Thursday, December 30, 2004

Art and stuff

So one of the cool things about living in LA and Pasadena in particular are the museums that are nearby. In October I was able to visit the Huntington Library where I saw an original Guttenberg Bible, an original Canterbury Tales, as well as Thomas Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy" Which interestingly once had a dog painted at the boy's feet, but was then painted over. There is a cool x-ray of the painting that shows the dog.

Anyway, today I was able to go to the Norton Simon museum with Katie and her parents. It was so cool, to see paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Degas (who has some weird sculptures like "Woman wiping her left armpit" [I'm Serious]), and other famous dudes. And being a student, I got in for free. How cool is that?

So, my artistic culture is being widened by being out here and it is fun.

The other thing of interest is the preparations for the Rose bowl are underway. The parade route is about two blocks from where I live. I will be working till 2 am on new years eve and then at 4pm the next day, so I may be able to see the parade. Some friends are possibly going to spend the night there so maybe I will join them. ALso, it appears that The Ritz Carlton is the home base for the business end of the Rose Bowl Parade etc... No teams, but lots of rich folks I guess lol

Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 26, 2004


The last week has been a fairly emotional one for me. A weird mixture of good and bad.

I have definitely had some wonderful quiet times and prayer with our Lord, and I try to keep focused on that, but there has been so many othere things affecting me too.

I have already talked about the stresses of the job, and so I don't need to go into too much more here. It has been rough. Since I thouhgt I would be working way back in october or november, all of my finances are pretty screwed up (which is unfortunately nothing new for me) so I am currently trying to make enough to finish paying for last quarter so that I can register for the upcoming quarter. This has been increasingly stressful as january approaches, I believe I am about half the way there, but everything depends on how much people are tipping. Rich people seem to be more stingy than the middle class in that area....
So there is that.

More troublesome was the fact that I am almost 2000 miles away from home at Christmas for the first time in my life. Thanksgiving was tough, but I still had friends around to be with and have dinner with, Christmas was the opposite. My friend Jon and I were the only ones in town, and I had to work both Christmas eve and Christmas day. When I called home last night to talk to my family it was a bag of mixed emotions. I was joyful because I was able to talk to just about every one in my family, but hearing the voices made me sad that I could not be with them. I am certainly blessed to have a family that is supportive and that loves me like they do. We went through a lot as a family this year when we lost my Grandma, so I have felt a lot closer to them all. All I really wanted last night was to give and recieve hugs from them. I never thought that would be the specific thing I miss, but I do. I miss giving my aunts and uncles a warm embrace that many families do not take the opportunity to share. I know I am rambling, but anyway..

To top that all off I have been looking at all of my photos the last couple of nights. I saw so many joyous occasions and such, but the things that stood out to me the most were the people who have passed away, as well as thefriendships in those pictures that have now become fractured. I have been a poor friend to many people and I know that part of it is moving on and such, but my heart still grieves for some of those friendships.


But I do need to mention the blessings as well. I have a job, that is a blessing. God has provided me with close friends out here, including Jon and so many people who are home for the holidays. God as also completely surprised me with an emerging relationship with Katie. We are still in a very ealry part of it all, but she has been such a blessing and one of the things that has kept me smiling this Holiday season. And finally, just the fact that I am in California right now is such a blessing. To be going to an amazing school and enjoy my studies at a level I have never known before is amazing enough, but the fact that I am constantly learning about Jesus is indescribable.

So, for those of you who have been around in the last year, I am not in the midst of a deep depression like I was before. I am just in an unsettling moment amidst a greater stability in Christ. He lives in me, and my knowledge of him (limited as it may be) is the greatest thing I have.

Peace to all

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmas Cards

So lately I have been getting a bunch of christmas cards.

I think that is nothing out of the ordinary, I have always gotten a bunch at christmas time.

There is something different about this year though. I think being away from home has made things like that so much more special. I definitely miss spending christmas time with my friends from NR and Cap. I know there are some that feel the same, so I am not writing this to complain or seek pity, but I really want anyone who reads this to know that I miss them and care for them.

Work on sunday was so much better. I think it will all work out. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

My Life as a Valet: Part II


So today was many things when it came to work. It was frustrating, stressful, even panicky.

The first hour seemed to go well, but then all of a sudden we were double parking cars all over and making new spaces I think we hold 600 cars and we had almost 650 or 700 to park tonight. Anyway, in the midst of it all I had a small accident. This was stressful enough without having a guy who is not my boss start yelling at me for which way to turn the steering wheel etc... I bumped a bumper to a bumper and then he freaked out. in the midst of turnin gin the direction he wanted me to go, I ended up scraping the passenger side door on a concrete pillar. It was at this point that I came even closer to panic mode than the other day. The next two r three hours continued to be stressful as I was trying to shake off the incident and then get back to normal. When the flow started going from incoming cars to cars being picked up to leave, I was able to get back on top of things and did well. In the end we made 43 bucks in tips a piece, but there were like 30 guys working so I guess that comes out to like 1,290 in tips for the dept. not too bad I guess.

My only other weird moment of the night was areminder of how cocky some people can be. I was being waved forward by my boss and began to pull forward when a couple who was completely oblivious walked in front of me. I of course hit the brakes. I was embarassed, but also knew that it was mostly his fault. Well this guy who was in his late 30's or early 40's gave me this death stare that was apparently supposed to intimidate me as he walked across and then made some comment on me being carless. I am not taking it to heart, and in reality most of the wealthy patrons are pretty nice. But man....I pray that I don't treat people like he treated me.

So continued prayer is of course always good. I would love to work inside as a bellman actually same stuff just w/out the cars which means less stress, but it seems to have very few turnovers so it prolly would be a while before I could do that.

so now it is 2am and I probably will not go to church tomorrow because I need to get some sleep...but I did actually have a lot of prayer time as I was working and have felt God close with me during all of this, so I am thankful for that. I am also thankful that I at least have an income. Someday I will be able to devote my career to him as well, but right now I know I must do what I can to make the money to pay the bills I have. He has blessed me and is so amazing in his faithfulness!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

My Life as a Valet: Part I

So, I made it through orientation and started my two on the job training days on thursday. Basically all that means is I do the same work as everyone else but don't recieve tips - but whatever...

After my first three hours I was ready to look for another job. It wasn't that I had a problem with how hard the work was, or something like the guys who work there were really mean or rude(which they aren't), it was just a lot more stressful for me than I had anticipated. My anxiety was going up through the roof. It was the closest I have come to a panic attack in months. The width of the parking spots are literally just wide enough for cars to fit into, an inch smaller and there would be no room I think. Combine this with your second car to park being an Excursion and that equals high anxiety for Richie.

Fortunately things have gotten better and I am willing to wait it out and see how things go. I am still unable to drive stick and that sucks, because sometimes I go to pick up a car and find that it is a stick. That is not too often though.

My only other concern right now is whether I will have to work nights come classtime in January. Right now I am ok working anytime since I am off school, but when school starts again I need to be working days to keep my sleep under control and stay on top of my workload. Class is priority. Originally when I was hired, I was hired for the day shift, but the guy who hired me was fired and the guy in charge now may or may not honor that request... So any prayers you all have to offer up for me would be appreciated. :)

I am still very blessed to have the job and thank God that I have some income finally.

In other news, I have been praying a lot about things with Katie and am really excited about how they have been going. I feel like God has brought me to a healthy place in my relationship with him that will allow me to keep up a healthy relationship with her. After my year of Hell I have come to know that dependance on him for my well-being and needs is a necessity in all things. Anyway, the other thing is that we both have our own commitments so I think that we will be forced to refrain from spending huge amounts of time together which could cause problems. Space is a good thing! Once again though, I would appreciate any prayers for God's control and guidance.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

My Grandparents rock

So, my grandparents on my mom's side are pretty amazing folks. They have always been there even when my mom hasn't. Yesterday they sent me some money to help out with bills, and in the letter my Grandma snt with it she wrote "We're very proud of the man you have become." That one sentence has given me so much joy. I know I have a lot to learn and will always be growing, But to have them say that about me really touches me. In conversations about my move west to go to Seminary, they have been so supportive and have also let me know they could tell by how I was talking about it that this really seemed to be what my heart desired and that it was the course they thought was best for me as well. I have been blessed by them in so many ways before, money, advice, shelter etc... but the best blessing of them all has been their support recently. Thank you Jesus for Pam and Bob Zorens.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So you wanna work at the Ritz-Carlton do ya?

The last two days have been quite long.

On Tuesday I drove all the way across town at 6 am to go to an orientation for the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey. I am hired at the one here in Pasadena as a Valet Attendant, but they didn't have an orientation here this month. Or so I thought. When I got there I found out they had scheduled one at Pasadena and had never let me know. So I could have slept in and not spent four hours of my day in traffic. Let me rewind and say tha tagain so it can sink in. FOUR HOURS OF MY DAY WERE SPENT SITTING IN TRAFFIC.

So today I went to pasadena to complete my orientation. This time when I show up I am told that Iwill have to wait another month because I didn't attend the first day of orientation at Pasadena.

After the initial heart attack I asked why they had me sit through a whole day at the other Hotel if it didn't count. Apparently there was miscommunication(duh) and I was really ok.

But It was just really frustrating. The orientation sessions themselves were really great. The head staff led all of the sessions including the General Manager spending over an hour of his time with us. So I was impressed by all of that.

The hotel itself is amazing. So beautiful. I will be spending all of my time out front attempting to drive stick...which I can't do very well. But I suppose I will get is someday soon.

I would say that last night really ended up being the highlight of an already amazing week.

Katie and I got to hang out and watch Office Space before she left for home this morning. The best word I can think of to describe it was 'comfort.' I just feel at ease around her and I also feel at ease with the fact that God is in charge of whatever will happen between us. There is no need to rush things or whatnot.

One of the things I have struggled with in the past is the question of "Am I loveable?" God has really been showing me how that question is just bunk. When I realized that I am loveable for the simple fact of being God's child, I also realized that that can help eliminate the fear of rejection.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: God is in charge, and I have faith in his guidance.

OK, so this post was a little heavy, but I promise to post something funny soon. :-p

Friday, December 10, 2004

Date Jesus

Date Jesus not too many things on the internet make me laugh out loud much anymore, so this was a nice treat to find!

While this page is pretty funny....I don't recommend most of the rest of the site, so if you browse it beware.

Friday, December 03, 2004


So tonight I had my final class in New Testament 1: The Gospels with Dr. Hagner. I honestly don't think I have ever enjoyed a class as much as I have this one. Dr. Hagner is one of those professors who are so passionate about what they do, that it really begins to rub off. I have learned many things this quarter, but I will just share one of them from tonight that I thought to be interesting.

Dr. Hagner was discussing The Gospel According to John, and he noted that while the Synoptics place a high emphasis on the Resurrection, a closer reading of John will reveal that for him the Glory and Exultation of the Christ comes on the cross at the Crucifixion itself. Some texts that point to this are John 3:14, 8:28, and 12:32-34 The word for "lifted" in the greek is hupsoo (hoop-sah-oh) On the one hand it means "to lift up on a pole" (i.e. the crucifixion) and it has a second meaning that is "to lift up in exaltation." John has a few of these double meanings, but this to me is the most striking.

Anyway, one of the points Dr. Hagner made was that a common view of protestants is that "My Jesus doesn't hang on a cross anymore so he shouldn't be depicted that way" While it is true that he doesn't hang on that cross anymore, a Crucifix is a valid portrayal for the glory of Christ. He then went on about radical Iconoclasts that knocked off the heads of statues in some churches in England and how even Luther would have been appalled. But he is funny like that lol.

That’s my theological insight for the day lol.