Weekly blogging challenge #4: Write a list post

I attempted to complete this challenge late last night but due to WordPress being stupid it was deleted along with my draft. So I went to bed instead of writing it again.

Today’s post was inspired by 30 days to build a better blog by Darren Rowse as well as from reading other blogs. Lists seem like a common theme.

I’m not normally one to write lists. In fact I tease my list crazy gf often about her penchant for creating uncountable lists about everything. Although as much as I tease her about it, I understand the practicality of using a list, as I see first hand how it makes her organized and efficient in her life.

In creating my post I figured why not share a list of things that have helped shape who I am.

1) Person: George Carlin. My favorite comedian and modern philosopher. His love for language and his unwavering honesty about humanity makes him one of my personal heroes.

2) Video Game: Mass Effect 1,2 & 3. Bioware is based out of my home town and had made another game I enjoyed calle MDK II. My best friend even worked for them on Mass Effect, so my expectations for the game were pretty high. But I never could have expected just how awesome this game series is. Commander Shepard is now my all time favorite Science Fiction hero. Bioware really set the bar high. I was so emotionally invested in the story, the characters and the mission I truly felt I was Shepard. By far one of the greatest games ever made.

3) Book: Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. A gripping tale of a young boy genius, destined to be earths last hope in a war with an Alien threat and his emotional struggle to save earth as well as his humanity in the face of genocide. It’s sister novel Enders Shadow together combine for one of the best science fiction stories I’ve ever read despite the religious undertones. Soon to be released on film this year starting Harrison Ford.

4) Music: Strung Out. Southern California punk rockers have a heavy blend of Punk/Metal. My all time favorite artist. I’ve seen them 13 times, traveled multiple cities to see them, own too many T-shirts/merch to count and sport a tattoo of their logo the Astrolux. Love them. Check out http://www.strungout.com

5) Artist: Vincent van Gough. Creator of The Starry Night. His blending of color and use of dark/light contrast, added with his unique painting style has always left me fascinated with this painting. A crazy yet wonderful painter.

6) Website: Strong Bad and the gang at www.homestarrunner.com.
Created by The Brothers Chap. This flash cartoon was all the rage a few years back. From its wacky characters, interactive website and it’s classic cartoons like Teen Girl Squad. This website is already awesome to begin with. Add in the epically hilarious Sbemails and it’s like 100000 times more awesome. As an aspiring cartoonist I can’t help but be inspired by the world created by those talented brothers.

7) Historical Figure: Carl Sagan.
I know not overly historical as he only passed away in the 90’s. But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about him the more his words, his hope and his never ending quest to understand the universe have inspired me to view the world more openly. He did so much for us in regards to the space program and put forth some of the most historical accomplishments in humanities quest to understand the universe.

8) Place: I’ve mentioned Fiji before (which I love) but the most important place on earth for me is the Rocky Mountains. The raw beauty and sheer magnitude of these natural wonders have played an important part in my life. Some of my most humbling moments have been in the Rockies. I’ve seen them from afar, in the heart of them and from high above and no matter how I see them, I’m reminded just how big our planet is despite how small we are in the universe. Makes me curious about what other wonders are there to see, visit or discover on this planet and beyond.

9) Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A emotional tale of love and memory starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a recently split couple, struggling with the emotional turmoil of losing each other over their failed relationship. I saw this movie as I just ended a long term relationship and never has a film touched so close to home.

10) Food: Fondue, I’m a horribly picky eater. To the point it’s made things quite frustrating for my foodie Gf. But a few years ago we did Fondue for my birthday and had a blast. Cheesy, fried, or chocolate I love it all. I put this in the list because of how much my willingness to try new foods has changed. I’m still picky but I’ve eaten some pretty crazy stuff I never would have before if it hasn’t been for Fondue.

Thanks for reading today’s post and I apologize for the sporadic posting recently. Things will become more normal next week.

Mike

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How music has left its permanent mark on me.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but music has always been an important and defining part of my life. I find it quite interesting how most people define themselves by the music they listen too. Each of us influenced by a song or an artist in a profound way, leaving a lasting impact on who we are as individuals.

 As I’ve mentioned in past posts, for as long as I can remember I have defined myself by Punk music and the subculture associated with it. Now I enjoy various types of music genres ranging from Ska, Rockabilly, and Metal to Classic Rock and Jazz. But Punk Music has always been my one true love. 

To give you an idea I’ve been to 300+ concerts (lost count years ago), traveled across 2 provinces to make it for the traveling punk festival Warped Tour on a few occasions, I’ve seen my favorite band 13 times and counting, own multiple cd’s, vinyl, stickers, posters, t-shirts and other merch in support of the artists I listen to. I’ve likely invested as much money into supporting my favorites artists as one would put into buying a car over the years. 

So as you can see music has been a huge part of my life. Despite the fact I’m not overly musical myself (Oh man, I was a terrible bass player) I am who I am today because of the music I hold dear.  In fact when I was turning 25, for my birthday I got a tattoo of the logo my favorite band (Strung Out) uses. (see photo below) Image

I got that tattoo to celebrate turning 25 as well as to serve as a reminder of my punk and nerd roots. While I love my tattoo I’ve been itching to add to it since the day I got it. But have been struggling with when, how and what to get to add to the existing ink. Well now that school is ending in a few weeks and the fact I am celebrating a major accomplishment in my life, the idea of getting a new tattoo to celebrate has been on my mind often. 

So I’ve come up with a concept I am happy with, as well have saved up $150 so far for the work. With music being so important to me and already having a musical inspired tattoo, I’ve decided to get a select score of music from a song by my favorite artist that’s very important to me. I hope to have it turned into a sleeve on the same arm as my existing ink. Below is a concept photo I found using Google Image search (Artist unknown)

 Image

Now this is only just a concept of the tattoo I want inked. I’m hoping to find an artist who is willing to take this picture along with the music I provide and personalize it a bit more to me and have some colour added.  But I definitely love this tattoo. Now I’m not exactly sure when I will be getting the work done, but I’ve definitely made the decision this is what I am going with.

So what do you think? I’d love to get an opinion from readers about this tattoo idea? Do you like or hate it? Do you have an idea to improve upon the design. Or are you like me and have musically inspired ink and just want to share your story/pics. Whatever your opinion is I’d love to hear it. 

I’ve included a link I found on youtube to the song that inspired my next tattoo. The guitar solo in the final minute of the song is the part of the score I want inked.  I picked it because it’s one of the few songs that no matter when I hear it, my emotional attachment to it still leaves me with chills. 

Thank you again to all who read this. Enjoy the music. 

The Misanthropic Principle – Strung Out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2ioOKKGiE