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Inconsequentials & Trivialities » Exposition

Now for the rest of the story

Ok, so in my earlier post, I had arrived at the church. The church itself was sort of unimpressive but the campus was pretty nice. What was impressive was the number of people in attendance. There were so many people there who loved my uncle. That was really nice. Mass seemed haphazard and rather lazily put together. I won’t get into the specifics but it was a little frustrating and disappointing. My uncle had served in the army and received military honors at the cemetery. The Church could learn a thing or three from the military. These guys understand the value and power of ritual. The lone bugle playing Taps and the words spoken to my aunt when the soldiers presented the flag to her were the most moving moments I’d witnessed in some time.

Back at the house, there was a seemingly endless influx of people bringing food or coming by to spend some time remembering my uncle. It really was a wonderful celebration of Doug’s life. I got to spend lots of good time with family.
I did sneak in a nap, and when I woke up, almost everyone had gone. I and my cousin, and a friend of his finished up the evening playing some games.

I’d hoped and intended to leave to come home at 8:00 or so, but didn’t end up leaving until 9:30. I had something to be back in Modesto for at 2:00. I was an hour late. But that’s not too bad.

 

Despite the long road trip down south and the rapid turn-around to come home, nevermind the accompanying lack of sleep! this was surprisingly one of the most restorative weekends I’ve had in a while. Maybe it had something to do with it being a four day weekend. Or maybe it had more to do with seeing family. Maybe it was about who wasn’t going to be in the office when I came in this morning. But I actually felt rested when I went back to work today.

My crack dispenser

What’s one piece of technology you can’t live without?

I guess the obvious answer is the internet. It’s so useful for so many things. Certainly email and web browsing, but I use it all the time for playing MMOs, Lord of the Rings Online in particular. I spend hours and hours playing this game.

Another obvious guess would be my iPhone. Obvious in the sense that I can’t stop using it to check statuses and updates on facebook and twitter.

But I’ll make my official answer… my TiVO. I used to be running two or three VHS recorders multiple nights of the week. Keeping track of the tapes and making sure to watch them in the correct order to clear up space to do it all again was logistically challenging. TiVO was made for me! I recently upgraded to the Premiere box. 5 times as much storage, HD if I want it, download directly from Netflix and YouTube, and I can use it as my cable tuner box. Lovely! So TiVO gets my vote.

The WAY to celebrate a birthday

2:15 – I had many things that I’d planned to do today; laundry, CHP office then court, rotate tires, grocery shopping (maybe), nap, bridal show & party. I got a bit of a slow start but I’m about to check off #3. A nap is looking more and more unlikely, maybe I can still do an hour or so… I will have to do a little shopping first.

3:45 – Home now, finishing up this week’s The Cape. Had a couple hot dogs for lunch and a nap is pending.

6:05 – Got less than an hour of sleep for a nap. 🙁 Ah well.
Currently standing outside Mistlin Gallery with about 50 other people waiting to get in for the bridal show. It’s ok that they haven’t opened up yet as I am not yet in possession of a ticket. I anticipate the arrival of same any time.
Uh oh. They just announced that doors will be opening momentarily. Carp!
Joy! My ticket arrived!

9:13 – hanging at Surla’s with Betty, Brian, and Jaime (and dozens of others) now that the fashion show is over. I liked it! I hope I get to go to more! I did feel that the models were a little inexperienced but it was ok. I think that the show is viewable online at www.bridalcouturemag.com.

I need to head home now to try to catch another nap before heading down to Irvine.

Ciao!

The week in preview

Tonight I plan to go to bed around 8:00. This is so I have the best chance of waking up at 4 AM to make it over to the Holiday Inn Express for the Morning Matinee. Apart from that, today is just a work day.

Tomorrow, as I said, I’ll be up well before dawn to go watch the Oscar nominees being announced. Then work all day and a pastoral council meeting in the evening. Then I’ll probably collapse into bed.

Wednesday is a regular work day made special by the fact that it will be my last work day until Monday. This will be the only evening of this week that I will be able to watch any television. I’ll try to squeeze in as much as possible, but it won’t be enough.

Thursday I need to go have a police officer sign off on a ticket I was issued back in November then go to court to settle everything and possible pay a fine. I’ll also use my time off this day to do laundry and pack for the weekend. In the evening, I’ll be going to a party at Surla’s with Betty, her husband, and another friend, Jamie. I’ve been promised socialites in pretty dresses, food, and booze. 😉

Friday (payday) I will have to be up even earlier! I’ll need to depart at 3 AM or somesuch to make it down to Irvine in time for my uncle’s funeral. I love long drives by myself; I get to listen to books or podcasts and no interuptions from chatty travel companions. After the service, time spent with family then spend the night at my cousin, Danny’s new place.

If prior plans to game on Saturday hold, I’ll have to leave to come home at around 8 AM, otherwise, I may stay a second night and drive home on Sunday.

 

Ok, there’s my game plan for the week. Any questions? Suggestions? Plot holes? (You KNOW how I hate those!)

Disjointed thoughts on friendship

A recent topic suggestion for the post-a-day was (loosely) about the meaning of friendship.

I know people, I think I used to be one of them, that called everyone with whom I was friendly, a friend. It didn’t matter if we’d known each other for years and spent time together every day or if I’d only recently met you and spent only a short time in the same room, you were my friend.

I am much more strict with the definition these days. I think I have numerous acquaintances, relatively few friends, and only a handful of good friends. For me, several things are contribute to the state of existance called friendship. Shared interests, ongoing maintenance, common history, reciprocity in attention and effort, mutual caring about and for each other. The more elements a relationship has, the stronger, and more likely, the friendship.

There are people in my life that exhibit only a couple of these characteristics. Truly, these people are not really my friends. If you are never interested in what is going on with me, you are not my friend though I might be your friend. If we haven’t seen each other or communicated in years, even if we are ‘friends’, the friendship is unlikely to be very strong.

A couple of years ago, I posted some thoughts regarding one’s (my) capacity for relationships. I reprint it here.

 

 

 

I have a particular way of conceptualizing my capacity for relationships. I see it as a zero-sum game. I have a finite amount of attention, energy, and interest in pursuing, improving, and maintaining relationships. If one person’s allocation of my time is to increase, that portion must come from somewhere. And if a new person is to enter my life, other relationships must be downsized in order to make room. Here’s an illustration.

This graph shows how much of my attention is spent on the various members of the Brady family. The numbers add up to 100%. Now, when I am forced to add another person to this pie, the numbers have to shift.

In discussing this imagery with friends, I have had some respond by saying that they don’t need to reduce what they have in order to add a new person to the mix. Poppycock, I say. I do think that people have differing capacities for relationships. 100% to one person is a different quantity than 100% to another.

 

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Potpourri

I participated in my first raid ever tonight. It didn’t go well. Heck, we didn’t make it past the first room/boss. However, there was a feeling on the part of many that it was a successful night in the sense that many newbies to the raid now know the mechanics for this fight. Perhaps we’ll try again tomorrow.

My friend, Betty started The Challenge last year. I joined in then and we are doing it again this year. This go around, we’re taking it up a notch. Bam! So the first of several scheduled events will be the Morning Matinee, wherein the most dedicated (crazy) among us will meet at 5 AM on Tuesday the 25th to watch the Oscar nominees announced live. The awesome part of this event is that Betty, with help from her husband, has secured the dining room of the Holiday Inn Express for the viewing. It will be up on a big screen and breakfast will be free! w00t! So I plan to go to bed VERY early on Monday so that I can make it up well before the crack of dawn. Perhaps some of you will come join us for the viewing…..

I have tendered my resignation from the percussion group I was in. It had started to become clear that it was going to be much too serious for me. I just want to have some fun. I wish them the best and I anticipate that I’ll still sit in and play with them sometimes. I hope so.

The funeral for my uncle will be on Friday, the 28th. I already had planned to be off work that day so hopefully I’ll be able to make the drive down to Irvine. But I’ll have to leave at O’dark in the morning. The drive should take about 6 hours and the funeral starts at 9:15. So I need to leave by 3 AM. Ugh. I’ll plan to stay overnight at my cousin’s then come home on Saturday in time to play with my gaming group at 2 PM. Busy? Yeah.

Blatent attempt to generate traffic

From time to time, I take photos.
I’m no professional. Don’t want to be. But I do have fun with it.
I post my photos at flickr.

This is my most viewed photo.
Reunion 145

Now, I find these ladies to be very attractive; quite lovely, one and all. But I’m not sure why this photo has been viewed about twice as often as the second place pic.
Any idea?
Is there something I’m missing?

Someone answer me before I pull out the plug

I am a fan of witty and clever use of language. I love a good turn of phrase. And I think some words are just good words.

A few years ago I had a good buddy, Matt. Matt was the accompanist at the college where I work, and where I was taking classes. Matt loved words too, and when he heard one that he particularly appreciated he would respond with, “Good word!”

One semester, I was in an opera being staged by the music department. During one of the rehearsals, I was on stage with the music director, and Matt was seated at the keyboard beneath the stage, in the orchestra pit. The director was giving me some acting advice/instruction; something along the lines of, “move your arms thusly” or “point at that thing when this action is taking place”. I don’t really remember. Anyway, I responded to what she was saying by using the word “gesticulate”. At the same time, I pointed ‘through’ the stage to where Matt was sitting as if to cue his response. Sure enough, Matt clapped his hands a couple of times and exclaimed, “Good word!”

Good memory! God, I miss Matt!

A Backstory in two Acts

Prologue

I think perhaps that I should have written this post first. I hope that it will serve as an introduction as well as provide explanation and perhaps justification for the existence of this collection of ramblings.

Act I – Wherein we meet the protagonist

I am Seán, your narrator and guide. I am 40 years old as of this writing. I live in the Central Valley of California, in the grand metropolis of Modesto. I have many interests that I hope to share with you over time. These include music, dance, television, movies, languages, technology, role-playing games, Catholicism (my faith tradition), science fiction, photography, and many other things. I am single and trying to remain patient until the right woman comes into my life.
I have a very goofy sense of humor sometimes. Not everyone gets me. I hope that over time, you will.

  • Bands/Artists: Barenaked Ladies, Depeche Mode, Garbage, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Roberto Leal
  • Movies: Aliens, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Strictly Ballroom, Princess Bride, Matrix, Big Trouble in Little China, Inception
  • TV (Currently): Chuck, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Wife, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Smallville, Blue Bloods, V, Dexter, True Blood, Mad Men
  • TV (All time): Sopranos, 24, Firefly, Heroes (but only season 1)

Act II – Motivations are revealed

Earlier this week, a young lady acquaintance of mine, Rachel, posted on one of her blogs that she had begun this WordPress postaday2011 challenge. This inspired me to make a similar attempt. Another friend of mine, Betty is a very creative individual and this kind of endeavor is right up her alley. Being friends with people like Rachel and Betty motivates me to try to be more creative and expressive. So I happily hitch my wagon to their stars and try to be a content generator.

Here is a link to the original post of the WordPress challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/welcome-to-the-daily-post/.


Epilogue

I am not the king of follow-through. Your encouragement and support will be invaluable if I am to be anywhere near successful with this. Please and thank you.

What occupies my time

I haven’t been able to play LOTRO as much as I’d like lately. There are a few reasons for this. Foremost among them is that I really only enjoy playing when I can play with my friends. Lately they have not been on much for one reason or another. So even when I do log on, I see that nobody else is online and I log out fairly quickly. Perhaps we are just missing each other. Not sure what’s going on there.

Also, it seems like I’ve been pretty busy in the evenings of late. As usual, two nights a week I have music practice; and in the last few weeks, I had my orchestra concert, string recital, and I attended the CSU Stanislaus Percussion Ensemble performance. Tomorrow night I am doing the music for the vigil Mass for the Immaculate Conception.

My weekends have been full too. Last Saturday, for example, I had music practice with Carmelo, went to the Honda dealership to get my oil changed, had choir practice in the afternoon, and went to P. Wexford’s in the evening for the monthly Irish Sessuin. This week, I will be hanging out at Barnes & Noble all afternoon for a classmate’s book-signing, likely playing at the 5:30 Mass (for the last time), and hopefully going to see The English Beat play a concert downtown. Too busy!

Just a few weeks ago, I was noticing that my Tivo’s now playing list was getting rather short. Well, there has been a dramatic reversal there. Now I’m worried that it’s filling up too fast. So one of the things I have been doing instead of playing LOTRO is trying to watch these programs to take a bite out of my backlog. In a way, it makes me glad for the WGA strike. Less new content coming up to worry about. And, I have dropped Bionic Woman from my list of shows to record. It never really got very good and I won’t miss it at all.

And so, dear reader(s), I ask you: how are you managing your time during this final month of the year?

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