Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the same old dance

periodically, this issue comes up. people are homeless all the time for many reasons, but it's only until they begin to encroach on others that people get motivated to deal with what's going on. the city of san francisco is cracking down on the homeless camps in golden gate park, the article is here. i listened to various people debating it this morning on the radio as i drove to work. and i'd heard these arguments before ... only one person addressed the root causes of homelessness while the others were all for pushing them out of the park, to somewhere else, it didn't matter. i was sad.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

i'm awesome

31 years ago tomorrow, i was born. and the world got a little less boring and a little more sarcastic/weird.
you lucky people.

call me! nine-two-five-three-two-four-five-zero-five-zero. please do not be an internet stalker.

Friday, July 27, 2007


went to the 10:30 am showing with my brother. gotta love summer days, huh? i guess unless you have a regular job. sorry. anyway, think a supersize simpsons episode, only they get away with more not having to deal with tv censors. funny stuff.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

flex time

had another youth group meeting tonight. it's been a small turnout this summer, but i don't mind. i rather like it. think i've gotten past messy gross chaotic games, even if it is what i grew up on. though i did buy 2 bags of marshmallows to play some twist on traditional dodgeball - don't ask, it was a game i bummed off some youth games website (i seem to recall throwing these around for fun in someone's living room not to long ago... haha! good memories).

the kids seemed more interested in eating them, and then an adult leader busted out her girl scout skills, building a log cabin/teepee structure in the fire pit out of kindling she gathered around our meeting place in the park. one of the kids and i dashed to my car only to discover that cigarette lighters aren't standard in cars anymore (in a harebrained scheme to light a twig and run back to start the fire), but then we bummed matches from some dude smoking in his car across the street. and voila - we had ourselves a little marshmallow roast. every week before youth group i worry about how to spend this time with high schoolers, and then things just seem to take care of themselves. thank god from whom all blessings flow, eh?

taking a page from ignatian practices, i shared for a little bit about how God provides for us, only we just don't notice it. so i made a little booklet for them to write down the favorite part of their day for the next 6 days. who knows if they'll use it - but i think this is something i'd like to try again with them.

today's "what the hell?" moment

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


summer is kind of an awkward time to start a job. people are in and out all over the place, it's hard to keep track. for instance, my immediate supervisor person has only actually been in the office with me for about 3 days of the past month that i've worked here. it's all right i guess, no major catastrophes to report. i just feel a little lost or wondering if there's something i should be doing blablabla little things like that. a low grade of frustration i say. my two co-workers are at a wedding or leading a camping trip, so i am all by my lonesome. also, when your supervisor is unreachable by any forms of communication (and am still learning how to communicate when face to face) then that makes it hard to ask for time off to go to weddings and such. this is a higher grade of frustration.

kids appear intermittently also. things like relationships start slowly, yes? so i am patient. i already tripped and fell down in front of several of them last week at youth group, so you know, we've got that. as a start, i read this book...
and i thought it was quite good. moving past the "entertaining kids into accepting the gospel" yaconelli suggests old spiritual practices to enrich both youth and youth leaders lives and encourages simple ways of engaging with kids. i was very encouraged by the book.

Monday, July 23, 2007

catching up

i don't know what it is with airplane travel and me lately. after spending a quick 2 great days with my dear friend katie in seattle last week (her wise husband flew me up there on his frequent flier miles for her birthday - we had a barbecue on a west seattle beach and also saw patty griffin play at the woodland park zoo), i had to return to california on a 6 am flight.

i came to instant wakefulness when james came into the living room and said, "audrey we overslept. it's 4:48." so there was a very very slim chance to make the flight if we broke some land speed records. we jumped in his pickup truck and took off. about 3 minutes down the freeway, james said, "i hope we have enough gas." about 1 minute later, we discovered that we did not. we coasted down the exit ramp, and managed to roll 3 or 4 blocks to an intersection where the gas station was on the far corner. "please turn green, please turn green" james prayed. but it stayed red and the engine died right there. leaving me to stay with the truck (what else was i supposed to do? i was still trying to figure out where i was), he ran over there and bought a plastic gas can. i watched him run out of the store and up to a pump. he stood there for a few minutes and then ran to the next pump. i wondered what he was doing. he ran back inside, came back out and filled the can. he ran back over, emptied it into the tank. once we got rolling again, he explained that the annoying quirk he discovered about his credit card is that it doesn't work before 6 am. stupid credit card. at this point, i had conceded defeat and was talking about getting onto another later flight. james, a seasoned business traveller, insisted that there was still a chance and that it might be hard to get onto another flight. at that point he took the wrong freeway exit - i can only guess because of the early hour and the amount of drama that had transpired already. so we were lost for about 5 minutes before he discovered the road back to the airport.

now i really think that it's a lost cause, but i jumped out and rushed to the the self check in counter anyway. the agent said to try to print my boarding pass anyway, and it miraculously does. i then ran over to the security line which is, of course, long. i tried to cajole the first-class short line guy to let me through, but he said i needed an airline agent to escort me. i ran back to the agent i talked to but he said there weren't any agents to spare. "thanks for nothing, buddy" i thought and trudged back to the line for the common people. i went through faster than i expected - at this point the plane is boarding and i started getting stressed out because i'm so close. as i go through the x-ray machine, they scan my backpack twice, and what am i going to do, get mad at them? then i just miss the tram to the north terminal. 2 minutes tick by and i'm sure the gate is closed. i get on the next tram and then sprint from the doors, up the escalator to my gate. it is somehow still open. it is 5:50 at this point. "miss molina?" the agent states. this is not a question really, i am the last passenger and who else would be running up in such a frenzy? incredulous that i made the flight, i dash down the jet way and collapse into my seat, and out of breath.

immediately, the stewardess said on the intercom, "we'll be taking off shortly folks, the door was closed and we had to reopen it again for passengers, but now we are ready to go." re-open the door? i thought once the door was closed for a flight, it stayed closed. the agent must have called and opened it for me. unbelievable!

no one should have to experience that much drama before 6 am.

Friday, July 20, 2007

holy crap

my copy is in the mail. i'm prepared not to sleep a whole lot until i've finished all 700+ pages.

i remember when i read the first book in the summer of 2000. i was still living in washington dc and bit detached from social circles where one would hear about harry potter. when i was helping coach a rowing camp that week, i noticed that one of the other coaches had his head buried in the book the whole afternoon. finally i borrowed the first book from my friend and read it all in one night. i read the following books in quick succession. i am happy to see that books are still capable of catching people's attention and capturing their imagination. in particular, i like seeing kids grow up with the books as they have been published. i am sorry to see the series come to an end. it's been a good run.

how to irritate me

when picking up your child from youth group, tell me jovially that you really view all this as "free babysitting. and that if you happen to mention that God stuff too that's all well and good." and then something to the effect of the kids learning to be nice.
seriously? come on, man. if you think that is what the church/youth ministry is for, no wonder the church is floundering in north america.

UPDATE: after talking to the jr. high director, we tried to figure out who it (since i couldn't really remember) and determined that this dad was most likely joking. phew.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

it's business time

apologies for the lack of posts, for those who care. i heard this song on the radio a while back, but i didn't find out who sang it until now. quite possibly the funniest guys to come out of new zealand. "Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords. they're good fun.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

hot stuff

good pals + fun city + housesitting an amazing house = summer fun.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"amusement" parks

we went to great america earlier this week. i think there are two groups of people - who, when they hear about roller coasters - one group says, "yeah! awesome!" and the other group rolls their eyes. i am of the latter, but for the sake of kids, i will ride them. roller coasters used to freak me out when i was younger. and now, well now, i think they give me whiplash.

seriously, i have been popping the advil and feeling stiff since then. yesterday i had a migraine. after our first ride, iwas pretty sure most of my brain had been pushed to the back of my skull, so i'm sure that had something to do with it. of course, i'm sure it didn't help that i really enjoy going on the bumper cars and schooling kids. sometimes i get competitive. i like trash talking. two thoughts prevail: 1)i'm getting paid for this! haha! and 2) i'm too old to get thrashed at great america. hmmm... a conundrum.

on one hand i enjoy the shared experiences with kids in this setting. and on the other hand, i wonder what the heck is up with the concept of roller coasters and "amusement" parks. i find them unnatural. we're that starved for "thrills"? we need a 30 second ride to get our adrenaline going and for what? i ate a funnel cake (because hey, when was the last time i had a funnel cake) and wisely chose to avoid being spun around at high speeds for a while.

anyway, all that being said, i still like being with kids. they make me laugh. in a good way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


it's raining right now.
in california.
in july.

excuse me while i go check on the temperature in hell.

Monday, July 09, 2007

more than meets the eye

well, i saw this movie yesterday with my little brother. it's been a long time since i was so childishly excited while anticipating and also while the movie. i felt about 9 years old again i know now the show was just a ploy for hasbro to get kids to buy these toys; and that this movie was great product placement for gmc/pontiac, but it was nice to enjoy the nostalgia nonetheless. as we drove home afterward, i kept expecting the cars around us to transform into giant robots. no such luck. i'm going to have to go dig up the vhs tape of the animated transformers movie that i bought for my brother one christmas not too long ago. when he dropped his soundwave figure into the creek and it got stuck under this footbridge at the park when we were little, i crawled under there to get it for him. i was completely drenched and dirty but we both liked that toy a lot.

other cartoons that are bedrock to the mythology of my childhood (in no particular order of importance):
g.i. joe
robotech (characters actually died in this series, which was mindblowing at the time)
teenage mutant ninja turtles (this one is borderline, as i was already in jr. high at the time, but i liked watching it with my brothers)

cartoons that should not be made into live action films:
the smurfs
rainbow brite
beverly hills teens (which for the life of me i can't remember what any of the episodes were about even though i watched it often)

other than that, i've been hanging out with attention hungry pets and watching without a trace reruns. some crazy canadian friends were down here to visit (pictures to come) and they didn't run away screaming to the north during the 4th of july, so that was good.

i remain the friendliest person around the church because i'm not sure if i haven't met this person yet, met them already and forgotten, or met them before and remember what they look like but not their name. blech. i have to credit my time at the restaurant with helping me to be friendly and extroverted. the awkward newness is wearing on me and i am ready to get to know people better.

as i talked to kids before church one morning, i was distracted by another conversation. when i turned around again, they were halfway across the patio, ditching the service. instead of the regular youth sunday program this summer, we are encouraging them to attend the main service. it is not something they are taking to right away, and they usually ditch when this happens. it makes me wonder at what age you transition kids from sunday school to being in the service. or if we should have a separate high school program on sunday mornings at all. or how to help kids to understand that they are part of a larger community than their youth group. after all, what happens when you are too old to go to youth group?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

summer rules

summer means:
long evenings sitting outside with dear friends drinking beer making s'mores (weird taste combination, i know) and laughing.
seeing the fog magically roll over the golden gate bridge and san francisco skyline.
meeting funny high schoolers that dance jigs randomly and stuffing them into your car to go get frozen yogurt when only 12 of them show up to youth group.

i like summer a lot.