Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for Marriage...

While walking somewhere, do you ever notice a really "fine" girl; and she's holding the hands of some goober, and you think to yourself, "HOW IN THE WORLD?!?".

Well, everytime I look in the mirror with Alissa next to me, that thought pops in my head.  Why is a girl like that with a goober like me.

Marriage is hard... because it is making me better.  She's wrestling the vices out of me and struggling to aid me in the long, arduous path towards virtue.  And I hope that I can be of assistance to my co-heir to the kingdom.  I am reminded that she does not belong to me, but rather to our mutual master.  But in this ephemeral life this side of death, I will do my best to honor, cherish, protect and love her.  And the 2 readers of this blog can hold me to that.  I am very thankful that she condescended by stooping so low and marrying a schlob like me.  God truly is gracious...  and gratuitous goodness and beauty abounds...  


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful for music...

I really am thankful for music.  Music is very strange - somehow a string of putatively random noises can be 'formed' into something beautiful.  Of all the gratuitous excesses of goodness and pleasure that the divine has given us, I am very thankful that our heads and hearts can engage with the mathematical precision of a well-composed piece and yet have our hearts be broken by the utter beauty.  From the masterful Baroque composer Vivaldi to the down-home blues-jazz riff-ing of Scott Henderson, I'm overwhelmed by how much great music is out there.  Although much of it is not in 'pop' radio, good music is not hard to find (e.g., same with good books).

(I am currently taking a break and sitting with my guitar in order to transcribe and learn some of Scott Henderson's licks.... man he's good...)...  i love me some gitter...


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Family upon family....

Although no family dynamic may ever seem "normal", I guess I come from a fairly "normal" family.  I'm real luck-y (and I use that term with all its implications), and I am quite grateful.  One perk of being married has been the addition of a new family.  I know of many folks who, unfortunately, have a rough time with their in-laws.  Again, I am luck-y (though, I suppose, a more restricted notion than the first usage - since after all, some of it was in "my control", e.g. marrying Alissa, etc.).  It's been pretty easy with my in-laws, and in fact I feel as if I'm being spoiled on both fronts.  Since Turkey Day approaches, I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year, and I suppose I'll fill this blog with such things.  So first off, I'm thankful for my new family...

The "blonde" is my sister, Andrea... she's had a roller-coaster of a year (romanticism in 12 months with all the highs and lows), but her spirit has been an encouragement to me... and it is literally "impossible" to ever be bored with her (I mean that as a sincere compliment).  My mom is on the right... boy does she go over, above and beyond for her kids (even for her new kids)... I think she's flown, driven, packed, unpacked, moved so much this year for all of us that I can't believe she's still willing to come back... 

We're like an inverted twinkie....  (for those a little "slow", that's white on the outside and yellow on the inside)...   that's my brother, Brian on the right.  I'm borrowing his Chapman sweater (where he and Andrea both received their Master's this year - like I said, a roller-coaster year).  He just got a great job, and they recently moved into a new house - and best of all, they're expecting a little baby (so even more "new" family is to come).  My dad is on the left.  I can't say anything else but that I hope to grow up to be like him (he's a lot like my own dad [without the fobby-ness], so I hope to grow up to be like them both).

That's my grandpa.  My own grandpa passed away when I was one, so I've never had a grandfather during my years of being consciously aware; so it's nice that I now have a grandpa.  He's a good man; and even now, he is vigorous when it comes to ministering to others and evangelizing... I hope to be doing the same when I'm his age...  

That's my family.  I've given them a drop of yellow in their sea of white...  I like color...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh Preschool.... The runny noses, soiled pants and muddy shoelaces have a funny way of keeping life in perspective. So many of our daily tasks seem insignificant, yet it's in these little things that our character is tested daily. For so much of my teens and now 20's, I have sought to find meaning in my life. It is through these children that God continually reminds me that above all else, I am His child.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moral responsibility and freedom

I've had to think about free will issues a lot recently, so reading these was pretty funny...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

In an area covered by a dense layer of smog, the coast might be one's best bet for a whiff of fresh air.  Every few days, I have the privilege of escaping to such a place.  Above is the campus of UC Santa Barbara, where I get to share some time with skater-surfer "party-ers" who can't get enough of the terms "like" and "you know".  

By fortuitous (or perhaps providential) favor, we have made our way to such a fine place.  At the tip of the 'left' coast, it is not uncommon at many upper level institutions that the 'left-ism' seems most apparent.  Though it is in so-called 'ignorant yahoos' (read: Palin) that I am starting to trust, and to my great joy am starting to find even here.  If ignorant yahoos are the only ones left trying to overturn Roe-v-Wade, then I stand with the ignorant yahoos (though it is hard to label Hugh Hewitt an ignorant yahoo... and mostly because he seems to rise intellectually above many of those who scorn us yahoos).  But, victory shall not come in power, but rather it will be achieved in the self-effacing, self-abandoning act that follows from love.  The free act of submission to He who stands at the highest and to all who stand at the lowest, even to the least of these.

Many engage in academics, at worst, for power and prestige, and at best, in hopes that rigorous apologetics and argumentation may eventually overturn the culture in favor of Christendom.  Though Christendom has maintained itself within the upper echelon of academia and intellectualism, their real force is in their quiet humility.  And dwelling on the ave maria has been instrumental in my own learning of what it means to be humble.  May I, like Galadriel, pass my test and diminish into the west.

Christians must engage the culture.  And we can win.  Not by brute force or sheer strength of the will.  Nay, it shall come when we all learn to bend the knee to the Almighty and to each other... even to bend the knee to the skater-dude who cannot stop saying "like".  Love him, and I shall pass my test...  


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Psycho pschool...

Alissa began her courses last week...  For abbrev. sake, I just call them the "psycho-class" "children" and "system", which I think signify psychopathology, principles of child therapy, and systems of counseling and psychotherapy, respectively.  

I (eric) like to look through her DSM-IV diagnostic manual to see what mental disorders I have...  so far, my "professional" diagnosis of myself is what I've always known - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (from living with my brother for 16 years), dysthymia, etc...

She doesn't know I'm posting this, but I'm very proud to be married to Alissa.  I don't know how she works full time, goes to class full time (three graduate courses) and is still able to clean my clothes and make dinner ready.  She's super-woman!  And for those who know of her undergraduate habits, now she is constantly studying and reading.  She amazes even me.

Now it's time to get my lazy butt up and clean the apartment, eat my bon bons and curl up to a nice episode of Heroes!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Cruise Time!

Eric and I spent our first year anniversary on a 5-day cruise to San Diego, Catalina, and Ensenada. It was a first time for both of us. We ate SO much great food-from escargot to roasted duck, to a midnight chocolate buffet with sculptures made of chocolate! Check out our pics!

Our Cruise Getaway

Our San Diego Sea Port Village excursion.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sooners for life...

As we come to an end of the summer, we fondly remember the beginning of our summer as we made our long trek from the heartland of America to the 'left' coast (all puns intended).

When we encounter those with strange looks and reactions after telling them we lived in "Oklahoma", we realize that we too were the same in not knowing how much beauty and goodness exists away from the city and the coast.  Friendliness and hospitality abound, and we long for the days when we can become instant friends with the person standing next to us in a line at Wal-Mart (where we did our grocery shopping - that's right!... just listen to Carrie Underwood, she'll tell you all about it).  Though much was gained out there, the most important to us was the friendship in our weekly church group.

And now we're back in Arnold country, and in many ways we are happy to be here.  But the good times here do not drown out the good times of last year; if anything, it makes it all the more sweeter as we recall our happy moments with each other and with our friends.

Last of all, we will always have a negative attitude towards all things Longhorn and UT-Austin; though I may never be part of another division-I football team again, and though I have neither been Sooner born nor Sooner bred, I surely will be Sooner dead.  Sooners for life, I'm rooting for you Bradford - make me proud this year....   BOOMER!!!!!!!

with that, we look forward to the fall, with school, work, church and the rest that may come...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Welcome to our Blog

Our journey started August 12, 2007 as we said our vows and made our way to Oklahoma. After one life-changing year, we packed our bags and headed home to Southern California...

Though we are glad to be back in the land of loved ones, familiarity and Korean food, we will greatly miss our dear friends in Oklahoma. Kevin, Aileen, Tiff, and the bible study- you have left an impression on us forever. You are such a blessing from God. Thanks for being our family!

Now Eric and I start our new life here in Thousand Oaks. ("T.O." for the locals) After leaving OU with his M.A., Eric will begin his fellowship at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing his Ph.D. in Philosophy. I am starting graduate school this fall, studying Counseling Psychology at Cal Lutheran University while teaching preschool. We will both be full-time students so it will be a busy and exciting time for us! Please keep us in your prayers!