Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Week One: Done

I'm pretty sure I wrote another post with this exact same title some time ago. It's a recurring theme anyway, as so many things in life are. The first week of school is finally done. We're off and running, so to speak. And here we are with a 3-day weekend to unwind and decompress. I'm going to take a trip to San Francisco tomorrow before getting Connor back on Sunday.

A good friend asked me yesterday why I go to San Francisco. I'm not entirely sure that she's aware of how often I make this trip in the course of a year. I suppose I like that it's fairly close and has lots to see and do, things appropriate for whatever mood I find myself in. Really though, when I pass over that last crest of a hill and I see the ocean coming into view for the first time, an immense calm comes over me. It's as if the waves themselves are washing over my soul, pulling away the loose sand and debris that has clogged it. It's like I've come home.

In a word: serenity. That's why I go.

Over the last 24 hours I've subjected myself to waves of a different kind: nostalgia. I've been going through my file cabinet in the folder where I've kept personal treasures for years and years. Mostly cards and letters from times gone by. It's amazing how much we forget over the years. The people who touched our lives and affected us in our youth. Those who pulled us along when we needed a tether to keep us on our path. There was even a couple of letters from people that, honestly I can't yet remember who they are. I stare at their name on the page and concentrate as hard as I can. But they've been completely washed from memory.

But that's not true of most of my treasures. There were some people I was very close to, who meant the world to me and yet I drifted apart from them over the years. Like a small dinghy hopelessly lost, further and further out to sea. Maybe that's why the ocean calls to me now. Maybe it wants me to keep an eye out for this little ship to finally drift back home. So the world will be right again.

I can't really say that I have any regrets in life. I believe that the only way a person can truly have regrets is if they aren't happy with where they've ended up in life. And I'm not prepared to admit that. Things aren't perfect, sure. Things need work, sure. I'm not finished, not by a long shot. But I'm content with who I've become, with who I am at this instant.

And yet, I cannot help but look back on potential missed opportunities and wonder: what might have been. It's silly, I know. One cannot change the past. But perhaps the present and future will change now, as I've relived through some past memories - GOOD memories - long forgotten that now bob incessantly on the surface of my consciousness.

Life is funny. The first week of the first semester of my 21st year at Sac State is done. Tomorrow I will take a good, hard, long look across the sea. I wonder what I'll see.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Missing Donuts

It's Tuesday morning. 9am. Day 2 of school. Where are the donuts?? Honestly I've grown exceptionally disappointed in this certain student organization's ability to consistently supply me with my insatiable craving. Once upon a time, long long ago, there were very consistent. It was a given, a mathematical certainty, that they'd be there, peddling their wares in our building on each and every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I could count on them, and I would always get a chocolate bar. I miss my donuts. Anyways. Times change I suppose.

The school year is off and running, and as usual it's an exceptionally busy time with a seemingly non-stop stream of students coming by looking for lockers. And keys. And directions. So many people are lost (and not just physically, it seems). It's always bittersweet for me when a new semester starts. I miss already the peace and serenity of the holiday break around here, but it's also nice to see some familiar faces again. And let's face it, the work day goes by much faster when you're much busier. And slower when you're not. I do believe you could apply a mathematical proportion to that relationship. I find I'm a bit tired already though, even though it's only Day 2 and not even 10:30am at that. That may be just a by-product of this past closing weekend of the Yeomen of the Guard with LOTS; playing five performances of an entire Gilbert and Sullivan opera is definitely taxing! Though it is perhaps that I've just been staying up too late besides that. Hey, I'm not in my 20's anymore. Bedtime is 9pm! How old I've become. But I'm proud to admit that on Friday night I stayed out at a bar having drinks and appetizers with a certain oboe player from our orchestra, and I didn't get home till almost 3am! How wild am I?

I'll have to keep this short as it's just too busy here right now; I've been working on this for over an hour already (lol). I did want to say though, that last night I reconnected with an old friend from my *gasp* junior high days. From way, way back in my history. I had mostly fallen out of touch with her over the years, only catching glimpses of her existence now and then on Facebook. (To be fair, I mostly have fallen out of touch with everyone - I'm like a hermit. A recluse even) But it was so nice to catch up a little bit on each other's lives. How many years have gone by?! Too many. I think our respective lives were quite a bit of a surprise to each other. SO much has happened. Hopefully we'll continue to chat, and even find some time to hang out so we can catch up on missed hugs from years gone by, and become good friends once more.

Hey look, it's 10:30am now. Back to work I guess. I do wish I had a donut right now...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday Morning

It's a cool morning. That's saying something, after weeks of daily high temperatures near or over the century mark. It's supposed to be 'only' 89 today. Hooray for simple pleasures. It's fortunate in my job that I don't always have to stay cooped up in my office, as it was a delightful morning to stroll through the campus whilst still completing necessary errands for the State. And it's fortunate that I work on a campus that basically amounts to a giant park, laden with trees including dozens of redwoods. And occasionally, squirrels. And now, being the week before school starts, it's still pretty peaceful out there. It's still possible wander about and foolishly imagine that this park exists for only me. At least, for a little while. Next week, we'll be overrun with tourists, and those of us who are more permanent residents will just have to sigh in acceptance. Summer had to end eventually, after all.

It's been a decent summer over all, some new adventures and some old ones, and hanging out with or otherwise reconnecting with people I had more or less lost touch with in recent years. Another summer and another cruise to Alaska, but my first as a single dad. On the performing arts side, we're midway through our run of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Yeoman of the Guard" with the Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento, and the show has been going well and drawing decent crowds, who have had enthusiastic responses to it. So that's fun. I haven't actually seen that many people I know in the audiences, but perhaps that will change in this our closing weekend. I'll probably head out for drinks after Friday's show at least, just a way to unwind and celebrate all of the things that are ending. Summer. The Yeoman. Peace and Quiet. The usual end of summer routine.

What will this school year hold? What will the fall and winter hold? Who knows, who knows. I prefer to keep my mind and options open, I suppose. I'm still in the midst of dealing with all the changes of the past year. I suspect there will be a lot more to deal with in the coming weeks and months, as we approach what promises to be, for me, a whole new sort of holiday season. Last year's was a bit of a mess for me personally. But that's all over now. Now, I trudge along, day by day, and I'll see what unfolds. Perhaps that is too passive of a way to go through life, I don't know. But there is a certain spiritual calm to it, just letting things fall where they may and trying not to worry about the minor details along the way.

Of course I may have to start interjecting some drive and ambition into things, just to spice life up a bit. We'll see.

But for now, it's only Tuesday, and there's still a few more days left for adventure before the semester starts. Onward.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Walk In The Night

So tonight was our first full run of Yeomen of the Guard, with a full 20-something piece orchestra and the cast in their full, period styled regalia. It actually went really well, I thought. This show seems to me to have a bit of a slower pace compared to other Gilbert and Sullivan shows. But the operatic sound is rather delightful and - dare I say - pretty. It will be interesting to see how this show comes off.

I got home a little after 10pm, which for any community theatre tech rehearsal is actually exceptionally early. After being home for a bit I decided to go out for a walk. I don't why. Because I could, I suppose. What other reason does one need?

Anyways, I started out around 11:30 and followed mostly the same path I usually go when I walk around sunset. But this time, it was quite different. It was...peaceful. Calm. Serene.


I experienced the world in a way that few people ever do, for no other reason than they simply choose not to. At first I only noticed the apparent absence of any sound within the dark canvas that surrounded me. But then the music of the night started to fade in, as if someone was slowly edging up the volume knob of a radio, higher and higher until it virtually begged to be noticed.

I heard crickets at first, perhaps only one or two initially, until they eventually grew into an entire army. There might be a whole bustling city of them out there, all past the edge of human sight. And then over the top of it, like a solo piccolo in an orchestra, came the tweets of a single bird. It was far in the distance, and seemingly tentative yet incessant. Repeating. Again. And again. As he threw his song out into the world, with no one but me and the crickets to hear, it seemed as if he was merely practicing. Testing out his voice, as it were. Probably he didn't expect anyone to be listening.

As I continued walking, I must have gotten fairly close to him, as his song grew more urgent, almost alarmed. He was probably spooked by my presence, since it's so unusual for him to see humans out at this hour. As well he should be. Creatures from my species are dangerous creatures indeed. But eventually he must have decided I was not a threat, for his song simmered down and continued on its original course.

I found that I could focus my hearing like an antenna, and I picked up the distant sound of cars on the freeway, which at this distance sounded almost like the crashing of waves on a beach. Steady and unrelenting. It's pretty easy, at this hour, to remove yourself from reality and transport your mind to just about anywhere.

As I walked, the day passed through that invisible marker of linear time: midnight. A new day had begun. The transition was so seamless that it wasn't even noticeable. A moment ago it was Tuesday, now it's Wednesday. Time marches on. Who really notices?

I wish I could reveal more hidden miracles of the world that I discovered on my journey, but unfortunately the reverie was broken by some idiots in cars doing donuts in a nearby parking lot. Why do humans have to go screwing everything up? It's almost like the moronic masses believe they've found their own distorted meaning of life. "Welcome to earth, your purpose is to muck up everything as much as you possibly can". And they do, they do.

It's a good thing the earth still retains a lot of beauty that mankind has not yet found a way to tarnish. Oh well. Time for bed.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Click. Delete.

Well today was the Sitzprobe for the Light Opera Theatre production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Yeomen of the Guard". The show opens this Friday and runs for two weeks at the 24th Street Theatre, a theatre I've been playing shows at now for 13 years. So, it's tech week. Late nights every night, and an abundant lack of sleep. Except for tomorrow, Monday - that's my only free night. I guess it will have to be my "party" night of the week. Most likely it will be my "close myself up in the house and draw the shades closed" night. Just me and the cats. So it goes.

I'm not quite back into playing shape yet. I mean, I haven't played the upright bass since...well last year's LOTS production I guess. The fingers tend to forget where they need to go. Just a little bit. But it will come back to me. Slowly but surely. I mean, it always does.

Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces in the audience for this show. I usually do. I've been around the block enough, this being my 34th or 35th show or so, that I've seen and met a lot of people who run in the musical theatre circles. New ones are always adding to it, to be sure, but many of the old ones are still there as well. It is fun, to be a part of that world, that family, again; I haven't had a lot of opportunities in the last five years. At least not as many as I used to.

So most of the rest of today, outside of rehearsal and after turning over Connor for the week, I spent going through my substantial digital photo library on my computer. I've kept them pretty organized over the years, with albums chronologically ordered dating back to 2006, separated by events. This wasn't a stroll down memory lane, or at least it wasn't originally meant to be. It was meant to be a purging of sorts, to get rid of memories - and people - I just don't want to come across my screen anymore. I'd like to think this was an important step towards the cleansing of my soul, towards branching out into a new life and leaving the old one behind. But my soul still feels tarnished.

It's interesting to note how much photography has improved since 2006. Technology has grown leaps and bounds, and cameras today are far superior to what existed back then. Of course, my eye and skill has improved as well, I guess. You don't think about it much as you're going through life's events and trying to capture each precious moment. But I suppose after taking thousands upon thousands of photographs, anyone will improve. I have grown a lot.

You ever wonder what happened to all the people you've met over the years? Over the last quarter of a century at Sac State, I've seen thousands of people come and go. Some I used to be rather close to. To most I was not. Some have gone on and made remarkable lives for themselves. Most have not. Most have just melted away into the fabric of society, never to cross my path again. It is the way of things, I guess.

I was wondering tonight as I went for my sunset walk, what became of certain people I knew 20, 25 years ago. Before the time of social media. Before cell phones and text messages and all of those things that link us together in today's world. There were people I liked, people I hung out with, people I've subsequently never heard from again. Where did they all go? Do they ever wonder about the past, and what might have been had we taken a left turn here or there instead of a right? Who knows what may be different today, had one little thing, 20 or 25 years ago, worked out differently. Guess we'll never know. But it's an interesting thought experiment, as I trudge along the path watching the crimson sunset on the horizon. What may have been?

So now, back at home, as I sit at the computer remembering many times and experiences I've had - and remembering some even earlier that never made it to digital film - I cannot help but become a little nostalgic. All of these snapshots, capturing moments in time. I cannot help but wonder, What If? What if I had made one different turn, here or there. Or two or three. But I have to stay focused; I'm on a mission after all. Slowly erasing those memories and people that were once joyous parts of my life, but are now at best bittersweet. With emphasis now on the bitter, I suppose. So it goes.

Click. Delete. Click. Delete. Repeat. Goodbye.