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Thursday, May 31, 2007

How do you say "basketball" in Navajo?

I just finished another segment for the Immanuel Mission Promo DVD. You can check it out if you would like.

Today I will probably end up destroying Jake in tennis yet again and will likely revel in my victory for an extended period of time before meeting Melissa for dinner. It's gonna be a good day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Baby name idea #11 (There's something in the water)

"Rosham." This name comes courtesy of Maddie "Mary Madeleine" Flaig. Gotta give credit where credit is due. Though Rosham itself is a great name, I will skip straight to the nickname, "Rosham-bo." Brilliant, Maddie, brilliant.

Maddie obviously suggested this name due to the fact that young Rosham will likely be a voice of reason in a world of chaos and distress. During any playground dispute, corporate mishap, or global conflict, Rosham-bo will likely be called upon to settle the tumultuous situation. Rosham-bo will be the great equalizer in a world of unequality. All rocks, papers, and scissors, aside, this name is very fitting of the young peacemaker that will be, Rosham.

Melissa and I spent our first pregnant Memorial Day swimming at Tyler Moxley's pool with some of our closest pals. I swam a bajillion laps and now have a pretty bad sunburn. Melissa is now 14 weeks along and this (above, not Bauer) is essentially what our baby looks like right now (except a lot more handsome, obviously.) After the pool we headed over to the Robery's, who offered to host our young married's small group for a barbecue. It was a lot of fun. We played volleyball and ate burgers. Pretty great. Aaron and Amy Mayerson also announced that they are pregnant which is pretty dang exciting. Their baby will be due a couple months after Rosham. Congratulations Aaron and Amy!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Paintballing, Pregnancy, and Picking Kids Off

On Saturday we had the middle schoolers out at our house for a rousing day of paintball, food, and festive fun. We had a ton of people out there and luckily not one got too hurt. There was definitely a few highlights of which I will now share.

Highlight 1: The kids played down in the creek in groups of 10 (5 on 5). Rob Calame and I set up various barricades in the water. The teams would start on opposite ends of the creek and make their ways toward one another, firing as they progressed, hoping to apply welts on the enemy combatants. I stood on the bank of the creek, up the hill a bit, and fired random shots at the kids down below. I hit one hit in the groin region, which made him a bit unhappy. When the round was over, he made his way to the exit point and began walking up the short hill out of the creek bed. As he made his way up he whined and complained about being shot and asked why I did it. Josh Perry was behind me and he told the kid (more like yelled at him) to shoot me. The kid was less than 3 feet away from me. He did. He shot me. Point blank. Straight up shot me. I was shocked. I told Josh to leave the area and asked the kid (in my angry voice) what he was thinking and told him that if he wanted to live, he would never ever ever do that again. He agreed and thus he is alive today.

Highlight #2: Nate Darnell showed up to helped barbecue. He also helped the teams with various combat strategies. Nate, an ex-Army Ranger, used rocks to diagram the course and showed the kids where they should hide, and the best attack points, in addition to each base's weaknesses. It was classic. He was getting in to it. The kids didn't exactly absorb his military insight. Most of the students ended up getting pretty banged up.

Middle school is going really well and it was cool to see that we had over 30 people (students and leaders) at yesterday's event. God has really blessed the ministry.

Mel is feeling well and she is starting to show a bit. It is weird to think that she is already 15 weeks along (last Friday). She really enjoyed picking kids off from the bank as they played in the creek. Looking all too innocent, she deviously shot the kids down below as they attempted to play. They had no idea where the shots were coming from. She was loving every minute of it. It was our baby's first paintball experience and I sure that he or she thought that it was magical.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Baby name idea #10...

This is a comment that my father left on the previous post. I felt that it was worthy of a full posting.

I have always loved the name "Budger." I am not certain where I first heard this name, or if I made it up, but it resonates deep within me.

I have been thinking that I wanted a dog named "Budger." There does not appear to support for this since our hope-to-be-German-Sheppard may be too majestic for such a charming name.

To date, my dream of having a relationship with Budger, awaits a loved-one upon which to place this delightful cognomen.

Lauren now calls me Budger, which I know is a show of affection, but it means I now have a relationship with a Budger who is myself and that is not how my dream should end up.

This brings me to the question at hand. What to name the unidentified new addition to the family.

I believe, "Budger" is a name worthy of full consideration. Since I may be the only person who has been in the development of this name (other than Lauren), I feel very strongly that it is appropriate and will work well. It can be used for either a boy or girl, it is delightful, charming, and happy in its sound... and... the meaning of the name is profound.
To me it means: "Dear-one, overflowing with affection, full of joy."


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Baby name idea #9...

"Gazi", or, "Gaze." (Gha-zee) Anyway, for a great while I have admired the studies and research of college student, Gazi Ayyad. I promise I didn't just Google the name "Gazi" and pick the first Gazi I found. Back to my story. Since I am such an avid anthropologist, what better way to honor my favorite branch of science, than naming my first child after one of anthropology's greatest young minds.

Lauren Wallace suggested that an excellent nickname for young Gazi would be, "Gazi-bo." I concur. Gazebos bring shelter in stormy weather, shade in extreme heat, and comfort in pretty much any condition. They also spend most of their time by a pool, which undoubtedly, young Gazi-bo will do as well.

On Monday, Robert F. Calame and I watched the season finale of 24. The season as a whole was kind of a letdown. They killed off Curtis, Palmer #2 is on his deathbed, and Audrey went crazy. Then, Jack almost offs himself. We get it, he has had a long day. Next season, try to make it more exciting. According to this article, that is what they have in mind.

Monday, May 21, 2007

mel returns from vegas, or, bowling, basketball, bauer, and bachelorhood

Melissa is back from Las Vegas. Jake and I picked her up last night. Jake's friend, Brad, accompanied us on our journey. On our way we (mainly Brad) decided that it would be a funny idea to turn the heater on full blast and pretend that we didn't notice the heat when the girls got in the car. The girls got in the car and instantly commented on how hot it was and after we made several excuses as to why we had the heat on (Brad's rare medical condition that required high heat; the car was overheating, etc.), we reluctantly decided to turn the heater off.

Melissa had a great time on the trip and was really glad that she was able to go. She stayed up late last night telling me all of the trip's details and it sounded like she had a blast. She doesn't get to do stuff like that with her girlfriends (friends that are girls) very often so I am glad that she got to. They spent a lot of the time laying out by the pool and hanging out at their hotel and I suggested that they could've had a similar experience at the Pleasanton Hilton and could have saved some cash. She didn't like my suggestion.

I spent the weekend living up the life of bachelorhood. Kind of. On Friday a bunch of us went bowling at good ol' Earl Anthony's in Dublin. $13 for unlimited games. You can't beat that. I ended up bowling 6 games (top score: 141) and headed home around 1am. Hicks bowled one game over 180 and Charlie did really well too. Nerds. Melissa and the girls went bowling in Vegas as well. Melissa led all of the ladies, bowling a 105 (ok, she actually tied with Lacey, but still!)

I took the CSET on Saturday which was pretty horrible. It is a 4-part English test that I have to take for my credential. I will get the results sometime next month. We'll see what happens. That was not the highlight of my weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

EBAY, or, Flooding the Marketplace, or, "What happens in Vegas better not happen in Vegas."

Last week Moog and I had a revelation. We were at Comp USA for their "going out of business sale", and saw a bunch of digital camera docks for sale at 80% off. A steal (or so we thought). We checked EBAY and saw that we could easily triple our money by selling them, so we went back and bought six of them. I placed them on EBAY the following day, anxiously anticipating our lucrative payday. Unfortunately there was a reason that these things were on sale. Nobody wants them. We lost a combined $40 on the deal. You would think I would've learned a lesson from this. However, as you will soon read, I did not.

Today I listed several jackets on EBAY for my dear friends, Cody & Amy Moxley. This venture poses little risk for me, save getting beat up by Cody and Amy if they don't sell. But, with models like these fine gentlemen, how could they not sell! If you would like to view the items in all of their glory, click here. It will be well worth your time.

Mel leaves for Vegas today. Melissa can gamble, carouse, booze, and smoke with the best of them so this weekend should be nothing short of stellar for her. Wait...she's pregnant. WHY IS SHE GOING TO VEGAS!?!?!? Jen is turning 30 so a group of young ladies (12 of them and I use the word, "young", loosely) will be heading their to celebrate Jen's 30 years of life and will be staying at the Paris hotel in the heart of the strip. I am taking them to the airport this evening and will then begin my weekend of bachelorhood with Bauer. Actually, I am taking the CSET (a horrific state standardized test to be an English teacher) on Saturday so my weekend will probably be pretty uneventful. Pray that the ladies are safe and that they have a good time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

We Don't Believe

To be honest, I am kind of glad that the Warriors are out of the playoffs. I have watched more basketball in the past month than I have in my entire life combined. After traveling to Ukraine and Hungary and experiencing things in life that really matter, you would think that something as trivial as a basketball game (or series of games for that matter) would seem pretty inconsequential. I wish that were the case. These games gave me ulcers. Ok, maybe not ulcers but they have given me a bit of anxiety. The basketball games have taken precedent over the A's for me. That is a big deal. Anyway, now that the Warriors are out of the playoffs I can get on with my life. I won't have to worry about Stephen Jackson shooting someone, Baron Davis breaking an appendage, or Derek Fischer shooting 3's. I am done with basketball. No more.

In other sports news, Jake and I have been playing a lot of tennis lately. Usually he beats me pretty bad as I am a fairly horrible tennis player. Yesterday however, I had him down 5-1 in our first set. I was Roger Federer and he was a 5 year old girl. Only problem was the 5 year old girl turned on her overdrive and ended up coming back to beat me 8 games to 6. Jake is a cheater. Ok, he's not, but there is no way I should have lost that set. Yesterday was a bad day for winners. Jake can go to Utah with the Jazz for all I care.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cops, Fox, Socks

I got pulled over today. Well, kinda. I arrived at the church this morning and decided that I would go on a walk on the trail. I was wearing sunglasses, a hooded sweatshirt, and camo shorts. Anyway, as I was walking across the street to get to the trail entrance, a cop drove by and then did a u-turn about 100 yards up the road. I entered the trail and began walking in the opposite direction of the cop. The trail runs alongside the road and the cop pulled over about 100 feet ahead of me and got out of his car and walked up to the chain link fence that separated the trail from the road. At this point I started running away, firing shots in the air, and screaming at the top of my lungs. Ok. That's a lie. The cop asked me what I was doing and I told him that I was going on a walk. He asked to see my ID. I explained to him that I worked at the church and that my ID was in my car. I pointed to my car and luckily I had my unlocker-thingy on me and was able to make my headlights go on and off. He was nice and told me to have a good day. I told him that I probably looked pretty sketchy with the hood and glasses crossing the street and that it was okay that he stopped me. He thanked me for being cooperative and he was on his way. It was pretty funny.

On my way back to the church another guy stopped me on the trail. He was pointing to the hill at an animal. He thought that it was a bobcat or a mountain lion, though I am pretty sure it was a fox. Here is a quick sketch that I did.

I have class tonight and need to finish up a paper. Procrastination is a killer. Melissa is feeling better. She wasn't as nauseous yesterday, just a bit tired. She leaves for Vegas on Thursday so that should be an adventure. We scheduled the appointment to find out the sex of the baby. July 2nd is the big day so keep your eyes pealed. Not sure what I meant by that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Saturday my dad graduated from college. After almost 20 years of diligent study, he completed his four degree. Not only that, he was the valedictorian and the keynote student speaker at the commencement ceremony. This guy spoke as well. It was fun to see my dad up there speaking in his cap and gown. His speech was really good, however, he made one mistake that stuck out. Not that I am one to point out errors in speech, but I will make an exception here. When talking about meeting my mother, my dad said that they married shortly after and now have 2 sons, ages 20 and 21. He got one of the ages right. Justin is in fact 21. However, I am not 20. Haven't been for 4 years. He caught his error and stated that what he meant was, he and my mom were 20 and 21 when they got married. Melissa and I laughed quite hard. My grandparents (both sides) and my dad's sister came as well. It was a festive gathering of kin. My dad, who from the stage looked a bit like Borat, has potentially agreed to maybe shave his mustache for his 50th birthday, July 11th. He has had said facial hair for my entire life and most experts agree (Me, Mel, Justin, Mandie, etc.), that he is due for a change. Please make your opinions known in the comment section.

Yesterday Melissa had her first bout with morning sickness. It could also be some sort of flu, but at this point the experts (mainly me) seem to think that it is a pregnancy related illness. It also could be some sort of disgusted reaction to the Warriors' loss. She is feeling a bit better today and she went to school.

In other news, we won our first softball game on Friday night in dramatic fashion, beating Big O Tires II, 26-6. Their manager even got ejected. It was quite the game.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Melissa and I went to see Leeland last night at Cornerstone and it was fantastic. I had Bible study this morning and one of my guys (Devin Johnston) had a funny quote: "Man, if Leeland was a girl, he'd be hot." Kind of an awkward quote, but worth noting nonetheless. Leeland is a great band and I have very few complaints about last nights show. Okay, maybe I'll mention one.

Leeland, the singer, asks the audience to sing-along with him alot. I am okay with that. The problem is that he sings super high. Like dolphin high. I am a pretty normal guy and I know I don't have the best voice but singing along with dolphin boy is nearly impossible...unless your Jake. Jake can sing dog whistle.

We have a softball game tonight at 9pm. We are 0-5 and look to play another team that is nearly as bad as us. One of my buddies from school is on the other team so it should be a fun game. Be there! Here is a link to our softball standings. It is both funny and sad. I apologize in advance for the foul team names.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Melissa and I went with my grandparents on Sunday night to see the African Children's Choir at First Covenant Church in Oakland. The choir is comprised primarily of kids who have lost one or more of their parents to disease or violence in their native country. All of the children in this choir were from Uganda. Prior to the kids coming out on stage, their director explained a brief history of the program and told a little bit about the kids. Melissa and I held up pretty well until the kids ran out from the door beside the stage, dancing, clapping, and singing, while smiling the biggest smiles you've ever seen. Melissa (not normally a crier) had tears streaming down her face as she laughed at the simple beauty of these kids and the joy that poured from them. My eyes welled up as well. We are suckers for stuff like this. It reminded me of the kids that I met at the second orphanage we visited in Ukraine. They were full of life and a love for the Lord. I am really glad that we got to go see the kids sing and dance.

Afterwards, we went to Tucker's Ice Cream in Alameda. We ate more than our fill of ice cream. I felt like a little kid again, eating ice cream with my grandparents on a warm summer-ish night. The only difference was that instead of having Justin there, I had Melissa. Dreams really do come true. That was mean.
This was a prayer that they handed out that I though was pretty cool...

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can made a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Baby name idea #8...

"Arrowand." I know that this name is a bit unorthodox, but hear me out. Much like "Bil-bo" before it, Arrowand has a Lord of the Rings feel to it. Melissa and I are looking for a unique name and this one fits the bill. Another intriguing aspect of this name is the nickname possibility, "Arrowand-Bo."

Justin and I used to watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at least once a week when we were growing up. What better way to pay homage to my favorite childhood movie than to dedicate my firstborn child's name to Mr. Hood's weapon of choice. I really don't see any way around it. Arrowand-Bo will no doubt be skilled with the bow like his or her father before him or her so it only feels natural to name him or her accordingly.

Last night Melissa and I had Allison and Jen over for dinner. It was splendid. The weather has been ridiculously nice so we ate outside on the Perry's patio. We talked a lot about what is going on in Hungary and Ukraine and I showed them my pictures. They brought Izze (sp?) over and she played with Bauer which was a pretty funny thing to see. City dog meets country dog. Luckily Bauer is fixed. Anyway, it was fun to spend it with them and it really made me really look forward to summer.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I saw Spiderman 3 last night. I wish I could say that it was epic and wonderful and that I wept and can't wait to see it again. Unfortunately this was not the case. Many people seemed to have hate it a great deal. I wouldn't go that far but I would say that the movie was a bit cheesier than the previous films and that emo, black, Tobey Macguire cried a lot during the movie which was more funny than sad (which I believe was the desire effect). The theater erupted with laughter each time there was an emotional scene. Classic. I expected the movie to be cheesy and campy and the acting the be mediocre but I do have one glaring problem with the movie: the extras were horrible. I think that they just pull people off of the street and ask if they can say "wicked cool" or "go Spidey", and if they are able to speak, they place them in a key part of the film. So lame. Other than that it was mildly entertaining but not really worth seeing at midnight.

We have a softball game against the Hopyard Brewmasters. We are 0-4 and are about to be 0-5 as we set off against the first place team. Wish us luck.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I used to be way in to politics. Too in to them if you ask me. But if you were to ask me now about me then it would be weird and possibly confusing because you would be asking me to make an opinion about myself. But enough about me. I found these clever little virtual campaign buttons and thought they were hilarious.

I suppose, like many people my age, I have become more and more disenchanted with politics and more and more an advocate of love and the Lord. Politics are too much an "us vs. them" mentality and ideology that is often contradictory to what God has to say about human interaction. We are not only called to love our friends but our enemies as well. (Mathew 43-45: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.)That sort of flies in the face of war and hate and much of what is going on in the world right now. I understand that since we live in a fallen world, war is inevitable and hate will run rampant, but I no longer want to be a part of that. I am reading this book by Shane Claiborne. To be honest, I think he is kind of a weirdo, but at the same time startlingly brilliant and challenging. His book talks about this sorta thing. Check it out.

This is kind of a weird tangent but when I saw these funny campaign buttons, it necessitated a response.
On another note, Melissa and I get to go hear an African Children's choir on Sunday with my grandparents at their church in Oakland. Evidently they performed on American Idol a couple weeks ago. It should be pretty neat.

I hope that everyone is well!
oh different worlds
and different hearts
and different souls
and different parts

and we all
we all break the same

"break the same" - mute math