Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Busy But Here

Busy

I've been busy, pretty busy. Since the end of October, I've almost lost track of time. November had just come and gone, Fall went by so fast; before I knew it, I was hit by the cold of Winter. This December had just begun and yet it already feels almost over.

Here's to catching up.

New Orleans is coming sooner than later. We're still raising support and we're still praying and preparing for it.

I know and feel that God has all this under control. I have peace and I'm thankful for all He's done. He's kept my family safe, and He's truly blessed us.

So here's to catching up... I'm busy at work, busy in the college ministry, busy running around doing things, busy with Emily (who definitely get's me to just slow down)... I'm thankful for being able to worship and pray... I'm just thankful, I still need to catch up.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Disease

Bed

So, the past few days, I've spent my time on this amazing bed. On Sunday, I had "lost" my voice to something I'm still not quite sure of. It could have been a very nasty cold, or strep-throat... or something else. The sore throat became tiredness and tiredness became rest and fluids. (Mostly because that was the only way to fight it.)

While I was sick, my girlfriend was around. She took me to see my doctor, the doctor checked for strep (I don't have the results yet for some odd reason, I should give them a call because the doc did the whole swab and everything), and Mononucleosis. I suggested that I may have had mono before and it may have come back; so he went ahead and felt the lymphnodes on my neck for swelling and questioned how I was overall. He told me I likely do not have mono so he asked me if I still wanted to get tested for mono, and I said "yes."

Results came back and I don't have mono. In any case... my girlfriend was there, through the whole thing. She cooked heated up some chicken noodle soup for me when she picked me up. She was with me when I cried like a girl as they drew my blood. She drove me around and did some homework while I was working on work. She's such an amazing lady. I'm really blessed to be with her. She's also sick, and she still blesses me. (Not with more sickness, but sweetness.) I feel better today.

I don't think I'm contagious or anything, both my sister and brother in law aren't sick. My being sick has been reduced to a mild sniffle and cough. It comes to mind that disease doesn't choose who it's going to affect, or hinder. I'm thankful to God that He sustains me and I continue praying for the people I know who are affected by some disease. I thank God so much for all that He does within all this.

{p.s. This post is a bit unstructured, it's probably because I'm writing this so late in the evening... I've just been thinking and praying is all, and this came to mind.}

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Retreat 2009

Fall Retreat

This past weekend... this happened... more pictures to come... soon.

The weekend was just to get away, to focus on prayer. It was a blessing, I really felt God working in me without all the noise from downhill. (Although ironically, I could hear cars drive up.) It was a great weekend, even though I was maybe a bit sick. Updates soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Past Few Weeks

I've been busy the past few weeks... it's been really busy... here are a few of the things I've done within the past few weeks:

Octoberfest

IMG_9671

A few weeks ago, we had the 1st ever Paradigm Shift Octoberfest. It was fun, we danced some polka and had a rootbeer chugging contest, it was great fun!
Links to pictures and stuff here: Octoberfest 2009

Pancakes

Banana-chocolate-chip Pancakes Banana-chocolate-chip Pancakes

Then a few days later, Em came over to study and she brought sushi (not pictured) and made chocolate chip-banana pancakes! How awesome is that? It was very awesome... I can still taste the chocolate chip-banana pancakes in my mind... mmm.

Byron's Recital

Byron Applause

It finally happened! Byron fnially gave his senior recital. He performed so many genres of guitar, classical, heavy metal, acoustic, folk, and stuff (I can't exactly name every one of them). It was a great performance. He did great. At one point I was closing my eyes listening to the soothing sounds of his guitar. It was great!

Encore!

Everyone was listening intently to him. I had some expectations coming into this... the expatations were surpassed, he's gifted at such talent, technique, and creativity with the guitar. I couldn't admire him more. I mean, really... he was so good we even called him out for an encore (although the "calling out," may have seemed rehearsed). It was great!

Pumkin Patch

IMG_9694

Then a few days later, Em and I went out and had a little fun at a Pumkin Patch.


Well, that's it for now. This week looks amazing, the weather is great and the Paradigm Shift, Evfree Fullerton's college ministry, fall retreat is right around the bend. I'm excited.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update: Lauren Gallegos' Illustrations: Recital Poster

Byron Lauren

A few weeks ago, I was working on a photo shoot for one of my dear friends... the photos, came out great. Lauren finished up the posters by adding some typography to it... here's a look at the final product: Lauren Gallegos' Illustrations: Recital Poster

{Related Posts: Pictures, Trains, Los Angeles and Little Manila}

Octoberfest 2009

IMG_9572

Last Saturday we celebrated Octoberfest, Jon, our college pastor, and Kay, his wife dressed up for it. It was a terrifically fun time.

Links To Photos:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Philosophy: Brief Thoughts On God-Infinite

Yesterday I came across Baruch De Spinoza, a philosopher. Instead of speaking of this man, I just want to talk about his thoughts on God, and how I've percieved and correlated them to my thoughts on some the philosophical characteristics of God.

These are based off Spinoza's writings on Ethics. (Read in Google Books)

Baruch Spinoza: Ethics: Part 1. Concerning God

Definitions
  1. By that which is self-caused, I mean that of which the essence involves existence, or that of which the nature is only conceivable as existent.
  2. A thing is called finite after its kind, when it can be limited by another thing of the same nature; for instance, a body is called finite because we always conceive another greater body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a body is not limited by thought nor, a thought by body.
  3. By substance, I mean that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself; in other words, that of which a conception can be formed independently of any other conception.
  4. By attribute, I mean that which the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of substance.
  5. By mode, I mean the modifications of substance, or that which exists in, and is conceived through, something other than itself.
  6. By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite -- that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
    Explanation-- I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind: for of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes may be denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation.
  7. That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action.
  8. By eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which is eternal.
    Explanation-- Existence of this kind is conceived as an eternal truth, like the essence of a thing, and, therefore, cannot be explained by means of continuance or time, though continuance may be conceived without a beginning or end.
Axioms
  1. Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in some thing else.
  2. That which cannot be conceived through anything else must be conceived through itself.
  3. From a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows; and, on the other hand, if no definite cause be granted, it is impossible that an effect can follow.
  4. The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause.
  5. Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other.
  6. A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object.
  7. If a thing can be conceived as non-existing, its essence does not involve existence.

My Thoughts:

God is the singularity of which infinity as a concept can only emerge from the idea that a being such as God is the cause for it. It is not possible to subtract infinity of it's own value {∞ - ∞}, which reasons to the causality of a single point to God and is the objective causation of the begining of time; time is also finite from it's beggining which solely depends on man's cognitive aptitude to experience it. Time is the comprehention of man's perception in the duration of movement or change of matter. Matter in itself cannot exist without a singularity of causation; it is reasonable to assume that an infinite being with infinite substance can create things from it's own being into existence.

Spinoza touches on this1 defining that God is "...that which is absolutely infinite, contains in it's essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation." We cannot add or take away from matter, nor can we add nor take away from God's glory. We can deny God of glory, however, it negates that everything is in motion from God's glory.

God exists of His own nature and acts in necessity according to His nature. If therefore, it is in God's nature to create, as He created Himself, it is reasonable to suspect that God caused the Earth into existence, so as the Sun and all the other planets. So in this, God had created matter, and thus conceptually time in it's finitude.

One can argue that there is no way to know or justify that God had caused the Earth and all of it into existence. Maybe in the theory of the Big Bang, as to only explain the degree of certainty that the singularity came out of nothing. However, this defies the first law of thermodynamics. The argument, if both parties cannot agree to a causation for the entropy of the universe itself, it is just superfluous banter of percieving minds. (Although the necessity of God as an actual creator of the universe has been explained through the Kalam Cosmological Arguement)

We can only assume in what we think and percieve, that in our own subjective cognitive states, we know that we exist. Inherently we can attribute to the internal causation of our interations with the objective world that causes opportunity for the mind to percieve and know of it's existence. The body is what we percieve to be the subjective tool that we use measure what it is in existence. I begin to wonder why it is that by nature, we are able conceptualize love and attribute it to our being. Also, in that, morality is somehow inherent of us, which is irrelevant to a body purposed primarily just to live.

{These are just some of my thoughts on the finitude of time, and God who created it.}

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tuesday Tangent

I'm calling this the "Tuesday Tangent"... here, I'll choose a few pictures and just talk about them. (There's no real order to these photos... so just watch them as they go by.)

Here's what I remember within this slideshow of photos:

Play the Slideshow!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Colon, hyphen, and "D" make :-D

Gtalk With Les
Today was a long one. Work was long, but okay... after work was unexpected... and after the "after work" I had a meeting with a dear friend.
He's thousands of miles away, way over there in Chicago but I still get to see him. I'm so glad that technology can bridge the gap between two people. It's times like these where I can actually thank Google for working hard on these things. (Which makes me so excited about Google Wave) We caught up on a few things in life and overall, it's just a blessing to actually see who you're talking to. There's so much communicated that doesn't get percieved in instant messages, text messages, e-mail, phone calls and other things.
Aural and visual communication is so important when we can't physically be there for the people we care about (or people we do business with). We have so many non-verbal cues that it's easier to just meet up with someone and just talk. Interpersonal relationships are solidified by this and we need to continue to do these things. Nowadays, I find myself somewhat too busy to do this, even with talking on the phone, I sometimes find myself hurried by the conversation. (Although it really depends on who I'm talking to and what the conversation is about.)
On a more technical note, with him being on a Mac and, I, myself being on a Windows OS, we were faced with the question of, "how is it that we are going to be able to talk to each other because of these two very different operating systems?" The first viable option was Skype, but the problem is that you need the skype application installed, (iChat would also not work because I am on a "PC"). The next thing we could think of was Gtalk with Video Chat. Which worked great! There's a plugin that needs to be installed, but it seems to me to be easier to configure than Skype on a Mac.
Case in point:
Gtalk With Em
After talking to Les I was able to talk to Emily. It was also amazing catching up with her over the same system. I just walked her through the installataion process, which was just as easy as downloading a file, opening it and extracting to your disk. (I hope it was easy for her.) Then after the installation... I saw her, and it was great seeing her, and just talking in this way and catching up a bit about our day.
This form of communication will never replace real life conversation but it's better than nothing. I think everyone can agree that there's something about a person's face that tells you a lot about what they're trying to communicate. What I appreciated the most about these "Internet Conversations," is that I didn't have to use emoticons... I just had to smile :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drawings of Light

Photos, photos, photos, photos, photos. Photography to me is a hobby. The technical aspect of it astounds me and the artistic aspect of it compels me to continue with it. The ability to capture in an image what is already created or to create the illusion of creating something just immensely fascinates me. All these deal with perception, on how I see things in my eyes. I can try to capture life in light of many things but it falls short to the reality of it.

There are a few words that come into mind when someone asks me, "Are you a photographer," to which I reply, "No, I just like taking pictures." What I'm particularly infering to is that I'm not a professional photographer, as anyone weilding a camera is a "photographer," I'm just a guy holding a camera. I do it for fun, for the enjoyment of it, to be reminded of the time that had passed.

Kathleen Andy

Jacque Matthew

Map Studying Emily

Aaron Green Jared

A few other words that come to mind are:

I really think that most of these things can be learned or revealed through discipline and blessings. Someone can be naturally be gifted with an eye for composition but not technique. Some may just pick up a camera and understand the way light works inherantly within their comprehention.

As for me, I think it's been both a blessing and discipline in photography that makes up my character as a photographer. I prefer to take pictures of people. I like the way someone's face can succinctly describe how that person is feeling or say something about who they are.

There have been pictures I've seen that evoke the emotions that I have felt before in the photographs I've taken. Photographs, unlike paintings, drawings or sculptures are a more literal illustrative of life... even at times it can be playful, endearing and unrealistic. Like any form of art, it's subjective nature leaves us with a more intimate understanding of who we are in our perceptions.

You can check out my Flickr photostream here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamtoday/
or my Picasa Web Album here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/today0

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Straight From the Liferay Symposium

I got lost coming here, we're still going at it. It's definitely a place you want to be to learn more about Liferay, not just the company, but the product.

We have a few speakers that are big Liferay users. It's amazing how diverse the implementation we have and how deep the product permeated within businesses and non-profit markets!

To learn more about liferay visit: http://www.liferay.com
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Significant Little Things

Worm from Ramen

Yesterday mid-morning, while working, I had a hunger... a hunger for salt... so, I perscribed myself a cure: top-ramen. Now, ramen-- or noodles-- as I know it, is a simple and unhealthy snack. College students are very familiar with it. (Most of all when you're a starving student, second to it would be Mac n' Cheese.) I craved this salty, sodium-carb enriched delicacy that day and was somewhat excited to just indulge in it.

It became apparent to me that this pack of noodles had a certain garnish to it. The kind of garnish you'd least expect but wouldn't quite be surprised to see. It's yellowish hue adds life(or the abscense of it) to the soup. The visceral look to it added a distinct texture in my imagination. It's size could almost be mistaken for rice husk or tiny slivers of wheat.

It was a worm... I'm glad to say that I didn't proceed to eat it.

I ended up spending $4.75 on In-and-Out burger: Double-double, animal-style, no pickle, and fries. Now, I just can't really decide if the non-consumption of worms is worth $4.75. So far, I've come to the conclusion that it is. Anyway, watch what you eat... I found three of these before I came to the conclusion that it was not good; I didn't take a bite of it... just so everyone knows. (I mean, maybe I nibbled on the crumbs... but yeah)

Happy Eating.
Click here for a larger picture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Date: Balloons and Beaches

Great Park Orange County A Two Ton Helium Balloon

Yesterday was a fun day. I took Emily out on a date. It started at 9:00am, I was a bit late to pick her up. Early morning blues were overcome with excitement; as the day for both of us was just beggining. That day, we went to Irvine to visit the Great Park of Orange County. It was such great weather and Emily didn't know where we were going. Neither did I... apparently. As we got lost over seven times trying to find the "Great" Park. I wonder about it's greatness because it's location is so hard to find.

On the BalloonOn the Balloon

After going to the park, we went to Laguna and went through some galleries. We talked about art, then we spent a brief period of time in the water, then some dinner at Bjs in Laguna. It was such a fun day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Music: Preacher's Sons

Poison Oak from preacherssons on Vimeo.

This is Preacher's Sons, a band that primarily consists of Brandon and Jeremy Pfaff. Originally named Native Americans, (seemingly, a pun and a play on words) Preacher's Sons have this raw and honest sound to them. There's something about Brandon's strum or how Jeremy keeps a steady beat on the drum. The simplicity of their music continues to astound me.

Whenever I listen to their music, I sometimes forget that they are friends of mine. I so admire their talent, moreover their character and humor. They are really great guys.

Check them out:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pictures, Trains, Los Angeles and Little Manila

Last Saturday was fun... there was a really informative Life Group Leader's training session early in the morning. The speaker talked about certain experiences that he'd gone through being a small group leader but also he gave a concise talk about what it means to be a small group leader. All in all, I found the talk informative and enriching.

After the training session...

Bamboo Shoot

I got to hang out with two awesome friends for a little project. (More about that... soon) I'm still working on the photos for the project... but then also still working on the photos for Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards Night, so these are just another two things on the plate. I'm creating a task list as I go and setting really short term goals to accomplish these.

Trains, Los Angeles, and little Manila

After taking photos and hangin out, I picked up my gal and we went to the Fullerton Train station and took the train to Los Angeles.

Fullerton Train Station

It was a great ride, we spoke talked to this guy named Eric, he was a really nice guy. We finally got to the historic Los Angeles Union Station, then we boarded a purple line subway train toward Vermont and Wilshire. We were headed to the Filipino town.

We got off the train and started walking, through what seemed to be Korea town... we came to notice the hodge-podge mix of ethnicities in the city. We had a great time just walking around, talking about the cultural mix, looking around. It was an adventure.

We later found ourselves in a restaurant called "My Mom's Bakery," which isn't my mom's bakery... although she did have one in the Philippines. It's somewhat a tradition in the Philippines to name an establishment in dedication to someone, or state it's clear owner. In this case, it's whom ever's mom's bakery. We came in and proceeded to order food. I was about about to pay for it, but at the time, their card machine wasn't working at all. The guy behind the counter asked the person serving us food, "...how much was it?" The girl replied, "$12 something...," to which he replied back, "Don't worry about it."

This implied free food. I was only half surprised. The culture in the Philippines, as I was growing up, was somewhat care-free. There was this trust between neighbors based on the decency of the way they spoke and respected the person they were speaking to. I was speaking to him in both Tagalog and English, it was really refreshing to talk to someone outside my family in Tagalog. This man was really nice, he stayed around to talk to us about the culture we grew up in, and not only did he give us free food at the time, he gave us more: Chiken skins (yes, just fried skins), and sinigang (a sweet and sour soup).

It was a great experience just being there and being treated as a true friend. Emily also enjoyed the food, well most of it. We finished eating and dropped by the 7 Eleven a block away, we came back with some cash and still paid for the free food.(Which void's it's validity of being free.) In the bigger picture, it's a business, and the gesture was good. I don't mean to nullify grace, the grace really was the sentiment behind the free food and the hospitality of this good man and not the consumed food. All of which we appreciated. We enjoyed our time spent there.

We left "My Mom's Bakery," (which isn't my mom's bakery...) and were on our way back to the Wilshire and Vermont subway station. As we were walking back we talked a bit about how there wasn't much that distinguished Filipino town, but that was probably because we were in the wrong part of town, the normal part, not the touristy part of town. We finally got to Wilshire and Vermont. Em was resilient, she wasn't tired at all. I asked her if she felt awake, and she said, "Yes..." I told her that Filipino food is usually high in cholesterol, so she'll be feeling sleepy in a bit.

We were in the subway station at this time, just waiting and talking. We heard a sound, the train above our level arrived and departed. A few minutes later, our train arrived... it wasn't our train, before getting on, I sensed that the train was headed north and I asked a stranger what direction that train was going on, and it was headed north... He told us the train we wanted was upstairs.

We hurriedly started running up the stairs, running each step then every two steps. We finally reached the second level... We were aware that we missed our train and we just asked ourselves, "...why did we run up the stairs?" So we waited again, then I asked Em how she felt, if she felt sleepy. She said yes, and I said, it's the food. Shortly after, the train had arrived and about eight minutes later, we were in the Los Angeles Union Station.

We were ready to leave L.A. then, we approached the ticket booth to purchase tickets... and there were no trains coming. We had missed the last train headed back to Fullerton by ten minutes. We called Mr. Winter and told him where we were, then we spent time in the outside square, where there's a fountain, it was beautiful. We spent our time memorizing the top half nations of the continent of Africa. Until Em's dad came and chaperoned us back to Fullerton. He's such a great father.

It was an amazing evening, I can't imagine spending the evening with anyone else.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photos: Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards Night

Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards

Last week, we had a great time as a college ministry, watching short music videos made by our friends. I'm currently working on photographs I took of the occasion... here's a preview... not the best ones of the bunch but... might as well show these two for now.

Paradigm Shift Video Music Awards

New Pads and Rotors

Brake Pad

About a month ago, I started hearing a creaking noise while driving. Mostly while applying pressure on the brakes to stop... a few weeks go by and the creaking becomes somewhat louder, to a scraping, scratching sound. The kinds of sounds you wouldn't want to drive your car around in. I drove with those sounds, drove my friends with those sounds, drove my girlfriend a few times in those sounds.

Rotor

That first picture you see is what had become of the brake pad on the 98' Corolla. In other words, what had been left of one of the brake pads on the Corolla. The second picture is the damage from that brake pad. The grooves on the rotor remind of the ring around Saturn or an old beat-up scratched up record. The wear on the rotors have been so much that I can estimate that the original thickness was around a third of an inch, and what had been left was about an eighth of an inch on the inner part of the rotor. Needless to say, it was bad. It had been somewhat of a blessing in that I drove more carefully everywhere, I'm driving way more safer now.1

So the brakes needed to be worked on. I had already been offered help by two friends that could have most likely helped me by this weekend, September 5th, but unbeknown to me, that would have been too late. Sunday evening, Emily recieved a text message from her father. He was offering to help out on Monday evening after work. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work with such a great man. I said "yes!" and Em just smiled and excitedly replied, "cool, okay, I'll txt' him tomorrow moring."

Monday, August 31st, had come around and I drove my car with the scraping sounds that it's had for weeks now, it seemed to be normal for me then. I had gotten to work safely. While at work Mr. Winter and I had a brief conversation about the parts that would be required for the job, the difficulty of it and his experience with brake pad replacements. He had called the local Autozone in the area and reserved a few parts for me, so I dropped by after work and picked them up.

The Horror and Hope

Coming up the hill toward their home, making a turn the sound of my brake pads became a terrible howling sound. I was making the turn and unintentionally letting everyone know I was coming. It was so loud that Mrs. Winter was picking up mail and she heard me coming. I was sitting in my car trying to park it... all I can say is parallel parking with howling brakes feels ten times longer than it really is.

Shortly after, Mr. Winter, then Emily, my amazing girlfriend, arrived then we had dinner. After dinner Mr. Winter and I started working on the car. I came out the house and saw the car parked in the garage. We jacked the car up, took off the wheels, took a look at the rotors and calipers. The first one we had taken off was the right caliper, and found only one brake pad within it.

We proceeded to work on the brakes and got the rotors off, and what had been left of all the brakepads... all of the parts looked like those you see in this post. It was horrific. We then put everything back together. Everything came back together easier than it was to take off. The moment of truth came around and I drove the car around the block. There was only one sound... a little "peep" on full pressure to brake.

Many thanks to Mr. Winter for helping me out with my brakes, I thank God so much for giving us that time. If I drove straight home that day, I would have been in danger of not being able to brake sufficiently.

1I referred to it in the Case of the Mondays post.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Past Few Weeks

So, the past few weeks has been amazing. It started off with helping Em move into a new place, then 80's party (the Friday before that Saturday was great too), then Sunday came around had some lunch and played some Rummy, (I'm really not quite sure how to spell that card game)... the week went by in a great pace, as Monday came about in a daze, Tuesday was just another blessing, Wednesday came around and got to spend some good quality time with a friend, Thursday (or really-Friday) was the realization of what it is that I needed to understand about rest, then Friday came about and in prayer, I was able to go through it-- then go to a Joel and Carly's wedding reception. Saturday was great, stared the day out slow as I slept in, then hung out with, a really great friend, Jared.

I've been seeing how God works within my days and how He's been a comfort for me. I've seen Him lead me through difficult days, sometimes at work, sometimes just in the heat of the day... I'm blessed to have such great friends and such a great girlfriend, I'm blessed to have such an awesome job and co-workers. So the past few weeks have been amazing.

Joel and Carly Poindexter's Wedding

Joel and Carly's wedding reception was great, I was Em's date, or otherwise noted in the placement card as "Emily Winter and guest." That day, I came into work thirty minutes early and worked through lunch to leave an hour early to meet up with Em and leave for the wedding early. It was simple, somewhat planned, and we had directions... what could go wrong?

Well, we got lost.

We were somewhat expecting to get lost as we both know that each of us are somewhat directionally challenged so we alloted around thirty minutes for getting lost; and as much as I like getting detoured (yes, it's a euphemism), I don't particularly like getting detoured when I need to get somewhere. At that time, I just thought to myself, we'll get there when we need to be there. Then my thoughts shifted to "this is a good friend of Em's, we need to get there," there was also this lingering sense of nervousness driving Em's car. I prayed. Then I felt her holding my hand and it was okay. I started thinking to myself again that God is in control and I felt humbled by it.

We walked around seven miles away from the location. She was anxious at first but it was okay. It was good. I can say that I felt blessed to be in that car with such an amazing person. A few minutes later after searching for the place on foot, we get back into the car, she called her dad and Aaron Green called me to give me directions. That was a blessing in itself, Aaron was giving us hints and directions to where it was and Em was listening to her father giving her similar directional advice.

So we drove on Camino Capistrano, seven miles1 or so... and we were there... at the reception; then I realized I had a great trip, and we had fun.

In other interesting news...

Co-Project 80's pictures are up:

Co-Project 80's Dance Party 2009

{1I did notice the "seven miles"... I just thank God for it.}

Links:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Caffeine Lackey

I'm addicted. I'm addicted to a drug. I'm addicted to the bitter bite of caffeine. I'm not actually addicted but I've become somewhat dependent on it's effects of it. So lately, I've been cutting off on caffeine consumption, by switching to water and iced tea, which I just found out has almost the same amount of caffeine as Coca Cola Classic. Still, somehow even without the actual withdrawal symptoms of caffeine, this happens:

Aaron Sleeps #1

Then again:

Aaron Sleeps #2

Which is okay... I did these naps just a bit during lunch break (notice no one in the background and internal time stamps on the flickr pages.) It wasn't quite the caffeine I was addicted to, nor was it really the problem...

Lately, I've been more and more tired mentally. I've been thinking and processing so much within my life that, I need to just rest. On nights like this, waking up from rest, I start thinking about everything that's happening in my life. How I'm thankful for each and every moment of it. Then I start trying to re-structure my thought process and be more cognitive about what it is I am thinking about, so I can pray about these things that concern me. Then the next day requires more thinking to fix problems for clients, trying to make sure that the fixes are stable and good.

Last night girlfriend, Emily, mentioned that she needed to manage her time more wisely. This struck a chord with me, as I started remembering Ecclesiastes and how in Solomon's wisdom he states in more poignant words: "there's a time for everything."

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--"
- Ecclesiastes 3:1

Earlier in the afternoon Brian made a great point about the structure of multi-tasking. As he pointed out: "... it's like running three applications simultaneously, it takes longer for them to startup than opening up the programs one at a time." I still need to process further what it is I need to do to manage my time more wisely. The task at hand, as it is, is to rest. So this is it for now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Art: Natural Pigments and God

I was reading this evening about the application of gesso and rabbit glue to wood panel in over seven layers, dried- to then be sanded down smoothly flat and gilded with gold when I came across this:

Icons are not just stories in paintings, Hart explained. "The intention is to introduce you to reality, not to imitate nature. It is to show you not what you see, but what is real." So the figures of saints often go beyond the frame to show how there are no real boundaries, and buildings tend to have a strange perspective-- you can see left and right and up and down, which is meant to represent the way God "sees" the whole world at once. The use of natural pigments is similarly embodied in the Orthodox teaching that humanity-- like all Creation-- was created pure but not perfect, and the purpose of being born is to reach your true potential.
-Aiden Hart in "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay

Aiden Hart is an Orthodox icon painter who uses classical traditional mediums and techniques to craft and paint, in Victoria Finlay's book, "Color," he describes Orthodox theology and how painting as a craft parallels to it.

I am contemplating perfection, as it is in God and the life He created that relies on His glory in necessity to perpetuate it's existence. I find that God's choice, to create man with free will, and in initial creation is pure and without sin(until the fall, as chronicled in Genesis) to be reasonable. The purpose of creating something is to beget identity to the creator. As a painter renders an illustration of a rose, it isn't so much the glory of the rose that is shown, but the skill of the painter in both artistry and technique. For God to create a being that had choice to glorify Him or not is the most profound act of cognizant thought.

What is the perfect hue, or pigment? If color is so consistent it gets uninteresting. The inconsistencies in life keep us attentive to be willing to interact with the mundane. As is with color, the imperfections at times create texture and sometimes depth. To not be able to predict how paint would flow and the minuscule of inconsistent hues in the paint give the painting more character that sometimes cannot even be replicated.

I am in awe of so much that God does throughout this life and all it's inconsistencies. He paints our lives with such beautiful natural hues, sometimes we just need to be aware to see it. I thank God for this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

80's Party, Heck Yeah!

Em and I at the 80's Party

Last night, the Co-Project had a fundraiser party. The theme this year was "80's Dance Party." I can't really tell you how much fun it was; great music, great food, great people-- I mean, even Les was there via Skype! It was a party to experience, most of all if you like rad dancing.

Les at the Party!

In any case, I just finished cataloging 318 pictures; made sure there weren't any doubles or so... every now and again, the camera names pictures the same name, so every now and again I have to append an alternate number to a few photos. I'll be working on these photos for the next few days and uploading them to both Picasa and Facebook.

We, at "Co-" would like to thank everyone who came, you guys made the party so fun! For those who brought food- that was really delightful! For those who bought raffle tickets for prizes (specially one awesome lady who bought 50 of them), your donation means a lot and goes far... to the amazing DJs that kept the party freakin', rad and kickin'- you guys rock! For everyone who had a great time, let's try to do this again next year.

We really trust that God will provide for the ministry, in our small efforts like this, we hope that you're aware of the impact a few dollars went. So really, thank you all, from the sides of our hearts, I guess I speak for myself- the bottom of my heart is reserved, we hope you had a great time.

Sometimes I ask myself...

... Why do we have so much fun... and sometimes I get answers like theese:

  • To create an opportunity to ask for help and rely on God's providence
  • Create awareness about the Co-Project and homelessness
  • Be able to raise funds and support for the ministry
  • To take a breath from life, even just for a few hours and have some dancing fun.

So, for now; I'll be going to bed. I still have a bit of work to do with those photographs... but hopefully most of them came out nice.

p.s. {I really like my girlfriend, and really, I don't care who knows it. :-) }

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parking Ticket in the Morning, Oh Yes

This morning, I woke up and thought to myself, "oh, this is going to be a great day... wait, the weather is slightly gloomy but oh well! That's not going to bring..." then I approached my car and saw a yellow slip on top of my window, "...me do(wn)-arnit!"

Buttercup

I really don't understand at times why such an ordinary and simple act of parking a car would be a crime. Maybe it's a crime when the city needs income. Maybe I'm just venting. I am. In any case, these tickets (yes, it's my second one- apparently non-metaphorical lightning, the ticket police, do strike at the same spot... twice) just make me a bit more cynical about parking... anywhere.

Truth is, is that I violated the overnight parking statute that isn't posted anywhere near my neighborhood, only at the borderlines entering the city. Which I would have to say, I never noticed until I had a ticket. The signs are so sma... I think I'm finished venting about that.

Nothing like a parking ticket to start the day. Whoop-dee-doo.

p.s. {Don't ask me about the pig... I really think it brings the humor out of the situation.}

Never So Far Away

Never So Far Away

So tonight was amazing for me. One of my dear friends, Les, had recently moved to Chicago, in pursuit of life. In much more a sense of adventure to grow in, and an adventure to be challenged of. It was great catching up, as he was able to be on video chat, we were able to converse for hours on end- just talking about life. I really appreciate the kind of friendships I have with these awesome men. I've learned and grown much from their company, I've fellowshipped with them and we usually end up pointing ourselves back to God.


Right There.

Les is coming back soon in September 8th to visit; I really can't wait to see him. I am really amazed at how well that form of communication worked. It was almost as if he was never really far away. In our conversation, I didn't have much to mention except my wonderful girlfriend, as she's been a great blessing to me. I have to admit, I do know that they're already a bit irritated about it... but, it was definitely something that needed to be said and something I need to be held accounted for... even in all the "cheesyness."

So, I am thankful for such great brothers in my life.

Every one of them has been reading more, and I am think to myself, "maybe I should read also." Reading novels or poetry, just never really interested me that much, but this is a great opportunity to facilitate growth in that area. I've been longing to finish a book called "Color: The History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay, I've read it twice, halfway through. I could just never really finish it because of impatience. I think... I know, now would be a great time to pursue that book and it's knowledge. In any case, I'm somewhat looking forward to this and maybe I'll dedicate time for this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Case of the Mondays

Yesterday wasn't such a great day for me... I had one of these:

Case of the Mondays

I was tired and somewhat restless. After work, I just went home, changed, then jumped in bed. I woke up a few hours later and just somewhat found myself in a daze. I prayed for Co- and many other things. Then I started to think about blessings. I'm not one to over-spiritualize things but when I look at what is in my life, I can't help but be thankful.

So blessings, like having one somewhat wornout breakpad that makes me drive safer and more cautiously. Another blessing is having a great group of friends that I trust so much and we continue to grow with each other and with God. A blessing in ministry with Co- and the college ministry, being able to serve there is just a privelege. I'm in a relationship with someone wonderful and we're both in a relationship with God. I couldn't be happier right now.

I stayed awake in bed in the dark of it with my eyes closed and imagining in light of everything. Then I realized it was 2:30am and I ended my prayer of thanks and praise. Then I prayed that I would wake up early in the morning. So, I'm awake now, I'm at work, and I'm doing alright.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Iced Coffee Please

Iced Coffee

Sometimes, you just wonder how much coffee you have... next time use a measuring cup... (then enter us.)

I woke up today and I felt this hopeful energy within me, of wanting to go to work... as I was thinking: "whoa, maybe I should take a minute or two," I re-set my alarm for another ten minutes and woke up at 8:00am instead of getting out of bed at 7:30am. I eventually really got out of bed at 8:30am and proceeded to go to work by 9:00am.

I got to work and to find my desk occupied (which is okay, my name isn't on it... it is, but it's okay, I'm just being sarcastic... about not being okay with having my regular desk... but I am okay with it.), and my regular soft drink glass was missing from the cupboard... and there being no more coke syrup in the soda fountain... I just screamed "Noooooooo," but it was okay... there are other cups, er, I mean- there was a cup left. It was a magnificent measuring cup. A two cup, measuring cup. In fact, this cup was a Pyrex cup that can handle both hot and cold extremities. It is durable and has measurement lines and even a handle! It was a perfect cup with a spout... it was a measuring cup.

In any case, I saw that there was coffee brewed, I filled it to a 3rd of a pint (I know, because I measured it). I grabbed 12 packets of white sugar which would be about 6 table spoons, I then proceeded to mix and dissolve it into this syrupy mix of sugar and coffee, I added ice and filled the cup to the 2cup/1pint mark with coffee... it was iced coffee and I was content.

Sometimes, all we need is some iced coffee in the morning.

Perseids

Star Gazing

I've been spending a few of my evenings with a really good friend of mine. Last night was amazing even thought the sky was laden with a mist, a cloud. We laid there and looked up. We sighed in awe of so magnificent sights. Each time I saw a star shoot across and through the shroud of fog and light I was reminded of how only God could have taken such a seemingly insignificant rock and use it so wonderfully just for a moment of beauty and glory. Then right next to me is someone amazing. I didn't have words. So I just prayed and thanked God for all He's done and all his glory. It was an amazing night.