Tag Archives: what would google do

monday morning update, may 18, 2009

the weekend that was: got home from korea around noon on friday and had a wonderful family weekend (with a little work thrown in). had a nice lunch with jeannie and friday, then picked the kids up from school. in the evening, we took off as a fam and got pedicures (yes, it’s manly). i have a nice bright shade of glittery dark blue toe nails now (and very smooth heals, thanks to a paraffin wax treatment and some seriously filing and routing). then we ate dinner at one of our favorite family joints: bj’s. we dropped liesl off at home (she had homework), and jeannie and max and i went to see star trek, which we really enjoyed. i slept pretty good friday night, since i hadn’t really slept on the flight home from korea.

saturday, i did homework alongside max. he was working on a report on haiti, while i worked on final edits for the middle school ministry book. this took me much longer than i expected, and i worked on it on and off until 1:15 in the morning. in the evening, jeannie and i had our first date night in way too long. we tried out a great italian restaurant in the little village area near our home, then went to see angels & demons. we’d both read the book, and really enjoyed the movie. i liked it SO much better than da vinci code (both in book and movie form). in da vinci, the people of faith were all either idiots or had evil intents. and all the good characters were people of no faith. but in angels & demons, there were good and bad people on both sides. i stayed up late working on my edits, then still wasn’t tired (reverse jet lag!). so i watched tv until 3:30am, and made myself go to sleep.

sunday morning i was pretty tired, but we were off as a family to attend the baptism of the son of some good friends (beth and joe slevcove). then a reception at their house, followed by running a bunch of errands (mostly grocery shopping for our ys leadership team retreat). we had our home church in the evening, and watched an amazing short film called “the man who planted trees”. wow — just a stunning animated story about the invitation to us to join in god’s ongoing creation work in the world. i’ll have to blog about it in more length at some point. sunday night, late, i drove up to oceanside (the very north edge of san diego county), to join the others on the ys leadership team for a 4 day working retreat.

where i am at the moment: in oceanside, california, on a ys leadership team retreat. we have a lot to do this week, and it should be great. i go home thursday night.

on my to-do list this week: the leadership team retreat will take up most of my week. then i’m in the office on friday, and have to make some serious headway on packing my office for the upcoming ys office move (two weeks away!).

procrastinating about: now that i’m done with my middle school ministry book edits, i’m procrastinating about a magazine column i have to write (that’s already late), and packing my office.

book i’m in the midst of: almost done with what would google do?, and still getting going on stuck in the middle.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: nothing, really. i listened to very little music while i was in korea. oh, i did download the new green day album, and enjoyed listening to that on the plane.

next trip: after i get home from this retreat, i’m home for a week. i have a ys one day team retreat a week out, but it’s local, and i don’t think i’ll spend the night at the hotel.

how i’m feeling about this week: great! (though i wish i weren’t away from my family again so quickly.)

monday morning update, may 11, 2009

ysk_logo3the weekend that was: i’m in seoul, korea, for our yskorea event. got here friday evening, and the event didn’t start ’til monday morning. so it was a weekend of great food and jet lag. we had varying forms of korean barbecue every night (fri, sat, sun), and other wonderful stuff along the way. ralph winter (producer of all the x-men movies, fantastic 4 movies, and so many other) and his wife judy, arrived saturday morning, so we’ve spent much of our time with them. they’re wonderful people, and we’ve had great conversations about film, faith, church and everything else under the sun. henneyone of the stars of wolverine is a young korean-american actor named daniel henney (originally from michigan!), who lives here now. he hosted a dinner for us saturday night (because of the connection with ralph). i sat next to him, and it was fun to get to know him a little bit. really, really nice guy, and surprisingly normal and unjaded by huge fame. people say he’s the “brad pitt of korea”, which was fairly obvious as our dinner was regularly interrupted by people taking photos and asking for autographs (which he graciously gave).

where i am at the moment: yup, in seoul. it’s actually monday afternoon as i write this in korea, but sunday night back in cali. our event started this morning, and i was the speaker for the opening main session. i was a little concerned, because i’d taken a strong sleeping pill last night (i’d not slept well saturday or sunday nights), and was still feeling really groggy and disoriented this morning. but the fog lifted, and i had a good interpreter, and i think it went well. our attendance isn’t what we’d hoped, but the word is many people were going to start coming tonite.

on my to-do list this week: i’ll be in korea until friday, so that’s most of my week!

procrastinating about: at the moment, i’m seriously procrastinating about getting ready for the full-day critical concerns course i co-lead on thursday. not ready in the slightest bit! i also have to do the final checks on the middle school ministry book this week, and write a magazine column.

book i’m in the midst of: making progress on what would google do?, and re-started “stuck in the middle” (a collection of cartoons about the middle school years).

bluegrassworshipmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: haven’t had much chance to listen to music, but i’m listening to a very fun album called “bluegrass worship” as i write this, and it’s cracking me up.

next trip: i get home friday noon from korea, and am home a couple days. then sunday night, i drive up to oceanside (the very north edge of san diego county) for a ys leadership team retreat, through next thursday night. it’ll be a bummer to leave my family again, but i’m really looking forward to this strategic time with the ys leadership team.

how i’m feeling about this week: pretty good, though i’ll feel better when i get some plans in place for the critical concerns course i’m teaching on thursday.

monday morning update, may 4, 2009

the weekend that was: man, i can’t believe it’s may already. may, 2009. crazy. everyone says time seems to go faster when you’re older; so i must be getting older! i had a full, good weekend. friday night, we had a bit of a chillaxed family night (though liesl worked on homework). we got carry-out and rented the original terminator movie. could hardly believe that thing is 25 years old (not that it didn’t look that old — because it did — but because it doesn’t seem like more than half of my life ago that it came out!).

saturday, i had a great day with my kids. max and i ran a bunch of errands mid-day saturday; and while we were at the mall, decided to catch wolverine together (which we really enjoyed). i’m going to korea this week, and will be hosting ralph winter, the producer; so it was fun to see the movie before being with him. then, saturday afternoon, liesl and i stopped by my office. in prep for our office move, i’m getting rid of all my cds (and i have 100s, maybe 1000s, there). i let her raid my cds for her and her boyfriend. she took an entire box. matisyahu1then we picked up her boyfriend and the three of us went to the elemental experience, a day-long concert event fundraiser to build a homeless youth shelter in san diego. a friend of mine scored me free tix, which made it extra cool, since we had $65 vip tickets. we didn’t show up for the first four or five bands, but saw the last three: pinback (a san diego-based modern rock group), bassnectar (an extremely cool dj), and matisyahu. if you’re not familiar with matisyahu, he’s a hasidic jew who does reggae with a rock edge to it. very, very cool. and very trippy to see this fully-decked-out orthodox jew (complete with black hat, long beard, long temple curls, black jacket, and hanging tassels (tzitzit), singing about jerusalem, while pot smoke drifted through the swaying crowd. anyhow, liesl and her boyfriend dug it (as did i), and i scored some major “my dad isn’t as much of a dork as i thought” points. the highlight of the day was in the car on the way home from dropping off her boyfriend, when liesl said, “that was really fun; thank you, daddy!”

sunday was a blisteringly full day. i taught twice in my church’s middle school group sunday morning. had a great time, and love the opportunity to do that. i had one of those great moments in middle school ministry where i had to think and adjust on the fly. i was teaching on how we can see/find god; and at one point, i passed out a balloon to every kid, had them blow them up, then talked about how we can’t see the air, but we see the effect of the air (and how the same is true in how we “see” god). i knew i would have a hard time finishing my teaching if they all had balloons, so i’d planned on having them all sit on them and pop them at once. but when i told them that and quickly counted to three, only three kids (out of about 100) actually popped theirs. all the rest started complaining about how they didn’t want to pop them. and when i said they could keep them if they didn’t play with them, the ones who’d popped them started complaining that they wanted one too! ah, good times in middle school ministry.

sunday afternoon, we babysat for my co-worker dave palmer, watching his 3 and 5 year-old kids. they’re awesome kids, but their 3 year-old son has more non-stop energy than just about any human in the history of the world. so by the time they left at 5pm, we were spent. our home church came over, and i had dinner with them, before max and i took off to drive to orange county (next section).

where i am at the moment: in orange county for the day. all the southern california waldorf schools (the kind of school my kids go to) have a greek pentathlon to culminate their study of greek history, arts and literature. so max will be, today, throwing a discus and javelin (!), greek wrestling, and running a 40 (yard? meter?) dash and a relay. i’ll be baking in the sun, occasionally rooting him on, and mostly waiting. we drive home tonite.

on my to-do list this week: i only have two days in the office this week, and will have lots to get done. ys has a new vp of finance starting today, so i’ll be spending some time with her. there’s the ongoing ys office move stuff. and i have a bunch of prep for our youth workers event in korea.

procrastinating about: i’m seriously procrastinating about losing 20 pounds and getting back into an exercise routine.

book i’m in the midst of: still plodding through what would google do? not making much progress.

cockburnmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: i downloaded bruce cockburn‘s live acoustic double album, slice o’ life, and have been totally loving it this week. i know most of the songs (have been a fan of cockburn’s since college), and these solo acoustic versions are just fantastic. seriously, even if you’ve never heard of cockburn, i recommend giving this thing a shot. he has amazing lyrics, and is a brilliant guitar player.

ysk_logo1next trip: thursday of this week, i fly to seoul, korea for 8 days. it’s our first ever yskorea convention (called “the next wave convention“). general session speakers are len sweet, brian mclaren, dave gibbons, mike pilivachi, ralph winter, and myself. all the seminars are being done by koreans. we really don’t know how many are coming (since most will just show up), but are hoping for somewhere between 1000 and 1800. tic long is coming with me, and i’m really looking forward to spending this time with him. since he’s leaving ys in late july, i think this will likely be the last time he and i have a good long trip like this with just the two of us; and i’m sure it will be bittersweet.

how i’m feeling about this week: a little stressed about how much i have to get done before leaving for korea!

monday morning update, april 27, 2009

kendallthe weekend that was: another mostly relaxing weekend at home. jeannie was taking a class in somatic experiencing, so it was mostly me and the kids (jeannie was home in the evenings). so we slept in, ate junk, and went to movies! max and i saw earth on saturday (which was really disappointing and boring), and both kids and me saw the soloist sunday afternoon (which was great). kendall payne led worship and sang some of her stuff at my church sunday morning, and that was fun.

where i am at the moment: i’m traveling to grand rapids, michigan, for my monthly trip to the mothership. as usual, it’s a quick one-nighter, and i’m home in san diego tuesday night.

on my to-do list this week: after i get back to sd, i’ll have more stuff to do for the ys office move, an article to write, prep for our korea event, and other administrative stuff. i have a physical on wednesday also – my first one in 6 years (i’m way overdue!).

procrastinating about: apparently, i’ve been procrastinating about getting a physical!

book i’m in the midst of: finished the richard rohr cd series on the enneagram (i think i’m an 8 with a 7 wing, though many have told me they think i’m a 7 with an 8 wing), and i’m still only about 1/3 the way through what would google do? (which is not as good as i’d hoped).

raconteursmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: man, i’ve gotten some great new music recently. this time around, i’ll mention the raconteurs cd (consolers of the lonely) and conoroberstconor oberst’s self-titled cd. i hadn’t realized either were out (they both came out last year), and i’m totally digging both of them.

next trip: other than an overnight in OC with max, as a chaperon on a school trip, my next flight is to korea, on may 7.

how i’m feeling about this week: pretty good. nothin’ major — hopefully no big surprises!

monday morning update, april 13, 2009

paristhe weekend that was: what a weekend! liesl and i are in paris for 6 days, and that’s a pretty hard weekend to beat. we arrived on friday mid-morning, and found our way to our hotel via trains and the metro (the subway). we had a little confusion at one point, because the train into paris was free on that day for some reason, but you need a ticket to exit the train station; so when we got to the station where we had to transfer to the metro, we walked up and down stairs several times (pulling our luggage) trying to figure out how to get out to where we could buy a ticket for the rest of the way (and we couldn’t seem to find any workers who spoke any english).

our hotel is not the ritz. in fact, it’s kinda dumpy. but it’s a great location, steps from a metro station and a short walk to the eiffel tower. after unpacking, and a quick lunch at a cafe, we took a short nap, then walked over to the eiffel. it was a mob scene (which it has been the two other times we went back), with lines that looked to be about three hours long. so we still haven’t gone up it. we wandered over to the sienne river, and decided to hop on a river cruise thing. pretty touristy, but that’s what we are! liesl needed her re-charge time (she’s not a power-through-the-day tourist like i am in places like this). so we walked over to rue cler (a great walking street about two blocks from our hotel) and found another cafe for dinner.

saturday we got going at the crack of 9:30, and made our way (stopping for fresh pastries, of course) to sacre coeur, the beautiful basilica at the top of the hill in montmartre. we were supposed to meet a friend of a friend who lives here, but never did find each other. after touring the basilica with a thousand friends (!), we walked around montmartre, stopping for a crepe, and checking out all the artists working in the street. then we headed down to the louvre. we bought a paris “museum pass”, as our guidebook suggested, and it’s been the single best find of the whole trip. not only is it a good deal, price-wise, it has enabled us to skip the waiting line at every museum, and plenty of other locations, and walk right in. we hit the highlights at the louvre, then went outside and laid on the lawn for a while (it was a gorgeous day, and there were hundreds of people laying around). we made our way down to the musee l’orangerie, a small museum that’s focused on impressionism, and has two large oval-shaped rooms with huge monet water lilly paintings 360-degrees around you. it’s one of my happiest places on earth.

sunday we hit the other two museums on our list: musee d’orsay, and one i’d not been to before, musee rodin. that one was stunning: mostly an outside garden, perfectly manicured, with dozens of rodin’s sculptures all over it (like “the thinker” and “the kiss”). we took a break at the hotel and liesl got some homework done. then we took a long metro ride to a street liesl had memorized a poem about in her french class: rue des gobelins. it was a pretty street, but we found a little restaurant where our waiter talked me into the best burger i’ve ever had in my life (“not an american burger, this is a FRENCH hamburger!”). i couldn’t help thinking of steve martin’s character in the pink panther, trying to learn how to say hamburger (which, i also realized, was funny since hamburgers are on the menu of every cafe we’ve gone to). we’re back at our hotel as i type, and liesl has just gone to bed. our room is on the fifth floor, and has a little balcony on it; so i’m sitting outside enjoying the night while i type.

tomorrow, notre-dame and sainte-chapelle, plus another shot at the eiffel, or maybe the champs elysee and the arc de triomphe. tuesday: versailles. we fly home wednesday.

where i am at the moment: in paris, baby!

on my to-do list this week: enjoy paris with my daughter, fly home, then dive into two days at ys at the end of the week.

procrastinating about: nothing i care to even think about at the moment!

book i’m in the midst of: finished pete gall’s learning my name (i’ll post a review at some point), and still reading the other two i was in the midst of (what would google do, and a richard rohr thing on the enneagram).

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: nothing really, although liesl and i have both had “sugar, sugar” (that 60s cartoon song) and “we are the grapes of wrath” (from veggie tales) in our heads all weekend. the first is unexplainable, and the second is because liesl’s reading the grapes of wrath for school right now.

next trip: i don’t know, and i don’t care.

how i’m feeling about this week: i don’t know, and i don’t care.

monday morning update, march 30, 2009

the weekend that was: it was a wonderful and relaxing weekend at home (though still full of stuff). friday night, my friend john and i attended a dad’s pizza party at our kids’ school. it was ok. neither of us were jazzed to go, but felt we should support the effort. i don’t have a need for small talk with a bunch of guys i don’t expect to become friends. but it was nice enough. then, john and i went to see “i love you, man“, which was absolutely hilarious (if not a bit crude). we laughed out loud through the whole thing. and it was pretty funny to be on a man-date to see a movie about a guy trying to go on man-dates.

saturday, i slept in a bit. then jeannie, max and i went to our local coffee shop for a nice leisurely breakfast together. jeannie and i felt decadent sitting down to watch last week’s episode of 24 in the late morning. in the late afternoon, jeannie and i joined our friends howard and karen for some weekly english-language tutoring they do with a family of former refugees from myanmar. this mom and three sons have been in the states for 6 months, and have 8 months as part of this program to get learn enough english, get a job, and become self-sustaining. it was an eye-opening experience. the two younger boys were born in the refugee camp, and are now plopped into san diego in public schools. the older boy (high school age) lived most of his life in the camp. i tried to help him with his math homework, and it was so hard. how do you explain “powers” (as in “4 to the 3rd power”) to a kid who barely speaks english, and hasn’t had a math class in his life? but it was great to be in their home (a small apartment in a tough neighborhood in san diego). jeannie and i are participating alongside howard and karen so we can be back-ups for them.

saturday night, we went out as a couple with two other couples. it was great to have some adult chill time with good friends.

sunday morning, i taught middle school sunday school at my church. we have two middle school services, so i taught twice. the series we’re in is about following jesus, and my topic was on how god loves the imperfect (i think i called it “god loves losers”). then, in the early afternoon, we had a middle school volunteer staff meeting, at our middle school pastor christina‘s house (christina’s husband ian is one of my co-workers at ys).

late afternoon, max and i went to see “monsters vs. aliens“, which was really fun (contrary to a couple reports i’d read that said otherwise). we saw the 3d version, which was worth the extra few bucks.

where i am at the moment: at ys, and in town all week! yes!

on my to-do list this week: lots of catching up to do. really want to get caught up on email this week. this is the first week in a while when i haven’t had any major projects that are due NOW, NOW, NOW; so i’m hoping i’ll have the buffer space to experience some normalcy. i do have to finish re-write and corrections on the middle school ministry book this week. oh, i’m also doing a wedding this coming weekend, and have the rehearsal for that thursday afternoon.

procrastinating about: well, i don’t think i’m procrastinating about anything!

wwgdbook i’m in the midst of: a few of ’em:
– i’m still listening to richard rohr’s cd series on the enneagram, called “the enneagram: the discernment of the spirits
– i’m reading the manuscript for pete gall’s next book, “learning my name
– and i’ve just started “what would google do” on my kindle

slumdogmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: after finally seeing slumdog millionaire early last week, i have been digging on the soundtrack (which i already had, but which has so much more meaning and connection for me now).

next trip: i have a one-nighter to orange county next sunday evening and monday. i’m starting a one-year executive coaching thing with john townsend. it’s 10 or a dozen people, and we’ll meet one monday a month for the year. looking forward to that. then, later that week before easter, liesl and i go to paris!

how i’m feeling about this week: good. nice to have some breathing room. i feel like i’ve had so many plates spinning recently. this week should give me a chance to take a few of them down.