Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Update on my Theater status

This is a copy of the letter I sent to the Carmel Community Players Board of Directors about a month ago.  My term on the Board of Directors came to an end today.   The bold emphasis added below was not in the original copy, but I added it here because that's really the thing to take away.  Thank you.

To the President of Carmel Community Players, the Board of Directors, its Staff, Membership, Patrons and Supporters:

As you know, my current term to serve on the Board of Directors comes to an end at the Annual Membership meeting on May 2nd, 2012.  This letter is to inform you that after months of careful consideration, I have decided to not run for re-election to the board at this time.

When I joined CCP’s board, little did I know where the organization would be today.  Right after I was appointed to the Board to fill a vacancy, everything changed.  I won’t rehash that history as most everyone is familiar with it. But, since being thrust into a leadership position, it has been an honor to serve CCP and help steer the organization through those troubled times when we weren’t even sure we’d be able to put on another show.  Despite the difficult hurdles we faced, I am very proud of what we have accomplished here at the Playhouse and always will be.

Please note, that this decision does not mean I won’t be around.  I fully intend to follow through on all my commitments, including directing “Grease” should it be accepted into the season. {ML NOTE:  It wasn't accepted and I am fine with that.  I think the new season has some wonderful possibilities.}   Additionally, I still plan to volunteer at the box office and concessions, and help with Vendini and the website, even help with tech where my schedule allows.  And I will do so as long as I can or until the organization wants and finds someone else to handle some of these duties.  It’s just that, after four years of putting every ounce of myself into this theater and organization, things in my personal life have risen up, or have been neglected for too long, and need my full attention.  I need time to focus on other important goals and projects in the free time I do have.

And, unfortunately, something has to give.  This is not a decision I came to quickly.  For months, I struggled with figuring out what was important and what could be put off a little while longer.  While it pains me to not seek re-election at this time, I am comforted knowing that the organization is very capable of even greater growth in my absence.

If there is one thing I regret it’s that I maybe took too long to make this decision.  With about a month until the next election of officers, I understand that I am putting unfair pressure on the board to scramble, and for that I do apologize.  But, I am confident  with the leadership on this board that the organization will quickly adjust accordingly.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

With Respect,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Of Saints and Ghosts

True story that I have to share.  With a little backstory...

We have a little ghost in our house.  It mainly manifests itself via the lights.  It gets our attention by playing with the lights.  Lights will go off for no reason, then come back on.  I've had to replace numerous lightbulbs because it likes popping them.  When I say it likes popping them, I mean, "dammit, I just changed that bulb 4 hours ago."  Not even kidding about that.  The ghost is otherwise harmless, but obviously does not like the vibe in the house when the wife and I raise our voices.

One other thing before you say something like it's just faulty or bad wiring.  We have 4 cats.  They obviously can see the ghost.  They are curious but afraid of it.  They do not like it playing with them.  I have personally seen our cat, Hannah, walking down the hall when all of a sudden she is pulled backwards by her tail.  You heard me, something in the air pulled her by her tail and she slid about 3 or 4 feet... backwards.  When it let go, she freaked and hid for a while.  So, believe me when I say, we have a ghost.

I was watching the Saints game this weekend, and while we lost, it was a good game.  You can't make 5 turnovers in the playoff and win.  Came close, but no cigar.  And that's ok.  Still love our boys! Bless You Boys!

Anyway, not that point.  Near the end of the game, the Saints had finally taken the lead when I notice my sister in Orlando posted on Facebook, "I have been ordered by my husband and BFF to stay out of the room because the Saints are winning."  This might seem odd, but it goes back to football traditions and how the 12th man effects the game.  Like how people have a special football watching outfit to root their team on.  It's the voo-doo.  What? You don't do that?  I have a jersey that I wear. Then depending on how the game is going, I can add pajama bottoms, a fleece hoodie and a hat as the game progresses.

At this point, in the game, we were all cheering.  Then, my wife comes up from the basement for dinner and sits down to watch the final minutes of the game.  San Fransisco immediately scores to regain the lead.  In the spirit of "you're jinxing the team," I start yelling to my wife to get back down to the basement.  The vibe of the room had gone from elation to anger.  And someone was not happy about that sudden shift.

Next thing you know, we hear a crash in the kitchen.  One of the globe sphere light thingies on the kitchen light - the ghost's favorite light - had fallen crashed into a million pieces.  Obviously, my yelling upset the ghost.

And it didn't help because the Saints still lost.  No real point to this story really.  Just don't piss off the ghost.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Year, New Plan

New Year means it's time for a new plan for ML.  The plan is to get the house in order.  The plan is to sell or donate the crap I don't need and have accumulated.  The plan is to do Couch to 5K when the weather is warm enough.  The plan is to keep the house in order.  And, the plan includes reminding myself of the path I am walking... or more accurately, the continue walking the path.

I started a new Bible reading plan last night - Finding Your Footsteps on the Moon.  It's a 21 day reading plan aimed at helping you live a divinely inspired life. It is designed to inspire and motivate you in finding and walking in your God given purpose for you life.  In truth, I think I may have lost some of my purpose in the past year.  Or at least, I am struggling with finding what's the next chapter of life for me.  Seems like a good time to figure that out for many reasons.

So, I started the reading plan and here's what I gathered from Psalms 139:13-18. The last line is "-when I awake, I am still with you."  This stood out to me due to the double meaning "still" can have here.  Still, as in calm, quiet, peaceful.  Or Still, as in not moving away from.  This is reassuring for a few reasons.

One, no matter where our paths lead us, God will always have our back.  It is comforting to know that while I do stray from living with God every single day, He is always willing to bring me back to Him.  His love and grace are never-ending.  So, when I "awake" from whatever has pulled me from the Christian path, I am "still" able to get up and continue the journey.

Then, consider how calming God's influence can be in our lives.  Through all the things that disturb our sleep, the things that keep us up at night, the little things that stress us out... when I awake from all of that, living a divinely inspired life helps to make those turbulent waters still.  The difficulties are made easier knowing that God is on my side and that He will never desert me.  God helps to keep me laidback.

As this New Year begins, I recognize that I will be facing quite a few difficulties.  But, I am still with God.  And that makes all the difference.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sonnet - My Muse

I sit to write a poem about my muse,
The whimsical soul who makes me complete.
Earning her love marks with scars and tattoos
Written with ink made from mine own heartbeat.
The passing times she comes to inspire,
She feeds my stomach with candy-like lies
Of thoughts and words of creative fire -
A Mona-Lisa smile, her disguise.
A burst of expression shakes through my hands
Weaving a hairshirt which strangely won’t fit.
She cackles and leaves my frozen wasteland
A traitor to art whose smoke I can’t quit.
She’ll come again, for which I cannot wait
For my muse knows I long to take her bait.

So, I wrote this sonnet. Needed the challenge of a rhyme scheme and pattern.  This was a struggle and I'm not wholly satisfied with this creative outcome.  But, you gotta "write the shit" out, too, and I got the iambic pentameter and abab cdcd efef gg scheme in there, so technically, it's a sonnet. At the very least, this serves a purpose.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prayer in a Status Update World

By now, I'm sure you've heard about the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair.  The quick recap - a nasty gust of wind hit an outdoor concert and the stage rigging fell on the audience.  As of now, 5 people died and 45+ people were treated for various injuries.  It certainly is a tragic occurrence and I want to make sure you, kind reader, know that I am saddened by these events and my thoughts are with the families and friends of these affected by the stage collapsing.

That said, this post is NOT about the stage collapsing.  This post is not meant to speak ill of anyone.  These events are simply the catalyst for something I noticed as these events unfolded across twitter and facebook.  I didn't notice it before, but now that I think about it, it certainly has become prevalent.

I refer to people posting status updates or tweeting something along the lines of "I am praying for the victims of this horrible event."  Watching post and tweet upon post and tweet about the stage collapsing, I noticed a lot of people said they were praying.  Which in this day and age, I guess I shouldn't come close to complaining about.  That's a good thing that people are legitimately praying for others safety and well-being.

 Still, I look back on the words in Matthew 6:5-6:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to take a look at how these verses apply in a Facebook/Twitter world. Or even if they do.

As I write this, I'm worried I may offend with my thoughts.  Honestly, I'm not sure what I think or believe about this right now.  I'm probably writing this down to get my thoughts out and eventually come to a conclusion.

So the crux of the situation is when we announce on Facebook, "I'm praying for the victims of..."  aren't we being the "hypocrites" Christ was talking about?  I'm sure the intention is sincere in offering our prayers.  But, aren't we still sincere in our prayers without announcing via tweet?  Are we doing it so publicly so other will see it and think we're a good person?

I don't think the prayer is any less sincere by any means.  Still, why do we feel the need to announce it?  Perhaps I'm being too cold to the victims of what ever tragedy we are praying for.  It probably helps to know that people are praying for them.  So, maybe I'm being too shallow.

Then again, for example, I don't know anyone who was at the State Fair when the rigging collapsed.  So, if I were to tweet my prayers and condolences how do I know the victims would see it?  So, I come back to the thought that we post our prayers so others will see how much of a good, caring person we are.  And I hate that is where I am at with this because that leads to the thought that we're only praying so others will see that we are good, caring people.

Ok, how about this?  Perhaps for all the people tweeting their prayers, there's others who aren't.  Perhaps, there is a larger, silent group of people who mourn and pray for those affected by tragic circumstances.  I'd like to believe that notion.

Don't get me wrong, it is nice to see a large swatch of my friends show their humanity.  I am a lucky person to have such wonderful, caring people in my life.  And, now, here's the revelation - I just hope they aren't looking my status updates asking "why doesn't he pray for these victims?"  "He's not a good person because he hasn't shown that he cares about these people."  Ok, people likely don't even notice.  Which is fine because God does.

And that's my point.

Do you think that Heaven has WiFi?

One point I don't think I really make above is that prayer status updates is really just a form of slacktivism.  Here's a definition:  "the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem."  And, that's my problem with prayer status updates.  It makes the poster feel all good to publicly support a cause, but does absolutely nothing to actually support that cause.

Daily Blessings:
  • I was on the right side of a discussion at work today and by right side I mean the same opinion as the GM.  Ok, I was also on the right side of how to handle the situation...
  • I've decided to choose to not to have a cigarette.  It's been nearly 2 weeks.  I don't say I quit though because that sets up for disappointment when I inevitablely give in.  But deciding to choose not to smoke is more empowering, and I'm more likely to continue to choose not to light up.
  • My wife for the last month or so of Mondays has let me watch WWE Raw without complaining, even sitting in the same room with me as I watch.