Saturday, January 29, 2011

Funeral For a Friend

I just got back from a funeral this afternoon.  A friend's baby only lived for 7 hours after birth.

Funerals always make me introspective.  It takes me back and makes me consider many things.  Mostly I try to understand it.  The first time I ever really encountered death was when I was 14.  My 16 year old cousin commited suicide.  He was also deaf, and it made me wonder - will that happen to me as well?

I was a weird funk for a week or two.  I was also playing Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams, and that kind of gave me some weird ideas about death.

Now I'm 34, and have wrestled enough with life to give me a better perspective on death than I did when I was 13.

Some people ask, why would God take away the life of a little innocent?  Personally, in some ways I think of it as a blessing.  Who knows what future that child may have held, if she lived?  Perhaps God was sparing her from something worse.  I don't know.  What I do believe, is that when children die, they're immediately in paradise with Jesus.

Let's be honest.  This world is a house of tragedy.  For all the joys it presents, there's always a current of darkness that surrounds us.  In a world where we have genocide in South Africa, Hitler in Germany, George Bush in the US, and uncountable nitwits in Canada.  We can honestly say that this life is far from paradise.

So do we blame God?  Really?  How can we?  We ourselves who make poor choices that hurt ourselves and those around us, are not blameless either.  We couldn't dare accuse God of being heartless.

If we could actually step back and see the tapestry of life, every moment that has been or could be, and all the other paths that might have happened if other choices were made, other circumstances were changed...  I think we would be stunned and amazed at how much God has influenced for the better.

I'm certain we could all agree that if Chariman Mao were never born, Hitler, Stalin, James Harvey Oswald... God knows the list can get longer.  Would the world be a better place?

Perhaps.  But I'm inclined to believe that God allowed those things to happen, and influenced the situation of evil, so that good may result.  There could have been even worse men, more heinous than those that would've taken their places.  God knows, this world has no shortage of evil men.  I wouldn't even try to make sense of these tragedies - but I trust that God has.

So today as I left the funeral, my heart went out for the two sweet parents who lost their precious one.  I can't even begin to imagine the strength of faith and character it took for them to smile, and greet people.  To work on the play Titanic, while the future of his child was a mystery.  What would I have done if I were in his place?

I can't say.  I do believe he knows now, who his true friends are.... and he knows how strong his faith is.  And I hope that's a blessing to him and his wife.

On a personal note.  My wife and I haven't been able to have kids since we got married.  Sure there are times we wonder why.  But through it all, I've simply have faith that when it's time, it'll be time...  After all, Abraham waited a hell of a long time for his son.  And like I've said so many times before, Heaven is a place of second chances.  If it doesn't happen here, I'm certain that even better things are in store.

Travis Penner

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, Titanic's wrapped up and I'm out of theater for a week.  Next week I'll be working on Joseph's technicolor coat.

In the meantime I'm back to studying for my A+ and getting things done around the home.

Yesterday exciting developments happened.  We got a call from our adoption agency and we've been matched up with a birth mother.  Sometime soon we'll be meeting her.  We may well be parents as soon as April.  3 months away.

So as you can imagine, it's pretty crazy for us.

Lots of thoughts go through our heads...  What will name the baby?  Is it a girl or a boy?  What health challenges will it have?  How will our lives change once we have a baby in the house?  What will it be like as we raise it?

It's an exciting time.  I'm sure it sounds absolutely pedestrian to some, and it happens to parents the world over when they have their first child...  For us, it's very exciting, as my wife hasn't been able to have a child of our own.  To suddenly be gifted with a child, only a few months around the corner...  It's an amazing time for us.

So I better get my studying down pat and done, because in 3 months, I may be very very busy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Got an Interview!!!

I know it's been a while.

Even my wife was shaking her head at me last night, "You haven't been blogging!"

And to be honest, I'm a little worried sometimes if EI might be checking up on my activities or if potential employers might take offense...  So I took a little time off.

Christmas has been crazy busy, running everywhere, getting gifts, meeting people, making dinners...  When finally we had no plans, we basically collapsed at home and sighed in relief.  Thank God.

After Christmas and NYE, a friend of mine took me out to Las Vegas with him.  He wanted me with him for CES.  We did so much walking I lost 10 pounds.

And as I walked through Vegas, so aptly named as Sin City.  Seeing all the porn everywhere and the shallowness of some of it.  I couldn't help but think, "Not all that glitters is gold, nor is all that's sexy is real."

Ain't it though?  Beautiful girls on flyer's everywhere, Mexicans handing out cards with naked girls and phone numbers on 'em.  Nightclubs promising that even the sorriest looking fellow will get laid...

Even without my wife, it wasn't too hard to behave down there.  After 3 days there, the constant inundation of sex without strings almost made me feel sick.  I probably would've enjoyed things alot more with my wife along.  My friend is a good guy, but there's something about having your BEST friend with you to share everything with - there's no replacement.

So we left the sunny skies of 14 degree weather in Vegas and with mixed feelings returned home to -30 weather in Calgary.  I was glad to see my wife, horrified to be living in this weather.

Today is the first day the cold snap has finally lifted a bit, it's -10 outside...

And I'm dog sitting my parent's golden retriever who is about as dumb and annoying as they can get... I can finally kick him outside when he annoys me too much and be rid of him for a while... he won't keel over in -10...  he COULD keel over in -30... And I'm not cruel.

Most of the time.

So immediately after returning home from Vegas, I began working with the crew on Titanic in the evenings.

We have two massive sets to move.  The plan was to reconfigure them 26 times throughout the show to give the audience the feel of a massive ship.  It was also like a ballet, moving these massive staircases around.  It took 8 people, 4 people on each set.

My crew consisted of 3 small girls, 2 of them in the early teens.  We were so in sync, moving that set around, getting it on the spikes quickly and almost perfectly.  Except... in the last half of opening night, a wheel blew on the other set.  Not mine.

With 15 people on top of the set, those wheels were easily supporting over 2 tons of weight.  Lesson learned, always get better wheels than you think you need to support massive weight on sets.

But hey - it's theater... something ALWAYS goes wrong.

Anyways, after that we went down from 26 scene changes to 2....

We move the sets as sparely as possible now, with NO ONE on them.  Any weight and the broken wheel will gouge the stage... not a good thing.

I was pretty disappointed.  I really liked the way the set moved and it added that little bit of magic to the show.

C'est la vie.

Three more shows left, and then I move on to working with Joseph's Technicolor Coat as ASM.  That'll keep me busy in the evenings.

And thank GOD for theater.  While I'm out of work, I need something outside of the house to make me feel like I'm still alive, still useful, and still matter.

In the meantime during the days I still study, send out resumes and catch up on necessary chores.

It's not a bad life, but I'm looking forward to getting a job again.

Speaking of which, I have an interview tomorrow.  I really hope it goes well.  It's for IT Support, which is exactly where I want to be!