2/28/2008 11:31:00 pm

Facebook Changed My Life

Posted by Tom French |

So I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were given notice to move out of our current place. We've been looking for a place to move to since then. I noticed that the houses we were finding kept getting further and further away. At least that's how it felt. We found that place in Marrickville which was big and cheap. So that was good. But it was feeling rather far off.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, my friend Josh had on his status that he was looking for a housemate in Turramurra. He was offering cheap rent, good location, and, for me, close to work. I liked the look of it, but didn't think I'd do anything about it. I was planning on staying with Matt and Ryan because I figured they needed me to make the housing arrangements work. But I kept it in mind.

By the weekend I told Matt and Ryan that I was thinking, if they could survive, I'd like to move to Turramurra rather than Marrickville. On Tuesday we got offered the big place in Marrickville. By Tuesday night we'd figured out a way that I could leave the house and move to Turramurra.

So now I'm moving to Turramurra with Josh. I don't know Josh all that well, but I really like him, so it should be good. I'm sure we'll have many laughs. Or hate each other and want to move out as quick as possible.

I'm sad that I won't be living in "the community" any more. I'm back to the snobby North Shore (with cheaper rents than the dingy Inner West :) ). I'll miss living in Enmore. And I'll definitely miss my wonderful house mates.

But I will enjoy the shorter commute. And I will enjoy the more introvert friendly environment of living with one person rather than four.

So now, thanks to status updates, I have a new place to live. Facebook has changed my life.

2/26/2008 01:03:00 am

Oscar Night

Posted by Tom French |

I haven't watched the Oscars for a few years but I did tonight. I went over to John's an watched.

I love the Oscars. Generally I find them amusing, boring, frustrating and sometimes vindicating. But they always remind me how much I love film. They give me a warm glow and a great desire to be in that room full of the people who make my life wonderful.

I have many memories of watching the Oscars. Mainly I remember my disappointment when they give the Oscar to films and people that shouldn't win. Like Titanic and Shakespeare in Love. Pfft, what were they thinking? And Roberto Beningni. Gahh.

But sometimes they get it right too. Tonight they did pretty well. No Country for Old Men deserved every award it got. Juno deserved best writer. I was gunning for Ellen Page to win Best Female Actor, but I knew she wouldn't. Cate should have won for I'm Not There. In my opinion, that's probably the best performance of the night so I have no idea why they went for Swinton. But still...

Enchanted looks absolutely terrible, there was not one good song out of the three that got nominated. And the one from August Rush sounded lyrically rather boring, just a bunch of feel good sentiments thrown together, but whack a Black Choir in and you can make any song sound good! Falling Slowly is a fantastic song. I was very happy in won. Partly because I love Glen Hansard, partly because I loved Once and partly because it was far and away the best song of the night. And Jon Stewart bringing out Marketa Irglova to do her acceptance speech after being sent off was the moment of the night for me.

Jon Stewart was very good. He's a funny man. I thought the line of the night was following Glen Hansard's flabbergasted acceptance speech when he came out and said "That guy's so arrogant." Made me laugh.

And that is my amazing Oscar wrap up. I walked out of John's place with my friend Johnny (who is not John) and couldn't help saying "I love movies." And I do. So much. If I could marry cinema, I would. Problem is I have to marry a Christian and Christian Cinema is rather embarrassing, so I think I'd take a vow of chastity. I'd rather be single than having to be seen at Woolies doing the groceries with my daggy-but-thinks-she's-cool, cardigan wearing, Christian rock singing, "Have you met Jesus yet?", "Praise the Lord" tourettes wife. But I guess it's not something I have to worry about too much because at this stage it's not possible for me to marry an art form. We're still fighting over whether men can marry men, so I figure that debate is a while off.

2/25/2008 12:50:00 am

Returned

Posted by Tom French |

The public outcry for my lack of blogging means that I'm now back.

I didn't really give up blogging, I just didn't blog. I had things to write, just I never felt like writing them at the times I was free to blog them.

So perhaps I'll give you a run down of the highlights of the past week so that you can tell I've been alive.

Monday

I got a hair cut from a depressed hairdresser. I thought she might burst into tears at any moment. I told her I liked my hair cut even though I didn't in case she went off the deep end or something. It was a necessary lie. I wore my hat for the next two days.

Tuesday

I went and sat in Hyde Park and prayed. Then I went and saw Rendition. A bug bit me on the bum during the previews, so I had to wait till the film started to stick my hand in my pants to have a scratch. I figured it'd look a little suss if I did it while the lights were up. I think the bug may have been a stowaway from the park.

The film was good. Interesting, political, good people in it. I enjoyed.

Wednesday

I have very little memory of that day. I was probably drunk, knowing me.

Thursday

I went and saw Rambo and I thought it was awesome. After working my way through the previous three in that past few months, it was good to see Rambo back to the form (kinda) of the first one. It wasn't as good. But it wasn't just plan silly like two and three (even though they were awesome in their dumbness). But this has some of the most satisfying old school action I've seen in a while. Yeah, I liked it heaps. Stallone just spends the last 15 minutes on this big M2 shooting stuff up. It was great.

Friday

We had the Annual Messy night for youth group. I love messy nights. My favourite game was Duck, Duck, Egg. Which was like Duck, Duck, Goose but with an egg. Good fun.

In the inevitable ice cream fight at the end I did manage to finish up with two young people with bleeding wounds due to broken plates. I felt bad, but got to practice my first aid skillz. I figure cutting two kids is pretty poor form for safe youth ministry but I'm yet to lose my job, so I'm happy.

Saturday

Checked out a big house in Marrickville with Matt and Van. Could be a goer. It was big. We need more friends.

Mil and I ate lunch out after my attempts at cooking pasta ended in my setting the kitchen on fire by turning on the element with the bag of pasta on top of it, rather than the one with the saucepan full of water on top. Nothing, apart from pasta, got damaged.

Sunday

Had lunch with the Grandparentals. Preached for the first time without telling a single joke. It was a big deal for me. I was a bit scared but happy with the sermon. It might go online in the near future.

I had kebab for dinner and watched the first half of Empire of the Sun which is one of my favourite films ever. I don't care what people say, Steven Spielberg is my hero.

Now do you all believe that I was alive?

2/17/2008 12:28:00 pm

Tah Dah!

Posted by Tom French |

Now that we're a few days out from the apology, I thought this was funny.



I can't say I'm feeling as cynical as this. In fact I'm feeling rather hopeful. And the apology, I thought, had more significance than just being a load of hot air. Had I been on the receiving end of the apology I think the vindication and recognition of my pain would have been a whole lot more special than this video makes out.

But 10 out of 10 for political incorrectness!

2/16/2008 11:34:00 pm

Cakes and Chicks

Posted by Tom French |

It's Anmol's Birthday today and he came over to our house so we could go to Haberfield so he could buy himself his birthday cake. This, now that I think about it, seems a little odd. But he really liked his cake.

I went to dinner tonight with my family at the Pub. The Rugby was on TV and it was difficult not to watch. I went to the bar to buy myself a drink. I got served by a rather attractive bar attendant. As I was standing there I was brave enough to look her in the eye and caught her looking up at the Rugby. She turned to me and said "Are you watching the Rugby?"

"I'm trying not to." I replied.

"Oh, why not?" she asked.

"Because I'm with my family so I'm trying to pay attention to them, but my eyes keep getting drawn away."

"Ahh. I'll watch it on replay when I get home tonight."

Then she told me the price of the drink (it was a Coke) and we fumbled over my $5 note.

When I went to sit down, I was trying to figure out if she was flirting or she was just being friendly. I decided that she was just being friendly but if I had asked her the same question I would have been flirting.

However, what I did consider was that if she was flirting it was:
a) more likely because I was wearing my hat, which hides my currently bad hair
b) good I told her about my family because I'm sure a love for family makes a guy HOT!
c) a shame that I ordered a Coke instead of a beer
d) a good thing I didn't reciprocate and eventually get her number (as if I would) because I don't ever watch the Rugby and I have only a mild interest. But we would have begun the relationship on the false pretense that I love the Rugby and find it difficult to concentrate on important things like family if it's distracting me from the Rugby. The truth is that I find any screen distracting, even if it's only showing the Keno.

So all in all it's a good thing I decided she was only being friendly, because I had so much more worry about if she wasn't.

2/13/2008 06:58:00 pm

We Join In

Posted by Tom French |

"On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads...They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers."

Nehemiah 9:1-2

I'm happy to be Australian today. I'm glad we could follow in the tradition of all those sin confessing nations before us.

2/13/2008 01:20:00 am

I'm Sorry

Posted by Tom French |
2/13/2008 12:47:00 am

3:10 and the time preceeding

Posted by Tom French |

I went and saw 3:10 to Yuma today. I enjoyed. Westerns are pretty cool. And they did a lot of pistol twirling before they put them in their holsters, which I think has been missing from a lot of modern westerns, so it was good to see it here.

I think that I never really blogged about my weekend. While it was long, I think I enjoyed myself.

Friday was the start of small groups for the youth. Which was good fun. We joined the year 9-10 guys with the 9-10 girls small group for the beginning so they could eat chips and flirt. It's yet to have worked, with the boys huddling in a corner in relatively stunned silence by the extraordinarily loud girls. But I'm sure things will improve in due course.

I stayed at my parents on Friday night to get a head start on the trip up north for the speaking "gig". I was woken up ten minutes before my alarm at 5:20am by my little sister Hannah who had snuck into my room for a bounce on the bouncy chair in the corner. I don't think she knew I was asleep in there, so when I got up to tell her to go back to bed, she looked terribly shocked and scuttled back to her room with haste.

The trip up was pretty enjoyable. I listened to John Mayer's first two albums pretty much the whole way. Only at the end did I switch off all sound devices so I could rehearse my talk for that morning. On the way up I stuffed myself full of Maccas breakie as quickly as possible making me feel sick.

Arriving at the camp was a little odd. Going on camp with a youth group that's not your own is a little weird, being an outsider and all. Turning up on day two of the camp is even weirder. You feel rather out of place.

I felt rather tired and sick when I did my first morning talk. I'm not sure what the young guys thought, but I felt it was rather sloppy.

The rest of the day I wandered around in a daze starring at different chairs trying to assess their comfyness for a little shut eye. I made it to the end of the day only having fallen asleep in two chairs for about 30 seconds a piece.

Talk two went better. I got a better practice in and a better pray before hand. I hope God used me.

I drove the three hours home again listening to The Kite Runner. I made it to the Morriset Interchange where I decided to reward myself with my long awaited nap in the car park outside that place with the "5 Star Toilets". I ate dinner at the Coolabah Cafe. I was hoping to eat something that tasted normal (not Maccas). So I ordered a steak. I thought I deserved it after a hard day's work of wondering around a camp site like a zombie. I should have known better. At the Coolabah Cafe they pretend to have "real Aussie food". But they just give you food that makes you feel stick and stick an Australian flag in it. Although that could be what "real Aussie food" is. I hope not or I'm embarrassed to be Australian.

I made it make to the parents place feeling stuffed. I bailed on David's farewell and slept like a happy man.

Sunday was Sunday really. Just like normal. Except I had lunch with David to make up for the night before. It was fun. We ate in Hornsby at a Cafe. They should have stuck a flag in that and I would have been much more proud to be Australian.

And that is the weekend wrap up.

2/12/2008 12:57:00 am

Depression

Posted by Tom French |

I'm listening to The Kite Runner and reading All Quiet on the Western Front at the moment. Between the two of them they're quickly destroying my faith in humanity. It's like depressing novel week in Tomland at the moment.

Today I was struck, in The Kite Runner by the devastating effect of undesired grace. If you've read it, you'll know the scene where the servants decided to move away after being set-up for a crime they didn't commit. It was a horrid scene.

Lots of people have mentioned how hard it is to read The Kite Runner. I figured I'd be fine. Most things don't shake me much. But so far this book has. Not for the brutal rape scene that everyone talks about but for the scenes that followed. I found them so difficult I kept pausing my iPod and having to have some silence for a while. It's a good book, it's just making me unhappy. Actually it's getting a bit better now.

All Quiet on the Western Front is wonderful. It's not making me happy, but it's so well written, I just love letting it flow over me. One reviewer wrote on the back "The book conquers without persuading, it shakes you without exaggerating". That sums up how I'm feeling. It's disturbing because it doesn't try and convince you of anything. It just talks about life from the soldier's perspective and that does all the work it needs to do. There are no politics. Just the day to day life of the man on the ground. No right and wrong, good and bad. Just fighting and unhappiness. There is very little glamour in the book. I'm really enjoying (if that's the right word) reading it. It just feels so effortless. It's helping me feed my pacifist tendencies.

Plus I love reading classic books. It feels like I'm taking part in history.

2/08/2008 10:17:00 pm

Travelling Speaker

Posted by Tom French |

I'm off to speak on a camp for a day tomorrow.

I looked at the map for where I have to go this afternoon. It's 3 hours away. That was a little bit of a shock when I remembered I have to be there by about 8:30am.

I'm now downloading an audio book to keep me company while I drive.

It's times like this that I look forward to the day when I get my private jet with "Tom French Power Ministries" painted on the side. I'm gonna be awesome.

2/08/2008 12:21:00 am

Dux

Posted by Tom French |

At 9am I will begin NT425 - Pauline Theology and Romans. This is the subject I'm going to study for, I'm not going to sleep through, I'm going to make friends in, I'm going to do my assessment on time for and I'm going to get higher mark than a P+ in.

...whatever I reckon.

2/07/2008 12:45:00 am

Drinking Hall

Posted by Tom French |

I got home from small group tonight quite late. I ran my first senior small group tonight for the year. It was exciting. I like getting new small groups because they excite me. Last year's group wasn't around for long enough, and I'm a little sad I don't have any of them this year. But I like the new group. Should be fun. Good bunch.

And happiness was, when I got home at around 11pm, there were people sitting around in our lounge room having a chat. Jem suggested that we go up to the pub for a beer. So we did and we only just got home. On a school night and everything.

Have I ever mentioned I love having a pub at the end of the street?

2/05/2008 09:52:00 pm

Saay what?

Posted by Tom French |

Take the Sa ay from Saturday and what do you get?

Heh heh.

That's going to amuse me for the rest of my life.

2/05/2008 10:39:00 am

Yes We Can

Posted by Tom French |

I'm enjoying watching Barack Obama at the moment. This a rather cool video made by will.i.am.



Barack really knows how to speak. He seems to have reinvigorated the political speech. Oration isn't dead, it just needs a few people who know how to do it.

I wonder how much of what Obama says is him and how much is his speech writers.

2/03/2008 11:39:00 pm

Of Weekends and 25s

Posted by Tom French |

The weekend is over. It was a large one.

We started back at youth group on Friday. It was good to be back. We did our usually start of year hang out, questions, Bible and games.

The thing about youth ministry is that's rather bitter sweet.

On the one hand I love doing it. The young people who I get to hang out with every week are wonderful. I love spending time with them and seeing them after a long absence is rather exciting.

But I also find there's a sadness to it all too. Maybe only for me. But the amount I love the young people highlights for me my inadequacies as a youth leader. I can't do a good enough job for these guys. They aren't demanding, but I feel like they deserve better than me. I wonder how often parents find that.

But I'm the one with the job so I do my best, I trust God, and I hope he comes through with the goods. He does.


Yesterday was rather relaxing. Pancakes, movies, food, dvds, happy.

Ryan, Matt, David and I went to see Juno which was cool. We just loved it to bits. Every time we mention that we saw Juno and liked it people say "But I heard it wasn't very good." Everyone has been reading Robert and Jenny's blogs. It's nice to see how much weight Robert and Jenny carry in this world. It's sad that Robert and Jenny missed the loveliness of Juno. I even got a lump in my throat by the end. Babies and all that. And there were many funnies. And lovely characters. In fact I liked everyone in the film and I wanted everyone to be happy. The film started off a little pretentious and self-conscious. But it quickly forgot about that and just went good. I hope it wins lots of Oscars.

In the evening Matt, David and I drank beer and ate Thai, before Matt and I retired home to watch stand-up comedy on DVD. The first DVD was funny. The second DVD we watched was so disappointing I had to search YouTube for an hour or so to find some good stand-up. I found some and wet myself alone in my room at midnight. I haven't done that since I was a child, and I had the light on this time. You know a comedian is good when they make you laugh when you're all by yourself.

Actually I didn't actually wet myself. But I did cry. I would rather you thought I was a crier than a pants wetter.

Today has been my 25th birthday. Which, as much as people try to console me, has been the most depressing age of my life. I'm not feeling depressed, but 25 is so old. And as I was telling Jo on the phone today, when you spend your life hanging out with teenagers you realise you're too old to be a teenager, but you're not mature enough to be an adult. So you're stuck being the balding, Peter-pan man, who doesn't fit anywhere.

Still I'd rather this than a suit and a tie, a mortgage and a Camry. (Not that most 25 year-olds have that.)

I try and avoid fuss on my birthday because it makes me uncomfortable. I managed to leave the house this morning without anyone saying "Happy Birthday" to me. It wasn't till I got to church that the guys in my youth group remembered and wished my birthday cheer.

I went out to have a roast at the RSL with some people who organised themselves to eat with me today. It was nice because they were a good bunch. I like the RSL. Don't worry if you weren't invited, I didn't invite anyone.

At youth group this arvo we played a fun game that went for ages. It was nice and fun. That's all. It was call "Psychiatrist". I was happy.

In church someone remembered it was my birthday so everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me. There's nothing like having 70 people sing to you to make you feel like you're the centre of attention. So much for not making a fuss.

Still it's nice to know that there were two people sung to in church tonight. God and me. I reckon coming second only to God is a pretty good place to be.

My sister, for my birthday, gave me a little cup and saucer with the Seal of the United States on it. I like it a lot. On the back it says "Not for food use. Plate my poison food. For decorative purposes only. Made in China." I thought that was pretty funny.

Good night.

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