Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Sad Guitar Story

Last Friday (2-20), I went over to World Music to pick up a few various musical accessories; nothing too exciting.

When I got there, I noticed they had a PRS SE Custom Semi Hollow guitar on the wall that was labeled as a "Consignment Item" meaning they were selling it for someone.  I know that PRS makes some really expensive guitars, so my attention was caught by the $359.00 price tag.  My friend Ryan works at World Music giving lessons, and we surmised (and later verified via the internet) that this guitar would normally go f
or around $600.00 or more.  So I'm thinking "Sweet, what a great deal, I should seriously consider getting this guitar!" I proceeded to play
 it in the store for around 20 minutes and thought it felt like a great guitar.

I asked the guy at the store how long it had been there, and he said a couple of months; that it had only received mild interest thus far.  I figured I'd decide over the weekend, talk with Jess and my dad, and come back Monday if I wanted it.

So I did: talked with my dad who read all the reviews on it, and said it's a lot of guitar for the money.  I talked with Jess who agreed that it was a great deal.  And by Sunday night, I had decided to go for it.  

But the Lord decided differently for me...

I called Monday, and wouldn't you know it, they had just sold it over the weekend.  Perfect.

I was bummed, but I decided that I would take some of the money I was planning on spending on the PRS, and give my little cherry-red Mexican Strat a m
akeover, so I could play it more consistently.  So I found some good parts on ebay, and am getting ready to paint it, so hopefully it should be a fun project, and I'll be excited about the guitar again (I've always liked the little guy, but I didn't always take pristine care of it, and there was lots of rust on stuff, and of course, it was cherry red...).

So here's the guitar I missed out on,

but hopefully I'll end up with one similar to the Strat shown here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine's Day '09

I'm pretty proud of my husbandly planning skills for occasions like Valentine's day. I had the day planned well before the end of January, and had mapped out our day with a detailed itinerary like something my brother would do. I was worried that Jess would somehow find and interpret the itinerary so I had carefully cloaked the itinerary in complex code, such as calling each destination "A" "B" "C" or "D." I know, I'm awesome. I had four destinations, and we actually only ended up doing the first two, but that was by conscious choice and NOT because of poor planning on my part.

Our day went something like this:

We arrived in Reseda at 9:00 am for Valentine's day photos with Lukas Van Dyke, who, if you aren't familiar with his work, is a very gifted photographer, and who is an all-around cool guy. We took photos with him as a part of his "Portraits For Missions" promotion, in which he takes all your photos for free basically, and just asks that you make a donation to missions on your way out. He's uploaded some of the photos from that day (including ours) on his blog that you can find HERE. If you're crazy and want to see our full session (74 photos), click HERE.

After photos, we drove down to the Getty Villa museum. It's not the one off of the 405 on that hilltop coming out of the S.F. valley.  This one is on PCH in Pacific Palisades, basically right on the beach. It was actually there before the Getty Center (the one you thought of first), and it's all ancient Roman, Greek, and Etruscan sculptures; no paintings here, this is all the original "hard rock" sort of art.  My two favorites were these guys:
Did you read "The Odyssey" in high school? Do you remember when Odysseus and his men were hiding in the cave from the Cyclops ("Help, help, 'no one' poked my eye out!"), and after poking his eye out with a stake, Odysseus and his men escape the cave by hanging onto the bellies of sheep. See it now? 

This sculpture of Zeus (which stands about three feet tall or so) was lost at sea for around 2,000 years!  You'll notice the left (Zeus' left) side of his face and body is all sculpture-white, while the other side is blackened and full of holes.  The white side was all buried and extremely well preserved, while the black side was exposed and served as home to many a mollusk.  Cool.

Here are some other cool shots from the museum:
Me and the man: Hercules. He's naked.

The front entrance of the museum. It's modeled after a Roman country villa.

Special Valentine's day brownies from the cafe. Free is always good.

My pretty Valentine in the villa garden

I honestly can't remember who this statue is, but Jess is pretty
The closest thing to a painting in the whole place, it's painted directly on a piece of wall.

You can see the big, blue Pacific ocean from the cafe. It's really beautiful.

I had planned for us to go down to Santa Monica's 3rd Street for a bit after this, and then get happy hour appetizers at this cool French restaurant down there, and then see a movie, but we were so relaxed and content that we just stopped by Trader Joe's on the way home and had a relaxing dinner and evening at home.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Drugs and Kids

This is why drugs are bad...and funny...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Keith Getty Quote

"The contemporary generation talks a lot about songs having to sound contemporary for the unchurched to listen to. In my experience of having non-Christian friends attend Christian events or church, they're much more warmed when everyone is singing passionately and confidently, rather than somewhere somebody's trying to do something half as well as it might be done on MTV, or where everybody in the congregation is standing around and staring. Nine times out of ten, they're acutally quite embarrassed by that.

If I've got non-Christian friends coming to church, I'd far rather give them four verses of comparatively heavy theology with some theological words which explain the gospel, than give them twenty repeated words that could be said about your pet horse or your girlfriend."

Bits of Stuff: Recent Arts Intake

Last Tuesday night Jess and I went to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages theater in Hollywood. My parents also went, along with my brother and his roommate Chad, and Jess' friend from work, Erica. We also found out that the Master's College had happened to buy a number of tickets for students to attend that same night. Weird.

If you know me well, you know I don't generally like what is stereotypically considered a "musical." All kinds of exaggerated choreography; insincere, half-witty dialogue; and vibratos so big you could drive a truck through them. Some musicals however, can cut through my cynicism, and Phantom of the Opera is one of them. The themes of Phantom are so dark and tragic, and the characters are rife with conflict, both internal and external. The musical themes are simple and memorable, and pop up with what seems like annoying frequency, but the end result is that they are seared in your memory for all time.

The other cool thing we saw was the stop-animation movie "Coraline" in 3-D. It's billed as a kid's movie, but there are some really dark plot elements. Overall, it's just a visually stunning movie, and the 3-D technology has really come a long way. Apparently though, the story of Coraline (the book that inspired the movie), is a hybrid rip-off of two stories: Grimbold's Other World, and The Button Boy (from some sort of gothic-horror story anthology).

In the movie, they refer to the villain as the "beldam" which is an old word meaning specifically an old or ugly woman, and can generally refer to a witch. As we were driving home, I asked Jess what it was they were calling her, and she proceeded to explain the literary examples of beldams, such as in Shakespeare and what not. After she finished, she said (half to herself) "I know a lot about literature." Apparently she just realized that she cross references everything she encounters in life back to literature. Funny.

Here's the trailer for Coraline

Monday, February 9, 2009

Radiohead @ the 2009 Grammys w/ USC Marching Band

I didn't get to watch this live, but thank the Lord for YouTube...

Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty, and she did a great intro:

In case you're wondering, here's what the original sounds like...

Resolved 2009 Trailer

The trailer for this year's Resolved Conference is out, and it is pretty awesome. My favorite part is at 2:29. ;)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Foundation Winter Retreat '09

This past weekend was our Youth Group's second annual winter retreat.  We drove up to Pine Mountain Club (a little bit West of Frazier Park), and rented out two cabins, and generally had a great time.  I drove up Friday night and came back Saturday, as I had to work Sunday morning, but it was a good time to hang out with the students and build relationships with them. Jordan Baker of Grace Brethren Church was the speaker, and he talked to the kids in the morning and evening on Saturday from the life of David.  During the day Saturday, we were able to hang out and play cards, go on hikes, play soccer, or just relax, and I even let a few of the girls take some flat irons to my hair.  It had been some time since I'd last done this, so it was interesting to see how long my hair had gotten.  "Wow, that's a look" was a common response.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the weekend.

Kyle and the boys play "Silent Football"

I'm still not sure how this game works...

Uno "Cutthroat" edition. These guys were intense.

Egyptian Rat-Screw = Anxiety attack.

Student Ministries Director
Stephen Barshaw and his wife Candace

Al in the kitchen with his beloved coffee

Hanging at the girls' cabin



Holly grabbing a quick nap after hiking

This is how Natalie plans to smile for her senior pictures

Alicia playing Uno; like I said: Cutthroat

The couch was a popular hangout