zuptd: (Default)
Thiis weekend I was originally planning to go to DC to visit peeps, but due to my workload and other factors I decided to stay home and catch up on stuff instead. It was a good choice for me right now, as grad school really is taking a burden on my life at the moment, and the funeral weekend for my grandfather set me behind quite a bit.

I had a fun Friday night. Patrick and I went out for pizza and then a movie. We saw Volver at the Cedar Lee. It was a really good movie IMHO, wasn't sure I would like it going in. The movie is directed by Pedro Almodovar and is in Spanish with English subtitles, but totally watchable and very engrossing. I'll warn you that it was kind of shocking, especially early on, until I was able to get to know the characters and get comfortable with their personalities. All the actors were incredibly expressive and really portrayed their characters well. The film focuses on a cast of mostly female characters, and only men get only a bit of screen time. Almodovar really does a masterful job of pacing the film and not revealing things too quickly. He creates these very interesting symmetries between the lives and events of the characters. So, I definitely recommend this film.

After the movie we met up with friends for a bit of dancing before we called it a night. Since then I have been alternating between relaxing, doing schoolwork, cleaning and organizing around the house, and catching up on some Chorus stuff. I needed to be more productive than I have been, but I could have done worse as well.

Oh, and yesterday afternoon I finally got back into the gym after a couple weeks off due to schedule and some unrelated back pain. I worked chest and biceps and actually upped my weight a bit on a few exercises. Due to a brief inability to do math (heh) I ended up doing my final set of incline bench presses (admittedly on a plate loaded "machine" rather than free weights) with 2 - 45 lb plates on each side (that's 180 lbs total.) That was very heartening for me actually....whenever I push past the intermediate weights to adding a 45 it is psychologically a large threshhold. It's just such a great feeling to be making major progress on my workouts.

Anyhow, I must get back to my work so I can finish and get myself to Chorus rehearsal on time tonight.
zuptd: (happyzup)
Weekend has been good....spent a reasonable amount o time with the new guy. We have not officially defined the relationship at this point, but it's clear that it's developing toward something.

I had him over for dinner on Friday night in a somewhat impromptu move. We discussed it prior, but didn't nail down our plans until right beforehand. I didn't even decide waht I was making until he was already here, but it was all ok. We had lots of time to chat and learn more about each other in the process. We really enjoyed our evening.

We had a lot of intimate time, but we kept things at a reasonable pace at this point. I was really remarkably happy that there seemed to be a congruency in our pacing. There wasn't a lot of awkwardness or miscommunication. I didn't feel like I had to either push things too much or put on the brakes. But there is definitely a physical attraction and connection for both of us.

And my worries continue to dissipate. The conversational connection continues to grow and develop. I think we are pretty good at communicating and sharing info about ourselves and keeping it fresh so far. I did not feel a lot of awkward conversational moments either, and we were able to intersperse conversation and intimacy fairly well without abruptness. All very important.

Another friend invited us to a little wine and cheese party he was having and we had a good time there as well, interacting with a lot of new folks. It was very nice.

So, I'm going to ask him to be my date for the Chorus' Hearts on Fire cabaret benefit for sure...he's already going to be there as part of the performance portion of the evening, but this will allow him to spend time with me enjoying dinner and the silent auction and such. :)

I'm also seriously mulling getting us tickets to see Billy Joel here in Cleveland in April. I forget if I mentioned that Billy Joel was coming to town, but he is, and I really want to see him. I just am also cognizant that tickets are $88 each plus the exorbitant processing fees that they charge. That means that I seriously need to evaluate the financial tradeoffs and what I might need to sacrifice or postpone before I go and drop almost $200 in one shot. But, this may be the only chance to see him in concert....who knows if he'll be back here anytime. The only other time I've gotten to see him perform was in 1994, and I'm sure that if he does come to the area again on tour the ticket prices will not be any lower....so that's something that I want to mull for a couple days and then jump on if I plan to get anyting other than nosebleeds...
zuptd: (dreamy)
I'm in the mode to set some resolutions and goals for my life. I've been experiencing a lot of positive momentum and energy in my life for a few months and I want to really harness that and drive forward in a major way this year.

It was a bit over six years ago (January 1 2001) that I set out a first stab at some goals and resolutions for my year. I realized later that some of my goals would take me several years to achieve, some would be achieved and then suffer setbacks, and some are ongoing to this day. Looking back, there are a lot of goals there that I don't relate to anymore because they have become obsolete for me. In 2001, I was 6 months out of college, unemployed, still living with my parents, and not out or socially active. Today I am somewhat settled, very involved in life, and looking to move past some stagnation. That calls for some retooled goals.

So I present my goals in a somewhat prioritized order, but not strictly so:

  • Education and Career: Now that I'm back in school for Urban Planning, my classes and preparation for my future career need to be my top priority. Beyond the basic "Study hard and get good grades", I need to spend some time focusing on experiences that will help me network and eventually land me a job. I need to explore the options in terms of extra work at the college, internships, volunteer work, or other jobs that will provide good experience and resume fodder.
  • Chorus Wrap-up: In the past year and a half I've acquired a bunch of time intensive duties for the North Coast Men's Chorus. Now that I'm in school I need to relinquish most of these to restore sanity to my life. My timeframe to do this is between now and June, as I will be ending my term on the Board of Directors at that time. My task is to create an orderly transition to other people so that the next person will take on these tasks already in better shape than when I was given them. Part of this is to organize and create adequate documentation for tasks and transfer files and information. A big thing will be implementation of better financial policies and procedures that integrate more functions which are currently inefficient and less organized than they should be. I have a number of benchmarks for this in the next several months in order to meet deadlines for our budgeting process for the next fiscal year.
  • Getting Buff: This one has moved way up in priority since 2001. Part of that is because it's much more of a reality today. Having access to the workout facilities at CSU has been a real opportunity, and I'm feeling very good about the progress I'm making so far since September. My main goal is to increase my workouts to 3 times per week instead of the two I was doing. I also need to focus on working all body parts consistently and giving extra effort to things that I find difficult or lagging.
  • Financial Stability: I'm well on my way to this one due to circumstances of last year improving. I just need to be diligent in the next several months to wrap this up and make good financial decisions. My goal is to retire the last of my credit card debt in February or March and then evaluate my surplus cash to see how much I can save and how much I can use for my spending priorities for the remainder of the year. Part of my intention is to reduce the amount of student loans I am taking out to only what I need to cover tuition, not books or other costs.
  • Travel: With financial concerns behind me, I hope to do a bit more travel in mid to late 2007. I get two weeks of vacation per year, and right now I'm not using it enough and the excess is falling into a black hole. That is uncool. I already have plans to visit DC in early February for a long weekend. My next hope is to go to Toronto again, with April probably being the earliest I can manage that. There is a small chance that I might have another travel opportunity in April though, so I need to sort that out soon. After that, my other goals are to make return trips to NYC and Chicago, both of which I have not been to in over 6 years. I have more friends in both of those cities than ever, and I would really like to visit them and the cities. My expectation is that these will be summer or fall trips.
  • Getting Stuff: I'd like to be able to make a few larger purchases once I get my financial house sorted out. I have no specific order in which to make them. Two things to keep in mind are that I should set aside some money for a major car maintenance later this year, and I should start saving for a likely trip to Miami for the GALA Choruses festival in July of 2008. Several big purchases I want to make are technology. I have been wanting a laptop computer forever, or barring that, at least a to build an upgraded desktop unit. I've also wanted a digital camera for a long time, and I'm kindof keen to get an iPod these days. For around the house, I have several prints that have needed for years to be framed for hanging on the wall....we're talking almost 10 years now. I also would really like to get a free-standing glass fronted cabinet like some models they have at Ikea to use for displaying my collection of beer glasses that are currently in my cupboards or in boxes. There are other things I would like, but those are probably the big ones. I doubt I'll get all of them tis year, but several would add a little extra comfort and convenience to my life.
  • Dating Life: I need to get back into dating again. This is always seeming to be a matter of waiting forever for me, so I need to try to create some better dating luck for myself. Assertiveness and decisiveness are key parts of this. I was hoping to meet someone before Hearts on Fire, NCMC's dinner/cabaret show/auction in February, but that does not look likely at the moment. That being the case, this is probably back burner until the summer given my school workload that ends in May til fall, and my Chorus workload that should end in June. If an opportunity arises, I'll jump to it, but I just don't think I have time to devote to fruitless searching at this point. But if any really hot and with-it guys in Ohio are looking for an attractive guy with a lot of positive energy in his life right now, drop me a line.
  • Spirituality: This is one of those where I can't say it's necessarily this far down the list....honestly, all of these categories are things I'm working on simultaneously in many cases. In dealing with deepening my spirituality there are a couple concrete steps that I'd like to take. One is to really prioritize Church a little more; to make it a centerpiece of my Sunday and spend time each week preparing myself by working through the scripture readings daily. Another thing I want to do is be thinking ahead to the holy days and special times of the Catholic year like Advent, Lent, and the like. I want to center myself a little more around the Church calendar. I also want to participate more in my parish in small ways, supporting events that are happening and attending more of the programming that they have planned. All fairly concrete stuff.


So, that's about it for the moment. A bit shorter than my old list, but I think many of these things are more manageable and plannable for the current year. I need to review all this stuff quarterly at least and evaluate and tweak. But this is a good list to work from for the next 12 months.

June 2011

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