Studies show that when two people are performing a duet, their brain waves sync with one another…
Imagine now, hundreds, thousands of people with their brainwaves synced together. Droves of people, all different ages, races, nationalities coming together to enjoy something they have in common; a handful of individuals performing their art for stadiums full of fans. Under other circumstances, if some of these people meet, they may be enemies, but for these few hours, in this one place… none of that matters. There’s no differing sides, no competing teams, no conflict of opinions–the conflict you’d most likely encounter at a concert might be:
“Yeah, my favorite song is X.”
“Are you serious? ALL the songs on album Y are better than that song!”
“My favorite song is Z… oh you don’t know it? That’s because I’ve been listening to them since before they were popular.”
The only thing that matters is that everyone has gathered together for one common purpose; to experience this music that has somehow made an impact on them whether big or small.
There’s nothing like looking over at a complete stranger and seeing that you’re both singing the exact same words in unison. And yet, those same words touch each individual in a completely different way…
Or witnessing a sea of people clapping, stomping, screaming together, but still feeling the overwhelming resonance between you and a loved one swaying together, bobbing to the same rhythm, as the music pulses, seemingly for only you.
In our world where violent stories riddle the news and paranoia hides around every corner, concerts are able to provide a brief escape to a place of union, camaraderie, and peace.
A sea of cell phones, signaling for an encore after tonight’s concert.
My cubicle decorations at work.
Having discovered Lex Luthor’s power armor, Shredder disbands his Foot Clan under the belief that he has no use for them with his newfound toy. From New York, to Metropolis, Shredder goes on a destructive rampage that brings him to West City. Confused by the armor, Vegeta thinks that Shredder is another one of Dr. Gero’s Androids and comes to the rescue. During a battle, Shredder fires a beam at Vegeta who attempts to deflect what he believes to be a ki blast. The beam, which is in fact powered by Green Kryptonite, has an odd effect on his Saiyan body. He is instantly split into two pure entities: Vegeta, comprised of pure good, and The Prince of all Saiyans, made up of pure evil.
Realizing the strength of Kryptonite, the Prince searches for more and thus stumbles upon a ring of gold in Gollum’s cave. Unbeknownst to him, Gollum’s precious is actually made of Gold Kryptonite, a powerful mineral. Upon wearing the ring, the Prince is able to harness its power and ascend to Super Saiyan level.
Following a map, Lex Luthor arrives at Gollum’s cave in search of the ring only to find that he is too late; it’s already gone. Desperate to get his precious back, Gollum teams up with Luthor who fools him into thinking he’ll concede the ring once they retrieve it. Little does Gollum know that Luthor has his own intentions for the ring. He has discovered that the Gold Kryptonite is capable of stripping Superman of his powers or even killing him. Exiled by Shredder, a lone Foot Soldier sides with them in search of revenge on his former leader.
Hiding in the shadows of the cave, Bilbo Baggins witnesses the entire exchange and heads off to retrieve the ring. An unexpected journey leads him out of Middle Earth entirely and back to West City. Here, the Prince and Shredder have reunited and continued their destructive terror. Upon his arrival, Bilbo finds himself standing shoulder to shoulder with an unlikely group of heroes:
Bilbo, a lost little hobbit trying to retrieve his ring;
Vegeta, a Saiyan trying to save his home and the world;
Donatello, a Ninja Turtle on a mission to stop Shredder’s rampage;
Superman, a hero attempting to keep the ring out of the wrong hands.
Having already been split once, the now pure Vegeta no longer has any internal emotional conflict and thus a second Kryptonite blast would destroy him. With his sights set on Vegeta, Shredder is ready to fire his fatal blast, until the little Hobbit charges onto the battlefield to the rescue. All the while, even with the strength of Superman, he and Donatello struggle to take down the Super Saiyan Prince; only growing ever stronger with the Golden ring.
I walked into my next class as usual, a few minutes early, and sat in my desk waiting for class to start. The class was Woods, woodcrafting, and my teacher was usually very punctual, but today he seemed to be late. I sat there, on the far right of the class room waiting, it was something like ten minutes past at this point, but I still didn’t think anything of it. I overheard a conversation going on behind me as two girls were talking, one of the comments was something to the effect of…
No, I’m pretty sure if a plane hit the Empire State Building, it would just bounce off, I think they made it that way.
Next thing I know, the teacher, Mr. Balfanz, walks into the room, doesn’t say a word, sets down a radio on the chalkboard ledge, turns it on, and walks out again. I didn’t understand what just happened, until I began to tune in to the news that was unfolding…
Eleven years ago seems so far for something still so vivid in my memory. I was lucky enough not to lose any loved ones from the tragedy of 9/11, but no one in America went unaffected. As impactful as the events of that day were, not only on America but on the whole world, it’s surprising to me how little it feels is done to remember those who were lost on that day. I can’t do much, but I will hold those people who were lost in my thoughts and prayers tonight. All I ask is that you do the same. The simplest way is to remember where you were that day so that we may never forget, so please share with me…
What’s your September 11, 2001 story?
Wake up bright and early, anticipating the new day and ready to start a new chapter in my life. Showered and prepared for anything the world decides to throw at me, I’m out of the house with the rising sun greeting me, as I travel into a new environment eager to meet new people and learn new things.
This may have been true for me this morning, but it was just as true for me exactly twenty years ago to the day. At that time I was a five year old boy, dressed in my blue school uniform, combover neatly in place, waiting for the bus to my first day of school, bright-eyed with dreams of conquering the world. Replace the school uniform with a purple dress shirt and tie, trim the combover and spike it up a bit and you’d find me in essentially the same situation twenty years later this morning.
As I drove out of my neighborhood and saw the same look in the eyes of the children patiently waiting for their busses as I had twenty years ago, it made me take a moment and reflect on where I’ve been; the journey I took to get where I am now. Whereas twenty years ago I was eager for my first day of school, today I was off to my first day of training for my new job. While this may not be my dream job yet, nor in my ideal field, it’s still a step forward toward getting me there.
Somewhere along these past twenty years, I feel as if that world conquering ambition has gotten lost. Hopefully this new chapter will help get me one step closer to getting that back in my eyes.
As I was about to turn out my light and go to sleep with my first day at my new job tomorrow on my mind, I looked over and saw a giant zebra staring back at me… on the front of a huge card my old coworkers made for me in my last week. As I picked it up and read through each of their final words, I remembered everything that I learned from that year and a half at TCF; improving my customer service, acquainting myself with the banking system, learning how to train people, and most of all patience.
I’ll definitely miss everyone at my old branch, but I came to realize that I felt like I was running out of room to grow. The only way left to grow from my position there was as a supervisor at a different branch, and honestly, the main thing that was keeping me there was the people, not the company, so that was never even an option. And so, when an opportunity came up at US Bank (ironically the same position I was denied when I applied to US prior to getting accepted at TCF) providing me a chance for professional growth, a substantial pay increase, and more convenient location, there was no way I could turn it down. But still, no matter where I go, no matter who I work with, I will never forget anyone I worked with at TCF, all of whom I am forever thankful to for everything they taught me. This is the first time I’ve had to leave a job, not only leaving behind a company, but leaving behind friends and people I’ve come to know and care about. It’s also the first time the people I worked with cared enough to make me anything like this…
Jason the Reese’s Loving Zebra
Previously read “Goodbye Jason - We’ll Miss you”
A cake made out of cupcakes, full of inside jokes.
Giant card covered in so many zebras
Hand added for scale reference.
So to the final crew I was working with whom I had to leave behind: Shanda, Jens, Shirley, Jada, Kathy, Addis, Afnin, Lee, Mai, Wags, and Michael; I guess you were right, I may not be working with you anymore, and I may not always bank there, but a part of me will always be a TCFer for life.
Needs moar foodie pix @kalyoubyein (Taken with Instagram at Minato Sushi)
The day is here. Honestly, half of me didn’t expect to make it, I had this looming feeling that something would come up and prevent me from graduating, and yet here I am preparing myself for tomorrow’s portfolio show and graduation ceremony. It still hasn’t sunk in, and I’m not exactly sure when to expect it to. Because of this, I’m feeling a bit numb to the situation so I don’t really have much to say on it right now. Instead, I’ll post a letter I wrote to myself a few weeks ago, but have yet to post. I think I was feeling a bit more emotion at that time…
Dear Future Justin,
This post is to remind you of the stress, fear, anxiety, tension, frustration… the exhileration, excitement, adrenaline, absolute pure and overwhelming exuberance, the kind that can bring you to tears of joy. All from being so close to graduation. You got set back a few years, but not really set back at all; only set onto the right path. Never forget what it took to get here, to FINALLY get here… well, in two weeks. Never forget this feeling, this stomach-churning, amazing feeling. Be thankful for what you have, and appreciate the journey that it takes to get there.
Let it go and set yourself free.
I received an email yesterday that I got pretty excited over. It wasn’t anything even beneficial to me, but it was simply an informational correspondence from Be the Match whom I finally joined the registry for a few weeks ago.
If you don’t know what Be the Match is, no it’s not an online dating website, it’s actually a nonprofit organization that provides bone marrow donations to patients in need. There are thousands of patients that are looking for a bone marrow transplant, and many never receive it. This is primarily because finding a match for bone marrow is not as easy as finding a match for a blood transplant. To put it into perspective, those thousands of patients looking for a match are in contrast to the nearly 10 million potential donors on the registry list, and many of them are still struggling and failing to find the match they need to survive.
I was excited for this email, not because they found me as a match for anyone, but just from the prospect of maybe being found as a match in the future. They informed me that if someone is ever found as a match, it’s likely that it will only ever happen once in a lifetime. I had to take a moment to think about that; once in a lifetime. People talk about soul mates in the context of love all the time, but I feel like something like this is akin to that. If I am able to find that one other person that I match in this world and I’m able to provide them a second chance at life, that would be so amazing. And if I have even the slightest chance that I’d be able to help someone this way, I want to make sure that I try.
I feel like people look for their match in love to help themselves, so why not do the same and find my match this way as well, to help someone else? Now, I’m not trying to coerce anyone into joining, but I am asking that if you’ve somehow found yourself here, reading this blog, and you’re not already on the registry, please consider it. I have no affiliation with them and I don’t even know anyone personally looking for a match, but the statistics speak for themselves. If this reaches even one person that decides to join, that would be great, but at the end of the day, if I’m at least able to inform a few people about something this big that they didn’t know about, I’ll feel accomplished.
If this is something that you’re even the slightest bit interested in or even just curious about, click the link below and check it out.