The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Allow me to vent just a little bit.

Tonight, I attended a planning meeting with the leaders of a church group that I'm a part of. After being involved in the group for about two or three years now, and after sharing an idea I had for a faith sharing topic, I was invited to come along and help plan out next meeting, as well as knock around some ideas on how to improve the group. The short version of the story is that after almost four years of existence, we're still having trouble finding new people to get involved, and getting new folks to stay involved.

I came ready to share ideas I'd had, and also my frustrations about the intimacy smallness of our group. Unfortunately, when time came to share, I couldn't open up. Part of me didn't want to rock the boat, being the new guy (and, in fact, the only guy) in the room. One person talked about how we shouldn't plan things if the leaders aren't able to attend. (For example, one leader's participation in an out-of-town kickball tournament would have taken precedence over a tubing trip I was planning if rain hadn't cancelled said trip.)

If anyone out there has any suggestions on how to improve and grow groups (be they religious or non-religious in nature), please let me know. This group has done a lot for me, I would hate to see it wither away due to lack of participation and interest.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

First off, I read this blog on an iPhone earlier tonight. That thing is friggin' sweet. Doesn't look too convenient to blog from (the touch-screen keyboard seems a bit tricky, though I had no problem typing in the URL for this blog), but for blog-reading, it's great.

Okay, so I've been out the last couple of nights. Last night, Maria and I went downtown to a swanky bar where a co-worker of mine was going to be. We did introductions, but mostly stayed to ourselves. She tried to get me to hit on women while we were there, going so far as to offer to find one for me. Turns out I didn't need the help, all I needed was a prop.

A little after 1, we found ourselves standing near a couple of women. One of their rings looked an awful lot like a UT ring. After bringing up the idea with Maria to use that as an in, I asked the ring wearer about the ring's origin. Turns out it was from Southwest Texas (er, Texas State). But that's all I needed to do, as we proceeded to chat both of them up for a few minutes. They left to go to the ladies' room, and I celebrated my accomplishment of talking to a woman. (I've said this for almost three years; approaching women scares the bejeezus out of me.) A while later, I even ended up with a number. Now, I just have to figure out when to call...

Tonight, I joined a friend to celebrate her birthday. I've known her ever since high school, and we still hang out in the young adults' group at my church. Now, normally she's not one for makeup and jewelry; she's quite the tomboy. But for the special occasion, she got a bit dolled up, and it was nice. Between the many drinks I was feeding her (remind me to close my tab there tomorrow when I pick up my card) and the simulated pole-dancing (don't ask), we were having fun. She was there with some work friends of hers, some I'd met at other parties, bars, etc. One of her friends I got a bit chummy with, going so far as to try and convince her to join me for another drink after leaving the bar at 12:30. (Again, don't ask.) Alas, it didn't happen; she said she wanted to get back home and get into her Harry Potter book. ("We all need a vice," she tried explaining to me. Sounds like some people need cooler sounding vices.)

Moral of the story? Maybe I'm actually getting better at socializing. In the recent past, stories like this have usually been followed by yet another unbearable dry streak. Hopefully, this is the one time things change...

Thursday, July 19, 2007


"One Oregon couple's wedding night will be especially magical. Courtney Lanahan and Shawn Gordon of Clackamas are heading straight from their wedding reception Friday to a bookstore to get the final Harry Potter book."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sunday night, I was worried about not being able to iron a shirt. Turns out I was worried about the wrong thing.

Okay, so I had an interview yesterday. Same company, but this was for a manager position. About ten people were interviewing for two spots, giving me at worst 5:1 odds. (A co-worker said that there was rumored to be six manager spots opening up, giving me 3:2.) I found out about the interview last week, but only did some formal prepping on Sunday night with some coaching from my godfather, a career counselor. (My college habits come back to bite me in the ass...)

I thought the interview itself went okay. My three biggest shortcomings, in my mind:
  • Too much verbal filler.
  • Not having any experiences applicable to the questions being asked, causing me to do the whole "if it were to happen, this is what I would do" routine.
  • Saying "when do I start?" towards the end. (In my defense, this was a tactic recommended to me by my godfather.)

In asking my boss today if he'd heard anything, he told me that I didn't make the cut for 2nd interviews, and immediately gave me pointers for how I should prepare for any future interviews. Honestly, I wasn't prepared for feedback right then, so right after he finished, I went to the place where I usually do most of my thinking during the weekdays, the middle stall in the men's room.

As I started my car to head home, the local rock DJ implored me to turn it up, as he was starting a block of Pantera. I immediately flipped the volume knob to the right and sped out of the parking lot for a few seconds of anger-letting. After turning the sound back down, my mind began to wander a bit. I actually thought back to a line from the football movie I saw a couple of weeks ago. "We're gonna praise God when we win, and we'll praise Him when we lose," the coach in the film told his team.

"Dear God," I started sarcastically, "thanks for not letting me advance in my career. I understand it is Your will for me to deal with angry clients all day. Praise be to your infinite Wisdom that would see me fail at something. Amen."

Further down the road, I thought back to words spoken by a great American, "There is no failure, only feedback."

"Yeah," my inner monologue said, "but feedback only requires ONE Tums tablet, no?"

Okay, so the fact that I could even be considered for a managerial position 25 months after my hire date should speak well of my record there so far. The bad thing is that turnover rate for the Pope seems to be higher than that of team lead spots at my company, and that competition for them (as I've found out now) is fierce. If nothing else, this may give me a chance to take stock of where I am now and where I want to go.

Or just give me another chance to bitch...


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not being able to iron a shirt + nervousness about an interview tomorrow + nervousness about putting together a multi-session event = one wracked brown boy.

I'll tell you more tomorrow, but I need sleep now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A sad story that made me smile a bit.

According to a report in the Express-News, one of the more popular priests at a church I attended during college was with the family of Lady Bird Johnson as she passed away a few days ago.

I never got to know the man very well other than a few spaghetti lunches while I was at UT, but the stories that came out about him and his life would make for a very interesting book. (I call dibs on rights, by the way...)

Anyway, if any readers find themselves in Austin one Sunday, be sure to stop by St. Austin's Church. It's a good stop...

EDIT: If you want to read more about Fr. Bob and his life, you can find more here.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Either Glenn needs to lay off the sci-fi, or maybe VH1 has now become a bastion of journalism. Either way, the following should shock you as much as it shocked me.

Best Week Ever scooped Instapundit.

July 3: "The Post reports that Padma Lakshmi, newly divorced from writer Salman “Sal Bass” Rushdie..."

July 9: "EASY ON THE EYES, BUT HARD ON THE HEART: Padma Lakshmi dumps Salman Rushdie."

My world is coming down all around me now....


Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm not sure how, but a football movie has made me think that I'm not a good Christian.

Got together with a group I'm involved with at church for our monthly meeting. Instead of our normal discussion of past and upcoming events (tubing, anyone?), we made it a blockbuster night and watched "Facing the Giants." If you're not familiar with the film, it's your typical "football-movie-meets-Sunday-School" story. (I seem to remember the film getting some extra publicity due to the movie ratings people giving it a PG rating for proselytizing, rather than for violence.)

Anyway, between the maudlin drama and the bad jokes, I got to thinking about the main character, a football coach who decides to give everything in his life over to God. His team, his marriage, his home, his car, etc. Not to give too much of the movie away, but he ends up being rewarded/blessed as the credits roll. My main thought as the movie went on (besides Mark Richt's acting skills) was how I've not been able to do that in my years as a Christian.

Going back to this post, I've been thinking my connection with God isn't what it should be, and how others seem to get it better than I can. It seems like so many other facets of my life (weight, finances, etc.), I keep expecting a change overnight, and get frustrated when nothing happens. Does this mean I need to see more bad movies? Pray more? Actually pick up and read a Bible?


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