Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 288 (Going Home)

Tomorrow morning, Stacey and I will be driving down the coast back to Ventura County. At this point, I can't really remember how many times I've driven between my parents' house and the SFTS campus, but I don't think the number can be that high yet.

What a year! These last two weeks have been especially exhausting; I can't believe how run down I feel.

Just trying to get packed up and ready to go. It looks like I'm gonna need to pack up a lot less stuff that I had originally thought.

Cooking some dinner right now, and Faith is coming up for a visit. Can wait to see the elephant seals tomorrow!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 287 (Last Days)

I have one day left in beautiful San Anselmo before I leave for the summer. Today was spent mostly recovering from the past few days. We pretty much just sat around watching movies.

Stacey and I will do the last of the touristy things we have planned tomorrow, pack, and then head out Tuesday morning for Sunny Southern California.

It looks like my summer is pretty set, so I won't be back until the end of August. Hopefully that won't make things too rushed and hopefully my summer won't be so crazy it exhausts me.

I'm kind of in a haze right now, too much is changing too fast. It's been fun, but I can't wait to have some time to just relax. Parents' house, here I come!

Day 286 (The Ultras)

After spending the first part of the day in San Francisco with Stacey, Heather and Ryan, I was off to San Jose to watch a professional soccer game with Ryan. Ryan had left us several hours earlier to be part of the tail-gating party and to watch the first half of the game. He is part of "The Ultras," a hard core group of people that support the San Jose Quakes.

He asked us to go with him, but Stacey and Heather bailed at the last minute, so I had to drive up alone. I didn't have the best directions, so by the time I got there, there was only about a half hour left in the game.

It was interesting. As most of you know, I'm not much of a sports person, but I do like soccer, and if I'm every actually at a soccer match, which is extremely rare, I like to actually watch the game. The Ultras kind of made it hard to concentrate. I totally appreciate their enthusiasm, and as a fan, I'm sure they would be fun to have on the sidelines, but to be in the midst of them is a bit much. Still, it was kind of fun getting into the clapping and shouting and singing and chanting and flag-waving and shoving and general craziness that ensues when you find yourself with such a group of people.

Afterwards, we went to a bar, where the celebration of our 1-3 loss continued. Yes, it was a disappointing first Quakes game for me. I am also not much of a bar person, so I let Ryan hang out with his friends inside while I caught up with Carly on the the phone outside. Because I hadn't counted on being so late, I didn't have dinner in the city, and figured I could grab a hot dog or something at the game. I ended up eating a 7-11 hot dog.

Interesting night, a lot more hectic than I had originally planned, but it worked out. Maybe I'll try to take it easy tomorrow.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 285 (First Year Done!)

I am officially done with my first year of seminary! WOO HOO!!!! I just emailed my final to my Exegesis professor and my reward is that I can now blog!

It is almost 4 in the morning, but it was a great day! (Yesterday technically, I guess)

Stacey and I went to San Francisco, her first time in the city. We walked on the Golden Gate bridge, had lunch in Japan Town, drank some beer at an Irish pub, rode the subway for 1 block, shopped in Chinatown, and drove down Lombard Street, supposedly the most crooked street in the world.

I wish I could remember the name of the pub, because it was a great place! The hostess that greeted us at the door had an Irish accent, and so did the bar tender. We didn't eat because we had just had lunch, but the food looked pretty good, and there were lots of people there, but it wasn't crowded.

Then we came back to San Anselmo, had dinner at Insalata's and I continued working on my paper.

Now, I get to sleep for 5 hours, wake up and go to San Francisco again!!! (The excitement was only partially sarcastic. I'm expecting it to be a lot of fun XD )

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 284 (Final Paper and Pesto)

Originally, the plan for today was to go to the city, but when Stacey and I woke up, it was pouring rain, and we decided it would be better if we stayed home today, holed up, and I worked on my paper. This worked out pretty well, because Stacey and I were able to have dinner with Mike, Kathleen, their twin daughters and their granddaughter. I made pesto. We had such a great time talking and laughing.

On the paper front, I only finished one question today and started another. I'm gonna try to keep working on it before I go to bed, but I'm still not feeling well, so it's hard to concentrate.

Why is it always easy to do fun things (usually anyway) when you're not feeling well, but things like working or school make being sick so much worse! One of the mysteries of the universe I guess...

San Francisco tomorrow. We are rapidly approaching the deadline for the paper, but I think I have the harder questions out of the way now. I just wish I was finished already!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 283 (Root Canal)

I decided last night I needed to get a root canal. This was not an easy decision because dental work is a little nerve-racking, and I also knew it would not be cheap.

It ended up being $1,700.00. This doesn't include a crown I'll still need to get when I get back to Southern California.

Luckily, I got a $50.00 rebate from Verizon today, and I checked my HSA, and I have $200.00 more in it that I thought I had. Altogether, this was $650.00, so I had to pony up about $1,000.00 more. I had also gotten some Bank of America balance transfer checks in the mail today, which I normally shred right away, but I figured if I was gonna save my summer, I would have to bite the bullet and take on a little more debt. I'll end up using another of the checks for the crown. I'll be able to pay them off when I get my student loans and grants in the fall.

Oh well, at least for now, my summer seems to be mostly intact. And, my mouth feels a lot better.

Root canals, btw, are crazy! They drill out the root so that it's hollow and then they fill it in with something else. Feeling the drill inside of your tooth is a very strange experience. Unless it's not properly numbed, in which case it's an excruciating one. I had to tell the dentist to stop 3 times to numb me more before continuing.

A really weird thing happened to me when I got back from the dentist. I just couldn't get warm! I was freezing! I took a half-hour shower in the hottest water I could stand and then tried to sleep with a blanket and 2 down comforters. About an hour later, the shivers stopped and I felt really hot and tired.

I didn't get very much of my Exegesis paper done. First I was in too much pain, then I had to get the root canal, then I was just too tired (see above) and then it was Russ and Matthias's going away party. Tomorrow, Stacey and I are going to San Francisco, so I'll probably not get very much done on that paper tomorrow either.

Friday, I plan to hide in my room and finish the paper. Or, maybe go to the library. Or, both. Either way, it needs to get done cuz it's due on Saturday, and that's gonna be another San Francisco day.

Crazy, crazy week, but it'll be fun.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 282 (Stacey & Summer Itinerary)

Tai Mei (otherwise known as Stacey) is here!!! WOO HOO!!G!FBHT!NFfbxrnyc6r <-----that was her O_o

Anyway, I thought she was arriving on Wednesday, so this will make paper writing interesting. Oh well, should be fun.

I LOVE STACEY! SHES THE BEST! <----- This was her too @_@

Anyway, as promised, here is the itinerary for my summer! If anyone wants to join me for any part of it, just let me know! (sorry about the weird format, I tried to paste it from Excel.)

18-Jun /Calico/Vegas
19-Jun /Salt Lake City
20-Jun /Salt Lake City
21-Jun /Yellowstone
22-Jun /Yellowstone
23-Jun /Yellowstone
24-Jun /Montana
25-Jun /Montana
26-Jun /Montana
27-Jun /South Dakota
28-Jun/ South Dakota
29-Jun /South Dakota
30-Jun /South Dakota
1-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
2-Jul/ Minneapolis, MN
3-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
4-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
5-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
6-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
7-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
8-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
9-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
10-Jul /Minneapolis, MN
11-Jul/ Minneapolis, MN
12-Jul /Wisconsin
13-Jul /Chicago
14-Jul /Chicago
15-Jul /Chicago
16-Jul /Indiana/Ohio
17-Jul /Ohio
18-Jul /Ohio
19-Jul /Ohio
20-Jul/ Ohio
21-Jul /Ohio
22-Jul/ PA
23-Jul /PA
24-Jul /PA
25-Jul /Washington DC
26-Jul /Washington DC
27-Jul /Washington DC
28-Jul /Washington DC
29-Jul /VA
30-Jul /NC
31-Jul /NC
1-Aug /NC
2-Aug /NC
3-Aug /NC / SC
4-Aug /SC / GA
5-Aug /GA / FL
6-Aug /FL - Holy Land Experience
7-Aug /FL - Everglades
8-Aug /FL - Key West
9-Aug/ FL
10-Aug/ FL/AL/MS
11-Aug /New Orleans
12-Aug /New Orleans
13-Aug /LA / TX
14-Aug /OK / TX
15-Aug /OK /TX
16-Aug /TX / NM
17-Aug /NM
18-Aug /NM
19-Aug /NM
20-Aug/ NM / AZ
21-Aug/ Flagstaff
22-Aug /San Diego
23-Aug /San Diego
24-Aug /San Diego

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 281 (Toyota)

I'm at the Toyota dealership waiting for them to finish the maintenance on my car. I figured waiting here would be a good way to force me to work on my Exegesis paper, which I promise I will start in a moment. I made an appointment to see a dentist at 4:30, please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Please God, don't let this be expensive!

I can see my summer crumbling before my eyes...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 280 (Wind)

The wind was totally insane today! Not much else to report, LOL.

Woke up at noon and made an appointment to take my car in for maintenance tomorrow morning. I'll probably stay at the dealership while they work on it and try to finish my Exegesis paper.

I watched The Prestige today... trippy movie! Piper Perabo was in it, underutilized I think. They did some crazy pseudo-science stuff, which can be explained away depending on whose point of view the story is being told from at that point of the movie, but it kind of bugged me cuz it didn't seem to go with the rest of the story. Of course, someone could say the same thing about Lawn Dogs...

Caught up on Lost and Glee, although I didn't watch the Lost series finale. I'll probably watch it sometime next week or so.

As you can see, I've been having a super productive day! For those following the tooth saga, I procured some Advil and Asprin today. I'm hoping that by switching pain meds, I will do less damage to my body... who knows...

In all likely-hood, I will have to go to the dentist on Monday or Tuesday *sigh*

I so can't afford this...

Day 279 (Graduation)

I was not able to sleep at all last night because of how much my tooth was hurting. So, when the time came to go wipe the dew off of the chairs, I figured I was already up and should at least so something productive with my time. I was 10 minutes early.

Initially, I tried to stay for the graduation, but my tooth was hurting so much, and I was so tired, that I decided to go to my apartment, take an Aleve, and two Benadryl to knock myself out.

I ended up sleeping until 5 pm.

I went to the graduation party at 7 pm, which was really fun, and now I am blogging at 3 in the morning. My tooth isn't really hurting anymore, but the one above it is now O_o. I don't know if this is some kind of sympathetic nerve thing, or if I jostled a filling up there too. I've taken another Aleve, but I think I need to take some more Benadryl so I can sleep...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 278 (Finals Week: Day 5)

Last day of Finals Week, but not the last of the finals. I finished another paper today, and I have one left to go for Exegesis, but that's not due until the 28th.

I have to get up early tomorrow morning to wipe down the chairs for the graduation that are going to have dew on them from being out all night long. Should be fun.

On a slightly worrisome note, a tooth that I have a partial crown on has started to hurt. My theory is that I might have bitten down on it too hard when I fell from leaning back in my chair too far the other day, but it's starting to hurt more, not less, so I'm starting to get worried it might be something worse. I have no dental insurance right now, so if I need to have anything done, it will bankrupt me.

Tylenol is enough to control the pain right now, but without Tylenol, the pain is excruciating. Seriously, it's on the verge of bringing me to tears.

If there was something really wrong, the gums would be hurting, right?

Day 277 (Finals Week: Day 4)

Did my theology exam today. I think I left out some some key things, but I think I pulled at least a solid "B". Gotta keep it short cuz Heather and Barb's birthday party kept me up late and away from the 7 page paper I was supposed to working on that's due at 5 pm later today. It's just a reflection paper, so it should be too bad.

I do have to talk about my mad rain stick skills though! At the party, a bunch of people were playing guitars and singing, so I decided to cobble together a rain stick out of stuff at Holy Grounds so that I could participate. I used a Christmas wrapping paper roll, a Mardi Gras necklace, some 20-sided dice, and packing tape to make it, and it turned out pretty good! The necklace was already broken, so I taped each end to the ends of the paper roll, with the necklace running along the inside. I put the dice in and put tape over the ends of the paper roll to keep the dice in. When we tilted the roll back and forth, the dice would roll along the beads and make the rain stick noise! We used it all night, and then I took it apart to get my dice back. Who knew 20-sided dice could be so useful?!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 276 (Finals Week: Day 3)

Okay, I have to apologize for the self-indulgent blog that I'm about to write because not that many people may understand it, but I may have just possibly played the best Magic game ever in my life.

I was playing my Transcendence deck, which is a kind of annoying blue/white control deck that wins by Donating the Transcendence to my opponent. In order to win a Magic game, you need to reduce your opponent's life to zero, but Transcendence flips the rules and makes you lose if you have 20 or more life. My deck also has mechanics that allow me to hurt myself and to make my opponent gain life.

Russ was playing a green/black zombie deck and was at 14 life. I had already Donated the Transcendence to him.

I played Soothing Balm, which made him gain 5 life, putting him at 19. He played Naturalize to destroy the Transcendence, and I responded by activating Browse which let me look at the top 5 cards from my deck, keep one, and remove the rest from the game. I only had 11 cards left in my deck, and you lose the game if you have to draw a card and there are no cards left in your deck. I needed to find a Counterspell to cancel his Naturalize, otherwise I would lose the game.

Browse turned up a Fact or Fiction, which I played for 4 mana, leaving me with 3 possible mana left to use. Mana is what you need to play cards in the game.

With Fact or Fiction, Russ had to take the top 5 cards of my deck and separate them into two piles. I would get to keep one pile and discard the other. After this maneuver, I only had one card left in my deck.

Luckily, my last Counterspell was one of those 5 cards, and Russ put that card in one pile, and he rest in the other. I chose the Counterspell, and used 2 of my remaining 3 mana to cancel Russ's Naturalize.

He had no response to this, so the Transcendence lived. I had one card left in my deck, one mana left to use and Russ was at 19 life.

With my last remaining mana, I activated my Tonic Peddler, and Russ gained 3 life, putting him at 22 life, thus causing him to lose the game.

I know a lot of you reading this have no idea what I'm talking about, but trust me, it was EPIC!!!!

And yes, I realize I am supposed to be studying for Theology right now.... and I have no excuse. I did some studying today and I will study more tomorrow. I understand the material, but I'm having a little trouble remembering which theologian said what. Oh well, I'm sure it'll work out somehow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 275 (Finals Week: Day 2)

I really wish I was better at self-motivation. I kinda, sorta, maybe thought I might study today, but with basically an entire free day ahead of me tomorrow, it was hard to do anything. Of course, when you wake up at 2 in the afternoon, you end up killing most of your day. O_o (I really need to start going to bed earlier.

I did however manage to do some prep work for Christian Ed, and I also filled out yet another form for my psych eval. (where do these things keep coming from?) I found it among some of my paperwork a few days ago; I had totally forgotten about it. I figured since I will be meeting with the person who performed the test tomorrow, I need to finish it and bring it to him today. He wasn't in his office when I went there, so I had to slip it under his door.

That's it for today!

Day 274 (Finals Week: Day 1)

Prophets and Exegesis class are done, but I still have to do the paper for Exegesis. I'm not really that proud of the Prophets paper, but it's done. Next up is studying for Theology. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to do my Christian Ed paper, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. (tomorrow?) *shrugs*

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 273 (Paper Writing)

Trying to finish a paper for Prophets tomorrow, so tonight's blog is gonna be really short. XD

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 272 (Hamburger Patties)

Hamburger patties (93% lean, 7% fat) are on sale right now at Safeway at $4.00 for 3 lbs. This is way, way, way cheaper than just buying ground beef, or buying any kind of beef in general, and even cheaper than chicken. Sine I am a poor seminary student, I bought 45 lbs of it and stuck it in my freezer. The bottom layer of my freezer is now comprised of ground beef patties stacked ten high. They stack much nicer than the chicken leg quarters that were my previous bulk protein purchase. The things I do to survive...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 271 (First Sermon)

I delivered my first sermon today. It went pretty good, and it was fun. I think my class did a pretty good job in running chapel today. Here's the sermon text:

The search for a new president for SFTS is going to be a challenge. So many things to consider. Do we want someone that’s conservative or liberal? Do we consider ethnicity, sexuality, gender? This person is gonna hold a certain amount of power and is gonna influence the way this seminary is perceived. This is serious! We need to come up with some kind of plan for pulling the needle that we need out of a haystack of possibilities. But, let’s put this into perspective. We’re not looking for the next king of Israel.

I was reading 1 Samuel 16 in preparation for this sermon, a passage I had read many, many times over the course of the term, looking at the Hebrew, trying to figure what the borders of the passage were, exploring the traditions behind the words, and the phrasing, and of course the theological implications of what was going between God, Samuel, David and Saul. Again, very serious work.

But this last time, as I was reading the text, the thing that struck me was the fact that God was acting like a sneaky little punk. God comes up with this off-the-wall plan to get Samuel and David together so that Samuel can anoint David. Of all the ways that God could have chosen to accomplish this, God basically chose to play a trick on the village elders. God chose to have a little fun.

See, God is fun! God is creativity and goofiness and silliness; God can choose to have a little fun with creation, and sometimes God can be like Calvin. I’m not talking about the theologian. I’m talking about the Calvin & Hobbes character from the Sunday comics. God can do sneaky little things like pulling a fast one on King Saul and the village elders, because sometimes having a little fun is just the right thing to do.

See, Samuel’s all worried that people are gonna find out what he’s up to and that Saul’s gonna kill him, so who comes up with a solution? It’s God! God puts an arm around Samuel and says, “I’ve got it! Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna take a cow, and when they ask you what you’re doing, you’re gonna tell them that you went there, so you could sacrifice the cow to me.” You can just picture the mischievous little grin on God’s face!

It’s like when Calvin and Hobbes make up some elaborate scheme so they can bean his neighbor Suzie in the head with a snowball! God came up with a sneaky little plan, like God’s some kind of sneaky little kid, and God tells Samuel to lie a little, and Samuel does. He tells the elders he’s there, to sacrifice a cow.

There was some concern over my use of the word “fun”, that it might be to light or comical of a word to use to describe God. But, why do we always insist on diminishing certain aspects of God? Is dignity more important than humor? Is scholarship more important than whimsy? I’m gonna say no. The search for a new president is a serious thing, but it need not be devoid of laughter, or fun, or pleasant surprise. We can and we should look for the fun that might be in this. It worked for God and it worked Samuel, and it can work for us too.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 270 (End of Term)

I understand in my head the there is only one week left in the term. I don't really feel it yet, possibly because there is still just so much to do. I have to study for the Theology final, but that shouldn't be too bad. I have three papers to write, one due on Monday, another on Friday, and another at some point after that...not sure exactly when. None of these papers should present too much of a challenge, but I'm just kind of tired of writing papers. I had ample free time to work on them today, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was not entirely unproductive; talked to two people in the administrative building to fill out a Clergy Recommendation Assessment Form for me and sent a third to my session liaison back home. I also did a load of laundry.

I have a meeting with the person doing my psych eval to go over the results. The above mentioned forms are supposed to be part of that, but I hadn't gotten a chance to get them filled out yet, and the one I sent back home, I have no idea when it's coming back. Hopefully this won't be putting too much of a damper on my plans.

I have to drive Ryan to the airport tomorrow morning at 6:30, which means waking up at 6:00 at the latest. This might be hard because I've been going to bed really late and I think my circadian rhythm is off. Should be all right. Then I get to preach my first SFTS sermon! I'm pretty excited about that. It'll only be my third sermon ever in my life. I just need to remember to t a l k s l o w l y . . .

Then my last improv class. Then Stacey comes up for a visit and hopefully I'll have figured out a convenient time to meet with my Committee on Pastoral Ministry. I'm hoping the scheduling doesn't mess up my plans for my whole summer O_o

I think going to Alaska is out of the picture. I still haven't managed to acquire a passport and we're getting pretty close to the wire here. Oh well. One less thing to plan for.

Day 269 (Gerry)

I just got the movie Gerry in the mail. The reason I got this movie is because it is bad. It's not that it's not good. This movie is genuinely and truly, devastating, gut-wrenching, mind-boggling, vomit-inducing BAD! I'm going to come right out and say it is the worst movie ever. It is so bad, that I am also going to say it is a MUST SEE. People do not understand how bad a movie is until they see this movie, so it is vitally important that people see it. Of course, I always show it to people with an advisory that it will be the worst movie that they have ever seen. They don't believe me of course... until the movie starts. Ian was cursing at the screen within the first three minutes. (I'm talking actual swear words here, LOL.)

The basic story is that two guys go for a hike in the desert and then get lost. They get wondrously and gloriously lost and end up wandering around the desert without any food or water for about 4 days. Time is hard to keep track of in this film. (I'm being generous with the word "film") The "story" unfolds at an agonizingly slow pace, and the dialogue is inane and uninteresting. Nothing happens for literally five minutes at a time at multiple points in the movie, and the whole time, you're just waiting for the movie to actually start. You end up waiting until about the last 10 minutes of the movie. And lest that description give you hope, the ending is ultimately unsatisfying, the only take-away being that you have now seen the worst movie ever and can subject your loved ones to it if you are in the mood for a little torture.

We never find out the character's names because they have given each other the nickname Gerry. They also use this word as a verb meaning, "to make a mistake," or "to mess up." You can only discover this by watching the movie, unless of course someone explains it to you, and by then it is too late, and you realize that the title of the movie itself is "Gerry." I have often wondered if the movie is some kind of joke. It's a mistake, there's something wrong with it, and the only way to find out is to watch it and realize how bad it is and to add insult to injury, the people who made the damn thing told you how horrible it was by naming it Gerry, but the only way to know what that means is to watch the horrible movie!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*pant, pant, pant*

I did a little bit of research online, and the three reviews I read all said the movie was good. I have never heard of a real-life person liking this movie, so I guess it just goes to show that most movie reviewers are snobby blowhards that have no idea what real people like to watch.

I will now take this DVD with me on my road trip, put it in the middle of a salt flat somewhere, and walk away. That is the only fitting end that I can think of for this movie, and I encourage all of you to buy a copy, watch it...or try to anyway...and do the same. Someday, I hope to hear about the strange mounds of Gerry DVDs that have started appearing in salt flats across the United States.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 268 (UFO Sighting Follow-Up)

Okay, I was totally going to write about something more serious today, but I received an email with some follow-up questions from the person assigned to my UFO sighting case!!!! Yes! There is an entire case now! OMG! There is an ACTUAL PERSON assigned to this case!

I answered the questions because I think it's kind of funny that there are people that are that serious about this. Maybe I should be grateful? I don't know. Maybe they'll discover something important. Anyway, here is the email I received along with the answers I gave them:

Mr. Wei,
My name is Anthony J. (Tony) Tambini. I am a field investigator for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). The MUFON state director has assigned your sighting to me for investigation. We understand that you wish to remain anonymous and MUFON will most certainly honor your wish. If you do not mind, I have a few preliminary questions regarding your sighting. Please take the time to answer the below:
1) How was the object illuminated enough for you to see? Did this illumination come from reflected light from street lights, or was it some other source?

I assume it was illuminated from street lights.
2) Did the object have a vapor trail, or any other type of trail behind it?

3) Did you notice any appendages, such as bumps, protrusions, tail surfaces, etc.?

4) Specifically where were you located during the observation?

A field surrounded by redwood trees
5) Did the object appear to have a mist or vapor around it, or were the outer edges just not clear to you?

I'm not really sure how to explain it, but the edges were just fuzzy, like the light coming off of it was distorted somehow.
6) You state that the object was in view for 20 seconds. In actuality 20 seconds is a long time. If you could, can you use a clock or watch, note the position of the second hand, then without looking at it again point your finger at the sky and follow the path the object took with your finger and the estimated time it took to cross your field of view. Next look back at the clock or watch and note how many seconds had gone by. Please let me know the results of this. Sometimes time is a difficult thing to measure in your mind.

I realized afterwards that I answered this one wrong, but it was too late because I already submitted it. It was actually about 5 seconds
7) Knowing that you wish to remain anonymous, please answer all or some of the below questions:
What is your birth date, or age? I am 30 years old
What is your occupation? Seminary student
What is your education level? Bachelor Degree
Do you have a degree? Bachelor Degree
How is your vision: Good / Fair / Poor: Poor
Do you wear eyeglasses/contacts and if so did you have them on/in at the time? Yes, I wear contacts that correct my vision.
Are you colorblind? No
How is your hearing: Good / Fair / Poor: Good
Do you wear a hearing aid, and if so did you have it on/in at the time? No
I may have some additional questions at a later date and I hope that it will not be a bother to answer them if I do.
Thank you very much for submitting your report to MUFON.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 267 (UFO)

Okay, at the risk of sounding crazy, I just reported a UFO sighting. A friend and I were watching the Lyrid meteor shower on April the 23rd, lying on the grass, surrounded by redwood trees. We were talking about theology and various other things when a brown disc-shaped object flew overhead. At first, I thought it might be a larger meteor because we were after all watching a meteor shower.

Admittedly, the meteor shower was a disappointment; I saw way more satellites than meteors (shooting stars).

Anyway, I saw the large object and was expecting it to burst into a flaming fireball, but then I realized it wasn't glowing at all. That's when I realized it was not going fast enough to be a meteor, but it was going much, much faster than an airplane. It was gone in less than ten seconds.

My friend and I discussed it animatedly immediately afterwards, both relieved that there was another person there to witness it. We both agreed that it was brown, shaped like a disc, and had fuzzy, undefined edges. But, we also agreed that we had no idea what it was and that as interesting as it was, seeing it was just not all that significant.

Which brings me to this blog. I think it is very strange that it was so unimportant to us. I've been wondering why this event has been so insignificant. Even as I write this, I'm thinking about how much of a non-event it was. That's why it took me so long to write about it. That, and I'm a little concerned that people are going to read this and think I'm crazy. Would you be excited if you saw a UFO?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 266 (Jennifer Knapp)

Alright, I'm gonna be honest here and say that I had no idea who Jennifer Knapp was before she came out of the closet at all the news outlets went all abuzz about her. And, I'm also aware that this news is somewhat old, but I thought the following interview with her was interesting, sooooooooo......

Here it is!

Day 265 (Emotional Health)

I sometimes worry that I have diarrhea of the mouth. Anytime anything significant happens to me, I recount the event over and over and over again to anyone that will listen, and I actually find myself going into story mode where I realized I tell the story in almost the exact same way that I had told the story the previous 5 or 6 times. I even got really embarrassed one time when one of my friends pointed this fact out to me, because he had been around for multiple tellings of the same story because I kept encountering new people who hadn't heard it yet.

Isn't that that best way to tell a story though? The new person hasn't heard it yet, so it won't matter to them how you told the story to someone else, and after telling a story a few times, you find the rhythm of it, what works in the story and what doesn't, what if anything needs to be left out of the telling. Once you figure out the best way to deliver the story, what's the point of varying it?

Unfortunately, it seems like I do this most when bad things happen. When good things happen, I often think, "Wow! That's really cool! I can't wait to tell people about that!" But, more often than not, I end up forgetting about the incident.

Not so with bad things. Obviously, if something is bad enough, you need to talk to someone right away to help you process it. This is probably what gets the storytelling off the ground, the initial re-hash of the event. If something good happens, you have the luxury of waiting until you come across someone you would like to share the story with, which is usually much later than the telling of a bad event, because you weren't searching a person out to tell the story to.

Which then brings me back to my "diarrhea of the mouth" statement at the beginning. I think counseling is a good thing and helpful for everybody. Now, even though I say that, I myself have never been to, nor plan on going to, a counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist, what have you. I remember reading one time that 90% of counseling is done outside of a professional's office. After reading that, I realized how much counseling I had done for my friends, family and kids in my youth group. I also realized how much I depend on my friends and family to counsel me when I'm having emotional trouble.

The thing is, I hold so little back when I am hurting, I just release it out there to whoever is listening, as long as I have a reasonable amount of trust in that person. Then I find another person and do it all over again. Then, someone else, and another, and another. Depending on how bad the situation is, I will sometimes cycle back to people that I've already talked to.

So yes, the last two days were emotionally horrible, but I think I'm mostly better now, and it's all thanks to my diarrhea of the mouth.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 264 (The Death of a Friendship)

First of all, I apologize for the extreme delay in this post. I've been slowly recovering from what I can only call an "emotional injury" and am only now able to write about it.

I have allowed myself to become very close to someone without fully realizing who that person was. I found out a few days ago that she does not believe gay people should be allowed to become ordained ministers. This came as a complete and total shock to me because everything about our friendship suggested that she fully accepted me as a human being and that we were in most respects equals.

I was completely stunned by this revelation and had to excuse myself from her presence. My initial reaction, understandably, was anger, but that was quickly replaced by confusion, numbness and hurt. Who was this person that I've spent much time with and what was she thinking about me in the back of her mind all of those times that we were together?

I was confused because my primary emotion was not anger, it was depression. I had many legitimate reasons for being angry, not the least of which was the fact that I felt I had been lied to for so long. But instead, I was just sad.

After talking with a lot of people about the emotional turmoil that I had been going through, I realized the reason I was feeling so depressed was that in a psychological sense, I was mourning the death of the person that I thought I knew and coming to grips with this new person that looked like the old person and had much of the same characteristics of the old person, but was not in fact the person that I thought I knew.

I believe that the friendship can be salvaged, but I will need time to heal, to mourn the loss. I know God will use this event for good.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 261 (Possibilities)

There's this guy in my Christian Education class that I would like to ask out on a date. The only problem is that I am an absolute chicken and was not able to work up the courage to do so when given the chance. You know that story about the man sitting on the roof in a flood and he passes up help from a man in a rowboat and another guy in a helicopter saying that he's waiting for God to save him and he eventually drowns? Then, when he get to heaven and he sees God, he asks God why God didn't save him and God says that he sent a guy in a rowboat and another guy in a helicopter, but the man decided to stay on the roof.

I'm the guy on the roof. There was a moment right after class when he wasn't talking to anyone and I could have totally gone up to him and introduced myself, but I chickened out cuz there was a ton of people nearby. Then, when I was driving through the parking lot, he was standing there, ALL BY HIMSELF, and I could have totally drove up to him and rolled down my window and started talking to him, but I chickened out again, AND DROVE PAST HIM!!! ARGH!!!!!


There is still hope. Next week is our last class, so I have one more chance. AND, I discovered that he goes to the same school as an acquaintance of mine, so I have some time to get some info on him.

Why am I such a coward???!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 260 (Kick Ass)

I just got back from watching Kick Ass, the new Nicolas Cage movie about masked vigilantes. It was not exactly what I was expecting, and it was gorier than I like my movies to be, but I think the movie may have actually required the gore. I was surprised at the depth of this movie, especially considering the fact that I originally thought was going to be a glorified cheeseball superhero action-figure promotional video. That didn't stop me from wanting to see it, though. It was like a Wildstorm comic brought to life. The characters were flawed and almost too real. It was a teenage boy's fantasy, and I'm not talking about beautiful women. I'm talking about that secret dream to escape from the mundane life of high school, homework, parents and the pointless attempts to scale the social ladder. What teenage boy doesn't dream about being a superhero? The only problem is that most superhero movies present a completely unrealistic goal for most (if not all) people. Kick Ass is reachable. While that makes it amazing, I certainly hope no actual person will aspire to be one of the characters in the movie. I mean, they could get hurt!

Anyway, here's the breakdown... Writing: Awesome. Script: Awesome. Acting: Awesome. Story Arc: Awesome. Music: Awesome. Fight Scenes: Awesome. Special Effects: Awesome. Character Development: Awesome. This movie friggin' Kicked Ass, and I can't wait for the sequel!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 259 (Theological Norm)

I discovered recently what my theological norm is. A theological norm is what a person uses as a basis for everything that they believe when it comes to God, faith, the afterlife, spirituality, what-have-you. Many people use their personal experience as their theological norm. A lot of people use the figure of Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures.

I'm not exactly sure when my theological norm developed, because now that I have discovered what it is, I realize that I have been using the same theological norm for quite some time. I like to call my theological norm, "The Omni's"

The omni's are the traits that I believe that God has, and these are pretty standard when it comes to traditional Christian thought.

I believe that God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-benevolent and eternal. If these words look strange to you, let me break it down. I believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere, all good and has existed and will exist for all time. If any statement about God adheres to all of these categories, then I can accept it. If the statement does not, then I reject it. That is how a theological norm functions.

Considering the fact that we have spent so much of our theology class discussing the theological norms of different theologians that we have been looking at, it's surprising to me that I didn't stop to think about what my theological norm was. In fact, I discovered mine quite by accident while talking theology with one of my classmates.

So, have you thought about your theological norm???

Day 258 (7 Stories)

I found out today that in all of literature, there are only 7 plot lines. Nothing is new, everything has been told before. It is up to writers to redo the window dressing to make things look new and interesting, but in reality, it has all been done.

It was kind of depressing to learn this. I'd like to think that I was creative enough to come up with something new, but after looking at the list for a while, I think the list may be correct. Every story draws from this list, and if the story is not purely one of these things, then it is a combination of two or more. So, what it this list? Courtesy of that font of all knowledge, the Internet, I present...

The Seven Stories That Rule the World

1. Tragedy - Hero with a fatal flaw meets tragic end.
2. Comedy - Not always "laugh-out-loud," but always with a happy ending, typically of romantic fulfillment.
3. Overcoming the Monster
4. Voyage and Return
5. Quest
6. Rags to Riches
7. Rebirth - Central character suddenly finds new reason for living

I think the novel I've been working on falls under the "Overcoming the Monster" category, but I think it has a little bit of "Quest" in it. We'll see. I haven't honestly been writing that much, and I really need to get on that.