Forever a Clone

I'm just a clone, talking away while nobody listens

Adventures in Roadtripping

Hey y’all!  What an INSANE two weeks it’s been!  I’ve been meaning to write out this blog for just over a week, but holy smokes does life have me hanging by the tips of my fingers!  So!  To give you an update on the latest and greatest in my life, I actually took a vacation for the first time in two years about two weeks ago!  I had it in the planning stages for quite some time and it actually came to be.  Honestly, I’m surprised that I pulled it off.  Instead of going to my usual haunts, being Phoenix and/or Las Vegas, I decided to spice things up and hit up the greater San Diego area and spend some time at the beach.  Aside from about 30 minutes in December of 1997 in the Miami area, and about another 45 minutes in the Torrance, California area sometime around 2012ish, I hadn’t spent any time at any beach since my high school band trip to the island of Oahu, Hawaii in 1996. I was long overdue!  I tried to go to San Diego sometime around suicide time in 2011, but I chickened out for some stupid reason.  I really can’t remember why, honestly, but it’s been on my mind to go since then.  Of course, the heart wants what the heart wants, so I’d always make my way to my two favorite cities and I’d put the beach on the backburner.  Well, during the MLB playoffs last year when they released the schedule for what is now this year, I decided to pull the trigger and finally make that San Diego trip a reality.  I had already skipped seeing my favorite MLB team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, that season and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to go to a game this season, and I also wanted to go to one of the other NL West team’s stadiums (well, not Dodger Stadium because 1:  I HATE the Dodgers.  And 2:  They don’t take kindly to other team’s fans and I don’t want to risk my life or end up being disabled because of those moron fans of theirs).  My choices were really down to two.  AT&T Park in San Francisco, or Petco Park in San Diego.  Both of those stadiums look beautiful on TV, and the fact that I also wanted to spend time at a beach or two really made my choice clear.  San Diego it would be.  I got my time off scheduled and started to set the wheels in motion to plan out a rough idea of things then.

While committing to going on this trip of mine, I also wanted to make it a point to try and see more of the area than just San Diego, and thankfully hotel prices dictated that I found a pretty well priced motel in Oceanside to stay at.  I thought about how cool that would be because my dad was stationed at Camp Pendleton there in Oceanside when he was in the Navy and was actually there while my mom stayed behind back home in El Paso when I was born.  I know bits and pieces of the story of the day of my birth because my pop and his buddies bought a keg and took it to one of the beaches to honor John Lennon, who was murdered the night before I showed up, and to of course celebrate me being born.  I can just imagine how wild that party on the beach must have been.  LOL!

Well, after setting everything in motion, booking the room, and later on in February buying my seat for the baseball game I was going to attend, the time finally came for me to head on out.  Man, I was so excited!  This is a strange thing for me to be excited about new things too, mind you, because as I’ve grown older I’m finding myself not wanting to really do new things.  I know that sounds stupid, but I like having a set routine.  Not only set routine, but if I do go out somewhere, I like to escape to the places I already know and love.  I like to go camping where I like to go camping.  Why go to another spot when I’ve already found a perfect area?  Same thing with going out of town.  Why deal with anywhere east of about central Texas?  It’s too damn humid and I HATE humidity, so that pretty much cancels out a lot of places.  AND add to that that I already love Phoenix and Las Vegas, so why change that up?  Anyway, I digress, after a few stops along the way in the city, I made my way out to my first stop for the night, which was a small, middle of nowhere place called Eloy, AZ.  No offense to those who live or work in the area, but there’s really nothing out there.  The reason I stopped there, however, was because Eloy is where I-8 starts out from I-10 and I-8 takes you right into San Diego.  The drive getting out to Eloy from here was more fun than I thought it would be.  An INSANE storm system was passing through pretty much the entire southern portion of New Mexico and I ran right into it.  It was awesome to put my RainX application skills to the test because I had no problem seeing through the storm!  What sucked, however, was that the conditions of the roads in New Mexico caused me to damage my driver’s side front tire.  That would come back to haunt me later.  I stopped in Eloy and checked into my motel for the night and inspected my tire and deduced that I had probably gotten an impact break in the interior of the tire because it felt out of balance.  I thought as long as it didn’t get too bad, I’d be ok, so I got into my room for the night and wound down.  The next morning was going to bring me to Oceanside and the beach, so I only slept 6 hours before I was awake and ready to go again.  I couldn’t wait to get going, so I fueled up my truck and made my way down I-8.  I must say, if you’ve never made that drive from Eloy into California from I-8, it is quite an interesting drive!  It might be the desert rat in me, but I loved the scenery around me!  There were a lot of farms and dairies that I wouldn’t think would be able to survive in the middle of the desert, but there they were!  It was so cool to see life happening in small batches at a time.  Once I made it to Yuma, things got really cool!  Yuma is a border city, much like El Paso is, where three states and two countries meet.  Hearing Google Maps tell me “Welcome to California!” once I passed the border made things seem a bit more real knowing that I would be in Oceanside in a matter of hours.  Something I didn’t expect to see, however, were the awesome dunes just across the border into California.  Such a strange and bizarre gathering of sands.  I was fixated on them, actually!  Wondering why they formed in that specific area.  Then after passing those, I realized that the freeway was riding along the border of Mexico.  It was so cool to see a different part of Mexico than what I get to see here, which is Ciudad Juarez on my everyday drives.  The other thing that had me surprised was the weather in the area.  I stopped at a rest stop to stretch my legs a bit and grab a drink and was kinda amazed to find that it was about 100 degrees outside and very humid.  I wasn’t expecting that at all!  I kept going and found the road every changing from that point on.  I kept climbing and dropping thousands of feet in elevation going from at one point sea level, all the way up to 5,000 feet and back down again to 2-3,000 feet, all while going through mountains, sides of mountains, and Indian reservations, forest-like areas, and back into desert rocky landscapes.  It was very beautiful and awesome.

Finally, after climbing one last time to 5,000 feet, I made the decent down to El Cajon.  Now, this is where my love for NASCAR kicked in.  For those who don’t know, 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was raised in El Cajon.  I had always wondered what kind of a city it was and I was going to see it.  In a surprise to me, it was kind of a mountain town.  Totally different than what I had imagined.  Very cool though to know and to think about the whole time I passed through the city that Jimmie had grown up there.  I went from El Cajon, into Santee, Escondido, San Marcos, then right into Vista.  Vista is another place that is special to my heart.  Vista is where I lived for at least a few months after I was born.  Dad hasn’t talked about it much, only because I haven’t really asked him, but I felt like I had to take in all that I was seeing knowing that it was my home at one point in my life, even if it was only for a very brief moment.  I kept wondering if dad would recognize any of it since he hasn’t been there in about 30 years.  What were the streets like?  What buildings used to be where new ones stand now?  I was fascinated by it all.  Before I knew it, however, Google was barking at me to make sure I’d take the next exit to Harbor Drive because I was 5 minutes from my destination.  I was excited!  I was able to see an entrance gate to Camp Pendleton and wondered how many times dad went through there, then turned right onto N Coast Highway.  I was there, and it was there that I could finally get my first glimpse of the beach.  It was so awesome to see waves coming in, and to feel the energy of the people there on the beach.  I quickly checked into my motel, dragged all my stuff up to the room and changed into my beach clothing.  It was only a 10 minute walk to the beach from where I was staying and I was expecting madness because the front desk clerk told me that the beach was going to be crazy because of a very large women’s surfing competition starting that day.  How cool was that, right?!  Totally what I would have expected!  Hahaha!  As long as I found a spot to lay my bag of stuff, that’s all I needed.

After the 10 minute walk where I must have been looking around everywhere like some sort of thief, I made my way onto Oceanside Strand Beach.  Man, it was so cool to hear the people, hear the ocean, and know that I was going to be a part of that.  Turns out, as well, that the surfing competition was happening on the other side of the Oceanside Pier, so the side closer to me was all open to the public.  I wasted no time, set my things down, took some pictures and video, and then walked right into the waves crashing onto the beach.  I don’t think such a feeling of accomplishment has been felt by me like that in a long time.  Well, actually, I can tell you when.  Searchlight Needles recording our live album gave me that sense of accomplishment.  LOL!  But it felt like it was longer than a year and a few months ago!  Anyway, it was awesome to know that I was finally in the ocean water again, getting beat up by the waves.

Let me tell you this.  I had a moment with God while there in the water.  I felt his presence, actually, is a better way to put it.  These waves that didn’t seem so tough or anything, were throwing me around back towards the beach, but 10 feet at a time away from my spot.  I know, the atheists in the crowd are going to bust my balls over this, but each time I had to reset myself to be straight ahead of my bag after getting thrown by the waves, I thought about how awesome our Lord really is.  How powerful is He to create the ocean tides, the movement of the water, the creatures in the sea, everything!  How awesome is He to create that?  I just had to smile and thank Him for allowing me to experience that moment.

I spent two hours at the beach before the need for nourishment took precedence over enjoying the beach.  I hadn’t eaten since my customary meal at Whataburger back home the afternoon before, and it was already 6pm my time, so I made my way back to my room to shower back up and change into street clothes.  The city was bustling with traffic and people were just making their way to the beach.  It was so cool to see humanity in action.  After getting myself ready, I made my way back to the pier area to hit up a restaurant I had already investigated to go visit.  I was not disappointed.  The bar was a double sided bar with one side in the restaurant and the other out towards the open air and a view of the ocean.  Of course I sat facing the ocean and enjoyed a meal and some beers and took in a beautiful sunset.  I walked the entire length of the pier afterwards after sunset and found that at least a handful of people were into the night swimming action.  That was kinda crazy to me, but more power to them!

The next morning, I was up bright and early to hit up the beach again where I found that there were at least a few people like me who were early birds.  Some were surfing, while a handful of us were just swimming around in the water.  It was a very cool mix.  I spent about two hours there before I made my way back to the motel to shower up again and get ready for my drive down to San Diego for that afternoon’s baseball game.

That hour’s drive from Oceanside to San Diego made me realize things.  People in California are COMPLETELY INSANE drivers.  The motorcyclists out there do not give a DAMN about rules.  They ride the white lines in between traffic, and nobody obeys the speed limit.  At all.  People either go about 10-15 below it, or 10-30 miles over it.  I was questioning the logic behind Stone Cold Steve Austin and some other drivers I’ve heard who have claimed that El Paso drivers are the worst.  Hell no.  We may have an overabundance of jerk slow drivers in the left lane, but aside from that we are pretty consistent at driving either at 4 miles over, or way the hell over the speed limit.  OH!  And another thing.  What the hell, California drivers?!  Would it kill y’all to use your turn signals?!?!  9 out of 10 of them don’t.  Dangerous, dangerous drivers over there!  Lastly, please, people.  For the love of God.  PLEASE do not call turn signals “blinkers.”  Hearing or reading that term is like nails to a chalkboard to me.  Hahaha!

Anyway!  I made it to San Diego and found the I-5 freeway leading into the city to be one of the most beautiful drives in a major city I’ve done.  It was filled with twists and turns and elevation changes that showed and hid different elements of the surrounding area and it was pretty cool to experience.  The only thing that was concerning, however, was the area around Petco Park.  I don’t want to come across as judgmental, harsh, rude, etc, but the city doesn’t show it’s best side around that area.  It was littered with filth, smelled of old urine everywhere, and aside from a few buildings, it looked run down everywhere.  There was a large homeless people congregation around as well, and God bless them, but it’s not a pretty picture to paint for a first time visitor to experience on their trip.  I never felt unsafe, though, or maybe it was my firm belief in God and His will, but it sure was a bummer seeing all of that.

So, the game and the stadium itself was a big time treat!  Dare I say, that Petco Park was a prettier stadium than Chase Field.  EEEK!  Can I say that?!  I think I just did!  Chase Field just feels ordinary, if that makes any sense.  Maybe it’s because with the Arizona heat, it’s hard to have a game with the roof and the panels open, but it just feels like you’re in a giant box of a stadium most of the times I’ve gone there.  Still awesome, though, as it’s the home stadium for me, but seeing the bit of Petco Park that I saw, I felt like it was something kinda beautiful.  The lawn behind the outfield was pretty awesome, as was the statue for Mr. Padre AKA Tony Gwynn (R.I.P.), and the stadium itself felt pretty unique.  I thought I wouldn’t like looking into a portion of the cityscape from my seat, but I was wrong.  I thought it was pretty awesome to see that too.  The game was awesome, we won by the way, and I made my drive back to Oceanside that night happy that I experienced what I did.

The next morning started dark and early at 5am as that’s the time I thought I should wake up to have enough time to get dressed in my dress attire, pack a bag for the beach, and drive back to San Diego for Mass then a visit to Mission Beach.  Google wasn’t wrong.  I left the motel about 6:10 and made it to St. Anne’s Catholic Church with the perfect amount of time to go to confession, do penance, read the readings for the day, and fully participate in that morning’s Low Mass at 7:30.  It was the 3rd FSSP apostolate I’ve attended after my home parish Immaculate Conception, and Mater Misericordiae Mission in downtown Phoenix.  St. Anne’s was just as beautiful as Mater Misericordiae in Phoenix.  The altar and sanctuary were beautiful, and the ceiling was beautifully done as well.  After Mass, I made the 15 minute drive to Mission Beach hoping to experience the same nice experience as Oceanside, but I found Mission Beach to be too crowded and the beach itself to have a different texture of sand that I just didn’t care for as much.  I don’t want to hate on it too much or anything, but I was just kind of unimpressed with it all.  I tried to make the best of it and walked around the shops and restaurants that were built as tourist traps and even went into the one big restaurant to try and have a beer and some food.  After getting my first round, I seemed to have been ignored, which I found to be kinda odd.  You’d think a solo traveler wouldn’t cause too much trouble and wouldn’t be such a bother to either get another beer, or possibly order food right?  Wrong.  I was pretty much ignored.  That sucked.  On the bright side, having a clear shot towards the beach from the space I was sitting at at the bar was pretty nice.

Overall, my impression of San Diego isn’t a good one anymore.  The experience around the baseball stadium and the bad service I got at the restaurant at Mission Beach left me wanting to get back to Oceanside as soon as I could.  The shops were better there, the people were friendlier, and the place was a lot nicer.

After an hour and thirteen minute drive back to Oceanside, I made my way back to the Oceanside Strand Beach and spent another 2 hours there and really took in the experience knowing that it would be my last chance to be at the beach for my trip.  It was crowded, as it was a Sunday, but even then, I was able to find a spot to put my stuff and got back in the water.  The surf wasn’t as strong that day, but it was still awesome to be able to get slightly thrown around and enjoy the time I had there.

After freshening up again, I walked back near the pier to go back to the restaurant/bar I was at on Friday night.  Before making it there, however, I wanted to really solidify a new thing that I’ve started which is getting a magnet from the places and/or cities I’ve visited.  So far, I’ve gotten one from the Utah Olympic Park, Grand Canyon, a few from Las Vegas, and now Petco Park, Mission Beach, and two from Oceanside.  I was pretty stoked to have scored a second Oceanside magnet just for buying one.  That was pretty cool of the gift shop I went into to give me.  The afternoon into night was as awesome as I thought it would be and I called it a night pretty early that night.

The next morning brought my trip to Las Vegas.  I was pretty excited to make that drive too, because it was going to be my first time to drive north into Las Vegas.  I’ve driven south into town and also west into town, but this was going to be a treat to see parts of California I hadn’t seen before.  The drive didn’t disappoint.  Right off the bat, I got to see the naval hospital in Oceanside that looked really new, so immediately I thought my old man would have liked to see it, then after hugging the coast for a while and really enjoying that scenery, I made my way into San Clemente and near Dana Point.  As a former hardcore Jim Rome Clone (hey, I’m still a Clone, just not as hardcore about it because I can’t stream it at work), it was awesome to pass Dana Point which is right next to San Clemente too!  30 pieces of Silver!!!!  Right after San Clemente/Dana Point, I got into San Juan Capistrano which I had heard of thanks to the Rome show, saw signs for Laguna Beach,  Laguna Hills, and Mission Viejo, all of which I had heard of for one reason or another too!  Actually driving through them was pretty awesome!  The freeway took me into Irvine, and just at the outskirts of Orange, Tustin, and Anaheim, so that was awesome too!  After a crazy climb through mountains, the highway lead me down to Corona… another jungle town that I had heard of, then I got into Chino, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga (where most of the film Next Friday takes place!  LOL!), Fontana (Hi Natalie!!!  I wish I would have had the time to stop and meet up!), then a crazy climb into Cajon Junction (another gorgeous part of the drive), then into Victorville and Barstow.  The whole reason I mention these names in detail is because I think it was so awesome to drive through these cities I was only familiar with the names of.  Now I got memories to match up with those names.  Nothing particularly special about any of them more than any other city, but it was just awesome to drive through them and see them.  After brushing up against Death Valley and being able to see just how hot it was outside, at about 115 degrees midday as I was driving through, I made my way out of California and into Nevada.  It’s kinda cool seeing the large hotels in Primm from a distance and knowing that those are right on the Nevada border, by the way.

After making it into Vegas, things had gotten pretty crazy with my tire that I mentioned about 4,000 words ago. By this point, what started out as a small vibration had turned into a full blown fight with my steering wheel to keep the truck driving straight.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t make the time to get it looked at.  There was a place in Oceanside that I was going to go to to get the spare tire put on when I made it back from San Diego on Sunday, but they were closed on Sundays, which I found odd for California not being a blue law state, so I was going to do it probably on my way out of Vegas.

I made it to the hotel with good time, and after putting all the stuff I brought with me to the room, I set a place to meet up with some dear friends of mine who live out there.  I met up with them at my favorite bar in town and we had a great time catching up.  I gotta say I’m blessed to have such great friends in my life.  They made my day!!!  After my homegirl and I took a look at my dying tire, we noticed that the thing was cording, so I knew that it wasn’t going to last the drive back home.  There was a mom n’ pop tire joint right next door, but for some reason God was telling me to just hold back on it.  I made my way onto the strip after my visit with my friends was over and enjoyed my walk up and down the strip.  I couldn’t believe it, but after it was all said and done, I walked for about 7 hours with only one break to grab a bite to eat at Gordon Ramsay Burger and another quick snack at Hooters on the south end of the strip.  Let me tell you, Gordon Ramsey Burger was delicious, but I found it odd that you had to order your fries separately.  I didn’t because I assumed that the fries came with the burger, but oh well.  I should have skipped the fries anyway!  Hahaha!  Fast forward to 2am.  I made my way back to my hotel and enjoyed some music time while I watched life on the strip happen outside my window.  It was so cool to just watch life happen.  Granted, I couldn’t move anyway considering that my feet were dead by that point, but it was something I was planning on doing anyway.  My one night in Vegas ended with me happy that I made the extra trip out of the way to get there.  I got to spend time with friends whom I love dearly, got to walk the strip, eat at a new place for me, and ended it peacefully in my room.

The next morning was going to bring a quick trip to Bass Pro Shops because it’s probably my favorite store to visit in any location there is one.  I love to check out the uniqueness of each location, and I like to browse the camping gear imagining ways I could use them for my own camping adventures.  Same thing with the boats.  Man, if I could get a 26 foot pontoon boat, I’d be set!

So, all the while, I’m concerned with my tire again because even running cold the stupid thing was just a mess.  I knew I had to stop and change out the thing for a spare, but it was just a matter of the location I was going to get it done at.  Well, at this point, God stepped in and told me where this was going to go down.  I was in Boulder City, Nevada.  I thought, even though I hadn’t heard any news by then, that the Boulder City Bypass was going to be opened as it was supposed to be opened by the end of July.  It was August 1st, so it should have been done by then.  Wrong!  I was forced to go back up onto US-93 and I was initially bummed out that I wouldn’t get to experience the bypass for the first time, but that disappointment turned into a quick “YES!  THANK YOU JESUS!” moment for me as there was a relatively new firestone location off of Us-93 that I had not noticed on my very frequent drive through the town.  I thought about it for a quick second then made the U-turn to the store.  It’s a great thing that I did because after explaining that I just needed my spare tire mounted in place of my dead tire, it turns out that at some point within the past 3 or so years since I had to replace my tire wench, it along with my spare tire were stolen.  Can you believe that?!  I had no spare tire!  Now, at this point, I’m sure anybody would be pissed off at the situation I was made aware of.  Oddly, I wasn’t.  The Christian in me immediately thought that somebody in need for one reason or another stole my spare and wench.  They needed it more than I did at the time.  God didn’t let me go into harm’s way though, because I stopped where I did.  Two hours and a lot of laughs with the guys at the shop later, I was on my way.  It was 4:23pm pacific time.  I was feeling relatively ok, so I thought there may have been a chance that I could make it straight home without having to stop and sleep at a rest stop along the way.  I don’t know why I thought this, to be honest, because every time I’m driving back and once I get into New Mexico, I start to get extremely sleepy.  My brain, at that point, knows that I’m close to home so there’s no reason to be fully alert.  Google Maps told me I’d be home at 4am if I drove straight, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t make it because that would beat the previous record for the latest arrival from Vegas on a non-family trip by an hour.  Confidence was high!  I experienced beautiful driving having no tire issues anymore and before I knew it, I was driving through Phoenix by 9pm that night.  I was in full on driving mode by that point.  I wasn’t hungry, I was awake, and my goal was to get home.  I thought about stopping in Casa Grande for fuel and a quick necessity break which I got around 10pm and decided to push through.  I was awake, I got another round of Dr Pepper loaded up, and I went on my way.  Tucson came quickly and the boring part of the drive happened then.  Thankfully I did this at night because aside from the little scenery through Texas Canyon, then Willcox, there is really nothing out to see after the 30th time driving through it.  I thought if anything, if I went downhill quickly, I could stop in Texas Canyon or Willcox, but that didn’t happen at all. I had Google Maps running to share my drive and it adjusted by saying I’d make it home by 3:45am.  Sure enough, that’s the time I pulled into the parking lot at my apartment complex safe and sound.  I made the insane journey from Boulder City, Nevada to El Paso, Texas in about 10.5 hours with only one pit stop.  I felt pretty badass.  I crashed out very soon after that and dealt with the drive hangover the rest of the day.

So, there it is.  A trip report of my first real vacation in over two years.  It was a blast.  I cannot wait to get back to Oceanside again.  Or maybe visit San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point instead and see what those towns have to offer.  Point is, I can’t wait to do it again.  And now I’m back to my normal routine living out life in just-the-right-speed-for-me El Paso.  Livin’ my crazy life!

Until next time, my friends!

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Life. What a party.

Let’s sing a happy tune today!

I know it’s only been a day since my ranty, I wanna destroy EVERYTHING beautiful post, but just now I was reminded of an anniversary.  It’s a very important one for me.  Today, 7 years ago, I nearly attempted suicide.  What the hell, right?!  Yup.  If you’ve read through my blog, you’ve probably seen my post where I go into a bit of detail about it, but yeah.  7 years have passed since the warning signs that were happening about a month prior to today were leading up to the inevitable moment where I had to decide to either end it or fix it.

Spoilers

I fixed it.

Since then, I’ve been a much happier person, sans the times when people just push me wayyyy to far and anger takes over.  Aside from the handful of moments it’s been, and I want to say it’s actually less than 7, in these past 7 years, I’ve been very grateful and thankful that I stopped myself from killing myself.

Now, I’m thinking about the friendships that I’ve gained since then.  They are too numerous to count, but I’m thankful for each one of them.  I’m also grateful for the people that stuck with me through the madness and have kept on sticking around.  To you, I’m forever in your debt.

I’m going to take some time out later on this afternoon to reflect on the past 7 years, celebrate with some of my favorite food, a beer or few, and maybe a cocktail or two and give a cheers to y’all and I.  Thanks for either joining my journey or always being a part of it.  I love you all dearly.

Now I’m Done.

Hello again!  I’m back yet again with more of my life stories and observations.  I’ll be honest, this blog post may come off as angry, ranty, and negative but that’s how I’m feeling right now.  I’m fed up with a lot of things and I think I’m finally coming to my breaking point.

This is what I mean.  I can be almost positive that nobody has any respect for me.  What I mean by that is that nobody cares about what I’m doing in my life.  Just because I’m single and childless, apparently according to everybody else I have ALL the free time in the world to be of service to them.  I’m not just talking about friends, I’m talking about family too.  No offense, anybody, but I’m getting sick and FUCKING TIRED of it.  I’m a very giving, caring, compassionate, and loving person but I’m really starting to feel like I’m being taken advantage of and I’m finally getting pissed off about it.  It’s really only been the last month or so that has gotten to me as much because plans have been made, then later broken in some cases, or I’ve been thrust into doing things without even asking for my consent in the matter.  And I know, I put myself in these situations and it’s damn near impossible for me to every say no to anybody, so I end up putting myself second to please other people, but I’m at my wits end.  Things have gone too far, and some people have started to notice too and have actually told me I’m too nice.  Bad thing is, that I can’t purposely be an asshole to anyone.  Not that I think I can learn to be one and turn into one, but I know something has to change.  How to change things is the question.  What do I do?  I’m at a crossroads in my life and I know things need fixing, but how is it that I go about fixing them?  I think step one is to start to put myself first more than I do, which is hardly ever.  After that, who knows.  I’m lost, but I have no clear way to fix the problems and right the wrongs.  Maybe this trip of mine next week and the hours on the road alone will help me sort things out.

…You don’t have to tell me

Holy smokes!  Has it actually been since November since I’ve last jotted something down?  Man.  I’m horrible!  What has happened since then?  Well, a quick recap… I celebrated my 37th birthday with family and friends as I threw myself an ode to Kevin Smith party.  Christmas and the New Year were awesome, and the first quarter of this year was pretty ok too all things considered.  As always with my life, there are strikes and gutters (to use The Dude’s way of saying it) and I find my days to just blend into the next.  My life is a routine and I can honestly say that I love that aspect of it.  I know what’s coming each day to the next.  Some people would consider that a death sentence and would want desperately to get out of that rut, but I worked my way to comfortably get myself into the spot I’m in and I’ve been taking the time to let it all soak in.

The reason I mention myself being a creature of habit is because with the joking threat of violence on me (not seriously, my homegirl and I love each other and she just wanted to push me into a new adventure), I was talked into joining up those dreaded new aged dating apps/websites.  I’ll tell you, the idea of it at first sounds pretty fun, but then when you get into it you realize just how crazy things can get.  For example, on one of them, I am constantly bombarded with pornographic pictures for profile pics with these companies not even trying to hide the fact that it’s porn.  On another, they are a bit sneakier about their bad intentions, but I can sniff these fake profiles out from miles away.  And on the last one, that seems to be the most legitimate, even after verifying my authenticity, I find it to be a personal ghost town.  Wait; let me backtrack a little bit there.  When I boil everything down, all 3 are personal ghost towns which therefore affirms the fact that maybe I missed the calling to be a priest.  I say that half-jokingly because a lot of people have actually told me that I should or should have been a priest.  Anyway, back to the point… yeah… I don’t know what it is, but at first this social experiment brought on by one of my dear friends gave me an ego crushing that I knew was coming but didn’t want to see.  In a 100 or so mile radius, I got nothing.  I was avoided like a black plague.  I was shocked, amused, and saddened all at the same time.

I laugh about it now because it’s been a few weeks since that and still nothing, but it proved the point I had made to myself that I’m unwanted.  I don’t mean that negatively or anything so don’t try to say nice things to cheer me up or anything like that because I honestly feel ok about it all, but the truth is the truth.  The truth.  Heh.  That’s probably the biggest part of the problem there too.  I am very truthful in my profiles.  I put things there on Front Street.  I am a short, fat, traditional Catholic, INFJ introvert, nerdy, comic, musician.  That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.  Why try to say something I’m not?  I know at least being honest in saying all of it.  Not that I was a liar in the past, but I have been making it a point to be honest about everything in my life for a couple of years now.  Why hide stuff, right?  Why omit things?  I find just putting everything out there on front street in my life is the best way to go.  I know said friend told me that maybe I should spice things up or show some different side of me, or something to that effect after I said I struck out swinging, but in a moment of honesty I thought about it and said that there was no other side of me.  What you see is what you get when it comes to me.  I’m generally an even keeled dude who loves to joke around and enjoy life.  I’m serious about the things to be serious about (which is pretty much my relationship with God), but otherwise it’s jokes and taking it easy.  Why be wound up and stressed out over things, right?

So, with all that said, I’m going to take myself out on a dinner and a movie date tonight to break up my hospital cabin fever frustration (long story) and keep on doing my thing.  I’ll try and write more here, much to the chagrin of a few of my best friends, and continue down this path that God has set forth for me.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy St. Valentine’s Day, and Happy St. Patrick’s day to everybody out there!

Ragrets and The End

I’ve had a lot of strange moments in my life lately.  Mainly, they have all been brought to my attention thanks to my continuing chronological journey through Star Trek.  Here’s an example.  This is going to sound morbid, but I don’t mean it this way… BUT!  Has it ever crossed your mind, or have you actually done a goodbye video in the event of your death?  What brought this about was the death of a main character in season 1 of The Next Generation. The rest of the main cast goes to the holodeck where they are greeted by a hologram of the recently deceased giving a goodbye message.  I thought this was the coolest thing ever.  Now, I have seen about 88% of the episodes of TNG, this one included, but this time around I’m really paying attention and that scene struck a chord with me.  I started to think about it and I think that would be the thing that I would want to do.  Actually, I’d make two videos.  I’d make one for the people organizing my visitation/Rosary/Funeral making sure that they dressed me up in the tie I’d like to wear, make sure that they don’t have the Requiem Mass anywhere else but my FSSP parish and offered by one of the FSSP priests, and to make sure that the people I happened to mention in the second video would be present for said video if I did blast some names out.  THEN I’d go ahead with the goodbye video.  I think that would solve a lot of problems.  Gone would be the “In according to what we believe his wishes very well may have been…” business, it would be put right there on front street what I’d want.  Now, I know funeral planning and prepaying is a thing already, but I would like to add the personal touch of a video.  Some co-workers and I talked about that today and I was hoping they wouldn’t take it that I was morbid, but thankfully they fully understood what I was saying.  It’s not a bad thing to give at least a few passing thoughts about the end of the line here on this planet.  I know the important thing is to prepare for the next life after this one, but not dwell on it too much.

That quick conversation with the co-workers of mine brought another thought to me.  Regrets.  I know that’s a big word and people have even inked “No Ragrets” on their bodies and many a song have been written about not living wondering what could have been, etc., but if I’m being honest with myself, I have to say that not only do I have general regrets, but I regret the things that I think I could have achieved in my life through no fault of my own or my family.  Let me explain.  As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of NASCAR, and I enjoy other forms of racing as well, but for me stock car racing is where it’s at.  With that said, every time I’ve been in the informal positions of racing, I’ve always dominated it.  My hand and foot coordination has always been on point and as my pops and sister can attest and I’ve always been a natural driver.  Sadly, west Texas isn’t the most ideal place to get a racing career off the ground.  The way I understand it anyway is that most of the drivers that are climbing up the ranks of NASCAR have invested upwards of $200,000 to just have the chance at making it.  I know my mom (rest in peace) and dad love me and would do anything for me (within reason), but I wouldn’t allow them to find ways to help me get that insane amount of money together to chase a dream.  That’s just crazy.

Another dream that comes to mind is what is still a delusion of grandeur of sorts.  I think if I had the means and the effort put forth back in the day, I think I would have made it in the music business and made a career of it.  Don’t get me wrong, some mini versions of these dreams have come to pass.  In the two bands I’ve been in, I’ve played for crowds in the hundreds (yay me, right?), I’ve played mostly all the genres of music I’ve enjoyed sans jazz and hard rock/heavy metal, and I’ve recorded two albums to date.  That’s pretty good, I’d like to think!  BUT, there’s always that dream of being discovered, signed to a major label contract, and going on tour playing 20,000 seat arenas, and writing and recording music the way I’d want to with all the time needed in the studio to make my vision a reality.  Who knows, maybe it could happen.  Getting back out there and gigging at different places and continuing to write music needs to happen first.  Heh.

Point is, I do think of these “what if” scenarios often.  Well, maybe often is not the right word because it’s not like I live in the past questioning every step I’ve taken, but there are those occasional thoughts of “Damn.  I think I’m pretty good at ____.  I should have pursued that in my youth.  *sigh* Oh well.”  Things, in the end, are meant to happen the way they happen.  I’m a firm believer in God’s plan.  He knows what’s up.  I’m at where I am in the entirety of my life with reason and purpose that He knows.  It’s not my place to question it.

All Hallows Eve

I’ve been feeling like I need to put something out on Front Street.  What I’m going to talk about in this post may very well upset some people who read it and for that I apologize in advance, as these are merely my views and opinions on the matter, but I feel that I need to let them out or else they are just going to keep eating away at me.

So, as I write this out now it’s the eve of all hallows eve.  This past weekend was the weekend for Halloween parties to go down where people dress up in their best, worst, scariest, or skimpiest to have a good time boozing it out with like-minded individuals.  Cool for them, right?  But the question I have started to ask myself as I’ve continued on my journey of faith is “Why has the bastardization of Catholic feast days and holy days of obligation continued and even gotten worse as time has passed?”  I know, I know, you’re probably reading this and are saying something along the lines of “STFU YOU IDIOT!!!!!”  But, hang out.  This is what I mean.  What are three of the biggest non-holiday celebration days here in the U.S.?  Valentine’s Days, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween right?  Some would argue others, but those 3 are pretty big days here to celebrate for one reason or another.  Thing is for the secularized world, Valentine’s Day is a day where you have to get hearts, roses, chocolates, a card, some stuffed animals or whatnot, and go to a restaurant and wait in a long line with the rest of the people there either trying to impress their potential significant other, or go with the flow with their significant other/spouse (heck sometimes both at separate times on the same night!).  Little do people know or more than likely care that it’s a Catholic feast day venerating a saint.  Granted, St. Valentine and his history are a bit cloudy, it’s still clear that it is a Catholic feast day of a saint and he is the patron saint of love, marriages, etc.  Of course this has been twisted around by culture over the years to what we get now.

Same goes for St. Patrick’s Day.  People know it now as a day to dress up in green, wear shamrocks, claim to be Irish, and go out and party and get drunk on green dyed beers and/or other cocktails with a large swath of people.  What it really is, however, is a Catholic feast day venerating the patron saint of Ireland who converted nearly the entire country to Christianity.  How it came to what it is now is a long and wild story, I’m sure, but it just bothers me slightly that these two big “holidays” that are celebrated here are done now for all the wrong reasons.

The same goes for Halloween.  This one is just as bothersome to me as the previous two because Halloween came out of the day of anticipation for All Saints Day and had nothing to do with candy, booze, immodest attire, and partying under the veils of black and orange lights like it’s devolved into now.

I know this blog is coming across as a “come to Jesus”/”take a knee” moment, but I’m not really trying to go for that at all.  What I’m saying in the context of referencing my points is that ever since I started going to Traditional Latin Mass at my local FSSP apostolate, Immaculate Conception Church, I have found that I have learned as much or even more about my faith than I did in the previous 34 or so years before FSSP was invited here by our bishop.  Before this, I had attended 5 Masses in the Extraordinary Form all during a Lenten Mission and was immediately drawn to it.  Thanks to my very good friend Michael, who is in the know in matters of the faith here locally, he got word of FSSP giving us a one-night only Mass at one of the seminaries here in town to gauge interest, both by FSSP and our bishop.  Needless to say, we overflowed the chapel where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered and the bishop invited them to stay.  Anyway, my first Mass at Immaculate Conception was another holy day of obligation, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is on December 8th (the day before my birthday!).  The only reason I hadn’t gone sooner is because I was unaware that FSSP had been given the parish already as of that previous August.

That quick backstory about me leads me to my point.  I didn’t know my faith enough.  I wasn’t involved in the own salvation of my soul!  Did I know holy days of obligation? Did I know the history behind the aforementioned feast days?  Could I defend my faith against people who would try to convert me to protestantism (it almost worked once!), or just as bad, trash talk my faith to me expecting a defense?  Well… no, not really.  I wasn’t engaged too much.  Confessions started out as something I rarely did as a kid to something I did even less of in my teenage years.  I wasn’t even aware of what constituted a mortal sin therefore falling out of the state of grace.  It’s no surprise to me that a lot of people I grew up with going to catechism class, and confirmation class either turned protestant (a general term for anything else other than Catholic), or atheist.  Same goes with family and friends.  We weren’t being taught our faith.  That problem still goes on today with some of the things I see happening at Novus Ordo parishes (i.e. the behavior and dress… or lack thereof… of the laity, and even worse, things like yoga classes being offered at parishes!)  I feel like I’m the only one around of my peers that acknowledges the holy days of obligation, and the great feast days that people have twisted with time to where I feel like an outcast.  No matter though.  My goal here is to get myself ready at any moment to defend my faith, with my life if necessary, and to aspire to if not outright live a life of a saint and by God’s grace make it to heaven when I die.  I’m learning more and more each passing day about my faith.  It’s an ever growing, ever evolving thing in my life and for that I am grateful.

WHEW!  Well, with all that said I circle back to the timing of this blog post, Halloween.  I’m finding more and more each year that I really don’t care for it.  Bless the people’s hearts that do, as it’s a pretty intense thing for a lot of people, but ever since my late teen years and even more so now the past 3 years or so, the last day of October into the first two days of November have come to mean a completely different and deeply spiritual thing to me that does not involve ghosts (well, only one, the Holy Ghost), goblins, vampires, witches, the undead, naughty nurses/law enforcement officers, etc. It involves preparing for, first, the celebration of all of the canonized saints in heaven on November 1st, then the praying for all of the souls that have passed on on November 2nd.  I appreciate the invites to parties and I’m all for cosplay and stuff, but doing it around holy days of obligation and/or reverence has never really been my thing and even less now.

Thursday Thoughts

Man, it’s been a weird week!  It started off with Saturday’s Rick and Morty’s inspired road trip to Silver City, New Mexico for Szechuan sauce that ended in a big joke not just to us, but to apparently a LOT of other nerds, then it’s gone on to periods of complete rest and relaxation and now back to “holy smokes!  Let me catch a breather!” status.  It’s nothing new for me as I’m always finding myself being pulled away from wanting to barricade myself in my apartment and paying for it emotionally later on at the most inconvenient of times.

As some of you know, I tend to go through periods of time where some people wonder if I’m still alive (those that don’t follow me on social media), and I go through brief periods of time where I feel like I need to connect with the rest of humanity.  It’s rare, but it happens.  I think I’m sort of going through the latter phase right now as I have felt the need to be surrounded by my friends a bit more than usual lately.  I wish I could understand it, but I can’t.  Being around my friends has been something that I have been feeling I’ve needed lately.  Thankfully I was able to hang out with some of my closest on Saturday and Monday.  There are not very many feelings in the world that I enjoy more than having the emotional sections of my heart overwhelmed with positive loving feels like I get when I’m around the people I want to be around.  It’s better than any drug or alcoholic beverage out there, I can tell you that.

Funny though, me being an INFJ makes people think that I am some sort of social butterfly who basically has a place just so that I can sleep and keep all my stuff in.  That couldn’t be further from the truth, in all honesty.  Nothing makes me happier than being at home watching nerdy documentaries, Star Trek (I’m still on TOS as I’m watching everything again but chronologically this time), or sports all while watching whatever is going with the weather outside.  I’ve learned in the past year and a half that I really love sunsets, by the way.  Something about watching them brings me such peace and happiness that I can’t really describe it.  It’s really what I look forward to every day.  I know, I’m weird, but you already knew that.

A strange thing happened to me again yesterday that hasn’t happened in a while though.  I think that I got a slight touch of loneliness.  I KNOW!!!!  Crazy, right?!  Here I am, some sort of self-proclaimed “One Man Wolfpack”, some dude who rolls solo deep, actually feeling alone in the bad sense.  It’s strange when it comes along too.  It always shows up when I’m doing the most mundane of tasks.  Yesterday it happened while I was pre-rinsing the dishes I used for dinner.  I just happened to stare at the wall as I stood in front of my sink and realized the silence aside from the faucet running and it tripped me out.  What made it funny, though, was that shortly after that as I was taking a shower I was convinced that somebody was in my damn apartment with me.  I wish my brain would make up its damn mind.  Hahaha!  “Nobody is here!  Oh shit!  Nevermind!  Somebody is here, man!  FREAK OUT!”  I don’t know.  I wish I knew the answers to the questions of my life.  I just gotta keep on keeping on.

On that note, time to get myself hyped up for the gym after work again today!  I’m glad this is becoming a habit again.  I missed that about myself!

Until next time, my friends!

I <3 Las Vegas

This morning my world got a pretty big jolt of bad energy flow through it.  Las Vegas, what I love to call my home away from home, was the scene of what is now the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States of America last night.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading on my phone at 4:25am when I woke up and to be honest, I’m still in shock right now.  How could this happen?  I mean, I know how this could have happened, but I guess the better question is why?  The question that is swimming in my proverbial magic 8-ball of jumbled thoughts is something to the effect of “How could anybody have any sort of hatred in their heart for a fellow human being to take their lives?  At least 50 innocent lives taken and over 400 innocent people injured because of a grudge over something that at this time in the morning we just don’t know yet.”  It’s so stupid.  Hatred is just dumb.  Negativity is just dumb.  Sure I have dislikes for things that go against products and sports teams that are rivals to said things, but never in my life have I ever thought of violence against these things or the people who support them.  Hell, even counter ideologies to my beliefs, yes I get frustrated with close minded people, bigots, racists, and all others who at least try to push their conformist agenda towards, but never have I EVER thought of inflicting violence towards anybody else for simply not believing that they should live their lives according to MY rules.  I do know, however, that there are a lot of these types of people who are now and have been for a while now who have been coming out of their hiding places and spreading their ideology of hatred under the veil of racism, homophobia, and general bigotry and are being empowered to act on their hatred and to be honest, it’s scary.  It’s scary to think that something like what happened in my beloved city of Las Vegas can happen anywhere.

What can we do about it?  Ban guns?  Sure, we can.  Will that stop the negativity?  No.  People will find other ways to turn their hatred into violence and we’ll still have massive loss of life.  What we need to do first is embrace love.  Love is the thing that defeats hate.  People need to learn to love and accept their neighbor.  People are different.  They are going to have different beliefs than you do.  People are going to pray to different deities than you do.  People are going to like different music than you do.  People are going to have a different skin tone than you do.  Hell, they may even be sexually attracted to people of their same gender while you do not!  And you know what?  ALL OF THAT IS OK!  Love and acceptance.  That’s what we need.

I Missed the Exit

What a crazy week this one has been.  I’ve been feeling like I needed more introvert battery recharging than usual the whole week, which has been odd.  I haven’t had the negative feelings associated with it, however, which is a good thing.  I just have noticed that I really have been enjoying my alone time more than usual.  Maybe cherishing it is the better term because as I think and type this out that’s the word that is coming to my head as a better way to describe how I’ve felt.  I think I started realizing it Monday afternoon as I was in bed watching a movie on my phone at around 6pm.  It came to my attention that there was nobody asking me to do anything, nobody to say what a piece of crap I was for “wasting your life away” in bed.  Screw that!  I wasn’t in the mood to do anything else and I love the dark serenity my bedroom gives me.  Similar thing happened Tuesday as I got home and got right to watching a film on Vudu.

Anyway, I say all of this to tell you of a strange thing that happened to me yesterday afternoon.  I ran into a cousin of mine (2nd or 3rd, I can’t remember but it’s down the line) whom I haven’t seen in about 26 years.  After a bit of general small talk, dude asks me, “So, what about you, man?  Are you married?  Do you have any kids?” Internal me answered him with, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiit dude, if you would have only known the hell I’ve been through relationship wise, you’d understand.  Sweet God…” then I really answered him with “No dude.  No kids, never married.” His response was pretty funny because he immediately got this shocked look on his face and answered as such with, “NO?!  Why not?!” Again, I thought of even worse self-deflating complete lack of self-esteem and self-worth responses but instead I answered him with the short, short version of why not with, “Ah, man.  Well, all the girlfriends I’ve had were just horrible and evil and I’d rather not deal with that shit, you know?  *further stumbling of words followed here*” So, the quick conversation continued and he went on his way and I got to thinking about things, comically of course, about just how my life has turned out and why.  I made jokes about it on Snapchat when I got home and thought nothing more about it and enjoyed the rest of my afternoon.

Just this morning a co-worker of mine and I were talking about the cycle of life and how there have been studies he’s read about how our lives are generally in the shape of a U.  We start off happy as children, dislike a lot about it during adulthood, and then end up happy before we die again.  For the most part this is true for people.  That’s not to say that there are people who are generally happy and never experience that dip in demeanor, etc.  but I would say with some sense of confidence that each of us experience displeasure of some sort once we get into adulthood.  Homeboy went on to tell me a few related stories about how he’s been accompanying his girlfriend to doctor’s appointments and school functions for one of her daughters and he was having a weird time with it since, like me, he has no children of his own.  It was like he was speaking for me when he said that he feels like somewhere he messed up by being middle aged but not having kids.  There are people in our age group who have kids anywhere from elementary school all the way to college staying busy with different school functions, medical appointments, etc., and all the while he’s been just living an existence that does not involve any of it.  He, and by extension me, wonder what’s the norm?  Are we the lucky ones to not have to have dealt with or still deal with all the responsibility that goes into parenting?  Or are we the failures for not living the typical life of a late teens to early twenties human by getting married and having kids?

Personally, I have no problems with parenthood.  I’ve been with women with kids and I’ve been in situations where I was falsely identified as the father of said kid, and it didn’t bother me at all.  I found it comical, actually, but never was or will I ever say “I never want to be a dad!  I don’t want kids!”  It just hasn’t happened yet.

With that said, I’m going to keep on keeping on living this solo deep life with a very organized house, a sleeping schedule that my friends with kids and/or spouses don’t understand (they don’t understand the freedom I have), and doing the things that make me happy like barricading myself in my apartment and limiting human contact.  Hahaha!  If I somehow talk or stumble my way into a meaningful relationship, cool.  If not, that’s cool too.  I’m already too old to worry about it anyway.  Gotta keep on keepin’ on, my friends!

See you (in) September

 

Holy smokes!!!!!  Hey y’all!  It’s me!  I’m not dead!  (well, if you’re reading this on Twitter or Facebook you’d know that already)  I can’t believe it’s been since the end of July since I’ve checked in.  A lot has happened since then.  Another summer is in the books, even though it’s still in the upper 90s temp wise, I can already feel the turn of the seasons beginning.  Another opportunity for camping, hiking, and outdoor sports adventures is pretty much gone and I did very little of any of it.  Sadly.  It always happens too.  I always say AND tell myself too that “I’m going to go camping more this year, dude!”  and “Man!  We gotta go hiking like twice a month or something!” and every time I watch PGA majors I say “That’s it!  I gotta get my fat ass back on the range to make sure I can still half assed hit a golf ball!  That way I can go out to the course and play and not look like a complete asshole out there!”  Nah.  Didn’t happen this year.  And again, I find myself saying “Well, that’s another summer gone.  Damn.”  We only really get a few of them to do what we want, you know?  Sure my summers as a kid were a blast!  Full of bike riding, playing outside, and general mischief with my friends.  My summers from age 18-26 were an alcoholic blur at best, and for the past 10 years I’ve been really trying my best to take them in and enjoy everything that I can.  I know once I get older I won’t be able to do as much as I would be able to now, and I’ll probably be indoors somewhere doing other stupid things.  I know me; I’ll find a way to be dumb.  So, I try to take advantage of doing the outdoors thing while I can.  I failed this year though.  Hahahaha!

What I’ve been doing this year instead of spending time outdoors is trying to get myself to get on this self-improvement kick that I should be on.  I’m not talking about just getting my ass back to the gym, but I mean all around self-improvement.  I’m finding my days are spent trying to psyche myself up to start getting my shit together and they fade into my designated bed time and the vicious cycle repeats again.  I only really have Saturday to sleep in and wake up to the outline of light coming through my blackout curtains, but aside from that I am up early either to go to work or to go to Mass so that really messes with my need to relax and decompress, so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.  There’s so much that I need to work on.  As I just mentioned, my time management sucks.  I also waste a lot of money on stupidity because of my time management and laziness, so I need to get that straightened out too.  Speaking of wasting money, I wanna try to cut down on my booze consumption too.  Not because I have some sort of drinking problem, but just because drinking costs a lot of money, even if you do it like I do, at home!  I guess writing this out tells me that the main problem is getting even more OCD with my time and schedule and the rest should fall into place.  It will happen, I know it will.  I’ve already started my journey down that road.

Speaking of road trips, I just came off a wild month of two road trips across the great southwest recently and the last one was very introspective.  There were conversations that were had that really made me realize just how weird I am.  This is what I mean.  As some of you know, I am damn near militant when it comes to the organization of just about everything and I LOVE to have a lot of my life planned out.  I need to know the next few steps in life before I make a move.  I’m really cautious about things.  That is probably 50% of why I still roll solo deep.  Hahahaha!  Funny thing though is that the things I let slide, I really let slide.  For example, one would think that I would listen to music either by album, or at worst by artist only right?  No.  Not only do I not do that, but I prefer to listen to music on shuffle/random.  Let those cards fall where they may.  I love the fact that a Metallica song may be followed up by Duke Ellington, then Tupac.  It’s nothing out of the ordinary to me and I actually look forward to the chaos of strange musical bedfellows.  I do the same thing with my television watching.  I cannot binge watch shows.  I just get too bored, I guess.  I usually have at least 3 or so shows on rotation in the middle of various seasons on HBO GO, Starz, and Netflix.  I can’t just devote countless hours to watching multiple episodes of one show.  I’m as eccentric with those whom I call family and friends too.  I have always hung around with people from all calls of life.  From the nerds, squares, cholos, band geeks, metalheads, and everywhere in between, I’m friends with all.  I think I’m just a living contradiction to be honest.  I say all of that to say that I really tripped out my best friend during our 20+ hours on the road to and from El Paso discovering, or rather, realizing all of these things.

So, here we are at the tail end of September.  Fall is coming up on us which means short days (thank God), colder weather, and the holidays!  I can’t believe this year is nearly over!!  Where has this year gone?  What have I actually done this year?  A lot, when I look back on it.  I explored more than I thought I would, I saw a few of my favorite cities, and I now I’m gearing up for a big milestone birthday in December.  I really can’t wait for that either.  Before we know it, 2018 will be here and we’ll start the party all over again.  Let’s get at it, peeps!

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