Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Reasons for continued questioning... (Part 2)

Because of the monster discussion that Part 1 created, I feel like I should write another blog to give you my thoughts. A sort of "conclusion," if you will.

To summarize what the this whole thing is about (for those who haven't read my blog lately), Switchfoot's Adding to the Noise was played during a Victoria's Secret commercial. Switchfoot fans, haters, and in-betweens took sides on the numerous issues that erupted - namely if Switchfoot truly and fully sold out or not when they moved into the secular market. I wrote a quick blog about it when I first saw it on TV, and it exploded into craziness. Mac even wrote about it. Read Part 1 and Mac's post if you want more detail on discussion.

With that, here we gooooooooooooooooooo...


Switchfoot surely wasn't joking when they decided the name of their band. Some can interpret the name as a term from "switching" from a life without Christ to a life with Christ. That is, at least, how a Christian could interpret it. (You could just take the name as nothing but a cool band name...your choice.) However, given the recent events of the band, one can now say that Switchfoot has taken the previous interpretation and turned it completely upside down. Not in terms of salvation, of course, but of marketing and business. Ironic how one's name can mean so much.

Victoria's Secret ad campaign during the Christmas season has been encouraging women and men alike to buy their products as gifts. "Give me sexy," they say, "Give me Victoria's Secret." It is no wonder why so many are sitting very unwell with the fact that Switchfoot's song would play on one of their commercials.

There are many arguments that fans (and those who even don't care much about Switchfoot) use to defend Switchfoot. What are they defending exactly? They're defending attacks against them that it was very unChristian-like for them to throw their music on such an unwholesome commericial; furthermore, lots of people are beginning to question that Switchfoot truly sold out when they signed with the Sony label - the VS commercial was like the nail in the coffin to them.

I will go through the arguments I've heard from my blog and this forum that Kuya linked to in Part 1, and I will give my opinion to counter these arguments:

Switchfoot has nothing to do with Victoria's Secret other than they have a song on their commercial. Are they dating the models? Are they having sex with the models? No!

Allowing Victoria's Secret to use their song is enough for Switchfoot to promote Victoria's Secret products. Especially for a commercial that promotes and uses sex and lust to sell their things. They don't need to date a VS model to be in the wrong.

The producers from their label made them do it.

This is most likely true. This is probably the only argument that I'll take very seriously because it's one I can see Switchfoot not being able to get around easily. It is a very sad case when a contract gets in the way of choices, and this is why I get skeptical when a Christian goes into the secular market. Anyhow, I feel like Switchfoot owes their hardcore fans some kind of statement. I feel sort of betrayed that I defended them so strongly about going into the secular market, but they're throwing their music around like a pimp with his whores. And they don't seem to care about it! (Note: For those who think Switchfoot doesn't owe their fans a statement - or anything for that matter - they owe the fans everything for being where they are now.)

Switchfoot didn't know, and had nothing to do with arranging it with Victoria's Secret.

This may be so, but I think they still need to tell people their thoughts on it. There's too much reaction to ignore it completely. Plus it just looks bad on them. To me, it looks like they just don't care and they just want the money. This would be the claim that they sold out. Could it be true that they just want fame and fortune? I certainly hope not because their music speaks against such views!

Victoria's Secret sells underwear. They don't sell porn, and they don't promote the idea of pre-marital sex.

This is true. But as Mac said, "It ain't so much about what Victoria's Secret sells, it's the way they sell it." VS definitely uses the idea of sex and lust to sell their product. Whether it'd be girls who want to buy it to attract men, or men who want to buy it because they want to see it on their girlfriend/wife/wife's girlfriend, it is incredibly unwholesome and degrading to one's soul. Switchfoot shouldn't have anything to do with VS for this sole reason. If the label forced them to do it, then they can always leave the label or write a statement to the fans.

Moreover, I wrote in Mac's blog that Switchfoot wrote a song against society's obssession with sex. From Easier Than Love, they sing, "Sex is currency/She sells cars, she sells magazines" and "sex is industry/The CEO of corporate policy." This is also what bugs me. Switchfoot is acting like a huge hypocrite right now. It almost sickens me.

"Does Switchfoot have to be glorifying Jesus with every move they make? Do you? Why do you expect more out of a band, they are human also and they need to pay the bills. Sure Jesus wouldn't PROMOTE a commercial but he also wouldn't condemn it, Paul would do that." - AldoDaldo

What...the...crap! How much more disturbing can you get when someone
actually writes this just to defend their beloved band! We must always strive to glorify God. Every move we make, every thought we think, and every word we say should be glorifying God. Granted that we, as people with corrupt flesh, do not do this even half the time we live on Earth, it is still indeed a true statement.

As the thing with Paul, Jon wrote in the comments of Part 1, "St. Paul, an inspired commentator on Jesus' life and sayings, by the Holy Spirit (the third person of that trinity that Jesus is also part of), is a good indication of what Jesus would condemn."

It isn't our business to concern ourselves with these matters. Who cares if Switchfoot put their song to a Victoria's Secret ad? If you think it's wrong, then it's wrong. If you think it's okay, then it's okay. Don't judge Switchfoot, leave that to God.

It's not a matter of judging, it's a matter of watching each other as Christian brothers and sisters. When a fellow Christian has sinned or is causing people to sin, it is definitely our business to set them straight. The idea that God will do the judging and we just need to look to ourselves is not a Biblical way of living. We aren't judging Switchfoot, we are just trying to show the correct way to see situations. Will Switchfoot go to hell for this? I highly doubt it, but that's not the issue. We must always concern ourselves with Christians' wrongdoings. Not to be smarty-pants or finger-pointers, but to help build each other up in our walk with God.

Switchfoot is using their music to reach out to people who watch that commercial.

Anyone who saw the commercial will know that only the intro guitar riff was played. None of the lyrics were sung, and no one who doesn't listen to Switchfoot would make any correlation to them and the music. With that said, what did Switchfoot do to reach out to the audience? Nothing. What did they get out of it? Easy money. Hmmm...

P.O.D. touring with Korn is a better example of reaching out to that type of audience. They are at concerts, talking with people, singing their music for all to hear their message. Switchfoot's song on Victoria's Secret did nothing but get models to prance around their underwear looking lustfully into the camera.


With all this said, I don't want people to think I'm some kind of high and mighty Christian who only sees the world from the clouds. I am a terrible and cruel sinner just like everyone else, but like I said, we strive to become more like Christ and help others along. One person said that we should just love Switchfoot and leave the rest to God. Is setting someone straight when they are wrong a way of love? I believe so.

Don't worry, I will still listen to my Switchfoot CDs. I'm still hoping for a response from them. However, until then, I will detach the person from the music and just listen to their songs as good Christian rock music. I don't know about their last two albums, though. It's just too painful now to listen to those. Their first three are still very good...and very Christian. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

At its best.

Back on Thursday was my trip out to the city. I've never visited a large city on the Eastern side of the States, so I was excited. Clinton Bauman, one of the staff workers at CityTeam, took me to his evening Bible study group in the center city area.

The weather had been pretty crummy. At least, for people who normally lived in Philly during the winter time would think it crummy. I, on the other hand, was having a blast. It was cold - DANG cold! It had snowed during the day, but the precipitation had morphed into rained by the night's arrival.

I rode with Clinton to his apartment where we dropped off his car. We did a slight jog down the hill to the train station where we would take the 30 min. ride into the city. Stepping off the train onto the platform, down the escalator, and through the hallway, Clinton and I entered the main lobby of 30th Street Station. Before then, grand train stations like this had only been pictures and movie scenes to me. One thing I absolutely love about the East is the history found in the architecture. There was, no doubt, history in this building. The columns, the large lamp lights that hung from the roof 100 ft. above us, the benches that covered the hard floor. I wanted to pull out my camera.

But we were short on time, and Clinton wanted to get something to eat before his friend came to pick us up. We got a couple pretzels moments before Mac showed up. After a couple polite greetings, we were out of the station and across the street to his old pickup (with not extended cab, I might add).

We finally got to the apartment where Clinton and the group of eight young, Christian men gathered to study the Word. There I met guys with interesting backgrounds and careers. The most interesting was an FBI field agent - he wasn't even 28 years-old! I was amazed how old he looked. I would guessed he'd be in his early 30s at least.

So the Bible study lasted for a few hours discussing 1 John and the assurance of our salvation. At a few points, it led to pre-destination and free will and where the balance between the two was made. You can always find out how long a group has been together by how they react to the discussion, and you can tell that these guys had been together for a while...they forced the conversation to move on before the topic became more of a heated argument and less of a calm, quiet discussion.

After the lesson, the prayer requests were exchanged, the praises were shared, and the heads were bowed as we lifted to God Almighty our concerns and love for each other and fellow Christians. We did some casual talk, but the only one noteworthy was when Clinton asked the FBI guy if we could hold his firearm. He was very cool about it, and all of our eyes went big for a split second before we had to act non-chalant to pretend we were cool. He pulled out the clip. He emptied the chamber. He handed the glock to Clinton, and the rest of us waited in a impatient, five-year-old type manner.

Time rolled on. The later it got the more I realized that I wouldn't be able to see the rest of the city like Clinton and I had planned. Clinton had another thing on his if we could make it back to the train in fifteen minutes or not. Looks like we got a little carried away with the glock. Heh...

So Mac, Clinton, and I raced back to the pickup, which was parked a couple blocks away from the apartment. Through rain, snow, and ice, we jogged back. The dry air cut through my lungs, the cold temperatures broke through my jacket, and my ears rang out in a silent numbness; and it was all for catching a train on 30th Street in Philadelphia. It was the experience I was looking for from a visit into the city!

We got to the station with five minutes to spare only to find out that the train was eight minutes late. Clinton and I walked to the main lobby again so I could take a few quick shots. By the time we got back on the train and back into Chester, it was close to midnight.

I didn't get my Philly cheese steak sandwich from Abner's or Gino's (sorry David and Caryn), but I found my trip to be quite enjoyable. It's a shame I wasn't able to go back out during the rest of the week I was here. Tomorrow morning, I board a plane at 8:45 am back to California. It's been a good trip back East, but I'm ready to go home.

Time for pictures!

30th Street train station in Philadelphia. Too bad I wasn't spending days of free time here. I would have went out to Jersey and New York...THAT would have been grand!

Columns are cool.

I can't remember what this building is called. I really like this picture, though. So colorful. I think I'll come back to it and spend more time editing it to make it look really nice.

Here's a lame picture that I thought was cool and "artsy." Whatever. That's Curtis who just exited out of those revoloving doors.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reasons for continued questioning...

A couple days ago I was watching some late night TV (it wasn't really that late - like 10:30 or 11 pm - but whatever). As I was waiting for the advertisements to take a break from air time, a commercial for the well-known Victoria's Secret Christmas sale campaign came on. Usually it is very unfitting for a young, single Christian man to stay tuned on the channel for various reasons...reasons that are unspoken yet understood at the same time. However, I was drawn this time to the commericial. It was odd and against my good sense of integrity, but yet I did not fight back. It was the music. The music was so cool and rockin' and I've heard it before...I even sang along with it in my head (there was no lyrics). The rhythm, the guitar riffs, the bass lines - they were all so very familiar. I named the song within seconds...then my jaw dropped when I named the band within a few more seconds.

"What was the band?" you ask. I will tell you...


Yes, you read those big, fat (but cleverly tasteful) letters right. Switchfoot's intro guitar riffs to their beloved Adding to the Noise track was helping women rock out in clothing inappropriate for television.

Sometimes you love something blindly. Sometimes you love something even if you see their faults. And sometimes you gotta question why you love something when they start puting their music to Victoria's Secret commericials.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What is this white flakey stuff from the sky?

It's snowing! Yay yay yay!!!

I'm going outside to take some pictures.

UPDATE: I put a couple photos up that don't do much to show it actually snowing. The layer of snow on the ground was from last week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Things of sort.

After going almost a whole month straight with no post, I decide to come back at 1:45 am to write something. I have to wake up at 7 am tomorrow, what the crap am I doing?

The past month has been incredibly busy. I've been working on this, a lot of this, some of this, and...oh yeah...this too.

Okay, just kidding...sort of. Here are the updates:

City Team-ups

As you all probably know (yet don't know anything about what's going on because of my unhealthy laziness to update), I've been on an internship with CityTeam Ministries for the past couple months. It's been a lot of work day-in and day-out. There are times where it's been slow, but when it picks picks up! Thanksgiving week was especially interesting, as I had to run to three different locations on three different days for each of their three different Thanksgiving meal distributions for three different videos that I would have to make later in post-production. I'm still working on the San Francisco video, but the other two (San Jose and Oakland) turned out quite nicely. Hopefully, I'll be able to throw them on the web for all to see, but rendering those suckers to a reasonable size for download has been an absolute nightmare.

Pictures of stuff I've done for CityTeam can be found on their Flickr account here. Nothing before November is anything I've done.

Sharks Endure the Hurricanes

Lisa Cupples (soon to be Lisa MALABUYO) planned out a fabulous night with her friends to celebrate Daniel, Sandra, and her birthday. I think others put effort into planning it too, but I don't know about it and it seems everyone is giving Lisa the credit, so whatever. Anyway, after eating a yummy meal at the Spaghetti Factory in San Jose, we all walked off the food to the HP Pavilion to see the San Jose Sharks play the (whoever) Hurricanes. I'm not that much of a hockey fan, so I wasn't as diehard as someone like Mac or Daniel ("Come on Sharks--the Hurricanes can't touch you when you're already in the waterrrrrrrr!!!"); but playing roller-hockey with them gave me enough knowledge and understanding of the game to really enjoy it. Rooting for the hometeam, going nuts when they score, trash talking the visiting team...I love going to live sports games! The Sharks winning 4-3 made the night even more enjoyable.

Pictures of this event will be on Kuya's blog soon, no doubt. Stay tuned.

Enter the Narnia

Kuya, Chesney, and I went and saw The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe last Friday night. I was very skeptical about the movie after seeing previews with all the action shots and the video game that came out which is basically LOTR with four kids. It looked like another epic war movie to give everyone high on special effects and cool sword fighting sequences. It made me extremely sad. However, after hearing stuff from Oli, Phil, and Julie about how amazing and loyal it was to the book, I couldn't wait another day to go see it. I was happy to see that they were right, and my doubts were shattered as the movie progressed. Everything about the movie was very good, and I thought the cast was dead on. I absolutely loved Lucy; it was relief to see that they found actors who captured the kids so well. Scenes that were added didn't take away from the story or book at all; in fact, it magnified the story! Aslan carried on the screen well, though I felt he wasn't...magnificent enough...I guess I always pictured him being loving and kind but also one to tremble before as you stand in his mighty presence. I guess my view of God carries too much into the story, yeah?

All in all, it's a very good adaptation to the book. It was hard to let go of C.S. Lewis' writing and just watch the movie plainly because I kept remembering how Lewis wrote each scene and how much I loved his story-telling. It's almost as if his voice was a sub-conscious narrator in my head as I watched the film.

One more thing: This movie is the most PG-13 PG-rated movie I've ever seen.

Oh, WoW!

I hope you all got the message earlier that I have been terribly sucked into World of Warcraft. It's addicting, and I'm obssessed. The gamer in me has fully manifested itself as my character in this game, and I am now an ultra-uber dork. All I have to say is:



Tomorrow I fly out to Philadelphia. CityTeam has a location there, and they want me to go out there and photograph their Christmas events as well as their daily workings in the building and on the street. From what Carol told me, it will be a lot of work. Not only that, but it will be COLD! I don't know how I'm going to deal being a Californian, but it sure will be an adventure. I'm really stoked, which is partly why I'm not sleepy. The other is because I'll be traveling all day tomorrow, and sleep is the best way to pass time; so I don't have to worry about sitting in an office editing a video and fighting sleepiness. I rock.

I will try to post more often, especially when I'm in Philadelphia. It's always fun to write entries when you're out of town - at least, to me it is.

Ta ta.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The difference.

Kuya and I went to the grocery store to buy stuff. Here are the two lists of what we got:

Kuya's list

1. Bread
2. Milk

Lem's list

1. Disaronno Italian amaretto liquor
2. Dr. Pepper
3. Head & Shoulders shampoo

There is a clear contrast in the things we purchase, as Kuya pointed out to me as we were pulling the items from the grocery bags. I am the young college boy who lives for no one but himself. Kuya is the family man who needs to look to people's needs.

Simply awesome.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You ask...

"What has Lem been doing since he got to Santa Cruz last week?"

Here is your answer.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Blog surfing.

My two cents and more: I'll tell you right now - it's a lot more than two cents. The post does live up to the extra "cents," though.

Faith and/verses Knowledge: I enjoy reading Jon's posts because he loves to stimulate the brain with intellect and thinking. At least, it stimulates my brain to think, but it doesn't take much.

Blah Blah, Work Work, Baby Baby: "Trinity talk" can be difficult.

"The Body" - thoughts on the ressurection of Christ: The importance of Christ's phsyical body.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I want more...

This past Monday I had the opportunity to see Switchfoot in concert. They had their opening show for their Nothing is Sound in Ventura. Don't ask me why they chose this dull town, it boggles me too. Still, though, it was great to go ten minutes from home to see one of my favorite bands.

Here is Tim, Daniel, Todd, and I waiting for the first opening act in the theatre. Daniel has a funny face, but that's okay because it's Daniel. The two acts were alright, I suppose. A punk rock band came on first called Reeve Oliver, but I felt like they lacked in any new or unique sounds. Their first and last song were great, and everything else was "eh." The second act was, I swear, looked like a group of home schoolers. But then again, I thought they looked that way because someone told me they were raised home schooled. They just had that appearance of style and fashion you would find if you went back ten years and looked at what was cool at that time. They're music, though, was pretty impressive. Very much like that Radiohead sound, or a much slower and mellow Evanescence. Not that it was much to my liking, but for the kind of music they play, it was played well.

Anyway, Switchfoot came on after Eisley (the home schooler band, heh) was finished. The setup took forever (45 min.), so we ended up taking a bunch of silly pictures. Thanks, Tim, for bringing your digital camera.

Switchfoot put on a very good show. They have fun on the stage, and I appreciated that. The set list was everything from their two newest albums. I hoped they would play some from their older stuff. At one point in the concert, Switchfoot gave the audience a choice between two songs from their older albums - Chem 6A or Company Car. My friends and I cheered for Chem 6A, but of course they played Company Car. Sorry, Phil. I tried. Company Car is still a great song. It was also great seeing only half of the audience sing along to their older stuff. Now I understand what my cousins were talking about when they went to a U2 concert and were surrounded by All That You Can't Leave Behind fans. Very amusing.

Todd was telling me how he wished that Switchfoot would go back to their older stuff. They've become more and more like a rock 'n roll band, but they did lose a lot of their original sound. I still like their newest album the best so far, but Todd is right. Oh, well. Also, I miss their more direct music and worship to God in their songs they had before. Because of their secular label, they had to become more ambiguous in their lyrics. Plus they had to dodge some lyrics in their live performance during the concerts, and that was a bit of a disappointment. I suppose they have their restrictions, but I think their wider audience has opened up opportunities for them to show Christ in their lives along with their music.

But are they sellouts? I would like to think so.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Only One

Lifehouse's No Name Face.

One One

It's all shallow and all so appealing now
I'm up to my ankles and I'm drowning anyway in a sea of
Sarcastic faces
Familiar places
Everything looks quite the same here it's
All confusingly amusing
Bitter and tainted
The picture you painted to me

I've been listening to old school Lifehouse lately, and I really like the tune and lyrics of this song. It's very catchy in that down and depressing way. Classic Lifehouse. Give it a listen if you get the chance.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Spam THIS!

Eat it, you disgusting spammers! Get a freakin' life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Out of stock.

I get a lot of flak from family and friends for my current state of being a single male in his early 20s never having been in an actual relationship before. I don't really blame most of them. It is the ones who are in a very successful relationship who pressure me the most to get a girlfriend, but I don't hate them for it. They probably just want me to experience the great pleasure of loving and caring for someone in an intimate way that I have yet to share with another. Either that or they just like to see me get down about the whole situation. I prefer to assume the first reason.

So one must wonder, "How is it that Lem has never had a girlfriend before?" and it is a valid question. How did I, being so charming and incredibly good-looking, go 22 years without a relationship? Well, don't look at me for the answer! As Tristan Miller has so eloquently put it, "While I'll be the first to admit that my chances of ever entering into a meaningful relationship with someone special are practically non-existent, I staunchly refuse to admit that it has anything to do with some inherent problem with me."

Miller has written a brilliant article/essay/paper/blog (whatever you would like to call it) on why it is so hard to get a girlfriend today. Simply using demographics and some elementary statistical calculus, Miller has given a plausible reason for why some, or rather most, of us are just unfortunate in the relationship category. Here is the link to the blog. It's a lot of reading, but it's very well written, and Miller was smart enough to put the most important facts in gargantuan font size for those who would rather skim all of me.

Take a look, it will open your eyes!

Pinoy Pride

I want this for Christmas. You ask, "But which food, Lem?" Only a true Filipino would know what I love best...or maybe just family.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"I want it to be called a 'Fry-hole'."

Adult Swim just cycled through its cartoon show line-up, and it is now starting it over just like it does every night at 2 am. I don't know why I am such a night owl that I'll go to bed no earlier than 2. Last night I went to bed at 4 and got up at 6 for my 7-10 am class. Needless to say that it was a hard task to stay awake and be attentive during that time.

Tim and I went to McDonald's today for our weekly chicken nugget run. During the summer, McDonald's sells their six-piece chicken nuggets for a dollar. When I get to the drive-thru and pull up the intercom, I tell the digitized voice speaking to me that I want six orders of their nuggets. Then that voice tells me that their special deal on their nuggets is not offered anymore. I look at Tim, he mutters some kind of substitute for a cuss word, and then we just ordered a couple value meals with our heads hung low. I guess I have to go to Rubio's on Tuesday now and get their fish tacos for a buck instead.

Sleepy sleepy...time for dreamy...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

"You're all right now..."

I just read over this post, and it's extremely geeky. Just to warn those who don't care about video games: Do not read this if you do not care about video games, and run away from your computer if you do not care about rpg video games.

< nerd talk >

Tim and I just finished watching Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.! It is simply amazing. Everything that Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within failed to do is what Advent Children succeeded in accomplishing...and more! The CGI was amazing, just like in The Spirits Within, and was basically top notch. And just like The Spirits Within, the voice acting was well and good (though I saw it in Japanese with subtitles, which is better than English dubbing anyway) in Advent Children, and the "cinematography" was great as well.

So what made Advent Children so much better than The Spirits Within? Story! There actually was a story...and a strong and consistent one too! I think what made The Spirits Within weak was that they tried to create a brand new story using the Final Fantasy genre. Advent Children doesn't try to create a brand new story, but it takes place two years after Final Fantasy VII - a sequel to the video game. With that said, the biggest problem is that anyone who hasn't played the game all the way through won't fully appreciate the movie because they won't know what's going on most of time. That's my biggest beef with the movie.

However, the action is like nothing I've ever seen. CGI gives so much more room for super human things to happen that can't really be done with real-life people. It all looks amazing and made Tim and I giggle like little girls because it was so awesome. Of course, seeing all the characters come back in great, 3D-rendered images was a real treat. Seeing those characters fight in real-time with real martial arts or sword skills was a bigger treat.

The movie stayed 100% true to the game and everything that happened within that story. Limit breaks, weapons, key locations, etc. are all accurate. Example, instead of Cloud using the classic sword you see at the beginning of the game, he keeps his whole arsenal of weapons that you find on your adventure, switching between them in the middle of battle depending on the situation. Very creative and quite brilliant, if you ask me. I can tell the makers of Advent Children had a lot of fun.

Most of the movie brought back some good memories of playing the game. Final Fantasy VII seriously was the best turn-based rpg ever made. Everything about it was so well done. Character development, battle system, story and plot development, it was all good. The movie takes it to another level...except it's in a movie instead of a game. It pays homage to the video game but doesn't sacrifice further story to do it, and that's what I appreciated mostly about it.

Now that I totally hyped up this movie, I'm going to take a twist in this post and say: Don't watch the movie if you haven't played the game. Most of everything won't make any sense. You can watch it for the visuals and the battles, which is a VERY GOOD reason to watch it, but for story you won't get it. For those who played the game (and BEAT it), you will definitely love this movie and will see how much difference it makes when Hollywood has no real influence in a Japanese movie.

By the way, Tim and I saw it off a burned DVD from Todd. I don't think it actually releases in the States till late November. Till then, you can play the game. Ha!

< /nerd talk >

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nature can be a pain.

The 6 am morning sky is littered with stars - lots of them. As I head out from Tim's house into my car, I run my eyes from one star to another pinpointing constellations that I know and constellations that look familiar. Big dipper, little dipper...that's about it, but I was never much of a astronomer. I head down Foothill back to my house ten miles under the speed limit because 45 miles an hour feels fast to me when I just woken speed-walking to your friend's apartment right after having a couple beers.

By the time I arrived home, had taken a shower, and had gotten my things ready for class, the sky was illuminated by the sun's rising. There are no more stars, but now there is a deathly brown smoke trail coming from the East. The fires from Simi Valley are still blazing from yesterday's heat. The smoke cakes the lower sky with a cloud of filthy smoke and ash, and it looks like some kind of ancient battle was just fought all night. I drove to school in this atmosphere and mindset, and I couldn't figure out if it was a good thing or not.

The Simi Valley fires is just a reminder of what Southern California gets around this time every year. It is a twisted and humorous thing when I think how natural disasters are always covered one step too late. We evacuate in preparation for Rita only when Katrina came and made us realize how much damage hurricanes can do. Typhoon warnings are covered after news of the disasters in Southeast Asia are reported. Possible landslide occurrences are given after La Conchita is under a giant pile of mud. Is it just me, or are we only obsessed with being ready for certain disasters when the damage is already done?

Maybe I'm wrong, so comments are more than welcome to correct my cynical and bitter stance.

By the end of the day, the brown layer of smoke seeped into the rest of the sky, and Ventura county looks much like Downtown LA on a midsummer's day. The air joins in with the sky and leaves the evening in a muggy lukewarm heat. Sleeping tonight will be more of a task or chore now rather than a natural cycle.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

To rain or not to rain?

Yesterday had some lovely weather. It rained on and off four or five times up here in Ventura, but it was odd because the rain would stop just as instantly as it would start. I haven't seen that kind of weather since I lived in the tropics. The sun also found its way through the rain clouds somehow, so there was a point in the day where I was driving in the high noon sunshine. However, the random rainclouds made for a beautiful late afternoon! The clear blue sky, the crisp clean air, and the golden sunset was wonderful. I swerved a couple times on the road staring at the sky.

I find it pathetically ironic that I enjoyed the view from the front seat of my car zipping down the 101. Usually, one who has any love for nature would have parked somewhere and taken a long walk. Talk about a product of today's society.

Kuya is back East with a group from CityTeam doing some relief and ministry work in New Orleans. He has been appointed the photographer, which is awesome. Check out his separate blog for the trip.

On Sunday I went and saw Corpse Bride with a couple friends. I enjoyed it very much. It has all those Tim Burton qualities to it that is unmatched, but I do have to say that I like The Nightmare Before Christmas better. Nevertheless, Corpse Bride is still a fun movie to watch. Just the visuals are enough to go see it on the big screen, and I laughed more than once just because the characters looked ridiculous.

Speaking of kid movies, don't go see Madagascar. No, don't even rent it. Waste of time, I can't believe I couldn't talk my friends into seeing Mr. and Mrs. Smith instead at the dollar theatre. My friends suck.

This post isn't really going anywhere. I started to jump to a different subject again, but I realized that I'm starting to ramble. So I'll stop.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Never Been Unloved

Michael W. Smith's Live the Life.

Never Been Unloved

I have been unfaithful
I have been unworthy
I have been unrighteous
And I have been unmerciful

I have been unreachable
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling
And I have been undesirable

Sometimes I have been unwise
I’ve been undone by what I’m unsure of
But because of you and all that you went through
I know that I have never been unloved

I am proud to say that I like MWS. No...I love MWS! Ever since Kuya got into him back in the early 90s, I couldn't help but like his stuff too. To all those who think MWS sucks, you have to face the fact that he was one of the trailblazers for contemporary Christian music today. Bands today owe a lot to those pioneers (SCC, Steve Green, and Steve Camp are other examples). Sure his new stuff isn't that great - who cares!? Old-school MWS is where it's really at!

Anyway, I realize that there is a lot of music on my blog lately. Sorry if that's a bit annoying. I've just been immersed in a lot of it lately - more so than usual.

Here are a couple links to blog entries from my bros that went up while I was on my blog fast.

Souvenirs - Kuya put up a collection of pictures of our family in all their photographic glory. Awesome.

Let's be an ethnographer - A post that Oli wrote on the disaster in New Orleans and the issue of immediate short-term mission trips being sent to the area. Very well, written.

That's just cold!

I was watching some show on Comedy Central that's hosted by David Spade, and this comedian comes up and starts ragging on the MTV Music Video Awards. About Coldplay, he said something along the lines of this:

"Coldplay - the new U2? More like the new U-Suck! You know what's cool about U2? They aren't known as the old Coldplay."

I absolutely love Coldplay and their music, but I thought that was incredibly funny.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Enter the entertainment.

The Blues

Is there nothing left now, nothing left to sing?
Are there any left who haven't kissed the enemy?
Is this the new year or just another desperation?
Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?
And nothing is okay until the world caves in.

Until the world caves in,
Until the world caves in...

I must say that Switchfoot has produced their best record yet. Nothing Is Sound is an amazing album, and proves to all that Switchfoot can still make great music. For some reason, I've had a sort of love-hate thing going with Switchfoot the past few years...mainly because they just got so huge in one sweeping year and changed drastically as a band. I thought The Beautiful Letdown had maybe five or six awesome songs (maybe seven), but got tired of it a little too fast; plus I thought it was ridiculous that they re-recorded I Dare You To Move two more times and made two different videos for the same song. To me, it just seemed so lame. However, I'm a big fan of Switchfoot's music, and I knew that the band was Christian and write their music based on their Christian beliefs. I just liked calling them sell-outs in front of my friends because it pissed them off so much. Ha!

Anyway, this new album is awesome! Every song sounds great (if not awesome), and the lyrics are once again amazing. It's nice to actually hear something that is very good through and through; we don't get very many records like that anymore. Last time Switchfoot did something this good was back when New Way To Be Human came out, so I welcome Nothing Is Sound with open arms. Although it is a bummer that they can't be as open about their Christian beliefs like they used to since they got really huge. I'm not really complaining, though. The album is also very serious and quite dark, which is different. According to their Myspace profile (yes, I really did reference their Myspace), the music is based off Ecclesiastes, so it's pretty depressing at first. Wondering why we go through our days, Switchfoot questions the very meaning of life. It does end with the message that the only real hope in life is found in God. I think it's very good for all to hear, especially those who don't share the Faith.

Yeah, listen to the cd if you don't want to buy it.

Onto other forms of entertainment, I watched Just Like Heaven with Oli and Nem. Don't worry guys, the only reason why I went and paid full theatre price for the movie was because Oli paid the full price for me. Plus Reese is hot, and I like watching hot women on the big screen. The movie was pretty good for a chick flick, and I enjoyed myself. It was like Ghost for the next generation! Except for like the murders and freaky scary parts. I thought it was clever that they actually took the "suspence horror" view of ghosts in Just Like Heaven and made it very light-hearted and pretty humorous instead. And Reese's ghost can haunt me anyday. She is hot.

She is.

That's about it. Mark Ruffalo is cool and funny too, but he can't seem to get past his Mark Ruffalo-ness. That's okay, though. As long as he doesn't lead in an epic war movie that also casts Tom Sizemore, Orlando Bloom, or any of those guys from Braveheart.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Band of Brothers is on right now. (Episode 9)

Nah, I'm not going the "one post a month" route as Jon suggested. I just haven't gotten into the cycle of blogging a lot like I used to do. Whatever. You can always call or e-mail me if you are just dying to know what I'm up to. And if you have neither, than that means I don't care about you and you can kiss my smelly armpits.

Now on to things!

I'm taking three classes this session rather than the usual two. I decided to get an extra gen. ed. class done since I'll most likely be gone up in Nor Cal for the Nov.-Dec. session. Kuya's boss from CityTeam is interested in my photography and wants me to work for them. I may be able to get it as an internship and get credit with Brooks, so pray that will work out. If not, I can still do it as an independant study with Brooks, but it just won't have that same flare on my resume like an internship would.

Through my church, I joined this "40 Days of Purpose" thing which is done through Rick Warren's The Purpose Drive Life. Now, I'm not a particular fan of the book (even though I've never read it). Mainly because it just seems too much like a self-help book, and that's just lame. Warren does disclaim that the book is much more than that, but has that whole "improve your relationship with God and know the true meaning of life" feel to it. He just added "within 40 days" at the end of it. Anyway, I mainly joined the whole thing because all I do is sign up, join the college group, and I get a free hard cover copy of the book. I figure that it won't harm me to read the book, and I can meet and talk about God in a group setting. There is always a chance that I'll get something real good out of it, and I don't see how I can get dumber reading the book. Plus the college Bible study group that I go to every Thursday was replaced by this, so I might as well go. Anyway, the book isn't very intriguing and is pretty basic. Oh, well.

I also officially joined the youth band at church. Three of the original members went off to college, so I'm a replacement dude. Coolio. It'll take a bit for us to fully gel with one another since there's been a lot of new people coming in and old ones going out, but we'll be fine. Tim and I stayed up till 5 am last night recording some music we wrote. By the time we got it all figured out, we were way too tired to focus on playing really well for the recording. Heh. Awesome. I love staying over at the Philips. They have cable there. Adult Swim, baby!

That's all.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

That took a while.

I went a whole month with no real update on my blog. I'm so proud of myself. Here are the highlights:


Ten days in Minnesota - I flew out to Minnesota to photograph the wedding of my long-time friend Andrea Olson and her fiance Warrick Hess. They're both Hess' now and very happy together. I spent ten days there (instead of just the weekend of the wedding) because my Travel Photography class required us to go out of town for at least seven days and do a travel piece in a location, so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by just extending my stay in Minnesota. Plus I get to hang out with old friends. Wonderful! Of course, I slacked off like any lazy college student did and neglected my work till like the last four days. All in all, the trip felt like a long school break.

The Hess wedding went very well, and I did a fair job with the pictures. My comp. started having problems, though, not too long after I got back, so now I need to wait a little longer before going through my edit. That story comes a little later.

LAN party - If you guys read either Kuya's, Oli's, Mac's, Nem's, OR AJ's blogs, you will know that we had a LAN party not even two days after I got back to Ventura. LAN parties are LAN parties, there isn't much to tell about it. It's a lot of fun, but that's about it. We need get a better system going with the network, though, because we always have a problem getting the network up and running quickly (we usually take a few hours before actually playing full on network games). The coolest thing about the LAN was that all those people I listed earlier in this section came down to Ventura. Kuya needed to drive Oli and Nem down here because they're heading back to Biola. I took them the rest of the way to La Mirada the next day. Mac and AJ came down solely for the party. Now that is dedication to computer/video gaming!

Class Finals - My final projects for both my Travel Photography class and Basic Business class were due Monday after our LAN party weekend. So while we were doing the gaming, I took a large chunk of my day to meet with my Basic Business group to form our business plan to present to class. On Sunday I spent the better part of my day driving Oli and Nem down to La Mirada, and then I raced back up to Ventura to meet with my group again to put together our research. I woke up at 7 am on Monday to work five and a half hours straight to finish my Travel Photography project, then went out to the Salvation Army to buy a nice (but incredibly cheap) coat for my presentation in Basic Business. Since my business group wanted to meet one last time before class at 8 pm, I left Travel early (starts at 4:45 pm) at 5:45 pm to make it to their 6:30 meeting. We were so stressed and anxious once class started that we volunteered to go first to present our business just so we can get it done and over with.

Needless to say...when I flew in from Minnesota, I sort of landed on So Cal with my feet running. Not that I'm complaining at all. I chose to spend my free time at the LAN party, so I just trucked through all the work at the very end since I brought it on myself.

I completely crashed by the end of Monday.

A Week with the Phllips - Somehow beyond me, I ended up spending a whole week at the Phllips (the house that hosted the LAN party). I think I was just so burned out on Monday that I didn't feel like going back to my house. My computer was still at the Phillips from the LAN party, and I was too lazy to move it back to where I lived. For a full week I slept at the Phillips. They didn't mind at all because their parents were gone till next Saturday. I was out of there (along with my computer) by Saturday morning.

Other Misc. Things - My car battery was dead when I flew in from Minnesota. I spent a good part of my day after I got back making sure it was a dead battery and nothing else, and then I finally bought a new battery.

My computer's has been terribly fragmented and cluttered for months now (maybe even a year), so I'm now in the process with Tim Phillips to completely wipe it clean and reinstall my needed programs.

The Nikon D70 that I have owned for a year and a half has crapped out on me. It has completely died, and I don't know why. I sent it in to a Nikon Repair Center for them to take a look at, but I'm hoping and praying that they can fix it before Sept. 12. I need to shoot another wedding then.


I find that work best under pressure. OR...that is the only time that I decide to work at all. Running around when the deadline is coming up and things need to be done NOW is my way of functioning. I'd like to thank procrastination for my newfound way of doing business.

Seriously, when I got back to La Mirada from Minnesota, things just seemed to go wrong for a whole day. The car's dead battery was only the first thing that went bad. My iPod, which I used as a hard drive to store all my photographs from my MN trip, started to act up and ended up locking up. Naturally, I freaked out since I would have been dead if I lost all my pictures. Then I realized that the equipment I checked out from Brooks was due back and I had no way to get it back to them. All this time, I was running around trying to find my friends to get me back into the house so I could get tools to take a look into my car. I had misplaced my keys in MN, so I couldn't get into their house on my own. I later found them buried deep in my backpack.

Anywho, it was all incredibly stressful. However, God was doing wonders in me and keeping me under control and keeping my cool. Through his grace, I stayed calm and didn't snap at anyone or anything. I was a bit on a downer, though, but at least I didn't get angry or hysterical. Just constantly praying to Him and putting very little to no worry on the day since there was not too much I could do. God is good, and He looks after us.

I hope you enjoyed my monster blog; it makes up for the large pause in my posting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Through the storm.

The world's done shakin'
The world's done shakin'
The world's done shakin' me down.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Weekly picture #11.

Posted by Picasa

Where The Streets Have No Name

U2's The Joshua Tree. Posted by Picasa

Where The Streets Have No Name

I want to run, I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside
I want to reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

Friday, July 29, 2005


Third Eye Blind's Blue. Posted by Picasa


Jackie O with the top down open
All the words to what's unspoken
Put together everything that's broken

Just to see you
I'll give you anything

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Long December

Counting Crows' Recovering the Satellites. Posted by Picasa

A Long December

All at once you look across a crowded room
to see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California...I think you should

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Two Days In February

Goo Goo Dolls Hold Me Up.Posted by Picasa

Two Days In February

I hung your picture on the wall
And that's all it is
I break my fingers to make a call
And that's all it is
I know you're living way out west
And I don't think that I confessed
Everything I feel

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Not the One

Collective Soul's Dosage. Posted by Picasa

Not the One

I waltzed around you
Seven times
Only to become
A melody you never sang

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Hardest Part

Coldplay's X&Y Posted by Picasa

The Hardest Part

I could feel it go down
Bittersweet I could taste in my mouth
Silver lining the clouds
Oh, and I, I wish that I could work it out

Monday, July 18, 2005

Give it back!

I helped lead worship with the youth band at EPC this past Sunday. It went well from what I could tell, but then again it was my first time to play and sing with a worship band during a church service. Apart from breaking a string in the middle of a song during the first service and Garret breaking one of his own during second service, it went smoothly.

I'm having a rough start with Travel Photography. Our first assignment was to photograph some architecture that was "unique to the community." So like fancy museums, city halls, churches, and the like were among the things to shoot. I didn't think it'd be difficult to find some places to photograph, but after the fourth option I found fell through over a period of two days, I gave up in frustration. I'll turn in the assignment a class session late. I hate that.

The re-examination of why I'm doing photography came up again this week. Why am I doing photography? I used to identify myself as a photographer as a photojournalist, but a friend of mine stated that he is, ultimately, a photographer. He is a photographer. I'm seeing that I shouldn't place myself into a single category of photography, but on the contrary open myself up to different fields. Exploring different areas of photography and taking various classes at Brooks has helped me realize this. I don't need to commit fully to one field of photography. I am a photojournalist. I am also a landscape photographer. I am also a wedding photographer. I am also a travel photographer. I am also a portrait photographer.

In the end, however, I would like to find myself photographing for the progression of missionaries around the world. I may be a photographer, but I am firstly a son of God and live to His glory and calling. God has blessed me with the talent of photography; giving this talent back to Him is what I now live for.

P.S. I love comments and everything, but the stuff from the July 13 post is just ridiculous. It's one thing to talk about alcohol. It's totally another thing to talk about my love life, alcohol, and the level of dependency they have on each other. So shut it, chumps. Yeah, you know who you are.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I almost cried when I saw this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"When I in awesome wonder..." (Weekly picture #9)

Posted by Picasa

The family went camping with old Davao friends at Yosemite. Unfortunately, Kuya couldn't make it, but that didn't get stop us from going. The trip was awesome, though a bit rushed. Because of all the moving Mom and Dad were doing the day before we headed out to Yosemite, we got to the National Park at the end of the second day of the trip. That only left us with a day and a half of camping there.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed relaxing and sight-seeing the beauty of Yosemite Valley. Uncle Lloyd, Uncle Roger, Robert Sheldon, Joe, Janel, Clint, and I hiked to the top of Half Dome on Friday. We got up real early at 5:30 am to head out on the 8.5 mile hike to the top. I was pretty reluctant to go the night before since I haven't hiked in a good two years and a 17 mile hike sounded like sure death considering my physical state.

I was almost right.

Due to lack of some kind of nutrient, both my thighs began to cramp a little under half way into the hike. I think it was just because I didn't drink enough water before the hike, and I was trying to conserve water in the in the middle of the hike. So I slowly but surely made my way to the top of the dome, though it took me five freakin' hours to do it. Uncle Lloyd stayed with me the whole way, which was very nice of him. The rest got to the top 45 minutes before we got there. Man, those cramps blew.

Getting to the top of Half Dome made the hike well worth the pains I endured. The view was amazing and magnificent. God simply has a creative mind! Going on trips to the Grand Canyon or Zion or Yosemite really brings you back to love and adore and fear God's power and Creation. Though Joe did bring up a good point later: People are God's greatest creation, and we shouldn't forget about praising God for making Man and making them in His own image. How special are we!? We are be seen so highly and differently to the rest of creation.

The rest of the camping trip was pretty chill. We just hung out at the campgrounds and caught up with old friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Being a photographer, I took pictures...naturally. I didn't go for that whole "I'm going to go hardcore and take shots like Ansel Adams!" approach. I just took pictures, and they're mostly of people. I did do some landscape stuff but nothing amazing. I would like to go back someday for the sole purpose of photography. This time, however, I wanted to just appreciate Yosemite as it is.

I posted the pictures on Flickr. By the way, apologies for missing a week in the Weekly Pictures. I was really busy that week, and I didn't take a picture that week anyway.

I end with a hymn that we sung the night before the last day of camp.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy birthday, America. (updated)

Update: We did go to that party, which turned out to be like a mini bbq restaurant that Rachel and her girl friends set up. It was nice to have waitresses bring us our drinks and cheeseburgers and "mega ultimate chili cheese dogs." Good stuff. The girls had fun, and it was convenient for us. Everyone wins!

We also did play X-box. Groovy!

-11:39 pm, Monday, July 4, 2005


Happy Fourth of July to all! What will you do to celebrate?

I believe our family will be going to some party at a friend's place down here in Escondido. Oli and I are not particular friends of the family since there's no kids around our age there, but they do have an X-box along with Halo. We'll enjoy ourselves just fine.

To keep in spirit of Independence Day, I'm going to talk about War of the Worlds, which Oli, David Youngman (he's in town for an internship, so he came to visit this weekend), and I went and saw last Friday. Okay, it doesn't really have anything to do with the Fourth of July, but it reminded me a lot of the movie Independence Day, which had a lot to do with the Fourth of July. By the way, I liked that movie. I love its cheese and overrated special effects.

Anywho, I liked War of the Worlds for the most part. The special effects were phenomenal...I couldn't see anything that looked obviously CGI throughout the movie. The acting was great. I'm a big fan of Tom Cruise as an actor, though, so I may be biased. It's not Oscar-worthy stuff, but he is convincing as a regular chum who is a lousy father. Even Dakota Fanning was great in the movie.

A lot of people complain about the ending, but I don't know what they expect considering it's based off a book and there already was a different movie made back in 1953. (Dude, that is an awesomely bad sci-fi flick if I've ever seen one.) Spielberg couldn't really change the ending of the whole story. I do think that there are some odd parts in the movie, and I thought the ending for the characters was wrapped up a little too fast for any real satisfaction. I do like the whole idea that it followed a few normal people merely trying to survive rather than following a scientist trying to find a way to stop the aliens.

All in all, it's worth a watch in the theatre simply because of the special effects. If you wait for this on dvd, it won't have the same effect. I personally liked the story of Tom Cruise's character and his two kids, but I've heard a lot of people say they hated it, so that's just me. As far as the cinematography, Spielberg continues to amaze me with his directorial skillz.

Oh, yeah...Batman Begins is awesome. Go see that movie too. Awesome.

Monday, June 27, 2005

DK (updated!)

Update: The pictures are now uploaded for all to see. So sorry that it took me so long to finally get them on the web. The combination of laziness and computer difficulties (both hardware and software) don't make for convenient situations. Anyway, I used Flickr to upload the pictures, so go HERE to view them. Sorry if some pictures are out of focus or motion blurred or off color, but I didn't try so hard on this event photo-wise. It wasn't like I was getting paid to do it. :)

For the most part, it was fun to look through them. If you guys want higher-res shots of any of these pictures, just e-mail me with a list of the filenames of the pictures (ex: DSC3485 or DSC3251) I didn't think you guys wanted all 91 pictures, and if you do...too bad. There are also pictures that I didn't upload, like the extra 15 of Libby Moothart (I don't want to hear it, Jon). So if there's a picture you want that's not on Flickr that you remember being taken on my camera, mention it to me.

Gerry Fisher also posted some pics on the web, so you can take a look at those as well. Go HERE.


-3:56 am, Saturday, July 2, 2005


Hurray for Dustin and Katie! They are married! Congrats to you kids. Have fun in Hawaii.

The wedding was quite fun. I was one of the groomsmen, so I got to dress in a tux and look slick and more attractive than I already am. It was AWEsome!

No, really. It was a great time, and I always enjoy weddings of my friends and family. It is one of the most beautiful things to see two people become one before God, family, friends, and the church. Marriage is such a beautiful example and wonderful imagery between the marriage between Christ and the church, and it reminds me so much of the unity of God and His Three Persons. I am sad to see this country degrade the idea of marriage to something so dull and simplistic. Marriage is so much more than promising each to be life partners; it is disgusting to watch the view of marriage become so shallow.

Dustin and Katie's wedding was one of beauty, and no one could define "beauty" better than Katie did yesterday. It is always that way. The bride is always beautiful; I don't know what it is about that.

The best part of the wedding was when I pulled out my liquor flask and spiked my punch with some whiskey. Sorry, Dustin: "No alcohol" rule or not, I'm drinking. Heh. After the reception, some of us went to BJ's and hung out for a while, which is where the weekly picture is from. More pics will come up soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lifehouse, baby!

I went and saw Lifehouse in concert yesterday. Excellent show. Their music live is much better than any of their recorded stuff, and they know how to rock out for us fans. Their song line-up was great starting with Spin and "ending" (meaning a pause between their last song and their encore) with Everything. They played a good balance of songs from all three of their albums, but naturally most of the songs were from their third. Take Me Away, Come Back Down, and Sick Cycle Carousel are just a few of their hits, and they also played a new song which hasn't been recorded. They returned to the stage for their expected encore to end with Hanging By a Moment and some slow, beautiful song that isn't on any of their albums. I think someone told me it was written even before their Lifehouse days, but I'm not sure.

Lifehouse has some very good songs, and their lyrics speaks volumes of their Christian beliefs. References like "You make me walk on water/And you will catch me when I fall" and lines like "I got nothing else to lose/I lost it all when I found you/But I wouldn't change a thing" really can't be about anything else but God. That's my interpretation of their songs, though. Maybe I reach too far, and some anti-religious kid would reject any of those thoughts as being remotely true.

While we're talking about music, Coldplay's new album X&Y is an excellent buy. I like their other two better, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a bad cd. Not at all! X&Y is still top notch stuff. Dave wrote a good review on the album. Give it a read, and give X&Y a listen.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Completely and totally!

Guess what, guys...Michael's innocent! I find it quite amazing that the jury found him not guilty on all counts. I thought he was gonna get it on the alcohol charges, but alas! he came out on top. Honestly, I'm quite relieved about it all. I would like to think that Michael Jackson isn't a sick freak - he's just plainly a freak.

I went up to Santa Maria on Monday to photograph the happenings of the trial as the jury was still deciding their verdict. Little did I know, along with two other of my friends I went along with, that they would actually come to a decision that very day. We had a good guess it would happen, but as the day went on without anything really happening, we started to lose hope that the day would be even remotely interesting.

When the announcement that the jury came to a decision, everything started to speed up. It's nice when actual news happens, at least from a media standpoint. We like news. That is usually not the case for me because I don't like to wish newsworthy events upon people. Newsworthy events, by our country's definition, seems to be on the misfortunes of people. However, the deciding of the verdict is not a misfortune; the verdict is more of a relief for everyone. This trial has gone on for a long time, and the end is finally here. It didn't matter what the verdict was, everyone was glad that it was ending. Everyone was especially glad that Michael was innocent because it means that Michael didn't molest a poor little boy and scar him for life. It also means that the fans were happy, and the media was happy because the fans were happy. I think we would have all died that day if Michael was found guilty. The media had a good guess that the fans from all over the world would have jumped us. With good reason too. The media hasn't been making a good image of Michael lately. The media can be real jerks sometimes...most of the time.

It was a good experience taking photographs like this again. Very refreshing, and I missed doing this sort of thing. As crazy and freaky as Michael's hardcore fans are, it was cool to see so many happy people celebrating together. I'll a few pictures later.

Sorry about no weekly picture for last week. I just didn't go out and shoot anything or find anything I thought would be worth posting as a weekly picture. But you can look at this! (It's a tadpole!)

Thursday, June 09, 2005


"I am a year old."

-Lem's blog

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Oh, that silly Kenobi!

I forgot to mention this:

*WARNING! This post contains movie spoilers regarding Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

As I watched Episode 3 of Star Wars, I was puzzled with Obi-Wan's phrase "Only the Sith deal in absolutes," but didn't think too much of it until I noticed that it really got to some people. Maybe not "really," but people gave it more thought that I did. Some people think it was Lucas' way of stating that the Star Wars philosophy is morally relativistic. Others made a parallel of this scene with Jesus. Others, like my buddies Jon and Phil, think it's just crap like other lines written into the script.

The whole Jesus comparison was rather shocking to me, but I guess it shouldn't be since anyone will take a jab at God and Jesus when they can...even if it's a incredibly weak and scrawny one. The comparison is terribly put out of context, though. Context, people! Context! The verse, if you're wondering, is Matthew 12:30.

I decided that the whole "absolute" line is just poorly dialogue line because it doesn't have any backbone to it. Ten minutes into the lightsaber duel, Obi-Wan is yelling, "Anakin! Palpatine is evil!" I wonder what Lucas was trying to pull with the whole thing.

I like Phil's comment about this: "Clearly you can't have a good movie that is morally relativistic, but you can try."

Just things...

A real post hasn't been written in a couple weeks. My bad.

I just watched Requiem for a Dream, and now I want to go kill myself. Well, it's not that depressing, but it was a very effective movie. I haven't seen such a strong, intense movie about drug use since Traffic. City of God is a very good movie as well. Staying on track, Requiem for a Dream is a great movie; however, I don't want to see that movie ever again. I also don't want to ever touch drugs.

Moving on, there are other things in my life that I neglected to post about, namely my parents' graduations. Congrats to them both! I'm truly and honestly proud of both of them. Kuya and Oli wrote more about these events.

I also saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith again with Chrissy because I liked it so much the first time. It was just as enjoyable the second time around, except it did seem to drag a little at the end. Since it was mostly fixing up plot holes and inconsistencies between the first and second trilogies, it was kind of dull seeing it again the second time. I did, however, appreciate the acting more now movie since I focused more on watching the actors act this time around. Obviously, they did a much better job than the first two episodes, but I kind noticed more the relation between the behaviors of the first movies leading up to this one. In that way, I understand why Anakin was so child-like in the second and why Obi-Wan looked like a jerk in the same episode. Nevertheless, I'm still not that impressed with Hayden Christensen's acting abilities. I need to see some of his other work.

I'm such a movie dork.

Oh yeah, I forgot to write that I might join up with the youth band at the church I attend here in Ventura. That's pretty exciting for me because I always prayed to get involved with the church community somehow, and this may be the opporunity that God has presented. I say that I "might" join up because a lot of the members are leaving this Fall to go to college (just graduated from high school this year), so the band might just end if it can't stay on it's feet. We'll see how it goes. It's in God's hands.

I think that will be it for now. It's kind of late.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Friday, May 20, 2005


Turns out that Anakin is Darth Vader in the episodes 4-6! That's crazy!

I was surprised that I really liked every bit of this movie. Well done, Lucas. There were some bits and pieces that were just painful like cliche dialogue or cheesy camera shots, but all in all it was great. The story to this prequel trilogy couldn't have ended better. Everything (story-wise) was tied up in a very strong, tight knot. Bravo, Georgey-boy. You didn't screw up this time.

With that said, go see the movie. It's great to see how everything unfolded, and it was truly a tragic story. The character development in this one is the best out of episodes 1-3. Even though you know what happens with Anakin, you feel the emotional pain he's going through in the whole process. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a sad character to watch in this movie as well.

Yup, Padme's "You're breaking my heart" line from the trailer is just as good in the movie as it was in the preview. Probably even better.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

It's true.

P.S. I really is 5:06 am right now. Time to end my Wednesday. Good night/morning everyone.

Man-made rainbow.

School right now is pretty cool. I'm only taking one class, and it's quite laid back. The class is Visual Thinking, and it goes more into the essence of photography rather than studying one branch of it (landscape, still-life, photojournalism, portraits, etc.). That being said, what we photograph is a lot of fun because it's what we want to photograph rather than what the "editor" wants us to photograph or how they want it to be photographed. Assigmnments are intentionally vague in its description to help us think about how we want to take the picture. Things like photograph "light" or "focus" instead of a sunset or what have you.

Anyway, so for the heck of it, the teacher assigned us (on a whim) to take a picture of the Chromatic Gate in Santa Barbara. Personally, I think it's hideous. I've talked to other students, and, apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that about it. Take a look for yourself.

However, the assignment was to have the artistic piece of work in the frame somehow, but it didn't matter where or how. The teacher just wanted to see how we would take the picture and how we saw the darn thing. It was fun to look at everyone's stuff and their approach to it. Like I said before, the thing is pretty ugly where it is. Nevertheless, you can make it look pretty sweet like Scott London or Steve Weixel did.

Here is the picture I turned in for class.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Got it back! (Weekly Picture #2.)

The hard drive (along with a pair of my shoes) came in the mail today. Hurrah!

As promised, here's last week's picture.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


These are a few movies I've seen in the past few weeks. Some I saw for the first time, some I saw again just for kicks, some are recently made, and some are classics. I just thought I'd write them down.

12 Angry Men: Excellent movie! Go see it. That's it.

Kingdom of Heaven: Not as bad as I thought it would be. It's better than the other epic movies that have come out in the last couple years (ahem...Troy, King Arthur...), so at least Ridley Scott still knows how to make those sword-clashing movies right. I enjoyed the setting, and the story was, I learned later, not too badly twisted from its historical reference...except that whole "Christian and Muslims are the same!" message they had throughout the movie. Well, I guess in context of the Crusades, both the Christians and the Muslims did fight for Jerusalem, so they were pretty similar in that regard. I won't get into all that, though. Such an interesting part of history! Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good movie. Oh yeah, and Orlando Bloom isn't a pretty boy in the movie either, which is cool. He needs to play different types of characters, though.

Red Dragon: I always thought it was funny that Hollywood would decide to remake Manhunter just so they could make a trilogy with Anthony Hopkins being Hannibal Lecter in all three movies. On the other hand, Red Dragon was awesome and much better than the original. It's nice to have remakes do well, I just wish it happened more often. Red Dragon reminded me how great Edward Norton and Hopkins are as actors. Although, I didn't realize that Brian Cox was the original Hannibal Lecter till now (good ol' IMDb!). That's pretty cool.

Runaway Jury: I've been wanting to see this movie for a while now because it looked interesting to me. The movie is based off of a John Grisham novel, which I didn't know until I popped the dvd in. I really didn't know what to expect from the film, but was pleasantly surprised with it at the end. It was better than I expected, and the story was pretty good. Go see it sometime if you don't have anything else to do.

I think I'm going to start watching some more classic movies. I borrowed 12 Angry Men from the Brooks library and watched it tonight. It was awesome! I also borrowed Citizen Kane from the library since I've been told it could be the best movie that was ever made.

Watching The Godfather series won't be a bad idea either. I want to see a Marlon Brando film. However, Jon believes that On the Waterfront is probably his best performance, so I'll have to watch that first.

On top of that, I still need to watch all five Star Wars episodes before the lastest installment to the story hits the big screen.

I'm sorry that I haven't posted a weekly picture yet, but I left my hard drive at Mom and Dad's apartment. I've been in Ventura all this time without my computer, so I haven't been able to upload any pictures. Do not worry, though, for my hard drive is in the mail! Yes! I could upload the picture from Brooks, I suppose, but that's a long way to drive just to add something to my blog. I'm not that desperate.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hooah! (pt. 2)

My day wasn't very birthday-ish. I spent most of it in the apartment writing e-mails or chatting. Heh. I love break. Actually, I spent some time with my sister and her friend...but not that much.

So yeah, nothing really happened to honor my birthday most of the day. Except this evening while Dad and I were sitting on the couch with our own laptops and sucking up wireless bandwidth from the guys upstairs, Rachel runs up to Dad and asks, "Dad, what kind of cake is Mom bringing home?"

Dad responded with a inaudible "shhh" gesture, to which Rachel audibly sounded an "oh."

I love it when the element of surprise is completely destroyed.

Mom didn't come with a cake, but Dad went out to take out the trash that took about 15 minutes. He returned with a chocolate cake with German chocolate icing and coconut in the middle. What a sneaky old man!

So the five of us (Mom, Dad, Rachel, Rachel's friend, and me) got around the table and we had the traditional birthday song and cake eating. With video and pictures and everything! The video is pretty funny, mainly because of the oddness of it. The cake was really hard, and the candle was really huge (see picture).

On another note: I finished reading all of Ctrl Alt Delete today. That was a rather tiresome, yet pleasing, task. I especially like this one.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Keeping up.

I've been thinking...

Since a lot of my closest friends that I hang out with are Torrey students, their level of intellect and conversation is way above mine. The best thing I could think of to solve this problem would be to try to improve my reading habits and actually dive into some real worthwhile books. Of course, that is a lot to do for someone like me: a product of pop culture of today's society where material, celebrity, and shallow entertainment is everything.

I feel it necessary, however, to spend time with some quality reading. From just analyzing myself, I realize how much time I don't spend filling my brain with useful information about Christianity, religion, science, history, philosophy, etc. Well, I could probably stay away from a lot of philosophy because there's just way too much to go through. I'd rather spend more time in theology.

Theology rocks!

Also! I started this blog with a much stronger writing sense and style because I originally wanted this blog to be a place I could practice my writing skills. Going through the first entries, I can see now that my blog has reduced to "teeny bopper" style. Movies, music, and the occasional emotional post about how my life is so pathetic or a rant on something along the lines of romantic sap.

How depressing.