Monday Afternoon

and now for the obligatory musical poetry fragment…….
“”Through eighty six years
of perpetual motion,”
if he likes you, he’ll smile and he’ll say,
“Jimmy, some of it’s magic,
and some of it’s tragic,
but I had a good life all the way”

So, it is 5:32 PM on Monday, May 29, 2007. I’ve been home for just over an hour, and I feel fine. I truly hope those of you that read this had as good a Memorial Day weekend as I did.
My weekend started, as they usually do at the end of the working day Friday. My shift ended at 2:00 PM. By 2:30 I was home and had started the first of three loads of laundry. I got sat down at my computer and started to read and respond to various emails. That didn’t take very long, so I next occupied my time by closing my World of Warcraft account. That’s right, I closed my account to that addictive time waster of a game. That’s one of the changes I was referring to in my last post. I’ll get a little more into that a bit later.
Since I now had several hours to spend I decided to spend some time working on a new bracelet pattern I was attempting to learn. I got two pieces finished after about three hours. It was the first time I had spent any time making jewelry in several months, and I had forgotten how much fun I had working on that kind of project. I wasn’t particularly happy with the pieces I finished, but I was pleased with what I had learned while working on them, and I was very pleased with having actually produced something instead of spending those hours in a computer game. It was a good feeling.
I also spent a some time opening an account at Photobucket.com and uploading some pictures from the first Gleann Abhann Coronation luncheon.

I had to work Saturday morning for four hours Saturday morning, and was planning on leaving town right after work, so I got packed before going to bed and actually went to bed fairly early. The four hours at work passed very quickly Saturday morning. They were not, I should point out, productive. Trying to get anyone on the phone on the Saturday morning of a holiday weekend is just a waste of time. You would think my management would know that, but apparently they do not. Still, it was only four hours, and we were on the road for Birmingham by 1:00 PM. It was time to go see the blood family.

I had a great weekend with my Mom, Sister, and my brother in law. I’d not been able to see them since Christmas, and it was exceedingly pleasant to get to spend some niced, relaxed, no drama time with them. Saturday night we had dinner at Kris and Steve’s house. Kris had cooked way to much food for the number of people that were there, but that was ok. In addition to Mom and myself, the guest list included Cay and Thelma (Steve’s parent’s), Steven (Steve’s son), and another couple who’s names I cannot remember at this time, and Gerald. The food was great, the company was better, but the best part was watching Ash (Steve’s cat) scare the snot out of Razzy (Kristi’s peekineese). I’ve never liked that spoiled dog very much, and watching Ash (who is a huge tomcat) let Razzy know who is boss in the house was a lot of fun.
Sunday we went on a picnic at Oak Mountain State Park in Birmingham. What a beautiful park. The weather was great, the food was good, and once again the company made for a wonderful afternoon. We got back to Mom’s place about 4:00 PM and Steve and I spent some time cutting down a couple of tree’s in Mom’s backyard that had gotten too large. Two guys with a chainsaw = fun and games. Fortunately no one got hurt, and no fencing got damaged. The rest of the evening was spent in conversation and planning for the rest of the year.
This morning we had breakfast with Mom and Kris at IHOP before loading up for the return to Memphis. If I may offer a piece of advice; the Stuffed French Toast at IHOP sounds a lot better than it tastes. Much Better.

(time for another musical poetry fragment)
“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time ”

In my last post I said that there were going to be some fairly serious changes in my life over the next few months, and I promised I’d go into a bit more detail, so I guess it’s time to do that.

The first change is that I’m going to be spending a lot of time on getting my weight under control. I’ve been overweight my entire life. I was a big kid (I realize now, when I look at pictures of when I was a kid and teenager that I was never as big as I thought I was) and I have become a fat man. Not husky, not big boned, but fat. And I’m not going to be that man any more. There a literally hundreds of reasons why I should do this: health reasons, self esteem and self perception issues, etc, but the plain and simple fact is that I’m tired. I’m tired of being out of shape, I’m tired of hurting and not being able to move well after working at an event all day. I’m tired of the limitations of this body. I’m tired and I’m not going to put up with it any more.
I know that I’ll never be exactly small, but by gods I can get rid of this gut. And I’m going to. I’ve already been working on it for a couple of weeks. I’m not so much trying to lose a predetermined amount of weight; I’m not stating that my goal is 100 pounds or something. My goal is to get rid of my gut, to get into a habit of regular exercise, and to basically become as healthy as possible. It’s going to be more about changing habits, than losing weight.

Ok, that’s all for tonight. I’ll talk about some of the more minor changes in the next blog post.

C.

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(opens ITunes….scans available legally obtained mp3 files….makes a selection. Gordon Lightfoot begins to play….)
“If you could read my mind, love
What a tale my thoughts could tell”

Don’t worry, this is not going to be a depressing post about a love affair gone wrong.  To write such a post I would have had to have had a recent love affair that went wrong, and well, that hasn’t happened in a while.

No, what I have in mind tonight is just some rambling about things I’ve been thinking about the last few days.  Unlike some of the blogs that I read, I don’t have a family to write about. I don’t have a job that I like writing about, etc. This blog is just about me, and what I’m thinking. For the last few days I’ve been thinking it’s time to make some changes. I’ts time. However before I talk about the changes I’m going to make, it’s necessary to talk a little bit about my history.

Actually, when I think over my past history, I realize it’s well past the time I normally make some fairly serious changes.  Since drinking my way out of college in early 1990 I have made fairly significant changes in my life about every three or four years. Changes in jobs, geographic locations, hobbies, you name it, about once every four years I made some kind of significant change. These changes were not part of any plan, you understand. No, mainly it was just going with the flow, taking the easy way out.

It’s been a long, convoluted road, but I’m finally at a place where I am no longer willing to take the easy way out. I’ve dealt with most of the problems I’d had in my past (alcohol abuse, financial stupidity and credit issues), etc. etc. For the first time in a very long time I am happy for the most part. However, there are some things in my life that I desperately want to change. As good as life is, I can’t escape a low grade feeling that something needs to change. I can’t escape a low grade feeling that as good as things are they can be much better. I can’t escape from the feeling that I’ve run away from some of these issues for far to long.

I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday: No one is going to make things better for me. If things are going to change, I have to be the one to change them. It will be a long process, but and I’ll need a lot of help, but I’m going to do this. Fact is, I have to. I’ve run away from these issues for far to long. The plain and simple fact is this; I’ve had enough, I’m not going to take this any more, and I am going to change.

I didn’t mean to start this, and then leave it with such a cryptic ending, but it’s late, and I’ve got to be at work early tomorrow. So, I’ll end at this point. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll go into the things I’m going to change, and why. I am not sure how all of this is going to go, but I am sure that I’ll probably need some help, some support. I will continue to post about day to day things, etc., but I warn those of you that read this blog that a lot of it is going to be dealing with the changes I’ll be making in my life.

That’s all folks,

C

So, it’s been a while

Once again I appear to have been somewhat lax in posting to this blog. Not quite a month since the last post. Not a month and so much has happened. I have no one to blame but myself. I think the musical prophet said it best in his song Fruitcakes:
” Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa
Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa”

I can only promise, again, to try and do better.  I found out this past weekend that more people than I was aware of read this blog, and that kind of surprised me. I’ve got a lot to talk about , but first I need mood enhancers….

(opens Itunes, starts the play list. Roger Daltry begins to sing)

The Death of a Good Man
My uncle, Ken Rennylson, died on Thursday March 17, at about 4:15 in the afternoon. This was not unexpected, as he had been sick for several months. His cancer was already quite widespread by the time it was diagnosed and it continued to spread quickly. His doctors had basically sent him home three weeks ago after telling him there was not anything they could do for him. He was receiving hospice care, and he died at home with his family. I think that was important to him.
My family moved to Mississippi from Omaha Nebraska when I was 16, and in the 24 years since then I had not seen Ken very often. In fact the last time I saw him was at my father’s funeral 14 years ago. So, we’ve not been close in quite some time. However, he was a very big part of my early life. Ken was married to my Dad’s younger sister, Vickie, and his first child was born when I was seven or so. Ken always loved kids, and when ever my extended family would gather at my grandparents home Ken would always spend most of the weekend with the kids. It wasn’t til much later in life I realized that was because he didn’t like my grandparents much (which is understandable), but he loved us kids. He spent a lot of time with all of us.
When I was five Ken built a treehouse in a large maple tree on my Grandfather’s farm for all the grandkids. All of my cousins and I used it for years, but it was MINE. When I spoke to my aunt on Wednesday, the day before he passed, I asked her to thank him for that. She laughed a bit and said he would be glad that I remembered it. During that conversation I remembered a lot of things about Ken that I’d not thought about in a long time. All good things.
Unfortunately I was not able to attend his funeral. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go; Vickie and Ken live in Sioux City Iowa, and with gas at 3.00 a gallon, and with the fact that all of my vacation time for the year is gone, it just wasn’t going to be possible. My Aunt was very, very understanding. She said, “Don’t worry about it Mikey (She is one of three people on the planet that is still allowed to call me Mikey without suffering the wrath of the Bald Man), seriously, we understand, and the fact is he wouldn’t be there either if he had any choice in the matter. ”
So, please join me in a metaphorical, non- alcoholic (Ken and I are both sober. He’d been sober well over 25 years when he died) toast to my uncle…..(Lifts glass) To my uncle. Ken, I learned a lot from you, much more than I think you ever knew. A truly good man.

SCA Stuff
(scans the play list, makes a selection….Ian Anderson begins to sing)

The last month or so has been crazily busy with SCA activities. We had the first meeting of the Grey Niche Gulf Wars Land Improvement Committee last week. That committee is charged with selecting a design for a permananet structure at the Grey Niche Gulf Wars camp, and with raising the money it will take to build such a structure. Now, I have absolutely no carpentry skills at all, so I volunteered to be in charge of fundraising. Over the next 18 months or so I plan on raising between 7,500 and 10,000 dollars. So, if anyone has some suggestions for interesting fundraisers, please let me know.  I’d like to do something more than the standard raffles and silent auctions. I think one fundraiser I’m going to do is giving people the chance to pay to not have me, a person that can snore so loud it could wake the dead not be in their cabin at upcoming SCA events.
In other news; at the last business meeting Duchess Linnet submitted her bid for Beltaine 2008, the Tournament of the Torc. I’m on staff for that as co-autocrat, so that will be a lot of fun to work on. The weekend is going to be a high tournament with lots of heraldry and pagentry.

(we interupt this blog for a musical interlude, courtesy of John Mellancamp)
“On a Greyhound thirty miles beyond Jamestown
He saw the sun set on the Tennessee line
He looked at the young man who was riding beside him
He said I’m old kind of worn out inside
I worked my whole life in the steel mills of Gary
And my father before me I helped build this land
Now I’m seventy-seven and with God as my witness
I earned every dollar that passed through my hands
My family and friends are the best thing I’ve known
Through the eye of the needle I’ll carry them home”

(regular blogging will now resume)

This past weekend was Gleann Abhann Spring Crown list, and what a wonderful weekend it was. The Barony of GreyNiche was represented by four couples: William of Glenn Lyon and Marisa Symes of Berwicke, Dagan and Mashseed, James the Holy and Luca Sachetti, and Sir Uther and Vicountess Kenna. All of the Grey Niche fighters had their pavillions close to each other so they could support each other.
I got to sight about 8:45 Saturday morning. I’d never been to this particular site before, and I have to admit I didn’t see much of it other than the fighting field. What I did see was very pretty, and the weather was perfect. Bright, clear sky, with no chance of rain. Warm, but not excessively hot. We quickly set up the day pavillion that Linnet had sent with us behind Uther and Kenna’s pavillion. Helped Luca get her stuff set up.
Before the actual start of the tournament their Majesties opened court, and much to his surprise Robert von Flusswasser was elevated to the Order of the Pelican. Ashis peer, Bri, was kneeling in front of Their Majesties begging a boon, Robert was literally ten yards away setting up the list mistress pavilion. He wasn’t paying any attention to court until his name was called. That was the fourth elevation to a peerage I’ve seen since Gleann Abhann became a kingdom. All four have been very memorable for different reasons, but I think I liked Robert’s the best. Not a long drawn out ceremony, but short, sweet, and within 15 minutes he was back at work.
The tournament started right after the elevation. There were 17 fighters, and Sarah did a great job organizing the procession. I got to display the fact that I had absolutely no skills as a herald by serving as herald for Will and Marisa. This was the first Crown tournament they had fought in, and I wish I could have done a better job for them.
The tournament seemed to fly. It was extremely well run, and the time between the rounds was very short. The on field heraldry was handled for the most part by Master Stephan, and the list mistressing was handled by Bri. At the end it was Sir Angus and Sir Uther in the final fight. I’m fairly sure that in twenty years, as I look back on my memories of my time in the SCA that fight will be one of my favorite memories. It was the longest tournament fight I’ve personally ever witnessed. At one point Sir Uther asked His Majesty if they could take a break for a beer.  Both fighters were obviously at their best, and were obviously enjoying themselves. The crowd watching the final fight was silent, you could hear the hawk calling as it circled overhead, but that was all you could hear. When Sir Uther got the final good shot to land the cheering was loud and long lasting. What a wonderful day. I was proud of all the Grey Niche fighters. James came in fourth. Dagan and Mahsheed won the best dressed couple contest, and Dagan was awarded th Wreath of Chivalry by Her Majesty Mary Grace. I wish our Baron had been their to support his folks, but apparently Dulinn doesn’t do Crown List.

Ok, that’s enough for tonight. I’ll be back in a day or so. I promise.