Lately, a of couple nights recently, I have been having an interesting recurring dream. Usually, it always follows the same plot. I don't put a whole lot of stock into dreams and what they are supposed to mean in real life, but this one intruiges me....
In this dream, I am usually sitting in one of the many school classroom environments I have sat in throught my life (grade school, high school, and college). The class I am in is about to start, and as I sit there I am feeling tired, somewhat un-excited to be there, but ready nonetheless for the norm. Then, the instructor starts to speak, and informs us, the class, that we will, depending on the setting, either now have an important quiz, a test, or something of that sort on a major selection of reading that we were supposed to have read and be prepared to discuss thoroughly during this class....
The kicker is, I have not read any of that major reading prior, as I was supposed to, and now as the teacher/ professor hands out the quiz/test I start to fret. This is a major assignment I was unaware of, and I have absolutely no clue what to do with this particular quiz. Being unprepared for this test will seriously hurt my grade in the class.... and may cause me to fail.
... Then, a wave of intense panic hits me as I sit at that desk, pencil in hand, with the blank test sitting in front of me on the desk. I feel very helpless and angry with myself for not being prepared, and allowing myself to have completely forgot about this major assignment. I have absolutely no clue what to do as I sit there....
Then around that point in the dream, I wake up.
Now, I've never, in all my schooling had a situation of that much panic regarding an unprepared for quiz. Sure I've forgotten about assignments in the past, but nothing as major as in this recurring dream.... What intruiges me most about this dream though, is the realism of it. Every time, despite already having had this dream before, I always feel as though I am right there sitting in that desk. I get all concerned about failing the course, and kicking myself for letting it happen.... It seems so real -- the environment, the classmates, the teacher/professor....
It takes me a good couple of minutes after waking up to realize, there really is nothing to worry about. Afterall, I'm not even in school any more.... I've graduated college over six months ago!
Sometimes I do wonder, though, if there is supposed to be some point to that dream.... Maybe my subcontious mind really IS trying to tell me something.... but what? ...perhaps I'll never know?
Well, I guess it is now officially official,.... My sister is engaged to be married!
Yep, her boyfriend, Noah (my current roomate) must have popped the question Saturday night, which, of course, would explain why he was so eager to take Rachel to such a fancy dinner.... [raises eyebrow].... Hmm, I should have been able to figure that out.... I guess maybe I'm NOT as observant as I'd like to be sometimes. ... [lol].
Anyway, Rachel and Noah have been dating for at least two years already. To be honest, they really do seem to be a perfect match. Obviously I know my sister quite well, and to be rooming with Noah, I know him pretty well too, so I wasn't 'jump-up-and-down' excited.... (much to Rachel's chagrin -- mocking chagrin, of course...), just a little taken off guard. I was one of many people who knew this would come to be sooner or later, it was just a question of when. I am very happy for the both of them though. ... Very happy indeed!
...although, it does feel a little bit strange that my younger sister is getting married before me.... I'll live. [grin] ... Congrats to the new engaged couple!
Well, I've tried to keep from letting my frustrations get the better of me, but I think the time has come to vent slightly....
I found out on Friday that Barnes and Noble has decided I'm not valuable enough of an employee to provide me with suitable hours, as I have politely requested, numerous times. They've added possibly four more hours to my 16-hour/week schedule lately, and that seems to be the new schedule I'm locked into for the next couple of weeks. I'm no longer going to be patient and accept a schedule that provides me with just barely enough to live on each paycheck though. Enough is enough. I may like my co-workers there quite a bit, and enjoy the interaction with customers at the registers, but I guess that can no longer be my reasoning for staying. It's kind of sad really.... It annoys me how retail is more interested in making the most money possible, that they don't do as much as they could to benefit their employees.
You might say, 'well, Jon, if you you're not getting paid enough, get a second job'.... That's not as easy as it sounds. I often never know what Barnes and Noble will demand of me in terms of the days I work, so cooresponding a second job is rather challenging. I suppose I'll be looking more in that direction, yes, but honestly, I look at it this way.... overwork myself at two jobs, have no social life or free time, and still be getting paid very little,.... or find a job that I can work a steady 40-hour week and get paid more than both retail jobs put together. I'm not going to put myself into that latter situation. I'm just going to have to open a few more doors I guess.... I've just been a little reluctant in that category lately, for various reasons. ...[sigh]
Oh well. Anyway, today I'm going to break down and send out my resume(s) to some area places that I have been reluctant to do so. It's a resume-day I guess. I'll then have to make a few calls before work tomarrow, Monday, and hit the streets again this coming week. We'll see what happens. I want to do something I really enjoy, and have it be worthwhile as well.
....I guess I've just gotten too comfortable in a less than reliable job, and the time has come to prepare to kiss it good-bye. Oh well, I guess I'll have another busy week as I pull a few strings and seek a better employment opportunity....
Ok, venting complete. .... Back to being my happy, optimistic self.... [whew]... I do feel a little better....
Have a blessed weekend everyone, and enjoy the Super Bowl today.
This evening, since I called in to work and was not needed, I happened upon a show on PBS about the attractions and beauty of the Black Hills out in the Northern West of America. .... You know, Mount Rushmore, the ever-evolving Crazy Horse monument, the Badlands, bison herds, Wind Cave, seas of green praire, fossilized remains of a world past,... and so on....
It made me think, man, I really do live in a great part of the world... a great country, and a great geological blessing called the United States of America. Politics aside (for which I honestly care very little to tell the truth), this really is a beautiful country, and one with such a rich and muti-faceted history.... especially considering the fact that this country itself is only some 227 years old! Stunning State Parks, wide open praires, once near-extinct animal species now roaming the wildlands, unexplainable natural wonders, and an evidence of a history of human pioneers scattered all across it.... What a blessing it is to be an American! And the thing is, I'm only talking about the natural aspect of being an American. I haven't even touched on the massive cities with unique identities, the man-made monolithic monuments such as those that exist in our country's capitol or in New York's harbor, and those that give an added flavor for a country whose 227 year history rivels that of any of the more ancient countries.
In today's world I find it sad that politics mean more to most people than the simple beauty of a landscape few care to even take time to investigate. All the talk is of war this, negotiations that.... Oh, to be one of those pioneers embarking upon this land whose beauty we fail to see most of the time today. Untamed (by explorers that is) wonders that only God could engineer. Those were the days when minds fell upon simpler matters.... Those were the days when the landscape mattered more than countries arguing over nuclear weapons, or taking drastic measures to combat a war against terrorists. Those were the days when the true heros were made.... Let's not forget those heroes. Let's not forget the land they knew, or the history they forged, because, afterall, we're the fruits of THEIR labors, and certainly not our OWN political whittling.
Think about that the next time your driving through the country and listening to the local news. Try turning off the media hype, and turn on the awe of what you see around you. Be inspired. Be dumfounded. Be thankful.
Last night, Wednesday evening, I sat down and watched American Idol 2. Two emotions came to mind when I watched it....
First there was pity. Those wanna-bees who auditioned, good for them. They had the guts to go on national television and audition, judged by a panel of judges not afraid to say outright, "You are the worse singer in America." That takes a certain perseverance, and I certainly commend those auditionees for that. I do think though that perhaps Simon, one of the judges, should ease up a bit. Some of the stuff he says to these poor kids is a little borderline on downright wrong. I think there is a fine line between respect and criticism. He crossed it a few times. But, Simon aside, my respect does go out for all those that tried.... It was indeed, if anything, a experience in show-biz.
Of course, besides pity, there was also downright annoyance. Any entertainer knows, if you want to do your best at an audition, then by golly, you'd better PREPARE YOURSELF for that audition. Simply singing in the bathroom before the audition doesn't count. You have to consider your appearance, actually tape your singing and listen to how you sound to others, and do more than just sing the chicken dance song. ...[chuckle]. The somewhat funny, yet very annoying part of watching that show, is knowing that, myself being an actor, I could tell that so many of those kids had no clue how to audition.... No clue whatsoever. They just went into that audition, 'sang' a song and stood there. There's much more to an audition than that, seriously. And, honestly, that was their undoing. You gotta take something like that VERY seriously, but have fun as well, and remember, mumbling will get you cut right off the bat!
I will have to say though, watching that show is both intruiging, as well as a good look at the audition process. I've had my share of film and theatre auditions already, some fruitful, and others not, and it's a little painful to see so many other people out there that just want the fame and glamour.... Being an entertainer is work too, a lot of work, and mostly on the preparation side of things, both in research and in focus. I don't think the majority of those kids realized that.
I do wish the finalists lots of luck though. I certainly wouldn't put myself on a show like that, but then again a career as a pop singer does not show up on my list of things to do in life. But, hey, if they had a show that auditioned actors for roles, and it came to Milwaukee to audition, I might think about it. [grins sarcastically].
Oh, who even knows if that's really a word or not; it just sounds cool! ... [chuckle].
I actually worked today, Sunday. A fellow co-worker wanted the the day off, and I was able to help him out. Hey, he got the time off to do whatever he needed, and I got myself an extra five hours on my next paycheck. I can certainly handle that. I've been scheduled for much fewer hours than usual due to the end of the fiscal year for B&N. I'm a little disappointed in that, but I guess a few extra hours makes up for some of it. What will be, will be. Serendipity. Fate.... Whatever.
I got back earlier than I normally would on a weekday. The store closes two hours earlier on a weekend. I just don't work on weekends normally. I got tired of losing two prime days to hang out with friends and such.... so I removed my weekend availability. Works for me. I'm happy. [smile].
Well, I got back home, this evening, took care of my emails and other computer tasks, and sat down and watched "Serendipity" again. I tell you, I really love that film. .... Someday, I'll find that same fuzzy 'this is the one' feeling too. Someday, I'll be part of my own little 'love story'. .... ah, warm fuzzies....
This single guy has got to head off to bed. I work my full day tomarrow (3:30pm - midnight), and I am rather tired. I guess I've really gotten used to not working on Sundays. ... [grin]
Oh well, to sleep I go. I'll catch you all on the marrow. God's blessings on the wonderful start to a new week.
Your happily blogging friend,
PS - You might be interested in some of the 'remodeling' I did on this site today. If you have not seen it yet, you might be interested in checking out the new Meet Jon page here on JonBaas.com. I had fun putting together an interesting collection of relevent information. Enjoy!
As I watched one of my favorite films this evening (a recent DVD purchase), "Serendipity", starring John Cusack, I came across a quote that remained with me after the film concluded. A friend tells his broken-hearted best friend, after realizing that there is more to life than just what appears on the surface, "...Did you know, the Ancient Greeks didn't write obituaries? When a man died, they asked just one question, .... did he have passion."
Truth is, that really is an excellent question to ask? Do you have passion.... We all know it, somewhere deep inside us, passion drives us, motivates us onward. But, sometimes, we really do get caught up in other things, so caught up that we don't even realize that we should be asking that question. It's easy to do. Life steals our attention and before we know it, that idea of passion just starts to disappear. We get so comfortable where we are, that we never really stop to think about what we are saying when we start talking about our goals. Sometimes it just becomes something we always say, but never act upon. By then, it's no longer passion, but rather an interesting topic.
I think, in some ways lately, I've unknowingly fallen closer to my passion(s) being just an interesting topic. I do, sincerely want to make acting a professional career of mine. I crave being creative. I want to share my dreams, goals, and artistic skills with others around me. I want to entertain and enrich the lives of others, but honestly, how hard have I tried to pursue those passions in the past few months? The answer is scary.... I've only pursued them haphazardly -- on a whim, or when I think to do so. That's no passion. What happened? When did I get so lazy?
I don't know really.... I've gotten so comfortable with the familiarity of a dead-end low-paying job that I do enjoy somewhat, that my better-paying job search has all but dwindled to an occassional half-effort task. I've gotten used to living weekly, paycheck-to-paycheck. My room is a mess. My normally neat decorating nature is somewhat weak right now. I've got at least half a dozen unfinished projects. Out of convenience, I've fallen into a routine I told myself would only be temporary; That was nearly five months ago. I still talk about my goals, but I've ended up clouding over how much they really meant to me with the convenience of procrastination and partial laziness. I've started thinking, 'oh, I can do that tomarrow. What's the rush?' I've slowed to a stand-still.
You know what, procrastination and I have never been the greatest of friends.... even in college. Oh, sure, I was usually able to wrestle it out and owe up under belated or shortened deadlines. I made do....
...But now, I've got to stop 'making do.' I've got to re-realize what those passions really mean to me. Oh, yeah, they're powerful passions, no question there. I've just gotta start clearing away the fog and re-rev up those engines of dedication and perseverence. A passion in life left unfed, becomes only a passing 'interesting topic.' That'll be a sad, sad day.
There really is no time like the present. Risk is part of the game. Seize the day. Make the best of it. Throw caution to the wind. Man, I've really gotta start using those phrases again. Fog really does roll in fast, and often when you're not paying attention.
So, I shall have to resolve this: I shall, this week, once again take serious steps to bounce outward towards my passions in life. ... I miss my friend Hannah very much; I shall get in touch with her. I want to step further into acting; I'll follow more serious leads. I absolutely need a new better-paying job.... by golly, a few 'someones' absolutely must read my resume very soon. So, I guess this week I'll be rather busy. Hey, anything is better than 'fog', 'spiderwebs', and an 'interesting topic'.
Do I have passion? Umm, yeah, I do... and this week, I'll be dusting it off again. There really IS no time like the present. Sieze the day.... and run with it!
Of course, if I'm going to run on passion this week rather than simply a monotonous routine, I'd better get some sleep, huh? ... My pillow and I are going to become good friends again. Eight hours of sleep, and I'm off to the races. Makes for a more exciting take on life doesn't it. ... [grin].
Well, I'll catch you all on the marrow. Until then,
Well, it's early morning on Saturday, January 18, 2003. I've gotten back from work, probably slightly less than two hours ago, taken care of my emails, and decided to surf about the net for a bit. For some strange reason, my search fell upon the blogging community. As it turns out, I've actually ended up 'promoting' my blog by adding it to a few weblog lists, so who knows, maybe there'll be even more intruiging readers to my humble abode. It doesn't really matter how many people read my musings each day, but I'll be honest, I do enjoy sharing just a little of me with those interested in reading. Sure, my blog also serves as a personal journal of my life right now, but, I guess maybe it's also just a little way for me to 'let my light shine', in a world of so many intruiging and wonderfully individual personalities.
... You know, maybe I should start a list of favorite blogs? ... [raises eyebrow] ... Yeah, yeah, you know, I may just have to do that. Oh, I'm sure there are some of you may enjoy the ones I read ... And, hey, let me know if you keep a blog. I'd love to stop by and give it a read sometime. Who knows, you might even gain another reader too. ... [grin].
If anyone is interested, while I was surfing around in the world of weblogs this evening, I came across a very interesting history of the weblog, written by Rebecca Blood. Give it a look-see. It seems to be quite well written, and rather thorough at that. Besides, even the overall site is rather well done. Kudos to Rebecca! I may just have to add her to my short list of regular reads.
Well, it is late, and I am perhaps starting to hear the callings of my pillow resting peacefully on the bed behind me. Perhaps soon I shall heed it. We'll see.
Today is a strange, yet oddly normal day. I've been listening to rock music on the radio for the past few hours, and rock isn't even my favorite. I have no clue why I've tuned in the local rock station, but I have. I guess I've just been in that 'heavy bass' mood today. Don't get me wrong, it's a great day overall, but I guess my choice in music is still baffling me.... [chuckles and shakes head mockingly] ... I'm a 'Country' guy.
I was on-call at work today, but, guess what, they didn't need me. I got the day off.... [sigh].... Hey, everything works out, even if the road along the way is less than desireable right? I took the free time to familiarize myself with this awesome new computer sitting in front of me here on my desk. Mostly I've been making website updates all day, to be honest. I should probably get up and do something more strenuous huh? [lol].... Hey, I'm going to go make dinner soon... Does that count? ... [grin]
I picked up two new DVD's with the $100 Barnes and Noble gift certificate I 'won' by being one of the employees at the Barnes and Noble in the upper midwest to sell the most gift cards over Christmas. Very Cool!.... I watched "Planet of the Apes (2001)" last night, and I think I'll pop in the other film, "The Time Machine", tonight (since I don't work). Hey, you can't argue with free books and DVD's, right! I'm certainly going to enjoy the opportunity!
Well, the time has come to move on to other mundane tasks this mid-evening. I'll be back online later tonight. We'll see what ideas and comments move from my fingers to my keyboard by then....
"Old computer dead; new computer breathing nicely."
Well, though my posting tonight will be brief, I just wanted to hop online and let everyone know (well, those that do not yet anyway) that I am back online and present as usual again. As of an hour ago, I now have my new computer fully up and running, and my internet access has been transferred over to this awesome new computer (aka, Christmas present!). Prepare to read daily posts here again within a day or so.... especially since I can get online once again. (That is, of course, the reason why I have been lacking in posting here. My means were severely limited.)
For those of you unfamiliar with the recent tragedy in my life... my old computer caught a nasty illness (aka, a seriously destructive worm virus), and died. I have yet to determine what is salvagable. I do, however, have a new computer in my life though, so, all is better. I'll be back and posting here in this blog again on a regular basis, so, sit back and enjoy, as I once again bring you a little bit of my life right now, via the wonders of this technology called the internet.
Until tomarrow, God bless, and keep smiling... Life is a too much of a blessing to deserve anything less than a smile.
Well, I'm back, both from my trip to Minneapolis for a belated Christmas, as well as online. My present computer (the old one) is still quite dead, probably from some evil and insanely bored idiot who decided that sending me one of the most devestating worm virus' would be fun. Yeah, that's right, a worm virus killed it, and, most likely fried the motherboard as well. Oh, well, life goes on, right? I am both resilient and resourceful, and though most likely did lose a lot of valuable information, my eager spirit remains. And.... it's hard to send a worm virus to destroy that!
The new computer that I recieved for Christmas is still pending. It was still in the shop while I was home, so I was unable to bring that back with me. I am eager for it's arrival, but patient for the same. Until then, I find that living within walking distance of my old college proves to be a blessing when it comes to getting online. The campus library has some of the best top-of-the-line software and hardware and, as an alumni, I am still able to make full use of the library facilities. I like that, and, when something like this happens to my home computer, suitable options still remain. Things are never really as bad as they seem when you make the effort to look on the bright side. ... [smile]
But, enough about the computer.... How about a little about my trip home?... [raises eyebrow]
This past weekend, Noah, my roomate, and I took Rachel (my sister) up to Minneapolis for a week, and while there for the night, had an informal Christmas gathering. It was a nice opportunity, however short, especially since I was unable to make it home ON Christmas. The food was nice (essentially just dinner on Saturday), as my mom whipped up a delicious roast, mashed potatoes and that sort of hearty meal.... which I've missed in terms of her cooking. The cookies, that she had made, and had given me a few of were (and are... yes mom, there are still some left!) delicious! ... Oh, and her Victorian hand-dipped chocolates.... Mmmmmm!
I also was the recipient of some wonderfully thought-out gifts. Rachel, on her recent Christian-witness trip to the Southwest USA, had brought back a wonderfully crafted blanket which she had purchased from a craftsman in Mexico. I'll tell ya, that is one warm and beautiful blanket! Kudos to the Mexican craftsman who made it! .... My mom, took all with the most cleverly creative gift though. She had taken the idea of a gift basket and did similar with dry goods and such other food-stuffs. And, since it was put together by her, it contained a lot of thought and foods that I like.... a simple, yet wonderfully thoughtful gift. I almost like to consider it, 'groceries for a week!'... that, and in the bottom of the bag, was a new cooking pot to expand my kitchen collection! Now that, was a great Christmas gift!
Sunday, we all piled in two cars and went to church at St. John's, my 'home' church. I got to see the new additions to the building, as well as share my opinions on the functionality (or lack thereof) of some of the new features to the building project. I'll refrain from sharing my opinions on such here, but the truth is, there is almost little that I miss from that congregation anymore. So much has changed, and not all for the better, despite what the Pastor may think. I live in MIlwaukee. My new home church will be here shortly.
Anyway, after a wonderful twenty-hour visit or so, Noah and I hit the road again, back the 300 miles down here to Milwaukee. Granted we were in Minneapolis only a short time, but it was enough that it finally felt like Christmas. I'm glad I was able to get up there, even if only for part of a weekend. .... [smile]
Back in town here, the new week began. Barnes and Noble has explained my not-even-20-hour-work-week as being due to "the end of the fiscal year." I'm going to hold them to that explanation. There's no way I can handle the loss of hours on a regular basis, and, if this lasts longer than the end of January, as I have been assured it shouldn't, that will be the final straw as to me willfully sticking around there. In the meantime, I work to find ways to make January a financially stable month. We'll see how that goes, especially with the considerably smaller paychecks.
Both Monday and Tuesday were typical days behind the register at work. I made the best of it, as has become my motto lately. ...Oh, and good news, or at least I think so... my Barnes and Noble DID win the gift card contest, and, as a result each employee recieves a $100 gift card to the store! (The $500 is for the top winning store in the company, which is still uncertain... but probably not my store.). I think I can find a use for $100 worth of books, CD's, DVD's, or the like that the store sells though, and, with my employee discount, that's almost close to $200! ...Can't complain there!
But anyway, excited as I am, I move on in this post.... to today, Wednesday. As my week has been shortened on B&N's end of things, today is a day off, as is Friday. Normally, I work full days both days of the week. Oh, well, I'll live. [smile] ... Make the best of it, right. [grin]
Well, take care all, and I hope your week is proving to be a blessed one like mine. Smile, and remember, life is what you make it. It may be short, but there's a heck of a lot worth doing! .... Until later....
Well, there's a first time for everything I guess... On Wednesday, New Years Day, my computer finally died. I went to turn it on, and became the unwitting recipient of a computer whose life was long, and very useful.... but over. Don't get me wrong, my computer can be revived, but with a lot of work. It would be a whole different machine.
The really unfortunate thing about this crash is that I lost ALL my files, and unfortunately, that also means the master copies of some of my old graphics work. Bummer. All my files. ... [sigh]... As luck would have it, this was also the day I had planned to go through all my saved computer files, so, I had all my files prepared to be organized. Oh, well, make the best it I guess.
Unfortunately too, since my PC went kaput, that means everything was back to square one, and strangely, I have yet to determine the cause. My computer currently seems to not be responding as it should. (Maybe it got infected by something?...) I'm sure, with a little technical work though, the PC can be reformatted, and reloaded once again.... But I'll let someone else take care of that I think... Then it'll be good as new, at least as far as used computers go. It might fetch a nice price used, or for parts, but I think the time has come to retire it.
Ironically, though, it was this Christmas that my father and brothers built me a new CPU. When I go home this weekend, it'll be waiting there for me, and from the sounds of it, it's a notable upgrade from my current PC. .... How ironic is that? ... [grin].... I find out that a Christmas gift waiting at home for me is a new computer, and then three days before I go home, my present PC goes kaput.... Hmmm.... Interesting how that works. ... [chuckle]
Well, I probably won't be able to post here again until early this coming week, especially since I'll be on the road this weekend. So, until then, take care all, and God Bless.