On January 1, I posted a blog entry about the things I’d like to achieve in 2009. Since I don’t have any better idea on what to write today — okay, actually I have a couple of better ideas, but I need to flesh them out a little before I write them up here — I thought I’d review them at the, I dunno, 20% mark and see how I was doing.
In front of you.
In full public view.
So if I haven’t made any progress in some category, I’m like Sissy Spacek in Carrie after they dump the pig blood on her — “They’re alllllllll gonna laugh at you!” (Though you can rest assured that I won’t use my telekinetic powers to destroy your high school. That’s not how I roll.)
Okay, ready for some cheap chuckles? Here we go …
1. A Congregational Journey. This one has been going roughly according to plan. I can’t say it’s been an enjoyable experience — you can only attend so many services where no one makes an effort to get to know you as a person before it starts wearing on you. And don’t get me started on the spread (like kudzu or jock itch) of “blab-it-and-grab-it” theology, which is basically greed wrapped in a thin veneer of religion. The Journey has clarified and reinforced my belief that the American church is in seriously sad shape and in desperate need of reformation. I’ve visited eleven congregations since New Year’s Day (one I didn’t write about — it wasn’t part of the schedule — but I’ll touch on it later this week), and there are only four that I have any desire to visit again, ever. And one of those, I’ll probably leave the second the service starts, as the congregation stops being friendly or even interesting once the “official” meeting begins.
But I’ve also seen a few signs of hope. There are congregations that aren’t expecting the senior pastor to do everything, where the pastor not only allows but encourages parishioners to contribute to the service, where people actually talk to you instead of hi-how-ya-doin-shake-hand-walk-away, and where God is allowed to be God and do what He wants (at least to some extent). There’s always a remnant — the problem I see is that at this point, it’s only a remnant.
Three more weeks to go on this one … or maybe four, as I think I may be visiting one more congregation the first Sunday in April. I’ll keep you posted.
2. Find a diet plan that works for me. Not so successful here — I haven’t gained any more weight, but I haven’t lost any either. The problem is I can go so many ways — more fruit and veggies? more starch? less starch? Atkins? Paleolithic diet? lacto-ovo vegetarian? just drink water for a month and try to stay standing? So there are all these choices, and I’m like the donkey staked in between several equidistant hay bales — can’t choose, so I’m paralyzed. Since no diet works for everybody, I can’t just ask friends. And since I’m cooking dinner five days a week for the Supermodel and the kids (part of the contribution I make in lieu of bringing in income), I have to cook “normal” meals for them regardless. I’m going to keep working on this, I promise … but no direct progress as we go to press.
Indirect progress, however — a little. I’m on a regular workout schedule now that includes jumping jacks and time on the TorsoTrack every day, five days a week with the bench press, dumbbells and elliptical trainer at the Stribley Center, and doing yard work on Sunday and Monday when Stribley is closed. I have to be a little more careful than I have been — I twisted my ankle slightly yesterday while mowing a portion of the lawn, and it’s still not right — but I’m starting to build up some muscle weight in place of fat weight, and that has to be a good thing …
3. Get published. Finished the second draft on the synopsis for my novel, and my author friend Geralyn said she’d be reading it today … if it passes muster, she’ll be shunting it and the novel to her publisher any day now. Not much more I can do at this point except wait.
4. Get a job. NO PROGRESS AT ALL. I was even contacted by a staffing agency last month for a specific placement, went in, interviewed, they were very enthused, passed my info on to their client … and the client has been sitting on their hands ever since. The agency is even more frustrated than I am — they don’t get paid until the client pulls their thumb out of their, um, ear and chooses someone, but they still have to pay their own people while they wait. Whereas my expenses only go up when I get picked, since only then I’ll have to gas up to drive to work and put my son in day care more often.
Otherwise, no real leads, though my resume is still out there. Yep, we’re in a recession all right. Thankfully, the Supermodel has a job, and we got our federal tax return back. We’re not hurting.
5. A 100-win season in Legends of Baseball. Well, tonight we’ve just started round 38 of the 40-round draft, so no games played yet. But I like how my team looks. My team, the Stockton ’88s, has got good starting pitching, a good bullpen, lots of power hitting, solid defense, a little speed, no major weaknesses that I can spot. I’d say I’ve got a puncher’s chance at least. The downside is that I’m in a division with two perennial powerhouses (Tom Hunter’s Cleveland Elysians and Commissioner Tom Austin’s Truckee Tornadoes), plus another club that looks pretty frisky (the Lancaster Red Roses of Ted Knorr). And since those three teams are one-third of my schedule — 54 games out of 162 — that’s a lot of battling. We’ll have to see how things shake out. But as Andrae Crouch sang, I’ve got confidence. (Not to mention Lou Gehrig, Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench and A-Roid.)
6. Start a blog. Well, you’re reading it, ain’tcha? Obviously I’m rolling there!
Maybe I’ll come back to this in mid-May, see how I’m doing. Hopefully while carrying fewer pounds.