Saturday, April 29, 2006

Can life get any better?

I submit that it can not...

To see what I'm talking about, click here for FREE STREAMING INDIAN MUSIC.

I recommend the
Punjabi/Bhangra section.

All you have to do is click on the albums or songs you want to hear, press the play button, and you've got hours of FREE STREAMING INDIAN MUSIC at your fingertips.

I've never felt such an affinity toward a website in all my life. If this website were a woman and if I were single (two huge if's but you get the point), I swear... I would be on my knees proposing.

I have no idea what they're singing about, but I don't care. This stuff is practically Zeppelin on curry. I'm sold.

Can life get any better? No... However, if by some chance, they let us start downloading the FREE STREAMING INDIAN MUSIC, then my answer would be a big hearty YES.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Strange Emotions

So this has been a pretty good week for me...

I don't know I've ever gone into it on here or not, but a big part of my new job is planning events that either help raise money for the University or help make friends for the University. Well, this last weekend, I had three of those events (one friend raising event, one fund raising event, and one event that was sort of a blend of both).

The friend raising event pretty much took care of itself, the fund raising event raised $10,000 for an endowed scholarship, and the blended event raised over $3000 for the same endowed scholarship. While $3000 doesn't sound like much, it was the first time since this annual event started that it actually made money for the endowment. Although I was a part of the planning for the other two events, the blend event was completely mine. I went out and got corporate sponsors, negotiated a great deal on t-shirts, and got a lot of stuff donated that we should have paid for. After the event, several people (including my boss, my vice-president, and another vice-president that I don't directly report to) told me that I had done a great job with everything and that they were (I'm paraphrasing here) thoroughly impressed with my performance thus far. So professionally, the week was off to a good start.

On Monday, I got an email from OU saying that I had passed my Comprehensive Exams. That means that now, aside from fulfilling a few minor technical requirements; I am officially a Master of Education. This is the test that I wrote about almost a month ago. I believe I mentioned the fact that I was having trouble studying for it. Well... although I had every intention of studying, it just never materialized. I was worried at the time, but looking back, it's clear that (yes folks) when it comes to the testable portion of Higher Education knowledge, I am a stud. I would feel a little boastful saying that, if it weren't for the fact that the messy problems of Higher Education don't really lend themselves that well to the testable portion of my degree. I digress... but the gist of it is that Monday was a good day.

On Wednesday, the president of Rwanda was on campus and I got to hear him speak. He was quite a visionary and it was really exciting listening to him talk about where his country was headed in relation to where it had been. In addition to getting to hear him speak, I was also invited by the president's office here at OC to a private reception in his honor that afternoon. Even though I found out when I got there that I had been invited to be the valet parker, it was still a lot of fun driving all those rich people's cars. And hey... after all the cars were parked, I was told that it would be OK for me to come in and join the party. I declined, but Wednesday was still a pretty neat day. After all, it's not every day you get the opportunity to drive the cars of people that get to rub elbows with heads of state.

Last night was Senior Night (another event I planned) and although only four people showed up, I'm still happy about it. I got to spend an hour or two getting to know four alums-to-be that I probably wouldn't have met if all 300 members of the Class of 2006 had showed up. Not only that, but I also only spent $11.15 of the $1000 budget for the event. Looks like next year's Senior Night will be AMAZING! So... Thursday was a good day.

I called this post "Strange Emotions" because although this week has been an extremely good one for ME, it has been a real struggle (academically and to some extent, professionally) for the one person in this world that I care about more than anyone else, DW (Dear Wife). I know this may seem like a pretty duh statement, but when you marry someone, you really do become one person with them. Even though this week has been good for me, there is still a big part of me that hurts for her and the tough time she's been having.

It's weird. I don't feel like she's raining on my parade or anything like that. I'm still really happy about the "success" I've had this week, but at the same time I am sad for her. Don't get me wrong, I don't pity her though... she is not a pitiable person. She is amazing in so many different ways. There's not a day that goes by that she does not encourage or challenge me to be a better person spiritually. My day is always better after I've spent some time talking and listening to her. When it comes to deep thinkers, DW takes the cake. You might not guess it from casual conversation (she likes to keep this side of her a secret), but within her mind is a thought life that is even more beautiful than the face that it often hides behind... her ability to intuitively read and navigate even the most complicated of situations never ceases to amaze me. Emotionally, she is probably one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. She has an uncanny ability to assess and understand her own emotions and the emotions of others. I've seen total strangers completely open up to her and start pouring out their soul to her as if they've known her for years. While this may be a bit annoying for her now, when she's a therapist and can start charging $100 an hour to be opened up to like that, it will totally be worth it.

I digress, but the point I'm trying to make is that DW is truly an amazing person in so many ways more ways than she will probably ever realize, and although she's been having a tough time these last few days, and although I'm sad for her, I also see an amazing inner strength in her. I know she will get everything done in time and I know that her clinical interview will go fine and I know that she will be a great therapist some day... so while there's a part of me that's sad for her, there is also another part of me that is more impressed by her than words could ever express. As an outside observer with fairly intimate knowledge of the person she is, I know that her struggle is temporary and am completely confident that she will emerge in just a few days (when everything is behind her) a much stronger person, and so a part of me is happy for her.

And that's the long and short of the strange emotions I'm experiencing. I'm simultaneously proud of what I've accomplished professionally, happy to be finishing my master's degree, happy to be finishing my job, happy to be moving into a house, hurting for my wife, proud of my wife, amazed by my wife, and completely confident in her ability to successfully get through this but not sure how to express that without seeming like I don't care.

Wow... that was a long post. I hope I have clearly articulated not only the content and reason behind the strange emotions I'm experiencing, but I also hope I have clearly articulated the difficulty I'm having processing all of that.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Speaking of eating lots of fiber...

Experts make flatulence-free bean: A method of creating super-nutritious but flatulence-free beans has been developed by scientists.

Beans are a cheap and key source of nutrition especially in the developing world, but many people are thought to be put off by anti-social side-effects.

A Venezuelan team says fermenting beans with certain friendly bacteria can cut the amount of wind-causing compounds, and boost beans' nutritional value.

The research appears in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Flatulence is caused by bacteria that live in the large intestine breaking down parts of food - such as soluble fibre - that have not been digested higher in the gut

Beans, such as the black bean commonly eaten across Central and Southern America and tested by the team, contain many of these compounds.

Researchers from the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas found that by boosting the natural fermentation process by adding a particular type of bacteria , called Lactobacillus casei (L casei), the amount of these indigestible wind-causing compounds were reduced.

Soluble fibre was reduced by two thirds and the amount of raffinose, another flatulence-causing substance, by 88.6%.

But the amount of insoluble fibre, which is thought to have a beneficial effect on the gut and help the digestive system get rid of toxins, increased by 97.5%.

The team concludes that fermentation involving L casei could decrease flatulence compounds and increase nutritional quality.

They suggest the bacteria is used by the food industry to create better bean products.

The team led by Marisela Granito said: "Given that flatulence is one of the main limiting factors for the consumption of this important foodstuff, the implementation of processes which allow for nutritious and non-flatulence-producing beans to be obtained would be interesting."

'Social concerns'

Dr Frankie Phillips, a nutrition expert and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: "This study provides an interesting lead in helping us to overcome some of the less desirable aspects of eating legumes - i.e. flatulence - whilst ensuring that the nutritional benefits from eating them remain.

"On a practical note, some people find that gradually increasing consumption levels of legumes helps, as the body adapts, and others have no symptoms at all.

"I'd suggest trying small portions of legumes as part of a meal and gradually eating larger portions as they can be tolerated."

She said that products existed, mainly in the US, which can help reduce flatulence.

She added: "Despite the obvious social concerns, there is no physiological harm from the flatulence caused by eating beans and other legumes, and considerable nutritional benefits from eating them owing to fibre content as well as a wide range of other nutrients and phytonutrients."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/04/25 23:05:51 GMT


Biggest Loser Here I Come...

Well folks, I did it. For the first time since junior high, I stepped on the scale today and weighed less than 200 pounds. While 199 it may not seem significant to most of my readers (both of you), I haven't been below 200 pounds since I was in junior high. DW (Dear Wife) has never known me when I've been below 200 until now. I'm not an overly emotional man, but I swear to you that I almost started crying this morning when I saw that old scale of mine tip below the deuce mark.

For those of you that don't know, on February 6, 2006 at 250 pounds, I (along with DW) started doing Weight Watchers. Although DW was the only one of us that actually went to the meetings, we both began a lifestyle change that now (almost three months and 75 pounds later) we both feel is a lifestyle we can maintain for quite a while.

A lot of people have asked me what we've been doing to lose so much weight so quickly. So for the sake of not having to repeat the same story over and over again, I have decided to include a step by step recount right here on this blog for the whole world to read once and for all.

First of all, I started paying attention to the point value (calories/fat/fiber) of everything I put in my mouth and didn't eat anything that wasn't point worthy. At 250 pounds I was allowed to eat 28 points per day plus another 35 points per week to use at my discretion. The beauty of Weight Watchers is that you can eat whatever you want as long as you don't exceed your daily point value. Although there were certain foods I had to start eating smaller portions of, this part of it was really not that difficult to me (AND I REALLY LOVE TO EAT). Some might think it would be really difficult to keep track of how many points you're eating, but it's really not. As creatures of habit, there are really just a very small handful of things that any of us ever eat anyway and once you learn the point values of those foods, "counting points" becomes almost second nature. The bottom line is that if you really want to do something bad enough, you will be willing to make a few sacrifices along the way. In my case, I really wanted to lose weight so when it came time to visit my favorite Mexican restaurant, I didn't have that hard of time ordering the chicken taco salad and only eating a small plateful of chips and salsa instead of getting my normal chicken enchiladas, two baskets of chips, cheese dip, and tortillas.

Second... and this one is huge... before February 6, I was drinking around 12 to 24 ounces a day of either Dr. Pepper, sweet or flavored tea, or some other sugar enhanced drink and NO water. Since February 6, I have had around 12 ounces of Dr. Pepper and around 24 ounces of sweet or flavored tea... TOTAL, and my water intake has increased from ZERO ounces per day to anywhere between 80 and 120 ounces per day. This made a huge and immediate impact on my weight loss. If you are "addicted" to caffeine or Coke or Diet Pepsi and you are using the fear of potential headaches as a crutch, let me just encourage you to give it up for a month and see what happens. You might get a few headaches at the start, but what you'll find (if you drink enough water) is that you will start feeling better than you've ever felt in your entire life once you start drinking enough water. I really think that proper water intake is something most people on a "diet" overlook and I think that's a shame. Once again, it may be a sacrifice for you to give up your daily trips to Sonic or Starbucks for your Route 44 or Double Mocha; if you really want to be healthy you will make it work. One side note, for those of you who have a weight problem because you don't ever feel full (MOST OF YOU), there's really nothing quite like drinking 64 ounces of water to make you stop feeling hungry.

Third... because I have bad knees and running is very painful on joints, on February 6, I got on an elliptical machine and did 10 minutes of strenuous ellipticizing. For the next few weeks, I worked myself up to 20 minutes and have done at least 20 minutes a day, five or six days a week, since that time. Don't feel like you have to devote an hour a day to working out in order to lose weight and be healthy. There are very few days when I spend more than 20 minutes exercising. As long as you are eating right, 20 minutes a day of good moderate intensity (makes you sweat, but your breathing is light enough that you can still have a conversation with the person next to you) cardiovascular exercise will do the trick. If you think you don't have time to spend 20 minutes a day investing in your health, I beg to disagree. If it's something that is important to you, you will make time. I'm a full-time graduate student working two full-time jobs, with a wife and (at least what I consider to be) a pretty healthy social life. If I can find the time to spend 20 minutes a day, five or six day a week, so can you. No more excuses.

To sum all that up, and I won't even charge you...

1. Switch from white to wheat bread. Switch from mayonnaise to mustard. Eat less cheese and red meats and more fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken. Take time to figure out how many points are in a particular meal... a salad with egg, cheese, ham, and ranch dressing has just as many points as a pork chop or chicken breast plus broccoli, a roll, and a baked potatoes with a table spoon of butter and sour cream.

2. Stop drinking so much sugar and start drinking at least half your body weight in ounces in water every day. Your body will have a much easier time burning fat if it doesn't have to burn off all that excess glucose first.
3. Spend 20 minutes a day doing something that makes you sweat.

Just in case you're wondering what I looked and look like... here you go:

Before...... and...... After

Sunday, April 23, 2006


I read this quote tonight...
"If you want to reach your dream you must stay past the point where normally you would have given up"
I want to give up, surrender, be poor, and be done with it.
I ALSO want to finish strong, do well, and have a job I love.
Some may see the major discrepancy in those two thoughts, and thus the struggle continues...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Speaking of Residual Income...

This article was in the Oklahoman today... I don't know what's worse, the fact that he included 12 year olds in his search parameters or the fact that he thinks a woman is only worth $1000.

By Ron Jackson and Sheila Stogsdill
The Oklahoman

BRAY - Michael Thelemann struggled Wednesday to understand why a homemade sign staked in his front yard caused such an uproar in his neighborhood. Neighbors are equally baffled by Thelemann's attitude.

Thelemann's sign offered a $1,000 reward for a virgin bride between the ages of 12 and 24 who can bear him children.

"I'm just somebody who is getting up there in years, and I'm looking for a born-again, God-fearing virgin between the ages of 12 and 24 who can bear me children," said Thelemann, 45. "What's the problem? I just think I have some wicked neighbors."

Thelemann posted the sign on Sunday.

So far he has had no offers, only protests.

"I feel like I'm living down the street from a pedophile," said Christy Sternadel, a neighbor. "We want him out of this neighborhood. Who asks for a 12-year-old virgin bride? I would think he could get arrested for soliciting a minor."

Neighbors flooded the Stephens County sheriff's department with complaints.

"We are in the Bible belt, and we needed to address the situation, so I sent out two deputies," said Bob Hill, Stephens County undersheriff. "But the sign was gone by the time we got there."

Thelemann claims his sign was stolen. He posted a new sign Wednesday, but omitted minor ages while adding that he doesn't want a "pig-worshipping, heathen, white-supremacist wife."

Hill said the matter is under investigation. But Stephens County District Attorney Gene Christian doesn't think Thelemann has broken any laws.

In Oklahoma, individuals under 18 need parental consent to marry.

"His timing is awfully bad," said Christian, alluding to the recent abductions and murders of girls in Tulsa and Purcell. "But he hasn't crossed any legal lines yet just by putting up a sign. Now, if he actually acts upon his reward by soliciting money to a minor and drawing them away from their parents, then that's another story."

Neighbors, meanwhile, remain braced for something bad.

"I'm scared," said LaDonna Solomon. "I have a 17-year-old, a 14-year-old, and an 8-year-old -- all girls. I'm truly scared."

Thelemann, who was divorced in 1989, doesn't equate a 12- or 14-year-old bride with sexual child abuse.

"My grandmother got married at 14 to a much older man," Thelemann said.

If all else fails, I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy could make a killing selling something on eBay. Come to think of it... he should try listing this on eBay.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Residual Income

I've been thinking lately (since I've chosen a career in Christian higher education - which I love - and the odds are pretty good that while I will certainly make a comfortable living someday, it will never make me rich) that I need to start a side business. You see, I like to travel. Ideally... I'd like to spend two weeks a year traveling in another country, one week traveling within the US, and one more week at the beach (country doesn't matter on this one) EACH year. While I could strategically schedule all of my out of town "business" trips for the advancement and financial support of Christian higher education in cities that have beaches, I've recently had an idea that I think just might help me achieve that goal without having to soil the integrity of my department's travel budget.

What is this idea you ask? One word... INFLATABLES. Yes you heard right... INFLATABLES. I found out recently that these amazing producers of residual income can be purchased for the low low price of $1900. Word on the street is that going rate for these beautiful bouncy jackpots is somewhere around $200 per four hour rental - AND - it's not just the folks in Nichols Hills or Gaillardia that are renting them either. No. These things are popping up at kids birthday parties all over the place.

Let's say I pay a college student $50 to go, set it up, come back in four hours, deflate it, pack it back up, and take it back where it belongs... that's still $150 per rental. To be conservative, let's say the actual profit (after advertising, storage, and insurance) comes to $100 per rental. Then, let's say I rent it out four times per month eleven months out of the year. That's $4400 per year in residual income and the inflatable is paid off after the first five months. Let's also say that I purchase an additional inflatable every year for the next five years. Being conservative again, let's pretend I'm able to rent each of the four inflatables out three times per month, ten months out of the year. That's $12,000 residual income a year that really shouldn't involve much work on my part.

Obviously there will be some work. I'll have to hire workers, collect the money, write the paychecks, do some advertising, schedule the birthday parties, and take care of the taxes. However, I work on a college campus so there are always good trustworthy students who are looking for work that I can hire. Collecting money never did bother me much. With the help of QuickenPro, writing paychecks and keeping track of taxes should be a breeze. With the help of the Microsoft Outlook Calendar (which I am a very proficient user of), scheduling doesn't worry me. As far as advertising goes, the beauty of these inflatables is that you can put your company logo and phone number right on the top front panel. Obviously it would take a little leg work to get the company name out there, but after the first ten or twenty parties, most of my business would probably end up coming from word of mouth and referrals. After all, it's all about keeping up with the Jone's when it comes to kids' birthday parties. If one kid on the block gets an inflatable for his or her birthday party, they're all gonna want one.

Other than everything I've already mentioned, there are two reasons this idea is extremely appealing to me.

Reason #1 - I will probably be partnering with my brother-in-law on this deal. If we each put in half, it's only going to take $850 out my pocket. If I have over estimated the market demand for this product and we can't get anyone to rent, we'll still have our own moon bounce. How cool would that be? "Hey guys, do you wanna come over to my house? We can watch the game, munch on some buffalo wings, and jump in the moonbounce." Nope... it doesn't get any cooler than that.

Reason #2 - There will never be a shortage of children's birthday parties, and I can't ever foresee a time when inflatables will not be a huge birthday party hit. Granted, the economy could tank and people might stop wanting to spend $200 for an inflatable rental at their kids' birthday, but that doesn't worry me. If the economy does tank and people stop renting inflatables, I won't have paid for any of them with credit so I won't have to worry about missing a payment. It's not like inflatable moonbounces are perishable either. When the economy does come back, I will be there waiting to pounce, like a fat man at an all you can eat Chinese buffet, on all of the exciting "Welcome Back Economy" parties that just won't be complete without an inflatable moonbounce. If the economy doesn't come back... what to do with a few inflatable moonbounces that no body wants to rent will be the least of my problems.

Europe, Nassau, Maui, and Australia, here I come. Yes sir! It's gonna be cool... real cool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Addiction

I don't know if you've ever emailed me, but if you have, you probably received a response within five or ten minutes of hitting the send button.

They say confession is good for the soul... sooooo... my name is DH and I'm a compulsive email checker/responder. You may have problems with drugs or alcohol or something else that makes my problem look like a speck, but unless you've ever responded to a work email at 2:00 a.m. on a weekend, don't mock my pain.

The problem is... I'm really not sure why I check my email so often. DW, a therapist-in-training, would probably encourage me to unpack this problem. She would would probably tell me that I needed to examine the assumptions behind why I'm constantly checking and responding to my emails. So I will try to do that.

Assumption #1: If I don't check my email at least once every half hour, _________ will happen.

Assumption #2: If I don't respond to people as soon as I receive an email from them, ________ will happen.

I was afraid of that...

I tried really hard to fill in those blanks, honest I did, but nothing really came to mind so I guess the whole unpacking thing didn't really work. If you have any ideas what I might fill in either of those blanks with, please share them in the comments section.

Meanwhile, at least I've gotten this problem out into the open and I'll sleep better at night knowing that I'm not shouldering this burden alone. Don't expect to see any sudden changes in my email response time or checking frequency any time soon though.

P.S. We close on our house this coming Friday and we are TOTALLY STOKED!

My name is DH and I'm a compulsive email checker.

Monday, April 17, 2006

HDTV... almost

I almost had HDTV today, and I stress the word ALMOST. About a year ago, I bought a new HD ready television. For those of you that don't know what it means to be an HD ready TV, it simply means that with the right HD set top tuner and a decent pair of rabbit ears, my TV will display free over-the-air pictures perfectly. That means I can have a great HD quality signal on all of the network television that I watch.

So... after making this discovery, I proceeded to go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of rabbit ears. After getting the rabbit ears, I hit eBay to find a set top HD tuner. I found one for $79 (Directv brand) and they normally retail for around $200. Never afraid to grab a bargain when I find one, I proceeded to bid on and win the HD tuner. Nearly a week later, it arrived in the mail and I (with almost uncontrollable excitement) began setting it up. I got all the wires plugged into to the correct wire receptacles, got the antenna antennizing, plugged it in, turned it on, proceeded to follow the simple on screen instructions, completed the process, did the obligatory reboot of the system, and then... (to quote a classic Jimmy Buffett song) "That's when I first saw the bear. He was a Kodiak lookin' fella 'bout 19 feet tall." In this case, my bear was a blue screen with the words, "Activation Required" displayed ever so prominently across the bottom of the screen.

Apparently, because the tuner was meant to be used with Directv, the only way I can use the over-the-air tuner is by ordering Directv and activating the unit. I called Directv and this will cost me $44.95 a month for a minimum of twelve months.

Needless to say, the unit will be back on eBay again shortly. I'm not overly concerned about the money... it was only $79.00 and I'm pretty sure that I can recoup that. Then using the proceeds from that sale, I'm also pretty sure I can buy a different, non-Directv restricted set top box (I found out this afternoon while researching my problem that Samsung makes a good one and they are also pretty cheap on eBay). However, I am concerned that it will probably be another two weeks or more before I have free over-the-air HDTV once you factor in the fact that by the time I list the one I've got on eBay, sell it, wait for the money to come in, ship it, buy another one, wait for the money to go out, wait for it to be shipped, and finally receive it in the mail.

That was my great adventure for Monday. I will post again when I finally have "free" over-the-air HDTV. The way things are looking right now... it will probably coincide with my Merry Christmas post.

If you happen to be an existing Directv subscriber and you're interested in owning (not leasing) an HD receiver for the ultimate Directv experience, email me and let me know. My price is extremely competitive and I can even show you how to set it up. I believe Directv charges an extra $4.99 month for the HD service, but you wouldn't have to pay that if you just wanted to utilize the free over-the-air local channels. Just in case you're not sold yet, the unit is also 250 gigabyte DVR. Any interested buyers, please let me know by making a comment to this post.

It's time for me to go work out and relieve some of today's HDTV frustration and disappointment.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fortune Cookies

I have a beef to pick (and I'm not talking chow mein or broccoli) with the people who write fortune cookies for a living. I ate at a Chinese buffet today at lunch and the fortune above was the what I found hiding in my cookie.

"Good friends are like chocolate chips. Be sure to keep them close by."

The person who wrote that gets PAID to think up creative and witty one liners and that was the best they could come up with?

I can forgive the occasional non-fortune fortune like, "Today is a good day" or "You like Chinese food." At least those make sense.

But "Good friends are like chocolate chips. Be sure to keep them close by." What does that mean, anyway?

I don't know anyone that keeps chocolate chips close by EVER! First of all, anyone who's ever walked outside and immediately started sweating on a blistering hot day knows that would be a highly impractical matter. What good are melted chocolate chips anyway?

Second of all, for argument's sake, let's just pretend that you were able to rig up a system where you could keep the chocolate chips from melting throughout the day. If you're anything like me, the chocolate chips wouldn't even make it to lunch. If by some miracle they didn't get eaten before lunch, there's no way they'd survive the mid-afternoon snack cravings. Then you'd have to start make daily trips (some times more) to your local Super Target to keep buying chocolate chips to keep close by.

What does that say about how we're supposed to treat our friends? Should we eat them at the first sign of hunger? Are we supposed to go to the store and buy new friends anytime we eat our old ones? I don't know about you, but gas is expensive, my car does not get very good gas mileage, and I'm on a tight budget. How am I supposed to afford daily trips to Super Target to replenish my supply of friends? No thank you! I will keep my chocolate chips in the freezer where they belong and I will FOREVER avoid comparing them to my friends.

In the off chance that the person who wrote this fortune happens to be reading my blog, I have decided to altruistically help you save your job. Below you will find a list of fortunes that you are welcome to use (FREE OF CHARGE) the next time you are tempted to write, "Good friends are like chocolate chips. Be sure to keep them close by." Use them wisely:

1. Your emotional nature is strong and emotional.

2. Now is the time to make circles with mints, do not haste any longer.

3. Woman who seeks to be equal with a man lacks ambition. Don't touch that.

4. Hell is paved with good intentions.

5. Confucius say: you have heart as big as Texas

6. You have an unusual equipment for success, use it properly.

7. Help! I'm being held prisoner in a Chinese bakery.

8. Never wear your best pants when you go to fight for freedom.

9. Don't forget, you are always on our minds.

10. Your eyes will soon be sparking. Keep them open.

11. Good friends are like chocolate chips. Each one is a delightful morsel.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

I can't wait to move

Hopefully our car won't look like this on moving day, but there is a chance... Although we moved into the apartment we're in just eight short months ago, I am so ready to move into our house.

For those of you who don't know, DW (Dear Wife) and I have been working as Dorm Parents together since August of last year. Before that, I had already been a dorm director for two years. What that means is that we've lived in an apartment in a dorm for 3 out the 4 years we've been married. What that means is that we both have to stay up until midnight each night to make sure our RA's (resident assistants) go around and check all of the freshmen on their floors each night to make sure they are in by curfew. We do get occasional weekends off and one night each week where we can go to bed at a decent hour, but other than those nights and summers, we haven't really gotten to go to bed at a normal time on a regular basis since the summer of 2002. Add that to the fact that we're always getting pointless emails from the people who live in our dorms (and that's just when they're not calling us or knocking on our door at 2:00 a.m. asking if we have any scotch tape or zip lock baggies they can use) and you've got a sure fire recipe for burnout.

People often refer to the job we currently have as being a blow-off job. Although I would tend to agree with people that what I have been doing for the last three years is not rocket science, it is anything but a blow-off job. In the last three years I have:

1. Been mistaken for a drunk student's girlfriend. He then went on to tell me how much he loved me and that he would not be able to go on living if I ever broke up with him. This was right before he puked in my office trash can.

2. Had to take a student who was complaining of chest pains to the emergency room at 1:00 a.m. and stay there with him until 4:00 a.m. This was the night before I was supposed to take a final in one of my classes. It was what the Dr. called "Severe BRONCHITIS." Not a heart attack, not an asthma attack, not a seizure, but SEVERE BRONCHITIS. I stayed up with a student until 4 in the morning because he had SEVERE BRONCHITIS!

3. Been woken up in the middle of the night because a dumpster in the parking lot had been set on fire and was now blazing big and bright enough to be seen by a NASA satellite. Did anyone think to call the fire department? No. But they did think to wake me up. Thank you Mr's Dolan, Hill, and Copeland.

4. Been woken up in the middle of the night when the student's living above our apartment decided to have a wrestling match. This happened frequently.

5. Been called out of class on my "duty phone" to come back to campus because a tornado warning had been issued by the weather man... FOR A COUNTY 25 MILES FROM CAMPUS! It didn't even rain here that night.

6. Had to make contrived conversation with a student who had been deemed by the school counselor as "at risk to himself" at 2:00 a.m. After a 45 minute touchy-feely conversation where I said things no man should ever have to say to another man, I found out that his roommate had reported him to the counselor as a practical joke.

7. Not last or least (but this post is getting too long) I have seen enough naked college guys to last me a lifetime. Let me also assure any insecure men reading this right now, there are a lot of weird bodily imperfections out there.
While this post didn't exactly end up anywhere near where I started to go with it, at least it was cathartic and I feel better. Don't get me wrong, the last three years have had some fun times. I have met a lot of people and have a lot of friends that I never would have had the opportunity to know if I had not been a dorm director, but I'm definitely ready to move on to a new chapter in my life. 10:30 bedtime... HERE I COME!

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a great job that is waiting for me as soon as I finish my last day as a dorm director at the end of this month. Despite some of my earlier fears, I will not be the guy that stays in the dorm job for seven years after graduating. No folks... I only did it for three (and I was still a student for one of those).

Anyway... the next time you think about criticizing someone who is in charge of a dorm full of 19 and 20 year olds, just remember that unless you've done it, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who am I?

When we were little we played a game called who am I? We would take turns acting out different stories and the rest of the family had to guess which bible character we were. Today I am reminded of this game as I am thinking about who am I, and what have I chosen to define myself by.

Never good enough...not smart enough, not good enough for honors, not good enough for Pepperdine, not good enough for OSU...not smart enough compared with the other aspiring PhD students.

Tonight in observation someone said to me, "I think you will surprise us with an amazing inner strength." Someone else responded, "or maybe we won't be surprised at all." Those who I allow to know me see past my wall of self doubt. I easily forget that I have been called and equipped.

For too long now I have chosen to be defined by something someone always said while I was growing up, or a grade, or a program.

For too long I have been in the shadows, and the time is coming to step into the light.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


This weekend we "sprung forward". Most people don't feel very "springy" the day after losing an hour of sleep (and I fall into that category myself today). But I am excited about longer days and warmer weather.
A song I like says..."I'm so tired of being tired--as sure as night will follow day--most things I worry about, never happen anyway". I am tired and struggling to not to stress about things. There is one month of school left and only about 7 papers, a huge presentation, my clinical interview, 3 finals, and a thesis proposal left to go. Piece of cake right? I know at the end I will stand in awe of God's faithfulness and the many ways He provides for and sustains me. At the end of all that school work we will get to move to our house! I can't wait. :)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Home Inspection

Although I didn't have this blog then or I would have mentioned it, we had our home inspection on Wednesday. Despite the fact that the realtor was about 40 minutes late, everything went pretty well. Both the termite inspector and the whole house inspector commented on how the house was in immaculate condition compared to other houses of it's age. After crawling around in the crawl space doing whatever termite inspectors do in a crawl space, the termite guy said that the underneath of the house had been completely re-done and was in better condition than some new homes he'd seen.

Although I don't really have a clue what there is under a house that could be in good condition, and I don't know how the condition of whatever is under there impacts resale value, but I'm guessing that ups the resale value by at least five grand... at least that's how I'm gonna spin it when we sell in five to seven years.

So anyway, back to the inspection. The house has been completely remodeled this past year, and although the inspector found about $400 worth of repairs that he recommended be made, there was really nothing major wrong with the house. As someone who used to be a realtor, I've seen my fair share of inspections that turned up thousands of dollars worth of needed repairs to a property, so you can imagine how relieved I was when I saw his report.

Big sigh...

I took my comprehensive exams this morning. Although I won't know until late April how I did on the comps, it's just nice to have them behind me. I feel like had a real good answer on the first question, an OK answer on the second one, and then I'm pretty sure my answer on the third question was pretty lacking (although I gave it my best shot). In my last post I mentioned that I was having a hard time making myself sit down and study. Well... to be honest, the whole studying thing never really materialized for me. If I end up passing, I can come back to this post and brag about how I passed that sucka without even cracking a book. On the other hand, if I don't pass, I can come back to this post and say, "You have no one to blame but yourself."

On a lighter note, now that comps are no longer hanging over my head like a fat kid waiting to pounce on a chocolate cake, I really feel like I can sit back, relax, and enjoy the last few weeks of rent-free, mortgage-free living. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally stoked about moving out of the dorms and I know that there are both costs and benefits to owning a home, but this is a BIG commitment. I mean, this is probably the third biggest commitment I've ever made. When I looked at how much interest we would pay if we kept the house for the full term of the loan, I almost had a heart attack (and we got a great rate too... 5.6% in case you were wondering). It really made me want to start a bank.