Posted by Tom French |

I was writing a sermon tonight but I felt too dodgy to write so I spent the night sitting around the table with my sister and Jem telling stories of our lack of love lives.

Now I'm sleeping. I guess tomorrow will have to be sermon day. As well as everything else day.

Posted by Tom French |

Whole Lotta Soul

I haven't really recapped Soul yet. So I figure I will before I go to bed. I really am very tired right now. I haven't recovered yet, and I've been sleeping in my own bed since Saturday night.

But what was I saying?

Oh yeah. I reckon I'm gonna write in categories. That'd be new and interesting.

Youth

Taking a bunch of youth away on camp for a week is a scary, silly idea, and a lot of fun. I always complain about having to go and camp in St Ives. "I mean who camps in St Ives?" that's my line. But still I do it. We camped on the oval this year. That was good, flat soft and the domain of roaming dogs and their poo. Oh yeah and bees. For some reason there were heaps of bees at our campsite. But they only stung once so we coped.

Anyway, so I spent the week camping with 26 people from my youth group and we were joined by more each day. And it was all a lot of fun. I do like seeing young people regularly. Spending a week with some of my favourite people was cool. Even if every night that I sent people to bed I was told "You used to be cool Tom." Although I guess I should be flattered that I was ever considered cool in the first place.

It's also great to see them getting challenged and inspired. I guess that's a lot of the reason why we were there.

Probably the biggest disappointment of the week, youth wise, was on Friday night when I promised everyone they could stay up as late as they wanted. I got all rugged up for a long cold night, and sat down in the middle of the oval ready to stay up till 3 or 4am and we got kicked off the oval by a security guard at 1am. How sad is that? Last year when we stayed up it was one of the funnest nights of the conference. But this year, well, no fun. And then I felt like a bad person because I'd promised everyone they could stay up then had to send them all to bed. Plus everytime people got annoyed at me for sending them to bed on the other nights I just said to myself "It's ok, I'll be nice to them on Friday night". But it didn't work like that. Oh well. I'll figure out a way to fix that next year.

Donny Jaffa

Every year we push the envelope with Donny, and this year was no exception. This year I had lots of people coming up to me saying "Were you allowed to say that?" But I guess that's half the fun of Donny, doing what you shouldn't be doing.

I think this year was the Donny Jaffa Show's best year. It was the year I felt best about. There is always huge pressure to "be funny" but I think I'm learning how that best happens. I haven't got it figured all yet, but I think I've learnt over years. Who would have thought I'd end up doing a comedy show? I must be nuts, I'll get high cholesterol.

The guests this year were all superb. Matt was very smooth and helped me out of a tough spot or two. Ali was funny and played the whole "Donny crush" thing real well. Mike was great. It was very hard to remain straight faced working with Mike. Ben was great. For a quiet Canadian he really packed a punch. I think he beat Uncle Jaffa. And Suzie was funny. She did really well especially since she wasn't playing herself and only had about 30 minutes notice.

For one of the nights I played Uncle Jaffa, Donny's atheist Uncle. Basically Uncle jiffy was an excuse to have a deep voice and to sing an atheistic worship song. And that's about all he was. People liked the song, but there wasn't much more to him other than that. It was wonderful when Ben tried to convert him because it put me in the difficult position of not being able to betray the character by becoming a Christian, and not wanting to disappoint the crowd by refusing. In the end I stormed off the stage opting for character over crowd appeal.

The UK crew are really good to Donna. They're fans and very supportive. Especially when I realised that many UK people don't seem to get the jokes, so it's good to have them supporting me, encouraging me and "getting it".

Donny did take a lot away from the conference for me. I didn't get to any seminars because I was burning DVDs the whole time. And whenever I met someone who knew I was Donny all they'd talk about was Donny. It made me feel rather self-obsessed because I kept having to have conversations about me, Donny and the show. I had to work to change the conversation to other things. Oh well.

"Wisdom with Tabitha" was good again. Jem's real tops, she plays Tabitha well. Tabitha always outshines Donny and rightly so I guess.

This year's new video "Amy's Video Diary" was definately the find of the year. I didn't know Suzie, who played Amy, from a bar of soap at the beginning of the conference. Actually that's not true, if you put her and a bar of soap in a room together I reckon I could tell them apart. Unless of course the soap was made into a really life like statue of Suzie and she stood really still. Anyway that's all beside the point. I was a little worried taking on a stranger to do 4 nights of video segment, but she did great. She was funny and good at working without a script. It was cool.

Um yeah. So that's Donny. Someone got their photo taken with me this year. I felt famous.

Meetings

The main meetings were good fun. Matt got different people to speak at every meeting which was interesting. There was a guy called Jim Yost who's one of those crazy, full on missionary guys. He was real cool. He challenged us in how we did evangelism and took risks. I liked having him verbally kick my spiritual butt.

We had a different worship leader most days too. I liked that. I think I liked the variety they all bought to their stuff.

I'm not sure I have much more to say about the meetings. The ministry times weren't as full on as other years. But that's neither here nor there. God still did stuff.

All up

I had fun this year. I didn't feel like it was a really spiritually significant week. But I did enjoy having plenty of time to spend with God even if it wasn't all life changing. I had good times singing and good times sitting alone reading my Bible. Plus there are heaps of cool people at Soul. People a good. I'm very glad I went. I'm even glad I camped. But still, who camps in St Ives?

Posted by Tom French |

Gluttons and Drunkards

I was talking to my house (the people not the building) last night about the party. And they asked me why I liked the party, especially the fact that it wasn't a "Christian" party. Why did I like the fact that people got drunk and smoked pot when I'm not exactly one who does either of those things? I told them because I think it's the kind of party that Jesus would go to. I was lying in bed at 3:something am on Monday night thinking, "These people are the "gluttons" and the "drunkards"" Well probably not gluttons because there was very little food at the party, and most people weren't drunk. But there were the people there who did drink and did smoke pot and how often do you meet them at church parties?

But I had a great time meeting different people, dancing with different people, seeing that my house was full of people from all different parts of life. Some who you'd never find in a church but I get to hang out with them, build relationships with them, have fun with them, because they came to my party. I didn't invite them but I hope they come back. I didn't get to talk to them enough. I want to be friends with all sorts of people, even people who do things that I might not necessarily agree with, because they're people worth being friends with. And people who Jesus would have been friends with.

I also enjoyed having Christians at my party, because well, I love them too.

"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' - Jesus (That's my man!)

Posted by Tom French |

I've been creating a dvd of all the Donny Jaffa dvds. I've been meaning to do this for years, but I've finally gotten around to making it happen. There are a lot of videos. I think there are 30 individual films on the dvd. That's heaps.

I spent all yesterday making it happen and now I'm burning my first copy hooray.

Actually scrap that. My DVD program just told me one of the videos was encoded with a bit rate that's too high. Grrr. Back the to burning board.

Posted by Tom French |

Warming

Last night's party was good fun. I'm not usually a fan of big parties. But this one was good. We probably had about 100 or more people here. It was rather squishy in this little house of mine.

I spent most of my time up stairs in mine and Jon's room chatting to people. That probably made the many people sardineing in my house more manageable.

The party kicked on till about 3am. We ended the night dancing to Michael Franti. I grooved, dude.

The thing I really liked about the party was that there were so many different types of people there. We all have very different friends. And all lovely friends as far as I can tell. There may have been some crashers but we wouldn't have known that.

The other good thing was that the party wasn't like most of the Christian parties I attend these days. It went past 11:30pm and there was pot smoking and drunk people. I haven't been to a party like that since high school, and I only got invited to three then.

So it was good. I am happy our house has been warmed by so many different friendly people.

Posted by Tom French |

It's house warming party tonight and the only people left are the one who are sitting in the corner wearing dresses or stumbling around drunk. It's cool. I think commie house parties should end like this.

Posted by Tom French |

I have come home from Soul Survivor. It finished tonight. I'm tired and I have a sunburnt nose.

Posted by Tom French |

Donny seems to be coming together. I'm not as organised as last year, but I'm using a different approach this year. It's the less organised approach. Plus I'm planning on making segments of Donny at Soul this year too.

For those who are lost, I have to put together a DVD for every night I do the Donny Jaffa Show at Soul Survivor. And I usually show two video segments for every night I'm at Soul. This year I've done the usual "Wisdom with Tabitha" segements and I'm shooting the video diary of a camper at Soul. But those videos have to be shot at Soul so I'm not making the DVDs till I get to Soul this year. It should be a little nerve racking but hopefully it'll give us a more on the ball product.

Anyway I should go and at least create a show for tomorrow night so I'm ready there. And then I might go to bed because I have a bit to do tomorrow.

Posted by Tom French |

2404

This is post 2404.

Jem and I filmed "Wisdom with Tabitha" today. It's always fun doing Tabitha. It's embarrassing when you find yourself laughing at your own script. But then, I guess if I don't find my own jokes funny there is little chance other people will find it funny.

I had to go up the Hardy's Bay to shoot today because that's where Jem was. It's strange, we've been living in the same house for the past two months, but when we finally get around to filming Tabitha I have to drive 160kms to do it.

I got the Hannahvan back for those who are wondering. I got it on Thursday. I was getting a lift to work with Helen and the fix-it man called and said "Your car's ready". So I told him I'd be there soon. Seeing as we were driving straight past the mechanic I decided it would be easy.

The hard though was when I found out the cost: $1202 and I had to come up with it between the City and Chatswood. But I did it. And now I don't ever want the car to break down again. I'm sure it will comply with my wishes.

It's Easter but I haven't really noticed. That's no good. Lucky I can celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection any day of the year.

Posted by Tom French |

I'm Every Woman

I got a letter yesterday telling me I have a one year free membership to the YWCA (Young Woman's Christian Association).

On my welcome sheet it tells me that some of the benefits include:

- Membership in the premier women's organisation in Sydney
- Sisters in 90 countries around the world
- Quarterly Newsletters containing hot off the press issues and events for women.

I never knew I was going to be part of the club, but with benefits like that, how could I refuse.

Posted by Tom French |

I had a craving for hot chips today. So I bought some.

Yesterday I bought a mic for my camera. It's kinda swish. I hope it works.

Posted by Tom French |

Jamie

I saw Jamie Cullum tonight. Jamie was so tops!

Jem and I caught the bus into the city after I got back from work today. It's so fun living so close. I kept checking the tickets in my pocket because I was paranoid I might loose them.

We met the others (Cilla, Howie, Jenny and Debbie) and went in search of food. After finding nothing and splitting up, Jem and I found this dodgy little Chinese/Malay place down many stairs. The whole place was stocked out with cheap furniture and fraying carpet. The food was ok.

When we got to the theatre we took our seats. I went and visited the youth group girls who had come too. 'Tis always fun seeing people you know from different places in your life in different places, if that makes sense.

The support act, Mark Sholtez, was ok. He seemed to like himself a little too much and his cover of "All I Want is You" was poor. During the performance I was talking to Howie and the guy in front turned around and told us to "Shut up". We didn't hear him though and kept talking. We only found out from the girls later.

Then it was Jamie time.

He was so cool. He's a damn good performer. He's lots of fun, make jokes, plays good solos, and good re-arraignments. And he jumps around the stage a bunch.

During "High and Dry" (which was probably one of the best songs of the night) he got the audience to sing a two part harmony. It sounded great. It wasn't a boisterous, sing-a-long, it was mellow kinda deal. It sounded like Jamie was doing a worship set. Which did lead me to reflect on what makes worship worship, but not for too long because I wasn't really there to consider theology.

"London Skies" was most cool, with a funky Latin drum solo to cap it off. There's a version that's not as good on iTunes. This one was better, probably a lot because it had a whistle and I love whistles.

All of Jamie was good. We weren't allowed to stand up or dance in our section of the theatre, but in the encore Jamie made us all get on our feet and jump. I figured that seeing as Jamie is the performer he overides the silly signs in the foyer. So I got up and jumped and bopped a little. Live music works best standing up I think. Except for when you're listening to jazz and eating soup. It's very dangerous to eat soup and stand up.

So yay for Jamie!

And yay for the year of live events!

Only Coldplay, Mundine vs Green, Lano and Woodley and U2(!) to go. Plus anyone else who I happen to get tickets to this year. Yeepaa!

Posted by Tom French |

Community Service

The Ashley Madison Agency is "committed to protecting and enhancing principles of personal freedom and social justice."

Ashley Madison is a website, set up like a dating website, except it for people who are already in relationships. It's designed to help people set up affairs.

Now I'd call that "personal freedom and social justice."

Posted by Tom French |

She Swears that She's Artsy

I went to Chris' 21st tonight. Parties are funny things. You go and stand around with a bunch of people, talk, drink, listen to speeches, then go home. There's no real goal to the whole thing. I guess the idea is to have a good time. I tend not to ever spend much time at the party talking to the person who's party it is. I always feel like they're too important to talk to me. Like when the bride or groom talk to me at the wedding, I always feel pretty special. They're like royalty and they come to talk to me.

Anyway, tonight was a good-er party. Chris and friends were the invited band, and they did well. But they seemed to get the best response when they started dancing. Chris has some mean moves up is sleeves, or would that be trouser legs? Although that sounds a little wrong.

Posted by Tom French |

Feel Good Movie of the Year

Ryan, Libby and I watched Wolf Creek tonight. It was a very well made movie, but not particularly pleasent. It made me wonder what the film added to the world.

The first half of the film was good. It was about 3 people on a road trip. It made me want to road trip. But the last half was just about a guy trying to kill and torture the three people who were having a good time.

It was probably the best made horror movie I've seen. But I'm not sure that well made can still justify its existence. It was pretty bleak and didn't leave me feeling at all like it was time well spent.

Oh well, I'll remember for next time.

Posted by Tom French |

Goats

I went and saw the Belvoir production of Edward Albee's "The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" tonight. It was probably one of the most bizarre, unpleasant and disturblingly funny theatre experiences I have ever had. I liked it.

The play is about a family who have to deal with the revelation that their billiant and successful husband/father is having an affair with a goat. The play is so intense, it makes lots of shocking beastiality jokes, and it makes you watch the whole thing feeling horrified. You're laughing but there's no laughter in you. You watch as each character gets torn apart, their worlds come down, and you can find no way that the things are going to end well.

It was interesting that when the play finished some people just sat there looking shell shocked, most people seemed to look at each other and laugh (as we did), because there's nothing else you can do.

Albee seemed to be forcing us to ask questions about what limits there should be on our moral freedoms. Are our own subjective ideas about morality tearing apart what is most sacred? Does the idea that anything goes, "do what's good for you", really work? As one character put it: "What can get I get away with? That's what it's about for you? What I can get away with? I thought it was about love and loss."*

It was a good play. I'd see it again actually to try and figure it out better. Maybe I should buy the script. There were some fabulous lines. And in the end I was left to walk away trying to figure us all out.

"'You like the taste of blood,' he says. The boy shrugs. 'A poet's work,' he answers. 'To name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguements, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.'" - Salman Rushdie - "The Satanic Verses"

*Perhaps not quite that, but close

Posted by Tom French |

Why Everyone Loves Men

"We keep mistresses for pleasure, concubines for daily concubinage, but wives in order to produce children legitimately and to have a trustworthy guardian of our domestic property"

Apollodorus - some old, dead, Greek guy

Posted by Tom French |

Snotty Nose and Juicy Goss

I finished cleaning my room in Hornsby today. Only 6 weeks after I moved out. My mum will be so pleased. She's been bugging me about it for weeks.

I got hay-fever because there was so much dust in my room. Vacuuming up all the dust and cobwebs felt like I was vacuuming up the remnants of my history in that room. There was so much of my life that I lived through in that room, all my teenage years, and now I'm out. My adolescence is gone up the vacuum tube. As James says, my life is like a mist that is around for a little while and then is gone.

I got sent some psychological tests for my candidacy today. They look fun. I like psychological tests, they're good fun. Probably because I like talking about myself. I have to sign a form though saying that I won't copy them or reproduce the tests in anyway. How sad. They may ask me crazy questions like "Saturday is the best day for torturing small animals. a)agree b)disagree c)unsure" and I won't be able to blog it. What's the point of that? What's the point of life if you can't blog it? Bah!

Perhaps the people who are considering my application for candidacy will Google me and find this blog. If so "Hello to all you candidacy selectors. I love Jesus."

They may find lots of juicy info about me here, but I doubt it. All the most juicy stuff I left off. Like all the secret affairs I've had with Wiccan Priestesses. That's for the other blog.

Posted by Tom French |

Inner Sadness

I went to find my car today. On my way home, when it was all dark and quiet on the back streets of Chatswood I went to visit the Hannahvan just to make sure she's safe, and not covered in parking tickets, and there she was, sitting there safe and sound. Although she looked so lonely, sitting there on a dark, unfamiliar, road. I almost cried. It was sad, I rarely feel love for that car, but I didn't like seeing her lonely. Tomorrow I'll go and take her to get sorted out.

Posted by Tom French |

Friday Night Fun

Last night after my small group social I drove home. At least started to drive home. But around Chatswood my car started making popping noises. That worried me some. Then they started to get louder and I started seeing visions of my car exploding into a massive ball of flame. My engine was super hot, boiling and bubbling away. I pulled over into a side street, found a place to park (deep in the heart of side-street-urbia cause it took me ages somewhere I could park), locked the car and left. I rang Jo to ask her when buses went through the Chatswood area to the City, but she and her friend kindly just came and drove me home. How very nice of them.

So now the Hannahvan is parked quietly somewhere in Chatswood, and I'll have to get a tow-truck to go get it. Grr. I reckon tow-trucks aren't cheap. Or maybe I can get Lubemobile, my mobile mechanic, to come and fix it. That could be good.

At the Bus Stop.jpg

At the Bus Stop waiting for Jo.

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