Useless Blogging

February 2, 2009

25 Things. Yes, 25.

Filed under: Family,Friends,My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 12:28 am

So everyone on Facebook has been managing a full 25, even if it took days to accumulate the full amount. This has successfully guilted me into rounding out this damn list.

1. I had two of my elementary school teachers at my wedding.
2. The teachers mentioned above chipped in and bought me the microwave for my dorm room after high school graduation. That microwave is right behind me, still functional, as I type this.
3. I failed one quarter of one course in all of my education: third quarter AP Calculus, mostly because I didn’t like doing the homework.
4. If I could pick my career, I think I’d still like to teach, preferably at the undergrad level.
5. I used to be a kick-ass Magic: The Gathering player, having placed tenth in a two-state tournament in Germany at one time (eighth and higher went to German nationals, so I barely missed the cut). I still think I could do pretty well, but you’d have to give me the deck. Creation was not my forte.
6. Favorite movie: Hudson Hawk.
7. Favorite game: Uno.
8. I’m organizing a company volleyball team.
9. Despite being a trash-brained trivia whiz, I actually read very little, bookwise, at least. I read most everything that’s not a book, though, like the backs of cereal boxes.
10. I couldn’t tell you how much money I make in a given paycheck.
11. One Defining Moment: In high school, I was rehearsing for a play (Of Mice And Men), and my acting was pretty flat. My director asked me what it was my character wanted at that moment, and I failed to produce an answer. He LAID INTO ME, telling me that if I didn’t know what the character wanted, I should get off the damn stage. Yeah. That had an impact I still feel.
12. In tenth grade, I organized a reunion of sorts for my fifth grade elementary class at Emily Liadakis’ house.
13. Twice (in fifth grade and in twelfth grade) I played the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m fairly certain that the director in high school did AMND solely because I wanted him to.
14. My Facebook friend collection contains ex-girlfriends and girls on whom I have had crushes. This is mildly awkward, even now.
15. The semester my first daughter was born (yes, I was in college, if you didn’t know) was the only semester in which I made Dean’s List.
16. I always thought I made a better techie than an actor. As much as I like being in front of people, My vision of lights and sets is far clearer than anything I’ve tried to put together for a role.
17. I proposed to my wife about two weeks after our first date. She said yes. We did the proposal again six months later for two reasons: our friends said we needed to wait, and we needed a ring.
18. I have a Brown Sr. belt in Taekwando. I started three years ago.
19. I bought clothes at a retail store once in the past… three years or so. That one time, I bought shirts off the clearance rack, getting $26 shirts for $4. I normally buy clothes at Goodwill.
20. I can fix computers by merely being in the same proximity.
21. In high school, I was active on about a dozen BBSes and less-than-active on a couple dozen more. This is what the cheap kids did in the time when you paid for AOL by the minute.
22. I want to live near and/or on the water, but am relatively ambivalent toward swimming.
23. I want a boat, in a bad way. We ALMOST bought a boat at the end of last summer, but the math just wouldn’t work out well enough to keep everyone comfortable.
24. I like redheads, but have never dated one. I have however dyed my own hair red on a few occasions.
25. I have two shirts that say “STAFF” in large letters on the back. One is from working a Fuel concert in college. The other is from working a cheerleading tournament. The Fuel concert was easier.

January 21, 2009

A Number of Random Things You Might Not Know

Filed under: My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 5:05 pm

From a meme floating around Facebook. I didn’t want to do it there. The “Number” was either 16 or 25, depending on who I decide to copy from, so given THAT subjective nature, the number of things here shall be totally arbitrary.

1. I had two of my elementary school teachers at my wedding.
2. The teachers mentioned above chipped in and bought me the microwave for my dorm room after high school graduation. That microwave is right behind me, still functional, as I type this.
3. I failed one quarter of one course in all of my education: third quarter AP Calculus, mostly because I didn’t like doing the homework.
4. If I could pick my career, I think I’d still like to teach, preferably at the undergrad level.
5. I used to be a kick-ass Magic: The Gathering player, having placed tenth in a two-state tournament in Germany at one time (eighth and higher went to German nationals, so I barely missed the cut). I still think I could do pretty well, but you’d have to give me the deck. Creation was not my forte.
6. Favorite movie: Hudson Hawk.
7. Favorite game: Uno.
8. I’m organizing a company volleyball team.
9. Despite being a trash-brained trivia whiz, I actually read very little, bookwise, at least. I read most everything that’s not a book, though, like the backs of cereal boxes.
10. I couldn’t tell you how much money I make in a given paycheck.
11. One Defining Moment: In high school, I was rehearsing for a play (Of Mice And Men), and my acting was pretty flat. My director asked me what it was my character wanted at that moment, and I failed to produce an answer. He LAID INTO ME, telling me that if I didn’t know what the character wanted, I should get off the damn stage. Yeah. That had an impact I still feel.

Enough for now, I think.

November 27, 2008

Going Back, And Not

Filed under: My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 5:14 am

Tonight was my high school’s annual Alumni Bull & Oyster Roast. A bunch of men in a large gymnasium, drinking beer and eating food, and most importantly, shooting the breeze. Network value in that room is incredible.

Graduation was 12 years ago and change at this point. Next year, I will have been out of standard non-collegiate education for longer that I was in it. Five years until that holds true for college as well, and my time removed from my school days eclipses the time spent in them, if only in quantity.

Like a memory perpetrator, still I return to the scene of the mind. At Loyola, it’s hard to get back there, as when I go, it’s generally to the new gym/fieldhouse that wasn’t in existence during my time there. It’s an odd disconnection, amidst all the reconnection from one year to the next. It even makes walking on the grass — which hasn’t changed — a new event, as the scenery makes its mark in the corners of my eyes.

I’ve written before about how the times they are a-changin’, and how I wonder what will bind the youth. An election showed me something, I guess. I still wonder though, unconvinced.

I don’t know if there’s a point to this. As you can tell from the timestamp, I probably lost the point some hours ago.

November 18, 2008

Milestones: A Full Hand

Filed under: Family,Friends,My World,Thoughts,Work — steegness @ 11:45 pm

Sara went to a birthday party last year. It was a large-ish event, in a fire hall. The kids got to ride the fire truck around, balloons abounded, and the hall was decked out in fire-themed stuff; an impressive soiree for a five-year-old. The boy’s mother explained that in her family, any time you made it a full hand, they’d go all out.

Today marks my sixth full hand.

I’m in the midst of a week off of work simply because I can, and I’ve got the vacation to burn. Today I went in to the office (strictly for cake), and took my mom around to see the place and meet my co-workers. She too took the day off, marking a personal labor day. We ate lunch in Fells Point.

Julie asked me later where I wanted to go out for dinner. Had I known that was in the works, I might not have eaten as much with my mom. We ended up staying in.

Birthdays take a decreased significance once you have kids (they are not unique in this respect, birthdays). Thirty years is a feat, no doubt, but there’s little fanfare to mark the occasion anymore. I don’t THINK that’s me whining about it, but reading over it, it kind of sounds like it. I maintain that today was a good day, really, despite whatever else I may say. 🙂

November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

Filed under: My World — steegness @ 12:39 am

Will you remember where you were tonight? A generic night at home for me, but I’ll remember the tears, and I’ll remember turning to Julie and telling her that it’s a new world.

October 16, 2008

The rambling post mostly about luck

Filed under: Family,Friends,My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 1:06 am

College fair #3 is now in the books. After #1, I had three copies of the main glossy left, and was sent about 40 more via overnight UPS. After #2, I had four. Now… I have two, having so few visitors that I didn’t even really move the four copies I had. This is marginally OK, because it kept me from having to hand out materials from the college next to me.

On the other side of me, a Calvert Hall (my high school rival) graduate, also class of 1996, shilling for his alma mater. He was also a teacher for one of the schools that sponsored the event, so he recognized about 20% of the students walking past. He mentioned to me how he likes to help out, because he may not have the paycheck to help, but if he can get three students in the door, that tuition helps make up for it. It made me realize that I’m in a similar situation, even if I wasn’t exactly cognizant of that fact.

Why do it at all? I keep thinking about that every now and again… what is it that drives me to make these trips to sweltering gymnasiums and packed cafeterias to convince people that Juniata deserves their attention? Certainly it has to be that my experience was a grand one, and that everyone should get the chance to have a similar grand experience in their lives. But then, more thinking (the train of thought does not slow down for stations) as I wonder why it was that my experience was so grand. And then it hit me. Luck.

Luck (or providence, or blessings, or karma, or what have you) has played a stupidly large part in my life. Most people seem to scheme or plan in order to move forward in life. Get good grades to get into a good college. Choose a degree with a career path that will bring wealth and happiness. Plan out the project so that it comes to a happy ending. Figure out what you want in a mate and seek it out. I have to presume the list goes on, but never having made such a list until just now, I stand ready to be corrected.

To the consternation of many around me — including myself, at times — much of my fortune has come not because of careful planning, but because I was in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Grades came easy because school (with the notable exception of European History, from which I remembered only two things) came easy; I didn’t study, I didn’t double-check my work, and with rare exception, I usually didn’t read books outside of class.

I almost didn’t go to Juniata… money problems would’ve held me back. Juniata kicked in a couple large toward the end of the decision process to seal the deal on my #1 choice. (And imagine for a moment, my life had I not gone to Juniata… /shudder) At Juniata, I got a degree with no discernible career path; indeed, probably no career path at all. “Mind and Language” isn’t on any job requirement I’ve ever read.

Speaking of jobs, job #1* out of college came because my mom rocks and Verizon is OK with supporting nepotism now and again for lower level jobs. Job #1 ended with a shock, but given the culture post-reduction and the fact that two more followed in 2008 (removing 43% and 20%, respectively), job #1 ending was a kindness. The kindness is amplified by job #2, which I’d not have found without 1) losing job #1 and 2) having my wife happen across the listing for the job mere moments after I informed her I’d been RIFed.

So that more or less brings me back to today… when I have a loving wife, two great kids, two cats and a dog, a single family home of my very own, an amazing job, awesome parents, great friends, and the time to give a little back. None of this was planned (not that I planned for the opposite, of course).

Is it a plan if — because of the unplanned success — I swear off planning for the foreseeable future? What if I forgo forseeing?

*Technically, job #1 was actually in my senior year of high school. I applied on a dare from the busboy, who went to Calvert Hall. I was hired almost immediately after handing in the application.

October 15, 2008

Missed the Anniversary

Filed under: My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 9:00 am

According to You Don’t Say, I missed the 942nd anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Damn.

September 24, 2008

Never sure which it is

Filed under: Family,My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 1:26 am

My posting has gone down a bit, to be certain. It’s weird: I’ll look at the Write Post link, or my front page, or sometimes even the link in my bookmarks, and I’ll wonder to myself “Do I have anything worth saying?” Sometimes it’s “You have more important stuff to do, slacker!” The gists are remarkably similar, as are the net results.

Surely there are noteworthy things…

  1. Emma scoring a perfect 100% on her first math test of the year
  2. Sara running home from daycare
  3. Juniata College off-campus interviews (followed by Mountain Day the next day)

Maybe I wonder how to say them. Maybe it’s that they’re never big ENOUGH events to warrant a few words. Maybe I’m just jaded.

August 8, 2008

The Long Wait

Filed under: My World,Technology — steegness @ 1:21 pm

I am presently at work. So too is the box of computer equipment I ordered with a healthy portion of my bonus.

Therefore, neither I nor the box are home right now. Harumph.

Sadly, there is still work to be done. Not only do I need to keep on haulin’ today, but I’m out of town Sunday afternoon through Monday night, so even though I get to put my stuff together this weekend, I’m on a forced timeout soon thereafter.

On the plus side, OH MY GOD THIS THING WILL BE A BEAST.

July 22, 2008

All is probably well

Filed under: Family,My World — steegness @ 3:11 pm

Mom had the surgery that she didn’t have before. Word is that things went quite well. Further word is that she might be home as soon as today. I’ve not yet talked to Dad today, so this is admittedly (slightly) presumptive.

In other news, we went to Artscape and an Orioles game this weekend. Hooray for Baltimore!

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