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John Taylor

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(no subject) [Jul. 26th, 2009|02:05 pm]
John Taylor
Stolen from another friend's Facebook!

1. Kissed any one of your Facebook friends? A small fraction!
2. Married any of your facebook friends? Nuh uh. Came close, once.
3. Kissed someone you didn't like? Well, I liked them enough to kiss them.
4. Slept in until 5 pm? Sometimes this is a regular thing...
5. Fallen asleep at work/school? Oh yes.
6. Held a snake? Yep, owned one!
7. Ran a red light? I think I have, but I wasn't trying to.
8. Been suspended from school? Nope. Earned myself a Saturday detention though.
9. Experienced love at first sight? Twice.
10. Totaled your car in an accident? Yes. It consequently ruined my chance of going camping with some friends.
11. Been fired from a job? "Arrived at a mutually beneficial understanding whereby I would no longer come into work"
12. Fired somebody? Never had to!
13. Sang karaoke? Yep!
14. Pointed a gun at someone? Yep. Real and fake ones, but never loaded with the real one.
15. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes...unfortunately.
16. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Never quite that bad, but certainly have sprayed people standing nearby!
17. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Frequently!
18. Kissed in the rain? Yes.
19. Had a close brush with death? A few times.
20. Played spin-the-bottle? Nuh uh.
21. Sang in the shower? Often!
22. Smoked a cigar? I've tried a breath or two.
23. Sat on a rooftop? Yep. Everywhere I live!
24. Smuggled something into another country? Not really.
25. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Yep.
26. Broken a bone? Yes, broken my arm.
27. Skipped school? Only once I got to college.
28. Eaten a bug? Yep. I've had worse.
29. Sleepwalked? Yes. More often than not I'm semi-conscious and walking just sounds like a good thing to be doing at the time.
30. Walked a moonlit beach? Yes. It's a great experience.
31. Rode a motorcycle? Yes.
32. Dumped someone? Yes.
33. Forgotten your anniversary? Ish.
34. Lied to avoid a ticket? No.
35. Ridden in a helicopter? I...don't honestly remember. This is a maybe.
36. Shaved your head? Once!
37. Played a prank on someone? Often. I'm quite a trickster.
38. Hit a home run? Only a few times.
39. Felt like killing someone? Yes/
40. Cross-dressed? I plead the 5th. But the pictures don't lie.
41. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes, unfortunately.
42. Eaten snake? No. I should add that to my list.
43. Marched/Protested? No. I tend to avoid the public eye where politics are concerned.
44. Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? Yes. My dad brought me some once.
45. Puked on an amusement ride? Nope. Me and roller coasters usually get along.
46. Seriously & intentionally boycotted something? Yes.
47. Knitted? A little bit.
48. Been on TV? Yep.
49. Shot a gun? Yep! I'm decent at trap and skeet shooting.
50. Skinny-dipped? Yes.
51. Gave someone stitches? Gave them myself, or gave them a wound requiring stitches? No in either case.
52. Eaten a whole habenero pepper? Oh yes.
53. Ridden a surfboard? I've cowered on a surfboard before, yes.
54. Drank straight from a liquor bottle? Yes. And promptly learned my lesson after my first swig.
55. Had surgery? A few of them.
56. Streaked? Not really, not publicly.
57. Taken by ambulance to a hospital? Not as of yet.
58. Blacked out? Once and only once.
59. Peed on a bush? A couple of times!
60. Donated Blood? I'm not allowed to because of where I've lived.
61. Grabbed an electric fence? No
62. Eaten alligator meat? Yes.
63. Eaten cheesecake? Yes. I prefer the alligator, actually.
64. Eaten your kids' [or little sibling's] Halloween candy? Uh...there's a funny story about my parents putting my brother to bed and me sneaking into his room not long after and going through his closet for candy. He woke up and screamed for my parents. Boy was I busted...
65. Killed an animal when not hunting? Nope.
66. Peed your pants in public? When I was little.
67. Snuck into a movie without paying? A few times. It was a marathon!
68. Written graffiti? No.
69. Still love someone you shouldn't? I can't say definitively. The answer is probably yes.
70. Think about the future? All the time.
71. Sleep on a certain side of the bed? More often than not.
72. Climbed a mountain? Yep. Want to climb some more though!
73. Eaten octopus? Yes.
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(no subject) [May. 12th, 2009|08:35 pm]
John Taylor
Definitely one of my favorite songs, for both playing and singing.

Rise Against - Swing Life Away

Am I loud and clear or am I breaking up?
Am I still your charm or am I just bad luck?
Are we getting closer, or are we just getting more lost?

I'll show you mine if you show me yours first
Let's compare scars I'll tell you whose is worse
Let's unwrite these pages and replace them with our own words

We live on front porches and swing life away
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I'll slave 'til the end
I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand

I've been here so long; think that its time to move
The winter's so cold summer's over too soon
so let's pack our bags and settle down where palm trees grow

I've got some friends, some that I hardly know
But we've had some times I wouldn't trade for the world
We chase these days down with talks of the places that we will go

We live on front porches and swing life away
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I'll slave 'til the end
I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand, until you hold my hand

I'll show you mine if you show me yours first
Let's compare scars I'll tell you whose is worse
Let's unwrite these pages and replace them with our own words

We live on front porches and swing life away
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I'll slave 'til the end
I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand,
Swing life away
Swing life away
Swing life away
Swing life away
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(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2009|12:30 am]
John Taylor
[music |Straylight Run - Mistakes We Knew We Were Making]

Straylight Run
"Mistakes We Knew We Were Making"

And all our sins,
Come back to haunt us in the end,
To hang around and tap us on the shoulder,
And smile silent,
It's all implied,
You'll die trying to live this down,
You might as well forget it,
Still I'm convinced,
Wondering what if is the worst thing there is,

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets,
Let them ferment and came back to our senses,
Drove back home and slept a few days,
Woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be,

And all these lines fall short of what I had in mind,
A failed attempt to capsulize a feeling,
So I just try,
Fail and try and try again,
Someday I swear I'm going to get it,
Because I'm convinced that giving in is the worst thing there is,

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets,
Let them ferment and came back to our senses,
Drove back home and slept a few days,
Woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be,

We'll get over it,
Sad, strong, safe, and sober,
We'll move forward,
And know where we went wrong,
But you can't go home again,
You can't go home again,
You can't go home again,
You can't go home again,
You can't go home again!
You can't go home again!
You can't go home again!!!

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets,
Let them ferment and came back to our senses,
Drove back home and slept a few days,
Woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be.
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(no subject) [Mar. 16th, 2009|01:40 am]
John Taylor
[Current Location |Traipsing Niger]
[music |Jyoti - Made of Water]

I'm missing my friend Jyoti tonight. Jyoti is one of those people that I had a great friendship with, but we suffered perpetually from a lack of time and an abundance of distance. There were a few other factors that kept our friendship from truly blooming, but I really came to admire her and connect with her in the rare kind of way that happens only once in a while.

She joined the Peace Corps and was deployed at the end of the summer last year for Niger. She's had a lot of recent issues - two Americans were kidnapped in a region near hers and she was given some very limited options as to what she could do, since the safety of the Peace Corps members is obviously the top priority. She decided to relocate to a slightly bigger village in a safer region, near a friend she'd met and to start working there. I can only imagine what kind of a life she's having, so totally removed from where and what I know. Of any of the people I know, I've come the closest, *maybe* to knowing what things are like out there, but I've only taken brief jaunts into those kinds of places, while she's made a life out there. Whenever wanderlust sets in, I always wonder just what it would take to go visit her and to see what kind of existence she's fashioned for herself.

Her internet access has been limited, and so time communicating with her is rare, and the chances we get to talk are few and far between, but she's done a good job of making sure people know about major changes in her life. Before she left, she gave me a gift, a copy of the music she'd written and performed, and I'm listening to that music tonight. The very last song on the album is her performance of Sidewalks, by Story of the Year, which is one of my favorite songs of all time - Jyoti introduced me to the song on a mountainside, dedicated it and sang it for me at one of her performances at an Open Mic night on campus, and was one of the main reasons I took up guitar in the first place, to learn that song. It was an incredibly touching gift, on top of an album full of all-original music. It brings back reminders of times past with people who have since moved in their own directions, carrying with them fragments of the dreams we call memories. It takes me back to a time in my life when I knew a lot of happiness, and yet there's a lot of sadness in these songs she wrote, mainly written once the things we knew and cared about started falling apart. We build so much with the people we care about and sometimes we live long enough to see it all shatter, or to fade away without our notice or consent. There's an incredible sense of loss on those moments when you realize again that the people you share your life with are no longer around.

Jyoti, wherever you are, I miss you.
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(no subject) [Mar. 5th, 2009|11:44 pm]
John Taylor
You know it's a small world when you find a cellphone on the ground and find your ex-girlfriend's number programmed into it...
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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2009|12:48 am]
John Taylor
[music |Taylor Swift - Our Song]

I'm a junkyard boy. There really and truly is no greater place for me than a junkyard. Something about the way my brain is wired just sees limitless possibilities for the ways in which total garbage can be reused and recycled to suit my purposes or to accomplish something. I discovered the Boulder ReSource today, which is a home for donated and reclaimed building materials. Stacks and stacks of things like floor tiles, slabs of granite and marble, tons of doors, cabinets, buckets of screws and nails of all shapes and sizes, sinks and bathtubs, ceiling fans and lighting fixtures, plumbing, chairs and furniture, shelving, gardening tools - truly, it was a wonderland for me. While it didn't have a lot of the raw mechanical parts I would have wanted, it was a reminder to me of where my passions lie. Simply standing in the outdoor lot looking at all of the things there was enough to bring forth dozens of ideas for fitting things together.

When I used to live on base in Germany, people were constantly throwing away perfectly useful things because the Army had a limit in the things they would move free of charge; as a result, I became a salvage baron, exploiting the weekly fillings of the dumpsters and finding incredible treasures within their depths. I built a wagon out of pvc pipes and connectors and would trundle down to the community dumpsters to load up on whatever I thought had use, finding working televisions and vcrs, furniture, lights, cables, you name it. The crowning moments were the days I found the original Nintendos that I so desperately coveted (my parents wouldn't let me have one, you see). What I didn't want or couldn't use, I sold to the thrift stores to make a profit off of the things that would otherwise have been ruined by weathering, compressed and then packed into a landfill. It was my special delight to find gadgets and knick-knacks that I could take apart to see how they worked and I made a tidy profit off my sales from the thrift stores. Sometimes I used the materials I found to build or tinker with things, like making modifications to my wagon for greater storage capacity or axle strength to support heavy loads. Mostly I just collected things in the off-chance they'd be useful to me someday.

I have more than a touch of the tinker and mad scientist in me. I have grand schemes of someday owning land out in the desert where no one will bother ever checking up on me and I can have free reign for me and my experiments. Right now I want a field dedicated solely to blowing things up, a greenhouse for cultivating plants (my other great passion), and a hangar full of workshop tools and half-finished projects. If I could own a junkyard right there on my property too, well that would be just swell, stocked with rusting cars, old refrigerators, piping, and scrap metal galore. It's an odd dream, but junkyards are the source of a lifetime of entertainment for me, a place for creativity to run wild.

Truly, the only thing holding me back from my dreams of building giant robots are my limited knowledge of electrical circuits. I can build and balance structures just fine; all those years of tinkering with legos and robots paid off, but controlling them and unifying the electrical systems are my Achilles' heel.  The way I see it, the skills I need to learn in order of importance are electrical wiring and circuitry, welding, the basics of harnessing the motion of electrical and combustion engines, and programming microcontrollers and sensory arrays. Once I've got that kind of education, the sky truly is the limit, and not even then, because I fully intend to make my fair share of flying contraptions.

Oh junk, how I've missed you.
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(no subject) [Jan. 20th, 2009|02:02 am]
John Taylor
[Current Location |Somewhere over the rainbow]
[music |Story of the Year - Anthem of our Dying Day]

2009 is starting out to be an amazing year.

Where I'm at right now:

Things are on the right foot this year. 2008 was a year of falling over, getting kicked while I was down, and then being trampled on top of that. 2009 is the year of revitalization, I've decided. Taking stock, I'm still me. A sadder but wiser, but still optimistic and life-loving rogue. I still pursue my dreams and ambitions. I'm conscious of the hurdles and limitations that I have and that I face, but I'm still very much a go-getter, doing what I love and cultivating new interests, learning to grow, and enjoying the process immensely. I've become keenly aware of my strengths and more importantly of my weaknesses and am learning what I can do to compensate for both. I have a heart on the mend that is not yet whole, but is finding ways in which to heal cleanly, truly, and purely. I have a job I mostly enjoy, a house I live relatively comfortably in, and I own too much stuff that I'll eventually get rid of. I've learned to live really and truly independently and while I've lost a lot, I've learned to live without those things I've lost as well, and happily. I believe more than ever that one's happiness is directly controlled by his or her attitude and I'm doing my best to remind myself of the important things in life. I'm learning to love more openly and freely, to tear down the walls and invest my passion in people. My gift for understanding others is growing increasingly stronger and permitting me to have deeper connections with myself, with others, and with the world. I laugh often again. I smile too much.I have dreams and goals, both short and long term, for the future for myself.  I'm social. My repertoire of guitar songs playable completely from memory continues to grow. I'm confident about a lot of parts of myself (though I'd be lying to say all, or even most). I still think the girl I crushed on in high school is the most beautiful girl in the world and I wish she would marry me ^_^. I sing in the shower, I tell bad jokes, I have a fondness for kittens, bright colors, soft fabrics, and martial arts, and I have a strong desire to truly live my life and to help others live theirs. And I'm happy, mostly. It's a start.

So happy new year, 2009. May you remind us all of the good things in life, and those things that need adjustment, and to be mindful of those around us. I wish you all peace where you can get it, love where you can find it, and happiness where you can take it.

-John
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(no subject) [Jan. 20th, 2009|01:39 am]
John Taylor
Love as thou wilt.

It's a pretty good philosophy to live by.
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(no subject) [Dec. 23rd, 2008|09:47 pm]
John Taylor
[music |Katy Perry - Hot N Cold]

Looking back at my dating history, I've traditionally dated far below my level. The girls I've dated have been unremarkable women, unambitious, afraid of the world, and needy with their behaviors. I've always been attracted to the brilliant women, the fiercely independent and strong-willed, but I tend to gravitate naturally towards people who need help because while I've got a lot to give, I also like to feel needed that I'm accomplishing something. I'm a goal-oriented person and when I'm around people, the easiest way to feel like I'm doing something meaningful is to help "fix" a person. Oftentimes this has meant sacrificing my own time and well-being to care for them while they're sick, helping them pull their own weight, and doing what I can to help them dream bigger than they're accustomed and pushing them towards their goals.

Naturally this leaves me completely unsatisfied in the dating department, because I spend my time waiting for the person I'm with to be brave enough to step outside their own particular comfort zone and try genuinely new things. The times I'm having the most fun are the times I'm with someone I care about and having crazy adventures. In my past relationships, I got dragged down into a life of monotony of watching movies, eating at the same places, talking about the same things. True adventures happened once in a blue moon, and usually at my insistence; oftentimes otherwise they lacked spontaneity and were cookie-cutter adventures within a "safe" limit. I watched as my hobbies and interests dwindled because I was accommodating the person I was with, to stay within her comfort zone, because it caused a fight too often to try and do anything different.

Even the movies eventually became repetitive, when we had to watch old favorites instead of gambling on something new. Foreign films were out of the question and the movie styles and plots were usually the same in the movies we did watch. Diversity was lacking, excitement was lacking. Ambition was lacking. Even planning for the future was limited and constrained to either planning a future without my own significant other, or limiting its scope severely to encompass only so much newness as the other could tolerate.

Out of my experiences in these kinds of relationships, I've grown to appreciate the common and the ordinary - I learned what it was to love and just...be. Spending all day doing nothing except being in the other's presence was enough, for awhile at least. I stopped feeling as antsy to do and to accomplish. But when it became the norm...my own drive to go out and do new things also waned. I got out of the habit of inventing my own excitement on a day to day basis, and in my last relationship, I watched my significant other start seeking attention anywhere and everywhere she could get it when it became clear to both of us that we were lacking excitement in our lives, and not because of a lack of effort on my behalf. Our opinions differed on what was exciting too - there was a quote on the board in my 4th grade class that read, "Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, small people talk about other people"; her interests followed in the second two, rather than the first. To explore a concept, to experience something *new*, something bigger than the individual - such is what I was made for, and such was what I craved. But there's no changing that difference in preference - she got distracted by the people and the things and for her, it was all she wanted. And when she did begin to pursue her dreams, she made no effort to include me in her plans the way I'd included her in mine. It was disheartening, embittering, and disappointing, and I often picked fights because of our differing levels of ambition. But I learned my lesson.

Everyone seeks happiness in their own particular way. How I've sought it in the past has been unworthy of me, and it's a behavior I've been trying to change for the last year. Extraordinary women are hard to find, though honestly I'm not truly sure what I'd do if i ever had one in my life. Barring a raging psychotic bitch though, pretty much anything would be an improvement. I'm crossing my fingers that the next time I date, I'll have the wisdom to pair myself with someone passionate and turned on to life and living it on her own terms and unafraid. To date, I've met a small number of women I'd deem to be extraordinary (you know who you are!), but for one reason or another it wouldn't work out. Here's my resolution for the New Year though - never settle again!
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(no subject) [Dec. 19th, 2008|02:26 am]
John Taylor
How easy it would be to ruin things right now, how so very easy.

Grrrr.
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