Hello everyone! This is Punster1 (aka) Steven by my family and people who have known me since I was a kid, or Steve by people I've met in recent years. You can call me Steve or Steven, but as the old joke says, "Don't call me late for dinner!"
So, why Punster1? Well, I was taking a blogging class from a friend of mine, who was teaching it at The Badger Association of The Blind and Visually Impaired in Milwaukee. Since I was having trouble coming up with a creative user name, one thing she knows about me is that I love to come up with puns. And, since there was a reason for a numeric character in my user name, I thought if I'm going to be the pun guy, why not be the #1 pun guy!
Anyway, thank you for visiting my always evolving blog. This experiment of Internet Excellence has been going on for about two months now, and I just noticed that I forgot to post a bio. So, since I like to do things backwards, here I am!
My very earliest post pretty much tells my life story. Perhaps, I should have found it, copied and pasted it. But, I guess that would be too logical. So, I'm putting myself to work and rewriting it here.
I was born on December 1st, 1970 in Milwaukee, WI. I was three months premature, weighing 2 lbs and 4 ozs. I received too much life-saving oxygen, so unfortunately, I lost my sight because of this. But, thankfully, I was able to be mainstreamed in a wonderful Catholic grade school, the former Holy Assumption in West Allis, which set aside a resource room for the blind. Because of the training I received there, I attended Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, which is a Catholic high school, which did not have a program for the blind, but rather a very helpful and caring staff. Finally, I earned my Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater in May of 1994. After graduating, my dream of working in radio broadcasting didn't happen as I had hoped. So, I had a couple hits and misses with employment, the longest lasting a year in 1999. I worked for Mount Mary College in Milwaukee where I did phone recruiting of perspective students. When my coworkers and I lost our jobs a year later due to budget cuts, I was out interviewing again. Finally, two years later, in a move of despiration, I totally changed my path and enrolled for the Master of Arts Program at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners. I figured that if someone is stuck with their direction in life, one should consider turning to the church. I was hoping that a degree would lead me to a lay ministry job at a Catholic parish. Well, although I earned my degree in 2006, sad to say, nothing has materialized thus far on that front. I even took some basic training to be a hospital chaplain, but was not accepted for the advanced training one needs to have to be a certified chaplain. Part of the problem there is that there are so few advanced residency programs in the area, and each program takes only around five students. So, I have currently chosen to keep an ear open both to jobs in ministry, as well as secular positions.
I am also currently engaged to my fiance Carrie, who is also an LJ user. We've been engaged since 2005 and dating since 2001. When we are asked when the big day will be, we always say that both of our work situations have to be set in stone, so we'll know we can afford a place, and also so we'll know where to live, as both of us need to rely on public transportation.
So, even though I don't currently have a job, I keep busy with volunteer activities. I visit weekly with patients at the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association of Wisconsin Zilber Family Hospice. I sing in choirs and read for masses both at my Parish of St. Margaret Mary in Milwaukee and across the street at St. Anne's Home For The Elderly. I also coordinate events for the Milwaukee Office of St. Vincent de Paul's unnamed program for the blind and visually impaired. I am currently on the Board of Directors for BOLD, Blind Outdoor Leisure Development and volunteer as needed at the Badger Association of The Blind and Visually Impaired.
As for my family, I currently live with my parents in the house I grew up in Wauwatosa. I have two sisters Katie and Christine, who are both married. Katie's husband is Bob, and they have a 15 year-old son, Daniel. My Younger sister Christine's husband is David, and they have a 2 year-old son Jacob who is my Godson, and a new baby daughter, Sofia, who, at the time of this writing, is 2 weeks old.
As far as what this blog is about, it is mostly about what I am doing, experiences I am having and so on. Where possible, I may comment on current events and topics of which I am interested. See my interests for things I may write about. And although I haven't done this yet, I really need to document all the puns I come up with and the stories behind them, as well as passing on the puns I hear from others. If I don't do this, you may "punder" why I am calling myself Punster1! Okay, that was bad, even for me! But seriously, I'm simply inviting you all to come along for the ride, so strap yourselves in!