Happy new year blogworld!
So an interesting thing happened to me while trying to put together the 2010 Golden Tamale awards; I got sick and tired of looking up lists of pop culture events. I knew this was bound to happen. I started reading up and reviewing things that happened this year and after a while it wasn’t fun anymore. I did manage to put together a few of top tens from the last year, but the urge to be funny kind of left me. Sorry to disappoint both of my readers (and mom) but I’m just not feeling the need to put any more lists together.
Instead, Im thinking it’s time to go back to a time honored tradition, a blogger’s wheelhouse, the bread and butter of blogworld; rants.
This year was an interesting Christmas with mi madre and mi hermana staying at the sketchouse. Having two female family members stay at a symbol of bachelorhood would typically seem like a violation of some kind of man-law, but I checked, and it was okay. We had to buy some extra blankets and pillows, but when all was said and done I think they had a good time staying here. I think a lot of that had to do with both roommates being gone and a noticeable lack of potential awkward ‘I’m sorry I woke you up buy you’re sleeping on my couch’ situations. The best part of the stay is that our fridge was left full, which worries me because I’m not sure if the racks in there are tested for that kind of weight.
As for presents and such, we went pretty light on the gift giving since 2/3 of the family had to travel cross country, and 1/3 has traveled to both relatives’ place in the past few months. We did team up to get mi madre what ended up being a fun present; I booked a family picture session with my amigo akphoto at Mission Beach. We got to spend a good part of the afternoon in matching black sweaters down at the beach (it was a cool overcast day) taking goofy great pics, that we are going to give to mom as a present later. Because nothing says Merry Christmas like receiving your presents in February! Actually, we did have a lot of fun, and I’m stoked to post the pics up as soon as the proofs come back.
Oh yeah, I continued with my non-gift card policy and bought mi hermana a bunch of Latin classics to return instead. She still gets the money to the store, but I get the joy of watching her opening up classics like Los Huracantes Del Norte.
The best part of the visit though, was hanging out in my old neighborhood with mi madre and mi hermana. We drove by our old house enough to potentially scare the new tenants (who have turned my bedroom into a walkway to the addition on the back – ugh) into thinking we are casing the house. The visit to the old hood ended with us hanging out at the little coffee shop mi padre used to frequent (i.e. he kept them in business during the early years) that has now expanded to a full blown cafe (once again, they should have a plaque of appreciation on the wall next to the menu with dad’s name on it). We sat down for a late lunch, sipped our drinks, ate our sandwiches, and were kind of coffee-shopy for a while. I honestly can not think of a better tribute to mi padre, he would have been proud. It may sound goofy to non-familia, but mi padre loved that place, and if there is a ghost of him running around, it definitely has a table outside of Kensington Cafe.
The rest of the week was pretty nonchalant, with the exception of my first round of preaching at NC3. I got the mic for all three english services, and had mi familia and some family friends there to see me preach. (You can listen to the sermon here if you need help getting some sleep.) The big highlight was that so many people that I love were able to be there. But a secondary highlight for me was that Sunday was the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in front of a larger crowd of non-high-schoolers. This is kind of a big deal for me because I’ve never really wanted to be a preacher before. But after this weekend, and some words of encouragement about the leadership education I am receiving at NC3, I was told by several trusted sources that leading a church may be in my future down the road.
I’m not sure what to think of that just yet, so I’m just taking the compliments and storing them away for a rainy day.
Last year I made a resolution to not be around youth group kiddos this year for New Years eve, and go to a real nye party. I sort of did that. We didn’t have an official youth event, but I ran into some of my kids at First Night in downtown Escondido. It was an okay event, definitely not worth the $20 they were charging at the gate, which is why I’m glad we managed to sneak in. We didn’t sneak in on purpose, we got lost, took a weird turn, and viola… we were in. I know, if i’m going to be a preacher I should be a better example. Oops. Anyways, it was fun hanging out with some of the crew from church, but I bailed with the architect and we ended up at a house party hosted by some people from his church. It was a Dane Cook party, meaning there were twice as many guys there as girls, and all of the girls were there to ‘dance’, leaving the guys standing awkwardly on the outside looking in. Come to think of it, it was pretty comical. Speaking of comedy, I tried to pull one last prank and try and start the countdown 10 minutes early, but was foiled by Carson Daly ad his goofy Fox special. Oh well, me and the architect had fun meeting a bunch of new people, cracking jokes with his friends and making the best of a meh situation (read: getting numbers we never intend to call). I know it sounds trite, but I was just glad to not be at a youth event. I’m thinking of ringing in 11 on a boat.
One of the best things about the holidays was being able to see so many people I love in such a short time. I took mi madre up north one day to see dantheman, supermom and the kids, whom mom had never met. We had a great lunch, and my oldest ‘nephew’ actually remembered me which made me day. He’s definitely getting drumset for his birthday in the next few years.
We got to spend Christmas dinner with our close friends who we haven’t seen in a while. They are family to me, and we had a great evening of catching up with several ‘family members’ i haven’t seen in years. Truly a blessing.
The next morning we got to see another family that we were close to in our days down here, and see all of the kiddos that have been added to that troupe. It was a little awkward because the years have brought so many changes to both of our families, and the dynamic is so different, but I think we all left with joy in our hearts that comes from caring about those we choose to call family.
And then there was Sunday, where I got to take a break from just being the youth minister, and be a son, brother, nephew and neighbor as well. It was a great holiday season for me.
I failed on both of my new years resolutions last year. I only made it a month with no soda, and I made it maybe six weeks into praying for my friends on facebook. But, I did succeed in several other resolutions that came up through the year:
-visited a city I had never been to before.
-donated a large chunk of money to a worthy cause.
-built something by hand
-took a significant step forward in my career
-met a TON of new friends
-was more open and honest
-more organized (still have plenty of room to grow though)
-better communicator (once gain, room to grow still)
-continually stepped out of my comfort zone when meeting women
I’d say that’s a pretty good year.
I’m also proud of my resolutions this year:
-help my roommate lose weight (maybe lose a few myself in the process)
-visit a foreign country
-give up something important
Here’s to a new year! I pray it is a year that continues with me being blessed by new friends, family, and challenges.
Oh yeah, and here are those lists:
top ten years of the past decade:
top ten new albums:
10. white lies for dark times / ben harper & the relentless 7
9. 21st century breakdown / green day
8. light / matisyahu
7. crack the skye / mastodon
6. uplifter / 311
5. rattitude / weezer
4. beggars / thrice
3. let the dominos fall / rancid
2. hello hurricane / switchfoot
1. backspacer / pearl jam
top ten books i read:
10: blink / malcolm gladwell
9. jesus among other gods / rave zacharias
8. jesus wants to save christians / rob bell
7. simply christian / n.t. wright
6. what the dog saw – malcolm gladwell
5. purpose driven life – rick warren
4. crazy love – francis chan
3. axiom – bill hybels
2. blink / malcolm gladwell
1. a million miles in a thousand years / donald miller
one love, one heart.