Good but unproductive weekend

Great weekend!  Did I get any work done? No…  Did I chop any items off of my to-do list?  No…  But that’s partly why it was such a great weekend.  When Friday came I felt that the previous week was quite productive, and getting the rest that I got felt really good.

Now that’s not to say that I sat around and did nothing…  I actually wasn’t home all that much.   Saturday morning I joined my mom at the movies.  We saw "Kingdom of Heaven" – interesting movie.  I’m not really sure if I enjoyed it very much, but I didn’t hate it either.  I wish I knew my 12th century history, then I could better understand the resentment some religious have directed towards this movie.  I was disappointed that the crusades were secularized as much as it was in this movie.   They made the crusades sound like it was more about land rather than the whole "religious war" aspect of this.  But again, I’m not one to make claims given my lack of historical perspective I really can’t make any judgments.  But I’m also disappointed in the religious officials who are making every effort to denounce this movie.  I think that if people accept Hollywood entertainment as historical gospel then they probably have bigger problems.  But to spear the movie-makers seems to be going a bit far.  Let them make the movie, offer historical clarifications, and let the people take it from there.  From a cinema perspective the movie was alright, I was disappointed in the lack of character development in Orlando Bloom’s character.  The action scenes, while good, are a bit "ho-hum" when you think of Lord of the Rings..  Also the movie seemed to run a half-hour too long..  But thank you for tuning into "Behind the Balcony with Jeromey Gaudreau"…

Last night I waxed the car for the first time this season.  I did about as decent job you’d expect for a "Hey it’s 9pm, let’s wax the car" job.  Didn’t really miss a few spots but the irony of it was when I went out to the parking lot today I saw that some bird left me a nice present on the hood.  The humor in life J

The majority of today was devoted to being at Emily’s graduation party.  I love my friend Emily   She’s so awesome and I’m really proud of her achievement!  Her party was a lot of fun.  I got to help with the setup and cleanup, which made me feel useful.  I also got to spend a lot of time with Emily’s family, who I’ve discovered are one of the coolest families I know and were just a lot of fun to be around.  Got to see Jas-TOR and Julia as well, so it was nice being able to see some good friends.  I was there the entire time and this was the only grad party I went to, but it was still a blast

So in tribute to my friend Emily and her big weekend I decided to subject her to my latest Photoshop experiment.  You know those iPod ads where people are dancing around with them and you have those cool silhouettes of people with the iPods?  So I decided to take a picture I had of Emily and Photoshopped her.  The pic was taken at NCSC Orlando Conference…  This is my first attempt, so be gentle (and yes I realize she does not have an iPod in the picture  )

 

lol

So that brings to end my un-productive, but great weekend   And thus begins my summer work working as well.  Monday here I come!

Enterprise Finale

And another crazy week comes to an end.  Today turned out to be a so-so day.  I spent most of the day walking around with a headache, one that didn’t go way until I came home and napped after work..  A lot of what happened at that UMAC meeting weighted heavily on me throughout the day as well.  As the day progressed I was able to get it more out of my mind, but my emotions are still pretty high with it.  It helped to be able to talk to Joel and process things out a bit – especially from someone who knows the situation but wasn’t there… Interesting perspectives from my good friend.

Work was great today.  My project is back on track and I made a lot of head-way with another project I’m working on.  I’m ready to hit the ground Monday and feel pretty good about everything.

So my night tonight…  Was a complete waste/veg-out night.  I went and got take out Chinese and killed some time in front of the Tivo.  What an unproductive evening!   In some ways it’s exactly what I needed after a busy week, but in other ways the weather is beautiful and I should have been outside.

But being that I was in front of the TV I managed to catch the series finale of "Enterprise".  Now being that I am a closet Trekie (yes, it’s true…  I’ve been a Star Trek fan for the better part of 13 years…  And no I don’t go to the conventions, wear the pointed ears or even go around quoting the stuff, but I have seen a lot of Star Trek, especially back in the glory days) I do feel compelled to give my viewpoint to the end of another installment of (and for the time being THE END) of the Star Trek franchise.

And to put it simply IT SUCKED!!!

Now I’ve never been a huge fan of Enterprise.  The original concept was great and I did enjoy watching the first few episodes, and throughout its run it had it’s moments, but the show has been poorly written, especially for Star Trek.  I understand that each series had it’s own flavors that attracted certain fans, but this one never managed to find it’s niche.  And to make matters worse they tried to sex up Star Trek…  The words "sex" and "Star Trek" really don’t belong together (just ask all of those convention losers).  So this concept really hasn’t worked.  With that said, I’ve really respected their attempts to get back to the franchise’s roots, especially during the 4th season.  This season produced some of the best quality shows of Trek that I’ve seen in quite some time.  It was nice… and definitely deserved better than what happened tonight.

First off they base the premise to be 6 years into the future (and you gotta love this being the 3rd "Trek" finale that’s been based in the future – what a tired concept).  But to make matters worse they didn’t even really travel back to the past.  Instead an older, heavier, receeding-hairline version of Riker was trying to pass himself off as a 12-years younger version of himself.  And what were they doing?  Jacking around with the Holodeck!  That’s pretty much the equivalent of an entire TV series turning out to be someone’s dream at the end of the show’s run.  What a joke!  So the current cast, characters and storyline totally got jipped.  The finale seemed to be based more around the Next Generation series rather then Enterprise.  It was like "Oh yeah, I guess this show’s been around for a few years..  Maybe we should feature the ENTERPRISE  cast in the ENTERPRISE FINALE!! Hmmmm…"

At what point did this seem to be a good idea?  And to make matters worse, they ended up killing off one of the characters.  Did he die saving the ship?  No..  Did he die to save the crew? No…  He died because he put some wire into another socket and blew himself up…  What a stupid death?  Completely meaningless as well!  And I love that in the show the characters grieved for about 3 minutes and then everything was back to normal . What a joke!

Now when I heard Enterprise got canceled I wasn’t that sad to see it go.  Truth be told after 18 consistent seasons of Star Trek and over 630 episodes during that time – I think that the time had come for that old dog known as Star Trek to be taken out back.  But they didn’t bust a cap into Old Yeller – instead they decide to rip his nails off and let him lie there bleeding to death.

As immortal as we thought "Trek" to be we all knew the eventual end of this franchise would some day come, but for it to tank the way…  There’s are two people who are to blame for this: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga .  Now granted, back in their prime they put together some of the finest "Trek" years in The Next Generation and carried a great legacy of Gene Roddenberry into DS9 – these guys have now become mere shadows of once they once were.  And like Willie Mayes dropping fly balls in the outfields these guys have managed to embarrass themselves and bring the entire Star Trek franchise down with them.  What could have saved Trek?  A lot of people said their biggest mistake was moving from syndication to UPN and the way being on a network ties you down. I subscribe to that notion, but ultimately what screwed up Trek was THE HORRIBLE WRITING!  The plot lines were unoriginal, there was little or no character development, and the moral and philosophical struggles in Star Trek storylines had been replaced with action sequences, burning ships and naked Vulcans rubbing ointment on people’s backs…

My only prayer is that if and when Star Trek comes back, that Berman and Braga are as far away from this as possible!  Please, just GO AWAY!

So yes, sorry to go off on Star Trek of all things, but I felt that the end of an era (although nerdy) deserves a bit of reflection….

Horrible UMAC Night

Well I knew that I would eventually talk/gripe about this on Xanga, but I was kinda hoping that it would have happened a little later than 4 days into my on-line journal…  lol…

So tonight I’m pissed, I’m frustrated and I’m really tired – and it’s all thanks to a meeting I had tonight.  Before then my day was going pretty decent.  I’m done with my finals, I had a really productive day at work that ended with me feeling great. What more could I ask for?  Well certainly not a UMAC meeting.

UMAC stands for University Ministry Advisory Commission which is a group at our church that comes together to help vision and offer direction for our campus ministry.  This is basically my last tie into campus ministry at my church (the ugly part which I don’t enjoy talking about).  So many changes have occurred in the last year, but it looks like the last day of finals wasn’t too late for more changes to come. 

So enter the UMAC meeting where the following occurred.

Beginning of the meeting Bombshell – It’s now official, we’re no longer going to hire a director of campus ministry, or a campus minister for that matter.  Our pastor decided that because we have a new priest, utility costs have risen and we want to give everyone in the staff a small raise, we no longer have money to hire a PROFESSIONAL campus minister.  Perfect, just perfect.  But now it gets better…  We ARE going to hire a part-time campus minister – WHO IS A STUDENT!?!   Boy, good thing they told the Campus Minister search committee that – OH WAIT – they didn’t!  Perfect – just perfect.  Not only did we piss away our opportunity to get an experienced PROFESSIONAL Director of Campus Ministry or settling for someone fresh out of college with no experience (like our current CM) – we couldn’t even do that!   And it’s not even the fact people value saving money more than they value bringing in qualified people, but the fact that this decision was once again made in the back room, counter to the values of the community and volunteers!

So this already put a bad taste in my mouth for the meeting, but things were going to get worse…  Towards the end of the meeting we were talking about UMAC membership for next year and the Campus Minister and someone from the student leadership team made a comment about how it’s important that we should have some students on UMAC who are involved in the activities..  "They’re not trying to say that anyone does this, but it should be important that students who are on UMAC are students who attend activities and know other students, etc".  Well of course the only other students there are myself at Emily, so I wonder who the comments are directed at…

So in response to my accusation that "I am not involved and can no longer represent students", I offer these points:

Point #1: What is your definition of not involved?  I’m not doing the things that you like to do?  I’m still at church three nights a week, involved in 2 leadership groups and am now CHAIR of the Pastoral Council (a role I have reluctantly accepted for the greater good).  How can I not be involved at this parish?

Point #2: Given that I was in Spirit Fire student leadership for two years in a row (and signed on for a third year), helped plan & lead over 20 retreats in the four years I’ve been involved in campus ministry and have logged more volunteer hours at that church than the campus "ministers" combined in my tenure, I think it’s safe to say I have an understanding of campus ministry.

Point #3: This last semester I have traveled 7 times for NCSC and have been actively involved with Campus Ministry on a national level – cut me some slack.. I couldn’t come to your retreat because I was in Orlando…  It’s not like I’m actively boycotting your activities, so why don’t you cut me some FREAKING SLACK?  I still have campus ministry ties which are just as valuable.

Point #4: Granted, I don’t know many of the students anymore, but I think that might be due to the 90%+ TURNOVER RATE our program has had..  Maybe I don’t know many of the students anymore because all of the students I knew and were friends with are gone..  Where are they – I have no idea…  But you might want to take that into account before you say I know no one.

Point #5: This is our last and only tie to Campus Ministry at J23…  Emily and I have gone from being two of the most involved people there to being pariahs in the community.  We gave you what you wanted by resigning from Spirit Fire and staying away….   Are we that big of a threat that you need us to relinquish in one remaining tie to the program…  I’m getting pretty sick of this hostility towards the institutional memory.

What makes things really tough is the fact when I told the committee that I was thinking about not coming back (on the heels of those comments being made) all of the parish & faculty members of the community talked to me privately expressing their disappointment if I would leave and all of them said I am a valued member and are imploring me to stay on…  It’s an awesome feeling to be affirmed in that way, but it also reminds me that the people who really have a problem with me being there are the ones that have all the control at this point.

Am I coming back?  I have no idea…  I need some time to think & to pray, maybe a week or twelve…   I will say this though:  I have a mental list of reasons I’m still around – seeds of hope & joy that I have..  One of them is playing music on Saturday night, another is working with the youth – but one of them was bringing in a QUALIFIED Director of Campus Ministry to help shape the program and challenge students like myself…   So one more item is crossed off that list…

Day Marked with Blessings

Well another long long day…  Marked with a lot of great milestones though, but in the end still long.  Still I’d like to count my blessings:

Blessing #1) Got my windshield replaced!  YEAH!  It’s been cracked for about a month and while I didn’t really care about my last car’s windshield being cracked, this was the ONLY thing wrong with the Explorer.  Getting it back almost felt like the car was brand new again   I’m looking forward to detailing it this weekend.

Blessing #2) It rained all day.  While most people would hate this, I love the rain.  Everything is just wet and really green and it gives us hope that we won’t have another drought this summer.

Blessing #3) My Dave Matthews Band CD’s came in!  After nearly two months of waiting the day is finally here!  Yesterday the new DMB album came out ("Stand Up") and today I received that CD, PLUS the bonus CD, PLUS 3 different live albums.  All together I got 10 CD’s of Dave Matthews Band today!  How cool is that?!?  That’ll give me something to listen to for quite a while!

Blessing #4) In that same mailbox as those DMB CD’s were my DMB Tickets!  Bristow, VA here I come

Blessing #5) Dinner with Emily.  I am blessed with an amazing friend and it’s neat to be able to just hang out and have fun!

Blessing #6) Done with finals! Now I can focus on that huge to-do pile!

So in the end, today was a pretty good day.  I got a few things knocked off the "to-do" list.  Got some mysteries solved at work, nervousness about deployment date beginning to subside…

Matchmaking-Sister’s Roomate update: My sister talked to her roommate, who said that I was "really nice" – whatever that means.. Whether this is good or bad I have no idea…

Jo-Anna update: She called me!  Unfortunately we realized that she is 5 hours from where I’m at.  Either way you do the math, someone or both of us would have to do a lot of driving on Thursday to hang out..  We agreed that it’d probably better to hang out in August.   I think she’s going to come on the NCSC retreat. Jo-Anna rocks

Long Day – Not a bad one though…

It’s been a loooong day, so this may be a bit quick…  Not a bad day though….

Took one of my finals today, didn’t treat me too horribly..  Then off to work I went, which turned out to be alright.  Fixed one of the problems that hosed me, but uncovered another one that concerns me even more.  I have 3 more days until a big milestone date, so I’m a bit nervous about getting all these bugs out of my project.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring some resolution to that.

After that I made my way to Boulder to go get my sister and her room mate for a Rockies game.  Joel met up with us on the way down and the four of us went.  The Rockies got beat (what else is new), but it was a lot of fun and in the end they made it little interesting.  They rallied a few times and tried to make it close but nothing could overcome that 6 run deficit in the first inning – very NIIIIIIICCE.  What else can you expect from Coors Canaveral though?

Then came the interesting part of the night.  My sister I think has really been pushing for me to meet her room mate, trying to be a little match-maker.  Boy can my sister pick them.  She was very sweet and very pretty (great smile, very nice hips), but I don’t think I impressed her much.  I am *really* shy when it comes to meeting new people, especially in situations like these where there is some kind of expectation.  I know my sister told her something, so I wasn’t really sure.  Either I make a complete ass of myself, or I end up not paying enough attention (trying to "play it cool", you know…).  But I think I tanked…   Or maybe it could have been my "soccer" comments, being that she’s played soccer since she was 3 and I talked about how all soccer players do is run around and then fake injuries.   Hmmmm… We’ll see how this turns out though: outlook not promising.

Tomorrow’s going to suck…  Get up at 7am, go to Loveland and drop off my car to get windshield replaced (FINALLY), go to work, try to get a ride back to the glass place from one of my sisters (fun stuff), then head back for a final… Night looks pretty open but then again there’s that huge to-do list… 

I’m also supposed to go see Jo Anna on Thursday, but I don’t think it’s going to happen..  First off she hasn’t called me (and yes I know the phone works both ways) but I haven’t made the time to call her…   I did put the "time-off" notice on the work calendar, but I haven’t told anyone yet…  Hmmmm….  No excuses, I need to see her…