Sunday, November 20, 2005

I am bad at names...

Ok, so I was way off on his name. It's Brandon. We met for lunch yesterday. Earlier that morning he had managed to get a job doing some windows and worked hard to earn some money. Well, he also had found out that his old job (forklift operator) was available for him back in New Orleans if he could scrape together the money to get back down their. He had figured out he needed about $40 or $50 more to have enough money to drive back down. So after we finished eating, I went around Sbaro and to all the tables that had people with brown shoulder bags (ys issued) and the little nametag thingys and did my own bit of panhandleing. Managed to come up with $48. When I gave it to him, his eyes lit up and he adked if that was for real and where I got the money. I told him I worked my metafiz-magic. No, that's not what i said because if I had said that, he would have thought I was an idiot. I just told him that I was here with a bunch of youth workers and asked them for some money to help him out. He then said, "Oh man, I gotta go pack!" We shook hands, exchanged e-mail addresses, and he went on to pack and then head back home. It's always nice to be able to go back home.

On another note, I met Tree, aka Manofredearth, (from the ys discussion boards) and his wife at the late night theology forum. We (me, Tree, his wife, and my friend Lisa) went out afterwards and talked theology and philosophy. Very nice. But we stayed out too late. I'm tired. But coffee is a good gift from God.

After the convention I'll acutally reflect on some stuff in depth, but for now you'll just have to wait. Patience is a virtue.


Oh yeah, I also got to play a kickin' game of 9-Square. Like 4-Square, only more so. Sweet.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

NYWC Nashville

So here i am at the Youth Workers' Convention. 7500 people. It's been kind of odd because I got to spend a couple days backpacking in the Smokies before the Convention. Thursday morning I woke up on top of a mountain to the beautifully freezing air and snow falling. Complete solitude. Hiked out 11 or so miles by noon and drove to the Convention to meet up with 7500 people. Talk about culture shock. Wake up by yourself on a mountain in the snow and end the day in a state of the art convention center with 7500 loud people. All in all I think I've adjusted pretty well.

Got to meet up with some forumites from the wannabe YS forums. Thankfully it wasn't anyone that I've (recently) offended on the boards. It's fun to try to put screen identity's with faces and real names. A cool bunch of people.

I still don't really like the vendor/exhibitor area. It smells of most things that I think are wrong with the world, or at least our little christian corner of it. It astounds me the amount spent on silly trinkets to give away in an attempt to get someone's mailing address. There was actually one organization that I wanted to get info from, so I went over there, saying "no" to countless others offering me free crap. I went up to the table. The dude there said "hey, you want a free wristband?" "No." "How about a free sticker? Or water bottle?" "No." "Well, what can I get for you?" "Actually, I'd like some info."

It struck me as odd, sad, and extremely funny (not funny haha, but funny in that ironic, odd, sad way) that actual information was the last thing offered, and only then when I asked for it, but so much other junk that doesn't amount to anything was offered freely. It kind of makes me sick. But enough about me and my issues.

I went to Tony Campolo's seminar on Apologetics yesterday, then his seminar on Politics today. He is an amazing person to listen to. If you ever have a chance, do yourself a favor and go listen. Beautiful and inspiring. Also, it makes you feel like a jerk, or, more specifically, it makes you realize you are a jerk. Which is a good thing.

Last night I was wondering around the city (didn't go to the general session - just wasn't in the mood) and met a man (I'm pretty sure his name is Darren. Or maybe Donnie. I'm horrible at names). Anyway, he, his girlfriend, and his 4 year old daughter were displaced from New Orleans. Their Red Cross help had run out and he had been getting odd handy-man jobs to get some money. Basically, with the money he earns, every day they choose whether to use that money to eat and then sleep in the car, or to get a motel room but not eat. I happened to have enough cash on me to cover 2 nights at a motel, so I gave him that. We (me, him, his daughter, and his girlfriend) are meeting for a pizza lunch at Sbaro today. That's exciting. I want to hear his story.

That's all for now. More if/when I get the chance. I have no laptop, so I only get a little bit of time at the "Digital Lounge"...

Pax from Nashvegas,