Monday, March 31, 2008

Horton Has a Habit...

I saw few April Fools Day pranks worth mentioning this year. There was the pretty well done prank about Snoop Dogg joining the LDS Church.

And there was one that I was lucky enough to see for myself. With a bit of bravado and the clever moving of only two letters, someone has exposed Horton's seedy private life. I've heard other iterations of this title before, but to actually see it advertised in public like that was a comical treat for me.

Horton has a Whore

It all looks fine until you see the bottom left corner.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter 2008

This last Easter came and went with little to no fanfare. I think that's partially because Easter was so early in the year. I figured that since April 6 was on a Sunday this year that I'd be the actual holiday.

Anna didn't have Easter in Vietnam growing up and we have no kids to make it exciting, so there were no baskets. But, there was something that we did. Two years ago when we were just dating, we made Easter Eggs together. That part of the tradition we are sold on.

Here are our creations this year:

J <3 A

I <3 J part 1I <3 J part 2

Anna the King

Blue LambBlue Bunny

Chick w Egg

SailingRed, White and Blue


I liked this egg. It broke while being boiled, so I tried to make the most of it.

My sister saw these on Flickr. She said that you could tell we didn't have kids because there are no pics of making the eggs, just the eggs alone. Yeah, well, when you have kids you care more about the making process and therefore the eggs never look that good anyway. But, as you can see, these are clearly of the utmost professional quality.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Horray for Hulu...

A few weeks back I blogged about a site that denied me because I was in Guam. I sent a very poetic letter to them asking them to remember us little guys in Guam and it worked. Last week an email came from them informing me that due to my email was now open for business in Guam!

I watched some Simpsons, and House M.D. Then I felt nostalgic and enjoyed classics like Doogie Howser, M.D. and the Weird Science series. High quality video on demand streaming to me for free. Can't beat it. If you like to watch TV on your schedule, I suggest you check it out.

The cool part is that I am able to be the one to make it happen in Guam. Anybody that tries Hulu out here should totally send me a thank you letter. The squeaky wheel does get the grease, but sometimes I am reminded that squeaks don't need to be a negative thing. I wonder if my letter was more rude if I'd have the same outcome. Hulu support ended the email by saying, "...and thanks again for your terrific feedback."

While I'm on a roll I need to email Gov Guam in my chirpy prose and ask for my 2006 tax refund before I die of old age...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Any Opposed By The Same Sign...?

I got a new calling in my church this week.

As a member of the LDS faith in Guam, you are not part of a strong population. So the few faithful active priesthood holders such as myself experience rotational callings. If you are not a member of the church, I might need to explain a bit.

In our church, we don't have any paid clergy. Whether you are a Sunday school teacher or the congregational leader, the Bishop, it's all volunteer. And one does not just work his way up the ladder. A bishop can be released after a few years and be called to work in the nursery the next week. This concept is foreign to many other religions. If you have grown up in the Church, it just seems second nature.

However, one does not just become a bishop first. Usually callings of lesser responsibility build up to it so you can be prepared. In a place with limited leadership material like Guam, simply being a regular face means your odds of being asked to have callings of greater responsibility are always on the horizon.

The most notoriety I had was that of District Clerk. Where the Church is small, a congregation is called a Branch. A group of Branches is called a District. So my job was to take care of all of the financial and membership records for all of the branches in Guam and Saipan and train the clerks in the individual branches. I also had to be in charge of all technical stuff (computers, Video conference equipment, etc) for the area. It was challenging enough to be interesting but not a burden.

One Sunday, I was informed that I was to be released and that the whole District Presidency was to be replaced. The custom in the Church is for callings of this scale to last about 10 years. The presidency had been in place two years or less.

Despite my surprise, I was not upset in the least. The only thing I was worried about was what my next calling could be. The branch I am in lost it's clerk to replace me at the district level. So I had a hunch that'd be my next calling. I enjoy clerk. I would be fine with that. And as I mentioned earlier, we often rotate callings.

Sure enough, a couple Sundays later, I'm called into an office to be asked if I would be willing to take on a calling. I assumed either branch clerk or secretary as both were open. Then, I was asked to be the second councilor in the branch presidency.

My jaw dropped to the ground.

It's not that being in the branch presidency is that huge, but it feels that way when you are in it. As clerk or secretary, you are simply there. You take notes and organize, you don't make the decisions.

The branch presidency to me has always been older wiser men who I looked up to and respected. So, how did I become one? Is this calling going to work toward training me for Branch President? Can I be the kind of councilor that I want to be? Can I live up to my potential? Why did they pick me? Will people see this young kid on the stand and think they don't have to listen to what this whipper-snapper has to say?

Last Sunday, the branch was asked to sustain me by raising their right hand. This is to provide the membership a say in branch leadership. As far as I could tell every hand went up. Any opposed by the same sign? No hands that I saw. I sat down on the stand, looking ahead at the now seemingly large congregation in front of me.

Hang on tight, the ride is just starting to begin.