Wednesday, January 30, 2008

U2 in 3D

I went with some friends to see the concert film of U2. It was shown on an imax screen in 3D, and it was LOUD! It was by far the loudest movie I have ever been at. If I were to guess, I'd say that the volume was about 80% of the level of a real concert. My ears were still ringing several hours after the show.

There were so many amazing things about it. Can you imagine what it would be like to have thousands of people singing along to songs that you wrote 25 years ago? They did "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and turned it into a challenge for jews and muslims to get along (both as sons of Abraham.) That song is of of the "War" album released in 1983. I was also impressed with the size of the guitar work by the Edge. With delays and processors, he is able to make a single guitar sound so full - sometimes like it could be three guitars.

It made me want to be a rock star so badly! Not because I crave attention or fame (although the money part would be nice) but to get the opportunity to have that kind of volume come out of my guitar would be sweet! It would be so awesome to ring out a a big full root-position chord and have people cover their ears because it was so loud or scream back in joy because they hear the intro to a song they recognize.

The 3D aspect of the film was pretty cool as well. It was obviously a warm evening when they recorded the concert, and a lot of people were throwing water around to cool themselves. So early in the film they panned over the audience and little water droplets seemed like they were thrown at me. Every once in a while someone would lift up their camera or phone to take a shot and that popped up at the bottom of the screen and seemed right in front of me. It made me feel like I was actually there.

It was a fun show, and it made me feel a little better for not getting tickets to the Vertigo tour when they were here. I was trying to get tickets with three other people and all of us struck out since it sold out so fast.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Athletics and other stuff...

I haven't posted anything recently because not much seems to be going on. I started to miss blogging though as it helps to give me perspective on my experiences, so I decided to write about the everyday stuff that is going on with us lately.

Jenetta booked a wedding last week, so that was a nice plus. She is nowhere near where she should be at this time of year, so that is a lingering frustration, but one more is at least moving us in the right direction.

I played Wally Ball on Friday, and I brought along our friend Shane. We had a great time as always! On Saturday, I was invited to play flag football with some guys in the park. I really had a good time, although I fell down when reaching for an overthrown pass and hurt my shoulder. I haven't fallen down to the grass for a very long time. When I was a kid it didn't seem to be a very big deal, but now it is something I'm hoping to avoid. Anyway, it looks like I will be joining their league which starts up in March. They play in a 5-on-5 league with rules and refs and everything. There are three divisions: couch potatoes, rec league, and elite. We will be in the rec league, so they have real plays and defensive schemes (our QB even wears one of those plastic wrist cards that hold all the plays). So that should be a fun experience.

We've had nearly a week of on/off rain, so I only got in about 12 miles of running last week. I'm OK with that because I'm slowing down a bit for the next 10K race I'm running on 2/1. I'll run 5 miles tomorrow and 4 on Thursday and then rest up for the event. I'm looking forward to some nice improvement on my 10K time (and keeping my breakfast down this time.)

This week, our pastor spoke on God's discipline. He is preaching through the book of Amos. In Ch 3 and 4, Doug's theme was that God uses discipline to bring us back to him. It made me wonder if both the financial struggles we are experiencing and the related delays with our adoption proceedings are some kind of a wake-up call God is trying to send us. Jenetta and I thought about it a lot yesterday, and neither one of us could come up with more than a "maybe?" (And if you are wondering - no, we are not falling into the "prosperity gospel" line of thinking about our financial situation). I have to confess that although I have been praying and doing a lot of sharing and fellowshiping with other believers, I don't think I've experienced much growth recently. I like checking out the verse of the day that I link to on our blog, but I haven't done any serious bible study for some time. Our church starts a Hebrews bible study tonight, so I've decided to check that out. Having an assignment helps.

Anyway, it feels as though not much has happened lately. Maybe I'll post some reaction after the first class tonight.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Being thankful for today...

So five good things happened today:

- I had a full work schedule today and it looks to be busy tomorrow and Friday as well.

- Our friends, David and Courtney Toney, moved into their new home in Escondido. Prior to this they were living in Orange County and commuting down here. I always felt kind of bad for them as they packed up to leave after home group and had an hour to drive home. It will be nice to have them so close. It will make coordinating surf trips much easier.

- We were able to set up a time to hang out with our friends, Cris and Alana O'Bryon. Alana is Kyle Johnstone's cousin, and we met them at Kyle and Judy's wedding. It has been awesome to get to know them, and due to their busy schedules, it is hard to spend a lot of time with them. So we are looking forward to hanging with them on Saturday night.

- After work, I had a little free time, so I decided to run the track around Lake Miramar. It made me so thankful that I live in San Diego! It was 73 and sunny with a slight breeze. Just perfect! What an awesome January afternoon! I decided to really push it the entire distance to improve my time. I ran the 5 miles in 44:13 which is nearly two minutes faster than my previous best time. I think I can do it in under 44 min. next time. The next 10K for me is in three weeks, and I'm hoping to see a nice improvement over the 10K I ran on Thanksgiving.

- Then, as I was getting ready for bed, Jenetta tells me that she has written a love song. I think that is pretty cool. Maybe someday we will get to record it.

Anyway, I realized that I had at least five extra things to be thankful for today, so I thought I'd share them with you. Hope your day was as blessed as mine.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Jenetta and I watched the film "Once" tonight. She's been after me to rent it now for a while. But I've passed on it a few times because I wasn't much in the mood for a musical.

It's incorrect to classify this as a musical in the traditional sense. It's more of a human relationship story set in the context of a struggling/budding singer-songwriter. I found the music to be raw, genuine, and beautiful. It drew me into the story. Through the whole movie I kept thinking "this would be another song I'd want on my iPod."

So to our friends and family, I'd like to highly recommend the film to you. Check it out.

If you'd like some more info on it, here are some links:

Just about anything you'd want to know (too much plot info) but if you want that kind of in-depth, check out the wikepedia entry on it.

Lots of videos and a free download of one of the songs from the Fox Searchlight site.

More songs from their myspace.

Or just watch the trailer.

Rent it already...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wally Ball is awesome!

I really enjoy the times we play wally ball at Jeremy and Shelley's club. It is a good fun workout, and I feel as though I improve each time I play. Their co-workers from school are a lot of fun, too.

I don't have anything profound to say about this. Just that wally ball is a blast.

Have a nice weekend!

(Click on the above photo to see it animated)

Monday, January 7, 2008

The waiting is over...

Well, I finally heard back from that job. I interviewed twice and really thought I had a shot. I'm mostly upset about the wasted job search time. Even though it was over the month of December, I felt like I held back from other possibilities because I was pretty confident I had a good chance at this position, and I wanted to keep my schedule available to begin working for them as soon as possible. This afternoon, I spent a few hours feeling sorry for myself and blasting my ears with my iPod. But I'm mostly over that now. The bills are paid for today. It doesn't do any good to worry about next week.

Matthew 6:34 - Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
(The Message)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mud Run

Today I signed up to participate in the Camp Pendleton 10K mud run on June 7. What have I gotten myself into???

Here is the link

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 - The Year Of ???

Over the past week, I have been categorizing and looking back on the sum of my recent experiences. I have found it helpful for me to label in terms of music and events. For example, 2005 was the year of "How Great is our God" by Chris Tomlin. I must have played that song in church 40 or more times that year. It was also the year of home construction and a dirt front yard. 2006 was the year of anything by Hillsong United and the year we learned about budgeting and being more responsible with our income.

2007 was a very different year for us. Since the beginning of our marriage, we had seen a comfortable trend develop - we earned more money every year. We always had our needs met and could pretty much purchase whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. That started to change late in 2006 and we are grateful that God allowed us to learn to be more responsible because 2007 was a very tough year for our businesses. If we had put down the new floors or spent a lot to finish the kitchen or the backyard, we would have been in serious trouble. Instead, the little extra that we were able to save went directly to the bank and was waiting for us when things got really tough in the fall and winter. 2007 was the year of learning to live with less. Although it has been unpleasant, I'm kind of glad we were forced to change our thinking about income. It is my sincere desire that when or if our business fortunes change, we would not forget these lessons, and that we would be able to use the extra resources to help out others. We would like to finish the interior of our home, but we are both determined not to let "lifestyle creep" ramp up our spending again.

2007 was also the year I learned to enjoy running. I started late in the summer and could barely run a mile when I began. Now 6 miles is no problem for me. I plan to run a few more 10-Ks this year and hopefully run a half marathon by the fall.

Another highlight for 2007 was the beginning of the adoption process. The concerns about our businesses and the uncertainty of our financial future has put these plans on the back burner a bit, but we have completed all the paperwork and coursework required of us. Through all of the steps we had to complete on our end, we have been open to whatever God has for us. Our attitude has been that we are curious, and think it may be a possibility for us, so we are moving ahead and will see what happens. Through the whole summer, that perspective has not changed for either of us. There haven't been any developments where we said "this is not for us," nor has there been anything that made us say "this is definitely for us - right now!" Through it all, we are moving ahead - open and waiting to see what will happen.

On the music end, I was introduced to two bands that are so awesome and meaningful to me that I find it difficult to put into words. For both, I have purchased all their albums through iTunes and can't wait for to see what they release next. Both bands are at the top of the count for my most played but for completely different reasons.

I can't get enough of Sigur Ros. This band is from Iceland, and I can't understand anything they are singing. But their music is so beautiful that it often brings me to tears when I listen to a few songs. It makes me want to visit Iceland and see them play. I found it funny that my mom thought Agaetis Byrjun sounded "whiny" and that she didn't like it at all. That's OK - I think most of her music is pretty boring, and she really enjoys her music. (You can't help smiling with joy when you see her with her new iPod humming away to her collection.) But I would love their stuff even if the rest of the world hated them. The music of Sigur Ros has the ability to instantly transport me to somewhere else.

The other band that I really learned to appreciate this year is The Flaming Lips. I went to a show they put on in downtown SD and I was in a really bad mood. I had wanted to go with a couple friends or at least Jenetta, and since the concert was free, I thought it would be cool to share the experience with them. It turned out that they were not able to attend and Jenetta was tired after an early wedding that day, so I went down there by myself. It sucked to be surrounded by all these people partying with their friends and having a great time with the warm up acts when I was alone and feeling sorry for myself. Then the Lips came on and I experienced a sensory overload unlike any I'd ever had before. The sights, sounds, smells, and even the physical touch sensations were overwhelming. I held Wayne Coyne over my head as he rolled around in his giant clear beach ball for the first song. They launched so much confetti into the air that it felt like I was in a blizzard. It washed through my outstretched arms over and over. It was impossible to be sour in that environment. I smiled from ear to ear for the whole concert. Although I liked their stuff before seeing them live, the concert changed my perspective of all of their catalog. I can't listen to "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" or "Do You Realize" or "Bad Days" without instantly feeling much better.

So what will 2008 hold in store for us? What will 2008 be "the year of"?

Well, I hope it will be the year I get a new job or consistent work of some kind. I am doing all I can do to make that happen, and through it all, I am learning to trust in God more and more.

Maybe it will be the year that our lives change drastically as we bring children into our home.
Maybe it will be the year that Jenetta's business really takes off.
Maybe it will be the year I finally transition from my longboard to my shortboard.
Maybe it will be the year that I drop that extra weight because of running more consistently.
Maybe it will be the year that Jeremy and I climb Mt. Whitney together.
Maybe it will be the year that our band gets it together and performs.
Maybe it will be the year that we are blessed with even more friends.
Maybe it will be the year that Jesus comes back.

Thanks for being interested enough to read through this long post. It means a lot to us that we have such a huge support network of friends and family.

I hope you have a happy and blessed 2008!

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