Saturday, May 31, 2008

Israel I Have Loved, But Emmaus I Hated

Hello dearest friends and family! I've returned from yet another "Conque-temps" with a bit of a burden lifted from my shoulders (EMMAUS IS OVER!!!!!!!!!), and I'm slowly gaining optimism. I still feel as though Emmaus was somewhat of a defeat, but at least I'm able to move on now.

The trip itself, you ask? How polite of you. Well, I have some mixed emotions...

I mean, Israel is an incredible land! After all, some of the most important events in world history take place in that region! But even its history (and future) aside, it has such interesting people and beautiful landscapes! And Jerusalem is amazing! There's so much in the Old City to see, and so many nooks and crannies to explore! During my stay, I kayaked down the Jordon, rode a camel in the desert, scaled down a cliff at Galilee, "spelunked" through a long, narrow, pitch black, waterlogged tunnel under Jerusalem, and much more! The trip itself was incredibly fun!

But... It was still Emmaus. Awkward silences and forced conversations were bountiful. Sometimes I would say something (could be a joke, a question, an observation) and everyone would just go totally silent. It was such an awkward group... And I put up with, no exaggeration, the most annoying person I've ever met. I couldn't explore as much I wanted to, because the buddy system was strictly enforced and I had no-buddy. We rushed from place to place and stared at more piles of rocks than I care to recount. So while we did a lot of fun things, I still felt really lonely. In fact, I think I would have been less lonely if I had actually been alone.

But Emmaus is over and I am free! It's so good to be home and I hope to see all you Coloradan readers soon! I didn't take many still shots, but I got a lot of video footage and will try to compile something soon.

Above: The only decent still shot I took.


A belated happy birthday to my Dad!

Above: You (as my wonderful Dad)!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Post-Resolution: To Israel

Oh yeah, so, for anyone that didn't know, I'm headed off to Israel tomorrow.

I know I should be excited, but as educational and inspiring as I'm sure it should be, it's also kinda the final stretch of the Emmaus menace. I know— I know I'm a turd for viewing such a great opportunity so darkly. See, I signed up for the trip in September, when I was (believe it or not) a bit more optimistic. I thought I would have made a good deal of friends too. Please don't misunderstand me; I've made some great friends, but unfortunately, none of them are going on this trip. Actually, I'll be with some of the most annoying people I can imagine being with for two and a half weeks. A lot of the kids there are really nice too, but I have just never been able to click with very many of them. I just don't want two and a half more weeks of awkward silences, forced conversations, masks, and... well, loneliness. If any of my faithful blog followers can arrange to accompany me over there, please don't hesitate!

Well, all that aside, my blog will be on a bit of hiatus. I've been careful to post every day since I've started, so this is a monumental occasion! Hopeful getting out of the habit won't bring the blog to end, as it usually does with all my pointless projects. Oh well. New ones are always bound to pop up!

Monday, May 12, 2008


(Joss Whedon, 2002, 2005)

Firefly is one of the greatest television shows I have ever seen. Originally airing on Fox, it quickly gained a strong cult following. And no wonder. Whedon brilliantly combined past, present, and future; embodying the old west spirit of adventure, a science fiction sense of imagination, and the fact that people of all eras face the very same conflicts. The characters, never flat or uninteresting, are what really hold the series together. It's a wonderful blend of drama, action, romance and humor. I only docked it a star because a few of the episodes didn't really seem to go anywhere.

But true to Fox's nature, the show was canceled after only fourteen episodes. Three of the episodes weren't ever aired. Perhaps it's bettered that it was taken off the air, because the show never got a chance to "jump the shark." But for three years the show's loyal fans were left in suspense. Finally, Serenity was released to wrap up the unanswered questions and bring some resolution to the series. And what a resolution it was! This movie was nothing short of epic! A few details from the show were never explained, but for the most part everything was nicely wrapped up. Serenity stayed true to the Firefly series and there was certainly no skimping on the action. I loved it.
Firefly: 4/5 stars
+ Serenity: 5/5 stars
Total: 9/5 stars

Above: You and I, defying all odds.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Triple Holiday Extravaganza!

A celebratory day today!

First, the obvious: Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, your mom (notice yours is in lowercase), moms everywhere, and everyone ever born of a woman! (Adam and Eve, you're OUT.) My mother is wonderful!

Above: You, a wonderful mother having a wonderful day!

Next, it's Brother Andrew's birthday! Hip-hip hurray, Brother Andrew!

Above: You (the big one), having a super birthday!

Finally, today is also Pentecost, a day commemorating the church being filled by the Holy Spirit! Happy Pentecost, everybody!

Above: A wondrous site to behold!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

im in ur blahg

Recently it has come to my attention that the type of pictures archived on such sites as LOLCATS and I Can Has Cheezburger are thought to be funny. WRONG. Once again, America, it is up to me to correct your poor taste and lack of common sense. Thank goodness you have me, or who knows what kind of shenanigans you'd be getting into right now!

For those of you unfamiliar with the "lolcat" phenomenon, a lolcat is a picture of a cat with a caption intended to be funny. Sometimes the picture will be Photoshopped and not funny. Sometimes the cat won't be doing anything at all (still unfunny). I suspect that more often than not, the creators somehow agitate, frighten, torture, and generally piss off their cats to get the shots they use.

What is the solution? How do we reverse this fad and return to normalcy and decency? The answer is obvious: Me. We replace all lolcats with Laugh-Out-Loud Jim! Pictures of me, your Uncle Jim, with grammatically correct, poetic captions as opposed to lolspeak nonsense. Compare these two images, and observe the enormous leap in hilarity!

Above: Not funny.

Above: Hysterical!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

No Rest for Jim/Some Rest for Sarah I Hope

Oi. So I'm safe and sound at home now, but there's no rest for the lazy (What?). I've got plenty to do between unpacking everything I've brought back, repacking for Israel, and visiting everyone I've missed so much! It's certainly good to be home, but it really feels like I'm just stopping by for the weekend. Oh well, Israel should be a good experience.

In other news, happy birthday to Sister Sarah! I hope all is well on east side!

Above: You too having a happy birthday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Rock

(Michael Bay, 1996)

In The Rock, Ed Harris takes 81 tourists hostage on the island of Alcatraz, arms several biochemical missiles and aims them at San Fransisco. Sean Connery is a former prisoner of Alcatraz who had once almost succeeded in escaping. His help is enlisted by the FBI to infiltrate the island. Nicolas Cage, an FBI chemical specialist, for some reason, gets involved at every juncture and inadvertently ends up being the hero.

Meh. What's to say? It was corny, predictable, unbelievable, and cliché. Your standard action flick, but nothing about it was enthralling. The dialog was flat and cheesy. Hans Zimmer delivered yet another score that sounds exactly like his Pirates of the Caribbean theme (literally, once you've heard one Zimmer score, you've heard them all). The actors are fine, but their acting was poor. Actually, this is the only Michael Bay movie I've seen, but I feel thoroughly unimpressed. I'm being a little cruel, I suppose. I didn't hate it. But what was to like?

2/5 stars

Above: Me, being typecast.

"'s you! You're the rocket man!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Happy birthday, Seantabulous! You get your very own post!

Above: You, having a happy birthday!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Today has been pretty dull. A little anticlimactic, actually. On my final day at Emmaus I was expecting a bit more of a bang. Parades, explosions, a heavenly host sounding their trumpets... Something along those lines. Instead, it seems quieter than usual. I think most people are either crashing after staying up late studying or are out celebrating. I'm ending the year as I spent it: in my room. =)

Actually, I'm feeling a little exhausted myself. I've just staggered through yet another school year, but this one was, I believe, the hardest one yet. At times, it took all the energy I had just to get out of bed and drag myself to class. I had no home to retreat to. I endured the longest, coldest, most bitter winter I've ever experienced. Everyday I found myself wanting to drop out. I've lost a lot of battles. I've lost myself.

But I've finished.

Praise God, Who never let go of me! Never was I alone! He also blessed me with all of you! I can't tell you how much your encouragement means to me: the e-mails, the packages, the letters, the random phone calls, text messages, and even just hanging out with me, either at Emmaus or over my breaks! I am overwhelmed at how many good friends I have and what a great family I was born into! Thank you all!

Thank you also to the new and wonderful friends I've made here! You've made this year so much more bearable for me... You have no idea how much I appreciate you! Here are just a few of the friends I've made this year:

Not pictured: You. (Also Connie... Whatever happened to her?)

It's hard to say how much I've really learned this year; but I'm praying it wasn't a waste of time. I have mixed feelings about the future, too... mostly pessimistic... but at least I've survived yet another one of my...


I need a haircut...

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Stuff

OK! Refresh your page! Once more! If statistics are any friend to you, you should have seen that my banner is now cycling between random images. Hurrah! This is how I spent my afternoon today, so hopefully it's working for you too. I've noticed that sometimes it won't load fast enough and will just end up displaying an empty box... Let me know if it's causing any other problems...

I'll try to restock it often and filter out the runts of the litter. I feel these first three are not my best work... I think what I hate most about them is that in all three (on three seperate dates), I hadn't showered those days, so my hair is always really gross... (Hmm... Maybe I shouldn't have pointed that out...) Emmaus has really got me down, OK?!

Oh, and special thanks to this guy. I don't know who he is. I just found him on Google.

Also new: Conquests and Contretemps: Abridged is now available on the sidebar!

Stay up-to-date with your dear Uncle Jim in an even more trivial way!

EDIT1: Disregard this post! I'm taking the banner down until I can weed out the empty box of death.

EDIT2: Disregard that last edit! The box of death is dead!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Amazing Grace

(Michael Apted, 2006)

Decent. I liked it, but it could be a little slow and dry at points. Some of the scenes were a bit over the top, but overall it was a well done film. I guess more than anything else, I was really happy to see a "Christian movie" with some effort put into it. The production values were excellent and the Gospel wasn't forced on the audience. It was integral to the story and not exaggerated in any way. The movie, never preachy, was encouraging to me in a lot of the comments on God and faith. For example:

Bill: I know that lying down on the wet grass is not a normal thing to do...
Dick: None of my business, sir.
Bill: ...Truth is... uh... I've been even more strange than usual lately, haven't I?
Dick: ...Uh...
Bill: It's God. I have 10,000 engagements of state today, but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at bloody spiders' webs!
Dick: You found God, sir?
Bill: I think He found me... Do you have any idea how inconvenient that is? How idiotic it will sound? I have a political career glittering ahead of me and in my heart I want spiders' webs...
Tommy: Mr. Wilberforce, we understand you're having problems choosing whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist.
Hannah-Banana: We humbly suggest that you can do both.

All of that kinda tugged at me just because I'm trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life... Everyone else tells me to strive to be successful, whereas I want to do what God would have me do and I want to find some happiness. But I think Wilberforce, as portrayed in this movie, anyway, is a good example of how God will use the talents and the passions we have (I daresay He's given to us) for His good purposes. How much more so when we submit to His will! Also, I really liked this:

Johnny: Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior!
3/5 stars

Above: Me, opposing slavery.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I want to grow up to be Sufjan Stevens.

Variation On 'Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion At Magruder Park'

What Goes On

The Lakes of Canada

Above: Me, a terrific musician.

When's the next album?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A High-Ku

by Jim

lightning shatters night
a mighty roar comes after
darkness stands no chance

Interpretive key: God is a SCARY LION!! Be on His side!

You, You, You, You, You

So, I've come to the conclusion that my blog is way too self-indulgent. My arrogance, self-importance, and self-consciousness is bad enough without it overflowing into my posts.

So I've decided to make this blog more about YOU.

Above: You.

Um... So... I think that you're great! And... Thanks for reading! And...

And... Uh... I'm gonna go now...

Any ideas?