Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to the Daily Grind

It seems the endless chronicles of going to the beach, napping, thiking of story ideas, and participating in Earth Hour (shown above in the Chicago skyline) are over along with spring break. Tomorrow I continue my life as it normally progresses, going to school and usually spending a significant amount of time there after class for some type of activity. "Daily grind", I guess, is an inaccurate term to describe everyday life at school. I like how it is. Yes, it's stressful, and I enjoy it thoroughly. Having limitless amounts of spare time is thrilling for awhile, but soon enough there isn't anything to fill it with. By nature, I'm more of a dreamer than a doer. I think of fun and exciting things to do, but I have to work myself to actually do them. Like, if I want to go for a hike in Grant Park and I've just taken a really good nap, it's not so easy to leave my nap. Of course I know hiking would be more fulfilling, but that nap was just so amazing. Tennis season officially starts tomorrow so I'll be happy to spend more time outdoors. To be honest, I'm not good at tennis nor do I pretend to be--it's mainly to get outside with friends. If we had a hiking or fishing team (sports which require little physical aptitude), I suppose I would enjoy that a lot. So here come the next two months, two months of the hecticness which I've grown accustomed to this year. Let's hope I make it through intact.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Into the Wild

I seldom give lengthy movie reviews, seeing as I'm surrounded by enough movies at work. But this one's different, Into the Wild. Essensially, it's about a privilaged young man who, after graduating from Emory University, clips his social security card and driver's license and roams around to experience America. He does everything he's always wanted to do, like rafting down the Colorado River and going to Alaska. Gaining insight and wisdom from the people he meets along the way, he plans to eventually write a story about his travels. Now this, a movie some consider to be notably alternative, is my type of story. It's about getting out of the box and discovering people. It's about making each moment count, something I don't do enough of at times. It's about doing what you really want to do, not what seems ideal or provides false security. I don't want to be that balding old guy at the office pushing papers and wondering what the hell happened. I want to study in a foreign country, I want to join the peace corps, and I want to write about it all. I'm not just saying that because it seems fun or because it would make me successful. It's because, given the ups and downs and tribulations they offer, that's how I can learn. Learning doesn't come from getting a comfy, high-paying office job--it comes from seeing places and meeeting people. To hell with getting a degree that will earn me a lot of money. As long as I could make enough money to get by, I'd go for the exciting, enriching job any day.

On living for the moment, I decided to take the bike out yeserday instead of a nap, which I don't regret one bit. Today I was able to cycle up to the South Shore Yacht Club (near the Hoan Bridge) and back. Just being outside and feeling the cool wind brush against my face was well worth it. That's what the philosophy of Into the Wild is about--enjoying each moment. And I like the sound of that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break Projects

Today's blog comes in several parts--for each of my projects over spring break.

1. Move into my new room. Since my brother is going to be renting a house soon, I'm moving into his room because it's bigger than mine. My dad and I painted it yesterday (a nice "Yosemite Pine") and I'm going to slowly start moving in furniture, books, and decorations. So far, it's turning out nicely.

2. Build a composting area. I want to use some chicken wire to fence off an area to compost dead leaves and table scraps. This is actually part of a bigger project to create an organic vegetable garden, complete with composted dirt. Organic foods are healthier, better tasting, and environmentally friendlier than the stuff you get from Pick 'N Save. The composting project, however, has been delayed because of a spring snowstorm (that reminds me, it did, in fact, snow on the first day of spring).

3. Build a massive snow fort. The dumbest thing to do is to give something up because you're too old for it. If it's fun, go for it! Besides, this won't be an average snow fort--it'll be an architectual marvel. And because the snow is wet and heavy, I'll be able to manufacture some snow blocks for an igloo-style structure.

4. Lastly, spread awareness about Earth Hour. It's a worldwide event from 8 pm to 9 pm local time where we turn off our lights to make a statement about global climate change. The website for this is Sign up and pledge to turn off your lights on Saturday, March 29 for an hour. Simple. We need to spread awarness about global warming and live greener lifestyles. But besides turning off our lights for an hour, we can make other green choices, which can be found on the website I provided. So I have a week to hit up as many businesses and people as I can about this event. You, all five of my readers, can spread the word as well.

Over and out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Saving Alaska

As far as current events, I wanted to include some environmental issues in this blog. One especially important issue to me is Alaska. Having been there, I can say it is truly the last frontier of our world--one of the only genuinely pristine areas we have left. And its natural wonders are constantly being threatened by oil exploration, logging, and unsustainable development. This is a result of the Bush administration giving in to lobbyists from big oil and its failure to keep environmental regulations. Just in February, President Bush signed the Tongass Land Management Plan, which opens up 3.4 millon acres to logging in the Tongass Forest. This could mean major habitat destruction in one of our most treasured regions. The article about this can be found here: A new plan was also passed to allow more offshore oil drilling in Alaska, which threatens the polar bear population to extinction and could cause devistating oil spills. And we all know what happens when a big oil spill happens: the fish population is nearly destroyed, local fishermen are out of work, and the oil companies will lobby the judicial system for decades in an effort to not have to pay compensation to the fishermen. This is exactly what happened with Exxon Mobil in the Prince William Sound. If anyone has a good idea about how to help solve this issue (who to write to, donate to, etc.), please leave a comment. The good news is that if Obama or Clinton win the presidency, the environment will be regulated as it should be. We can only hope...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Production Weekend

The production weekend for Oliver has been a huge success! All our work is finally paying off and our theater is making some strong money in the process. We opened Friday with a very nice show, but I feel last night's performance was our best so far. Between Friday and Saturday, our seats were nearly sold out. I also heard we've been selling a good amount of concessions and T-shirts to raise funds for our Performing Arts Center. Our final show is this afternoon and we've already pre-sold have the seats. We should be able to afford a great fall play next year. In spite of all the stress and craziness lately, this production has been a blast to work on. All of the auditions, rehearsals, and shows have totally been worth it to me. It's going to be really wierd to have so much spare time in the next few weeks until tennis season begins. I'll have to find something else to work on.

Moving on, yesterday was District Solo and Ensemble Festival at Cudahy High School. I performed in three groups--Brass Ensemble, Low Brass Ensemble, and Trombone Choir. I'm excited to say that Low Brass and Trombone Choir are making it to state! That will be at University of Wisconsin-Parkside in a few months. That means more morning rehearsals! Yay!

Mrs. Bedwin (Nanci) and Mr. Brownlowe (me)--the ultimate duo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Me in the Future

Today, I honestly didn't know what to blog about. I wanted to post a blog, but everything is pretty status quo right now--going on with the play, obsessing about the environment, writing, yatah yatah yatah. So I decided to bring out the old crystal ball and predict my future. Not really, but Adrianne from school and I came to an agreement about what my life would be like when I'm in my thirties. Future Adam, if this description is accurate, then your high school friends were very smart. I will be wealthy (in a sensible way) and live in a comfortable, eco-friendly house with a huge garden in the back. The house will also have a library stocked full of books. My career will be some type of scientific field and one of its highlights will be a graden in my basement that grows from a strange, new type of energy. And Dillon will be my aide in this project as well. I'll have one daughter, whom I'm very overprotective of and read to every day. It was agreed by most of my friends and myself that this sounds pretty accurate, so we'll see. Thanks to everyone who helped to build this...interesting story. And, Alex, you should post my description of your future life on your blog--you know it sounds accurate.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"In Your Pants" and Short Stories

Inspired by one of Adrianne's comments, I decided to take a look at my own library. So here's another list of books we can use for the "in your pants" suffix: The Long Walk in your Pants, Misery in your Pants, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in your Pants, How do they do that? in your Pants, Holes in your Pants, and let us not forget a story of my own, Under the Hazelnut Tree in your Pants. "In your pants" can also be applied to other things, really. I discovered Saturday at work that one can add it to the end of a movie title! Work is going to be much more entertaining now...

In other news, I'm happy to say I've finished a short story, which I'm titling, Meanderings with Time in your Pants. This is the first story which was inspired by one of my dreams. The dream I had a few months ago gave me a vivid picture of a wonderful setting and I built the plot around that. That's all I'm saying for now. Currently, I'm in the editing stages, though I'll soon be letting a select few people read it. Ideally, I would really like to get this one published and I think it has potential to get to that level. Until then, I'll be spending the next few months editing and looking into literary magazines. Cheerio.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Brotherhood 2.0

If you're wondering what this is, it's a project called Brotherhood 2.0. So here's some background information on it. It's about these two brothers who only communicate via video blog. They posted a video blog every day (except weekends) for a year until 2008. Now they just send two videos a week and can communicate by any means they want. Their video blogs are extremely hilarious and once you get to know them and their inside jokes, it's a really fun project to watch. This is actually one of their older videos, but it's one of my favorites (the "in your pants" joke is introduced earlier and is a term put at the end of any book title). I recommend starting from their very first blog so you can get to understand what the project is all about. I don't want to explain any more of it--see for yourself. These guys are very smart and do some pretty awesome stuff.

Go nerdfighters! (That's one of the inside jokes you'll get to know.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


So it's almost that time--the spring musical, Oliver. My 15 hours a week at the theater are going to hopefully pay off soon. Next week Friday is our official opening night and tickets are still on sale! This is going to be a nice show with some great songs and ticket prices are very reasonable. Wow, it looks like I'm trying to promote the show for all five or so people who keep up with this blog. I should stop...

No, I don't have a life during this production and it's pretty fun that way. I've had trouble sitting down to update this blog regularly. When the musical is over in two weeks, I'll actually have spare time again. What to do? Maybe I'll take up jogging again or train for tennis season.

Monday, March 3, 2008


This is the amazing Milwaukee Art Museum with a big skyscraper behind it. Amanda and I hung out downtown for awhile today. When I was thinking of things to do, I began to realize how boring the suburbs are. Really, there's nothing to rave about. Parking lots, identical houses, and WalMarts start to get old after awhile. Howell Avenue is like our "strip", with basically all of the fun stuff suburbia has to offer: Starbuck's, the airport, and Panera Bread. When you can't go to the park because of the cold weather, fun levels really start to decrease! To me, there are only two great places to live: downtown or in the countryside. Anything in between sucks.

So about our day downtown...We went to the art museum to see all that it has to offer. There was one exhibit which consisted of a dark room lit only by blue lights dangling from the ceiling. It was definitely one of the highlights, especially because it was so disorienting. We even went for a nice walk around the city with some expensive coffee. Ah, I love downtown. Except for the ten dollar parking.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

On Writing

So I've been rummaging through my desk drawers and, know how when you're looking through things and you find some really wierd, old stuff? I happened to find some of my old writing from when I was eight. Finding old stuff can be really sentimental, but I found this to be particularily funny. It's a story called, "The Lost City of Atlantis". Let's just take a look at an excerpt from it:

"It was a bright and sunny day...well, not so sunny when you're in a submarine with no glass roof!
You see, there lived two people who were both braniacs. One was named Mark, and the other named Mr. Braniac. They were on a cruise ship and Mr. Braniac wanted to have some fun, so he took Mark and went to first class even though he was told not to. The security guard caught them. They ran and ran until they found a submarine. They went into the submarine, turned it on, and dove into the water. Just then, they heard a CRASH! The ship slowly sank. Mr. Braniac and Mark didn't know how the ship sank, but I the narrator, knew. A boat drove in the way and the ship hit the boat. The boat was made out of metal just like the ship."

I especially like the "submarine with no glass roof" part. Can a submarine have a glass roof? It's funny looking back and seeing how my writing has changed. I'm really glad to remember where I started and how differently I'm writing now. My current novel is still "on the back burner" but I'm happy to say I'm almost finished with a short story. The premis is really starting to turn out the way I'd hoped. If I could only find some good publishers to send it too, that would be wonderful. I'm hoping that in eight more years, I can look back at this one and reminisce too.