Wednesday, May 28, 2008

some new lights. some kind friends.

as part of my ongoing effort to take better and better photographs, I've been investing in some lights. I've also been partnering with (read: copying) t.scott and learning a lot from him. we've actually been doing a good bit of work together, including a private fashion shoot we just did tonight, and several weddings we are shooting together in the coming months...anyway, on memorial day, I was over at jeremy and liza's house and our friends were very good sports about letting us take their photos...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

brooke = the most beautiful woman in birmingham.

(which is something I of course already knew)

this is the current issue of the birmingham magazine. available everywhere.

my wife is officially a cover model.

BTM = guest author

from time to time, I allow people to guest write on theworstweblogintheworld. and from time to time, I do the same for them.

follow this link to read my post on carla jean's website about how she likes it if you eat your clothing and kill her cats and kick people in the pancreas.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some New Music

note: as of january 2008, and the closure of my beloved local record store lasers edge, I no longer purchase cds. I download all my records off of amazon (because itunes blows), or I buy them on vinyl. all of the records below are easily and affordably available at amazon.

Foals: UK. Awesome loops, drums, beats. Great energy. Edgy songwriting. And they’re on sub pop. What else do you need? Start with “electric bloom” and then buy their new album (antidotes) as soon as you possibly can. Highly recommended.

Cut Copy
: listen here. Australian band meets french new wave cinema meets early 80’s power pop. I can’t stop listening. Their new record “in ghost colours” is a straight-through listener. Highly recommended.

Bon Iver: listen. and read the lovely rachel digerness review here. the last track in particular on the new record, "for emma" is called "stacks" and it blows my mind every time I hear it. and his drum sounds and use of ambient guitars are two studio ideas I've already started ripping off. a great record.

Sun Kil Moon: I feel like I talk about mark kozelek and sun kil moon all the time. but the thing is, he is a genius and I think one of the best songwriters alive today. listen to clips from his new record "april", and sit back and let the songs wash over you. that's what I do. I downloaded this record within hours of it's release, and I have been listening to it almost daily ever since. definitely a top-ten record for the year.

Death Cab for Cutie: the lovable hatable indie band from seattle just released a new record, "narrow stairs".  I don't like it as much as their previous records, but it's still a good record, and vastly superior to 80% of what will come out this year.  worth a listen, especially if you are a death cab fan.

Sera Cahoone: I stumbled on sera's new record "only as the day is long", and her voice, and the sound of her songs immediately grabbed me.  listen here.  check out "baker lake".  it's not fair when people from seattle make better country music than a lot of people who live in the south. the record runs a little thin for me in spots, but there are several songs that I keep going back to.  and I'm a sucker for female vocalists.

Monday, May 19, 2008

BTM = hypocrite, and he also has mystery back pain

A friend recently sent me an email saying that I am a hypocrite because I write blogs about how I hate people who talk about how busy they are, and then I actually do the same thing.

He’s right.

I hate theworstweblogintheworld even more than I thought I did.

Life has been throwing a lot at me, but most of it is my own doing, my own lack of prioritizing, my own failings. so easy to see these weaknesses in others. so hard to see it in myself.

two nights ago, I couldn't sleep. I was literally writhing in pain for several hours. still don't know what it was. something in the top half of my spine and it was hurting so bad that it was hard to breathe. it felt like my ribs were closing in on my chest, and it was all coming from my spine. I can't explain it. I was sitting up and rolling around in the bed. It was seriously intense pain. brooke woke up, mad at me, wanting to know what in the hell was going on. I told her I didn't know, that something was wrong with my body and it was self destructing. and once she realized that I was not just trying to keep her awake, but was instead in agony, her anger subsided and she was really sweet and kind to me, and eventually, thanks to some choice drugs from my medically inclined wife, the pain subsided.

still don't know what it was. I couldn't breathe. it really kind of freaked me out.

I'm sure everything will be fine.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

iron man

On Sunday night, I went to the movie theatre and watched iron man. This is the first time I have been to the movies in a long time. This is because I don’t generally like movies very much. That said, iron man is the best movie ever made, in all the time of all the worlds.

In case you have been in a coma, iron man is a movie about a man who wears a robot suit which enables him to blow up anything in the world, literally.

If I had a robot suit like iron man, I would blow up a volcano, just for fun. And as the volcano was exploding, I would think about how ironic it is that a volcano is exploding.

Moreover, if I had a robot suit like iron man, I would quit my day job. And I would fight a lot more crime. These days, I only fight a little bit of crime. I would really like to start fighting more crime.

But the best part about having a robot suit is that I would have laser vision, and I’ve always thought shooting lasers out of my eyeballs is probably the coolest feature a human could ever have. If I had laser eye balls, I would totally shoot laser beams everywhere. In fact I would laser my own face, using a mirror. And then I would scream.

Monday, May 5, 2008

lets be honest, you really don't like church either

so apparently some of my items in my list of things I liked and did not like when I was a teenager elicited some reaction, because I have now received several emails and questions from people wanting to know what is up with me hating church and if I am getting over it, growing up at all, things like that.


we've all got stories. we've all got reasons for who we are, who we are not. for the things we believe, for the things we do not believe. I have hope that I'm changing, maybe even for the better. and in the meantime, I'm cleaning up certain aspects of who I am - I'm learning I don't have to be right all the time, I'm learning I don't have to try and go for shock value to make my points, I'm learning that there are a lot of people who communicate very differently than me and my friends, and I'm learning that I don't always represent myself very well with my writing.

which is why, as regular readers know, this blog has undergone a major overhaul. I mostly post about my photography and my music, and seldom talk about my religious or political beliefs.

I've been enjoying transforming theworstweblogintheworld into a sort of creative showcase, but since it has come up and since I've told a few people I'd probably post something about where BTM is now, I guess I'll do that.

the truth is, I never liked church. as a kid, I dreaded sundays, and as I got older, I couldn't help but question it. the ironic thing is that I've always been really involved with church. mostly because I play and produce a lot of church music, and mysteriously, I really enjoy church music. I'm still figuring that one out, but I think it's because I love music, because music is kind of like my first tongue, and because music that says something is always meaningful, and I think church music, at it's core, is actually saying something. at least it should be. the reason you likely have a low view of church music is because you've been overwhelmed with how bad it can be when it's not saying anything. or when it's saying horrible things.

but when it's good, it's really good. I was in st. louis visiting this church about a year ago and there was this huge choir and this symphony and I don't even know what the song was, and I don't even like choirs or symphonies, but the music was huge and it was saying something massive - I have no idea what the song was even about - but it was way bigger than me, and I knew it immediately, and I sat down and wept. it caught me totally off guard.

and this past sunday, we did a song called "god of my life" at red mountain. it's I think maybe the best song to come out of our little church, even though the version we recorded is not as good as it should be. but this past sunday we sang it at red mountain and it gave me chills, because I think I believed what the song said. if only for a moment. and because the song had so much energy. and it didn't have energy for any sort of contrived reason. it had energy because we all really love that song and we just sort of had to play it. maybe like how I sort of can't help but feel this constant belief pulling on the corners of my dark, doubting soul. you know?

so that's what's good about church. that it is a place where hope and life meet. that is a place for people to come and cling to eachother; to cling to faith. that it is a place where darkness fades to light, if only in moments.

but what is sad about church is all the ways it hurts, all the ways it disappoints, all the ways it is not safe, all the ways it fails. these things are obvious and they are real, and maybe where I get most upset is when I am made to feel like my frustrations and sadness about where the church falls short is immature, ungracious, unchristian, unwarranted. maybe it's true that I don't handle myself as well as I could or should, but since when is it not okay to cry out that things are not as they should be? that something seems off?

and when a place that should be for the broken, the hurting, the poor, the sad, the doubting, the stranded, the lonely, the questioning, the divorced, the widowed, the outcast, the hungry, the afraid, the suddenly all filled up with people who seem so amazingly put together, one can only question how this happened. clearly, this is contrary to the design, isn't it?

I honestly believe that what drives my angst about church and the bible and about christianity is my hope that all those things are actually true and real. I'm not in a fight against anything. at least I'm trying to learn not to be. I think I'm just fighting my own demons, and hoping jesus will show up. god, I really hope jesus shows up.

but until then, I'll keep making music. and I'll write less blogs like these.

and I'll especially make music to old hymns, because the old hymns were written by men and women who looked like me. I am more and more convinced of that.

and I'll keep taking pictures, because photos of empty places proclaim the gospel. I can't explain that. but it's true.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

new orleans

last weekend, I went to new orleans with my dad and my brothers. it was a good time. and as usual, I got some photographs. I couldn't sleep very well the first night, so I decided to get up before sunrise and grab a few photos of an empty new orleans. some of them turned out pretty cool.

I love new orleans.

Friday, May 2, 2008

oil = awesome

I like oil. If I could have my dreams come true, I would have 2 women, both approximately 11-feet tall, feeding me chilled grapes by hand while I laid on a floating air mattress in a pool.

And you know what would pay for all of this? Exactly.

11 foot tall women are not easy to come by. In fact, they have to be created in a lab. And you know what it takes to build a lab that churns out 11 foot tall women? Exactly.

Oil is good for all sorts of things. You can pour it on the ground. You can pour it in the ocean. You can drink it.

You can also go to war for as long as possible, with nations that never attacked you, but happen to have a booming oil industry, and say that oil has nothing to do with it.

But mostly, if I had one million dollars, I would spend all of those dollars on oil and then I would fill a pool with thick black oil and I would swim in it, using a snorkel. and then I would emerge from this pool, coated in oil, and I would shake people’s hands but it would be really hard because my skin would be very slick and slippery, so our hands would not grasp well.

And if I had a lot of oil, I would put it into barrels. Nobody really likes barrels anymore. It used to be that barrels were used for everything. I read about this recently while waiting for my food in a cracker barrel restaurant. People would shove grain and wheat and dead monkeys into barrels and sell them everywhere. But these days all the barrels are filled with oil and there isn’t room for the monkeys anymore.

If I had just a little bit of oil, like maybe just a milk jug filled with oil, you know what I’d do? I’d kill myself. I really would. I wouldn’t be able to stand it, having so little oil. I would pour what little oil I had out over my head and then I would dive headfirst into pool of piranhas. and they would eat me and I would die.

The other thing I like so much about oil is that it gives us a good reason to destroy alaska. its about time we declared war on those terrorist eskimos. die, alaska. I hate you.

typical blog list

my sister katie posted this on her blog. I liked it. I'm doing my own list. because this is theworstweblogintheworld and I can dowhateverIwant.

10 things I liked when I was a teenager but kinda hate now...
1. tv
2. movies
3. fast food
4. video games
5. cheerleaders
6. the musical opinions of popular high school kids (I threw away a paul simon record after getting made fun of for it, which is maybe the most shameful moment of my entire life)
7. bible studies
8. church
9. republicans
10. ronald reagan

10 things I didn't like when I was a teenager but like now...
1. books
2. liquor, wine
3. teachers
4. tattoos
5. vegetables
6. homosexuals
7. exercise
8. my parents
9. democrats
10. the beatles

10 things I liked as a teenager and still like...
1. children
2. removable teeth
3. camping
4. motorcycles
5. music, specifically playing piano for hours on end
6. candy, specifically gummy worms, sour straws, milk duds, and now and laters
7. long conversations
8. chess
9. cigars
10. my brothers and sisters

10 things I did not like as a teenager and still do not like…
1. marching bands
2. high school bands
3. guys who think they are great at electric guitar
4. sermons
5. youth groups
6. youth pastors
7. christian music
8. guys with big muscles and tiny brains
9. beans

Thursday, May 1, 2008

everbody is busy

I get annoyed when people talk about how busy they are. as if everybody else isn’t busy. as if everybody else we know isn’t working multiple jobs and taking care of their families and working on a degree and trying to spend time with people they care about and trying to deal with faith and life and doubts and hopes.

And so I tend to be quiet when people ask me what I’m doing, I think because I’m paranoid of being that guy who always talks about how busy he is. and truth be told, what I’m doing isn’t particularly interesting. it’s just work, and I feel like I’ve got an awful lot of it to do.

It comes in waves, but this week, I’m in the middle of a wave that is totally wiping me out.

And I don’t have time. I just simply don’t have the time. to do the things I really want to do. to do the things I really dream about. and I feel like that’s what everybody says. but damn it all to hell if it isn’t actually true.

And I think that is what frustrates me more than anything.

Yesterday I fell asleep in my car on the side of the road. woke up when a friend sent me a text message. last night I was with some friends, cleaning up after dinner, talking about whatever, and I sat down on a couch at about 9:30pm and immediately fell asleep. I woke up about an hour later, as everybody was leaving, and a friend I will not call chrissy was asking me what was wrong and I didn’t have any idea how to answer. I just gathered my things and left.

I went home, laid in bed, stared at the ceiling, unable to sleep.