Where was your salsa made?

this was my day last wednesday in nyc:

jewish diner for breakfast
subway to lower east side
world trade center
battery park
statue of liberty (looked at, didn't visit actual island)
wall street
new york stock exchange
federal building
times square
john's pizza
rockerfeller center
grand central station
6 train to yankee stadium
yogi berra t-shirt
memorial park
batting practice
stadium club for dinner
left field level seats
make fun of manny ramirez
mariano rivera strikes out the side
yankees win 8-3 over the sox
quick bite at a deli
greenwich village
union square

i've checked, and it is mathematically impossible for the day to get any better.

other things we did in nyc:
empire state building
times square at night
little italy
ferraro's canolis
central park
mickey mantle's
metropolitan museum of art
death ride 07 (cab ride)

all in all i don't think i've ever been that stoked about a vacation. nyc is an insanely awesome place to visit and i can't wait to go back. there's so much to do there, and the city truly never sleeps. absolutely insane. and the people there were actually pretty nice too, as long as you weren't driving a cab or a delivery truck. everyone we met on the subway was really nice, and even helpful in pointing out things to see or places to go. we kept a pretty frantic pace the whole time because we were only there for a few days. i wasn't feeling too good, but the adrenaline def overcame the tiredness. (although right now i'm sooooo tired i can hardly move). anyways there was so much to see, and so much to write about, i hardly know where to begin. i guess i'll hit the major highlights. on tuesday evening we went to the empire state building which was absolutely surreal. my perspective was completely thrown off and the world seemed out of proportion. it's hard to describe, but if anyone else out there has been, maybe they could chime in on the experience. we also went to little italy for dinner, which was good mostly due to the fact that we were in the middle of mafia waste management territory.
the highlight, and the reason for the trip was the yankee game on weds night. i couldn't have gone to a better game. the red sox were in town, and curt schilling got shelled early and often by the bronx bombers. the yankees turned their bats on and played a pretty solid game. but the best part of the game by far was the atmosphere, we couldn't have paid to sit by better fans. they were loud, obnoxious, and hilarious the whole night, which is exactly why we went to the game. yankee stadium itself is a truly classic stadium. i felt like i was part of a much larger history of baseball there, almost like it was my duty to go there and watch a game. if baseball was a religion, yankee stadium would be mecca, it's a place every baseball fan should go to at least once. and yes, fenway park is up on the list too, but that's another trip.
on thursday we went to central park and then the met, which is by far the greatest museum i've ever been too. i could spend a week there. we saw so many famous painting it's kind of hard to remember, but my favorites were; washington crossing the delaware, death of socrates, the thinker, warhol's mao ze dong, the jackson pollock, and the original picasso drawings.
i guess to sum it all up, i had a great few days. good people, lots of stuff to do, always a place to go, and way too much good food to eat. i guess i'll end with my:
10. if you speak english, you are not the most inept traveler at the airport
9. everyone walks: supermodels (of which i think i saw a few), businessmen, tourists...
8. you are never more than 100 yards from a place to eat
7. taxis are lame, take the subway
6. there are no taco bells in manhattan (sorry mi hermana, valleygirl)
5. expletives are more prevalent than tall buildings
4. (tie) it is still not cool to be a mets fan/ everywhere you go, you see something from die hard 3
3. posted signs and speed limits to do not apply to cab drivers
2. there are zero gas stations in manhattan
1. nyc has talent

so that's the big highlight of this blog. there's a bunch of other stuff going on besides that, but i had to get the exciting stuff out of the way first. let's see what else is on the plate...

another birthday down. yeah. they really don't mean as much as they used to. to be honest, i had kind of forgotten it was my birthday until that night i had to sign and date a hotel bill for springfest. i guess the next big one is 30. word around the apt is that the big 3-0 celebration may involve a boxing match in vegas. we'll see. my pick would be a safari in africa. like i said, we'll see.

season finale
tis the season for the finale, so i guess i'll give my rundown on my favorite shows and the finales.

heroes had the best finale, and i can't wait to see where they go with the show next season. although there wasn't a great fight like i had envisioned, it was cool to see everything come together at the end. and hiro nakamura cemented himself as the coolest character on tv by far with his swordsmanship, and ever pressing desire to do the right thing.

the office came in with a close second. oh man, that show gets funnier every week. the quotes from michael scott get better every week too. and i'm really glad that they didn't go the expected 'jan is pregnant' route that they hinted towards. also, i have to say, i'm more excited about ryan being michael's boss than the whole pam and jim thing.

lost finally picked things up by somewhat answering some questions, but they still pulled their typical i-don't-think-the-writers-know-where-this-is-going ending by bringing up more questions. thumbs up to the show for showing the future in the cutaway segments, thumbs down for bringing back locke from the dead so he can not shoot jack.

house is one of those longshot hits for me. i'm getting tired of the pretty formulaic routine of the show, but house as an irreverent jerk is always intriguing. props to the season finale for letting go of the entire staff.

and lastly, the 24 season finale was lame. way too predictable, and not nearly as tension filled as the rest of the season. seriously, the threat of a nuclear attack in the beginning of the season was way more intriguing than who was going to end up with a computer chip in the second half. and will somebody get jack bauer something to eat?

with being sick the past few days, and my trip to nyc, it's been over a week since i've hit the gym. at this point i'm just trying to regroup and get my body healthy before summer hits, and i've all but abandoned any hope of running an entire 5k, although i still plan on trying. fortunately my schedule for the next few days gives me plenty of opportunity to get back to the gym, which unlike any other time i've tried working out, is actually something i'm looking forward to doing.

every guy wants to picture themselves as the rugged outdoor type, and to fulfill that need we go fishing. it's not that we actually catch fish, it's that we have a line in the water. i've been fishing twice in the past few weeks, and i have a feeling there will be more soon to come. i don't know why i enjoy fishing, but i do. i guess that should be some sort of man-law: man shall catch fish. and by the way, i have actually caught fish on these ventures, just not a lot, and not very big.

i just don't care anymore. someone asked me if i watched any of the playoffs the other day, and my friend had the best response i've heard in a while, "they still play basketball?" and to answer the question posed by an analyst on espn the other day, basketball needs to ditch the melodramatic selfishness, and start emphasizing teamwork and respect.

whatchya say
snl is funny again. they have great characters and the digital shorts are genius. be sure to catch the repeats when you can, especially the peyton manning show.

golf balls
i'm going to hit a few before class tonite. later.

one love, one heart.


10,9,8,6...Six? What happenend to seven? just kidding! 7,6,5,4,3,2,1, have a nice day.

2oth anniversary.
i now present 50 reasons why 1987 was the greatest year for movies ever:

empire of the sun
the princess bride
top gun
adventures in babysitting
planes, trains and automobiles
north shore
the running man
good morning vietnam
full metal jacket
the last emperor
lethal weapon
summer school
the untouchables
beverly hills cop 2
raising arizona
wall street
ernest goes to camp
revenge of the nerds 2
dorf on golf
eddie murphy: raw
la bamba
police academy 4: citizens on patrol
back to the beach
hamburger hill
masters of the universe
the lost boys
over the top
*batteries not included
surf nazis must die
garbage pail kids
evil dead 2
shaka zulu
007: the living daylights
throw momma from the train
the secret of my succe$s
harry and the hendersons
born in east l.a.
superman 4
teen wolf too
less than zero

and for the female vote:
dirty dancing
3 men and a baby
fatal attraction
broadcast news
the witches of eastwick
who's that girl
no way out

i dare somebody to come up with a list that comes close to competing with 1987.

as far as the deep stuff goes, there's so much to share right now, that i really struggle with opening up online. i created this blog with the intent to have a place where i could put my thoughts into words, and i'm afraid that original intent has been lost with the knowledge that quite a few (more than expected) do read this, and there are reprocussions now to what i write. also, there is an increased pressure to entertain. you know how a tv show starts off as something unique and then seems to lose it's original draw? (alias anyone?) that's the feeling i get whenever i sit down with the intent to write these days. as much of a blessing as it has been to keep in touch with so many friends, and to make new ones over this medium, it really has transformed away from it's original intent.

so the question is... do i continue on? do i start a new blog and not tell anyone? do i try and keep up both? or do i go back and attempt to recreate the candidness that i had back in august of 04... well, after going through and reading my blogs over the past three years (almost 200 pages printed out!) in the period of a week i've decided to make an effort to be more open and honest with this blog, consequences and all.

the biggest thing on my mind these days are relationships, which says a lot considering i'm about to start my summer schedule here. i recently broke off/put on pause/ it's complicated with chulagirl which has made a pretty good size impact on my day-to-day life. that chance to get back together is there, but i just don't feel up to trying to maintaining a relationship over a long distance. she's done her best to convince me otherwise, but every phone call and message just reaffirms my decision to go it alone for now. then there's the friends issues. my best friend in simi valley hasn't even called me back in three weeks, and we haven't hung out in who knows how long. i'm not one who needs a million friends around all the time, but the constant no response pretty much sucks. esp when they're the person that builds you up the most. all that being said, over the past few months i've completely flaked out on a good friend and really hurt her feelings by doing the same thing. it's funny (in a painful way) that the things that hurt the most are the things we do ourselves so often. then there's the role of middle man that i've become for my mom and sister, who for some reason are not getting along at all. i take that back, there are a lot of reasons, but those are for them to share. as for me, i get to spend hours listening to both sides of every story trying to create some sense of peace. let's just say we are all dealing with the past few years in our own separate ways. then comes the changing face of my friends. my closest friends are mostly married, which was a tough transition to get used to, and now several of them are expecting to be fathers soon, which has lead to an even larger gap between our ability to relate. i am nothing but excited for my friends, but at the same time i feel like i am becoming increasingly out of the loop. this came to fruition a few weeks ago when i found out that a bunch of the youth ministers are going in together on a house boat for a week next september. after i found out i was then invited, which i respectfully declined. as happy as i am that the youth ministers and their wives are starting to fellowship together, i'm really not too stoked on spending a week on a boat with a bunch of married couples. as much as i do love a good awkward moment, um... yeah. anyways, i have no ill will towards any of these people or situations, life happens, but it has become increasingly taxing on me. last year at this time things were crazy emotionally, but everything was focused specifically on one situation. now, it seems all of life's drama is spread all over the place.

it's times like these that i wish i had half the wisdom that my father had.

hmm. i took a moment to look at what i just wrote and realized how overwhelming that last paragraph was. so i called dantheman, and after an hour on the phone i return to this post with a smile on my face. yes, these things are somewhat overwhelming, but as i looked at what i was writing there is a desperation in those words that really isn't there. the simple ability to look at these things and see that they are all a result of how much i care about those i keep close to me. i would be completely mistaken to assume that these things are insurmountable. sometimes, just seeing things typed out in front of you can help out. hmm, back to the original purpose of this blog.

with that off my chest, it's time to move to other things that seem significantly less important by comparison.

i've made two purchases recently that have made a significant impact on my life; a whiteboard and a mini-fridge. first off, the whiteboard. this simple piece of common office material has helped me in several ways. 1: i have my whole calendar for the next four months written out in front of me as a constant reminder of what is going on when, which makes it much easier to prioritize my event planning. 2: everyone who comes in can see that we have a bunch of stuff going on in the next few months. 3: all of my to do lists are there glaring at me in one spot. 4: my desk is no longer covered in notes and post-its.
as for the 4.3 cubic feet of refrigerated goodness that i bought, my gain is strictly personal, but it 1: saves me money. i figure the fridge will pay for itself in 8 weeks if i save $15 a week on food. 2: it helps me eat healthier, because i'm not eating out as much. 3: i can't really pinpoint why, but i've always wanted to have a mini fridge. maybe its a throwback to the good ol' college years. maybe i just like to have cool beverages right at my fingertips. it could be that it makes this feel less like an office and more like home. perhaps it's the simple fact that i did something smart to save money. or finally, maybe it reminds me that im not stuck in a micro-cubicle somewhere and i can have my own fridge if i want to. either way, i think i'm done waxing poetic about my mini fridge.

and in an effort to make this post a bell-curve of importance, here are other nominees for best year for movies ever:
1989 (major league, bill and ted's, back to the future 2)
1999 (fight club, matrix, office space)
2003 (matrix 2/3, x men 2, italian job)
1995 (braveheart, usual suspects, billy madison)
2002 (lord of the rings 2, star wars 2, spiderman)

one love, one heart.


"I want to take you out to dinner, and then I wanna go back to my apartment and watch Kung-Fu".

lyrics of the week
life goes by so fast/ you only want to do what you think is right/ close your eyes and it's past/ story of my life...
these lyrics from one of my all time favorite songs have never rung so true. these days seem to going by quicker and quicker. i'm not exactly sure why, but i feel like by the time i wake up one day it's already tomorrow. i think it's just the sheer number of things that i have to do on any given day, aka my giant board of 'things to do'. i kid you not i spent yesterday writing out my to-do list, and then going back and putting subheadings in under all of those items. my wall looks like a giant outline. at least i'm not bored.

last week i was at pepperdine for the lectureships, which in the past has been nothing but social time for me. i've been a harsh critic in the past of the lectureships because they seem to be out of touch with day to day ministry, and needs of the church. this year was a huge change of pace. most of the key note speakers were echoing sentiments that a lot of my friends my age have been saying for a while now. the big thing is, that we as a church need to be broken people. i say that in the sense that we need to recognize more often, and collectively, that we are not perfect people. if we are going to reach out to others in any way, we need to stop trying to fix people ourselves and focus our attention on who we serve. this isn't anything new by any means, but it was refreshing to hear this from some of the scholars in the cofc realm. even more amazing was the number of older folks that were responding positively to the messages.

greatest generation.
which leads me to an interesting observation. more and more lately i am keying in on a duality of respect in our culture towards past generations. on one hand, we have generations before us that have saved the world for freedom, fought for equality and built our country into a great empire. however, these are the same people that have handed us an emaciated environment, a reliance on foreign countries, flawed political systems and have made our jobs as evangelical christians so tough. the same man that fought to protect my freedom years ago left behind a closed door church. it's a tough call. i respect our senior saints so much, but at the same time i wonder how someone so nice and compassionate could be so cold when it comes to reaching out to the lost.

i'm not one for giving up easily, but there are times when you have to take time out from certain fights. i called it quits with chulagirl after she called me last week wanting out, and then calling me back the next night to apologize. i took a week to think it over and i just don't have the fight in me to battle the long distance issue. so, back to the single life for me for a while. ugh. this right on the heels of not being invited to lake powell next year for a youth minister and wives getaway.

youth ministry mafia.
people come and go in our lives, and i'm learning more and more to take advantage of the times i do spend with my friends. with friends moving in and out of the area, stepping into new roles, and pondering where they are going to be ministering in the next few years i am hanging on more and more to every moment of what is going on now.

my allergies have been killing me for the past two weeks, which has made it really hard to train for my 5k on july 4th. at this point i doubt i can get to where i can run the whole 5k, but we'll have to see. my body is feeling better and better every day.

yard sale.
we had a fundraiser yard sale a couple of weekends ago that brought in around $1300. we posted that we were going to start at 6 in the morning, but i wasn't surprised when i got there at 530 and there were already a couple of cars waiting for the first picks. it was amazing watching one person's junk turn into a 'high quality item'. all in all it was a crazy day, but at least i got to be outside for a whole afternoon, and we made about $150 an hour.

i need a fridge in my office. i'm pretty good about not spending a whole lot on lunch every day, but i do admit i have a lot of room to improve. i figure a fridge could potentially pay for itself in six weeks, so let the shopping begin.

i've been reading shane claiborne's book lately, and i have a few bones to pick with this revolution he's inciting. first of all, just like every type of ministry out there, being homeless is not for everyone. it takes a person with special gifts to even survive that life, much less turn it into a ministry. second, i'm not a big fan of anyone who can not at least respect the efforts of others trying to minister. i.e., just because i don't feel like giving up my job and being homeless does not mean God can't use me where i am. and lastly, i think back to the thoughts of my friend who used to run the dry bones homeless teen ministry out here in venice beach. he always complimented the youth ministers out here because the people he worked with were overlooked, but were already broken and willing to come to Christ. the people i deal with on a day to day basis are pretty comfortable, and it takes a lot for them to reach that broken point where they realize they need God in their lives. so, you could make an argument that it is actually tougher to minister out in the suburbs. at the very least, i wish shane the best in his efforts and hope we all stay focused on the big picture.

God, Dad & Baseball.
i've started outlining some basic ideas for a book. who knows when i'll actually get around to getting this out, but i have to admit the thought is pretty enticing. my thanks to everyone who reads this blog and offers up encouragement, i'm sure a lot of stuff that goes into the book will first be posted here.

i've also started some sketches for my next tattoo, a mockingbird for my mom. it's the state bird of texas, and part of the title of our favorite book. i'll be sure to post up pics when i get the final art done.

kung fu.
not a lot of people know this, but i love old kung fu movies. if i'm doing any kind of late night artwork, cleaning my room, or just trying to get to sleep i like to throw on some old kung fu on the tv. the picture is stretched, the music is bad, the acting is terrible, the dubbing is worse, and the action is accompanied by an insane amount of cheesy sound effects. needless to say i love every movie i've seen so far. lawdog gave me a boxed set of 50 movies a while back and i've been stoked ever since. so in hone of that, i'm going to leave you with my..

TOP TEN QUOTES FROM MY KUNG FU MOVIES: (with exclamations for added emphasis!)
10. I'm the best street fighter there is! I'll meet YOU on the roof!
9. A long time ago, a ninja walked into a bar...(!)
8. You're an assassin! Now start acting like it! Actually, wait till I leave!
7. Master, you must tell me the secret to your soup!
6. My name is bruce lee. no, not that one!
5. Ha! Your mustache has lost it's power!
4. The gods have blessed you with a large toe! Not large enough however!
3. I'm a princess, i can't marry a monkey!
2. Your rollerskates won't do you any good against my kung fu!
1. Ahhh! Chinese food!

One love! One heart!