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I Have a Fire Inside

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Obama for America: Tumblr’s ideas for fired-up songs so far:We Will Rock You -...


Tumblr’s ideas for fired-up songs so far:

  • We Will Rock You - Queen
  • Don’t Stop Believing - Journey
  • 2 Legit 2 Quit - M.C. Hammer
  • 500 Miles - The Proclaimers
  • Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
  • All Star - Smash Mouth
  • Valio la Pena - Marc Anthony
  • That’s Good - Devo (A. writes that the suggestion…

Every single one of those songs is weak as shit.  There’s gotta be something more deserving of a “fired-up” song for OFA’s re-election bid, right?  How’s about a little “Smack My Bitch Up” for what Romney’s looking forward to?

Filed under music obama

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"You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness."

Awesome line in this song.

"But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough”

No shit, Gotye. 

Filed under music

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The Top Ten Everything of 2011

It is no secret that the past year has been a frustrating, challenging, and sometimes infuriating year for me, both personally and professionally.  I am awaiting the opportunity to kick 2011 into my rear-view for good with as much anticipation as a 5 year old has for Christmas morning.  Good effing riddance!

That said, it has been a project of mine this year to make an honest effort at being less pessimistic, of attempting to seek out positives even when things are bleak.  So, I took a little time to think about the things I’m grateful for from the past year, the things that delighted me or helped me cope with difficulties or aided me in refining my thinking.  I think gratitude is important; having the humility to express your gratitude is an essential part of living your life with meaning.  So, without further ado, my Top Ten Everything list for 2011:

The Black Keys
I’ve been a fan of the Black Keys since 2004, partly because they are an Ohio band, but also because I feel they make a unique brand of music.  Their album Brothers spent most of the year in steady rotation on my iPod, and their new record, El Camino, basically hasn’t been turned off since it was released.  Given the amount of time I’ve spent in the car this year, both commuting to work and visiting Columbus, I am very grateful that I had good music to accompany me.

Umair Haque
I am grateful for anyone or anything that helps me to stretch my mind, refine my thinking, and challenge my idea of the possible.  Between his blog, his Twitter feed, and his book, Umair Haque has been an antidote to atrophy for my brain this year.   

Richard Florida
It would be easy for me to lose sight of the reasons I was drawn to urban planning in the first place.  The day-to-day tedium and disappointment of work has crushed the idealism of people much stronger than me.  This year I am grateful for Florida’s books, Who’s Your City? and The Great Reset, which reinvigorated my interest in my chosen career field.

Kurt Vonnegut
Strangely, prior to this year, I had never read a single sentence by Kurt Vonnegut in my life.  I never had any of his work assigned in high school or college.  I’d always just written him off as a sci-fi writer.  The truth is, his writing cannot really be classified, and that’s what I found in my reading three of his novels this year.  I’m most thankful for the day I spent in September reading Slaughterhouse Five on a beautiful Autumn day on the back porch of my closest friends’ house in Connecticut.

Ernest Hemingway
Some writers, I feel, take a while to click for you.  I had read Hemingway in the past and never been terribly impressed.  This year, though, his writing began to make sense to me.  It was stripped, intentionally, of all ornament, all affectation.  Nothing but spare, simple sentences.  And that’s what gives his work power, makes it reach a part of you that wants to be enthralled by the minimal.  After reading A Moveable Feast and re-reading The Sun Also Rises, I get it now.

I’m not going to say that Jonathan Franzen’s much-heralded novel is going to save American literature, nor am I going to say that it is going to destroy it.  What I will say is that for the month of June 2011, I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into this book.  I thought it captured a moment in recent American history fairly well and served as a comment on the fact that so little has changed in the time since.  A novel that entertains and makes you think.

My saving grace in July and August.  I hadn’t played golf regularly in roughly 18 years when I took it up as a distraction from the rock-bottomness my life had hit.  For a few hours several days a week, I was able to get out of my head, stop thinking about my sadness, and focus on something that I actually had control over.  In a matter of two months, I was able to shave a dozen strokes off my typical round.  What’s more, it helped me fend off the thoughts of worthlessness that would otherwise have overtaken me.  For that, I am supremely thankful.

"The League"
The only television show that I have any real desire to watch at this point.  It is lewd, obnoxious, and only vaguely associated with fantasy football anymore.  Hilarious.

I wrote about Homage a few weeks ago.  This is what a small, local business should strive to be.  Homage sells t-shirts, but what they provide is much more than that.  What they provide, in a word, is delight.  I have a closet full of their Ohio State t-shirts, and I’m not done yet.

I realize my top ten list only has nine items.  Number ten is what I am the most grateful for every day of my life, and that is my amazing family and the handful of truly close friends that make me want to be better everyday.  They make me want to be better because they all deserve better than what they get in me.  I’m so lucky to have so many caring, inspiring, uplifting people in my life.  They are the foundation of my humility and my gratitude, year in, year out.

Filed under Cbus LivingMeaningfully SwingThoughts books music Homage

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File Under: Melancholy songs about Ohio, Songs called “Ohio”, underrated bands from Cincinnati 

Video: Over The Rhine - Ohio (by Onoroian)

I must be a bad Ohioan, because I have never heard of this band before.  But this song is really pretty fantastic, at least if you like, you know, good music.  If you don’t, that’s fine, go back to listening to Pitbull or Nickleback or whatever the hell shitty “music” you listen to.

Filed under music awesomeness