The Rose Parade
A bunch of us camped out overnight on Colorado Blvd to watch the Rose Parade the next day. We froze our little tushies off, but it was well worth it. The parade was awesome, but the best part hands down was the B2 Bomber low altitude flyby escorted by two fighter jets to start the parade. We were all blown away.
The Lonestar State
I celebrated the birth of Christ this year in Dallas, where my brother Tony lives. Lots of cat toys this Christmas; Samson and Mojo will be happy.
After my mom flew in from Cincinnati, we went to the Dallas World Aquarium, which features more than 85,000 gallons of saltwater with marine life from around the world. Representing the waters of four continents, three oceans and various seas, the aquarium gives a glimpse of the underwater world.
We then headed to the Sixth Floor Museum, which is an educational and permanent historic exhibit that chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy by examining his life, times, death and legacy within the context of American history. The museum is named so because it is the sixth floor of this building, originally the Texas School Book Depository, where a sniper’s nest and rifle were found after the assassination.
The Happiest Place on Earth
Well, I went to Disneyland for my first time. Even though it was a dark, dreary and rainy day, the upside was that we went on every major ride because the lines were so short. It was my first time, and I had a great time.
It’s a small world after all.
Here is a random shot of a few of my friends. The attractive blonde is Meghan, who I’ve become close friends with this quarter (JUST friends, so be quiet all of you). Then there’s the perennial Kyle (trying to look cool and probably pulling it off) and Katie (looking unusually coy, I must say). Finally, OMG an Asian friend, Angel. She’s the one who got me my youth pastor gig, so I regularly blame her for my woes.
A Purrfect Halloween
I Crew, Do You?
About a dozen of us helped out with new student orientation this week. It seems like only yesterday that we were hapless students trying to figure out where the lecture halls were, much less the bathrooms. It was a good feeling in return to help those incoming students with our "blessed" knowledge. My good friends are the two ladies down in front. Both are Jennifer, by coinkidinky. I’m the Asian with the white girl on his back. Go figure.
Kyle, Katie, Stephanie and Jill and I camped out at this scenic beach. Kyle wanted to play this game whereby you tried to touch a rock out in the water but get back onto shore in time before the waves came back. You can see that the selfish jerk spent all the time on the rock and left little time for me. Here is the video (1:46) shot by Jill. Note the girls laughing at me in the background.
I’ll get you Kyle.
River of Christ
Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened. I swear it was by accident! Really! Srsly! Yup, I’ve become a youth pastor again. The church this time is EFC Arcadia. Check out that website; it’s unlikely any of you will understand it, even if you have the Chinese language set installed on your computer. Hah.
We’ve come up with River of Christ (ROC) to name the youth group, and one of the kids likes drawing and came up with logo ideas for our new identity. My friend Katie Benso (pictured below in the previous entry) is a graphic artist and will translate the logo electronically for website and t-shirt use. ROC also stands for Republic of China, another name for Taiwan, but that’s supposed to be a subtle thing. Most of the church families are from Taiwan, so it’s kind of a link back to our "home country." Kinda, anyway.
Here is a link of a slideshow I did for our most recent retreat (4:05 min). Look at all the Asian kids! We rule. Seriously.
The group is fun, although discipline is a constant issue. There are about 15 kids, all of whom speak Mandarin WAY better than me. The cool part is that I get to use the same old jokes and games from Inspired Teens (my previous youth group), but they are all new to ROC, so right now my kids actually think I am funny. IT youth kids will recognize Toe Fencing and Train Wreck (and the punishment for getting caught in the middle three times) in the video above.
I’m finding that Asian kids are different than the, um, white variety. A part of me can really identify with the kids; when they complain of their parents, I remember the same issues and frustrations I had when I was growing up. I’m slowly learning Mandarin again from my exposure to these kids, although they are all perfectly fluent in English as well. They call me "Big Banana," since I am yellow on the outside but white on the inside. They all mean it in good fun, but it has a deeper meaning in that I have lost contact with my roots. It’s a sad commentary on myself, but nevertheless unfortunately true. God has me here for a reason.
Oh, and one last thing. An uncanny thing about this youth group is that a large proportion of them have skipped a grade or two. Or four. Certainly academic excellence has been a postive racial sterotype for Asian kids, but the amount of grade skipping in this relatively small youth group is a little bit ridiculous. Seriously, who starts her freshman year at Cornell at the age of 14? It could only be a ROC kid.
Asians rule. Seriously.
Venice Beach and Zuma Beach
The Fourth of July
After a much needed break at a pool party to break the doldrums of summer school, about 29 of us Fuller students went to the Los Angeles Dodgers game against the Seattle Mariners. I brought my glove in hopes of snagging a foul ball, but alas, none were to be caught. I was able to pay $5.25 for a Dodger Dog, however. Nummers.
Here are picts of the enjoyable night.