Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

And my relatives are doing shots.

It's the one tradition that my dad's side of the family insists upon. Technically, it's not his side of the family, but rather my Uncle Ron's side - who is my dad's brother-in-law (i.e. not blood related to us).

For as long as I can remember...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Planet Rock

Planet Rock - no connection to Planet of the Apes - unless we're talking about locations where scenes in the movies were filmed, then yes, there is a connection. There is great rock climbing at both. Granted, the rock backdrops in Planet of the Apes is glorious outdooor climbing, whereas, Planet Rock is indoor climbing, but regardless, rockclimbing it is and rockclimbing is what I got to do tonight.

It had been almost 6 months... and I was well overdue for some climbing. I know this because a certain someone recently referred to me as "soft hand beauty" and wrote a piece about me with that phrase as its title. I apprecated his writing and his words, but I was oddly sad, that my hands were or are soft. Because that means that I haven't been doing what I love. When I was climbing my hands were calloused up a bit, and occasionally ripped up a bit as well.

Not that I looooooved having beat up, near manly hands, but I looooooved climbing and my hands were a reflection of what I was passionate about. And a reminder of all the good times climbing and the rad people that I got to climb with... (and)

That's why I love the scar on my right arm. I was bouldering my final night in California and I got scraped up a bit,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010


Surabaya: A type of SUV developed by Chevrolet that is fashioned for driving in bay areas such as San Francisco.

Okay, not really. That would simply be my balderdash definition. Surabaya is actually a city in Indonesia - the city where my friend Karin grew up. I mention Karin because she and her brother are in town, and we met up for dinner this evening.

I know Karin from Mosaic in LA. She is 22 years old and currently finishing up film school at Columbia College. Last year we'd occasionally meet up for coffee before church. I was supposed to be her "mentor," and yes, I was somewhat that, but she was also my encourager.

Because just listening to her talk - hearing her joy for life, passion for the Lord, and her heart in loving people - encouraged me greatly when I was at place of weakness.

Reminds me a bit of what Henri Nouwen talks about in his book Lead Like Jesus...
(but I'll need to find that quote another time)

Meeting with her was a always a highlight. I suppose partly because I love working with youth and college students, and that year I had gone from 8 straight years of having "my" girls - (coaching, young life, residence life, etc.) to only being distantly involved in the lives of those who attended a womens study that I help lead at my church.

Between being a camp counselor, a youth leader, an area director, a resident director, a coach, a substitute teacher, and a team leader, I've worked with probably over 10,000 students by now - some more closely than others. And yes, they are the real reason I have so many facebook friends. :)

But what's hard for me, is sometimes you only get one significant conversation. And yes, there are times when you get more - but there always comes a time, when I have to say goodbye.

I got a text at 2 in the morning the other night from a student, asking if I was still up. Of course I was, and so I took the elevator up to her floor to say goodbye. She won't be returning to New York next semester. And I may never see her again - in fact, I probably won't. And it's not that I was close to this particular girl; in fact, I wasn't.

But that's too often my story. Love, leave, and never see again. And I can only hope that God somehow uses me in the brief time that I have with each student that God entrusts to me.

And if any of you (i.e. my former students, campers, etc.) are reading this, please know, I love you, and I'm so thankful for the time that I was able to share with you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Script

This fall I've been referencing in my blog what I call "The Script." But it's really no script at all. In reality, it's my life - the life that I can't write about and publish online, because the characters from the script could potentially stop by and read at any point in time.

The Script, as it is now, would make a great first half of a movie; I just can't promise that the second half will be any good. Because in real life, I don't get to dictate what other characters say and do. I can only interact with them and hope for the best.

Significant conversations took place this past week that surprised even me. And really, I have no idea what the future holds, but I do know that I'm thankful to have stated something that had been on my heart for quite some time.

Actor guy and I met up both Sunday and Monday nights. He's the one who insisted that I have a certain conversation with a certain someone, stating, "All is fair in love in war." Actor guy's words resonated with me because they were the exact same words that a mentor friend said to me over dinner in Santa Cruz last fall. And with those words, I knew that something had to be said.

Regardless of what comes of the conversation that took place Wednesday evening, I'm thankful for actor guy, and for the time that he and I have been able to spend together thus far.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Win!

I win!

But only because someone else lost.

Life is often like that - not always, but typically when there is a winner, there is also a loser.

You can only sing "We are the champions..."

When someone else is singing "You better know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run."

Actually, I've never heard anyone sing that song after a loss, but there is no, "We are the Losers" song that I could think of so the above is my best attempt. People don't tend to sing at all when they lose - unless it involves losing your guy or girl to another someone - and well, there are plenty of songs on the radio about that type of loss.

But in general, if someone loses, it's more likely that there is either cussing or silence or, if you're a junior high girl that just got cut from a sports team - crying. I use to make a lot of junior high girls cry when I coached cheerleading. The end of tryouts week was never fun for me. Track was much better sport to coach, because everyone automatically made the team. Everyone who came out for the team was winner - well, that is, until we started having a track meets against other teams.

But today I won -

$17 dollars to be exact.

I found a soggy 10, 5, and 2 ones when I opened the washing machine to remove my cleaned clothes.

There's a slight possibility that it was my money to begin with, but I don't think so - I'm pretty sure I checked the pockets of 1 pair of jeans that was in the load before I threw them in. I've washed one too many chapsticks in my life that I try to make a point to check.

Which reminds me of a proposal that a guy I know once wanted to use (he's already married, so this won't spoil it...) And if you're a guy, feel free to use it - but honestly I wouldn't recommend it. It was about 4 girlfriends ago, that my

(To be finished...)

And I would give it back to the rightful owner, except there is no way to track that person down

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2nd Mullet From the Right

It's that time of year folks - the time of year when Moms and Grandmas all across the nation start digging out their favorite ugly Christmas sweaters, and start sporting them all around town. Now I know we have freedom in fashion in the US, but really there are some clothing items that should only be worn in the privacy of one's home.

I'm not someone who is pro government regulation, but when it comes to ugly Christmas sweaters, I wish the government would intervene. The fashion industry is simply not doing its job in shielding the public eye from obnoxious holiday wear. If anything, they are encouraging it, or at least Martha Stewart is.

And to make matters worse, ugly Christmas sweaters have been popularized by the youth of America. Ugly Christmas sweaters are encouraged, and sometimes mandatory dress code at today's holiday parties. Somehow our society has gone so downhill that the college kid with the ugliest sweater is the coolest guy at the frat party. Certainly this fashion disaster isn't as bad as what transpired in the 80s, but even still - ugly Christmas sweaters, you are not cool.

Why I bring this up is because I went to my first Christmas party of the season last night - and well, lots of ugly Chrismas sweaters were present - lots of adultsized holiday onesies too, actually (which is a whole other matter that I don't want to get into.)

But a component of this party that I had never heard of before is the awkward family photo wall. Instructions were stated in the invite to bring an awkward family photo to the party, and that there would be winner for the most awkward family photo.

And well, there is lot to that I could say about awkward family photos...
But for now, I'll simply encouarge you to check out a sight that I just stumbled upon this evening

One of my favorite pics, is the one with the caption, "My Brother-in-Law, Norbert (second mullet from right), is a semi-professional bowler and used to bowl in many different state/national leagues and tournaments. This photo was taken at the big Las Vegas National Bowling Stadium Championship Tournament back in 1985. This was the man and this was his team and they didn’t mess around.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stealing Baseball Cards

"Well, you can come to church with me sometime if you'd like."

I extended the invitation, thinking that she might actually accept.

"It's not Catholic - is it?" She inquired.


"Oh good." She expressed her relief and then explained, "Catholics have lots of things to do at church..."

I laughed because having grown up in a not too distant liturgical denomination, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Standing up, sitting down, kneeling, repeating a few words here, reading a group prayer there - Catholics do have lots of things to do at church.

I'd go on, but I'm writing yet another paper for grad school (and I have lots of things to do), so instead of new words, here is yet another old blurb:

My Catholic friend Tom, no relation to MySpace Tom, once told me that he use to lie quite a bit as a kid - but only to his priest. His parents insisted that he go to confession at least once a week, but Tom rarely had any “good” sins to confess, so instead he would make stuff up and lie to the priest about things he hadn’t done – like hitting his brother and stealing baseball cards from his friends. Each time the priest absolved his “sins” Tom would walk away from the confessional booth feeling guilty for having lied to the nice man behind the screen. As one song writer once put it, “Isn’t it ironic. Don’t you think?”

A few years ago I decided to become Catholic – but only for a month.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do You Trust Me?

As Princess Jasmine stood on the balcony, Aladdin reached out his hand an asked the question, "Do you trust me?"

Jasmine, at first, was skeptical and hesitant of Aladdin and his magical carpet.

But there was something comforting and familiar about his voice, so she considered the invitation to join him.

Do you trust me?

"Do I trust him?" She pondered.

Aladdin was asking her to risk, and to go on an adventure she wasn't sure she wanted to go on. She internally argued that it was safer to just to stay put on the balcony. After all, life on the balcony wasn't all that bad - except, well, it seemed to be missing something. And there was an insistence inside of her that told her that there had to be more.

Aladdin patiently waited for her to response.

Do you trust me?

Finally she placed her hand in his and said, "Yes. I trust you."

The thing is, Jesus asks everyone that very same question...





Yesterday I met up with someone who decided to take that step of faith and say "yes, I trust you." She's on the carpet and I couldn't be more thrilled.