December 31, 2008

Something funny for the end of the year


You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen....

One of these reindeer is gay!! Who is the gay reindeer and why? It may not be so obvious...(Rudolph doesn't count here.. we know he's different)LOL

Leave me a comment with who you think it is.

Have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve!

December 30, 2008

Remembering 2008 = part 2

I'm continuing my memories of 2008

July
I was starting to pack up the old place and anxious to get into the new one. As soon as I signed the papers I went to work. I blogged about it often on myspace and the pictures showed my progress. I enjoyed some very lazy days and weekends at the beginning of the month, that's good because the second half was BUSY!

August
The first weekend I flew back to Colorado and had a great time at the closing weekend of CRF. I really got to know the barbarians better and even pole danced!! (You'll have to go back to my myspace blog archives to read about that... thanks to Stacie!!) lol. The rest of the month I finished painting the condo and moved in! My own place... finally!!

September
Getting settled into the new home, enjoying the shorted drive into work, getting to know my new neighborhood and new friends, the elections and my new great-nephew was the theme of September. Just going to the gym after work and enjoying the weekends. I also went down to a small renaissance festival and met some other friends from Waco.

October
I was excited that TRF was staring! I decided to go down opening weekend! I went several weekends in October and met a lot of new people. Even got to combine two of my favorite things in the world, camping and a good renaissance festival! I was happy! I was also excited about Halloween, I always have fun dressing up and going to parties and haunted houses.

November
Woohoo!! The elections are finally OVER!!! People are finally settling down and going on about life. Me, I go camping on one of the coldest night so far and get bronchitus!! I was really sick for almost 3 weeks... And before I knew it Thanksgiving was here. I spent a great day with my friends and went to closing weekend of TRF! I was sad that it had ended. But I made some great new friends.

December
Well, this month is all about the holidays. And me trying not to get caught up in the commercialism and hectic shopping like most people. I did a lot of research on the Yule traditions and celebrations of the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. It was interesting to see people's reaction when I mentioned that I wasn't celebrating Christmas, I was celebrating Yule. That and my becoming the Druid minister.. lol. Oh yea... and my new tat.

So, here we are. The end of another year! I like keeping this blog. This is my journal... the account of my life. It's good to go back and read... see how you've changed.

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for being my friends and sharing this year with me... let's go have some fun in 2009!!!

December 29, 2008

Remembering 2008 - part 1

I know every news station does this... and sometime it does get tiring. But for the most part I like to think back at the previous year. I've been thinking about this for a few days and even went back to when I first started blogging on myspace, in April of this year. Been trying to decide if I'll do a month by month or just general ramblings... I'm better if I'm organized so you get the month by month.

I'll do this in two parts so the post won't get too long. So here is Part One - January through June:

January
I don't remember much about January, I'm sure I was doing the same old thing, complaining about the "Newbies" in the gym that were obviously not the regulars, but the people that had made 'working out' part of their new year's resolutions. January is always busier at the gym and there are people in the way that have no gym-etiquette!! I was also hitting the 'electric beach', the 'easy bake oven' (tanning booths) so I wouldn't look like a beached whale for the trip to Puerta Vallarta the next month.

February
Every year for the last 10 or more years my friends Ed and Kory have gone to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. I went with them a few years ago, with the ex (which was a disaster... but that's another blog another time). I flew down through Denver and was soooo happy to be going somewhere warm!! And to be laying on the beach!! We got to Villa Blanca (the same place Ed & Kory always go... which has a fantastic view btw....) and somehow I got the same room that I was in with the ex. I was NOT going to let that stop me from having a good time. And I loved it!! I body surfed a lot!! Even got beat up because of it, strained my neck muscles, scraped my face and forehead on the sand as my head got in the wrong place as the wave crashed on me. But I would go lay on the beach for a few minutes... have another beer, oogle the people on the beach and then head back into the waves. The nights I spent eating dinner with my friends and dancing till the very early mornings, then go nap on the beach for a while in the mornings before hittings the waves again. Got back home and spent the rest of the month nursing the muscle I pulled in my pec. OUCH!!

March
Went to a St Patrick's Day party in Dallas and watched the drunken parade!! LOL. Drank way to much at my friend's party and had a hanover for a few days. I think it was in March that my neices kept telling me to get a myspace page set up so that we could keep in touch better. The end of March was difficult... it was a year ago that my mom passed away. My brothers and sisters were also a lot more distant with me too. I was feeling very alone.

April
This was a busy month at work! I did take a friend from work to Scarborough the opening weekend and we had a great time. I went several weekends and took a few friends, some loved it as much as I do... some didn't. Work was taking over my life though. We were moving our office just a few blocks away. All the bank's departments were moving to one building and my area was the last to move. I was on the move committee, so work issues and the move seemed to dominate my life. I also found out my job was being eliminated, but there was a vacant position for me to fill immediately!!!

May
Again, work issues seemed to dominate my life. Adjusting to a new work space and a new position. Then one of the people that I worked for passed away! I moved into his desk by the end of the month. But, myspace was my distraction from work. I was making a lot of new friends and discovered all the rennies on here!!! I enjoyed the weekends at Scarby and started to consider working there sometime. I met a few new people at Scarby and lots more on myspace.

June
My favorite thing about this month was going to Colorado for the renaissance festival. I was nervous about meeting these people who I had only chatted with online for a very short time. I was very happy to be accepted into their rennie family. I made some great new friends!! I loved the drinking games! The rest of the month I started the process of looking for a new home. I had to be closer to work, the 15 mile drive into work that took 45 minutes had to end!!! The end of the month was spent with my realtor looking at homes. By the end of the month I found it! Made my offer and I started plannig to move into my first home in many many years!!

December 28, 2008

A great movie!


I loved this movie!! You you get a chance to see it, go see it! Very well done.

But also the message, very important even now with rights being taken away from people in many states. To the straight person watching this, you need to know the struggle that your gay friends or family member has gone through. Gays are not just "those evil people" they are someone you know. This is not about morals, it's about RIGHTS and EQUALITY.

For the gay, this movie shows the sacrifices others made for you, the things they went through for you to have the rights that you do today. Another message is that you really need to 'come out' and stand up for your rights. There may be someone voting against you, thinking that they are voting against "one of those evil gays" because they don't know about you.

December 26, 2008

The history on my new tattoo

While I was at the Hanuakkah party on Monday night I showed some friends the new tat.

A friend started questioning me about it and the meaning. Then he showed me that he has the same one on his back. He grumbled that now he doesn't have a unique one anymore. LOL. But he told me more of the meaning behind it and that prompted me to do more research on it.

It is known as the Triple Horns of Odin. Odin is the name of the Nordic God. It has to do with toasting and drinking, so I found out a little more on that. The first toast given is to Odin (or whatever God you worship). A little bit is spilled for the God of mischief, Loki. The second toast is to your ancestors and those who have passed on. The third toast is to everyone there with you now. I like those toasts!

This is also a symbol of a pre-christian religion of the ancient Nordics. It was revived in Iceland and the US in the mid 1970s. The religion is called Asatru. The basic beliefs of the Asatru's are Nine Noble Virtues.

Nine Noble Virtues
1. Courage
By facing life’s struggles with courage, we constantly extend our capabilities. Without courage, nothing else can be done.
2. Trust
Blind faith has no place in our lives. We must act in this world as we see it and as it really is rather than calmly wait for the next.
3. Honor
We must be true to what we are, and we insist on acting with nobility rather than baseness. Our standards must be banners held high in our hearts.
4. Fidelity
We stand true to our faith and our values. Loyalty is the basis for all enduring human activity, and we hold it in the highest esteem.
5. Hospitality
The isolation and loneliness of modern life is not necessary. The willingness to share what one has with ones’ fellows, especially travelers, is a vital part of our way of life.
6. Discipline
We hold to the discipline necessary to fulfill our purpose. We stand willing to exercise the self-control and steadfastness necessary in these difficult times.
7. Industriousness
Let us dare to be all that we can be! Let us take risks and taste the richness of life. Passivity is for sheep. We refuse to be mere spectators in life.
8. Self-Reliance
We depend on our own strength and character to achieve our goals. We seek only the freedom necessary to our quest, whatever it may be.
9. Perseverance
We hold to our path until its completion and are not ashamed to be strong. The cult of the anti-hero will find no support in us, and the gods we follow are not for the weak.

I love these!! I support all religious teachings and things that help someone live better... so I think this will become my 2009 New Year's Resolutions. Along with the Druid Prayer (which I have already memorized):
Grant, O God, thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences,
And in the love of all existences, the love of God.
God and all goodness.

December 25, 2008

Memories of Christmas' past

I was thinking about what Christmas was like for me when I was a child. It's fun to think back and remember....

I'm not sure if the early memories are only from looking at old pictures or if I really do remember them... I think most of my early memories were of favorite toys. But we had some family traditions that I remember fondly.

Mom would be busy in the weeks before in the kitchen, making cookies, candy, pies and fruitcake for the neighbors. I remember always being there to help decorate sugar cookies and of course to eat them. Sometimes mom would also spend long hours in her sewing room making either clothes or stuffed animals for us. Her family was in Minnesota so we never spent any Christmas away from home. So to make her feel a little closer to her family we would open our gifts from her family on Christmas Eve. She would tell us every year that it was a Scandinavian tradition to open all the gifts on Christmas Eve not on Christmas morning.

We read the story from Matthew about the birth of Jesus and told the Night Before Christmas story and usually got new pajamas to wear to bed. I don't think I ever believed in Santa, we didn't have a fireplace so I couldn't imagine him coming down our chimney into the coal furnace and then walking up from the basement cover in soot.... but I went along with the stories and our main gift was always from Santa.

My brother Merlynn was always the one to wake us all up at about 3 or 4 am. We weren't allowed to go into the living room where the tree and presents were until mom and dad were awake. At the foot of the stairs and at the end of the hallway to the downstairs bedrooms was the doorway to the living room. My bedroom was downstairs and so we would run down the hall and up the stairs trying to look as quickly into the living room to see what we could see.... and then we'd report to the other siblings what we think we saw. This would go on for what seemed liked hours till our parents finally woke up and we would all go into the living room together and with the Christmas tree lights on.

Here are some of the gifts I remember getting... one year mom made us all stuffed animals. I got a huge gray mouse, it was my favorite animal at the time. I got a lot of tonka trucks or matchbox cars. One year Merlynn got a matchbox city with buildings and roads and I got the country side. These folded us into a breifcase and could be stored with the cars. One year I got a toy called "Billy Blastoff" an astronaut and a "Strange Change Machine". That was this thing that looked like a big egg incubator. You would put a small square of plastic into it and a dinosaur would grow. You could then put the dinosaur into a type of vice-grip and squeeze it back into the plastic square. We always took a picture of the family, everyone holding their favorite toy they just got. As a teenager I remember getting a 10 speed bike and a radio/cassette player.

After breakfast and after mom took her first nap on the sofa, we all go outside to play with our toys or just get outside. We sometime would go see neighbors and friends to see what they got.Occasionally our cousins would come by in the afternoon or we'd drive to Price, the city where they lived (which was 25 miles away) so the adults could all get together to eat and visit.

We were pretty wiped out by 8 pm or so... and would fall asleep watching some Christmas special on TV. Another tradition our family had was saving a present under the tree till New Year's Day. It was always a new board game that we would play all day. I still like a good board game!!

This time of year is so much different for me now, but I still like doing holiday traditions. And remember the past fun of my childhood.

December 23, 2008

Oversharing

Someone please let me know if I'm doing this....

December 22, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

To all of my Jewish friends and those that like to celebrate any holiday just for a reason to have a party... Happy Hanukkah! May you have a festive 8 days.

Tonight I went to a Hanukkah party at some friend's home and I got to experience some foods and traditions of the holiday. They said to bring my pocket change for the game of dreidel. Oy vey!! Yum, bring on the Latkes!!

These traditions are not unfamiliar to me. I lived in Baltimore, MD for about 7 years in the mid 80's and early 90s. Baltimore has the second largest population of Jewish people outside of Brooklyn, NY. I worked in Owing Mills almost the center of the community. I really wished I would've learned more Yiddish, I only picked up a few words, probably only the bad ones. And of course the accent.

Maybe I should've learned the words to this song for my friends tonight:
Chanukkah, O Chanukkah
A yontev a sheyner
A lustiger a freylicher
Nito noch azoyner
Ale nacht in dreydl shpiln mir
Zudigheyse latkes esn mir

Geshvinder tsindt kinder
Di dininke lichtelech on
Zogt "al ha-nisim," loybt G-t far di nisim
Un kumt gicher tantsn in kon

Translation:

Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah
Come light the menorah
Let's have a party
We'll all dance the hora
Gather round the table, we'll have a treat
Shiny tops to play with, latkes to eat

And while we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago

Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

December 21, 2008

Yuletide (Winter Solstice)

This is to all my Pagan, Wiccan and undecided friends. Have a blessed Yuletide Season.

May this Solstice and turning of the wheel of seasons bring you love, peace and good fortune in the coming year.

Let us welcome the returning sun with hope and joy! And may you never thirst.

I made several friends a Yule Log to burn today:
The Yule Log is an ancient German tradition. It's to be lit on the Winter Solstice and is to burn for 12 hours. No servants had to work while it burned, so they would decorate it and douse it with cider and meade. I burned mine today:

. I enjoyed a glass of wine and a nice dinner and also did another of the Yule Log traditions.

I wrote down the things I did last year that I'd like to forget about; my regrest, mistakes, mis-judgements, etc and burned it with the log to symbolize that it's in the past and it's time to start fresh.

May each of you have a blessed holiday season, whichever holiday you celebrate.

December 20, 2008

Twas The Night Before Yule....

This was written by a friend of mine and I think it's fantastic! Kudos Mike!!

A Nordic Yule

'Twas the night before Yuletide in the Horde's hall
Not a person was stirring, not even a thrall.
The wineskins were hung on the mantle with care
In hope that great Odin soon would be there.

The clansmen were snoring, passed out on the floor.
And I made to join them. I couldn't drink more.
I found a place quickly, my furs for a bed.
The mead I had drunk had gone to my head.

Then came a noise from way out in back.
So loud that I swore, we were under attack!
I leapt from my furs, my sword clutched in hand,
And went to the window to survey the land.

I looked into the night and muttered a curse,
Could it be Grendel or something much worse?
Then what to my eyes should the full moon reveal,
But an old fashioned sleigh drawn by a creature unreal.

And a huge burly driver so fierce and forbodin',
I knew in a moment it was Allfather Odin.
He yelled at the creature with a snarl on his lips,
And after each word, gave a crack of his whip.

"Obey me now, Sleipner, for I am your master,
An eight-legged horse ought to run faster!?"
I ran from the window, so quick and so able
And sought a safe haven under the table.

I heard the sleigh stop and Odin get out
And as he drew nearer, gave a great shout.
He kicked the door open, which then hung askew
And I shook when I saw him, what else could I do?

He was dressed in his armor, so regal and fine
But I caught a strong odor of cheap women and wine.
His bundle of weapons he dropped where he stood,
All bright gleaming steel and dark polished wood.

His face was like granite with a long flowing beard
His one eye glowing like an ember, or so it appeared.
I watched him quite closely alone with my fear
As he surveyed the hall with a glare and a sneer.

He cursed and he muttered and seemed to grow madder
And I fought to keep some control of my bladder.
He lifted his foot and pulled a nail from beneath
Then seemed to grow calmer. I sighed with relief.

He then went to work, his task to assail
And filled all the wineskins with mead and stout ale.
Then using his finger to scratch at his crotch
He strode from the hall as I silently watched.

He mounted his sleigh and his whip gave a crack
As Sleipner jumped forward, he laughed and leaned back.
He said as he rode, "Fight hard and die well.
And when that day comes, in Valhalla you'll dwell!"

© 2002 Michael G. Tucker

Promised pictures

These are all ICE! It's a fantastic display at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Grpaevine, TX.




Hhhhmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I stuck my tongue to it?



Yes, I had to try a taste! lol


December 19, 2008

getting in the holiday spirit

On Wednesday evening I went to an ice sculpture display. It was amazing!! But COLD, they keep the building at 9 degrees!! And dumb me forgot to bring gloves. The parka they give you helped, but it had no pockets...!! WTF?? lol

I'm still re-sizing the pictures to post... so in the meantime, here are the results of a survey I took: What reindeer are you?



You Are Comet



A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!



Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving



Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

December 17, 2008

Random Question Wednesday

Continuing in the newly started tradition... I bring you another random question from The Ungame:

How do you behave when you feel angry?

I really don't think I get very angry! Honestly!! Unless of course I'm driving and I'm behind a really bad driver... then I question their parentage and point them upwards (with a certain finger) to point them to God.

In other circumstances I usually go though phases.
Phase 1: Silence
Phase 2: Muttering obscenities and threats under my breath
Phase 3: Sarcasm
Phase 4: Heavy sarcasm!!
Phase 5: Yelling.

I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand how many times in my life that I've gotten to phase 5. It takes quite a lot to get me that angry.

Next week better be a happier random question or there may be some yelling here!!! lol

December 15, 2008

I did it....

A few days ago I said I found an ancient Nordic symbol that I thought would make a great tattoo.... well, here it is:

It hurt more than the one on my shoulder, maybe the skin on the back of your leg is more sensative or something...?? But it was a time of reflect for me, that sometimes we need to suffer a little to get something done that'll be worth it in the long run. And a tattoo is there 'for the long run"

Well, after the gym I decided to make a dessert for work tomorrow... but I think I left it in the oven for a little too long, the top looks kinda burnt. Oh well... If it tastes good that's all that matters!

December 14, 2008

Catch My Fall

Another iPod quiz... I SWEAR ON MY NEW ORDINATION I played this one on the up and up...The answers are hilarious, scarey, and true. LOL

I saw this on another blog... had to steal it for mine: I love stuff like this anyway....

1. Put your iPod (or media player) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN, NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!


IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY?" YOU SAY? Evenly (artist: Lena)
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY? I Want To Be Wanted (Olivia Newton-John) LOL
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Strollin (Paul Hardcastle)
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? What Are You Guys Talking About? (Kelly)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE? Tonight's The Night (P!nk)
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Like A Virgin (Madonna) LOL
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Everyday (Central Living)
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? The Only Thing Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage (Panic At The Disco)
WHAT IS 2+2? You Bring Me Up (Petalpusher)
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Apron Strings (Everything But The Girl)
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Lyin Eyes (The Eagles)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? Somehow Our Love Survives (Joe Sample)
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Rise Again (DJ Sammy Feat)
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE? I Really Wanna Be With You (Madonna)
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA)
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? Slipping Away (Moby)
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Dynamite (Jamiroqui)
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? Lini's Revenge (Gil Tazazyen)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? Bootylicious (Destiney's Child) LMAO
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Street Stuff (Turtle Island String Quartet)Good one!!
WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN? Heartbreaker (Dionne Warwick)
HOW WILL YOU DIE? 2 Drunk 2 Fuck (Avenue D) LOL
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET? Easier Said (Techno Squirrels)
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Are You Gonna Go My Way (Lenny Kravitz)
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? Sweet Dreams (Eddie Baez)
WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED? Kiss You (Iio)
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST? Sanctuary (Sylvia Toson)
DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU? Burn For You (Kreo)
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE? Give It To Me (Kylie Minogue)
WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW? God Give Me Strength (Elvis Costello)
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS? Catch My Fall (Billy Idol)

December 13, 2008

Oh Honaay....

Here's proof that Anderson Cooper is.... well, you decide:

LOL

December 12, 2008

I'm gonna name drop...

In 1992 I was working in my deli, Andon's Deli and Bar, in Baltimore, MD. It was in the heart of downtown Baltimore on the main street, Charles Street, just about a mile from the Inner Harbor area. I was mopping the floor in the afternoon when two people walked in, a kind of tall thin black woman and a man. They asked if they could still order lunch. I said sure, and told them to go up to the counter, she looked very familiar. By the time I got there, their order had been taken and my partner and waitress were very excited. As soon as I got behind the counter she smiled at me and I knew then that it was Dionne Warwick!! The next thing I knew Virginia (or was it Marilyn her sister??) our cook was heading back into the kitchen to put more egg salad on her sandwich. We stood there talking and I remember her telling us that she was in town for an ex-husband's funeral. I asked her if she came here a lot and she said she really liked Baltimore. Finally we got her the sandwich and her autograph on our menu and we walked them out. She was staying at a small exclusive luxury hotel around the corner that hardly anyone in town knew about. I'll never forget her. What makes me tell this story? It's her 68th birthday today. So, Happy Birthday Ms Warwick.

December 11, 2008

I think I found it...

I was online today looking up Yule; traditions, celebrations, customs, the Yule Log, etc. and I found this Pagan symbol:

I think this is my next tattoo!!

Here's what it is and the meaning behind it:
The Triple Horn of Odin is made of three interlocking drinking horns, and represents Odin, the father of Norse gods. The horns are significant in the Norse eddas, and feature prominently in elaborate toasting rituals. In some stories, the horns represent the three drafts of the Odhroerir, a magical mead.

Mom's side of the family is Scandinavian so this would be fitting for me. And hey, I do like to drink....

I have been thinking of getting another tat and I've decided I want to get a Celtic knot arm band. Thought I had found a design I liked, but then I saw a picture of someone with the exact one I want... so now I think I'll wait.

So, where should I put it? Since I want to get the arm band on my right bicep I was thinking about putting this on my calf.... I want it where I can see it, so my back and shoulder blade is out. And I have something else in mind for my pec muscle... so I think the calf is the best place. Anyone have a better idea...??

December 10, 2008

Ungame Wednesday (aka Random Question Day)

Each Wednesday I will write the question from The Ungame and then answer it. Today's questions is:

What is something you would like to do to improve your life?

A couple of things come immediately to mind. First, I would like to get out of debt. Which means setting a budget and keeping to it. And asking myself if I really do need something before I buy it. I have done pretty good to try and see what is a necessity and what are wants. I just to have better control and not use the credit cards... if I budget and save I can still get somethings I want, but pay cash for them.

The next thing that comes to mind is that I need to eat better. Sometime the sweet tooth makes my decisions. I know I should eat better and my body responds better when I do, I just need to stick to it.

And lastly, I'd like to do more volunteer work. There is nothing like helping others, then it helps you forget about some of our own woes. It's also a good reminder that I'm not doing too badly in life when there are others that have far less then I do.

You know... I see a common thread here... I need to set my mind to these things and persevere! I was just reading about this in the book I'm reading "The Way Of The Small" by Michael Gellert; "Most accounts of great feats of perseverance implicitly reveal two great skills that must go hand-in-hand: keeping our goal, however distant, fixed in our mind, while focusing upon the step immediately in front of us."

Anyone is welcome to share their thoughts... what is something you would like to do to improve your life?

December 9, 2008

a monk??

I am always looking for new things to wear to the renaissance festivals, new garb it's called. So a few weeks ago I found a place to get a monk's robe. I had to return it and get the brown robes, the black one was to "grim reaper" looking. Well, here it is.....


Brother James is ready to make his faire appearance. Of course I want to get a rope belt and a cross... I already got a cross from ebay that will come in a few days. I missed the Drunk Monk weekend at the Louisiana Ren Fest last weekend... I think they do Scarby... so I'll hopefully join them there this spring.

Well, I was talking to a coworker and close friend Melissa, we are about the same age, have the same weird sense of humor and our minds very often think exactly the same. I was telling her about Brother James and getting the cross and somehow the conversation changed. I don't remember if she or I brought up the fact that anyone can go online and become a minister. Well... she "Double Dog Dared" me to do it!!! Of course I had to.... so I became an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery! I got my certificate from the church yesterday:


Quite an interesting reaction from friends and coworkers. Are you really an ordained minister? Can you really perform a wedding? Did you have to study or take a test? Yes, yes and no. It is a real non-denominational church and I can legally perform a wedding. No test, but there are study materials you can get from them. Well, it gets better... you can also chose a "title" in the church if you like... and the list of options, from Pope and Saint to The Right Reverend and Minister of Rock and Roll, is about 30 or more options. So, I am a Druid, a Druid Priest I guess. The Druids were the pre-christian priest of the ancient Celts.

I don't think I'll ever wed someone... even though my niece (well, my nephew's girlfriend actually) wants me to marry them, but Nic better get busy and ask her already!!! LOL.

So... when you meet Brother James at a faire, he will be a real minister and man of God. Those who know me and know that I'm not a big fan of organized religions think this is a little odd too, but this 'church' is really non-denominational and even offers course work in the Pagan and Wiccan faiths and many other non-mainstream religions. I believe in God and that there are many teachings out there that can help me live better. So... why not?

I'll even take your confession!!

Cute With Chris

I heard about this website years ago and have been hooked. The creator of the site, Chris Leavins, is an actor and comedian from Los Angeles who has this blog about "cuteness". People from all over the world send him pictures of their pets. He makes a weekly video message where he has a "cute down" and viewers decide on "who is cuter?" He didn't post one yesterday, so I'll put his website up and one of my favorite episodes:
Cute With Chris

December 7, 2008

Office holiday party

Last night I went to my office holiday party. It's interesting to meet your coworker's spouses or significant others.We were joking that we should have had all the employees come in without their spouse just to see if we could match up people.

I like parties like this, it reminds me that the view I have of the people I work with is just a narrow, limited view. I only see them for 8 or 9 hours a day but we really don't know each other. We all have a life outside of work and this is a chance to see people how they really are. I know a few coworkers very well and others not so much. And how do they see me? With that same limited view of course.

One of the the fun parts of my job is heading a 'morale booster' group. We fund raise for things and plan most parties, but one thing I came up with is this weekly email profile called "Know Your Partner". I ask 10 questions about what they do, how long they've done their job, what their home life is like and their opinion on things. Then I end with this: "What your coworkers are saying about you" where I have someone say something nice about the person being profiled. The majority of people love this weekly email. It's nice to get to know people on a more personal level. I don't think I take the time to do that much, there are too many busy and urgent things that come up during my work day.

December 5, 2008

iPod quiz

I saw this quiz on another blog and thought I'd post my answers here:

1. If you played your iTunes library from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for?
9.8 Days


2. If you played your iTunes videos/movies from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for?
3.6 Hours

3. What artist appears the most in your iTunes library? How many files?
Madonna 68 files


4. Which word appears the most and how many times, when typed into your iTunes search: Love, Sex, F*ck, Death? Which is the least?
Love; 320 times. Death, 1.

5. What is the longest iTunes file?
"The Confessions Tour" - Madonna at 2:01:15

6. Shortest?
"Intro Dramatico" - Bitter:Sweet at 0:15

7. Right now, which track has the highest Play Count?
Wow, who knew!.... "Inner Peace (Cates & DPL On The Wagon To Mars Mix)" - Aaron Sontag and Nica Brooke on the "Om, Chilled, Vol.2" Album

8. If you were to close and reopen your iTunes, what is the first track that plays on your Party Shuffle?
"Believe" - Cher

9. What was the last item you purchased on iTunes?
"Angels" - David Archuleta

10. How many 'Playlists'?
176

11. Do you use 'Genius'?
Yes

What's on your iPod?

December 3, 2008

UnGame Wednesdays

When I was growing up we loved to play board game, I still do. One day mom came home with this game called the UnGame. It was just small cards with questions on the cards. The idea of the game is to encourage talking among family members or friends. So, I thought it would be interesting to draw a card and write about it here. So here goes... the first UnGame Wednesday;

Complete the sentence: Something I want people to remember about me is ________.

A couple of things come to mind; I would like to think that people know I was passionate about life and what I did. Not necessarily about work, but about what I loved to do. Whether it was going camping, being outdoors or photography or biking or travel or reading or renaissance faires.. I really LOVED what I was doing.

The next thing that comes to mind that I would hope that people remember about me is that I was a nice guy. I was always kind, caring, friendly, compassionate and really cared about people. I don't think I was ever intentionally mean or rude to anyone.

The last thing that comes to mind is that I love to laugh. Sometimes I take life too seriously... but I do like a good joke, I like to be with friends and enjoy a board game or joking around... or singing bad drunk karoake with friends on Thanksgiving night till 1 am... I hope people remember that I love to laugh.

So, drop me a note and tell me what you think... What do you want people to remember about you.

December 2, 2008

1 day late...

Yesterday was World's AIDS Day!

Sometimes I still get a little emotional thinking about Ken. We met in 1984 when I was living in Las Vegas. I went to visit him in Oklahoma City several times and on one trip I went and got a job. Went back to Vegas, gave my two week notice and started packing for OKC. In that time frame Ken had gone to see his doctor about the bruise on his knee that wouldn't go away. The diagonsis... kaposi's sarcoma, AIDS. I took care of him for the next year until he died in Dec 1985. I held him while he cried, went to many doctor visits with him. Drove him to Tulsa for some experimental drug trials at City of Faith Hospital and helped him tell his parents the bad news. I watched him get sicker and sicker and eventually withdraw from society because of the sarcoma. I had to tell him a few days before he died that he really should make his peace with his parents. I was with him as he took his last breath. His parents were in the room and I didn't take his hand because I didn't want to make them too uncomfortable. Now I wish I would have crawled into the bed with him and held him close to my heart as his stopped. But I can't go back in time, all I have is now. I need to hold those that I love close to my heart.

So much was not known about AIDS in Oklahoma in the mid 80's. The world and medicine has come a long way since then, but the fight is far from over. AIDS touches everyone in some way or another. For me, it's a very emotional thing. I lost my first love, the man who made my heart skip whenever I'd see him.

Remember those who have passed away, those still struggling with this, those who have fought and so far, are still alive. Remember those who want to make changes and want to find a cure. And remember those indirectly touched by AIDS.

December 1, 2008

Pictures of Sir Fulke Greville and Friends







Faire name

I had a great weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival. It was the closing weekend for the year and I got a chance to see friends and make some new ones. I finally decided on a name for when I'm dressed up; Sir Fulke Greville. He is my 11th great-grandfather (see number 14 below). Here is my family history all the way back to Charlemange... very interesting!!

1. James Irvin Anderson 1961-

2. Melrynn Orson Anderson 1923-2001 = Dolores Alvina Erickson 1932-2007

3. Ralph P. Anderson 1900-1944 = Effie Branch 1901-1986

4. Eugene Elisha Branch 1854-1906 = Jane Blake 1857-1947

5. William Henry Branch 1820-1889 = Emily Cornelia Atwood 1819-1869

6. Dan Atwood 1787-1863 = Polly Sawyer 1790-1875

7. Herman Atwood 1738-1804 = Jerusha Case 1747-?

8. William Case 1715-1776 = Lucy Riggs Tracy 1716-?

9. Christopher Tracy 1680-1725 = Lydia Parrish1687-1725

10. Jonathan Tracy 1646-1672 = Mary Griswold 1656-1711

11. Thomas Tracy 1610-1685 = Mary Mason 1611-1654

12. William Tracy 1590-1621 = Mary Conway 1580-?

13. John Conway 1535-1603 = Eleanor (Helen) Greville 1539-?

14. Sir Fulke Greville 1491-1559 = Elizabeth Willoughby 1500-1562

15. Edward Willoughby 1474-1517 = Margaret Neville 1494-?

16. Richard Neville 1468-1530 = Anne Stafford (Baroness of Latimer) 1471-1500

17. Henry Neville 1437-1469 = Joan Bourchier 1442-1470

18. George Neville 1414-1480 = Elizabeth De Beauchamp 1417-1480

19. Ralph De Neville 1364-1426 = Joan DuBeaufort 1375-1440

20. John of Gaunt, Prince of England 1340-1399 = Catherine De Roet 1350-1403

21. Edward III, King of England 1312-1377 = Philippa, Queen of England 1314-1369

22. Edward II, King of England 1284-1327 = Isabelle, Princess of France 1292-1358

23. Philippe IV, King of France 1268-1314 = Jeanne, Princess of Navarre 1271-1305

24. Philippe III, King of France 1245-1285 = Isabel, Princess of Aragon 1247-1271

25. Louis IX, King of France 1215-1270 = Marguerite De Provance 1221-1295

26. Louis VIII, King of France 1187-1226 = Blanca Alphonsa, Princess of Castille 1188-1252

27. Philippe Auguste II, King of France 1165-1223 = Isabelle De Hainault 1170-1190

28. Louis VII, King of France 1119-1180 = Adaele, Countess of Chapagne 1140-1206

29. Louis VI, King of France 1081-1137 = Adbelahide, Countess of Savoy 1092-1154

30. Philippe I, King of France 1052-1108 = Bertha, Countess of Holland 1054-1094

31. Henri I, King of France 1008-1060 = Anna Agnesa, Grand Duchess of Kiev 1036-1089

32. Robert II, King of France 972-1031 = Constance De Toulouse 986-1032

33. Hughes, King of France 939-996 = Adbelahide, Princess of Aquitaine 952-1004

34. Hughes Magnus, Duke of France 898-956 = Hedwige, Princess of the Germans 952-1004

35. Robert I, King of France 860-923 = Beatrice De Vermandois 880-931

36. Herbert I, Count of Vermandois 848-902 = ?(Princess of France) 862-?

37. Pebpin II Quentin, Count of Vermandois 818-840 = ? (Countess of Vermandois) 820-?

38. Bernard, King of Italy 797-818 = Cunigunde, Queen of Italy 797-835

39. Pbepin Carloman, King of Italy 773-810 = ? (Queen of Italy) 777-?

40. Charlemange, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 742-814 = Hildegard, Empress 757-783