Thursday, August 30, 2007

Albi, the Racist (well, not anymore) Dragon - Day Two

Today our job was to help out with Union Gospel Mission. I also had a Mystery Event scheduled for the evening and everyone was pressuring me to tell them what it was (but I wouldn't give in, muhahaha!!!). In the morning we had a wonderfully tasty pancake breakfast.

I must be telling a story, but I don't remember which one.

We loaded up the van and made our way downtown. We signed in and got our "official" badges. Our first task was to help with the lunch. Some of us became servers, some dishwashers, and some tray collectors. There were too many of us for the assignment. It was good, but we didn't really work that hard. The best part of the job was getting to wear hair nets. I don't remember taking mine off?!? The second best part was wearing these white paper hats.

Eric, Braeden, Shane and I were on tray collection. We had an excellent system going. Eric would get a tray from someone. He would then pass it to me. Then I would pass it to Braeden, who would pick the garbage off (napkins, cups, etc.). Then he would pass it to Shane who would dump the food in a separate dispenser. Then he would pass the tray to the dishwashers. There were a couple situations where 3 trays came in all at once and I didn't think we would survive, but we persevered and always came out on top!

Braeden working hard.

Ben started spraying people with water. That was kinda funny until he totally shot me in the ear.

After we went and had lunch we returned to do some cleaning. Most of us disinfected all the chairs in the chapel (front, back, and underside!).

Others cleaned the walls, and still others wiped all the banisters and swept the stairs. One moment was a little scary at first, but soon turned into something I laughed a lot about in my head. Janelle went to spray some disinfectant or something and she didn't realize the nozzle was pointed directly at her face. She then proceeded to squirt a good amount directly into her eyeball. I thought I might have to take her to the hospital, but she was alright. Haha, she sprayed it right in her eye!!!

Some of us also went outside and cleaned the windows.

We had a little bit of time to walk around after cleaning before supper started. We found some petrified firefighters and got our pictures taken with them.

We also went to this waterfall garden park place. I never did see the red pidgeon, but I think a bunch of youth got their pictures taken with it!

We went back and helped out with supper. I was amazed that every time we left and came back the UGM people would freak out that we had left with our "super important" badges. I thought supper was going to be tough, but they didn't even need us at all. I wish I had known when they really needed our help. We finished up early, and it worked out good cause Erika had to come late to Seattle, because she had to work. She showed up and we dropped her stuff off in the van.

So now it was time to do the Mystery Event!!! I don't know if people were really impressed, but they should have realized I really didn't have anything planned. We went to Pike Place Market and looked around for a bit. I noticed that Spiderman was going to be there later and I really hoped that we would get a chance to check him out. Jeff and I got split up from the rest of the group. I bought a super sweet T-shirt. We tried some disgusting new Starbucks drink. It was horrible. Then we listened to some outdoor music, while a crazy old guy covered in brightly colored scarves danced around us. I should have danced with him, but Jeff was a little self-conscious.

Notice how I'm admiring my new t-shirt.

We managed to catch up with everyone outside this Greek food place. Janelle got a gyro and it was falling apart all over her, that was funny! Then Shane came out of nowhere and gave a sunflower to Christina. It was really touching...until he saw Erika coming, ripped the sunflower out of Christina's hand and gave it to Erika. What a gentleman! When it came time to go I was disappointed I never got a chance to see Spiderman. Then, much to our surprise, there he was getting his picture taken with people! Right away, there was something that "stuck out" about his costume.

See if you can "point" it out.

We went back to the church and had a session together. We talked about the differences between the two homeless meal programs. Most people commented how much more fun it was to cook with the homeless and to actually sit and eat and chat with them. We also spent some time doing the Lectio Divina with the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well.

Once again I was quite tired so I went to bed pretty early. I was falling asleep and who do I see coming towards me? Why, it was Shane of course! What kind of Grad trip would this be without Shane trying to jump in my bed and snuggle with me??? Immediately I yelled at him, and much to my regret, in my groggy state I yelled at him, "You're such an IDIOT!" Ooooh, that wasn't very nice of me. I felt really bad after saying it. I was upset because I really need my sleep and of all the people to wake up, I really should be left alone...but that was uncalled for.

The rest of my sleep was great, except of course in the middle of the night some people with flashlights tried all the door handles outside. That was a little freaky, until I realized it was a security company. Peaceful dreams followed now that I knew we were safe.

End of Day Two.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grad Adventure 2007 - Day One

Thursday morning at 7am we loaded the vans and made our way to Seattle. I didn't really know what to expect or what we would be doing, but isn't that the way all road trips should be?

Right from the beginning, the mood of the trip for me was influenced by the Flight of the Conchords.

We listened to a number of their songs on the first leg of the trip and I couldn't get the songs out of my head (partly because Ben and Spencer kept singing them too throughout our time).

Our first stop was Tom and Christine Sine's house for lunch.

We had an excellent conversation about the future, being creative with one's faith, and different perspectives on life. I wish we could have spent more time with them, but they were getting ready for a weekend retreat. Shane managed to tag along on this grad trip too, and he really enjoyed the Sine's dog almost as much as Jessie from California.

We then went to Seattle Mennonite Church where we were to camp out for the next four days. The staff there were incredibly gracious and friendly. We connected with the Community Pastor and talked about ways we could work with their existing programs while there. On Thursday evenings they have a program called Stop, Drop, and Roll (I think?!). Basically they open up their kitchen for the homeless people in the area to come in and make their own big potluck supper. Our group went out and bought some veggies to contribute to the meal so that we could have a chance to interact with them.

Meeting after getting settled in. Notice how tired I am?

But not too tired to juggle (look at that smile)!!!

The meal was to took place at 6pm. At about 3:30 Shane and I hit the road to pick up our 15 passenger rental van. As we left the parking lot I said to Shane, "You know, I kinda don't want to be back by 6. I hope we're late." "Why?" Shane pondered. "Well, I think it would be interesting to see how the group would react without me there to 'lead' them." I then explained the concept of a 'Leadership Vacuum'. Well, pretty quickly it was quite apparent this whole rental van business was going to be a fiasco.

The day before we left Shane's dad, Les, came up with the excellent idea of renting a van in Seattle (I wish I had thought of that earlier!!!). So he called around to a number of places to try and work something out. He reserved one van at Thrifty's, but he didn't realize we needed it for the whole trip; not just the end when we went to Oregon. So we tried calling them to get it earlier and they kept giving us the run-around and putting us on hold and no one was giving us any confirmation that we even had a van rented. So that morning Les found a 15 passenger van at another place, put it on hold, and gave me directions. So that's where Shane and I went. It was located in the back of a tire place, and there was no one at the counter but a sign saying, "Gone to the Airport. Be back shortly". I needed to get some cash anyways, so we went and found a bank. Then we came back, and still no one to help us. So we sat around and waited for awhile, and finally this guy comes in with a bowl of nachos and goes in the back. Was this the guy?!? Shane told me he was just sitting at the desk eating. I can't believe he didn't even say anything to us, while we're sitting there obviously waiting for someone to come.

So I go to the counter and say we have a van on reserve. He looks down at his nachos all frustrated cause he was really looking forward to eating them rather than helping me! I give him my last name and Les' last name. Then he says, "There's no reservation here. We don't even have a 15 passenger." I'm thinking, what?!?? I'm looking at the paper Les printed off for me from the internet, this is the place and they do rent out 15 passengers, but this guy keeps saying, the biggest we have is 8 passenger. So I give Les a call, and once I said, "Hi Les," the guy starts shuffling around and I realize something is up. I hang up and the guys like, oh, Les, yeah, from Canada, we have a 15 passenger outside for him. What?!?!? What kind of business is this?????? So he runs outside, runs back in, and he's like, I just have to find the keys. Well, of course, there aren't any keys around, so he calls some other yahoo, "Hey, remember that Les guy from Canada who called today about the 15 passenger. I can't find the keys...." Then he hangs up and tells me that Les was told the van wouldn't be ready until tomorrow. Some lady had rented it, taken the keys, and it would be ready tomorrow at 11am. There are a few things wrong with this scenario:

1. Why would the lady take the keys, but leave the van out front?

2. At this point it is about 5pm. Did the lady rent the van only for a few hours?

3. Les knew exactly when we needed the van. He would have remembered if they had said it wouldn't be ready the day we needed it. He wouldn't have even reserved it if he knew that!

So I said, "Forget it, we're going somewhere else." And the guy says, "Yeah, that's a good idea." What?!?!???!? What??!?!?????? Who is this nacho idiot????

My mental state

So by this point, I haven't had much sleep, and I've been driving a lot, which is a terrible for me as most people know. We drove to a few places and no one had a 12 or 15 passenger van. Then we decided to go to Thrifty's, where there might possibly be a reservation for us, but was never confirmed.

So I pull in there. All the other car rental places had no business and I had no difficulties talking to their sales people. At Thrifty's, there's a lineup of people. I stood for probably 20 mins before I talked to someone. Then he had to run outside to see if they had any vans. Finally he comes back and starts typing away. After about 10 mins I ask, "So, umm, is there a van for us?!?" "Oh, yeah, just getting the paperwork ready for you." That was exciting, I had thought we might have to go back to that craphole place and get the van tomorrow.

After all the paperwork, with much celebration I made my way to the van, hopped in, and wait a sec...where are the keys??? I fish around for awhile. Nothing. I go inside and interrupt someone. They come out with me and look for the keys. Nothing. She goes back inside. She comes back with another guy. He looks for the keys. Nothing.

"Looks like we'll have to get another van ready for you." Oh brother...I'm starving at this point (and oh yeah, it's about 7pm which means we've totally missed the meal at the church!).

The meal at the church.

Shane and I ran over to Taco Bell while they got another van cleaned for us and made up new paperwork. After eating we get back there, go inside, and of course, no one that I was dealing with is there now. The guy is like, "Huh, what paperwork, another van, huh?!? Oh, I must have thrown it out when I was cleaning up." My goodness! He starts typing away and comes up with more paperwork for me...but oh, guess what, the van still isn't ready! So we go outside and wait, and wait, and wait. And finally our van is out and waiting for us and we jump in and drove off into the sunset! What a fairytale ending...

Unbelievable. So we made it to the church at about 8:30pm. The meal program is totally done, and we missed it completely (which is funny considering the comment I made earlier to Shane). They filled me in on it, and we discussed it more the next day.

The rest of that evening I just wanted to drop, I was so tired. We goofed around for a bit, got some food, and I went to bed before everyone else.

Then the guys came in the room talking loudly, waking me up, which I wasn't too happy about, but I don't think they cared.

End of Day One.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Love Adventures

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my blog commitment...I've been away for a week.

Last week I took the grads from my youth group on an adventure to the states. It was a little bit of a mess to begin with, I don't even want to get into it.

We ended up going to Seattle for most of the trip and then we made our way to the Oregon dunes. I had such an excellent time...and I hope the grads did too! Looking back I am super glad how everything worked out, and all the random, yet connected things we did. In the next few days I'll post our trip day by day.

So stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Don't Love the Outdoors

Yeah, ok, the outdoors is pretty cool. And yeah, it can be really spiritual and transcendent to be out in nature.

But overall,

If I had a choice,

And you wanted my honest opinion,

I would just rather stay indoors.

And it bothers me that you can't accept that.

Oh, and if I absolutely had to, I would rather be in a forest than on a beach.

And also, one more thing, I don't think all babies are cute.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Love Time Travel

When I was in Grade 3 I wrote myself a letter. And that letter I was too keep until I was old enough to invent a time machine. And when I had finished my time machine I was to open the letter and read my instructions, which were to travel back in time to when I was in Grade 3 and come visit the former me and my friends at Scott Thoutenhoofd's house, at our New Year's Eve sleepover party. I even told my friends that someone might be stopping in!

Another story from Grade 7 - I was really big into lying that year and I would tell people anything to gain their friendship. I told a whole group of guys that I had created a computer program that could type into the future and someone would type back to me in a "futuristic" language that they couldn't read. So they all gathered around my computer as I typed gibberish, hit enter, which then caused a spew of more gibberish to come on the screen and I would interpret it for them. I think after that stunt I pretty much had no more credibility left in town. Just think, I could have been the next Joseph Smith!

There have been a lot of movies and TV shows about time travel, and I would like to list for you the most influential ones in my life:


Back to the Future Trilogy (specifically number II)

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Time's Arrow" (to name one of the many interesting Star Trek time travel plots)


Planet of the Apes

12 Monkeys

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Donnie Darko

Quantum Leap

Red Dwarf


Wow, I knew I was a geek, but that's only the small list and I don't even have time to go into every one of them. Maybe I'll go more in-depth on my love of time travel sometime in the future...or maybe the past!

Look What Else I Got

With another birthday gift certificate from my Mom I just purchased the wildly popular video game "Guitar Hero II" for the PS2. I am quite excited about this. I've never been able to play the guitar that well and now I can shred all my favorite licks!

Sweet guitar, Jimmy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I've Learned a New Skill

I cannot believe it.

I can now solve Rubik's cube!

Yesterday I got a Walmart gift card for my birthday from my Mom. I then went to Walmart and bought myself a Rubik's cube. And today, at least a dozen times, I solved it! Let this be a lesson for everyone...don't give up on your dreams!!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I've been tagged :p

eight random facts about me:

1. i am an amateur juggler (i just learned mill's mess yesterday!)

2. i hate cilantro

3. i don't think God knows the future

4. i once bought a gamecube, rented 'the legend of zelda: the wind waker', beat it, and sold the gamecube in a period of 3 weeks

5. i only had 3 wisdom teeth

6. i learned how to shuffle cards overnight

7. i have no idea how to burp

8. the longest i've ever slept was about 20 hours

i now tag Jackie

tag rules:

1. write your own blog with eight random facts/habits about yourself.
2. post these rules after the facts.
3. choose one person to tag and list their name.
4. leave them a comment telling them they are tagged, and to read your blog.