Wednesday, December 31, 2008

reject acceptance. accept rejection.

‘you have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.’
-ray bradbury

'so this is the new year and i don’t feel any different' (-DCFC), actually a lot has happened in 2008. A LOT.
this blog is simply a suggestion for those in need of new years resolution, or those who need another one to add to the list of things to change or improve on in the next 365 days. or 16 days, or 3 depending on your self discipline.

i heard a story recently (whether it was true or not i could not figure out but i did check out several websites that reverberated the same story) about producer steven spielburg and how he got his start by wondering off of tour on the universal studio’s lot and started meeting people and making connections which began his career.

that got me thinking, how much guts it had to take to knowingly sign up for the tour knowing full well that you just want to sneak off and begin a career even though your probably breaking the tour rules, and perhaps breaking a few laws in the process.

but whats the worst that could happen? honestly. who cares if people say no, at the end of the day what does it matter? rejection doesn’t hurt so bad when you look back in time and analyze all the success that simply asking will gain you.
so this upcoming year all i am asking is that you simply try. i know it sounds easy, but its not because sometimes it hurts to hear no. but what if, just what if there is a yes to be found amongst the no.

take a chance as ask him/her, talk to your boss about that new position, apply to that college you don’t think you have a chance at, plan that trip and worry about how to get another job to pay for it later, apply to another bigger better job you have always dreamed of, ask that person if they want to start a band, send out your poetry to see if the new yorker will publish it.
what is the worst that could happen, a no? a no from someone you may never see or hear from again? a person that is simply on the other line of the phone that you may never meet? and WHO CARES! life is to short to worry more about rejection than lavish in the possibilities that simply asking a simple question might bring.

RESOLVE TO SIMPLY ASK, AND PROMISE YOURSELF THAT NO IS MEANINGLESS.

i know that i have posted this previously but its one of my favorite quotes of all time, (you may recognize a lyric or two from NTFP)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
-esteban

Monday, December 29, 2008

MODESTY GUILD. TWITTER

this way i can update easier from the cell phone out on the road.
-technologically inferior stephen

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

expose yourself to new music: DJANGO

i was just a kid when i heard about jean ‘django’ reinhardt; i heard about him in a movie called ‘swing kids’ which randomly still makes me tear up at the end. i never found myself interested in the big band sound, it was to... well i don't know, it just never sat right no matter how hard i tried to like it.
while writing this last record in new orleans i discovered a new type of jazz that really caught my attention, started by the above stated name. it was called gypsy jazz and had a different sound, a unique sound that makes me feel like im sitting on Frenchman street every time i listen to it.
the amazing thing about the man who created an entire GENRE of music is that django was trapped inside a house fire django had one leg paralyzed, and could only use two fingers; all the solos, and the chords were played with only two fingers.
when tragedy occurs in our own life, whether physical or emotional we tend to turn off parts of our life to accommodate our handicaps and shortcomings, but we don’t have to. take a lesson from django and learn to work around the problems and search for solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_Reinhardt

Sunday, November 16, 2008

would my character survive survival?

i finished an incredible book called ‘the road’ by cormac mccarthy while on my travels in the UK. the book is a post-apocalyptic book about a man and his son trying to make their way south to 'the coast' where there is warmer weather and a chance to survive this ash covered world in which they live. it is quite a mystery as to where the man and his son are, and it remains so throughout the book. i theorize that they may be in a post nuclear world and almost all the inhabitants of the earth have died. the book is very much about endurance of the human will, the author said the inspiration for the book came from trying to imagine ‘what the city might look like in the future, and pictured fires on the hill.’ this book led me to many thoughts about the survival of mankind when faced with nothing but himself inside an empty world.

this book reminded me of another one of my favorite books of all time, a simple read called ‘lord of the flies,’ by william golding. the book is about a shipwrecked group of british school boys who must face a deserted island and try to sustain not only life but sanity & order. there are so many layered meanings in the book, but the overall theme is that when challenged with adversity, fear, and survival of self, mankind digresses to a barbaric nature.

so how do we as a people who come from a society where are basic core instincts are never tested? (please forgive my assumption that everyone reading this is at a financial level above absolute poverty, assuming you have a computer in which you are reading this on)

what am i really made of at the center of myself?

if faced with the most severe of circumstance will i have the character to maintain integrity that i think i possess?

i want to believe that at my center the best of people and that i would care more for mankind as a whole than i do for myself even in dire circumstances. i want to think that love conquers fear and deep down people are innately good. but upon reading the road, and rethinking ‘lord of the flies,’ i don’t know. its not that i don’t know if people are born ‘good’ it is that i don’t know if i am ‘good’. i have never been faced with the point of ‘how do i survive’, ‘where will i get my next meal,’ ‘where can i find shelter tonight.’ i have been blessed enough to be born into a family where we were raised in a first world country where these questions were never pondered.

how do we find the center of ourselves when paradise is not lost? maybe i will never know. but i also know life is not perfect; those i love will someday die, situations will not always be so optimal, and i can only pray that in the small moments of adversity and discouragement that i am faithful to react with character and altruism. hopefully maybe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the six word memoir

there is a (not so) current writing trend that is really pretty profound. short but profound. what it is is that authors, writers, and such are writing their whole memoir in just 6 words. some creative ones that i have found are...

Nobody cared, then they did. Why?
- Chuck Klosterman

70 years, few tears, hairy ears.
- Bill Querengesser

"For Sale: baby shoes, never worn"
-Ernest Hemingway

recently people have been putting pictures to their 6 word memoir and they have been incredible. here are some on this NPR LINK.

so i think it would be great if each one of us did one about ourself. perhaps post a photoshopped picture and 6 words, or just your 6 word memoir all on its own. either way, i think it would be so interesting to see each others lives in a simple 6 words.

HERE IS MINE:


..............LEFT BEHIND A LEFT BEHIND CHILD....................

alternates for mine:
always looking, never finding. feeling found.
lonely child found fame, lost self.


-stephen

so SO many good ones in the comments, everyone should read them all!
but few (there were tons) that really hit me personally are:

...everything changes; everything stays the same
...missing piece to a bigger picture
..."There is always hope. Rinse, Repeat"
...Looked before she leaped, missed.
....8,264 days, 22 hours, 47 min.
....Finding the sublime in the simple
...Starving artist with no artistic talent
...life solves all but one question
...finding my song--waiting to sing
...clay molded by too many hands.
...six words short of a memoir.

Monday, September 15, 2008

PACIFISM.

this is one of the hardest topics for me to discuss, so im going to keep a running tab on thoughts here till i come to my own conclusion.

tolstoy, ghandi, martin luther king jr., gk chesterton. and the list of pacifist's grow. this should seem like such an easy and logical decision.
war= not good. death. killing.
peace= contentment, stability, life.

but when you have grown up in a country where the church, state, and weaponry have all blurred into the same entity it is a much harder decision to come to.

there are SO MANY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE on this blog, just read through the comments! my LORD! you guys are brillant.

ang said "There is a time and a place for everything, it depends on the situation." but i would like to hear the situations in which violence is necessary. defend yourself? your family? but what about war, when do we have to kill?
'one murder made a villain, millions a hero'. your right ang this is hard because i would defend my family to the death which is clearly not pacifist of me! but i KNOW i would never go to war over colonialism.

'chris said...
maybe I should get my dad's opinion on this who's 88 today (today's his birthday!) who is a WWII vet.' please do chris, ww2 being that america (and i) feel it was a 'just war' because it was fighting off hitler and the nazi's.

on the other hand promptedbylove said...
'Pacifism is a hard subject. Wars are fought for so many different reasons, and it's hard to tell what to fight for. To use a very cliche war with the topic of Pacifism, in the Vietnam War, it was hard to see the point of the war. If, at any point, a country finds itself saying "What are we fighting for?" that country should not be involved in the war.'

As cliché as it sounds,I think that people should just love each other. If power and capitalism did not exist, neither would war. I do not understand why one country has to be better than other countries. God created all humans as equal. I realize that I'm fantasizing when I say this but, if people could learn how to talk out their differences and understand their common goals, the world would be so much better off. Unfortunately, peace doesn't occur naturally. We have to push for it.
Mark 12:31 says "Love your neighbor as yourself". As difficult as it is, we need to love other people no matter what they do to us or say about us. This includes terrorists and war generals. I believe that if God tells us to love our neighbors, than that is what we should do. Yes, I would label myself as a pacifist. There is absolutely no justification for violence. -anonymous.

true but read ang's comment. is there a time and a place? what about capital punishment against someone who has done something atrocious and then killed their victim.

i am with lauren when she writes lauren said...
'Pacifism as an excuse for inaction is wrong. However, pacifism as an ideal, a working concept for a better world, is absolutely a worthwhile belief.
Personally, it's a selective issue for me. I don't believe that war is the solution to anything, but I wouldn't necessarily support the complete abolition of the military, for instance. Human nature indicates that regardless of whether the majority are peaceful or not, there will always be the few that take advantage of that.
As a practical, day to day belief...again, I don't think that violence is the way to solve personal issues. However, if I were in a situation where I believed that I or my loved ones would come to harm unless I acted violently, I would certainly take it into consideration.'

alessio said...
'And I don't believe in pacifism. It's an ideal, like communism.
Communism looks wonderful on paper, but destructive, or at the very least, stagnant in practice, leaving no room for growth.
pacifism looks wonderful on paper, but that's all it is. I feel like any book on pacifism should be put in the "Fantasy" section of any book store, it can never become a global practice.'

my thoughts exactly on communism, but pacifism seems much more practical on an individual level. communism, not so much.

a former liberal eve said that her neighbor (klayton south) signed up for the marines and 'He came home, but with a bullet to the face and a shattered ankle. Many weeks were spent with him in the hospital clinging to life. He has many years of re constructive surgeries to go and most likely permanent trauma to his well being in general.

If you ask him what he wishes for, he answers to go back to Iraq and finish the job. He says we could never understand the hate in the eyes of the man who shot him at point blank range. He wants to make sure his baby sister keeps the American dream alive and well and all of us keep our freedom to pursue our dreams.'

so the realities of war changed her from a pacifist 'to a realist'

'ashley n. said...
I think pacifism in someways is actually oxymoronic. Fighting for peace, destruction of property in the name of peace, that honestly doesn't seem non-violent to me. And using inaction to achieve peace is just as bad as using violence to obtain it. It gets nobody nowhere; like having your foot caught in a bear trap. You can't just sit around doing nothing and think the trap is just going to go away, you have to do something about it (that was the best analogy i could think up).'

i am not sure i understand your position, i believe that the story of ghandi clearly shows signs that pacifism does in deed work, it ended the oppression of the british colonialism in india forever. care to elaborate?

escalus said...
'I think it all comes down to this, or at least, the line is split down two sides. If you are a Christian, then war is not justifiable. I've seen a lot of people spin it this way or that, but there's no way that when Jesus said "Love your enemies", he possibly meant killing them. There's no way that when he said "When someone slaps your cheek, offer the other" he possibly meant shooting them. He said it in the broadest terms, there was no certain situation in which these apply. War and violence are not justifiable through Christianity.'

i see what your saying and feel the lament of trying to put it into action in my faith. i did a blog for relevant magazine earlier today called 'War & Pieces.' where i tried to connect the dot's.

mark duarte said...
'unrealistic in this world, unless you want to be a door mat.'
YES! that has been my perception for years, but how do you explain the civil rights movement? martin luther king jr. died for what he believed and now look, not even 50 years later and look around at the overwhelming positive change in our society alone!

i am sorry if it sounds like i contradict myself its because well... i contradict myself because i have not come to a non-relative moral decision, its one thing to say i am a pacifist but another to live like one. i long to be a pacifist but i feel at moments i am to human and let my emotions get the best of me. i need to rid myself of outside influence (politics, american philosophy on war, religious policy (st. thomas 'just war' theory) and simply start over. i am learning right along side of you.
-esteban

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the last lecture.

someone recently gave me this book, and if she is reading this thank you!
if you have time you NEED to watch this lecture. it is powerful, moving, and challenging.
this is a speech by randy pausch, a professor who died recently of cancer. this was
his last lecture to his college students and fellow professors where he taught.
i hope you get as much out of it as i did.
-stephen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

a tree and a stone.

to be honest i was a little confused when i signed up for philosophy classes at university. i thought that there would be actual classes to help you figure out what our own personal philosophies were. as if the classes asked you tough questions that you had to go research and come up with your own conclusions. man was i ever wrong. we just learned about dead guys who came up with the answers to questions no one asked.

since then i have always wanted to write a book. with no answers, just a series of questions. even aristotle said "the unexamined life is not worth living,' but he never really told us how to examine life. he just said to do it or die. today i was reading through a book and i hit several tough questions, ones that took me back and made me really think, stare up at the coffee shop ceiling and even tear up a little when answering them. (its weird to think of ones own death).

so here is your assignment for the day. it would be really cool if you do this in the comments but i understand if somethings are personal and should be kept between the pages of your own journal.

answer below. expound as much as possible.

1. imagine that you are standing in a graveyard looking at your own tombstone. now write the epitaph you would like to see there. begin with the words "here lies..."

2. write your own obituary (don't make it brief). how do you want people to think of your life, to remember you?

3. what legacy would you like to leave when you die?

know thyself,
-estaban

Sunday, July 27, 2008

to be a sinking ship or a lighthouse.

'Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.'
-Haile Selassie

i wanted a lighthouse. maybe i was supposed to be the lighthouse. either way with the fact is at moments life has a way of slowly putting a pillow over your face as you try to sleep. a slow and steady suffocation, i wish it was all of a sudden so that you could instantly deal with it and leave it in yesterdays wake.

at moments this feels like such a negative world we live in, the only bright spots in it we ourselves must create for others.
i woke to the sounds of an argument or 'discussion' with a loved one, i can't seem to make them happy, or maybe they can't make themselves happy. either way i feel very responsible and helpless this many miles away.
some time ago i got news that a friend nearly killed himself because of depression, but one week ago i sat next to him. nearly in silence, talking to him about shallow instances and surface niceties. i wanted to go back in time and pull him away from himself, and the pain that surrounded him.

today as i walked through scranton warped tour someone from stage began to string the longest chain of swear words i had heard the entire tour and call for girls to take certain items of their clothing off. the person sitting behind one of the the merch tables had a cardboard sign asking for sexual favors, a fight broke out, a guy was groping his girlfriend right there in public, and then it began to rain, i felt it was so fitting.

i cannot allow myself to wallow in the mire of negativity for long, for mapping out the long and winding road of negativity means i must travel it to chart it. i allow myself to fail, for if i had never failed i could have never learned the lessons i hold dear. but as far as drowning in what i see all around me i refuse to watch from a distance simply shaking my head in pity. i am going to be the lighthouse that brings people to shore. i may lose some along the way, but all i can do is shine a light.

'Avoid destructive thinking. Improper negative thoughts sink people. A ship can sail around the world many, many times, but just let enough water get into the ship and it will sink. Just so with the human mind. Let enough negative thoughts or improper thoughts get into the human mind and the person sinks just like a ship.'
-Alfred A Montapert

sorry so random, just on my mind.

Monday, July 21, 2008

reading of orphaned for fundraiser w/augusten burroughs!

hello modesty.
i will be doing a reading from my new book 'the orphaned anything's' in NYC september 4, 2008. i will be opening up for augusten burroughs and tegan quin (of tegan and sara). this is a fundraising event for 'housing works' an organization founded to help fight the spread of aids/hiv. below are details if you are interested. THIS WILL SELL OUT!
-stephen christian

Tickets available at www.livefromhome.org/events
All participants are available for interviews to preview the event and press tickets are available for event coverage.

Thursday September 4, 2008

Doors at 7:30 p.m.

Show at 8 p.m.

Housing Works Bookstore Café

126 Crosby Street (one block east of Broadway between Houston and Prince)

Subway: W, R to Prince; B, D, F, V to Broadway/Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker

General Information: (212) 334-3324

$20 and a new or gently used book

Tegan Quin and Augusten Burroughs Co-Headline

SPIN.com Benefit for Housing Works

Sept. 4 in NYC


Celebrate SPIN.com's Book Club

Musician Tegan Quin (Tegan and Sara) and author Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors; A Wolf at the Table) will co-headline SPIN.com's Liner Notes, an event at Housing Works Bookstore Café on Thursday, September 4, 2008 to celebrate the cross-pollination of music and literature and raise funds for Housing Works, a New York-based non-profit organization. The event, presented by Spin magazine and the SPIN.com Book Club, will also feature a performance by musician Colin Frangicetto (Circa Survive) and readings by musicians Elizabeth Seward (Spelling & Grammar) and Stephen Christian (Anberlin), who recently published his first novel, The Orphaned Anythings. The performances will be juxtaposed to highlight the effects the written word and music have over each other, and will be particularly special as Tegan recently penned a song for the audio edition of Augusten’s latest book, A Wolf at the Table.
“Like a scene out of a movie, earlier this year Augusten Burroughs asked if Sara or I might contribute a song to the audio version of his latest masterpiece (he didn't use that word, I did),” Tegan says. “I of course was honored and terrified to embark on trying to write a song for someone other than me. I am typically a narcissist and have never written about anything or anyone but myself. Lucky for me Augusten loved it and I am so excited to share the stage with him!”

Tegan Quin is exactly one half of the songwriting duo know as Tegan and Sara, whose latest album, The Con (Vapor/Sire), has received worldwide critical acclaim, including a four-star review in Spin. Along with her twin sister Sara, she has toured the world over and appeared on such major U.S. television shows at The Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Between tours, Tegan resides in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Augusten Burroughs is the New York Times Bestselling Author of A Wolf at the Table, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running With Scissors, and Sellevision. He lives in New York City and Western Massachusetts with his partner, Dennis, and their two French bulldogs, Bentley and Cow. He is currently at work on his next book.

The SPIN.com Book Club (www.spin.com/bookclub) is an eclectic collection of literary-minded musicians who participate in a monthly online book where the members read and discuss books that have influenced their songwriting and musical careers. The Book Club, spearheaded by freelance writer Emily Zemler, hopes not only to highlight the influence of literature on music, but also promote literacy, foster a love of reading amongst music fans and raise money for non-profit organizations. Members include Drew Roulette (Dredg), Shawn Harris (The Matches), Michael Jurin (stellastarr*), Greta Salpeter (The Hush Sound), and honorary member author Rick Moody (The Ice Storm; Demonology). This is the inaugural Liner Notes event, a series organized by the Book Club to raise money for various non-profits and celebrate its goals.

Housing Works Bookstore Café is a non-profit organization that relies entirely on donations to stock its store and volunteers to run it. All proceeds directly benefit its parent organization, Housing Works, Inc., the nation's largest minority-controlled AIDS service provider. Housing Works provides housing, healthcare, job training, and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. As an activist organization, it is committed to implementing the systemic changes necessary to ensure that AIDS and public health policies are sound in concept and equitable in administration.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

can you blame the voice of youth for asking, 'what is truth?'

A little boy of three sittin' on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"son, that's when people fight and die"
The little boy of three says "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
"What is truth?"
-johnny cash


this blog will shed no light on the answers, you will walk away just as confused as before you decided to read this… but i am learning slowly that it is all about the journey, not the destination (because in philosophy one rarely reaches a destination).


the scene is set, Jesus is being interrogated by pontius pilate before He was to be crucified, Jesus said “everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” to this pilate replied ‘what is truth?’, even 2000 years ago, in the midst of one of the most famous trials in history, the debate raged on.
‘what is truth?’ is one of the most common questions we must all battle with in our lives, right up there with ‘why am I here?,’ ‘who is God?’ etc. this is not a ‘new question’ or something derived by high school philosophy teachers to test our abilities to write an essay.


i was faced once again with this question recently after a van driver had a peculiar book in floorboard of his vehicle. the title was “hitler and the lamb; conversations between adolph hitler and Jesus.’ of course the title right away took me because as far as morality these two were playing on different teams, if not two different sports. it was a book by current day philosopher ravi zacheria, a work of fiction, but nonetheless intriguing. after discussing philosophy with my new friend/van driver to cornerstone (david), he gave me the book and within a matter of two hours this short read was read.


what amazed me is how that hitler believed that he was right and had convinced himself so, even to the final statement, right before his suicide, he went off on how he felt he was doing the world a favor by killing so many jews. how do i, and the vast majority of the world, believe he was so utterly wrong in every way shape and form! is there such thing as subjective truth as soren kierkegaard believed?(1) i cannot, or rather don’t want to believe there is, there is already too much grey in this world to believe it so. if at the very least out of this lifetime i want some things to be certain in this uncertain world. i want to believe pol pot, stalin, and men like hitler were bad. i want to believe that helping the widows and orphans are ‘good’. but here i am veering off the topic at hand.


truth to me has taking me years to find, and most of the time what i felt was truth 10 years ago has altered, amalgamated, or all together changed its appearance since then. it is something worth pursuing, worth looking for, and worth the wait. the problem is truth is not simply ingrained, and genetically passed down from generation to generation; it is much like a buried treasure, and only those who seek will find.
so here we are where this began, ‘what is truth,’ is a question only you will be able to answer.
now search.


1.When Søren Kierkegaard, as his character Johannes Climacus, wrote that "Truth is Subjectivity", he does not advocate for subjectivism in its extreme form (the theory that something is true simply because one believes it to be so), but rather that the objective approach to matters of personal truth cannot shed any light upon that which is most essential to a person's life. Objective truths are concerned with the facts of a person's being, while subjective truths are concerned with a person's way of being. Kierkegaard agrees that objective truths for the study of subjects like mathematics, science, and history are relevant and necessary, but argues that objective truths do not shed any light on a person's inner relationship to existence. At best, these truths can only provide a severely narrowed perspective that has little to do with one's actual experience of life. (wikipedia)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
-charles swindoll

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Persist.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
-John Calvin Coolidge

Monday, May 19, 2008

1%

i wish i was born with self discipline. how is it that some people can set up a routine and completely stick with it; like clockwork in the brain, almost robot like. my uncle was like that, he heard that we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping and he refused. for nearly 15 years he would only sleep 5 hours a day, the rest he would study, read, write, and invent (he has several patents).
i did not get one single of those genes. in fact i enjoy sleep, im not lazy i promise, but there are moments when i wake up looking forward to sleeping!
can we change? how does one just choose to be self-disciplined? i have heard it said that pain is the biggest instigator of change. which i can see! if someone has been smoking their whole life and develops lung cancer, endures painful chemo, and watches their own health slowly dissipate then the next cigarette doesn't look so appetizing. why must it come to that, i want to change because i know i should, not because eventually i will have to.

is this something that was hereditary, am i always going to go through life with my closet in complete shambles, my stickies notes cluttered with to do lists that i doubt ill ever get around to doing. if all good intentions magically accomplished themselves i would be able to sleep really really well at nights.

a few things i have been doing to overcome myself lately have been:
1. get a calender, i always felt limited as to what i could do today because i had no idea what is happening tomorrow.
2. take one step, if you want to start running but don't feel like going for a 5 mile jog just put on your shoes and walk outside, you will be surprised at what your mind is willing to do if you just get it started; first think of the overall picture, but then forget it and start with the first brush stroke
3. 1%, that's all you need! change today just one percent today. slow and steady begin to change what and who you are 1% better today. organize 1% of your drawer per day, clean 1% of the garage every day, over the course of time you will find
that it is getting easier and more manageable each and every day.
4. pace yourself; don't think your going to write a book in a week or learn a new language in a month

5. ??? i have no clue. i'm working on this too,
so give me your suggestions!
-stephen

Monday, April 14, 2008

thank you modesty, thank you.

here i am in west hollywood, sitting in my office (better known as a coffee shop) and reading through the messages you guys have sent me these last few weeks on my modesty email account pertaining to those who have read "the orphaned anythings".
my chest swelled, i could feel my heartbeat, and i was tearing up (but played it off like i was yawning). thank you so much my dear friends for seeing through me, for belonging; for making me feel like i belong.
a conductor stands before his orchestra, prim and proper he approaches the podium, lifts his small cork-ended baton. he lifts it into the air and as if it was magnetically charged the instruments raise in unison at the same time. he taps, for the attention of not the crowd sitting behind him, but of the person's playing the instrument facing him. he then begins to swing frantically seemingly lifting and pulling notes out of thin air, commanding them to be louder and softer, harsh and bitter or light like a feather floating. when the last note has splashed against the faces of the adoring crowd they stand to their feet hands rabidly meeting together in a off beat but overwhelming roar. but who is it that deserves the praise? is it the man who simply waved a cork-ended baton; or is it the men and women who poured themselves into their instruments, who have taken the time to invest into the passion of their part in the grand puzzle of sheet music that amused and intrigued the listeners; taking them to the edge of the universe and back to the depths of themselves without them ever leaving their seats.
i have come to an amazing self realization since putting out the book. i am simply a conductor. my power does not come in the form of music, lyrics, notes, songs, or writing this book. my power comes in empowering you. you see, YOU are what is going to make this world come alive with a standing ovation. you can write a better book! you can write better songs, you are smarter, more talented, more gracious, more blessed, more intelligent. my goal is not for self gain, notoriety, or fame... but simply to inspire. if i can do it in all my 'falters' then you can do it without as much as an afterthought.
thank you for being the syphony music in my life. the song that i hope to pull from every one of you will be more beautiful than anything i could ever create.
your dear friend,
stephen christian

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

human spirit.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
-e. e. cummings

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

humbling.

his words ring true, this speech is simply inspiring.

you have heard, but have you ever really listened?

each one of us have heard of this speech but how many of you have ever really seen it? one of the most influential voices in america's history speaks words that are not simply for that time only, but for generations to adhere and apply into their lives.

Monday, March 10, 2008

come become the change... INDIA!

Faceless International is taking a trip this winter to Kalcuta India & YOUR INVITED to come with us! the dates for the faceless trip will be: December 26th-Jan.5th.

We will be flying into Kolkata India; the day of arrival and will be staying there for 2 days for a time of sight seeing, good food, shopping, and relaxing. We will then take another short flight to Hyderabad, in Southern India. In Hyderabad, we will be volunteering at a school that is in desperate need of help.

The school is in a remote part of India where volunteers do not regularly come. They take in girls who have been trafficked, and teach them things like English and other school courses. Having an education gives the girls a chance to create a successful life for themselves and limits the chance of them re-entering the sex trade.

We will be participating in construction, to teaching English or music, or applying your gifts/talents to these beautiful children. Other activities that we will be helping with are up to the group and their individual talents and desires (i.e. hair cutting, photography, musical, medical, art, etc.) We could put your talents and skills to good use-either with the girls or by building them a great school! Even if you don’t know what your talent’s are yet WE NEED YOU! There is SO much you could help with. We will then end our trip again in Kolkata for a brief stay before we head back home.

please contact sarah(sarah@facelessinternational.com) if you would like more information/application.

come become the change,
Stephen Christian
faceless international
facelessinternational.com

Friday, March 07, 2008

the orphaned soundtrack

the orphaned soundtrack: (songs to read the book to)

doves-some cities-black and white town
the stills-logic will break your heart-gender bombs
death cab for cutie-transatlantism-transatlantism
rogue wave-descended vultures-loves lost guarantee
sigur ros-hvarf/heim disc 2-staralfur
damien rice-0-blowers daughter
innocence mission-we walked in song-happy birthday
rachel’s-music for egon schiele-family portrait
bloc party-weekend in the city-kreuzberg
animal collective-feels-did you see the words
code seven-dancing echoes-roped and tied
blonde redhead-misery is a butterfly-elephant woman
the sea and cake-the fawn-sporting life
fiest-the reminder-brandy alexander
radiohead-in rainbows-videotape
ryan adams- easy tiger-two
nico-these days

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

the (un)easiest acquisition.

praise is an easy acquisition, anyone that considers you a friend or you consider them a friend would instantaneously extend a kind word upon request. compliments seem to waterfall from most parents (hopefully) at random occasions and most of the time you don’t even have to ask for their approval, they simply profess it without a proposition.

the challenge in life is not to acquire praise but seeking criticism; Wilma askinas said “A friend is someone who sees through you and still enjoys the view.”
other people already know the dark/negative sides of us even when we ourselves cannot see it. it takes a real man or women to ask our true friends “what are some areas of my life you see i need to work on? what are some of my character flaws and how do you think i can improve them?”

by knowing the answers to these questions and NOT TAKING OFFENCE TO THE ANSWERS YOU RECIEVE, digesting them, and working on those areas in our life to improve ourselves we are not only working on/out our shortcomings but improving ourselves and the lives of the people around us.

'honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger'. Franklin Jones
mr. jones was saying that criticism is going to be hard to take from anyone; and it will be. most friends are going to be VERY hesitant about giving you the truth until they see why you want it and trust you that you are not going to be defensive and begin to point out their flaws. unwanted criticism about personalities and character is the poison in the vein of a healthy friendship. never point out someone’s flaws just because you assume they want to change as well. if you do ask your friends the heart wrenching questions above you will see that one has to arrive in a particular mental state, prepared for the number of discouraging answers one might receive, before you even initially ask. let them see the improvement in your life by applying the solutions to their answers and they will want to ask you the same questions down the road.

why not improve? why not question our family and friends with these questions? why live in a constant state of denial the rest of our lives? realize that the only person you are deceiving is yourself, everyone around you knows your shortcomings! what holds us back is not a lack of time, deep friendship, or honesty… it is merely PRIDE. it is the deception of self-righteousness that is the ugliest cause of the constant lack of improvement in our character and lives.

Kill Pride. Improve.
-esteban

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Faceless International/ Anberlin

so as many of you know i am working with/co-founded an organization called faceless international. while in india this last year we worked with an orginization called made by survivors. two of us in anberlin designed a bag that will help several girls be able to sustain an income and not have to work in the sex-trade industry. anberlin is giving 100% of the profit back into helping these girls and made by survivors.

below is a description:
Help be a part of world change by purchasing one of these bags. These bags were designed by members of Anberlin on their trip to Calcutta, India in the winter of 2006. The bags were made by girls rescued out of the sex trade. The money you pay for these bags goes toward giving these girls hope for a bright future, by providing a sustainable income. Thank you for your purchase.

http://www.myspace.com/facelessinternational

you can view the bag by clicking here

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

learn.get involved. vote. please. UPDATED*

i have once again immersed myself into the political world, something that i never thought i would do again. politics continue to intrigue me, from the speeches to the marketing to the deceptive (which i recently explored in a book called "confessions of a political hitman" a book which talks about the dirty tricks each party does to slander the other parties candidate.)

i am not here to endorse any one candidate because i refuse to use my position as a entertainer to push my political beliefs on others. but i encourage everyone to explore all the candidates and formulate their own opinions on how they see america being run. this is my first and last political blog this election season!

here is a brief summary of what republicans stand for

here is brief summary of what democrats stand for as someone in the comments pointed out.

it was quite a task to find these biased comparisons, but if you have any comparison charts please put them in the comments!

here are a few videos from the top four frontrunners; two from each party.







i am fully aware that there are more candidates running for the office of president but i wanted simply to introduce you to the frontrunners from each party at this point. again i don't want to share any of my opinions because i believe your convictions are much more powerful in a change for a better future than the words of anyone else's opinions .

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER*, so go learn!
-esteban


*sir francis bacon