why yes, it has been a while

It's a little late, but I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I had a fairly nutty week, what with the holiday, John and Becca being in town, and preparing for the church service my youth group was taking over this weekend. I was right, the best Christmas gift I received was the visiting of my Chicago buds. And Angela's still around for another week or so. As Nate would say, w00t!

The service at church went well, though I believe Sunday morning's service was better than Saturday night's. I was pretty discombobulated on Saturday night and didn't know the sermon very well, I felt like I was stumbling around a lot mentally and verbally, wading my way through it. By Sunday morning I had gone through the message a couple more times and edited it, all that, and I had a much better command of it. I think Sunday went much better because I was able to worry less about where my message was going and more about how to really convey it, if that makes sense to you.

Overall I was very proud of the youth because they did a stellar job all over the place this weekend. It's such an undeserved privilege for me to work with them like I do.

Switching gears...the 49ers have to play Monday Night Football tonight against the Rams in St. Louis. This game has absolutely no importance to the team - it has absolutely no bearing on the playoffs, which start next week. I wish they could just chill and take the week off. I know if I were on the team I wouldn't be thinking that way, but I just don't want my boys getting roughed up on an astroturf field, and then having to play a playoff game on a short week! Because of a pointless game. Harumph.

In other football news, the Packers suck.


gangs of trying to figure out what i'm trying to say

It's 2:24 am and I'm awake. This is because I went out to see The Gangs of New York. Don't make the same mistake I did. Not only did I endure the near three-hour movie, but I missed out on homemade snickerdoodles. Augh!

On the good side though - John and Rebecca were at the movie with me, along with Frances. It's been far too long since I had Becca asleep next to me at a theater and exchanged that bug-eyed, "did we just sit through that?" look with John.

I think the best Christmas gift I'll get this year is John, Becca, and Angela visiting home.


christmas blitz

Today I was at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, trying to get some shopping done. Today I realized that Christmas is actually only a few days away, what with it being this Wednesday and all. That kinda caught me off guard, so I was at the mall tonight with a couple friends. While we're in Brookstone I say "excuse me" to get past this girl, because the store was crowded and such things were necessary. This particular girl though looked familiar, so I looked back at her after I passed and sure enough, it was Jordan from mtv's "Sorority Life" show from the recent past. Not that I recognized her from me watching the show. No, no. But it was her. So, semi-famous person sighting. Whoooo.

Hope you're enjoying this last bit o' time before Christmas. It only comes once a year. So get an egg nog latte. You know you want to.


cheesecake good

Monday was a good day, save one screwup. First, the screwup. My clothes dryer broke today. Not broke as in it stopped working though. Broke as in it has decided to redecorate any articles of clothing unlucky enough to be tossed inside of it with nice streaks of blackness, likely ink, randomly placed about the garment. My favorite pair of pants was thusly decorated today, as were a few of my most favored t-shirts. There was much frustration and annoyance.

But the rest of the day was good, especially the evening. After spending some time with Brandon and talking about the upcoming church service our youth group is overtaking, I went out with a group to have a bit of a farewell dinner for Melissa. We ate at the glorious Cheesecake Factory in San Jose - and while the food was wonderful it was secondary to the company. It was great to see Sara again, who I haven't had dinner with in a while. There were numerous weeks not too long ago where more nights than not we were at the same dinner table. Those days are gone but it was like being with an old friend seeing her again, so I appreciated the heck out of that. In general we just had a good time at the table, there were 14 or 15 of us, lots of cheesecake, and lots of laughing. What more could you ask for? Maybe a bigger stomach so you could finish your dinner and your cheesecake...but that bigger stomach comes with some side effects that may not be so favorable. Can you tell I'm tired?

I am incredibly stoked because tomorrow night will kick off my Two Towers feeding frenzy, wherein I spend 9 of the following 24 hours watching said movie. Overkill? Probably. Fun? Definitely. Besides, it's not like I'm watching Zombie vs. Mardi Gras nine times.


someone else's two cents on jewelry

Last week I was talking to a friend of mine about how little I understand the fascination many females have with jewelry. I was trying to convey to her how useless I felt jewelry was. I think it's fine to have a necklace or two, a few bracelets or whatever - you know, a little variety, akin to having a few different pairs of shoes or something. But in general, Zach over at Shaw Island said everything I wanted to say about jewelry on his site today:

"First of all, men don't like jewelry the same way women don't like sports memorabilia. Jewelry does nothing. Its job, if you can call it that, is to look good. It does nothing and it's always expensive, which is a terrible combination. For that same amount of money, I could buy something that does stuff. You could build a computer that can play games, you could buy a Tivo that records your shows, you could buy a digital camera that lets you take pictures of cool stuff, you could buy a better bed and sleep more soundly, you could even invest it, etc, etc etc. Instead we're supposed to take that money and buy something that looks pretty. Fantastic. That's one nice aspect of being single, you don't have to even think about jewelry, unless you're mocking it."



Arrrrrrrggh! Why do my Niners have to go an ruin an otherwise great day? I will admit, to all you Packer fans out there that yes, your team beat mine. Today the Packers made enough plays to win, and the Niners did not. I won't talk about the horrendous pass interference call that led to one of the Packer's touchdowns by converting their fourth down attempt. I won't make excuses...Niners lost. I can't even bring myself to watch NFL Primetime, which is just about my favorite show, because I can't bear to watch the highlights from this game.

But! I had a good day otherwise. The play at church went over well again; it's interesting seeing what one crowd will laugh at compared to another. Some lines that received absolutely no response last night received uproarious laughter this morning. Tonight we had our youth group Christmas party which was a good time too. An incredible amount of junk food, but that's to be expected. The kids surprised Nate and I with these cool calendars, where the pictures for each month are pictures of our youth group at different times. Very cool. I wish there had been more first-time people at the party, but in general I enjoyed it and am really happy to see how everyone's like a huge family. Lots of love and acceptance round these parts.

So even though my Niners did their best to ruin my day, my students did a good job in reminding me what's really important.

And I'm now that much closer to seeing


i still function

Well, my first day as a sub has come and gone. I was broken in easily, methinks. Much of what I read regarding being a sub seemed eerily similar to what a convicted criminal might read before his first day in prison. I was essentially supposed to walk in, stab a few students in the eyes with a fork, and tell the others to behave lest the same happen to them. Smiles? Not until you have established yourself as OverLord.

Those of you that know me know that I'm many things and a hard-ass is not one of them, so I wondered how I was going to fare. As it turned out my first class was stellar, I was able to gel with them pretty well. It was an english class and they had to do a couple assignments - I let them work in groups and talk, but they never got too loud and did the work. They chatted with me a bit, laughed at my attempted humor, and didn't try to pull anything too nutty on me. There was a steady stream of students to the bathroom, but that was it. A good start to the day.

It was pretty nifty to see some people I knew at the school, like Alecia and some of her friends. I thought I might have some trouble connecting with students I didn't know from church but I was able to gel with the students pretty well in all the classes. The department head warned me about my last class, because it was basically a remedial reading course and the kids were low-scorers that might cause trouble. Well, they acted like angels for me, keeping quiet for all 20 minutes of silent reading, and the 20 minutes of busywork after that, and not getting up till I said they could talk and move around till the end of school.

So end result...no kids were stabbed by forks, the most stress I experienced was the result of trying to escape that travesty of a parking lot, and I look forward to my next chance to sub. I like to think God was watchin' my back, since I asked Him to have the kids take it easy on me today. Hopefully He's not lulling me into a false sense of security.

dun dun dun

Ye olde day of reckoning has come. I got called in to sub and I'm takin' the job. It's at American High school, and I believe it's a block schedule. I'm an english teacher today. Muaha. Keep me in your prayers today. I hope the student's haven't gotten wind of how much I make fun of their school, or I may be a stabbing victim. Hehehe...


therefore vicariously he loves you

You would not believe how badly I want to see The Two Towers. The TV mocks me with its incessant previews, Cate Blanchett's voiceovers, and snapshots of Legolas' buttkickin'. Arrrrrrrrgh.

I'm usually not home to watch South Park but something possessed me to do it tonight. It's not always a miserable display of how low the human sense of humor can go. Strangely enough this episode is giving me a hankering to see Blackhawk Down again. Last time I saw the movie my brother was in the Army. That sort of interfered with my enjoyment of the film. I liked it - but every time I saw a soldier go down I was reminded that each one was a real guy. And each one was someone's brother. And that it could be my brother soon. That lent the movie a certain weight - the people in the row behind us laughed at a few points in the movie and I was actually annoyed. Well, thank God Dave is out of the Army, because his very unit is in Afghanistan right now, and has been for a while.

Back to this South Park episode...it appears to be a 'tribute' to Blackhawk Down. Santa was shot down over Iraq; Kyle and Company went to find Jesus, because He can save everyone. So they get Jesus in the backup sleigh and head over to Baghdad to save Santa, who's being tortured by an Iraqi (once again a la Blackhawk Down). I just watched an animated Jesus die from a gunshot wound in an animated Santa's arms, after saving Santa. As Stan put it: "this is pretty f*d up right here."

Haahaa - the end of the episode made me laugh pretty hard, actually. At the end of the episode Santa tells everyone how "a brave man named Jesus died for him. So from now on, December 25th shall be a time we remember this man named Jesus and thank Him for what he did!"

So after a half-hour of what some people would call sacrilege, the creators of South Park ironically remind everybody what Christmas is supposed to be about. Jesus. In a way that would connect with some people today much more than any production a church put on to remind them that Christmas is about Jesus. I'm not sure what to think about that.
coffee is for closers

A little commentary on the movie Equilibrium and its negative reviews from Penny Arcade, profanity removed:

"If you don't like Equilibrium I'd say you are just too fancy for your own good. That's understandable though, I mean every one is fancy about something. Tycho won't read a book if the author's name is bigger than the title. I think Thomas Kinkade is a [freakin] hack. If all the moms between the ages of forty and sixty were to disappear tomorrow the man would never sell another print. I am sure that everyone feels like they are an expert on something and that only the best of that thing will suffice. The problem is that most people who review things are the very people who seem to have the most hang ups about that thing. This makes their reviews worthless to the rest of us who simply enjoy watching movies or reading books. So Mr. Moviereviewerman, you think Equilibrium had a "derivative, punch-the-keyboard plot." You think it was "crude, but occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, merely for its sheer ridiculousness." You think that a movie like Equilibrium is just too far below your standards. Well I bet you twenty bucks you have a painting in your house that you bought because it matched your couch, how pedestrian."

I like what the man says when he declared "i liked it when he shot that guy." Not all movies are meant to be taken seriously. Sometimes you simply have to enjoy inanity at its height and enjoy a lame movie for its own sake. This is not to say there's no such thing as a bad movie. Mortal Kombat 2 definitely wasted two hours of my life. But don't take yourself or your movies too seriously and you can enjoy a lot more.


two for one

My hosting company was having issues last night, so the post I wrote up wasn't published. You can now see it below this one, of course. True to their reliable form my hosting company got everything back up soon. Addr.com really has great service.

Tonight was Crossroads' Christmas Banquet (missed you Frances!). Bunch of people from my church get together and we kinda celebrate Christmas-like, with a big potluck and whatnot. The food was good as usual...everyone was harassing me about the yams though. I gave the sermon last week and mentioned how much I loved yams - so literally two dozen different people made yam comments and/or jokes to me. It's all good though. I really do love the people at my church - we're like a big family. Time after time I hear new people come and give their testimony and mention how Crossroads just "feels like home." That rules. That's what a church is supposed to be like.

On a side note in the world of shy Jackson, a couple brought their neice to the banquet. The neice looked to be about my age, and the uncle (who I know) came up to me and said his neice was there and wanted to meet me, and to come over and introduce myself when I got the chance. Well, I wussed out and never went over. I'm not entirely certain why - and by the end of the banquet when I'd resolved to say hi they had already left.

The last few days of my life have been characterized by wussing out. Gotta do something about that.

Tonight I went to see xtina's play, called "The Billy Club Puppets" I believe. It was pretty darn good, and entertaining - the right length too. Maybe the best part of the night though was afterwards when we saw Christina. She looked totally genuinely happy and excited that we were there. Which made me that much more genuinely happy and excited to be there (which I already was). So good vibes abounded and Christina made us feel uber-welcome, everybody wins.

I guess that's all. I'm eating a chicken sandwich right now on sourdough cause we're out of regular bread. I like sourdough and all...but this sourdough's really strong and it's sort of drowning out the flavor of the chicken.

Shut up, you know you love reading about what I eat.


falling apart together

Updated a few links on the left. A link to Dan Hughes' blog (nobody I know but interesting to read so far) and Melissa's new one.

I wussed out on another substitute opportunity, this one at Thornton Jr. High. That one probably would have been good. I just got the call 40 minutes before school started so that would have been a little pushing it. And the thought of being in charge of a classroom for a whole day was a bit intimidating. I've been reading a fair amount of sub resources today and I've determined that I need to put together a little kit and/or have some sort of plan to fill the class in case the teachers don't provide me with good stuff. That way whether or not I need to use my material I'll be more confident going into class. And what do you wear as a sub? Jeans and a button-up shirt? Khakis and a polo? Oh well. I at least won't have to worry about it till the middle of next week.

I'm hungry. It's past 2 and I haven't eaten a thing all day. What the crap.

I was woken up this morning at 5:30 by my phone ringing. When I answered it I discovered that I was definitely on Fremont's substitute list. It was an automated system offering a job as a sub for a Mr. Belotti at Mission. It sounded like I would have been subbing English and Social Studies, he had these different instructions about teaching the different classes different things. I sorta panicked cause I'm not supposed to be on the list in the first place and refused the job. Then I went downstairs and only caught the last part of another phone call, too late to pick it up but it was the sub thing again with another job. I sorta wussed out of the first one and had resolved to give the second one more consideration, but since this is the time some people might already be awake, "subfinder" no longer finds it necessary to call. I was a little worried about taking the first job because I'm not even supposed to be on the sub list and I want to make sure I don't really screw up the first job I take. Don't want to give anyone reason to check "how the hell did he get on the list?!"


does he ever get the girl

I just woke up, like eight minutes ago. I realized, though, that there are really just two things in life that I want and don't have. Not counting, of course, things like a new computer, a laptop, a car, that kind of thing. Cause that doesn't really matter or have much bearing on my happiness. But for some reason I woke up this morning and said to myself, "there are only two things in the whole world you want and don't have Jackson. Be happy." I am truly blessed. I just wish I would take better note most of the time. I should be joyful...but that isn't how I would describe myself. I wish it were.


can't you, can't you trip like i do

I am finally sitting down to work out the text for the message I'm giving at church this weekend. It's sort of a daunting task. But I have an outline down so that's good. I'm doing my best at answering the question "is it a sin to be tempted?" I was briefly tempted to make my message simply "no. Have a wonderful rest of your day" but I don't think that would fly very well.

If any of you would care to hear Jackson in something resembling a pulpit delivering a "warning, may contain sermon-like substance" message, feel free to come to my church this weekend. We have services at 6pm on Saturday and 9:30am on Sunday. Sunday will almost certainly be a better message. Although if you come both times you will be able to see my stepdad and pastor, two of the whitest guys I know, perform a rap. It's the 'special music' for the weekend.

You haven't lived until your pastor has asked you if he could borrow some bling-bling.


these flights connect in arizona but i think i'll stay stuck

Tonight a student came up to me and asked to talk to me one-on-one after youth group. I don't know the guy very well, I was honored that he would feel comfortable talking to me like that. So we go out back and he asks me how to get over being depressed - he hasn't had a girlfriend in a while and he's sick of being told he's "just a friend." I had to keep myself from bursting out with laughter at the irony. I could practically write a book on "just friends" angst and depression.

I found though as I searched for a way to talk to him that I didn't have an easy answer for him. I stumbled my way through what has helped me - finding out what God has made me for and going for that. Realizing it's ridiculous to assume that every girl that gets to know you is going to want to go out with you - and therefore ridiculous to assume something's wrong with you if you don't have a girlfriend or you get a lot of "friend" speeches. Stuff like that. These things that I have learned to put in my head and that occasionally leak down to my heart to make me feel better. I tried to tell him that the only thing that ever really pulls me out of depression is God. I hope I got it all through okay. It amazes me that God puts me in these positions. I struggle with exactly the same thing this kid was talking about - I guess that makes me a good candidate to talk to him about it. I just wish I'd solved it so I could tell him how. Welcome to the journey of life.
your dose of irony for the night

I just read a book by Covert Bailey, "Fit or Fat." The book talks about changing your lifestyle to a healthy one where you work on developing a fit body rather than a fat body. It concentrates more on body fat percentage than tracking straight body weight. The book is on my desk. It is 11pm. I just cut myself a piece of this scrumptious chocolate cake my stepdad made, brought it up to my room, and set the plate of cake on top of the book.

Thanksgiving is in a few days. I'll start next week.

I feel pretty miserable right now. I didn't get much sleep yesterday, since I got up to watch the Big Game. In honor of that, observe:

Death to Stanford, who as everyone is aware, sucks.

Unfortunately I was stupid and stayed up to get my butt whipped at a game with friends last night and got very little sleep. My alarm didn't wake me up this morning either - a headache did. Not to mention I have a cough and my throat is killing me. Am I whining? Guess so. I know this - I'm not going anywhere after youth group tonight. I'm coming home and sleeping. Gotta knock this stupid cold out before it gets truly killer.


it's always you in my big dreams

I can't rightly say why I'm not in bed right now. I was up all night at the lock in, which I should say was a good time. I got some good ideas for stuff to do with my own youth group. I learn so much by being around other youth pastors in their environment. And the students all seemed to get along. I'm screwed up for today but it's all good. I've consumed nothing but junk for the past 24 hours and my stomach is letting me know about it. I can almost hear it telling me off right now. Come to think of it, there are several voices in my head. I'm sure that has nothing to do with my lack of sleep.

The 105th Annual Big Game is today, wherein Cal should wasticate Stanford. I think I'm gonna hit the sack now so I can get a few hours of sleep in and watch the game. This is Cal's best chance to win in a while...it's been seven years...Boller's finally hitting his stride. Wish we had him for another year. Ah well. Peace out all.


mask of a thousand faces

Good night tonight. Semi-late but I'll make my 10am appointment with no real bags under my eyes. And as usual stellar company.

Found out today that I'll be preaching at church next weekend, at the Saturday night and Sunday morning services. Come and hear if you want a larf. The message is on whether or not temptation is a sin. I've got a few ideas running around in my head and I'm meeting my pastor tomorrow for a few minutes to get the ideas he has. This is the shortest time I've had to prepare a message before (though only the second time I've prepared one for "big church"), so that's sort of exciting and scary at the same time. I'm sure it'll be fine. God has a way of working these things out. And if I suck - well, He'll work that out too.

This weekend I will be attending my very first lock in. It's this sadistic thing where you take a bunch of high school students and put them in a large room from 7pm-8am. Apparently there will be all manner of different things going on, from eating to movie-watching to music to church at sunrise. But very little sleeping. I'm almost afraid. I'm lookin' forward to it though, especially if I can get a good bit of my kids to come. I'm going to start spreading the word tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a good day because it will be a busy day. I like having things to do. And I have things-to-do-aplenty. G'night.


Have you heard of geocaching?! This sounds really nifty. From what I've gathered so far, people involved in the (they call it a sport) of geocaching place these caches of stuff in various locations. Then they post the location's coordinates on the website for everyone to see and find. You need a GPS to help you find the cache. When you find it, you are allowed to take one thing from the cache, I think you're supposed to leave something too - and you write in a logbook they have in they cache to let people know you were there. After you go home you post to the website to let the community know you were at the cache and it's still safe and sound, that you found it, etc.

Is it just me or does this sound hella cool? I think I have a few friends that would be down for giving this a whirl sometime, too.

On a side note, I got the link to geocaching off of wilwheaton.net, Wil Wheaton's website where he get his webjournal on. Wheaton was, of course, everyone's favorite whiny space-kid, Wesley Crusher, from Star Trek. Apparently his webjournal is of sufficient quality to develop a bit of a following, so you may want to take a look.

The meteor shower last night was good. Unfortunately the place I went to see it wasn't as light-free as I'd imagined it in my head. I sorta forgot that's where you go to look at all the city lights. It's an awesome spot though...you can see way south past San Jose and on clear nights you can see across the bay to the north, like maybe as far as Foster City, and on this side of da bay, Oakland when the hills aren't in the way. Great place. Just not super-ideal for comet watching. Though I did see a number of them, and one bigger than I've seen before. My dad was up in Yosemite watching it...I bet the view was spectacular from there. I had a meeting to go to today so I couldn't go with him. I thought it would be cool though to be on the phone with him as he was watching, and when a really big one went say "hey, did you see that?" It's odd to think people for hundreds or even thousands of miles could see the same shooting stars.

Course, I get tripped out that we look at the same moon.


I just played and lost about eight consecutive games of Warcraft. I'm done for the day.


this is what you get when you mess with us

I did a dumb thing today. A beautiful girl called me to see if I would go with her to grab some food before she headed to church. Normally I would have leapt at the chance, but the problem was, she called me around 4:37 PST, at which time the 49ers were in Overtime against the Chargers. I was riveted to the screen and declined, saying I didn't have enough money anyway. The result? Niners lose. I think the universe did that to spite me, to let me know that I had committed some sort of grave offense against the cosmos.

That, or the 49ers' kicker freakin' sucks. Hope he enjoyed his stay in the NFL, cause he should be packing his bags this week. I feel a certain amount of pity for the guy, but you can only lose so many games for my team before you earn my scorn.

On an unrelated note, the uber-cool Jeannette has started up her own webjournal thing. You can find the link on the left under "friends" from now on. She's learning the ropes, and I provide this link as more of a sociological oddity than anything else. It's a peek into the psyche of the kind of person that would choose the Green Bay Packers over the 49ers. It's interesting, because she shows such brilliance in choosing the A's and Sharks...perhaps by peeking into her journal we can learn something about the twisted mind of a Packers fan.


i used to wonder why did you bother

Pretty okay last couple days. That pastors breakfast I went to was good despite how tired I was. Chip Ingram is pastor at Santa Cruz Bible Church and he was the key speaker there. He's really good. I just wish I hadn't been so tired. It was kinda funny sitting next to my pastor and struggling to stay awake but failing some of the time. I did manage to win one of the raffle drawing things there and won a bunch of books...I probably left the breakfast with 300 bucks of free books...and not all of them are crap. I tell you, once I get my own place and some bookshelf space people are going to think I'm the most well-read mofo they know. Of course I won't be, but I can be like the Great Gatsby and have my volumes of books.

I genuinely enjoy going through Bible stories and drawing lessons from them more than I do taking a concept and drawing from various portions of scripture to teach on it. I believe the word for what I like is "expository" teaching. I don't mind the other way...but I am realizing that for me at least, this way seems to encourage more Biblical literacy, and an understanding of the text. Not to mention the fact that if you only teach with scattered verses you downplay the importance of context and the overarching narrative that is the Bible - and therefore lose much of its richness, if not the whole point. So of course it's likely a balance is necessary between expository and thematic - right now I'm simply enjoying expository.

I took an interesting "Battleground God" test yesterday. The test analyzes the logical consistency of some of your beliefs about God and you take hits and/or bite bullets based on the continuity of your answers. Pretty interesting. I did well, thankfully, as the test stated: "The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent."

I took the hit when I agreed that the absence of evidence or argument is enough to rationally justify belief in the non-existence of the Loch Ness monster, but in a later question implied it was okay to believe in God in the same instance. I don't think the God question included a lack of argument in favor of God as a qualifier - but it is still something to consider. I am sure there are some things I irrationally find it harder to believe in than other things. For instance, people can be totally convinced that they see ghosts or aliens but I just about never believe them. Or when people start talking about faith healings or "signs and wonders" I often attribute that to hysteria. Do I have good reason to do so or do I simply dismiss beliefs that are in realms I've made my mind up on while believing on the inside that I'm open minded and rationally sound in my own head? (run-on schmun-on)


sit on top of the world and tell me what you're thinking

I was restless tonight so I decided to take a drive. I went down 17 to Santa Cruz, then drove back up the coast from there to Half Moon Bay before crossing the Bay again and coming home. The drive itself was good...the beach is beautiful at night.

Until I got near home, drove past the Radisson Hotel in Union City, and remembered that I have to be there at 7:30 am for some kind of pastor's appreciation breakfast. I had been operating under the assumption that I didn't have to wake up at any specific time tomorrow when I left on my little jaunt...d'oh.


i don't want to feel this way forever

I'm pretty tired. I've been up late a lot lately. Not necessarily a bad thing, the company has been stellar. Then I made the fool move of making a haircut appointment for 10 this morning after staying up past 3 again. Then again, if you've seen my hair the past two weeks or so you may not think it was such a foolish move.

Need a smile? Got that off a pop-up. First useful pop-up ad I've ever come across.

Things continue in my life much as they have for the past few months. Although today I will be heading down to the district office to get some paperwork done, which is good. Progress. Who knows how long it'll be before I actually get the job, and what kind of hours the job will provide...but it's a step in the right direction. And I suppose I should enjoy the free time while I have it. When I have that job there will not be late nights like the past few have been.

Initially the band Thursday did not impress me. My brother and a few friends hyped them up incredibly. I have learned, however, to enjoy them, and it turns out I like 'em a lot.


how does it feel to find yourself playin for the wrong team with the stakes so high

I've been without internet access since Thursday. It's Saturday morning and I just got it back. Whenever my internet access is curtailed I remember a few things about it. I remember how integral it is to my daily routine. The first thing I do every morning when I get up is turn on the computer - even on the way to the bathroom. Just pop it on so I can come on and check my mail. It's also the first thing I do whenever I come home at night. It helps me feel connected to everything else. Sometimes I sit down in my room at two a.m., flick on my computer, and sit there thinking about how cool it is. Sure, my monitor blows, but that's not the point. Somehow this little glowy, whiny box connects me in my little room in Newark California to the rest of the world. And there I nights where I can just feel that. I like it.

So without my internet connection I felt a little disconnected from everything else. It did help me get productive though. Without the internet to distract me I read a big part of Genesis. You know, the first book in the Bible. I read from Adam and Eve up through Abram getting his name changed to Abraham. I just absolutely love reading these stories about people in the Bible and you totally see them acting like...I dunno...PEOPLE. For example...Abram and Sarai laughing at God when He told them they would have a child even though Sarai was past childbearing age. Or Sarai letting Abram sleep with her maid, Hagar, so he could have a kid with her. Then, the minute Hagar gets pregnant Sarai starts hating her guts and making her life miserable and Hagar ended up running away. That just seems to real to me. She got jealous and started being a punk to Hagar even though she originally created the situation with good intentions.

Then of course there are the displays of inhuman courage. Such as Abram making the circumcision covenant with God - wherein all the men in his household (group) had to be circumcised and therefore God would bless them. This tradition has been carried on in the West for thousands of years and it started right there with Abram. Now, Abram (now called Abraham because of the covenant) was a fully-grown adult and so were many of the men in his house. But they didn't ask for exceptions from the circumcision rule. So I'm of the opinion that Abraham's most courageous act of faith was having himself and his men circumcised when they were full grown. Aside from the personal pain...do you want a way to foment rebellion in your servants?

"Hey, come here Eli."

"Yes, Abram?"

"It's AbraHAM now."

"Cool. How'd you get that name?"

"Well, that's why I called you over here. How do you feel about large knives, Eli?"


ESPN.com - Page2 - Election difficulty

From the above article:

Next Week's Environmental Heroes Set Fire to the Rainforest to Use the Light to Search for Recyclable Cans:

TMQ opened his Washington Post to this praiseful article about a husband-wife team of pilots who are methodically flying around the San Francisco area, taking digital photographs of every inch of coastline and posting them on the web. Supposedly, the purpose of this project is to allow average citizens to monitor the coastline for environmental abuses, such as an unauthorized bulldozer. Activists are saying what a fabulous advance the photos are, and privacy concerns seem not to matter -- if you had a home on the California coastline, would you want high-resolution digital photographs of yourself in the backyard posted on the Web?

But what made TMQ spit out his coffee was how the husband-wife team of pilots/ environmental heroes is accomplishing its save-the-planet project -- by flying around in a helicopter. No human construction wastes fossil fuels faster than helicopters, which use power to compensate for poor lift. A typical four-person helicopter, the Bell JetRanger 206, burns 25 gallons of fuel per hour. In an hour of highway operation, a typical large SUV will burn three gallons of fuel. So the husband-wife team of environmental heroes is essentially flying around northern California in eight SUVs strapped together, madly expending fossil fuels and pumping out greenhouse gases. To top it off, helicopter engines are totally unrestricted when it comes to smog-forming emissions. A JetRanger or similar helicopter would spew thousands of times as much smog-forming compounds, per hour of operation, as any make or model of modern car. But they're environmental heroes because they are looking for bulldozers!

Hey. I don't like the goobernatorial election this year.

Get it? Goobernatorial? I sure am glad you can't throw tomatoes at people through the computer screen.
Today is election day. VOTE! If you're able. I must say though I'm not too stoked about our choices in this election, especially in the gubernatorial race. But that's no excuse for not voting. [insert politically upset diatribe about people who don't vote but complain about the system] So there.


understanding in a car crash

Minus Vince played well tonight. They had a few hitches...before the show Max (the sax player) had his stereo and barry sax jacked from his car. That sax was worth $3600. Then the place wasn't letting in people under 21, then they were letting them in only sporadically, so that was odd. Then to top it off they had to play two 1 hour 15 minute sets...which is freakin' long. But they sounded awesome when they played their own stuff and even did a good job covering Ludacris.

I think it's interesting, when I leave places where there were lots of people I review what happened in my head, and the different interactions I had with different people. What the situations were, what could have gone differently, etc. Whenever I leave very large gatherings my brain takes off for a while and I almost always take the long way home. Guess I'm weird like that. The time has come for me to hit the hay, that I might play and enjoy disc golf in the morning in wonderful Santa Cruz.


sleep with all the sheets off

Ack, Happy Halloween everyone. Mine was pretty good, though nothing too exciting happened in the day till the end of it. My day was largely uneventful and unproductive (though I did have an interesting game of Warcraft with the two weirdest teammates I've ever had before). I went to Alicia's for a Halloween Party she got the inspiration to host, and that was cool. I am the reigning Ping Pong King. Hey, King Pong. Um, okay, nevermind.

After I left there I had the pleasure of hanging out with my bro for a while and listening to the CD his band recorded. It really sounds great. Unfortunately the punks made an agreement not to copy the cd for anybody until it's pressed, so I have to wait till January to get my hands on the CD. I must say, I am impressed and proud of the musical growth these guys have gone through. They really are a group of growing, talented musicians, not just a bunch of punks in a band. Though they are that too.

I went home after a while thinking the night was over when in fact it was just beginning, because everyone's favorite self-proclaimed cool chick Laura wasn't done with hers. She and I ended up going back to my brother's place and the three of us watched Legally Blonde and Brotherhood of the Wolf. Now, since we showed up at Dave's at 1:30 I figured we'd watch one movie and that would be that. We settled on Legally Blond and enjoyed it (thanks Frances), and then Dave threw in Brotherhood of the Wolf. And who am I to argue with a movie that kicks that much butt? Brotherhood was over at 6 this morning, with Laura having stayed awake the whole time and me awake for most of it besides the first hour. I was most disappointed because at the end I was fading in and out and I missed the cool fight with the bendy sword. Dave slept pretty much peacefully throughout the entire movie except for the first twenty minutes. So I'm running on a little over 3 hours of sleep. Not a good way to start what I think is going to be a busy weekend. But a fun way!

I'm off to send my camera away to be fixed and/or replaced. I hate having my favorite toy broken. I think I'm also going to engage in a bit of car maintenance. Those of you who have seen my car lately must be wondering if I've started negotiating treaties with the organisms that are surely taking up residence in the dirt landscape. Well, I haven't. I've been trying for the past week to incite the Sap People, whose chief home is my windows, into violence against the Dust Rangers, who eke out their harsh existences in the vast deserts of my hood, roof, and trunk. Unfortunately the Sappers are far too terrified of the Dusters; that harsh land breeds a hardy people, to be sure. The Sappers just sit in their gooey homes and grow soft, while the Dusters battle extreme wind and heat on a daily basis. So I've decided to stop asking them to kill each other and go straight to the Great Serpent and unleash a torrent of water the likes of which they have never seen. Maybe the next civilizations that emerge on my car will be more cooperative.


wiggum couldn't catch cooties at milhouse's birthday party

Courtesy of Kevin I again have the proper software to mess with images and whatnot, so I created the above title bar. It probably won't take me long to get sick of Photoshop again but for now it is greatly amusing me. Much more than the incompetent teammates battle.net has seen fit to give me lately.

Today I went disc golfing with my pastor in Santa Cruz. T'was a pleasure, I haven't been in a while. He even bought a few used discs. Jesse will be most pleased. We sort of incorporated a meeting into our trip. Paul talked to me about starting to consider/pray about starting a new church service on Sunday nights in 9 months to a year. I am pretty excited at the prospect - he wants it to be different from Crossroads, with a different name etc, and we would almost get it going as a new church plant. It would maybe even be a church-within-a-church thing. I asked Paul if he would mind if I focused it on high-school students and he said not at all. Obviously we'd have to seek God's will on this thing - it's been something on my mind for a while though. From the time we moved into the new building I've been thinking about what it would be like to start up a new totally different service. Then I felt the drive to go to an eight-hour seminar at the National Youth Workers Convention on starting new church services for emerging generations. That workshop got me really thinking and really excited...so it's in the formative stages but I'm fairly excited about what the future holds.

Can you believe there's a Simpsons episode on that I haven't seen before? Homer's starting a private police force called Springshield. Pretty promising, hehe.


Oh yeah! It's Alecia's birthday. Sing her a beautiful song, cha cha cha.
what you think is yours you need to let go

Came across an interesting blog today. It appears to be maintained by a homeless guy via public libraries. It also looks like he may have some kind of publicity since the picture he uses of himself is one from USA Today. He is clearly a smart guy, at the least he writes well and is well read. I wonder what would keep him on the street. My first response is that he wants to be there on some level; he's got to have the ways to get up on his financial feet if he wants, right? Mayhap he likes the identity of "the homeless guy" and doesn't want to give it up and have a house. Or maybe he does have a house, and he's a bored Oklahoman housewife laughing at the meager social consciences he briefly illuminates in his blog.

My brother's band is finishing up their recording this week, this very day actually. I'm surprised at how excited I am to hear the tracks after they've been mastered or whatever it is you do to newly recorded music. They really are talented guys. I just wish that they could see God. They are such an awesome group of guys, they would be that much more awesome if they wrote songs for The Man Upstairs. But until then I'll enjoy hanging with 'em at practice, going to the shows I can, and being there when they get those spiritual wild hairs.

Progress is being made regarding my job with the school district. The next person I have to talk to is out of town until next Tuesday, so I must continue to wait. The lady I'm in contact with told me it's okay that I have to wait because they don't have any students for me to home teach right now anyway. Which gave me pause - I thought they had all the work I could handle and then some? I'm getting a job where I'll go to students' houses when they hurt themselves and bring them their homework, teach them, that sort of thing. I can only due elementary age kids though. So the way I see it I'm going to have to bring a garden hose and make my rounds of the schools around 4am. The children of Fremont are going to find out just how slippery a nicely iced-down sidewalk can be. Then we'll see who doesn't need home teachers.

I'm glad my fingers are warm again. It's hard to type when they're cold. Speaking of cold, I've got to head off to a meeting. Enjoy your day.


ESPN.com - NBA - Sacramento Kings/Los Angeles Lakers Brawl ESPN.com

A quote from the above article, which describes members of both teams fighting one another: "Lakers coach Phil Jackson blamed the tunnel fight on the officials, while Kings coach Rick Adelman faulted Stales Center security."

What?! How about blaming the people fighting each other for the fight? Are athletes these mindless brutes that can't control themselves? Must they be protected by officials and security from beating one another to a pulp and accept no responsibility when they get in fights? What a joke, dude. Maybe the coaches had to blame other people for political reasons, ie. showing support for their players, but those political reasons shouldn't exist. What does this say to kids that look up to these athletes - and there are many.

I don't usually get annoyed by these kinds of things, but something about the way nobody took responsibility for their own actions here got on my nerves.


I spent some time with my dear friend Laura today, who I don't see enough but always love to be around. Today she called herself the coolest chick I've ever met and I am hard pressed to argue overmuch. She is pretty rad. But the point of my post is to direct you to this hilarious commercial she introduced me to today. Maybe you've already seen it, but I hadn't, and I was not disappointed.

On a similar note, more than once today Laura started to explain something she found funny to me but then just told me to find it and watch it myself. Now, this is a discipline I should learn. I don't know how many times I've tried to relate the pure hilarity of something to someone else and simply found myself four minutes later with a blank stare and maybe a courtesy smile. Things are always much funnier in my head.


Yesterday we had our staff meeting at church as we do every Tuesday. At the beginning of every meeting we share prayer requests with one another and then pray for them. We do the prayer different ways, sometimes we do what Paul calls "African Style" because he learned it when hew as a missionary in Africa. That's when everyone prays out loud at the same time and eventually when they sense it's time one person speaks up louder than everyone else and closes the prayer. Another way we do it is by just splitting into pairs and praying with that person. For the past two weeks I've been paired up with Billy Hayes, the pastor of Irvington Baptist church, who owns the property Crossroads meets on. His in his sixties I think, probably early sixties though I can't say for sure. His ex-military and has one of the deep resounding voices that you would expect a Baptist preacher to have. He's a super nice guy, I like him a lot. It feels a bit odd sometimes to pray with him one-on-one like that.

I'm not sure I can identify the feeling - maybe that the two of us are so far apart in life experience and everything that it's odd for me to sit there and try to imagine how to pray for him and his wife when they're going through the death of his father-in-law. And I find my mind wandering when I pray to wonder what he thinks of my prayer, am I being irreverent in the way I speak to God, am I praying stupid generic prayers for him, that kind of thing. Of course when those thoughts crop up I shut them up and get back to the business at hand (that is, talking to the creator of the universe). They still come though. Maybe it's a feeling of spiritual inadequacy, I dunno. Just thought I'd mention it.


I'm not saying I've written anything particularly noteworthy. I'm just saying it's possible to comment on my posts here by clicking the little "Shout Out" situation down there at the bottom of posts. That is all.


I am thoroughly enjoying A Game of Thrones, a book recommended to me by two of my friends who have pretty good taste in books. Say, have you ever noticed how you know whether or not your friends have good taste in movies but you don't know as much about their taste in books? Anyway. This book is pretty awesome so far. It's gimongous, somewhere around 800 pages...and perhaps even more daunting, it's the first in a six book series where all the books are of similar length. But you know a book is good if you're getting genuinely aggravated at some of the characters and sincerely disappointed when they die. Which is coming to be a common disappointment...Jesse told me not to get attached to any characters but I didn't expect his words to ring this true. And any book which can make me take a character named "Ned" seriously and actually admire him is a winner in my world.


Dude! Freaking Niners. They were leading by 11 until I started to watch the game. I actually found myself talking to the television set. Like, not just screaming during big plays or whatever, but actually talking to it. Say Terrell Owens drops a ball - which he did in at least two clutch times today. I spend the next thirty seconds muttering under my breath. "Hey Owens, how about you shut your mouth and catch the ball? That okay with you? Because until you stop letting the ball bounce off your numbers I think you should keep your mouth shut. Yeah, thanks." Stuff like that. One by one the football games steal my sanity.


My friend Danny let me borrow an anime series, Martian Successor Nadesico and I'm finding it terribly entertaining. It's comedy/sci-fi, which is great. It has a number of typical anime situations too, which of course would only happen in the minds of these japanese writers and lonely fanboys. The captain of this ship is a 20-year old bubbly girl obsessed and in love with the ship's cook, who is also a reluctant fighter pilot who mutters under his breath about the senselessness of war while blowing the crap out of his enemies ten at a time. Unfortunately they've already killed off my favorite character, a guy that was obsessed with an anime and insisted on yelling things like "Gekigangar Flare!" when he attacked in his giant robot because that's what they did in the anime he watched. Then they had to up and kill him. In a lame way even. I'm still watching with hopes that someone like him will come along again.

Tonight I went to watch my brother's band play. The rest of the members set a rule that the guitar and bass players could not smoke weed for the four hours preceding the show. This rule was instigated by the last show they played, at a Tower Records in Dublin, where those two lit up repeatedly immediately before the show and it was quite apparent while they performed. It's a good thing they established the rule because they played significantly better this time around. They really are talented, it's just too bad they sing about balls and blunts.

I'm in a drama skit at church this weekend, we did it once tonight and will do it again in the morning. I'm playing a garbage man; the skit's about two guys in coffins waking up and talking to one another in the funeral home. I'm a garbage man and the other guy's a CEO of some kind. At some point I decided to give my character a New York accent - I think if I didn't I would have played him in a pretty boring fashion. Thankfully though that has given him a little color for me...I just don't know how consistent I am with the accent. Whenever I try to do any other kind of accent it always eventually degenerates into a Russian or Irish accent. Who the heck knows why. Maybe its because those are two of the coolest accents ever.

Firefly is a good show. You should watch it. One of the problems is its time slot - 8pm on Friday nights? Have a good time. You know how sometimes you can watch a show and you get the feeling that no matter how much you like it or how cool you think it is you know its destined for a short run? I felt that way with Space: Above and Beyond. Dude, I remember totally loving that show. I kinda feel that way with Firefly too. Tis a shame too...we could use this different brand of sci-fi. It's got and old-westy, tongue-in-cheek feel to it. Sure beats the heck out of tripe like Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda.

Gonna go, catch another Nadesico episode before I hit the sack. Peace out.


Check this out for a little different view of Jesus. Challenging.
ginkworld.net - where it all starts

This site is seriously interesting. I'm just sorta overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Likewise with faithmaps. The movement of the emerging church is intriguing. I appreciate the movement toward the heart of what Christianity is and who God is. Faith can feel so hollow sometimes, I so easily get caught up in the doing rather than the being without even noticing. And when you're in a ministry position that sort of mentality can carry over to where you're instilling other people with the same kind of hollowness you have. Then what do you have?

And I wish I had half the graphic design talent of some of these foolios.
ESPN.com: NFL - Young: Scheme can be QB's best friend

I don't think Steve Young gets proper credit for being the kind of quarterback he is. I don't know why but Elway gets all sorts of credit as the benchmark quarterback of his generation just under Montant. I'd judge that generation to include Montana, Marino, Elway, Kelly, and Young as the elite quarterbacks. Elway was spectacular I'll grant that, and managed to win 2 Super Bowls, but that only came at the end of his career and with Terrell Davis there to ride the back of. Steve played at a high level for four years after he won, including his 5 straight 300-yard games in 98. At the very least he should be considered equal to Elway.

The thing about Young, and I suppose Favre, is that they are the two transition quarterbacks it would seem between the old kind of quarter and the new kind. They introduced mobility that hadn't been seen before, and they both had a scrappiness and toughness that put them beyond the traditional prissy quarterback. Elway was victimized by Cal in college and was seen jumping up and down in a hissy fit repeating to himself "but this can't happen to meeeeeee!" You'd never hear that kind of crap out of Young's mouth.

Young earned my undying respect the day he sort of galloped into the end zone with a mighty limp because he was playing with a major groin strain but wanted his team to win anyway. I still have that picture emblazoned in my mind.
I appear to have comments working now. Time for another test.

tragedy strikes on my street.
And to think I was so close to getting comments working. Apparently you must have certain skills I lack to get cgicomments working. So I continue my search for a way to put comments on here. Overall though I'm satisfied with what I accomplished today. Bedtime though.


Okay so check this out. I finally figured out what I'm going to do with my website. Pretty much anyway. I've had a livejournal for a while and this separate, not knowing what to do. Well I'm going to combine the two, use blogger to blog (ahyuck) and have this site at the same time. I need to have some time to learn the intricacies of blogger and learn some more html cause I don't know squat anymore. So anyway stay tuned for changes.

By the way, if you're looking for web hosting, I totally suggest my host, addr.com. They have 24/7 tech service with quick response, through e-mail. They rock. And they're cheap. So check 'em out.
I am giddy with joy! I finally got it to work! I 0wn j00, FTP.


Testing and hoping against hope. C'mon.
This is only a test - can I get this stinkin' thing working or not? This is maddening. Urge to kill. Rising.