Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I am officially a resident of "Colorful Colorado" (the unofficial state slogan which will be displayed on the new state quarter). What does being a resident mean for me? Well, for starters, it means that I have a job and a home. I am no longer in the ranks of the homeless and unemployed.

Yesterday, Barnes and Noble at the Citadel (an area mall) offered me the community relations manager position. Woohoo! Thanks for all the prayers in this area. I move into my new apartment this weekend and start work on Monday morning with a 7am managers meeting. Lovely welcome!

Top 3 things I like about my new job:
  1. Being able to pay for grad school out of pocket
  2. Using my employee discount to buy books
  3. Full benefits package

Top 3 things I like about my new apartment:
  1. Washer and dryer hook-ups (no more lugging my laundry around)
  2. 5 minutes to work and 10 minutes to school
  3. Cozy wood-burning fireplace that will be great for the winters here (maybe I won't freeze after all!)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I don't have a lot to do right now. I'm in Colorado Springs, without a job, without an apartment, and without friends. I do know people--three to be precise: my possible future boss, my possible future apartment manager, and a friend of a friend who I met this morning at the church service I attended.

Not complaining here. Just stating the facts.

All of this time on my hands leaves time to explore my new city, read a lot, and watch a lot of movies.

So I decided to go see the movie and see what all of the fuss is about. I'm referring to The Davinci Code, of course. I've read the book and enjoyed the thrill of the chase. Dan Brown's tale is hard to put down as it spins you forward through the story, though as a writer I personally think he leaves a bit to be desired. Beyond cleverly intertwined and fanciful theories, Brown's writing is fit for the dime-book shelf in my opinion. But as I wasn't looking for something to stimulate my intellect at the time, I found it an entertaining read.

I can't say that I felt the same about the movie. Meticulously boring. Possibly the worst performance I have ever seen from Tom Hanks (granted he didn't have much of a script to work with). I felt no connection with any of the characters. I could have cared less if they fell in love, died, or found the buried treasure at the end. I just prayed for it to be over and would have walked out if I was not in the middle of the row in a very crowded theater.

I am not a movie or book critic by profession, so please note that these are just my opinions. However, I must say that I am quite amused at all of the hullabaloo over such a horrifically bad movie. Before the movie came out, my stomach churned with disgust any time I heard it mentioned. In my opinion it is something incredibly trivial for so much of the world to be focused on.

What breaks my heart and almost seems laughable to me now is that the Church will spend so much effort on proclaiming the heresy of a movie that even the professional critics dislike, but spends so little effort on teaching people to be Jesus--to move like Him, walk like Him, talk like Him. How many pulpit sermons were wasted on defaming The Davinci Code that could have been spent teaching people to be merciful, to be good neighbors, to be servants.

I can't help but think that Jesus would not have been amongst the raving minions. I don't think He cares one way or another what becomes of The Davinci Code. But I do think He cares about the millions who will see the movie, the millions dying worldwide because of poverty, and the millions worldwide who have yet to know the things that Jesus truly cares about--loving God and loving people.

So my non-professional final criticism of the movie is this: who cares.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thanks to all those who prayed over my interview yesterday. I think it went well. We'll see. I should hear a definitive yes or no either Monday or Tuesday. And I may possibly have one more interview with another of the regional managers.

In the meantime, I'm hanging out in the Springs. I've found a nice apartment that I plan on signing the lease if and when I get the B&N job.

So until I have more to say, enjoy this picture I took last night of the rain clouds over the Rockies.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hmmm...I seemed to have caused a little confusion because I forgot to change the date on my last post before I posted it. I started writing it about two weeks ago and didn't finish it until Sunday.

My B&N interview is this Thursday the 18th at 1:30. I'm driving to Colorado tomorrow for it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

On the road again...I've spent the last two weeks touring Texas from the Big Country (aka Abilene area), to the forests of East Texas, and back into the DFW area.

I'm back in Lubbock for a few days until I head to Colorado Springs on Wednesday. I have my third interview with Barnes and Noble on Thursday with the district manager. Hopefully if all goes well I will be hearing soon whether they are offering me the job.

Just a few highlights from my trip:

  • Barbarian night at Patrice's: no dinnerware of any sort, all things must be eaten with the hands, one napkin allowed, almost always serve something incredibly messy like spaghetti, invite everybody.
  • Walking in on a good friend's retirement party, and thus seeing all my old profs in one fell swoop.
  • Seeing all the strange new sites of Abilene: ACU renovations, new businesses and resturaunts, constructionless highways.
  • Catching up with lots and lots of folks.

Ore City (Small town East Texas outside of Longview):
  • Spending a few days with my college roommate Rachel.
  • Watching the goats walk by the back window every morning and catching baby goats.
  • Steak and potatoes.
  • Watching Rachel's cousin get baptized.

  • Seeing Jonah walk for the first time.
  • Waking up in the mornings to sit on the couch with Steve, Alasha, and Jonah.
  • Seeing Ryan and Amy Gibbons and meeting their new little one Lily.
  • Lots and lots of good eats.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I just finished perusing the latest issue of TIME. I'm not a big magazine person, but TIME is one of my guilty pleasures (if a news magazine can be called a "guilty pleasure").

This week: the 2006 edition of TIME's 100 most influential people, including everyone from George W. to the MySpace guys to P. Diddy.

The question I was left asking: What exactly makes a person "influential"?

TIME broke it down into five categories: leaders and revolutionaries, scientists and thinkers, heroes and pioneers, builders and titans, and artists and entertainers. I can't deny that every person they threw out (or at least the bios I read) have influence upon the world or in the least American culture. They also did not comment on whether their influence is for the good or the bad, thus why Avman al-Sawahiri (Bin Laden's No. 1) made the list.

What makes a person of influence? At first glance of TIME's list, you might say power, but then there's guys and gals on the list like Mike Brown, the guy who tried to demote Pluto. The farther I went through the list, I could not find a consistent theorem except that in one way or another, whether you heard about it or not, every person in some way made news in the last year.

I have to be honest that I don't think anyone on the list has much influence over me--at least not direct influence, there is certainly a trickle effect from the politicians, the Skype guys, etc. Persons of influence in my life? People who invest in me. People who build relationships with me. People who I invest in. My friends. My family. Ministers. Professors. People I find to be wise. People who love me. People who believe in me.

What about you? What makes a person of influence in your life?