Monday, January 30, 2006

Where to Even Begin

So, I haven't actually posted about my life in two weeks. Normally, posts about my life say "Not much to report." That's not the case this time. I'm sure I'll forget something, but here goes.

The Fun

Last Saturday, the 21st, Lee Godberg had a signing for his new Monk tie-in novel. As always, his signings are quite entertaining as he shares stories from his years working on various TV shows. I've heard lots of them several times, but I still couldn't pull myself away.

And, yes, the book is wonderful as well. Read it in three days.

That was also our first game night of 2006. It was wonderful to be back. We played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, which Debbie and Bonnie loved, and Catch Phrase, which all of us loved.

Yesterday, I got to go to a Shaun Groves concert in Pasadena. It was part of the evening service at a church, so the concert part was not nearly as long as I would have liked. Still, it was great to finally see him in concert. And I got to sit front and center, too.

Afterwards, he signed autographed and chatted with fans. I got his first CD autographed, which means I now have all three autographed. (I'd bought the second two signed when they came out.) In chatting with him, I mentioned reading his blog. He asked a couple questions, figured out who I was, and admitted to having checked mine out once or twice. Now there's a scary thought. Yikes! So if you're reading this to see if I talked about the concert, Shaun, I did, and I had a great time. And I'm not just saying that in case you read.

The Sick

Tuesday, I was feeling lousy. Finally went into the walk-in clinic after work. They diagnosed me with an infection and got me started on anti-biotics. They also told me I was running a fever. A fever that didn't break until Saturday. Yep, I spent three days home mostly in bed. And I got a bad cough during the time, too. I spent a little time on the internet Thursday and Friday, but I spent most of my time in bed all three days. Did get to finish the Spin and Marty set that way, but that's about all. They still haven't figured out what was wrong 100%. I run out of pills tomorrow morning, so hopefully that takes care of things.

The Change

First, the minor one. Went to another employment agency on Tuesday. I sure thought I'd been there before, but didn't recognize the office. I was frustrated because I was trying to explain that I was willing to consider moving, but the person just didn't get it. She put down that the only area I was interested in was Van Nuys. Um, weren't you listening?

Now, the major one.

I am no longer leading worship Thursday nights at youth group.

Yeah, I'm still kinda in shock, too.

It was a combination of things. A group stepped forward that was interested in doing it. Plus Pastor Jon thought I was leaving in February because of a confusing statement I had made. (I said I wouldn't leave before February.)

Either way, I missed my last chance to lead worship on Thursday night by being sick this week.

Frankly, I'm torn by this developement. I love leading worship. I have always wanted to play guitar for groups like this. But, my skills are not what they could be. Someone else leading worship could be very good for the group. New songs. New sounds to old songs. Something different to shake things up. And they need to be shaken up. I am tired of looking out at the group and seeing only half the lips moving.

I do have some concerns, but that's me trying to micro manage everything. I am trying very hard to let go and let them take over.

I just feel like God is making sure I know the doors in my life are closed. I think He is trying to move me on, but I have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing next. And as someone who likes all his ducks in a row, it really bothers me. A couple lines from a Rich Mullins songs keep running through my head.

I can't see how You're leading me
Unless You've lead me here
To where I'm lost enough to let myself be lead

That's me in a nutshell right now.

And that's my life in the last two weeks.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Word Association for January 29th

I know, I need to update about my life. And the longer I go, the further behind I am. But all you're getting today is the word associaton.

  1. Long distance:: Relationship
  2. Meant to be:: It will happen
  3. Here:: There
  4. Endless:: Love
  5. Resentment:: Hatred
  6. Insipid:: Sub-par
  7. Bunny:: Easter
  8. Slogan:: Advertising
  9. Naked:: Eye
  10. Sarcasm:: "is just one of the services we offer here."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday Threesome for January 26th

I promise to update on my life soon. But in the mean time, here's today's Thursday Threesome, brought to us by long car trips and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Certainly-- is there anything in life you are "certain" about? Firm in your beliefs? Strong in your convictions? Tell us...
I think I'll quote the great theologian Steven Curtis Chapman on this. "I know there's a God who knows my name and a Son who died to take the blame. I believe Jesus is coming back cause promises and promises and facts are facts."

Twosome: Worth-- what do you value? What people or projects are "worth your time"?
I would say the things I spend time on, such as jr. high group, game nights, reviewing, internet friends, real life friends....

Threesome: the Drive-- and from where you live, can you "get" to places easily? Is it an event to drive to the store? Do you live in a metropolis where everything is close?
Most everywhere in my town is within half an hour of my condo. There's a store half a mile away, in fact.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Word Association for January 22nd

I still have 53 minutes for it to count as on time.

Taken from here.

  1. Alone:: Lonely
  2. Science:: Chemistry
  3. Deposit:: Return
  4. Faithful:: God
  5. Tender:: Mercies
  6. Chocolate:: Gee thanks. My mouth is now watering
  7. Homework:: School
  8. Tamper:: Proof lid
  9. Friend:: Support
  10. Wire:: Tap

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday Threesome for January 19th

Brought to us this week by The Back Porch and ways to spend money fast.

Onesome: eBay-- Is eBay your first stop when looking for something? ...or your last place to go when you cannot find it anywhere else? Do you even use it? ...and hey, have you scored anything choice there lately?
I use it, but only when looking for a deal or if something is out of print/unavailable. I don't use it on a regular basis and can't remember when I bought something there last.

Twosome: and-- while we're at it: if you did your shopping online for Christmas, how did it go? Did things come in on time? Any significant failures? ...and if you didn't, will you consider trying online shopping sometime this year?
The only problem I had was with my sister-in-law's gift, and that was my fault. I entered my work address wrong for shipping. I should know it after 10 years. :) Also, when I did get it, I forgot to wrap and ship it, making it arrive the first mail day after Christmas. Oops!

Threesome: PayPal-- Online shopping and services can be somewhat of an adventure; is PayPal your choice as a payment option or do you prefer another method. ...or do you shop locally or not at all?
Prepare for a rant.

I hate Paypal with ever fiber of my being. They only let you charge a small amount before you give them your bank account information. I refuse to do that since they don't need it. Look, they are charging my credit card. Why do they need my bank account info to do that? If I were accepting Paypal, that would be different. But I'm not. I'm just trying to use it to make purchases. Therefore, all they need to a credit card number. I have yet to see any reason why they need my bank account information. And with how unsafe everything on the internet really is, I don't want my bank account info out there. I'm ok with credit cards because you can stop using one until everything is taken care of. But bank accounts you are out of luck. No money? All by checks will bounce and I have no way to pay my bills. Yeah, that seems like something good to give out to anyone who asks.

As a result, I use them as little as possible (one reason I stir clear of ebay. That's about all you can use there any more) so I can keep from using that small balance until they wise up.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mark Colorado Off the List

So, I promised you a post about my trip today. Guess I'd better get to it.

The weather was actually rather nice while I was there. Yes, it cooled off at night more then I'm used to, but it was warm enough to be winter weather here. Which was a good thing since we were outside a bit Saturday and the wedding itself was up quite a ways out of the city.

My flight went fine on Friday. I wound up with two different airlines and non-stop flights both ways. Only slightly more expensive then the cheapest flight I found.

Had a little trouble connecting with Mom and Dad because they were driving around on one level and I was waiting for them on another. But after half an hour, we finally connected and decided to go down to the 16th Street Mall. It was, well, a shopping center. Nothing special. I actually liked the pedestrial shopping center in Vermont at Trixie camp this summer better.

Then we went to the rehersal dinner. Finally got to meet Carol's finacee. He seems really nice, as is his family. Sat with a bunch of his nephews (late teens/early twenties) and her younger brother.

Saturday was pretty much the wedding all day. It started at 11 and the reception went until four. They had the ceremony itself outside in the sun, and it was comfortable. Really, couldn't have asked for a nicer day. Carol's older brother and his wife were there, and since we haven't seen them for a few years, it was really nice to catch up with them.

Saturday night, we grabbed for food from Albertson's and went back to the hotel room and watched Sky High. Mom and Dad enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it again.

Sunday morning we had to leave early to get me to the airport on time. My flight again was fine, and I was home just a little after noon.

So, I can now say I've been to Colorado. One more state off my list of states to visit. Yes, I'm one of those people who would like to visit all of them. I'm doing fairly well with Western states, and Trixie Camp has certainly helped with Eastern states, but I think I have about half of them to go.

Last night, instead of watching the season premier of 24, we had a SNYF for the youth group. Took them bowling. It turned out to be a late night because we got there late and the students didn't have school today. However, I had to work, so I am dragging like you wouldn't believe. Have been all day. Of course, I'll be doing what I did last year and watching four hours of 24 tonight. I'm sure I'll be so high on adrenilan I won't be able to go to sleep early.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Word Association for January 15th

Yep, I'm back from Denver. But more tomorrow.

Right now, it's time for the weekly word association.

  1. Paralyzed:: Can't Move
  2. Bossy:: Lucy (from Peanuts)
  3. Worth:: Net
  4. Breathing:: In
  5. Uneventful:: Week
  6. Return:: on Investment
  7. Splint:: Bone
  8. Notice:: See
  9. Hero:: Worship
  10. Vulnerable:: Weakness

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Leaving Again So Soon?

As a matter of fact, I am.

A friend I've had since Kindergarten is getting married in Colorado Saturday, so I am flying to Denver tomorrow. I'll be coming back Sunday morning, so it will be a fast trip.

I want to be there for the wedding. I just don't want to go this weekend. I just got back from my week at Mom and Dad's.

I'm also dreading the weather. Although it looks like it's supposed to be in the 60's Saturday. I think I can handle that. Must be taking the warm weather with me. Now, as long as I leave before the rain hits Sunday I'll be happy.

Meanwhile, I'm no longer looking for another roommate. Paul will be paying to have a single room. That's a huge load off my mind. Not that I want Casey to move out, still. I'm really going to miss having my friend around here. And he's been such a great roommate.

Good sized crowd at Bible study tonight. Not that it helped with the worship time. I saw lips moving, but couldn't hear anyone. Mostly I saw the girl's lips moving and the guys staring back at me with blank looks. It can be frustrating, but I just remind myself that next week they could really be into it and singing at the top of their lungs. You just never know. They're way too fickle.

See you when I get back.

Thursday Threesome for January 12th

Brought to us this week by informal restaurants and The Back Porch.

Onesome: "Please-- join us for a light dinner and some conversation." If you were coordinating a group of say, the thirty or so regulars here, where would you like to have them meet in your area to be able to spend some time talking and eating?
I can't remember the last time I was in a group that big outside of youth group, and my church isn't the place I'd go. Probably a restaurant with a banquet room. Maybe something very, very informal like Round Table Pizza.

Twosome: be-- my Valentine? Yes, it's early, but do you have 'traditional" dinner plans for that holiday (or the time around it)? ...or if you don't, where would you like to go?
No, I don't, and I'm really not sure what I would like to have as a Valentine tradition. It would depend on who she was and what meant something to us.

Threesome: Seated-- Hmmm... Table or booth? Do you have a preference when you go out to eat? Just wondering...
Not really. As long as the they serve me food, I don't care.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Word Associaton Time

So, here's the word association I would have done Sunday if I hadn't been sick.

  1. Better off:: Dead
  2. Girls:: Boys
  3. Uniform:: Wear
  4. Classified:: Ad
  5. Hard:: Times
  6. Kitty:: Cat
  7. Team:: Leader
  8. Massive:: Deadline
  9. Depressed:: Down
  10. Award:: Winner

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Week Between News Posts

So what have I been up to this week? Not a whole lot of excitement.

Last Monday, Casey and I did venture down to see Chicken Little. It was lots of fun and better then I was expecting.

Saturday, we went to see The Producers. Considering it was a Mel Brooks movie, I should have seen the sexual situations coming. It had some very funny parts, but the other parts ruined it for me. And the choriography left a little something to be desired as well. It was obvious the stage director did this one as well. Could have been better.

Monday night, I also used my Christmas money to buy a mixer. I'm so happy. Used it Wednesday night to whip up some Apple Orchard Bars. Very good once again. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to make next.

I decided I'd rather be sick then work today. Ok, actually, it was yesterday. Was running a fever in the high 101's. That was my temp when I took it at 5 AM, but when I finally got up at 10, it was down to 98.8. So I can go back to work tomorrow. Which is a good thing. I have so much to do this week. Like turn in my time card and finish up my December journal entries.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday Threesome Times Two

I'm going to do the final Thursday Threesome of 2005 and the first of 2006 all in one post. Feels like a time warp thing or something. Both weeks are from The Back Porch.

The first is brought to us by inconsiderate people. Or should that be automakers. Not that they drive me crazy, but well, see for yourself.

Onesome: Driving-- Hey, what are you driving this winter? Same old, same old? ...or was Santa very nice to you (and if so, please pass him/her along to the gang !)?
Still driving the same car I've had since November 2000, a Honda CR-V. Still love it, too.

Twosome: you-- Hmmm... If you could, and money were no object, what would you be driving? ...and sure: taxes, license, dealer fees, gasoline, tires, insurance, etc. would be covered by Santa!
Probably a CR-V. I'm not a car crazy guy and don't have a desire to have a fancy, expensive car.

Threesome: Crazy!-- ...and it's crazy, but we've made it through another year. Are you going to be doing any celebrating to ring in the New Year? Yes? What's going to be your way to say "Hello" to 2006?
I went to see Narnia a second time. First for my parents, however. Then we stayed up until midnight playing games. Wild party animals, I know.

Today's edition is brought to us by Texas.

Onesome: Hook-- Just to get us back in the swing of things after the holidays: when you're at home, where do your keys hang out, on a hook by the door? ...or do they have a special place? ...or do you find them wherever they landed the last time you walked in ?
On top of my dresser in my bedroom closet.

Twosome: 'em-- Do you use contractions like " 'em " in your daily conversations? ...or do people use a contraction or phrase that particularly bugs you past the point of rationality?
I don't use 'em, but I do use n't and 'll and others like that. And ain't is about the only contraction that drives me up a wall.

Threesome: Horns-- On the Horns of a dilemma: if you had only one movie you could nominate for the Academy Awards for 2005, which would it be? ...and why? The screenplay? ...the lead player(s)? ...the setting?
Anyone paying attention to my blog the last month knows the answer to this one. Narnia was by far my favorite movie of the year and I think it should be nominated. I know it won't be, but it should be. It was exactly what this Narnia fan wanted from the movie.

Monday, January 02, 2006

So, You Want to Hear About Last Week?

I had a great week, week and a half, what ever it was with my parents.

Traffic was light on the way up on Friday the 23rd. I had hoped it would be, but it wasn't a guarentee.

Christmas went better then I thought it would. My bro and sister-in-law weren't able to make it out from Texas. Plus Christmas has been very hard on Mom since we started loosing my grandparents in 1999. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. We talked for two hours to B and SiL on Christmas Eve. Openned presents with them that day. Well, except for SiL who hadn't gotten my present yet. Fortunately she got it in the mail Tuesday. I need to mail presents earlier next time. Mom got three different mailbox covers this year. Maybe I should have gone with something else for a little variety.

Most of the week was quiet. Dad worked and Mom and I hung out at home trying to stay out of the rain. We played lots of games and got some work done around the house.

Friday night, I went down to spend the night with Donald and Heather. Great to see them and their new place. After getting thoroughly beaten by Donald twice on the Stock Market Game, I beat him on Scrabble. Ok, so in some ways he let me win, but it was still a surprise to me.

The bad storm moved in Friday night, so getting back to Mom and Dad's Saturday was rather hard. The route I normally take was closed, so I had to work around it. Took me a while, but I made it. Dad had to go into work Saturday for a while to make sure they won't have any major flooding problems, which was too bad.

We had a quiet New Years. Went to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe then came back home and played games.

It was raining almost the entire way home yesterday. Still, it was better then the spot where the wind was so strong it was rattling the windows. Again, traffic was fine. An uneventful trip down, the best kind.

Storm really hit here today. Strong winds and hard rain. Blew down a tree outside my front window. A little ways away from my unit. Can't quite tell if it hit a car or landed between them. And Casey and I are about to venture out to finally go see Chicken Little.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all fun and games last week. Casey has decided to move out. He's moving to a place closer to work and with people who attend this church. As someone without a car I can see that.

However, it once again leaves me with one roommate. After having two roommates for only two months. On top of this, Casey and I get along so well. I'm upset at having a friend move out and devistated to be back to needing a roommate desperately. I am so sick and tired of the roommate shuffle yet don't see how I can possibly get that to change in the near future. Yes, I need to start looking for another job again pronto. And maybe it's time for me to think about moving out of Santa Clarita. Now you know I'm depressed, right?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Let me be among the last to wish you a Happy New Year!

And we're going to start the new year off right around here, with this week's word association.

  1. Celebrate:: "Good Time., Come Home!"
  2. Resolve: Declaration of Independence
  3. I need to:: unpack
  4. Call:: Phone
  5. Token:: Game
  6. Brand:: Trademark
  7. Comparison:: Shopping
  8. Far away:: Journey
  9. Artful:: Death
  10. Fantastic:: Finish