Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Season's Greetings From The Past

I had a very fun conversation earlier today at work. We touched on many subjects ranging from religion, racial discrimination and its tendency to overcompensate itself, religious tolerance, and so forth. I do so miss the presence of "depth-ridden" intelligent conversations along those lines in my life. Back in Utah, I had many friends to debate such thought provoking topics with whenever I felt up for a debate. Here, it just isn't the same. Not to say at all that I think my friends are unintelligent; merely that they either don't have any specifically-aligned views on the matter (i.e. they just don't really care) or they agree too quickly and it's all over just like that. As strange as it may sound, I miss having an opposition in my debates; in my opinions. As I stated earlier, which I found to be a rather deep quote in itself: "Difference of opinion is necessary for the development of opinion." Throughout my growing up, it has been both my experience and thus my acclimated nature to engage in both serious and mocking debates, neither of which were intended to target personal feelings. Basically, I would get in heated arguments on something one moment, or stumble into a friendly insult-war, and then the next moment after said moment's conclusion all was well. No harm, no foul. Such is the way of the adult world. Recently, however, I was reminded very unobtrusively of the part of my personality that tends to be a little overbearing and argumentative. I had a friend, with whom I had not realized there was a problem, who exploded at me from pent-up bitterness at the way I treat people in general. He called me an insulting person that brought out the worst in him, and essentially accused me of being a bad friend. Now, anybody who knows me knows that I make fun of everything. Things, circumstances, people, etc. But alas, anybody who knows me also knows that none of it is with the intent to harm. It is merely in jest. I joke for the sake of lightening the atmosphere and creating a fun time for those involved; and, admittedly, for my own amusement. However, this friend (whose name will be withheld) literally spent an entire dinner effectively explaining to me how I am an offensive person and a poor friend. All of this was done in front of many other people, which left me humiliated. I made many attempts to apologize for my actions. I tried to explain that I hadn't realized he was taking anything personally on account of the fact that he always joked right back at me. I tried also to explain, as I have before, that I don't mean to hurt anybody when I make my jokes in the first place. Rather than sympathize or listen, I was shot down or ignored as he continued to raise his voice more and more until others in the restaurant were looking at us strangely. This added to the embarrassment of the situation. I was, and am, furious. On the one hand, I do truly understand and sympathize. I know that I can be a little overbearing at times and some people take my words personally. If ever anybody mentions to me that something I said was too mean or rude or offensive, I immediately apologize and promise to more carefully watch how I treat them in the future. I'm not a bad person. On the other hand, it was VERY inappropriate of this friend to choose that moment: in front of my other friends, in a restaurant filled with other people, to go off on me for an hour about how many grievances he has against me for being a poor friend. Not to mention his lack of even an attempt to listen to my own thoughts or explanations or apologies on the matter. All in all, the dinner went quite miserably. I made good use of my very good ability to withhold my temper rather than returning the shouting. I simply held my peace and allowed him to talk until he was out of things to talk about.

I apologize, I ranted. I was stressing and needed to vent, so I did so into my blog. Oops. Christmas is in 3 days now, and this morning I hadn't done any Christmas shopping. I got all of it done today, leaving me relieved and happy. I'm excited for Christmas, and I'm excited for my birthday on the 31st, and I'm excited because January 2nd-6th my family, along with my girlfriend, are going to Disneyland! Joyous joyous joyous. The only shortfalling I see in the coming few weeks are my lamentable lack of money. Not so joyous, I should say. My birthday, unfortunately, I actually am not all that excited for. The more I think about it, the more sad I become. This will be the first birthday in seven years that I didn't have my party at Rock Creek Pizza with a bunch of friends, playing games until midnight and then banging pans and pots together outside. That was tradition. That was my life. That was more than satisfactory: that was sentimental. This year, I have no idea what to do. I probably will just request a delicious dinner somewhere and spend the remainder of the day at home as I would any other day. In fact I might even have to work on my birthday, which would be the coupe de grace I'm sure. It's sad, but yes, I am not looking forward to my birthday very much this year. On the upside, I'll be 20 years old. And that in itself is VERY exciting. I'll no longer be a teenager, and that is a really weird thought.

I had no particular direction with this post; I merely had a lot on my mind and chose to talk about it. There are other things I could elaborate on. These include my unending excitement for the new Thousand Foot Krutch album coming out soon, my embarrassing obsession with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, my ongoing hunt for an additional job to go along with the one I have now, etc. I'll simply leave it at this today, because I have a feeling this post alone will stir up some interesting conversations later on.

J R Williams

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Profaning the Name

Okay, so this is going to be a rant. This has been weighing on me for some time now, and I've got to come out with all my thoughts on it. It's most likely going to make me look hypocritical in some way, so to that I have to say "judge me, agree with me; I don't care."

Profanity is weak. And it upsets me when people use it around me. And it saddens me when people I'm close with use it around me. It makes you and everything you are look bad. It shows a presence of evil, hidden or not, and it also shows a lack of replacement vocabulary. I used to curse.. often. In fact, at one point in my life I was known as the one more prone to it than most anyone in my current group of friends. And though that was a long time ago, it still saddens me to this day that I can say that truthfully. But rather than digressing further, I'll now get to what's been gnawing at me the most lately:

Christians are supposed to be set apart from the world. Christians are supposed to follow a higher standard. And Christians, above all, should know better. Yet, as of late, I feel almost suffocated by the "Christians" who surround me. I'm not going to state any names; I don't want to offend anybody. But so many people who call themselves Christians curse as much or more than others I know who aren't religious at all. Occasionally, I ask them about it too. My answers are generally along the lines of "yeah, I should work on that eventually," or "yeah, I've kinda just given up on that one," or "it isn't a big deal because I don't do it very often." Almost every time it's mentioned, they laugh it off or shrug it off like it's something that isn't important. WHY is that okay? What part of your mind tells you that profanity isn't a big deal? If we set up Hollywood as our model for morality, God help us all because our moral structures are doomed. Lord knows I'm not perfect; far from it. I have a lot of things I need to work out in my own life. But that doesn't mean that I should stay quiet and not point out things that other people don't even seem to notice that they should be working on, does it? If that makes me a hypocrite, then so be it. The biblical standards set upon us by the Lord are not negotiable. It isn't "okay" or "not a big deal" to just pick and choose which ones we think we ought to follow.

What saddens me even more is that if I were nonreligious and knew little of Christianity, but were to hang out with the average adolescent Christian that I've known most of my life, I would want no part of the church. Because its members are no different than anybody else. Now, I don't mean to go out and say that everybody is terrible. I'm just ranting about my own experiences and how they frustrate me. The desensitization of our world is truly a frightening thing when it even infiltrates our church; when fellow Christians will look upon "smaller" sins and say "that's not a big deal." I repeat again that I have a long, long, long way to go myself. I'm just asking for a little help from everyone else too. By indulging in things like simple profanity, we are giving Christianity a bad name and reflecting negatively on the Bible to others. I'm not to be excluded from this, either. There are far too many times when I realize that I am a poor role model for other Christians and other people in general.

I suppose it all just makes me sad that so many Christians seem to think that it's all okay.

J R Williams

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Thoughts On 9-11

Within an hour of posting my poorly enunciated opinion regarding the 9-11 remembrance ceremonies and the general attitude behind the day itself, I found myself neck-deep in debates on the subject and overwhelmed in misunderstood spiteful replies. Therefore, I decided to make a blog post out of it all.

I'll get it out of the way right now so everyone can get angry at me and call me anti-American or cold hearted or whatever they're going to call me. I don't approve of the attitude behind the remembrance of 9-11. I did, at first. In its genesis, the reaction to the mention of 9-11 was justified: righteous anger, demand for justice, and mourning for those lost in the tragedy of that day. Now I see it used almost as a way for the government to say "this is why we need to stay in Afghanistan." Personally, I don't think we should be in Afghanistan at all. You simply can't declare war on terrorism itself. Terrorism is an ideology. It's everywhere. If America were to send soldiers to every country we found terrorist activity in, we'd have military occupation all across the globe. I believe that going to Iraq initially was acceptable, though it was as much a publicity act as it was an act of vengeance. America couldn't afford to be seen as docile; the country that won't respond to a terrorist attack.

I do believe that we should never forget that day happened. We should honor the courage of those who died. But I stand by my belief that if we're going to hold 9-11 in remembrance, it should be for the right reasons. Don't use 9-11 as an "Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight terrorism" recruiting ad. Don't exploit the deaths of those people. I disapprove of much of the government's policies, attitudes, and activities, as many of my friends know. As additional inclination to disapprove military presence in Afghanistan, my brother is there right now; fighting a war that we should have left long ago. The collateral damage of war alone done to Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever we end up invading next is enough to spur terrorism on even more, and create new insurgents every day in response to our irrational peak of western aggression. Defense of the realm, as it were, is perfectly logical. An international crusade against terrorism which entails the imposition of U.S. forces upon whatever country we deem fit in order to reach our goal is not. This takes me back to a blog post I wrote in the past regarding international foreign policies concerning America's misguided belief that we are entitled to police the world as we see fit. We respond irrationally to perceived threats, and with a sense of irony that effectively perpetuates those aforementioned threats to new and more radical heights.

Perpetuation. That's what most of my thoughts can be summed up into.

J R Williams

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Contribution To Lamentation

While writing this today, I'm sitting back with a drink simply marvelling at life. So many things seem to be happening lately that I don't really like. I like to think I've recovered from my recent breakup, though it sometimes returns with a vengeance to strike me down into an unhappy stupor yet again. Additionally, I've been turned down yet again after my fourth job interview here in town. Joy of joys. But right when you think you've got it all figured out, it gets even better. My phone is broken. The screen is badly cracked, as if somebody shot it. Most of the touchscreen no longer works. Effectively, all it can now do is answer phone calls and read (but not reply to) texts. So, if you need/want to get ahold of me, call me or Facebook me. Don't text me, because I couldn't answer it even if I wanted to. I estimate another several days (or even longer) before I'm able to get a replacement. I could always downsize to not-an-iPhone, which would be easier, but I would still be without my iPod musical capabilities. This is unacceptable. Thus, I'm rather upset right now. On the upside, however, my sister in law has been in town visiting, which indubitably means I've had to deal with the trolling of an older sister for the past week or so. Which is definitely interesting, seeing as I'm used to being the one who dishes out the trolling rather than being the target of it. She's bunches of fun! We get along well, and I've really enjoyed having her here to visit (emphasis on "visit"... heehee [oh come on, it's a joke] ).

I've had a lot of fun over the past couple weeks, despite the recent downfalls of my life. My family went to Monterey and toured the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We also went to "Big Trees" to see the giant redwoods. Then I went with some friends down to San Francisco so my friend could audition for the new-ish American Idol spinoff, The Voice. He wasn't successful, but he did an admirable job and they only selected two out of the countless participants who showed up. Aside from that, I simply love road trips. The ridiculous singing along to music, frustrating realizations that we just got lost, and heart-to-heart bromance is essential to a man's life at one point or another.

I have a craving. I haven't gone shooting since before I moved away from Utah (a.k.a. HOME!!!). I miss it dearly (shooting AND Utah). I have ammunition, clay targets, and my Drobovik (Russian for "shotgun"). I merely need a place to go with some friends to blow some things away. This, I think, is one of the very best stress relievers. The satisfactory kick of a shotgun, coupled with the booming discharge and addicting sight of a spent shell ejection, is medicinal to say the least. Somebody should find me a nearby place I can go, preferably free of any sort of entrance fee.

I'm hungry.

J R Williams

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casey Anthony

Below, I copy and pasted a very large comment posted on a friend of mine's Facebook status today. It was a small debate on the questionable outcome of the Casey Anthony case, and my input was requested. I ended up writing enough that I decided to make a blog post out of it for anyone interested.

I read up on wikipedia what I could about the case, and it seems to me that neither the defense nor the prosecution sufficiently did their jobs. I haven't seen footage of any of the trials and thus I can't make out the attitudes with which said prosecution or defense was speaking; I'm basing my opinion off of what I read. Honestly she could very easily NOT be guilty, though she also very easily could be. There was a solid amount of evidence to insinuate premeditated murder, but no evidence of the carrying-out of the murder. I'm not going to presume to know who is guilty and who is innocent; I won't make such deep assumptions or opinionations based on my own limited insight into the matter. But I will say this: to me, it appears that this woman is most merely a mentally unstable, highly emotionally volatile individual, who is unquestionably guilty in the areas of child neglect, threatening, and falsified information, most likely in some ill-conceived psychiatric self-defense attempt. It's very clear that this woman has a lot of issues. A lot. And though I'm going to remain neutral here, there isn't any hard evidence of the actual carrying out of the murder. From one perspective, people threaten to kill people they know all the time. Nobody knows the possible levels of domestic mental or emotional abuse that went whatever way it could have gone in the home. Therefore nobody can definitely conclude whether or not Google searches on how to create chloroform or searches as vague as "death" can be proof of premeditation, sheer curiosity, spur-of-the-moment anger after a fight, etc. There are simply too many possibilities. So I find the whole thing interesting, but I won't make a judgment on which side was right. The defense and the prosecution were both ill-equipped in their cases.

Ginger's J R Williams

Friday, July 1, 2011

Recent Tidings

I've been having a lot of nightmares lately. Many sleepless nights. I'm not entirely sure why; perhaps due to certain recent events that have played havoc on my mind. The last few days have been truly an experience, though not one I'd ever want to relive. I've completely redefined the term "rollercoaster mood," as I've gone from laughs to tears more times than I can count. Now to my family that reads this... Don't worry. I'm fine.

I've been drawing a lot. Everything from my usual zentangles to Pikachu and various characters from Spongebob. Drawing calms me. So does typing, hence a big part of the reason I'm writing this to begin with. I've also discovered the awesomeness that is the band Mayday Parade. These guys are simply lyrically gifted. They have some great stuff.

Isaiah 55:8. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and neither are My ways your ways declares the Lord." Bad things happen. And more often than not, bad things happen to good people. But there is a PURPOSE and a REASON to everything, even if we can't understand why right now. God has it all planned out in a most perfect way, and it's all going to be okay, however it ends. Because it all ends, at some point.

I digress. I should be showering and getting ready to go job hunting some more, yet here I am blogging. I'll try to update my blog more often, as I don't seem to do so lately.

Ginger's J R Williams

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Ode To Skillet

One Day Too Late I realized I wasn't quite ready to be Awake And Alive, so I told everyone who came into my room "Don't Wake Me, because I feel like a Monster." My Forsaken mother told me that I need a Hero to bring me from my Comatose state of mind. Under My Skin I felt this lack of Energy and lay idly to watch it Cycle Down, and as I was Falling Inside The Black of sleep I thought to myself that I should have given A Little More effort to waking up because I was raised to Never Surrender... and yet Sometimes I just feel like The Older I Get the more it starts Eating Me Away, slowly driving me crazy until all I hear are Whispers In The Dark. I often battle with Those Nights, only to have them say to me "It's Not Me It's You" and attempt to Say Goodbye and leave me alone in my thoughts of my laziness. I feel my Open Wounds laced through my Imperfection, and I resolve that I'm going to Rebirth and Believe that this is The Last Night that My Obsession with wallowing in my own lethargy is going to hold me down. So I got up and said good morning to my sister Lucy and cleaned myself off, Fingernails included. I noted that my laziness hadn't tried to stop me, for it in itself was too lazy, and I said to it "You Should've When You Could've."

This story doesn't make very much sense, but I managed to feature almost every Skillet song I have in it. I feel so accomplished.

Songs I have that I missed putting in:
"Earth Invasion."
"Yours To Hold."
"Better Than Drugs."
"Looking For Angels."

J R Williams