Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Triduum Services

It's funny.  At my home parish, I always found myself getting a bit self-righteous when all of the Easter Triduum services would be standing room only because all of the CEO (Christmas and Easter only) Catholics would come out.  For various scheduling reasons, this year, I've had to piecemeal together the services I attended (all three at different parishes) and surprisingly, all of them, even one at a cathedral, had a sorry turnout.  Makin' me think twice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ABC's + Dandruff

It's funny.  You never hear about ABC guys talking about dandruff problems personally or stereotypically (unlike small package jokes <nervous chuckle>), but based on the ... enormous sample size over the course of my life, lots of Chinese households carry Head & Shoulders.  Including myself.

Faith != anti-science

It's annoying how faith has become so synonymous with being anti-science.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Jeremy Lin

Being a fellow Chinese-American who grew up in the Bay Area playing sports, I've always admired and enjoyed following Jeremy Lin and his rise to the NBA.  Really, that guy is totally living the dream that was crushed as soon as I realized I was a 5 foot tall insecure Chinese freshman who weighed about a buck (my six inch growth spurt came about two years too late).  In pointed jest, I've always been bummed that my unathletic parents weren't rabid fans or themselves successful athletes where I could've gotten a leg up purely by childhood osmosis.

After reading this article by ESPN on Jeremy Lin, the next time I went to visit my parents, I gave my Dad, who with my mom also follow Jeremy from the Chinese parent community perspective, a playful slap on the back and chastised him, "Why couldn't you have been super into basketball and taken me to the YMCA all the time to work on my game?  I could've been in the NBA!" 

Without missing a beat, he replied, "When you were growing up, I always took you to church especially while I ministered to the young people.  That's why you're a youth leader now."


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unnecessary work

Two-stream pees can be quite annoying at times for those who stand up.
I never seem to learn that instead of consolidating, pushing harder
means more splitting action.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Playing sports while being Christian

The other day, while playing in a tense league basketball game against one of the strongest teams, one of my teammates (who also happens to be my accountability partner) made an aggressive move to the hoop.  However, it was a bit too aggressive and he slammed right into the opposing defender and was called for a charge.  It was a physical play in a close game, but it was clean and both players recognized it as such.  Since most of the players from both teams often play pick-up games together, lots of trash-talking ensued.  As teammates were helping them up, one of the snarky guys on the other team quipped, "Hey, hey!  Easy now.  Don't you guys go to the same church or something?"

In fact, my teammate is actually a college campus minister and the opposing defender is actually quite active in one of the large evangelical churches in our area, where both my accountability partner and I have attended services in the past.

That line cracked me up for a good while, but after thinking about it some more, I started wondering about people's perception of me when I play sports. 

In an open gym setting with pick up basketball games, lots of different types of people come in and play.  However, when I think about what I know about them, in general, it's usually only by their game and until I know their name and more about them, some description of their body type.  It's usually something like, "You know, that little blonde guy, about 5'8, who's quick and throws his body around?" Or, "That big dude, about 6'6, who's athletic, but doesn't seem to know how to use his body and can't finish around the hoop?  Man, if I had that height..."  It's actually a bit of a minor paradigm shift when I learn more about the players such that they shift to become a real person in my mind versus just another player I'm glad is on my team because of their ball handling or are annoyed at because I know that they can tend to stagnate an offense.

But that got me thinking about whether or not, based on the way I carry myself at the gym, people would be surprised to find out I was Christian?  An orthodox, practicing Catholic?  Would they be surprised because of the occasional swear word that I yell out when I miss an easy shot (I'm working on it) or how I might respond if things get overly competitive?  Or would it make sense based on perceived integrity or lightheartedness?

I guess the seed of this thought was planted when at a noon Ash Wednesday Mass a couple years ago, I saw one of the guys from the gym.  I was a bit surprised to find out that he was Catholic, not because of some negative perception I had of him on the court, but because it hadn't occurred to me that these people I had been playing with also had a real life :P.