I’m back!!!!

“Let me rest in peace
Let me get some sleep
Let me take my love and bury it
In a hole six foot deep
I can lay my body down
But I can’t find my sweet release
So, let me rest in peace”

I’ve stated in this space before that I was committed to making three blog entries a week, and I’ve actually come somewhat close to accomplishing that goal most weeks. So why did I not make any posts last week? It does me good to think that I’ve got legions of loyal readers that anxiously want to know the answer to that question, so I’ll tell you. The fact is, I’ve spent the last week sleeping with two ladies. ..Well two females. I guess if you want to get literal; I’ve spent the last week sleeping with two bitches.
Or, said another way, I’ve spent the last week dog sitting for a couple of friends of mine.
You see, I have two extremely good friends (For the purpose of this narrative they will be known as Shandra and KingRob). Shandra was literally one of the first people I ever chatted with when I first got on line. Back in the day she ran a chat site called Jabberwocky, and the first day I ever got on line I found her site. Over the next several years that on-line friendship developed into a physical world friendship. In fact Shandra and KingRob are the reasons I moved to Memphis, she offered me a job at a company she was working and I was ready for a change. I even lived with them for about nine months, which was about six months longer than any of us planned on when I decided to move to Memphis. Shandra owns her own company, and KingRob works as a main frame programmer for a large package delivery service based in Memphis. They are two of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and over the years they have helped me out in many, many ways. I owe them far more than I’ll ever be able to repay.
Once a year Shandra and KingRob go on vacation, usually in November, and that vacation is usually a cruise. When they go out of town I get to go spend time with their dogs and house sit for them while they are gone. They have a very nice home, and it is quite honestly kind of like a vacation for me as well: I get to spend a week at a different place, and it doesn’t cost me anything. And they have two wonderful dog; Maggie and Cammie. Maggie is a four year old EnglishBulldog that weighs about sixty pounds. There is not an ounce of fat on her body, she’s stronger than an ox. Stronger than ox, but I’m forced to admit, not quite as smart an ox. Cammie is a Hein57 type dog. She’s obviously part lab, but God alone what else is part of her family herititage. She’s a very smart, well behaved lady. I’m guessing she weighs in about 50- 60 pounds.
So, I spent a week house sitting and taking care of Maggie and Cammie. The dogs were for the most part well behaved, and I enjoyed being able to help Shandra and KingRob. There were just a couple of minor issues. First minor issue is that both dogs thought they needed to sleep on the bed with me. This was unfortunate for a couple of reasons: 1. when you have one sixty pound dog sleeping on one side of you and another roughly sixty pound dog sleeping on the other side of you, and when you are not used to sleeping with anyone or anything (god, that sounds depressing), and you are all sleeping on a twin sized bed, things get crowded. So, the dogs slept great, I didn’t. 2. When said dogs decide to have a territorial dispute about who will sleep where on said bed at 3:00 AM you really don’t want to be in the middle of it. Trust me on this folks, I know of what I speak. Imagine, if you will, sleeping peacefully when suddenly you can’t breathe. You can’t breathe because of this crushing weight sitting squarely on your chest. You crack open an eyebrow to see what is going on and look up into the nostrils of a bulldog. The dog, seeing the eye open, continues her morning greeting by opening her mouth and letting the 47 foot long tongue of doom roll out and lick every part of your face. Trust me, after that I was never late letting the beast out again. Never.

Cormac

Friday Morning Ponderings.

“Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had
If you think I’ll let it go you’re mad
You’ve got another think comin’.
In this world we’re livin’ in we have our share of sorrow
Answer now is don’t give in
Aim for a new tomorrow.”

Sweet jumping jesus, yesterday was a long day. Our office works two different shifts, and yesterday was my day to work the morning shift, so I got to work at 7:00 A.M. I was planning on getting off at 3:00 P.M. There are five people in my unit on my shift and five on the opposite shift. By 2:30 PM four of those people had called in sick. The management was asking if anybody would mind working over time. I kind of jokingly told the department manager that I’d work a double if they would let me have today off. I was kidding, didn’t think they would go for it. Much to my surprise Donna, the department manager, said, “you got it”. So, I left work at 9:00 PM last night. Now, I know I don’ t have a physically demanding job; I do nothing but sit at a desk and call people all day. However, I’m in collections, and no one likes to get calls from a collector. Let me tell you being yelled at by people that are not paying their student loans for 14 hours is draining. I’m just glad I’m not in sales. I’ve done telemarketing before, didn’t like it, won’t do it again.
So, I’ve got an entire day to spend with as I please. I don’t have any major projects to work on, and I’m not really sure what to do with the time. What a gift. I think I’ll spend a couple of hours writing the post event follow up emails. I’ll probably spend several hours reading or studying. I might just spend some time making some jewelery. I know I’ll do some laundry because I’ll be out of the house next week (house sitting for a friend of mine that is going on a cruise). I should probably do some house cleaning, but I’m just not feeling it today.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week reflecting on two separate pieces of advice that I got from two widely different sources. The first came from AElflaed of Duckford; I’ve been reading a lot of the essays on her site ( I highly recommend reading her essays to anyone that is interested), and it deals with the subject of burnout due to unrealistic expectations.  In the weeks prior to Fighter’s Collegium I had begun to feel burnt out; I was in a funk in general, and I couldn’t figure out why. After reading this I realized that I was feeling what I was feeling because my own personal goals were kind of excessive. If, or when, I bid on another event, I’m going to print out the final paragraph of that essay and read it every time I do anything associated with the event.  I will also give it to any first time autocrat that asks me to help plan or work on their event. So, I’ve been working on both making my goals for my life in the Society more reasonable, and, more importantly, on remembering that I do what I do because I enjoy it. When I stop enjoying it, it’s time to find something else to focus on for a while. Right now, my goals are to study and learn the rules of SCA Heraldry, so that I’ll be somewhat prepared if the local Herald’s office ever comes open. I think I would enjoy being a herald. It would be another way to serve, and that’s what I want to do, to serve. Serve my Household, serve my Barony, and most importantly to serve my Kingdom. Awe Hail!

Cormac 

An answer, and a question.

” I’ve been many places
I’ve travelled ’round the world
Always on the search for something new
But what does it matter
When all the roads I’ve crossed
Always seem to lead back to you…”

So, I was really interested in the Quote Challenge that Sarah has started on her blog, but the starting quote is this: “Carl Moustakas said…Accept everything about yourself — I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end — no apologies, no regrets.”
While that is an interesting thought, it is so far removed from my feelings that there is no way I could have anything to say. I’m still at the point in my development where I am unable to accept everything about myself. There are things I desperately want to change, things that I will change. Things I want to learn, and do. To me that quote kind of seems…..almost like it’s urging people to give up, to quit trying. If one accepts everything about one’s self, what motivation is there to change? To grow? If there is no beginning or no end, what is the point of any kind of journey?

Damn, I guess I did have something to say about it after all.

In other news I still have some final emails to write as a follow up to Samhain, but I’ll do that this weekend, when I have some time to spend some time with them. Next Tuesday will be the business meeting where James and I have to turn in all the receipts, and I think we will actually make some money off the event. Not sure how much yet, but I’ll be happy as long as we don’t lose any.
The last few days I’ve been spending a lot of time reading the collected on-line writings of AElflaed of Duckford and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed them. The old issues of the newsletter Thinkwell, all of which were written in the early nineties are interesting, and in many cases thought provoking, as are the other articles she’s posted to the web. I can’t say I agree with everything she says, but all of her articles have made me think. That is always a good thing.
One of the most thought provoking things I’ve come across in her writings is a quote that was sent to her in response to the question, “Why do you still play in the SCA”? The discussion had apparently come about due to the fact that she had had several conversations where people were complaining about various aspects of the Society, so, she had asked that question and published the responses. This one expressed what I feel better than anything I could have written myself; “I look at my own motives for continuing membership and find some interesting things. It comes down to basic Campbellian-Jungian concepts of the need for myth, ritual, community and tribe, and ideals independent of oneself.” So, that’s what I get from the Society. Well, part of what I get, there is more, but it’s an interesting question that I’ll now throw out to those of you that read this that are active in the Society. What do you get out of it that makes it worth putting up with all the unpleasant parts? I look forward to hearing (ok, reading) your thoughts.

Cormac