG had in her 94 years on earth. The one I had heard that stuck out the most to me was that my Great Grandparents would hop on freighters and just go wherever they were going. If the boat was taking cargo to Beijing, then they were going to Beijing. They spent years as missionaries, dedicated their lives to the Methodist church, donating countless hours working for their local church up in Lake Arrowhead. When my Great Grandfather passed away a couple of years ago, you could tell that it took some wind out of her sail. But a few months later, there she was, another great smile on her face. She was never at a loss of smiles.

I know now that she is in a better place than this, and rightfully so. She was ready to finish her role here on earth, and she did a great job. While she will be missed by us all more than she probably knew, she will never be fully gone. I've locked these memories up tight, because every now and again I know that I'll need a good smile. I love you GG Grandma.

Luke 1:46-49 - And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name."

Mary Williams may angels take you in with open arms so you may rest forever with the Lord.

Not Quite What You Choose

Well last night was fun. Went to college group for the first time in a while. Prompted by some new friends who were also attending. Had a great time. We did a lesson about how we need a change in our lives, that conforming to the rest of the world isn't great. That we need to be reformed non conformists. Its a great idea. Mark talked about how the Romans would send out people to live in little colonies out where there were no other Romans. Through being Roman, and showing the others what being Roman is like, the surrounding area would become Roman and follow the "Roman Doctrine." That struck a chord with me. For most of my life I've hung around other christians and tried to do the christian thing. (Obviously for those who know me, that hasn't been all my life, but that will I'm sure be revealed at some later time.) Now, with the opportunity of a fraternity, where not everyone is christian, I feel like I've found my little colony. So that is kind of exciting.

The other idea that we talked about is how hard this is. This fact is why most people don't actively non conform. I think that its interesting that the things that we are asked to do, or need for that matter, are never handed to us. Have you noticed that. Very few times has that ever happened in my own life. Up until this latest job, I've always actively persued a job. I was fortunate enough to be able to use my dads car since I was 16. And parents are mostly responsible for most of the things that I have in my life. I read an email recently that touches on this idea of not getting what we want, however we always get what we need. It goes something like, "I asked for knowledge, and I received problems to solve." It really made me think about my own life. Where have I asked for things, not out of need, but out of desire, and received exactly what I needed. I was reminded of this notion today listening to The Eagles - How Long. One line in the song says, "What you get is not quite what you choose." Just a random lyric in a song, that follows a story about a guy in prison and is trying to console his wife about the idea that he's okay. A lot of meaning in such a few amount of words.

Well, I'm outta here, gotta stop Rambling.