Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Half-Price Books, Letters to the President and a Man Named Psycho Joe.

Yesterday morning, after picking one of my best friends up from his new apartment, Ryan and I made a quick trek down to Half-Price Books. I figured, since we were only five miles away, it wouldn't be that bad on gas. And since we were going back to my house afterwords anyways, I figured ten extra miles wouldn't kill us. That and I actually had some spending money, which was a great thing.

Normally we hit the dollar bookshelves in the back first. I cannot say enough good things about the invention of dollar books, they're awesome. Now, instead of the bulk of my library being books that I've paid for with an arm and a leg, it's made up of books that any kid in high school or college could buy with their lunch money, and go away with a handful of awesome books. But, yesterday was different for me. Instead of hitting the dollar section first, I decided to hit the hardbacks.

Although it's called Half-Price Books, the majority of their hardback titles of which I speak of now are anywhere between 5-7 bucks a pop. Only the extremely new hardbacks and paperbacks like Clive Cussler's Corsair, and David Baldacci's First Family suffer from the name of the store. As much as I -- as well as every other Dirk Fan, and Sean King Fan -- would like the new hardbacks to be as cheaply as 5 dollars -- or even 7 dollars for that matter -- they're instead, between 13-15 dollars.

Realistically, if a person were to do the math, 15 bucks isn't exactly half the price of a hardback, especially since they cost around 27 dollars now. But I'm not one to bitch, considering the fact that the most expensive new-used book such as Corsair is twelve dollars cheaper than buying a copy new. And besides, they have to make a profit some how, otherwise they wouldn't still be in business!

The good people at Half-Price Books now how to sell 'em too. As I browsed the stack of used hardback copies of Corsair, I didn't find a single one that I wouldn't have bought, and that's saying a lot, considering how anal I am about my books being in prestine condition.

Anyways, I digress... (Which is something I need to stop doing!)

I browsed the used hardbacks looking for any hardback copy of any of the books in the 1632 alternate history universe, but alas my search was to no avail. So, I headed over the dollar section. There wasn't really any good titles that I hadn't already read and thoght to be mediocre, or that I didn't already posses. So, I hit the bulk used paperback shelves, and came away with four treasures: the first and second books in Troy Denning's Star Wars: Dark Nest Trilogy (The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen, respectfully), a prestine edition of William H. Keith Jr.'s Bolo Brigade, which is of course set in Keith Laumer's Bolo Universe, and finally David Drake and Thomas T. Thomas's Book I: An Honorable Defense, set in the Crisis of Empire universe, which David Drake created himself. All of which, I look forward to greedily devouring, when my reading schedule opens up.

After I hit the paperbacks, Ryan was already out the door and had his purchases tucked safely away in my car. However, I wasn't done. Just as I reached the check-out counter, I realised that they had clearance CD's for $2 a pop. So, I hastily ran through their rows, passing every Garth Brooks, Backstreet Boys and Kids Sing-Along-Songs CD's known to man. It was enough, quite honestly, to make me sick.

And then there they were -- like two shining nuggets in a pile of gold plated dog crap -- shining brighter than all the rest: Blues Traveler's '97 album: Straight On Till Morning, and Hawk Nelson's '04 freshmen album: Letters to the President.

Real quick: You know it's rather sad, when a Christian punk rock band from Ontario, Canada release their freshmen album with a title like 'Letters to the President' with their first hit single having the same name as the album, and becoming famous! If you stop and think about the times, back then the post 9/11 feel was still rather strong, but gradually dying only to be replaced with people questioning Bush's Presidency. I don't know about you guys, but I find that rather hilarious, that a band like Hawk Nelson would want to write a letter to the President of the UNITED STATES, when they don't even live in the same country!

Again, I digress...

As soon as we made our way out into my car, I popped in Blues Traveler's CD. I skipped through the majority of the songs, like I usually do when I first hear an album I'm anxious about, then stopped it on a song called 'Psycho Joe' and listened to it once through. I mean come on, wouldn't want to listen to a song with a title like that!? (Okay, maybe not... Maybe it's just me. Weirdos.) Then, I popped in Hawk Nelson's CD, and Ryan and I rocked it out all the way back home.

Now I told you this, only to tell you about the time I spent with God today, and how all of this plays into it.

But that'll have to wait until later. I still have to finish reading The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan before I go to bed, so that Ryan and I can record our review for it tomorrow, and it's already 12:30!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

God Will Provide.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- Philippians 4:19-20

Right now, my life sucks. Granted, it is better than a lot of people's. I'm not gloating, nor am I complaining. But, there are a lot of pathways to choose from right now, and only one that I can take...

Just knowing that I can only choose one, sucks. Yeah, it sucks a LOT.

So far, in the last five years of my life, things haven't been going the way I thought they would. Naturally, I didn't expect them to, if you want an honest answer. I knew things were going to change, but I didn't think that it would be as dramatic and horrid as it has been, though.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my life and the people that occupy it. If it weren't for a handful of close friends, my supportive parents and my amazingly beautiful and multi-talented girlfriend, I wouldn't know what to do. (Actually, I do. I'd probably be dead.) And most importantly: God. Who I thank constantly, for the love and support that he has provided me with, here on this ball of dirt we call Earth.

It's been around a year and a half since I became a Christian. My life has gotten better, but it wasn't until about a year and a half ago that I realized that I can't go this alone; that I needed someone there for me at all times. Granted, my parents were there for me all the time, and so were my close group of friends, but there was a constant nagging in the back of my head, that kept telling me I needed something more.

For about a year previous, my family and I had been searching for churches. It seemed like each time we found one that either my parents, or I really liked, something happened to keep us away from going to that specific church. It made us mad, I won't lie -- and now that I reflect on each individual time, I'm reminded that it was God; he knew the correct place we belonged, and that it was just matter of taking the journey to get there -- there were times where we just didn't care anymore, and our attendance at any church completely dropped.

It wasn't until one evening, back in March of last year, that one of my good friends, whom I had met at The Journey Church -- which we had gone to a few times, after being invited by this particular friend, who originally was tutoring me every other Thursday for Geometry -- invited me to go to their annual Youth Retreat. Of course, being the boring person that I am, didn't have anything planned for that particular weekend, so I accepted.

It was a weekend, quite frankly, that I will never forget.

It's where I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It's where I learned that I could have fun, without having to feel the peer pressure that was around me constantly -- at school and at play. And it's where I met my beautiful and amazing girlfriend, Maggie.

And it was that particular weekend, that I realized that that constant nagging I had been having at the back of my head, for so long now, was gone. It was then that I realized the missing link I had been looking for for so long, was God.

Now, I don't want anyone to think that this blog is in any way, shape or form strictly a Christian Blog. It's not. Neither was it my intention two years ago when I first started it, nor is it now. But, being a Christian is a large part of my life, and if I'm to be real, about my life, on this blog, then I think there needs to be something to do with God. After all, don't you think it would be ignorant of me to ignore our Creator?

I digress...

Little did I know at that moment in time what God was doing in my life, but I knew that he would provide. Never was there an inkling of a doubt about that, in my mind.

So now, in the current situation I'm in, I keep going back in my mind, to that weekend, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior.

And I keep telling myself that God will provide. He'll provide me with the correct path that I should take, and even if it's not the one that I would have chosen, or the one that I like, I'll still travel it. It's part of my journey, and a part of my life.

It'll become part of my life-story. And out of all the stories I've told so far, and out of all the stories that I still have to tell, I think I'll enjoy this one more than any other.

My life is a blank piece of paper. God's got the pin and he's using my blood as the ink.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Very Potter Love Affair.

I've had a love affair with Harry Potter since I was in the fifth grade. Ever since I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, at my school's Scholastic Book Fair, I've loved Harry Potter, and everything that has to do with the Wizarding World.

Call me a nut; call me a fanboy, these words don't offend me in the slightest. (After re-reading the series as many times as I have, it's hard not to agree.) I know I have an unhealthy obsession with the Boy-Who-Lived, but quite frankly, I don't care. It's what got me into reading. There have been countless days that I've spent reading the books, over and over again. Yes, I could have been going to see a movie, throwing a football around, or hanging with my friends, but as far as I'm concerned I was hanging with my friends when I would crack open one of those books.

I realize that there are a ton of people out there who are more than willing to bash the brians out of Harry Potter. For one reason or another there are people who hate the The-Boy-Who-Lived, the author -- whether it be her writing style, or for making Harry the emo will all know he was -- and for that matter, the Harry Potter franchise as a whole. But, as much as people might hate it, there's still something special about cracking open a book and building your brain muscles. (Needless to say, the majority of the people who bash Harry Potter can't even string a single coherent sentence together, let alone write their names in cursive.)

But I digress...

For those of you who read this, and are fans of The-Boy-Who-Lived, then I would highly recommend for you check this link out, ONLY if you have a few spare hours in your day, otherwise ignore it.

A Very Potter Musical

Now, with that being said, I'm going to go waste another few hours re-watching it.

I'm Back.

Wow... I had forgotten I had this blasted thing. If it hadn't of been for me and my good friend, Ryan starting up our own book review website, I don't think I would have remembered that I had my very own blog. I'm excited for both of these projects. As of right now though, my only hope is that I can gain followers on both blog fronts. (Hint, hint.)

Anyways, I digress...

It's been damn near two years since I last posted on this blog. I know that no one, as of this very moment is really following it, but I figured I should start posting on here as much as possible. And if anything maybe it'll keep me sane for a little while longer. I'm not sure. But I am sure however, that this little blog of mine will help to improve my writing skills, which I should be doing, if I ever want to some day become an author.

My life right now is one big jumble, and as this blog progresses, I will try and fill you in, as much as possible, so that you might understand just what, exactly my life is like. I promise you, it's rather dull and could use with some spice, but none the less it's my life.

Oh, and for any of you crazies out there, who just happened to stumble upon this blemish that is my blog and just happen to be interested in not only following this blog, but also the book review site that my good buddy and I started not so long ago, then this is for you:

The Sci-Fi Guys Book Review

Please, I would encourage you to join both. It'd mean a lot.

Until tomorrow.