arontius: (Default)
.....We're here. We made it. We're at Gate S2 awaiting our 4:45PM flight to Salt Lake City. If you'd have asked me our chances of actually making it here this morning, I might have given you even odds as I was NOT motivated to get moving at all.

.....Mainly it was the mind doing loop-de-loops over handing off the Seneschallate to Oliver last night. It was tough, and still is. He is entirely competent and a great diplomat. He'll do a fantastic job with the office, especially since he has far more time during the course of a normal week to actually devote to it. Which, of course, is one of my regrets, all of those things that are loose ends that I will not finish.

.....It's tough to let go though. I thought last night at the Business Meetings things might have gone worse for me on the emotional side. But it was a quiet night and that helped. I stayed in the rhythm of the reports and made it through the night without thinking, really, that it was my last Business Meeting. It still hasn't really hit, except as a vague notion of loss. But things are already getting incredibly busy and I just need to let go.

.....Enough with the whining. I think I'm driving friends away with it. [livejournal.com profile] hopeful_archer took me off of her friends list yesterday. I hope my whining isn't driving friends away. I may have to ask her about that.

.....Disneyland! I haven't been there since 1976. The last time I was there they hadn't broken ground on Space Mountain yet. My mother, brother and myself had made the two hour drive from Outer Mongolia (otherwise known as Weldon, CA) to tour the Bicentenial Train. They shuffled us through there so fast that we had toured and were done by 10AM, so Mom decided, 'What the heck, let's go to Disneyland!' Of course, my brother and I weren't going to argue with that one. :-) It was a lot of fun.

.....The place is like doubled in size now, with lots more to do and see. I'm looking forward to it. The weather looks nice as well. The hotest day will be 87 degrees, the others being in the upper 70's and lower 80's. I'd still like to make the drive down there sometime. Maybe this December. I have almost three weeks of leave to use up then. That might be a good time for a drive.

.....But only if my 'to-do' list is caught up! Between scroll texts and ceremonies and planzzzz, things are already hopping and will hit warp speed when we get back next week.

.....Actually, I think that TBT picked a good time for this. It is like a nice exclamation point and separation between one life and the next. I think I'll work on that as my mantra.

.....TBT wants to log on to LJ before we board, I suppose I'd better let her on the computer now. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I woke up from a dream where I was greedily lusting after some beads. And as should be the case in all situations where greed is involved I was left with nothing. :-) Which, while frustrating, is a good life reminder. :-)

.....It's been interesting in that I don't usually dream, or I don't remember having dreamed when I wake up. But three days this last week I had dreams vivid enough to remember after waking. Wish I had written them all down now.

.....The rain is somewhat bothersome. We're supposed to be at a benefit Pancake Breakfast this morning at Port Gamble. The cooking area is covered, but not much else is. I was hoping that the rain would hold off a while, like mid-day. :-)

.....I met another Live Journal Friend yesterday. I find it interesting how this process is working. Most people I get to know in 'real life' first, then I get to know them 'better' in Live Journal. But over the past couple of years there have been a number of people with whom I learn who they are first in Live Journal, and then I meet them in person. The experience has always been interesting mainly because the vision I had of them, built from reading their Live Journal entries, usually bears a much difference resemblance to who they are in person.

.....I met [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams yesterday. An author of four books who always struck me far more, formally, in Live Journal. But in person is so much more gregarious than I would have figured. A very nice person though. I was very happy to have met her and spoken with her. And authors always are respected in my world view. :-)

.....We were at a dinner at Madrun's house. Her Family-Of-Choice were all really nice. I was again reminded how important your 'family-of-choice' is really. I certainly know how supportive mine has been over the years. They've always come through for me.

.....But what I most covet from Madrun's house? Her book collection! Guess I really am a bookaholic. :-)

.....Started my own Baronial Succession Death March yesterday. Made up my list of things that 'must be done' before I step down as Seneschal. The list is long but I managed to bite into it yesterday a bit. Although part of that time was spent in gnawing down my e-mail inbox. Started with 1,800 messages in the inbox and ended the day with 833, so we're making progress there.

.....The real work though starts later today when TBT and I get together with a few people and map out our major 'to-do' lists and prioritize it all in support of the Succession in November. I'm somewhat dreading it as I'm sure that list will be massive in scope. :-)

.....Now I've just boggled my mind and have to go and re-set it before I can continue forward. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I've posted a time or two about how, in a number of roles I've taken up lately, tried to remain a neutral party. As Seneschal, as one of the secretaries to the Regional Pelican Council, etc. This is probably the best course of action when you want to see the bigger picture and make the decision that is best for your group and the larger 'community'.

.....That all sounds well and good, but there are times when a small part of my mind wants to chuck that logic out the window and do what *I* think is best, no matter what the consequences end up being.

.....I woke up this morning to a couple of complicated e-mails. I took my time in answering them because I wanted to make sure and say the right thing. Then I got to an e-mail from someone poking me about an issue that has been hanging out there since June Faire. I read it, read it again, and REALLY thought about how good it would feel to take off my Seneschal's hat and just tell the bastard what I think should be done with the issue. In minute detail as well to ensure that they understood how I felt, COMPLETELY.

.....Normally, I wouldn't have had a problem in answering, but after the previous series of having to 'say the right thing', I really wanted to say MY thing instead.

.....Took me a couple of minutes to talk myself off of that ledge. I can only imagine what it must be like to be the Kingdom Seneschale, or Society Seneschal, where the words you say have such incredible weight.

.....I need to go and take a patience pill, I can see that I'm running short of that particular trait today. :-) Ack! I can feel the headache coming.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I find being the Seneschal of Dragon's Laire to be an interesting case study in group dynamics at times. :-)

.....The other night I posted a note to the Baronial e-list concerning the potential loss of our Fight Practice Meeting Hall. At first there was the usual blaming of people and finger pointing (some valid and some not so much so) but after a while people settled down and started coming up with ideas, brainstorming on both ways to get children involved and potential new sites at which to hold Business Meetings and Fight Practices.

.....I was encouraged by that conversation. What it does is gets people thinking about the state of the Barony and its future. It gets people interacting with each other towards common solutions. It makes people think of themselves as members of the family group rather than 'us and them'.

.....Right now everyone is just brainstorming. I'm sure that there will be ideas that will not work. Ideas that have been tried in the past and haven't worked well. But that is O.K. Some ideas that are suggested may lead people to thinking of other ideas that could lead to other places and more good ideas.

.....I'm encouraged for another reason as well. There have been a couple of instances over the past handful of months where I've talked to people about getting involved in something and the response has been rather non-committal. People have been reluctant to get involved in solving issues because of the perception that there are others in the Barony who can solve the issues faster and more efficiently than they can. We really need to empower more people to get involved in the inner workings of Baronial operations.

.....When a problem or issue or situation comes up, there are a group of 'problem solvers' who immediately jump into action and solve that problem. Oftentimes this happens before others are even aware of it. On some levels this is a very good thing. But I think that we need to take a step back and think about this some. There are issues that need immediate solutions and then there are issues where we need to step back and let others take the lead on solving them. This builds strength and encourages others to learn and grow. We end up with a stronger group.

.....It also builds the Team by encouraging more people to get more involved. Dragon's Laire has a good group of people living within its borders. We have over 200 paid members residing in the branch. Of that group I'd say we had a core of maybe a dozen or so real 'problem solvers'. I'd like to see that number grow to maybe close to a hundred or so people who can swoop in an autocrat an event on a moments notice, respond to a crisis at gate, take up an office that was vacated without warning, etc. Wouldn't that be cool?

.....I'm excited today. Can you tell? I love my Dragon's Laire family today. I may not tomorrow, so I'll soak in as much as I can at the moment so I have it in reserve for those other times. :-)

.....Yeah, it's FRIDAY!!!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Greetings All,

.....So, what does one do when one is nervous about one's quickly approaching nuptuals? One types up the notes taken at the September Crown Seneschale's Meeting. :-) I used to do this all the time for Master Ljotr, but Viscountess Nedezdha has not really needed them as much (she takes much more of her own notes), but I still do it anyway to keep in practice. They may be useful to someone. :-)

.....I've put them behind an LJ Cut to save space. If anyone reading these has corrections, I'd sure appreciate them.

September Crown Seneschale Meeting Notes )

.....Signing Off In Growing Nervousness, Aaron / Arontius. :-)
arontius: (Default)
…..I’ve had a ringside seat over the past few days for an issue through which Their Excellencies and THL Angharad (Baronial Seneschale) have been working. The details aren’t important in this conversation. The important thing for this is that I had the chance to sit on the periphery of this issue and observe the interactions of all involved and have gained some insight on what life has been like for Angharad for the past couple of years. I was involved in the discussion to a degree, but was not really part of the overall solution. It also gave me a little insight in what my life as Seneschal will be like for the next few years. I came away feeling a little more empathy / sympathy for Angharad. It was interesting.

…..The job of Baronial Seneschal is a rather tough one. Not so much due to the workload involved, but mainly in how they liaison between the working forces of the Baronial Officer Corps (and the Baronial Populace) and the wishes of Their Excellencies. The job is mainly a behind-the-scenes one. The way I’m seeing it, those who have done their job the best have been those who are fairly invisible. Making sure that the Barony complies with all Kingdom / Society laws, that the Barony is being fiscally responsible, that reports are being submitted, etc.

…..The job of Baronial Seneschal in Dragon’s Laire is even tougher than most. Dragon’s Laire is a large and active Barony. There is always a lot happening. Even more so than that are Their Excellencies Cedric and Brighid. They are an amazingly dynamic and active couple. They are everywhere doing everything. It is nearly impossible to keep up with Them. Don’t get me wrong here. They are highly intelligent, highly motivated to do the right thing for Dragon’s Laire and her populace, and incredibly nice people. In fact, They are two people I consider to be my very best friends.

…..So why would I say that it is difficult working with them? Part of Their personality is the ability to solve problems, and solve them FAST. Watch them in action sometime, it is amazing. But don’t get too close, you might get wind burnt. :-) Over the past couple of days I have watched them deal with a problem expeditiously and with a firmness that that allowed for the best solution. What they did worked well, with as little ruffling of feathers as possible. And the fact that it remained invisible to the rest of the world was just an added bonus.

…..The question I basically had for myself was that when all was said and done was that I found myself holding my head up and spinning it around like some hoot owl going, ‘What just happened?’ They had solved the problem so fast that I had barely the time to think it through. If an issue comes up in the future and it’s solved before I even have a chance to look at it, will I feel any kind of resentment? I suppose that it will depend upon the situation. But it made me really stop and think about how this Seneschal job is supposed to work.

…..I suppose in one way this could be considered a good thing. I could spend the next couple of years signing EIF’s, chairing the Business Meetings and sending a couple of paragraphs of verbiage to Countess Daedin every quarter and remain blissfully ignorant of my surroundings. In fact, that has some appeal after the hard work of the past few years. Their Excellencies could run the whole show and I’ll be Their lackey behind the scenes.

…..That would be the easy way out. But I suppose that it would be irresponsible to the Barony as well. I should be engaged. But I should also allow Their Excellencies the clearance They need to run Their show. That is the feudal game we play.

…..One of the things that worries me is that I do consider Their Excellencies to be close personal friends. I don’t ever want to come to a point to where that friendship comes into question. I should be prepared to back out completely should I see that happening. In fact, I plan a sit down in about six months with Them to make sure that all of us are happy with how things are going and if the situation needs to change. They might end up happier working with someone who is not a close personal friend. Business is business, and sometimes a working business relationship works far better than friendship when dealing with issues that require objectivity.

…..The one saving grace in this, at least in my mind, is that Their Excellencies and I have at times held very opposing positions, have argued our points passionately, and have still remained good friends. I think that this is a good sign that we can work well together.

…..So I’m pondering how best to balance this all out between the differing positions on how to be a Seneschal. Anyone out there with experience on this subject have some words of advice? How do you deal with the juxtaposition of leadership between the Business Leader (Seneschale) and Baronail Leaders (Their Excellencies)?

…..Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Greetings All,

.....Just gathering my thoughts here on a Friday morning here at work. It's been busy. But it really has been super busy at work for a while now, so that's nothing new. It's looking like it might taper off a tad bit over the summer when the Navy starts counting every penny more seriously, so I'm looking forward towards summer for that reason among many others.

.....April Crier is in production. I should be complete with it by Sunday. For the first time this last week I started becoming very trepitdatious about giving up the job. Not through the thought that my successor might not be able to do it (heck, Angharad will probably do a BETTER job at it), but because of how much of myself I've wrapped up into it. For years and years (more then a decade for sure) I defined myself very locally to Dragon's Laire. It was my home and really the only place I cared to play. That really started to change big time when I took on the Chronicler's job. I started thinking more at a Kingdom Level and found myself enjoying parts of it quite a bit. Especially the fact that I could influence things, however slightly, to the benefit of the entire populace of An Tir. That realization is rather heady. And if that sound pretentious, I don't mean it to be. It's just that now that I'm looking at going back to a Baronial Level of play I find myself wondering just how relevant I'll be? I've thought a lot on the Beloved Laurellen's discussion on relevance, and I certainly want to stay involved and definitely want to be a force for good. Things to ponder over the next few months.

.....But I do stand a good chance of being the Dragon's Laire Seneschal come September, so I think that will mollify my trepidation to some degree. I suppose that I'll being jones-ing for something to do again at a Kingdom Level pretty quickly next year though. :-)

.....June Faire meeting with Port Gamble this afternoon to talk traffic patterns. This is a big deal in keeping the modern merchants happy in town and keep the traffic flowing off of the highway. We were bit last year by poor management of traffic (at least the first weekend day). We're going to place special emphasis on traffic this year. And good behavior. I'm preparing several e-mails to go out on the Kingdom E-Lists to remind people to play nice at June Faire and treat the local townfolks with dignity and honor. In fact, I plan on beating this concept into people via e-mail and copy over the next few months. Let's hope that it makes an impact. :-)

.....NORWESCON IN FOUR WEEKS!!! I can't wait. I am rather looking forward to it this year. I'm still working on the Beloved Laurellen to attend at least one day. Easter Day is out of the question of course as it is the Annual Easter Egg Extravaganza at House Brandevin. But maybe Friday night or Saturday. Friday night might be interesting as it is the Annual Rocky Horror viewing at NORWESCON. :-) Although Tamm might be disappointed as the Convention really limits how INVOLVED you can get (e.g. no squirt guns, toast or rice :-)). But I think that Tamm will really enjoy some of the panels and artwork. Maybe it will feed her imagination some. :-)

.....September 7th is the big day! Island Lake Community Center has a deposit upon it, so the venue is set. We're going to keep the actual wedding itself small (less then 50 people). I get overwhelmed pretty easily by crowds and this is going to be rather emotional anyways. I prefer less witnesses to my emotional outbursts. :-) I can't wait for it to happen. I'm awfully tired of being so far away. Phone relations are only just so satisfying. Just have to remember this after we've lived together for several years and are wishing for some 'alone' time. :-)

.....Made the announcement that the Baronial Library and Baronial Copier had to leave my house. There was a little bit of surprise at that statement at the Baronial Business Meeting. :-) I guess they've become quite a fixture in my life. :-) But I gave a deadline of June, and I mean to keep that. Also working on getting rid of 'stuff' in the basement. Must work harder on that.

.....The day is starting to wind up, must get going now. Hope everyone has an excellent weekend! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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