Thankful: For my Co-Workers

I won’t tell you my co-workers names.  I could, it probably wouldn’t matter, but in this case I’ll use their Winnie the Pooh names.  I’m thankful for them because they’re my comrades, we’ve been through the thick and thin and kept moving forward. I’m going to refer to all of them by their 100 Acre Wood genders to keep them anonymous(-ish).

I’m thankful for Eeyore.  He’s a great, patient, plodding along character, even if he does have a rain cloud above him.  He’s insightful, he’s dedicated, and he’s patient.

I’m thankful for Rabbit.  Rabbit is studious, but he sure hates  it when you mess with his stuff.  He’s got a plan and you’re ruining it.  But in the end he contributes a whole heap of goodness.

I’m thankful for piglet.  Piglet plods along, unsure of himself, but definitely making progress.  Piglet is definitely a loyal friend.

I’m also thankful for Roo.  Roo is definitely fun.  I like fun.

I’m probably Tigger.  I could be wrong about that, but I tend to get super excited and want everyone to do what I’m doing.  Let’s all go bouncing!  Let’s play this game!  Let’s use this project management system!

Christopher Robin is actually a combination of people at the office, but that’s good.  I’ve found there are very few real one-person Christopher Robins.

I’m thankful for the full cast and crew.  I even pray for them, whether they like it or not.  Because that’s what Tiggers apparently do.

Thankful for The Professor and Rainbow

When I was a little boy my dad was building a house.  One of the people he had hired to help with the house had a side business as a magician.  He and his wife did a magic show for my birthday when I was little.  I remember the wonder.  I remember trying so hard to figure out the tricks.  It wasn’t that I was a skeptic it was that I knew Henry couldn’t be magical because he helped build houses.  Houses were like magic tricks then.  If you could build a house you could build a magic trick, and if you could build a magic trick you could figure out the blue prints of the magic trick.

I remember even at that early age watching for things that were fast.  Slight of hand that required me to blink or miss something.  I didn’t see much that was a give away then, and I remember him not telling me when I begged for him to explain how the tricks worked.

Years later I got a magic trick set and a juggling set for Christmas.  Marked card, plastic cups with a hidden chamber and foam balls were in the set.  Also included were a rubber false thumb and “silk” handkerchief as well as a yellow rope/cord and a large metal ring.  I quickly learned the trick where the rope would be tide to the ring and then be pulled off magically despite having been tied on twice.  I had the blueprints.  I didn’t have to figure out the tricks, I had to figure out the presentation of the tricks.  I distinctly remember trying to impress my uncle Jim with some of the tricks that Christmas.  He tried to feign enthusiasm, but eventually when I asked him, “Did you see how I did it?”  He squirmed a bit and explained to me the tricks.

Magic tricks are rarely about the magic.  They’re about the story.  They’re about the strain and failure of the audience.  You try to see how it’s done, but the failure to figure it out makes it more engaging.  They’re like jokes: the non sequitur is really what makes the joke work.  It isn’t the logical flow but the illogical flow that actually makes the joke funny.  Your mind searches for the connection because you know the obvious connection isn’t right.

I’m thankful that my parents hired the Professor.  I’m grateful that I had the chance to be surprised, wowed and educated at such a young age.  I’m often please with the number of   things I do remember.  I subscribe to a ‘magic’ podcast to continue to learn tricks, scams and magic.  I love being wrong, it  keeps me wondering.

Thankful for Jessica

In what is going to be a multi-part series I’m thankful for my wife.  When we first met it was at youth group.  We were both pretty certain the other one was a dork.  Some months later we met again and the experience was different.  I didn’t have my drivers license so Jessica, who was younger, picked me up with our mutual friend Glorie and they drove me to youth group.  Some time later I was in a band with some friends – we were called Wick – and Jessica and Glorie were our groupies.  As I understand it they had it for our bass player, but after he broke up with Jessica I moved in to try to become her beau.

Jessica was smart, pretty, she laughed at my jokes (which I am sure were even more corny than they are now) and most importantly she loved the Lord.  Her younger brother and my brother spent a little time together but despite that they grew apart and Jessica and I grew together.

My dad had always told me that if I kissed a girl I should do so with commitment so as to not rip my heart out a hundred times.  So when Jessica and I kissed I knew I had a serious commitment to make.  I had to be committed to her more than just a little bit.  Not just boyfriend and girlfriend for 2 weeks.

I wasn’t ready to marry her that night [we were way under-age] and it took me a while to get up the nerve and plan to ask once we were of age, but I’m grateful for her maintaining those same qualities all these years.  I tell my girls that we’re raising them up to be like their mom**.  I hope they know how cool I think that is as a goal.

** they need to have their own personalities and not be just cookie cutter kids – but she’s a great gal and worth trying to emulate in many ways.

Thanks for your Patience

I’ve been neck deep in code for the last month.  I started out with intentions of writing a thankful post every day (or close there to), but after a few weeks of not posting anything I hope you’ll understand that right now I should be coding to get a project shipping.  I am going to try to get up earlier since staying up later leads to more work, but I do want to post here.  It’s been a great outlet since 2001 or something like that.

I’m thankful that folks don’t complain to me about not posting here 🙂

Still Thankful

I haven’t dropped off this after only one week, it’s just been a VERY busy week.  I’ll try to spool up some more time ASAP.

Thanks for reading.

Vincent Blow

Friday’s thankfulness comes in the form of a friend who was one a student.  When Jessica and I move to Texas to pursue seminary we came into contact with various folks at the seminary church (as told by yesterday’s post) and one of them was Vincent.  He was in Jr. High when I first met him and when we left the seminary he was in High School.  He, however, continued to call and email and stay in touch.  Vincent has been a loyal friend for over a decade now.  If you’re doing the math on that you’ve figured out that he’s an adult now.

Vincent has gotten up extra early to meet me for breakfast, stayed up extra late to chat and play video games as well as being up extra normal hours to go to work.  I think I can say with confidence that I have spent more time on the phone with Vincent than any other adult in my life besides Jessica.  And she only wins because she’s my wife.  Vincent and I have talked a LOT.  I think I may have diarrhea of the mouth sometimes, though, so it could just be me 😉

Vincent’s has a sixth sense for phone tag – he calls when I’m in the middle of something that wasn’t in my schedule like he’s a comic book ‘timing’ super-hero.  He always lets me call him back, though.  Word to his mother (Ice, ice, baby).

The Masons

One of the families that has had the most impact on my adult life deserves a Thursday post. Thursday, over on Dwimble.com, is “Thankful Thursday” – and it has been so for quite some time. Our whole family is thankful for their whole family – every day of the week.

Louanne and Jessica became fast friends when we met at the seminary church. Her husband Mike was the one who introduced me to Alt-N, my employer for over 12 years now – it’s good to be friends and co-workers.  Their friendship is precious and has blessed many, but their generosity and labors towards spreading the gospel, loving others and reaching out to the world in kindness have blessed so, so many more.

If you don’t subscribe to their blog you should, it’s a regular light in my day. Also: foodies!

Sean Franzen

I’m not in contact with Sean as much as I’d like to be.  This is my fault.  I’m going to fix that – but not as a new years resolution.  Sean was my best friend growing up and his family is super special to me.  They’re the kind of family that you make ‘security’ questions about on websites to confirm who you are because you instantly remember details like phone number and address [all which have changed] because you nearly lived there [disclosure: I have none with their information, so this is not useful to hackers].

Sean and I met at a community play when we were in the 4th grade.  I had somewhat recently moved to Carson City, NV as my dad had taken on a job in the area.  We were in a one week production of Jack and the Beanstalk.  And by one week I mean we were cast on one Friday and did our first public production the following Friday.  We were in the play’s circus together (I believe as clowns) and each only had one line.  We were already doing one-liners together in the 4th grade. [I know you didn’t even laugh at that, but I am writing it anyways]

Sean had [and still has, but I’m writing about my childhood here] a great knack for creative things like art, music, writing, photography and even children names.  He had a running list of weird, creative and interesting names for children.  The one I remember to this day is Jervrarvry.  It sounds just like you’re thinking, I promise.  Sean (primarily) and I came up with a code alphabet to use in Math class.  We would pass notes in an alphabet so obscure and awkward to write that note passing was a very tedious process.  We were good at tedious.

Sean and I would listen to music from his parent’s amazingly broad music collection.  He’d jump up and play a cut from a jazz record – say Stan Getz – and then we’d switch to a CD of funk-punk [Primus is Funk-Punk, right?] followed by Garth Brooks.  That would of course need to be followed by the Hallelujah Chorus to help cause mental chaos.  And emotional chaos.  Music does that.  It’s like emotions thrown into a blender when you switch genres that disjointedly.

Sean got a scholarship to go to the Hallmark School of Photography because they realized how brilliant he was (and still is).  You’ve seen his work in photography and photoshop whether you realize it or not.  He’s worked on high-profile projects that were sent internationally for advertising campaigns.  He’s just that good.

I’m thankful for the years of laughter we had together, the weeks of fear we had together doing things like staying alone at our homes while our parents were out of town and camping together in the wilderness.  The hours of tears [some of which I caused].  I’m thankful for listening to “Love Shack” by the B-52’s over and over and over and over again with his parents and John Franklin, one of our friends, on the way to a ghost town in California for his birthday one year.

I’m thankful that while we’re not as close as we used to be that we can jump onto each other’s radar with the Internet and catch up on life, liberty, jazz and the pursuit of rappiness.  I love you, man!

Thankful Thirteen

This is the first of many posts I plan on posting this year for 2013.  I’m going to try to make a few rules about this so that I can try to setup safe, but useful constraints to what I post.  I’m sharing them here so you can lower your standards 😉

  1. Doesn’t have to be every day
  2. Don’t just be thankful for a person – be specific
  3. “Funny be – there is no try” – Master Yoda

I’m going to start in an interesting place: I’m thankful for Tony Nuzzi.  He’s my friend, he’s a brother-in-Christ, and he’s got a great sense of humor.  The stuff that he has been through has not defined who he is, he’s grown from it.  He has dyslexia and he pushed through that to become one of the more accomplished writers I know.  You won’t read most of his writing, though, because he’s a coder and has written numerous patents. Those aren’t “sit down and read” material, sorry 🙂

Tony and I met because his dear wife (whom I will be thankful for on another day to be fair) and I worked together at the Manger Christian bookstore in Carson City, NV.  Tony came by on his lunch break and immediately I wasn’t sure what to think of this guy.  I hoped he was good enough for my friend Erin.  As it turns out I’ve learned quite a few things from him about being a dad and husband and I think he’s perfect for her 😀  He still married up.

Tony has not been afraid to lovingly confront me in my shortcomings and he’s also not been afraid to run out of a grocery store next to me laughing hysterically because one or two of us may or may not have farted and left a smell so rank in the magazine aisle that our wives were embarrassed enough for all four of us.

I’m thankful for the friendship that has endured for almost a decade and a half. I’m thankful for the laughter, some tears, some guitar time, computer time, Bible time, and of course taking our families to Disney World two years ago.  He’s one of my best friends and I hope you get to meet him some day if you have not met him (yet).  Ask him about a Rolls-K’nardly.