Thursday, March 11, 2010


So, I'm 31 today. And, rather than bore you with deep thoughts and reflections (both of which I always tend to do on or around my birthday), I thought I would share a rather humourous email that went out to everyone who works for the Grand Rapids Housing Commission. There is a particular employee who sends these types of emails out for everyone's birthday. Enjoy...

Hey everybody today is Jake's birthday!!! He is 18 years old today! He's very excited about finally being able to vote, and today after work Todd's going to teach him how to smoke! Jake is the newest member of our management team so it's very important that we make him feel welcome by giving him a hard time about it being his birthday today!

Fun Jake fact: Before deciding to become a manager, Jake spent many years training to be a cage fighter. His first and only match was against a guy who went by "Frank The Hammer." Frank was 6'9 and weighed in around 400lbs. Frank had a serious anger management problem and his two passions in life were making people bleed in funny ways and cat grooming. Their match lasted 50 seconds...that may not seem like much time but Frank The Hammer was able to accomplish quite a bit in that 50 seconds, he managed to tie Jake completely into a knot and remove him from the cage by straining him through the bars...he also found the time to tear off Jake's ear and eat it. Which leads me to another-

Fun Jake fact 2: Jake has a prosthetic ear. He is very self conscious of this prosthetic ear so please don't stare at him trying to determine which ear it is (Hint: it's the one that looks like a plastic ear) because of his prosthetic ear Jake has to actively avoid wind tunnels and trampolines.

If anybody else knows of any "Fun Jake facts" please feel free to share them!

Happy Birthday Jake!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Really Need to Write More

I miss it. I miss being creative in my writing. I miss the therapy that happens when I sit down and pour out my heart. I miss processing the things going on around me by writing them down for the world (or the three people who stumble upon this) to see. Right now, though, I am tired and would like nothing more than to lay down on the couch and fall asleep. But because there needs to be some type of substance to this post, I will make a list of things I like right now:

The Avett Brothers
Detroit Tigers
Working on the basement
Modern Family
Playing with Ella
Hanging with Heidi
Jesus Culture Music
Snow storms
Feeling the new baby kick
My job
Riding the bus
Joel McHale

Likewise, I feel it would be fitting to make a list of things I don't like right now:

The Bachelor
Feeding an incredibly picky toddler
Having to get rid of my Ford Contour
That annoying clicking sound on Facebook chat

Ok, I feel better now...there are more things that I like than there are things I don't like.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 10 of 2009

At the end of the year (or beginning of the new one as the case may be), I like to do what seems to be the cool thing to do: reflect. Today I will reflect on my 10 favorite records of 2009. A disclaimer, though, is that the following records may or may not have been released in 2009. Regardless of this detail, they were albums that were in regular rotation in my Itunes library and/or car (actually, in Heidi's car since my stereo broke in my car about six months ago), and I either discovered them or rediscovered them throughout the course of the last year. So, without further ado, here they are...

10. Hillsong Live - This is Our God. This is an amazing worship album. I had bucked against Hillsongs when it came to worship music ever since I grew very tired of Shout to the Lord back in 1996. This album turned me on to them the lyrics, love the arrangements, love the passion that is captured on this record.

9. Rick Hopkins - Where we Are and Where We Long to Be. Yes, Rick is a good friend, but I think I would even listen to this record if I didn't know him. You can tell he puts a lot of work into writing good lyrics, good riffs, and just overall good music. It's been great to be a part of his life, and I'm glad he keeps writing music.

8. The Brothers Martin - The Brothers Martin. For those of you who remember Starflyer 59 and Joy Electric, you must listen to this record. Ronnie Martin from Joy Electric, and his brother Jason Martin from Starflyer 59 collaborated to create a pop-rock-electronic-indie masterpiece. This is it.

7. David Gray - Life in Slow Motion. Yes, David Gray came out with a new record this year called Draw the Line. It was good, but I'm stuck on Life in Slow Motion. I love this record. I love the transparency and the creativity he puts into his music. A side note is that I got to see him in concert in the fall. It was amazing.

6. Catfish Gracie - Kalamazoograss. You can't go wrong with bluegrass. Bluegrass has really grown on my in the last year. I love the heartbreak, the spirituality, and the longing for the everlasting. Catfish Gracie is a local band from, you guessed it, Kalamazoo. They play some mean bluegrass.

5. Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory. Just some good old pop-punk. Not sure if they would classify themselves as that, but I like them. They make me smile...and make the afternoons at work go quicker.

4. Josh Garrels - Jacaranda. No offense to the mainstream Christian artists, but you all got nothing on this guy. Josh Garrels is awesome. Great singer/songwriter. Great musician. This guy gets it done. Do yourself a favor and listen to ANY of his stuff.

3. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker. For those of you who are thinking, "oh yeah! I love that song 'Summer of 69'" do yourself a favor and go destroy all of your Bryan Adams will really make the world a better place. I mean what I say when I say Ryan Adams is a great songwriter. I also mean what I say when I say Bryan Adams can take "everything he does" and stay in Canada. As for Heartbreaker, amazing record from the first track to the last.

2. Ray Lamontagne - Gossip in the Grain. What I love about Ray Lamontagne is that he's sort of a throwback to the 1970's. This record did not dissapoint.

1. Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steel Things. This earns the number one slot because many nights were spent listening to the whole record while dancing around the living room with Ella. And those are memories that will be with me forever.