Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vegas Vacation - Homeboi Style

This past weekend, Mike, Andrew, Brian, Shawn and I decided to hit up Sin City and just chill. =) Here are some highlights:

  1. Trying to squeeze five of us into Brian's Xterra for the 4+ hour drive - each one of us fighting for shotgun whenever possible. Also watched Van Wilder - probably one of the most disgusting films I have ever seen - until we arrived in LV @ 4 am.

  2. Staying at the luxurious and spacious Hilton Grand Vacations Club, next to Circus Circus. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, jacuzzi tub, kitchen, washer/dryer, 3 TVs and DVDs,....and much more - all fully stocked. Yes...there were even dishes and cubs in the kitchen. Awesomeness!!!

  3. Checked out the Hold'em tables, finding them quite competitive and I think I was being too shy when playing. However, I got most of my money back through Roulette. Hope to do better next time. =) Oh yeah...we saw Brad Garrett of "Everybody Loves Raymond" @ one of the casinos. Dude, that guy is HUGE.

  4. Eating the best sushi dinner of my life @ Sushi-Mon a few miles from downtown. $25 for all-you-can-eat-sushi and all made right before your eyes upon ordering. Needless to say, I think us five hungry guys cleaned out the menu.

  5. Relaxed in the pool by day and walked the Strip by night, enjoying the colorful light patterns across town.

  6. Squeezing 6 of us on the way back (Charles joined us on Sunday), at first staggering bodies in the back, and then yours truly taking the trunk. But a double feature of "Goodfellas" and "Crash" fixed it. =)
All in all, a really good first-time casino experience and a good getaway with the boys. I can't wait to go back again!

Monday, August 28, 2006

All in a Day's Work

After 5 heart-pounding, action-packed, and addicting seasons, "24" took home top drama honors at the Emmy's last night, and all I can say is that IT'S ABOUT TIME!! Kiefer Sutherland finally won his much-deserved award playing Jack Bauer, one of TV's darkest yet greatest heroes and leading men in drama. I felt supporting actors Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart were robbed from their respective categories, but the final wins made up for it and didn't leave their losses in vain.

What will the next 24 hours bring? I can only wait excitedly for January to see Day 6.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Change of...Planet?

Sixteen years after having successfully recite the planets of our Solar System with ease in my second grade class, it turns out that I was incorrect. Yesterday, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) declared Pluto to be a dwarf planet since its orbit overlapped that of Neptune, which is in direct violation of the new planet qualifications (it has to clear the orbit of other objects).

While this is some amusing news to hear, something even more amusing is the fact that we need to start changing every astronomical textbook in every written language on our planet. And that's no small planetary matter.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"The Tinker"

This past Sunday, I had the privilege of serving Acts of Worship (AOW), our church's English drama team, for their summer presentation of "The Tinker". Compared to last year, there was less hassle and a more fluid execution in regards to setup, ticket sales, and ushering. However, I'm sure it was nothing compared to the work AOW had to do to make it an awesome night. Despite the short preparation time and high obstacles along the way, AOW came together, giving it their very best in producing this redeemption-themed play and pulled it off with flying colors. I was invited to the after-party, and in the midst of debriefing and sharing our thoughts, we saw that it was clearly God's hand that blessed it - that He wanted it happen so people may see His glory and power. It was an awesome, unsettling feeling that filled the night with the thankfulness and love for the ultimate Director.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Nerd, Geek, or Dork?

Being called all the above by both guys and girls (mostly the latter), I have always wondered what it meant to be labeled as such (mostly nerd and geek; once or twice dork).

But thanks to Cecilia and according to Ask Yahoo!, I finally have my answers:

  • Nerd - people of above-average intelligence who place little importance on their appearance. Nerds are often aware of their status, but they don't mind. In fact, many take pride in the putdown, as it means they're smart and not wrapped up in superficial worries.
  • Geek - like nerds, geeks are smart, but they tend to focus more on technology. As Urban Dictionary explains, these are the people you make fun of in high school and later work for as an adult.
  • Dork - biggest insult of the three. There's no way you can spin it into something positive. After all, even the dictionary writes that dorks are "stupid" people. And to make matters worse, dorks assume they're cool. Oh, and they smell, too. now I will know when I am being insulted. =)

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I just returned from Costa Mesa tonight watching my first Broadway musical with Acts of Worship (AOW), our youthful church drama team. My sister was busy with summer school finals this week and offered her seat to me. After a delicious Italian dinner with AOW, I walked in the Orange County Performing Arts Center with medium expectations, not really knowing exactly what I was getting into. Needless to say, I was blown away. There was so much talent put into this 2.5+ hour musical, especially with melodic singing from the good and wicked witches as well as the ensemble cast in their colorful costumes. The bright, dynamic sets were like icing on the cake to complete the show.

It's definitely official: a new appreciation for Broadway productions has just been born. =)

Tuesday, August 8, 2006


At the job, I need some form of music to keep me focus on my work and block out any busy background noise. Our division is pretty chill so they let us use our headphones to do so. I usually listen to either Air 1 or The Fish online radio and keep up with the contemporary Christian music while crunching out reports left and right. However, this song stopped me in my tracks and I still can't get it out of my head. I think part of it is the realization of how great the connection of God's name is to the works He has done for us. Needless to say, it was encouraging. =) You can download and listen to this catchy song here.

Matchless - Aaron Shust

Son of a Man, Great I am, King of heaven,
Son of God, you hold the measure of my days
Holy Lamb, spotless Lamb, You are worthy, I am not
Before Your throne I stand amazed

Every tongue confess and every knee will bow
To Jesus Christ the Lord forever, hear our praises now

Your name is matchless, Your name is priceless
Your name means more than I could know
You're so far above me, the way that you love me
Goes further than any love could go

Wonderful Counselor, Root of David, morning star
You are the way, the truth, the life
Lion of the tribe of Judah, Mighty God is who you are
The only perfect sacrifice

In your name you took the blind man and you gave him back his sight
In your name you took the dead man and you brought him back to life
In your name you took this prisoner and you opened up the doors
And I will sing before your throne forevermore

Sunday, August 6, 2006

"All In"

The magic words that excite even the most bored poker player. It was also the final words that ended the Deez Nutz Poker Tour between myself, Aldous, Charles, Andrew, and Shawn yesterday night and I rose triumphantly.

I got some pretty bad cards and beats during the first half of the 3-hour, 10-minute exclusive championship game and was really close to being eliminated to third place (Charles and Aldous took fifth and fourth, respectively) with only 700+ chips to Shawn and Andrew's 2000+ chip stacks. Then my pocket rockets (or I like to call them "pocket Alberts") came out at the right moment and I doubled up. One more all-in move with Q-10 vs. Shawn's pocket 4's and I was back on track. Slowly but surely, I gained momentum and the cards I needed to knock out Andrew (his A-6 vs. my A-10) and afterwards, Shawn was the runner-up with my A-(low kicker) vs. his suited K-5.

Looking back on all the games from everyone for the past 16+ weeks, I can honestly say it was an honor and enjoyment to be fellowshiping with these brothers and I hope we can continue these moments. Poker is commonly seen as a gambling game that is a root of a lot of evils, but I think that is a short-sighted and in some cases, a dismissive evaluation. If you take away the hopeless notion of betting on an uncertain outcome to get rich quick in the real world, it is really a game of patience, discipline, and chance that can bring different people together to have fun. It did with us, and not only did we improve our skill with with Hold'em, but we also became better friends. We shared our weeks and prayed for one another every time before we start a game. We also hang with one another in other church events and outings such as meals, basketball, video games, small groups, and more.

Yes...God can use even a seemingly sinful game to unite His people to accomplish His will, and this wonderful experience with the five of us cemented that belief in me.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Weak, but Strong

Koinonia was slated tonight to serve AWANA, our church's children's ministry. Originally, we were under the impression that there was a program already set-up for the kids and we were there to keep them company. However, there was a miscommunication that caught us off-guard and we were left to lead the night by ourselves. It was a bit nerve-racking, with some volunteering young adults a bit apprehensive. What were we going to do?

But God came and saved the night with ideas, improvisation, and most of all, the right group of personalities to pull it off. It was quite challenging with the little ones, but we got it together to make an energetic, fun-filled night. They even thanked us in the end for hanging with them, and the guys topped it off with a celebration @ Norm's.

Sometimes, it takes for us to be at our weakest to see God at His strongest.