Thursday, July 24, 2003

Off to Start My Vacation!

In a very few moments I will be heading up to St. Cloud for the first leg of my vacation. I have to get Kristin and head to Chamberlain, South Dakota to meet up with my family. We’ll be staying in Rapid City, South Dakota from Saturday until next Saturday. I’ll be getting back home on August 3rd, so there won’t be any updates until then at the earliest. I hope you won’t miss me too much while I’m gone, and hopefully you’ll come back and continue to read my posts after I get back. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of pictures to put up and some good stories to tell.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Follow Through

It’s such an annoyance when people simply don’t follow through on what they say they are going to do. If someone tells you they are going to do something, then why don’t they do it? I know I try my hardest to remember to do things, but I obviously forget sometimes, mostly the little things. Still, for the most part people should remember what they said they’d do, right? You’d think so, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

One of my good friends has been working in Alaska for most of the summer, but he just got back on Monday. He gave me a call because he wanted to get together and hang out, which sounded great to me. We decided Tuesday he was going to have some people over to fry a few fish. That sounded like fun to me. Since he lives like 10 minutes or so away and is always all over the place during the day, I told him to give me a call Tuesday night when he got in and people were going to be over so I didn’t show up and no one was there or after everyone had left.

I went to bed Tuesday night at a little after midnight with no call. I had thought about just going over there or giving him a call, but thought I’d wait on him while I packed. Anyhow, I had lost track of time and by the time I got around to getting to the phone it was 10 pm. Hmmm…why no call? I wish I could tell you, but I have no idea. Now I probably won’t get to see him until I get back from vacation since I have errands to run here in Rochester after work and tomorrow I leave for St. Cloud right after I’m done with work. It really frustrates me when things don’t go as planned or people don’t follow through. Anyways, now that I’ve got all that vented out, I can continue on normally.

So I think I’ve found one heck of a fun game to play. It’s called Heroclix and my brother, Ryan, and I have been playing it for the last couple of weeks. He’s managed to win 2 games and I’ve taken away 1. It’s a game where you get to play as superheroes from your favorite comic books and take on other superheroes. Think of it as the Magic: the Gathering card game mixed with Warhammer 40,000 figures. I think I’ve dropped a few too many dollars getting a lot of the characters I like from both the DC and Marvel comic universes. The only figures that I really want and don’t have yet are Superman and Batman. If anyone thinks they’d like to play it up at college, let me know and I’ll bring it up.

It’s kind of weird thinking that I’ll be moving back to college in about a month’s time. It seems like I’m just getting settled back into living at home. It’s also weird thinking that I’ll only be living at college for like four months and then I’ll be moving back home again. Since I’m not going to be up at SJU for all that long, I don’t plan on taking too much with me. I think I can get by for the semester with just my computer, some clothes, and my school stuff. I can’t really think of any reason to bring up much else. I think I’ll still bring some kitchen stuff and just leave it there all year. I’ll no doubt be up to visit everyone on campus more than a few times in the second half of the year. I can’t imagine myself actually wanting to stay down here in Roch on the weekends because there really isn’t anything to do here.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Race Based Improv!

I really, really want to redesign my site right now. Today I started working on the redesign of Kingland’s website and if only I could start mine over from scratch again. There are so many things that I would change. First, the layout would be a little more refined. The icons on the left wouldn’t be as blah as they are. The quote generator at the top would be revamped (I might do this soon anyways if I have the ambition to program a perl or javascript styled generator—the java applet I have is kind of bloated). The main body of my page would have more flair and all in all I’d add a lot of style to this site. As it is, I guess it’ll do.

It’s so nice to be doing some work with photoshop. I’ve never done too much work with it, but I’ve always wanted to learn and now I’m getting a change to work with it in redesigning the entire Kingland site. It’s going to be way spiffy when I get it done (which may be the end of the summer the way it’s looking. I have vacation for a little over a week starting Thursday and then when I get back I only have three weeks and I don’t know if I’ll be able to dedicate all of my time to doing the web site. We’ll have to see how things go.

Now on a different subject, it turns out that St. John’s will be giving me NO aid this next year financially. Not a single damn penny. You think they’d at least be able to give me a little bit of something considering I’ve paid for my last 4 years of schooling, but no, since I’m there after my allotted 4 years I get nothing. So I’m going to need money this semester and this winter more than ever. All of my money that I’m making this summer is already going towards school and I’ll hopefully keep some hours doing web work for Kingland while I’m at school as well. I have my job on campus at the prep school again, but that never amounts to too much money considering I get paid less than seven dollars an hour and I only get like 10 or 12 hours a week tops. So if you want to make a monetary contribution to me or this site, you are more than welcome to.

This weekend was a good, semi-lazy weekend for me. The only non-lazy part of the weekend was doing chores and our improv show on Friday night. Speaking of our show, I’m sorry to anyone who saw it for two reasons. 1.) I think this was one of our worst shows ever and 2.) I managed to create a very, uhhh, awkward scene. Let me tell you how this came about.

We were doing our long form section of the show for the night and this usually consists of a scene starting from the audience’s inspiration and then we base scenes on the scenes that came before. So the scene at the moment involved someone who had a person who did everything they told them and another person wondering how they could get someone to do everything for them. Thinking that I’d be clever I started a new scene where the first words of the scene were “Hey, Bob, check it out. This books tells you how you can get your own personal slave in 30 days.” Now this wouldn’t really be a bad thing……except that Pete, the only black person in our group, stepped forward to be Bob. I could hear the crowd half laughing hysterically and half gasping. From that reaction, I knew that Pete must have been the person to come on stage to be Bob even before I turned to look. Well, yeah, we stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds and then, thankfully, someone started a new scene.

I felt so bad after that scene. I had no intention of making the scene have a racist edge, but my not thinking enough about what could happen in that scene led to it being a little awkward. Thank goodness no one was really offended. Well, I’ll have two weeks off from improv now to think up some new ideas for scenes that don’t include racism. It’ll be odd to not have to go to improv practice or be in shows for the next two weeks, but it’ll be nice to actually have some nights to myself instead of being in Rochester for the entire day. Anyhow, I’m going to go back to playing with photoshop now. I still want to redesign this site, especially after I saw my roommate’s new site.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

One Long Ass Commute

Somebody go and call Guinness because I’m pretty sure I must have set a record this morning. I commuted from St. Cloud to Rochester for work. That was three solid hours that I spent in my car in traffic driving to Kingland. I’m still having a hard time believing that I woke up at 5 am to get on the road. I have no idea how my mom does it every day, although I suppose it helps that she goes to bed at least 2 or 3 hours earlier than I do, but I digress.

No, I don’t actually live in St. Cloud and commute to Rochester. I think anyone who would even contemplate doing something like that would have to be a little insane or not have anything to do for six hours a day. Can you imagine? That would be one fourth of every weekday of your life spent in a vehicle in transit from one point to another. Wow, that’s mind-boggling. I actually went up to visit Kristin Tuesday night and all day yesterday. Some of her extended family/friends were injured last Friday when a deck that they were on collapsed. There were 9 or 10 of them that were taken to the hospital, but thankfully no one was killed. I wanted to go up and make sure she was doing ok and that she was. I’m thankful that she and her direct family weren’t on the deck when it went, but I’m sorry an accident such as this even did happen. I guess the owner of the house that they were at didn’t do a very good job upkeeping the place so the wood had rotted under the deck and it finally came time for it to break. Anyhow, moving on (because accidents aren’t fun things to talk about)……

Here’s an interesting link for anyone that wants a good laugh. When you really think about it, though, it really isn’t all that funny as it brings even more controversy into the Catholic Church. I think that every priest, bishop, arch-bishop, cardinal, and whatever other offices of positions in the Catholic church, should all be acting on their best behavior right now so as to not turn away even more members. If they’re at all interested in keeping people going to their churches they should watch what they do and say at all times. Even though I’m Lutheran, the downfall of the Catholic image really hurts Christianity in general, which kind of sucks. Anyways, before I get ranting about religion I’m going to call it a day. I’ve been up since 5 am and it’s 4 pm now and I need a nap……

Monday, July 14, 2003

Women Pastors

There are some things that most churches try to avoid talking about—adultery, homosexuality, lust, women preachers, and the like. People don’t want to hear about controversial things like that, and if they are talked about, it should only be touched upon briefly or not looked at very deeply. People don’t want to go to church to confront things that could much more easily be ignored or filed away as something only Christian scholars would look at. To a layman, these things aren’t important, only knowing Jesus is good and that you are forgiven are. Sunday morning we were treated to a heavy dose of the controversial topics of the Lutheran church (Missouri Synod).

My pastor talked about how it is said in the Bible that women are to be silent in the church, which has always been interpreted as saying that women cannot be pastors. He didn’t just glance over it either, he expounded upon it and I could feel myself tense up a little. A controversial topic in one of our sermons? Isn’t this something I should be studying in a theology class instead? So women aren’t supposed to be pastors, but do I agree? In this world of equal rights, how can the church, and God for that matter, be so sexist? My biggest problem with this concept is that there isn’t a very good explanation as to why women cannot be pastors. Are they less theologically inclined than men? Are they not smart enough? One common answer to this question is that women had the responsibility of bringing life into the world—that is why God made them the sustainers of life.

Well, sure, women are the ones who have our children and hold them in their bodies for nine months, but they wouldn’t be able to have children without a man’s help. Doesn’t this make men an essential part of the life process as well? Because a woman takes care of her children makes her incapable of being a theologian or preacher? I don’t really know. I can also see that I haven’t answered the question of what I believe either, mainly because I’m torn on what I should think. I have been brought up to believe men should be pastors and that’s that. I do believe what the Bible teaches and tells us, but why is there still that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that tells me that barring women from being pastors doesn’t seem right? I will say that I still do believe only men should be pastors on the basis of what is written in the Bible, but it should be known that I’m not adamant about this point, I merely believe what I do because it seems right at the moment, but the reasons why seem quite vague to me.

Friday, July 11, 2003

And the Rain Came Down

So I’m sitting here writing this thought in my cube at work like usual……well, except for the fact that I’m dripping wet, along with most of my co-workers. Actually a few of them went home already, but anyways. It turned out that mother nature wanted to have some fun with the weather today and in the process soak a few Kingland Systems employees.

Every day at 2:00 pm most of the people in the office go for a walk to the Kwik Trip that is right down the block as an afternoon break. We all get to get out of chairs and cubes, get some fresh air, and do some moving. Usually most of us will get a little snack too, or in my case, something with caffeine in it so that I make it through the rest of the day without falling asleep in my cube. My guess is that my face smashing into my keyboard as I fall into REM sleep probably wouldn’t feel that great so I try to avoid it from happening.

So today was no different than any other. We all gathered by the door preparing to leave and as the last of us got there, we headed off to Kwik Trip. This is when mother nature decided to be funny. As we were going over the clouds started darkening and there were a couple of sprinkles. It had been cloudy and dark on and off all day, so this wasn’t something wholly unexpected. What happened while I was inside getting a Kit Kat was. When I came back outside it was a full-on downpour. The sky had opened and water was flowing down unabated. Not wanting to stand around and wait, especially since it didn’t look like it would quit for a little while, we decided to brave the rain and go back to the office.

That was either A) a mistake or B) wet afternoon fun. I chose B. Some chose A, but that’s their opinion. We walked all the way back getting pounded by more and more rain until we were all fully saturated with water. Now we’re all in the office trying to dry off. I’ve already switched chairs twice because they keep absorbing the water from my clothes. No worries, though, as I have dry clothes in my car I can change into.

Well, I did, until I realized I left my windows open so that my car didn’t get so hot during the day. I ran out after we got back to shut the windows (which I did), but it was too late. My clothes were sitting on the seat next to the window and were now as wet as the ones I had on. Looks like I’m going to be hosting tonight’s improv show slightly damp. I really hope I dry out by then, but it isn’t going to quickly at the moment. Oh yeah, we have a show tonight so everyone should come. I’m hosting, so I won’t be performing, but you can all come watch anyone—it’s funny! Anyhow, I’m going to go switch my chair again. This one’s feeling pretty damp…

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Laziness to the Max

It is my theory that when given more free time to do what you want to accomplish, you actually have less motivation to do it. This website is a perfect example of this theory in action. Let me explain.

I’ve been pretty lax in updating my site over the summer (as the few of you who still read it may have noticed). You would think that I could be able to update it everyday because I have plenty of free time at work, but that’s not really how it works.

The days that I do update are usually days that I actually have a good amount of work to do and I feel motivated because I’ve been doing work all day. By doing work, I have motivation to also write my daily thoughts. It makes me feel even more productive that I could fit in time to update my site while still getting a lot of other work accomplished.

Now on the days that I don’t have much to do, I also don’t feel motivated to update my site. I’m just not in the mood for doing much of anything. My laziness feeds off of my lack of work and I become even more slothful by passing over doing something that I often enjoy doing—writing on my page here.

It’s such an odd notion that I want to try and cram more in the more I have to do, but when I don’t have anything to do I try hard to have even less to do. There seems to be no happy middle ground—it’s either full on sloth or working my butt off. I bet you all know which one I enjoy more…

I’ve been reading some Sherlock Holmes stories by Doyle over the last week or so and I’ve loved them. Everyone knows about Sherlock Holmes, but reading the stories really brings his myth to life, but there are also a few things about the myth that I thought were very interesting, mainly Holmes’ cocaine habit. In the first story I read, Watson talked of how Holmes loved his cocaine. My how times have changed. If a detective openly took drugs in today’s world, there’s no way they’d be able to stay on the force.

Well, I can’t really bring myself to write anymore, so I’ll leave you with this: why are almost all grape flavored drinks colored purple when most grapes are green or red in color?

Monday, July 07, 2003

The End of Summer

Well, the fourth of July is over and done with. I guess that means summer is pretty much over. That’s usually the way it goes every year. Once the fourth gets here, you know you don’t have very much summer left to enjoy before school/college starts. This year I don’t think will be too much different.

The first half of this summer has been spent doing usual, routine stuff—work, improv, running some races, and getting adjusted to living at home. Now, just as I’m getting used to that form of life, interruptions are going to be coming to confuse me. Come the last week of July, I have our family vacation to go on, which always heralds the ending of summer. Sure, I’ve got a couple of weeks until then, but what am I really going to do that’s all that important until then? Yep, that’s right—work, improv, and read comic books.

Every year we take our family vacation either at the end of August right before school or near the end of July so that all of the field work is mostly finished (which it never seems to be). Having our vacation at the end of summer was always fun because we’d have that to look forward to all summer instead of dreading those days as the last of our summer break. The only bad part was that as soon as you we got back home, we knew within the next couple of days we’d be back in school.

Having our vacation at the end of July is nice. It’s not quite at the end of the summer so you know you’ll have a few weeks left until it’s over, yet it’s not too early in the summer so that it seems like the rest of your summer drags by. It’s placed just perfectly to give you a well deserved break from what you’ve been doing during the summer.

The only bad thing about any vacation, no matter when you take it, is that it always seems so short. Sure, as soon as you get there you know you have so much time there that you can afford to waste some, so you do. Then you realize you’re halfway into your vacation and you have a lot of things you want to do yet, but you don’t want to rush so you still take your time. Then you realize that your vacation is almost over and there is a lot you still want to do so you start to rush. You try to cram as much as you can into those last days, those last hours, but no matter how much you try, you’ll never get everything you want in. Next thing you know you’re back at home unpacking and wondering where the last week went. That’s always such an odd feeling.

I’m looking forward to our vacation this year, especially since I didn’t get to go on our family vacation last year. I really should have went, but I stayed home to work. For a week I had the house to myself. You’d think that since the house was all mine I’d be having people over all the time or going out as much as I wanted, but I didn’t. I can just be so dumb sometimes. Why would anyone pass up a vacation? I really wonder now what I was thinking back then. Whatever I was thinking then, I’m not now because I can’t wait for vacation this year.

Friday, July 04, 2003

I Wish I Were a Mutant

Happy Fourth of July! Sorry for the lack of updates, but there’s been good reason……ok, maybe I was just lazy as of late, but aren’t we all entitled to some degree of sloth every now and again? Anyhow, there has been a new addition to my body that I would love to tell you all about. No, I didn’t grow that monkey tail that I’ve always wanted or sprout a third arm (but I’m still hoping they both happen eventually). No, instead I simply have a new partial front tooth.

Yep, as some of you may have known, my front right tooth was partially fake. In fifth or sixth grade I got hit in the face with a baseball bat by my neighbor Karl’s sister. In hitting me in the face, she knocked out half of my tooth. They originally took a mold of my tooth, made half a tooth and then glued it onto my tooth so that I had an entire tooth, but over time it has gotten pretty crappy. It constantly yellows and the line between my fake part and real part became very visible. Since I had to go into the dentist to get my wisdom teeth capped & sealed, I thought I would also have that tooth replaced. I did, and it looks great. You can’t even tell that it is fake unless you look really close. They didn’t take a mold this time, but instead formed the fake half with some liquid goo, so my tooth is a piece of art done by my dentist!

The only bad thing about my new tooth is that it is a slightly different overall shape then before so I feel weird when I bite and chew now. I’ll have to get used to the new form of my mouth over time. Since he fixed my front tooth and capped my wisdom teeth, I should be good to go for a long time, dental wise. I’m still riding my lifelong streak of never having a cavity and I hope to prolong it for a long time.

Well, I suppose I should say something about patriotism since it is the fourth of July, but I really have never liked this holiday. I always feel like everyone acts so fake today. People who would usually complain about the government or not care about our political system all of the sudden are waving flags or praising our great nation. I for one will not act like a simple sheep and wave a flag because it’s the “right” thing to do on a day like today. I still have a hard time agreeing with what our government is doing, especially now with the crappy way they’re handling the occupation of Iraq, putting a bounty out on Saddam, and the way we’re dealing with the middle east. I’m not going to go into a long rant or rave about how I feel about the government, but I just feel to disheartened by what our government does on an everyday basis to openly praise it. Anyhow, I’m going to get off of the subject now before I say something dumb. I hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July and if you aren’t busy, come see Strike Team Improv at 7 pm tonight—we’ll be funny!