I know I've been doing a lot of these notes columns lately. Wait, check that. As far as this blog is concerned, I haven't been doing a lot of anything lately. However, a lot of what I have been doing has been this type of post. However, in the absence of the time and/or will to concentrate on any one topic upon which I'm compelled to write at length, this will have to do for now.
I had my annual performance review at work last week. I was given a pay raise of $1/hour. That's far less than what I was hoping for and what I deserve, but it could have been worse. Apparently our company president has authorized only a $.75 maximum for annual raises this year, and my boss had to talk him into exceeding that maximum in my case. She was extremely complimentary of my work, almost embarrassingly so. So in that regard, at least, the review went exceptionally well. I do put a great deal of myself into my work, and it's nice to be recognized for that by someone I work with and under on a day-to-day basis. I would like for upper management to recognize it as well, preferably in a financial way, but every little bit helps. I plan to meet again with my boss in the very near future to discuss it again, given that Brandi will be graduating with her Master's degree in May, and how much money I'm making will help to determine whether or not we'll be able to remain in this area and thus whether or not I'll be able to stay at this job. With feedback I've been receiving lately, both in the review and out of it, I would say the company very much wants to keep me in this position. Given that, and how much I would like to stay myself, it's only fair for me to give my boss a warning that we're coming down to "put up or shut up" time.
Brandi's fall semester effectively ended last Wednesday, and to celebrate, we went to BW3 for wings and drinks when she got out of class. Several of our friends met us out, and it was karaoke night. Brandi and her friend Michelle sang several times, both together and separately. Brandi is a fantastic singer. I'm a music fiend, but as much as I love to sing, I can't do it well (or even competently, most of the time) to save my life. That's not to say that I'm totally adverse to getting up in front of people and belting it out for all I'm worth--I have no real problem making a fool of myself. However, Bowling Green is a college town, and one thing that BGSU is known for is its music school. Therefore, most karaoke night participants and attendees know what they're doing, and that can be an intimidating crowd for someone who sucks. I've done it before, though, and I daresay that before too much longer I'll muster up the courage (or stupidity) to try it again.
One topic upon which I probably could write at length is the new statewide smoking ban in Ohio, but since it would probably be more of a rant than actual discourse, I'll limit myself to one of these little notes. The smoking ban ostensibly went into effect on December 7, but the state announced that it would not be enforced until May while they hammer out exactly how the enforcement is going to happen. Nevertheless, all public places are expected to put it into effect. I have seen no evidence thus far of any places actually doing so, which is unfortunate. I understand that they're concerned about its effect on business, but anyone who has been paying attention knows that other places which have enacted smoking bans have seen no negative impact on business, and in many places it has helped. I'm glad to know that eventually these places will have to bow to the law, but it irritates and disheartens me to see so many of them willfully violating it in the meantime.
This past weekend I went down to Dayton to follow the BGSU men's basketball team for a game at the Wright State Raiders. I went to Wright State for two years out of high school before transferring to BGSU, and I hadn't been on WSU's campus for several years, so I was looking forward to it. It was a good, competitive game, with the Falcons coming out on top 59-56. After the game there was an hour-long concert by the classic rock band Survivor, which was surprisingly good. Afterwards, being such a nice night, I decided to take a walk around campus. It was pretty interesting, seeing how much it has changed and yet how much is still the same. That was especially the case when I went inside the student union, which is currently undergoing a pretty massive renovation. Enough of it is the same that I knew where I was and how it used to be, but it's really, really different now. It felt kind of weird, actually. Still, I'm glad I took the time to do it. I mostly enjoyed my time at Wright State, and it was pretty cool to be on campus and to have a little trip down memory lane.
Speaking of the Falcons, here's a pretty cool article from the Toledo Blade on forward Dusan Radivojevic (DOO-sahn rad-uh-VOY-uh-vitch). This story illustrates the good side of college athletics, and also one of the things that make me a big fan of Coach Dakich. His contract expires at the end of this season, and it seems somewhat unlikely at this point that he'll be renewed. While a bit of new blood might not be the worst thing for the program at this point, I'm personally pulling for him to get an extension.
We're now a single week away from Christmas, and it still doesn't feel like it. I'm just not feeling it so far this year, which is at least a little bit unusual for me. Part of it, I'm sure, has to do with the unseasonable weather--I was outside quite comfortably in shirtsleeves over the weekend. Another part of it is the Christmas music I'm being subjected to for eight full hours per day while I'm at work. Hearing the same songs over and over again is engendering almost an anti-Christmas sentiment in me and in many of my co-workers. Fortunately, it's almost over. At any rate, sometime this week I'll be watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, and hopefully that will put me in the right frame of mind. It usually does.