Monday, November 30, 2009


oh weezer. your music always makes me happy and want to play in my car at high volume. rivers may be the most adorable dorky guy ever. conan o' brian also fits in that category. and joseph gordon-levitt.
broadway dance number. sweater vest. check. (i haven't even seen this movie yet.)

this one time...

i went to my 15 year high school reunion over the weekend. the next morning i woke up feeling like i had two wine glasses too many, found that i had cracked my contact lens, and couldn't find my wallet. which makes it sound like i had a really wild night, which it was not - actual glasses consumed: 3, i have butterfingers, and i am more absentminded than i am a wild spender (i let my more successful, gregarious, and self-described borderline alcoholic high school buddy do the buying of bottles). so i just feel old and foolish.

in spite of my aversion to being extroverted, i quite enjoyed seeing people and chit-chatting. i'm glad it was in a low-key atmosphere and not a banquet room as if it were prom: the sequel. who knew that my hometown could have a happenin' wine bar? like many others who grew up in danville, i was convinced that this town was boring as hell. anyway, being 15 years out of high school is long enough to not really care anymore about what you were like in high school. there was some reminiscing over who we went to the prom with, and how one of our teachers would consume 4 diet cokes by 10 am every day, and our regrets over early 90s "fashion."

pity party

wondering how long a streak of bad luck can go. latest casualties: my left contact lens (cracked), and my wallet (though i am hoping it is at the wine bar my high school reunion was at. no one is trying to use the cards. stupid place is closed on sunday and monday.) just sitting here sipping my airborne vitamin supplements.

season's greetings!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

sixteen tons...

i've been thinking a lot about the past year or so. i've been unemployed that long - really? really. makes me wonder if i am ruined for ever having a regular hour-type job again (i would, however, kick ass at a trivia round of law and order: criminal intent). not that i found myself particularly suited to it in the first place. just for fun, let's imagine me in a business suit, wearing white sneakers with panty hose, and carrying an insulated lunch bag. yeah. not to knock that look or that life - more power to those who can/do. i suppose seeing joe vs. the volcano (which, as i recall, was a pretty good movie, possibly the first of the hanks/ryan collaborations. netflix it now.) at an impressionable age has something to do this my revulsion:

(this scene kicks office space's ass in oppressive movie work environments) well, it's this scene and during an internship i had in college my editor told emphatically to avoid jobs that involved wearing panty hose. she said she would wake up every morning, open the closet and go, "ugh" and she drank a lot and gained weight, so she quit and became a bike messenger. and then somehow later she ended up at the magazine where i was interning. thing is, i think that was the best thing i learned during the internship.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Music is what feelings sound like

yesterday was a bit of a blur. again, i blame the inattentive baristas at starbucks for juicing my latte when i specifically asked for decaf. customer service skills, people! learn them.

so after getting very little sleep, i managed to drag myself out to volunteer. i'd been playing hooky for a few weeks; it was good to see familiar faces again. whenever i go, i wear my same old adidas military cap (it beats the lunch lady hairnet) and every time pauline, another volunteer, asks me, "what branch of the military are you in?" she's not all there, but she faithfully serves every week.

after a necessary cat nap in my car, i managed to stay up late enough to hit a show at a jazz club. a kid i know from youth group is in a jazz school big band. i know, expectations may be low for teenagers playing jazz, but this kids are on a whole other talent level. seriously.

you'd walk by these kids in their street clothes and have no idea how much they rock. watch them slouch out on stage in oversize suits because they are growing like weeds, squinting a big in the glare of the stage lights and you'd still wonder what was going to happen once they start playing. and then these 15 or so gangly kids with hair drooping in their eyes begin their first piece and cease being 15 individuals, but a one organism with 30 hands and 30 lungs that breathe as one and create some amazing sound. it is SO MUCH FUN to see this transformation. to see kids this focused, this poised and really loving what they are doing and doing well (this band being on top of whatever school bands they are in, private music lessons, and the high-powered-dryer-tumbling load of regular stuff that constitutes their day-to-day lives). that's why i rarely miss an invitation to see these kids play. it's just not something you see that often.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

come on feel the noise

i volunteered for the high school retreat this past weekend. i suppose i'm a glutton for punishment. but there is also some part of me that is energized from being with them. i don't know if energized is the right word, and while a good part of the time i'd like to drop kick some of them, there is an equal amount of time that i enjoy getting to know them - in a different way from our weekly gatherings. so, yes i still like teenagers, and no i don't plan on returning to the paid life of youth ministry.

here's a snippet of what makes me hang out with high schoolers. it's overhearing things like this that i could not make up:
i'm lying on my sleeping bag, in between activities. the little pack of freshmen girls comes in the room because they are incapable of doing things independently.
girl: let's go get more brownies!
another girl: let's not. (general noises of unenthusiasm.)
first girl: ... want to watch me eat a brownie?
other girls: yeah sure.

they exit. and... scene.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

nerd alert

here's the long awaited post on books. that only applies to dan, really. and the other four of my readers that just like knowing what i'm up to.

i really dig creative non-fiction, and memoirs. it's because i find the oddities and mundanities of life to be equally fascinating.
for this genre:
the tender bar by jr moehringer. a memoir of growing up in a long island town. raised by his mother, jr finds the male influences in his life in a bar down the street from his house. for better and for worse, this community guides him to manhood.

the ramen king and i by andy raskin. subtitle: how the inventor of instant noodles saved my love life. hard to resist a title like that. while a bit long for my taste, raskin still does a surprisingly masterful job of tying together these two parts of his life: his inability to sustain a relationship and his obsession for momofuku ando. some might not buy it, but i liked the linking. those who are somewhat familiar with japanese culture will probably enjoy this.

blind side by michael lewis. yes, a movie adaptation starring sandra bullock is about to be released. read the book first, as lewis provides a lot of background and depth that probably doesn't translate to the big screen. it might be hard for you to get through if you are not a football nut, but lewis makes it mostly understandable for those who, say, aren't in two fantasy football leagues (ahem). even if you skim over those parts, the story of michael oher is riveting. plus, it is nice to hear about evangelical christians in the bible belt that aren't assholes.

now for the fiction. gotta tip the hat to jane halton and dane splinter for letting me know about these.

the lovely bones by alice sebold. i picked up this book in the afternoon and did not put it down until the wee hours of the morning when i was done. that doesn't happen very often. the writing is beautiful. told from the perspective of the narrator in heaven, she observes as her family and friends deal with the aftermath of tragedy.

unaccustomed earth by jhumpa lahiri. basically anything written by this woman is kickass. that's all you need to know.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

it does a body good

as i mentioned in a previous post, i found out that i had low iron levels in my blood. so i have been trying to beef up the iron in my diet, literally. i toyed with the idea of going on a cheeseburger-only diet. but common sense prevailed and i have been eating more leafy greens and legumes and such. okay and i had a few cheeseburgers. because they're good.

that is all. more tomorrow on the books i've been reading that i think you should read too.

Monday, November 02, 2009

this post has been sponsored by...

last friday, my good friend molly jenson blew through town. she does that, being a musician and all. i set up a house concert for her on the roof of my brother's apartment in the city. musicians gotta eat.

thus i tested the loading capacity of my good ol' honda fit. there were 20 folding chairs, an outdoor firepit, a box of firewood and a bag of christmas lights, in addition to the other junk that is usually in there. with room to spare, i might add.

so this is my little shout out to my car, probably one of the few consistent things in my life right now. oh, in addition to loading up the car, i also had to go a long way around the san francisco bay because the stupid bay bridge is broken right now (going on 6 days now). it's commuting hell. luckily i don't have a commute, so i just like to watch the drama unfold on tv.

anyway, the concert went off without a hitch. my bro and his roomie got a keg of PBR which was classy. it was a beautiful night in san francisco. and molly rocked. well, as much as you can rock with an acoustic guitar. give molly a listen on itunes or pandora.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

ah, youth

so then i get this message on facebook from a kid i hadn't seen at youth group in a long time

initial message
me: why did you unfriend me? jerk.

kid: cuz ur old and i dont want to have any association with any religion at all, as my new beliefs have lead me to believe that organized religion is evil.


this warmed my heart...

a college kid told me, "i like you because you're one of the first christians i know that didn't pretend to be happy all the time." guess i'm doing something kind of right.