Woof.

What a weird week.

Grandma went to the hospital last week, and was diagnosed with pancreatitis, as well as had some stones in her gallbladder or something. So Mom’s been keeping her company in the hospital this week, and it feels like the house has been empty without here. But surgery was today, and was evidently successful, and Grandma pulled through like a champ. So there’s that.

Also, the big pine tree in the backyard cracked over in half because of the insanely huge storm last night. So we’re gonna have to get rid of it. It was so big. The landscape in the back yard looks so weird now with it gone. I wasn’t here at the time when it blew over; I was over congratulating my graduating friends at Calvary Church at the CHALC graduation. The storm sounded crazy even from inside the church. Also, I can’t help but think of the imagery of the tree in Jane Eyre. There’s really nothing in my life that would be symbolized well by the tree, but it’s definitely a “BAM.” moment. A nice landmark in the course of my life, anyway.

Our bathroom is currently all torn apart, because it’s getting revamped. Just another thing adding to the weirdness of this week.

Also, there’s something else that may or may not happen that you may or may not hear about. It’s exciting and yet caught me off guard something fierce, even though it’s been on my mind for a little while.

There’s some other stuff that happened this week too that aren’t necessarily related to the above subject, and aren’t incredibly interesting, but have been just more things that have been different about the week, that just made it stand out more.

Also, countdown to my various missions trips are getting closer and closer to zero. There’s less than a month until I’m at Joni and Friends, and then the rest of the summer will be a blur from South Africa to Burkina Faso.

I’m pretty sure I will remember this year in my life, from what I hope is going to happen this summer overall. I hope God will stretch me and challenge me in ways I have no clue about, and I hope I survive everything he throws at me. I know both will happen. I’m just sorta nervous. But it’s an excited nervous. A happy nervous. A determined nervous. Really, it’s mostly just me being uncertain of what’s coming and plunging into it anyway. YAY!

Oh, and it’s my birthday tomorrow. So happy two decades to me.

That’s really it. I don’t have anything groundbreakingly philosophical this week, though I have been working through some really good books. I haven’t read for awhile, it was rather refreshing. One more thing different about this week.

So it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed this week, it’s just that this week has been completely out of the ordinary. Which is awesome, and….weird.

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The Return

Surprised kitty is surprised that I actually posted again.

Hehehe. Hey, I’m “back”.

So I’ve been very lazy about the blog the past couple weeks. Mostly because I’ve been doing other things. Like dancing, Portal 2, Futurama, and actually reading a book. I’ve also been trying to be vaguely more responsible in general around the house. So I haven’t really written anything recently that I finished. I was going to do a long blog post on Osama bin Laden’s death and people’s reactions to it, but I never got around to it.

But, here’s the short explanation of my perspective on people celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death: Are people celebrating his death, or his removal from power? I’m celebrating bin Laden’s removal from power, not his descent into hell. And even though it probably won’t do much against Al Qaeda, bin Laden was an extremely dangerous and intelligent terrorist that needed to be removed from power. And we didn’t murder him either, by the way. Murder requires innocence, of a sort, in the victim.

But anyway, back to what I was saying previous to that. Um….

Actually, I may not have been saying anything else previous to that.

Oh, yes I was! So, I’m still trying to raise funds for my missions trips this summer, so I’m offering private swing dance lessons for $15 an hour and $10 a half hour, which is stupidly cheap by any calculation. Also, I’m offering record-to-CD conversion for about $5 a record. Several people have expressed interest in the lessons but nothing has come to fruition yet, leaving me grasping at thin air. So if you’d be interested in either of those things, I would be quite happy to oblige and take your money. Also if you just want to donate, that would be fantastic. Just email me at tall.lanky.monkey@gmail.com and I’ll let you know how. I still have over a thousand dollars to raise, so anything would be appreciated.

And with that, I should go be responsible. And eat breakfast.

Oh, and the blog may not go back on the same schedule. I don’t know, I have to think about where this is going. Hey, maybe you could sponsor a blog post for $5! That would be awesome. It would give me more purpose with the blog, and raise money for it, too! And I would let you tell me what to write about, if you wanted to! So if anyone wants to hit me up for that, I’d be up for it.

Okay, NOW I’m ending the blog post.


Shag weekend!

Precursor to thoughts: I was at Penn State for their swing dance club’s workshop weekend centered around collegiate shag. It was called Shagception.

Thought 1: Dude, collegiate shag is so incredibly awesome!

Thought 2: Dude, my butt hurts. Maybe I should start exercising.*

Thought 3: Tried some Brain Toniq over the weekend. First saw this stuff covered at MacWorld, and wondered if it had any kind of validity whatsoever. But I saw it at Wegmans (thought 4: Wegmans is awesome and I want one in Lancaster, which apparently is going to happen at Greenfield, so yay), and decided I must try the stuff, even though the can cost about $2.67. Tried it (it was warm), and decided it was mighty tasty. And it definitely brought my concentration up for doing a little bit of schoolwork, but I’m also quite adept at making placebos work. But, it’s definitely very tasty. It tastes like an energy drink except for the fact that it tastes really good. So forget about the energy drink comparison.

Thought 5: My perception of how to do lindy was completely changed around in about 30 minutes, which was awesome. Got a private lesson separate from the rest of the weekend from one of the more prominent lindy hoppers at Penn State, and now I’m gonna have to rework my entire swingout. Which is not a negative thing.

Thought 6: For some reason, whenever I do weekends like this, I end up discussing matters in the realm of apologetics at some point or another. This time it was abortion. It was a good conversation; nobody was steamrolling over the other. Quite stimulating and stretching, since I get next to zero opposition to my views in Lancaster (at least as a face to face chat).

Thought 7: I get free breakfast at a diner tomorrow. Yay! Oh wait, that’s not part of the weekend. Forget it.

Thought 8: I tasted my first kumquat. YUMNESS! Also sunflower seed butter. That was also pretty appetizing.

Thought 9: I really hope I can start injecting Lancaster with shag. I at least took video of what we learned so that hopefully, I won’t forget stuff when I’m breaking it down for other people.

That’s it for now. I may have more inspired things to say later in the week, who knows. Anyway, kudos once again to Penn State Swing Dance Club for hosting these weekends with such great instructors for such a small amount of money. You ain’t gonna get a weekend full of workshops anywhere else for $25. That’s dang crazy.

Also, random thought. I’m pretty sure Futurama is laced with cocaine.


Hey, so….

I’m really excited right now. I’m going to Penn State in about an hour to dance to the music of The Boilermaker Jazz Band and then stay the weekend to learn how to dance Collegiate Shag! If you have no idea what that is and want me to tell you what that is, click here.

So anyway, no real blog post this evening, as I’ve been really busy the past few days. But I’ll probably update you on Monday with stuff that I learned or enjoyed or screwed up over the weekend. I’m excited.


Giggles and Guffaws

This is Guffaws. Giggles is mad right now for not receiving his x-tra happy juice in the mail like he was supposed to.

So recently, Jay, Tony, and I started a new blog. Actually, it was more like Jay and Tony started it, and then I jumped in. Actually, it was probably just Jay who started it… Anyway, we now have a blog entitled: “The Wondrous Events of Captain Smash-Bad-Guys’-Faces!”

It’s pretty sweet, check it out. We’re gonna be all like smashing bad guys’ faces in by storytelling bad guys’ faces being smashed. By the Captain. Of world-saving.

So yeah, I’ve already got a few superhero stories written up for that, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

*phone rings*

Oh, hang on a second, readers. Someone is for real calling me.

*picks up phone*

Oh, hi Jay! I was just typing on my computer about how we started a blog about fake superheroes that smash bad guyses faces in!

*phone rings again*

Oh. Whoops.

*swipes to answer call*

Oh, hi Jay! I was just typing on my computer about how we started a blog about fake superheroes that smash bad guyses faces in! I actually just said that a few seconds ago, but you didn’t hear me.

Oh, what? It’s actually not about fake superheroes? It’s actually just called Giggles and Guffaws? And is only supposed to be funny and not heroic? BORING!!! What?! This dialogue I’m typing out for my readers to read is boring?!? And probably FAKE???!! How do you even know what I’m typing?!

Oh. Right. *waves to the levitating Jay outside the window* Well, I don’t care what you say. I bet Tony would say we should write about superheroes. I’m going to call him behind your back and we’ll plot and scheme to change the blog around.

Oh, you already got his opinion? How? Oh, right. Hey Tony. *waves to jetpacking Tony, also outside the window*

Fine. I’ll see if I can be funny. (And write about face-smashing superheroes.)

Oh, c’mon! Dang, Jay, your ears are good.


Dictionary Diving

I’m developing a new sport.

Actually, I just conceived and developed it last night. Yeah, I’m awesome like that.

So it’s called dictionary diving. Guess what happens in dictionary diving?

Oh. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. One takes a bunch of dictionaries and fills up a swimming pool with the ripped pages of said dictionaries, and then dives in them. You got it right.

No, of course you didn’t get it right, stupid! That’s just ridiculous, and I can’t believe you made me make that up.

So anyway, essentially all you do is randomly open a dictionary and pick a word that you like that you never knew existed before. The goal is to find a way to use the word in normal conversation that day.

I found “eximious” today. It means “most distinguished; excellent.” Hehehe, can’t wait to spring that on some poor, unsuspecting construction worker.

So try it out, and share with the class (aka comment below) what obscure devices of communication you discover when doing so. And what happens when you use them in normal conversation. It’ll be fun!


A Rave About Radness

So I just finished Half-Life 2 Episode Two yesterday. For those of you who don’t know anything about video games, it’s a video game. It’s set in the future, there are aliens from another dimension that are trying to essentially enslave and wipe out humanity, and you are a part of the rebellion as Dr. Gordon Freeman. It all starts back in the original Half-Life game, which I never actually have played yet, because I don’t have a PC to play it on. (I’m hoping Valve gets around to releasing it on the Mac sometime this year, as they have with the HL2 games, Portal, and pretty much every other game in their catalog.) But, I have played HL2, and HL2 Episode 1. And the series is incredible.

Now, I haven’t played a lot of games, I’ll say that much. But there is something so incredibly wonderful about the games Valve makes. Everything in a Valve game is as real as it can possibly be constructed to be. And I’m not necessarily talking graphics-wise, though there’s some pretty bangin’ graphics. The characters are real. The voice actors, animators, and directors all see the characters in as authentic a way as possible, and it works really really well. By the time I ended Half-Life 2 Episode 2, I realized I was way more involved with the characters than I thought I was, because Valve got me to cry at the end of the game.

Portal is a very different game, in which you never get a gun to shoot anything with. But you are often confronted by armed enemies. What you get is a portal gun, which shoots portals onto walls which you can travel through and create havoc with physics. There’s so much fun to be had with such a simple idea, and the storyline is awesome and riddled with really quirky humor. Short, but it was also a “test” game. Can’t wait for Portal 2 to come out. Already preordered it.

For me, Valve is like the Pixar of video games. They concentrate on making a GOOD GAME, and that’s it. Valve is notorious for pushing back release dates of their games, something that’s annoying but ultimately a happy thing, since Valve probably just didn’t find the game perfect enough yet, and had to add that little thing that most of us wouldn’t notice, but makes the game that much more playable.

So I didn’t really have a point that I was aiming for, I just wanted to talk about Valve. So nothing very deep today. But if you are inclined towards maybe wanting to try out playing video games, start with Portal and then Half-Life 2 and sequels. And then everything after that will be a disappointment.


Brainflip

So there was one time when I thought “livid” meant something like being tired, uncaring, and all-around apathetic to the situation.

That’s not what that means.

There was a time when I thought a testimony simply meant the story of how one came to Christ.

Yeah, that’s not what that means, either.

Ever been in that kind of situation? Where you’re trying to make sense of something based on what you thought, and then realize it’s completely different? I had one of those today. I call them brainflips.

So today, I was at a meeting for my South Africa trip. We were talking about testimonies, and working on forming our own in preparation for the trip. For my entire life previous to this, I’ve tried and given up on trying to create a testimony, mainly because of my preconception that a testimony is all about the story of how I came to Christ.

Now, I believed in Jesus’ saving grace when I was 3 or 4. There’s not a whole lot of story to that, and if there was, I don’t remember anything about it. I could easily make something up. I could say something about how I was just a bad kid before I accepted Jesus as Savior, stealing cookies, jumping off the roof, and driving the car unapproved by my parents. But that wouldn’t really be honest, and likely not very convincing to the person I’m talking to. They’d probably know that I couldn’t possibly reach the cookie jar at age 2-3. So I can’t really lie. And besides, lying wouldn’t help my cause very much.

But here’s what I realized today. It never clicked in my brain WHY the purpose of testimonies even exist. Testimonies are meant to be a segue into sharing the gospel. The purpose of a testimony is to share where you’re from, what Christ did for you, how it has impacted your life, and why the person you’re conversing with should be interested in it. I never thought of it before, but I mean, that’s exactly what testimonials are on advertisements. They’re stories for the reader to relate to in order to give the reader reasons why to purchase the product.

So after thinking about all that, and with some ideas from some friends, here’s a go at my testimony.

God blessed me by giving me parents who loved him, and taught me about him. Because Jesus was a part of my life from when I was three, he protected me from the things that you usually hear about in the “before” region of a testimony. All throughout my life, Jesus guarded me from resorting to doing things like drugs or alcohol, because he gave me a reason to live with purpose. He gave me hope that no matter what happens, the most important thing is him. He died for me, paying for the penalty that I would have otherwise received because of the bad things I’ve done. Without that, I probably would have no reason to live right now. I would have no reason to abstain from things that make me feel better for a little while, but are bad for me in the long run. Christ preserved me, and saved me from my sins so I can have eternal life with him when I die. I’m eternally grateful to him, and I know he can give you the same hope and purpose in life. Would you like to know how to have that same hope?

So there’s the rough draft of my testimony right now.

As always, please comment below upon my thoughts, whether positively or negatively. I’d really appreciate your input.


Randomosity

Why is that trash can standing so close to that girl?

Why, when I’m trying to make up a limerick, always start start with “There once was”?

Just an interesting thought.

So, I didn’t really get a chance to write anything up for today. I’ve been working, and lazy, and trying to get support letters sent out for my S. Africa trip, and I just didn’t get a chance to write something for today.

So now, I’m going to put the burden upon you, my reader. Invent a limerick and post it here. It could make lots of sense, it could be complete nonsense, it could be somewhere in between. And if you can’t make up a limerick, say something else. Post a fortune cookie fortune on here that has struck you either by its profundity or its silliness. Or if you never eat Chinese, perhaps just write in binary. If you don’t know binary, write about your cat and its escapades. Or whatever else.

No Confucius jokes, though. Unless it’s really funny and I haven’t heard it before.


Safety Dance

So those of you who follow me pretty closely on Facebook know that I recently posted something about wanting to find some awesome electronic dance music. And I got some great suggestions, most of which I’m still trying to sort through yet. Okay, ALL of which I need to sort through yet.

However, this song came up as a suggestion in the conversation on Facebook. And even though it wasn’t really what I was looking for, I love it so much. Coupled with the video, this is my new fav song.

And for probably an hour, I could not stop watching the video, and I could not figure out why. I still don’t know why for sure, but at least I have a few ideas.

  • First off, the song’s catchy. There’s that.
  • The video is just so much fun to watch. The people dancing aren’t dancing because it’s choreographed, the people are dancing because they’re jubilant, and they’re just happy to dance.
  • The midget and the girl are just so much fun to watch, mainly because of the previous reason.
  • The singer isn’t above all of it. He’s as happy to dance like an imbecile as much as everyone else.
  • I like dancing like an imbecile.

    In fact, that’s probably the reason I love it so much. It seems to have my attitude about life. I’ll dress real neat from my hat to my feet and then do something rather ridiculous, if the opportunity arises.

    So yeah, I like it.