Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Seattle Bunch

Good friends, good times.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Evergreen State

Luke and I went to Seattle to visit Phil and Alisha over the long Thanksgiving weekend. It was a lot of fun with many trail walks, downtown sight-seeing, and visiting monumental spots. I won't write a lot about the trip because it's all thoroughly covered through pictures! All four of us took a lot of photographs, and the they're all properly uploaded onto our Flickr profiles. It's thoroughly documented.

Friday, Day 1

Saturday, Day 2

Sunday, Day 3

Overall, the trip was a total blast. I loved every minute of it, and seeing Phil and Alisha was very fun. I missed them a lot, and I'm glad that they haven't changed...well, except for the obvious ("Hi Noah!!!).

It will be sad to leave, but life moves on. Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reflections | The Job | And its sidekicks | End of the money god

Looking back at this blog and the most recent posts I've made, I have realized that it has been incredibly lame. I haven't been writing nearly enough, and when I write it's primarily on entertainment. My goodness, did I really write something on The Wheel of Time?

Ah, well. I guess that's just how it goes. My heart really hasn't been into blogging anymore. I do get inspiration to write about something, but when it comes down to sitting down and actually writing the blog, I sulk. I guess my inspiration isn't very strong.

However, I do feel I owe it to the readers (ie family and friends) to keep writing. So here it goes!

Update: The post has become extremely long, so I divided it into sections. It gives the illusion that I'm writing in an organized fashion and it's not large rant.


The job is going okay. The excitement level here at CityTeam resembles something like a roller coaster. Major assignments for a week, then nothing for a week, then major assignments for a week, then nothing, and so on and so on. I'm in the nothing week right now, and it's incredibly dull. Next week will be when the holiday events start, and the media rush starts right along with it. Luckily, I won't be having to work on Thanksgiving day like two years ago, but there is still a hefty amount of work to be done. I'm just prepping all my gear now, blacking-out tapes, checking batteries, cleaning lenses, testing mics. I did all of that in like one day, and now I'm stuck browsing the web reading Warcraft lore, playing Scrabble on Facebook, and writing blogs. :)


Also, I've been doing a lot of side jobs lately. Many weddings were photographed, a few portraits sessions were had, and even some video editing was conducted. Considering the work ethic and utter hatred I have for photo post-production, I'm terribly backed up. I don't know why I accept more side jobs when I have like three other projects I'm trying to get done, but I do it anyway. I just need the cash, I guess.


Which actually brings me to something I wanted to write about. It seems whenever I feel somewhat released from financial burdens, something comes up that throws me right back into it. Mainly, it's a major car repair at the very opportune time when I've made a lot of money recently. For a while, I would get really frustrated about it to the point where I would question God's motives. I pray for financial support in any way, and whenever I finally got it, it was taken away. Of course, it was a terrible way of looking at "financial support," but I was seeing it through the perspective that having thousands of dollars in my account was the definition of financial stability.

In reality, God was helping me get through the money problems. Giving me opportunities to make some extra cash prepared me for when my car unexpectedly broke down or when another student loan finally kicked in. Sure, I would have much rather have just had the money without my car having trouble, but if this is how God will teach me to put more faith in Him, then so be it. It's also taught me to really give up my monetary responsibility to God. I struggled with the idea of giving tithes to the church every week when I was in bad financial pickle, but praying about it one last time and dropping the check in the offering basket made me realize that better things have come of it. More discipline, more faith, and my bank account hasn't been negatively affected by giving 10% of my earnings each week ever since I started doing that.

So anyway, I've learned a lot about my faith in God through money. It's pretty exciting, and I give gladly to the offering plate every Sunday now. It's not because I am well in money, but because I know that God is there backing me up. I really owe it to Him to give some of my earnings back, and I love Him more for it.


Whew! I think that will be all for now. I'm gonna go take my lunch break now. Man, work is just tough sometimes...

Friday, October 12, 2007


Hey, peeps. It's been a while. I hope everyone is doing well.

I recently put together a set of photos that sort of track the progress of my photography. I thought it'd be fun to do, and it was. I wrote a lot of commentary through the whole thing, and I tried to keep it as entertaining as possible, so if you're interested in seeing a lot of photos of me, go have a look:

I also put the pictures up on Facebook because I know there are people on there who won't even bother going to Flickr to look at pictures. But then again, this is a different photo set and no one can pass up looking at so many pictures of my awesome self.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Wheel keeps on spinnin'

Well, three days ago, I learned of some news that I found interesting. Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, died of a rare disease.

I laughed.

If some of you don't know the status of the WoT series, it isn't complete with the 12th book on its way when Jordan croaked. He had notes that he passed on so that the book can be completed, which will end the series entirely.

Anyway, I read the article reporting this news with laughter in my throat. I just thought of all those hardcore WoT fans gobbling up the newest book as it came out, discussing the characters, the land, and the plot twists. I imagined them delving into the hundreds of pages that served as a glossary for each of those novels to explain more in detail the terms that may not have been described in the main text body. I thought of all those countless hours Jordan spent writing this and the fans spent reading it. And for what? Nothing! I think a final book written by a different author just to resolve the story would hardly be the same. Notes-shmotes, that 12th book won't be the same.

So I laughed.

All those poor shmucks who thought this story was SO AMAZING were totally suckered. I was almost sucked into the WoT movement. I read the first book during my Junior year of high school because of recommendations, and I thought it was excellent. It did remind me much of The Fellowship of the Ring, but I found it forgivable. I then bought the second book and started reading it when I realized something: There are SIX more of these novels that are STILL on the same story with another book on it's way. And from what my friends were saying about the story, there was no end in sight! That's when I put the second book down. Screw...that!

I'm no writer, but having eleven books over 15 years doesn't speak well of your series. To me it confesses bad story-telling, bloated plot-lines, and I can only guess unnecessary tangents. How else could you have gone thousands and thousands of pages on the same story? I'm sorry, Jordan, that's just terrible. Have you ever heard of notes or outlines? Perhaps planning out the whole story before actually putting it down in a narrative sense? Sure Tolkien spent decades planning out LOTR, but at least he was able to write it into a "trilogy." Stuff from LOTR could have been edited out because they were unnecessary to the whole story (the Hobbits' return to the Shire in the book was ridiculous), but all that excess adds up to maybe a hundred pages...I bet you could do without whole BOOKS in WoT.

I also became turned off from the series because of the lack of self-confidence in the characters. Of course, the main character was only beginning his discovery of becoming top dawg when I stopped reading, but I...hate...excessively whiny characters. Rand al'Thor had way too much potential to be one of those types, and I didn't want to deal with that for 10+ novels.

I can't get the feeling out of me that the only reason why the 12th book will finally end WoT is because Jordan KNEW he was dying. Otherwise, I bet he would have gone longer on the series. I guess it was the Wheel of Time's way of saying, "End my suffering already!" You could say that the Wheel of Time for Jordan ended before Jordan could end The Wheel of Time. Man, if that's not irony, I don't know what is...

Jordan, it's sad - it really is - that you've passed away. I'm sure you made an impact in people's lives that doesn't involve your books, but I feel no pity for the WoT and its missing proper, Jordan-written ending.

I went on the web to see if others shared my feelings, and though I found more WoT lovers than haters, I did find an anti-Wheel of Time page. It was so funny, that I thought I should link to it. Be warned that it's a site-design disaster, but the content is priceless.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Being goalie.

I played goalie this week for the Saturday hockey session I have with the cousins. Good times. It doesn't help me practice being a better skater or stronger puck handler or even a better defensive/offensive player, but it's fun. At least, I find it fun. I don't know if the other cousins are as eager to step up and be goalie rather than go out and skate, but I don't mind it at all. I'm definitely stronger on the glove side rather than stick side, but I think that's because they don't have a set up for a left-hander, so I play as a right-handed goalie (left-handed glove, right-handed stick). It makes stick-side incredibly slow since my right arm is significantly weaker than my left, and I just instinctively want to use my left hand more resulting in a lot of glove saves and not much stick saves.

The whole game on Saturday, though, was really good. A lot of people turned up this time around to make a four-on-four game with a goalie on each team. The past few weeks we'd have boards set up in front of the goals since we wouldn't have enough players to fill in the goalie position. It's always a lot of fun when you get goalies.

It's a shame that there aren't any adult leagues local to the cousins. It'd be fun to form a team and compete against other people. Oh, well. We've done really well doing pickup games for 10+ years, which is pretty amazing if you think about it.

Let's move to Russia!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Frequent Flickrer

I've been using Flickr more often now, so that's pretty exciting. Anyway, the latest set is from last Saturday during Labor Day weekend. Relatives threw a picnic, and there are fun shots there. Check them out!

Also, don't forget to go to Dave's set from the picnic. There's a lot more on his set, and he got shots from the volleyball session.

I personally like the connection between these two shots.

Phoenix, Afterwords

I finally sold my social life out (or what was left of it) and went out to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by myself. Oh, well. It was still quite enjoyable being in an almost empty theater since it's been out for months now. Anyway, the movie was pretty good. I heard a lot of flaws about it that I came in with low expectations, and that only leaves room for satisfaction and none for disappointment. I can see why people wouldn't enjoy this movie as much. It was all over the place, and there were definite references with no explanations. "Yup, you know this makes sense in the book."

Overall, though, I enjoyed it. Considering the heavy amount of content that was in the book, there's gotta be room for forgiveness. Movie adaptations are very difficult, especially for progressing stories like Harry Potter. However, this movie may have pushed me over the edge to start reading the books because there's just too much that doesn't make sense now without proper explanation. And asking people who've read the books to explain it to me just doesn't cut it for me. But anyway, I enjoyed the last part of the movie with all the cool special effects and seeing some real magic users. Not enough romance and drama, though. More Dawson's Creek-esque stories, please.

Collective Soul's new album Afterwords is also pretty enjoyable. It doesn't compete in energy with their previous Youth, except maybe their first track. It's quite mellow with more soft/pop rock, but like all CS music it grows on you. I already loved it by the second listen, which I can't say with a lot of other artist's new albums (ahem...Coldplay...Switchfoot...). If there is something you can count on, it's Collective Soul progressively making good music with unique sound and compelling lyrics. As Luke said, "There is a lot of variety on the album and it is easy to sense how they sort-of sampled different popular (current) styles of music and incorporated that into this album."

One more thing: Harry Potter is the man!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Valuable routine | Not X-men | Matchbox return

Now that all my traveling has sort of settled down, I've been trying to get back into routine. A couple of those things is going to church and Bible study. Not that I didn't go to church at all the past two months, but going to one church to another in different cities (and countries), it's just not the same. No connection with the community. I've been able to get back into the young adult Friday night Bible study at one church, and even though I've still have yet to pick a church around here in San Jose, it's nice to go to church closer to home.

And it's paying off. Being around other Christians discussing passages from the Bible is putting me back in a place where I'm more..."spiritually aware," I guess you can say. Even praying with others feels great and not socially awkward. Thinking on the Word and knowing it excites you is an encouraging thing.


I finished "Heroes" today, the hit new series of last season. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and probably a better take on the story of "mutants rising" that the first "X-men" movie tried to do. But that's not being fair because "X-men" had only three 2-2.5 hour movies to tell the story, and "Heroes" had 23 forty-minute episodes to tell theirs. Even if the battles weren't as fantastical as "X-men," all the government conspiracy, character conflicts, and plot twists made "Heroes" much more complex.


Matchbox Twenty is coming out with a new album about a month and a half. It's about freakin' time. Their new released single is kind of weird sounding, and I mean that in a "it doesn't sound like Matchbox Twenty" sense. Maybe it's because we've been hearing so much Rob Thomas on the radio lately that it just suffers from that. Pretty poppy, if you ask me. Great drum-work, though.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Light Gives Heat"; Cowart

"Catch the rain empty hands
Save the children from their lands
Wash the darkness from their skin
Heroes from the west
We don't know you, we know best
This is not a test

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
But light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears
The light gives heat"

-Jars of Clay's "Light Gives Heat" from Good Monsters

I was researching on the web for some good African music to back the video, and I gave Jars of Clay's song "Light Gives Heat" a look. It has been on the back of my mind, but I haven't given it much thought because I don't think it'd really fit the footage. I came across an article from JOC's organization Blood: Water Mission that talks about the explanation of the song's lyrics and origin. It was really fascinating to hear Dan Haseltine's view of humanitarian causes for the issues in Africa, and I thought you guys would like to give it a read.

"Light Gives Heat" by Dave Palmer from the Sept. 2006 issue of CCM Magazine

"'Light Gives Heat' is really one of those 'in the moment' songs. This is how we really see the Western world approaching Africa--feeling in this day and age that we know better than Africans how to build their communities, how to heal their wounds, how to serve their sick. But the Western ideas aren't really the better ones; and it really takes Africans owning their place and their community to speak and to serve and to love people well. So that song is part critique of the way the Western world has approached Africa; and, then, the other side is our confessional, trying to be repentant of what we have done to perpetuate some of those bad forms of seeking justice." -Dan Haseltine

Also, Kuya showed me a photographer's website the other day because of its artistic and simplistic design (which totally inspired me, but that's a different topic). The site has an amazing essay on Africa, and the photographer Jeremy Cowart did a great job presenting his photographs.

Jeremy Cowart Photography | Africa

Take a look. He also has studio work with a lot of celebrities that's fun to look at as well.


The journal is up on my travel blog: Ethiopia 2007

I had to change the names and be really vague in some information to keep anonymity and safety for the people who work and live there.

Pictures are not up. Those will go up later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gone and back.

Hey, everyone. I've been gone off to Africa on business. I got back last Friday, and now I'm working on throwing the journal up on the blog. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to do it, or if I should at all...

Anyway, the trip was about two weeks long: 11 days in Ethiopia and 3 days in London. The London part was just vacation, really. I really wanted to go to London for a long time, and since we were flying through there going to and from Africa, why not extend the trip a little? :)

Details - and I mean details - later in the journal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Photo orgy.

Digital photography has made a photographer out of everyone, and because everyone is a photographer, everything gets documented. Our trip to the Philippines is no exception, and you can see the thorough coverage of it on or on Kuya or Oliver's facebook profiles. "Why not yours, Lem?" you ask? Because I'm lazy. Besides, why post the same pictures on my facebook or myspace or on this blog when it's already posted twice over on other sites?

Right now, I'm in the Hong Kong airport waiting for the dreaded 13+ hour flight back to LA. The only thing that I'm looking forward to on this flight is watching Ghost Rider because we never got to watching it during our time in the Philippines. I was really worried about my trip today because I woke up with a slight fever and some diarrhea (of all days to get sick!), but I'm getting better as the hours go by.

Anyway, I won't talk about the trip that much because the pictures pretty much tell the story. It was definitely a treat, however, to have the whole family back together taking too many naps and eating WAY too much. It's sad to leave because I know it'll be another year and a half before I come back...if I'm lucky.

Ah, well. Back to life, I suppose.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Every time I come to the Philippines, it's like coming home. I don't know what it is, though. This place isn't all that great. The sticky hot weather and the stink from all the pollution in the air should turn me off. Instead I let the sweat run down my face, and I draw in the smog. It's home!

I've been here with the other State-side family members for about four days now. We spent the first three days at Rizal Re-Creation Center, which used to be the well-known to us Faith kids as the Word of Life Camp. It's a lot cooler now, though, with frisbee golf, crochet, along with the swimming pool and waterslide. It even has its own pet monkey! Pictures at

So that's it so far. Rock on!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm inspired.

"Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will. A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you've been drinking Jack and Coke all morning. She can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man - promise.

Promise of a better day.

Promise of a greater hope.

Promise of a new tomorrow.

This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl. In her smile, in her soul, the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it's going to be okay. The supermodels, Willy? That's all they are - bottled promise. Scenes from a brand new day. Hope dancing in stiletto heels."

-Paul Kirkwood (Beautiful Girls)

Beautiful Girls is one of the best movies of the later 90's, and this quote alone is proof of that.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sharks and spiders and sand? Oh my!

Aw...poor Sharks. I am truly saddened about their elimination, but I also feel like they deserved to lose against the Red Wings when giving up games two and four with nothing but carelessness. That and the Red Wings solid team and determination. So now we will just have to watch the Western Conference Finals with the Ducks and the Red Wings. All I have to say is...GO RED WINGS!!! (Freakin' Ducks!)

Over the weekend Kuya and I went and saw Spider-man 3. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It definitely is NOT better than Spider-man 2...or even Spider-man 1. However, that does not mean that I find it a terrible movie, but it does mean it was not a great movie. It was...alright.

(Warning: Contains major spoilers!)

There has been a lot of complaints about the movie, though, and all the complaints are understandable. For one thing, the emo characteristics to portray Peter's "evil" personality was totally stupid, which ended in a peak of stupidity at a jazz bar scene. I can see why they had this sequence in its total goofiness with him walking down the street (I did like the close up shots of his hands pointing at everyone). It worked really well in Spider-man 2 when they did the sequence of him enjoying life without his powers and super hero responsibility. Nevertheless, it didn't flow as well in this movie, and the emo style (especially the hair) was so out of place even for an evil Peter.

Like X-men 3, Spider-man 3 suffered from too many plotlines and the introduction of too many characters. Hence not enough screen time for either the Sandman or Venom to develop into characters worth caring about. Even Gwen Stacy's character created a lot of problems for the Peter/MJ/Harry love triangle to make it more like a love square, which was sort of dumb in any sense that's not Dawson's Creek-like. Gwen was really nice to look at, though.

In the end, we got a butler confessing to Harry about his observations of Norman's wounds and the Sandman confessing his unintentional yet tormenting killing. That's two too many confessions I think. It just seemed to wrap up two complex plotlines way too conveniently, not to mention that it doesn't make much sense at all. Why would the butler hold such information from Harry for so long and watch his hatred for Spider-man slowly destroy him from the inside? How come Spider-man let Sandman go, even with his heartfelt confession, when he was 1) a giant hammer-fall away from killing Spider-man, 2) was responsible for several bank robberies, and 3) put a lot of lives in danger in the process? Sandman may have had bad luck in the past, but the choices he made by breaking the law are irresponsible. Spider-man, of all super heroes, would understand that this can't be tolerated.

Harry's death didn't bug me at all. I liked Harry's story in this movie a lot (minus the butler confession), especially the conflict between his hatred for Spider-man and his love for Peter Parker. Him sacrificing his life to save Peter's wasn't extraordinary in any way, and probably more predictable than I think, but overcoming his hatred to redeem himself stayed true to the comics. Of course, his death was not conducted in the same way, but character was not compromised in any way.

The Dawson's Creek-esque drama was totally awesome, and they need more senseless love triangles (or squares) in these types of movies. That girly fight between Peter and Harry over MJ at the mansion made me smile. It was like a soap opera episode in a super hero setting. Brilliant!

With the negatives aside, the action sequences were spectacular. From the Goblin's return to the subway fight to the two-on-two showdown, I thought it was all pretty impressive. Although the repetitiveness of MJ falling from the sky was used twice (I count the one with Gwen Stacy) in this movie, it was still cool to watch the different ways she was saved. Goblin and Spidey working together like that was super cool.

With cool action sequences and the key characters not straying from their personalities or roles from the comics, I feel like the movie was fine. The biggest problem I had with X-men 3 was that most of the characters strayed from their personalities found in comics. Wolverine as the main leader? Ha! Magneto feeling guilty once he lost his powers? Ridiculous! Storm being way annoying? Well, I guess that's pretty accurate, but didn't help the other stuff. Even using the serum to disable Magneto was against the X-mens' beliefs they strongly established earlier in the movie.

(End spoilers.)

But I digress. Spider-man 3 was fun and enjoyable and still had a heart for the comics. Most of the problems that were created in the making of this film were from the producers, as I found in this website's comments. It's a shame, really. The movie would have probably been a lot better with just the Goblin and one other villain - either Venom or the Sandman, but not both.

Anyways, I probably won't go seeing it a second time in the theatres. It just wasn't THAT good. I will just go on to see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which shows promise. And The Dark Knight looks more and more cool as the months go by. If anyone had doubts about Heath Ledger as The Joker, take a look at this! I got so giddy when I first saw this yesterday. Looks like the Batman franchise has potential to be better than the Spider-man series. Very cool.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Like a mass e-mail.

Wow...has it really been that long? And to think that my last post was when I was over in the East! You guys probably thought I never made it back and died in a plane crash or something. Heh...Alright, maybe not.

The past month has been full of ongoing projects that even now I need to attend to. Deadlines are coming up in about a week and a half, so I really got to get on those videos. However, since I neglected this blog much longer than I ever intended, I should write something on here. The job has been busy, but it's okay. I welcome busy-ness.

When I'm not occupied with work, I probably get onto Warcraft or play the new Nintendo Wii that was recently purchased. Hurrah! It took a long while to finally find one at retail price. That thing is ridiculous in how much demand it has developed. The ironic thing is that not very many (good) games have been made for it yet, so I'm still waiting for games like the new Super Smash Bros., or Mario Galaxy comes out. But anywho, it was a HUGE hit at Kuya and Chesney's BBQ last week. Their reasons were because they wanted to celebrate my birthday since Dad was in town, but I think they just wanted some excuse to have a BBQ at their place. I'm not complaining because I got presents, and it was a jolly good time.

I've been going to a Friday night young adults Bible study at a church not too far from here. It's one of those huge mega churches, but the Bible study is not unreasonably large. It's been pretty good to get connected with a Christian community again and discuss the Bible and pray together. I did visit the actual church service today to see how it goes, and it's definitely not for me. Any church where you have to spend 20 minutes just trying to find a place to park in a three block radius is not for me. I'll go look elsewhere next week, but I thought I'd give it a chance. There are other reasons why I wouldn't go to the church, but do you really want me to go into that? I thought so.

That's it. I hate giving updates like this on my blog. It's like one of those e-mails you send out to all your friends as an update or newsletter. Just so impersonal, I think. It won't be so next time.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


New York City was so AWESOME that the word "awesome" just had to be put into all caps, bold, and italics. It really was that jammed pack of awesomeness. Now, people might think I'm crazy saying that New York City is that great because I can see how living in that place could be horrendous. I will clarify by saying that New York City is an awesome place to visit. :)

Josh, one of the staff at CityTeam in Philadelphia, was kind enough to take me into the city, and he even got a couple of his friends to come along. That was really good because I don't really do well hanging out with newfound friends if it's just me and him.

Anyway, it was a definite plus that they're all around my age, and we had a blast just walking the streets. The places we hit were Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and we walked Broadway St. to check out all the broadway shows that were playing and whatnots.

I really wanted to taste a New York pizza to see if it was all that "everyone" said, so we went to a hole-in-the-wall (I love hole-in-the-wall places) pizza joint for lunch. It was a really good pizza, but it wasn't amazing. Dinner was at D&B, and that was pretty sweet. I've never been to a D&B, so I thought my first time would be grand if it was in New York. :)

Times Square was probably my most favorite place that we visited. We never got to the Empire State Building mainly because we were told that it was way expensive to get a ticket for a ride to the top. It would have been awesome to get an aerial shot of New York, but I can do without. I wanted to see Ground Zero as well, but that's pretty out of the way.

Pictures will be up on my Flickr account when I get to them. I looked at a couple, and they're pretty cool. I definitely want to go back at some point and take more pictures. I had a small taste of New York and now I want more!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Philly, Wonder Years, New York

I landed in Philly around 8 pm, which was kind of late but not at the same time. I slept the majority of the trip, and my body clock was still set to 5 pm. Nevertheless, I was exhausted. I don't know what it is about long trips, but you always end up being really tired after you reach your destination.

Anyway, so by the time I got to CityTeam, ate some dinner, and got settled in my room, it was around 9:30. Chester, Philadelphia is one rundown town. I don't think I saw one building that looked somewhat new or kept up. It was pretty amazing to me. Even though I've been here before, it just looked worse. Maybe it was because last time I came during winter, and everything always looks pretty awful in sleet and ice.

Before I went to bed, I turned on the TV to see if anything was on. What do I come to find? The Wonder Years, baby! And not just one episode but two back-to-back! I was about to cry, but I kept laughing from the all the brilliant dialogue and terribly awkward moments in the show. It was the old episodes where Kevin was an idiot. He was an innocent idiot...but an idiot nonetheless. Where Paul was athletically challenged, and Winnie was cute and sweet and still waiting for Kevin to come to his senses.

Actually, after watching the first episode, I realized how well-written it was. It wasn't only a story about one boy's experiences during his teenage years, but it was also a commentary on U.S. history during the 1960's. I don't think shows do that anymore. Shows today don't take a teenager's life and intertwine historical events into it to guide him through the decisions he makes. Ultimately, though, it was just about a boy and a girl and their journey together through the most defining years of their lives. Much like Dawson's Creek (also an amazing show for different reasons), but a whole lot better. The Wonder, they really need to put that show on DVD.

Onto other things: Tomorrow is Good Friday, which means it's a holiday for Christians. That also means that there isn't anything happening here at CityTeam, so I get to spend my holiday here in the East. I expressed my strong interest in New York, so one of the staff here offered to take me there tomorrow. New York, baby! I've always wanted to go, so I'm totally excited. Sorry, Kuya, no picture next to the Rocky statue. A shame...but I'll sacrifice the Rocky statue for Times Square, the Empire State Building, Union Station, and Ground Zero. It's like a photographer's dream, which a lot of photographers already had. But I haven't, and that's what matters!

Alrighty, that's all for now. I can't wait till 10 tonight where I can watch more The Wonder Years. Yeah!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A post...with wings!

Right now I'm thousands of feet up in the air going at the speed of hundreds of miles an hour. I'm traveling to Philadelphia to do some video work for the CityTeam location there, but right now I can't get over how cool it is that I can write a blog entry while in midair. Of course, I'll have to post this on my blog later but whatever.

The trip out is very exciting, though I'm a bit bummed that I'll be missing my first hockey game in the C-league, which is tonight. I'm now on Kuya and Andrew's team, so it'll be fun to play with them. My skills could use a little more work to really keep up with the players, so I hope that the games will help me improve. The D-league, however, is still going and I still have one more game on Monday. We lost in the playoff game, so we'll be playing for third place. That was a huge disappointment for me personally because I played awful. I played such a terrible defensive game, and it really bugged me. We just got pummeled which shouldn't have happened at all. I wouldn't have been so worked up about the loss if the team was exceptionally better than us, but that isn't the case. We could beat those guys, but instead we lost really badly (score was 4-1). Stupid.

I'm going to buy one of these expensive airplane meals because I can write it off as a business expense. Love it.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Beauty in ministry.

Work has demanded my weekend time for the past few weeks. Even though I've had to give up Saturday morning hockey with the cousins, the work has been good. With deadlines coming up in about a month and a half, I have to finish three videos, so I've been going from location to location grabbing footage to use.

The most compelling place I've gone to so far is San Francisco's CityTeam where they do ministry work in the low-income hotels along 6th Street. These hotels consist of low-lit hallways and thin walls. One-person bathrooms are shared by all, and the showers don't have locking doors. The room is just big enough for a bed, a table, and a chair, and most are only lit with the resident's television. What got me the most was the smell - a mixture of body odor, rotten wood, and urine. I've encountered similar smells before down an abandoned alley or an unkept public bathroom; such odors should never linger where someone sleeps.

I walked with volunteers through these hallways listening to them offer food and prayer. The group that day were regulars who knew the people living in these rooms, and it was encouraging to see people of wealth build relationships with those who can barely afford a lamp to light their room. These volunteers are truly acting from their hearts as they hand these people groceries. The volunteers come as messengers of Christ, praying with these people and lifting them up. They come, in all their success, to offer a Life in that they can only hope to fully succeed. They come, in spite of all they own, to tell them of a Home even they long for with every part of their being.

Lord, take us home!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Respect the Old Ones.

You begin to realize the impact one artist has in the music industry - in this case, the Christian music industry - when he can bring five major artists or groups together to sing one of the most well-known songs in its genre. Now that's a powerful song!

Friends 2003

This version of "Friends" is like revisiting those first five years when I was beginning to define my musical taste for the very first time (and yes, Kuya, I owe you for bringing me into CCM as it began to boom). Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Avalon, Point of Grace, and Mac Powell, the lead singer of Third Day...simply amazing.

Michael W. Smith, I salute you.

Could have most definitely done without Avalon, though. Yeah, most definitely...

Another song that brought together an ensemble of amazing musical artists is "All for Love." Man, you can't go wrong with Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, and Sting singing together as one. Yeah!

With all my love,

P.S. It's been quite busy around here with my job. I'll have to write about it in my blog sometime. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The greatest fear.

"I think one of the most simple ways to think about hell, without having to deal with all of the problems that arise out of explaining and interpreting all this imagery that's so ghastly, is to just think of this concept: That God is just; God is holy. And if God is holy and God is just, I'm gonna have to stand before Him. And I'm not just, so whatever happens in that environment is bad news. And it's a dreadful thing to contemplate: To ever think you're going to have stand naked before a righteous and holy God. My only hope is to have my sin covered by one who's acceptable to God - being covered by the righteousness of Christ. And I say to people, '"Think about it! What would you do if you had to stand before God...naked?'"

-R.C. Sproul

This scares me deeply. I've always been fearful of the idea that I was not a child of God afterall, and I would face the eternal punishment of God when my life ends or Christ returns. But I do have the confidence of the Spirit in me guiding me through my life, so even when I sin and fall back to square one, I know that God is still with me. :) Yet I will continue to strive to be someone God can always call one of His own.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fill me.

Last week, I drove down to So Cal to visit friends. It was cool to see the college buddies, and to get back into that college state of mind...except now I had money to spend. I love it.

I got to visit the church I regularly attended in Ventura too, and that was great. I miss being involved in a church, so it was fun to visit EPC. Especially since the worship band I was part of lead worship that Sunday. :)

The sermon wasn't life-changing or anything, but Pastor Anderson did make an interesting point that made me think a little bit. The sermon was on John 6:35 and 6:55-56, and one thing that Pastor Anderson said was the the disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about. Which is mostly true. The disciples weren't very sharp, but considering that Jesus was trail-blazing a whole new theology for Christianity, it's understandable why the disciples were confused all the time. The fact that Jesus taught in such a strange style probably didn't help either.

Anyway, that's beside the point. I really gleaned on the thought that the disciples hardly ever understood what Jesus was talking about unless He explained it them or until Jesus' ascension. At that point, the Spirit came down and filled the Apostles. With the direction of the Spirit, they were able to go out and preach everything that Jesus taught. It's not break-through thinking, but I really love the idea that we cannot be witnesses of Christ at all without the Spirit empowering us with the words to say and the actions to do.

Along these lines, I've also been listening to the Ligonier Ministries podcast with R.C. Sproul, and he talked on the "The Authority of Apostolic Teaching" (you'll need to scroll down and look for the titled podcast). Go have a listen when you have the time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The year of opportunity!

Okay, guys! The other day, I came up with the ultimate birthday celebration. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that I can only do this year. I will be turning 24 years-old in May, so to keep the number in theme we will be having a 24 marathon. It will be a whole week long, and we will watch 24 non-stop from the beginning of Season One to the end of Season Six. It's so brilliant I could cry!

Of course, we can't go six days straight with no sleep. We will start each season according to what time that specific season starts, and sleep in between seasons depending on what time the next season starts.

Also, I decided to start this party the week before my actual birthday. The first day will start at 12 am on Saturday, April 28, 2007, and it will end at 6 am on May 4. At the end of Season Six we will take a power nap, and then head over to a movie theatre. Why? For the opening day of Spider-man 3!

So free up your calendar from April 28 to May 4 because it's gonna be one AWESOME week! This is planned out better than a terrorist attack on 24!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The first five days.

I started my job with CityTeam last Monday, so I survived my first working week as a professional. Awesome. Most of the time was spent setting up my cubicle for optimal working efficiency, discussing a number of projects that need, or will need, working, and installing programs on the new MacBook Pro (YES!!!!) that was provided for me.

I uploaded images of my cubicle on my Flickr account. Go take a look!

Moving on, I thought this was interesting. For those of you who like trying to find God in U2's music, give it a quick glance.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"And I come back to you now..."

There have been some drastic changes in my life since October 2006. Because of these changes, I have a little more time (and much more motivation) to start up this blog again. I'm sure most of you who read my blog regularly have given up hope for my daily journaling, but at least I haven't given up hope, yeah? Yeah...


That's right, folks! I finally graduated from college, and I can now tell people that I am a "professional photographer." At least, in the journalistic sense. Now clients will take me more seriously and my freelancing price rates will rise! Oh, yes...I will be filthy rich by Spring.

Anyway, I graduated on December 22, which is pretty much the worst day to set a commencement ceremony. But friends and family were able to attend the event, and I really appreciate all those who were there (and those who very much wished they could be there).

So long, my Ventura friend!

After graduation, I moved out of my studio-like room at the Bozarths in Ventura and into Kuya and Chesney's office room in Scotts Valley. They have been much more than generous to let me stay at their place while I try to find my own place and make enough money to actually rent that place out. :) If you're ever up in Nor Cal, look me up.

Leaving Ventura was no tear-jerker by any means. I do miss the friends I've made both at school and church very much. Being involved with a church community was refreshing, and I hope that I can find one up here that I can be equally involved (if not more). There isn't any other family I would have rather stayed with than the Bozarths as I went through my time at Brooks. They welcomed me with open arms, and I felt right at home with them; so I miss them dearly.

I think the saddest thing is when I had to give my key back to Jane, and I had to start knocking at the front door just to get in. That was just too weird.

Working man

I was incredibly fortunate to land a job straight out of college. CityTeam Ministries was so wow-ed by my internship that they wanted me on their staff full-time. I took the offer with almost no hesitation. I really enjoyed the job, the people are more than great, and the cause behind CityTeam is an God-honoring effort that I've always wanted to use my skills to support. God has truly blessed me with such an opportunity.

My position title is Multi-Media Specialist. Cool, huh? It probably sounds cooler than it actually is. I do the photography and video production for the organization, documenting events and covering stories within CityTeam. Putting together videos, slideshows, podcasts (maybe), and other media-related things to show to donors and contributors are also things that I do.

Of course, something so easy as getting "officially" hired so I can actually start working for CityTeam took about a month to actually happen. So what did I do in the mean time?

Oh, puck!

I joined the in-line hockey league in Scotts Valley, and that's been a lot of fun. I signed up for the D-league (the lowest league out of four) because I feel I need a lot more practice before getting into the C-league, which is where Kuya and Andrew play. Our team is pretty good, and I'm really enjoying the game and all it's insides and outs. I definitely need more practice, though, if I want to join Kuya and Andrew's team next season. :) At least I can keep up with most D-league players. We've play three games so far, and I've been averaging one goal and one assist every game, so that's cool.

I also try to play with the cousins up in Vallejo every (dry) Saturday. There I play goalie (I play mostly forward on the league team), which is always an interesting experience. I guess I should try playing other positions to practice skating and puck handling, but no one ever wants to play goalie. Since I don't mind it at all, I just step up to play the position.

It's too bad that there isn't a good consistent league up where the cousins live. They are definitely C-league material, and it'd be really fun to see them form a team and compete.

This land is Outland.

As much as I tried to deny this fact, it's true: World of Warcraft has taken over my life. Ha! Okay, so it's not THAT extreme. It's not like I quit my job, shunned all my friends, deprived myself of sleep, and barely ate just to be the best in the game. Someone did that, by the way, and everyone ridiculed of the player. Total loser.

But Warcraft has become a huge gaming hobby of mine. So if you ever jump on the Warcraft band wagon (along with the eight million other players), look me up. You can go to my Warcraft Social Network profile - the myspace of Warcraft players. Haha! I'm such a dweeb.

This is the update thus far...other than having a great Christmas celebration, a crazy New Year blast off, and a sloppy yet entertaining Super Bowl. I've also cleaned up the blog a little bit by deleting old, unvisited links. If your link got deleted or was never added to the list and you feel it should be there, let me know.

Other than that...