eli: arrival, pictures, video

Elijah Cash Burns is here and well! Born January 26th in a speeding hurry. Unlikely that this is news to you by now, but in case you need to play catch up…

And that is all. Happy day to you.

outback steakhouse

Steph and I just got done gorging ourselves at Outback like it was the last full meal we’d ever eat as a childless couple. No, the baby’s not coming tomorrow, but we’re trying to make the most of every evening we have from here until kickoff.

But it reminded me of the fact that I actually applied for a job at this particular Outback my first couple months out of college. I was desperate and in dire need of money. And since they say everyone in the music industry gets their start working at a restaurant, I figured why not give it a shot? So I filled out my application (man it was spectacular) and I went in for my meeting with the manager.

He glanced at my app and we made pleasant conversation for about 37 seconds, after which he told me  that I – a double-major, recent graduate with honors from business school – was unqualified for a position at Outback Steakhouse.

…. sigh…

It’s alright. I’d rather eat their steak than serve their steak.

top albums of 2010

I kinda forgot to publish my Top 10 albums of 2010. My apologies to the three people who actually rely on me for musical advice.

To be honest, most of my year was consumed with albums #1 and #2, and both came out at the beginning of the year. We saw Mumford & Sons twice which was incredible. And the Jónsi show has to be seen to be believed. Sadly (but not that sadly because they’re great) whenever I was needing something to listen to I defaulted to these two nine times out of ten.

That being said, I’m not the one to ask on 2010 music, so don’t even bother looking at this.

  1. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
  2. Jónsi – Go
  3. Brandon Flowers – Flamingo
  4. Beach House – Teen Dream
  5. She & Him – Volume 2
  6. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
  7. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
  8. Vampire Weekend – Contra
  9. Gungor – Beautiful Things
  10. and of course Jónsi – Go Live

jónsi: Concert Timelapse at The Wiltern Theatre from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.
Timelapse film of jónsi’s concert at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 2010.
Music: Sinking Friendships by Jónsi. Recorded live at The Wiltern.

mistake (?)

I am not a runner. And so I do not run.

Yet all of my friends run.

About a year and a half ago I decided I was going to try running. I probably guilted myself into it because all of my friends run. And so I went and bought my first pair of running shoes, and some running shorts, and socks to wear with my running shoes. Then I started running.

I stink at running.

I’m going to blame it on the church. We live in this townhome development that is not very conducive to running. We have one sidewalk that starts at the top of our neighborhood by our house and then goes straight down for half a mile where it empties out into a highway. And that’s no fun. So naturally, when I run I go to the parking lot of the church next door. It’s one of those mega-churches (so to speak) with a huge parking lot – one in which they have a shuttle service to get churchgoers from the back of the parking lot to the church doors. It’s slightly less hilly than our neighborhood.

I should say it looks slightly less hilly.

When I ran it for the first time and made the turn onto the “big hill” that goes straight up for about 7 miles I nearly died.

That’s a lie. My body would never live long enough to run 7 miles.

For some reason I got the crazy idea in my head this year that I want to run a 5k. I’ve been avoiding this calling for a long time, and by “calling” I mean enduring all of my star-athlete running friends who love to run pestering me every other week to join them for a leisurely marathon.

For reasons still unknown I felt compelled to share this desire to run a 5k with some of my star-athlete running friends last night. Good gosh what have I done?

So, here I am, documenting for posterity the fact that this year, 2011, I’m going to be a runner.

…………… oooh boy……..

baby update and a new blog

Two things of note. First, we got ourselves a nursery all set to go. Second, to keep you up on the happenings of the soon-to-be-expanding Burns family, Steph and I have started a new blog at WeAreBurnsheads.com! Hopefully we’ll get Steph writing on there very soon to update you on the antics of our son.

So for pictures of the nursery, and to keep up on all things Burns-family-esque, head on over there!

merry christmas from nashville!!

Well, it’s our last Christmas “alone”. And with the baby’s due date just around the corner we decided not to make the annual marathon across the Midwest this year and instead hunker down close to home. So it’s been a quiet Christmas, and surprisingly a white Christmas! We’ve been getting the baby room ready, spending time with friends, and appreciating the fact that life will be changing soon for us. Here’s a few photos from Christmas Eve – we made a little turkey dinner and had a celebration for ourselves. Wishing you a wonderfully Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, wherever you might be reading this from this year!

pass me a soda pop coke

This graphic goes a long ways in explaining many of the problems in this country:

Pop vs. Soda Map

baby burnshead!

So, we’re gonna have a baby!! Yeah, I know – that’s old news by now. And I’m a bad father for blogging about this for the first time as we enter the third trimester. Better late than never.

So here’s a picture of the little guy! I think he looks pretty good. Here’s what we know about him so far: He’s a fan of one of our favorite bands, Mumford & Sons, because he dances every time he hears it. Church and worship music seem to make him really calm. And this just learned today – ‘N Sync gets him really excited. Sigh… can’t win all of them.

Some of our wonderful friends threw a shower for Steph today and it’s exciting to see all of the cool baby stuff piling up in our guest bedroom. I did not attend the shower, but after seeing the pictures of the full ice cream bar I kinda wish I had.

the mosque

140 characters isn’t enough room to have this discussion. @jonarnold noted today:

Love this Bloomberg speech in reference to the NYC Mosque at Ground Zero. Incredible job. Bravo: http://bit.ly/byzmUT

Honestly, it’s a good speech that Bloomberg gave. I don’t disagree with the sentiment that we are called to live amongst our neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. I try to do that, to the degree that I can without compromising what I believe to be truth.

Those who support the mosque point to this debate being a freedom of religion issue, and that to deny the building of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City would be to undermine the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Freedom of religion is crucial. I don’t want to see it undermined. I don’t want it undermined for Jews and Muslims just as much as I don’t want it undermined for me as a Christian.

But I don’t think the core issue here is freedom of religion. To me this is an issue of respect. Extremist Muslims bent on jihad destroyed the World Trade Center and killed 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

To turn around and build a 13-story Islamic mosque right next door feels like a slap in the face. It feels like a monument to “success”. It feels like rubbing salt in the wound.

I haven’t heard anyone who is opposed to the building of this mosque say that Muslims should not build a mosque anywhere in New York City. Why does it have to be mere feet from Ground Zero? So close in fact that the existing building actually sustained damage from the Trade Center’s collapse! Build it 10 blocks away, or a mile away… but really, next door?

There are millions of “peace loving Muslims” in the world. I would think their first order of business ought to be to take a bold stance against their Muslim brothers who do not stand for peace and kindness and decry the acts of violence against humanity that continue in the world today as a result of their extremist religious views.

But as it stands, the first notable public act of “peace loving Muslims” in the last 10 years is to build a monument at Ground Zero to the religion for which the date of 9/11 will always be attributed to.

And that feels wrong to me.

[And yes Jon, we do respect each other. Absolutely.]

mumford and all his sons

I love music, but I don’t go to very many concerts. It’s just not that enjoyable of an experience for me. Dark club, toxic smoke fumes, drunk college kids all over the place, 105 degree heatbox. I sound like an old man.

But then there are bands that come along and I’ll do whatever it takes to see them perform live because the music is just that good. Along comes Mumford & Sons with their debut album “Sigh No More” early this year. This album blew me away within the first 20 seconds of listening to it, and it’s pretty much been on my playlist nonstop this year.

They are rightly categorized under the “British Folk” genre, but that might leave you with the impression of a sleepy singer-songwriter style full of dragging slow songs. Hardly. This band has energy and passion that doesn’t stop with the first few tracks, full of fiery imperfection that gives you an honest glimpse into who these guys really are.  They draw a lot of comparisons to The Avett Brothers, except with British accents. The Avett Brothers with British accents would basically be The Swell Season (and I love The Swell Season). Give The Swell Season banjos and we might be getting closer.

Anyways, we were kindly invited to tag along with our friends Dave & Meg to see Mumford & Sons in Bloomington, Indiana earlier this week. We immediately said yes.

So on Monday morning we left unwordly-hot Nashville for an equally unwordly-hot Bloomington. It’s possible that we were pulled over for reckless driving on the way to the gig. It’s also possible that tornado sirens were going off as we stood in line for the concert.  I was responsible for neither of these things. The band played at the Bluebird, which was a fantastic club minus the fact that it was 100 degrees outside and 200 degrees inside. That paired with the wood floors and soaking wet people (post-tornadoes) essentially turned the place into a giant sauna. But after suffering through two opening acts we were finally given the chance to hear what we came for.

I’m terrible at describing concerts, but suffice to say, it was one of the most fantastic shows I’ve ever seen. These guys are incredibly proficient musicians, multi-instrumentalists, and extremely talented at what they do. They were able to recreate every ounce of passion on stage that you hear on the album, and probably more. I’m incredibly excited to hear what’s next from this young band in the years to come.

For just a glimpse of what we got to experience, check out this live video of “The Cave“.