Forever a Clone

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

Archive for the month “September, 2016”

An insight into my love of music

Of all of the influences in my life, I want to say the biggest one is music.  I LOVE music!  My entire life revolves around music.  Ever since I could remember as a child, music was playing in my house.  I grew up with a number of different genres of music too.  My mom and dad would go from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr, and all the way to music like The Latin Breed, Emilio Navaira, and Selena and everything in between.  I never found it strange to listen to a rock track followed up by a Tejano tune.

There were plenty of weekends where our nights would be filled with so much music that it would fill my soul.  I remember those nights listening to the pop songs of the day, like tracks from Prince, The Police, A-Ha, Wham!, The Go-Gos, The Bangles, and Madonna to name just a few that got added into the mix along with everything else.

It was when I was about 6 or so when my godfather came over to our house in Anthony and brought me a stereo receiver and a pair of speakers (hey man! It was 1987!) that I also started to expand my musical horizons.  My parents, for as much as they did kinda monitor what I would watch and listen to, pretty much let me listen to whatever I wanted to and that’s when I turned the dial over to the rock stations in the area and found hair/glam metal.  I remember summer days when I’d be blasting out Mötley Crüe’s new hit single “Girls, Girls, Girls” and just having a rocking time in my bedroom.  Looking back, I wonder why my mom didn’t come in and ask what the hell I was listening to, but I was hooked on rock, man!  Soon enough, my sister and I were listening to Bon Jovi and I felt immersed in the rock genre.  I wasn’t out about it, you know?  It’s not like I could demand that I grow out my hair and aqua-net the hell out of it, or could I show up to 1st or 2nd grade with a Crüe or Poison shirt on, but I loved the music nonetheless.

I was 7, 8 years old and I was as nearly as all over the map with music as I am now.  I loved country music, loved Tejano music (and the beautiful women Tejano singers), loved classic rock from the 50s, 60s, and 70s (even though 70s wasn’t really classic back then), really started to get into the pop/R&B/Hip Hop music of the day too, and I loved my hair metal.  I really have to say that I love my parents for exposing me to such a wide variety of music and allowing me to discover so much more too.

Things started to come to a focus even more when I was around 8 or 9 when a good friend of mine and I decided that we’d really get into Aerosmith.  That band is still one of my favorite bands, although I’ll be honest in saying that I really like their earlier work when they were really rockin’.  Anyway, this was the Permanent Vacation/Pump era and this is where things are starting to change for the band.  We didn’t know any different and we loved the band for what they were.  I was a pretty big fan.  I had a few tapes, and I even got the permanent vacation home video (that was later borrowed and never returned by my 6th grade teacher.  LOL!) It was the first time that I focused any fandom to one artist.

Things took an even bigger swing musically when I moved to the east side of El Paso when I was 10.  It was the fall of 1991 and Metallica’s self-titled album (commonly known as the black album) had been released in the summer of that year and the single “Enter Sandman” was all over the place.  I really can’t tell you why I hadn’t heard it before.  Maybe it was the fact that I was really into listening to my CDs at the time and not the radio, but again my sister came to my rescue and turned me onto this song.  That changed my entire life.  I don’t know what it was, but I quickly became obsessed with that band and that song.  I remember it was later on that year at some point that I got the black album on tape and I listened to it nonstop!

Things didn’t change much for about the next 8 years.  Anybody that knew me in high school that I don’t really talk to now would probably recognize me and know me from all of my Metallica shirts.  I think I counted 16 of them at one point.  I was that into them.  The timing of me getting into them and their changes were hand in hand as well as by the start of high school in 1995, I was also branching out into blues, and more of the contemporary heavy metal of the day.  Metallica, at the same time, were writing and recording their albums Load and ReLoad at the time and those disks are very blues heavy, much the chagrin of many a heavy metal fan.  It was them cutting their long hair off, AND playing blues-y music that really pissed all of these heavy metal guys off.  I didn’t care.  I LOVED it.  I was listening to almost anything I could get my hands on.  Jazz, Classical, Industrial, Heavy Metal, Funk, Blues, you name it and I was into it.

High school was a funny place for me, when I really think about it.  Being in band (marching, symphonic, and jazz) really lit the fires of my love for awesome drumlines (because I was on the snare line in marching band), classical music, and all sorts of jazz.  I mean, I liked jazz music beforehand thanks to the jazz-rock fusion bands my dad liked and listened to, but the pure jazz ensembles and famous artists like John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald, etc were unknown to me at the time.  I would find myself listening to the local jazz station just soaking up everything they were playing.  Heck, even when they’d switch to classical music, I’d still be listening.  Jazz and Classical music, I found, would give me such peace and still do.  The talent by all of the musicians just blows me away.  The composers as well, just amaze me.  I’m probably one of the few weirdos who love movie soundtracks and composers in that subgenre like John Williams, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, and Jerry Goldsmith to name a few of my favorites.

So, I say all of this to say that fast forward to now.  I’m still into the same styles of music as I was before.  I’ve actually branched out into more specific subgenres like chillout/downtempo/lounge/whatever else you want to call it jazz music, Bebop jazz, old-style country like George Strait, Alan Jackson, and the like, Heavy Metal that has awesome guitar solos and great drummers but isn’t too fast like Metallica, Pantera, Hellyeah, and Steel Panther (yes, I know this band heavily conflicts with my religious beliefs, but damn do I love the music!), and I still listen to everything else that I’ve mentioned previously as well.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have music.  Music is usually the first thought of mine when I wake up and aside from listening to podcasts, listening to music is what I do most often.  It’s what continues to shape my life. So, I guess if you really want to know more about me, just take a look at my music collection and you’ll get a taste of what made me who I am today.

 

Satisfied

When is it ever enough?  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that?  Or, are you a person that is never satisfied?  I, as some of you know, am not like that at all.  This topic came on Saturday night and it’s been with me since then.  I know everybody is different and I’m in the minority for thinking the way I do, but I don’t really find myself wanting more from this life.  Aside from my spiritual life, there is really nothing else that I want.  Of course, materialistic people that might happen to stumble upon this blog of mine may call me a complete idiot, but I’ll say this.  This isn’t the last stop for me.  My true reward waits for me in heaven if I can get myself together enough to live in a State of Grace and die in it as well.  That’s not an easy thing to do by any means, especially with the company I choose to keep, but it’s the choice I have made and continue to make.

Anyway, back to the point, after my homie was talking about a co-worker of his who asked him what he planned to do in the future and he started to talk about it, I immediately thought of my own response.  What triggered it was the thing that said co-worker asked him, “You don’t plan to do this the rest of your life, do you?”  Now granted, what I do is not the best job in the world or whatever, but it’s not an entry level job either and it provides me with all of the income that I need to survive.  In reality, that’s all I need.  I’m a man of simple needs.  Growing up with everything that I needed but humbly ingrained that mindset into me, I think.  It’s really that and my religious beliefs that do it, to be honest.  Matthew, chapter 5, aka the Sermon on the Mount/ The Beatitudes is what I’m talking about.  I try my best to live my life by that and honestly add Matthew Chapter 6 to that list as well.

See, I can’t wrap my head around the notion of continuing to move jobs just to get a higher paying wage.  I don’t understand the need for wealth, and overpriced possessions.  Whenever our number is called and we choose where we want to go (because it really is our choice by our actions about where our ultimate destination will be), our possessions will not go with us.  So, that flash car, those overpriced name brand clothes, and that giant house that you got to impress people with are going to stay here.  It’s pointless.  I’ve always thought that way since I became of the age of relative reason.  Having that mindset, however, has probably caused the loss of opportunities in my life, well when it comes to the love life department at least.  I mean, who the hell would want a humble, quiet, and simple man who doesn’t wear fancy clothes, lives in a good sized apartment, and doesn’t drive a flashy car?  Not very many if at all.  Hahahaha!

I’ll admit it.  I’m a very boring dude.  I find joy in the simplest of things.  A great song, a funny movie, an interesting conversation, a thought provoking podcast, watching the sun rise and/or set are just some of the things that I find joy in.  I don’t need to be the top dog wherever I am.  I don’t need to have the most expensive car, the biggest house, the most “friends”, none of that.  I just need to get myself onto the right path to make it to heaven to be in bliss for eternity.  Whatever and whoever God decides to bless me with along the way is perfectly fine for me.

 

“Introvert

An introvert generally prefers solitary activities to interacting with large groups of people. If you would rather work through your feelings in your diary than have a conversation, then you are an introvert.  Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone.”

That description comes directly from here and that pretty much describes me.  I’ve always been that way, actually.  It’s all thanks to my mom (RIP) who was a very shy person.  I got a lot of her traits, all good ones by the way, and the two that I find to be most prominent happen to be the kindness (to a fault most of the damn time) and the introverted personality.  Sadly those two things don’t mix well as I always put others before myself and find myself doing things and going places that quite frankly I have zero interest in doing or going to.  That’s not to say that I don’t have fun going to places or whatnot, but I find myself happiest on my own or with my small circle of friends.  I’ll say this about it right now too; it’s not a bad thing or a thing I should be ashamed about, so get off my ass if you feel differently because honestly I don’t care.  Your opinions have been noted, but they clash with mine and not to be a dick, I value my opinion on that matter more than other’s on the subject.

Anyway, I say all of this to say that in the time that I’ve been really alone (for the most part) the past few months, I’ve found that I’ve had a renewed energy that has given fresh prospective and vitality into my life.  I still can’t get the ideal schedule I want to have really started, but hey, unless I die soon I’ll get there!  All I know is that I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time, probably ever, thanks to the things that have been going on in my life.  I’ve had so much fun these past couple of months!  I’ve gotten to spend quality time with my best friends by playing music, singing songs, and drinking of course.  I also got the chance to really explore the greater Southwest with one of my very dear friends for two weeks and by doing that it made me remember about just how blessed I am to live where I do.  El Paso and the 800 miles in every direction around us here is so unique.  It’s something that I take for granted until I’m reminded about just how beautiful things are here in the desert Southwest.  So much history, so many different locations that are one of a kind here on our planet, the people, everything… I take it all for granted until it gets brought to my attention.  It was so much fun to visit the Grand Canyon, drive through northern Arizona into the Las Vegas Metroplex and back down into Phoenix and see just how many habitat changes occur from place to place.  Then of course, seeing Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands which for the latter is a one of a kind place in the world, just made me feel like such an idiot for not going to check these places out more often.  For as much crap that I talk about hating on New Mexico, that state is badass for camping, hiking, and national parks/monuments.

Which brings me to my next thought.  Getting to actually do more of these things!  My friends, dare I say family, and I have been talking about going out to these places more often but our stupid lives keep getting in the way!  I think that after this year of transition that we’ve ALL had, next year will clear up and allow us to go camping more, go hiking more, and go to these places in the area that we take for granted.

In the beautiful words of a homegirl of mine, I need to get my shit together.  I think I am.  Every day, I’m becoming more and more of the person that I’ve always strived to be.  That person is a man who is sure of his path in life.  That path is full of happiness, the perfect friends, and the perfect peace in himself.  I’m almost there, man.  I can see it within my reach.  There is one more thing though.  I think that Dr. Emmett L. Brown said it best when he said, “Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!”

Hahaha!

Until next time, my friends.

Jesus and I love you!

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