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.

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 3, 2008

They call me Mover. I move things.

Filed under: Friends,Uncategorized — steegness @ 12:30 am

Two sets of friends: relocated.

No more moving on consecutive weekends anymore, OK kids? My arms and chest are talking at me funny.

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.

September 16, 2008

Last one, Skwid, I promise

Filed under: Friends — steegness @ 1:17 am

Having won Jason over, my need to crosspost has waned. Back to reality, slackers.

July 16, 2008

Defeated!

Filed under: Friends,My World — steegness @ 12:40 pm

The CA Swingers were finally toppled yesterday, with a final of… 6-1 or so (I wasn’t keeping track).

Yours truly, 1 for 2. Pop to right, line single up the middle. OBP to .777. I also got some action at third base (No, not like that).

March 29, 2008

The Changing Of The Me

Filed under: Family,Friends,My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 11:06 pm

I’ve touched on this before, but I feel like it’s worth bringing up again. Change the channel if you’re not interested in further self-reflection.

I’m still working out where it is that I fit in my new life. Every now and again I try to tell myself that I’m the same person, just with new circumstances around me, but even I’m not buying that too much anymore. The changes that the new year has brought have wrought their havoc, for better or worse.

I’m out of touch with all the people and (literal and metaphorical) places I was before, and in touch with all sorts of other people and (literal and metaphorical) places that are either new or were far less frequently visited than they were prior to the Big Life Shift. Tonight is the longest I’ve been in front of my home PC for weeks, and it’s only been about 2.5 hours thus far.

I’m reading books. I’m not playing games; at least, not with the religious fervor of the past. I’m working 12+ hour days (sometimes) in an office, and driving home with a smile on my face. I’m spending more time with my family (despite the long work days), which sounds like a good thing, but home life is at times strained by the fact that I HADN’T been spending time and life was getting along well without me. This creates this odd sort of feedback loop that I don’t quite get.

And so it seems that I’m not the only one trying to figure out what’s become of me.

February 25, 2008

This post, in lieu of sleep

Filed under: Family,Friends,My World,Thoughts,Work — steegness @ 1:34 am

Over three weeks since the last post. Oddly indicative of how I’ve been feeling about my computer time in general, really.

Discounting the flu-like symptoms that knocked me on my ass since I posted last, my outlook on my computer has been all sorts of different for 2008. I suppose if I had to pin the blame somewhere, it’s the fact that I go into an office for nine hours a day now, and my schedule (as compared to 2007) is pretty radically altered along with it. I don’t know if that’s the WHOLE puzzle, but I know it’s a significant piece. I look at my PC and think “Do I really want to?”, end up answering “No”, and continuing on to other things (often sleep). I don’t know why tonight is different, but hey, take it while you can.

In random news:

I have a Juniata license plate now. Tess sports a pair of plates similar to the one seen here (for MD), but my number is … 0003. Not shabby.

Thursday was a company happy-hour event at Mustang Alley’s (a bowling alley/bistro two blocks from the office). I believe I whupped everyone, and that my team whupped every other team (with the snow on Friday, schools closed and I didn’t go into the office, so I don’t know the official results). Julie was also exposed to the madness that is “My Co-Workers”, and vice versa. I think the night went swimmingly.

Jodi’s surprise birthday party came to pass (yesterday). She was not surprised, though I was able to startle her. I consider that a win.

We are now in the Week of Perfect Health. Anything that seems like sickness coming from my family must obviously be a farce, since we don’t have benefits this week, and are therefore pictures of perfect health.

My desk will be moving, probably this week. I’m one of many moves that fall in a three-week re-arrange-apalooza. I’m not going to recognize my office soon, which is saying something, since I’ve barely been around long enough to recognize it at all.

January 23, 2008

Shhhhhh…

Filed under: Family,Friends,Thoughts,Work — steegness @ 8:59 am

At work, and in sort of a holiding pattern before a New Hire Orientation this morning. I don’t want to start on stuff that I’ll shortly need to abandon for three hours, so I’m posting this to end the blog-attendance truancy going on in here.

Things continue to go pretty well. In recent days gone by, I’ve been to a birthday party for a one-year old (which was attended by 52 people), and haven’t been to a birthday party for a six-year old (did I get that right, Julz? And did you get our package?). This upcoming weekend is a Juniata Alumni event, the first in Baltimore for the Baltimore crew, and I’m looking forward to it. 23 people had signed up last I looked (my family being four of them), so the turnout should be very nice for the kickoff thing we’ve got going on.

Friday night was an unofficial employee happy hour, fo which I was granted permission by The Boss to attend. Good thing too, because these folks enjoy themselves; not that co-workers from my past life didn’t enjoy themselves, but I certainly didn’t get to experience it firsthand very often.

My kids are enjoying video games, which warms my heart. Emma has taken to Animal Crossing (I picked up a GameCube controller post-xmas for GC games on the Wii), and Sara is all about I Can Play Piano (a gift from my in-laws). Now to get them into two-or-more-player games…

For those who come here hoping for a deep thought, here’s what I’ve got going on right now: What’s your most favorite sound you heard today? For me, the timpani in Roy Orbison’s “You Got It” is winning thus far.

Baaaaa-beeeeeeee… you got it.

January 10, 2008

Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Cheeseburger Made from Bacon

Filed under: Friends,My World,Thoughts — steegness @ 10:28 pm

From SeriousEats, which was in turn from Ian’s Gut Check blog (which I was the first to post to del.icio.us, thank you very much).

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