"the sun shone cold"

This was a prompt given to me my Blake because I was bored and wanted to see what I could get out in a short amount of time

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I asked for a writing prompt and my friend Blake said I should use “the sun shone cold” and I said I would give it a shot.

 

The statement “the sun shone cold” reminds me of prison and the reform prisoners go through while they are there. The first thing that comes to mind is “Shawshank Redemption” and Red’s journey throughout the film. This is a man who spent most of his prison life trying to get out. He went to his parole hearings pretty regularly trying to figure out when he would get out and they would tell him he wasn’t ready. Each time he wanted a bit of the sun. The sun being freedom and it was “shone cold” on him because they believed he hadn’t been rehabilitated. It wasn’t until he had given up and said he had known idea what would he would do to make him earn his parole did the sun shine on him. He was allowed to leave and leave the prison.

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Leaving prison wasn’t everything that he had imagined it to be. What he thought freedom would be like was something that he was not able to experience. The sun he so desperately wanted was something that shone to brightly. He was not able to live his life with the tools he was given outside of the prison. The tools given to him after his rehabilitation were some that did not work for his life that he had since being in prison. Red needed the “sun to shone cold” on him because it was all he knew.

 

I would like to make an all-encompassing statement that I would think would apply to everyone, but it probably doesn’t, but I am writing this so whatever I want to apply to the reader will. I believe we all live a life where “the sun shone cold” is something we experience. We are often trying to go after the warmth of the sun or the good things in life. We want to experience the warmth of something good that we forget that we have to experience times of cold. Life is mostly cold. Not everything is warm and that’s ok. Once a person accepts that things are not always warm is when they can live in the cold. Nothing is wrong with the cold. That’s why we have winter. We need time to allow things to die or retreat. We need that in our life. A time to retreat and a time to die. It is when “the sun shone cold” is when we are growing. Red grew when “the sun shone cold” and was able to experience the life around him in prison. He was in a situation where it was cold, and he had to die to the things that brought him there. Once the sun started shining, he had problems as well. He could thrive in a place where the sun was not shining so he wanted that. So, he left to find Andy. Through that he was allowing his own sunshine to shine through and change his perspective.

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I don’t think that Red lost the idea that he needed to cold. He needed that time to change so that is why he forged his own path. We should look at our lives and find the places where it is cold, and the sun is not shining and embrace them. Those are the areas where we are going to grow the most. Things have to die to grow. What are you allowing to die in order for you to grow?

Failure

I read an interview a few months ago that Rolling Stone did with Louis C.K. and what he said about failure popped out at me.

Do you think you needed all those years and failures to become great?

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“Yeah, all the tools I have come from those years. There’s nothing elusive or ethereal about it; it’s very practical and directly related. I learned how to avoid a huge amount of pitfalls by walking into them and surviving. Then two things happen as you go along. The first thing that happened if your best gets better, but what matters is when your worst gets better. You can’t always be crackling with energy. Sometimes you have to go up there, and the thing didn’t happen, but you’ve got to put together an amazing show anyway, so your worst show has to be above everybody’s best – that’s what you really want. So your worst, that comes with time, that comes with experience.”–Louis C.K.

 

He goes on to say another amazing thing about failure.

“It’s understandable for people to want all of their favorite things to happen, but the crazy thing is to think that they can avoid all of the hard things. To want everything that you ever dreamed of, to the exclusion of anything hard, that feels common to me now in a way that is hurting people.  They’re ignoring how much good there is in being present for the hardest parts of your life. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I loved all that time; it was hard and I suffered. Times where you’re like, “ I think it’s over, and I’m in too deep to start anything else.” There are really scary moments in a showbiz career, but it’s so great that they got to happen. It’s a very unforgiving field; it doesn’t say goodbye nicely, and there is no one there to keep you going – it’s all you. But if you survived that time, that’s always there.”

 

I personally love what Louie says about failure in this interview and if you aren’t watching his show Louie on FX you need finish reading this, ask your grandmother if you can have her log in for her Netflix and give it a try. Some parts of the story really can get to you because for me it’s the things that I wish I could say but I don’t end up doing it.

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Louie gets failure and not in the way I wanted to start this article about how we all need to do a self-evaluation on our own failures to see where we can grow and learn from them.

Instead for me it’s looking at those failures and sitting with them most of my problems let’s say work related to a miscommunication that in the end turns the project into a Failure. My initial reaction usually is how can I fix this or after a long list of failures that keep coming up that they suck and I should get out of what I’m doing very quickly and quietly. I like to pretend that I take on failure well and see it as a silver lining when it happens but when you have been working on a project for months or you happen to make a special tweak to that one bit of video that you think really brings out something and it ends up not even being needed and the client isn’t happy and BOOM YOU FAILED!

So where can we move from here? After you have failed? I have a few ideas but I would like to get traffic and engagement from the two people who commented on my last posts telling me to write for these days. I’m working on it. Let’s see what you got and “BLOG IT OUT”

My Name is Andy and I Suffer From Depression

After watching the video below and reading this post by my friends over at Mockingbird that you can find here:  http://bit.ly/17QfhpL  I felt relieved and felt like I should write this. I will preface it by saying this isn’t a stand, this isn’t a call to arms, or a look at me! Have pity on me but something I felt compelled to write.

 

My name is Andy and I suffer from depression. It’s hard to write about it because it goes against everything that I feel like I should. Like Kevin in his talk I would rather talk about the easy stuff, the stuff that doesn’t hurt, the good news that everyone wants to hear. I have spent the past 2 years and some change sharing the good stuff for other people. Making their news heard so that they can sell a product or let others know about their business in a way that was informative and helped to bring them website hits and grow. I don’t say this to say that I regret that or I am not good at it. God has gifted me in the area that helps to share news with people and I am so happy that I get to be apart of it. It’s a wonderful gift and one that I don’t take for granted for one moment.

What brings me to come out and talk about my depression and that I have it is the courage that Kevin Breel at the age of 19 is open and honest enough to share with us about. I felt something swell up in my chest when he said,

“ There’s the life that everyone sees, and then, there’s the life that only I see.”

The only thing I would add to make this my own is the life that my wife sees as well. The side of me that does not know why I feel they way I do and would like to craw into a hole for a bit to be sad, to not know what I am upset about.

I feel a need to hide my depression. That it is something that I should be ashamed about and not be open and honest with people about because it isn’t something that anyone can physically see. Shit! There are starving people in Africa who haven’t eaten in days and I’m depressed and feel hopeless. Who am I to write about something like this? It’s my pain and struggle that along with others who feel like me, look like me, and go around not sharing it believe that we aren’t worthy of sharing this. Who wants to read that I am struggling to get out of bed because I’m sad and can’t explain it? I know that is something that I feel is shameful. It’s in the books that I read telling me that I need to overcome and live the best life I can live! This is something that will go away if I push through and stay on course that I will “Hustle Hard” and be able to pull myself out of this water by myself. The problem I’m faced with is the harder I try to improve myself, the harder I try to say to myself “This is nothing, no one should know this is going on with you because it isn’t real” is like drowning. Not in depression like the commercials would lead you to believe but real life drowning. The one they train you to look for in lifeguarding school. The person who believes that if they kick hard enough and long enough they will be able to keep afloat because they are relying on everything inside of them to carry them through the deep end.

I can’t do that anymore. I’m drowning and needed help. I am blessed enough to have a wife who is a lifeguard and could see that to call my parents and her own and say “Andy needs help and I can’t help him.”

So what does that look like for me? It looks like me walking through this not alone but with others as well. To have many honest and hard conversations with friends and family about how I feel. Not that I understand why I feel this way but to not hide behind clever quotes and funny pictures shared through my social networks but to have honest conversations with those around me to deal with this illness I have. This road isn’t easy and I am not a martyr because this is what I am dealing with it. Depression sucks for me but it may not be what you are dealing with and that is ok. The one thing I would wish for anyone is to not look at the pain or struggles that you are dealing with and say “It’s not so bad! Look at so and so! They are dealing with so much and my problems are not as bad!” The truth is your problems are hard as well. They suck and you are doing your best to swim out of the deep end you are in and I won’t pretend that I am in your shoes. That sucks and I’m sorry.

The only answer I have is to talk about it. Bring it to light with someone you trust and love. No matter what it is. If it is something that is bringing you pain or hurt don’t take the burden on yourself. It isn’t yours to go at it alone. We all need someone to help. It isn’t weak like I was lead to believe. It is something that is needed. We can’t go at this alone.

I don’t know if I will write anything more about this or if it is something that I will keep writing about but I hope that it sparks a conversation with someone you know today and that you don’t minimize anything that you are going through. It sucks to be going through that and I am sorry you are going through it. Own it and don’t move on until you’re ready. We aren’t in a sprint to win at life. The one truth we can hold on to is we are going to die. It can be sad or happy but the truth is you aren’t going to live forever. Don’t race through everything but join me in this slow death march called life. Where we can walk together and not alone but can rely on each other for support when we are down or to hold someone up when they need it. I hope to see you marching with me.


 

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I Have Dream of Killing my Dad with a Baseball bat and He is screaming and crying for help. My review of the new Front Bottoms Album “The Talon of the Hawk”

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I think the best way to describe this review is this may be my first album review so if the album doesn’t sale please let The Front Bottoms know I tried my hardest to make this make people want to buy their album but with Kanye West killing the game with his projections of his new single on side of buildings is something in the future maybe we could connect on (With Kanye) and I can try to see if I can pull some projectors out of my hinny to help with promotions. Kanye, his money, and his baby Mama are helping to push that. Might I suggest trying to get involved with one of the teen mom girls and trying to get on to that show. I feel like we could see a blossom in popularity in this area, you could call it the unexplored area of marketing. Just get on 16 and pregnant and you are golden Front Bottoms.

So after that rant I feel like I should give you something to take away from this and why you should give this release a try if you are looking for something new or haven’t heard of The Front Bottoms but I have time warp you for a moment so can get the authenticity of where I am coming from to help to convince you to give “Talon of the Hawk” a shot.

The journey of The Front Bottoms started with an end of the list top 90 or 10 of the albums David Stringer talked about. I try my best to listen to Dave but when we are together I end up crying because when you are bold brothers you either cry or just bask in the glory of what gold brings to your world or you leave with no emotions. So in saying that Dave said this was an album that would not leave his cd player (I found it weird he had a cd player but I went with it.) I’m glad through the tears that I was able to take on their first official release because it was something that I needed in that time of my life. We all have those albums. I still tear up a bit when I hear “Jude Law and the Semester abroad” music connects with us and it’s a nice cry I’m willing to accept. When Mags is feeling sad I turn on “The Beers” and scream out

“ I will remember that summer as the summer I was taking steroids and I like you”

Now have a taken steroids?  Not yet but it’s a running joke that connects us and I wouldn’t change it. If Mags was looking for a man with muscles I wouldn’t have been married for almost 2 and a half years. I just can’t find out where I can find the steroids. Long story but the police always seem to get involved. It’s a pretty big bummer.

So now what I am sure you want to hear “Why should I waste my hard earned money to buy this new release? What does it have that I can’t find in the newest Justin Bieber single or and album from All Get Out when they get a chance to release new material?” I could give you a whole list of why you should do something thing but I am finding that when I tell people what to do they could give a rats butthole about it and because I told them to check it out they won’t but here are the reason’s I like it and if you think you could like it I would say check it out.

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1.     The Front Bottoms have grown and I hate that. I want my bands to release the same album with different lyrics so I can pretend they haven’t grown and I can live with innovation but I prefer no growth to come at all.

2.     It’s a great album. The boys have grown and some of the stand out tracks to me that are worth spotifying just to give them a chance. are “ Twin Size Mattress”,  “Swear to God the Devil Made me do it”, and “Funny You Should Ask” These are just a blueprint. I think you should give the whole album a shot but these are my stand out tracks.

So that’s my pitch and review. I think that this is an album of growth in a way that doesn’t go to far from where they started. I could be wrong but it’s not like what happened with Taking Back Sunday and all of the dreams they crushed when they released "Make for Damn Sure" came with that release.

If you liked the first album I would like to say you would enjoy this album but I want you to come to your own conclusion with it.

Have you had a chance to listen to it? What did you think? I love to get in giant fight on twitter so please tweet me at @hilibofas.

I hope this at least sparks your interests in the release and if fails to take a moment to check out the Video for "Twin Size Mattress" below

The Front Bottoms will be heading out on tour to spread the good news of the "Talon of The Hawk" and you can check out the tour dates below and you can grab tickets here:  http://on.fb.me/13CulTS