Wednesday, November 30, 2011


God's at work. "Failure" is a recurring theme these last couple weeks. Friend and mentor Dan at school counseled me that the best thing I can do right now is take a risk and fail. Because I'm scared of failure. In so many areas of life. It's not something I "do". I need to learn that failure isn't the end. I need to fail at small things, and see that the sun still rises tomorrow (though honestly I have my doubts).

Today my financial advisor encouraged me to take risks with my life. And we weren't even talking about money at the time, we were just catching up on life and she blurts that out.

And it's come up in one or two other conversations over the last week, and on signs and posters and stuff. I can't escape it. Partly Baader-Meinhof, and larger-partly God, I think.

I'm hoping failure doesn't play a large role in my chapel talk at school tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stalking WWDC12

Today I got the email I've been waiting for since last June: official pre-approval that Title II (government funds for educators' education) will pay for me to attend WWDC again next June. This will be my fourth trip to Apple's annual WorldWide Developer's Conference, a fantastic opportunity to meet the true movers and shakers of all things Apple, from the developers who wrote the apps I use everyday to the engineers who build the operating system powering my laptop and iDevices. Not only meet them, but learn from them, and learn [a little bit] about the future of Apple's software, where they're heading. Possibly, WWDC12 will focus on iOS 6 and Mac OS X 10.8, neither of which has been officially announced, but everyone knows they're in the works.

But pre-approval was only half the battle. The other half is I actually need to get a ticket. Two years ago tickets sold out in 8 days. Last year, 10 hours. I'm not taking any chances.

Last year I wrote a little script that pinged the WWDC home page every so often and then texted my phone if anything changed. Today I re-worked that script to be quite a bit more robust, and also set it up so I'll get two emails (personal and work accounts) and a text message on my phone as soon as anything changes. Granted, dates probably won't be announced (and tickets put on sale) until February/March/April, but like I said, I'm not taking any chances. I'm stalking that website starting today.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reading in the 21st Century

No fewer than a dozen friends have suggested I read The Hunger Games. (Or perhaps not a full dozen, but many, in any case). So earlier this month, with a 4-hour drive to AWAKEN ahead of me, I acquired the audio book from, and was instantly hooked. In fact, I was so hooked, that I finished the entire trilogy, all 35 hours of it, in under a week. Every spare moment was spent listening, even down to my 3 minute morning commutes. That's probably the most reading I've done since the last Harry Potter book hit the shelves.

And, as always happens, my addictive personality took over and made me purchase more audio books, so on tap I now have the Steve Jobs biography, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Shack, and Mere Christianity.

Call it lazy, but at least, in a sense, I'm "reading", something I never have (or take) time to do otherwise.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Everyone kept telling me I would love Donna Noble by the end of Dr Who season 4.

That hasn't happened yet, not exactly, but I do appreciate her. And considering how much I... we'll say "disliked"... Donna's know-it-all attitude when I began, that's saying something. (sorry Jessie)

Near the end of the season, the writers throw in what I have affectionally called the "It's a Wonderful Life" episode, in which we see what the Doctor's life, or, more accurately, the Earth's life, would have been like, had Donna Noble not met the Doctor. A simple decision to turn right instead of left, that's all it takes, and the world's a completely different place. I can say that much without giving away any spoilers.

For me, this was a turning point. I now understand Donna's complex involvement in the Doctor's story, how she became, quite literally, the most important person in the world.

And it makes me wonder about the people passing by me every day. About their choices. About my own. About the seemingly simple, presumably inconsequential decisions to turn left or right.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I'm watching Doctor Who. I feel for him. I feel like him. Putting others ahead of myself. I'm not as noble as he is, but some days it feels kind of like it.

This morning I finished the killer-shadows-in-the-library episodes in season 4 (10th Doctor). In it, the Doctor meets River Song, a woman who has known him for years and years and years, but because of the whole time travel thing, this is the first time he's meeting her. She has a journal of all her past encounters with his future. "Spoilers," she calls them, when he asks to read it.

At the end of the episode, the Doctor has a choice. He has River's journal in his hands. He can open it, and read about his future. Or not.

I wish I had some spoilers to read about my life right now.

Or not.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

2008 in Review

Blast from the past: this post should have been written and published back in January 2009

In 2008, lots of stuff happened.

And every English teacher I've ever had just cringed at that atrociously terrible awful topic sentence.

Quick run-down:
  • In January I dyed my hair (red) for the very first time
  • In April my laptop was stolen
  • Also in April Marissa moved into her very own apartment! She'd lived with me while she got her feet back on the ground after coming back from Japan. After joking about being "married"for so long, we still call each other "honey"
  • I saw AWAKEN for the first time
  • In the last few months of college I spent a lot of time with friends, going to Applebees, and doing not very much homework
  • I achieved my goal of playing in Selah (Sunday night worship group at college) before graduation
  • I graduated from St Olaf College in May
  • After graduation I led the worship band at Abundant Life, a church in Northfield, for 5 months
  • At the end of May I got to be a stand-in for the movie Nobody, a major (but I think still technically indie?) film in town
  • In June I started working full-time at Minnehaha Academy
  • Also in June I helped chaperone a group of MA middle schoolers to Italy
  • I got an iPhone :)
  • Over summer I developed an online back-to-school forms database for parents to use instead of paper forms
  • Once a month for the next year I organized a group of musicians for The Mix, a worship service that combined youth groups from many of the Northfield churches
  • In September I joined AWAKEN for the 2008-2009 season
  • In October Marissa got baptized
  • In December was the Wildfire premiere... (read my friend Shawn's blog post about this atrocity)
  • Also in December my Grandpa Ray passed away
That's most of the big stuff. I did leave a few things out, but this gives a good bird's-eye view of the year.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

If only

If you told me to move, I'd run. If you told me to jump, I'd free fall into your arms. If you told me in plain words, I'd understand.

If only I could read between the lines.