Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kennedy Center Honors

I am watching the Kennedy Center Honors and Dave Brubeck was just honored. The actual ceremony took place on Dec 6, his 89th birthday. During one of the segments, a group of military musicians started playing "Take Five," ending it with a little of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." They then played "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and Brubeck's 4 sons all joined in the fold, having solos and cycling through some other songs as well. The coolest thing for me, was before the next time they played "Rhapsody in Blue," the whole group played "Happy Birthday" with jazz chords. It was great!

Happy Birthday, Dave.
Congratulations to all the Kennedy Center Honorees.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Da Bears

The Vikings are about to be beat by the Bears and over the PA was Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." The title says it all, that is my fanfare, not the Bears. Football players are way over-paid, over-promoted, and under-producing. They are most definitely not the persons for whom that fanfare was written and I want it back.
The fanfare does not belong to those on TV. It does not belong to those in the public eye. It does not belong to canine corrupters, weapon wielders, or Al and Alma's altercators; it belongs to car mechanics, police officers, and soldiers in Afghanistan. The morally bankrupt can keep their mass-produced drivel that the masses call music, I want the fanfare, it is mine.
Stop playing it. It does not belong to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Age and Crime

Apparently a husband and wife admitted to spying on the US and reporting to Cuba for 30 years. They've even spent some time with Fidel Castro giving him intel. The husband has been sentenced to life in jail, while his wife will serve no less than 7.5 years. Here's the kicker for me, they are 72 and 71 respectively. The BBC site doesn't say when they stopped spying, but they spent their evening with Mr. Castro in 1995.

They committed treason against their country, but are aging. Does the punishment fit the crime? Should they be stuck in jail for something they did (potentially) a decade ago? Did the wife get a lesser sentence because of her gender? (Sexism can work in one's favor too).

I, of course, don't have any of these answers, but these questions struck me as I was reading. I think that since our punitive system is that, punitive instead of corrective, their age shouldn't matter. If we had a corrective system, then I don't think they should be corrected, because their ability to commit the crime has been greatly diminished.

Whether or not sexism played a part, I'm guessing yes. She could have been the brains behind the whole match, but most are reading this article thinking, "He was an official in the army. Oh, that poor woman getting stuck with that." Either way, I think 7 and a half years in jail are going to irreparably damage her health, and they will most likely be separated. That might be more damage than the actual jail time.

What I'll never know is why someone would actually do this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cafeterias and fun

I'm sitting in the cafeteria at Luther Seminary and someone dropped some glass shattering into a plethora of glass shards. This reminded me of a similar situation that happened to me.
When I was at Normandale, I dropped a bottle of pop which as-ploded. Deeply embarrassed, I helped clean it up, grabbed a new soda, and moved to the cashier to pay.
Pointing at the spot where my mess had been, I say, "I'd like to pay for that." "No," he replied,"you have to pay for that." Confused, I said, "That's what I said, 'I'd like to pay for that.'" Looking quite pissed off, he said, "You still have to pay for that." Realizing my defeat, I gave up trying to pay for it. "OK?!" I said as I handed him the money covering my mistake and my purchases.
I avoided his line for the rest of my tenure. He was an angry man.

Yet another pointless post. I hope all is well with you all.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nouns and Verbs

I am sick of people misusing the English language.... part 1.
I understand that taking a noun and turning it into a verb can strengthen the sentence. However, when it happens consistently, it cheapens any use of the word entirely.
I have been to too many weddings where the couples "covenant" each other. For crying out loud, MAKE a covenant. Do they not think that by creating a bond they are doing something more important than screwing up the English language? I know that covenant is officially a verb now in newer dictionaries, but I wholly refuse to use it that way. Another verbed noun is to gift. I hear this and I cringe.What's most interesting to me is the fact that I "text," "friend" people on facebook, "re-gift," and "verb" various other nouns, but for some reason "gift" and "covenant" are verboten.
With neologisms abounding in this post-modern world, I'll either have to adapt or be pissed off. It's obvious which I've chosen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Month and Assistance

I feel so silly. I haven't written in over a month and the future appears to be bleak as well. NAtional NOvel WRiting MOnth is coming up in a few weeks and I desperately wanted to contribute, but I realize that I have no interest in writing a crappy novel (It would be crappy if I wrote it). I do, however, have an interest in writing two other things. The first is really a series of articles about music and worship, the second is music.
The later one is more ambiguous because I have a lot of ideas floating in my head. I could write something that would get published. I could write for my handbell group. I could write for choir. The list goes on.
So, that's what I'm going to do. Write a ton of music, but not until Dec. It's slower at school, but busier at work. I could do it in January, but there's a family vacation in the middle and I won't have access to my computer, a keyboard, etc. So I will have my own NAMUWRIMO, in December.

Now here's the rub. NANOWRIMO has rules. Therefore, I need rules. Well, I need rules otherwise I won't do any of it. For NANOWRIMO, the competitor writes 50,000 words (750 pages) in 30 days. It has to be new material, no rewrites, etc. It doesn't explicitly state that a collection of short stories is outlawed, but it is implied.
I don't care to write a novel-length piece of music (i.e. a symphony), so that last implied rule is a kicker to me. Should I just tell myself that I need 750 pages (12,000 measures at 16m. a page) of music in any form? That's 400 measures a day!

I seriously need to rethink that. Well, I have a month and a bit to decide the rules. I think 400 measures a day are inequivalent to the 5-6 pages a day for the novel.
Your thoughts?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Why I don't listen

This is about "Contemporary" Christian Music
song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Nada

I really don't have anything to write about, but know that I need to write. For some odd reason.

What I've been up to: working, reading and planning. I've been getting a lot of stuff together at work. We have a rally event coming up and I've been getting all the rosters together, new brochures, handouts and the like there. I plan on having handchimes and boomwhackers in a C pentatonic scale so that the kids and adults can play without it sounding bad. They'll sound like the good, well-tuned wind chimes.
I've actually read a lot this summer and liked it. I'm currently skimming
Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. It's a solid book, but it's not really for me. I'm looking for an idiot's guide to rhetoric and haven't found one. This is way too detailed for what I want.

What's coming up: I start some more classes at Luther next Tuesday. I'm taking a lot of randoms and am hoping for an independent study with one of the worship profs. He knows his stuff and I would like to learn from him, but I've taken the worship class too many times.

I'm going to the Fair. That should be fun. I am heading there with my family and will meet up with some friends later. That will be a hoot. Yes, I said "hoot."

That's mostly it. I've got some stuff going on at church. We have some inter-generational events and I will be working with the High School youth. I'm trying to incorporate both those things at least some of the time. They are great to work with. :-)


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What's wrong with me?

So, I haven't been keeping up with reading any of my friends' blogs, nor have I been writing in this one. I don't know what's wrong with me. It isn't for lack of time.

I haven't done any running or exercising of any sort since before I left for New Orleans. I'm feeling kind of crappy about that. It's weird that when I didn't exercise, I didn't feel bad when I did not exercise, but now if I skip a few days I get jumpy. I can't really exercise until Thursday. Grr.

Tonight, Becky and I went out with some of her coworkers to see a play at the Fringe Festival called, "Habitat." It was about people who are homeless and it was surprisingly powerful. I say surprisingly not because stories about homeless are not powerful, but rather that there were elements that seemed "hokey" at first. The actors carried scripts, which they used. However, the point of the scripts was to be noticed. The words were not "written," but spoken by people in the situations portrayed. The scripts were to remind everyone that this was true, the words are really coming from people in that position.

Well, I need to go. I may write more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Orleans

I feel the need to post, though I'm dying of exhaustion.
We drove through the night (paid drivers of a charter bus) to New Orleans from St. Paul. We left on Saturday at 15:00 and arrived at 15:00 on Sunday. Yes, that's 24 hours. We were wound up and ready to sleep as most of us don't sleep well on a bus. I personally got about 4 hours.
We visited the French Quarter and had a worship service. I know that I am hyper critical of worship, but I really want to talk to the people in charge. The Powerpoints were wrong, not one element went well. The lectors, assisting ministers, ministers and musicians flubbed on easy words. The only thing that went superb was the preaching, which is kinda the point. About the musicians...they were great, just needed to work on their timing and practice the ends of songs. I would re-arrange some of the pieces for their instrument grouping, but they can play.
I stopped a guy from beating up his gf in the French Quarter tonight. He might have been bigger than I am, but I think he was a little frightened that someone would call him out on it. Hopefully it did some good, but I think she will just go back to him--hopefully he doesn't beat her worse because of me. She didn't want my help, though I offered it.
Arrgh. I should go to bed. Good night, world! I'll tell you about the cleanup effort as time allows.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

150th!

It's been a while since I posted last and I just saw that this is number 150.

I've been crazy busy away from the internets, so I haven't read anyone's blog since I last posted, and still haven't. I love you all still!

Anyway, Becky and I competed in our first triathlon at the end of June in North Mankato. We finished it together, so our times sucked, but we did that on purpose. We just wanted to finish it. We hadn't "really" trained for it, so we just wanted to take it easy. We both feel we took it too easy and could have finished stronger without killing ourselves, but that's what the next one is for, right? And, yes, we want to do another. Yeah!

Other than that, I'm heading to New Orleans with a charter bus full of high schoolers(!). We are heading to one of the hottest places in the country during the middle of July for the ELCA Youth Gathering. It should be fun and I'm looking forward to it. Wish me luck!

Becky is employed twice over. Once is for MN Council of Non-Profits. Twice is for a Hispanic congregation in South Mpls, El Milagro. These will be great for her, since she was ready to move in this direction anyway. I might actually see her during tax season 2010.

That's all I can write in the allotted 5 minutes. Peace!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

2+ Weeks

Well, in the 2+ weeks of blogger absence, I have done little that you all would care to hear, so I'll summarize.

I've been running (made it around Lake Calhoun, ca. 3.1 miles/5km, in about 35 minutes. Awesome!)
I've been biking 80+ miles in May (compare to the 65 miles total in 2008).
I've been swimming.
I'm planning on a triathlon. (!)
I'm 30.
I'm talking a lot about myself.
Becky's job searching, which is a mixed blessing.
She and I did all the above together (some of the biking and running was solo, but the Calhoun was with her).
I was paired up with a youth for Bolder Options, I have yet to meet him or even reconfirm my commitment, but I'm excited.

Now, in the last post I wrote that I was going to submit a composition for publication. I emailed said publishing company on May 11th for their guidelines. When I hadn't heard on May 13th, I called and got the lowdown. May 14th, with much fanfare, literally, I mailed it off. Less than 2 weeks later, I got my rejection email and finally on June 1, I get the email on manuscript guidelines. I got rejected before they even told me how to get rejected!

Anyway, I don't know if I'll resubmit it elsewhere, rework it, or self-publish. I like it the way it is, so maybe I'll look for another publishing house.

This is my life for the last few weeks. Send Becky job finding thoughts (or potential jobs) and have a great while until I see you again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Aging

So, Thursday, May 14th, I will turn 30 at 6:08 AM. Well, it won't happen precisely then, but you get the idea.

My teens have been long behind me and now I'm looking at the end of my twenties. As many have said when leaving one era and moving on to another, it was great while it happened, but I won't miss it. Especially the last year-and-a-half. Those were the worst 18 months, or so, in my life, aside from the first 18 months. I am told that those were hell for everyone, including me.

Anyway, how does one celebrate their 30th? Why by doing something risky, right? Like skydiving or base jumping or going to Las Vegas. Not I, I will be.... wait for it.... doing something far riskier....

For the regular reader, they might remember that a year or so ago I wrote that I never commit to anything (yes, I'm married, but that's different). I never go all out on anything, so what I'm planning on doing on Thursday is committing to something, putting my best foot forward and taking a "real" risk. I am sticking my neck out. I am using as many cliches as I can muster up.

I am submitting a musical composition for publication.

So, wish me luck. I am not hopeful, because I'm behind the times on my piece. 2 pieces using the same text have come out in the last 2-3 years, so I think that I will not be as likely to get published as I would have been 4 years ago when I wrote it. But this is something to do in order to have done it, then it won't be scary next time.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

3 Bibles, 2 Translations, 1 Goal

The ELCA has recently set out a motion to encourage the reading of the Bible. It seems that few Lutherans, or Christians really, were reading the Bible, though most Christians considered it something that Christians should do. In response to this, the ELCA has started "The Book of Faith Initiative." Part of this initiative was to put a good translation of the Bible into the hands of their members. A "good" translation of the Bible, of course, is highly subjective and is the source of debate. That is an argument for a different paper.

When one translates, there are two directions that a translator can go: they can be as literal to the text as possible or they can make it as readable as possible. A literal translation of John 1:1 could be, "In beginning existed the word, and the word existed with the god, and god existed the word." Another translation, that is easier to read is, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The King James Version is one of the more literal translations, the Good News (Contemporary English Version), one of the more readable. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)is closer to literal than readable, but has a good balance. Two of the Bibles that have been published in light of this "Book of Faith Initiative" are NRSV Bibles. These two Bibles have been published by Augsburg Fortress and are intended for two different audiences, "The Lutheran Study Bible" for Adults, and the "Spark Bible" for Kids grades 2-6.

"The Lutheran Study Bible" is meant for the Lay Adult to learn more about the Bible and the land and people that produced this "Book of Faith." The beginning of this Bible has and introduction to Bibles. For instance, a section on Biblical Manuscripts and the languages of the Bible. This is followed by a chart of who thinks what should be in the Bible and then a timeline of the people and events in the Bible. The end of the book has a limited subject concordance and a 3-course, Bible-reading plan. This plan has a Challenge, Survey and Sampler path to read the Bible, or parts of it, in a year.

The three sections are aptly named in that the Challenge path is the most intense path and the deepest read into the texts. The Survey gives a good overview of the promises that God has fulfilled to his people and the Sampler gets one somewhat familiar with the books of the Bible and the stories therein. Following this are key stories and prayers in the Bible. This is a fine place to start for those who have never looked at the Bible. From there, one can then take one of the Bible-Reading paths.

The maps that follow are colorful and numerous. They provide a great source of interesting geographic curios and are something to look at during a boring Law/Gospel sermon.

Each section of the Bible begins with a great overview of what is contained in each section. All that I have read are expertly crafted by excellent Biblical scholars and each book also contains well-thought information to help one in study. At somewhat regular intervals, there are explanations of what is going on in the text. These, surprisingly, help the reader to think, but does not tell the reader what to think. All these features make this a great lay resource for more in-depth study.

The "Spark Bible," in contrast, is much smaller in size and has fewer of the features noted above. It's audience is not the Lay scholar, but a young person looking to get used to and familiar with the Bible. This is a strong resource for that purpose. It starts with the permission to mark up this book, something this author didn't really learn until Graduate work (one can make marks in all sorts of books!). This is to encourage the young person to make this book their own.

Each book of the Bible has a short, child-appropriate introduction to that book. Generally, it seems to be a one-page synopsis of important moments in that book. While there are no explanations of events happening in the text, there are a series of questions to help the child think through the story. On the bottom of certain pages, there are pointers called, "Did you know?" These point out facts of the times that are being discussed in the story.

There is a section in the back teaching kids how to mark up the Bible complete with stickers. These stickers have specific purposes including: I don't get it, I memorized it, Makes me wonder, and the like. Each page in the Bible has wider margins for the use of these stickers and for making margin notes.

The third Bible is a new translation, a story Bible for children called, Spark Story Bible. Since this is for children, they paraphrased the Bible and only took stories out of it and placed them with full-color, highly engaging illustrations.

The editors worked hard to make sure that the stories and illustrations not only matched the other, but also that they were accurate to the Biblical witness. The stories don't have the extra traditional lore that some other story Bibles may have.

The illustrations are vivid and each illustration contains a little worm named Squiggles. He's in each story (after the Creation story) to show the mood of the story. While I was skeptical of this "mood informer," there is only so much a worm can portray and it gives a point of reference to the child who is looking at the pictures and the parents have something to point out.

One of the more fascinating of features is the star section at the end of each story. They are a call to action for the reader, something to do that is related to the story and helps the child to engage in the story.

Each of these Bibles is a fantastic way to engage in the Biblical narrative from the youngest to the oldest. Each has their pluses and minuses, but I feel that the editors have minimized the minuses and maximized the pluses. All three will serve their purpose well, and I am excited to see what else comes from Augsburg Fortress to this end.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Strengths

Becky and I went to a Strengthsfinder 2.0 thing at Luther today. I would wholly recommend taking the assessment and finding your strengths.

These are mine:
Connectedness
Ideation
Empathy
Activator
Positivity

Independent of one another, they seem like mediocre skills, but taken in whole, they create the superstar you are reading about. Me.

I think I will try to use these in the year ahead to help me in my goals and schooling.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poetry Saturday

It has been almost a month since my last poetry Friday. Yesterday, my niece wanted to listen to my iPod, so I played a favorite choral piece (below). I was first introduced to this hymn in 2005 at a National Lutheran Choir Tune-up (actually, probably 2-3 decades ago, but this is when I remember the hymn). We sang this with Rene Clausen and I absolutely loved it and rewrote some of the words for my wedding, but never used it and have since forgotten the new lyrics. Since the poem has some references to death, I thought it was better to not use this poem and the subsequent tune in the wedding.

The indented stanzas are the stanzas I know and the others have been omitted from hymnals I know. At least, that's what I recall.

Abide With Me
Henry Lyte

(Favorite tune: Eventide)

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Be Bold!

Today I met with Katie from Bolder Options and had an interview. After talking with her about the program, I'm really excited and it sounds like I'm committed, providing my background check clears.

They have a bicycling and a running program, which is really cool. I'm more interested in the bicycling event, but their greatest need is in St. Paul, which is only a running program. I said that I'd rather be stretched and placed where I'm needed than to be placed where I'm not needed and be more comfortable.

This means that I'll be running more often.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Library

I am at the library. Becky's working late, so I stopped here to get a book or two and got side-tracked while looking up some more books. So, now I'm blogging.

Yesterday I filled out an application for Bolder Options. They...well... I'll let them tell you.

Bolder Options is an activity-based, one-to-one youth mentoring program. We
use running & biking, academic goal setting, and volunteerism to build
self-esteem and encourage healthy habits in 10 - 14 year old youth.

It seems like a cool program. Plus, I would be "forced" to work out! That sounds like a major benefit too! Anyway, I'm going to head home and eat dinner. Somehow, Hot Pockets didn't fill me up at lunch today.

PS Someone remind me to tell you about my coworkers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sandbagging

Well, I was going to go to Fargo to sand bag, but apparently, there are tons of volunteers and less work. Next week, my friend who was going to do this may go to Grand Forks and do the same thing. I have an aunt, uncle and cousin (plus family) in GF, so that might be a good trip too.

Send prayers to the (potential) flood victims.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Random lack of stuff to mention

I don't really have anything of note about myself here. I'm working, I like it so far. They are making me sing at a Wednesday service. That will be fun, I think! I don't sing enough, so it will be a good excuse.

My brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer for round # 2 with that disease. He'll undergo another 4-6 months of chemotherapy and deal with a new position at work, 2 little girls, and the regular stresses of life. He's a runner, but he'll be out of his running shoes for a bit.

If you are of the praying type, please add Brian and his family to your list.

Peace to all of you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Working... Out.

Wow! Yesterday I actually went for a run. Well, I ran at some points.

I ran from the apartment to my parents' house, around 3 miles. I would jog, walk, sprint, walk, etc... the length of it. I did not do any planned intervals, it was always... "I'll run to that stop sign," type of interval training.

I did, however, download some podcasts from this site, http://www.c25k.com/, in the hopes that they will help me be more organized in the interval training. It's a great program to get one into 5k shape in 9 weeks. Now, there are other methods, and I'm not running a 5k in a month and a half, but I need some sort of training regimen.

If you are badly out of shape, and live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and are interested in joining a taping of our show... Oh, um. I mean if you would like to "run" with me, let me know.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Poetry Friday

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)

by William Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.


Quite a while back, the guy who set "She Walks in Beauty" set this sonnet to choral music. We were singing this piece at a rare concert in the recital hall and, low and behold, Becky was sitting just behind our conductor from where I was sitting. No matter what, I couldn't help but look at her.
As we sang this piece, we get to the rousing climax, the women are repeating, "And yet by heav'n," and the the men keep singing, "I love her," over and over; I started crying. Ever since then, I get weepy over this song.
This sonnet goes against all the other sappy love poems. Instead of telling you how perfect one's love is for another, it talks about how imperfect everything in the relationship is. Yes, it's saying that the object of love is imperfect, but it's really saying more than that. The whole thing about love is imperfect. One doesn't understand that until the last line, "and yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare."
"Sigh," I really wish I was at home now instead of sitting at work.

Blogging...

So, today, Becky and I were talking and I came up with a great topic I should write about on here. For the life of me, I cannot remember, but I really wanted something interesting to say. I have felt that this has been somewhat trite lately and I wanted to think through my fingertips and have nothing to think about.

Becky and I are going to see one of my favorite composers in a couple of weeks, Eric Whitacre. He's conducting a group of choirs while they sing his music. "The Eric Whitacre Extravaganza." It's sold out.

I spent way too much on tickets, but Becky seemed excited for it. I never know how she's going to take the spending of money. I guess if it's for me it's questionable, but if it's for us, it's ok? Maybe she'll comment on this posting and we'll find out! LOL!

I'll let you all know what happens there. For now, I'm wishing I was in bed and counting down the hours until the end of my last shift.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reading....lists

So, a few weeks back, I read, "A Child Called 'It'" by Dave Pelzer. There's too much to say about it and none of it needs to be said. I recommend the read and hope you never read it at the same time. The story is so outlandish and far-fetched that throughout the whole book I questioned it's validity and wondered if there was any fact checking going on. You can read the synopsis on Wiki and see the part from his brother. No matter how you slice it, the story is atrocious, but I did like reading it.

Now, I'm reading "The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had." I'm only 2 chapters in, but I like this book. It's meant to fill in the gaps that modern education left behind. For instance, I had a 12th grade reading level since 3rd or 4th grade. Unfortunately, I never moved beyond that. This is to help me with that.

I'm excited.

Canons and Fugues

A while back, a friend sent this around the music department at Luther.
This is why musicians hate Canon in D. Well, there are other reasons too. There's a lot of great songs in the world, why can't people choose something else for their wedding?

I would like to start the reasons musicians hate Pachelbel's Canon in D. Please add to it and debate it in your comments.
1. It's not a canon. It's a chaconne.
2. It's overplayed.
3. It's every non-fan of classical music's favorite piece of classical music.
4. We've played it at every wedding. (see #2)
5. It's the same thing over and over.
6. It's the same chord progression used in most every other "rock" song.

Many musicians prefer the following format, the fugue. However, if Pachelbel had written a popular fugue, we'd probably hate that too.


Now you understand a little bit of my humor. Well, you probably don't, but I gave you a glimpse into it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Workin'

So, I've been working two jobs the last 2 days. I'm going nuts, but it will be OK. I promise.

I have received word from one of the other places I applied to, but it was a neutral response asking for more information. I will be half employed starting next week and am scared about that.

Hmm. Maybe I'll actually clean around the apartment. Becky would like that!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Friday Poetry

Set Me as a Seal
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.

This is a text from the Song of Solomon used by Rene Clausen in the piece of that same name. I love this piece and planned on having a choir sing it at my wedding, but never got it together in time, or at all, for that matter.
One of this blogs readers, at least one!, hates the flower language of heart for love. The heart is an organ, not associated with love. This is true. I still love the ideas in it. Plus, it shows that the Bible has some really interesting things in it. Bom, chicka-bow-wow!
Beck and I had some of this chapter read at our wedding. I don't understand most of it, but... here it goes. Comment if you wish. Tell me your thoughts.




To Music, to becalm his Fever
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

CHARM me asleep, and melt me so
With thy delicious numbers,
That, being ravish'd, hence I go
Away in easy slumbers.
Ease my sick head,
And make my bed,
Thou power that canst sever
From me this ill,
And quickly still,
Though thou not kill
My fever.

Thou sweetly canst convert the same
From a consuming fire
Into a gentle licking flame,
And make it thus expire.
Then make me weep
My pains asleep;
And give me such reposes
That I, poor I,
May think thereby
I live and die
'Mongst roses.

Fall on me like the silent dew,
Or like those maiden showers
Which, by the peep of day, do strew
A baptim o'er the flowers.
Melt, melt my pains
With thy soft strains;
That, having ease me given,
With full delight
I leave this light,
And take my flight
For Heaven.
I swear I mentioned this already, but I couldn't find it anywhere. This is a piece I want sung at my funeral. In the recording, the baritones couldn't get the last phrase, and I, thinking I was to blame, stopped singing. This was a mistake. Whether or not I was the culprit, the wrong notes are in the recording that is sent out by the publisher and no one can blame me. Regardless, I love this piece and thank David Dickau for writing it.



Song of Solomon

1 O that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother's breast! If I met you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. 2 I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, and into the chamber of the one who bore me. F20 I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranates. 3 O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me! 4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!

5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you; there she who bore you was in labor. 6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned.

8 We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister, on the day when she is spoken for? 9 If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. 10 I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; then I was in his eyes as one who brings F21 peace. 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he entrusted the vineyard to keepers; each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver. 12 My vineyard, my very own, is for myself; you, O Solomon, may have the thousand, and the keepers of the fruit two hundred!

13 O you who dwell in the gardens, my companions are listening for your voice; let me hear it. 14 Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of spices!

No particular place to go....

So in the recent past, I have promised to visit friends in SD, IA, IL, MN, and hinted at CA and OK. All of these people are people Beck and I care about, but we have never found the time to go visit.

With the recent deaths of friends in two different circles of friends, I now vow to keep better tabs on my friends. So, with that, pending my bride's approval, I will visit as many of my foreign-dwelling friends as possible in the remaining months of 2009. And by foreign-dwelling, I really mean non-MN. I can't go to Slovakia at this point, and CA may be a bit far, but I'll work on it.

So, here's the deal.... MN and IA folks, I may be visiting sooner than later, but solo. If you don't want me to visit without the better-looking-roommate, then let me know. We will probably visit sometime later, together, but I miss you all and want to see you soon.
Il. You are in town now and I should be seeing you with 24 hours. We'll discuss.
SD, we'll have to wait PA15, that is Post-April 15. Beck and I will come visit you and your lovely town and maybe meet up with some world traveler-turned camp counselor. That way, you two can meet Becky, finally.
CA, I'll look into a trip out West. My bro's out there, so I should be able to find some justification for a long-ish trip.
OK, I haven't promised you, but I'd still like to come down there, before you move again. Maybe Filly and I can plan a joint venture during a break of his.

I miss you guys. See some of you soon!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Question....

How often do you check your email?
If you could either learn to fly a plane or to scuba dive, which would you chose?
What would you chose as your theme song? Would you chose a different theme song for your work and personal lives?

Work related weirdness

So, last Thursday I applied for a job. Friday, I was called for an interview for the following Monday. I decided that night that I hated my current job and gave notice. Monday came and the interview went well. Wednesday they called me and offered me the job and Thursday I accepted. I start THIS Monday!

The weird thing is that it's part-time. So, today, I applied at a bunch of different places to teach voice and be a professor and stuff like that.

So, you might be asking, "What job is this mad man speaking of?" and to that I answer, "Administrative Assistant of Worship and Music at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church." It's a half-time job, but they are currently looking for a Children's Handbell director as well, so I may look into that too. Also, this leaves me some time to be a Voice Teacher, or whatever, too.

I'm somewhat excited, but scared to be leaving a more lucrative position.

God will provide, right?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beauty

Fridays, apparently, are when I post a random poem going through my mind that I like. I am continuing this from last week, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because it just happened.

I'm currently listening to my iPod, which houses my favorite poems set to music. These two came on and I felt like sharing.


She walks in Beauty
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

"She Walks in Beauty" has always been a favorite of mine since High School and while I was setting this text, a friend of mine at the time set it too. I thought that his was "perfect" and decided that what I was going to say would not add to what has been said. So I didn't finish.


The Turtle Dove
English Folksong

Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone,
And leave you for a while;
If I roam away I'll come back again,
Though I roam ten thousand miles, my dear,
Though I roam ten thousand miles.

So fair thou art, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I;
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till the stars fall from the sky, my dear,
Till the stars fall from the sky.

The sea will never run dry, my dear,
Nor the rocks melt with the sun,
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till all these things be done, my dear,
Till all these things be done.

O yonder doth sit that little turtle dove,
He doth sit on yonder high tree,
A-making a moan for the loss of his love,
As I will do for thee, my dear,
As I will do for thee.

A friend introduced this poem to me via his arrangement of the song. I don't recall his arrangement, but I like the song and now the poem.

What do these poems have to do with each other, beside their proximity on my playlist? Love. True love. I'll skip to the end.

They are cheesey, yes, but that's why it's perfect for music. The schmaltz leaves and all that's left is the beauty of the intention. I will leave with a translation of the cheesiest of them all, but when I hear the music, I melt.


Amor de Mi Alma
Garcilaso de la Vega

I was born to love only you;
My soul has formed you to its measure;
I want you as a garment for my soul.

Your very image is written on my soul;
Such indescribable intimacy
I hide even from you.

All that I have, I owe to you;
For you I was born, for you I live,
For you I must die, and for you I give my last breath.


"She Walks in Beauty" set by Eric W. Barnum
"Turtle Dove" set by R Vaughan Williams
"Amor De Mi Alma" set by Z. Randall Stroope

Friday, February 27, 2009

More on happiness

I may have blogged about this before, I can't remember...

Music has always been one of those things in my life that I just assumed made me happy. I never felt happy because of it and actually kind of disliked rehearsals and practicing etc. However, when there would be those questions on aptitude surveys and such, even though music didn't make me "happy," I always put it as my happiest moments.

Well, I've since realized that I am not happy about anything. Nothing makes me "happy."

After I came to this realization, and now that I'm not singing or playing or directing or studying any music, I sing incessantly. It brings me joy.

I just walked down the hallway at work and sang the whole song, "On the Street Where You Live."

I love every second of it. I'm not ashamed to say that I was picturing someone coming out of an office, even though they should have been gone hours ago, and marvelling at my pipes. (I'm quite loud when I want to be). I did have a second of thinking that someone would be thinking, "I thought he said he has a degree in singing." But that was quickly shunned by my childish imaginings.

It was great.

I can honestly say that sing and playing music is when I am most happy.

Question

Why did you buy the shoes you are wearing?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

Having a 3-year-old in your life helps put things in perspective.

I have a recording of her singing, "You Are My Sunshine." It makes me happy when skies are grey. I played it today while on lunch #2 and it made me smile and, after lunch, I couldn't stop singing. Thanks, B!

She also really likes, "Tomorrow" from Annie. It's an attrocious song. I know so many love it, but it's too high for any of those girls to scream and it's so over done.

I love it. When I hear Bella singing "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow!" a full third lower than they should be, my heart melts. Sister, if you ever ask me to give her voice lessons, I'll cry.


All this was because another friend kicked the bucket this week. That's two in two weeks. This lady is a woman I deeply admired. She was my accompanist for EVERYTHING I did at Mankato. We sang at a nursing home, Senior Recital, Dozens of choir concerts, hundreds of lessons and studio classes. She, aside from Travis, was the only person I knew who could sightread some really challenging stuff and make it sound excellent, and goof around with anything and make that sound good. She sightread, "Les papillons" by....E. Chausson and "Der Erlk├Ânig" by Schubert.

She was so much fun. I think half of my practice times with her we sat and talked about what was going on. We would go get coffee instead or hangout at "Stomper's." I've missed her so much and never contacted her. Even after she fell ill a while back. I guess that's the real reason I mourn. I know that I will see her again, I believe 1 Corinthians 15 is true, but I wasn't the friend that I would have wanted or needed.

I guess that's why we live life, to make those mistakes and learn from them, being careful to not dwell on them. I'll miss you Jennifer and Anna. You both were talented keyboardists who were cut off too soon. But you will join Bach and, maybe Schubert and Chausson, and lead the singing so that when it's my turn (hopefully, many... many years from now), there'll be a strong Bass section for me to join.

But for the meantime, I'll stick with "You Are My Sunshine," "Tomorrow" and "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider."

I give up

I can't take it anymore.
I just found out that a friend from undergrad died from pneumonia!

Too much,
too young.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

i thank You God -- E. E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite
which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are
opened)



I heart that poem

The picture fills in...

A while back, I was having a really bad day and needed to see "people." I didn't care who, just people. I don't remember what all I did, but part of what I did was go to the Mall of America. I walked around there for a while before heading to bed because there were people around, and shopping makes me feel better.

Unfortunately, it isn't shopping that makes me feel better, but the buying.

Well, I passed by a puzzle store and realized that when Becky and I were dating, I gave her an impossible puzzle. It was a puzzle of flying pigs. It was double-sided and I don't think it contained any edge pieces. She had that on her bedroom floor for months. Well, I decided to try it again.

I went in there searching for a puzzle that she and I could do together and not annoy us for the rest of our lives, like the flying pigs. So, I looked around and saw a ton of great puzzles, but they were almost all landscape or Thomas Kinkade puzzles. Then I saw it. The Wizard of Oz!

Last year, Becky and I read "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" to each other and thought it a great story. Well, as I looked at the puzzle, I realized that this painting was using the story from the book. Dorothy had silver shoes, not ruby. There was a wolf and a giant cat, and the queen mouse. It is really neat. It even plays on the color scheme of the book moving from blues to greens. One of the munchkins is L. Frank Baum reading the book to his kids!

We have had this puzzle scattered across our living room for a few weeks (no vacuuming! Gross!) and tonight, we have seen the puzzle move from a bunch of separate chunks into a picture. We aren't done yet, but we are 3/4 of the way there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reflections

I was looking at an old post and saw the label for that post, "2 kinds of ice cream."  It comes from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," a musical that I have only seen one scene.  

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a budding young actress named Keri(th).  Yes, we just called her Keri, but her name was Kerith.  She was in a ton of Children's Theatre productions and one was the aforementioned musical.  She showed it to us, or at least the scene in which the song, "Happiness (is...)," is sung.  The only lyrics I recall from it is, "Happiness is two kinds of ice cream..."  I've been singing that phrase for 15 years and always thought it was stupid, but cute.

While I was at Normandale, one of the guys I hung out with in the music department really liked Mitch Hedberg and would rephrase a quote*, "I've got a roll of lifesavers in my pocket and red's next!"  Meaning, that things are going well.  I've got everything going for me, because I've got my favorite Lifesaver coming up next.  Again, funny, but no real substance to that philosophy.

A friend chatted me tonight.  Her husband was laid-off in November and she hasn't been working for a few years since her kids, now 6 and 3, were born.  I told her about my job and that I'm working nights.  I mentioned that it's not that bad since it's only temporary.  She then asked me how to get an attitude like that, because her outlook is so grim.  I didn't have a good answer.

Then I thought about people who find happiness in the trivial and realize that they've got it going on.  The people who find happiness in lifesavers and ice cream realize that there's a lot of garbage happening in the world and we need to create the happiness we seek.  Maybe that "gratitude journal" has more to it than meets the eye.  I will revisit that and maybe suggest it to my friend.



*I believe the actual quote is..."Man, I can't wait to get off this stage, cause there's a roll of lifesavers in my pocket, and pineapple is next."  My friend didn't like pineapple, so he used red instead.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Geektacular

In two situations in the last week, or so, I've used my brilliant powers of etymology for the good of humanity.

OK, seriously, I geeked out and there was some massive fallout.  

One, my boss and I were talking about religion and said something about bigomy, or polygamy.  He said that one was for multiple spouses and the other for multiple wives but couldn't remember which.  I said that bigamy was for 2 spouses, whereas polygamy was for 2 or more.  The "bi" being 2 and the poly being "many."

Friday, Beck and I were talking and I used the word philanthropy.  She looked at me funny and I said, phil is "love," like philosophy or Philadelphia and anthropy is from anthropos (or something like it) for "man" or humanity.  

I like my geekiness.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grr.

So today my car died while I was driving to Anna's memorial service.  I didn't make it there.  My car stalled on 35W, just before rush hour.  I called a tow company, $150 later, I was sitting at my mom and dad's place.  Luckily, my dad's a mechanic of sorts (he hasn't been a professional mechanic for a while, but still fixes his kids' cars, except for California Boy).

Anyway, that was the downer, which clouded the rest of my day.  However, I got to go to the Sport's Page with some former coworkers and had a blast!  I was with them for 4 hours and would have been there longer, but they started LOUD karaoke.

On my way there, I decided to check out the 2 martial arts places in that same strip mall.  One was open and was a Kung Fu place by the name of Shaolin.  Of course, I assumed that it was just a name, but apparently there are some roots to the actual Shaolin monastery.  I'm still doubtful.

In the '90's, Kung Fu: the legend continues was on TV and I desperately (secretly) wanted to learn all the Kung Fu stuff.  I did make a few calls, but was discouraged due to cost and lack of physical ability.  I had this idea that it would make my hip problems less intense, but never went for it.  I do remember my mom encouraging me though.  Huh.  Maybe I should have.*

Anyway, enough with the flashback.  Beck and I are looking for a "couple" thing to do.  We thought about a photography class, but once Becky mentioned that she thought Kickboxing or another martial art would be fun, I was dead set on that.  Not only would it serve as "couple time," but it would fulfill that childhood dream of kicking bad guys' butts AND force me into doing something active while letting out any agression I have.  The only problem, aside from cost, is getting my butt kicked by someone half my weight.  Becky's a lot tougher than she looks and I don't want to get hurt.

That's my rant for tonight.  Maybe I'll have something to actually write about instead of a little rant.  Good night.


*I did take a few classes of Tae kwon do, but that was limited to an after school thing and the teacher only showed up a few times.  Not worth the price of admission, which we received back.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

St Augustine

This post isn't about St. Augustine, as the title would lead you to believe, but it contains a "quote" of his.

Last week, B. Hussein Obama (lol!) quoted Augustine saying, "Pray as if it all depended on God, but work as if it all depended on you." He doesn't explain it, because he's a politician, but I think Augustine meant that we are the answers to those prayers. As in, if you start praying for the homeless, then soon, you will realize that you can volunteer at the Dorsi Day center and help with the solution. We are the hands of God.

I am writing this, not because I think Mr. Obama was brilliant for quoting Augustine, but rather, this is one of the few times that a politician preached to me.

A friend killed herself last week and it's been really tough on me. Much harder than I ever thought it would. I found out that she had attempted suicide before and has been told that she just needed to pray harder, that praying would cure her of whatever illness she succumbed to. What they missed was that she was praying hard, very hard--and neither we, nor she, were doing the work.

I strongly doubt that if I was a better friend she would still be here. I very strongly doubt that if anyone else said things differently, she would still be here. I don't think anyone could have prevented this but her. It just dawned on me how these two coincided.

So I will close with more of St. Augustine:
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your love's sake. Amen.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Social

As I've whined before, my schedule is such that I sit around a lot.  Because I'm tired of whining, I started going out more than I used to, instead of just sitting around at home.

Thursday, I went out with a friend to TGI Friday's for dinner, then Becky was home from work.  So the three of us played some Guitar Hero and went out for pie with some mutual friends.  The mutual friends had their car broken into and they REALLY needed pie.

Friday, Becky and I finished dinner and Becky got a call from a friend.  I wasn't in the mood for deciding what we were going to do, so I suggested we join them for dinner. (Yes, I realize that we invited ourselves... but...)  Apparently, they were inviting us, but Becky didn't tell me that until I apologized for inviting ourselves to their date.

Tomorrow, or rather, tonight... we have a choir party for the choir I used to direct.  Ooh, and a concert for the choir that I would have been in, but I wanted some time with my wife.

Sunday, I'm hanging out with the kids from church.  I think we are going lazer tagging, mini-golfing and general fun having at GrandSlam.

Next week, I have two whole happy hours!  I am making the guys from my shift go out after work on Wed.  On Thursday, I will hang out with my former coworkers from the credit union.  I'm really excited, but I asked another friend to go out with me rock climbing.  I guess there is too much fun had, right?  I'll have to cancel.  :-(

With the funeral coming up this week, I may be able to see some old friends.  Huh.  That's weird that I'm looking forward to a funeral.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hearts

I've been playing "Kingdom Hearts 2" lately. I'm not a big fan, but there's some interesting stuff. I'll forgo the details of the game, I'm sure that there's a plot line somewhere online, but what I would like to mention is one line that is repeated and I'll paraphrase here:

His heart has been made up. There is no standing in the way of a heart.

This has been something I've been pondering a lot lately and today, it has become more poignant.

Last night, a friend from seminary took her life.

Now when I say friend, I realize that I'm exaggerating. She and I never were close. In fact, I checked facebook tonight and found that she had deleted me from her friends, or I never added her to my friend list. This is beside the point, because we were supposed to hang out with some mutual friends tonight and I knew that she was doing poorly, so I wanted to see how she was.

I guess I found my answer. She is not doing well.

She will be missed. She was loved by people I love. She will be missed by people I miss. But one thing I need to keep in mind, and I hope they keep in mind: Her heart was been made up long ago; there is no standing in the way of a decided heart.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Inauguration Day!

So, now that it's been 10 days, I found the text file I was writing while watching the inauguration.

Inauguration Day 2009

I'm watching the inauguration and when John Williams' piece Air and Simple Gifts was playing, I was thinking, "Man, Obama, look at all the trouble that was made for you!" Then I realized that this wasn't, or rather, isn't for him, but for me. We don't hold the spectacle for him, but rather for me and for you.

This spectacle today, did what was intended, it rallied America around our new President and it gave the world something to watch and also rally around.

This is the first inauguration that I scheduled around to see. This is the first time that I've been excited for a president to hold office. This is not to discount the previous administrations, I've only seen a few in my life. I was born in the Carter administration, so I "witnessed" Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.


"Praise Song for the Day"--- I don't know what to think of this poem yet.

Someone needs to teach these pastors what an invocation and a benediction are.


Covering your heart during the National Anthem. This is not an appropriate action. (I guess it's not 'in'appropriate, but there is no purpose. Are you pledging? Singing a narration of a past event does not evoke a heart covering motion. It's a narrative!)


This is the overall "Ordo" of the worship service(s):















Inauguration Mass
(abbreviated)
"Contemporary" Worship
Prelude

Processional

Opening song

Invocation

Pledges

Speech

Poem

Benediction

Closing Song

Recessional

Postlude
Prelude

Processional

Gathering Song

Invocation....

Readings

Sermon

Singing

(Communion Stuff)

Benediction

Sending Song

Postlude
Singing

Prayer (maybe invocation involved)

Sermon

Song



It seems as though the Inauguration is something in between the contemporary and traditional worship services. I don't know what that means, but it's interesting to me.

Good night, all!

I've grown accustomed...

So, I had something to blog about, but I cannot remember what it was and I've grown accustomed to posting when I'm at work.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again, this job is murder.
I love the guys I work with... in a normal, heterosexual way. They teach me all kinds of cool stuff with SSH, WiFi, Linux (I'm currently running a form of Slackware on Becky's college laptop), and other stuff. They don't mind when I mention seminary and are ok when I complain about stupid stuff.
I like what I'm doing, mostly because of all the above.
The management that I deal with is 99% cool. They are still management, and make decisions I don't understand, but I'm not supposed to understand it.
The management I don't deal with, I don't deal with. So I have no clue.

I just wish I could escape to some different hours. I'm tired of being fatigued, no matter the time of day. I'm tired (as is Becky) of being crabby. It's nice, because I do get a chance to miss Becky. This is a rare occurrence for us. Usually I'm too busy to know that there's something missing. I don't know if this is normal.

Well, I'm not done ranting, but I just remembered what I had to post on....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waiting....

This schedule is a weird one, it seems like I'm always waiting. I'll give you an overview of my week and a glossing of what's going on in my mind.

Sunday: Church... I'm thinking normal things... "crap I work tomorrow"

Monday-Wednesday: wake anywhere between 8-10... think about how I work at 3. Waste time watching TV or playing video games, while I wait for my shift to begin. Get home at midnight... maybe Becky's up... most likely not, so I waste time watching TV or playing video games because I'm waiting until I'm tired..

Thursday: I wake up at a normal time, 8-10, but I need to get some rest, so I don't really plan anything, because I should take a nap at some point. So around 12-2 I try to sleep for 4 hours. Becky might get home between 5-9, yes, it's that varied. We'll eat, or we've eaten separately and we talk for a bit, usually with TV involved, because I'm waiting for my shift to begin. Then I leave for work around 10.

Friday: get home around 8. Sleep until 5-6. Make dinner. Watch TV with Becky, waiting for work. Leave for work around 10.

Saturday: get home around 8. Sleep until 1, as I need to sleep that night at a normal hour. Do little, because I'm grouchy and tired. Wait to go to sleep.

I need to figure out something to do that doesn't involve waiting.... I need some nocturnal friends!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nothing to say

I really don't have much to say. I'm tired of late nights, but I like my job. It's kind of weird how nothing can be perfect in life, there always has to be something negative happening amidst the positive.

Tonight, yes, while I was working, I chatted with a friend. She's actually one of Becky's friends, but I've known her just as long and... blah, blah. Any way, she was telling me that she really wants to get out of the field she's in and go into the field that she wanted to when she graduated from college. Apparently, her (now) husband had talked her out of going into this because he didn't think she's like it. In reality, he didn't like the idea and couldn't bear that. Now, she's miserable and wants to make a go at it.

How this relates is that the job she has now pays well. The other one doesn't. It seems like you have to give up something in order to be happy. In order for her to be happy, she has to give up the idea of being financially solvent. And, it seems, in order for one spouse to be happy, the other has to give up on something that makes themself happy.

Oh, the humanity!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Commenting...

So, apparently because I have Mortimer Adler's book on my blog, one of his "associates" frequents my blog. I'm certain it's a 'bot of sorts, but it really ticks me off and makes me never want to get another book of his. (even though it's quite good... and Morty is dead).
Anyway, though I'm sure Mr. Adler would not like this, because I'm having to change my practices to avoid his "associate," but I'm now requiring word authentication in order to post. It was either that, or require people to become members of my blog. I'd rather have word verification than have people not comment, so please comment anyway, and I'm sorry.

Mom, you can continue to email comments to me. That doesn't require any verification :-P

Peace, All.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Resloute shuns.

OK, so I again am reminded about resolutions because of Moe.  Thanks, I think.  Here are last year's resolutions:

By June 15th, 2008, I will reduce clutter in my home by storing papers and class notes in an electronic format.
Didn't happen.  I completely forgot about this, however, I reduced clutter by filing papers. C-
I will lose 10 more pounds by May 15th by working out 3 times a week.
I'm not sure if I accomplished this.  I think I was at about 195 and am now at 186 and was there by May 15th.  So, I think so, but I was not specific in my goal/resolution.  A-
I will decrease spending by eating outside of the home no more than once a week. (Unless someone is treating!)
I was good at this for a while, but when I started working retail, this became far from reality.  F.
I will read one book this summer for fun (due date August 15, 2008). (I don't read for fun right now.)
Yep.  A couple. A+
I will keep in better contact with family and friends (I'm really bad at this.)
Who knows?  I've seen friends I haven't seen in a while.  But is this really measurable?  Nope.  I
I will spend more time on studies.
Nope.  What studies?  F

Well, I think my overall score is something like a C for the year.  That's pretty good.  I haven't set goals/resolutions for 2009, but I'm renewing my birthday goals of 2008.

On May 14th, 2009, I will have 10% body fat. (This is a huge goal, but I want a six-pack for a little while in my life).
-Along with this, I will run (the whole way) a 5K. Grandma's 5K, Friday, June 19, 2009
-I will finish a century bike ride (100 miles).  http://www.djjd.org/
-I will master a knew skill: rock climbing. This I will work on more.  I have lost the timing, but I'll get it back.
Sing 
Play piano. 
Perform piano in public (I don't know how, but I will) Done! Maybe I'll try it again.
Read 10 books of my own choosing! I have read some, but I need to read a few more.

I will try to update on these plans this year.  I was awful in the past few months.  

God's blessings.