Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unbelief

"Unbelievers deny transcendence and spiritual intuition, thereby disenchanting their world in the process. They bash their heads against the steel cage of their constricted worldview in search of complete certainty and then call the blood objective knowledge..."

          ~ Fr. Benigno Beltran - Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain (pg 63)

Monday, December 10, 2012

On White-knuckling

Just white-knuckling your way from one desperate masturbatory fall-down to the next, motivated by the fear of eternal punishment, or the feeling that sex will make you dirty, that's not chastity.  That's just self-torture. 

          ~ Melinda Selmys - Zwischenzug

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hey, that rhymes.

I've been working with some recent college grads teaching them about the importance of keeping a Sabbath.  While trying to address their fears about keeping one, it just came out this way:

The Sabbath is celebration at heart, but requires discipline to start.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jesus to an ABC

Inline image 1Inline image 2Inline image 3Inline image 4

Bringing Jesus and the Gospel across cultures has long been an area where we as humans have screwed up.  It is a clear example of just how broken we are.  There are many examples of white, western missionaries going to an indigenous population to bring their God to them making the natives forego their cultural identity and assimilate to the western way of worship.  I have heard many stories of miraculous apparitions (including Our Lady of Guadalupe) where Jesus and/or Mary appear in the image of the native race.  When the natives are asked to describe who they've seen, they respond, "S/he looks like one of us."  It is easy to forget that the God we worship isn't just the white man's God, but the God of us all, our ethnicity and culture included. 

What does that mean for an American Born Chinese (ABC)? 

Inline image 1
I guess if I were to imagine Jesus as a real person coming to me, the default image would probably be the blonde hair blue eyed Jesus.  I don't think it's intentional, but just something that I've absorbed from growing up in the US.  Having a relationship with a white guy doesn't seem too crazy since I have (at least two) white friends.  But those relationships often require a bit of cross-cultural work to really go deep and to be perfectly honest, in general, those relationships aren't ones where I typically let my hair down.  Not easily being vulnerable seems problematic when it comes to my relationship with Jesus.

Inline image 2
Growing up in Chinese churches, I have a category for and an understanding of how Jesus is worshiped in the Chinese (Han-Taiwanese) culture in both the Catholic and Protestant circles.  Having a relationship with a Chinese Jesus conjures up relating to someone of my Dad's generation where there is a lot of cultural respect (Shu Shu hao), but at the same time, someone who I know will never get my individual American-influenced experience.  Admittedly, the idea of God speaking to me in Chinese has an oddly comforting feeling (likely reminiscent of the experiences of parental love I do have), but it's not, for lack of a better term, full, I think due to the fear of constantly being scared of the moment for when something gets said that is beyond my language comprehension.  Smile and nod.

Inline image 3
And if not an older guy, than any younger of a Chinese guy defaults to a FOB in my head.  Derogatory term aside, the natural (and probably broken) way I mentally approach a FOB is a mixture of embarrassment for them not getting the American culture (you could call it an over-sensitivity to possibly being laughed at by white people), condescension because at least I know how to fit in, and envy because of their command of the language that I will never have (which incidentally gets lived out vicariously through the command of English and slang that I do have).  Not to mention, the smell of moth balls exacerbates it all.  

Inline image 4
So the obvious answer in this thought experiment is Jesus as a fellow ABC.  It must be my issues, but this still doesn't quite fit; it still seems odd to me at least initially.  For whatever reason, my default approach to other ABC's tends to be one of suspicion especially if they are more "ABC" in ways I wish I were. Be it dressing better, more athletic, more musically gifted, really into pop culture, awesome dancers, and hair which lends itself better to cool Asian hair styles.  I have to keep my mind from spinning because I see their insecurities as they are roughly the same as mine. Their triggers and the defense mechanisms are like a speck of sawdust cut from the same tree as the plank in my eye.  I judge them and inwardly condescend because it is ultimately the lack of grace I have on myself for the same issues or because I've already progressed beyond them which validates my self-worth.  It's like while I strive towards who I want to be, I have a hard time naturally extending the same grace to others who are earlier on the journey.  And so looking at them reflects back to me an embarrassing former self and because I deem it ugly, it is something I prefer not to look at or dwell on for too long. I fear that if I look at it too long or too closely, I might accidentally discover that I have been truly unlovable all along.  I guess this is partly why high school ministry has been so much of God's grace towards me.  This is also why I'm steeling myself for the 10 year high school reunion coming up.  

Anyways, so that Jesus feels ... like a lot of work.  But perhaps that's the point.  And if not, then I'm not sure what's left or what Jesus, my God, is supposed to look like.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 19

"Seems as though you lost sight of what's important when depositing \
Them checks into your bank account and you up out of poverty \
Your values is in disarray, prioritizing horribly \
Unhappy with the riches 'cause you're piss poor morally \
Ignoring all prior advice and forewarning \
And we mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden, aren't we?"

          ~ T.I., Live Your Life

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 18

"It's a lot of angels waiting on their wings \
You see me in your sleep so you can't kill your dreams \
...
When you in high school \
How you got to work all day and take night school \
Hopping off the bus when the rain is pouring \
What you want morning sickness or the sickness of mourning \
..
What is becoming ma I am Oprah bound \
You can tell he's a star from the ultrasound"

          ~ Nick Cannon, Can I Live

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Relax. It's just Rec League Softball.

It was a beautiful Northern California day with the sun shining brightly and not a cloud in sight.  The baseball field was well manicured, green with only a couple patches of yellow and the infield dirt, recently replaced, was soft and reddish-brown.  Though the rec league softball playoff game about to be played wasn't for another 45 minutes, in a league where forfeits can be a regular occurrence due to lack of participation, both teams were already in full attendance warming up, taking grounders and batting practice.  As softballs whizzed through the air back and forth, though some of the banter was light-hearted, the intensity and air of competition was palpable.  The focus and concentration in each players' eyes betrayed the fact that this was just for recreation.

This had been one of the most competitive seasons in league history and to cap it off, the top four teams out of eight were going to play a two round tournament with each round being the best two out of three games.  This was the first time using this format.  For most of us, this was the closest to competitive baseball we could get, living our childhood pro baseball dreams vicariously through these games.

The team on the other side of the field was a team we were very familiar with having played against them for years.  In our match-up history, there had been very few blowouts with the vast majority of the games being very close.  The past season was no different as we tied in our first regular season match-up and won a nail-biter by one run in the second.  Their team consists of almost entirely the same type of player: short, stocky, athletic, and philipino.  Imagine seven or eight athletic, 5'6'' bowling ball philipinos, one white guy, and a tall, athletic, attractive brunette in baseball pants and designer sunglasses and voila. Essentially, they have no major holes which meant that their catcher, second baseman, and right fielder were all capable.

The game about to be underway was actually the second game of the first round of playoffs.  The first game had played out as expected from our two teams.  Full of intensity, my team had eeked out yet another hard fought, one run victory.  The win was slightly uncharacteristic as our team has been better known for our late inning collapses than our ability to fight to the finish.  The killer instinct, ice water veins our team had not - until that game, I guess.  

As the second game got under way, it was clear that neither team was going to give an inch.  Through the first four innings, the lead was traded in each inning. We were the home team in this game and so we held them to no runs in their half of the inning and then scored one in our half.  The next inning, they would score two to go up by one and then we would score one to tie it up.  It continued to play out this way until the second to last inning.  The bottom of our order came through with a couple of hope-for-the-best-but-I-can't-believe-they-got base hits and paved the way for our top of the order big guns.  We finally broke through and scored four runs to go up by three runs going into the last inning.  If we held them, we would be on to the championship!

Before we could even blink, the other team had scored two runs.  When my eyes opened, they had a runner at first with only one out, down by one run with their three four five hitters coming up.  Sensing that the game was about to get away from us, I re-focused my mind on the situation at hand.  The next batter was a big-time lefty who could easily give his team the lead with one swing of the bat.  As per usual, we all yelled, "Lefty!' as he strode to the batter's box and employed our version of the wishbone defense with me, the shortshop, playing to the left of the second base bag and the second baseman playing at the edge of the outfield grass.  I always thought he could play just a tad bit deeper.

Crowding the plate, the first pitch was outside and deep to the bowling ball lefty.  A walk in this situation could be okay to avoid his bat, but he had good protection behind him so we didn't want to give them base runners for free.  The second pitch was on its way.  PING!  A scorching knuckling line drive was hit in my direction to my left.  Reactively, I quickly take two steps to my left and find myself in a good position.  In the split second it took for me to see that I could catch the ball, I quickly calculated the one out we had, the slow-ish runner on first, the need for him to tag up, and the speed in which the batter was running out of the box.  Using the proper fundamentals that I was taught way back in my pitching machine days, I reach for the ball with two hands with my bare hand prepared to watch the ball into the glove and make sure it stayed there.  In an instant, instinct took over.  As the ball reached my glove, instead of securing the ball, my bare hand popped the ball out of the glove towards the second base bag.  Time stopped.

 "How's the little one?"  A tall, grandfatherly white man, the umpire would often stop by and chat with me before the games.  He had played minor league ball in his younger days and he was the go to umpire/referee for all of the various sports leagues.  We had gotten to know each other throughout the years and while he was a better umpire than he was a basketball and volleyball ref, we had become quite friendly.  "She's good!  Growing too fast," I would often reply.

As the ball hit the ground, I was just waiting for the umpire to signal something similar to the infield fly rule, that I had dropped the ball on purpose and that the batter was out and the runner was to stay at first base.  My vision was a couple seconds ahead of my hearing and looking up, I saw the forceful motions of the umpire's arm pointing to the ground.  All of a sudden, the gravity of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks.  My body went into auto-pilot mode and I found myself picking up the ball near second base, touching the bag, and then motioning for the first baseman to cover his base as the batter had completely stopped running in anticipation of me catching the ball.  I threw the ball over to first.

"Out at second!  Out at first!  Ball game!  Series!"  My heart sank and immediately, I covered my mouth with my glove.  What the hell did I just do?  "He dropped the ball on purpose!"  "That's a horrible call, blue!"  "That's fucking bush league!"  Amid all the angry shouts of the other team, I slowly and somewhat sheepishly walked back towards our dugout.  My teammates, many of whom were too shocked to react, made their way in from the field.  Normally, both teams line-up to shake hands after the game and some of my teammates were beginning to line up.  The yelling was continuing though some of the players from the other team began to line up.  I was unsure of what to do.  Suddenly aware of my instant public enemy number one status, I didn't know whether to shirk from the situation or attempt to own up to it.  In a dejected and apologetic manner, I take my place at the end of the line and prepare myself to apologize.  As guys made their way down the line, before I could speak, the first guy shakes his head, "Naw man, I can't respect you for what you did," as he turns his back on me and walks away.  Most guys ignore me.  One or two gave me a stone-cold high five.  It is pretty clear that if I was a jerk about the situation, things would have degenerated quickly.  They continue to berate the ump as they begin to pack up their things.

I sit myself on the end of the bench hoping that some semblance of clarity, anything, would begin to come to me.  Most of my teammates are unsure how to interpret the situation.  A couple guys, albeit guys that don't have the baseball instincts to even consider a play like I had just made, sort of playfully jab at me, "Yah, you should probably hang your head."  Shaking it off, I walk over to the umpire who was starting to prepare for the next game.  He looks over at me, clearly weathered from the verbal tongue-lashing he just sustained.  "Did you drop the ball on purpose?"  "Yah, my bad," I apologetically replied.  He gives me a somber, sympathetic half-smile and looks back down.  I slowly walk back towards my things and begin to pack up.  What just happened?

Epilogue:
It's funny how situations can take on a life of their own.  The aftermath of the situation was even more intense including multiple apology emails and a consolation round that was boycotted.  It wasn't something I intended, but something born out of athletic instinct with, I suppose, a tiny bit of thought.  I guess if I would have thought it all the way through as the ball was coming towards me, "If I drop this ball on purpose and the umpire happens to call it a live ball and the batter happens to stop running to first, I will get a double play to end the game and their season," then I probably would have just caught the ball and took our chances with the next hitters.  Not that it is in any way a fair comparison, but when Lebron made The Decision and guaranteed multiple rings, I imagine he made a multi-millionaire, pro-athlete, who was at the then height of his game, decision.  He probably didn't expect the backlash as it took on a life of its own.  I guess I have more sympathy now for the human aspect of that experience (except he gets to go home and cry to his millions).  Really, I didn't expect to become the (pre-championship) Lebron James of rec league softball.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY: Sports Radio Delay

I don't know what it is, but I can't stand to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call the games for my beloved San Francisco Giants.  It probably has to do in part with the fact that the Giants have one of the best broadcast teams in the country.  And after spending an entire season with them, why on earth would I want to listen to anyone else??  During the 2010 World Series run, I gritted it out and dealt with it, but I always made sure to go back and find the KNBR call of big plays.  Leading up to the playoffs this season, I decided I had to do something about it.

The standard issue for people with this first world problem is that their radio broadcast is usually real-time and their HD TV broadcast is delayed.  Thus, in order to sync up the broadcasts, the radio needs to be delayed.

Googling "sports radio delay" turns up a few reasonable results, the most promising being this and the most kitschy, not-sure-I-trust-this being this.  The former link is actually pretty good, but what I really wanted was a step-by-step example of a working system.  This is my attempt at it.

Materials needed:
  • AM/FM radio
    (or another method of listening to your sports team's radio broadcast like the MLB At Bat app)

  • Griffin iMic
    (this just acts as an external sound card)


  • Male to male 1/8'' stereo audio cable
    (like this one)

  • Computer
    (this example uses a laptop running Windows 7)

  • Stereo system  (optional) 
    (that can plug into the laptop's headphone jack)
Cost:
~$25 (I had everything already laying around except for the iMic)

Instructions:
  1. Download a freeware audio delay software and launch it.  For this system, I used Audio Delay by Fountainware.

  2. Tune your radio to your sports team's broadcast.
    My radio has an analog tuner and so I was anal about getting the dial exactly to the best frequency with the least amount of white noise.  Get a digital tuner if you want to avoid this.

  3. Plug one end of your male to male 1/8'' stereo audio cable into the radio.

  4. Plug the other end of the audio cable into the iMic input jack labeled "IN."

  5. Make sure the iMic switch is set to "LINE."

  6. Plug the USB end of the iMic into your computer.

  7. Once the computer recognizes the iMic, click on the "Choose Input/Output" button in Audio Delay
    This should open up a sound configuration window.

  8. In the first tab, labeled "Playback," you shouldn't have to do anything.  Out of the possible playback devices options, your default one should already be selected.
    Do not select the one labeled "iMic USB audio system" as we are not using the iMic to playback sound.  We want to use whatever the computer's playback device is for that.

  9. In the second tab, labeled "Recording," select (click) the recording device labeled:
    Microphone
    iMic USB audio system


  10. Click on the "Set Default" button and click "OK" to close the window.

  11. At this point, you should be able to hear the radio broadcast through your speakers.
    If not, make sure the radio volume is turned up and the computer's volume is turned up.  Also make sure that if you open up your computer's sound audio mixer/control, none of the channels are muted.
    Another thing that I ran into was that my laptop has four USB inputs and when the iMic is plugged into some of them, I don't get audio, but I do in others.
    Still, even if you don't get audio at this point, try going to the next steps as sometimes, audio begins to play after the delay is set.


  12. In the "Delay" field of Audio Delay, set the delay to your best guess for the delay between the radio and TV broadcast.
    For my TV at home, one day it was 8 seconds and the next day, it was 23 seconds.  Go figure.

  13. Hit the "Play" button.
    After the number of seconds you have specified for delay have gone by, you should begin to hear both the live audio and the delayed audio simultaneously.  If you only hear the delayed audio, then skip to step 16.

  14. Launch your operating system's sound audio mixer/control.
    Most people will have a sound icon at the bottom right of their start menu.  Right click on it and select "Open Volume Mixer" or equivalent.

  15. You should see the two channels that have audio playing.  Mute the line input (or equivalent) as this is the live broadcast.
    This should leave you with only the delayed audio.

  16. Now you can begin the process of matching the delayed audio to the TV.  
    If the audio is still ahead of the TV action, hit the "Stop" button, wait for the software to return control to you, increase the delay to your next best guess.  
    Decrease the delay if the audio is now behind the TV action.


  17. Once you have hit the sweet spot that works for you, you can plug in an additional stereo system into your computer's headphone jack to augment the sound if you wish.
Takeaway:
I realize that this system is convoluted and probably only for the most hardcore fans.  The first time I tried it, it took a little tinkering so give yourself some time before the game to get things working so that when the game starts, you only need to focus on matching audio.  Subsequent uses became much faster and made the game much more enjoyable.  Still, it is quite an odd feeling when your brain tries to match the audio of the radio commercial to the visuals of the TV commercial.  

I'm thankful that my Giants pulled out a miracle comeback against the Cincinnati Reds because with each additional game (that's not during freaking work hours) my small investment feels sweeter and sweeter.

Go Giants!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inter-generational Musical Preferences

Growing up in a Chinese immigrant household, I had very few interests in common with my parents.

For example, I've been into Top 40 music ever since I was a kid and I remember having to negotiate with my parents to be able to listen to it on the radio growing up.  It was always awkward whenever a sexually explicit song that went over my head, but only barely over theirs (they are immigrants after all) came on.

Therefore, it strikes me as quite odd that my kids and I might be into the same music.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Excuses and Self-Possession

I've noticed that it does seem to be true that as we get older, we seem to get more stuck in our ways.  In particular, I've noticed how assumptions I make about myself provide me excuses for not being better about something or gives me a pass to not work at self-improvement.  For example:
  • Assumption: I'm just not good at keeping in touch with people.
    • This is my excuse for letting myself fall out of touch with friends.  Out of sight, out of mind.

  • Assumption: I'm not good with names (but really, who is?).
    • This is my excuse for not spending any energy to really remember someone's name.

  • Assumption: If someone snaps at me, I will hold a grudge.
    • This is my excuse for allowing myself to become inward facing and to lick my wounds.

  • Assumption: I'm not really a phone person.
    • This is my excuse for not making a phone call (and instead, sending an email or a text) in order to avoid awkward moments on the phone.

I'm sure there are many more.  I'm sure there must also be a balance between the predisposition to these qualities and finding occasions to die to yourself. Sure, some of these things may seem small (as opposed to breaking a pornography addiction or something), but as Matthew Kelly says, each time we deny ourselves, no matter how small, we create an ounce of self-possession.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Amazing Asian Hair and Father/Daughter Dates

I've been working on a new initiative for our church and so I decided to get some input from the leader of the finance council.  He also happens to be one of the most distinguished and well-respected men in the church and happens to be the owner of the most amazeballs hair I've ever seen on an older Chinese guy.  While they usually look like this:

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2007/November/PublishingImages/202_bald_200220920-001_188x156.jpg

He looks like this:

http://0.tqn.com/d/mensfashion/1/5/R/q/79975992_10.jpg     (I googled "amazing asian man hair" for that one)

But I digress.  I figured he would have some good insight to my project and I'm comfortable with him since our parents are friends and a couple of his kids went through my youth ministry program.

In keeping with his unexpectedly expected older Chinese guy style, he suggested meeting up at a hip local cafe in the downtown area for breakfast on a weekday.  I agreed knowing that it would be just my luck that my daughter would probably have a rough night before because sub-consciously she knew I would have to get up earlier than normal and make me earn my father of the year award.  She did.

When we met up, I asked him if he came to the cafe often.  He said, "Yeah, it's where my daughter and I come to have breakfast."

Knowing that he is a successful business man who travels a lot and whose youngest child is his only daughter, this passing comment really struck me.  Immediately, I could imagine him and his now college-aged daughter sneaking away to eat breakfast there on quiet Saturday mornings getting away from the type A older brothers who were probably sleeping in from the wholesome havok they caused the night before.  Still, that's not really something that immigrant Chinese fathers do.  But apparently, some of them do.

It made me think about the potential father/daughter dates that I will get to have with G in the future.  I can't wait.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peace Not As The World Gives

"Do I truly feel at peace with myself, based on the choice I made to try and embrace the Church's teaching?  Here's the honest answer:  I suppose I feel as much peace in my life as a marathon runner does in the middle of a race."

          ~ Nathaniel Jameson (Daniel Mattson) - Running the Race - It Ain't Necessarily Easy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dr. Laura

File:DrLauraSchlessingerByPhilKonstantin.jpg

When I was growing up, my Dad would often listen to Dr. Laura on the radio whenever we would drive places.  I remember being struck by how forthright she would be with callers.

It's funny, the only actual content that I remember from the radio show was when a male caller called and asked for advice on whether or not he should wait until he was more financially stable to marry his girlfriend.  Dr. Laura asked him what he meant by "financially stable" and the man replied, "I was hoping to have a $100,000 bank before we got married."  I then remember Dr. Laura going off on homie about how that was actually a lot of money and that it would take a really long time to save that much given the man's current salary.  Like most callers, she ripped him a new one.

For some reason, that has stuck with me ever since and I was reminded it of it tonight when I was going over family finances and appreciating Dr. Laura's words (in this case).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Question

"Where did we get this idea that marriage was so fragile and our teenage children were so needy that adding one more baby to the mix would make it all fall apart?"

          ~ Abigail

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Emergency? Or Just A Regular Church Meeting?

Depends on your perspective.

After living in our house for over a year, there was only one immediate neighbor that we still hadn't met...until today.

We've always been a little reluctant to go out of our way to meet them because there is sometimes loud swearing and arguing coming from the house.

Well, we finally met the woman that lives there and she told us that one time, she thought something really bad had happened at our house because she saw all these cars parked outside and then a priest pulled up and walked in.

To our neighbor, a priest equals emergency.  To us, that's just another regular old monthly church meeting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cleaning Up

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1184/920829604_b8abaca6cb.jpg

When I was in college, my roommate and I intentionally moved into a dorm known for hard partying in order to start a small group Bible Study there.

Hard partying in college usually means to the point of getting sick.  Living in a college dorm usually means the janitorial staff doesn't clean the bathrooms on weekends.  You get the picture.

Sometimes we couldn't even use the bathroom all weekend because the stench of stale vomit on the floors of the bathroom stalls or even the showers were so overwhelming that they threatened to cause another episode (I'm getting the urge to dry-heave just from the memories).

So while living in this dorm, one of the ways my roommate and I tried to actively live out our faith was, you guessed it, to clean up the bathroom whenever it was defiled.

The conversations we had and the looks we got ranged from disgust to sympathy to confusion to admiration.

The act itself sucked (whenever I would smell the stench from the bathroom walking up to my room, I would try and not make eye contact with my roommate when I walked in the door), but I learned a lot from the experience.

But one of the fruits I am currently enjoying from that experience is that cleaning up my daughter's poop, even scraping creamy corn carrot chunk poop off a cloth diaper, is a total cake-walk.

Who says following Jesus isn't practical?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Smooth and Slimy

Politicians who are smooth and charismatic public speakers are extremely persuasive.

So are pastors and clergy.

But sometimes there is a subtle sliminess quality.  It probably partly has to do with jadedness from high-profile public moral failures.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Lean Meal

The Eucharist is not just bread and wine; it becomes body and blood; not just body and blood, but broken body and spilled blood; and not just broken body and spilled blood; but the resurrected, glorified body of the Risen Lord.  The bread we eat is not the body of the dead Jesus, but the resurrected Jesus; there is a distinction.

The Israelites in Exodus weren't just acting like spiteful children, always threatening their preference to go back to Egypt, just to get a rise out of God.  They were in such despair and at a point of real hunger and starvation that cruel slavery seemed a better option and this is the point the Lord feeds them.

There is a lot of dying we must do to fully access the power of the resurrection that is present in the Eucharist.  We must be that hungry and that poor.  In an American culture of over-indulgence and every meal suggesting abundance, lavish excess of food and drink, it is easy to also see the Eucharist as a luxury meal with the expectations of a nourishment leaving us feeling fat, full, content, and satisfied.

However, the Eucharist's sacrificial aspect also implies that we come hungry to the table and instead leave with a heart broken by the passion of God and a little lean with just enough food for the journey (taking nothing extra) and just enough strength for the day (spoilt manna) - our daily bread.

(paraphrase from "bread for the journey")

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Dad Confession 9

My good friend just welcomed his first baby girl.  Only having experiences with baby boys, he asked me for some tips.


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Points Don't Matter Just Like ...



"Welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway, the show where the points don't matter.  That's right, the points don't matter just like ...

... the parts of the women's gymnastics floor routine when they're not doing flips."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Acting "normal"

IM conversation with a gay and atheist co-worker after I provided a simple script to make a task easier:

----
co-worker:   looks like evil satanic magic!

me:   nope, i'm a godly person remember? ;)
<my co-worker has seen me make the sign of the cross for years and is familiar with my youth ministry>

co-worker:   oh that's right.  i forgot because of the way you act and talk.
<feeling embarrassed because i was about to be called out for being a hypocrite>

<trying to keep things light-hearted>
me:   hm...is that because i act like a heathen?

co-worker:   haha, no.  it's because you act "normal."
----

I think that's actually a compliment.  Is a "normal" witness perhaps a better witness than an antagonizing one?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 17

"She's so precious with the peer pressure \
Couldn't afford a car so she named her daughter A-Lexus \
...
Man I promise, I'm so self conscious \
That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches \
Rollies and Pasha's done drove me crazy \
I can't even pronounce nothing, pass that ver-say-see \
...
It seems we living the American dream \
But the people highest up got the lowest self esteem \
The prettiest people do the ugliest things \
For the road to riches and diamond rings \
...
I say fuck the police, thats how I treat 'em \
We buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom \
We'll buy a lot of clothes when we don't really need em \
Things we buy \
to cover up what's inside"

          ~ Kanye West, All Falls Down

Friday, August 3, 2012

Words you don't usually hear until you have kids

(As soon as I get home from work in the evening)

"Can you clean up the poop in the bathtub?"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Catholic Problem

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000069384/polls_barney_burp_3654_410201_answer_1_xlarge.gif

Here's another Catholic Problem for you.  Is it just me or does anyone else feel bad when you need to burp right after receiving Holy Communion?

I mean, having not eaten for an hour before Mass and Jesus still having the physical properties of bread/wafer and wine seems like the perfect storm for belching.

Similar to bread crumbs still being fully Jesus, is the gas that is expelled also?

It seems disrespectful, which is why I usually try to hold it in, but if the celebration of the Mass is supposed to be a feast, then isn't a good burp afterwards a good thing and a compliment to the chef?  (I suppose it depends on the culture - I have no idea about ancient Palestine.) 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Really Laying Down One's Life

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Rembrandt_st._peter_in_prision.jpg

This past weekend, I gave my testimony at a Chinese Catholic prayer group made up of mostly native Chinese speakers.  One of my talking points was how one way I experienced losing my life for the sake of the Gospel was choosing to live in the inner city with a group of friends during college and serve there.  It's usually a nice wow-factor story for suburban Chinese hearers. 

After my talk, an old priest came up to me and introduced himself. He was in his late 80's and was from Shanghai. Having just finished reading Church Militant about the communist persecution in Shanghai in the 1950's, I knew that this priest must have gone through that persecution and likely spent time in prison.

He thanked me for my sharing, but the whole time, all I could think of was that he must have really been thinking, "Aww cute...<pats my head>...you spent a couple months in the inner city laying down your life.  Try going to prison for your faith."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Multiplication Would Be Nice

Here's a Catholic Problem for you.

You're one of the last people in line to receive communion and the chalice only has a few drops of the Blood of Jesus left.  Even though the Blood should be self-cleansing (like soap!), you're a bit grossed out by the fact that this is backwash from the however many congregants there were before you.  But then you only sip half of the few drops that's left because there are still a few people behind you and you don't want to be that guy who drank all the Blood, but now have perpetuated the same problem for the next person.  It would be uncharitable to jokingly (let alone seriously) cough for good measure.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weird Dream

I had an odd dream last night.

I arrived in the parking lot of my office building about to go into work.  As I was closing my car door, two of my longtime co-workers K and M walk up to me and exclaim with anxiety in their voices, "Did you hear?  They (the company executives) just announced on the radio that they're shutting down our department and that we've been given our five minute notices (as opposed to two week notices)."

We stood there in shock wondering how our company could do this?  The company had been taking cost-cutting measures recently, but no one would have ever thought our entire department would be cut.  We were just too valuable, if not under-appreciated.  How could the head of our department let this happen?

I could see how upset my colleagues were and we somehow ended up at rustic, cowboy-ish dive bar (the kind where patrons sit on wooden benches throwing peanuts on the floor and there is a mechanical bull) to comfort each other and drown our sorrows.  One guy, who was recently promoted, was particularly devastated.  In my head, I thought about if I should try to be strong and comfort my co-workers or if I should join the pity party.

While I tried to figure out what I was going to do next, at some point I really had to pee.  As it turns out, the bathroom was an outhouse type of thing away from the bar.  Walking to the outhouse, we were clearly on a farm or ranch somewhere with the scenery being mostly dirt, gravel, and a sparse covering of native Californian plants.  When I get to the outhouse, I see there's a non-running water toilet on a platform with two wooden walls on either side of the toilet, but no wall on the backside.  Meaning, where one is normally facing a wall when standing to pee, there was just open air.

As I'm struggling to pee (the kind of struggle where you need to pee in real life, but your sub-conscious is trying to actually not really pee), all of a sudden, Aubrey Huff walks around the wall and faces me.  With my junk hanging out and everything, I could tell he was there to comfort me, him of recent anxiety disorder.

Then my alarm goes off.

Double-you-tee-efffff.  I have no words. 

Good thing I didn't actually pee.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 16

"May the best of your todays \
 Be the worst of your tomorrows \

---

 Fear not when, fear not why, fear not much while we're alive \
 Life is for living, not living uptight, see ya somewhere up in the sky \
 Fear not die, I'll be alive for a million years \
 Bye-byes are not for legends, I'm forever young, my name shall survive"

          ~ Jay-Z, Young Forever

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 15

"See I knew that this is how you act, so typical /
 Said you love me, oh but now you flippin' like reciprocals"

          ~ J. Cole, Lost Ones

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Work/Life Balance

https://www.elance.com/q/sites/default/files/page_images/find_work/find-work-overview-page-1-image-3.png?v=1

It's interesting how perspectives change.

Coming out of college and into the work-force, one principle that was impressed upon me was making sure to have a good work/life balance.  This meant avoiding blackberries (at the time) where work email could infiltrate my personal life and giving out my cell-phone number (since part of my job is supporting other employees).  Essentially, the goal was to leave work at work.

This was the expectation that I had set for myself and so whenever this boundary was crossed, I traded my inner-peace for an inner-anxiety that was alarmist in convincing me that I was falling down the slippery slope of losing myself.

Then I had a kid.

Now, instead of drawing a hard line of leaving work at work, I appreciate the flexibility of being able to do a bit of work at home so I can spend some extra moments with my family so I don't become the dad that is never home.

It's pretty cool how Sheryl Sandberg leaves Facebook everyday at 5:30PM.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Phantom

http://a.abcnews.com//images/Health/blackberry_071017_mn.jpg

My wife and baby were recently out of town and I was living home alone for the first time since my daughter was born.

Prior to that, we had been doing some sleep training trying to teach my baby daughter how to self-soothe.  This teaches you the schizophrenic skill of being able to simultaneously hear her cries over anything and ignoring them all at the same time. 

In the empty house, it was the strangest thing to hear her cries over the TV and especially in the silence.  It was like phantom ringing or phantom phone, but with babies.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Church is Full of Them

Chalk another one up for the adventures of serving at a Chinese church.

From an email from a dear-old auntie whose English is not so good to the mostly male church leadership council asking for some input regarding an upcoming event.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Being the Token ______

http://www.forkparty.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Not-Like-The-Others-Meerkat.jpg

One thing about being the token _______ in any group is that you are the first person thought of when another member of the group meets a new person that is also a __________.

Being the token Catholic in a group of Protestants has been a common occurrence for me my whole life.

It's always funny when people bring over someone that they've met who they've discovered is also Catholic or grew up Catholic.  "Hey!  I want you to meet <so-and-so>.  S/he's Catholic too!"  And then they look excitedly back-and-forth between you and the newly introduced with big, anticipatory eyes for the surefire sparks wrought at their hands.

Haha, awkward.  But being a bridge-person and someone that likes to smooth over social situations, I embrace those situations and try to make the most of them.

Same deal with being one of the few committed young adults in my Chinese church.  Every few weeks there's a Chinese ah-yi (auntie) leading a usually reluctant young adult by the hand over to me and in fobby English saying, "You two are both young adults!"   She then walks away, looking proud of herself.

And on the flip-side, in my college days where our mostly Asian Christian fellowship was trying to grow in multi-ethnicity, I may or may not have done the same thing to a new black student introducing them to our token black student.  Whoops.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not Sure Why I Never Put This Together...

In my experience, the classic answer in Christian circles for why masturbation is wrong is because it involves objectifying another person.

Makes sense.  And because the teaching that it's wrong is usually definitive, there's usually no motivation for thinking it through any further.  Classic sheep-think, I guess.

But then I noticed that choosing (or feeling compelled) to masturbate could be stress-induced.  Taking it even further, I also began to feel like there could be a distinction between being horny/desiring intimacy, but that it didn't necessarily have to be projected onto someone else (though that's the obvious next step).  I guess it was leading towards the question of, "Is it possible to masturbate without mentally objectifying someone?"

Even though I think that it's a heavily caveat-ed yes, I never realized until today that for the same reason (of many) that I believe contraception to be wrong - that the action of ejaculation should always be associated with the possibility of life (cf. Onan), it also applies to masturbation (usually cf-ed with Onan, but poorly).  I guess it comes from the fragmentation of mostly being taught about masturbation from the Protestant church and about contraception from the Catholic Church.  I did always feel funny shooting my swimmers directly into a toilet bowl (or mis-dripping them onto the seat; you know what I mean).  

And don't get me started on pre-cum or separating the sensation of orgasm from the action of ejaculation.  Yay for rabbit holes.  Or capital-m-Mysteries.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 14

"When a dude's gettin' bullied and shoots up his school /
And they blame it on Marilyn /
And the heroin /
Where were the parents at? /
And look where it's at /
Middle America, now it's a tragedy /
Now it's so sad to see /
An upper class city /
Having this happening?

          ~ Eminem, The Way I Am

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Dad Confession 8

We just started solid foods with my daughter.

I've discovered that when I feed her, I sub-consciously move my mouth to mimic the shape that I want her to make and my head towards what would be her angle of easiest spoon entry. Or when food is falling out, my lips move as if I was trying to catch it from falling out of my own mouth.

It's sort of like how some people move their whole body when playing video games to move or turn faster.  Damn Mario Kart.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taking a Shower with Jesus

As a Catholic blogger I don't think I'm supposed to share something cringe-worthy like this unless there is a really awesome moral or redemption at the end.  There is neither, but it's still a good story.  So this one time, I completely blundered my way through trying to bring my wife Holy Communion.

I'm not a lay Eucharistic Minister, but I've always wanted to be because Jesus being bodily and bloodily present is one of the coolest things there is and being able to help dispense this gift is a grace.  Being a youth minister and catechist, you would think that I should be familiar with all sorts of Catholic guidelines and protocols including this one, but as it turned out, the role of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to the sick (I had to look that one up) wasn't one of them.

It started out simply enough.  You know, the usual Sunday where your wife has labored through the entire night delivering your first born child with some minor complications?  Yah, that Sunday.  In my utter sleeplessness/euphoria/delirium, my thought process was, "Mass...gotta go...receive Jesus...thank Him.  Oh, and bring Him back to wifey***."

http://naturallyengineered.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/sleep-deprived.jpg

That afternoon when we had a couple hours of downtime before the next round of family and friends came to visit, I found a 4:30PM Mass at a nearby church.  Not knowing anything about standard EMHC procedure, ie. bring Jesus directly back to the sick or homebound, I simply thought, "I'll go to Mass and then swing by the house to grab some stuff that we forgot and to clean up a bit." 

So off I went to attend Mass where I blubbered through it in thanksgiving for my beautiful baby daughter.  Internally, of course.  So what, I get self-conscious about these things and then start worrying more that people around me are thinking I'm either having a powerful moment or I must have committed a mondo sin.  Anyways.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rceQahsv8q0/Tos9h9F3U1I/AAAAAAAAAI4/r9u0kv0jwFo/s320/crying+football

Afterward, I went to find the priest and after explaining my predicament, he told me to go to the sacristy and find the altar server who should be able to help me out.  I wander to the sacristy and find the tall, dark-haired dude and after explaining myself again he simply shrugged and said, "No problem."  I told him I didn't have one of those gold circle host holder thingies that super holy people who have a habit of bringing communion to the sick have.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I guess I figured that churches would just have fancy disposable ones or something for this exact situation, you know, like plastic shot glasses.  Instead, he shrugged again, looked around, and then to my absolute horror, found some random shrink wrap that was lying on a table and wrapped the consecrated host in it.

Yes.  Jesus was wrapped in used plastic shrink wrap. 

http://www.streptocarpus-info.com/strepimages/pol7.jpg

I don't know which is worse, the mocking purple garment that the soldiers put on Him after being scourged or this non-decomposable crunchiness.  I may not know much, but at least I had the sense that this may not be the best way to house the Lord of the entire universe.  Talk about a downgrade from the Ark of the Covenant.  If this was the Old Testament, I think both me and the altar server dude would've been zapped.  Praise Jesus (ironically), it's not.

http://mysticalchrist.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/smite.jpg

As I scurried back to my car to make the drive home, I kept bouncing back and forth between absolute awe that I was carrying Jesus on my person and complete shame for the sorry way He was being carried.  Like I try to do with my prayer times, I at least tried to fold the shrink wrap neatly around the host instead of Him practically falling out of the unwieldy plastic the way the altar server had given Him to me.  The whole drive home I reverted to the "convenient Jesus" spirituality with thoughts like, "There's no way I can get into a car accident with Force-Field Jesus(TM) around," and, "Even if I do crash and die, there's nothing holier than having Fire-Insurance Jesus(TM) right here," and, "I'd better not speed or break traffic laws because the omniscient Everywhere Jesus (TM) will definitely see this!"

http://keithrchapman.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/superjesus_mark_poutenis.gif

When I got home, the first thing I had to do was get Jesus better housing.  I went straight for the second drawer from the floor to the right of the kitchen sink and pulled out a small tupperware container.

http://photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/4238/5661tupperware.jpg

I know, I know.  You must be thinking, "Tupperware?!  How is that better than shrink wrap?!"  But check it, we are an Asian household and we do tupperware right.  The ones we have are like the Rolls Royce of tupperware.  This ain't no Geo Metro old-disposable-one-that-I-saved-because-I'm-too-cheap-to-buy-real-ones (although we have those too).  It's thick glass with an airtight snap-on lid, yo.  Out of all the containers in my house, I can think of no better receptacle

Like I said, I didn't know that you're supposed to go directly to dispense communion, but I did know from Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that there should always be someone with Jesus when He is exposed and so making sure to keep Him on me, I grabbed the things I came home for.  You know, doing small things with great love.  Having pulled an all-nighter and feeling a little greasy, I then decided that I should clean up a bit.  I delicately put Jesus on the bathroom counter, reverently took off my clothes, and hopped into the shower.

It was easily the holiest shower that I've ever taken.  Aside from the fact that it would make plenty of people wince, there was something pretty cool about being naked and unashamed before the Lord.  I'd like to think that the washing of dirt and grime off my body was a metaphor for the way that Jesus cleanses the spiritual dirt off of my soul.  Either that or I had committed a mortal sin minus the full knowledge part which means a venial sin after that coupon code was applied.

After the shower, I loaded up the car and headed directly back to the hospital.  Luckily, I got back to the recovery room right before my wife was about to eat dinner.  At least the "don't eat an hour before receiving communion" rule was followed. 

I popped open the lid to my make-shift pyx and looked my wife straight in the eye and said with all the love I could muster, "Babe, this is the Body of Christ."

"Amen."

*** I guess I could have asked the hospital if they had a Catholic chaplain or even called my parish priest, but that's just clear-mindedness and several months of hindsight talking.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Dad Confession 7

It's not the hard crying and wailing itself that I mind so much, but the fear of other people hearing and seeing it and negatively judging my abilities as a father that makes calming a thrashing baby so hard.

Give me a soundproof room and I can give you a sleeping baby stress free.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Dad Confession 6

My wife and I are still trying to figure out the whole sleep training thing.  Currently, we need to hold our baby to get her to fall asleep.  After she's asleep, the adventure that is putting her down in her crib without waking her up begins.

If I adjust my hand and arm positions to hold her in a way that allows for a quick escape after putting her down, she seems to know right away and begins to stir.

If I just put her down from the standard cradling position so as to not disturb her on the way down, there doesn't appear to be a good way to get my hands and arms from underneath her without totally blowing the whole thing up.

Seriously.  It doesn't feel like it should be that hard, but some days, it just feels like this.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just some quotes

"Temptation is perhaps never more seductive than when it appears in the guise of a lesser good rather than a clear evil. "

     ~ Dr. Christopher Shannon


"A few grains of pollen could destroy your capacity for contemplation; a few hours of missing sleep could cripple your capacity for charity."

     ~ Steve Gershom

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 13

"We only humans girl we make mistakes /
to make it up I do whatever it takes /
I love you like a fat kid love cake /
You know my style I say anything to make you smile"

         ~ 50 Cent, 21 Questions

Thursday, March 1, 2012

After the American Dream

http://i.usatoday.net/sports/_photos/2012/02/19/Knicks-guard-Jeremy-Lin-wears-faith-on-wrist-RH11428S-x-large.jpg

According to this op-ed by Howard Bryant, Jeremy Lin "is the dream of the immigrant: American-born of parents who emigrated from Taiwan with grandparents in China. He is a national and international symbol of what is possible in the United States, evidence of what generations of sweat and sacrifice and dreaming can produce."

If this is the American Dream, to be able to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and to achieve wealth, comfort, and a better life, what happens after you've got it?  If I'm honest with myself, that the hope and admiration that I feel towards JLin represents the victories that I seek (in Bryant's parlance), I can admit that my thought process rarely goes beyond what happens after these victories are achieved.  So in some ways this unconsciously makes them the highest good, relatively speaking.  Still, this isn't all that surprising as usually the goals and victories we shoot for are often far beyond where we currently are and as a result, the mystery that lies between is enough to make us stop in our tracks.  As Cardinal Basil Hume says in the Mystery of the Incarnation (excerpt here), "Our age dislikes intensely the idea of mystery, because it directly exposes our limitations."  Being exposed to your limitations for the first time is some scary shit.

But when I do finally ask, "Then what?" after hypothetically achieving my dreams, I guess those thoughts boil down to simply wanting my life to matter - that people admire me and that I would be able to make a tangible impact on the world.  At worst, wanting a better life for my children and descendants almost seems like just a narcissistic desire that my seed or lineage or whatever you want to call it was good enough.  If the achievement of the dream is the thing that then makes our lives matter, my personal social observation tells me that this falls woefully short of the proverbial "meaning of life."  It seems that of all the people who have achieved the "American Dream" (if that is even quantifiable), there are many who are still dissatisfied and are unsure what to do with the parts of their life that are broken. 

I think part of what makes Lin-Sanity so appealing is that Jeremy seems to have a "what" after the achievement of his NBA dream in that he plays for the glory of God and he knows (and is probably still growing in the idea) that with or without his NBA success, he still is a Beloved child of God.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 12

"I'm Mary and I'm Martha all at the same time /
I'm sitting at His feet and yet I'm dying to be recognized /
I am a picture of contentment and I am dissatisfied /
Why is it easy to work, but hard to rest sometimes?"

          ~ Audrey Assad, Lament

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flirt to Convert

Kim Kardashian to date Jeremy Lin?

Don't do it.  I mean, maybe do it for the experience (and for the sex appeal of Asian American males everywhere!).  Wait, no, that's concupiscence talking.  I think.

Living water would probably do real good quenching the thirst here of being famous and staying relevant.

If ever this book needed to be real, now is the time.  Linsanity (reflecting God's glory, of course) could single-handedly be the savior of society restoring faith to people everywhere.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Boxer Leg Holes

It's annoying when your toes get caught in the leg hole when putting on your boxers while standing. 

It seems to only happen when you're in a hurry or after a shower.

You know what I'm talking about.

Monday, February 13, 2012

To-do Lists

When my to-do list gets too long, I don't want to look at it and I have trouble getting over the mental barrier of starting something.

When my to-do list gets too short, I don't want to add anything to it because I like the illusion of having been productive.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm Going Lin-sane!

     "Man, all this love feels sooo goood."

More random musings on Jeremy Lin:
  • You know that Chinese mom typecast where they're all sitting around playing mahjong in their green Darth Vader visors bragging about their kids' accomplishments?  Jeremy's mom is now the de-facto queen of these sessions which incidentally for her probably happens around a potluck Bible Study with egg rolls and fried rice. 

    http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-ash2/41801_95161765005_9523_n.jpg     "Well, my son graduated from Harvard, is un-bee-ey star, and loves Jesus!"

    Fellow Asian moms squeal, "哇! 羨慕你!"

    Asian dad says:



  • Lots of superstars in the NBA are individual scorers that can carry a team, but don't always make their teammates better.  JLin is a floor general leading this team and making everyone around him better (I'm looking at you, Steve Ker-I mean Novak). Can you believe that? An Asian man in leadership. We need more of this badly.

  • I guess it makes sense, but cuts and bruises show up a lot more prominently on Asian people than black people.



  • Taiwan is a place where ABC's often feel cool since they are surrounded by FOBs (but they're not FOBs because you know, they're in their home country...) and historically, ABC's were treated that way.  In the last few years, it seems that perception has started to change for the worse.  However, Jeremy is bringing us back into prominence there as well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Musings on Lin-Sanity

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/161270_2523021_2118795541_n.jpg

Before there was Lin-Sanity, I was already starstruck over Jeremy Lin reaching the NBA.  Even though back then he was buried at the end of the Warriors bench, he was living the dream.  And let's face it, if any Asian American was going to make it to the NBA, the end of the bench is made for us subservient, spotlight avoiding, machismo-less Asian men.  It's just not in our Chinese culture and makeup to have the charisma and showmanship required of superstars in the black-culture dominated NBA.  We're used to blending in and not sticking out lest we get hammered down and bring shame upon our families. 

Clearly, I settled for too little, though I would have never predicted anything like this. 

Now that Jeremy is tearing it up, there has been plenty written and covered about him.  But watching this fantasy unfold is weird because coming from a similar background as him, I feel like I can intuit some of what he is feeling and what it might be like to be in his shoes.  This brings thoughts a mile a minute.  Here are a few random, unorganized musings:
  • Despite the prerequisite "first Asian American" descriptor attached to him, I bet there are people (mainly in the midwest) who are surprised he can speak English good (yes, "good" was intentional).

  • When black athletes celebrate, it just looks cool even if they fail
    When white athletes celebrate, it looks like this:

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-G187sY8b6Lc/TzRHqF9sbVI/AAAAAAAAADU/tpFkuembuEs/s512/tyler.jpg     awkward.

    When Jeremy celebrates, while I'm stoked for him, it still sort of looks odd in a "I hope non-Asian people aren't laughing at him" kind of way.

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-QqmDRbYxe2U/TzRHoFKnKuI/AAAAAAAAACs/kZ4Xih9wlzY/s517/grin2.jpg     grinning and winning.
  • I wonder if anyone hears or is bothered by his slight ebonics accent.  Truth be told, what I hear is the classic Bay Area Chinese American accent which is a mix of Bay Area Asian slang left over from the Asian Pride movement with an influence of wanting to be black at some point growing up and being around lots of black guys from basketball.  I'm curious if he ever has/had to dial it back for fear of people saying that he wishes he were black.

  • Some people think that Carmelo's bow with Jeremy is racist.  <shrug>.  How funny would it be if entire sections of fans did this in unison whenever Jeremy scored an and-1?

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-thf8Rjt9Hoc/TzRHo5jqSRI/AAAAAAAAADo/gT5upf6PsAY/s546/melo.jpg
  • The Tebow comparisons are already in full force.  In fact, Jeremy talks about Tebow being an inspiration to him.  Part of the reason for the comparisons is that Jeremy talks about his faith with the media in a way that is reminiscent of Tim Tebow in that sometimes, a question will spark a, "I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." 

    I think a lot of Christians already have an eye-roll reaction to when celebrities seem to trivially thank God for something they achieved (eg. Austin Rivers' post-game-winner interview, "God made the ball go in.").  With Tebow, while he seems like a genuine Christian, other than glimpses from various exposes about stuff like his missionary work, I can't fill in much else of his day-to-day life in my head and so I take the lazy way out and just assume he lives a celebrity lifestyle surrounded by hot blondes, but behaves himself for the greater glory of God.  Or something like that.

    With Jeremy, I feel a stronger personal connection to him because we have a similar background.  Being familiar with the Chinese Christian culture (which is where I first found my faith), I feel more oomph behind his Jesus shout-outs.  I can imagine that he struggles with being intentional about putting himself out to the public as a Christian first, but at the same time, not wanting to perpetuate the Christian athlete stereotype.  I can also imagine how he hangs out with his friends and what he does in his spare time.  No idea about other athletes.

    Anyways, this article says that the Tebow comparison is a lazy one.

  • If this keeps up, someone is going to start a tebowing equivalent called linning, if they haven't already.  What would it be?  I dunno.  Maybe option one could be the dangling band-aid on the chin:

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-phqRxzHgb0I/TzRHmSzqfUI/AAAAAAAAACE/89BsMDQr4aw/s470/bandaid2.jpg

    Option two could be sticking out the blue-stained tongue. 

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7WPvdOLgkrs/TzRHp7NAATI/AAAAAAAAADQ/_zR7X0Q0WiE/s612/tongue2.jpg  Is that blue gatorade or blue raspberry fun dip?

  • It's nice being able to watch Jeremy being interviewed and being able to read his subtle nonverbal body language.  NBA interviews usually sound like this.  Mang, I can't read nothing from that, mang.

  • Lin-sanity has also meant that all of a sudden, Asians are getting a lot more airtime during the game broadcasts and shows like SportsCenter.  Unfortunately, a lot of them make me feel like the Asian male stereotype is being perpetuated.  Jlin's and-1 finish is two steps forward...

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dUjRsup8ZHM/TzRHn_4TsNI/AAAAAAAAACk/58smuWpZWlY/s476/fan.jpg     ...and this is one step back.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Dad Confession 5

http://blog.safetytubs.com/st_cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/iStock_000011034054Small.jpg

Sometimes, while giving my kid a bath, I have an out of body experience where I think back to photos of my dad giving me a bath as a baby (with his hipster shorts, glasses, and goofy smile) and imagine what he must have been thinking then as I'm doing the same thing now.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 11

"Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me /
Run out the room and I'll follow you like a lost puppy /
Baby, without you, I'm nothing, I'm so lost, hug me /
Then tell me how ugly I am, but that you'll always love me /
Then after that, shove me, in the aftermath of the /
Destructive path that we're on, two psychopaths but we /
Know that no matter how many knives we put in each other's backs /
That we'll have each other's backs 'cause we're that lucky"

          ~ Eminem, Love the Way You Lie Part II

What a capture of dysfunction.  Sheesh.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lyric of the Moment 10

"Everybody's lookin' for love, oh-oh /
Ain't that the reason you're at this club, oh-oh
/
You ain't gon' find it dancin' with him, no-oh
/
I got a better solution for you, girl, oh-oh"

     ~ Jason Derulo, In My Head

Otherwise known as: Jason Derulo misuses wisdom to get in your pants.

The better solution is not to go home with him to "get down to business, and skip foreplay."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Dad Confession 4

I think I have the first part of fatherhood down pretty good - wanting children, a strong desire to be a good dad and husband, a critique of the erosion of family values in western culture, growth in building a strong character and personal integrity, etc.

Turns our the second part of fatherhood, actually living those things out in the mundane moment to moment of daily life, is pretty dang hard.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Relativism

"Yet our modern society is stuck in puberty. Relativism has become the dominant operating system in a culture that scoffs at what we once knew, too rebellious to respect the wisdom of our forefathers, too self-sufficient to seek the truth, and worst of all, many times just too lazy to bother."

     ~ New Fundamentalists: Beyond Tolerance by Fr. Daniel Brandenburg

With young adults, when we choose between moral norms we don't really understand and pleasure that we experience, it makes sense that we'll often choose pleasure.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Dad Confession 3


http://www.getfoundfirst.com/files/1412/9848/5594/pulled-over-by-the-police_100180482_s.jpg

Every formerly "normal" dude behavior like speeding, mild weaving through traffic, jaywalking, walking through construction zones (you know, the usual), etc., now comes with a conscience dialog objection of, "Do you know why I stopped you?  You realize you have a baby with you right?"