Feel free to browse, comment, peruse, laugh, cry & check out my latest movie reviews and musings.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Feliz Navidad! Mel and I are back safe and sound. Denver has been crazy. The blizzard was nuts. We are super lucky that we didn't have to get stuck there! It would have been an adventure though.
We had our Tacky Sweater Party on Friday and surprisingly about 80 people showed up. It was great. We were unsure how many people would be there because we re-scheduled it. I will post some pictures shortly.

I haven't begun working on the Arizona video yet but I am anxious to do so. The footage looks great.
I took Jake and Melissa to the airport today. Sure glad I'm not flying anywhere. Tonight Mel and I are eating dinner with our families at the Conley's. The Perry's are partaking in this yule-tide meal as well. The next couple days should be hectic as we are going to multiple places. In the morning Mel and I will be enjoying our Christmas together and then we will head back to the Conley's to open up gifts. From there, we will head to my parents to open up gifts and reminisce about Bruder. We will then head to my grandparents (mom's parents) in San Leandro. After that festive jubilee we will take a stroll down to Monterey to spend the night with Mel's family and her grandparents. Next day we will wake up and head to Alameda for Christmas with my dad's side of the family.

I love all of the travel and the hectic nature of the holiday. Should be a good time. I hope that you all have a great Christmas. Happy birthday Jesus.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

We Made It!!

So after an amazing time in Arizona, we made it back to California, with only a few bumps along the way. We left The Mission at 3:30 a.m. and headed to the airport where we were dropped off be John and Ruth Bloom. Our original flight was supposed to leave at 6:09 a.m. and arrive in Denver at 7:30 a.m. We were really excited to be almost boarding our flight to Denver, because we thought that we may just miss the big storm. We were about to board our flight when they called our names over the loud speaker and informed us that we had been kicked (we paid the least for our tickets and they had a weight restriction because of the weather) off of our flight and would be on the next flight that left at 10:35 a.m. This was a little frustrating as we were hoping to miss the storm and knew that we would most likely be stuck in Denver if we ever made it there. Around 9:00 a.m. I walked up to check in for our 10:35 flight only to find out that it had been canceled due to weather. We thought about driving home but renting a car would have been over $600.00! Anyways I asked the ticket agent if there was any other options for us. She ended up checking with the U.S. Airlines agent to see if the could fit us on one of their flights. We were able to get on their flight that left at 9:45 a.m. into Phoenix. We found out that the 6:09 a.m. flight to Denver that we were booted from ended up having to emergency land in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We were so thankful that we weren't on that flight. From Phoenix we left at 2:11 for San Jose, arriving at around 3 pm. The flight went great!
Needless to say, we were very excited to be home. The trip was really good and we will put some video footage online shortly.

-Mel and Dan

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

At long last, it snowed on the Rez. Last night it snowed over three inches. It was very cool. Huge snow flakes all through the night. We woke up to find the whole mission blanketed in white frosty goodness. It was so cool to see the parking lot filled with snow and the playground all ice and snow. Quite the difference from the summer. It was a cool gift from God on our last day here.
Yesterday Mel and I played some more basketball. I beat her in HORSE this time, though she got me once in Around the World. Later we began a rousing stretch of Sequence (the board game). The Bloom's owned it so we sat on our bed for an hour or so and played. I actually beat Melissa five times in a row. It was epic. Wasn't even trying. I'm that good.
We went to one of the teacher's (Melissa, kindergarten) house for dinner. She made a roast and mashed potatoes. Super good. Another teacher, Jessica, joined us as well. I think that they enjoy having outside people over for company. It was fun to hang out with them and to hear their stories about life before (and during) the Rez.
After dinner Melissa and I began to play some more sequence in our room. Ruth saw that we were playing and said it was her favorite game (she had just gotten out of the hot tub). She asked if she could join. We said no. Just kidding. Anyway, we sat around their kitchen table (Mel, Ruth & I) playing Sequence, (6 games worth), drinking hot chocolate, and eating graham crackers. It reminded me of home. It felt like she was our grandma or mom or something. She is a fun lady and quite competitive. She was rather sarcastic
when I won (only one game) and rather unsympathetic when I was losing. It was funny.
Today the school has a half day and Mel is subbing for the J-hi. It should be an adventure. It is time for me to go film. We have dinner tonight at another missionary's house (off-site) and we leave for the airport at 3:30am. Ouch. Hope that all is well on the home front. Merry Christmas (almost).

Monday, December 18, 2006

I got up with John at 5:30 today to film him pick kids up in the school bus. This is quite the affair. It takes about an hour an a half to pick all of the kids up. I got some okay shots but I was half asleep.
Melissa woke up with me at 5:30. However, she did not intend to. She had a bloody nose. She is recovering though. In a little bit we will be joining the kindergarten class to decorate cookies. Should be funny. Melissa went to observe the junior class that she will be subbing for tomorrow. Kinda funny...On my way home from the airport with John and a girl named Megan, they told me that Mel would be subbing for Megan's j-hi class on Tuesday. They asked me if I thought Mel would mind. I said that I didn't think so. They said good because Megan already booked a flight for early Tuesday and they were counting on Mel to sub. I did inform them that Melissa was a kindergarten teacher, not a junior high teacher as they previously thought. Kinda funny. Already said that.
We are hoping the weather stays nice so that our flights are not delayed on Wednesday. We will be leaving the school at 3:30am in order to get to the airport on time. Awesome.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

As an added note...Melissa and I got engaged two years ago today. You can use that someday when playing, "This day in history."
Hello and Yá’át’ééh,

So I'm trying this whole blog thing for the first time, yes that's right folks, Dan is actually letting me write today's blog! This morning we woke up and had breakfast with all of the missionaries, we actually watched the DVD that Dan made for this summers trip. It was cool to get to talk and spend time with the people that we don't usually see. Anyways after breakfast we headed to church. the first service went from 9:30 to about 11:00 then we had a short break and the second service went from 11:00 to approx. 12:15. We got to meet a lot of people including a man who fought in WW2. He was a code talker! It is really cool, because there are only about 50 code talkers left out of approx. 400. He is a sweet man! We are now waiting for the Navajo service (the 3rd service) to end and then we will head back to church for lunch. It is really cold today and we may get Thunder Snow (This is rare, at least that's what they say) There is thunder and lightning and snow! Anyways I found out today that I will be subbing in a Junior High class for Megen on Tuesday! That should be quite the experience! Tomorrow I get to help the Kindergarten teacher,Melissa, decorate cookies at her house. It feels good to be back on the reservation! I just wish the airlines hadn't lost my bag with all of my toiletries! (Wah, Wah, Wha, that's a little Debbie Downer for you!) Yes, they lost my bag, but God's teaching me lesson in simplicity this week!



Saturday, December 16, 2006

Yet another good day on the Rez. This morning the mission had its annual Christmas presentation featuring a live nativity play, music, and a local Navajo preacher. There were about 200 local people there. I filmed the event. There was a lunch that followed. The food was great. I got to film a lot of the kids. They were really cute. The nativity scene was pretty funny as well. It has been really cool to see the school used in different ways than we typically use it in the summer.
The weather was pretty mild (pretty much like home) though it is supposed to begin snowing tonight. Hopefully the weather will clear up enough for us fly out Wednesday. I am looking forward to the snow. Last year at this time we were headed to New Orleans. It is cool how God has used us during these past two Christmas breaks.
We picked Melissa up this afternoon at four. Her flights went well, though she did lose one of her bags. Rather, the airlines lost one. They said she should be able to get it back by Tuesday. The ride to the airport was great. John talked a lot about his past and the Plymouth Brethren church. It was interesting and it opened my eyes to a lot of new things about the school and the Rez itself.
Tonight we watched the Cowboys game and ate pizza with John and Ruth. It has been cool to see this side of them. They are both very down to earth. It has been a lot of fun. Our room is great and the accommodations have been just like home. Tomorrow we have a pretty chill day. Breakfast with the missionaries and then church. Looking forward to it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Day 1 on the Rez is going well. Just did a lot of filming. Last night the temperature dropped below 20. I got to see a bunch of the kids today that I knew from the summer. A bunch of kids remembered by name so that was fun. In a bit I will be driving with John Bloom and the high school girls basketball team four hours away for a game that they have in New Mexico. Should be an adventure. I always did want to ride on the short bus. Now is my chance. Until next time. Ya ah te'.

(Also, I will fix the audio on the basketball video when I get home.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here is the VBC Basketball promo clip. We try hard.

Well, the day has almost arrived. I leave tomorrow morning (7am in San Jose, Gross!) for Arizona. It shall be a unique experience. Jake is driving me to the airport. What a friend. I will be there for a week and to be perfectly honest, I am not entirely sure what I am going to be doing there. I know I need to film stuff but the powers that be have been a bit vague as to what exactly they are looking for. Should be interesting. I will post a video and some pictures upon my return.

On Saturday the Middle School went ice skating in the city. It was fun. Here is a picture.

I also made a video for the VBC basketball league that I will try to put up before I head out of town. Feliz Navidad y prospero ano nuevo.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here is a the poem of our Christmas party invitation.

Christmas is nearly here,
Complete with bells and deer,
So hop in your car and steer,
In our direction you should veer.
Each year we celebrate,
Friends amalgamate,
In such a joyous state,
One can’t help but elate.
It’s the fifth year in a row,
For our party without snow,
Bring your sister or bro,
We hope that you’ll show.
It’s on a Wednesday night,
No, not the Festival of Lights!
But we hope you’ll come in spite,
Please make our spirits bright.
Please wear a tacky sweater,
Not last year’s, something better,
Bundle gaudily for the weather,
Perhaps a hat with a feather.
This poem is done now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not much new here. Mel and I are all decorated for Christmas...our house that is. As many people try to steer away from the commercialism of Christmas we do quite the opposite. We dive headfirst in to as much holly, evergreen, and festive decorations as we can. I'd like to say that is all Mel, but the truth is, I too am a sucker for yule tide glee. It's not even a gift thing or a materialism thing (this is what I say to help me sleep at night) so much as it is just a fun way to reminisce and participate in something I did as a kid. Christmas movies are another guilty pleasure. Even the cheesy ones. Well, I guess they are all cheesy, but I mean the super-cheesy ones.

Anyway, I included another video clip from the Navajo Reservation from July. It features really cool lightning and Gary Darnell (Charlie, too). What more could one ask for. Feliz Navidad.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In two weeks I will be traveling to the Navajo Reservation near Four Corners, Arizona, to do a video for a mission school that is out there. Each summer a group of students and leaders from my church do an outreach trip to the Reservation. I have been there seven times. It will be weird going there in December, when the average high temperature is 4o degrees. I am excited to do this video though. Here is a clip from the trip that I took to the Rez this summer (and yes, I just said "Rez").

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving was lovely. I feel like I gained 10 pounds and that's just from all the butter I ate. Not really, but how gross would it be if I were to gain weight solely from eating butter. Anyway, Mel and I had 2 Thanksgiving feasts. They were stellar.
In related news, we leave for the Navajo Reservation in 2 weeks. I got hired to film a video for a school on the Reservation that we went to this summer on an outreach trip. (I'll post some video from that soon.
Yesterday I found a CD with some pictures from a trip I took to South America a few years ago. South America was an amazing place. I ate my weight in steak while I was there. I went with Nick Breitbart and Tim Barley. We traveled to Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. I want to go back but until then I will live vicariously through myself in picture form. One of the trip's highlights was being interviewed on Telemundo by an Asian, Spanish-speaking, Santa Claus. Funny stuff.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Middle School is going quite well right now. I am having a lot of fun. Still trying to figure out God's plan for me in terms of ministry and life type stuff but I am content in where he has me right now.

Two girls accepted Christ Wednesday night which was rad. The ministry is growing and the students seem to be having fun which is really encouraging. The leadership team is a really good group which helps a lot.

Alas, I need to go prepare for this morning. Good tidings.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Last December I went to New Orleans with an outreach team from Valley Bible Church. My camera was broken at the time so I borrowed one from a friend so I could try to document the trip. It was truly insane to see all of the damage and pain that Hurricane Katrina caused. This video clip doesn't really do it justice but it does give you a small glimpse as to what the area looked like only three months after the storm. I will talk more about the trip in a future blog.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tomorrow is my last day of physical therapy which is great. Although this wrist thing has been a bummer at times, it ended up being a blessing in many ways. Namely, I am no longer pursuing firefighting and ended up with a pretty sweet job at the church. Life is going quite well. I lead worship in high school on Sunday which is both humbling and extremely scary (the combination of little talent and lack of experience can be lethal).

Also, be sure to check out the ever-entertaining "Tri-Valley Today" each Friday at 8:00 pm on Comcast public access cable. It's a TV show that I produce for a local mortgage broker. This month's episode features people from VBC. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

While I was attending Cal State Hayward, I was the host of a lovely little TV show called "Almost Live." It was a news show that aired on Hayward's TV channel. Supposedly the show reached 500,000 Bay Area homes, of which I am sure about 3 tuned in. My friends James, Justin, (www.onpointproductions.com) and I kind of made the show in to a joke (much to the chagrin of our teacher and classmates). It was a lot of fun. Here is a clip from an interview that we shot during the Scott Peterson trial. We told this guy he could say whatever he wanted. What he said caught me a bit of guard. Probably one of my favorite clips that I have been a part of.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So the A's are moving to Fremont. I guess that isn't too far. I wish they could get a new stadium in Oakland, but Fremont is way better than moving them to Vegas. It would've been cool to have a waterfront stadium like the Giants but stupid Oakland wouldn't let them.

I did like the old, dingy, kinda white trash aspects to the Coliseum but it will be nice for them to have a new field so that they can generate some revenue. My only request is that they don't change the name to "The Fremont A's of Oakland." That would be horrible.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Here is another (shorter) video from 2 years ago. It is a brief music video shot in Paris, 2004.

Here is a video that I made 2 years ago. I went with a group of people from Valley Bible Church to Egypt in Oct/Nov 2004. It was a great time. Enjoy.