Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
- No Line on the Horizon
- Moment of Surrender
- Unknown Caller
- I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
- Get on Your Boots
- Stand Up Comedy
- Fez - Being Born
- White as Snow
- Cedars of Lebanon
The songs are in our eyes.
Gonna wear them like a crown. Oh-oooh.
Walk out into a sunburst street.
Sing your heart out. Sing my heart out.
I found grace inside a sound.
I found grace; it's all that I found.
And I can breathe.
U2 fans with tickets to the June 3rd event are encouraged to retain tickets until updated show information can be provided.
Additional tour information will be forthcoming.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I'm probably better known for my destructive tendencies on the Discovery Channel's MythBusters than anything else. You've seen us blow up cement trucks, create an earthquake machine and even seen us try to get old Chevys to fly, but behind all of that havoc is a lot of discipline and drive — brainstorming, creativity, research, planning, budgeting, project management, design, construction, testing, and, throughout the show — analyzing what we are doing and trying to explain it clearly to the viewers.
While all the explosions, destruction and dangerous experiments seem to be my signature, what I really take joy and pride in — what means the most to me about my career — is not the wanton destruction and television fame, it's the passion for exploration, the curiosity, the hunger for knowledge that we demonstrate on the show. Our aim is to encourage new scientists, new engineers, and the new problem solvers in every discipline.
When I was a child I lived on an apple orchard right near here in King of Prussia. It's nice to be back.
Later my family moved to Indiana, and we lived on an apple orchard there as well. So, I come from farm stock. My relatives have names like Uncle Ezrah and Aunt Murdy. I often get asked if I blew up a lot of things when I was a child, but I acquired that "talent" later in life. I did manage to destroy a fair amount of farm equipment as I discovered it got me out of a lot of chores.
Now here we are today. A few miles from my own beginnings. And you, the class of 2010, are ready to take on the challenges of the world.
You are graduates in business, in arts and sciences, in engineering, in nursing, and law. You are Wildcats.
I have collaborated for some years now with the Villanova engineering staff on numerous projects, from designing and building the Wavecam system that covers your sporting events, to working with your professors on the "disasters at sea" project for the Office of Naval Research. We've designed a flying car. We even have a robot design that may get sent to Mars. Right now we are in the middle of developing new types of armor to protect our soldiers from roadside bombs.
And so the Villanova engineering staff has embraced me as one of their own.I am both honored and humbled to accept my Doctorate of Engineering from this university. I sincerely thank Father President, the board of trustees and the faculty for granting me this honor. I too, am now a proud Wildcat.
As your finals are over, and you look toward the future, you should reflect and ask yourselves: How am I different today? How am I different from when I first walked on campus?
That is, after all, an underlying point of getting an education: to change yourselves for the better. I am sure you've all improved in many ways. And yet, no matter how great the books, how clever the professors, and how hard you studied, you can't possibly have learned everything you'll ever need to know, so where exactly does that leave you?
While I wouldn't encourage people to be exactly like me — there's a scary thought — I am nothing if not adventurous, and I have observed some things that I think may be helpful to you, things that have come from my own peculiar path. The first is something that seems to escape a lot of people.
People are often so goal oriented, so focused on the finish line, that it's all too easy to lose track of how we are getting there, and what we are actually doing at any given point.
I'm not just talking about just stopping now and then to smell the roses.
My thought is that the best way to move ahead is to focus on asking the right questions along the way. It sometimes amounts to placing more importance on the question than the answer. Something as simple as asking yourself what you are really looking for is often missed, but it becomes evident how important it is when you realize that once you have a very clear idea about what question is, the answer is often just sitting there waiting for you.
This is where I really get excited; this is where the curiosity, the joy of exploration comes in. This IS the big adventure! Regardless of your academic discipline, you should ask yourselves: What's over there, around that corner? What will happen if I do this? What do I really want? Why did that happen?
Just because you are an adult does not mean you should stop playing with things like a child or even like a puppy does. Poke something with a stick, TRY things, experiment. Run around and wave your arms. (Just not right now.)
A lot of people just aren't so persistent about asking such questions — and find themselves someplace they never wanted to be. Others can't wait to see what is around the next corner, on the top of the next hill. Those are the people that are curious, people who are asking questions and who are actually GOING someplace.
And of course there is the word — should — as in should I be doing this? Ethical behavior, taking self responsibility — admirable traits that you can only maintain by constantly questioning yourself and your world.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can't just go around asking unanswerable questions and waving your arms — you have to go after those answers, make decisions, roll up those sleeves and DO something. Realize you may be making the wrong decision, but take your best shot and go full speed ahead.
At this point things change. Now you need to focus. Your odds of success in things you attempt go up radically if you are methodical and diligent. If you want to have a say in how your lives turn out, you need to be practical about it.
Your classes here at Villanova have all pointed this out, at least indirectly, in that they all had a beginning, middle, and end, and your professors went about delivering their material to you in an orderly way that would make sense to you. Your life should be no different.
I want to emphasize this because I've tried all sorts of things, and I've learned that I can pretty much do anything I've wanted to as long as I was methodical and diligent about it. It may not sound very exciting really, but it works! I've hired scores of people over the years for various businesses, and I can tell you that just being methodical and diligent will get you any job you want and keep you in it if you want it to.
I would not let it stop there either; apply it to your personal lives as well. Most of your lives will be spent outside of work and careers, and so the quality of your lives will be the better for the same reasons. After all, all the greatness you may achieve in your careers doesn't amount to a whole lot if your personal life is a mess.
Lastly, an important point. Since I hopefully have convinced all you graduates to run around playfully asking questions, while being diligent and methodical, there still is more to leading a successful life and more to being a worthy graduate of Villanova.
Of all the things you do in life or all the questions you ponder, I would like you to keep kindness at the top of the list. Are you being kind in all you do? In your professional life? In your family life? In your dealings with others? Are you kind? Shouldn't you be? We owe it to our children, to our children's children, and to all the other things in our world to be kind to them and each other.
There is no question you can ask that will show that this isn't so. So ask those questions, be diligent and be methodical — these traits will all help you progress in the grand adventures you will all face. But to make the adventures all worthwhile, to make your successes truly rewarding ... I ask you to be kind in everything you do, without fail and above all.
Glad I had a chance to read this. You can find this speech on Discovery.Com
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I just finished listening to this book today. It was amazing. Sure, that's probably just my lame girly side talking, but I really did love it.
It's the story about two people who fall in love under impossible circumstances and what they do to keep it together. I got the audio version of this book because I have such a huge stack of unread paper books. I figured I could just listen to it at work and mark it off my list. Well, I listened to it at work for the last two days, and now that it is finished I miss it. I miss Grace and Sam already.
The next book, Linger, doesn't come out until July 20 so I have a little while to wait. What I hate more than waiting the 3 months for the next book is that it's only the second in a trilogy and book number three, Forever, wont come out until 2011.
Why do get so wrapped up in books that take forever to complete the series?! It's because they are good. That's why.
I guess until I have my hands on the next one I will just have to keep up to date on what's going on with Maggie on her blog: The World According to Maggie
Or her website: http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
- If I Could Turn Back Time
- Heart Of Stone
- Just Like Jesse James
- Save Up All Your Tears
- After All (Love Theme From Chances Are - Duet With Peter Cetera
- I Found Someone
- One By One (Junior Vasquez Vocal Edit)
- Strong Enough
- All Or Nothing
- Song For The Lonely
- Take Me Home
- The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)
- All I Really Want To Do
- Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
- Half Breed
- Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
- Dark Lady
- The Beat Goes On - Sonny & Cher
- I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
- A Different Kind Of Love Song (Rodney Jerkins main mix (faster))
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
All That You Can't Leave Behind
This album was released October 30, 2000. I was living in a ground floor apartment in Annandale Virginia with two of my best friends, and the Hermanas.
One of the things I missed the most on my mission was good music. Not that I'm saying that listening to hymns, classical, and christian rock didn't classify as good music, but I wanted REAL music. Music that makes your heart pump and the decibel level that makes your chest rattle and your ears buzz. The real music that resonates with the anger, fear, love and exhilaration that a person feels in their lives. My mission musical selections just didn't do it for me.
I'm pretty sure Holly and Suzy were in the same boat, so once in a while we would make a trip to Tower Records in Alexandria (which closed in Dec. 2006) for mental health breaks. More often than not we would find ourselves riding up the long escalator to the second floor of The Landmark Plaza, to walk the isles of Tower, and listen to the beats and melodies that would stream through the over head sound system. I'd look through the racks of CD's and think about owning this or that, but I'd usually walk away with a Classical CD or Renaissance Madrigals CD that was "mission appropriate." But I missed the music.
One October evening as we wandered the isles, this CD jumped out at me. I wanted it. I Needed it. I bought it. After the fact I felt silly and wondered why I had done that. I thought of mailing it home a million times. But I never did.
Four months later I found myself living in an apartment in Alexandria, with a companion whom I hated with the burning passion. We didn't get along. I hated her, I'm pretty sure she hated me. There was a day when I couldn't stand her any more and for some reason I closed the door to the bedroom and popped this CD into the player and hit play. I listened to the bonus disk first with Sumer Rain. I don't know what I was really expecting, maybe something loud to drown out the anger, (something more like the POP album had been able to do) but it was more acoustic then rock and roll, it was quiet, and it calmed me and reminded me to take a deep breath.
At the time I didn't love the new sound. I put in the first disk and listened to the other 11 songs on the album I wasn't impressed at first, but each song, like most U2 songs, spoke to my soul. the songs spoke of hanging on to things, and letting go. Of learning tour lessons and becoming better. I have listened to this album a million times now, and I love it more each time I hear it. Strange how this rock star named Bono can have such an effect on people. Once in a while I'll hear people joke (or not so jokingly) talk about the Church of Bono, or the U2 Sermons, but I do agree with them. I have learned from his words. I have listened to U2 in my dark moments, in my high moments, and every emotion in between.
Who know that a U2 album, I wasn't even supposed to have, could give a random missionary girl such comfort on a day when the world seemed so bleak.
What are some of my favorite songs from this album:
Beautiful Day - What a fantastic song to open the album with. It makes me feel happier every time I hear it.
Elevation - I didn't truly appreciate this song until I had seen Tomb Rader. Now it's one of my favorites. This is just a fun song to listen to. I own a ton of Elevation remixes that make me smile each time I hear them.
In a Little While - I love this song. This is the one I loved the most from the very beginning. "In a little while, this hurt will hurt no more, I'll be home, Love."
Summer Rain - The first song I heard from this album. although I didn't like it at the time, it's become one of my favorites.
Grace - I'd almost name my child Grace after hearing this song, but I'd probably just name her Grace because I like the name. "It's the name of a girl, It's also a thought that changed the world."
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Yesterday was the One Year mark of John's Dinosaur Flu, and I'm happy to say that he hasn't had any real problems since last July. He had an appointment with his Neurologist last month and the doctor lowered his dosage of Varapamil from 180mg to 120mg and if he stays crazy free until his next appointment in June then the doctor will take him off the medication. We are both excited by this. John is looking forward to not being tired all the time, which is a side effect of the medication. I'll be happy to leave this chapter of our lives behind and there won't be an ounce of regret to have it gone. But again, the Neurologist changed his mind and reversed most of what he told john the last time he went in.
SIDE NOTE: I have decided that Specialists aren't very special at all and this particular provider doesn't check his patient records before appointments. I understand that doctors can't fix everything, and that most of what they do is just educated guessing, all I ask is that a provider remember his patients - if not by sight, than by at least reviewing their charts before an appointment.
At least on this topic life is looking up. However, thinking he'd be funny yesterday he sent me the following email "Hey I have headache, and they are taking me to the emergency room……. Just kidding. Ha Ha. I love you." I didn't think it was funny in the least bit. I really did start to panic a little before I reached the end of the message.
I wonder, sometimes, how long it will take for the panic to go away so that every time he has a headache or if he gets too tired or if he's silent for too long or if he stumbles over a word I don't feel like I'm on the verge of having to take him to the ER, or if maybe this time he snaps and doesn't quite come back. Some times I think that maybe the worry wouldn't be so bad if his Dino Flu hadn't been compounded in the same week as Lariann's death. I guess I'll never know. I find that every time we broach the topic I have to reach out and touch him, his hand, his arm, his hair, to reassure myself that he is still here, and that we are both okay. I remember the blank look in his eyes and inability to speak. It's frightening. I'm hoping that we are past that now, but you never know what the future brings.
Weird thing though, is that I think the Varapamil has been keeping John from having his night-terrors. Ever since he's gone to the lower dose he talks more in his sleep then I can ever remember. That would be an interesting thing to research. I wonder if it's true, or if maybe he has just been over stressing in the last month or so. I guess we'll never know.
Speaking of One Year anniversaries.... John, Rachel, and myself took flowers to Lariann the other night.
Aaaaand... time for a new topic. I had the weirdest dream last night about roller derby, high school and mice. I don't remember much of it at all, but lets just say it was strange. I do recall that the mouse that was chasing me was missing half it's face, and I was trying to protect a purple egg to deliver it some where, but I ended up on a giant's stove and I worried that we were both going to be eaten. Then I was in school, but I never went to my classes and I couldn't remember where the seminary building was and some how that tied in to roller derby. I really do love roller derby though I'd join a league if I wasn't such an inactive wuss. Weird. I know.
We had planned on taking a mini vacation in May, but in the end it has been decided that we are not going to Illinois for Bryce's graduation. This was a trip that we really had been looking forward to and I sat down so many times to book our flights but something always came up and I'd walk away from the tickets. A few weeks ago it finally came down to - Are we going, or not? - and then the lawn mower died and life got expensive and in the end it was determined that it's just not the right time for us to go. We are really sad that we are missing out on this, but it just didn't work out for us. If you don't know, or haven't heard, Bryce, john's best friend, is graduating from Southern Illinois University with a Masters in Arts. He has been working on his degrees in theater since we all got home from our missions nearly 9 years ago. So...
Mother's day is on Sunday May 9th.
Did you get your mother a gift?
What are your plans?
I plan on staying in bed with a blanket over my head.
As for the rest of our lives, we're pretty much the same. Nothing really new or exciting is going on. Norm & Becca are still having a baby girl. Z & Not-Your-Sister are also having a baby that we may or may not know the gender of as of yesterday. No names for either of them yet. So they are currently referred to as little Sue and Rotten.
We visited with the Awesome family a little on Tuesday night since Not-Your-Sister wanted to get her Will signed and notarized before someone could murder her. So John and I were witnesses and John's sister, Rachel, came along as our notary. So now it's all official so Not-Your-Sister can rest easy ... at least on that issue, apparently she worries about being murdered. I'm impressed. I think Z's family has more of their affairs together then most people I know. I guess it's good to have a plan.
I suppose that if I were to write a Will currently it would just cover my cats, my bed and my TV since those are the only things I really own. We have no money and no belongings that are worth anything... I know that if John and I were to die someone would probably just come and let my cats out to get run over by cars. Poor Kitties.
Okay, if John and I die unexpectedly before a real will is created; Andrea, Jessica, and Erin can fight over my jewelry except my pearls, they will go specifically to Erin. Jessica also regains possession of all the barbies. Scott can have my TV's and gaming systems. Logan, Bryce and Jacob can split up John's comic book collection and action figures. The oldest Awesome child and Andrew can have my books, they can decide who gets what. Nicole can have my music boxes, I love each of them and hope she likes them as well. Erin gets my cedar chest and all items inside of it. Rachel and Kenji can have my music collection/CD's, even though I've been told my music is "lame". My mother gets the laptop for her genealogy. My dad regains possession of my big box o'love as well as all of his sweaters. Lucy gets the treasure chest and all the jewels and treasures therein. Andrea get my photo albums and my glass cake stand. Mikayla can have my bed, the broyhill head and footboards were something I always wanted and they're special to me. Devin gets the DVD's. Kira can have the basket of key chains, they belong to John, her mom can tell her how special they are. Norm can have the star wars toys, most are still in their boxes so they may or may not be worth anything. Natalie can have all my stuffed animals. Loran gets custody of the cats. All other items that are left can be divided up between the unnamed members of my family I'm sure everyone can find something they like. Tools, lawnmowers, weed whackers and fire pit become property of the estate and may be disposed of as the landlord sees fit. Any money or insurance polices we have will go to our parents for funeral expenses and reimbursement for the years of trouble that we caused... and our car should be driven off a cliff or donated to the Mythbusters. John is to be cremated and turned into diamonds, and I just want a burlap sack. There you go.
Other than that, we haven't had any car accidents, no one has gone to the ER and we don't have any special announcements. As my uncle Blaine put it last week: "That's pretty much it, get up, go to work, come home and go out to watch a movie once in a while."