Hey guys, it’s the Andy-San here to discuss why I don’t go to protests.One of my managers asked me to join him in a protest at Washington D.C. and I turned down his offer. Initially, the reason for this was because I didn’t want to go all the way out to D.C. and possibly be stranded since I wouldn’t be driving my own truck and also because I don’t know him very well personally. As I began to really think about it though, I found out the two real reasons I didn’t want to protest:
1 – Openly protesting exposes your identity. If a protest were to turn sour, I don’t want the FBI or whoever else to show up at my house and brainwash me. I don’t want them to know who I am as an individual. It’s not that I have anything to hide, it’s just that I want my privacy to be maintained. Obviously, I know that by posting this, I’m exposing myself a bit and they can trace me. However, I’ve protected my personal information decently so unless they really, really want to go after me, they won’t find me.
2 – Protests present problems but no solutions. Anybody can complain, but it takes someone who’s motivated and educated on the situation to present a solution to the problem. If a protest were to present a detailed, functional, and practical solution to resolve what they’re protesting about, then I would support them. I still wouldn’t expose myself, but I would do other things like put up a link to their site on my blog and recommend my viewers to visit their site and support them however they want.
Now, I’d like to define a proper solution as best and as simple as I can. Is your solution:
1 – Detailed? Picture this: you’re working a job that you really hate (some, like me, wouldn’t have to think too hard about it!). You tell the boss, “This job sucks! I hate working here!” If you didn’t get fired for saying that, then your boss might ask, “Why do you hate working here and what can I do to help?” Most people either don’t know how to answer the question or just complain about something trivial. It’s okay to vent (just try not to make a scene, ok?) because it releases your frustration and allows you to better focus on a solution. However, simply venting won’t fix the solution. If you want to change the problem, make sure you point out details. Is it a certain work policy that you don’t agree with? Is a certain coworker giving you trouble? Or is it a personal issue? Writing down the details helps you to keep track of things and lets you filter out less relevent matters and expand upon the more pressing issues.
2 – Functional? It’s as simple as asking, “Does it work?”. Can your solution work in practice or is it just theory? Have there been successful attempts at implementing similiar solutions? Be sure to cite these solutions to make your case more credible.
3 – Practical? Is your solution feesible? Can your plan be utilized with a reasonable amount of money and manpower?
4 – Good for the company? I’m sorry, I had to pull out a classic Office Space quote. It’s still a valid question though. Is your solution aiding everybody or just a select few? Will this adversly affect others within the company?
Final summation (totally not ripped off from TheGradualReport lol), the reason that most protests don’t work is because they’re essentially bitch-fits on a larger scale. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes protesting works; take Martin Luthur King Jr for example. For the most part, however, it’s just venting without a proper solution.
Well, that’s it for me for now. Enjoy yourselves!
This is the last slog, err, podcast that I’ve recorded so far. Since I have a camera, I don’t really see the need to put up audio files on YouTube unless it’s a song I wrote or something along those lines.
Here’s the original description for the video:
What’s goin on, it’s the Andy-San here with a more serious vlog about why I don’t go to protests. Enjoy and please leave a comment if you’d like!
We begin tonight with a recap of last night’s Royal Rumble match where John Cena came out the winner. Then, Cena comes out to do a promo about his pectoral injury that should have sidelined him for a year. He said that he risked everything so he could go to WrestleMania. He then challanges Randy Orton, who’s still the WWE Champion, to a title match for tonight. After some back-and-forth verbage, Orton says that he’ll defend the title at No Way Out since Cena can’t wait until WrestleMania. Cena still isn’t satisfied and says that he’ll “get some” tonight. We then go to commercial. 4/10 (for a really predictable promo)
The first match of the night is a tag-team match with Ashley & Mickie James against Jillian & Beth Pheonix. This match was short but sweet. There was a good amount of very interesting moves in this match. The Glamazon picked up the win again with a Hanging Fisherman’s Suplex on James. Seriously, the men should really take notes on what these ladies are doing in the ring. 7/10 (for another good women’s match)
After that, we see Vince and William Regal talking about the upcoming matches for tonight (I think). 3/10 (because I couldn’t understand a word of what they were saying)
After commercial, Regal comes out to address the crowd and he makes a little flub lol (he’s so excited). Anyway, he says that there will be an Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out to decide who will go to WrestleMania to face the WWE Champion. Regal then announces that Umaga, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, JBL, Jeff Hardy, and Triple H will be in the match. Then, commercial-time. 6/10 (for some really good booking)
Back from commercial, Carlito goes up against Cody Rhodes (who’s apparantly 1/2 of the Tag-Team Champions along with Hardcore Holly). I gotta say, I’m really diggin’ this Rhodes guy. He was really giving it to Carlito tonight. Unfortunatly, Carlito won with the Backstabber when Rhodes was distracted by Carlito’s manager. 6.5/10 (for an impressive match by Rhodes)
Then, HHH and HBK are shown discussing their match at No Way Out. Trips then says that he needs a tag partner for tonight and tells Shawn to suit up. 6/10 (for a quick and kinda funny promo)
Back again from commercial, we see DX come out to face Umaga and Snitsky. Right before HHH was gonna grapple Snitsky, Trips gets on the mic and asks if anyone has a Tic-Tac or a toothbrush for Snitsky, which promped the audience to chant “Brush Your Teeth.” That was hilarious!! The match itself was pretty cool. HBK took some choice bumps tonight. Trips picked up the win with a Pedigree to Snitsky with much applause. 7.5/10 (for an awesome match with DX)
After the match, we see Orton and JBL discussing their upcoming match. Not much else to say here really. 3/10 (for a bland promo)
Coming back from the break, we see Todd Grisham interviewing Jeff Hardy. Hardy says that he still wants to be the WWE Champion. Then, we cut to Vince talking to Hornswoggle about his loss at the Royal Rumble. He does some nice McMahon-isms and tells Hornswoggle to get out. 6/10 (for a great Mr. McMahon moment that saved us from reTodd)
After break, Mr. Kennedy faces Brian Kendrik. These guys put on a great match, but it was far too short. Mr. Kennedy won this match and then announced that he’s gonna end Ric Flair’s career. In response, Naitch comes out and said “Good-luck and Whooo!!!!” 6.5/10 (for a potentially awesome feud)
Back again from commercial, we have Melina versus Maria. This match wasn’t as good as the other women’s match, but it was still ok. Maria wins with an awesome rollup. Maria and that guy she’s with remind me of Sable and Mark Mero. Alot. 5.5/10 (for a so-so women’s match)
Afterwards, Jericho is interviewed by reTodd. I really don’t know what to make of the oddly serious Y2J. On one hand, I kinda like that he’s branching out as a character. On the other hand, I miss the wise-crackin’ Jericho. 5/10 (for a good promo and an on-the-fence character change)
After the break, the main event starts with Jeff Hardy & Jericho facing Orton & JBL. This match was pretty good. Hardy pulls out some neat offensive manuvers. Jericho also tore JBL up with some of his classic moves. SnOrton put a halt to the Walls of Jericho with an RKO that actually connected lol. JBL pinned Jericho to win the match. Cena came out and laid into Orton and finishing him with an FU. 7/10 (for a great match by Jericho and Hardy)
Tonight’s Raw wasn’t half-bad, but they really need to cut back on the commercials. I mean c’mon, 9 commercials in a 2-hour span? Overall, I give this week’s Raw a 5.6/10.
For those of you who weren’t around when I did my first Raw Score, I basically do a review of the previous night’s WWE Raw, broken down by each segment. I then give each segment a score out of a possible 10 points and then average out the scores to form the overall score for that episode of Raw.
Well, there’s not much else to say here really, other than I was really trying to speed up my slog, err, podcast too much. This slog also shows off some of my crappy editing skills even before I had video editing software!
I gotta say, this slog shows off some of my crappy editing skills even before I had video editing software!
For those of you who weren’t around when I did my first Raw Score, I basically do a review of the previous night’s WWE Raw, broken down by each segment. I then give each segment a score out of a possible 10 points and then average out the scores to form the overall score for that episode of Raw.
Here is the full text review of the January 21, 2008 episode of WWE Raw from the post Raw Score Lives!!!1:
Raw Score – 01/21/2008
Hey guys, it’s the Andy-San here bringing back my Raw Score after two years and 2 months to the day (and on Martin Luther King Day no less). Let’s look at this week’s Raw, shall we?
The first match of the night between Shawn Michaels and Mr. Kennedy was main-event quality. I lol’d when HBK wiped his butt with Kennedy’s thrown shirt before the match. It was also funny how Kennedy bailed the ring when Michaels was about to hit him with Sween Chin Music. This match had a fair amount of technical moves in it early on and later threw in some high-risk moves as well. HBK took a real choice bump when he tried his elbow drop a second time and Kennedy blocked it with his knees. The match ended with Michaels picking up the win with Sweet Chin Music. It’s a shame that this match was the curtain jerker, but it did start the night off strong. 7.5/10 (for a great opening match)
After the HBK-Kennedy match, we see Randy Orton talking to Vince about how he doesn’t want to shake Jeff Hardy’s hand later on tonight. Vince gave him a decent pep-talk and it was on to commercial. 5/10 (for an ok promo that had Vince acting as a father figure to Orton)
The Beth Phoenix vs Mickie James match was surprisingly good. I feel confident about the future of women’s wrestling in the WWE. The match ended with The Glamazon putting a Hanging Fisherman’s Suplex on James. 6.5/10 (for a really good women’s match)
Afterwards, Trips gave a short promo about his upcoming match to get into the Royal Rumble. It was pretty much “I’m gonna be in the Rumble and there’s nothing anybody can do about it”, but it was still good. 5/10 (for a good, but fairly standard promo)
After commercial, Hardcore Holly came in with a snappy comeback on these 2 wrestling n00bs who I don’t know (”If anyone get in My Space, I’m gonna throw ‘em out!”). 5/10 (for a funny quip by Hardcore Holly of all people)
The Randy Orton flashback really showed how far he’s come (I lol’d at the tights he wore on his debut match). 6/10 (for a great flashback promo)
We come back from commercial with a tag match pitting Findly and Hornswoggle against The Highlanders that was far too short. I can’t believe that Fit Findly’s still wrestling, but I’m glad that he can still wrestle well. Hornswoggle won the match with a sweet frogsplash. 6/10 (for a great, but way too short tag match)
Back again from commercial, we see Chris Jericho being choked with a cable by JBL. So JBL’s wrestling again? And on Raw too? I already knew that Jericho was back, but I didn’t know about JBL. Anyway, Jericho enters the ring after the clip for a great promo. It really reminded me of Shawn Michaels’ promo before he made a comeback at Summerslam 2002. 7/10 (for an excellent promo delivered with loads of confidence)
After that, we see Vince talking to Jeff Hardy about how he should shake Orton’s hand. Vince was obviously playing the instigator card here and Hardy assured him that he will “give them something to talk about.” 4/10 (for a short and predictable promo)
Ryan Kendrik’s qualifying match for the Royal Rumble against Umaga was a pwnfest for Umaga. Kendrik pulled out some nice high-flying moves, but Umaga got the win with the Samoan Spike. 4/10 (for a too short match)
The little bit after the match with Maria, Mickie James, Ashley, and some guy was kinda funny. He reminds me of Carlito as far as his arrogance goes. 5/10 (for a kinda funny bit of filler)
After commercial, we see a clip of Vince on Celebrity Apprentice. Then, we see King with 3-D glasses on because Raw’s now in HD. Next, there was the ubersweet Jeff Hardy flashback promo with the song Rooftops by Lost Prophets. 6.5/10 (for Hardy’s choice flashback promo and King with 3-D glasses lol)
Coming back from commercial, we have Carlito facing Hardcore Holly. This one seemed better suited for Sunday Night Heat I think. Carlito got the win with the Backstabber. 4/10 (for another short and rather bland match)
Back again from another commercial, we see a short clip of HHH winning the 2002 Royal Rumble after coming back from a quad injury. There’s a brief appearance of Mr. Perfect (RIP) being eliminated by HHH. William Regal comes out to address Trips before his match and announces that his match is a gauntlet match against three people with Royal Rumble rules. First up is Snitsky, who lays into The Game and comes close to eliminating him, but is thrown over. Next is Mark Henry, who seems to slow down the match. Henry came very close to throwing HHH over the top, but Trips beats him too. Finally is Regal himself, who unleashes a flurry of punches upon entering the ring. Despite that, Triple H comes out on top and throws Regal over the top. 5.5/10 (for a predictable match, but Regal’s expression after HHH beat Mark Henry was priceless)
After yet another commercial, Vince comes out and mentions that Raw’s in HD and brings out Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy one at a time. Vince admits that their upcoming match at the Royal Rumble doesn’t need any hype and wonders what’s gonna happen. Orton gets on the mic and says that he underestimated Hardy and he has won Orton’s respect. Hardy says that he doesn’t care about Orton’s respect and he would rather shake other peoples’ hands before Orton’s. Then, Hardy shakes JR, King, and Lillian’s hand and goes out into the audience to shake various audience members’ hands. Orton then offers his hand when Hardy gets back in the ring and Hardy lays Orton out with the Twist of Fate instead. Despite Hardy’s so-so mic skills, he made up for it with excellent audience interaction. 8.5/10 (for Hardy’s interaction with the audience)
It’s been a long time since I really sat down and watched wrestling. I pretty much gave up on it since Benoit died, but after reading my old Raw Scores, I decided to bring it back. Tonight’s Raw was pretty good, but I felt that it was rushed and trying to fit in too much stuff. Having a commercial after just about everything didn’t help matters either. Overall, I give this week’s Raw a 5.7/10.
Here’s the original description of the video:
Sup, it’s the Andy-San here with a new slog. After 2 years and 2 months to the date yesterday, I’ve decided to bring my Raw Score out of retirement. Enjoy!
…And I’ve come up with a lot of ideas! Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan with pants. Yes, pants.
I haven’t been updating as much as I used to because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking of my future and what I’ll be doing in order to make enough money to support myself. In all honesty, I can’t support myself just working at Wal-Mart, at least not as a cashier. I could try to move up in order to make moAr money, but that would take too long and working at Wal-Mart isn’t what I wanna do long-term. Basically, Wal-Mart is my steady income until I can live off of making money from my websites.
My plan is to make several (probably no more than 10) websites of different interests of mine. Those sites’ll be my main sources of income, and I’ll still have this site up as my personal blog. I was gonna make these sites into social networks, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll make them into a blog & forum combo. I’ll submit my stuff on the blogs and other members can submit their things on the forums. I’ll have ads mostly on the blog sections with some in the forums. I dunno how I’ll organize it, but I’ll get there when I get there.
If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve dramatically changed the look of this site. I got the theme from Dosh Dosh so kudos to you sir!! I don’t usually like 3-column blogs, but this one’s set up nicely so I think I’ll keep it around for awhile.
Well, I’m gonna go eat so I’ll see you guys later. Bye!
Sorry about the absence. I had some problems with my Internets, but they’re fixed…for now…
Jon’s living with us again. I guess it’s back to sleeping on the couch.
Last week was fucking crazy. As you guys know, my truck broke down. I sold it to the guy to cover labor and I got $75 out of it. After I sold it, I found out that I could have sold it to a junkyard for wayyy moAr, even after towing costs.
Because of my transportation situation, my mom’s letting me use Jon’s moped. Honestly, It’s a really nice moped, but it’s been draining my money as of late. It cost me $88 to insure it for a year (amazing, but it still sucks in the short-term), $30-something for new plates and tags that expire in November (I really hope I’m not still riding it by then), $12 for a new chain & lock, $5 for an awesome screwdriver for when the fuse blows up every time I start it and I push the fuse holder into the other side of the tank, and $38 for a new back tire that went flat on my way to Ben’s house for Eights and Aces’ morning practice (I’ll be putting the video of that up as soon as I get the file). I’ll get the tire sometime this week (I’m guessing Wednesday) so my parents have been gracious enough to drive me back and forth to work in the meantime.
Despite all this crap happening, I think that a girl at work has a crush on me. Her name’s Jess and she’s been especially friendly to me ever since I talked to her after she handed chewing tobacco to a customer and they came through my line since they had more than 10 items. It seemed like the customer had a valid reason to purchase the chewing tobacco at an aisle besides the one that sells tobacco products. I called a manager over just in case, and it turns out that I was right; there’s only one aisle that a customer can purchase tobacco, regardless of how many items he/she is buying. So I handed it back to Jess and the customer didn’t want it so we both didn’t get canned. Hurray.
I haven’t asked her if she has a boyfriend/husband yet, so I dunno if she’s single. If she is, then I might have a chance. Maybe. Like I said, she’s been really friendly towards me and I’m pretty sure that she either doesn’t have a boyfriend/husband or is gonna break up with him soon. I’m kinda nervous since it’s been awhile since I last tried to ask someone out. In fact, the last time I was even close to having a relationship was back when I was in UU with the blazin’ Azns Paulette and Amanda.
In my previous post, I said that I’m planning on starting up another website. I’m still doing it, but I’m debating between two cameras, the Aiptek Action HD 1080p and the Sanyo Xacti CG-6. Both are affordable and are pretty good cameras for the money from what I’ve read online.
Well, I’m off to catch up on 6 days without an Internet. Catch ya laters!
Hey there my lovely bunch of crickets, it’s TheAndySan here with some bad news.
My stepdad kicked out Jon. I guess Jon’s living with one of his friends in the meantime. This might be quite the sticky situation.
You see, Jon gets child support checks and he has to live with a parent or guardian in order to get the checks until he turns 18 and then he’ll continue to receive them until he graduates or drops out of high school. Since he no longer lives with a parent or guardian, Mom is gonna be thrown in jail for child support fraud, which is a federal offense.
If this happens, then Mom’ll be in jail and unable to help my stepdad with the house expenses. Since he can’t handle it all by himself, he’ll be forced to sell the house, thus kicking me out.
Oh, but it gets better! I got the news back about my truck, and the camshaft is physically broken. The guy’s been fixing cars for decades and has never seen something like this before. It would cost me over $1,000 to repair it, so I’m gonna sell it to them for what it’s worth in parts and whatnot.
So let’s recap, shall we? I’m gonna be kicked out of the house because my fucking brother wouldn’t shut the fuck up and lay low. I have no money. I have no transportation besides my bike. I will have to quit Wal-Mart because I can’t go back and forth to work on a bike at nighttime. And this whole thing was completely not my fault. I wasn’t involved at all.
Of course, there are ways to fix this problem, but no one wants to listen to me. What the fuck do I know?! I’m just a bum who can’t afford to live on his own!!
I’m trying out a new look for the website. Leave me a comment to tell me what you think of it and if I should keep it or go back to the old look. Personally, I liked the old look. However, some of you don’t like reading white text on a black background so I decided to try something different.
Good afternoon, it’s TheAndySan bringing the noize on this, the day of my brother’s birthday.
So I was driving home at 1 in the morning last night and as I’m turning onto the road that leads to my road, my car dies. I’m still moving mind you, so I do my best to steer off to the side of the road, but my steering and brakes became even worse than they usually are. I ended up halfway on the left lane and the side of the road. To make a long story short, my car is dead and no one will morn it. Butt wait, thurr’s moAr!! My brother had a panic attack because he drank a whole fucking 48 oz bottle of Cranergy. We all thought he was on cocaine or something. So he’s freaking out and the guy whose car fucking died is trying to calm himself and everyone else down too. I’m having it towed in an hour or so to hopefully get it fixed. That’s gonna cost me my ass, fo sho!
So all this shit happens on my other brother’s 11th birthday. What a way to start your fucking birthday, huh?
I dunno what’s going on anymore. I plan on moving out, but right now, I don’t have the money for it. I wanna do a lot of things, but money seems to be holding me back. I either don’t have enough money to do what I want, I don’t have enough money to cover my expense while I do what I want, or both. It’s really got me down, to be honest.
But ph33r n0t! I has a plan. I plan on launching another website as soon as I get a digital camera. I’m gonna save up like crazy and sell some things on eBay so I can get a camera. Stay tuned for moAr details!!
Well, I’m gonna go on a bike ride to clear my head as soon as the tow truck gets here. Stay classy!
What is Shiny Jimi? Why, it’s the name of the protective sleeve for this month’s issue of Guitar World!! It’s to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. I’m gonna read it when I’m done posting.
I had my 90-day evaluation today and good news everyone: I didn’t get fired!! Yay.
In other news, I tried to look for a music store in Wapak and couldn’t find it. I’m gonna try again later when I have some moAr money for gas.
Man, this post is short! I’ll try to make it up to you guys by ending it with an amazing solo by my No. 2 favorite guitarist, Paul Gilbert! Enjoy!
Good morning, it’s TheAndySan hurr feelin’ sleep-deprieved due to allergies.
A week ago, I read a post on Xanga by my friend Jimmy that I thought was quite exceptional. Here’s a link to it, but I’ll show the post here just in case it gets moved or whatever:
It was a rainy Thursday, October 26th, 2006. I remember that. I was bored and had nothing to do, so I had a friend come over so we can discuss songs we can do for our school’s “air-band” competition later in the year. These were the kinds of things my friends and I would normally do. If we aren’t sitting around talking about starting a band or our next idea for an independent film, we are trying to get ready for something else that could be fun later. Joel (my friend whom I was collaborating with) and I thought of some pretty good songs for air-band. Nothing was set in stone yet, but we were still discussing what we could do.
Then my dorm phone rang. When that phone would ring, I knew that it was one of two people: my dad or my girlfriend at that time. Well, my then-girlfriend was practicing a dance with her friend, so I knew it couldn’t have been her so theoretically, chances were, my dad was calling. I answered the phone, and sure enough, it was him. Along with his call, he brought along the worst news I have ever heard up to that date. Dad said, “Jimmy, you aren’t going to want to hear this, but your friend, Austin killed himself a couple days ago.” I was deeply saddened and heartbroken, but I didn’t cry. I had Joel in the room, and I had to be a man about this… because obviously… men don’t cry .
My dad went on to tell me exactly what had happened. Or what he had heard anyway. “He walked into a cemetery, sat under a tree, put a few plastic bags around his head, and ducttapped them so that they would be airtight, thus, suffocating himself. He had a note with him too saying that he didn’t do this to get anyone upset and that he wasn’t depressed. He said that he has been all over the world and tried different religions and different lifestyles. He just couldn’t find what he was looking for in this life, so he wanted to see what was waiting for him in the next life. It’s so bizarre.”
When I got off the phone with my dad, I told Joel, who knew something was wrong, what happened. I told him that I needed to be alone for a little bit, so he left. Then I sat in my chair and I thought… I thought, “How could somebody so smart be so stupid? I can’t believe how selfish that was! How can somebody do that to themselves? How can he do that to me?” Just then, I got up because I knew I had to talk about it. I ran in the pouring rain to track down Tesia (my then-girlfriend) because she was the only person I could talk to about it. I interrupted her dance practice with her friend. I said, “I need to talk to you for a minute.” She said, “Ok” and walked over. We went into a piano practice room and I shut the door. I said, “Austin…” and before I could say the rest, my eyes filled with tears and a lump formed in my throat. “…killed himself” I finished. She comforted me and made me feel better, but I couldn’t help but feel partly responsible for his death.
I first met Austin our freshman year of high school. I didn’t really talk to him at first. He was the weird kid from Michigan who had extremely thin hair which he kept about chin length, even though he was prematurely balding, he had maybe 10 good teeth, and an unusually thick beard for a 14 year old. I didn’t really have a desire to get to know him… plus everybody picked on him, so to actually talk with the kid would be social suicide.
One day, I got back home from school and my ex-step mom, Renee, asked if I knew an Austin Harris. I told her that I knew of him, but I never really talked to him. She then told me that she and his mom are really good friends and that Austin and I should get to know each other. I reluctantly agreed with her, but since I was a nice guy, I decided I would give it a shot.
The next day, after school, I saw Austin walking home with his head down, his hands in his pocket’s, headphones in his ears, a backpack over one shoulder and his sweatshirt’s hood up over his head. I called out, “Austin!” and I ran over to him. I asked him, “Does your mom have a friend named Renee?” He said, “Yeah. I haven’t seen her since before I moved to Michigan, but my mom knows a Renee. Why?” I then told Austin that Renee was my step mom. From then on, we walked back from school together just about every day. He and I would get into some pretty deep conversations and I kept most of my viewpoints to myself until one day when he was talking about how he and his dad believe that they were vikings in their past lives. Then he started talking about our animal instincts and the need to take what we find and claim it as ours. He said that this is our evolutionary inheritance. I told him right there, “Austin, you know, I am a Christian and I don’t really believe in past lives or evolution.” The guy looked at me like I was nuts. “How can you not believe in evolution?” he asked. “The proof is there. It’s what we base all our science off of…” and he rambled on and on about this, and I found a way to shut him up. I said, “Austin, science can’t prove everything. And I believe that one day people will look back on the idea of evolution and laugh just like we laugh at the world being flat today.” He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Jimmy, your religion makes no sense.”
From then on, Austin and I would get into arguments and heavy debates about really stupid things. It was really stupid of me. He would normally school me big time, but I would carry on as if I had won the debate. Austin had a really high IQ. He was actually a genius. He knew everything about everything. But I had one thing he didn’t have. That is street smarts. I knew things too… but in a different way. I felt them. He just knew them.
One day, Austin and I were in an argument about euthanasia. He was for it. He told me how he watched his grandfather suffer and die from cancer and he couldn’t imagine himself going through all that pain. And then he went on to say that he DID think that suicide is wrong unless you know you are going to die painfully. “I would never actually kill myself.” he added. Of course, I thought it was dumb. I didn’t agree with it, but I couldn’t exactly tell him why it is wrong because I trusted my feelings. He trusted stats. I could never get him to see it from a Christian worldview because he wasn’t a Christian.
One day, I heard our Church youth group’s winter retreat was coming up. I knew that I needed to invite Austin. I told him about it and he agreed to come. During the retreat, he heard a sermon that touched his heart. He gave his life to Jesus that night. Or so I thought. He said the little prayer thing with the speaker, and I was really happy. I praised God for letting Austin “see the light.” When he was done praying, I walked over to him and I told him, “Congrats Austin. But this is a huge step. It’s a big commitment.” He looked at me and said, “Jimmy, this doesn’t mean anything changes.” I didn’t say anything. I just smiled because I knew that it would be the Holy Spirit that would get him now.
After that retreat, I almost stopped talking with Austin. Not on purpose. It just sort of happened that way. But he did come up to me one day with a picture he made in one of his computer art classes. It was the Pink Panther nailed to a cross. He was telling me about it. I told him that I found it offensive. He said, “Jimmy, Jesus wasn’t the only person to die on a cross… and, this is just funny. But the bitch teacher gave me a C on it.” Now, I did agree with him that it deserved better than a C. It was actually done well. I just found it incredibly offensive.
That was when I really lost track of Austin. The last thing I had heard was that he was a buddhist, bisexual pothead and he was going to school at the United World College in Wales, England. I received a couple e-mails from him telling me how awesome swedish chicks are and how he was enjoying Wales. But I don’t know if I ever responded. One day, at the end of the summer, I was ready to start College at Wright State University. I had a great girlfriend, and a job, and everything was going well for me. Then I got a knock on the door. I opened it, and it was Austin. He had shaved his head and shaved off his beard. We talked for a long time about a lot of things. Then we both lit up a bowl and went for a walk. We got high and I was telling him that I don’t agree with smoking pot but I was in the mood to celebrate… after all, it wasn’t my first time smoking pot. He said, “Jimmy, you need to be yourself. You are a Christian with good morals. You don’t need to be doing this.” I was stoned. He said a word that I thought was funny and I laughed about it… and then we both laughed about it for the rest of that night. That was in the late summer of 2004.
Again though, I lost track of Austin until about June 2006. My cousin had her graduation party and Austin was there. Once again we caught up on old times. We had conversations about God. Austin was then, more of an agnostic. He told me, “I know there is a god. But what that god is, I really don’t know.” Well, at the time, I was helping out with a college-aged, Tuesday night biblestudy we called Gen-Y for generation Y. I invited him to come. He said he would think about it. Then, Tuesday night rolled around and much to my surprise, Austin walked in. He really enjoyed the talk and the music. Our bible study leader, Tod, made plans to go to a David Crowder concert in Dayton in July. I asked Austin if he wanted to go. He said he really wanted to. So July came and we went to the concert. David Crowder puts on amazing shows. It was nice and God was totally there. Tesia and I even got to meet David Crowder. But we had a problem. We had to park about a mile away from the stage and we had to carry our lawn chairs there and back in the burning hot sun.
After the concert, Austin disappeared. We couldn’t find him. We assumed he started walking back to the van earlier. As we were walking back in the heat, we saw Austin next to a river. We called him over and told him we were heading back. He ran over to us. “Where were you?” I asked. “Oh, I got hot, so I went to the river for a quiet reflection and to cool down.” he said. “Yeah, that must have been great. I should have thought of that too. It is so hot and on top of that, we need to carry these chairs all the way back to the van.” I said. “Jimmy, why are you complaining? Do you realize how many Christians I heard complaining on the way back to their cars? Too many. You guys witnessed something great in the name of God and all you can do is complain about the heat and the long walk? That’s shallow. You should be ashamed. You should be happy that you got to worship God outside in ‘his creation’.”
Austin was absolutely right. I should have been happy. And then I realized that sometimes it takes a nonbeliever set a Christian back on track. From then on though, I didn’t see Austin at Gen-Y anymore. And he hadn’t been going to church with me like he told me he would. I tried calling him to tell him to come back… he would always say, “yeah, I’ll make it there. I’m just busy.” Eventually, I just stopped calling and I lost track of him again. That is, until my dad called telling me that he had killed himself.
I know that his suicide was not my fault. But maybe I could have done a little more. Maybe there is a lesson here. Austin was so close to realizing who God actually was. And then he saw some Christians who didn’t seem to be grateful to have such a good God. Now who wants to be a part of a religion where they can’t show a little gratitude to their own god? Or to the gift of life that our God has given us. Why do we worry about the little things like long walks in the heat? Isn’t God still a good God? Hasn’t he given us the shade and the waters to help cool us off and to quench our thirst? I learned something from all of this and it has been on my mind a lot lately. That is, we need to humble ourselves and be grateful for what we have, including life, itself because even though things seem rough, God has given us ways to make it a little easier on us. Like shade on a hot day. Or people to help you when you are down. And don’t take advantage of friendships and times to reach out. It could make all the difference in the world to someone.
Austin was my friend. I didn’t always treat him like a Christian should, but I learned a lot from him. He learned a lot from me too. But what will always be there, in my memory of Austin, are the marks from a seal that was almost put on his life by the Holy Spirit.
I meant to show Jimmy’s post a bit earlier, but I didn’t get around to it because I had wayyy too much on my mind last week.
Well, I’m gonna end this post by sharing some YouTube Gold that I found. His name is Speedy Halworth and he’s awesome!! Enjoy!
Hello guys, it’s TheAndySan here with a significantly less emo-frasticle post. I’m sorry if I alarmed you guys with my previous post; I was a bit angry that Eriopolis defeated my argument so soundly. During my lunch, I discussed it with Cody. He asked why I didn’t just say that you should follow your passion. I thought I was getting that across without actually saying it, but I guess I was wrong. So here goes another rephrasing of my previous statement: In closing, I believe that you should pursue your passion or everything will become pointless.” I have found that my passion is not working at Wal-Mart. Some people love to work there and have for many years. More power to them. However, it’s not what I want to do for a living. My goals in life at the moment are thus:
Make at least enough money from my websites to cover my monthly expenses. -This is a biggie. It’s the first step to becoming a business owner. In order for that to happen, my websites need to consistently generate at least $410 a month. Seems daunting, but I’m confident that it’ll be a very real possibility in the near future.
Quit my job at Wal-Mart to work on my sites full-time. -Now that I’ll have enough income to at least not get kicked out of the house and to not have my Internets turned off, I can pursue working on my websites full-time without worry.
As my income increases, make more sites to further increase it, but not too much to where I’m too busy with them to do anything. -The keys here are freedom and balance. This is my biggest goal when it comes to making money: make enough money to at least be able to comfortably support myself while having as much free time as possible. If I work too much, then I won’t be able to enjoy all the money that’s coming in. Conversely, if I work too little, then I won’t have enough money to support myself.
When my income becomes large enough to comfortably support myself and still have a good amount left over, then I’ll begin to pay off my debts. -It might take me awhile or no time at all to pay off what I owe. This includes what I owe on ITT Tech, Sallie Mae, UU, my credit cards, my lawyer fees, and I think that’s it. I’ll definitely have to get a credit check either before or after to fully assess my debt.
Once ALL of my debt is paid off, I’ll apply for a credit card to boost my credit and save up to go back to college. -Since my debt will be all paid for, I want to raise my credit score even further by properly using a credit card. During this time, I’ll also save up to go back to college, this time at Bowling Green State University. Since I’ll have a MUCH better credit score this time around, I’ll be moAr eligible for loans and I’ll be able to get lower-interest loans if I need them.
Go to college and still maintain the websites to generate money while I’m in college. -Because I will have balanced my workload in Goal #3, I shouldn’t worry about overdoing it while I’m at college. In the event that my grades begin to slip because I’m too busy updating my websites, then I’ll lower the update periods from daily to weekly while I’m in college and go from there.
Once I graduate college with a BA in Japanese, apply to study abroad. -I might be able to do this while I’m still in college, but I dunno for sure. One of my big life goals is to not only visit another country, but to live in one, even for a short amount of time.
Live in Japan for at least a year or two. -As I said before, I would love to live in another country. I’m really interested in Japan because they are on the forefront of technology. For example, although we have screen-savers on our cell phones now, the Japanese have had them since the late ’90s!!!1 Also, their music scene is out of this world! It would also be nice to meet Marty Friedman if he were taping a show or performing a concert.
Of course, we all know how life can throw you a curve-ball that’ll pitch your plans out the window. Basically, these are my life goals until something in my life changes and makes me change my goals. In closing, I would like to say that no one’s perfect (especially me, lol!) and that you must follow your passion without fear of failure. Because it’s better to fail doing what you love than failing to do what you love. Good-night, and good-luck. TheAndySan P.S: It’s been 40 days since www.theandysan.com has been up and 12 days since www.spicymelon.com has been up. I’m going to be retooling www.spicymelon.com so it might take a bit before I update it again.