I’m back (again)…

August 1, 2011

I’m planning on starting to blog again. I’m sure if any of you are reading this you are skeptical of this, and I can’t blame you, but I want to try, and see what happens.

So, here I go again…


Going Through Changes…

October 25, 2010

The last you heard from me, I was getting ready to participate in Coasting for Kids at Cedar Point for Give Kids The World.  I am happy to say that the event was a huge success!  Nationwide, the event raised over 40,000 dollars for this great organization!  For all of you that were able to donate, thank you so much!  I am looking forward to participating again next year!

Now I realize it’s been several months since I’ve posted.  If you’ve followed my blogging in the past, you will realize this is not surprising.  I am awful at keeping up with blogging, and with several changes that have been going on in my life, it’s been even more difficult to find time to put my thoughts on a screen.  But, that’s what brings me back here today.

To be honest, I am in the midst of the darkest season that I have faced in my relatively young life…  Growing up, we all have an idea of how we want things to turn out as our life progresses.  We may not have an exact idea of how things will turn out, but most of us tend to have a framework that we try to build our life upon.  Even if we don’t have a full knowledge of what will transpire, nearly everyone has specific things that they hope/believe will never happen to them.  These are the things that redden your eyes with tears, that keep you awake at night, and radically change the course of life that you have followed thus far.  These events have the potential to tear down all you have built so far, and leave you back at square one.  These events shake you to your very core, and make you question what could have possibly brought you to this place.  As devastating as these moments are, they also are pivotal in that they can either destroy you, or build you into a stronger, better person than you were before.

So that is where I stand right now… Facing one of the things that I never thought would ever happen to me.  This is my reality.  The frail hope that this is a very long bad dream has faded, and I am now just trying to figure out where to go from here.

Some of you reading this blog know what it is that I am facing, while others are completely clueless.  I am sorry that I am being vague right now, but I really don’t feel like publishing my entire personal life on the internet.  Rather, I look to process through some of the things I am feeling right now, and attempt to find healing through writing.  I have always loved writing, and find it to be very therapeutic, but I tend to ignore it until something like this happens.

I’m hoping to make this blog a place where I can process through the various feelings I am experiencing as I journey through this chapter of my life’s story.  Now don’t worry… I promise this blog is not going to become “Josh’s Inner Sanctum of Sadness.”  Hmm… Perhaps I will start that blog on another page (sarcasm).  While it is true that I am going through some very difficult things in life, it doesn’t mean that I am completely lacking any positive emotions.  In fact, sometimes in these dark times, you can find joy in places that you would never notice if you were just going about life as usual.

So if you pray, please pray for me.  If you don’t, at least send some positive thoughts my way.  If you don’t think any positive thoughts… well… then perhaps you should start an “inner sanctum of sadness” blog…

Thanks for your support during this difficult time, and hopefully I emerge from this a stronger, wiser person than when it started.

I have a new idea…

July 19, 2010

So I’m back… after ANOTHER hiatus from Blogging… I read through my Xanga last night.  Yes Xanga still does exist, and it still does hold 3 years worth of my history.  (If you want to read it, knock yourself out)  I was amazed how consistently I kept a blog for 3 years.  Sure, I missed a day here or there, but I was pretty steady at keeping it updated.  To be honest, I really enjoyed reading through it again.  I realize with my latest blog endeavour (this page) I have been awful at keeping it updated.  I think the reason is that I only seem to want to blog when I have some deep revelation, or long story to tell, as opposed to just talking about whatever is on my mind.

So starting today I am going to try to resurrect this blog again and make it a place for me to just talk about whatever is on my mind.  It may be about Pittsburgh, Sports, Computers, Music, my wife, Amusement Parks, etc… But I’ll try to keep it interesting.  I realize no one may believe me until I become consistent, but I encourage  you to start stopping around frequently for updates.

Have a delightful day.

Live Like You’re Dying..

March 28, 2010

It’s been quite the roller coaster of a week… to say the least.

Kelly came home from visiting her parents on Tuesday.  I don’t know how many of you know this, but I am NOT a morning person.  Kelly’s train came in at 5 AM on Tuesday, and typically if I am awake at anytime before 8 AM I tend to be 3 parts zombie, to one part tapioca pudding.  Needless to say I was very tired at work on Tuesday…

Also this week, I have decided to jump back on the “health” wagon.  I didn’t post it on this blog (because I didn’t post anything here then) but last November or so, I began a weight loss attempt.  It was one of many I have had in my adult life, typically with minimal results.  I have been around the same weight since the start of college.  I fluctuate 10 pounds or so in either direction, but not much more (hence why clothes from my senior year of high school still fit me!).  When I do these “attempts” at weight loss, I will typically lose anywhere up to 20 lbs, plateau, get bored, and quit.  Then within a few months I am back at my weight where I have been for so long…. Anyway, back to November.  I am a sucker for infomercials (I own a Snuggie and a pack of ShamWows) and I had heard good things about P90X.  I had a friend who had seen a lot of success with it, and decided to give it a try myself.  I loaded up on the DVDs, Recovery Drink, Resistance Bands, a pull-up bar, the whole shebang.  For 30 days or so, things went great… I lost 10 lbs or so, was eating well, and then the holidays came… In addition to the holidays, Kelly and I had several life issues happen with jobs, cars, health, etc that even further disrupted my routine.  I tried to stay on track, but the workouts were getting more and more difficult, and I finally fell off the train.

Since then I’ve gained back about half the weight I lost, but feel worse about my body than I ever have before.  So I’m back.  This time I’m trying Power 90.  Think of it as P90X: Lite.  It still is a great workout, and I am 3 days in so far, and feeling good.  I have also gone back to eating healthy.  It’s amazing how much better you feel when you eat well and work out.  You feel so much more alive.  In addition to the Power 90, I’m also going to try out Shakeology from Beachbody.  I looked over all the ingredients and it looks like quite the healthy shake!  Hopefully that will aid in this whole “return to fitness” that I am attempting.

Despite the positive turn I have taken this week for my health, I have also had quite the upsetting health news.  I received a call from my dad yesterday letting me know that my stepmother, Estela, had taken a turn for the worse.  She has been fighting cancer for well over a year, and there have been victories and struggles.  Unfortunately, in the past few days she has taken a turn, and is not doing well.  Thankfully, she is resting comfortably at home, and Hospice has been available to help with any needs they have.  I am still praying, and keeping hopeful, but things do not look great.  If you pray, I would really appreciate your prayers for this situation.

With this recent news, I am reminded of how fragile life is.  I have always tried to live by the phrase  “No Day But Today” from the musical Rent.  Whether we have health or sickness, we never know what tomorrow holds.  We must live each day with the reality that it may be our last.  Love one another.  Live passionately.  Never take life for granted.  We can say that we will get to something “tomorrow”, but tomorrow may never come.  Excuses only delay us.  I want to live this life to the fullest, and I have to live that way everyday, every hour, every second, every breath until my last.

There’s only now, There’s only here
Give in to love, or live in fear
No other path, No other way
No Day But Today.

Hello? ::endless echo::

September 9, 2009

So, apparently I am the king of the abandoned blog…  As you may have guessed the WordPress Blackberry app did not magically turn me into a blog-oisseur, but alas I have returned again.

If you only know me through this blog, you probably think I am dead.  However, if you know me outside of this blog, you know that my wife and I have recently moved to the magical land of Pittsburgh.  In all honesty I love it, but I figured I would take some time to recount the good, the bad, and the ugly that I have found in Pittsburgh so far…

The Good:
I love the diversity of the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.  There is so much to see and do around the city, and I don’t see myself running out of options for things to do around the city anytime soon.  Some of the highlights so far in the food category have been the tourist-staple Primanti Brothers, Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville was fantastic, and I also really enjoyed D’s Six Packs and Dogs in Regent Square.  If I decide to not think about food for a moment, I also really enjoyed checking out Frick Park, as well as going to a few Pirates games (despite all of them being losses).  The city is also quite scenic.  I enjoy being able to go from rolling hills, through a tunnel, and then be in the middle of the city.  It’s a dynamic I haven’t seen anywhere else.

The Bad:
Moving from a metro area of around 300,000 to one of 3 million has been quite an adjustment.  A 9 mile commute to work typically takes 30 minutes or so, and even driving a mile up the road can at times be frustrating.  Along the same topic of driving… I have a great fear of the winter time here in Pittsburgh.  Some of the hills I have seen while driving around are a bit intimidating to drive on even in the summertime… I can’t imagine how things may go come Winter.  Are snow chains legal in the city limits? 😉

The Ugly:
Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that has had to do with getting our cars registered, licensed, and inspected to exist in this fine Commonwealth we call Pennsylvania has been a nightmare.  From the long lines at the license center, to having to go to AAA three times to finally have everything I needed to get my plates and registration, to finding out that between my wife and I, it will cost 1500 dollars to have our cars pass inspection… ::breathe::  I am half tempted to take both of our cars to the top of one of the previously mentioned steep hills, put them in neutral, and let them roll to the demise of their choice… Given the way this city is laid out, I’m sure they would hit a river at some point.

Despite these frustrations, I do not regret the move to Pittsburgh one bit.  Our new home is wonderful, we have a new member of the family (a rescued cat named Lilly), and we are both settling in well to our new jobs.  I am, however, still working on perfecting Pittsburghese so I can more well communicate with the natives.  So… If yinz ever want to visit and go dahntahn, we can get some jumbo, pierogies n’at.  Just make sure you let me know early so I can redd up our house first.

Music Choices for the Moment:
MuteMath – Armistice
Imogen Heap – Elipse
Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome

Where to Start?

June 22, 2009

If blogging were my career, and I sat down for my review today, I would hear a few comments like these:

“Starts strong, but fails to follow through”
“Typically starts with a deep post, followed by a few random posts, followed by months of silence”
“Has potential, but lacks discipline”

So.  Here we go again.  My name is Josh and I am a fair weather blogaholic. (“Hi Josh“)

Since the last time you heard from me in mid-November, I have gotten married, have 3 kids, and a beautiful 2-story home with a white picket fence.  (I’m lying about the kids, the home, and picket fence)  We are adjusting to married life quite well, and Kelly and I have some awesome potential opportunities on the horizon (will discuss those more, when/if I am able to).  Married life offers all sorts of new challenges (sharing space, sharing resources,  sharing chores), but has incredible benefits that make it totally worth it (sharing life with my best friend).  On a personal front, I am faced with a few things lately that have been weighing on my mind, and that’s really what brought me back to this stagnant blog of mine.

I’ll come right out and be honest.  Kelly and I haven’t been to church in several months.  It isn’t because we don’t like the preaching.  It isn’t because we don’t like the people there.  We are just completely lacking Christian fellowship of others our age.  Our church is great, but the number of people between 20-30 is very low.  If they are there, they come to service and leave right after, just like we do.  Although preaching is nice, church is really about the fellowship, and when you don’t have that, it’s hard to go week after week.  In addition to all of that, I have been struggling lately with what Christianity should look like in our day and age.  I struggle with the relevance of the typical church format.  I don’t want to go sit in silence, save for a few songs.  I want to talk.  I want to discuss.  I want to challenge and be challenged. I believe the modern church should have much more room for dialog.  This is what builds my faith.  I have questions, and they aren’t basic questions like “does Jesus love me?” or “does God care about my finances?”.  They are deep, meaty, philosophical, theological, and metaphysical questions that could take some time to dig through, and I want to be able to do that with other Christians.  The questions may not even have answers, but I at least want a venue to discuss them.  In the words of Bono “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”…

As many of you know, I am an avid news reader/watcher.  I have become very interested with the conflict going on in Iran over the recent elections there.  I have been following a lot of the grassroots journalism over on Twitter and have become quite impassioned by a lot of what I have seen.  The graphic, yet eye-opening images of the violence there have raised a lot of questions in my mind.  Is it ok to show pictures and video of such horrific things?  What social responsibility do I have after seeing the things I have?  What role, if any, does America have in this conflict?  I have talked before about my disdain of the US having the “god-complex”, but at the same time when there is injustice, do we have an obligation to act on it?  Is it truly an injustice?  Do we blindly trust what we hear and see from the media?   One thing has definitely moved me though.  Many of those opposing the election results are my age, and seeing them risking their lives in the streets for something they truly believe in has been awe inspiring and challenging to me.  How many times in my day-to-day life do I stand boldly for the things that matter to me?  All things considered, I have far more questions than answers when it comes to this issue, but I do know that my prayers do go out to the people of Iran in this troubled time.

Kelly and I have had a lot of discussions recently as to where our future will take us.  We know one thing.  We don’t have a strong desire to stay in the Michiana area.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things about this area, but the rising crime rate in South Bend, mixed with the limited options in a city this size has us looking to move on.  Where and when that will be are still up in the air, however we want to make sure we are making the best decision possible.  There are a lot of  possibilities out there, and we are just waiting to see if things line up.  This chapter is definitely unfinished, and more will be added as time goes on.

To wrap things up, if I could describe my life in one word right now it would be “transition”.  Things are very shaky all around right now, but suprisingly I am ok with that.  I feel the winds of change, and that excites my soul.  Where the winds will lead is still to be determined, but I know that whatever direction they go, there will be lessons to be learned and experiences to be gained.  These things, my blog friends, along with a faith that is always under construction is what makes life worth living.

If you have read through my 922 word recap, I appreciate it.  I would give you a cookie if I had a cookie, and a digital way to transmit it to you.  I will try to keep future entries a bit more readible.

The Music Lovers Dream

October 7, 2008

So (if anyone is reading this) you may have noticed that I didn’t blog much last week.  That was because it was an incredibly busy first half of the week at work, and a fun filled second half of the week consisting of seeing my two favorite musicians/bands.

On Thursday night, Kelly and I made the 90 minute drive to Chicago to see Weezer in concert.  Opening for them was Tokyo Police Club and Angels and Airwaves.  I really enjoyed Tokyo Police Club, but Angels and Airwaves were a bit too “emo” for me.  I typically like that type of music, but Tom DeLonge was moving awkwardly around the stage, and it all just was too much for me.  We were standing very close to the front, and when Weezer took the stage it felt like we were going to be shoved right onto the stage.  I have never been so pushed around in any concert I have ever been to.  Regardless, Weezer put on an amazing show and even though the guys are all around 40 now, they still know how to rock.

After the Weezer concert, we drove back to South Bend, and got home in time to get a whopping 3 hours of sleep before going to work on Friday.  As soon as work was over, we drove another 90 minutes to Fort Wayne to see Ben Folds perform with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  This was a much more subdued concert than Weezer, due to the “symphony” aspect, but it was still just as fantastic.  After the concert Kelly and I got tour t-shirts and then headed to my mom’s house for the weekend.  Kelly and my mom went twice to the Vera Bradley sale over the two days, while I tried to catch up on sleep.  It was a nice weekend at home, and I got to meet my mom’s new cat, Gracie…. (If you didn’t know, I’m a sucker for animals).

This week has started very busy at work again, but tonight was a great time as Kelly and I celebrated her 21st Birthday!  I got her a necklace, and took her out to a fancy restaurant in Elkhart (Indigo on Seventeen).  It was an amazing meal, and even though I was treating her, it was quite a treat for me too.

Now, I’m sitting here after watching the end of the Presidential Debate (lame and uneventful like the first one) and listening to the new Keane CD, and contemplating sleep.  I really need to blog more, but it seems like the idle time I have sitting at a computer is becoming less and less.  Oh well.  Good tidings of great joy to all of you.