My vacation in photos (part 2)

One of the main pulls to going to Tennessee was Memphis Pride, I’ve already written about it here but here’s some photos…enjoy!


There’s a lot of cool architecture in Memphis, including this church:

Photos of our group that represented the I’m Sorry Campaign:


Priding in Memphis off of Beale 🙂

The parade!




(That’s another thing about this year’s Memphis Pride, it rained nearly the entire time of the parade…but the same came out and dried things off very quickly)




Purple El Camino with purple rims? Heck yes!

During my camping at T.O. Fuller State Park I grew restless. The woman who took care of adding a few days on to my Memphis part of my vacation in Memphis suggested that I give Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park a try, I did and it was fun! 🙂


The Mississippi River!



Hobbs watching a barge go by.

Hobbs and a 4 inch grasshopper!


This sandbar’s mine! See, it bears my signature and everything 😉



More to come, soon enough 🙂

My vacation in photos (part 1)

I recognize that a lot of my readers are also friends I know on Facebook, for those of you who haven’t been subjected to viewing photos I’ve posted during my vacation here are some with a bit of narration…enjoy!

Obligatory 0 miles/tabla rasa automotive shot…I rented a car for my trip, just because. The rate was good, and I’m considering renting again for another extended vacation.

This is Missouri, and on my car is Hobbs the Duck. It’s a lawn ornament/mascot of sorts at my work, he has been on cruises and enjoys traveling with Staff.

Hobbs, dusk, Arkansas

I didn’t know Arkansas was The Natural State, but now I do 🙂

Another shot of Arkansas at dusk.

My tent…with the wrong shock cords! I was so pissed off at myself, but I made the best of it…what else could I do?

Big modified State of Liberty, even bigger church…this is in Memphis and nothing really rivaled its size church-wise.

The church was off this street…heck, the church was the only building on this street.

Best Vietnamese buffet I’ve yet to have! The dishes were primarily tofu-based, and they do a heck of a good job with marinating it thoroughly. By the second time I was there I was a familiar face 🙂 Hi again! I love it.

The site of where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated which is now where the National Civil Rights Museum is. I stated it was heavy in a previous post, and it feels heavy still just looking at these photos again.

“The idea began with just one person” I like that, and sometimes you have to be that just one person, can I get an amen?

A panorama from the balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Outside Martin Luther King Jr.’s room from the ground level.

My only photo of Graceland. It was somewhat of a Presley compound, and cost $30+ to get inside! I’m a fan of Elvis, but not that much 😉 Maybe some year, but for the time being postcards and talking to people about their experiences in the gift shop[s] parking lot was enough for me.

Beauty in creation shortly before the sun set.

More to come, but at a later time!


I’ll take my 15 minutes of fame, but from behind the scenes – 9/28
(I’d rather be the camera guy in this shot, not the wizard)

There’s a phrase I through out every now and then I’m about to be photographed; I rather photograph than be photographed, and essentially that’s true in other areas of my life.

Fame has been something I haven’t gone for, nor could I really achieve it, but then again I do tout that I will put Aurora IL on the map for something else besides Wayne’s World (yet it has been amusing to go to Canada as well as Mexico and that’s the reference :-)).

I think there are 3 types of people in reference to “fame” – 1) those who don’t have it, but don’t mind it 2) those who don’t have it, but don’t mind that they don’t have it and 3) those who don’t have it but want it and will do whatever it takes to have it! The latter is the fodder of all things reality television, for better or worse, though worse is a selling point and boy does fail sell well!

The closest brush I’ve had with “fame” was when photos from the Chicago Gay Pride Parade circulated and there were a bunch of Christians will signs of I’m Sorry…I hurt you, marginalized you, et al. I was there! My friends are in the photo, but I’m not, and I’m okay with that 🙂 I was happy and encouraged to be there, and God willing this year will mark 4 years of doing so, I don’t need to be in a picture that has been widely circulated to remember of God’s faithfulness and the process of reconciliation and restoration paired with engagement over judgment.

I also think that being behind-the-scenes is a good position for a leader to be in; because when the focus is on the leader and not whatever the leader’s leading, the focus is off and people can be disillusioned into thinking it’s all about the leader and not what the leader is presenting. I recognize this in youth ministry, and while I’m not disillusioned or egocentric about the ministry I’m involved with, I do know it’s not about me and the functionality of the ministry should be Christ-centered and not leader centered, and if I am in the way I will move out of the way.

Andy Warhol might be on to something when he said “in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”, I for one would rather have my fame behind the scenes.

P.S. The humorous side of me would simply love to write the skits for Saturday Night Live, ultimate behind-the-scenes work for their talented writing crew. With that in mind I’d make a “commercial” for that show that goes like this… Are you depressed? Do you like Cheese? From the makers of Viagra infused Cheez Whiz…



8/31 – What has led me to where I am now

What has led me to where I am now

This is quite the loaded question but I’m willing to give it a shot…

I am a follower of Christ based upon the fact that I chose to my faith and trust in who Jesus is and what he did. My walk with him hasn’t been a lot of mountaintop experiences, but I’m okay with that, I am comfortable with being in the valley in the midst of other people who are in the valley which puts me in a good place in building relationships because there isn’t a sense of elitism, a me-looking-down-at-them perspective. If God is on the side of the underdogs, the oppressed, the marginalized, the down-and-out, the castaways, the proverbial “least of these” I am glad to walk with them and share in their good times as well as bad.

I am the oldest son of an oldest son of an oldest son of an oldest son of an only son…Fate? Coincidence? I don’t know, but I do wish there was some form of a birth rite to honor this position put upon me, but since there isn’t one I will have to make one for my eldest son when I get there in life.

I work with people in the Behavior Health field, which I got this job due to my connections, my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a little bit of previous experience.

I enjoy photography, which stemmed from using a Polaroid camera b.i.t.d (back in the day) and stinky disposable cameras. For a while it was my sister who was the photographer, but I made quantum leaps once everything pretty much went digital.

I enjoy the great outdoors more than the ‘great’ indoors because I spent a lot of time camping in Wisconsin when I was younger, because I feel God’s presence in a grove of trees or on a beach with the waves crashing upon the shore.

I’m involved in youth ministry because 10 years ago I felt the call to go into youth ministry, and for the past 9 years I have been working in different churches and parachurch forms of youth ministry. I don’t know where I’ll end up eventually, but I pray and feel the tug to head out to Southern California and work with high school students. Any takers? 😉 Seriously tho, I do need to network and make contacts with churches out there.

I’m into cars too much (Auto addict, yeah…maybe I am) because some of them are fast, some of them look great, and some have best of both worlds going for them. I have a lot of car books and memories, my favorite of the latter have been the following: 1) Liking a guy’s brand new British Racing Green Jaguar XJ6 back in 1988, my earliest car memory 2) Getting some track time in an Audi/BMW/Lexus, I want more track time, it’s very fun and most of the time fast! 3) Being invited to check out the then new Bugatti Veyron in Chicago with my bro… I like cars and hope to have something fun and track capable in the future.

I choose to build bridges between the Christian community and the LGBT community, I wrote about it here.

I think that covers most of who I am, if needed be I will edit this post.


4/31 – Something that is part of my routine that I enjoy

Something that is part of my routine that I enjoy

When I can, I like to go out and photograph. Photography’s one of my hobbies, I love take pictures in particularly of:
– People
– Outdoors
– Architecture
– Automotive
If you want to know how much it is a part of me, I recently upgraded my phone and one of the factors was the camera built into the phone, not the factor but I did consider (for what it’s worth) it.

Prior to the popularity and ease of digital photography, my sister A* was the photographer in the family. But I remember when I bought my first digital camera, I thought that it would either make or break me, because it was at a time where $400 got you less for more by today’s standards, but I enjoyed my first camera and upgraded to the XSi 3-4 years ago, and I liked it and used that camera till the camera wore out… From there I upgraded to the T3i last year and have continued to enjoy photography.

To date I’ve been published on 3 accounts: 1) Local magazine 2) Back of a magazine comprises of my photo and 3) In a children’s book in Brazil. If I could do more work like this and get paid for it I’d be over the moon, but for now I’m okay with being compensated in getting copies of the published work that has my photo within it.

There’s the chance that I might be photographing a friend’s friend wedding, I want to and yet I am a little anxious because of the demand for good photography, I mean, wedding day! I’m still toying with the idea of doing it for experience sake, to which I’ll probably purchase or rent some faster glass for that day just to be on the safer side of things.

I do hope that in time that I will be able to travel to different countries, see the places I read in National Geographic, but of course my trip wouldn’t be complete unless I went camera-in-hand. 🙂