You too and stuff. Take luck and care. Take good care of the luck you may have. Care for the good taking of the luck you may have when you...

what a couple of days...
so if there were a theme for the past week or so it would have to revolve around a brian regan joke about saying the right thing at the right time. or the right thing at the wrong time. or just not being able to say anything right at all. the point of the joke is that 'you too' doesn't really work all the time, and we use it at weird times. for example, the waitress says 'enjoy your meal' and you reply 'you too'. yeah, doesn't really work well. or when the lady taking your ticket at the airport say 'have a nice flight' and you respond 'you too'. anyways, this has been in the back of my mind all week.

on friday i went down to san diego to visit with two of mi amigos before they move up north. anyways, we're hanging out and i realize there's nothing really to say as a parting comment to someone who is moving. the best i came up with was 'have a good move'. needless to say we had pretty decent laugh over that one. but overall the visit was pretty fun. not as bad as it could be for hanging out with two couples. at least they know i'm trying. i guess that's the key to not getting harassed about being single. that, and pointing out freedoms that the others don't have, like driving four hours at a minutes notice to see some friends. oh yeah, it was cool having a ride that everyone was looking forward to hopping in to. never happened before. i've never been the guy that everyone wants to ride with (with the exception of white trash bowling rush events in college). kind of a good feeling. that, and futuremom actually said i seemed more mature driving something decent. guess that's a compliment. regardless, it was hard to say i had a 'good' time because i was saying good-bye to some friends that i'm going to miss dearly. but, i was glad i went to see them.

sidenote on helping them move: we had six guys, and two girls who are all recently out of college and have moved a bunch as of late, and one older guy who made the entire move take hours more than it should. if you're not going to help, don't show up. it really put a bad taint to the weekend and stressed out my friends who are moving, and put their schedule back enough where they could not spend time with their family before they left. moving nazis are not cool.

so easter and monday were pretty uneventful. had a date monday night that had nothing noteworthy happen. oh wait, i picked up a book that i have been wanting to read on how people that have never been to church view christians. pretty cool. it's called 'blue like jazz'. i bought it for the concept of the title alone. the guy never liked jazz until he was around people that loved it. same thing with him and christ, he never really liked christians until he was really around them. interesting perspective to come from. more book updates to come soon. back to the point though, what do you say at the end of date that isn't really good or bad? thanks for the date?

so yesterday i'm not feeling to hot (sinuses) and i'm supposed to take some of the high schoolers on a hike. problem is, everyone is out of town or not answering the phone. so i manage to get a small group together to go enjoy rocky peak overlooking simi valley. (pix up as soon as i find my usb cable) anyways, i was kind of distracted because i had one of those phone calls that adds to my list of why we need a church secretary. this lady calls up asking us how much to charge for using our building for a memorial service. i don't have a clue what to say, because i can't imagine us actually charging somebody for that, but i need to check and make sure. our preacher is on vacation so i call a few others, and get it cleared that we aren't going to charge, and we can arrange for someone to speak for the memorial service. so i call her back and let her know we aren't going to charge, we have a possible speaker, and we can provide finger foods if necessary. she thanks us, and tells about how other churches would not let her have services there either due to cost, or the fact that it was a memorial and there wasn't going to be a body or ashes. i was somewhat upset that people would say that, but i was more relieved, and blessed that she had called us and we had a chance to serve.

so fwd to this morning and me going to my first funeral service. i've know people that have passed away before, but i'm not really the type to go to a funeral service. i'm a move on kind of guy. i don't have anything against funerals, it's just not something that i'm excited to go to. which leads to my point. what do you say at a funeral to the people in the audience? good to see you? i'm glad you're here? yeah, kinda funny in a serious way, but talk about some awkward situations today, and not the kind that i regularly enjoy. what am i supposed to say to the family? i'm glad to be here... i'm happy to help? no, i don't wish this on them, i'm doing this because it needs to be done. but seriously, what are you supposed to say?

so today i had a guy walk in to my office, about 45 or so and punk rock as can be, backpack in hand. he knows my name, but never in our hour and a half discussion gave specific details as to how. so if anyone sent this guy as a prank, it succeeded. i seriously was talking to him wondering who had the cameras hidden. he was pretty cool, knew his scripture and stuff. just wanted to talk, no food or money, just some ears to hear what was on his heart. i told him to stop by whenever.

about the hidden camera thing though, it's gotta be lame to be one of the first people on a hidden camera show, because you have no idea what the show is. something totally off the wall happens, then out of nowhere some guy with a camera comes running up saying 'you've been befuddled!' or something like that and you're supposed to act like you now know what is going on. lame. what are you supposed to say there? thanks for pranking me?

oh yeah, nursegirl called me up wanting to go grab a bite in the next few days. there's another one... so how's life been since you broke up with me?

on a really positive note: we had some awesome breakthroughs in the youth group in the past few days. last week we had one of our quieter kids speak up and make some bold statements about that fact that not everyone in the group is best friends, and called the other kids on the carpet about it. we decided it was my responsibility to focus on equipping them to minister to their friends and respect and love each other as christians, instead of trying to make them into best friends. it may sound simple, but that's a pretty big break from traditional youth ministry, that focuses on building the group together, vs encouraging the kiddos to go out and build relationships. pretty cool coming from a 9th grader.

one of my tenth graders started asking questions and showing interest in a christian colleges. may not sound like a big deal, but i'm still glowing.

and finally, one of my best friends, ketchupburger, was in town visiting his family and managed to sneak out (literally, long story) to come and visit the other day. it's awesome to see someone who has been repressed their whole lives rise up and take control and make decisions for himself. he's talking about softball, and not being satisfied with his job, and i'm fighting back tears because it's the first time he's known what direction he is going to go w/o the prodding of his mother. it's like watching a zoo animal go into the wild. can't wait for his first big kill.

well, as i tell my friends... one love, one heart.


I don't care what undercover rock you crawled out from, there's a dress code for detectives in Robbery-Homicide. -Joe Friday

just a few things that ran across my mind at some point today...

i saw a guy today wearing a white dress shirt with huge yellow pit stains and no t-shirt underneath. just plain wrong. i'm no fashion expert but i can't imagine that's something that would go unnoticed. take the money you're saving on undershirts and spend it on buying a new dress shirt.

my local mexican dive always cracks me up. every time i order they tell me about how long my food is going to take, and to 'help yourself to our free salsa bar'. this cracks me up because they make an extra effort to mention this, like i wouldn't be able to tell by the fact that it is unmanned and across the restaurant. seriously, if someone has to ask if the salsa at the salsa bar is free, they probably should be charged.

lastly, now that i actually have a car with a remote lock, i'm trying to use it on everything. i've had the car for two days and i can't keep track of how many times i've gone for the remote lock for my office or apartment door. i wonder how hard those things would be to install....

i can't watch tv anymore. at least not anything that has news or sports. so, its pretty much the ps2 for a while. the only baseball they talk about on espn revolves around steroids. in no way shape or form am i a proponent of steroids, but there's also very little likeliness that being bigger is going to help you read the ball better out of the pitchers hand, or swing the bat quick enough to where it's going to make a significant difference. at best, steroids would help a player intimidate other players (until they talked in a squeaky voice).

on a more serious note...

the other thing that's bothering me on tv is this whole terry schiavo case. ask me where i differ from most republicans and this is it. what makes me mad is that her and her family are being taken advantage of by both sides of the argument. neither side is allowing her to die in peace. as far as my opinion goes, i think when it's somebody's time to go, it's there time to go. all of these people out protesting in front of her house are really making me upset, esp the christians who claim that this is murder. fifty years ago she would have never made it this far, and we would have said she died of natural causes. now people want to stick all kinds of foreign materials into her and prolong a life that in any other time would have never reached this point. ecclesiastes comes to mind, when it reads, "a time to be born and a time to die... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance... a time to embrace and a time to refrain..." i think God calls us to embrace our time pass on, without fear, but with an outlook of joy. as far as a legal precedent goes, every time i've been to a wedding there is a part of the ceremony where the parents give their daughter away. this is symbolic of giving her husband the responsibility for her care.

so my prayers are for the whole schiavo family, that she may truly rest in peace, and that the entire family is allowed to mourn the way they need to, and allowed to move on in a way that brings them closer to God.

this may sound somewhat harsh, but having a father who is terminal has forced me to look to scripture and reach mature christian decision on euthanasia. my dad is at a point where any meds or treatments he takes are not going to help, in fact they would just make his time here more painful and prolong that increased suffering. not a decision that anyone looks forward to making, but there is a peace in knowing that my dad has lived a christian life. will i mourn for him? absolutely. will i miss him? without a doubt. will i be glad that he went out smiling? no question. will i move on? yes. will i expect to see him when my time comes? hehe, the thought brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.

dear God, i pray right now for those who do not know how to mourn. i pray for those that are so scared of death because they are not able to come to grips with the reality that we were not meant to live forever. we get so focused on ourselves, that when our time comes we refuse to admit our own mortality. i pray that those in suffering may have comfort in your presence. i pray for those that remain behind to look to your word and example. i can't even imagine how mary must have felt losing her son, and i know she wept, and i know she was comforted in knowing what happened was part of a greater plan. i pray for my family, that when our time comes that we truly embrace the time to mourn, and the time to be comforted. i pray that your spirit will be throughout the schiavo case, and allow the family to peacefully celebrate one of your creations. i pray for forgiveness in the arrogance we have in assuming that life here is better than the kingdom you have prepared for us. i thank you God for your Son who died for me. I thank you Lord that you know what it fells like to be separated from those you love, and to look forward to the time that you can be reunited. Lord, i know that Jesus was not looking forward to death, but did embrace it as a part of his life. i'm thankful that he mourned for his friend who died, and took the burden of his sins for himself. God, i ask that i in some way, shape or form can truly embrace the way that Christ approached death. through HIm i pray. Amen.

well, the kiddos are here. i'm out.

one love, one heart.


the new tahoe

Originally uploaded by braddahdj.
sweet, i have a new ride.

Kids, say hello to your new kid sister. -Tim Taylor

so it appears my streak of lame rides is over. i bought a used tahoe today and even better than the leather interior is knowing that i am not going to have to worry about breaking down on the 210 with a carfull of jr high kiddos. nice. i've never really put a dollar amount to that type of comfort, but the sales staff of the dealership was very helpful in that dept. fortunately that price was well below what others pay for that comfort so i feel good about it. gotta love the church connections. ahhhh, it's just a nice feeling having a new ride. i'd put it right between that great feeling you get when your neck cracks and the astros making the playoffs.

so that's the big news for today. new truck, leather interior, nice system (meaning no discman to tape converter), 3 inch lift, aftermarket rims, tires, grill and exhaust. oh yeah, and it's clean and even smells like a new car.

in the other stuff dept...

i watched the comedy central roast of jeff foxworthy the other night and actually laughed at some blue collar jokes. the best was jeff foxworthy ragging on larry the cable guy saying, "Git-er-done is latin for i don't have a punchline".

i'm a big fan of identifying the worst things to possibly say at a given moment. i.e. bringing up e coli every time we go to jack in the box. that being said...the cuz got a call last night from his pops saying they had to put his dog down after a long battle with a tumor. the cuz was pretty shook up and needed a laugh. we got back to the apt after softball and both felt like watching a movie, so i empathized and kindly suggested that we watch old yeller. gotta love making yourself laugh. i'm just glad the cuz laughed too.

jack johnson and ben harper make for the best rainy day tunes.

well, i'm off to go drive my tahoe (which will be named later, cuz i told the kids they could help come up with ideas) and drive through puddles and get it dirty so i can go wash it at lenny dykstra's car was.

one love, one heart.


John McClane: I was always kinda' partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really dig those sequined shirts.

tuesdays are my mondays. we had our 'staff meeting' today which somehow ran into lunch time. seriously, so far today i've woke up, worked out, ate, talked with lawdog and some folks that are hanging out at the church and then went and got a quick bite for lunch. it's days like this that i feel guilty, like i'm not really doing anything, then end up working till 11 or so at night. at least i don't have to wear a tie. i'm not complaining, i just keep thinking to myself how different my days are from other people's. the cuz pointed this out the other day when he was talking to my uncle the other day when he said that 'you never know what d.j.s schedule is going to be like, it's not really nine to five, or one day off one day on, it's just really random.

since it's been a while, here is: top ten things i've noticed lately about being a bachelor.
10. i watch more bruce willis movies than most people.
9. i care more about beating my high score in darts than i do that the dartboard is in our hallway at the apt and there's no way we're getting our deposit back.
8. vintage tools make better wall decorations than paintings.
7. church league softball is in desperate need of some d2 love.
6. you could literally divide our fridge into four equal parts: pizza, meat, salsa and pepsi.
5. the people at the local tico's tacos, sports chalet, batting cages, driving range, and the deli dept of albertsons all know me by name.
4. you only need three cups: a giant one for soda, a mug for coffee and another when you don't feel like washing those two.
3. $150 is our breaking point on groceries. anything over that and we don't have room in our fridge.
2. bruises are a badge of honor and should be treated with a manner of pride, not covered up with gauze.
1. i have no need or desire to watch any sitcoms. my entertainment involves one of more of these things: a ball, a team, a guitar, a spy, a war, a motorcycle, tools, women/children/countries in need of rescue, monosyllabic heroes, breaking/blowing something up, a board, wheels, sweat, and three stooges.

mr rogers on being a bachelor:
"I was a bachelor for, oh about a year and a half. That doesn't mean I got married when I was a year and a half old but I mean, you know, when I was living alone in New York for about a year and a half."

other stuff...
i'm boycotting the post office. not the whole postal service, just the station here on the west side of simi. since i've moved here we have had several instances of bills not making it on-time. i've had one check lost in the mail, and we've had several packages dropped over our porch wall. we've already filed complaints with the proper authorities. a few weeks ago the cuz ordered some shoes and a jacket out of a sporting goods catalog. we check the delivery status on usps.com and it says the package has been delivered. one problem, we have no package at the apt. so the cuz calls the post office and their official response is 'we don't know where it is'. so the cuz tells the company that their package was lost by the station so they send him a replacement (which got here in two days) for free and say they'll take on the post office for the cuz. in the meantime, i get a note that says there is an oversized envelope waiting for me at the station that requires my signature to pick up. the flier is checked that the letter is a. at the post office, and b. available for pickup after 9 am. easy enough. evidently not for the mickey mouse club running the post office here in simi. i run by the post office in-between my kiddos games on saturday to pick up my letter. no dice. they don't know where it is. that's a great thing to hear when you're expecting a check and information concerning your social security information. so ask to talk to the manager, because this is unacceptable. he says that the letter may be out with the postman again. i pointed out two things to him. 1. he needs to be sure about the location either way. this guessing thing doesn't really cut it when people are trusting you with their information. 2. the note says it is at the post office and available for pickup after 9am, and it was 345 at the time. he tells me to come back after 5 (which i later found out is when they close) to check and see again, because that was after 9 am. i tried explaining that 345 was also after 9am, and if it was going to be available after 5 then that should have been written. no apology, no maybe we made a mistake, instead he's raising his voice and getting frustrated with me. i explained to him that 99% wasn't acceptable when people rely on you to transport money and information. then i reminded him that things like this were why email was invented, so that people didn't have to rely on a failing system of delivery. i think i even said i was going to email his boss. needless to say i'm all about fed ex and ups from here on out.

playstation is taking over in our apt. i'm at a rate of a season per week in ncaa05. at least i made coach of the year and took sdsu to the championship. oh yeah, every season i give my freshmen names based off of groups of people i know. one season it was 80's rappers, another was kappa, this season i'm going with girls i knew in college. needless to say this afforded some great laughter at deciding what i was going to name my tight ends and fullbacks.

now i'm on a mission to freak out the people that live in my apt complex. we have a lady upstairs who is already nuts and nothing i can do will ever freak her out. but across from us, and in the apt above that are owned by a software company who have waaaaay to many indian guys living there. not that i have anything against indians, but they have at least 6 in each apt, which is way over what could possibly be comfortable. they rotate in every year or so from what i've heard, and they all work together, go on shopping trips together, and you never see them in groups of less than 4. that, and they never cook or clean for themselves. at least 3 or 4 times a week i see ladies coming in to clean their apt and cook dinner for them. it's really weird. so i make sure every time i rock out on guitar, or watch, boyz n the hood, or 3 stooges to turn the volume up loud enough and rock out so that when they look in our window (which they always seem to do) i'm doing something different. that'll give them something to write home about. that, and i've come to a point where i'm about ready to cook them dinner one night so we can have a break from the curry smell that dominates the air every night. no joking, every night our place smells like curry. i'm never eating anything with curry again. whatever, none of them drive so we use their parking space so i probably shouldn't complain.

i love socal. at one time i was eating sushi, drinking mexican soda, and smelling curry from the neighbors. oh yeah, it was sunset over the palm trees and i was going to skate later.

one of those little things that makes a great day is when you hear a song you love but didn't know you had. this happens a lot now that i have all of my music in one place.

this weekend we went to see the cuz's bosses daughter play in a high school girls softball tournament. those chicas are tough. i stood behind the backstop trying to gauge how much time they had to swing. yeah, we all (the group of guys/parents watching the game) came to the consensus that we would be lucky to foul off half of the pitches that came across the plate. mad props to the camarillo girls softball for coming in 2nd in the tourney and just being able to get a bat on the ball against one of the meanest pitchers i've ever seen.

you gotta love baseball fans, esp yankee fans. i'm fortunate enough to live in a county that is home to the CIF baseball champs, little world series champs and countless pro prospects. so i have a feeling that i'm going to be at quite a few games this year. anyways, i had all of these people coming up to me and giving me grief about wearing a yankees hat, but right off the bat i had support from a couple of fellow yankee fans to ward them off. we know our stats! so back off. you're just jealous of the pinstripes. the highlights of the whole yankee debate had to be meeting a mom from the bronx who only got louder when someone admitted they were a braves fan. the best though, was when the cuz's bosses' son mentioned something about skipping school to watch the opening series of the yankees vs. red sox. i told him i'd come pick him up from school myself at lunch. that's my kind of ministry.

well, lunch break is over. one love, one heart.


view from my office

church view2
Originally uploaded by braddahdj.
i was sitting in front of my office playing guitar, waiting for the kids to show up when i realized what i was looking at. just thought i'd share.


You know what the problem is? It's a Ford. You know what Ford stands for? Fix It Again Tony. - Hank Hill

i'm saving a bunch on car insurance. unfortunately i had to spend that money on getting my truck towed off of the freeway last friday.
so this past weekend was our big 'blank page' retreat with the youth group. we were all stoked to get up to big bear, see some snow, and hammer out a mission statement and name for our ministry. i was pretty stressed out, it's my first retreat to plan and i was already over budget with food alone. so we head out and get as far as azusa when the truck makes this unhealthy noise. so i pull over and the truck dies on the side off the freeway. i've got four kids and all of the food for the weekend with me, so i'm not exactly excited about having to turn the hazards on in the middle of rush hour. ) sidenote to pasadena commuters: when you see a car with it's hazard lights on try and get off of the freeway, let them go. the alternative is that the vehicle will die right in front of you causing a traffic jam. jerks.) so a couple of the other cars in our caravan stop and pull over to see what's going on. we're already running 90 minutes late because it started to snow despite every news report that stated it wasn't going to, and we had to buy chains for three of our vehicles, that i find out later are not returnable even though we haven't busted the plastic. sidenote: jim's tire co. in simi valley is a rip-off and thier staff is not courteous. so back to me on the shoulder of the freeway. i call up one of the parents back in simi to see if he can ditch his weekend plans and take me and the kids+stuff up the mtn. for the weekend. mr clutch comes through and meets us on the freeway. in the meantime, two of the cars are already on their way up the mtn, and the other two are at a grocery store parking lot, patiently waiting to see what's going to happen to the youth minister's crappy car. also, another one of my parent's who is mr. clutch with cars has called a tow truck friend of his to pick up my ride and haul it back to simi valley for relatively cheap. so three hours later we're back on the road, tired, packed in like madmen, and ready to get to big bear.
other sidenotes about the truck situation: the kids were completely awesome about the whole thing. not single complaint or negative comment. one of my sixth graders even bought me a new car (think postcard) which was an awesome gesture, totally putting me in a good mood. that, and the group hug i got when we finally got going again. the big thing... it looks like i have a case against the geniuses at jiffy lube who apparently didn't tighten the oil plug enough when i had my oil changed last week. if the repairs for the truck are more than the value i can declare it totaled and get a check from jiffy lube. that'd be nice.
on to the good stuff. the retreat went awesome. better than planned. one of those 'God is def here moments'. we got started late but the kids were high energy.... surprise surprise. we had a quick little session, some snacks, but mostly relaxed and hung out. the morning session went as planned, and then we went sledding. this part was nuts. one of the other youth ministers had told me about a spot they found in a little residential area. i'm expecting a backyard with a little slope to it, and what we got was what used to be a green diamond ski run. it was awesome. one of those things where the kids were already charging up the hill pretending not be be intimidated while the parents looked at me like i was nuts. i told them that's what the medical releases were for and hiked up the hill myself. it was pretty insane. the best part was that we had the whole hill to ourselves for a few hours. not a soul in sight till past noon. gotta love being able to have an eight man sledding race. so we wrecked ourselves pretty good, but the crash of the day had to go to one of my chaperones that had never been been in the snow before and went tandem from the top of the hill. the girl in front could have jumped over me, and the girl on the back crashed so hard and fast that her jacket left a blue streak down the hill. i've seen some wicked cool sledding before but nothing that left a streak in the ice.
and on to the main reason we went up there: the whole point of the retreat was to come up with a name and a mission statement for the youth ministry. the kiddos came up with ignite, which i really like. there's an element of not being in control that i like to the name. considering this is what i did in college for four and a half years i didn't think i'd be able to remember how to pull off getting the group into this, but they seemed pretty stoked. despite all of the peripheral stuff that went down, watching the kiddos have fun together makes my day. that, and they seemed pretty driven which def makes my job easier. we'll see how this carries over into other stuff, but i'm pretty excited for the next few months.
other stuff....
monday wasn't exactly a day off because the cuz had his mom in town and we went up to visit santa barbara. it was cool for several reason. 1. it's always good to go visit a beach town for the day. b. i found a vinyl copy of johnny cash-live at folsom prison at this thrift store. that's been a bit of a white whale in my vinyl collection for the past 8 years or so. 3. since we were up in santa barbara, home of ucsb, home of jack johnson, we declared it jack johnson day and listened to nothing but his mellow tunes all day.
not so cool things about spending the day in santa barbara 1. all we did was go shopping. sorry, but shopping as a tourist should be confined to picking up local stuff for non-locals. b. all we did was go shopping, which meant we walked all day between overpriced stores (which exist all over the us) and not a step on the sand that separates the land from the sea ( i like to call that area the beach). 3. lastly, we had to drive to go shopping. there's a mall ten minutes in either direction of where i live, and we drove an hour and a half to find one that was more expensive.
all in all it was a good day. chillin with an ocean view and jack johnson songs stuck in your head is pretty hard to beat, no matter how many 'specialty shops' you have to wade through to see it. did i mention i found some johnny cash on vinyl too?
more other stuff...
the girl from palapa has called me a few times, which is somewhat surprising. unfortunately she makes jessica simpson sound like a genius. that, and i'll be the first to say that there's a big difference between being a ditz and being just plain dumb. all good though, at least i can say i've given my phone number to a girl that i've met at a mexican restaurant. is that a good thing?

gotta give props to mi madre as well. the constant thing going through my head, (and i think through the cuz's too) was how stressful it is entertaining parents who visit. got me to thinking about mi madre and how easy she is to be around. it's cool to be able to do anything or noting and still have a good time. that, and i don't think she'd let me take her all day to go shopping on a trip out to socal. we'd prob end up mexican dive hopping instead, and run across something no tourist would ever see.

gotta give props to me padre as well. we always did the typical national lampoon type vacations, but they were always fun. no reason why, except that my parents weren't that bad to hang out with. my parents will prob debate this, but i can't really recall a whole lot of times that i absolutely refused to be around them. i may have blocked some of that out of my memory, or something like that, but i can't remember mi madre or padre ever contributing to a vacation being lame.

then there's my sister... hehe. she's trying to spend the summer out here with me and the cuz. i wasn't too keen on her staying at our place, but she said she wouldn't come otherwise. the more i think about it, i think it's gonna be fun having her around for a while. i know me and the cuz could use someone else to make fun of. actually, shar is pretty cool and we've always got along really well. despite her being a dork, and me being the best brother ever, we get along famously. enough that i wouldn't mind having her sleep in our dining area on an inflated mattress for ten weeks or so.

while i'm handing out props, i keep going back to my kids and how cool they were with everything that happened on friday night. we were stuck on the freeway, they had to pile into other cars, we ended up being 4 hours late, and not a single complaint or negative comment was said all weekend. one of my sixth graders even bought me a new car (picture). man, if i were in the youth group i'd be all over the smart alec comments. not one all weekend from the kiddos, or the parents for that matter.

tax season is creepy. supposedly ministers are supposed to get off pretty easy, but i have a sinking feeling about this. i even went out and bought some turbotax program at bestbuy. fingers are crossed as of right now.

underrated hottie of the week goes to lacey chabert.
overrated hottie of the week goes to halle berry.

oprah and martha stewart have a plan to take over america. they may act like they have nothing to do with each other, but i think we've got evil plans on the bond-villain scale in the works. call it a gut feeling, but i think martha is more dangerous now that she's been in prison.

wal-mart is a front for their plan.

walking around barefoot is one of the joys of not working in an actual office.

i had breakfast today with the sr. saints of our church and didn't hear one mention of any health issues. call gennis.

the last thing i need to hear is another uk band that sounds like the strokes. are we ready for the 4th wave of ska yet?

after our weekend at big bear, i ended up with a lost and found pile that was made up almost entirely of wet socks., yeah, i think it's safe to say those are okay to throw away.

well, thats all for now. i gotta go pick up some pizzas for the kiddos for small group tonite.
one love, one heart.


Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.

so the theme song for yesterday would have been 'caught stealing' by jane's addiction. lemme explain...
i have officially joined the ranks as 'one of those guys' and am now a part of a church softball team. sweet. check another thing off of my to-do-to get-old list. anyways, we were playing last night and i was a little stressed out. i haven't thrown a ball in years and had to spend a good part of saturday afternoon trying to get some muscle memory back so i wouldn't flat out embarass myself. so throwing is not necessarily the problem. i made a pretty decent throw from the outfield and mad a double play so i was getting pretty stoked. not cocky, just stoked. so get on base with this brilliant alice of a hit a la ichiro suzuki. the rule in softball is that you can't lead off until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand, and there is no stealing. easy enough. i was reminded of this from every guy on the team individually. so i beat out the soft dribbler and end up on first base my first at bat. nice. now i'm out to get a couple of bases to make up for my weak hit. so i take off as soon as the pitch leaves the guys hand, and the next thing i know theyre throwing me out at first. i got picked off at first in a softball game. i didn't think it was possible, but i proved them all wrong. and managed to quench a much needed rally. seriously, the only thing i can remember thinking was that it was a fat pitch and i was sure our guy was going to going to nail it. evidently some guys like to take a pitch. i'll keep this in mind for next week. anyways, it was really embarassing to play softball again, but i think i'm gonna have to join the crew and just laugh at this one, and keep my anger reserved for off of the field.

this got me to thinking though, and i think i've alwas been an anti-competitive person. probably because i've never been much of an athlete, but have always enjoyed playing. actually, my anti competitiveness probably goes back to the nintendo days when dantheman used to beat me at every video game we played. my mom never bought me a nintendo so i could never practice to beat him, so i just got it in my mind that i don't care about winning. thanks mom. just kidding, i actually used to be somewhat competitive, i just get frustrated when people stop having fun with sports, and when people turn everything into a competition. at this point, i would rather play catch, or throw the football around with my friends than try and get an organized game together. either that, or come up with some sport like gennis or my fave, calvinball, where no one really has to be the loser.

the pinnacle of this was our D2 basketball team in college. as much as it was a joke, it really had an underlying purpose to put some fun back in intramurals. i remember guys during basketball would get so worked up over games, and they forgot they were playing in D league, and the final score would be somewhere in the teens. the worst part, a lot of guys, including guys from our club seemed to forget that we were all christians. when D2 came in fruition, we made it a point to lose every game, fouling out if necessary, but bringing the focus back on having a good time and esp goofing around. we had guys playing in wheelchairs, we had one short guy on another guys shoulders with a jersey over the both of them. i think a bear suit was involved, and i def remember the game we all wore cheerleading outfits. (sidenote: while i'm not one to condone or participate in wearing women's clothes as a regular or comedic practice, this also served a purpose of clarifying that men should not wear skirts. also, if you're not scottish, it's not a kilt, it's a skirt.) whatever... we had fun and we had more people show up to our last game then most of the varsity basketball games. we were all winners. that was the whole point.

it's one of the things i stress with my kids in the youth group a lot. this whole idea of winning and competition translates into so many other things that drive people. one of my peeves is the whole one-upper attitude that drives so many people into fits. seriously, we don't have to have the best story, car, excuse, ticket... whatever. i know competition can be healthy, but that doesn't mean we should step on other or stress ourselves out trying to be or have the best whatever.

moving on...
it's hard to not enjoy today. the new jack johnson cd came out, so i've got some sweet mellow tunes to go with the cool breeze that's flowing through my office. i've got most of my work done with getting the retreat ready, so the next few days are details, minor details. the chica i met the other day at lunch called me yesterday. i don't think she was too impressed that i was a religious guy, but we'll see. whatever, the sun is out and it's a gorgeous day here in simi valley. i went skating this morning for a little while in the neighborhood across the street from the apts, had a good conversation with lawdog, the preacher here, ate lunch with one of our elders, and have a free evening to go do whatever i want. nice. oh yeah, i started a dynasty with sdsu on ncaa 05 last week and i'm playing in the championship in my second season with them. and finally, i've got that good sore feeling that comes from throwing too much, and a jitter in my hands from hitting the batting cages yesterday. real nice.

in random thought news...
when i get old, i'm going to make sure that i'm not just talking about my health issues. i love eating lunch with one of our elder's here, but i'm not to keen on hearing about strokes, bowel obstructions, or coughing up blood right before lunch.

being good at church league softball is like the movie bull durham. sure, you're great at church league softball, but there's always the question... why aren't you playing somewhere else? that's why having fun is more important.

every guy should have some reason to own a pair of cleats.

i can think of a billion other things i would rather watch than all of the fashion reviews of the oscars. thank goodness for dukes of hazzard on dvd.

the cello is my new favorite instrument. not sure why, but i think it is due in large part to this jack johnson song with a cello in the background that sounds awesome.

i was finally able to listen to a song and play it on guitar. this is a big deal for a guy who plays guitar all the time to battle his inherent tone-defness. unfortunately that song was 'lose yourself' by eminem.

there should not be a reason for the word celebutante.

i'm going outside to play.

one love, one heart.