8/31/2009

Redheads...

When I was little (I'm not sure what age), The State put out a call to all the redheads of South Carolina. As many as could gathered on the field at Williams-Brice Stadium to take a picture. That picture appeared in the paper.

No, I don't have the picture to show you (although, I might be able to find it at my grandmother's house). Yes, my grandmother found me on the page and circled me in the giant sea of freckles and pale skin.

Of course, they had to take the picture early in the day. If they would've waited until high noon, all of us redheads on the field would've caught fire and burned alive. (Our kind is quite sensitive to the sun.)

Now, I'm sure there are some people out there who would've loved to have just done away with the lot of us as a service to the human race. After all, red hair, pale skin, and freckles are all a result of recessive genes. But as a service to you, the reader (and as a way of proving our worth), I'd like to present a list of redheads who have made society a better place in which to live...

  • Conan O'Brien

  • Lucille Ball

  • Ron Howard

  • Amy Adams

  • Axl Rose

  • Molly Ringwald

  • Seth Green

  • Reba McEntire

    And of course...
  • Rupert Grint (as Ron Weasley!)...
  • Disney Buys Marvel...

    Here's something I never imagined had a possibility of happening; Disney is acquiring Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars.

    Whoa.

    superherohype.com has a story on it, as does aintitcool.com.

    Who knows what this means. I know that, after Jim Henson's death, Disney bought the Muppets, which probably wouldn't have been able to continue without Disney's fat pockets. A few years ago, Disney acquired Pixar. In that deal, Pixar's head, John Lasseter was named as one of the new heads of Disney, particularly over the animation division. We're already starting to see a qualitative shift in Disney's animated offerings as a result of that. It's also allowed Pixar itself to have a little more freedom.

    But what does this mean for Marvel? As far as movies go, after Marvel's distribution deal with Paramount is over (including Ironman 2, Thor, Captain America, and the Avengers), Disney has said it wants to look into self-distributing. Will anything change in the comics? I don't know. I hope it just means more money for more talent for improved quality.

    At least we might finally get a chance to see a Spider-man vs. Simba matchup...

    8/29/2009

    Is It Weird...

    Sometimes I'm not so sure if my perceptions of things are correct. That's why I need your help in determining if I'm right (which I am). So I ask you, is it weird...

  • that I can only smell things out of my left nostril?

  • that I am stinking in love with the music of Mary J. Blige right now?

  • that I can't stop eating otter pops once I start?

  • that I'm so excited about Halloween approaching because I love Candy Corn?

  • that I still don't know exactly what my sweet spot in ministry is? (I mean, I've got some clues, but still...)

  • that I really really miss leading worship?

  • that after 2 disappointing seasons of Heroes, I'm still excited to watch season 4?

    Just wondering...
  • Blog Post Math...

    What happens when you add two blog posts together? Hmm, let's see...

    This post + this post equals...

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to P.Y.T.

    Editor's Note: How cool is that Google logo? Wow. So creative...

    The League of Men™: Season 4...

    I've mentioned before (here and here) that I am a member of the finest fantasy football league known to man: The League of Men™.

    Well, today was a day that everyone in the Lom™ looks forward to every year. It was a day that, despite what results the previous year had given, everyone was on a level playing field. It was the Draft!

    Unfortunately this year, I wasn't able to be at the Draft in person. But thanks to the wonders of technology, I was there virtually.

    Since we have a keeper league (meaning, you hang on to one person from your team last year), I retained Michael Turner from my 2008 team. Who was my first pick for my team this year? Ronnie Brown, RB for the Miami Dolphins.

    Here's to another great season...

    8/28/2009

    Power Rankings: 13...

    Power Rankings have a habit of being like a Matthew McConaughey movie: heavily promoted but seldom good. Unless I write them. Then they're like a guaranteed summer blockbuster. Kind of like any of The Transporter movies...

    1. The Last Episode of Reading Rainbow... Ever Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high. Take a look, it's in a book. Reading Rainbow. Sniff. It signed off for good today. To think there will be children who grow up without this show is incredibly sad. Almost as sad as wondering what Levar Burton will fill his time with now that this longtime proponent of children's literacy is done... (link)

    2. Potential Design Image of Whiplash's Final Look in Iron Man 2 Holy Tony Stark's goatee! You're telling me I've still got 8 months until this movie comes out?! Sheesh. Count this as Iron Man 2 post #8... (link)

    3. damoncarltonandapolarbear.com So let me get this straight: Top artists and designers are each asked to create posters for LOST's sixth and final season, and these posters are on sale? And the first one is already sold out? Where's my wallet... (link)

    4. Dumb Jokes That Are Funny I don't know why I've always found dumb jokes so funny. But I do. By the way, as a hat tip to #3; What did one snowman say to the other? It smells like carrots in here... (link)

    5. The Green Mile This incredible movie (for which Michael Clark Duncan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Michael Caine) was on late two nights this week. After the second viewing, its book called to me. So I picked it up at Barnes and am now tearing through it. It's incredible. If all of Stephen King's books are like this, I think I'll be enjoying many more. But if they're all like The Shining, I think I'll abstain...(link)

    8/27/2009

    District 9 and Inglourious Basterds...

    Whoa! My reviews for both District 9 and Inglourious Basterds went up today on youthministry.com! You can check out what I wrote on District 9 here and Inglourious Basterds here. Make sure to rate them and leave a comment while you're there...

    More Travel Craziness...

    Those of you who keep up with what goes on in my crazy life by reading the blog regularly have probably come to expect that, anytime I go anywhere that requires air travel, chaos ensues. I mean, just look at my posts about my trips home for Christmas (here, here, and here). So, of course, since I took to the air again two weeks ago, things went a little nuts. (I briefly mentioned this in a post from yesterday.) Here's the highlights...

    Flight #1: Before the flight even begins to speed up for take off, my oxygen mask falls down from the ceiling. Now, it wasn't all of the masks. Just mine. Of course, since I was asleep at the time, I was startled and jumped a little. The guy in front of me just calmly reached back and pushed it up. Halfway through the flight (to Houston), the flight attendant came back to my seat and said, "Was that your oxygen mask that fell down?" Yes. Yes it was. Thanks for making sure nothing was wrong before we were in the air...

    Flight #2: At some point during this flight, the flight attendant came over the intercom and asked if anyone on the plane had any medical experience. Turns out, a guy a few rows behind me was fainting in his seat or something. They kept dabbing his head with a wet cough. I'm pretty sure him fainting didn't have anything to do with how bad the movie they were showing was. Although, it was My Life in Ruins. So who knows...

    Flight #3: This one's kind of my fault. Now, I will say ahead of time that the Phoenix airport is one of the most terribly laid out and run airports I've ever been in. When I got off the plain in Phoenix, I noticed that my next ticket didn't have a gate assignment on it. So I quickly found a group of monitors with arrivals/departures on them. After scanning the list, I found Orange County and began to make my way toward my gate. Here's where the problems start: Iin Phoenix, when moving between terminals, you have to exit the airport to the road, get on a bus, go to one of the other 3 terminals, re-enter, and go through security all over again. Blech.

    Once inside, I found what I thought was my gate. I sat down and began enjoying some free wi-fi. After a 30-45 minute wait, my flight began boarding. I waited in line and made my way to the front where I handed the gate agent my ticket. "Umm... Sir, this is a Continental ticket." "Yes it is," I said. "But this is a Southwest flight" "Yeah, well umm, they said I was on a different airline for the last leg of my trip." "You need to go see the ticket agent to get a boarding pass."

    So I make my way to the ticketing agent. I hand him my ticket and ask for a boarding pass. He says, "Are you sure you're supposed to be on this flight?" "No," I say, "I just know that I'm on a different airline for the last part of my trip. "Do you think that maybe you could be on U.S. Air? I mean, the first two letters in your flight number are 'US'." "That could be possible," I say. "Could you tell me how to get there?"

    So, after running across a bridge in the airport (that went over a freeway outside), I found another group of monitors. Turns out I had not only been at the wrong gate, but in the wrong part of the airport. So I began to run to another concourse. I had to cross three or four moving sidewalks to find my gate (I estimate this distance to be about 3/4 of a mile). Once I got to my destination, I found that my flight was in the middle of boarding. Barely made it...

    Flights #4 & 5: Nothing eventful...

    Flight #6: Well, I guess in the grand scheme of things getting delayed two hours isn't that big of a deal. But when you're on the tail end of a crazy trip, it is a pretty big bummer...

    So there you go, one more crazy air travel story from yours truly. Here's hoping that, one day, all will go smoothly on at least one leg of one journey...

    8/26/2009

    Like Two Peas In a Podcast...

    Two Sunday nights ago I was given the opportunity to teach at a Coast Hill Community Church's High School Ministry's weekend service! I found out afterwards that they recorded me and put it up online as a part of their weekly podcast.

    So, of course, my response was, "Man, if I'd have known that I wouldn't have cursed nearly as much as I did."

    Anyway, I taught on The Story of God's Love. If you'd like a chance to hear it, You can find it here. It's the one dated 08/17/09. Better hurry, looks like they only keep five weeks up at a time...

    Mmm Hmm... Nice to See People Are Paying Attention...

    I know that everyone takes everything I say here on the blog super seriously (yeah right), but I never thought that it would get reported on the news...

    Quite a while ago, I wrote a Body Double post on Will Ferrell/Chad Smith (link) declaring them official body doubles. Well, yesterday a news channel reported the same thing (link).

    Looks like my influence is growing...

    JWT + GHWB = 4EVR...

    As you might know, either from my blog absence (or from this post), I've been traveling all over our fair country for the past two weeks. At the beginning of my journey, I had a flight that left Columbia, SC bound for Houston, TX.

    It wasn't until I was in the Columbia airport that I saw on my ticket that the Houston airport was called George Bush International. I was immediately filled with excitement and wonder. After all, it's not everyday that one gets to fly into an airport honored by being named for our nation's finest 41st president. And so, with hope in my heart, I tweeted this:

    "Waiting to board my flight to george bush airport in houston. If There's a statue of him there, i'm going to take my picture with it."

    Well, imagine how filled with joy my heart was when I stepped off the plane to find this...

    Look at it. Gaze at what masculinity personified in bronze truly looks like.

    And so, to uphold my word, I had to get a quick (typical facebook/myspace outstretched arm) photo with this monument to greatness...

    I mean, how could I pass up this photographic opportunity?

    This was, of course with my luck, the only ray of sunshine in a crazy trip out west. But more on that later...

    8/25/2009

    Johnny's Boy Returns...

    My two week jaunt around the country is done. I've finally recovered from the post travel stress disorder that developed as a result of it. And tomorrow, I'm going to hit this blog... hard...

    Be ready...

    8/12/2009

    On the Road Again... Again...

    Wow. Looks looks like my next two weeks are going to be quite busy...

    Tomorrow I'm flying out to interview with a prospective church for a job. I'll be meeting with lots of awesome people, teaching in their High School Ministry weekend service, and even hanging with some old friends. I'll be returning home on Tuesday.

    Then, next Thursday, I'll be leaving again to drive to a different church for yet another interview! This one will be full of much of the same, minus the teaching. Plus, once again, I'll get to reconnect with more friends.

    So, all of that to say, the blog might be a little slow for the next two weeks. If I get some time (or some internet), I'll try to kick out a few updates about what's going on. But the best way to keep up is to follow me on twitter. You can do this by checking out the right column here on the blog, or by going here.

    If you think about it, pray for me over the next two weeks. I'd say I'm going to pack now but, who am I kidding? I never pack before midnight on the night before traveling...

    8/10/2009

    I Want to Be...

    While I was on the phone with a friend this past Friday night, he asked me a question about an ex. He wanted to know if I'd ever think about dating her again and, when I said no, why.

    I explained that, when the two of us got together five years ago, one of the things that I liked about her was that she had a very sarcastic sense of humor. Truth is, at the time, so did I. So when my buddy asked me why I wouldn't get back with this girl, I said that it's because I don't think I'm that sarcastic anymore. I don't think my sense of humor is the same as it once was. I guess I don't really think I'm the same person that I was five years ago. And throughout that time, I think I've been able to discover more of what I'm looking for in someone I want to spend time with.

    One of the benefits of time I suppose...

    This conversation led me to think about how I think I've changed over the past five years, which then led me to think about how I want to change in the future. How I want to be different... better.

    So I spent the next few days thinking, what is it that I want to be? Or, more specifically, what kind of person do I want to become?

    I want to be:

    ...someone who, every time people spend time with me, they walk away feeling better.

    ...an encourager.

    ...courageous.

    ...a great listener.

    ...responsible with what God has given me.

    ...careful with my words.

    ...wise.

    ...a lot less selfish.

    ...thoughtful.

    ...a man after God's heart.


    Of course, this list isn't exhaustive. Just a few things I wrote down in the past few days. Strangely enough, there is a name belonging to a person I know next to every item on this list. Friends, mentors, teachers. All people who have affected me for the better...

    8/07/2009

    I've Got To Ask...

    A few questions have run through my mind this week. If you have answers to any of these, please share...

  • Which was invented first, the spoon or the shovel? I mean, was someone out in the field shoveling dirt and said, "I'll bet if I had a smaller one of these I could eat cereal easier."? Or was someone sitting down to a bowl of soup and said, "Whoa. If I had a giant spoon I could dig a hole so much faster!" Ditto for the pitchfork/fork...

  • Is it possible to teach yourself to be ambidextrous...

  • How is it possible that McDonalds gets my drink order right on the drive thru screen but wrong at the window every time I go...

  • Have you seen the sweet robot drink maker at the McDonalds drive thru...

  • Will J.K. Rowling write more books...

  • How is it that Discovery Channel doesn't have Bear Grylls involved in Shark Week...

  • Will my kids look at the music of Michael Jackson the same way that I look at the music of Elvis Presley? Kind of eh...
  • 8/05/2009

    Action Figure Math...

    If you kept up with the coverage of the San Diego Comic Con 2009 at all, or if you're a sci fi geek, or if you're even a little bit awesome, you've probably heard of James Cameron's upcoming movie (and his first since 1998's Titanic), Avatar. No, it's not the one based on the Nickelodeon show that's being directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I'm talking about the one about the 10 ft. tall blue aliens.

    Here's a pic of an action figure from the upcoming sci fi blockbuster. Hopefully, seeing the character realized on the big screen in 3D will make it look better than seeing it in plastic...

    8/04/2009

    Funny People...

    Looks like my review of Funny People went live today on youthministry.com! Click on the link to check it out. Make sure you rate it and comment on it too...

    8/03/2009

    99 Thoughts for Youth Workers...

    I written before about my friend, Josh. He's one of my favorite people in the world and a huge hero of mine in ministry. I've never spent time with him without walking away encouraged and feeling better! And, in the 5 or 6 years I've known him, he's taught me a lot about ministry. A lot of that stuff, I've been able to pass on to other people.

    And now I'm super stoked to tell you guys that Josh has written a book!

    99 Thoughts for Youth Workers just came out and, if you're involved in student ministry in any way (paid or volunteer), it's a must buy.

    Here's why I love it: it's bite sized, practical tips on lots of different aspects of student ministry. It's got everything from how to manage a team to how to keep ministry from taking over your life. It's got great ideas as well as lessons Josh has learned the hard way. And all of it comes in the form of small proverb-like entries. Which is great if you have ADD XL like I do.

    Hit the link above to go to amazon to get your copy now!

    Oh yeah, and if you want to get Josh's great student ministry tips in real time, check out his blog: morethandodgeball.com...

    8/01/2009

    Gold Medal...

    After seeing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in the theater, I decided that I wanted to re-read the book. Editor's Note: I saw the movie a second time while I was re-reading it, and decided that they left about 45% of the book out of the movie. I just finished reading the book again last Sunday, and then went and checked out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to re-read. I love J.K. Rowling's writing and the world that she's created. I keep finding little things that I missed or don't remember from my first reading. Things like this...

    One character in the Hary Potter-verse is that of Mr. Ollivander, the wand maker. In the books, he is highly regarded as being the best at making wands (at least in England) and in having the utmost expertise in all things related to them. Plus, he has a photographic memory of every wand he's ever made. I just got to a part in HP&DH that mentions him, and I got to thinking; you know, I'd like to do something really well.

    I'm not sure what. And I'm not sure if it's something that I already know how to do. I don't want to be able to do this thing so that I can gain fame or reward. And I don't want to be able to do the thing because I'm competitive. I don't care if it's practical. I don't care if it even exists right now. I don't really mind if it's against the rules. Although, I know it shouldn't be against any command from God. I just want to be able to do it so that I can know that I can do one thing very, very well.

    For me, I draw inspiration from people who do something well. So I'm sure that I would get some satisfaction if others were inspired by me doing my thing. I would hope that they would ask me from where I get my inspiration. And then I could tell them. And I wouldn't say it was from Mr. Ollivander.

    Just something that was on my mind...