Red New Era Dunce Cap in 7¾, Please

So, another week has passed and I seem to be doing well at the gym.  This year of transition that I am going through seems to be going well.  With that said, a fact of my life has somewhat boiled to the surface thanks to Anthony Soprano and his son Anthony Soprano Jr.  See, to keep my brain busy while I spend an hour with my good friend The Arc Trainer at the gym, I go through different series on pay channel apps.  I’ve watched Carnivale, Magic City, parts of Black Sails (which I will return to), and now I’m going through The Sopranos. (SPOILERS)  I’m currently on season 2 at the point where Tony escapes the murder wrap for the kid who tried to kill Christopher, but while pissing his boots full, he realizes that if he gets locked up, he’ll never see his kids grow up, etc.  The bad thing is, is that he isn’t really proud of his son.  AJ is a lazy dunce for all intents and purposes, so he is basically detached from his father.  The episode that I ended at, “Bust Out” finally shows Tony and AJ bond at the end of the episode on the family boat (more like a freakin’ yacht, but you get my drift) and credits.

Well, there I was at 4:30 in the morning just finishing up my hour on the arc as the credits started to roll and I started to think about my situation.  I often do, I must admit, but this time it really got to me.  I started to question if my father views me as a failure and a dunce.  I mean, hell, look at me?!  I don’t think that this is what he envisioned 34+ years ago on that beach near Oceanside, California as he and his buddies celebrated with a keg on the beach listening to Beatles tunes (to try and feel better about John Lennon’s death as it occurred 17 hours before I decided to crash the pity party) after learning the news that I showed up. I should mention that he wasn’t here in El Paso when I was born because he was enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at Camp Pendleton.  Anyway, I don’t think this is the way he thought I would turn out.  The future was bright back then.  I could have been anything.  I could have been driven by the things that drive normal people… money, sex, the need to party and be part of some group that does that noise, general views of success, whatever.  I’ve never been concerned with any of it to the point that it’s made my life unbearable, but I’ve never closed the door to it and joined a religious order either.  LOL.  Instead, I find myself living a very quiet life with no ambitions to be rich (which is a good thing if you are a true believer in Christ, btw), I lead a very quiet life, I’ve essentially given up drinking, I don’t have any desire to HAVE to be out somewhere on my days off, and thanks to my crazy drinking and partying days during my entire 20s I’m stuck living there at his house for at least the next year.  He’s the one living his 20s again now that my mom has been dead for 6.5 years.

With all that said I questioned myself again this morning and nearly cried on my 10 minute drive home from said gym session.  Am I a failure to my father?  Will our bloodline end with him because God knows the chances are slim that I’ll ever have children (and that breaks my heart too)?  Does he think I’m a pussy because I have no desire to party?  Added to that, am I a pussy because I’d rather just listen to podcasts and read up on stuff that educates me?  Even worse, is he ashamed because I am really trying my best to live a traditionalist Catholic lifestyle (which is pretty difficult to do in this world, I will tell you) and he’s just a lukewarm (if that) believer in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  I’m nothing like the people he sees and hears about that are near or at my age… Partying all the time, banging peeps with reckless abandon, living life without a care in the world.  I’m not like those people and I pray to God that never end up like one of them again.  Well, granted I couldn’t “bang with reckless abandon” if I was the last man on earth, but you know what I mean!  None of that drives me and never has.  Did he want that for me?  Does he still?  Does he think that I’m a loser because I would rather stay at home than waste my money at time at some stupid bar?

I can tell you that I’ll never find out because I will never ask him, but I will say that it does bother me sometimes like it did this morning.  I suppose I can only be what I feel God wants me to be.  He’s set me on this path and all I have to do is strap in and go along for the ride.  I have no worries about where my life will take me, but I do feel sad for the things that never came about.  Then again, we shouldn’t dwell on the past.

Mid 30s Daydreamer

I didn’t think I’d be back so soon, but since most of my thoughts now are really kept to myself or when I can sneak away a blast on the internet I do that, I find myself thinking a lot more lately.  It’s an odd thing that I remember now I used to do very often as a single person like I am again.  Granted, it was nice to share even the most mundane of ideas with a significant other, I really did miss just keeping those dumb ideas (and let me tell you 90% of mine ARE that) to myself as to not fear a “Really?!  You really are the dumbest ass in captivity.” Blast.  Sometimes, however, those dumb thoughts are decent enough for me to want to share with the world for whomever to read.  This is one of those times.

On my drive home earlier this afternoon, a story on NPR’s All Things Considered caught my attention… well, more than every other story does at least.  This one right here –> <–.  It got me thinking about just how connected most of us (myself included) are to our phones.  How the hell did we live prior to even the basic cellular phones that really came into the majority of our lives in the mid 1990’s?  I know I felt pretty empowered when I got my cell phone in the first quarter of 2000 at the tender age of 19.  I still have the same number, by the way.

Tangent here… I don’t know about you, but nothing annoys me more than when people constantly change their phone number.  Why is it so difficult to find one you like? It’s just a combination of 7 digits anyway (here in the States at least)!!!!  GET OVER IT, people!  Sheesh!!!!

Anyway, I felt all good about being connected all of a sudden.  What if I was driving back to my homeland of Anthony to visit my grandparents, but for some reason somebody thought I was important enough to call?!  They could do it then!!!  HOLY SMOKES!!!!!  Little did any of us know back then that it was just the beginning.  That little Nokia 5110 that everybody had was my lifeline to the world, but slowly that black and white Gameboy-esque screen with that snake game rapidly ushered in color screens and very soon after the touchscreen smartphones that we all have now.  Enough with the history lesson, the point is that we all changed.  I changed a lot after I got my cell phone.  Slowly any personal interaction was stripped away and by the time I got my Samsung Galaxy I, I was balls deep into social media and I had completely forgotten all but two phone numbers.  My house number and my grandparents.  Everybody else’s?  Gone the way of the dodo bird.  It kinda sucks, to be honest.  Why the hell did our lives have to get so simplified, but at the expense of our humanity?

Not only that, but now it seems that our creativity is going too.  Too much stimulation has been really screwing with us for a while, but I think this is really pushing it over the edge, in my opinion.  I can only speak for myself, but all of my greatest ideas have come from the times where I have just sat or laid down and just let my mind wander.  I daydream a lot.  Sometimes it gets quite annoying, but the majority of the greatest experiences of my life have come from daydreaming.  That’s how I was able to pull off a few Vegas trips (like the one I’m taking in June!!) or plan out other things in my life.  It’s only when I put my damn phone down that I am allowed to let my brain run free.  I have to do more of that!  Who knows, maybe I’ll trick my brain into not feeling like such a loser sometimes!  Hahaha!  The possibilities are endless!!!!

With all that said, even though I am in love with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, I think I’m going to try to make a better effort at just chilling out and letting my brain wander a bit.  Who knows?  The universe is a big bastard and maybe just a piece of it wants to connect to us subconsciously.  The least I could do is quit being so self centered and drowning my brain out with crap long enough to let it do just that.

The odd man out

So, I just had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine here at work during lunch and it’s got me thinking… well, more wondering than thinking, but thinking nonetheless.  See, I have ALWAYS lead a different life than the normal person out on the street.  That’s not to say that nobody is unique, but I think I take that to a different level.  Hell, just look at the way I dress!  I can go from suit and tie, to chain wallet wearing heavy metal shirt wearing dude, to cowboy and I’m being genuinely myself.  I’m the same with my music choices!  I listen to nearly everything except for essentially everything that’s on 102.1 or 104.whatever on the FM radio here in town.  That’s basically hip hop, “rap”, EDM, etc… that’s shit.  Add that horrendous Mexican “banda” ear murder to my list while we’re at it.  But really, aside from that, I listen to it.  I’m that weirdo that can cruise down the street and have Pantera’s song “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit” playing and follow it right up with The Bee-Gees “Night Fever” and not even think it’s awkward.  Yeah, I’m that type of person.  I suppose that’s why I find myself rolling solo deep.  LOL.

Anyway, in this conversation, a weird thought occurred to me.  It dealt with motivation.  What motivates me?  It’s a simple answer, actually.  Happiness.  We all want to be happy, right?  For some people getting it in with as many different people makes them happy.  For other people, material possessions make them happy.  Some people just want to get and stay high/drunk to be happy.  Me?  Being comfortable makes me happy.  I couldn’t give a rat’s ass for money, a fancy assed house, some panty-dropping inducing car, “nice” clothes.  That’s nothing to me.  I can’t take that with me to purgatory when I bite it, so why deal with it now?  I think Colossians chapter 3 verses 1-17 says it best when it says:

Mystical Death and Resurrection.

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Renunciation of Vice

5 Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.6 Because of these the wrath of God is coming [upon the disobedient].7 By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.9 Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I’m still working on a lot of that.  Like obscene language for one.  Heh.  Oops!  But the point is, is that I’m trying.  And yes, what I am here for is love.  I just want to be cool with everybody and love those who are close and dear to my heart.  Peace and love.  Not any of this earthly madness.  I don’t need it nor do I desire it, thank God!

So, all of that said, I remembered a moment I had with my mom when I was 17 or thereabouts about my future.  What I really wanted to do when I grew up was to be a locomotive engineer for what is now BNSF. I had wanted to do that ever since I was born.  But then, in order to get into the program to do it at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, I needed 30 college credit hours.  I had no idea what I was going to waste my time getting those hours with until I went to Las Vegas for the second time ever as my graduation from high school trip.  I fell in love with the hotel industry.  It was so cool to me to be there amongst the thousands of people a day meeting new faces all the time, having a new experience every day.  It was awesome!  So it was then that I told my mom that I would be happy working any job in or around a hotel lobby in Vegas.  I didn’t care if I was some lowly rent-a-cop, or a bellman, or front desk agent.  Money?  Pfft.  Who cares?  As long as I had enough of it to survive (meaning a temperature appropriate place, food, water, and some sort of bed), that’s all I would need.  I didn’t care about some big assed fancy house or anything.  After hearing that my mom looked at me and gave me the “WTF?!” look and said I didn’t know what I was thinking, etc… But truth be told mom, because I know you’re reading this up with baby Jesus, I did know what I was talking about and I still do.  I STILL feel the same way.  Honestly, I would love to live out in southern Nevada working as a front desk agent or hell, even a bellman!  That would be awesome.  All I would need are the bare essentials for survival.

So there it is, my friends.  True happiness in the form of love for baby Jesus, my friends, and family is what drives me.  THAT’s what important to me.  I had to get that thought out of my head.  I’m not normal.  What can I say?


Restart… GO!

I’ve been meaning to write this blog out for a few days now, but life has gotten in the way.  It’s actually been a good thing this time.  I’m normally complaining about that.  I’ve needed that last little bit of the party to get ready for this journey I’ve decided to put myself through.  The last thing I want to sound like is one of those New Year resolutioners talking about “New year, new me” garbage.  I’m of the mind that if you really want to change, who cares about what month you start?  It just so happens that I’m starting this life check of mine as of January 5th (physically at least) because life has gotten in the way beforehand.  And shut your mouth if you say “Excuses, excuses!!!”  No, man, sometimes you have to let life happen.

Anyway, yes.  This reset button that we all used to have on our video game consoles before these things got to crazy for me to bother with them?… that’s what I’m pressing.  I have to.  How funny.  My life found a way to spin out almost out of control again and this time in a completely different direction.  How the hell does that seem to happen in my life?  I really wish I knew.  I suppose the big reason is because I let it.  It’s rare that I really stand up for myself when life starts to get nutty.  That’s part of my Achilles heel.  I’d rather take the hit than hurt somebody else’s feelings… or get my feelings hurt for that matter.  I play things way too safe, I think.  I’m always afraid of the negative reaction.  Why the hell is that?  Why can’t I tell that woman I find beautiful that she is?  Why can’t I tell people that I don’t want to go anywhere on a Saturday night?  Why can’t I tell people the things that they do to me hurt me?  Damn you self esteem!  You bastard!  You’ve probably screwed me over a lot of cool experiences!  Haha.

Oh, hell.  Here I go, rambling… AGAIN, but that’s where my mind is taking me to get this thought of out my head.  Stay with me, friends!  There’s a point to all of this!  Trust me!

Ok, well, where should I really start the meat and potatoes of this thought?  I guess I should say that this has been a long time coming.  I knew for about 10 months that things needed to change.  This life of mine needed to change.  Not too many things, mind you, but the financial things that have been weighing me down are quickly coming to their exit from my life and this next chapter that I want to embark on was going to start to come into my life.  It was all going to hinge on this year, 2015.  Things are getting real, let me tell you.  2015 is here and the freedom that it’s going to usher in is very much in sight.  It’s been a long time coming.  The 15 years of penance for my sins are almost paid in full.  You don’t know how good I feel about that.  A lot of things have happened in those 15 years to get me here though.  There were lots of trials, hardships, deaths, pain, sorrow, depression, heartbreak (more times than I’d care to remember), despair, you name it I went through it.  If it wasn’t for my friends, and the occasional adult beverage, God knows where I’d be.

And that’s not it either… this damn lifestyle of mine has screwed me in the health department too.  I was a real badass about it up until this garbage around 10 months ago up until last month really screwed that up all to hell, but I’ve always kept it in my head to not give up even though my appearance has said otherwise.  With that being said, I’m going to turn back the clock and get my self back into crazy gear.  Doing that and getting myself to where I want to be won’t be easy though.  It means my schedule is going to be waking up at 3am, get an hour in on my old trusty friend the Arc Trainer at the gym, eat a meal of breakfast food, go to work, hope my calories keep me going all day, get back to the house, consume more calories, and be back to sleep by 7pm.  Some will say I’m crazy, some will ask why the hell I’m waking up so early, some will try and get me to do whatever eating thing they are doing, but I will say that yes… I am crazy, I’m waking up because I’d rather do that and have 3 hours of free time after work, and no… I don’t give A DAMN about how you think I should eat this or that or do this or that.  What I do and have been doing previously works and I don’t give A DAMN if you think I’m wrong.  I got this.  If you feel the need to say anything about it, praise whatever progress I make.

So, there’s two problem areas in my life that I’m taking the time and energy to fix.  This long road… these 500 or so days to complete redemption start in earnest NOW.  Ideas have now moved to action.  Come spring/summer of 2016, you’ll be seeing a little better version of this moron here.  I’m excited.  I’ll be a lot healthier in more ways than one, my bestia will be fixed back to her former glory (she’s been through a lot lately.  LOL poor truck), and God willing I’ll have a nice quiet place to lay my dome on to keep on keeping on.

So, keep with me, my friends.  It’s going to be a fun ride.  I’m glad that you are all going to be here to share it with me.  I love you all!  I’ll be talking in long form again soon!