3/28/2008 05:21:00 pm

Disorganisation is one of my Strengths

Posted by Tom French |

I've had a really bad term for organisational mishaps. First I planned a social for half the youth group for the wrong week. I read the calender wrong, I thought I was a week earlier than and organised the social for Easter Friday when it was meant to be the week before. It got moved to tonight, but I forgot about that too, so I only really managed to pull it together in the last few days, even now it's a little bit of a mess. Half the youth group are telling me they had no idea that it was on. But hopefully, they'll manage to find their way there.

I also organised our Term Celebration, but forgot to book the church, so someone else got in first. Then I reorganised it, tried to book it, but the office door was locked with an new key so I had to wait till I had the key, then I forgot. Someone else booked that date too. Finally I booked it, and it might happen in May.

I'm sure I've been a bit more forgetful on other things too, but I can't remember them. Is that irony? No, I think it's just expected.

3/25/2008 04:36:00 pm

My Sordid Past

Posted by Tom French |

Last night the Gowies came over for some social joy. After I managed to get stung by a bee while cooking my dinner (it was on the floor for some reason, probably waiting to eat any macarroni cheese I dropped) we went out to the video store to get a DVD. Going back to the local Video Ezy after so many years (2 - which is so many) away was odd.

When it came to video hire time we did it on my card because Howie had left his ID at work. I hadn't hired anything in years. When the guy looked up my accouny he told me I had some fines. I asked them what they were for. The dude said "Batman Begins, Murderball and some film called Billy Bites Your Bum."

And did a double take "Sorry what was that last one?"

And the guy goes "Billy Bites Your Bum"

I started laughing that there would be a film called that on my card. I promised the guy I had no memory of hireing that film, to which he replied "I'm not judging you or anything man, I haven't seen it. That's just what it says."

Howie and Jenny both thought it was pretty funny me having hired a film like that. The people behind us in the queue thought it was pretty funny too. As we went out to the car I kept protesting my innocence of having no memory of hiring a film called "Billy Bites Your Bum" but I realised whatever I said it probably looked pretty dodgy. Though I knew, had I hired a dodgy movie, I probably would have remembered doing so.

While we were sitting in the car the other people from the video store walked past my car and pointed at me and laughed.

Anyway we got back home and went straight to the computer to search IMDB to see what Billy Bites Your Bum is. We figured IMDB would give a safer search than just straight Google.

Much to my relief this is what we found. It's a stand-up comedy DVD of Billy Connolly. And once I saw that I did remember hiring it and I wasn't embarrassed at all.

3/24/2008 10:49:00 am

Slacker

Posted by Tom French |

I have been a real bad blogger lately.

This is mainly because I'm staying at my parents' place and they have a computer but the keyboard only works sometimes, so blogging isn't always possible. It's hard to blog with just a mouse.

But I shall be trying to blog when I can.

Easter so far has been hectic. The sad thing about working for the Church is that you work almost the whole long weekend. Everyone else goes on holidays for four days of happiness and you're stuck in Sydney attending Church services and well...just that really. Unless you're preaching, like I was, and then you're writing sermons too. Oh how I wish I had the skills to write a sermon early. For some reason that seems impossible.

Still preaching last night was fun. Having more time to work on it meant I had more time to not have any inspiration. I'd spent the weekend trying to get something, and then only when I was preaching it did it feel like I might have actually achieved a sermon I was happy with. I don't know why I do it to myself.

Still the weekend hasn't been all sermon pain.

On Friday I watched Death Proof with John. That, I must say, is one very cool movie. It has one of the most awesome car chase. It wasn't awesome like say The Bourne Identity's mini chase was awesome. But awesome like two American muscle cars on open roads duking it out, awesome. But only the last 15 minutes was car chase. The rest of the film was just establishing the characters in that overly indulgent Tarantino kinda way. It was pretty much the worst structured movie I have seen in a years. But what was cool was that they knew it was badly structured and that's what they were going for. So it worked.

On Saturday I had lunch with Ryan. We ate wedges, hash browns, veggie pasties, Doritos, prawn chips (not Ryan) and grapes. It was spectacular. I felt very satisfied and unhealthy by the end.

At night we went to Jem's new place for dinner. It was nice to meet her house mates and eat food. I only managed to offend everyone right at the end. So I was happy with that.

And Sunday was, well Easter Sunday. I like Easter Sunday. I like Jesus and Jesus being alive. So that made me happy.

Last night I came home and watched 3 episodes of 24. I needed the switch off. And I actually finding Jack Bower less annoying. It might be because he thinks his family is safe and he's stopped promising them "I'm gonna get you outta there." Plus there have been more helicopters and guns and I like them.

3/19/2008 11:47:00 am

What Actually Happened

Posted by Tom French |

I feel I should tell you the real story of what happened, rather than the version written by our Children's Minister.

So it was the Easter Assembly today at the school I teach scripture at. I had been asked to write a drama about the Road to Emmaus. I decided to make it about the two guys coming back and telling everyone what had just happened to them. I decided to make the guys a little dopey and added a few lines in like this:

A:We were walking along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus.

B: You know the road where Tony’s donkey exploded because it had extreme diarrhea? It’s that road.


Or this one:

A: So we were depressed.

B: So depressed we were talking about how depressed we were. I was even more depressed than when I swallowed my favourite watch and had to wait for it to come out the other end.


See I thought they were pretty funny jokes. And when it came to performing it, so did the kids. But alas, some of the teachers didn't think it was so amusing. After assembly one we were asked to tone it down.

At the same time in my talk I spoke about being afraid of vomiting. And I think that upset the teachers too.

By the second show we'd solved most of the offensive bits. Except this one:

A: Can you imagine how embarrassed I was! The whole time we’d been talking about Jesus to Jesus.

B: Yeah just like that time I was talking to your ex-girlfriend and I didn’t know it was your ex-girlfriend and so I told your ex-girlfriend you though she was a fat cow. And then she cried. That was embarrassing.

A: Yeah…just like that.


And in my talk I talked about death and how it was sad but Jesus being alive means that he's stronger than death. But all my talk of death made some poor little girl cry.

Still the kids loved us. I got mobbed for autographs in the playground, which is a first. I'm sure they'll get a lot on eBay for the pieces of paper that says "To Jimmy, Happy Easter, Mr French" but maybe that's big in the autograph market these days.

The poor Scripture Coordinator rang me to thank me for what we'd done and just let me know that she'd talked to the Principal, and a few of the teachers and apologised and emailed them apologising some more accepting full responsibility for everything that happen. This way works best for me. I do the offending someone else does the apoligising. Hopefully all the fires are put out now.

When I start my kids' ministry I might make our tag line "Offending the Kiddies for Christ". I think it'll go down well.

3/19/2008 11:39:00 am

The Day I Weed on the Floor

Posted by Tom French |

Today I offended several people in the Scripture Assembly at the public school I teach at. As a sign of my insecurity I feel the need to make kids laugh and therefore made several inappropriate jokes about vomit and diarrhea. I began to get the feeling that I was offending some teachers with this as the tension in the room built. I felt I had two options before me; I could either pull back and tone down the story or I could continue. I thought "Stuff them, they can't tell me what to do, the kids are laughing." I decided to really give them something to talk about and to go out in a blaze of glory, so I peed on the floor.

I don't think I'll be invited back to the school, but hopefully the kids will think of me whenever they look at the stain on the floor of their hall.

The End

This was my morning's adventures as told by Rachel, who wasn't actually there.

3/15/2008 11:28:00 pm

"Good News Derrick!"

Posted by Tom French |

I went to the taping of Good News Week with Howie, James and Debbie tonight at the ABC Studios in Ultimo. It's a lovely building that one. I'm not much of a fan of GNW but seeing as I've never watched a full show I felt maybe it was a little early to judge.

The show was rather amusing. Jimeoin was on the show and sadly wasn't very funny except for when they weren't taping. He did a little bit of stand up for us that was very good. Pia Miranda was on the show too which was exciting because I had a crush on her a few years back.

Probably the biggest news of the night is that I can EXPOSE right here on my blog, the SCANDAL of that game where they put people in the booth and blow letters around for the contestant to grab one. Then they ask the person questions which have answers starting with that letter. It turns out when the person is in there and the letters are blowing around every piece of paper has the same letter on it. The game is rigged!

I guess it makes sense. Easier to write the questions for 2 letters rather than 26. But still that's the magic of television, deceiving the viewers!

I must say I write a hard hitting blog. First I reveal the House with No Steps actually has steps, now this. I'll tell you, I'm better than the Drudge report.

But I had a fun night. I laughed many times, people didn't annoy me, and I got to watch television being made, and I love television. And that's the end of the story.

3/11/2008 07:39:00 pm

Godless

Posted by Tom French |

I was at the High School yesterday to teach scripture. On the weekend an recent ex-student of the school had been hit by a bus and killed. We arrived at the school and there was RIP graffiti all over the school. There was an odd feeling in the school.

While I was waiting outside one of the class rooms to go in there was a guy walking past with his friend. As he was walking he shouted at me, "I don't believe in God! How can there be a God when I saw my friend dragged along the road by a bus and killed? There is no God!" It made me so sad. I said nothing, because there is nothing you can shout back down a corridor to be of any comfort. But I wished I could have said something. Instead all I could do was watch and feel un-able to help at all.

I have prayed.

3/11/2008 07:24:00 pm

Around

Posted by Tom French |

I am now well moved out of my house in Enmore.

I went back to Enmore today to help with the cleaning. I kinda skipped out on the cleaning and stuff on Sunday and Monday as I was working. I thought it'd all been done on Sunday, but alas it had not. I feel a bit guilty that the house slaved away for three days while I only had to spend Saturday moving my stuff.

I'm at my parents place now. Things are quiet.

We had David's funeral today. It was pretty nice. We sat in a room with a decorated coffin. It wasn't really like a funeral at all, just a bunch of people shareing stories. Lots of us were sitting on the floor, his paintings were all around the walls, we had a few laughs, it was sad, it was good. It was one of the most well done funerals (or celebrations, as this was called) that I've been too. This time people told stories that reminded me of David. I didn't think we were burying Jesus again. He was falible, he was talkative, he was loving, he was loved, he was David.

Now I'm feeling tired.

3/07/2008 11:08:00 pm

Gone

Posted by Tom French |

So this is my last night in Enmore. My room is a mess.

I've been slowly packing since Tuesday. I'm not feeling sad, but I should be because I love this place. So I'm going to make a list of the things I going to miss.

What I will miss about Enmore:

Thai food (Anna Thai at night, Red Corner for Lunch)
$2.50 buddies from the IGA
The Duke (I have a pub 200 meters from my front door, it's wonderful)
The Enmore Theatre
Living in the same street as the Red Wiggle
King Street
Late night food
The cred that comes from living in Enmore (which is so much cooler than Newtown)
Feeling really smug about being able to park in our driveway when there's a so on at The Enmore
The bus to the city
Being close to the Airport
Getting to drive over the Harbour Bridge everyday
The low-flying aeroplanes

Things I will miss about living in this house:

Living with Mil, Martin, Ryan and Matt (and Jo, Jem and Jon)- I love them all
Having people sleep over regularly (especially people I really like)
The Balcony
Being able to see the airport from the balcony
Drinking Baileys on the roof
The Pancakes
The laughs
The many, many DVD watchings
The Coke and beer
The tofu
Coming home from from work to find all my house friends are sitting around drinking a beer and having a barbie
The random dropping ins from randoms
The Projector
Being able to blame Matt for everything
The cutlery
Community (whatever that means, we never got around to figuring it out)


Things I won't miss:

The drive
The dust
The mould
Cockroaches and slugs
People vandalising my car

And I think that's it.

Good bye sweet Enmore. I have been well blessed.

3/06/2008 11:41:00 pm

Teleporting is cool

Posted by Tom French |

Jumper on the other hand...not so much.

I went to see Jumper tonight with the "Little Brother". I had two free tickets so off we went.

I'm pretty pleased it was free because it was a rather lame film. I feel like its biggest weakness (though there were many) was that it wasn't long enough. I know people will think I'm a little insane for saying that but there were all these things that weren't explained. Like the bad guys were pretty much just bad. They had a little bit of motivation and back story. But really, it was lame. We could have had all this cool stuff about why the Jumpers and Paladins were fighting. And maybe some more moral ambiguity, and justification for the Paladin cause. And the climax of film occurred without any warning that the hero was about to come through with the goods. Had the film makers decided to slow down spend some time on the characters, the back story, the foreshadowing, it might have been a much better film.

That said, it wasn't terrible. I didn't have a bad time. It was probably just disappointing because everything about the film was mediocre. I was thinking, if I ever get famous, I'll do a remake. They really should remake more mediocre films with good concepts. That way no one will get upset for trying to "improve on perfection" and you can get kudos for making a film better than the original. Everyone wins, unless you suck worse than the first film, and then you look super bad.

So anyway, I say, don't bother with this film till DVD and your desperate. Go see Rambo instead. That was cool.

I have just signed up to be a movie review/blogger on a Christian youth site. Which means I'll now have to write Christian movie reviews. Had I been writing a Christian review I should have written this:

Jumper is a film about David Rice, a young man with the unique ability to teleport. Going around the world, looking for excitement, stealing money, David lives the ultimate life of the unregenerate man. When he is tracked by an evil group who don't like jumpers, he must fight for his life and the life of his girlfriend whom he selflessly saves.

While David's selfish attitude is rectified by his love for his girlfriend, the film makers fail to realise that true and lasting change can only come from a new heart not just a new attitude. This heart can only come from Jesus. Had David found a saving faith in Jesus' death and resurrection perhaps he truly would have been a superhero worth watching, one like our Lord.

1.5/5


To be fair the Sydney Anglican review doesn't do to badly at remembering that Jesus doesn't have be the hero of every film.

3/05/2008 05:20:00 pm

Nudie Stats

Posted by Tom French |

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the streaker had posed a danger to players.

"Last night, at the Gabba there were 27,000 cricket fans who had paid their money to see a game of cricket, not to see a streaker," Ms Bligh said in Brisbane.

"I think, frankly, that people understand that streakers can pose a danger to our players.

"It might seem funny at the time but it can be quite dangerous."


From here.

I wonder what the stats are. I wonder how many streakers have actually been injured or injured someone else while doing the nudie run. I reckon it'd somewhere in the hundreds, maybe thousands! It certainly is my first concern when someone streaks; "Did anyone get injured?"

If only I lived in Queensland and I could vote for Anna Bligh who keeps people safe.

3/04/2008 01:36:00 pm

Removals

Posted by Tom French |

I just started packing my my room. 2 years of dust in my nostrils. I sneeze much. Live DVDs are keeping my company. How much can I throw out and give away, that is a question. Sentimentalism be damned I say!

3/03/2008 11:58:00 pm

Significance

Posted by Tom French |

It was always going to be a significant day today. Tonight was to be our last house dinner together before we move on the weekend. However it was more significant than I expected.

Just before 4 this afternoon I got a call from Martin telling me that our friend, David, (not blog David) had died. Martin had been called by David to come around and feed his cat and when he arrived there were Police there. David had been about to be taken to hospital by his nurse and carer when he suffered a heart attack and died.

It wasn't a big surprise to hear because David has been living with AIDS for many years. Over the past few months we've watched him get much sicker. When we saw him on Saturday he seemed more tired than usual. He told us he was thinking he might just give up on doctors. Maybe he was tired of life. I would have been.

And this afternoon he died.

I went around to the house to see him this evening. My mum was there. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. I've never seen a dead body before. But I wanted to see my Mum. I wanted to know if it would be helpful. When I talked to Mum on the phone she said they were just "hanging out with David". Which seemed like a rather odd thing to do. Why would you want to "hang out" with a dead body?

But on arriving I realised why. There was something peaceful about him. When people say that when you look at a dead body you can believe in a soul because the body looks different, it looks empty, I wasn't sure what to think. But it was true for David. It was peaceful because David wasn't there. His broken, diseased, abused body was there, but the David we knew was gone. I don't know if the fact that a person looks different is just because of the fact that the body isn't living, the heart has stopped pumping, the blood has stopped following, oxygen has stopped circulating, so the body should, and does, look physically different. Or if there's something else to it, if it really is about the absence of the soul. But it felt like David had gone out and left a strangely life-like, but not quite right, copy of himself behind. David had left the building.

So I think going to see David was helpful. I saw for myself that he was gone, he wasn't just away on a really long holiday (which death usually feels like for me). And I could feel peace about that, because now he's no longer suffering in his AIDS ridden body that wasn't doing him any favours anyway.

He was a lovely man, and I am happy to have been involved in his life. He taught me about films, and helped feed my love for America. He would tell me stories about his amazing life that sounded like they were out of movie. He liked us and we liked him. He also had a three-legged dog, which is amusing, a least watching him try and pee was against a tree was pretty funny, poor thing.

I am sad that David is gone. Death seems so odd, so unnatural, which I guess it is. But today was David's time. God has it under control.

Anyway, we (Martin and I) were asked to take some photos for friends who will find it helpful to see the body, so I became official dead body photographer. It's a rather odd thing to do. I doubt I'll stick that on my resume.

Then Martin and I went home to meet the others and have our last house dinner. It was a more sombre affair as David was a friend to all of us. He had come to visit a few times when it was well enough, he was part of our community.

But we did dinner anyway because dinner is good and moments like these have to be honoured. The loss of a friend and the end of our lovely Community House is a pretty big deal. I've had two excellent years living in this house, with seven other wonderful people. They've all made my life so much richer. I love them all.

We had a veggie stacks barbecue tonight and made play list of songs which remind us of our time here. It was nice. We drank tea. We made jokes. A few cried. We did community. It was good.

And soon this too will end.


"There is a time for everything.
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

3/03/2008 01:02:00 am

Open House

Posted by Tom French |

Saturday was a day of sermon writing and house stuff.

I woke up exceedingly early (9am!) because Matt was having an open house at our house. The sly bugger has managed to score himself the job of managing the property. So while on the one hand he's being kicked out by the landlord, on the other he's finding her new tenants to replace us. Still, as he said, better he makes a bit of money out of it than not.

Anyway there was an open house so I figured I should be out of bed when the yuppies come through. While I was in the shower I had the brilliant idea that we (Ryan, Mil and I) should go out then come back to the house and pretend to be prospective renters and wander through our own open house.

So we did a little bit of cleaning. I moved my pile of clothes to the side and closed my drawers, and my room was looking almost as good as new. Then we left and got some take away coffee because people at open houses on a Saturday morning always have take-away coffee. When we left the house 20 minutes early there were already six people waiting.

We walked around the block and came back. Matt ignored us and we wandered through and made rude comments about the current tenants. It was odd wandering through our house with a bunch of strangers, pretending to be a stranger. But it was a pretty fun exercise.

In the afternoon we headed off to Marrickville to sign the lease for the new place. It's a little odd that I'm signing the lease to a house I'm not going to live in, but hey, at least now, if Josh kicks me out I can just go to Marrickville and kick one of the randoms out because "This is my house, I'm on the damn lease!" I'm sure that'd go down well.

I spent the evening pounding out a sermon.

3/01/2008 05:41:00 pm

Inspire

Posted by Tom French |

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein

That would be a lie, in the middle of difficulty lies fficul.

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