AHTRAP   31,463
30,000-39,999 SparkPoints
AHTRAP's Recent Blog Entries

Last ride down the River?

Friday, December 07, 2012

If you ask me about places I'll miss in Madison after I move away, a food pantry will be near the top of the list. The name of the place is The River, located near the airport in Madison. I've been fortunate enough to not need to be a client of the pantry, despite unenployment. Instead, it is one of those places that you can go to, help out in a small way, and feel good about both for yourself, and for the crucial good it does for those it helps.

It's a place that certainly faith based, but doesn't club you over the head with that aspect of its function. That's something I definitely have appreciated over the years, due to my own not very religious tendencies. Funny thing, I first volunteered there when tagging along with an ex girlfriend's church life group, and I continued going there even after that relationship ended over issue of religion. I don't think its something I would have continued doing if the religious aspect was an in your face presence, as can be the case at other food pantries (especially those associated with specific churches, which is understandable).

Basically, it's a place I looked forward to getting to whenever I could, even when it meant a 45 minute commute through rush hour traffic on a Friday from my previous job. It's a place that I've volunteered at since 2006 or 2007, and tonight was the last time I'll go there on a Friday, the busiest session of the week. I'm planning on going to one of the midweek sessions next week, to get one last little fix of the good people who run the place, Andy and Jenny Czerkas, who've won awards for their work at the River. But I'm a little sad right now, because I'll definitely miss the River and its people.

Hoping to find something similar in the Ann Arbor area.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 12/10/2012 7:02PM

    Awesome Job helping out. those places make such a difference to so many!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIRENSONGS 12/9/2012 10:37AM

    Aw, it's so sweet that you helped out there, and it's sad that you won't be able to anymore, but I'm sure you'll find a similar organization after you move, where your help will be just as appreciated!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIDNIGHTER1 12/8/2012 9:56PM

    It is good to learn about people who genuine care about others and look for ways to support them. You are a good soul and I am sure you will find another place to contribute,even missing the people and places you were before. I am sure your presence will be missed also.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KING_SLAYER 12/8/2012 8:02PM

    Good for you for doing good works. I'm sure Ann Arbor will have plenty of opportunities for a fellow looking to give a little of his time. Best of luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/8/2012 6:24PM

    I'm sure you'll find someplace in Ann Arbor . . . there are soooooo many people in financial distress! HUGS and good luck.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMYTRIPP 12/8/2012 12:10PM

    I'm sure you've touched the lives of those who need the pantry as much as they've touched yours.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GARDENCHRIS 12/8/2012 9:14AM

    I'm sure there are others ... they might even know a few. good luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARIDIAN1 12/7/2012 11:20PM

    I am sure they appreciated your help and positive attitude.

Report Inappropriate Comment

one, two, five, four....me count so poor

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Went to see the band Psychostick play the other night, the finest practitioners of the humorcore genre (mixing comedy and metal). If you've heard of them, it's probably for their Beer song (beer is good! Beer is good! Beer is good! And stuff!). I've seen them before, and it was a great, fun time as ever. Favorite part of the night might have been the slow motion moshpit, as called for by the band's singer, and hilariously executed by a good portion of the crowd. Look on YouTube for a video titled "Psychostick - Numbers(drowning pool cover)/Sandwich/ABCDeath - FRESNO, CA - 9-14-12" for a taste of their humor, including the slow mo pit. I'd post a link but the mobile site for YouTube doesn't easily lend itself to figuring out a corresponding URL. But trust me, it's a very educational video.

Wednesday was a non starter, as my to do list gathered moss. Thawed chicken, ate soup. Wrote out a check, didn't have a stamp. Didn't go get a stamp. That sort of thing. Finally, went to the gym at 8, after watching Home Alone, after consuming many Doritos somewhat mindlessly. Now, that wasn't necessarily on the list, but with 10 days left to get to the gym 5 times for the ugly t shirt, it's a wild card entry on every day's to do list. Might have overdone it a bit, this edition of early AM (although at 6 AM, it's ok, right? Just early for me) blogging is another one where I've been asleep, and woke up and wasn't able to fall back asleep. Tweaky back the culprit this time, can't quite tell if it a real issue, or that I finally did enough crunches to feel them. Actually, now that I think about it, I had another go at the punching bag, and that might be the culprit, the way it feels. Funny thing, I didn't feel anything until I stood up to grab my water glass, placed, as ever, out of casual swatting's reach. And then I felt compelled to try and recall where I might have put the ibuprofen.

The fact that I'm sore does highlight something I've been wondering about during this month and change when I've been going, really for the first time in years, steadily to the gym. When I work out, I do so to sweat. I've been making pretenses at strength training, a couple sets of crunches and squats and miscellaneous stuff with various weight machines on most of these gym visits, but nothing structured. Moreover, I'm not doing anything particularly strenuous, where I'm really feeling it the next day. Figure I'm doing something, if not wrong, then at least halfassed (let's see if the lack of a hyphen gets it past the censors!). In that light, maybe the back is saying, "about time you put in a full cheeked effort!"

Curious what it'll say after a bit more sleep?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KING_SLAYER 12/7/2012 2:10AM

    I can totally relate to the strength training. Since I lost my 2 training partners I just haven't put any time into it. The really sad thing is that I know better. I know that consistent strength work (and tracking it in my notebook) is what I should be doing, but for some reason I'm not doing it. I keep telling myself I'm going to, but then I don't.
Note to self: get back to strength training! Even if it's just with the machines!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLPURNELL 12/6/2012 5:09PM

    Hope the back feels better soon. Something is always better than nothing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMYTRIPP 12/6/2012 8:02AM

    I'm right there with you on the strength training. I keep telling myself that when we get the basement room all redone as a home gym, I'll start using the Total Gym we've had for ages - I wonder if that will actually happen (either the home gym or me on the TG). LOL

I hope your back was happy with the extra sleep. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/6/2012 7:48AM

    Probably thank you for the extra sleep!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Wonder how many have me as a sparkfriend that I've failed to notice?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Thought comes of inadvertently landing on someone's spark page and deciding to befriend them on musical tastes alone. Did let the person know I'd done so, and gave the option of reciprocating, or simply telling me to go away. But I suppose there's the third option, of being unaware of the request. After a year plus on spark, I've probably done the same at some point. So, I'm curious to know if there's a way to look at mutual friends versus the one way streets. Might also tell me how many true (reciprocating) friends I have on here, and who I should jettison for not being aware of my existence. OK, so that's overstating things by a quantum leap, but it's where my brain is.

As said brain really should be sleeping, I think I'll try to see if I can't make that my reality.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRONBLOSSOM 12/5/2012 6:08PM

    I think I always get a notification and I almost always add back. I don't remember/haven't correlated if others do though...I like Punky's info!

Report Inappropriate Comment
3016DEBRA 12/5/2012 3:55PM

  You're worrying too much....take a rest emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/5/2012 2:13PM

    I think we've probably all done this!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEXBOBOMB 12/5/2012 9:55AM

    I've wondered this myself, Ahtrap -- and had that awkward moment when you discover, just by chance, that someone has friended you that you hadn't thought to friend.

Maybe it's because I, like you, tend to announce my friending to the friend-to-be as I'm doing it. I don't expect anyone to friend me back, but I just think it's polite to "let them know I'm there".

Let me explain: I'm an avid blog reader, and if I'm your friend, I've likely read all your latest blogs and made a good dent in your old ones. When I let someone know I'm friending them, it's to give them a heads-up that I'll soon be rifling through your closets and going through the medicine cabinets of your bloggity-blog life.

Now, I'm a writer-monkey-whore, so when I do happen upon people who have friended me without giving me the polite heads-up, I'm definitely not "mad" or anything. I just assume they like my words and want to "bookmark" me to read more. And I *do* like to be read, it's a damn compliment!

So, the way I see it, alerting someone that you are friending them is polite, but let's not quibble over formalities: you're welcome to have at my closets and cabinets, Dear Readers, and etiquette be damned!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOPINTOS 12/5/2012 7:22AM

    OH gosh, glad to see this post and the info provided by Punky, as I have been on Spark for about a year, and just recently learned how to set my email to receive such notifications!


Report Inappropriate Comment
GARDENCHRIS 12/5/2012 7:18AM

    put that brain to bed!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUNKY100 12/5/2012 6:30AM

    Hahaha of course there is!! If you are looking at your full friend feed (on the bottom right of your start page) there is a little link hidden in that first paragraph. You can click on the words Click here which then takes you to a page where you can see 3 sets of friends: The ones who have added you but you haven't added back, your mutual friends, and then at the bottom, the ones you have added but haven't added you back.

It may be a real eye opener haha, I know I look at mine once in a while just to see what's up in my friend world. :-)

I hope you got some sleep!

Report Inappropriate Comment

swinging on the spiral

Monday, December 03, 2012

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of music that has an introspective, perhaps gloomy sound to it, like Tool (subject is a reference to that band), Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Antimatter, Anathema, etc. The first three bands are outfits I listen to often, so they're not a surprise. The latter two are related, so, again, perhaps not a surprise, but I enjoyed listening to those bands this time around in a way I hadn't appreciated them before. Not sure if that's a product of mindset, or a slight shift in taste, or something else.

Only 1:30 AM tonight. This one is pure insomnia, as I was half asleep watching the Grinch Who Stole Christmas many hours ago, perked up watching the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, really was awake for the end of High Fidelity, for which I would have changed from Raiders if only I'd noticed it was on. And now it's a couple of hours on, and sleep is but a stranger on the train going the other way.

Made it back to the gym today, intending to stick to lower body stuff. So, naturally, I used the rowing machine and found myself beating on the punching bag. Guess I'll see in the morning if I pay for that call. It was fun, though. I was oddly off balance though, bailing on attempts at squats with the 25 lb kettle bell, something I've done a few of (on the order of 2x5 reps) the last few times at the gym. Knees were extending towards and over the toes, and I couldn't correct that for some unfathomable reason. (To be slightly fair to myself, I've been doing these on the back of a balance bubble (those quarter moon doohickeys), where doing a squat without weights results in hilariously wobbly knees, and I've been trying to make it harder by moving my feet closer together, so that might play a role in the balance issue, rather than the neck thing.)

And, oh by the way, I just yawned. Given the hour of the night, that's not out of the ordinary...but, get this...it didn't hurt! Nice change from the last 4 nights!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENREAP12409 12/4/2012 4:34PM

    When I can't sleep I watch heavy metal music videos. You know the low gutteral grunting ones? Yeah those. It works every time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIRENSONGS 12/3/2012 10:39AM

    I love blogs that mention music, especially if I'm partial to the artists mentioned. Opeth, Anathema, and Antimatter: hooray! And the others aren't half bad either!

Hope you're not too sore today from your workout, and that you managed to get some sleep!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/3/2012 9:09AM

    I'd be non-functional without sleep! But then again . . . guess I'm O-L-D by some standards! LOLOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 12/3/2012 8:01AM

    You'll be too tired to notice if you're sore, at this rate...

Report Inappropriate Comment
GARDENCHRIS 12/3/2012 7:26AM

    GET some Sleep! Thant is an order! LOLOLOL

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Good job on making it to the gym!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCRAPPINPOLLY 12/3/2012 3:00AM

    Keep your chin up!! You're doing great!

Report Inappropriate Comment

bloggin after midnight, rockin til the dawn

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Getting to be a (bad?) habit, scribbling and posting on towards 3 am. Unlike the first such item a couple of days ago, this is not born of neck discomfort, as that issue is receding after a few painful days. It did affect my activities, as I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday. Need to make it 8 times in 13 days for the ugly t shirt. I also decided against making a trip to Milwaukee to see some friends play a show, which is unfortunate because it was the last such opportunity I had to do so before moving. Hopefully they can make a trek out Michigan way sometime.

Instead, I stayed in Madison Saturday night. And even there, there were a couple crossed wires, leaving me to my own devices. So I went and watched some football and breakdancing. The football was the Big Ten Championship game, of interest due to Wisconsin's participation. The Badgers did not disappoint (unlike their performances for much of the season), rolling over Nebraska 70-31. No, that's not a basketball score.

As for the breakdancing...a former coworker is a performer, or b-girl, and she posted about the event. Just watching the competitors/performers made my abs hurt.

Weird moment at the end of the night, when I went to greet my acquaintance, and quite naturally left off saying, "I'll see you around." It wasn't until a minute later as I was exiting the building that I realized that this was a person I'm unlikely to perhaps ever meet again.

My mind's just shot off on an age old tangent of, "where's that border between 'friends' and mere 'acquaintances'?" But, then again, I've probably been exploring that tangent a good bit lately, trying to decide who to spend time with, or to inform about leaving, before actually doing so. I called someone today, to see if she'd be around over the next two weeks, as she travels a fair deal for work. Being the perceptive type, she figured out something was up, and I told her why The two week timeline. Felt a little bad when she said I ruined her Saturday...but that I felt the need to get in touch, that puts this person in the friend category.

On the other hand, there are others to whom I am closer, and spend more time with, who I am reluctant to let know...and I'm not sure why...regardless, I have a couple of phone calls to make tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1CRAZYDOG 12/2/2012 10:29AM

    It isn't easy to say good-byes! When I left to move from IL to CO years ago, I went thru that process, and it was @ times painful! As it went, I only lived there for 10 months before a better opportunity came up back home in IL! As luck would have it though ANOTHER opportunity happened in WI, so had to leave IL again, and this time it's been 5 yrs. (and 4 mths. but I won't split hairs! LOL) I've learned that home is where the heart is and right now, this feels like home, so that's a good thing.

Wishing you all the best on your relocation to MI.

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 Last Page