September 30, 2009

September 21, 2009

jay cutler versus the referee.

this happened yesterday afternoon: chicago vs pittsburgh. i wish he was still a bronco though so i could hate him more. ha.


September 14, 2009

somewhat immediate thoughts on the 2009 VMAs.

okay. so i first started writing about the VMAs in my facebook status, but then i started getting carried away and started writing paragraphs in the tiny little "What's on your mind?" box and decided i ought to just write it on my blog.

there are a few things that need to be addressed in regards to the VMAs. ready break:

number 1: kanye west is a jack hole. i mean, we were all thinking it 'ye - taylor swift is a no-talent clown who has somehow made it big in a questionable genre (in the VMAs eyes...also my eyes) - but you didn't have to go and throw her under the bus in front of the entire nation. she's 19 bro. just cause she makes millions of dollars she may or may not deserve doesn't mean you have to destroy her self esteem for years to come. do i agree that beyonce's video was better (and that this dude's was even better), but that's low. even for you.

number 2: empire state of mind is the best track jay-z has released since the black album. kingdom come and american gangster...not hov's greatest work. not that they weren't dece - they were - but blueprint 3 is the first album since 2003 that i've really been stunned by. more about BP3 in another post probably - for now, it is suffice to say that he and alicia keys'* performance in the VMAs tonight was absolutely bonkers. i literally jumped out of my bed and started pumping my fist before jay even uttered a syllable. i had a lump in my throat the entire performance. good grief.

* - again...possessive names ending in "S"...possessive of "keys"? keys's? keys'? keyses? this language is so stupid.

number 3: beyonce is a robot. when i consider each of the following - her voice, her body, and her dance moves - this is the only solution i can ever arrive at. no real person should be capable of being...that. she is powerful and, like her husband, absolutely killed it when she performed "all the single ladies (put a ring on it)". i mean seriously. she has to be a robot. i challenge you to derive a better conclusion. until i hear one i will continue to believe that jay-z is married to a machine.

number 4: the grammy for best hip hop album of 2035 goes to: shawn carter, JR!!! i'm telling you, if beyonce is indeed a human being and is capable of reproduction, and she and jay-z have a couple kiddos - you better believe that my offspring will be obsessed with anything and everything they do. you wait and see. those kids are destined for greatness. there is nothing they could do to screw it up.

number 5: lady gaga is a freak. also her performance was lip synced for sure. sounded pretty tight though. i have a history of liking freaks as long as they put out good music. the verdict is still out on LG.

number 6: the michael jackson tribute was perfect. oh my goodness. the most synced and beautifully immitated dance routine i've ever witnessed. music videos are impressive - MJ's especially - but they're still videos. you can take 5- 10- 20 takes before you get the perfect choreograph sequence down, but to watch the sequence perfectly matched live on stage?! brilliant. absolutely brilliant. and when janet -ahem- busts out of the background! i literally gasped and clapped. i don't think a better tribute could've been done...maybe if they played more quincy jones tracks. but that's just me getting greedy.

okay. i think that pretty much covers all my immediate thoughts. just had to get it all out of my system before i went to sleep. otherwise my heart would be racing and i'd toss and turn all night. but now i can go to bed in peace. except that 'all the single ladies' is rolling through my head. worth it.

best VMAs i can remember: kanye made a fool of himself, MJ was honored, and the shawn carter family have totally got some chops. definitely some chops indeed.


September 09, 2009

why mafia is the greatest ministry game ever.

sure it centers around murder, deception and lying. and sure it gives an opportunity for students to ruthlessly stab their best friends in the back. but i have said it before, and i will say it again:

mafia is the greatest ministry game ever.

there are a handful of reasons why mafia is the greatest game ever. i will list them now.

1. it forces students to know everyone's name.
you look like a total schmuck when you point at someone and say, "i think it's you - kid in the blue hoodie - yeah, him - you...i think you're in the mafia." people start whispering side conversations asking each other the names of the other people around the circle. students feel loved when you can call them by name (even more when you can develop a nickname for them) and when their peers know their name it means even more. by the end of a night of mafia, a room full of borderline strangers are suddenly best friends and can't wait to play together again.

2. students are forced to work together with individuals they're not used to being grouped with.
this is super fun to watch. you'll get the talkative girl, macho dude, quiet loner and stand-off-ish Flyleaf fan all working together and getting each other's back. students that would never have even talked to each other before are suddenly vouching for each other and trusting each other and working together to end the terror in mafiaville. this also breaks up the unhealthy attachments that some students have with a certain group and allows them to branch out and make friends outside of their normal bubble.

3. it develops confidence.
anyone can succeed at mafia - in fact, the already confident ones are typically the first to be found out. the quiet ones are the ones that fly under the radar and ultimately shock the group. this is something that every quiet and uncomfortable individual needs: a boost of confidence. suddenly the populars are at par with the not-so-pops. it's anyone's game, and regardless of the group, high fives always ensue following a mafia game.

4. it ultimately builds community.
when you combine the last three points, you eventually land at a great word called "community." community is what makes 'youth group' the slightest bit successful. it is at the center of what we do as Christians - we spend time and share life with each other. at the end of the day, mafia breaks down walls and replaces the with terrific avenues for students to grow together. Christianity isn't a solo exercise, and mafia aids in this fact.

5. it's stinkin' fun.
and lastly, it's just a blast. after spending years hanging out with the students at hillcrest, i can honestly say that some of my favorite moments have come in games of mafia. no other game could be played for 10 hours straight on a bus ride back from buena vista, colorado. but i've had the privilege of doing that 4 different times! and we always come back for more.

anyway. there are your reasons. if you want to know more about our mafia games, visit the facebook group or read about the 'party game' on wikipedia.


September 08, 2009

snow leopard and the planet Hoth.

i just installed the new Mac OS X (also called snow leopard) on to my laptop. is it worth it? probably. it freed up tons of disc space and everything seems to be running much snappier than before. it's fresh and clean.

the only problem i've had with it so far is that firefox would only work for about 9 seconds and then it would "unexpectedly quit" on me. but i just opened the new safari 4, downloaded firefox over again and i haven't had a problem since. feels good.

and speaking of snow, i got a new favorite tshirt.

complete with the Hoth battle scene at the bottom.

the ATAT on the right is falling over - while intimidating, i never really found the walkers very practical. any machine that can be tripped doesn't seem too powerful to me. but the shirt is sweet. i'm a sucker for anything star wars. probably why i spent too much on this new tshirt, and way too much on both star wars trilogies back in june.

and, yet again, i have to give props to jedi gym. never gets old.


September 01, 2009

father/son trip to stl.

my dad and i went to st. louis this past weekend. here's our trip highlights:

throwing rocks. our favorite pasttime.

check out the cute little tugboat puttering through the arch.

bob gibson outside new busch stadium.

ozzie smith. my all-time favorite ballplayer.

view from the top row of busch stadium. so huge.

this was the time when albert pujols hit a walk-off home run to win the game in the bottom of the 9th.

oh look. a chris carpenter and yadier molina post-game photo-op.

kings cross is apparently in union station in st. louis. never knew.

budweiser brewery tour.

these are pipes. the sub-text probably isn't important on this picture, but i dont wait it to feel left out.

this is what the middle of the bud plant looks like. pretty beautiful area. also they have a free "hospitality room" that follows the free tour. i'd suggest that everyone does this tour at some point.

anyway. that was much easier than writing out all the highlights in detail. terrific weekend. a picture tells a thousand words or something like that. so there's 11,187 words for you. dang. long post.