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Archive for the ‘baltimore’ Category


world tour update: charm city, city of angels and big d

my lame excuse for not blogging is that we’ve been busy living and jetting around the country…..

actually, that doesn’t sound lame at all.

our annual pilgrimage to camden yards in baltimore for yankees/orioles. our deal is that we provide the tickets…you provide the car. we split gas and food…and food means baltimore specialties.

while there maybe better crabcakes from hole in the wall and local joints, we don’t do too bad with a sampling of crab yummies from the famous phillips chain. chain usually means bad…but philips means super duper yummy.

we took josiah and wing and the day looked glorious. front row again thanks to daddy pak. also, i caught this omen outside the park. clearly the “birds” were going down to the yankees.

but theresa and her orioles would rule the day and josiah would have to settle for a baseball and millar’s batting glove. just seconds before, wing being the diehard yankees fan red sox hater, was badmouthing mill-ahh…then kevin popped out of the dug out, pointed out josiah and gave him the batting glove. wing responded: “ok….he’s not that bad”.

later, an orioles coach gave josiah the baseball. good thing wing told josiah not to wear his yankee cap.



my texas years continue with more rudy’s bbq and of course, my little niece jaq. i want to see her as much as i can before she’s all grown up. my ambition dies when i think of her. the work and the world seem to fade…the important becomes a joke. all i want is……time with baby. she does this weird, wonderful thing where she looks at you and explores your face with with her hands in silence and in wonder. starting to be more aware and yet an innocence…..curiosity…..and magic….

i’m always looking for magic….

but work is why i did come to dallas this time. i am part of this asian american leadership pastor’s group gathered to learn under some of the elder statesmen of the asian church including dave gibbons, ken fong and jeff lee. it was a great time of reflection and learning….and more importantly meeting fellow pastors and hearing how god is working in their stories.

a talented member of the leadership network staff recreated all the church logos to greet us and i thought the vision logo translated well….looking pretty good.


los angeles!

a short trip so this time around la was centered about family: grandma, aunts and uncles and little cousins not so little anymore. and the necessary runs to korean bbq and in and out!

at the pool, allison does her own cali thing while danny takes after big cousin, theresa.

but it was old, old friends that brought us far west. friends i’ve known for twenty years or more! my friend warren got married to lily. here’s a shot of us old heads. we used to terrorize our youth pastor rick carey. now no one would be scared of us.

vision weddings…even ones on the west coast….have another fringe benefit: seeing vision folks i met not 20 years ago but only a few years ago…hanging out….enjoying the goodies of asian california life.

i miss these guys!

yeah….i was feeling the 21st century angst of not blogging enough…feeling lame……but it’s not that lame….to not be posting….but instead to live! to reunite! to remember! with family! old friends! new friends!

viva la vida and not following death and all of his friends.

Posted under baltimore, dallas, jacqueline, world tour

flashback lost style:wholesome new years eve 2007

on dec 31 2006, the chen family, annie and andy(and ricky too)created a new year’s eve event at our house. they started with a rumor….”pastor joseph, i hear people are coming over to your house for new year’s” our response was……”no….but you’re welcome to come over.” they expressed the fact that they were tired of the same old same old in nyc….paying a ton of money to hang out at a lounge consuming alcohol in a too loud environment. they wanted something……”wholesome”.

thus a night of wholesome fun on wholesome new year’s!

so we did it again in 2007:

a night of wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!……………….

a night of milk and cookies…..all the way from maryland, berger cookies….theresa tells me these are a hoilday tradition in the baltimore area where she grew up. the cookies are more than half fudge. is this cookie or candy? it was a big hit that night!

a night of hanging out with church, friends and family………

and of course, a night of baby!!!!

wow!!! can’t wait for next year!

Posted under baltimore, vision, wholesome new years, wii

flashback lost style:future rentals edition

Just in time for the academy awards…….

vision church slows down in the winter a bit as does all of new york city so i get to catch a lot of movies in the theatre. this season is also my favorite season since more intelligent fare comes out. but because i’m so behind on my blogging….these likely won’t be options for you in the theatre but rentals. but who knows……? you might get lucky and catch some on the big(ger) screen.

up first was i am legend. i know, i know….i said more intelligent fare. but i saw it in imax andimax makes everything better. if i saw this in a regular theatre i might be upset. i think the story is pretty standard and perhaps i’ve even seen this movie before but anytime they blow up nyc(fake), its pretty fun. when they blow up nyc(real), i’m not as happy. the scenes of the city deserted are pretty cool. the “enemy” does not look as cool. the movie suffers from CGI-tis….”look at how many things i can draw on a screen with my computer!!!” worth seeing on a really big screen. might be also good as a rental on a larger tv. you’ll be choking on a splinter if you view it on your ipod nano.

i saw juno on my birthday because that’s what theresa wanted to see. that’s marriage! in fairness, she got me great bbq from rub bbq in the city. and i also wanted to make her happy. this was a fun, fun movie. and it had some magical moments. worth watching in any format. my only knock is that i know zero, zero, zero teenagers this articulate and in touch with her feelings. i’ve been working with teenagers for almost 20 years. and before that, i was a teenager! methinks no country for old men or there will be blood will win best picture but this movie deserves a shot.

speaking of there will be blood. this is a thrilling depressing movie that will frustrate the average movie goer. for the smart donkey who can always “figure it out” or “knew that it was coming”….take them to see this. this is joy for the mad man or the person who sees the world not quite in green and blue; and maybe its the world that’s mad. a slice of (mad)life of an oil man. that’s what this movie is about. its also about the magical powers of daniel day lewis. worth seeing but non-movie snobs be warned. it’ll have you screaming “i drink you milk shake! i drink it up!” the next day, i caught a nasty virus.

but not before i caught charlie wilson’s war with trent, anita,t and jeremy. this is intelligent and breezy. but too much talk. its the most expensive educational war movie ever. if you want to see how we took down the soviet empire and at the same time (inadvertantly)give osama his start, catch this. but rental should suffice.

linking afghanistian…….during christmas, we watched this in a theatre that simulates being in an egyptian tomb? o’ md, how i love thee. it was actually amusing.

they asked me to stop taking pictures. i declined. on with kite runner…..a bit formulaic at times but a great story about friendship, cowardice, betrayal, courage and redemption. also a good lesson in afghani history and culture which probably explains why it did not do that well as a movie in the states. but please catch this in any format. it will make the world better. or at least, you.

for a lesson in iran, watch persepolis. its animated(so its more fun). we caught it in a nyc art house so you’ll likely have to really look hard for this. but do! what i loved about this and kite runner is that we get to see middle easterners as people. ironic, that it takes a cartoon to do that. (this move originated as a graphic novel….that’s comic book in crass terms) its the story of a young girl growing up in iran before the current regimes and politics came in and how her family is morphed by the new world order in the 80’s. this will make you better too.

finally….cloverfield. i started with brainless and end with semi-brainless. i’m a sucker for a giant monster movie. or whatever it is that is destroying nyc. and once again…..scenes of destruction of my city(fake)excite me. the irony is that the destruction heads further north than where most film makers are usually to go and they went all the way up to central park and columbus circle…..near where i watched this movie! so it was trippy. turn off your brain and watch this on the biggest screen possible. if you don’t like roller coasters, stay home and do something docile. like knit or water your plants. jj abrams who does lost and the upcoming star trek revival also did this movie. mmmmmm…..science fiction.

Posted under baltimore, movie reviews

flashback lost style:christmas edition

a flu wiped me out at the wrong time so i’ve been behind on blogging ever since……let’s catchup…..

we said good bye to our good friends liz and leonard as they headed back to la with a meal at one of their hidden treasures in nyc. its a steakhouse right above the fairway around 72 and broadway. fairway is a regular(but very good)supermarket in nyc and inexplicably they also cook steaks. big honking steaks at reasonable(nyc)prices. we had a great time eating meat….which t and i have given up for lent….we’ll likely break lent at some point using the gift certificates for the all you can eat meat-arama that leonard and liz got for my ordination…….

we miss our friends dearly.

christmas eve and christmas day were spent at da sto. my in-laws have random shops….jewelry, pool hall, beauty supplies…..booze. its not the holidays unless……..

i spend the day catching up on dvds……futurama, alien nation and blade runner. theresa spent it helping sell 40’s and lottery tickets. the program is set up so that koreans can operate it easier.

the official name of the store is called vision! its nice to know that my faith is having an impact on the family. so when people ask me what i did at christmas, i say i spent it at vision!

we proceeded to philly to actually have a more spiritual christmas at chinese mission 2007. i did workshops. t did sound. steff did art. peter did the big talks. LT did everything.

i have done this conference every three years since 1995. but mayhaps my time with youth are drawing to a close. i can still tell some funny jh jokes. maybe that’s the only kinds i can tell.

finally, we wrapped up with a week with the tsangs before the new year! more like the brownings and the tsangs. but life was dreamy and slow…the way christmas used to be

life is good and content. then we all caught the flu. boo flu. yea, u2.
i got my u2.com fan club t-shirt as part of my dues. it also came with a double cd set of a dvd i already own. eh. the real prize we hope are access to concert tickets. i was part of the original fan club, propaganda….and they rewarded me with double access to tickets last time around. hoping to keep my status. i’m also part of the killers fan club and we are part of the hallmark ornament club which used to have two good selections per year but lately, only one. but its the club that allows us to keep collecting the christmas windows ornaments that mark our anniversary each year. more about that in may.

Posted under baltimore, christmas ornaments, jacqueline, killer victims fan club, new york eats, tsangs, u2, u2.com, vision