My Year In Review: Part Two The Desolation of Sandy


“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

When last we left our intrepid hero, his current boss was retiring, he had moved to a new place with his family and his life was about to change.

July would turn out to be a tumultuous month. My work would be up in the air for the next few months. The library had big plans for what was currently MY department. My meaning I was the only person in the department of course. It was going to grow and change and become much more. But for now it was mine, until they gave me or someone else the official position. The question was, if I didn’t get the top position, what position would I get? I applied to be the head of the department and a few other well qualified candidates applied as well. I would have to wait until August to learn my fate.

I had also signed up for the MDA Lockup in our area. I had lofty hopes of raising $3000 with ease. I would soon realize that this was not the case. I started begging for cash with my friends, coworkers and others. I am not the type of person who likes asking for money and quite frankly most people I know don’t have much to spare. I am also not well connected with executives, wealthy business owners, etc. but, I do have some amazing friends and they did gave all they could.

I would also go in to have my kidney stone removed. The little bastard (mind you little was the size of a pencil eraser) had been bothering me for nearly two years. I had it smashed with Lithotripsy last year and that had little or no effect. This time they would knock me out, THANK GOD, and they performed a Ureteroscopy on me. I won’t go into other details of the pain and discomfort here. I will just say, drink LOTS of fluids. You do not want to experience this. I mean it! LOTS of fluids.

August started out with a bit of a downer. I didn’t get the head position for my department. I was really looking forward to the challenge. I did get the only full time position and would be integral to the department. Let me stress, this position and this department, in my humble opinion, is the future of the library. Technology is where the library has to go. I still have an awesome job so don’t go crying for my loss. However, at the time, it was a bummer.

Soon after, I had the fun of signing my son up for soccer.  I never realized how much of a chore this would be. The crazy regulation Nazi’s at our local rec center, make this process unbearable! We had moved a few months ago. This made proving we were residents a pain in the ass. Add that to getting 47.5 forms of ID and writing a check for more money than I should have to for my kid to play soccer and have fun and you have one of the worst experiences I have had to go through. Seriously, the NJ MVC (formally DMV) is easier to deal with!

The end of July had brought us Dan Cathy, Chic fil-A’s president making the following statement. “the biblical definition of the family unit” and that he prays “God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”

I figured this would get lost in the mix of stupid people who have made similar statements, but I was wrong. Little did I know that Henson and the Muppets were doing a promotion with the fast food chain with the famous cows. 

When they pulled their products from the kids meals, all hell broke lose. Protests from LGBT groups and Christian groups sprung up. Then a movement started up to boycott the fast food chain. Another movement sprung up to show your support and eat at Chic fil-A by Mike Huckabee. Seriously? Huckabee?

Maybe it was my disappointment that I didn’t the job or maybe it was just my years of studying religion, but I was furious. So I went on a rant! That rant was cathartic. It let me blow off steam and voice a very subdued frustration with our society. This is what I have always done. Exploded, blown off steam and then bottled everything up. This time, however, it was the crack in the dam that would soon burst.

My religious views are pretty simple and pretty complex. I know that makes no sense as I read it but, it is true. I think that anyone, of any faith is completely arrogant to believe that they are right. The concept of religious faith is not hope or sight. Faith can only operate in the realm of the invisible concerning those things we hope for and do not yet see. Faith cannot exist in the visible realm. So how can you know, truly KNOW, you are right? More importantly, how can you say you believe something and dedicate your life to something and ignore the teachings from the prophets or deity you worship? I think all faiths can be a path to enlightenment and perfection, in their own way. But as most faiths profess, most people will never reach that place.

So I started getting on my soap box and it felt good. Then I got locked up.

I am referring to the MDA Lockup, of course. Again, I hated begging and pestering people. I alienated numerous Facebook friends, workmates and others. I felt bad. I change the channel when starving children and beaten animals come on TV. Not because I am callous. Actually it is the other way around. I wish I had the money to help people. I wish I could adopt an abused animal. But I can’t afford fifty cents a day Alyssa Milano! So I turn it off. So, asking others to do this for me, was worse. It was a great experience and I did raise $640 and that was good. My bail was $3200 and I didn’t come close. I found the journey to my imprisonment enjoyable. I rode with a young summer cop (we call the summer officers rent-a-cops here but not usually in their presence) and Reverend Dr. David J. Montanye. The least enjoyable part was a spoiled arrogant little girl who bragged about how much money she had raised. It was well over $3200 and that was great. It was the fact that she disrespected and interrupted her grandmother enough times for her to leave and while her mother boasted how amazing her child was, the girl had no manners. She played the trumpet poorly but for some reason, insisted on doing it five times without invite from the MDA organizers or anyone else. People trying to eat or converse were blasted with noise in the small room.   The Reverend was not only an interesting person to talk with but was also kind enough to drive me back to work after a photo and a crab cake. We discussed religion and our region. He was the highlight of the day. If you are of the Methodist faith and you come to the Southern most Jersey Shore, visit his church.

August was also the month I finally started using Instagram! I love it and applaud them for realizing the policy change was a bad idea.

The best part of August was playing with my kids and doing things as a family. The highlight of the month was Star Wars @ the Library!IMAG1471 IMAG1465 IMAG1468

My kids were thrilled beyond belief. Not only because of the amazing job done by the Children’s Department. It was also because of the wonderful charitable group known as The Northeast Remnant of the 501st Legion. These guys made my kids day. They had an amazing time and enjoyed the evening of fun and games.

Oh yeah, I did too!

IMAG1467

I got a great gift in September! An amazing picture from someone I met once, friended online and have been immensely influenced by. He is so positive and so brilliant. He knew my love of Star Wars and his gift was one of his original pieces of art. 

This was also the month the dam broke! I got political. I started arguing politics on Facebook and among friends. I kept it from work and off my blog. But I certainly opened up about my philosophical outlook on society, politics and more. I had heated debates with relatives and basically opened up. The election is over so, I won’t bore you with the details of my politics. But I may bring it here in the future, so be forewarned.

Soccer season started for my oldest son. What had been a horrible start back in July turned into a wonderful experience. He loved soccer. He made friends. His coach was a childhood friend of mine and I saw many old friends there as Soccer moms and dads. Good times! My son likes playing goal. I would go practice with him in the yard and encouraged his love of the sport every chance I could get.

He also started 1st grade and has impressed me with how well he does in school. He makes friends with ease, is smarter than I was and still has the innocence of youth that makes him enthusiastic about going.

Work got crazy! Our department finally started to come together at work and soon would be growing with new staff members. For now it was me and my supervisor and we were very busy.

Doctor Who and Alphas, not to mention Hell On Wheels, Grimm, Person of Interest, Copper, Elementary and yes, Revolution were all being watched or DVR’d to watch. I was in front of the television WAY too much.  I became a bit of a couch potato for the next few months.

October held yet another birthday. It wasn’t a milestone so it ain’t much to talk about.

I had many more political debates. I was offended and probably did the same to others, no matter how civil I try to be. Politics is ugly. Really ugly. We have lost compromise and balance. Everything is black or white. No grey. No middle ground. No civility. Somehow, I want to try to bring that back. I may be fighting a losing battle but some battles must be fought.

Walking Dead & Comic Book Men were on and even more free time was lost. I LOVE the Walking Dead! No really. It is the best show on television. Talking Dead is a little rough. I love the concept but it is really hit or miss. If you have not experienced this amazing show, than close your browser and go watch it. NOW!!!!!

The end of the month was to be a personification of the word END for many people in our area. Because the End of October was when Hurricane Sandy laid waste to New Jersey!

IDL TIFF file

What? Did he just end it here?

YES I DID!

Just like any good multi-part story, I misled you into thinking you were getting the good stuff, but really, this is just the boring interlude to all the action which will arrive in a  later film and get even more money out of your pocket. Did anyone pay to see Deathly Hallows Pt 1 and walk out of the theater saying it was money well spent? How about Breaking Dawn Part 1?

Anyone?

If only I could charge you $15 to read the next blog, I would have made……………..

$15!

Maybe $20 if I could write this in 3D.

Cyber Trout will return in………

My Year In Review: Part Three There! I’m Back Again.

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