Showing posts from 2010

mirror, mirror.

they always looked so lonely to me, and i never understood how people could be so cruel as to keep them in such a small bowl, floating in one place for, well... for the rest of their lives. siamese fighting fish, or betta fish, live solitary lives not because it is cruel as i had thought growing up, but because in most situations they will attack or kill any other betta fish they are near, as they are very territorial.

i recently visited my brother tim in washington, dc, and he had one such amazing fish. it had a beautiful long tail, multi colored in purple and blue's. we began to talk about it and he was telling me random facts and behaviors of this 'lonely' fish and mentioned its aversion to mirrors. i had never heard about this and so tim showed me, the 'trick' is to hold a mirror up to the tank of the siamese fighting fish and it will puff up to more than twice its size because it thinks that in the mirror is another betta fish and must now defend its terr…

the aints

i think i was more excited about getting the used and dented helmet than actually what i was going to use it for. i lined up in a single file line, filled with anticipation, that wrapped around the small shed-like brick building. all boys were right around my age, no older than 12. i was asked my last name, crossed off the list, and then handed a green mesh shirt which i proudly wore around the house for the rest of the day, and most of the next. the helmets were white with a police sticker on the side of it, it looked like a badge but to me the whole outfit was a trophy itself.

pee wee football, in my mind, was close to the NFL and spending many sundays sitting next to my dad watching him cheer for the cowboys, i felt it was my turn on the 'gridiron'. there was one small problem though, literally. i was actually develop more like a cheerleader, and not so much a cowboy. i was stick like and more than once my mother worried i had some virus or parasite living in me, keepi…
we are all going to die.
just a heads up.


i was driving home one night, hours from home and my favorite passenger was fast asleep. i rarely turn on music when i drive, most bands i listen to our not good for 3 AM dark, long stretches of highway anyway. i usually listen to some sort of talk radio, (you hear the most random and borderline insane theories on backwoods talk stations). i stopped on a story about an all to familiar character, but this was not about his headlines, but about the low points of his life.

when it comes to the past we often hear of the success, but rarely ever of the failure. if you think about it you never hear anyone at a funeral walk on stage and belittle the deceased or question publicly their character, you only hear the positive even if there is very little to speak of. in the same light i had heard more positive stories than negatives of this american man. i had listened to the speeches, envisioned his dreams, read books, and even wrote several papers on his influence in my own life.

but this radio…

the root of opportunity

the slogan 'stay in school' is not just grossly overplayed, it really doesn't explain anything. it is more like a command, 'here is what you must do. why you ask? don't ask just stay'. this revelation hit me as i walked the halls of my mothers K-6 school in Haines City, Florida (probably because it was plastered on a few walls). I was there for a 'release party' my mother called it, not a record. butterflies. we gathered the children around, songs were sung, lessons were given, and i had the duty of releasing them into the 'wild'. These kids were asked to stay but i wondered if they truly had any idea why.

that night i spoke at the community college i attended. afterwards i was asked to give a brief interview for the schools newspaper and one of the questions was 'do you think your education has had an impact on your career'. that's when my thoughts started flowing and i realized that it had not only everything to do with my career…

one safe couch.

i really despise and adore estate sales. i guess its rather a love and hate relationship, i never really buy anything but just to be able to walk through someones house is almost like being able to read their journals or something. you can see what is in important to them, the pictures, the books, the organization, or lack there of.

estate sales are basically a garage sale of, well everything. you can walk through a persons house who has probably died, which explains the reason why i hate them so much. its just creepy, i mean less than a month ago this piece of art was probably someones prized possession but now its for sale, tomorrow if its not sold it will probably have a big red slash through the ticket on discount, and if its still not sold it will most likely be in the dumpster or goodwill by the end of the week. someone LOVED that piece of art!

at an estate sale a few days ago i walked through someones treasures and sifted through memories and prized moments …

remembering the current past...

why do marketing gurus come up with the most ridiculous names when inventing their latest and greatest internet social networking or other such worldwide website. i mean everyone thought it was humorous in a ‘cutesy’ way when you first heard the name ‘GOOGLE’ but no one thought ‘twitter’ had the same appeal. but here we are a few years later and it stuck.
whatever my next venture is going to be i am going to come up with some ridiculous name so that at first people hate it then later they can’t get rid of it.,, and come to mind, but i’ll get back to you on that.
twitter, 140 characters of shear nonsense scripted out with abbreviated everything’s. one day whole sentences will just look like ‘JEBYO!WBYIFHY?@2LEGIT’ and people will know exactly what the other person is talking about. but i am not one to judge since literally (and sadly) i have to admit that i have 6 twitter accounts for various projects. (@anberlin, @stephenanberlin, @anch…


‘another bad day miss mary,’ the teacher would say as she shut the car door behind me, ‘another bad day.’ mrs. hodges was a stern woman, never stern to any of the other kids it seemed, just to me. i don’t remember exactly what i did to her to make her not like me, but it just set in. the north carolina christian school blamed it on ADHD, but my mother didn’t want to give me pills. either way it strained my relationship with my teachers and those around me my entire academic career.

my relationship with school was more hate then love, i look back on very few moments of academia with pride or a positive memories of any sort. i was the kid who wore mostly black, not to be cool or even goth, just not to be noticed. i would attempt to keep a low profile, sticking to myself and literally keeping my held hung low while walking through the scores of school peers (hence ‘downcast eyes). in high school i would get my lunch from the cafeteria lady and eat my meal on the way to the library a…