Category Archives: General

The Art of Being Alone

I have lost the ability to be alone. I used to be extremely comfortable being alone but somewhere along the way I’ve become accustomed to a (sometimes) chaotic household with two dogs, a cat and a noisy morning person wife who delights in tormenting me when I’m sleep-addled. My wife has been out of town for two weeks and I’m about to go stir crazy.

I went from a crazy chaotic job environment in the video game industry to a quiet, conservative telecom programming job where I spend most of the day buried in a code editor and not talking to a single soul. I come home after work to a house with two hungry dogs who, although I love them dearly, just can’t seem to carry on a conversation with me. I bump around the house making myself dinner, cleaning up, messing around on the computer a little bit and then going to bed. All without speaking more than 10 minutes of conversation to a person throughout the day.

I’m not good at this. In fact, it sucks. I miss my wife and I’ll be very glad when she comes home. I’m married for a reason… I’m married because I love my wife and more important than that, I like her too. I miss her and I’ll be glad when comes home, even if she does make up crazy lyrics and purposely mangle The Piano Man just to drive me crazy.

My Christmas List

A few people have been asking me what I want for Christmas this year.  My wife already got me a HUGE Christmas/Anniversary present, and I just got a new job after being laid off from my last one so my list is pretty empty.  However, there are a few small things I’d like if you really want to get me something :)

I’m learning slack key guitar, and although I have a few books it’s tough to find ones that are at my skill level (which is a hair above “I suck”).  I have Keola Beamer and Ozzie Kotani books but the Keola Beamer one is a bit above me right now.  The Ozzie one seems to be just perfect.  So, in the spirit of getting more beginner books and you not having to listen to me playing Manuela Boy over and over and over and over because I only know two songs, these might be nice:

I already have Ozzie’s book, but not the DVD.

Musings About Faith

My faith is an important thing to me. I don’t consider myself all “holy holy”, and I’m sure as heck not a bible thumper by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think that having a spiritual outlet in my life is important. I generally suspect people who aren’t capable of believing in something bigger than themselves.

I’ve been feeling a bit out of touch with my faith for a little while now. I’m a practicing catholic and am used to being at church every sunday, as well as on holy days of obligation. One of the benefits to being a regular attendee is that you find yourself caught up in the rhythm of the church, you find yourself falling into the cycles and seasons of the church that are wrapped up around Lent, Advent, Ordinary Time, etc. and you just naturally go with the flow. The cycle of the church and of the “spiritual” seasons impose an order on the otherwise chaotic year and is, at least for me, something that is very welcome. I am, after all, very much a creature of habit and ritual.

Lately I’ve been out of cycle quite a bit. I’ve been moving, preparing for a wedding, finding a new church, etc and haven’t settled in to my new church yet. I don’t know anyone there, and I’m not involved in the daily or weekly life in the church. This is weird for me, since I used to know hundreds of the people in my old parish and I also volunteered and taught RCIA bible study classes for the catechumenate during the year. I’d march them out of the church after the Liturgy of the Word and we’d go off and discuss the day’s readings. I’d do what I could to gently instruct them and help them understand the faith they were moving towards and every Easter I’d go to the vigil and watch them be baptized. I always felt a small amount of personal pride and joy in watching them and welcoming them into the church and I miss that.

Once things have calmed down a bit I plan on doing what I can to fix this. I’ve made a serious commitment to myself to learn to pray the Rosary properly. I understand the basics but the whole joyful/sorrowful/luminous/glorious mysteries thing has me a bit bamboozled. I recently heard it explained in a way that made sense to me though, and I think with a little bit of applied diligence I can incorporate this into my faith life. I’ve also decided that I am not just a “sitter” when it comes to my parish, I want to get to know the other people in my parish and be involved in the rhythm of life either as a lector, by getting involved with the RCIA program, or some other program they offer. It’s important to me to be a do’er, not a sitter.

I’m not really sure where this all leads me, or where I will end up. I don’t picture myself taking holy orders anytime soon (heh), and I surely don’t intend on ever becoming super-churchy but I do believe that my own faith and my own spirituality is something that I need to pay attention to and nurture… every bit as carefully as I nurture my family, my relationships or myself. Life is, after all, a delicate balancing act and this, at least to me, is important for me to keep balanced.

— WF

Woefully Absent

I know, I know, I haven’t been writing anything for a very long time and believe me, I feel the pain of not doing it.  It seems that unless I write regularly, I get all backed up and eventually start to get cranky.  I don’t really have a good excuse, mainly I’ve just been busy and letting some important things (like writing regularly) fall by the wayside.

Rox and I have also been experimenting with podcasting.  Well, mainly I’ve been pushing her and she’ll do it once I drag her to the mic kicking and screaming (at which point she does a tremendous job) but I don’t really think she has the “bug” so to speak.  I’ll probably start working on putting my own podcast together since I really don’t want to do our podcast without her there.  It just wouldn’t be right, and besides it’s my opinion that she sounds better than I do anyway so it’d be self-defeating to do it without her heh.

I did do a really nice birthday podcast for her, though.  If you are reading this and get a chance, go check it out. It has some really good podsafe music in it (in my opinion it’s really good, your mileage may vary).  It’s kinda sappy, but hey… come for the music, stay for the cheese :)

— WF

Where am I going and why am I in this handbasket?

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, again.  I listen to quite a bit of independant music and the whole “pod-o-sphere” (God I hate that word, so why did I use it?) is a great place to keep up to date on some of the new happening artists who are putting high quality good music out there to share.  I will spare you all my rants and tirades on the RIAA today and I’ll just leave it at the fact that not only do I get to hear fresh music instead of all that tired crap on the radio, but I also get to support the artists directly when I buy their CD’s or single mp3’s.  It makes me feel a lot better supporting an artist instead of a label.

I just picked up two new CD’s today, as a matter of fact.  I picked up Matthew Ebel’s Beer and Coffee and Berman’s 3-cd set.  Sum total of my purchase?  About $25 for 4 CD’s of music that hasn’t been played over and over and jammed down my throat by some smarmy radio DJ… tunes that I can rock out to.  Matthew Ebel’s stuff is some really good piano-driven folk rock and Berman is, well, let’s just say it’s almost impossible not to turn it all the way up to 11 when this high energy rock comes up in my playlist and leave it at that.

I really didn’t mean to make either of those sound like an advertisement, by the way.  I’m just sharing what I’m up to now, so please forgive me if I sound like some cheesy marketing guy or something.  I’m just happy to stumble across good Indie artists like The Black Keys and share them with friends, family, acquaintances or total strangers.

I definitely encourage everyone to break out of the box a bit and explore.  There’s SO much out there that we don’t know about and if we allow ourselves to be pressed and molded into the media and marketing machines of corporate America we have no one to blame but ourselves.

— WF