Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Sherry, Rey


Vic, Sara

Sarah, Jenica

Kim, Sara

Sara, Vic, James, Sarah, Jenica

What a weekend.

Saturday I played ultimate frisbee as per usual but for some reason I was a little ticked off. Maybe my competitive nature was taking over or something. Anyway I grabbed a bite to eat afterwards and drove around to eat my food somewhere and just think and I happened upon some people playing -- go figure -- ultimate frisbee. So maybe we'll team up with them sometime. Later on the Stokes invited me over for a BBQ, which was excellent. Zack and Andy and I finished the song. We incorporated Allison Smith and Jana Stokes too, which was a great addition.

On Sunday I was a bit anxious as usual but the song went great. Aja also came up with a new song, which turned out to be amazing. All in all it was very encouraging. During the pre-game meeting though, Guillermo shared a bit about how it was tough thinking about these next few weeks being his last as an evangelist. I felt really sad about that. I was kind of focused on the logistics of the service at the time so I didn't even really get to say anything to him, but hopefully I'll get a chance sometime soon. I really appreciate all that he has done, and I absolutely hope that the Adame family will be able to stay in UC.

I talked to my dad to wish him a happy Father's Day and he was surprised and encouraged. That was pretty cool.

Everybody and their mammas went to Phil's BBQ for lunch after church, which I thought was going to turn out to be a complete and udder disaster but instead it was decent. The food took forever but Sara (Burdette) was gabbing away so the time went by quickly.

Later on Sara (Lee) came down from LA with Sherry and Rey and we wandered about San Diego for a bit. I took them to La Jolla Shores, then Mt. Soledad. After that we went to eat at Lorna's, and then goofed off at my house and called a bunch of places looking for a karaoke place. The kind with private rooms. Because some of us were shy. We eventually found one only because Sherry had a cousin that was into it. And we went and it was very fun. Our ears were ringing afterwards though.

This morning I called Chuck to wish him a belated happy Father's Day. I guess tonight they are/were planning on hosting a BBQ for their Caballeros group. Mom was so funny about it. "The other people in the group are much better cooks; I hope everything works out" or something like that. I'll ask her how it went tomorrow.

Today was my first day of work. Fun fun fun. I was really pleasantly surprised because I stayed awake through all the meetings and I was picking everything up pretty quickly. I asked some (IMHO) intelligent-sounding questions and I was actually pretty fascinated with the stuff we'll be doing. Basically we're making the work-flow for military acquisition more efficient. The typical comment that people make about government work is that you wonder how they get anything done with all the mountains of paperwork and such. But the fact is that there are some pretty monumental achievements that are undertaken by the government so you have to appreciate the kind of effort and planning these things require. I have a greater respect for all that goes into all the battleships, satellites, and other big stuff that the government puts together. Anyway, Celia, the HR lady, took me and two other hires out to lunch today, which was cool too. Not a bad first day back in the working world.

It's interesting how much work affects my morale. I noticed how much more motivated I was to do things after work. It's almost intoxicating. I suppose it's feeling needed and valued that I appreciate so much. I kind of wish I didn't need it so much, actually. But I think that's why part of me really wanted/needed to take this job even though I wasn't technically looking for it. At any rate, my quest for more education will need to take a back seat for a bit. Both of my parents were certainly happy for me in the fact that I got a job -- not like relieved, as if they were worried, but more like they were glad for the sense of validation for the worth of my education and experience in that my skills are still in such high demand. That felt good.

Sara(h Johnson) is back in town for the summer; she completes the [Sara(h)]s three. I got our household to hang out with her and her friend Jenica who helped her drive out here from Dallas. Zack joined us for dinner at Rubio's, and later James and Sara B. and Kim joined us at the Living Room where we played Go Fish (argh) and Spoons with straws instead of spoons. Lots of fun stuff. What a jam-packed day.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

I read an interesting commentary on why DRM is bad today. It's certainly something to think about.

Well the interview went well yesterday -- so well in fact that it looks like I'm starting on Monday. I'm a little bit leery of what I've gotten myself into. On top of that, I'm supposed to scope out some estimates for work for eAssist. And the song for Sunday still isn't done. Aye. How do I get myself into this? Last night the Changes That Heal chapters we went over were on boundaries. Maybe I still need to work on that.

Anyway, Devlin is taking me out to lunch today, since I landed the contract. I'm sure he's getting a nice fat check so it's the least he can do. I don't even really know exactly what I'm getting paid. I don't think it's really comparable to what eAssist is paying me for the contract work there, but then again it's probably after taxes, rather than before. I guess we'll see.

At any rate, this interview experience was quite different than the one I had when I first got laid off. That time, I felt seriously reamed. Some really tough questions made me feel downright stupid. I think I was still kind of shaky after just getting laid off. And it had been four years since I had done an interview.

This time was a lot more encouraging. The guy liked me right away and I felt really familiar with the environment, since it seemed very similar to eAssist. They went through the whole dot boom and bust too, so there was a lot to relate to. I went from going in feeling like, "I hope I don't look too stupid" to, "I wonder if I should ask for more?" At any rate this contract should be a good learning experience.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Red Robin

Carlos, Michelle

Vic, Russ

Jason, Monica

Monica, Estella

Susan, Pam. Whatcha thinkin' 'bout, Pam?

Thanks everyone who came! I had a great time. Good food, good company. Aside of course from the "$6 burger" commercial bit.

Afterwards we went home and watched the movie Hero. At least those of us who lasted that long. Great movie.

Today I think I'd better get with Zack again to finish the song we're writing for Sunday. Deadlines, deadlines. Maybe after some reading. Also I have an interview today with Silicon Space for some contract work. We'll see how that goes.

Craziest dream last night; I was getting married to my first girlfriend Joanna. But I couldn't understand why. Like I knew it was this huge mistake. In fact it was the day of the wedding and everyone was there a little early and I was telling my parents why this was a huge mistake and asking them the best way to tell everyone. Somehow we had decided to get married the day after my birthday, and so that was how we got into this situation. Weird weird weird.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Big 3-0. Woohoo.

This from Yahoo! Happy Birthday!:

On June 16, 1858, in a speech in Springfield, Ill., Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

Neat. All the other events on that site were kind of morose -- excommunications, fourth marriages, people sent to jail and stuff. Thanks, Yahoo.

Well I'm 30 today. Crazy. I guess it would be a little more significant if it wasn't for the fact that I've felt like I was in my mid-thirties for the past three years. Anyway, thanks everyone for the kind words and well wishes. It's an encouraging reminder to me of how much people care...

Sunday, June 13, 2004


One thing I did last week that I forgot to mention was I tagged along with Roderick to his tutoring project with the YWCA shelter on Thursday. It was a lot of fun. Well, we didn't do tutoring though. That Friday was the kids' last day of school so there wasn't really any homework to help out with, so we just played games instead. It was a cool, we played the kid's version of Cranium. So funny. Except that the kids really tried to cheat a lot. An hour went so fast but I was also kind of wiped out afterwards. Roderick mentioned to me that the kids are there for only about three months or so at a time, since that's the limit for the shelter that people can stay there. So it's pretty tough. I had to agree. I think it would be hard to give your heart to these kids and then have them just sort of disappear. Anyway, Roderick has a cool idea to do a robotics lab with them, so I might still help out with that for now.

Seaside Lagoon

Dave, on the way there

Dave, serving it up


Bosco & Tanya

Nobody does it like Sara Lee.

Mm, nice weekend. Crazy week though. See previous post for that whole issue. I guess I neglected to mention that we got everything resolved, in the end. So, at least it's a happy ending. This week's meeting though ... man. I said something and this time Bergie got all worked up. We managed to talk that through too though, at least for now. Man.

Today I was pretty nervous about speaking though, as usual. I guess some things will probably never change. Anyway many people said they were encouraged and felt like it was very heart-felt, so I was really glad.

Yesterday was nice too. Ultimate frisbee was like three-on-four -- tiring but always a good workout. Then I spent about 2.5 hours working out said situation. After that Dave and I headed up to this event in LA that Sara invited me to ... I can never remember what it was called but it wasn't Singles Ignition, which was going on at the same time and was basically a dance; kind of a club scene. Actually Nicole told me today that it was a lot like a club, notably the unfavorable parts, and that she wished she had come to this event instead, had she heard about it. Oh well.

Anyway Dave and I drove up about two hours to Redondo Beach where this thing was held. Actually I drove maybe 45 minutes and then Dave took over because I was zonked out. Yah, yah, some things never change. Anyway it was volleyball and food and games and dancing; Dave and I were mainly there for the volleyball and friends. Lots of fun stuff. Nia was there too, which was great. We caught up a bit and it was cool to see she's doing well despite some challenges and stuff. I also saw Sherry, Sam, Bosco, Anna, Andrew ... it was cool. April, Rey, where were ya'll? Travis was there too, whom I had met before; he was MC actually. Loudly. Like, very loudly. Ouch.

So, I think the best thing was some good conversations with folks. Both Nia and Sara shared some tough things they were going through, which I thought was cool. Sam apparently was to sing in the choir for LA's congregational service today. *chuckle* Hope it went well. It was neat to know so many people.

When it was time to go Dave and I drove Sara home and got to meet her supposedly- effeminate cat George. I also saw Nikole and took a shot at fixing her computer. Dave had to drive most of the way home too, interestingly enough.

As far as today, we had a leaders' meeting in the morning since church was in the afternoon. As the meeting went on and on (and on) I kept thinking about the fact that I hadn't really nailed down what I was going to talk about at communion. I mean I had an idea somewhat but it was still a bit hazy. Then I had it out with Bergie and we were good to go and it was like 12:30pm. I managed to pull things together in about half an hour and I was on the road.

Finally church was over and all of my responsibilities were done. Jason, Carly, Russ and I had already planned to see Chronicles of Riddick as a matinee after church (with Nicole), but we didn't anticipate church taking so long (we watched Pitch Black on Friday night to get psyched up). We decided to go for it anyway and did the ol' "go team!" cheer and jammed out of there. Sara (Burdette) was going to join us but as soon as she found out it was a sci-fi flick she reneged (lame!). We had a really good time ... we went to Island's and Starbucks afterwards and had lots of good laughs.

All that, and I'm still home in time to do my blog. More deep thoughts later.

Communion Notes

I spoke today at church. Here's basically what I said.

What a week. Have you ever had a week where you got everyone upset? It seems like I was getting everyone on my case. We had a meeting, I was frustrated with some things and let some things fly which hurt a few people. And it turns out that we wouldn't be able to talk it through until the end of the week. And I really felt the burden of that all week.

When you are upset with someone or someone is upset with you, isn't it hard spending time with them? It's difficult to look someone in the eye really. Giving in any way -- affection, hospitality, even politeness -- becomes a chore.

What is happening is a spiritual separation. A wall or bitter root will form if it is not dealt with. And if you think about it long enough, you come to understand that any significant separation like this between people affects your relationship with God. How can we be reconciled to God, who we don't see, when we cannot be reconciled to people, who we do see?

What solves this? Looking to the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In one singular instant in time, God reconciled the world to himself. Centuries of prophecy and history culminate to this very event.

At the cross we come to understand that it takes one party to sacrifice in order to bridge that gap. And with God, we see that he has done that, through Jesus.

It was a costly sacrifice, but God considered it worth it. With the cross, God is saying, "I want to be with you."

When you are at odds with someone else, you start to realize that it requires a sacrifice as well to bridge the gap. Someone needs to initiate, someone needs to say, "hey, can we talk about this face to face?" Someone needs the courage to believe that it can be worked out. Someone needs to have enough faith to see that something good can come out of it.

And we see that this is what God has done -- when we were still sinners, he came to us to be reconciled. God was courageous enough to initiate it. God had enough faith to believe that something incredible will come out of this. He thinks we, he thinks YOU, are worth it. He wants to spend time with you, he thinks you are special.

With that, we have the strength to go and be reconciled with each other.

Stuff I didn't end up using:
Reconciliation and friendship with God really form the basis of all rational and true enjoyment. -- S. Miller.

Reconciliation defined:
The reestablishing of cordial relations; restoration to harmony; renewal of friendship. Reduction to congruence or consistency; removal of inconsistency; harmony.

synonyms: accord, peace, appeasement
antonyms: deadlock, draw, stalemate, standoff, tie, antagonism, disagreement, discord, dissension, dissidence, friction, strife

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon of a Day

Buca di Beppo

Man, what a day. This morning I was helping out packaging canned foods for a food bank. It was lots of fun; I just hope I don't have nightmares about putting the chicken can on top of the peanut butter jar. Repeatedly. Over and over.

Kat and I hung out for a while in the afternoon which was tons o' fun. And I guess there were a lot of people down here from San Fran to run the Rock 'n' Roll marathon, and Sara wanted me to go out with her friend (Isa)Bella. Thus the pic. We went to Buca di Beppo which was nice and loud but at least the waiter was really cool. Let's see if I remember everyone there: Charles, Tina, Valerie, Bella, Jessica, Angel, ... whoops (Offa?), Sara, Steve. Fun stuff.

Now I am tired. Tomorrow I am having the Talk with the BT. *Fingers crossed*. Let's see how it goes.

Nikki Tran just asked if I wanted to go to Yosemite with him sometime in July. Crazy! July is already getting booked up! This unemployed thing is really taking off.