Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Stop! Hummer time..."

** The title of this blog is a shout-out to one of my heroes from 1990: the man in the parachute pants, MC Hammer.

I have long been an enemy of the Hummer. It all started back in 2000 when a good friend told me about this website called fUh2.com. While I don't agree with the language, the website encouraged people all over the U.S. to flip off any Hummer they see. Why? Because we're against those gas-guzzling, environment-polluting death machines! Who's with me?!?!

So I'm at church and one of my co-workers tells us her car is getting fixed and she has a rental. And she wants to take us all out on a joyride. I figured with the nice sunny weather we've been having it might be some sort of convertible. Sweet! I'm in! And then she dropped the bomb on us.

It was an H3.

Judy, you have GOT to be kidding me. But no, she was for reals. Apparently she asked for a different vehicle, but it was all the rental company had. So that's what she was driving around town. I asked how many people had flipped her off yet and she said, "None yet. But I'm just waiting for it..."

6 of us (high school and college staff) walked out to the parking lot, and there it was in all its black, massive glory.

I got in the passenger seat, feeling super apprehensive. After 9 years of making fun of Hummers, I was actually going to ride in one. Observations. First off, they are waaaaaay smaller on the inside than they look on the outside. I imagined them to be spacious since they were such tanks. Nope, just like any other car. Second, I can see how people who drive Hummers must get drunk off their power. I mean, you are HIGH UP. You could run anyone off the road and not feel a thing. It was like Monster Trucks for the common folk.

Lastly, I have to admit, it was fun. Windows were down, sunroofs were opened, the satellite radio was blasting, talk and laughter abounded. Despite feeling like a hypocrite, I loved the Hummer joyride. We definitely got lots of looks, but thankfully no middle fingers.

I will NEVER buy a Hummer. And I still think they're ridiculous. But maybe after this experience I'll stop making fun of them.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


I will NOT be jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.

The End.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Keanu Reeves and poodles

Yeah for fun videos!

Last August the 6 student leaders in the college group, my associate Jeff, and I had a little leadership retreat. We took over my parent's house for two days and spent them praying, planning, eating, getting to know each other, talking about the upcoming year, etc. On the second day, we thought it would be fun to do a video challenge. We split into two teams and were each given a video camera and two random words. Your video could be about anything but those two words had to be mentioned in it. The first group got the words "underwear" and "cowpies". The second group (me, Michael, Grace, and Jeremy) got "Keanu Reeves" and "poodles".


We decided to walk to a nearby elementary school and do a "Man On The Street" type video. There were after-school practices, kids, and adults everywhere. We went around and asked people what they thought about our two topics. Yes, we got weird looks. But man, oh man, it was fun. And Michael finally posted it on YouTube today (yes, seven months later). Without further ado, I present our 10 minute video (yes, it's long). Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

what not to eat

food you should not eat with braces:

Peanut brittle
Hard pizza crust
Corn on the cob
Hard rolls, bagels, and bread crusts
Raw carrots and celery
Bubble gum
Dried fruit
Beef jerky
Hard candy
Chewy candy
Corn Nuts

food I eat with braces:

Peanut brittle
Hard pizza crust
Corn on the cob
Hard rolls, bagels, and bread crusts
Raw carrots and celery
Bubble gum
Dried fruit
Beef jerky
Hard candy
Chewy candy
Corn Nuts
and more

Suck it, braces.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I am feeling better after a weekend to think and process things. The only bummer is that I am feeling sick again. I didn't go to church today and instead slept until 3 pm. DANG, GIRL! Off to go blow my nose again...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

too many emotions

In the book (and movie) Peter Pan, it is said that fairies are so small that they can only have one feeling at a time. Lately, I wish it could be that way for humans. I'm exhausted. Here are some emotions I've been dealing with:

Tired and weary. It's been a long two weeks. Not getting a whole lot of sleep.

Bummed. Our annual spring break trip to Mexico (to build homes) has been cancelled, due to all the drug war violence at the border.

Upset. We've put so much time into this trip and it was all for nothing. All the planning, meetings, calling, organizing, coordinating, emailing, processing, raising money, applications, paperwork, health forms, passports, etc. You can't help but feel like it was wasted time. Hours and hours that we could have used on a million other things.

Uplifted. Finding an alternative trip we can do during spring break with Center for Student Missions. Working with the homeless at Skid Row in South Central L.A.

Lamed out/disappointed. The high school and college students who bailed out for reasons like "But it's not Mexico" or "My friends aren't going, so I'm not going." Hey, I'm bummed we can't go to Mexico either, people, but we can still serve! Just in a different place. However, the facts are: we've gone from 60 people to 20.

Sad. Thinking about all the families in Mexico who will not have new homes. Why did all this drug war stuff have to happen NOW?! The timing is awful. And we are just one of many churches that has pulled out for safety reasons. That means many, many families will not be getting homes. And I've seen what they live in. My heart breaks.

Frustrated. Working through some stuff with my student leaders and we are just not getting each other. How do we help each other understand?

Discouraged. Lots of stuff is going on at work. Had a couple meetings today about different things. Left them feeling like a horrible worker, employee, boss, and leader. Many tears fell today.

I am feeling all of these emotions and MORE.

Too many.


I'm searching for moments of joy in the midst of all this.

Like dancing in my hip hop class, wearing green and eating St. Patrick's Day chocolate cream pie on Tuesday, surprise gerbera daisies given to me by a friend, catching up with my roomates who I feel I haven't seen in a long time, singing happy birthday to my sister on the phone, sitting outside in the beautiful sun (with an ocean breeze keeping the temperature perfect), watching LOST (my favorite show), having a picnic lunch at the park with a good friend, discovering my new obsession with those little Clementine "Cuties" (mini-oranges), walking barefoot in grass, having a marshmallow fight with college students at the end of Wed. night, finding a new band I really like, spending all day tomorrow with Judah.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Vampires

The other night I was at a taco bar with two friends, Jody and Amy. In the middle of conversation, a group of bikers walks in. Ya know the motorcycle gang look: leather jackets, facial hair, don't mess. (except for one guy that Amy said looked like Mike Myers from the 90's)

They ordered their food and then came and sat at the table next to us. It was then, to our enjoyment, we realized the name of their biker gang: The Vampires. It was on the back of their jackets. I don't know WHY it struck me as so funny, but it DID. I think Jody and I were having way too much fun, while Amy kept her head down and was scared to do anything around them, in case they decided to strike.

So then, stupidly, I thought it would be funny to go stand next to one guy and pretend I was a vampire too.

And then Jody and I thought it would be funny to have her pretend she just got bitten by one of them.

Meanwhile Amy kept her head down and whispered frantically at us that it was only a matter of time until they turned around and caught us making fun of their gang name. We then had a conversation that went something like this:

Jody: "What? You think they'll come after us?"
Me: "No worries, Aim. Just make the cross." (I made the cross sign with my fingers)
Jody: "Oh and Amy, you just ate a HUGE piece of garlic in your salsa! You're fine."
Me: (after thinking about it) "I could break this wooden stool I'm sitting on and make a stake!"
Amy: (in a whisper, looking even more terrified) "Shut UP, you guys!!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Shack

I realized lately that I haven't been blogging as often as I'd like. Life has gotten very very busy. This is what I would call my "busy season" at work. We start in early January and go straight for 5 months without a break until the end of May. So I feel smack dab in the middle of all the craziness.


I wanted to share with you all about last Saturday night. I had the awesome opportunity to hear William Paul Young speak. He is the author of The Shack. Which if you haven't read yet, I fully recommend. It is causing some controversy, and I totally understand why. But I guess it's good to just remember that it's not the bible. Yes, it's based on biblical principles, but it's fiction. And it will rock your thoughts on God.

I just finished the book that day, so everything was still fresh in my mind. I brought my book, a notebook, and a pen. The church was packed! It was great to see so many faces. Our head pastor came out and introduced "Paul" as he likes to be called. And then began two hours of amazingness.

I feel like even trying to capture what he shared and type it on here would not be doing him justice. He was incredible. He was vulnerable, funny, insightful, tearful, and kind. He shared his story growing up as the son of a missionary couple (who were too busy doing "God's work" to take care of him) in New Guinea. From 10 and a half months old till 10 years old, he lived among a tribe that was known for their cannibalism, witch doctors, ritual sexual abuse practices (he was raped by the village men constantly from age 4-6 and a half, ultimately becoming a predator himself at age 6 - he didn't know any different), spirit worship, and so much more. It broke my heart. His tragic childhood caused him to lead a destructive life as an adult.

In 1994, his wife found out he was having an affair with her best friend. Things finally caught up to him, she said she would never trust him again, he became suicidal, and his "Great Sadness" began (If you've read the book, he brings that phrase up a lot). His Great Sadness lasted for 11 years. He worked with a Christian counselor who helped him with his healing process.

In 2004, his wife told him he should write a story (about what he learned) for their 6 children. So he did. He wrote The Shack for his kids. He even said to us, "Please don't take this the wrong way, but I didn't write this for you (meaning us in the audience). I wrote it for my kids. I had no idea that it would become what it did. I wasn't an author. I just wrote a book for my children." And then with a smile he added, "I didn't know that a couple years later it would be dissected by a thousand theologians."

I have a video clip I took with my digital camera during the Q and A time. He was talking about Jesus on the cross crying out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

This part blew my mind. I had never thought about it before. You've probably heard it said that Jesus has experienced everything we have, so it is comforting when we go to him with our struggles because he has been there. But this was one part of being human I never realized Jesus experienced: feeling like God has abandoned us.

I bet all of us have had those times in our lives. "Where ARE you, God? I feel so far away from you. I feel like you don't even care." Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. So even though he KNEW that his Father was with him, as a human he also experienced what it felt like to feel so far from the Father. "My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?"

I haven't been able to stop thinking about this.

I heard through the grapevine that the church might post the session on MP3 or something like that. If they do, I will post the link on my blog. I would LOVE for you to listen to it and hear what you think.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

the ninjas were rain-free

All week I checked the weather forecast. Rain all day and all night on Wednesday. "No, please no!" I would mutter every time I checked. Wed. night was going to be our monthly "Fun Night" with the college group. We had been planning an epic evening: NINJA NIGHT. Every single activity we planned was going to be outside. And we didn't have a back-up plan (all buildings at church was full with people, kids, classes, seminars, etc).

Sunday - Checked weather.com. Rain predicted on Wed. Prayed.
Monday - Checked. Rain all day and all night on Wed. Prayed.
Tuesday - Checked. Um, yeah still planning on tons o' rain. Prayed a ton.
Wednesday - Rained during the day. Started to panic. Um, what are we going to do? Everyone will show up wearing their ninja costumes and...we'll have to stay inside our meeting room. Where's the fun in that?

Then...about an hour before college group started, the rain lifted. The sun made brief, sporadic appearances from behind clouds. A half rainbow shone over the nearby community college. I got hopeful. Maybe it will stay clear enough for us to play?

You guys, I am not even kidding: we were rain-free until the very MINUTE we all finished our activities and went back to our meeting room. I was one of the last people inside and I went over to the sink to wash my hands. I looked out the window and was like, "Whoa! No way! It JUST started pouring!"

Thank you, God!

This might seem so silly to you, but to me, it meant a night of fun and building community with our college students. We had such a great time! And the whole night would have been a bust if it had rained.

What did we do for Ninja Night, you might be wondering. We had three sections of activities. The first was to practice ninja fighting skills. We had a guy come and teach us some sweet martial arts moves. Then we had bostaff combat (using pugil sticks), and then a throwing stars competition (we threw the stars at cardboard pirates). The second section was to practice their speed and agility. We had an obstacle course in the playground (including a Gauntlet of DEATH - people on swings trying to knock them down as they ran through). The third and last ninja section was to practice stealth and concealment. So we had a huge game of Hide and Go Seek around church.

Here are pictures from the night.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

90's Playlist

A couple posts ago I said I wanted to put together a playlist of songs from the 90's. The 90's were a special time for me. The emcompassed my high school and college years. The fun thing about this music is that it makes me think of certain times back then. Don't you love that? How a song comes on and you are magically whisked away to that special memory of when you heard it.

Anyway, here is what we've come up with so far. You'll notice there is no N'Sync or Britney on here. Don't get me wrong; I love me some pop music. But they were too late in the 90's so I don't think they really count, and plus I want this list to be LEGIT.

And now I need your help. Which bands or songs am I missing? When you think of music in the 90's, what comes to mind? And is that on this list? If not, please let me know. I want to make this the best playlist EVER.

Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Blind Melon "No Rain"
TLC "Waterfalls"
R.E.M. "Losing My Religion"
Fiona Apple "Criminal"
Pearl Jam (what song?)
Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
Metallica (what song?)
Beastie Boys (what song?)
Shawn Colvin "Sunny Came Home"
Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun"
Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"
The Cranberries "Linger"
Third Eye Blind "Semi-Charmed Life"
Oasis "Wonderwall"
Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories "Stay"
Savage Garden "I Want You" (best line: "like a chic a cherry cola!")
Green Day "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" or "When I Come Around"
Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
Spin Doctors "Two Princes"
Collective Soul "Shine"
The Fugees "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
Matchbox Twenty "3 AM"
Jewel "Who Will Save Your Soul"
Sugar Ray "Fly"
Weezer "Buddy Holly"
Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
Barenaked Ladies "One Week"
Paula Cole "I Don't Want to Wait"
Blues Traveler "Run-Around"
Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery"
Stone Temple Pilots (what song?)
Toad the Wet Sprocket "Good Intentions"
Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy"