Saturday, October 5, 2013

TomorrowWorld was legen- wait for it..

dary. I drove down to TomorrowWorld last Sunday. It was a little West of Atlanta, so about a 2 hour drive. Hardly any of my friends have even heard of it. I was saying that it's the biggest Electronic Dance Music (EDM for short) festival in America but after looking up some other statistics, it's not the top one. But it's definitely up there. AT LEAST 50,000 people were there - that's 1/3 of the population of Chattanooga. It was by far the largest gathering of people I had ever been a part of.

So do you wanna hear about it or what? I know most of you think 'dubstep' when you think of electronic music but you are WRONG! A lot of the DJ's actually mix popular songs. If I had a taco for every time I heard the Icona Pop "I crashed my car into the bridge. I. Don't. Care. I love it!" song there, then I'd probably go full-on Mexican and wear a sombrero on my head.

Oh, errm..please don't judge me. Moving on now..

Walking in:

I arrived at 11am, but people had been there since Thursday night for the whole festival. It was quite mellow that early in the morning.

Parking was divided into sections using state names instead of letters and I happened to park near Delaware!

It's hard to understand how MASSIVE the grounds were for this festival. In this next picture, you can see the campsites on the right of the boardwalk. Most of the tents in the far background are different stages, including the main one wayyyy in the back.

The campers didn't seem to know the definition of personal space. You were right next to people at all times. Not only are you close to people, but you're within earshot of the stages. I can't image trying to sleep here because I heard that you could hear a bassline from either another tent or a stage at all hours of the day and night.

The People

Ohhh yes, the people. If you think people-watching in the Fort Oglethorpe Walmart is entertaining, you would LOVE this place.There were some outrageously dressed (if at all) people. Some costumes were pretty neat, and unfortunately I didn't see most of those until it was dark which is why I wasn't able to take many pictures.

I did see a guy with a sign that said 'Call xxx-xxx-xxxx if you have daddy issues' with an actual number and I took a picture but I don't want to put that on this blog. Due to my sick sense of humor, I got a great laugh knowing that someone actually wrote that.

The Crowd

I described the festival already, which brings in a wild group of people. But what you need to know is what a crowd at the main stage of TomorrowWorld is like. I'd venture to say this: It's like a giant Harlem Shake that lasts for hours.

(I just had way too much fun watching Harlem Shake gifs)

Seriously! The crowd was on FIRE and the main stage was actually imported from Europe where TomorrowWorld's big sister festival is held.

Sam and I got pretty close to the stage and had a blast. The pictures above were from Nicky Romero performing.

And if you watch this video of the crowd, you'll see why I called it a Harlem Shake. It shouldn't be very loud on your speakers. Also, if you can, watch the next few videos in HD.

17 seconds.
And here is the is the same view but when confetti was launched out into the crowd.

13 seconds.

Here is the stage at night from far away. The lasers were AWESOME.

And my favorite part was all of the dancing at the smaller stages. This guy was absolutely SICK. I really wish I could do what he does. Does anyone out there have videos of themselves doing it? Or know the name of it? It's like an advanced moon walk and I can't get enough.

                                                                          35 seconds.

In conclusion, I had an amazing time. I didn't consume even a drop of alcohol either, which brings me to the last thing I want to talk about in this entry.

The truth about EDM festivals is that they bring out a lot of sin and I mean a LOT. Guys and girls wearing next to nothing, massive amounts of drugs being offered around, and lots of belligerent drunks. As a Christian, I found myself in a conflict. Normally all of this stuff would bother me in a different setting like if I was around town, but I wasn't even phased. I knew what to expect here and I knew I had to divert my eyes as much as possible. But I wasn't feeling sympathetic towards the inner heart issues everyone was having, and that bothered me.

So many people in life chase emptiness or material things that will just fade away. They spend their lives working for things that will make them happy or just the get that next high that will get them through to the next day until they come back to reality and then they do it all again. It's a vicious and empty cycle. The conflict I had was that I REALLY love trance. A lot. I love letting my mind go and feeling the music (insert hippie here) and what it does for me. It's also the only type of music I can dance naturally to. I've loved the ambiance of the sound since I was a kid. So there is my problem: I love the music itself; I don't love what it brings, yet I didn't feel bad about being there when I should.

Victoria, my wife, was able to shine some light on this when I got home (future blog post about her, btw, because she is absolutely incredible). When ANYONE loves something they get tunnel vision, right? Maybe you love fast food no matter how many facts someone gives you about how bad it is for you. Or maybe it's something else. When I thought about this festival and seeing these DJ's, I was tunnel visioned in. The problem with having tunnel vision is that you tend to look past things that can give you a buzzkill. I'll be honest, if I had let myself feel upset because of how those people all around me are living their lives, it would have been a huge buzzkill and I very selfishly didn't want that. I wanted to have a good time.

This made me think back on my life and focus on the times where I have wanted something so bad that I would do or look past anyone and anything to get it. I'm selfish. I'm sinful. So are you. Be careful in the things that you love because you may lose sight of more important things. I love my God and I love my wife. She speaks such wisdom into my heart that no one else can. Biblical wisdom that just simply makes sense (thanks babe!).

So I decided that I will not go to another festival like this. If I began to peel away the selfish part of me, then I may start to feel towards people at a festival again but on a massive scale. If I can think about other people besides myself then I will open myself up to a different mindset. And honestly, I'm scared of that. I'm scared that I will feel the same as I did when I walked through streets of the largest Red Light district in India last year. It was the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done in my life because I felt so much hurt for those women around me and I wasn't able to escape it. Does that mean I'll run away from scary things my whole life? Heck no. But I want to be seeking Christs wisdom so that I know how to approach that in my day-to-day life. I want to help people, I want to see Christ help people. My whole life is a testimony of watching what can happen when I give it to God. You can call BS on that now, but go ahead and keep reading this. Read about my life and see how many things can't be pointed back to anyone but Him.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I spent too much time rambling at the end and don't feel like revising it. I hope everyone has a great week and I hope you enjoyed my update!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Oh boy, am I excited. Welcome to my blog! I really hope you stay for many more posts in the future. I thought about what words I could use to describe my plan for this blog but I came up short. The truth is, there is going to be a little bit of everything included. I’ll probably include the following:

  • Rants
  • Opinions (duh)
  • My beliefs
  • Ideas
  • Social trends
  • Current events
  • Theology
  • Psychology (why are some people so crazy?!)
  • Pictures of people I see and places I go
  • Encouraging stories
  • Friends that I love
  • Things I have going on in my life in the week/month
  • Beer talk
  • Things I love about Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Things I don’t love about Dover, Delaware (of the two, I really don’t know which list is larger)
  • The way I wish life could be
  • Free-writing posts (close my eyes and type whatever comes to mind as fast as it comes into my head)

That’s just a glimpse. Obviously I’m prone to ramble about all sorts of things, so I won’t put a box around it.

Well, I might as well start the real post by updating everyone on my life. Some stuff you may know, some you may not. Let’s start with what I’m doing now. I’m currently sipping on a nice cold homemade Brown Ale from a growler. A growler, if you didn’t know, is a container which can store draft beer for up to about 2 weeks without going bad. This beer was brewed by a friend of mine who was my TA last semester, which could have an effect on why this beer tastes so wonderful. I’m also listening to my favorite genre of music; trance. I could write an entire blog post about why I love it, and maybe I will. I CAN WRITE AS MUCH AS I WANT NOW! And no one can stop me!! Muahah….*ahem*, err.. back to business..

My Life: my Wife
Good golly do I love my wife. She's currently sitting in the other room right now relaxing after a long day at work. She’s the perfect match for me. We committed our lives to each other a little over 4 months ago. Let’s just say I followed BeyoncĂ©’s advice and put TWO rings on it. Suck it, trebek.

Taken by good ol' IV Elmendorf on the Chattanooga Walking bridge on March 12, 2012

Chatta-….chattanoo-….where do you live again?
So a little over 4 years ago, when I was still 17, I moved from Delaware to CHATTANOOGA (see? It’s not that hard), Tennessee. Tennesseeans think Tennessee is one of the greatest states to live in while Delawarians just think it’s an extension of Hartly but with more cowboy hats. I’ll be honest, it’s nothing like that (unless you go to Rossville or Fort O). Most of us have full sets of teeth, working cars, and only eat roadkill possum on Wednesdays. I love so much about the south, especially the BBQ. Ohhhh the BBQ. You don’t usually have to drive more than a couple miles in any direction to find some of the best pulled pork around. Bonus points if it’s a sketchy shack that only takes cash.

Fun fact: the font on my blog title is called Chatype and is Chattanoogas official font. Yeah that's right, we're cool enough to be the only city in America with its own font.

The reason I moved down here was because my older sister, Laura, lived down here and found a place for me to live. I had just broken up with my girlfriend of the time and had just finished my first year of college at Deltech.

I don’t think I could have lasted more than a year there. It was sucking my soul and seriously made me yearn for something greater. When I came down to Tennessee, NOTHING transferred. That’s why I’m still in school...5 years later. Which brings me to my next point.

Study, study, study
I’ve been attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and I plan to graduate in May of 2014 (fingers crossed) with a degree in Computer Science: Information Security and Assurance. I’ll also graduate with an Information Security Certificate or something. I really don’t think it has any more significance than winning $5,000 and then being told that you’ll also receive a 5 cent check in the mail too.

Did I mention that I can’t stand the department I’m in? It’s honestly made me think college is a waste of time. I could be investing my time at a job or a startup company learning far more than I have there. I’ll save that for its own blog post though.

Nate, where are you working? You never talk about it.
Well I would talk about it, but when I say I do “Nuclear Cyber Security for the nations largest public utility”, people usually stop listening at nuclear. A year ago, when I was in India (saved for yet ANOTHER blog post…geez, what is that, 3 more now?), I received a call from my current boss to come interview. In a nutshell, I support our cyber security implementation at our three nuclear plants. I haven’t been in any of the plants yet, but I will once I graduate! This company also duals as a government entity so I can only describe so much of what I do. But trust me, the south is safe from any potential nuclear meltdowns, I promise ;)

What are you up to in the near future?
This Saturday I am partaking in a Mario Kart 64 tournament at a local gaming shop. Real exciting, right? They’re doing a series of tournaments in different games until December. The last one was Super Smash Bros. Melee and I beat the other 7 people using just Kirby. If you don’t know much about this game, know this: that’s embarrassing. It was fun to play a game I spent hundreds of hours on in my childhood though. I rarely have time to play video games on my own anymore which is largely opposite from how younger, anti-social me, was in high school.

On Sunday I’m going to TomorrowWorld with some friends which is just south of Atlanta. It’s a huge Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival modeled after the real (and bigger) one in Europe. I get to see Armin van Buuren again – my all time favorite DJ. David Guetta will be there as well. I’ll be raging for like 12 hours, but I agreed to not drink any alcohol while I’m there since my wife won’t be there. She isn’t a huge fan of this music genre or the scene in general, whereas I can’t get enough. Nonetheless, she fully supports my interests which I am incredibly thankful for.

Many people know that I unicycle. But trust me, I don't do your typical sissy stuff. I am among a few others in the area who MOUNTAIN unicycle. It involves riding on trails that mountain bikers ride, but on half the bike. Or as I like to say, without the training wheel. I'll try to post lots of sweet pictures and videos from rides in the future. A lot of you would be amazed to watch this sort of thing go down. I do street unicycling too in urban environments.

I'm on the right. 

Other than that, I’m just trying to power through school and also finish a programming project for a friend.

Working out
Yes, I did just start working out in case you were wondering. Oh, you weren’t? Well uhh...nevermind then.. Contrary to popular belief, I have not gained a beer belly since marriage – a common occurrence among the newlywed male population in America. I guess I should stop drinking this beer to prevent that from happening, eh?

The real reason I started working out, and it was exactly a month ago, was to support my wife. She wants to get fit and toned so I joined a workout boot camp with her and it’s been awesome. For the local Chattanoogans: it’s called Scenic City Boot Camp. I really do recommend it. They do different workouts every class and it’s very fast-paced. Anyway, our one month Groupon ended and due to student loans and living expenses, we can’t afford to keep going at the regular rate right now. Our eyes are on joining the Y.

Sometimes I don’t know how I have time to workout, do homework, spend time with my wife and friends, and have time to enjoy myself. She just bought me a huge recliner for my office area in the house and I've only been able to use it twice; the second time being when I took a 2 hour nap in it. I want to simplify my life down to just the basics so that I can slow down and smell the breeze once in a while.

I'm not really crosseyed.
I’m a pretty nostalgic guy and that’s probably due to loving my childhood. So I always make it a point to remember and appreciate my past. As someone once put it, memories only sweeten with age. That person was me. That’s right, I said it. You can feel free to quote me on your blog. And as Ferris Bueller stated in his famous movie: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Good one, Bueller.

So with those final words I’ll part from my first blog post. But trust me, I have so many other things I want to talk about but this post is past your attention span. Congratulations if you made it this far!