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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I've got rhythm, I've got style 

All this was prompted while I was in the bathroom at work yesterday, thinking.

So as most of you know, I have a new job, and as a part of this job I have to dress up somewhat. I don't have to wear a tie, but I have to look nice.

I began thinking about the origins of "style". I mean where did we go wrong where just covering your body wasn't enough. I can go back to the fall of man, where I can get mad that we have to wear anything at all. But that's a whole new subject.

Maybe I'm just not educated enough to know about this or maybe it's more of a social mindset issue or even a pride issue. But when I look at my limited knowledge of history, it's hard for me to pinpoint the time where someone said, "hey I look better than you."

I really doubt that the cavemen came home after a day of hunting and said, "hold on honey, let me change into my lounging skins". Or one caveman said to another caveman, "George, seriously, where did you get your woolly mammoth skin, mine's so Mesozoic."

I wish we could go back to the times of Adam and Eve and really have no shame and wander "free" in a perfect climate. Or if we have to live post-fall, then I will be absolutely content with something that keeps me warm. Possibly a Ton-Ton, like Luke Skywalker had.

The real issue here is that I don't like having to look "appropriate" at work for the sake of "business professionalism". Clothes cover my "shame" and keep me warm, isn't that good enough. I'm not trying to impress anyone. And my favorite shirt says "World's Best Mom" on it. What's so wrong with that??? So who cares if some researcher sees me in my "World's Best Mom" shirt, it's a fairly inclusive society.

My "sense of style" is fairly plain and cheap. So I can't even justify paying lots of money for some fashion just because it comes from this or that store. Just give me things of one, maybe two, (and if I'm feeling really outlandish, three) colors and not a lot of patterns, maybe some stripes, and I'm set. And I don't even need to accessorize, and as for shoes, just give me some reef sandals.

If only I could wear sandals to work, that in itself would cancel out my crappy commute everyday.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Because it makes you look smarter 

I was at the mall this weekend with Matt and Jeni. I actually don't like malls all that much. And especially during the holiday season.

But I walked past Express Men and saw a sign that read "Free Scarf with Any Purchase". I like scarves and only have one so I thought it would be cool to get another one. Knowing that Express had somewhat pricey stuff I cautiously went in knowing that I didn't have money to spend. So after inquiring about the scarves to make sure that they weren't crappy or only 6" long. I found out that they were Cashmere/Wool scarves that the sign said were a 68 dollar value. So I really wanted to test the "free with ANY purchase" sign, so I began perusing the merchandise. I saw nice things like sweaters and shirts, all well above the 30 dollar mark. And finally decided on a pair of dress socks, since I only wear socks when I have to go to work. A 10 dollar pair of socks. Quite outrageous if you ask me but not when getting a 68 dollar scarf.
On a side note, I am wearing them today and they are quite comfortable and have lots of ankle grab, no sagging here.
Once I paid for my socks they preceded to hand me my free scarf. Once in my possession I looked at the tag and what I thought was a 68 dollar scarf turned out to be a 78 dollar scarf. SCORE!!!!!!!!!! I am very proud of myself for my find.

But what really bothers me, is who in their right mind would pay for a 78 dollar scarf?????
Granted it's nice and warm and soft and all, but 78 dollars?!?!?!??!?!

Vacation summation 

Food - Good
Sleep - Good
Going back to work - Bad, very bad.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Techno Wiz 

I have officially upgraded (downgraded) the equipment in which the ghetto blog will be taken by.

I went to Radio Shack the day after T-Day sale thing (only woke up at 8, not to bad) and bought this. It has a whopping 0.1 Megapixels. (that's right 1 tenth of 1 megapixel)

Too cool.

So from now on the ghetto blog pictures will be a bit more square, but still the same high quality content.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

And the Wheels go round 

What is it about driving?
I know I posted a audioblog a long time ago about this.
But I really like driving. It's something that's calming for me.

As long as it's not morning/evening commute traffic.

There's a peace about being able to be driving down the road all alone with my thoughts or just zoning out and experiencing just getting there.

Today as I drove from LA to Sacramento, it was a nice drive.
I left about 9 - 9:30 and got to Sacramento about 2:45.

I had a good sing along to RENT (if you didn't know it's being made into a movie) and listened to Something Corporate and some KCRW while I could. KCRW had this awesome special about Leonard Bernstein that was like 11 hours long. I'm just bummed that I won't be able to hear much more of it. Maybe I can listen on the internet.

I'm looking forward to my next road trip with John. We are thinking of driving up to Seattle and/or Spokane for New Years. Should be a good time.

I think for the ride home I'll listen to the Les Mis soundtrack.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mystery Revealed 

If you've been following the discussion about the last Ghetto Blog post, then you can find my answer in the comments, now.

Looking around the house. 

Hidden behind the window and the door.
Searching for signs of life but there's nobody home.

As some of you know I house sit on occasions. I find it to be a great source of extra income for not doing a whole lot and it's kinda fun to stay in other people's houses for a few days.

I possibly found a new way to expand my clientele.

I heard of this on KCRW.

It's a website called sittercity.com.

You can register (FREE) to be put into their database and have people contact you about house sitting. I just signed up today so we'll see how long it takes for people to contact me. You can also sign up to babysit or pet sit. Upon first glance it looks like it's primarily used for finding baby sitters.

Just thought I'd throw that out. And they have other cities besides LA, for those of you out there in Blogger World.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Crusades: Sending Small Children to War 

That's not what this post is actually about. But it catches your eye.

Went to the Billy Graham Crusade this last sat night. Click on Trogdor below to hear a clip from when we were there.

We took a few of our Jr Highers to the event. And got really lucky to be given wristbands which got us on the field of the Rose Bowl. Since it was "A Concert for Our Generation" night, meant things were a little more focused on youth. I have a funny story about how we got the wristbands, but I won't tell it here, either call me or talk to me if you want to hear it.

It really was an honor to see Billy in person since he's in his 80's now and this is the last time he will be coming to CA and who knows how much longer he will be doing this at all. The message wasn't fancy or emotion driven, but he is so clearly able to present the gospel to those who are ready to hear it. I found myself sitting there and listening trying to decipher what it was about him or his speaking that made him so effective. And again and again during his speech I found myself saying to myself it must not be him, but the Holy Spirit moving people to come to Him, God the Father. With his deadpan expression, even when telling jokes, Billy truly is God's vessel to the masses. While I don't know how many people came down on to the field during the alter call, there did seem to be in the air a sense of repentance and desire to know this God who Billy kept saying, loved them.

Although nothing stood out as super spiritual or even extra entertaining, this truly models how we don't need to be fancy or even entertaining for people to respond to God's call. I think that the statement holds true that people usually need at least 7 encounters with people or things that tell them about God, and these crusades are a perfect opportunity for all of that to come together and lives are changed.

I'm not sure of the rest of Billy's speaking schedule, but I would definitely encourage you to go to one if you have the opportunity to see this icon of what it means to speak truth, unabashedly loving God and loving others.

On a lighter note, man, you should have seen this pulpit that Billy used. It gets wheeled out by like 5 or 6 guys. And then Billy ends up sitting in it, but you would swear that he could control the world from it or something. Click here to see the pulpit.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Graham Crackers and Apple Juice 

click on Trogdor

brought to you by audioblogger.com

Friday, November 19, 2004

All I Want for Christmas is... 


That's right nothing at all. (except for that digital camera I've been looking at)

Just Kidding

I've seen this floating around the blogging world and so I thought I'd share it with my blogging community.

It's a really intriguing idea when you think about it.

Check out buynothingchristmas.org

P.S. Quick little survey. I was thinking that when I have kids, I'm going to be up front with them about Santa. In hopes of not devaluing what the holiday is really supposed to mean. What are you going to do? Leave comments.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Proud to Announce 

Our newest blogger friend Liz Wilson

Have you seen the latest Ghetto Blog???

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

"Why don't the newscasters cry, 

when they read about people who died?" - Jack Johnson

I don't know if it's just me. But I've been having a big problem with the media recently, well pretty much since the war started. And it's not the usual gripes about the media, even NPR does it.

Has anyone else noticed how when they talk about the war and people who have died, Americans always fit at the top of the list?

(Andrew's own version) "today in Iraq, 100 people were killed and 400 injured. Among the dead were 2 American soldiers, 6 British forces and 92 Iraqi civilians" And the inflection is ALWAYS on the 2 American ones. While only so much as just uttering the words are given to the other 98 people who died. And even though the insurgents are the "bad guys" I heard the other day that the Americans had lost x amount of people (for sure under 300) while there had been 1000's of Iraqi deaths.

I always feel a lot of compassion on the other people's families who have died. If we (as Americans) ever lost over 10 people in a day, we are up in arms and sobbing at our desks. But it is a daily thing for these people. Seriously, we lose 10 people in one day like every 5 months, and they lose 10-50 people a DAY. I can't help but almost weep for these families that have to hear about the death of their families and communities. Yet time and time again, there are the local news stories about hometown friends who got killed, or the young man with lots of "potential" who died.

I think there is a serious loss of humanity in the American view of the war. Human loss is not mourned unless it bears an American flag. We even lose the ability to fully mourn the death of a humanitarian worker who was kidnapped and murdered. She did NOTHING. Yet we elevate soldiers who kill to hero status.

I'm not against the service our troops are doing. I am against the people who give orders and monger the idea that these "enemies" are not people. If you have seen any real footage of the war, via Fahrenheit 9/11, Control Room, or another independent media source, then you will know what I mean, when I speak of insensitivity and lack of humanity.

I love the American perception that if we shout LOUDER then people will understand what we are saying. The American troops seem very good at exemplifying this. Never have I seen or heard of (and I really hope there are) troops really trying to learn the language so that they can possibly communicate with the people of Iraq. And NOT ONCE have I heard a government official apologize for the treatment of even the ordinary Iraqi citizens. All I have heard is that we have to be suspicious of all "foreign looking people", and if we have to use "force" (mainly on people who have done NOTHING) then that is perfectly acceptable.

Please take time today, or when you watch tv or listen to the radio and you hear about the countless lives lost in the War. Pray for those families. Not just the American ones, because far more OTHER people are dying than those who happen to have citizenship in the good ol U(nder).S(ympathetic and).A(rrogant).

P.S. What's up with the no comment love on Borrowing, not quite stealing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Borrowing, not quite stealing. 

This post is part of the thought process of the last post, yet entirely different. I will still comment on a few of the questions and comments of the last post later this week.

I have to thank Kelsey Lee for pointing this out to me.

That raises a terrible question. How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound's worth of Pride towards their fellow-men. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them. And any of us may at any moment be in this death-trap. Luckily, we have a test. Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good - above all, that we are better than someone else - I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether. - C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity pg 124,125) (bold and italics added)

I think Mr. Lewis has hit our nail on the head. Or at least my nail. I want to put this out there: I hope you all feel very free to be open and honest with me at any time. Either via your own posts, comment or personally. Although I may dislike them initially, defend myself out of pride or even feel hurt by them, I know it is something that I need to work on. Being able to take good loving criticism. I feel that only when I am surrounded by people who call me on my own pride, when I cannot see it, then will I be able to be fully actualized within the realm of seeking after God, not in a death-trap.

I can only hope to live up to this
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed. (Ibid pg 128) (bold added)

I know it's a lot to chew on but please leave your thoughtful comments and or posts.

Monday, November 15, 2004

RE: Broken Churches Pt 1 & 2 

This post is in response to Matt's posts, Broken Churches Part 1 and Part 2.

I absolutely agree with the idea of a broken church. In the sense of a broken church being a church (place) that is able to be fully honest with its self and with society, being able to freely admit that they are not perfect. It also should be a place that freely accepts ANYONE. The whores, downtrodden, gays and lesbians, the adulterer, the divorcee, the hard to love, those who do not always stand up for their faith, those who sleep around, those who tell lies, those who have more enemies than friends, those who are friendless, those who are poor, those who are hurting, and those who just need someone to love them.

I really think that our church (today's church) has become a spectacle of pomp and circumstance. How did the band sound? Did we end on time? Did everyone leave feeling "good"? I hope I didn't offend anyone with the sermon.

Yes, I may sound a bit critical. But I am not afraid of being willing to identify issues that I have with The Church. As someone who wants to be a leader in the church, I am idealistic about my ability to affect change towards a more genuine church that is more focused on loving God than putting on "church". (by putting on church I mean, the act of doing a service)

Matt said "One Saturday morning we went to the shabbat service and before the service the rabbi stood in front of the congregation with two members who had started sleeping with each other and where not married. We postponed the start of the service for about an hour to pray for and offer support for these two people."

I'm assuming that this was done in love and not to shame the couple.

Assuming the latter, I wholeheartily agree with the fact that #1 these people willingly came forward and #2 the church did support this couple asking the congregation to pray for them.

Sadly enough I have heard instances where people have been brought up in front of the congregation and publicly shamed. And not in the biblical way. See Matt 18:15-17

The time has come in our churches were we need to stand as leaders who are not afraid to be vulnerable and broken in front of others. I do not think we will lose credibility as unable to lead a congregation. As many notable figures in history have. While I do not condone their actions, I do not think less of their ability to be faithful to God and lead others. Sorry to use it, but see David as example. The only guy to have said of him, a heart after God's heart.

We have quickly become a church that elevates leaders that show no sign of weakness or at least nothing that is debilitating. I think we should live vulnerable lives so that, our struggles are embraced by our community as much as they can feel welcome to be just as vulnerable. Ultimately that we as a community can all come to the foot of the cross to be healed and renewed.

The last thing that we want as a society and as a church want to be is, broken. Perfect packages and happy endings. This is what we want. Somehow we live in a disillusioned world that is unable to face the reality of a broken, bleeding, lonely, despised, mocked savior hanging on a cross naked.

PS Check out this site. The Mystery Worshipper. Thanks to John for telling me about it. How would your church stand up?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

If it doesn't get all over the place... 

We were inspired because of this (pretty much the coolest thing I've seen in a LONG TIME) done by this guy.
It was the behind the scenes footage found here, it's the one called "pieces of the puzzle".

The shot is done using Forced Perspective. For another good example just watch the special features of the Extended Version of Fellowship of the Ring

The picture is a shot from some video, hopefully we will be able to post the video sometime in the future.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Job search 

I got to wondering how some people get jobs.

On my list of "how in the world does one get that job", are:

- The people who put together mixed CD's for restaurants and stores.
- People who get to name products. Just got to the store and look at like the juice aisle.
- Crowd Warmers - if you've ever been to a TV taping, these are the people who keep the live studio audience entertained between takes
- card writers - as in Hallmark cards or other greeting cards
- Wine judge
- Movie critic
- Video game tester
- Motivational Speaker

If you can think of any more feel free to post them in the comments.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

First they banned Prayer 

and now look at this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Walk in the Park 

Today at work we had the Veteran's Day Parade, seeing how I work at the Veterans Hospital and we all have tomorrow off in observance of Veterans Day.
As I stood outside my office, not working mind you (YES!), watching the parade who floats by (well not floats, but drives by in a new Chevy SSr)?? Former police chief Bernard Parks, who happens to be running for L.A. Mayor. I said "hi" and waved, he was only about 10 feet away, and waved back.

Just thought that was pretty cool. Especially since I got paid to watch a parade.

I've got personality 

I began thinking about my past jobs and something struck me.
I have two work ethics. I guess this says something about my personality.

I noticed that when I am in a job that allows for promotion or am told that there is room for growth then I seem to be very focused on trying to attain the next level. I work hard to make sure that I do the right things so that I will get noticed or asked to do more or will even seek out the training to make it to the next level. But when I am in a job that just has duties or just seems to be more of a go and do your work type job I have a much greater lackadaisical sense of work ethic. If you've ever seen the movie Office Space, I think that kinda sums it up. What's the least possible I can do to make it seem like I'm working without having to do real, actual work, but I still want to get paid.

The exception to this would have to be Youth Ministry and I guess that's why I love it so much. I know there is no room for growth, in the sense of promotions or bonuses, but I work as hard and as long as I can and love it all the same.

If you know of any good psychological reasons please let me know. So that my personal quest to better understand myself will be furthered.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Butt 

Is it just me, but I really love a shower that has A LOT of pressure. I'm not talking like a 5 gallon bucket pressure, but I mean like standing under a big waterfall pressure. Sometimes it's even great to have the water feel almost stingy, like needles pricking your skin.

Yeah, yeah I know water conservation. Blah, blah, blah...

I also want to feel covered in water, especially if it's warm or hot water. I don't want to have to move body part by body part under the water to feel warm. Right forearm - rest of body cold, then on to right bicep - rest of body still cold, then on to head - rest of body cold and now right forearm is cold again. Lame. I want the whole me at one time to be warm and to be able to just enjoy the shower process.

The house I'm sitting for - lame pressure, it's worse than trying to water a flower. Seriously I've gotten more water on me at once by a garden hose. My new house with AJ, Carlos and Bobby, let me tell you I lucked out. Our shower (AJ and I's) is so great, sometimes I think it's going to knock the tiles off the wall. I like it a lot.

The only thing is length of hot water. But that's a whole separate issue.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Sick of it all 

I was sick this weekend, with either a 24 hour thing-a-ma-bob or food posioning.

I puked for the first time in over at least 5 maybe more, years. I was hoping I wouldn't have to, that feeling SUCKS!!!

Friends said eat some soup maybe that will make you feel better. Only thing was, I only had 1 can of soup left, and I knew better than to eat the Campbell's Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits, but I thought it might help. Wrong.

Ended up being able to eat a pita. But that was about it. Now let's hope that I don't get what's going around the office too.

Friday, November 05, 2004

But I Want an Oopma Loopma Now Daddy 

Sorry I haven't really posted anything theological or thought provoking lately. But I guess there's been too much pop culture stuff not to comment on it, as well as being busy creating new blogs. If you haven't seen them yet they are Andrew's Ghetto Blog and The Official "W"oeful Days Countdown.

For your enjoyment and thoughts:

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I see myself falling short in God's eyes. And there has been much talk about this generally amongst my friends. I've come to the conclusion that there is something, culturally and spiritually, about patience, but more specifically impatientness.
I need to preface this with the statement that (as some of you know) I do really enjoy the paradoxical side of who God is, and how we must acknowledge the paradoxical nature of God. The fact that much of our faith is based on strict paradoxes that do not make sense, but have to be accepted for our faith to be complete. Such as Jesus as fully human and fully divine at the same time. He can neither be one or the other always two at once. I hope you see what I mean.

Let me begin by saying that I consider myself a fairly patient person (in most circumstances). But my time at work over the last few years has begun to make me think about the connection between a Christian perspective of patience vs the worldly view of getting things done.

These last few weeks have made me aware of how we really use the pretense of wanting to get things done and get them done NOW to overrule our mandate to live out the fruits of the spirit. It's so easy to not be able to say "I can wait" or "this really isn't THAT important". I think that the Devil uses the false pretenses of urgency, demand, work, and other such things to trip us up and not desire to live the Godly life that we should be.

Our lives should be ruled by the ability to be aware of how the Devil is manipulating the good things that God gives us to his own purposes. I do understand that there are demands on life, but that should not take priority on our primary occupation which is to be the children of God. Too often we fall prey to one misconception or another because it screams priority to us. If we could only be able to step back for a moment and not be so compulsive and think about how we should respond to something not just responding to it. I believe we would live much happier lives and with less stress.

I have now strayed much off the topic. I am in many cases able to be patient. I am not worried about long lines, and there have been times where I have had to wait months to get something, point in case one year I waited 7 months to find a roommate in college and didn't find one until 2 weeks before school. But the Devil knows how to attack me at my weak-points. I am fairly often unable to wait for someone to get back to me, I will constantly hound them to stop what they are doing and help ME. And the worst thing about this is that in some cases (especially work) this is seen as a go-get-um attitude or being really focused and wanting to get things done.


Christ does not have deadlines or impatientness. He is the one who is living through eternity. The only deadline he has is our Earthly life, for if he cannot reach us in a very specific amount of time then it will be too late.

I truly need to embody this characteristic of patience. So willing to be fine with the moment. Only concerned about loving God, because he is only concerned with loving us.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I want to be sedated... 

I'm currently trying to listen to Bush's press conference, and I am noticing one observation.

The tone of his voice.

Either the loss of stress or lack of sleep or the advice of his advisors or even some heavy drugs, has made him sound very mellow.

That doesn't make me agree with anything he has to say, but I thought it was in stark contrast to what we normally hear from him.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Official "W"oeful Days Countdown 

I've officially named my countdown. Feel free to mention it on your blog or other places. I've actually created a new blog for it. Which means that it has a permanent home at theofficialwoefuldayscountdown.blogspot.com.

Well that's my contribution for the day. Tell me what you think, and/or whether I should keep the countdown here at aslanseely.blogspot.com or not.

UPDATE: 5:31pm
I think you may have missed the significance of Jan 20 2009. That's the date of the next inauguration. Meaning that no matter what we'll have a different president. Since the constitution states that a President can only serve 2 consecutive terms. I think after 01.20.09 we will be in the clear, unless Jeb runs for President.

What would you say... 

All I have to say is notice the new counter on the right at the bottom of the sidebar.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Brisk - not the tea 

A few things really quick.

I don't know if you just didn't see it cause it was a Sat post or if it's just uninteresting. So here it is again. And I really thought more people would have commented on the Sunday post.

There will be more Ghetto Blogging I promise. I just have to get a few digital camera things worked out. Since 1 I don't have one, 2 the other 2 shots came from a camera phone of a friend who lives too far away to come every time I want to post, and 3 we (the roommates) haven't had a chance to try and work something out. We will soon. I want more posts as much as you do.

Election day fodder. Really interesting video.
UPDATE 8:14am
Election Predictors

Monday, November 01, 2004

Undecidedly So 

My friend Matt is an UNDECIDED VOTER. (this post is for you Kathryn)(maybe you can send some peeps to WA to get Matt)

He asked me to see if any of YOU out there could sway his vote (and If you read this and sway him; it better be towards Kerry). You can read his post that promted all of this.

It really is hard to believe that there are a few undecided folk out there about the comming election and there was no way in Hell that I'd thought I'd personally know one. But I guess I do. I guess that's cool, I'm just not sure if it is or not.

NPR has been running some stories about those who are undecided, and they are quite interesting to listen to. You can listen to most of them here.

All I can really say is it's going to be a hard next 48 hours as things unfold. But then again, I guess we won't know the OFFICIAL results for a while. Since I'm pretty sure that things will have to be settled by the courts. I know I'll still be up all night watching the coverage Tues night.

If you want to sway Matt leave comments on his blog.

UPDATE (11:09am):
Matt just put up a new continuation of his previous post. You can read the new one here.

UPDATE (6:40pm)
Another post.