it's fun and i miss you

I'm in Chicago right now, I'm not entirely certain why I'm not in bed. It's past 1am here and everyone else is asleep. I foolishly had some caffeine a few hours ago, before we went to see, oddly enough, "Chicago." There is a freakin' cool theater in Downer's Grove, the next burb over; it's just what we need in Niles to spruce it up a bit.

It has been great so far seeing Angela and the Packs. The four of us picked up on the hanging out as if we were together just yesterday. Tomorrow I'll be chillin' with Angela and getting ready for the weekend at the Lake House. Get to have some of Teresa Pack's legendary home cookin.' Woohoo!

Well you all have a good night. I will be on here sporadically. I hear there are fireflies up at the Lake House. If so, that would be teh rule.


i'd sing to you every day and every night

Jeannette reminded me of a song tonight. It's always good to embrace your middle name. I used to think I had a weird name, Jeremiah Jackson. Now I think I'm fond of it. So here's for embracing your names, first, middle, and sur. When I think of Suzanne, Weezer comes to mind, not old folk songs. Weezer rules. Drunk wannabe frat boys at Weezer concerts do not. Do they Ang and Nate?

It was a good, and busy weekend. I spent most of today at the park with a bunch of people from church. Sunday and Monday felt like an extended party. Sunday all day at Jesse's, and Monday all day at the park, with many of the same people, many of the youth. Definitely summer-y. The park was fun today, I got some football throwin in, some softball, some laying around, and just foolin' around relaxin with many of the people I love the most. I emerged with only a mild sunburn and but one jammed finger. I do believe I'll be sleeping soundly tonight.

I leave Wednesday morning for a week in Chicago. I'm really stoked to be heading back out there. The weather should be a bit more bearable, since it's not August this time. I'm also looking forward to the weekend at the lake house in Wisconsin or wherever it is. I think it will be awesome to be leading with John and Becca again; but I want to sit outside around a campfire at night, and just get away into the woods to relax and look at a lake at nighttime again. I bet you can see the stars well from out there too.


it's no big surprise that i will wait for you

Congrats to Jesse who as of today is a college graduate. You will want to view his post from yesterday. It pretty much encapsulates how I felt when I took my last final. What an awesome feeling that is. Now I'm looking at grad school, but nothing can rob you of the pure unadulterated joy of handing in your last final and your last fatty term paper.

Tonight the youth ministry is doing a spaghetti dinner fundraiser thingy. I'm not entirely sure how it's going to turn out. I just hope and pray it will go well. The weather appears to have chosen today of all days to crap out, so I'm not sure how our whole "eat outside at 7:30pm" thing is doing to work. We'll make do though. I can just say I am looking forward to about a month from now when all these various fundraising things will be over with. But I need to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday I'm flying out to Chi-town for a week. Going to take some junior highers on a little weekend retreat with a few of my greatest friends. It's gonna be freakin' awesome. Not to mention I get to visit for a week and enjoy the sights and sounds of Westmont and Chicago yet again. I still have a train ticket I bought last year when I visited that hasn't expired. It'll get me from Westmont to Chicago. Score! There's also an outfit member or two in the vicinity that I might pay a visit to. In all I'm hoping for a good week.

I am very thankful for Frances and Nate, and (aside from their friendship) their involvement with the youth. Without them I don't think the ministry would be half as good as it is. They do a lot and help me out not just materially but help to keep my morale up too. They make it so I can take these trips and not worry or stress overmuch. I can simply miss them and the kids and that's it. So cheers to you. I'm stoked that I'm going to be building a team too. Good things are afoot.

One last thing before I head off to the rest of the day. Yesterday I was subbing for Mrs. Kamei, my old french teacher; I sub for her regularly and her classes, especially 3rd period, are fond of me. I really dig them too. So in third period these three girls (who were among those sitting at the table) gave me a present. They knew I was going to be there Friday and they brought what they made. It's a bit of painted foamboard with some construction paper sculpture - not exactly sure how to describe it, they made it with leftovers from a project. But it does say "Mr. Action Jackson" and they gave it to me in "thanks for being like, the best sub ever!" It will definitely go on my wall. Stuff like that totally makes my day.


i've got a feelin, it's a feelin, i'm concealin, i don't know why

I subbed at Irvtown today and officially broke up my first girl fight. I have to say Irvington is the only school I've been at where I've had to break up fights. A month or two ago one kid just came into my room after the lunch bell rang and started punching another kid. Today I was waiting in my class during brunch and I hear a little commotion outside. I look and there are two girls halfway in my doorway's field of vision and their hands are flailing at one another. I started to walk toward the door to make sure they were in fact fighting; one girl had apparently done this before. She knew just how to grab the other girl's hair and use a little momentum to send her opponent to the ground. Right as the girl hit the ground I reached their little fracas and separated them.

Somehow my hand came in contact with hair and emerged from that hairspray-ridden place slightly sticky. I separated the pair, got one girl into my classroom, and told the other (clearly the agressor) to buzz off. The poor girl was crying and her mascara was running; the teacher I was subbing for didn't even have kleenex for me to give the girl. Thankfully there was a sympathetic student that saw it happen and she escorted the other girl to the office.

In the break between third and fourth period I had to poke my head out the door and glare at some students to get them out of each others' faces.

My fourth period class was a bunch of kids trying to learn english, of varying ethnicities. One asian girl's name was pronounced with a sound that resembled "achoo." After I called her name, one of the kids in the front row repeated her name and faked a sneeze to make fun of her. I gave him a mean look and told him to knock it off.

Why can't kids just get along? Little punks. Makes me want to crack their skulls. Hehehe.


Out of left field. Up to the end I had no idea what this commercial was about. I just knew it was funny, and I had to share it. Interesting strategy for marketing the product.
i've got you under my skin

Tonight I went to see the new Matrix movie and for the most part wasn't disappointed. The action sequences were great, especially when Neo was beating the crap out of the many Agent Smiths with the metal pole. Good foley artists, good foley artists. Laura would be proud of me saying that. Overall I liked the first movie better, maybe because it was new or something. But also because, as Jesse mentioned, the philosophizing in the first movie was a bit more subtle than in this one. This time they seemed to be beating you over the head with armchair philosophy rather than suggesting you think differently about things. If that makes sense. If not, back off, it's past 1 am.

This morning (yesterday morning?) I also had a great meeting with Brian Berry. I've had a kinda rough couple of weeks and he helped put a lot of things in perspective for me and gave me a lot of wise advice. He really is an awesome man, a humble servant. Brian rocks. And God does too for using Brian to speak to me. I still have anxiety and annoyance and sadness about what's up but I feel better about it. And really I suppose that's all I can ask. Didn't I just sing a song about this a couple weeks ago? God is in control.


I am officially the biggest smacktard I know. I'm missing my laptop and my current leading theory is that I left it in the Safeway parking lot. I hope this week gets easier.


Oh yeah, one more thing. I went to the A's game last Friday night and it was a lot of fun. First, the company was awesome. Second, the game was great. Third, we were in a section where the trash talking was plentiful and fierce while never becoming actually ugly. Basically, Friday was the kind of night that embodied all the good things about baseball fandom. And I watched Marshal devour TWO Big Dogs (these suckers are like 12 inches long and I don't even know how big around). I can barely finish one, yet this wonderful man inhaled two in the time it took Jeannette to eat 3/4 of her Nachos. All hail Marshal. And all hail the A's. Death to the Yankees.
there but for the grace of god

On the way home from dropping my pastors off at the airport today I stopped by Safeway to pick up some groceries. Safeway is really close to my house, and today I noticed an EB Games next to it.

As you may know, I like to go to as many places regularly as I can. I've had the same woman cutting my hair for five or six years - except for one haircut when her shop was temporarily closed for repairs from a fire. I'm a regular at Bay St. Coffee. Whenever I buy hobby stuff I'm at Scenario. Anyway I appreciate making a place "my place" so to speak, where I can get to know the employees and all that. So with thoughts of perhaps making this EB Games my game stop I entered the doors.

The store itself was very small and was only occupied by three employees. Normally I might like to check out a place anonymously to see if it's worth returning to but that wasn't a choice here. The workers were warm and said hello. I made small chat with em for a minute and proceeded to browse around a bit. They had a big cutout for Planetside (which I may make a play for later on) so I asked them about pre-ordering the game. Five bucks down and I did so. As the guy put my name in the computer, the woman assembling xbox displays engaged in a bit of what I will heretofore refer to as "Geek Bragging," or "GBing." Those of you not in the geek culture may not know exactly what I'm talking about. Those of you unabashed geeks will immediately recognize what I'm talking about.

GBing is characterizing by lauding one's self for deeds that in just about any other arena would be considered reason for pity, or in extreme cases, fear. I'd imagine the geek culture is not unique in this, for example the hunter who brags he has an underground complex with 1457 types of firearms of varying legality, but that man is a geek himself. But I am specifically referring to gamer GBing. The Magic player that brags about his $20,000 collection of cards. The computer gamer mentioning his outrageous gaming rig with glowing parts and tweaking accomplished only through countless hours of tinkering. A roleplayer grandstanding on the sexual conquests of his 47th level Bard when he has yet to master even the most basic skills of personal hygeine. You get the idea.

So I place my pre-order, hand the man my five dollars, and express my doubt that the game will be ready for its planned release date of May 20th. Xbox woman says the game I really need to get involved with is "Galaxies," which she casually mentions she "saw at E3 last year." I immediately knew she was a big time gamer geek because (1) she shortened "Star Wars Galaxies" (SWG) to "Galaxies," and (2) dropped her attendance at last year's E3 at her earliest opportunity. Anyone with the inclination has been able to, for the past 6+ months, watch the development of Galaxies without having seen whatever primitive build they showed at last year's E3. E3 is not open to the general public; it is where game developers show off new things they have under development to people in the gaming press so their game will get buzz. Last year is old news though. So this woman mentioning her presence at last year's E3 would be like the guy in front of you at the baseball game repeatedly shouting to his friend about the one time he met Jose Canseco. Sure, it's cool, but you don't have to try so hard to let me know about it.

I tell this woman that I am probably not going to get involved with SWG because it will have a monthly fee of 12.95 or more to play. I'm already going to be paying to play Planetside and I simply could not justify even in my own mind paying to play two games, let alone find the time to play both of those games. This is where the GBing comes in. She says:

"It will be worth it! Let me put it to you this way." (Dramatic tone ensues.) "I have FOUR Everquest accounts. I have TWO Dark Age of Camelot accounts. And I keep them all up." Here comes the gamer coup. "AND that's not even counting my fiance's accounts, he has as many as I do."

I wasn't really sure what to say. This woman just engaged in the biggest bit of GBing I'd seen since the last 40k tournament I attended. She was trying to show me up by telling me she spent at least $84 monthly on two video games, and spent enough time playing them to where it felt worthwhile. So I said "well, your dedication is, uh..."


Well, since you said it.


he's on the roof again

Check your twitch! My best time was 0.17 but my average is 0.21-0.23. I think Adam will rock my time at this. It's a fun little thing to check out anyway.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened but my nonfat mayo appears to have gone bad. It is well before the date printed on the label, and I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to look for when analyzing said product to see if it has gone bad. The smell was pretty awful but I figured - hey, it's mayo, it's supposed to smell awful. Only after I took a bite of my sandwich are barely suppressed the heaves did I make the decision that this mayo was, indeed, bad. I'm not even sure what there is in that stuff to spoil. I'm not sure how it went bad either. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone else in the house used it and left it out for an extended period of time before putting it back. Disappointing since it was a huge jar, but oh well. I'll pick up another, smaller jar tomorrow. It's less sickening digging mayo out of a smaller jar anyway.

Summer camp is coming up fast; Frances and I are trying to figure out how to do enough fundraising to allow all the kids to come that want to. I must say I don't enjoy fundraising much. It involves work and begging for money, two things I'd rather not spend my time doing. Regardless I think we'll have some good experiences as a group raising the money and hopefully it will make us all appreciate the experience more. Time absolutely flies sometimes - the camp is creeping up on me.

Today at staff meeting I learned that I will be preaching one of the sermons during the summer message series "The Gospel According to the Simpsons." Paul and I have a meeting tomorrow wherein we will discuss the content of my message a bit more. This should be a fun one.

John Pack once said something about complaining that I thought was really good and I need to remind myself of it sometimes. Unfortunately this is a paraphrase more than a quote, but basically he said "a complaint has never been made that somebody wanted to hear." I don't think anybody leaves a conversation saying "man I wish that person would've complained more." And yes, there may be certain instances where you might want a negative opinion, such as when you're critically evaluating something, but you get my point.


you have much to learn, young padowan

There's a video sweeping across the little portion of the net I frequent. Apparently some poor, poor soul used a school video camera to record his best imitation of Darth Maul. Unfortunately for him, someone else got their hands on the tape. Back in the day, his embarrassment may have been limited to his school or town. In this day and age, however, he has his shame posted across the internet for all to see.

Part of me hopes this kid did it on purpose, because that would mean he probably is not considering suicide after seeing people call him "Darth Haul." There are two versions. The original, in which the kid provides his own sound effects, or the remix, where someone uses post-production tools to give the kid a real double-sided lightsaber. Both are worth watching.

May God have mercy on my soul.


deep thought of the day

Oranges are cool. They're like eating orange juice in little packages, and you can pick how much you want at once.


It had to be done

I don't usually post those little quiz things here. But this one, well, it's necessary. Not because I'm happy about the character, but because it's Homestar Runner, and everybody should know about it.

you are pom pom!
You are Pom Pom. You are Homestar's best friend.
Your IQ is incredibly high and you came from
the Isle of Pom where your 27 girlfriends live.

Which Homestar Runner Character are You?
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