Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Just when you think it's safe...

"One of these days my mouth will get me in more trouble than my mouth can get me out of..."

I have been operating under this supposed "prophecy" for quite some time now. In fact, it has been a mantra of sorts right after a "close call". The thing is that I don't learn from the previous close call. I'm pretty sure I've gotten cocky about being able to get out of these messes that my mouth gwts me into, to the point that I place myself in these situations just so I can verbally "bob and weave" my way out of it. I guess in a way I am actually looking forward to the day that I can't get out of it, just to cure myself of this addiction... ok there I said it. It is a sort of addiction, a sort of high. Sometimes I get those delayed reactions from people who just don't get it right away and then they come after me once they get it. Most times, it is just me being a clown or a comedian. Other times, I see small minded people being bullies with their small minded attitudes and narrow minded views and I feel the need to point it out to them.
Anyway, I'm usually ready for the "right there reactions" but it is the "delayed reaction people" that I really have to watch out for, because I don't see them coming until it is too late.

Retreat Stories, Part II
For the first night, we were to arrange for dinner ourselves. Going by the recommendations of a "local" and on the plan of "messing" with that local's cousin's head a few of us decided to go to a place called Mandoline Bistro. The place was pretty nice they had a patio that had a lot of room too bad it was a bit on the cool side. We had the Soohoos, Tony, Letisha, Alex, Steve and Stephanie join us at the restaurant. We asked our waitress if Robert was around yet and she told us he was at the jazz night club upstairs and we were making plans to come back before they closed. Then I hear this voice cut across the restaurant, "HEY YOU!" I was thinking, "uh oh, someone is in trouble." Then I hear, "YOU with the yellow bracelet!"...
A few things came to my mind:
  1. Where is the nearest exit?
  2. Who could I have already pissed off so much when I have only been in town less than 3 hours?
  3. Where is the nearest exit?
  4. Is this guy going to give me a chance to explain? (What I do not know)
  5. Where is the nearest exit?
  6. Is the police station close?
  7. Where is the nearest exit?
  8. Is the hospital close?
  9. Where is the nearest exit?

I don't know what everyone else at the table was thinking. Actually, I am really interested in what everyone else at the table was thinking, so guys if you were there, leave a comment as to what you thought was going on with the guy yelling from across the room like he did.

I was looking around and finally spotted where this guy was and I was thinking, "I can take him." Yeah... right. He yells out again, "Hey you! I like your bracelet!" Then He and his wife raise their hands revealing their own bracelets. That's when it dawned on me that it was all good. We all got back to our dinners and I was actually able to eat after my heart calmed down enough to let me. Afterwards, I walked up to them and talked to them for a bit.

We got back to the retreat facilities and had a very good first night. Up until Tony had to go to hospital around 2:30 in the morning...

To be continued...

Disclaimer: The preceeding is not an accurate accounting of what took place, but rather how my memory recorded it.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Cornerstone Retreat

Cornerstone had their retreat this past weekend. I'm sure there are a lot of stories from different people of their "revival" and I have those too. It is going to take a few days to share most of those stories so either expect long postings or a whole bunch of medium ones.

Retreat Stories, Part I

One would think that on the first night/day people would be to busy with trying to settle down and get unpacked to get into any kind of mischief... I guess I'm not included in that theory. Upon arrival a conspiracy of sorts was being developed between "The Four" (Wil, John, Sammy and me) with the young lady from the Hallmark store that Wil used to send out a fax. As she gave us recommendations for restaurants, she said that her cousin worked at one of the restaurants. She gave us a few personal information on the cousin that we can use to convince him that we knew him from Texas. We wanted to ask one of the waitresses to point out Robert, because it would kill the gag if we were to ask Robert to point himself out. Our waitress told us he was at the jazz night club upstairs and we were making plans to come back before they closed.
Then I hear this voice cut across the restaurant, "HEY YOU!" I was thinking, "uh oh, someone is in trouble." Then I hear, "YOU with the yellow bracelet!"...

to be continued...
Disclaimer: The preceeding is not an accurate accounting of what took place, but rather how my memory recorded it.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Summer is over...

It is over and done with and some things I would look back at and others I would just want to leave behind. I would love to be able to say this was one of my best summers ever but I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face for too long. There were a few "firsts" and a few "repeats". One thing for sure it was not a boring summer. I made a number of friends, which is always a great thing and I hope to make them better friends.
There were not a lot of "bad" things that happened, but the few that did occur really packed a heck of a punch!
Highlights and Lowlights

More to follow...

Friday, September 17, 2004

Goodbye Flag

We had to put Flag down tonight. He was 12 years old.
It started at about 3 am. He was whining and whimpering so loud. We tried to make him more comfortable, we thought it was just his arthritis. He started feeling better or at least not in so much pain. Until...
Later that day, I refilled his water dish and he couldn't even get up to drink. We took him to a vet in Downey and they "referred" us to an emergency animal hospital the a$$@#* wouldn't even come out to see him!
When the vet at the animal hospital finally saw us and started examining Flag, he was not very optimistic in his prognosis. He kept shaking his head and i knew this was not going to be good and I had a real bad feeling as to where this was heading. He said that even with the series of treatments it would be 50% that Flag would be ok. As he started going into the type of treatments, Flag started convulsing. The vet said he was having a seizure and that I should hold him tight to keep Flag from hurting himself even more. My heart was breaking right there.

My sister arrived and was told of the news. As hard as it was for me, I couldn't imagine how hard she was taking this. Flag was the family pet, but he was her baby. He was her sounding board, her therapy... she treated that dog better than some people.
The vet asked us if we wanted to be present when he gave Flag the "injection". We did not want to, but we knew we couldn't not be there. The vet said that it would only take 20 seconds after the injection, then it will be over. He couldn't have been more wrong! Flag took one last gasp and let out a whine and then he was gone. That's when my sister lost it, which triggered my losing it.

I don't remember when the last time I cried...

I already miss my dog.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

They finally arrived!

I had ordered these things 3 weeks ago!
I would like to think that they have been on back order because so many people are ordering them to spread the word and awareness of cancer. Unfortunately, I see a bunch of greedy little... people selling them for as much as $10 each.
Well, I just received my box of 100 bracelets and I am going to give each and every one of them away to friends and family. So to all you greedy little poopie heads enjoy your profits! Hope you sleep well.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Heckling Traffic

I was at a Starbuck's (I know big surprise). Seated at a chair closer to traffic, there was this guy yelling at traffic. I guess he is some kind of regular at that corner because a few drivers honked and waved at him. There was a cab at the corner waiting at the light and this heckler started throwing insults after insults at the driver. The driver, after seeing who was yelling at him tried to ignore him. But after a while I could see that the light could not turn green fast enough for him. The people sitting at the Starbuck's were split at laughing and enjoying the show to shakingtheir heads and writing him off as another nut job. Either way, they were giving him a lot of "room".

I was actually enjoying his yelling. It wasn't like he was angry. Like a person heckling a comedian, he was heckling the drivers. I wanted to know what he was about so I sat at a table right next to his and when he stopped to take a breath, I asked him why he was yelling at the cars and drivers.

He looked at me and tried to size me up, making up his mind as to whether or not I was crazy. He either decided I was not crazy and was safe to talk to or decided that I was crazy and therefore ok to talk to. He told me that he was so fed up with how the United States was so dependent on oil and that he couldn't understand how so many people can't come to the same conclusion. He says that he doesn't expect to change any minds, he just wants to blow off some steam.

As I was walking away, he was cheering on a Metro Bus.

Here is a picture an hour before I turned...sob...40.
Yes it is at Guppy's Teahouse. My home away from home, at least that's what a lot of people think. I don't have a clue why they would think that, could it be because I have my own parking space marked out for me? Nah...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Good ending to a terrible day

The day started so bad that it seemed like it could only get better... boy was I so wrong. I woke up and the ankle I twisted last Sunday, playing beach volleyball, was still sore and now very swollen. Once wrapped up, and cane in hand, I go to work (yay...). An hour after getting to work, things really started to go wrong. Things got heated. I can't understand how some people can collect their paychecks knowing they did not earn it. Has their sense of entitlement gotten so out of whack that they feel they deserve it just by showing up?
Then when I do their work for them I get slapped with a grievance letter from their union saying I shouldn't be doing "their" work? What the...?

Thankfully, the day ended on a good note. I met up with Hank just before 6:00pm, we went to see a band called The Answer at the last evening of the City of Bellflower Street Fest. There was a lot more people this time around (we saw another band there earlier in the summer) and saw some people from the last time we were there. We had a pretty good dinner at Johnny Rebs and then watched the rest of the bands show. There were a lot of people dancing in the street and for the most part it was comical, but a couple caught my attention. There was this fairly young man (I would say in his late 20's) in a wheelchair dancing with his wife or girlfriend. I am not exaggerating when I say that he was better than most other guys I've seen with use of both their legs. He was leading his partner through the dances and doing it very well. I can only hope to get as good as him... gotta find a partner to practice with soon. Ugh, another worry...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

STaMiNA Beach Party

Cornerstone's youth ministry, STaMiNA, had their end of summer beach party last Sunday. I had took a longer route by driving down PCH. It was a nice little drive. I took a few pictures.
Here they are, click on the thumbnail to enlarge:

It was a lot of fun. Afterwards Ian and Elen invited everyone over to their place for pizza and more swimming.

Earlier today, I was at Cerritos Mall doing a little shopping. I had stopped at the Starbuck's (big surprise there) and sat down at a table to do a little people watching. I was watching this guy teasing his girlfriend. They were doing a little slap fighting and the guy was dancing all over the place, being all bad. His girlfriend was standing there with her guard up and kept closing in slowly waiting for an opening. Then she got it, she got him with a combination. He was so surprised that he slipped and fell down. His friends followed him on the ground because they were laughing so hard. I almost did a spittake! The girl rubbed it in even more by doingthis victory lap around one of the mall's potted plants. I wasn't sure whether the guy was red from the slaps or from the embarrasment.
I love people watching... free entertainment!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Let's start something again

Well, that was a long vacation.

Summer sure came and went.
Not a lot has happened since May, but the little that occurred sure had a lot of intensity. I came this close to leaving Cornerstone Community Church, my sister found out that she had cancer and I turned 40 (hey it was intense for me!). As usual, there were a few little stuff here and there but then again, who doesn't have them?

So, as it turned out, I'm still at Cornerstone, my sister's cancer is gone, but I'm still 40. Oh well, I guess we can't fix everything.

I've been wondering what to do with this blog since May. I wasn't really bored with it as much as I felt it was not worth the effort I was putting into it. I thought about the reasons why I started it in the first place and came up with the following:
I thought that it would be therapeutic. I've got a lot things on my mind and issues that aren't what most people think of or go through. I'm not saying that I'm special or anything like that, I'm just more... uh... messed up than others. This is one of the things that help sort through the muck.
I've always thought "the story wanting to be told should be heard." So many things occur every minute of every hour of every day and at each occurrence a story is created. Some stories are ignored and others just need to be told. I've got so many stories to tell, granted a lot of them and I mean a LOT of them might not be interesting to others, but with so many stories, the odds are pretty good that one of them would interesting to someone... at least I would like to think so.

So here we go again... let's start something.