Thursday, August 28, 2008

Working Out Your Face

I think we often neglect to work out the muscles in our face. Who wants to end up with all kinds of sags and bags on the ol' shiner? Not me I tell you; not me.

"So what can we do??" I'm glad you asked. I've found a great video that will help us in this area.

Don't be frightened of this gal's hair, she's got some really good stuff...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Radiohead! Hollywood Bowl 8-25-2008

Monday night I drove down to the Hollywood bowl with Peter and Greg to see Radiohead. We parked just below the Hollywood/Highland intersection and trekked up the road to the bowl, which was overflowing with people.

We got all the way up to our seats in section U1, and yes, the sections are in alphabetical order so we were nowhere in the vicinity of being "close up."

Their set list was a little unexpected, as far as the order in which they played many of the songs. They pulled out a number of the "big-hitters" from In Rainbows rather early, and started the whole show with the laid back, tambourine laden "Reckoner."

The set list was as follows (courtesy of

01. Reckoner
02. Optimistic
03. There There
04. 15 Step
05. All I Need
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. The Gloaming
09. Videotape
10. Talk Show Host
11. Faust Arp
12. Tell Me Why (Neil Young Cover)
13. No Surprises
14. Jigsaw
15. Bends
16. The National Anthem
17. Nude
18. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1
19. House of Cards
20. Planet Telex
21. Go Slowly
22. Fake Plastic Trees
23. True Love Waits Intro/Everything In Its Right Place

Encore 2
24. Cymbal Rush
25. Karma Police
26. Idioteque

"All I Need" and "Videotape" came rather early on, and since I felt like it took them the first five songs to really get going, I felt a little robbed on "All I Need." From "Pyramid Song" on, however, they really started firing on all cylinders, and even from section U, we were singing along and air drumming to many of the songs.

I didn't bother taking any video because I knew that people with much better seats than me would do it, so here are some of the highlights of the show:

"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"

"All I Need"



"Karma Police"

So it was really a great show, but having seen them at that same venue in 2005 in MUCH closer seats kinda left me wanting a little more. When you're dead center and get the full spectrum of sound and lights and the deafening sound of thousands of people singing along, it's quite say the least.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Official Kentucky Recap

I've been meaning to post a photo recap from our vacation in Kentucky, but Jess kept the camera with her after I came home, and then once she got back, I couldn't find the doohicky that I use to download the photos to my computer. I just found it in the bottom drawer of our bookshelf that is one of two junk black holes into which Jess will shove anything that is out in the open in order to give the illusion of order and tidyness. The other is the real junk drawer which I strive to reserve for those things easily identified as "junk" such as spare batteries, rubber bands, a few pens, keys that open who-knows-what, etc.; but which is another dumping ground for anything that's not supposed to be out and about.

Anyway, that's kind of a soap box of mine, so I'll come down from it now.

So here's how our trip went:

Day 1- We arrived in Kentucky on Tuesday morning, and Jess' dad and his wife, Marcy, picked us up from the airport. We headed two hours out to their quaker house out in the country (Demossville), and rested and freshened up from our trip. We spent the rest of the day hanging around the house, taking a walk, jumping on the trampoline, and catching up with the family (the family includes Jess' dad, Douwe, his wife, Marcy, and my sisters-in-law, Danielle, Camille, and Carynn.)

Marcy with their dogs Auggie, Marley, and Marco

Camille, Jess, and Carynn

The girls in front of the picturesque house

Me, Douwe, and Carynn jumpin' on the trampoline.

I look like I have a gross pot-belly in this one.

Day 2-7:
I just realized that I can't remember what we did on each individual day; they all started to blur together. Much of our time was spent around the house, relaxing, reading, napping, eating, talking, and just sitting and taking in the beauty of the country around us. Some of the "highlights" included (not in chronological order):
-going to a "local" (still 20 minutes away) park to play tennis and volleyball (play is loosely defined here...),
-Jess and the girls picking "5 oz. Blackberries (apparently that's HUGE!),
-going on a 15 mile bike ride,
-finding a litter of newborn kittens in an old barn,
-their cats Sunny, and old Spooks
-going to their church on Sunday,
-having small groups at their house,
-celebrating Camille's 16th birthday,
-me and Douwe shooting Civil-War era rifles

Here's video of me shooting my rifle. I basically would've singlehandedly won the Civil War...probably.

1996 Olympic Gymnast Kerri Strug and her brother...

Kippy Strug? My brother reminded me of this Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Kerri Strug and her brother Kippy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great American Gymnastics

So with the gymnastics portion of the Olympics over, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the great USA gymnastics moments from the halls of history.

First, here's a look at 2008 all-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin:

And then here's Shawn Johnson's 2008 gold medal performance on the balance beam:

Now we go back to Athens in 2004, and watch Carly Patterson win the all-around gold:

Let's head back to 1996 in Atlanta Georgia, where the "Magnificent 7" (Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Amy Chow, and Amanda Borden)captured the team gold.

That last vault with Kerri Strug was so epic, it's worth watching the original footage:

Then we go to America's "Perfect Ten": Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. I was one year old at the time, but I'm told I attended some of the games that year. Anyway, here's Mary Lou's perfect 10:

There were some other silvers and bronzes along the way, and the USA men have had their share of great moments, but it's the women's team everyone cares about right?

Hope you enjoyed this little slice of American nostalgia, I don't get patriotic very often...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Todd Bentley's Separating From His Wife...We Need Discernment

Man, what a sad, sad story this guy is.

I posted a video on here a few weeks ago, asking him to forgive me for being skeptical (with all his stories about the Spirit telling him to punch old ladies in the face, etc.), but now I just hurt for the guy.

You can read the details HERE if you want, but I appreciated John Piper's response over at Desiring God, in a post entitled "Test Revival With Doctrine."

He emphasized the church's need for discernment that is only gained through biblical truth, and the application of that truth to our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Piper quotes an article from Lee Grady, editor of Charismatic magazine Charisma, in which he offers several insightful observations and recommendations:
"Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up."

"A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: “I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.” Ouch. Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson this time and apply the necessary caution when an imposter shows up."

Piper responds that it is not "Charismatics" that will follow the Antichrist, it will be those who refuse to "love the truth," as the apostle Paul says in 2 Thessolonians:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

He ends with classic Piper conviction and solid discernment:

"Our test for every Lakeland that comes along should first be doctrinal and expositional. Is this awakening carried along by a “love for the truth” and a passion to hear the whole counsel of God proclaimed?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Olympics...AWESOME

Every time the Olympics roll around, I fail to catch the momentum of all the hype beforehand, and even as Opening Ceremonies comes and goes, I don't really get all that excited for the momentous worldwide competition.

Until I actually watch them.

Jess is still in Kentucky until Friday, and she asked me to record some of the highlights for her to watch when she gets back, so I agreed, and last night, sat down to watch some men's volleyball, and the crown jewel of the Olympics: Michael Phelps.


We English-speakers have really killed our language, and overused any words that describe something that is truly magnificent, but there's no other words that can describe the pure adrenaline rush and competitive spirit of the Olympic games (actually there is one word coined on Saturday Night Live to describe things of this nature: Scrumtrelescent).

I'm not very much into the hyper-patriotism that some ascribe to events like this, but watching our team USA in action made me feel all warm and gushy inside, and also like I could go out on the beach, and slam a spike just like those volleyball guys were doing. You gotta chuckle at the irony however, that our US men's volleyball team features guys with names like Phillipe Dalhausser (French first name? Is that German for "doll house"??)

And then there's Michael Phelps. Destined to be known by a single name, such as gymnastics great "Nadia," this guy is now the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, and he's got more events to go. It's a thing of beauty to watch this guy swim, and it's no wonder he's now officially the greatest Olympic athlete of all time.

So yes, it took me a few days, and maybe it's just due to the fact that I can't stand when things are hyped up in the media, but I'm pumped now for the remainder of these games, and to see if Phelps can indeed win gold in his remaining events.

On a separate note, I see Radiohead at the Hollywood bowl in 12 days...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back From Kentucky

I got back from Kentucky last night, and it's good to be home. Jess is still there for the rest of this week, and comes home on Friday. I left the camera with her, so when she gets home, I'll put up a nice recap blog with pictures of our trip.

All in all, it was a wonderful time: the weather was unseasonable nice, it was very relaxing, and we spent a lot of good time with Jess' dad and his family. They were so generous to fly us both out!

Chad house-sat for us, and he's hanging out with me this week until Jess gets home. My other buddy Clemente is coming in from New York tomorrow for some job interviews, so it'll be a regular frat house around here...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Off To Kentucky

Jess and I take off tonight for Kentucky to spend some time with her dad's family. Looking forward to time to relax, read, and enjoy hanging out with family. They built a house "out in the middle of nowhere" so it's a little oasis of sorts. I'll take plenty of pictures, and post them as I have time!