age | e

in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

phantastic photo blog

For those of you who missed the story (or the event itself), when we were in Pasadena for ESI training, I chipped my front tooth on a drinking glass. There are many kinds of drinking problems; mine is an overapplication of force. Actually it was just a busted filling from a pool accident these many years ago. We got it all fixed up so fast that not all ya'll got to enjoy the hayseed fun of it all.

Here's a pictures of the house we're staying in for the time being. My whole family built this house over 15 years ago. My uncle, aunt and four cousins live in the big part on the left, my grandparents live in a small apartment upstairs on the right, and we're staying in a small apartment downstairs on the right (it used to be a garage).

A few years back when my cousins were younger, my uncle, a terrific carpenter up for any challenge, decided a typical swing set and playground wasn't adventurous he built a pirate ship. Although it's now old and weathered and has long since been overrun by scurvy spiders, the ship stills terrorizes the

And this is our neighborhood canine companion, Gunner. Say hello, Gunner. Yip! Good dog.

And this is the lovely Chrissy, who asked the sky to coordinate with her T-shirt for this photo shoot. You too can request that the sky color coordinate with your wardrobe by visiting this website:

And for those of you who missed it, here's a shot of the lunar eclipse from yesterday morning. A few of you might be complaining that the moon looks really small in this picture. That's because the moon really is that small. And it's made of cheese.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

say it out loud

Driving around Rocklin today I saw a financial business with this name: "Rabobank"

This is, I feel, a dangerous name. I will not be banking here, thank you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

good news

Chrissy got a call last Monday, and on Tuesday she started a gig as a long term substitute in Rocklin. The past few days have been kind of crazy, but she's handled it with the characteristic grace-under-pressure that we've come to know her for.

And I, on that same fortuitous Monday received my official starting day at Starbucks. Next week I start work for The Man---rather, the kinder, gentler, javalicious Man.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

an experiment in google bombing

Does google bombing still work? Let's find out:

Last Thursday, Chrissy and I went to see one of the Sacramento area's newest music sensations, The Art of Whimsy. This organic folk rock trio warmed our hearts, set our feet tapping, and had us humming their tunes all the way home from Dos Banditos(a charming fine Latin dining experience in Nevada City, where the chips and salsa keep coming all night long, where the quesadillas are oh so gooey, and where the beans and ricewill have you humming their tunes all the way home from an Art of Whimsy concert).

So, please pardon that Dos Banditos dangling modifier and give The Art of Whimsy a fair listen to, especially if you're anywhere near Nevada City, the Sacramento area or Dos Banditos, which are places where you can go hear The Art of Whimsy in person.

The Art of Whimsy. The Art of Whimsy.

Art. Whimsy.

The. of.

All jokes aside, this band is really good. At least good enough for me to take all the time to format all this.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

czech this out

We were shopping in North Highlands (near Sacramento) this afternoon when I heard two little girls speaking in Czech.

"Jano, kam jdeš?" she said---where are you going, Jana?

It was all I could do not to try and but in on their conversation (as if I would have even understood it). It remains a foreign language to me, but it is nevertheless a familiar one.

In my attempts to eavesdrop, I did have the good sense not to follow these two girls around the store. One tends to attract criminal records doing things like that.

Monday, August 06, 2007

harry potter is crap


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

wealth, weddings and waste

I lived in Orange County---the richest county in the richest state in the richest country in the world---for four years as a university student. It is a place (1) that God has blessed with great wealth and convenience and (2) where many people have replaced God with said money and convenience. In my own experience living and visiting here it's been a mixture of both. But thankfully I've known many people who recognize #1 and do their best to be vigilant over #2.

Nevertheless, this summer (my third summer in California since starting my Czech odyssey) I've noticed and and been shocked (not so much disillusioned, just shocked) by this great wealth and convenience that America and especially Orange County enjoys widely. I suspect one reason for this heightened sensitivity is that this is the first summer when I've gone directly to Orange County rather than starting in Auburn (which is still a wealthy and conveient place if not quite as ostentatiously or as widely ostentatiously)---so I haven't had a little "buffer" between the Czech and the O.C. (Michael: "Please don't call it that.") that I've had before.

Part of this sensitivity probably has to do with the two beautiful weddings that I've attended since returning stateside. Please understand that I don't wish to criticize these weddings (except to say that I dislike fruit filling in wedding cakes)---weddings are supposed to be big celebrations and to be invited in any capacity is an honor and a joy. Nevertheless, these beautiful weddings were both more than a little bit more than I've bcome used to in the Czech.

And part of it probably has to do with living in Prague this past year. After two years in Sokolov, I came to see Prague for the international, cosmopolitan hub that it is, where foreigners are common, English is widely spoken, and trams are frequent. And then to return here where even the convenience of Prague pales in comparison---wow.

And, lastly, there is waste. Lights and computers left on. Long, long showers. Suburban society built on a decades-old given that everybody has a car. Growing up in a time and place where electricity and gas are abundant and cheap. No or at least inconvenient recycling (although---kudos to Costa Mesa for paying for its own sorting). Huge portions of food, much of which goes into the trash. I'm not pointing fingers---I'm part of this system and enjoy the comforts derived from it---but right now I notice.

I need to figure out something to do with what I notice. What do we do with three years' worth of lessons of adopting a different lifestyle? How do we hold on to what God has taught us?

- Joel