Thursday, June 30, 2005

Screw Guffman -- I'm waiting for the lottery

Mucho work to accomplish today, kids -- ergo, I might not be able to post anything today.

So, instead of my words, here is a photo of a rabbit with a pancake on its head:

Who says today will be a bad day? There's a bunny with breakfast food looking at you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

SUMMIT 2005: Thoughts and junk


It's raining outside, and I don't feel like doing any work, so -- eh. Time to reminisce.

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IT'S ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP: I could start on a lovely little chat about how I've been reading a lot, lot, lot of books as of late -- Messy Spirituality; Blue Like Jazz; The Ragamuffin Gospel; Wrestling With God -- that have begun to cause a paradigm shift in how I think about God, my life here on planet earth as a Christ follower, discipleship, the nature of sin and redemption, morality, and the like...and I am insanely comfortable with doing just that. After 33+ years (more than 2/3 of which have been spent in and out of various religious institutions), I am starting to finally feel comfortable with God, how I relate to Christ, and what my brothers and sisters are supposed to be like. Facades be damned; let's be real and be ourselves -- the failed, flawed, and struggling yet beautiful souls God created.

But, nope. Ain't gonna talk about that.

So -- there were three of these monkeys (translation: teenage boys) that we carried from Compass to this church camp we kept calling "the triplets" because they were (a) inseparable [except for when they were scoping out the girls], (b) all rooming together, and (c) just identically goofy in their attitudes. The same triplets who are all under the age of 17, and who collectively smoke like a bunch of lunatics.

Because these are teenage boys who have an attention span of about .017 seconds, and because none of them are what could be called "typical church kids" -- THANK GOD -- the guy who is the Family Minister at Compass made a deal with them: while we're at camp, focus on the group activities, and stay engaged, and once a day we'll leave campus to go smoke -- because smoking at a church-affiliated school during a summer camp populated by minors would cause some people to go into a complete hissy fit. Plus it was kind of against the rules -- and sorta illegal -- so we had to leave.

Now, the FM was struggling with this decision. Partly because it WAS illegal, partly because he felt it might make seem to be advocating this behavior, but also because -- in all honesty -- our kids were like NONE of the other ones there. Rag-tag, smelly, grungy and all with hearts that have nothing but compassion; Dylan is probably one of the most gentle, loving souls I have ever encountered. but they weren't clean -- the clean-cut, presentable kind that he was used to working with, and who really made the camp seem very vanilla (and yes, you can take that to imply a lack of racial diversity as well).

I applauded his decision, and I still do.

We were able to connect with these kids on a REAL level, one striped away from all pretense and bluster. We didn't try to fit them into a pre-described Christian mold. We let them be them, and they gained some trust of the adults who were there (me, Bry and Ry). I truly can't put it into words, but there was something there that bonded us. No emotional, last-day-of-camp "coMIT your SAW-HAL to GAH-WAD" bonding. This was connecting on a human level with these kids, letting them be them, letting us be us (and yes, we DID talk to -- not preach to; but talk to -- them about why we don't advocate their smoking), and showing care for them as people that can translate to them trusting us to talk to them about their souls.

C'mon -- Jesus probably hugged lepers. The least I can do is hang out with a smelly 16-year-old who needs a smoke break.




Monday, June 27, 2005

And I'm back...

Sunburnt, muscles aching, and feeling every minute of my 33+ years...but crap, if I didn't have a blast with those monkeys at camp.

I've got some notes and stuff to post and share about the trip, what I learned, what I feel made it all worthwhile, and how the *&^%$#! I lasted for five days without coffee.

But, until then -- check out this odd li'l link I got sent. I'm not sure whether to laugh, be embarassed (at the number of songs on there that I own/owned at eon time), or be a combo of the two.

I think I'll just get back to answering the 180+ emails I have sitting in my Inbox for right now...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sonny with a high of 75

Yeesh -- so, in preparation for the upcoming camp where I will be next week (Summit 2005 at Covenant College; read all about it here), today I went to see my sadistic physician to make sure I am of the proper medical status to go hang out with screaming lunatic teenagers. And no, I ain't admitting what all I'm on, or what's medcially wrong with me. You heathens may just break into my house to steal something to get high off of or to expedite my dying on the off chance I leave you something nice in my will. So, after dealing with the creatures who gleefully jab me with needles to drain blood -- and, surprisingly, don't enjoy me calling them "Lestat" -- whom other people call "nurses," I run to the local pharmacy to get a refill on three prescriptions.

Drugs don't kill; they drain. Your checkbook.

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Bought my tix for the IMAX viewing of Batman Begins on Saturday. Something about a 6,000 foot high Katie Holmes appeals to me somehow. If for nothing more than the sheer lunacy of the idea...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mid-Life Crisis?

The photo that you are viewing is taken from the not-so-recent Residence Life End of the Year Banquet, where yours truly served as the Master of Ceremonies.

Yes. That is an earring in my ear. Shut up. I'm compensating for the hairline.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Passing the musical baton...

So. I got passed this musical baton thing yesterday by my good friend Lara (hi, love), and now I suppose I have to actually post something to this freakin' website.

Crap.

Amount of music on your computer?
Currently, I have about 1700 songs on my computer, many of which I will be dumping soon because (a) I saved them for a project here on campus that I no longer need, and (b) dude, that number's just embarrassing.

Currently listening to?
O How the Mighty Have Fallen by
the choir.

Five songs that mean a lot to you?
"Chase the Kangaroo," the choir -- not only is this the song that inspired the name of my little blog-thing, but it also just speaks to me on levels I can't communicate through words. "If Sydney is my destiny, I guess I'll dig until I die." It's one of those songs that just reminds me to chase my dreams.

"Where the Streets Have No Name," U2 -- okay, before anyone starts chanting "Lame," "Typical," or "Cliched" -- I challenge you to listen to those opening chords, remember seeing them in concert (if you have, like I have), and not get chill bumps. Plus, The Joshua Tree came out when I was in high school (shut up), and it still remains one of the best albums ever.

"Smells Like Nirvana," Weird Al Yankovic -- I will admit it: I saw Nirvana in concert. I was a flannel-wearing, attitude-toting, angry Gex-Xer (and still am) back in the day. ..and then came this song... The first time I saw it on MTV, I literally fell off my couch because I was laughing so hard. This song really hit me between the eyes and reminded me that this was just music. Life-changing, soul-shaking, but I wasn't supposed to take it THAT seriously. If you can't laugh at yourself, then you're taking life too darn seriously.

"Low," the violet burning -- one of those songs that if you're depressed will put you right over the edge and straight into the realm of a good, hard cry. "Do you feel lower than angels?" Admittedly, "The Song of the Harlot" hits a LOT harder (and anyone who is a Christian can NOT hear this song and not feel their soul break), and probably would have found its way on to this list if the violets would just record a new version that wasn't so musically dated. :)

"Treasure of the Broken Land," Mark Heard -- be it the original version or the cover by Chagall Guevara..."Nobody gets the second chance to be the friend that they meant to be."

Top five albums?
Chagall Guevara,
Chagall Guevara -- musically not that inspired, but probably some of the best lyrics I've ever heard. Ever. And I'll fight you on that. "Violent Blue?" "Murder in the Big House?" Play these bad boys at top volume in your car, and scream while you sing with the windows down and/or top down.

Good Dog Bad Dog, Over the Rhine -- haunting. Honest. This album bleeds truth. "Latter Days" should be included in my top songs, but -- eh. They do it better live than recorded.

The Turning, Leslie (Sam) Phillips -- moody, intense, and just flat-out brilliant.

Welcome to Struggleville, Vigilantes of Love -- perfect timing for this album in my life. Don't ask why, just accept that it's beyond perfectly synchronistic.

March, Michael Penn -- at's some good music, no? And what IF I were Heathcliff?

Last album bought?
Mmhmm, Relient K -- fun, odd, and just...fun. "More Than Useless" is now my personal mantra.

Recent discoveries?
Musically? Sadly, nothing -- I am going to buy the AthFest compilation CD soon. Buncha funky locals who might just inspire my goofy self.


And now -- I pass on the baton. Tim Parsons? Juice? Wooley? Lane? Ashley? Scott?

Bring it.