May

#121 Reading Room

01 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna and I were on campus at CSUB, and while Deanna had to go and take care of some errands, I discovered the reading room at the Stiern library was a wonderfully open, clean, and silent places to truly read… living up to its ambience. I didn’t exactly read here, though. Instead I cranked out a blog post on orphan care. Afterwards, we went over to Ben’s for a dinner made out of hors d’ouerves and other random items.

#122 Yosemite Bound

02 May 2014 // Fresno, California

Meg, Annie, Deanna, and Ben met up at my place and we ended up driving together towards Yosemite to celebrate mine and Meaghan’s birthday weekend. It took us some time to get there thanks to a detour through Merced, and longer pitstops than we anticipated. We did swing by an El Torito for an early birthday dinner, which was a pretty fun time.

#123 Camping Out

03 May 2014 // Stanislaus National Forest, California

I absolutely dig sleeping outdoors, in tents. While Yosemite was already full, we found a great campsite just outside in the Stanislaus forest. We were also lucky and snagged the last available spot just in time. Camping, having s’mores for breakfast, and spending time with some great friends I don’t get to see often enough was the perfect way to spend a birthday weekend.

#124 Yosemite

04 May 2014 // Yosemite National Park, California

I was blown away by the splendor of Yosemite. Going camping for my birthday weekend was clearly a great choice, and I enjoyed every minute spent in the beautiful outdoors with some amazing friends. A lot to be thankful for and  little to complain about on a weekend like this one.

#125 The 24th Birthday

05 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

My 24th birthday might have been my favorite. I had an absolutely amazing day, beginning with Deanna and I watching the sunrise together and exchanging a sweet moment out on the bluffs and culminating with a great dinner with friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. This week, the Love of friends would prove to be extra important to me, and I felt a generous helping of it on my birthday.

#126 In Memory of the Heartland Nomads

06 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I was absolutely shocked and devastated to hear the news that LiNK’s Heartland Nomad team had been killed in a tragic car accident. I had never met Karolina, Shane, or Calvin, but I definitely felt close and connected and deeply affected by the news being a part of the LiNK family, and having had that same route and driven that same van only a year and a half prior. My heart immediately went out to their families and my LiNK family.

#127 Heaviness/Lightness

07 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Still shaken by the news of the Heartland Nomads, I went through today with a heavy heart. Still, it wasn’t without hope. Having a class to teach and students to help were a big grace in helping me get through the day. This picture, of the window shutters as they are typically half opened behind my teacher’s desk kind of captured my emotions. Feeling the weight and heaviness of the dark day, but believing in and catching glimpses of light, joy, and friendship beyond the immediate circumstances.

#128 The Olive Drive Complex

08 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

It’s definitely been a tough week to make it through, full of sadness but also Love. It’s been kind of hard to stay focused and do everyday things fully present (and that’s important to me) but I know it’s important to allow myself to process things the way I need to process them. Sometimes, being present means being present to what’s going on inside. There will come a time when things get easier. It doesn’t come overnight, but it comes.

#129 In Class Birthday Party

09 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Since both of my aides were absent on Monday, we celebrated my birthday in class later in the week. We had a pizza party and watched Wreck-It Ralph later on in the day. First, though, the class wrapped me up in green construction paper. These guys aren’t to be trusted. (Actually, it’s my aides. Watch out for ‘em!)

#130 The Heartland Memorial

10 May 2014 // Torrance, California

I took the trip to Torrance to pay my respects to Shane, Karolina, and Calvin of the Heartland team during their memorial service at the LiNK office. While L.A. traffic kept me from making it to the memorial service on time, I was able to see and hug a lot of familiar faces from my LiNK family, and that was so good and so necessary. I realize that part of honoring the three lives of the nomads is by taking the time to be present with those I hold dear and to live my life to the fullest.

#131 Lunch at Jollibee

11 May 2014 // Carson, California

After spending the night and the morning with my Auntie Ella and Auntie Fely, Deanna and I went out to Jollibee, the Filipino exported fast food chain. It was Dee’s first Jollibee, my first halo-halo drink in a very long time, and our warm up for our trip to the Philippines this summer

#132 Monopoly Electronic Banking

12 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I Love it when my students ask me to play with them during their free time. Of course, they often choose Monopoly which we never get to finish in the short windows that they get for free time, but I think they’re mostly into it because they like playing with the electronic credit card pieces. This class assignment has been one of the best things to happen to me at my job.

#133 The Tiger’s Wife

13 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

This has been one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time. It’s been one of the first fiction pieces to actually go beyond my expectations in a while, and I Love the way this story is masterfully told. Consider this a very solid recommendation for Tea Obehrt.

#134 Beautiful Eulogy

14 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Thanks to the tip off from Andrew Quan, I was treated to a more exciting weeknight than I usually get around Bakersfield. Shows I’d be interested in hardly ever come to Bakersfield,  so they weren’t even on my radar, but Beautiful Eulogy & Co. put on a fun and exciting free show in town tonight.

#135 The Kress Building

15 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Ben and I went downtown to look at antique furniture shops to get some ideas for projects we’d like to do. While we found the treasure trove of stores, they unfortunately close really, really early, so we didn’t quite get to look inside any of them. Instead we went to a pupuseria and enjoyed some Salvadorian food and NBA playoffs.

#136 BHS Day

16 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

My students were treated to a fun festival at Bakersfield High School on a field trip today. What I didn’t realize, was that BHS students would chaperone each of my students one on one, so all of us teachers could just hang out under gazebo tents for the day and relax. I think my students enjoyed it too.

#137 Breakfast with Luke

17 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Got breakfast at the Knotty Pine with Deanna’s family this morning, and I got to sit next to Luke. He kept trying to get some of my catfish, but I ended up getting a few photos with this guy, so I probably got the best spot.

#138 Swimming Pools & Otter Pops

18 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

With temperatures making a habit out of triple digits, my summer has practically begun. Forget that I have eight days of class left, the swimming pool and otter pop combination marks the start of Summer 2014, and it’s gonna be a good one.

#139 Salty’s

19 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Aiming to live fully after the tumultuous start to this month, I said no to a boring, typical night at home by asking Tim if he wanted to get some BBQ. His wife is out of town for a while and I hadn’t eaten Salty’s actually AT Salty’s. We had a great conversation about worship, belief, and mysticism.

#140 99¢ Outlet Plus

20 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Again saying ‘no’ to boring days, I went on an impromptu photo shoot of some of the food & liquor stores nearby the school where they teach. I’m in a gritty part of town and the storefronts, like their surroundings, all tell interesting stories but don’t get the deserved attention.

#141 Biking Bakersfield

21 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I got to wake Vlad out of his year long slumber while going on a ride with D.J. down Bakersfield’s bike path. Bako isn’t a very bike friendly city, but there are some neat surprises that sit along its bike path. It was a great reminder of the fact that I need to explore more often.

#142 National Parks Summer

22 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I don’t often make spontaneous purchases, but when I do, it looks like this. These books are gonna serve as a neat source of inspiration as I plan out Summer 2014, and its many adventures. I’m hoping that a few National Parks are in order.

#143 Roasting Marshmallows

23 May 2014 // Bonita, California

I joined Ivy and JB for camping out in Bonita. Our goal was to watch the meteor shower, but unfortunately, it was too cloudy. Still, a night spent outdoors is a good night, and we got a pretty sweet fire going for our s’mores and sausages.

#144 Sleeping In Tents

24 May 2014 // Bonita, California

Sleeping outside in tents is definitely my favorite. It was great to wake up in one and take a little walk around Bonita Canyon with a bow and arrow by my side. I also enjoyed the rest of the day spent in San Diego catching up with family and friends there.

#145 May Peace Prevail

25 May 2014 // San Diego, California

I attempted to attend a Quaker church service today because I’ve always been fascinated with the practice of extended, communal silence. As it turns out, I walked into the wrong building and sat in on a service of the Church of the Brethren. (Brethren and Quakers, along with Mennonites are grouped as the three peace denominations of Christianity.) The people here were friendly and the discussions were interesting. Definitely different from what I’m used to, but a good experience.

#146 Aroma Café

26 May 2014 // La Jolla, California

Took my mom out on a birthday brunch at Aroma with the Orlinas before heading back up to Bakersfield. Afterwards we spent some time wandering around La Jolla as well. Wish I had more time so I could’ve finally checked out Warwick’s as well, but it was still a good and very packed day. Met with Chris in the morning and had an amazing conversation, and did the same with Steven on the drive up. Made it back to Bakersfield in time to have burgers with Deanna’s family.

#147 GauchoStrong

27 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Saddened to hear about the events in Isla Vista last weekend. IV is still the place that feels the most like home, despite all the places I’ve been or lived the past couple of years. I have no doubt that the key to its healing and will be the thing that makes it Isla Vista in the first place– an amazing sense of community. It’ll always remind me of The Love Dungeon and all the other ways I discovered community and built meaningful relationships in that square mile.

#148 Apartment 38

28 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I only have a handful of days left living at this apartment. It’s been a quiet place for sure, one that’s given me more space, both physically and mentally, than I’ve experienced in a long time. It was a cozy place to stay, but I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. Spent a good portion of the day trying to pack up my room and consolidate my belongings.

#149 Last Day of School

29 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Today was the last day of school (for the students, at least.) I’m really gonna miss Angel, Phillip, Damoreya, Ramiro, and Joseph. I’m thankful that a random two day assignment at Emerson turned into a two month stay and that this class was so wonderful. For our last day, we watched movies, ate Subway, and played kickball with the class next door.

#150 Martin’s Meat Market & Deli

30 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

After I went in to Emerson to pack up the classroom and wrap up official business, I was free to go wander around downtown for a little bit. Dee introduced me to Martin’s Meat Market and Deli– a definite hole-in-the-wall with good deep pit sandwiches. Gotta love where they cook this stuff, though. On a grill on wheels parked street side out front.

#151 Chopping Celery

31 May 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna made some tuna melts for us on a relaxing Saturday spent at home. I helped out by dicing up some celery to put into this thing. I also purchased a few guide books for this summer’s adventures and did some work on planning the upcoming month.

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