Friday, October 25, 2013

Love is watching someone die

Just listen to this song right here:
I'm going to get right to it:  My cousin died suddenly today.  I spent a meager 2 1/2 hours (my aunt spent 72 hours) at the hospital, supporting my family.  I won't go into details on exactly what happened, but I want to express my initial and prolonged reactions.
Kenslee was a wife and a mother of four.  She was smart, righteous and wonderful.  I will be the first to admit that Kenslee and I were not close.  The closest memory I have was of her babysitting my sister and I back when we lived in California.  But, those are fond memories and I cherish them; perhaps more now than I ever have.
When I found out she was in trouble, my first instinct was to apologize;  to apologize to her husband and to her kids. "I'm sorry I haven't come around.  I'm sorry I wasted time," and in a way, her death became a reason to recognize my own shortcomings "I'm sorry I'm not living as fully or as righteously as I should.", " I'm sorry I don't say 'I love you every chance I get'" and "I'm sorry I ever got mad or acted prideful.  I'm sorry for wasting time."  Any justification I had for coming up short at all in my potential was immediately dispelled in the wake of Kenslee's sudden death. 

Why would someone so good as Kenslee be taken away while someone as reckless as I am left?

From the apologies, my mind sort of transitioned into my shortcomings.  I started thinking about things like charity and forgiveness; love and faith; peace and life.  Suddenly, it's all relevant and it's not just buzzing around your head or in your peripherals; it's focused pressure in your stomach and chest that is pushing so hard that you're finding it hard to breathe.  I was suddenly aware of all of my short comings and that lead me right back into apologizing. 
I realized how fragile our lives are.  It's a flame on a candle stick that is so quickly and easily distinguished, why wouldn't we choose to live life more fully?  Why wouldn't I choose to forgive?  Why wouldn't I choose to love?  Why wouldn't I choose to play with my little nephews or give a ride to my little sister?  If tomorrow, I could be in the hospital, why wouldn't I choose to maximize my life through the small things? Is my day to day so important that those things can wait?  How long is too long for those things to wait? 

I made it to the hospital today.  As I approached, it dawned on me: Hospitals are big, beautiful buildings that are filled with our most horrific life events. Tall, sprawling structures filled with sadness and bitterness and apologies.  Once I entered the waiting room and saw my family, red eyed and despaired, I became incredibly aware of myself.  How do I stand?  Who do I look at?  What do I look at?  What can I even say?  What is there to say?  I hug my relatives who are all crying. I begin crying, too.
"I don't know what to say" comes out the most.  I don't say it to be cliche or funny; I say it because it's the truth.  Comfort seems so arbitrary.  What wise words can I say to comfort my ailing family?  "don't worry, I'm here"? "if you need anything, let me know"?  Almost every embrace was ended with an "i'm sorry". 
And I think that the point I'm trying to get to is this: I want to live my life in such a way that I don't feel the desire to apologize when someone like Kenslee passes on.  I think we all should.  Kenslee was a bright light that shined; an example for us to follow.  I want to love sweeter and care deeper.  I want everyone to know that I care and how much I care.

I love you all so much.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dr. Pepper

Muzak (thanks to Jon Campbell for the gem): 

It's been a while since I've posted.  I feel a lot of different things tonight.  I feel accomplished and lazy; happy and incomplete; anxious and calm.  I'm serious.  All 6 of those emotions all at once.  Like a raging sea of paradox.
Tonight, for dinner, I had a can of Dr. Pepper, a plate of buttered corn and a bowl of campbell's soup (you know, the chunky kind? The expensive kind?). 
On monday, on a complete and utter whim, I bought a motorcycle.  A honda Shadow Phantom.  The thing is sick, man.  I love love love it so much.  It's fast and sexy (just how I like my women, eh?  eh...?); it's a great bike and potentially a huge mistake.  Here is a picture of me on the day I bought it:
It's a lot more fast and powerful than my old bike (don't worry, I still drive safe).  I will say that the seat is not as comfortable as my old bike but in every other facet of performance, the Phantom is better.
Today, I sold my very first motorcycle.  The one that I fell in love with and learned to ride on.  As the guy handed me money and I handed him the keys, I felt my heart beating heavy.  I began to feel a lack of breath even though I hadn't done any real work at all.  I haven't ever had an anxiety attack, I don't have anxiety, but I think tonight as I watched my bike drive away, I suffered a mild anxiety attack.  I paced around uncontrollably; I kept coming back to the window to see if the bike was still there or not.  I felt so antsy and crazy.  CRAZY I SAY.
I cut my pinky fingernail too short today and now, anytime I hit 'q', 'a', 'z' or 'shift', it sends a sharp spike of pain up my nerve endings.  Needless to say, that last sentence was a pretty painful one.

So I bought a new bike and got rid of my old one.  I sold the old bike because I wanted to get out of debt.  I didn't want anymore credit card payments and the motorcycle plus my savings account would be enough to pay off my credit cards.  To celebrate my suddenly debt-free life, I bought a new motorcycle.  ha ha ha.  But the motorcycle was bought on an auto loan, not on a credit card.  There is a difference.
Here it is, my last picture of my motorcycle:
 Urinetown is showing at the Hale right now.  Man, I love that show.  It is so funny and witty; the cast is great and directing is perfect.  It's a genius production(I do a little bit of singing in it, myself.).  Come see it!  Support your local theater! Support me for heavens sake! Support my job!
I felt like I had a lot more to say, but that's kind of the end of all of it. 


I'm sad to see my motorcycle go.  I'm happy I got a new one, but things aren't ever quite like the first time, are they? 

I don't know, I feel weird. 
I'm out!  Goodnight everybody!

Friday, March 8, 2013

underground boxing

let's start with the best thing that Australia has ever produced:
My mind is kind of jumbled, so this blog might be all over the place.  What's that you say?  My blog is always all over the place?  Well, dually noted my little meerkat, what I mean to say is that this blog will be more all over the place than usual.
I bought a new bed spread and I love love love it.  here's a picture:

Creamsicle, anyone?  How about halloween?
I work at the Hale.  You know that.  I love my job there.  I don't want to do anything else for the rest of my life.  It's just a really fantastic place to work. 
Right now, we are showing civil war.  I wasn't excited about Civil War.  I thought it was going to be boring and what?  There's no plot? So it will be 2 1/2 hours of pointless music?  When does urine Town* open, again?  I mean, that was honestly my train of thought.  I was quick to judge.
But I was really wrong. 
There are so many aspects to the civil war that we don't even think about.  Well, that I didn't ever think about. 
For example: Who was the first person to see an African American and think "Oh yeah.  This will be good.  I won't work anymore.  I'll just grab this guy and he can do it for me."  you know what I'm saying?  Maybe it happened that we invaded their land and took them as a prisoner and they became our slave or something like that? 
Anyway, there were people in the south who got thousands and thousands of dollars of free labor a day from people who were born, lived and died doing nothing but hard labor, day in and day out.  Isn't that a weird thought?  And there were people that were convinced that it was their God-given right to have these men and women do their bidding for free and without their consent.  What's more, you could kill them!  "I don't like what you said 'blam' you're dead" and that was okay.  I mean, that is the African American heritage.  You know, like the Irish and their underground boxing? or Canadians and nothing?  Captivity is their heritage
And people believed this.  People believed in their way of life so much, that they took up their guns and they fought for it.  They sacrificed their lives to preserve their way of life.  It's a selfless thing to do actually.  "I will die.  Not for me, but for my family and my children and my children's children."

In that sense, I'm envious of them.  Lately, I've been asking myself if there is anything the I believe in enough that I would grab my gun and protect it.  And I like to believe that on certain principles, I would stand.  I would draw the line and say 'this is unacceptable.'  I want to be so passionate about something that I would take a gun and defend it. (do i sound crazy?)

I guess that's why people died, though.  So I could sit in my soft, snuggly (ugh) bed and not worry about that.  People died on my behalf.  People died on the African American people's half.  They were real people.  They were kids and they were men.  Six hundred thousand died.  Six hundred thousand people.  So that African Americans could enjoy the same freedoms as white people.  That's honor man.  That's honor and that's passion.  What would you die for? 
 One more thing: What about Abraham Lincoln?  Talk about the weight of the whole world on his shoulders.  He's try to preserve the union, appease the blacks and appease the whites.  He walked a tight rope without a net and eventually gave his life.  I wonder if God had said "this poor guy has had enough" and it was his way of rewarding him.  Who knows.
I have so much more to say about all of this, but I have a meeting with Cody Swenson in the morning (don't fire me! Please??) and I'm tired (I ran 2 miles tonight!  And then I knocked out 50 pushups.).  I will talk to you later. Goodnight blogosphere.
Should I drop out of school?

I love you for reading.  Seriously.
Always do what you are afraid to do.

*Urine Town is the show that come once Civil War closes.  "The title is awul" you think.  But what do you know?  it's a really funny commentary on politics and our life today.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Very Short Story

It was 2:30 AM and I was suddenly awake.  Where the hell was I?  How long had I been asleep?  Where I lay was comfortable enough  but I still felt the confusion of complete disorientation.  Louise had been there.  I knew that for sure.
Or had she?
My fist was clinched and my jaw set.  My muscles at the ready.  What was going on?  I had to consciously tell myself to relax.
Music.  Loud blaring music.
I could move; I wasn't pinned down at all and it was dark.  Had Louise done this to me?
I ventured a muffled sentence, "Louise, are you there?"
The music was still blaring.
I was laying on my stomach, on a bed and my muscles were taut, again.  "Louise, if you're there, answer me you bitch."
Just music.
I rolled to my side and my naked skin touched something small and glass.  It fell to the floor and clinked against more glass.
Emotions began to precipitate; anger, confusion, misery.  I sat up slowly, pivoting in place and bringing my legs around to hang off of the side of the bed.  Placing my feet on the floor, my skin touched cold glass, for a second time.
I pulled my foot in away in sudden shock but soon overcame and allowed my foot to firmly rest on the floor.  Beneath my hardened sole, I felt the smooth curves of the glass.  There were bottles-- all of them empty-- littered and strewn about all around the bed.
A wave of feelings: desire, disappointment, angst; somehow connected to the empty bottles on the floor.
Mechanically, my hand reached out to the stand, next to the bed.  I found a phone and easily lit up the screen.  Force of habit.  Checking for forms of communication, blinded by the light, I turned the phone away disappointed.
"Damn you, Louise."
Everything was so hazy.  I knew Louise had been there.  Just hours before.
Just hours before.
Just hours before.
Just hours before, she had been sitting next to me, her feet planted where the empty bottle now lie.  Or was I just dreaming?
"You just bring me down," she had said. "I wonder if I could do better," she had said.
Attempting to stand, my face met the floor and all was black.  Again.
The music continued to blare.

Friday, February 1, 2013


This video is so 90's, I almost can't stand it. (split the infinitive right there; I do what I want.)

I’m not sky diving nervous, nor am I high dive or monsters-under-my-bed or put-on-this-armor-and-mount-this-horse-for-tomorrow-we-slay-the-dragon nervous.  I think I’m just roller coaster nervous. You know what I mean?  As your cart clicks toward the top, a certain sense of apprehension kind of fills your chest.  Like some sort of beast that is trying for force it’s way out. But not through your mouth or urinary tract; no no, it’s trying to come right between your lugs, through your rib cage and out.  It’s a pressure that makes your hands shake a little bit.  You take confidence in the fact that you won’t die on a roller coaster.  But the almost-terror is there. 
That’s how I feel.

You know the term “fake it until you make it”?  That’s been me for the last couple of years.  I feel like I have been chucked into this whirlwind of opportunity and I’m only quasi-prepared.  I confidently accept the offers that come my way and try my best to excel, but with every new opportunity I think, “Holy crap, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to actually do that.” 
Tomorrow, I’m running the live sound for the Syd Riggs show.  I’m really really excited.  It’s going to be such a great experience.  But I haven’t ever done this before and I seriously don’t know that I’m going to be able to pull it off.  ha ha ha.  It’s that apprehension that I was describing before: that nervousness that makes your hands quiver a little bit.  It’s pushing on my chest and makes my heart rate increase.  But it’s not something that is going to kill me.  I’ll wake up sunday morning breathing just as well as Saturday morning.

I mean, look at this beast:
Are you intimidated? So am I and I know what every knob does.

I'm being melodramatic.  You and I both know it.

I'm not actually intimidated by the board.  Everything is going to be great.  There might be a few hiccups, here and there, but it’s going to be great and I sincerely believe that.  I just want it to be everything that it can be. 
I'm going to sleep now, and tomorrow I run a pair of shows for the masses.  Cross your fingers and say your prayers.
Here I go.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I'm trying to say

That song rocks you guys.  And it resounds with me.
Can I just talk about my life really quick?  let's talk about it.
For the new year, I was going to get a gym membership (ever since I quite applebee's, I've been getting fatter) but instead, I bought myself a weighted jump rope and called it good.  ha ha.  So each night, before I go to bed, I jump 100 times with both feet followed by 25 jumps for each foot alone.  So like, 150 jumps in total.  It kills me.  I let my heart rate slow down, I do 25 pushups and then I do another 150.
So, tonight, now that I'm done doing my mini work out, I'm sitting on my bed, breathing heaving and listening to the song that I posted above.
About 3 years ago, Tiffany Robertson dumped me.  I took it very poorly.  During one of our final arguments, she talked to me about how I wasn't getting any experience and that I needed to get out there.  She told me that my degree wouldn't be enough and that experience was everything.  What she said rang very true.
So after we broke up, I started my own company, Tan Top Records(click on the link and like the page.  C'mon.  Support me!).  The company didn't really make me any money.  I wasn't very good at it at first and the space I was in wasn't conducive to a real studio sound.  But I learned a lot.  Having my own business gave me the opportunity to expand and learn how to mix music properly.
After Tiffany, I dated Kelly.  Kelly watched me as I tried to get my business off the ground.  She watched me as I tried to bring people into my parents basement and record their crappy (and sometimes really crappy) music.  Finally, after months of trying to get my bird off the ground, an opportunity arose.  A job at the beloved Hale Center Theater in Orem.  The only reason I got it was because Kelly worked there and mentioned that I had had experience.
They hired me and I began my career as an audio technician for Hale Center Theater.  And you know what? I'm 100% content.  I don't want to do anything else for the rest of my life.  That's how much I love my job.  Because of it, I'm learning light design (which I also love) and I'm mixing for a live show coming up in February called Why We Tell The Story If you care about me at all, you'll go and check it out, because I'm STOKED about it. STOKED STOKED STOKED.
It also put me in touch with a friend named Meagan who hired me on to work on an independent film called GruntSlingers.  Again, if you care about me at all, you'll click on that link and like the page.  It'll give you cool updates so you can see my work! hooray!
The point of this blog is not to plug my goings-on.  It's to show that ever since Tiffany dumped me, my life has kind of been guided.  As I prepare and learn, I'm given more and more opportunity.  My life is fantastic and I'm not even trying to make it that way.  It just is.
I don't know what I'm trying to say.  I'm just very grateful for everything; for my talents and opportunities. 
I'm grateful to God for giving them to me.
I really do love all of you.
I love you for reading, for supporting me and for putting up with my random, emo status updates on facebook.
Keep it real, b.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

getting real with the blog

I don't want to be your other half, I believe that one and one make two.

Listen, I've got to talk to you about something serious.  I'm sure you've seen this coming for a while now, it's not quite the same as before, was it?  Things have changed and it almost seems like they can't be fixed.  
You've got to understand.  In the spring of our relationship, we were inseparable, weren't we?  We were together, almost everyday.  I remember feeling anxious to come home so that I could tell you about my day.  I remember taking notes about men that I saw, sitting and eating, with the hopes that I could share it with you.  I felt like you understood me and I could say anything I wanted.  You understood me and you never judged.

But then, summer ended and school began.  I became too busy for you; I was doing homework and working on important projects; things that would further my life.  And my future became more important than you.  I reprioritized and found that you were in the middle of the stack; somewhere beneath work, school and recording but somewhere above video games and Dragon Ball Z.  It just got so crazy and you got lost.  
If you want the truth, I got bored. We were just a fling.  That's all we were.  I know it seemed like more and I know it could have been more.  I just wasn't as committed as I thought I was. It happened so fast and I promised more than I could possibly deliver.  You were too perfect and I need a little bit more drama in my life.  It's not you, it's me. 
I'm sorry that I called you a fling.  It seems harsh, but that's what you were.  I can't be tied to you like I was all last summer.  I can only write so often; I'm just too busy.  I love everything about you: the strength you give me, the courage and the clarity.  But you can't wait for me.  I'm moving forward.  I'm moving up and I'm moving on.
If you must know, I do have other journals.  I am more intimate with them, but that doesn't mean I care for them any more or less than you.  The relationship is different.  What you and I have is so different from what I have with them.
Of course, we can still be friends, my dear blog.  I'll write as often as I can, believe me when i tell you that.  You're one of the best things I've ever discovered.  It just won't work as more than a casual writing experience.

see you around,
Andrew J Keele