Saturday, July 31, 2004

You've never been out in the woods alone...

Wow. Where to begin? I’ve just gotten back from a life-changing two weeks, and I want to say everything at once. But that would get boring very, very quickly. If anyone has any specific questions, feel free to e-mail or IM me at mattguy2k[at]yahoo[dot]com, and moviemakinhobbit respectively.

Okay, lemme essplain… No, there is too much. Lemme sum up.

First off: Fun. I met some of the coolest people ever. And by cool, I mean totally sweet. We had fun going on wal-mart runs, thrift store shopping, jamming on pianos/guitars, paintballing, and quite a few things in between.

Also, I do believe I had the coolest small group leader: Ben Williams. Besides being a really cool guy, and having a voice that periodically cracks like a little girl, he’s also the spitting image of Wesley from the princess bride. Not only that, but he’s also a great discussion leader, and made small group time fun, interesting, and at many times very thought provoking.

One of the highlights of my week was when I played piano in the talent show, which I believe deserves it’s very own post.

Secondly: instruction. I know that’s a very boring word to use, and I wish I had some way to make it more exciting, but trust me, it was one of the best times of teaching I’ve ever received. But before I tell you what it was like, let me tell you what it was NOT like.

This was NOT school. At school, they’ll throw facts out at you, many times not honestly caring whether you understand or comprehend, just caring that they get your parent’s money.

This was NOT church or Sunday school. Yes, this was a Christian camp. And yes, this was an academic camp (in a sense). But many times in the Christian community, they say that you shouldn’t question what you believe. Questioning equals doubting, and doubting equals sinning.

That’s bull.

If what you believe really is truth, then how on earth could questioning it do anything but strengthen it? WAY too often people just put thoughts and questions on a mental shelf, never to think about them until it’s too late. Okay end of soapbox.

I won’t go too in depth as to the sessions, but suffice to say, they were phenomenal. They covered everything from Science, to Philosophy, to Entertainment, to Witnessing, to roles of Men and Women and the family; but then as the week turned, we went more specific, talking about things like abortion/bioethics, cults, and homosexuality (which gave me a whole new perspective on the topic, ask me later sometime).

I think that’s a fairly large post, so I’ll stop there. I’d just like to say that it was a lot like drinking out of a fire hose. There was so much thrown at me, it was hard to keep up with it all. But I loved it, and I’m definitely going next year. And I think every single one of you should, too.

And I don’t think I’m overstating it by saying this; there is not a single person I know that could not benefit from going to this next year. I hope you take this into consideration for your plans next year. Okay, I’m done with my spiel, now.

P.S. www.summit.org <-- official summit ministries site (more about the one in Colorado, the one I DIDN’T go to)
summit.bryan.edu/ <-- official summit at bryan college site (the one I DID go to)
Do yourself a favor, bookmark these for later.

P.P.S. I want to get all these mexico posts out of the way, so I set them to automatically post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That should do it.

Matt on the Road pt. 9 –6/25/04 9:47 AM Guadalupe Time

Well, we just burned our trash. Before you start getting angry, and calling us things like “hoodlums”, “hooligans”, and “growing young men”, we were supposed to. See, trash collection is pretty non-existent out here, and we are forced to burn all our trash. This is great news for all the pyros in the bunch.

There is a downside to this, however, and it’s quite a large one. It smells. Really bad. This is because we burn EVERYTHING, including…well let me back up.

3 months earlier. Sovereign Grace Church. Eric is going over some of the rules of the orphanage. One is that girls can’t wear shorts (of course guys could, and we took full advantage of this). But another one is, we CANNOT put toilet paper in the toilet. We must put it in the trash can, and then at the end of the day take it to the burn pile.

And no, I’m not kidding.

I love Mexico.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

...And then he said, "hey, I'll update."

Please accept my dearest apologies for the lack of updates. Well, at least all two of you who actually read this dumb blog, because you know Xanga is sooo much better. There's nothing greater than forcing people to register for a service they may or may not want/need, just to comment on a page they see. Well, it's either that or the smileys...
 
But that's neither here nor there. Actually, it may be a bit closer to over by Wyoming, but definitely not anywhere remotely near reality.
 
As some of you may already know, I am at the Summit at Bryan College in Daton, TN. Unfortunately, connecting to the internet with my laptop has not been as succesful as I would have hoped, so I'm in Bryan's Computer Lab, updating by blog that only Kelsey, Melissa, and sometimes Aaron care to read.
 
So this concludes my self-inclusive post. Yeah, I just realized that I posted about posting. I'm going to go slit my wrists now.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Movie Review: The Terminal

I’d like to try to start reviewing every movie I see from now on. So without further ado, THE TERMINAL:

Before I saw the movie, my friend said it, quote, “looked cute”. I told her not to PLEASE not use the word “cute” in reference to a Spieldberg movie. But now after seeing it, I feel like I must concur with her statement, that it was, as they say, cute.

The plot makes no effort to be complicated or confusing, which is alright. This movie doesn’t quite seem to be the type that thrives on plot anyway. Viktor Navorski, a visitor from an eastern European country arrives in the US, only to find that while he was in the air, his country went through a revolution, and is no longer recognized by the United States. He is therefore forced to spend a day in the airport until the situation is resolved. That day turns into 9 months, in which he eats, sleeps, and works all within the confines of the airport.

This premise would seem to open up a variety of dramatic possibilities for character development. Unfortunately, however, we never learn that much about Viktor. I left the movie wishing I had cared more about him than I did. I mean, it’s Tom Hanks, and he’s playing an unassuming Russian dude, of course you’re gonna care about what happens to him. But unfortunately, he just didn’t seem real to me.

In fact, I could say that about pretty much the whole movie. It all had a bit of a fantasy Frank-Capra-esque feel to it. I suppose that’s okay, but I only wish that Spieldberg had let us see more of the real Viktor.

But don’t get me wrong, Tom Hanks did a wonderful job, in spite of the fact that the script gave him nowhere to go (literally as the case just happened to be). We just have Viktor Navorski dropped in our laps with virtually no introduction. Unfortunately, it pretty much stays that way. Catherine Zeta Jones gives an okay performance, and even though I normally don’t care for her, I think she did alright.

So to sum up, definitely not Spieldberg’s finest.

…But it’s cute.

Matt on the Road pt. 8 –6/24/04 11:30 PM Guadalupe Time

I think that Mexicans are some of the smartest people God created. I mean, on the surface, they don’t seem like it. In fact they may seem downright DUMB sometimes. But trust me, they're smart.

Why, you may ask? What did they do that was so great? Well, it’s not the lack of traffic laws, or lack of littering laws, or the lack of automobile maitenence laws, or anything like that

Actually, as a sidenote, I don’t think Mexico actually has any laws. In fact, I don’t think they have a government. I mean, sure I see posters all over the place for some dude running for “Gobernador”, but he’s positively hideous. If the government DOES exist, then…um… It shouldn’t. At all.

(Oh, and by the way don’t read too much into that politically, please.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Their work of genius.

At first, it may not seem that big of a deal, but after you do it, you realize how incredibly liberating it is. I could understand how some people could get addicted, but I’m alright, and I’ll stop as soon as I get back into the country. It just helps me relax.

...I’m talking, of course, about the siesta (why, what’d you think was talking about?). For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, a siesta is a time right after lunch until about 3 or 4 that is primarily used for……sleeping. In America, we run on caffeine. In Mexico, they run on siestas.

Businesses actually shut down around this time, and then open back up later in the day. Sleep is important enough to them down here to structure their entire schedule around it. And the best part is, you get to stay up late, guilt-free.

I didn’t really realize how important my siesta was, until I tried to go without one today. After a morning of hard work, and a big lunch, I tried to go back to work. But after 4 hours of that, I dropped right into bed. I couldn’t go on. I had just worked 4 hours during the hottest part of the day, when I could have been sleeping. Then I slept when I could have been working.

Well, I think siestas are a necessary part of life. Or at least they should be. That’s why, when I'm president (Or Gobernador, or whatever) I’m instituting national nap time. All schools and businesses will be closed between the hours of 12 to 3. You can spend this time however you wish, but I suggest you use it to sleep. I mean it IS called “national nap time”, retard.

Besides you’ll need the sleep to stay up for national Alias re-runs from 1-2 AM.

Matt on the Road pt. 7 –6/24/04 6:21 AM Guadalupe Time

We had a time of “encouragement” yesterday. Everyone got “encouraged”, including yours truly. They said I should be commended because I mopped the floor, swept, etc. You know, feminine jobs.

Well, I guess Eric felt sorry for me, because right afterwards, he appointed me head of painting team.

Now if you know me at all, then you know that I know absolutely nothing about painting.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Ralph-Ralph

Edwards Joins Kerry's Bid to Unseat Bush

Well, Kerry just picked Edwards as his VP pick, making it a John-John ticket. But wouldn't you much rather see THIS?:



Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Monday, July 05, 2004

Matt on the Road pt. 6 –6/23/04 11:21 PM Guadalupe Time

Today we played Mao. Then, later, we played Mao again. And then, after a while, we decided to play it again.

Eventually, we got a 20 person Mao game going. At 11 o’clock at night. This, my friends, is pure bliss. At least for me, who just so happened to be the Maomaster.

Now if you’re not familiar with Mao, then let me warn you: You won’t like it. In fact you may hate it. Perhaps you’ll begin to hate everything about it, including me. It’s happened before. BUT, having said that, once you start, you won’t be able to stop playing it.

On the surface, it’s just a simple card game. It’s kind of like Uno. But I’ve probably gotten more people to hate me over the years by being the Maomaster than by anything else I’ve ever done.

See, the thing is (that was for you, Aaron), you aren’t allowed to know the rules. You have to start playing cold turkey, having no idea what you’re doing. The only two things you can know is 1.) It’s kinda like Uno, and 2.)The Maomaster is the supreme dictator of the game, and can punish you for whatever he or she deems punishable. This includes, but is not limited to: making fun of the Maomaster or the game, putting undue stress on the playing table, yelling, stupidity, being Gabe Dudley, and cheating.

Speaking of cheating, this brings up a very painful memory. Last night, my youth pastor laid down two cards, while pretending to lay down one. My own youth pastor...cheated at cards. I've still not fully recovered.

But don’t worry, we punished him thouroughly for his mis-deed...

Boringness

Well, Celebration was good. It was the last one, so I guess it would have had to have been. We completely kicked some major rearend in sports (no thanks to me, I might add) winning 4 out of 6 trophies (which ended up being bobble-heads, anyway). I may do a big post later about it, we’ll see.

But anyway, I didn’t update my blog at all up there, even though I had internet access. And then I came home, and still didn’t update. But there’s a reason why: My life is boring.

Well, right now it is anyway. Furthermore, everyday is the same. If I were to blog about every day, here’s what a typical post would look like: “I woke up at 9ish. I went work at 11. I worked til 5. I got home. I poked around until 9 or so. Watched Whose Line, maybe family guy. I got on my computer. When I realized it was 11 and my uniform wasn’t washed, I threw it in, and updated my blog before I go back to bed.”

I hate it. Working 11-5 is most probably the absolute worst time to work. I mean, if I work at 6 in the morning until 2, I at least have the rest of the day to do whatever. Or if I work from 5 until close, besides being able to sleep in, I’ll have the early part of the day to piddle around.

Solution? I guess I’ll just have to learn to be more creative with my posts.




Either that, or just keep posting old Mexico posts…

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Matt on the Road pt. 5 – 6/22/04 7:43 PM Guadalupe Time

Highlights from my 3rd day in Mexico:

One single thing has captured the hearts and minds of the young orphans here at Rancho 3M in Guadalupe, Mexico. My digital camera. They love nothing more than taking 30+ random pictures of each other, effectively using up my memory stick, and then showing them to each other.

----

Periodically, a truck carrying large gas tanks will drive by the orphanage, blasting mariachi music into the countryside. I guess to Mexicans, gas is like ice cream. Mexico sure is weird

----

I got prayed for today. And just in case nobody thinks I’m special, so did 3 other people. And 4 the day before. And most likely 4 tomorrow, too. But no-one really cares about them, do you? It’s all about me.

Anyways, a lot of it had to do with my future, and going away to college and such. Now that I think about it, I’ve got less than 2 months left. Which is, oh my god, like ...1/3 less than last month!

Well, It’s coming up soon, that’s for sure. They said that’s God’s preparing me to be a messenger for him. Mr. Wallis read this scripture:

1 Cor 2:1-2 “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

For some reason, people think I’m intelligent (well, some people, anyway). But what’s more effective than being intelligent, or a good orator, or having good grammar, or whatever, is just proclaiming Christ crucified. And Christ crucified only.

There was more, too. But this is what I want to keep at the center. There may be worldy wisdom (or “college knowledge” as Mr. Wallis said), and that’s good up to a point. But I ask that I don’t stray from my center, which is Christ crucified.

Amen.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Times they are a-changing

Well, I'm off to celebration tomorrow, so I thought I'd change my blog.

No matter how many times I try, I can't get that sentence to make sense. Anyway, I've got a flashy, interesting, yet not distracting layout now, and I'm happy. But wait, THERE'S more! I'm proud to announce both a name change and COMMENTS FOR EVERYONE!!

That's right, there's no need to register with blogger to comment on all the dumb stuff I say. That's the internet hard at work, making it just that much easier to harrass Matt. Ah, I love Al Gore.

(oh, and by the by the way, You can get the code from haloscan.com, and it's pretty easy to put in your blog. I'm not sure how well it'll work for xanga, i never messed with that stuff.)

But yeah, who knows, maybe I'll even get to a computer at celebration and post for you all. Maybe I can borrow someone's cell phone and try out this neato thing called audioblogging. If not, then I'll may do the same thing I'm doing with my mexico posts, and just keep posting weeks after it happened. *evil grin*

< voice of reason >Or maybe you could just stop being a geek for 4 friggin days, and forego updating your dumb blog that nobody reads < /voice of reason >

Speaking of packing for celebration, I should be doing that right now (instead of updating my dumb blog that nobody reads). It feels a bit odd. I literally JUST finished unpacking from Mexico, and here I am packing for celebration. And after that, I'll pack for summit, then I'll get home for a week or two, before packing for the worship conference. Then I'll get maybe a whole 3 weeks off, before packing for *da da da daaaa* college.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, I can work some sleep in.

UPDATE: Yeah, I just realized I never said much about the name change, although all the smart people have it figure out already (or just the people who got here from my old blog). Yeah, it's Xanga. But backwards.

Think about it.

Matt on the Road pt. 4 – 6/21/04 6:40 PM Guadalupe Time

I just gave guitar lessons to a 12 year old girl. She didn’t speak English. I didn’t speak Spanish. Yet, I still managed to get the idea of a D chord across.