Thursday, October 20, 2011

Return of the Blog

Hello friends,
In case you haven't noticed, I haven't blogged in forever. Like, years. But, there's no need to fear! In just a few short weeks, I will be back. In case you didn't know, I'm moving to Russia soon. Therefore, I've decided to dedicate this blog to my more humorous musings, because I am most definitely not going to be able to vent them in Russia. However, if you do want to know what's actually going on in my life, you can mosey on over to my new Russia blog at Other than that, here's my latest thought:

The other day, Israel and Palestine had a prisoner swap. In exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, Israel received one prisoner in return. That's right. One prisoner for a thousand. Israel, I hate to say it, but you guys got Jewed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joplin Tornado

There are some things in life that will be incredibly hard to describe, not because they are uncomprehendable, but because there is nothing else in the world by which they can be compared. What has been seen in Joplin over the past few days is one of these things. The aftermath of Joplin’s tornado seems like something out of a movie or fantasy, and the only things that compare to it are things that people have only ever seen in their imaginations. The things we thought could never happen have happened.
Yet, through all of this, there is hope. While we may not be able to find an adequate comparison for the destruction created by the tornado, the people of Joplin are a different story. The citizens here have taken on the persona of an ant colony, who, upon having their anthill destroyed by a rainstorm, immediately begins its reconstruction. While Joplin may look like a city torn apart, the people that reside here are a living testament that this city’s vitality is found not in the misfortunes of its people, but in their dedication to one another as a community. It may be true that Joplin is down, but we are far from out. We are one city. We are one spirit. We are Joplin.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Perfect Storm

Every year, Lake Superior State University creates a list of words or phrases that should be banned from the English language because of overuse. As I was reading this list the other day, I saw that as of 2008, the phrase "perfect storm" had been added to the list. The thought process behind this addition went something like this: because so many people used "perfect storm" to incorrectly describe situations that turned out to not be perfect storms, the emphasis behind the phrase "perfect storm" had lost its value.

Needless to say, my friends and I were dumbfounded. How could the proud speakers of the English language neglectfully let something of this magnitude pass by? It was a shame, for sure. Seeing that this was a time that called for desperate action, my brave friends and I took it upon ourselves to answer this call in order that we might restore the former glory and dignity of this beloved phrase, and while it was by no means an easy journey, we firmly believe that we have arrived at a true perfect storm.

The Perfect Storm:
Every year, Ozark issues a student directly that has come to be known by many as "The Wishbook." It was given this name because legend has it that the girl on campus had a tradition of going through the book and circling the pictures of guys that they wished to date or marry...or just kiss.
While the Wishbook is no doubt still used in this way, advances in modern technology have allowed the Wishbook to serve a new purpose that dwarfs its original intent; it provides cell-phone numbers! That's right. Not only does the Wishbook provide pictures of your potential soulmates, but it also provides an effective way to reach them! It's a dream come true!

Unfortunately, this is where the perfect storm begins to arise. You see, while the Wishbook's database of love provides you with the number of your future one and only, you are automatically labeled a creeper the moment you use it. No matter what you try, you aren't going to be able to hide the fact that you were too chicken to personally ask your person of interest for his or her number.

So, as you can see, it seems that we have finally found a true and legitimate perfect storm. Of course, this is more of a perfect storm for guys than girls, because we guys don't really care how you get our number; we're just thrilled you're calling...

Or at least I am.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Amazing Grace

If I had a girlfriend that cheated on me as much as I've cheated on God, I would break up with her. Thank God for grace.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Russian Wilderness Camp

So this week, I've been at Russian Church camp. I think I can say hands down that this was one of the roughest adventures I have ever been a part of. First off, I need to explain Russian church camp. This is not your typical camp. To even get to this camp, you have to take a ferry up the Volga River, then you walk a quarter of the mile through the woods to another river. Once you find a good place to settle, you begin digging holes…and lots of them. You dig holes for the giant tent, you dig holes to store food, you dig holes to store trash, and you dig holes to store poop. Now being that it was probably only 84 degrees, you wouldn't think that would be that bad. Wrong! You forgot that the sun is up for 22 hours at a time during the Russian summer, so it's hot aaaallll day long. On top of that, there are horseflies everywhere. I have never seen so many. I could wave my hand and I would be guaranteed to swat at least 3 or 4. On the Brightside, they only bit you if you were wet and/or sweating. On the downside, you were always wet or sweating. Luckily, horseflies only bite when it is light out. What a relief. Of course, once the sun goes down, the mosquitoes come out and they don't care if you're wet or not.

I encountered some interesting animals at camp. First, our camp was raided by hedgehogs. That's right: Hedgehogs. I didn't even know these lived in Russia. They come out at night and search for anything sweet that they can find. They're actually pretty friendly and even let you pick them up. I should have a picture of one of the hedgehogs we caught up on facebook shortly.

The second animal is not so cute and cuddly. The Russians call it medvyetka, which sounds a little bit like "earth bear" in Russian. The English name for it is "mole cricket" but since I had never seen one, I was a bit caught off guard. Here's a picture of this ferocious looking creature. The one in our tent was about 3 inches long and looked like some creature from outer space. Apparently, they live underground and eat root crops, such as potatoes, beets, and carrots. I hope to never see one again.

I have to get going, but hopefully I'll be able to blog again soon.

Until then,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cheesin’ it up.

Happy Fourth of July everybody! It's strange being in a place where that has no significance. I dunno though. I don't know that I ever did anything big for the fourth anyway other than blow some stuff up.

Today I learned a very important phrase. "Ya hachoo yest." Usually this would mean "I am hungry" but I think the Russians interpret it as "Hello, I am an American who speaks no Russian. For the protection of my well being, would you please drop what you are doing and take me to the nearest market so that I may get some food to eat? If you don't, I may starve to death and since we just arrested several of your spies, I'm pretty sure you don't want to be caught my blood on your hands. Thank you." However, today is my lucky day. It seems I found a market where I have to know very little English in order to get my supplies…or so I thought. I was shop-shop-shopping along, picking out meats and fruits and putting them in my basket when all of the sudden I came to the cheese section. For those who have never shopped at an open market in Europe, you may not see this as a big deal. You, my friends, are wrong. I have learned that America does not know its cheeses. Also, American cheese is not a legitimate name for any cheese sold in Russia. Don't even suggest such a preposterous thing to a clerk. They'll probably give you the "Do we look like we import our cheese from America?" look, and walk away.

    Now, some of you may know what kind of cheese you want and the Russian name for it. You may even consider yourself a cheese wiz. (That one's for free) But if you are one of these lucky people, you're not out of the woods yet. Noooo sir! See, in Russia cheese is not sold by the slice or by the pound, it is sold by the kilogram. The only thing I knew Kilograms were used for was measuring cocaine and heroin, so I really have no experience with it. It was at this point that I could make one of two decisions: buy the entire cheese wheel and be done with it, or get help. Luckily some of my Russian friends were also at this particular market, so I had some people to share my cheese wheel with.

    In other news, I'm taking a river ferry up the Volga River Wednesday for a church camp. Yep, I'm gonna convert ole' Tinkerbelle.

Yours truly,


Saturday, July 3, 2010

From Russia with Love…again.

Hello again,

It's been like 2000 years since I last posted something, so I apologize for keeping you all on edge. In case you didn't already know, I got on a plane the other day and flew to Russia. It's a twelve hour flight, which is terrible just thinking about it. I usually get a little sleep on the plane but this time I was sitting next to an old Russian woman who kept poking me and asking me "Student?" over and over. If that wasn't enough, she would start rubbing my arms because she thought I was cold. I didn't know how to explain that my hands always shake even when I'm not cold, so I just toughed it out. When I got off the plane, the person that was supposed to pick me up was two hours late because of construction. I wasn't too worried, but the taxi drivers who were standing around kept saying "Your friend probably fall asleep wheel of car. He is not coming. Maybe taxi take you where you need, yah?" When I told them I needed to go five hours away, they pretended to not know anymore English. Shortly thereafter, my friend came and we left for Kostroma, but not before I gave the taxi drivers a "told you so" look. Those are always nice.

So now I'm chillin' here in Kostroma, Russia, about five hours northeast of Moscow. This puts it on the same latitudinal lines as Alaska meaning the sun sets here about midnight and rises around two in the morning. It's something else. I spent yesterday at an English camp hanging with kids and signing autographs. I signed about 46, but who's keeping count? It was pretty cool.

That's about all for now. In about a week, we're setting off for some sort of wilderness Bible camp. Some of the guys here made some awesome toilets consisting of plywood with guitar-pick shaped holes in them. The holes are bigger than guitar picks though. I also get to do a sermon on Wednesday for them. That'll be interesting. I've done very few sermons and absolutely none where I needed a translator, so be praying for that. I tend to use a lot of slang, which is a nightmare for translators. It's probably the equivalent of typing an essay and randomly throwing in Wingdings font.

Well, that's about it for now on my update. I'll post again every now and then, so stay tuned for more!

Your friend,