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Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Good Friends

Thanks guys for all your comments ^_^ It just blew me away that there are already 6 comments on that last post only the day after. Y'all should know tha each of you contributed to my feeling warm and fuzzy and loved inside!
(No... Skippy doesn't really stand for anything. Levi just overheard someone using it in the break room and decided that I was an appropriatly happy and skippy person; so he applied it to me.)

One of you mentioned that this is a popular blog... does that mean that there are even more of you out there? reading along but not saying a word? speak up!

Anywho, this was day two of recovering from a nasty week at work. Normally, I actually enjoy my job, for the most part. But the intense heat that struck for three days in a row in a building where only certian rooms are air conditioned.... it became an experience to survive. I was more grateful than ever for the gatorade cooler that our department has. By Thursday, I was really dragging, often going out of my way to linger in front of fans.

This was to be the weekend of the campout... Until distant family members decided to gather in the more-near city of Deluth MN.... except that I didn't go to either because I was so utterly exausted from surviving Heat Week at DakTron... I feel bad on both counts because both involve people that I don't get to see very often.

Though it's pretty clear that I wouldn't have been good company this weekend in either case. I slept until 4 in afternoon. both today and yesterday. too late to really considder visiting the campsite....

I made contact with Jay instead; wound up hanging out at his place for a couple hours and got aquanted with a few other people who he'd discovered were interested in gaming. People that I'll be playing with on a regular basis if all goes well. (I'm a little nervous about it, mostly becase I've often tried but always failed to make enough time in my life to role play adequetly.) Tomorrow will be day one of our D&D campain! We plan to meet on a weekly basis ^_^

So then I suddely realize that my cell phone is still in the car, which would prevent Kim from letting me know when she was getting done for work. And indeed, I had missed her call. I excused myself, established contact with Kim and Amanda, procured a pizza, and returned home for a showing of The Phantom of the Opera. I hadn't expected the emotional rollercoaster that came with it... blew me away. (I'll need to let it sink in a bit more before I blog a review of it.)

Well, now! it really is easier when I have only a day or two to record! Whoops! there goes my sarcasm alarm...

Time to call it a night. I've got to get up for church in precious few hours...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Skippy's Renewed Outlook

Well, now... I've got a lot of ground to cover since last time

I've finnally been fully assimilated into my crew at Daktronics; I got my own nickname toward the end of Wednesday! All the guys who were there before I joined had one (though not really used for the most part, except for Junior) Anywho, Levi decided to start calling me SKIPPY.

*** Started this post aobut 13 hours ago now. Started after cleaning up from work. So hot and sweaty... it was a day I just had to survive.. so anyway, I left my typing to try and give Brandi a ride from her work. Failed misserably... I arrived a few minutes too late, but waited around a bit to make sure. Drove around a few likely paths she might have taken... felt like a dork... gave up... went home and crashed. ****

So anyway, part of my new outlook came from a visit to Total Eyewear. Now I'm looking out through a new pair of frames! Change is good. Even if my viewing area is a little different size and shape. I'm getting used to it.

I've made a new friend at work since my last posting! Jay just moved to Brookings with his wife, Lisa. While she sought a job at SDSU, Jay came to Dak. Where we really hit it off was when he got me talking about my weekend plans (for what is now last weekend). I said that I was going to a Christian music festival in Orange City and his eyes just lit up -- which caught me off guard. The first band I mentioned was the ApologetiX, and his eyes lit up even more. I was even more surprized because they're a little more obscure than most christian bands. We wound up talking in the parking lot after work for a good 30 minutes before heading home (usually a real stretch for me to talk that long).

Then there was the festival itself. Rise Above was a wonderful experience! Kim and I departed early in the morning (which felt like the middle of the night to me) picked up Dianna and Christa in Sioux Falls and pressed on to Orange City. (no AC but it was only starting to warm up, so we were okay)

We arived in plenty of time to hear the first band, Foolish Things. Within the first few songs, God struck me with a spiritual 2x4.
"Remember me?" He was saying. "Remember when you said you were going to be spending more time with Me this summer? What ever happened to that? I love you, Kevin. I have someting incredible that I still want you to be a part of. And go ahead and be yourself; that's who I made you to be"

Something along those lines anyway... it didn't come in actual words, so it's hard to say that I've done justice to it. He also used one of their songs to uncover a bit of a plan/vision He'd put in my head a while back that I'd let fall apart because it extended so far beyond my comfort zone. (You'll be hearing more about this in days to come) I want to help people avoid mistakes I've made... but that means bringing my mistakes into the open... a thing that frightens me horribly, but *gulp* if that's what God wants... (pray for me while I work up the nerve?)

So, yeah. The lyrics of Foolish Things really spoke to me. Enough so that I deemed it necisary to buy a CD and get them to sign it. Discovered that all the band members are very cool and very Real people, as well as good musicians/lyric writers.

Then came the ApologetiX. They totaly rocked my face off! (and back on again!) They opened with "We're in a Parody Band" A totaly appropriate introduction for the many people there that probably hadn't heard of them before. I couldn't help wondering how many people were wondering why they had chosen to play "We're an American Band." ^_^

They were so much fun! So much good music! So much goofyess on stage! They quoted Strong Bad and various movies throughout the performance. They even spoofed an on-stage diolog/gimic thing that Audio Adreneline has done with a cow bell. (The Apologetix used a tamborene [thanks Dianna for pointing that out to me]) There was nothing they wouldn't touch. Even in the way they talked to the crowd and in the way they delivered God's mesage. That was the best part about them, that they were being totaly real about who they were and what they believed.

"I need 10 volunteers for this next song.... no you can't volunteer other people...... yes! these are the 26 people I picked out..."

"Sing it Muffin Man!"

I wore myself out dancing along. ^_^ I had already met the band a couple years ago when I was on the stage crew at Son Shine, so I decided to get them to sign something for my beloved Alicia, who had been unable to come because she had to work. (made me sad that she wasn't there, but so very proud of her that she stuck with her job)

Getting though the autograph line and getting our picture taken with them took long enough that we almost entirely missed Go Fish, but it was worth it to get to meet such deligtfully goofy people! (and to witness guitarist Karl being shot in the eye by a random fan's marshmellow gun which had been encouraged by other band members)

Then came lunch. There was a open building with bathrooms and air conditioning in which we sought refuge. I took a quick nap on the floor

*** it's now well past midnight... Kim came home from work and we watched Jumanji plus bonus featurettes and now I'm talking to Tom online, who I've not seen for some time now. Daktron has finally gotten ahold of him to line up an interview. His current job is of the "survivable" quality... let's all pray for something better from Dak! ****

So ... where was I? I like to write. I didn't even realize how long it took me to write all that until suddelnly it was hours later.

Anywho, I need to wrap this up so I can go to bed.

I really need to mention the final speaker. A man with muscular distrophy. Said he used to feel useless and unlovable. I felt like I could relate to his physical slowness and weakness with the mental slowness and distractability that comes from my ADD, frequently resulting in similar feelings of uselessness... I wish I could remember more, but what still really stands out in my mind is the encouregement he got as little nephews and nieces came into his life as well as his new wife. That and this sudden vivid clip that came into my head as he described the love that God was showing him through these people:
An vew from above of "me"... not how I really look, but a cluster of images that represented hobies, interests, mistakes; anything to do with me... the view point rapidly drops past the mistakes and disabilities, continues past my abilities and intrests, down to the singular, glowing core of ME. My very essence, that part the REALLY matters to God and the people in my own life that love and encourage me. The other stuff only matters because it's connected to me (not to say that it doesn't matter) God's love, real love just cuts that deep.

If God could get a man with muscular distrophy to walk onstage and talk openly about his troubled past... I can't help feeling that God's preparing me for something -- maybe not big in a lot of people's eyes, but plenty big for me.

In church the next day (Father's Day) a guest pastor talked about how God plants His vision and plans into the hearts/minds of his men. One of the prime requirements that I'd been laking most lately was needing to spend time in the word and in prayer so's to be more open to and able to hear these ideas (see also: somewhere above)

Well, now, I think that's more than enough for today.

May whatever part of the day you spend awake be a good part!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Cinderella Man is my hero

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I aggreed to go with my sister and Liz to see Cinderella Man this afternoon.... no, it was evening by then. Anyway, I was absolutly blown away. I can't remember the last time I saw something that was so... so... real. This man was a real hero fighting for a real cause; his own family. Never in my life had I cared so much about the outcome of a boxing match (because it was about so much more than the boxing)

My sister compaired it to Seabiscut, which means I really want to see that sometime soon. I wasn't interested when it first came out because I assumed it was about the horse and the race. Makes me glad I didn't know the story behind Cinderella Man, or I might have lost interest in this one too. Real love, real hope, real friends. That's what this movie is all about and what I believe God intended life to be about.

That's enough movie plugging for now. I'll probably rant some more on it later after more of y'all have had a chance to see it.

So anywho, what else has been going on? ...

Passed up a chance to go gaming with Brandon, Tucker and I don't know who else... feeling kinda down and not feeling like going out. Didn't get the chance to just mope around though since I got unexpectedly caught up in and brightened up by Bambi of all things. I had forgoten that I really liked it and how cute it was. Heh. I used to be affraid to admit things as being cute, especially where it might relate to me. but not anymore, thanks to Alicia for bringing that out in me. ^_^. Anywho, Amanda later came over to watch Around the World in 80 Days. Not the best movie I've seen but hardly the worst. I think it tried a little to hard to be silly.

Then there was work. work was okay. Three out of the four days I got paired off with Nikki, the only female in out department who started about a week later than i did. She's pretty cool, but a tad quiet, which I can totally relate to.

Um... slept really late today... watched Cinderella Man .... stayed up late goofing off online and watching Anime music videos on my computer... wanted to sort out the ones I can delete and clear space on my hard drive, 'cause they take up a lot of it. I'll have to burn them to disk or something, 'cause they're all pretty good.

I'm determined to make one of my own this summer........ and I'm gonna go sleep now.

good night/morning/whatever to all of you

Friday, June 03, 2005

The happy part

My coworkers really aren't as bad as it sounded last time.... It's just so hard to find common ground with 'the average guy'. Though as it turns out, one of the guys there grew up in Madison (SD) where I'm currently going to college, and he has a friend who lives in Winfred! Who must be one of the other 15 people who live there. I could very nearly feel God pushing me toward him and saying, "See? You can find common ground to build on if you look for it!"

Last Friday
I was awakened just in time to have a quick breakfast before going to see Star Wars again; 'twas with my family this time as my parents had not yet seen it. I remember watching it with a little different attitude this time. [SPOILER ALERT] I sympathized pretty heavily with Anikin and his fear of losing Padme the first time I saw it. I focused more on the fact that I knew what he sas doing was wrong, and that I'm pretty sure he knew it was wrong too. I won't change myself for anyone. (Or hide myself. Thanks for encouraging comments last time!) Not even Alicia. (and I know she wouldn't want me to either! n_n) I think it was kind of funny, in a sad sort of way, that it was Anikin's choice to try and save her that led him down the very path that broker her heart and took away her will to live... so sad...

boy I side-track easily

Anywho, after the movie, ... I think I napped... Kari got ahold of me to finalize anime sharing plans for later in the weekend... I'm a little fuzzy on what happened until later, because it was still pretty early in the day for me.

So then Amanda came over to help Kim with her car which has "special needs." Then the three of us went to Wal-mart. On the way, Brandi spotted Amanda's car as it passed the gas station she and Candice happened to be at and proceded to use her cellphone to track us down. We proceded to hang out and dig through bins of old/cheep movies. I found a Jumanji DVD, one of my old favorites I'd always meant to get a copy of but never did. made me happy. Then I celebrated my first paycheck of the summer by picking up Pikmin2! I wound up playing it long into the night. Not a strain on my schedule at all.

I slept a lot. I don't remember being very alert until evening.

I called Ross to see if he was interested in joining us the next day for Anime watching. We wound up talking for well over an hour, which was really cool since I can't remember the last time I'd really gotten a chance to catch up with him.

getting up for chuch was rough... Bethel had just started its summer schedule, which meant that I had to be up only a few hours after I'm used to going to bed. We were a little late thanks to my slowness...

Lunch at Burger King: I got several of this week's Jawa toys because Alicia thinks they're the cutest things in the Star Wars universe. I felt much warm fuzzy-ness in watching her smile and squeal with delight at them ^_^ I was also just generally happy to see her again after her two week journey to South Carolina. Since I hadn't been there, she brought some of the ocean back to me! Sand, shells, and some sea water in sealed container thingies! Isn't that precious?!

Anywho, shortly after she arived, we departed to pick up christa and head to watertown and watch part of the Anime collection that Kari had so graciously decided to share. On the way out of town, we were about to go right past the home of Brandi, when I remembered a recent blog posting of hers that pleaded for people to come kidnap her. So we scooped her up as well!

What now? Where was I? got distracted for a couple hours there... Pikmin again.

Kari was a wonderful hostes; the Anime was good ('Full Metal Alchemist' and 'Full Metal Panic' are now among my favorites! [Spiral was pretty good too.]); the pizza was tasty; and a chair was broken, but Kari took it pretty well. Much fun was had overall ^_^

slept pretty late again. Grandma was already here by the time I dragged myself out. After a quick breakfast, I returned the phonecall that Tucker had made at a more reasonable waking up time. He'd hoped to invite me over for a little gaming -- a no go with Grandma visiting, of course -- but I was granted permission to reverse the invitation, so I got to have dinner with everyone!

Later that evening, I introduced him to Pikmin and beat him soundly! ... well, at least when he wasn't doing the same to me...

Tuesday on through today
I worked. I got to know people a little better (as mentioned above).... mostly I sleep when I'm not working. 10 hours of work doesnt leave time for much else.

After work yesterday, I stopped by HyVee in search of donughts for next morning's breakfast (had to settle for not as cheep chocolate chip muffins) and got to see Brandi. Went home, did bedtime preparations, saw that it was raining quite heavily, sat back and admired the pretty stormyness, remembered that Brandi was due to get off work soon and didn't have a car, drove back to offer her a ride home.

slept late again. Was awakened with the news that Alicia had stopped by, and would try again after her Wal-Mart adventures. There was much rejoicing, hugging and Pikmin bashing. Then she left to have dinner at home, which sadened me...

Later, Amber called! In responce to a happy birthday message I'd left her a couple days ago. We got to chat and catch up. Made me happy ^_^

good friends, good times, good grief that took a long time to write about.
Good night and may God bless y'all