Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why Siobhan Magnus Is In A Completely Different League Than Any Of My Celebrity Crushes

Okay, so, if you've been reading my Facebook status messages, or if you saw that parody of Gavin DeGraw's "In Love With a Girl" I posted on here some time ago, you know I like Siobhan Magnus. For those who have no clue who Ms. Magnus is, or even how to pronounce her first name, here's the facts: Siobhan (pronounced Shiv-on) was a contestant on this year's season of American Idol. She wowed a lot of people with her big voice, not to mention her uniqueness; more on that later. This week, she gave a stellar performance of a Shania Twain song, but still got voted off, meaning that she holds sixth place out of 24 contestants this season.
Now that we've gotten the "fast facts" out of the way, let me get to why I like her, and why she is different than any other celebrity crush I've ever had. As with all of my current celebrity crushes, which include several other Idol contestants, I do find her physically attractive. However, there's something she has that Anne Hathaway, Ashley Tisdale, and even fellow Idol Crystal Bowersox doesn't have. What is that? Well, she's...different. I'm not saying she's autistic; what I am saying is, her and I both march to the beat of a different drummer. Siobhan's fellow Idol contestants talked about how different she was in a previous episode, and you can tell she is quite different by the outfits she wears during her performances. I think her and I could get along great.
Before I finish, let me say this: I know that there is little if any chance of me ever dating a celebrity. However, as somebody who has been single his entire life, a little dreaming about famous people doesn't hurt. Who knows? Maybe I'll be the envy of everyone at my high school reunion because I married a celebrity! Only time will tell.
Any comments?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inter-Library Loans and the Blame Game

If you know me, or if you don't but have been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I volunteer at my local library. I have been volunteering more frequently since we moved closer to it back in October, and even more so since the weather has become nicer. Since starting there in March of last year, I have found out about something called inter-library loan. Essentially, it's just one library system getting things they don't have in their catalog from other library systems. I've gotten some great stuff from that service, including not only books, but CDs and DVDs as well. I've had limited problems with the service; the biggest issue involved a season set of The Cosby Show. Long story short, instead of getting all four discs, I ended up getting two severely scratched ones. However, that was nothing compared to what's happened in the past week.
What happened? Well, late last week, I got an inter-library loan in that I'd been waiting to get for a while. However, instead of coming to the library I can walk to, it came to another one in my city that is somewhat far away. I asked the people at the library near me to have the book transferred there, and they said it was coming, but that was two days ago, and it still hasn't come in. I'm hoping that it will come in soon so that I have time to read it.
You may wonder who I think is at fault for it being sent to the wrong library. Well, the library blames themselves, but I wonder if I may be to blame. I'm human just like everyone else, and I easily could have clicked the wrong button on the online form. Still, it doesn't matter whose fault it is. I could sit here and debate for hours why it happened and who caused it, but that wouldn't help anything. All that matters now is taking care of the problem. I've done everything in my power; now, we'll see what happens.
When it comes to blaming people, I haven't always been as mature about it as I am now. When I was younger, I blamed everyone else for my problems. Even if I got upset and did something I shouldn't have, I said it was the fault of the person who did whatever they did to cause me to be upset. I even blamed people I hadn't seen in years for current problems. For example, I was still blaming my elementary school teachers when I was in eighth grade. I guarantee you that if something like this had happened when I was little, I would have been getting all in the library employees' faces, saying it was all their fault and continuing to complain about it even after I got the item. I realize now that that's not the way to go. When something like this happens, don't worry about who caused it; just take care of it. It took me years to learn that lesson, but I finally did.
Any comments?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Past Enemies and Revenge

As you might expect, I had quite a few enemies when I was in school. I'm not going to name them here, especially since quite a few of my former classmates are friends with those people, but there were several of them. I expect that most of my friends were bullied or made fun of in school as well. For some people, it was just because of their name. Still others were made fun of for no other reason than that they were "different." Sometimes that was due to a disability; others, it was them being unique.
Whatever the reason, I know that I speak for a large community when I say that not having to deal with bullies anymore is one of the best things about being out of school. For those who are Christians, Jesus even mentioned us experiencing persecution, which would include being made fun of. Jesus said in John 15:20, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." The Apostle Paul also said in Romans 12:19, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." As much as I feel like exacting revenge on those who hurt me, it's not the right thing to do.
Now, there were two points I wanted to make before I started this post. They might be a little long-winded, but I'm going to try my best to keep them concise. The first one is: I can sort of understand why I was made fun of in school. You may think it was wrong for those people to make fun of me, and I would agree with you. Still, I think that their insults were coming from being annoyed with me, and they had every right to be annoyed. Why? Well, I'm not going to go into a long list of everything I did in class that annoyed people from kindergarten until college graduation, but here are a few things: loud typing, singing in class, thinking I was smarter than everyone else, not being able to shut up about whatever I liked at the time, constantly complaining about problems in my life, etc. In fact, when it comes to not being able to shut up about whatever I was obsessed with, I'm reminded of an incident from 2003. Long story short, some of the kids in my youth group were teasing me, and I considered it harassment, so I sent an angry e-mail to the youth leader. One of the things I said--and this is not a direct quote, because that e-mail and its reply were deleted years ago--was:

I'm going to be honest here: Sometimes I think about leaving. Maybe I should switch to [another nearby church]. There was a guy I met there who liked [my obsession at the time] Hilary Duff. Maybe there, my obsession would be APPRECIATED, rather than continually made fun of.
The youth leader's reply was something to the effect of:

I'm going to be honest with you, too: Any time someone has an obsession (Hilary Duff, Redskins football, wrestling, etc.) they are going to endure teasing and from time to time it will hurt.
And, you know what? He was absolutely right. I don't know if I realized it when I first read it, but, what he said might very well explain why I was made fun of throughout school: I was obsessed. Also, it wasn't just me who endured teasing from church members, either. A fellow youth group member once was teased by someone up front because of his obsession with wrestling. I'm not saying that's wrong; what I'm saying is, whether it's playful teasing or flat-out harassment, people are going to say things when they notice someone being obsessed.
The second point I wanted to make was: At least some of the people who harassed me in school might regret it now. The worst bullying I endured happened in middle school. Those of you who remember what middle school was like, or have been around middle schoolers in the past decade, most likely understand why that's significant. Even some friends I went to middle school with don't even like to talk about what happened there. One friend said he "was a little crack-head back then." I did some dumb things in middle school, too; I claimed all but six people in my seventh grade lunch period weren't even worth the birth pains their parents put into having them, and I spent my entire eighth grade year obsessed with a dumb old sitcom and a washed-up celebrity. I don't even really like to talk about those things anymore; I'm just mentioning them to prove my point: most middle schoolers do things they regret later in life. I haven't spoken to most of those middle school bullies in several years, so I have no idea how they feel. For all I know, some of them could have become Christians.
Any comments?

Monday, April 5, 2010

My iPod and Me

For those who don't know: I got a Silver 16GB iPod Nano for Christmas last year. It was the number one thing I wanted, and I was so happy when I got it. It's actually my second iPod; I got my first one, a Black 2GB Nano, for Christmas in 2005, but it went haywire in early 2009. I love my new iPod very much; in fact, I take it with me almost everywhere. It makes the long rides I take go by faster.
Some of you may wonder how many long rides I go on. Well, actually, my church is thirty minutes away, and the long rides there and back used to make me cranky...until I started bringing my iPod with me. I don't just listen to my music; usually, I have a book to read, with a book light if necessary. It's been months since I've taken any trips that were more than an hour, and the last long trip I took was in March of last year, and that was only four hours. All of those trips, though, were before I had my iPod. I've yet to go that far with it; still, I'm glad I have the entertainment, just in case I do need it.
With any sort of new technology comes new features. My new iPod has some nice ones, including the ability to play video. A feature that surprised me was its ability to play music without being hooked up to any sort of speakers or headphones. It probably would come in handy at some point, but, to me, it has been somewhat of an annoyance. It has started playing music without me touching it twice. The first time was while I was turning something in to the library I volunteer at, and I thought it was someone's ringtone. The second time was after my dad dropped me off at a different library, and I heard some music that I thought was coming from the fire station nearby. In both cases, as I kept listening, I eventually realized it was coming from my backpack.
In conclusion, I'll say this: iPods are amazing things. I never would have imagined such a device when I was little. Still, like any technology, it's going to evolve. Who knows what amazing devices they'll come out with next?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How the Internet Has Improved Since the Late '90s

I'm essentially stuck in my room for a little while, so, I'm just writing this post out of boredom. I won't say the reason why I'm stuck, other than that it's not any sort of punishment. If I were being punished, I wouldn't be writing this right now. This is something that I've had on my mind for a while, so, I figured, why not post about it?
Now, for the topic at hand. Most of you know that the Internet as we know it has been around for more than a decade. I still remember when I first started going on there. I found some amazing stuff, most (though not all) of which is now gone. The first two sites I remember going on was Humongous Entertainment's official sites, which was at, and Scholastic's official page for The Magic School Bus at I didn't find either of those pages through a Web search; I just saw the URLs on the covers of their media, and remembered them.
The first thing I remember typing into a search engine was "Scooby-Doo," and I found some great sites then, too. However, back then, search engines weren't what they are now. I remember typing "The Magic School Bus" into some search engine--Lycos, Infoseek, or something like that--and getting several pages of nothing but links to's pages on the MSB computer games. I was just a kid then, but I knew that there was a lot more to that franchise than just computer games. (A modern equivalent would be doing a search for something like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and finding nothing but sites about the video games.)
Despite later success with typing "Mork and Mindy" into a search engine, which was how I found Mork & Mindy Online, search engines still were somewhat wonky. I remember back in Summer of 1999, when we had just gotten Internet at home, and my mom wanted me to find information about the wren. So, I typed "wren" as well as "North American Birds" into Yahoo!, and didn't find anything close to what she was looking for. I wasn't doing anything different than I had done when I was looking for Scooby-Doo or Mork & Mindy, yet the results were nowhere near as pleasing. My mom claimed that I wasn't trying as hard as I did when I wanted to find stuff that I liked, and, although she was wrong, I can understand why she would have thought that. It was just because they were still working out the kinks of search engines.
Nowadays, you can pretty much find whatever you're looking for with a Google search. I'm thankful for that, because it makes looking up stuff online for other people much easier. Google hasn't always been as good as it is now, but I'm sure they'll continue to improve it for years to come.