Friday, September 29, 2006

Steady Streams

Currently Watching
The Lake House (Widescreen Edition)
By Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Christopher Plummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Dylan Walsh
see related

2006 wasn't quite the year for romantic-comedies (or dramas for that matter), so this film spiked some interest in me. This fact coupled with stars Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves playing opposites (second pairing since the successful "Speed" twelve years ago) finally led to me to Netflix it.

The story follows a lonely doctor and a frustrating architect communicating via letter-writing exactly two years apart through their individual stays at a lake house near Illinois, Chicago. They eventually fall in love and together look for the missing piece that will unite them in time. It's plot definitely feels familiar but Reeves and Bullock continue their smooth on-screen chemistry to pull off most of the romance. The largest drawback for me was the time travel concept, which can really give you a headache if you try to think it out (I suggest you don't). But if you suspend logic, you may find yourself drawn to the emotions along with the luscious, arresting visuals from director Alejandro Agresti. All in all, a beautiful film that satisfies the Hollywood heart in each of us.

Bottom line: Convoluted plot puts this House in deep water, but lead performances and emotional resonances bring it back up.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

IV Class of 2005 Retreat

Last week on September 15-17, I took a trip to the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz for our IV Class of 2005 reunion. Here are some highlights:

  • Getting around Santa Cruz prior to the retreat, and noticing how much slower and relaxed the area is in contrast to the busy L.A. For instance, people would actually greet one another when boarding a bus to go somewhere, whereas people down here are more "Are we there yet?".

  • Squeezing 27 people (10 guys, 17 girls) into a two-bedroom house located a block from the beach.

  • Catching up with those I know that getting to know those I don't through BBQs, sightseeing downtown, and snacktimes.

  • Playing beach football (caught a few TDs!) and Taboo! - guys vs girls (we won!).

  • Worship and individual sharing of our past year's struggles and God's work in us coming out of college.

  • Parting ways when the weekend ended.

It all came and went so quickly, and I really wanted to stay longer. Hopefully we can at our next retreat. But those three days were a powerful witness to me of other brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling to seek community and God's place for them in this world. Regardless of what changes, we are still the IV Class of 2005, and I know God will bless each of our walks with Him, both individually and as a group.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. --Philippians 1:4-6

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Band of Brothers

The Halo Men had a small get-together / reunion earlier today to hang out and touch bases. After getting some good lunch at Bacalli's, we headed back to Jesse's place for some classic Halo 2 battles, with the usual colorful maps and high-tech weaponry at our disposal (yeah, guys bond differently than girls). However, the day reached a high point when we were able to share our current struggles and ways God has been teaching us these past months. It was very encouraging for each of us to listen and pray for one another in our walks as well as for Andrew and Larry who could not make it out today.

It's events like this that reaffirm my belief that small group can continue even after members split, and that the fellowship of blessing others and being blessed with God's grace can be just as everlasting. I can't wait until the next time we meet up again!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Things to Come

Keep praying for God's hand on the people of Darfur - that He may take care of His people and bring them hope.


IV '05 reunion @ Santa Cruz - here I come!! I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm REALLY excited to reunite w/ friends. =)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later...

Top: ; Bottom:

Keep praying for those lost loved ones. Give thanks to God for a country that "still stand[s] together as one".

Saturday, September 9, 2006

The Bridge

The excellent use of music and narrative voiceover really sets for one of the most intriguing and creepy trailers I have ever seen. May contain disturbing subject matter.

A group of fellow colleagues at Cal were working on a barrier that may help prevent further incidents. We'll have to see what happens....

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Double Trouble

I came home from San Diego this past weekend to some not-so-good news.

1. The passing of Steve Irwin. I don't watch his shows that often, but whenever I hit the Animal Planet channel, I always look forward to watching him pick up and/or tackle almost any living thing out there so curious animal lovers (like myself) may gain a better understanding of the non-humans around us. I was left in disbelief upon hearing his passing by a fatal pierce from the barb of a stingray. God can give and take life away that quickly by something that is "a million-to-one" incident. Rest in peace, Crocodile Hunter. are awesome.

2. The No. 9 California Bears lost their first game to Tennessee Volunteers. Ouch, since we were slated to put some serious pressure on the Pac 10 this year. But the season isn't over yet! =)

However, I did catch some playful flak from the boys while going bowling yesterday. Here are just a few pot-shots that added salt to the wound:

  • [Seeing everyone else wearing their school shirts except me.]
    "Man, I should have wore my Berkeley shirt today."

    "Why? Only winners get to wear their shirts and play today."

  • [I just missed a spare by bowling between a split]

    "Hey, that's better than what your team could do!"

  • "Dude, you gotta get William Hung off the team!"

Oh the pain. But towards the end of the night, I threw back the humble pie when I bowled my all-time high score of 180. HA!

Monday, September 4, 2006

2006 CEFC Summer Retreat

Whew! Just got back from UCSD and it was a good time to go away once more, notably out-of-town and into cooler weather.

  1. Served once more on the General Affairs team, using my truck and my newly-formed muscles to move anything and everything that was needed for the retreat. The coolest part was using our walkie-talkies on the freeway home, telling jokes and relaying openings in traffic.

  2. It was good to see more familiar faces this year and catching up with those whom I haven't seen for a while. One of the benefits of having an entire church attend a retreat!

  3. Dr. John Vawter spoke for the English congregation on the Fruit of Spirit, the ministry of Christ, and the joy we take in serving our God. I'm still trying to take in and remember all that I learned this short 3-day weekend, but it definitely goes well with the new direction that our young adult ministry going to take this coming year. Please keep on praying for the fellowship.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Wet Cell Phone

I was on my way back to the office from lunch when I accidentally dropped my phone in my water cup when trying to make a turn (I wasn't talking on it). Sure enough, it didn't work when I pulled it out and I was chagrined when I saw the dot next to the SIM card slot turned red, meaning that the phone was indeed wet and the manufacturers won't fix it under warranty. Crap.

I threw in the oven the minute I got home as per a site online. and by the grace of God, IT WORKED AGAIN!! I'm just glad it didn't short circuit when I kept trying to turn it on earlier. =)

I have really no idea what to expect from this weekend's annual church summer retreat, but I am trying to be optimistic and let go of my worries so God can show me His glory. See you back on Monday!