June 30, 2008

around the world.


day off.

i got to spend a couple hours chatting with dave this afternoon. i'm starting to realize that i had the luckiest high school life anyone could want. best friends with dave lueck is something that i took for granted for a long time, but i'm realizing how fortunate i've been to have him in my life. just two hours in conversation makes me feel so much more alive and excited about life. no wonder i am the person i am today with someone like that as such a huge influence.

i also get to play softball with nate and dan tonight. the other two major factors in my current person. there aren't many days where i get all three in the same day. today is one of those days. so today is a better day than most days. its science.

life isn't so bad when you get to spend it with the people you love. which i'm realizing i haven't been truly loving many people, so that explains a lot i guess. enjoying life and those around me starts with me. not them. the last two weeks have been great though. lots of love.

in other news:
pandora radio rules.
paying rent is a chore.
doctor confirmed my sinus infection.
i'm going to kirksville, missouri, friday to see my sister.


June 28, 2008

high impact 08. briefly.

things that happened in the last week:

i sweated hauling dirt and busting rocks with 30 high schoolers. this consisted of flipping rocks and discovering garter snakes as well as the largest crickets in creation. they were red and looked more like lobsters than crickets. so we called them crobsters.

i spent a week away from my phone and lap top and i didn't miss them at all. which is an incredible feeling because it means that i am truly focused completely on where i am instead of where i want to be.

i was told i look like abu from aladdin this week. i'm taking it as a compliment. i've been told i have cartoon-like qualities, but i've never been actually told i look LIKE a character. i now have an answer to the question "what actor/actress have you been told you look like?"

i did a backflip into 45 degree water, climbed a cliff in 1:33 and built a colossal fire using only one match.

i watched ocean's eleven, twelve, and thirteen. organized crime is way too impressive. i'm unhealthily attracted to it. i wish i could successfully dabble in that business - both because it would be so fun and because i'm so broke.

i got to teach a number of individuals how to roast the perfect marshmallow. yes, this statement implies that i can indeed roast the perfect marshmallow. i am not denying this.


i was involved in the battle of cottonwood pass. i built a fortress with a window to protect my comrades and i from enemy fire. however, i would ultimately doom my troops by nonchalantly farting inside the fortress and running my fellow soldiers out from cover and into the battlefield. my bad guys. sorry.

i finally gave in and admitted that i have a sinus infection. and have had one since i left for chicago. i'm going to the doctor on monday.

i turned my phone on for the first time since wednesday and came back to 22 missed alerts: 15 texts and 7 voicemails. it was nice not having to worry about the busyness of life for a few days.

anyway. thats probably all the important things that happened*. now i'm going to go shower and take out my contacts for the first time in three days.

if anyone thinks their job is better than mine - you're so so wrong.


* - this is obviously sarcasm. God was at work in the lives of people all over hutchinson and colorado and everywhere in between. hopefully deeper thoughts will come later. right now i need sleep badly.

June 20, 2008

viva la vida or death and all his friends.

shocker. coldplay put out an amazing album.

this album is a visual experience for me. each song has something in it that helps paint some sort of setting. its like they're performing in different locations for each song. usually it isn't the whole song that makes me think it, but just some small musical addition that takes me to another place entirely. its hard to explain, but here are some examples that might help.

viva la vida - old cathedral - the thing that takes me here most is the use of the ringing bell during the chorus. its like Quasimodo has joined the band and is positioned up in the bell tower working his musical magic. the dropping of the name "st. peter" helps too.
lovers in japan - asian plaza - there is this great foriegn feeling i get with the twangy piano, but the thing that really sets this one in motion is the tambourine that comes in during the second chorus. suddenly there are those large dancing dragons all around the band while they play in some outdoor asian plaza.
strawberry swing - warehouse - this one starts with the hollow clapping. it has this echoing quality that makes it sound like it's coming from some large dusty vacant room of some sort. and then the drums come in and sound like trashcans. around the 2:40 mark the guitars come in though making it sound like some huge warehouse doors have just been opened to a beautifuly sunny day outside.
cemeteries of london - battlefield - this song makes me visualize the front cover of the album* just a brutal revolutionary-war-like brawl. a number of things help paint this scene, the vocals and the eerie background guitar riffs, but the choir that comes in really sets it off for me. parts of this scene are in slow motion. explosions, men down, scared expressions, and coldplay is playing amongst the chaos around them.

thats just a few images i've got. i think i've got one for every track - if not, most of them. it gives every song its own identity and character, but the album still manages to be held together throughout. i'm curious if anyone else had the same experience and saw some of the same settings produced, or a different scene even - that might even be cooler.

the only things that i don't like about the album:
1. the bridge in "42" breaks into some crazy beat, and it's so abrupt that i thought the track actually skipped the first time i heard it. it's distracting. not a fan. otherwise the track is so stinkin good though.
2. i'm getting tired of hearing singles. i think this album would've completely blown me away had i not heard violet hill and viva la vida so many times before it even came out. it makes two of the eleven tracks slightly less interesting when you first listen. i would be freaking out about viva la vida right now if i'd just head it for the first time with the rest of the album. i know it ups album sales and singles are probably a music marketer's ticket to success, but as a listener who respects artists for producing complete albums and not just individual tracks it is a little disappointing finishing 6 amazing tracks and being disappointed that i have to listen to songs i've already heard before i can make it on to track 9. it loses that flavor that you get digesting an entire album all at once. i think in the future i'm going to start to try to avoid singles from albums i'm excited about.

initial favorite tracks: cemeteries of london, lovers in japan, viva la vida; but to be honest, the album is great from start to finish. it flows between tracks and sounds amazing as one large unit.

for those of you that don't have the album and have no idea what i'm talking about because they're not able to follow the partial song-by-song outline i've made here - i'm sorry. just go buy the cd and save me the trouble of explaning it further. so so good.


* - i have to ask, how necessary was it to include nudity on the album cover? i'd like an explanation. i see no need for the exposure.


important tidbits i feel inclined to share in bullet form:

- occasionally toilets can sound remarkably similar to simba on pride rock.
- the z-man sandwich at oklahoma joe's can be ordered in jumbo size.
- dunn bros coffee at 8975 metcalf has the most adorable little red roaster.
- if you have the word "pink" plastered on your clothing i probably think less of you.
- n.e.r.d and coldplay have been dominating my earbuds. and sara bareilles. and kanye. but those last two are not a new development.
- sometimes birds fly into panes of glass. i've witnessed it 3 times in 3 days. one was into my windshield.
- i'm traveling to hutchinson, ks, and then to buena vista, co, from the 22-28 to do some house reconstruction with interfaith housing services and white water rafting, rock climbing and repelling with noah's ark. oh and i'll be eating at least one funnel cake at elitch gardens.

baseball game status:
i have attended 4 major league baseball games in kansas city, and 1 in chicago. 5 games total (4 + 1 = 5...quick math). this means i'm 25% of the way to my ultimate goal of 20 ballgames, and 50% of the way to the 2 games i hope to be at other ballparks. wrigley field was incredible. i've got my eye on new busch in stl sometime in july for number two...man i hope.

this is my second post of the day. i'm on a roll.


moving slow.

its funny how quickly the human body and mind can adjust to surroundings.

after a couple rather hectic weeks at hillcrest, i decided to escape to the slower paced life in manhattan to unwind and relax for a couple days. it's nice, but i can't help but feel slightly irresponsible just intentionally doing nothing. well, i suppose reading and blogging and drinking iced tea at 40% off isn't necessarily nothing, but it is a severe decrease in speed and a great increase in time.

when i first moved back to kansas city this summer i was surprisingly uncomfortable there. i had become used to the slow meandering life of manhattan, and the speed of kc caught me off guard. it's been a month now. i've plunged myself in my job and life (same thing) in kc, so now that i'm back in manhattan i'm surprisingly uncomfortable here.

i'm not sure whether of not i prefer either. on one hand it's nice to have extra time to spare - time to write a 3-paragraphs-and-counting blog - but at the same time my heart wants to be moving. when i have an hour or so of unscheduled time during the hours of 9-4 in kc i feel like i'm not being productive, but an hour of free time in manhattan is the most common thing ever. i think the reason i'm writing this, however, is that i feel like i've finally re-discovered the balance of these two feelings.

in ministry (specifically youth in this case) it's important to have a moment of contact with every kid at an event - high five evangelism* if you will - but it's also important to walk slow enough that you don't miss someone in need of some encouragement or advice. i think this is the mindset i had when i was in high school and freshman and sophomore year here at k-state, but somewhere in the 21 months away from kansas city (and youth ministry) my thoughts turned inward and i'd lost my passion for social contact and, consequently, my passion for evangelism.

i want to impact lives other than my own. call me out if i'm moving too slow or if i'm not moving slow enough. it's the life i want to live and i'm excited that i feel reconnected with that mentality.


* - in 2008 i've found that "pound-it evangelism" is more relevant.
** - i really wanted to insert a line regarding kanye west's accidental wisdom in the song "drive slow" somewhere in this post but it just wasn't fitting. you need to pump your breaks and drive slow homie. granted, the motivation to drive slow is slightly different in the song than in this blog. but i can twist his text out of context if i feel like it. and i feel like it. so there you have it.

June 17, 2008

let's groove.

i'm primarily posting this for christian dashiell's enjoyment.

there is something indecipherably hilarious about stormtroopers in general. it's possible that in this specific case it could be his overall lack of expression combined with his obvious joy in dancing in the street.

i think i want to be a stormtrooper for christmas*.
...and by christmas i mean halloween.


* - talk about your all time moron moments. i found this mistake the first time i went through to edit and felt like a complete doofus. but its way too funny so i'm leaving it and adding the next fragment to make up for my blunder.


i've officially joined the Hillcrest Covenant men's softball team.

yes, it isn't baseball. and yes, i don't get to experience the game like i used to, but i get to be on a field with a baseball mindset. there is no place i feel more comfortable than chattering on a ballfield with a team that i'm apart of. i'm one of the younger guys on the team - most of the guys are in their early 30s - but i feel like there is some really great potential for some fun growth here.

things i've learned about competitive softball since 9:30 pm yesterday:

1. sometimes if you just keep running you can score. the bases are way closer than in baseball so getting to the next base is super simple.

pause. a bird just flew into the window next to me. stupid animals. unpause.

2. my teammates tell me that striking out in men's softball typically results in that person purchasing everyone on the team a round of beers after the game. seeing that we're a team representing a church, we don't adhere to those rules, but a guy on the other team struck out 3 times last night. major buzzkill.

3. i feel athletic even though my legs are the same size as the new team bat we use.

4. i was informed by the opposing team's catcher that tossing the bat back toward the dugout after every at-bat is an art form. "it's all in the wrist. just got to flick it." i asked him if they ever had extracurricular competitions. he said "oh yeah absolutely." he's totally full of it. and i know it. and he knows i know it.

5. there are some extremely godly men at Hillcrest.

i'm amped to play in games where we dont get run-ruled.
and where i don't bat second to last and play right field. yeah newbie.


June 15, 2008

sooner or later.

i feel like i have a ton of thoughts, but none that i can successfully form into a handful of interesting-to-read paragraphs for the general public. things like "watching golf on tv rules" and "it's interesting that Kansas City Christian graduated seniors had never discussed the topic of doubting before."

sometimes i feel a requirement to blog. and thats when i start to dislike blogging. which is somewhat lame because it is obviously completely voluntary. i've just been skimming through my recent blogs and discovering that if i were you i'd be absolutely bored to tears reading what i have to say. then again i have higher standards of myself than most.

that having been said - i apologize for my lack of effort. from this point forward i'm putting a greater emphasis in my blogs or i'm not blogging at all. cause this half-a business has gotta go. messy games were WAY better than that blog expressed.

john buck even hit a three run homer yesterday and i was too lazy to inform the frequenters of the World Wide Web. thats how lackadaisical i'm becoming. i'm probably just too busy. eh. no. probably just out of cleverness.

either way. i apologize. i'll do better in the near future.
i've just got a plethora of convoluted thoughts pouring through my brain simultaneously and its hard to set them all straight. i'll try my best and get back to it soon though.


June 11, 2008

messy games.

today is insane. it's also wednesday.

we'll can call it "wednesane"*. today is wednesane.

the first of two messy game events just finished up here at hillcrest. middle school is down. high school to go. we were planning for 35 kids. we had 85. they brought some of the most insane food fight items too. the most disgusting award goes to my man charlie. he mixed all the leftovers in the vbs kitchen together in a huge 5 gallon bucket. it looked like vomit. smelled like vomit. and i got some in my mouth and it tasted like vomit. ah yeah boi.

biggest success besides the massive brawl: tube sock ultimate. pretty much fill a tube sock with flour and throw it around. but every time the sock is caught it explodes in a cloud of white dust. it sounds pretty average and not very messy, but it was a blast.

things i've learned since 12 pm: sometimes eggs don't break and they're usually harder than you might think. thats all for now. i gotta get chipotle before the high schoolers show up for round two.

and i just found something crusty on my toe. even though i just showered.


* - pronounced "win-sane".

June 09, 2008

mayo to miami? ha.


apparently o.j. mayo went and worked out for the miami heat (second pick in the draft) before beasley or rose did. the media has gotten so ridiculous that it is trying to portray mayo asthe better pick at #2. i'm sorry. saying rose is better than beasley is one thing - say mayo is better is a completely different ballgame.

miami has the easiest pick in the draft; everyone knows it. all they have to do is take whichever one (beasley or rose) that chicago doesn't take. so therefore, it makes perfect sense that mayo would come try out first. he's the #3 top pick overall and the heat want to be certain they're not missing out on anything. they've already got rose and beas on lock down. the heat will not take oj mayo with their second pick - that would be an even bigger crime than taking rose over beasley. but checking him out never did anyone any harm.

i think rose may go 1. but mayo at 2 is a joke. that'd be cool if it did happen though...and then he dropped even further to 4 - cause i still want beasley to go to the supersonics with KD. that has a 0% chance of happening though. but i can dream.


June 08, 2008

kc brigade.

today i was fortunate enough to attend my first ever Arena Football League game: the kansas city brigade versus the arizona rattlers.

the brigade got completely tossed. 73-34.

i went with 4 high school fellas. none of them had been to a game before either so none of us really knew what to expect. it was a the sprint center in downtown kcmo. i didn't really expect the brigade to pack the place out - and they didn't - but i was surprised at the level of commitment shown by some fans.

one of the first things the four of us witnessed as we walked in the door were two obviously avid brigade fans. they both had on their #90 jerseys*. and their bald heads were completely painted brigade-light-blue with the brigade logo (seen above) drawn on the back of their skulls. as best as i could observe they were father and son - but when two people cover all of their facial features with the exact same shade of paint they're bound to look related. it was like seeing a light skinned member of the Blue Man Group and his offspring. but these were the only individuals we ever witnessed with any sort of skin alterations (except for the woman in section 115 with an obnoxious tribal tattoo on her lower back.)

section 116 row 17 got a little old after a bit, so we decided to pursue seats around section 117 row 2. success. however, i'm confident we landed in the season ticket holder "section". they were extremely enthusiastic about the brigade. they knew players names, the coaches' typical schemes, team records and history as well as the current afl standings. however, when the game turned south for kansas city (around 9 minutes left in the first quarter) the die hard fans began to express their frustrations at rather extreme volumes. they threw out lines like "that play never works (insert coach's name here)!" or "there go your season ticket sales!" or "we're not a running team!" or "pit-i-ful!!!" their jeers were pretty much audible to the entire arena seeing that the rest of the building wasn't necessarily saying much. and being indoors helps too. i wanted to turn around and say something to the effect of "are we serious?" or "what season ticket holders?" but i didnt want to offend anyone. i just couldn't believe there were people that cared that much about the kc brigade...the chiefs aren't THAT bad.

i'm glad to say that i've been to a game, but i don't plan on ever going back. unless we play the Columbus Destroyers. they're the only team equally as bad as the Brigade apparently. but not likely you'll pull me to that one either.

a quality learning experience. hilariously strange.


* - former chiefs allstar Neil Smith owns the team. he was number 90. maybe he should pull a michael jordan/washington wizards/2001 and come out of retirement to help a pitifully sad team.

June 07, 2008

three books for thought.

my blog is tanking. i can't come up with anything spectacular to write about, and even when i can think of something great - it's gone by the time i think to actually write about it on here. which is unfortunate because i'm actually learning and growing a ton right now. i'm just not necessarily in the correct mindset to put it all into text form on here.

i will say though - i'm in the middle of three incredible books right now: dangerous wonder, jesus for president, and they like jesus but not the church. i'm not sure which one i like the most right now. i've read dangeroud wonder before, but it's always nice to have a good kick in the booty about what it looks like to have childlike faith and how we can see Christ for the 'dangerous wonder' that he is. the other two are new to me - the idea of individuals not liking the church/christians in comparison to Jesus isn't a new one to me, but its nice to have some words to those thoughts. jesus for pres is very interesting thus far as well. it's a look into what being a political christian can look like and the effects of living simply in life.

anyway. hopefully i'll have more to come on those. i reccommend them all three so far.


June 04, 2008


the latina population of the hillcrest staff rules.
this consists of .5 individuals.