Saturday, October 31, 2009


I had a fabulous Halloween.

Usually, most people in this area end up downtown on Halloween. It's so lame. I went one year and I swore I'd never go back. Tons of people are drunk, all the girls are dressed as skanks, and there always seems to be at least one gang-related stabbing. Plus there's nothing really going on. People just walk up and down the street, looking at each other's costumes and acting dumb.

So anyway, we wanted to give the college students an alternative option for the night. We went trick-or-treating. Who doesn't love free candy? (FREE was the theme of the night, because our students have no money) We took a ton of pictures of everyone's costumes and then headed out. Very successful collections! Woot.

Then we headed back to the church and played in the gym. Basketball, football, dodge ball, anything. We also had one of our students play DJ so we listened to techno music and Michael Jackson which was awesome. Everyone started heading out around 11:30 pm. I went home, pooped but happy.

My favorite costume: the Geico money commercial. This is Scott. He made this amazing costume. When we all walked out to look at it, he had a boom box and started playing the song "Sometimes I feel like...somebody's watching meeeeeeeeeee...." We died laughing! He is so creative!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Office Edition

My office is getting a makeover. FINALLY.

Stage 1 - move a couch in so students have a place to sit when they come visit us. Done.

Stage 2 - paint the walls. Done this past weekend.

Stage 3 - paint my door and Jessica's (our new Director of Student Ministries - congratulations, Ese!) door with magnetic AND chalkboard paint. Then we can hang pictures (and whatever else) on it with magnets and draw all over it with chalk. How fun! 1 door painted, 1 to go.

Stage 4 - carpet (I am reeeally excited about this. Our bare floor is nasty.)

Stage 5 - new desks and chairs for 2 peeps.

Stage 6 - move out unnecessary furniture and move in a new filing cabinet and mini fridge.

Stage 7 - get a plaque for the door that says "Student Ministries" so we can feel official.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thrill The World!

"All over the world at this moment, crazy people just like us are laying in streets." (said by the hippie lady next to us)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to Thrill The World along with people in 250 cities across 33 other countries around the world. "Thrill The World" is a global attempt to break a Guinness World Record for simultaneously performing the routine from Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller.” (In California, we performed the dance at 5:30 pm)

I heard about it because the dance studio where I take my hip hop class was a sponsor. For the past couple weeks we spent the last 15 minutes of class learning the Thriller dance. We were told that anyone could do the dance - kids, teens, adults, 80 year olds. It didn't matter. Let's unite around the world with an iconic dance! Yessss...

This was the third year "Thrill The World" has happened. They are trying to beat last year's record of 4,179 people from 10 nations (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Scotland, United States of America, and Wales). When I find out the actual figure from this year, I will let you all know.

Yesterday I showed up at my dance studio where everyone was wearing zombie clothes and putting on zombie make-up. We ran through the dance a couple times all together and then walked over to the street downtown they had blocked off for us. Tons of other zombies were already there. There were so many people. Onlookers, photographers, our local paper, people videotaping us, I saw friends who had showed up, etc. I met up with one of my old students, Jessie, her sister, and a couple friends. Here are some pictures before the dance began...

At 5:28, someone got on a microphone and said, "All zombies on the ground! 2 minute countdown!" All 263 of us zombies screamed with excitement and sprawled out on the street and waited. (This is when the hippie lady laying next to us said the opening quote) And she was right! It was such a cool feeling, knowing that people all around the world were laying on the ground, waiting for the music to start. Different races, cultures, didn't matter. We were in this together.

With 15 seconds left to go, we all counted down backwards. Here is a video that Jessie took with her camera of us getting up and starting the zombie march:

It was so much FUN! We all had a blast!

A couple other students came to watch, so I gave them my camera so they could tape the dance. You can't see me (I'm towards the back) but this is what we looked like.

What a wonderful experience. I can't wait to do it again next year! (P.S. check the "Thrill The World" website and see where the closest one is near you. They are happening all over the US. You should do it next year!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

GLEE + Joss Whedon = awesomeness

You have probably heard me rave about my new favorite TV show GLEE. And you might have heard me rave about Joss Whedon - the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and my personal favorite: "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (which if you haven't seen yet, PLEASE go to Hulu and watch it. It will be the best 42 minutes of your day). Anyway, I heard some news today that combines the awesomeness of GLEE and Joss.

Joss is going to direct one of the upcoming episodes!

Joss directed an episode of The Office (another one of my favorite shows) in its third season and to this day, it is still one of my favorite episodes (the one where a bat is loose in the office and Jim pretends he got bit to tease Dwight). So this news makes me very happy. Here's what the article said:

"Turns out, the genius who gave us not only the 'Once More, With Feeling' musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but also Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a big fan of Ryan Murphy’s new phenom. So when Twentieth (the studio behind Glee) approached him about the gig, pretty much his only reservation was scheduling.

'Joss directed one of the great musical episodes in the history of television on Buffy,' gushes Murphy, 'so this is a great, if unexpected, fit. I’m thrilled he’ll be loaning us his fantastic groundbreaking talent.' "

Any GLEE and/or Joss fans out there? Are you as stoked as I am?!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

20 years ago

On this date 20 years ago, I was 12. And at 5:04 pm, the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck Northern California. If you lived up here on that date, I bet you remember where you were and what happened. Here's my story:

It was during the "Battle of the Bay" World Series - Oakland A's versus the San Francisco Giants. I believe it was the night of Game 3. My friend Chrissy and I were about to babysit a girl named Lisa (who was 8 or 9) so her dad could go meet his wife and son at Candlestick Park for the game.

He had just finished giving us directions and opened the door to leave. Suddenly he whipped around and I will never forget the look in his eyes. Total and complete fear. He rushed over to the 3 of us, grabbed us, and herded us to the nearest doorway. For 15 seconds we huddled there, feeling the ground shake like crazy and the windows come in and out. Like they literally looked like they were waving in and out of their panes. To this day, I have no idea why they didn't break or shatter. Lisa was whimpering and crying and I think I was just so scared I didn't know what to do.

The world finally stopped shaking and we all freaked out. "WHAT WAS THAT!?" The power was out so Pete (the dad) ran around the house, trying to find a battery-operated radio. We finally found one and tried to find a station. I remember a lady's voice saying there had been a huge earthquake that hit the Bay Area but they didn't know how big or what the damage was.

* The quake killed 63 people
* injured over 3,700 people
* left about 12,000 people homeless
* the upper level of the Bay Bridge collapsed, causing cars to plummet to the lower level (I can still remember the videotape someone took of the bridge falling)
* A two-level viaduct on the 880 freeway in West Oakland collapsed, killing 42 people

Needless to say, we didn't baby-sit that night. Pete drove us home. I walked through the house, looking at everything that had fallen off the shelves. I remember there were so many aftershocks and they were almost scarier than the earthquake. We never knew when another one was going to hit. We ate dinner with candles, because we had no power. When power finally came back on, news was on day and night. Shots of buildings destroyed, fires breaking out, the collapsed bridges, people homeless. It was so sad. After a couple weeks of non-stop news, I whined to my mom, "When are they going to stop talking about the earthquake?" My mom just looked at me and said, "Oh Sarah, they're going to be talking about this for a LONG TIME."

20 years ago. Wow. I still remember it vividly.

If you lived up here when it hit, what's YOUR story?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Auntie Sarah and Judah time

I cannot wait.

Tonight I am driving to my sister and bro-in-law's house and tomorrow I get to spend the whole day with my nephew. Who is 10 and a half months old. And has 5 teeth. And gets cuter every time I see him.

Another Fun Friday, here I come!!!

** Here's an updated picture of the munchkin.

Monday, October 12, 2009


This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the beautiful, mountainous, tree-filled wonder of Yosemite National Park. It was the annual college Fall Road Trip. Usually we drive to southern California and hit a theme park, but this year a lot of students wanted to go camping. And with Yosemite only being 4-5 hours away, heck yes!

I could not have asked for a better group of students. They were friendly, excited, and looking forward to seeing a bear. We reserved 2 camping spots at Crane Flats campgrounds, about 30 minutes away from Yosemite Valley. We set up tents, our eating/cooking area, campfire area, and got settled. Side note: I always forget how amazing the air smells and feels when I'm camping. It's like I can literally feel the fresh oxygen from the million of trees going in my nostrils. Random thought, but true.

I think my favorite part of the trip was just sitting around the campfire with the students. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. Things ranged from eating, playing Catch Phrase, imagining a trio of brown bears doing the Thriller dance through our campsite, me and many others tripping and falling over all the tree roots in the dark, playing "I've Never...", singing, adding layers because it was so freakin' freezing when it got dark, playing "telephone", throwing powdered hot chocolate into the fire (have you ever done that? It makes the fire huge!), and much more.

I'm so glad we went to Yosemite when we did, because all I've been hearing is that a huuuuge storm is coming the next couple days. The weather was perfect when we were there. We even had 3 students and my intern Dan hike to the top of Half Dome!

P.S. And yes, a few students saw some bears on their Saturday hike. Good times.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

fail blog

If you have not checked failblog lately, I fully recommend it. This picture gave me a big chuckle today.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

HOPE - just what I needed

My church is doing a 50-day "Hope Experience". Every day there is devotional to read (either in a book you can buy or online) and everyone is encouraged to join a weekly small group to talk about what they're learning.

I was reading today's devotion and it could not have come at a better time. I REALLY needed to hear this. I would like to share it with all of you:

<< Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

There’s a lot of bad news in the world today. Anytime there’s a disaster anywhere on the planet, the media announce it instantly. You can’t get away from it: A plane has gone down, hostages have been taken, a gunman has gone berserk, an earthquake has occurred, poisonous gas has spilled. The availability of bad news is stunning.

Thanks to technology we receive so much more input than people did just 20 years ago, and this is probably why there’s a level of fear and anxiety in our society also unprecedented in history. In the past, only God was able to know as much bad news as we get every day, and I think still only God can really handle it!

As an antidote, bathe your mind in the Scriptures. In today’s passage, Paul says that everything that was written in the past was written so that we might have hope.

Everything? Really? How can every story about Moses or Job or Sarah or David or Samson give you hope, filled as they are with strange mistakes and sins and conflicts? Well, for one thing, they were all flawed people, people who made mistakes and had doubts and argued with God. Yet He used them because He is full of grace and love. That means there’s a future and a plan for you and me, too! >>

HOPE. It was just what I needed today.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Happy Birthday sister!!

Today is my older sister Amy's 35th birthday! WOOT!!!!!! I hope you are having a wonderful, rockin' day, sistah. Thank you for being such a special part of my life. I love you so much!

Friday, October 02, 2009


My new fish friends! You can feed them by clicking your mouse inside their tank.

need inspiration

Usually things throughout my day/week/life inspire me to blog. But nothing is really inspiring me right now. I mean, things are good, things are fine. But nothing too exciting. I have been working a lot, getting ready for our Yosemite trip next weekend. It feels more like autumn, which is wonderful (I saw a pumpkin patch on my way home from work yesterday - yeah!). My braces are still annoying. My hip hop class class has started up again which I love. I'm starting to feel sick, so I am going to try and sleep a lot today to stave it off. So I guess what I'm trying to say is sorry for the lack of fun blogging. I'm sure I will be inspired by something soon. Happy weekend!