Archive for May, 2007

Tag…

I have been tagged for this meme – list 8 things about myself – by Elizabeth. I am supposed to list eight things about me and then tag eight others to continue the meme, however, I don’t follow a lot of other blogs, so I don’t have the network of fellow bloggers (yet) to continue the tagging. Anyway, here goes, in no specific order, and varied detail.

1) I am male, aged 30. Brunette with grey flecks, and a tint of red if I grow out my goatee.

2) If you’ve read anything else here, you’ve probably noticed that I am a widower, after just shy of two years of marriage (and right at eight years together). That’s part of the motivation for the Jennifer Project.

3) I am a Rush fan. I have the enitre catalog of albums (except Gold… which is basically the same as Chronicles and Retrospectives 1&2 – and I just don’t see the point of buying it because there was a change of one or two tracks with the new release). I also have most of the major side projects (albums), as well as Neil’s books, and both drumming DVDs, and all of the concert DVDs. I have been to the last two tours, and getting ready for this years Snakes & Arrows tour. Actually… let me clarify my position… I more of a Rush geek, especially considering I’m really the only in my main group of friends that “gets it”.

4) I am a music freak… Now let me clarify. I listen to just about anything, and I like exploring different musical roots (despite the fact that for general recreational listening I am usually listening to rock, AOR, or mainly just anything with a really solid rhythm section)… While I can respect, for the sake of “art” the Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B and Pop that has come to dominate much of the current music scene, I tend to take things more on a individual song basis, instead of searching things out (if I hear it and like it, great, I might try something else)… but a lot of things just seem to sound the same now… I have projects of converting vinyl to MP3, and already have a mammoth collection to begin with (um… over 50 gig of converted albums/downloaded songs… not to mention selected audiobooks and other media)…

5) Did I mention music? I’ve played a variety of things (though none of them truly well, thanks to not starting some of them until late in life) – Trumpt, Baritone, Tuba and Pit Percussion (all by graduating High School). In college, I began tinkering with the guitar (acoustic & electric… but mostly acoustic), piano, bass guitar and drums. Thanks to my wife, I’ve also been drawn into the handbell choir at church (with the caveat of trading my participation for bass lessons from the director).

6) Goofball. I have watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books, seen a lot of music, and listened to a lot of music – and somewhere retained a lot of that information. As such, I have a lot of different points of reference, and remember things at random times, based on random things in a conversation, and crack myself up. Or I’ll quote moves and shows, based on the flowing conversation. Or I just riff on issues with (shifting) accents. During a job interview, when asked why I should be the person chosen for the job (running a Cold Stone), I struggled for a moment, but ultimately made this statement. “Yes, I am generally reserved and quiet. But I have a goofy streak.” I explained the basics of what I have already listed above. I got the job.

7) I’ve been around the block a few times… and I don’t mean THAT way. I’ve travelled around the states, but I’ve only been on one “international” adventure. I’ve also done a variety of jobs through college.

8) Speaking of college… I’ve been around one of those for a while, too. I have a BA in English (Creative Writing), with a Theatre minor. I went back and also got a BS in Hospitality Management, which required a Business Administration minor, and I also continued the Theatre degree. (So, I am two classes short of three – 3 – undergraduate degrees!!) And I’m getting ready to go back for a Master’s.

9) I received an Honorable Discharge (medical) from USAF Reserves. I was in ROTC in college, and the discharge was based on events in my last semester (right as I was getting ready to commission). As part of my time in ROTC, however, I attended (& graduated) from Feild Training in Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX and CST (Combat Survival Training) at the USAF Academy, Colorado Springs.

10) If I know someone, and they need something, I try to do what I can for them. It’s just part of me… if someone gets into the “inner circle”, I do just about anything (within certain legal, ethical or moral standards) for them.

And, one more for the road, since I’m not able to pass the tag on…

11) I am a full “Spirit of 76” child…

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Giving a Damn…

So, here’s a random philosophy-styled question… How does (or, at what point should) one go about telling/letting someone else know that they give a damn about them? The concern here is wanting to make sure someone knows there is an interest, but not too soon to freak them out, or wait too long to lose a shot with them?

Case in point: When I met my wife, there was actually someone else from the class that wanted to ask her out, too. I just happened to beat him to asking her out by about a week, but it took me a while to get up the nerve. While I felt very comfortable with her rather quickly, it was a couple of months before I felt truly comfortable (enough to use the “L” phrase in conversations with her… you know, “I Love You”). And it was another couple of months before she fully clicked over… (For more details, check out the Jennifer Project for stories…)

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Movies…

Well, it looks like it will be an interesting summer, especially since there will be a LOT of thirds…

So, I’ve already seen Spiderman 3 and Shrek 3, with Pirates due out this weekend (Ogres and Spiders and Pirates, oh my!)… and both were good, but there were moments that I just kind of felt, “meh.” Now, don’t misunderstand me – there were SEVERAL moments in Shrek 3 that I just couldn’t help but laugh, especially at some of the more subtle moments (like the Queen, voiced by Julie Andrews, humming a few bars of “My Favorite Things”).

Now, Pirates is not yet out, but for the first two (Spidey & Shrek) I am now concerned for the franchises, and apparantly the door has been left open for more Pirate movies, as well. I am not quite sure where Shrek & Spiderman can go, and go well. (That is, ideas abound, but to be able to put together a quality story could be a stretch at this point… for now.) Pirates I can see as a bit more plausible, since they could spin stories backwards or forwards from the movies (theoretically – like Star Wars – back story on Capt. Jack, etc.) – I mean, they have enough characters they could work with, but I still don’t know quite how well it would work out.

But there are other movies that I am looking forward to – Transformers, Bourne Ultimatum, Order of the Phoenix and Ratatouille are four that top my list, but there are several other ones that look like they may be pretty good (but, alas, previews are sometimes years before the movies now – like Happy Feet, and Ratatouille). So in all, it will be a wild summer for movies.

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Friday…

Well, the week has been an interesting one… not for any extraordinary occurences, but just because it seems to have flown by and I seemed to have accomplished very little. But as I think about it… I didn’t have any glorious aspirations for this past week, short of trying to get back into writing… which I have done, a bit timidly…

So, I had a moment of weakness last night, and bought six (6) new cds from Best Buy. Honestly, I don’t even know if I will like the discs, or how often I’ll spin them… That was the most I had gotten in a single purchase in a loooong time… I had mostly broken myself of getting new albums – for that very reason: why spend the money to only listen to it a couple of times, then let it rot in a drawer or cabinet? I have a subscription to Rhapsody, so most of the time I’ve gotten to listen through an album there before deciding if I wanted to buy it… ease of the economy, right?

But I have actually mad a “To Do” list for today, which means I’m trying to regain some composure/stability to my daily routine… and blog posts and writing exercises are on my list… and as I return to some regularity in the routine (they say 21 days to make/break a habit, right?) I can phase them off of the list…

Talk about a complex process, right? Well, I have now been at work for almost an hour, an the day is getting ready to start getting interesting… (I came in at 7 to cover for someone that went home early yesterday – sick… It’s been quiet, but everything opens at 8, so the Friday will commence shortly…) So I shall cut this short, and may try to post more later…

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Notes, and a New Round…

Well… as you’ve been able to read, there have been some major changes going on – both personal and here on the Blog. I think the personal stuff has been discussed enough (for now) so I’ll stick mostly with the blog-related.

1) Tags – I have gone through and managed to put tags on all of the old posts, and should have them going forward. While this may be useful in the future, it mainly derived from me wanting easy access to anything I wrote about my wife…

2) I’ve been cheating a little on my “Currently Reading” – I’ve actually been reading a few other things besides Joe Hill’s book. for the last couple of months. Honestly, I haven’t opened his book since March 11/12-ish. I DO plan on finishing it, however… I’m just having to build myself back up to it. Along the same lines, I’ve acquired a few other books as well, so I won’t have a shortage when I start churning through material.

3) Side projects – I’ve started (and linked) two other blogs to this one. The first is “The Jennifer Project” – for those that knew my wife and feel like sharing their thoughts, memories and other experiences. As of today (5-15-07), I have not widely talked about it, which is why it looks a little bare, but it’s there!

The other blog is for fiction prompts and writing. Part of the original idea here was going to be for putting writing projects up (snippets and threads, some random ideas and prompt responses, etc.), before I started and evolved this into more of a general journal. The fiction blog is intended to be just that – prose, poetry or other creative endeavors, for the sake of creativity.

4) Future projects: I am in the process of converting, both literally, and figuratively (for now we’ll deal with the figurative side 🙂 … For years, I have been anti-Mac – not because they were bad products, but the compatability wasn’t there (too many other things were on PCs that were not available on Macs, that it didn’t make much sense to me)… Now, however, with the compatability of devices (and ESPECIALLY portable devices/media), the line and stigma has become blurred. Jenn and I had been talking about getting a Mac for a while, and within the last month, I have started the conversion process – I got a Mac Book.

The relevance for “Future Projects”, you may ask? As I get more comfortable with the software and options available with a Mac, I will be developing more things – video snippets and possible podcasts, or just plain photo pages/blogging, or musical bits… Consider this the notice of things that may come down the pipe in the future…. “That’s right – you heard it HERE first!”

Ahh… now ’tis time to return to work for a bit… to get ready for lunch, before going to lunch… oh, to be back to writing…

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Where the…..?

OK, so it has now been almost two months since my wife has passed… and damn close to a month and a half since my last words here… so the question that can be asked is, “Where the heck have I been?”

The answer is quite simple, and while easily understandable, truly means a few different things: I’ve been out. Yes, that’s right, out. Here’s the breakdown…

1) As far as this writing is concerned, I’ve been mentally “checked out”… I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, and wanting to pick up the pen (or, peck the keys to be more accurate), and short of sending emails, or online chats (Hello, Elizabeth 😉 with some friends while I’m at work (ah, beauty of a state job, when it’s quiet), I really haven’t been doing a hell of a lot of writing.

2) I’ve been “out” grieving, but not in the traditional sense. I spent the first two weeks numb, and floating between “wallowing in self-pity” and just about any other emotion and thought pattern that could be had… and then I came back to work. Since coming back (read: since the last post) my grieving has changed from sorrow at the loss to reflections and the mellow emotions of having lost my best friend.

Now, here’s the catch – I have yet to actually “purge” anything… and I don’t know when I’ll really feel like doing it, or what will happen when I DO get to that point… I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. From a psychology standpoint, I’ve done what could be seen as a dangerous thing… I’ve done a distance association (“She’s just away on a trip…”). I say it’s dangerous because, physically (with the stuff) I have not gotten to a full closure, but emotionally and spiritually, I have full confidence that I am indeed correct… consider it a step of faith.

3) I’ve been “out” – socially. Now, let me clarify – I’ve been eating dinner out, a lot (too much, but that’s another topic). I’ve been visiting friends, and starting the process of trying to make some new ones (and yes, by that, I do mean female friends as well)… I’ve been going to movies, and just plain been out of the house.

A lot of my thrashing about (and subsequent inner peace) has been courtesy of Jenn. One of the initial things that attracted me to her was the “Shut up and do it” mentality that she could have. She would have hated for me to linger long in self-pity that it made more sense for me to keep living, for her, than wallow with her gone. Physically, she may be gone, but there are always going to be some of the inside jokes that we had and memories that will come flooding back through pictures and videos that she will never be too far away.

So, with all of that out now, I may not be back into the writing routine fully until next week (it is, after all a Thursday)… but hopefully I should be getting back into some form of gear…

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