Thursday, June 28, 2007

kids these days

i am trying to come off nervous energy, drinking too much coffee earlier today, and my sugar high from eating greasy pizza for group dinner and a milkshake from the diner we went to after our first meeting. eating while hanging out will be a tricky road to navigate. i feel sick.

but on the whole, i feel good having met some kids and can now gauge the level of energy/group dynamic. the kids wanted to play capture the flag instead of ultimate frisbee, and i complied but then remembered that i hadn't played capture the flag in forever so i didn't know any of the rules. whoops. but they organized themselves for the most part, i stood back and laughed. i remember how tense i felt at my last go-round in youth ministry (my first stint), wanting everything to go smoothly, for everyone to be quiet, hoping that everyone would have a GREAT time. it's a wonder i didn't get an ulcer then (and, praise be to God, i still had a good time then, too). this time, i know when i'm starting to get worked up like that, and chill out. i can't believe i get paid to hang out with kids (again). looking forward to see how the my time at regent has changed how i approach youth ministry. for sure i don't feel like i have to compete to get kid's attention by entertaining them. and i have always enjoyed just relating to kids. when the future is settled a bit, i look forward to practicing hospitality with them in my home (wherever that is - definitely closer than the 30 minute commute i have presently). i look forward to having more in depth conversation once we know each other a little better.

gonna be a crazy summer!


every so often i forget that when i drink too much coffee, it makes me crazy.

this is one of those times.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


well, i've been meaning to write sooner, but everytime i've sat still, i've fallen asleep pretty quickly. last night i got home at 8, fell asleep watching gilmore girls rerun, woke up at 10:30 to put on my pajamas and didn't wake up again until 8:30 the next morning. and i could use a few more nights like that.

the wedding to end all weddings
my cousin's wedding was lots of fun. my brother is uploading everyone's photos on flickr - i think he's up to at least 1000 now. when you've got a big family and everyone's got a digital camera, it's no surprise. i'll filter through them and add them to this album of my own pictures. if you're wondering about the wedding location, it was at the palace of fine arts in san francisco, near the marina district, crissy field and the presidio. absolutely beautiful - i remember being in high school talking about wanting to get married there. only the place is a freakin' wind tunnel, and that was on a sunny/warm day in san francisco. nevertheless, it was a good time thankfully the ceremony was short, but my insanely punctual immediate family -read:my mom- insisted we get there early, so we were there a full 90 minutes before the wedding was scheduled to start and on top of that my cousin the bride was 30 minutes late. i couldn't feel my legs after a while. but my new cousin-in-law sure can rock the white tuxedo.

the reception was at a hotel near union square. the band was a beatles cover band that my cousin and her fiancee had seen on their third date - she's obsessed with the beatles. it's safe to say that this was the first wedding i danced to "strawberry feilds forever." it's not easy. but they were lots of fun. we danced a lot, some drank a lot, and we had a good time. went for burritos at 1 am and then called it a night.

the next day everyone came over to our house for a barbecue. i don't think we've had that many people in our house before. i made large amounts of salsa. we ate a lot, and then we cousins walked to the neighborhood school and played some mad hoops. if you're wondering about all the basketball jerseys, it was a flash of inspiration as people started changing and borrowing clothes from my brothers. yes, those jersey belong mostly to my youngest brother and maybe 2 by my middle brother. madness. before we started, i found a bunch of playground balls in the storm drain and for about 10 minutes it was utter chaos of what we called "ultimate dodgeball." i couldn't stop laughing. my team lost. this sets a mean precedent for the next time we play basketball which is totally happening at christmas. good stuff. then when we got home some guy who i don't know how he's related to us kept singing "joy in my heart" and then some songs in tagalog. we are insane.

i've started my job this week. met a few high schoolers, talked about fantasy baseball with the jr. high guy, set up my voicemail, figured out how to use a pc again. mostly twiddled my thumbs since the youth pastor was gone chaperoning the youth choir trip. but he got back yesterday, and now i have stuff to do. today i called 37!!!!!!!!!! freshmen to remind them to come to our first summer meeting. this is the closest i have ever come to feeling like a telemarketer and it didn't feel good. but i put on my cheesy phone voice and got through it. cold calls make me sweat. tomorrow night is our first summer meeting. i'm sure i'll be sweating a little bit then too. i'd appreciate the prayers, friends. things are rolling pretty quickly right now.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


my new boss asked me to write a blurb to introduce myself (btw, this new job allows me to quit my previous job which is such a relief, though i will no longer get a fat discount on food which is a little sad, but i'll live). now, i love writing, but doing things like this usually make me cringe. i guess it's the whole first impression thing. i don't want to come off overly pretentious/serious or the other end of being too goofy. so i just keep on shooting for the middle, and this is what i came up with... did i leave anything out? (responses referring to me being Chinese do NOT count)

I'm very excited to get the chance to serve! I look forward to getting to know you this summer and having some fun. My own high school youth group experience was vital in forming who I am and my faith and it has been amazing to be able to witness
God at work in the lives of youth. I grew up in the Bay Area and love it here. The previous three years spent in Vancouver, Canada were rich in studying theology but short in eating quality Mexican food.
Three things I like: donuts, the Oakland A's, and ultimate frisbee.
Three things i don't like: damp socks, renewal limits on library books, and overly friendly sports mascots (stemming from semi-traumatic experiences with my college mascot at George Washington University and the A's elephant Stomper).
~end of blurb~

i just figured out why i've been in such a good mood. i mean there's the new job and all that - it's happened so fast that it has hardly sunken in yet - or the fact that the youth pastor will be gone for all of july, leaving me the newbie to keep things running which no doubt shall stress me out shortly. but mostly i believe i am still basking in the glow of having spent time with old friends at both of these weddings. a reminder of things you have learned together, or angst over similar concerns (in a good way), and that you are not alone in your perspective. i'm still learning the ways in which my time at Regent has spiritually formed me, and it has been good to be with people again who are in that journey too.

my horde of relatives is in town. the wedding was last night, and it was super fun. everyone is coming over for a barbecue later today. i am stealing some quiet time right now. more later.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

my head is spinning

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss

i can't stop watching this

feist's video for the song "1,2,3,4." not to be confused with coolio's "1,2,3,4 get your woman on the floor." i like relatively low budget music videos that are visually fun and creative.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the new deal

so, i've got a new job. in youth ministry at the church i've been attending. i'll be transitioning in, and finishing up at my present job. it hasn't really sunk in yet, it's happened so quickly - i interviewed just a few days ago. even in the initial discovery of this job - i had just wandered in one day to volunteer my help on the very same day that the previous high school coordinator was finalizing her departure to grad school - smacks of god being up to something here.

ladies and gentlemen, lift your glasses...

to mike reid, regent friend, fellow blogger, a brit and good egg. his link is posted there on the right. pictured with a plate of down home southern biscuits and gravy. mmm.... gravy.

78,000 words about good times

wedding doubleheader
it's wedding season i guess. it is a beautiful and miraculous thing to see friends join their lives. and i felt blessed to witness these two weddings (one in vancouver and the other in warrenton, virginia), see old friends and recieve hospitality. we drank wine, we danced, we drank some more wine, ate and talked and laughed and heard each others' stories, just like the old days. good for my soul. and i suspect good for theirs also. it was heartening to hear of how people are seeking to live in real and meaningful ways, even in the midst of difficulty and how we miss each other like heck. when's the next big party, friends?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

at least i got to sleep in

remember what i said about resting and relaxing? yeah, turns out i was wrong.

got a phone call just before lunch - i'd called for my schedule from the airport the day before and my coworker read the schedule wrong. i was scheduled to open, but i didn't know that. of course it's good that i didn't show because i still feel a bit of travel/party-lag. so i went in for 3 hours. visions of quitting dance in my head.

good news is that there's a without a trace marathon on tv tonight.

more substantial thoughtful blog entries to come. i promise.

jet setting lifestyle

i'm back. none the worse for wear, and it did my soul much good to see dear friends. some people, when you're with them, it just feels like home, you know? it is a wonderful thing. pics and more detail to come. resting and recuperating.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

one of THOSE days

the interesting: had a job interview. thought it went all right, i hope it works out. won't know for a while yet.

the annoying: i missed my flight today. this is only the second time it has ever happened to me; though the last time was a mere 1 1/2 years ago, and that was a crazed drive from st. louis to chicago. this time, i had to jet home from the interview to throw a few more things in my bag and then dash to the airport, only to be thwarted by traffic, and having to take the BART home since my mom had already left, and i hadn't eaten anything since a banana before my interview. trying to just slow down and relax until my redeye tonight. my life has unfortunately been of this speed lately. so i'm trying to come down off the adrenaline/stress rush and not be too upset with myself. and still be excited about wedding fun this weekend (which i am)

the awful: it is 101 degrees here today. as in dalmatians. as in my face is melting. as in this 101 degrees of suck. if it's going to be like this, i am going to be really cranky for the next 3 months.


Ol' Virginny wedding weekend

i estimate about 2 weeks at my job for my reservoir of good will towards humanity to be exhausted. maybe less. so it's good that i keep getting to invited to weddings so i get away for extended periods of time. it's just better for everyone involved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

like sand through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives

tired. didn't set my alarm clock last night, so i got woken up by my manager calling me on the phone. man,i forgot that feeling of instant wakefulness on realizing you'd overslept. it was the worst when i was on the crew team in college, it was so early then and you knew there were 8 other boatmates that were pissed off at you. at least with this job i'm able to brush my teeth before i head out the door - with crew that didn't seem like an option. so i was a bit off kilter the whole day. had to have the place spit-shined for the high muckety mucks to have their meetings - it was a bad day to have a late start, i was stressed out.

at the end of my shift i bought a bottle of wine to take to my last memoir writing class. (wine during theology classes may have made things more comprehensible to me, in hindsight. maybe not) i was surprised at how sad i was at the end of our class. writing memoirs together lets you get to know each other pretty well. they are a fascinating bunch, i hope some of the stories actually make it into print. hopefully, we'll keep writing together to keep each other motivated. plus they're offering another round of writing classes in the fall. if i have the funds, i might just take another class, or even this one again.

this is one more plug for you to read this book, Jesus Land . my memoir teacher wrote this. it's beautifully written and haunting, one of the few books that has lingered with me long after i was done reading it. even though the story is far different from my own experiences, i was fully drawn into each scene, in both emotional and sensory ways. i read it during the course of one late night (i didn't want to put it down) an the next bleary afternoon. besides being an excellent story, i have to add that the cover design is by far one of my favorites. it is styled after the green notebook she found after her brother david's death in a car accident. in it, he had begun to write down his experiences growing up in rural indiana. the cover even has his notes and doodles scrawled on it.

after reading her story, i wondered how a person can go through so much pain and hardship - especially at the hands of family and other supposed caregivers, in the name of christianity and end up to be so kind and well-adjusted and living a full life. and her parents, or other fundamentalists christians can spend their lives studying the bible live shrunken lives sucked of all joy and miss seeing the beauty of other people for all the rules they are breaking. i mean, did they get a different edition of the bible than i did? just some tired meanderings of mine.

Monday, June 11, 2007

shooting for the middle

i haven't written in a while. you'd think with a new computer, i'd be writing more. but how much do you want to hear about HOW COOL MY MACBOOK IS? exactly. you already know it is cool.

nothing of especial interest is going on. life is happening. i work a lot. it has gotten on to tolerable there. i have gotten into a groove and also know what people to avoid talking to. i sleep when i can. closing one night and then opening the next morning makes me look and feel haggard. hence, no photobook pictures. sometimes i see my friends.

i'm finishing up my memoir writing class this week. i'm very glad i took it. i've learned a lot and gotten valuable feedback from the class. people have fascinating stories. i'm kind of sad that it's ending. but i hope to maintain a discipline of writing.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


so i'm having tons of fun playing with my newfangled macbook. still figuring out all the cool stuff it can do. while i've been sitting on the couch, the tv has been on in the background (bad habit). when i looked up at the screen, i realized that some girl that i went to high school with has some bit part on the show "traveler." her other cinematic credits include a herpes commercial, the film "deuce bigalow: male gigolo", and "she's all that". it's always kind of surreal to see her on tv.
traveler is a rather outlandish show. two guys running from the law - reminds me of "the fugitive." the two guys pass through new haven connecticut and have to go to the library at yale. which really is koerner library at UBC, where i spent a lot of time while i was studying at regent. i remember watching "battlestar galactica" filming outside the library and i sat there all afternoon waching them instead of working on my paper. i also saw "smallville" filming outside there on a rainy day. it's funny to see bits of vancouver on tv.

drinking the kool aid

the email from apple:

Monday, June 04, 2007

lightning never strikes the same place twice

so my computer broke the other night. when i pushed power, the chime would sound, i'd see the apple logo, then ... nothing. if you're wondering, i'm typing on our family dell desktop and playing spider solitaire.

this is the, let's see... 4th time something has gone wrong since last fall. my hard drive went, then my logic board, then my logic board again (it was at the apple store for 2 weeks for that second time waiting for the part). so i dropped in at the apple store again today, a bit frustrated and wondering if this was part of the normal decline of a computer.

turns out it's not. the mac "genius" looked at my computer, looked at my repair history explained that there was no point in replacing parts that had already been replaced and then politely offered to take my old computer off my hands and exchange it with a macbook. HELLO! A MACBOOK - with the built in camera and intel processor and so skinny and cool looking it makes me drool! he was so polite and explaining the macbook specs using techy words, that i didn't really believe him at first, "wait, what? you're giving me a macbook?"

for those who weren't around for the first time, way back in '03, i bought a ibook g3 when i moved up to vancouver. that computer lasted about a year and a half, when it's logic board wasn't on the fritz. it had to be replaced 3 times, usually when i was working on a paper - really, when you're in grad school, when aren't you working on a paper? the fourth time this happened (all replaced free by the way, because apple knew that round of ibooks had faulty logic boards), i called apple and complained, and so they gave me an ibook g4. and that g4 lasted a little over 3 years until today, when we usher in the new macbook era.

after filling out the relevant paperwork, and thinking that they were going to suddenly change their minds, they brought out my new computer. they're keeping both computers to do the data transfer and i'll pick it up tomorrow. i'm still scratching my head over this. very unexpected and surreal that i should suddenly be receiving this new awesome computer. i mean, i considered calling apple the other night, but i didn't think i could wangle another computer out of them. and should i be so stoked that i get a new computer again? what's with these computers that they keep breaking repeatedly on me?

since it was an exchange, i opted to pay extra for the upgrade to the faster processor and super drive. they're giving me a refund on the apple care plan remaining on my g4. AND i bought the apple care plan for this computer too of course. i'm totally sold on apple care for sure.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

another job possiblity?

today after finishing a phone call at work, i turned around and saw two of my managers looking at me thoughtfully. apparently, they are installing a new phone system at work, and they were wondering who would do the phone greeting. so... after an impromptu reading audition, when you call my particular place of employment (hereafter known as HPoE - the h is for hellish) on monday you will hear me cheerily listing the phone options. haha! it's 777-FILM next.

the odd thing is, i never really thought too much of my voice - never really liked it, that is. when i was growing up, people would mistake me for my mother, and in turn, my mother's higher voice would made people assume she was the child. a lot of the time i wouldn't be able to sing the higher girl parts of of songs. i'm an alto, my music teacher friend gleefully informed me upon meeting for the first time, "you have a low voice!" it took a little while for me to warm up to him after that initial introduction. so this thing tomorrow makes me laugh. guess i've just gotten used to it now. i'm learning not to think so ill of this ol' body of mine.

Friday, June 01, 2007

off day

today was my first day off in over 2 weeks - no work, no meetings, no travelling, no nothing. GLORIOUS. slept in, went to my favorite bagel place, read, took a nap, watched some law and order. i really needed this day.

even though trips are fun, it always takes me a bit to get back into the blogging routine. i found it really hard to come back "home" to california after being in vancouver. being back there was so familiar, and so normal and so GOOD to be with dear friends. i had kind of forgotten i could laugh that much - how'd that happen? even though i have moved to a place where i have spent most of my life, it doesn't feel quite the same way. so i have mixed feelings right now. at least, i'll see some of you in 2 weeks! another wedding, virginia-style!