Friday, July 9, 2004

A Week in the Life

Man, things just get busier and busier. And I'm still finishing up my week in review.

On Tuesday morning I had coffee with Guillermo over at Starbucks. We met at 7:30am, which gave us about an hour. At first I figured that we wouldn't have enough to talk about for a whole hour, but as it turned out we were walking out at 8:45am and there was still stuff we hadn't really gotten to yet. Guillermo picked my brain about teen camp and the singles and work and such, and I got a feel for how he was feeling with the transition. It was a really great time. I think I'm going to see if I can get with him on a regular basis. I'm so glad to hear (often) that his desire is to stay in University City.

Speaking of Starbucks, Slashdot has an article about a guy's website detailing his mission to patronize every single Starbucks in the world. I thought it was kind of goofy at first, but then I started looking up the San Diego area and I was blown away by how many there are. And he didn't even get to all of them. It's neat seeing the locations that I recognize. I even saw the one Guillermo and I were just at.

Wednesday night I went over to Irene's to help her out with her computer. Sara B. was over there actually so I had a good time tinkering around and hanging out and getting Sara to sing. On my way out Linda had me read aloud an email that Amber had just sent her. Amber just arrived in China with the Bresendens and already wanted to keep her mom updated. It was a really sweet email.

Today at work we found out the one of the consultants just quit, probably late yesterday or maybe even this morning. She had started after I did, which was like last week. I guess she felt neglected and didn't feel the need to be pro-active in finding something to do. Charlie let Devin and me know that he appreciated our professionalism in sticking through some down-time with good attitudes. That was encouraging.

And tonight we had Changes That Heal, which went really well for those who were there. I would give the details about what we talked about tonight but then I'd have to kill all one of you reading this. Afterwards I dropped by Juan's to help him with his laptop. And I still have to give the Muniz' back their desktop. Man I should start a business.

Okay, I'm caught up to present time. Ready...go.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

July 4th Weekend

It was a great weekend of mostly relaxing. I watched Spiderman 2 on Saturday with Nikki, Steve Tripe and Sarah. Faith joined us for dinner afterwards at Mimi's Cafe. Good stuff.

On Sunday, since we were meeting in house-church, and I was planning on going up to Long Beach in the afternoon to join the singles and their communion service, I decided to check out the First Baptist church right by the house.

Overall I the general feeling I got was that it was very similar to our own service, but maybe a little more boring. Most of the people there were white and old. They had quite a bit of special stuff to celebrate the Fourth of July -- we gave the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag posted there; one lady sang the Star Spangled Banner; four kids dressed in red, white and blue did a tap routine to a recorded song; a special choir song. Their hymnal is quite thick too, and there were a lot of songs for special occasions, a few of which we sang in the spirit of the Fourth. One song was actually sung to commemorate people that served in each of the armed forces -- one verse for navy, another for the army, another for the air force. At each verse the song-leader had those who had served come to the front. The last verse was actually all three lumped together, but the song-leader used it for the marines/coast guard/etc. That was kind of funny.

The message was actually preached by an Asian guy, which I thought was interesting. It was mainly about striving towards unity rather than unanimity. Apparently the church is looking for a pastor to lead their congregation, perhaps has been for a while.

Towards the end of the first service I found out they had a second, more "contemporary" service at 11am, so I decided to check it out too. As I was waiting, they were setting up a band and such, so it looked interesting. When they started up, I thought they started too early because there were only like 12 people in the room. Anyway, the main difference was they had the band and displayed the words on the wall with a projector. It was your typical "contemporary Christian" worship music. And, everyone in the band and worship team was white. Then the same preacher got up to speak, so I took off at that point.

Later that afternoon I was to meet up with Eddy and his crew (Dawny, Steve Tripe, Chris Gabler, and Kim Lamie) to go to Long Beach. Little did I know what I was in for. We left at like 2:45pm and arrived at like 5:30pm after what should have been an hour and a half ride. Note to the wise: don't talk to Eddy while he's driving.

Anyway, we finally made it, and from there it was a great time. I saw pretty much everyone I know from Metro-Heights: Sara, Sam, Bosco, Tanya, Rey, Anna, Vince. Nick too, although I just met him. I also saw Candace, Kris' girlfriend, now ex-, I found out. We all had a lot of fun hanging out and watching the fireworks.

On the way home it was five in the car and I had to sit in the back-middle, which was too warm and pretty blah. So I zonked out, and we got home at like 1:30 in the morning. And it was back to work the next day, bleh. I need FREEDOM!!!

Teen Camp

The boys: Marcus, John, Ryan, Johnny, Eli

More: Kyle, Ryan

Me, Hannah, the camp coordinator

Frank, Lisa, me

Here are some more photos.

Whew. So much stuff, so little time. I think I will try to catch up to today in chunks. Starting with teen camp...

Teen Camp was held at Highland Resort. It was from Sunday, June 27th to Thursday, July 1st, and totally cool. At first, at the end of the second day, I was like, I am not going to survive. But by the end of it, I was feeling sad that it was almost over. Lynn and I drove up on Sunday morning -- we had a meeting at 8:30am and I practically slept half-way up there and was still groggy by the time we arrived. The first day was basically a hit-the-ground-running introduction to what we would be doing with the kids as far as group activities and such. At 2pm the kids started arriving. I think Jeff Wadstrom was in charge of the whole thing, but a sister named Lisa Nichols pretty much ran most of the workshops. She's an inspirational speaker for teens and high-school students all over the country. I was pretty impressed overall because it was such a departure from our tradition retreat style (tons of preaching and not much discussion). There was a lot of group work and processing feelings and stuff, which I thought was so good. I think all of our ministries need this actually. In fact, it was a lot like a suggestion I made to Kai Foster about something I would like to do with our singles ministry. Anyway. Of course, some of the kids weren't so into it, which was totally understandable too.

We played a lot of ultimate frisbee too, which was a blast. It was really fun just being out there with the kids giving my whole heart to whatever we were doing.

The guys in my cabin were really cool. One night they had a wrestling match. I was really tempted to join in but didn't in the end. I figured I would get a chance the next night, but I was too wiped out. One of my only regrets.

Other random memories: Jackie Hodge pestering me to do a Sheryl Crow song for the talent show; Kia asking Lisa how she dealt with being a black woman in predominantly white San Diego; Allison Smith's quarter-trick and monologue at the talent show; Scott Yohner getting baring his heart and soul in front of everyone during the discussion sessions.

Highlights: doing the high-ropes course, and being able to encourage Lisa to make it to the top, and her sharing about it; Nacho (one of the kids) telling me that I sing with all my heart; being able to tell Tara that she had a lot to be proud of; Brandon telling me he appreciated how I built up the team on the ultimate field; grabbing the flag at the last game of Capture the Flag (I eventually got tagged, but Tyler picked up the flag and won the game). Fun fun fun.

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.