Thursday, June 29, 2006

June 29th. Just Another Day


I've been reading a little about the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and other rebels in Northen Uganda. I came across a myspace profile for "Invisible Children;" a national movement to raise awareness about the war crimes of Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, and the effects that they have on the people of Northen Uganda. It truly is disgusting, and makes me wonder what kind of world could mother the degree of aggression and hatred that this and other militant groups show. We were reading an article in class about one victim that was kidnapped, beaten, disfigured; his nose, upper lip, ears, and hands were severed, and nearly killed by the NRA. This idiot Marine in my class, completely aloof to the magnitude of the situation, decided to make fun of this man they were speaking of. I was appalled and then proceeded to inform said Marine of what an asshole he was. But through his ignorant approach, I realized that it seems to me that we in the US are so very uninformed. So much so, that we completely seperate our perceived reality from that of the rest of the world, or the real world as I could call it. Take for example, what happened in Haditha, Iraq. Marines (allegedly) executed however many Iraqi citizens in broad daylight. Imagine for a moment, that we in the US came under the occupation of, say, China. Imagine that they came in, overthrew G.W. and began imposing their laws on us. Then imagine that they began killing our families and friends, due to unproven accusations. The problem with the scenario, due to the improbability of it, is that we as Americans cannot possibly imagine that ever happening. And rightfully so. But it is because of this assumed invulnerability that we are not able to empathize with those who do expirence such things. All we know is comfort and security, a thing terrorist organizations try to take away. But maybe losing that security is what it would take to open our eyes to the crimes that take place in this world. Because all over this world, all of humanity is under constant attack from itself. Still, I get angry when I don't have my coffee in the morning, while children are being abducted to fight in militias against their own families. We are blessed, without any doubt. But what happens to those that are not?

Politics aside, I have my final final final speaking test tommorrow. I'll be happy to get it over with. I'm coming home Saturday morning, and I'm excited about that. Take it easy. Peace in the Middle East.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mustache Watch



Some of us guys in class have decided to grow out our mustaches for graduation in a month. Here's how it started, I don't know how long it can last. I look pretty dirty with a mustache.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Reflections of a Father's Day


I came up with a list of the things that I remember about my Dad, growing up:

I remember "borrowing" my dad's records and eventually falling in love with his music. Except for SpyroGyra

I remember the cameras.

I remember him taking Becca and me to McDonalds when Mom was having Lee, on the coldest night of the winter. It was so cold, that we ate with our mittens on.

I remember when my dad bought me my first guitar, a blue Alvarez electric that I still have with me today, five feet away from me right now.

I remember vacation to Hawaii, and how excited he was to show us all of the places that he fell in love with. Places we subsequently fell in love with, too.

I remember my dad being one of the only dads to stay to watch my swearing in to the Navy.

I remember dad always crying when he led worship for my elementary school. Telling through the tears the story of how I, when asked what the phrase "I am not dismayed" meant, told him that it meant that "I am not made wrong."

I remember wondering why he was crying.

I remember riding our bikes to Applegates.

I remember when he taught me how to drive in the station wagon, and how he never told me to release the emergency brake.

I remember the high pop-flies. And when he got too old to keep doing them.

I remember countless camping trips to Blue Mountain.

I remember dad insisting on taping my first everything, especially my first concert

I remember letting him down and hating myself for it.

I remember wrestling on the living room floor.

I remember pretending to be asleep in the car, so that dad would carry me up to my bed.

I regretfully remember whining way too much.

I remember how many times dad told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me.

I remember the lengths that dad would go to to make sure us kids had what we needed.

I remember when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, dad and I left the house one night to go downtown on the Metrolink. He didn't tell me where it was we were going, insisting that it was a suprise. I gladly went along, and on the way I realized that I had to go to the bathroom. So, we got off at the Busch Stadium Exit to find a bathroom. He said, "let's go use the one in the stadium." As was his plan all along, we stayed and watched the Cardinals beat whoever they were playing. The best part was afterwards, when we went to go wait outside the players' garage and ended up getting most of the team's autograph on my ball. That stands as one of the best nights of my life.

I remember telling my friends at school the next day how great my dad was.

And the one thing that I can't remember is ever feeling unloved.

Thank you, Dad for who you are and who you have always been to me. I love you and I hope your father's day is wonderful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sweet Nostalgia (Itchin' cause there's just two weeks left)


I picked this survey up off of a buddy's myspace. It's Tuesday night, I'm bored, so yeah, I filled it out. I think Elisa is starting to rub off on me. Did I mention i updated my website?

1.) What is your favorite Ice Cream Place?
Besides Ted Drewes? Silky's on Olive

2.) Favorite concert seen at UMB Bank Pavillion ( Riverport) --
County Crows w/ John Mayer and Graham Colton

3.)Would you rather go to the Dome, Savvis Center, or Busch Stadium?
Busch, no question

4.)Favorite Bar?
Not big on bars, there's a desert place in Soulard that calls itself a bar.

5.)Favorite Place to eat in the Loop?
Fitz's

6.) Favorite Fast food?
Lions Choice

7.)Would you rather go to the Zoo, Science Center, or the City Museum?
Depends on who I'm with. Probably the City Museum most.

8.) Have you ever been to the balloon races in Forest Park?
Yeah, I remember going with my dad when I was a kid.

9.) Would you rather go to the Muny or the Fox?
The Muny

10.) Favorite Mall in STL?
Not big on malls, probably Ghetto Galleria

11.) Have you ever been to Grants Farm?
Yeah

12.)Favorite time of year to go to Six Flags?
Spring, when it first opens

13.) Favorite casino to go to?
Casino Queen

14.)Did you ever go to Incahoots or Liquid?
Do I look like a tool?

15.) Did you ever see Sesame Street on Ice at the old Kiel Center?
We didn't have the money

16.) Ballwin Days or Manchester Days?
Manchester over Ballwin anyday.

17.) Favorite Pizza Place?
Besides Imo's? Papa John's. We don't have them out here.

18.)Favorite Place to watch fireworks?
The park by our old house in Richmond Heights

19.) Best part of the VP Fair?
Getting to see Switchfoot with my friends last year.

20.)What High school did you go to?
Westminster Christian Academy / Parkway North

21.) Favorite place to see a movie?
West Olive. I kind of like that new place in the valley, though.

22.) Best Sub place?
Penn Station. Oh, how I miss Penn Station

23.) Would rather eat on the Hill or the Old Spaghetti Factory?
Ragazzi's on the Hill. Most expensive place we ever ate growing up.

24.) Chili Cook off in West Port Plaza or The Taste of Clayton?
Never went to either

25.) Mickey's Car Wash or Waterway?
Not waterway, they wouldn't hire me back in the day.

26.) Would you rather go Ice skating in Forest Park or go look at Christmas lights at Jellystone?
Ice Skating anywhere

27.) What hospital were you born in?
Kind Kameamea Memorial

28.) Have you ever been inside the Arch?
Yes, stupid question.

29.) What radio stations are programed in your car?
N/A? They're all Spanish stations out here.

30.) If you could bring back one thing to STL what would it be?
Fernando Vina, Tom Pagnozzi, and Mark McGwire playing in the old Busch. Or Jack Buck. Probably just Jack Buck.

Get it all ready for me.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Website

I went crazy updating my website. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Two year (what a twoyears its been)


That's right. Two years ago, today I left home for the United States Navy. The monument gives me a time to reflect, and I've been thinking of the things that I have accomplished in the last two years. Really, I've been contrasting that which I have accomplished with all that I probably would have accomplished had I not joined the Navy. I can start with college. Had I not enlisted, I probably would have attended college. Given my overall lack of effort in High School, however, chances are that I would have been at an unexpensive local college, i.e. Meremac. That means that I would still be living at home. But knowing my parents, I would have had to pay them rent. That means that I would have had to work when I wasn't at school. But, again, given my time constraints, I would probably be working a job that I didn't particularly care for. Okay, so it could be worse. Then, I take into consideration that in order to pay for school, I would have to take out a loan. That would mean that I would have to start out my entire career in debt. Not an ideal living, but definately an all-too familiar one.
Taking all of that into consideration, here's what the Navy means to me: food, money, free education, a job, opportunity for travel, in-demand skills, an appreciation for home, a place to live in freaking Monterey, fluency in a foreign language even if it is Arabic, and most importantly a use for all of this built-up potential that I've been hearing about all of my life.
Contrasting with the alternative of debt, rent, a bad job, living with my parents (which wouldn't be too bad), and a strong desire to go do something else, I think I made the right choice. Salaama fil kharage

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Healthy (at last)


Finally, yesterday I was approved to be taken off of the list of unhealthy people. I have been recovering from my ankle surgery for seven months now. And after seven months, the doctors have decided that I am once again capable of being active. It was somewhat anti-climatic yesterday. There was no "congratulations," no hand shake, not even "Eye of the Tiger" playing softly in the background. It's like when you're a kid and you always have to go to bed early. Then, one day you ask your parents if its okay if you start staying up later, and they agree. You expect that the time when you are usually in bed would be exciting, with music playing and dance parties and such. But then you're disappointed to find out that that time is just as boring as the rest of it. High-level analogy, I know. I appologize to those of you on the slower side that couldn't quite grasp that one. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Happy Satan Day


That's right, June 6, 2006. The day that so many have feared has gone off without a hitch. Actually, so far it has been one of my best days in the last few weeks. I just got back from the dentist to get my tri-annular(?) teef cleaning. I forgot what it feels like to have clean teef. It was heaven. They were so clean, that I didn't want to eat lunch for fear that I would dirty them up again. I actually think that I lost some weight from all of the bacteria that was taken out of my mouth. Like I said, heaven. But I realized again today how awesome our God is. As I was driving away from the dentist, I couldn't stop thinking about something that she had said; "You're lucky to be one of those people that don't floss, but it doesn't hurt them," and, "the bacteria that you have inbetween your teeth isn't harmful to your gums, yet." Stupid as it sounds, that concept brought light to the grace that the Lord has given me. How I can go for twenty years without flossing, and still have healthy teef and gums. But how much more phennomenal is it that I can go for twenty years spitting in my Savior's face, and still be saved? I spent the whole trip back to my appt. thinking of how much I don't deserve Him. And how that fact doesn't phase Him. It's a good day, regardless of what the date spells.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Odyssey pt 5(With You Here Before Me)


It's sunny today, but the shade that I sit in keeps it from me. This is from March 19, 2005, called "With You Here Before Me."
:
To find me something beautiful
I have to travel as far as it takes to get to where you are
To find the door that needs the key
That breaks in half under it's own weight
For you beauty is greater than your world we all inhabit
Like a battle that lasts long into night
But I'm ready to die for my country's sake
I'll give my life to be with you
Even if it means giving it to a tyrant
Or a poor, broken man
Just tell me I'm wrong as to feed me some time
And let my hands find your face,
For although I'm blind, I'm still alive
Let my hands stand on the bread that you make on the quiet days
When your words only tell me that you are still
And that these sad love poems have not yet stolen your fragile life away
For they break in your questions that break down walls
The love that I'm wanting is pale and thin
But it's more full of life than the lonely earth's night
Thank God you are still alive

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Weigh-in Reflection


One hundred and eighty six pounds. That's the most I've ever weighed. Ever. It's kind of depressing, but it has prompted me to make a June resolution. Here it is; by the end of the month, I hope to weigh 175. That's my goal. The doctor gave me the go ahead to run again, so that will help. He said that on June 8th, I will be able to play sports again. That's awesome 'cause we're putting together a church softball team to play in the Monterey city league that's starting mid-June. I'm stoked. It's all part of my master plan. . .