Tag Archives: Friends

A Voice

Hello all!  I’ve been meaning to write about this for quite some time but have never gotten the chance to get around to it, well until now at least.  Here’s a question to ask.  Are you a listener?  I mean, we all listen to people one way or another, but do you really listen when people tell you things or do you just tune out to when somebody else talks to you?  In most of my experiences, I’ve found that most people don’t really hear what I have to say.  I’m largely ignored or when I am heard my thoughts and opinions are dismissed as being any form of negative.  It gets annoying, so over time, I’ve learned to just keep most thoughts to myself, well that is until I discovered WordPress.  I think this is the only place that I find myself to be free to express myself any way I’d like and not be judged on it.  This is why I keep writing here.  I don’t know the majority of you followers personally, but those of us who mutually follow each other share the same ideas of freedom of expression to get those things that just gnaw at us out and away from us purging whatever emotion that may be.  I don’t know where I’d be without this outlet, if you want me to be honest.  I have a hard enough time as it is out in the real world keeping it together mentally, and when things get too bottled up, I come here to release them.

That brings me to the story I’ve wanted to tell.  I have an acquaintance who seems to be even more introverted and secluded than I am.  That’s saying a lot, actually.  Dude makes me look like a social butterfly, actually.  Anyway, to put things shortly, he just doesn’t fit it.  He’s quiet, doesn’t like to be part of any groups, and he just makes it an open effort to not be included in anything.  The strange part is that I love to talk to him.  I understand him.  I know what he’s going through feeling like the outcast, and maybe that’s the big thing that draws me to him.  I know other people I know talk to him and what not, but I don’t think people listen to him.  He’s generally misunderstood by everybody, but I know where he’s coming from and I make it a point to listen to him and let him freely express his thoughts.  I interject with them because well, it’s the right thing to do, but also because I generally agree with his ideas and if I don’t, I want to hear the reasoning of his thoughts.  I don’t know if he knows this or not, but I look forward to every conversation we have because not only does he excite the thinking part of my brain, but I feel like I help him out by just simply listening to him when it seems like nobody else will.

I seem to have that talent, actually.  I attract the misfits and outcasts.  Hell, I count myself as part of them, so why would I turn my back away from a fellow weirdo?  We all need a voice that deserves to be heard without judgement or criticism.  My buddy has me, and I have y’all.  Thank you for listening to me, even if you never actually comment on this thing.

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I’m Going Through Changes…

Greetings y’all!  What an incredible journey I’ve been having since the last weekend of 2018!  I will tell y’all that my life has been almost completely turned around to a new normal.  I can’t deny it, either.  It feels great.  It’s even odd enough to say that, but it does.  I think my brother (from another mother) who lives in Salt Lake City told me the best way about it too; “Well, dude, you were due for a change.  I don’t wanna sound like a dick about it, but your life had gotten pretty stagnant.  I’m happy for you, dude!”  Hmmm… maybe he’s right!  I mean, I have traveled more in the past 3 months than I have in the past 5 years, and east of all things!  I mean, before about 3 or 4 years ago I had never really been anywhere else here in Texas for any more than a quick stop or some specific thing to do.  I went to Houston 10 years ago for WWE’s WrestleMania 25 for a weekend, but we didn’t venture out much aside from going to the area where the event was being held.  I also went to the DFW area a few years ago to visit one of my band members for a weekend, then again to his new place in Bryan but it was more for a working/band trip, so I didn’t really see much then either.  Well, this year, already, I’ve gone to Houston and explored parts of that wonderful city again, and I got to drive through San Antonio for the first time in 20 years!  Just this past weekend, I was back in Bryan/College Station where I got to see a bit more of the town.  I’ve also gotten to know Interstate 10 from the state line in my hometown of Anthony, Texas all the way through to Houston, Texas.  Before this year, I hadn’t even driven it past the exit to highway 280 right after Junction, Texas that takes you into Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and Austin.  My two trips (and one more scheduled coming up in two weeks) have been really eye opening to me.  I’m wondering why it is that I didn’t want to head east before.  I mean, I can tell you why really.  It’s because my favorite Major League Baseball team is the Arizona Diamondbacks (who are based in Phoenix, Arizona), and the place I visit at least annually is Las Vegas, Nevada.  Both of those places are west of me and I’ve always felt comfortable in my familiar desert climate.  Say what you will about things, but nothing beats the sunsets here in the desert southwest.  The way things are heading, I might be heading east permanently, so I gotta take in as many of these sunsets as I can while I can still remember to!

Along with my travel and my new found appreciation for what lies east of El Paso, I’ve also fully embraced my new lifestyle change.  I have kept losing pounds each passing week and I’m ramping up my confidence that I can continue to get to my goal weight, which I should hit sometime in November.  I’m really looking forward to that AND looking forward to seeing a better version of me in the mirror!  I’ve even started to eat way healthier than I was previously, and I am getting compliments at least weekly from my coworkers about how great of a job I’m doing.  It feels awesome to know that finally, for once, things are heading in the direction they should be when it comes to my health.  Speaking of my health, on Tuesday, I’m finally going to have a sleep study done to hopefully help fix my problem with sleep apnea and snoring.  Hardly anybody understands, but I am super excited about this too.  The more changes, the better I say!

Have a great weekend y’all!  Stay safe out there in this wild planet of ours!

Be Peace

Hello once again, y’all!  I hope this blog post finds you well.  Things for me are quite in flux.  Should I be surprised at it?  No.  I part of me wishes some of the aspects of my life were different right now, but I’m of the mind that God puts us in all situations for good reasons.

I’ve had a lot to be thankful for lately, actually.  I have been kicking so much ass at my weight loss and the steps that I’m taking to get there that I’m actually pretty excited that getting to my target weight may actually happen a lot sooner than later.  If it all goes somewhat well, I should reach my target somewhere in between October 31st and November 8th.  Kind of exciting and scary all at the same time.  I mean, how insane to think that if I continue with my hard work and dedication, just under 100 pounds will be shed by then.  100 pounds in 10 months…  I’m trying real hard to imagine how I’ll look and I have no idea how that’s going to be, but I’m pushing all my chips towards the middle of the table to make that happen.

I’m wondering about a lot of things with that change too, actually.  How differently will I be treated by everyone?  How about in public?  Will people want to approach me?  Man, I hope not!  Hahaha!  I’ve been generally left alone for 38 years and counting, I don’t wanna start socializing now!  Don’t get me wrong about it though, I’m not scared or nervous about it, I’m just really wondering how it’s going to be.

There’s another thing that’s been happening since I started this journey in earnest on January 1st.  I’ve been openly happy about the results I’ve been getting so far and with that, I’ve been getting mixed reactions to my happiness.  A handful of people have really sincerely praised me telling me encouraging words and such.  Some others have been surprised and have also told me to keep going.  Others have been really just MEH about it and seem either annoyed, jealous, or some other negative feeling towards me and my journey and I just can’t figure it out.  Why is it that some people just live a negative life?  Is it the fact that they get more satisfaction from talking smack about other people to boost their own ego?  Or is it jealousy over the fact that they aren’t happy with themselves, yet they choose not to fix whatever is bothering them?  Or maybe some other reason.  I don’t know.  This song here below has been around for about 4 years and goes very well with this topic…

All the lyrics in that song speaks to my question, but the main one is “Why can’t you be happy for anyone else?”  That’s so true.  We all need at least a little bit of positive encouragement.  Hell, all words are powerful.  I know, personally, I’m a very sensitive person.  Words affect me a lot, especially when they come from people whom I love, and/or respect.  Some people in my real world life just don’t seem to notice that their words have effect on me and they say harmful things.  I hurt a lot and even though I hide it, words sting me for a long time.

Well I was told yesterday that in so many words to say “to hell with the people that aren’t going to be supportive of you!”  and I tend to agree with that.  I’ll just let those negative words slide off and focus on the positive words as I continue to make this transformation.

If there’s one thing I’d like to share for people who read this to take away from, it’s be nice to everybody.  There’s never a reason to rude, disrespectful, or speak out of anger to anyone.  We all need love and encouragement.  Who knows, maybe the person that you offer praise to was just waiting on those words to get themselves through another day.  Be nice, be loving, and live life in peace with each other, everyone.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish together!

Getting At It

Good morning y’all!  I’ve been thinking about a question lately.  What motivates you?  And what are you motivated to do?  Without even knowing it, I find myself motivated to be better in many different ways by many different things every day.  These things have changed over the years, actually.  As of now, and lately come to think of it, I’ve been motivated to live a generally better life by a few different factors.

First thing, and this has actually been on ongoing thing throughout my entire adult life, I’ve been motivated to live the best Christian life that I can thanks to my ever growing knowledge of my Catholic faith.  There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not either reading articles from the various councils throughout history, or a church doctor, etc. about my faith OR I’m listening to one of my 3 favorite shows on ETWN Radio (being Called to Communion [which I recommend to any non-Catholic AND Catholic alike], Open Line Monday & Thursday, and Catholic Answers Live).  I’ve learned so much and am still eager to learn about how to become a better Christian and a better overall person.  All of us can improve.  Nobody is perfect.

The second thing that I get motivated about is my health, specifically my weight.  Ever since the age of 7, I’ve had a weight problem.  I don’t really know what changed from that age, but it’s been something I’ve been trying to get a hold of for the better part of 15 or so years.  I had a great run about 6 years ago where I was well on my way to get down to my goal weight and got down to my lowest weight ever as an adult.  I messed it up by rewarding myself a bit too much, then going through personal situations and before I knew it, I was worse off than when I really decided to be serious about losing weight.  I always wanted to get back to that feeling of craving doing an hour or more on The Arc Trainer at the gym and seeing the number on the scale decrease every week, but I just let the good times take over.  It was only until I really maxed out in December of 2017 that I decided to say no more AGAIN and get myself back on track.  I had a 12 month kinda warm up, but I’ve really ramped it up this month and have gained that hunger, desire, and craving to get on that Arc Trainer every day and spend an hour doing cardio.  It’s gotten so good that I’m actively shunning cheat meals; cheat moments all together come to think of it.  I don’t want to get derailed for anything, and I’m feeling great about it.  I’ve already lost 15 pounds this month and each one of those pounds has motivated me to push even harder to get down to that lowest adult weight and break through that and get down to my goal weight.  It’s all motivated by the way my clothes are fitting, the way the numbers on the scale go down, and the way I mentally feel about it.  I feel awesome and I want to maintain that feeling.

The last thing I feel motivated about is my status amongst loved ones.  I have people that I care about and they motivate me to be a better person too.  I know that may sound strange to say that it takes another person or other people to make you want to improve, but it’s true in my case.  I have things to look forward to and the desire to be the best version of me that I can be motivates me to want to be better every day.

What motivates you?  Are you even motivated?  Or am I even weirder than I already knew I was?

Have an awesome rest of the week, friends!

Creeping Death and Other Things to Ponder

Hey y’all!  I’m still processing the fact that we’re now in 2019.  What has happened to the time?!  I mean, I just turned 38 last month, but think about that… 1980 was damn near 40 years ago!  I’m still listening and prefer music from 1989 all the way back to the early 1920s!  Holy SMOKES.  The 1920s!  That was ONE HUNDRED years ago!  It’s hard for me to believe.  It really is.  I always envisioned the future to be, well futuristic.  LOL.  Maybe it is in comparison to the 1970s and 1980s with the tech I grew up with, but generally things are the same.

That idea of time I have which I could go into more detail about was brought on by a topic brought up to me yesterday.  Bucket lists.  Do you have one?  I thought I did for a second there, but I soon realized that I really don’t have one.  As Dictionary.com puts it, a bucket list is “a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying.”  Right on Front Street, isn’t it?  I don’t know if this makes me even more weird than I know I already am, but I really don’t have goals that I want to achieve or things I want to experience by a certain age.  I find that putting things like that to strive for in the future just makes those things unattainable in a sense.  I lose my track in the present dreaming about the future and end up messing things up.  Does that make any sense?  It has happened too many times that I get distracted day dreaming about a possible future and end up messing something up in the present.  Plus, most of those things never came true anyway, so I figured why not live in the now?  Odd, right?  I mean, if I were pressed to say some sort of bucket list thing that I think could possibly be attainable or that I really want to do, it would be to visit Rome and The Vatican, specifically.  As a practicing Catholic, I should want to see that.  But those other worldly possession or vacation ideas that a lot of people strive for, I couldn’t care less for.  I know that may sound strange and out of left field, but it’s really how I feel.  I have no desire to climb a mountain, skydive, or do some other sort of potentially dangerous act.  I actually have a strong sense of self-preservation that keeps me from putting myself in too much of harm’s way.  Monetary desires, winning a lottery notwithstanding, are also out of the window for me.  I don’t strive to chase that extra dollar.  That’s not how God wants me to live.  What I need, He will provide.  I don’t need to worry, nor do I need to collect up treasures here on earth.  I have no desire to, either.

So what is it that I live for?  In a few words, I live for love, happiness, and comfort.  I want to give the people I’m close to all the love I can, and I want to be happy as much as I can.  I also just want to be comfortable.  Now, that last term can be a pretty broad one, I know, but comfort for me is more about peace than anything else.  I want to be comfortable with myself, with the people I associate with, with my surroundings, and with my life in general.  As long as all that is present, I want for nothing more.  I’m honestly a pretty simple person, actually.  I try to find the joy in everything that I do, even the most simple and boring of tasks.  I try not to dwell on the negative in life and I also try to live in the moment.  I have my good and my bad days, but for the last few years at least, I’ve had a lot more good than bad days.

On another topic that I have been thinking about, how do y’all feel about the typical adult tasks that we have to do?  I’m talking about cleaning, laundry, cooking, and shopping?  I’ve been in conversations recently where other people absolutely despise shopping and have gone out of their way as to do their grocery shopping online and picking it up instead so that they really don’t even have to do it at all.  Others I’ve heard of, for as old as they are, have no clue how to do laundry, clean, or cook for themselves and don’t have any desire to learn.  I find all of this to be insane in my point of view.  I know that I’m the weirdo, but one of the things that I like to do the most is to go grocery and other needed items shopping.  It’s fun to get dinner ideas, explore new items, and to just be part of society.  I know, as an introvert, I should be avoiding people, but I guess being in that environment, it makes me feel like I’m actually part of something.  Silly, I know, but I really just enjoy it.  As far as cooking and cleaning, man!  I have fun doing those things as well!  There’s nothing better, in my opinion, than that just cleaned house and laundry done and folded away feeling.  I look forward to that every week.  I like to have things in their proper place and clean at that!

So, I don’t know.  Am I the one in the wrong here to not have these grandiose ideas of wealth, fame, power, etc.?  Or am I in the wrong for liking to shop, clean, and do laundry?  Not in my personal opinion, because it’s what keeps me relatively happy, but I do think if I’m the exception to the rule in this world.

Talk next time, friends!

Birthdays and Trips

Hello all and happy December!  Now that we’re in the full swing of things, I think it’s safe to say that we are heading towards the home stretch of this holiday season.  I’ll be honest, I’m still not fully feeling it, but not for any bad reason per se.  I mean, yeah, I’m pretty broke at the moment, but I have so many other things going on right now that I can’t even think about setting myself up in the Christmas mood.  December is typically a crazy month for me because my birthday is on the 9th, so I’m generally setting things up for that first and before I know it Christmas comes and goes after that.  This year was no exception.  Funny thing though, is that I thought it would be.  I wasn’t even feeling my birthday this year.  Go figure, right?!  I turned 38 this past Sunday, so in birthday years wise, it’s lost its significance.  When you think about it, the ages that matter (at least here in the U.S.) are 18, 21, then the 5’s and 0’s after that.  I added 37 to that thanks to Writer/Director/Comedian/Podcaster/Nerd Kevin Smith, and I celebrated that last year with a little film festival, but this year I really didn’t have much to look forward to.  I mean, yes, it was my birthday and I was looking forward to getting bombarded with wall posts on Facebook, but in reality all I wanted to do that day was stay home, watch football, and relax on my couch.  Maybe have a celebratory meal of steak or Whataburger (oh man… Whataburger… THE BEST ever!) and call it a day.  Nothing special, you know?  Just stuff that I love.  Instead, I ended up going to my dad’s house to eat a meal that although was freaking awesome, wasn’t something that I was craving.  I didn’t even get to decide whether or not I even wanted to stay home instead and have my family come to me instead.  I guess I’m just that much of a pleaser.  Oddly enough, I was actually giving more gifts than I received on my birthday too as I bought Dallas Cowboys stickers and plain white candles to make Dallas Cowboys velas (look up Raymond Orta to see the reason I do these things) for myself, my dad, and at the end of the night, I ended up buying one for a friend of mine!  Go figure.  She even said it too, “It’s your birthday and you’re still doing things for me…”  Yes, I was and no I didn’t even get a choice as to how I was going to spend my own damn birthday because that’s just who I am.  I’m always putting myself last when it comes to other people.  Even on my birthday.

In other news for the busy-ness of it all, tomorrow, I’m going to embark on an insane journey with my heterosexual lifemate.  We essentially called a bluff on moving a vehicle and some small items from a temporary home in Annapolis, Maryland back here to El Paso, Texas.  We got the “Are you guys serious?  You’d do that?”  “YES!” we replied and here we are.  We got a paid flight and a per diem to get said vehicle back here by next Monday night.  It’s going to be my first time ever in the northeast, first time ever to be able to visit our nation’s capital, and my first time ever seeing the cities we’re going to pass through along the way.  I’m super excited to experience it all.  All told, we’re going to drive over 2,100 miles in 4 days.  A crazy feat for sure, but a once in a lifetime experience for sure! I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell and a good blog to post about it too, so look for that possibly next week!

Speaking of travel, another form of travel has really taken over my interest lately.  Travel via rail.  It may be something that is still a normal way of traveling in other places, but here in the spread out southwestern part of the United States, rail travel isn’t such a big thing, especially after the dawn of the national interstate highway system and the blossoming of air travel.  Locally, we had Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe (better known as simply Santa Fe) Railway and Southern Pacific Railroad to service us and we had passenger train service from each, but now since the 1970s, we’ve had Amtrak (which is the consolidated national passenger railroad service), but only 2 or so trains come by a week.  Granted, you can get to just about anywhere on said trains, your options are limited on the days you’re able to go.  In any event, during my last vacation this past July/August when I went to Oceanside, California, I noticed the abundance of commuter rail travel that takes you from Oceanside down to San Diego and passenger rail that takes you up to Los Angeles available from there.  Amtrak is kinda a big deal in southern California and being a lifelong railfan, I was loving seeing all of the passenger trains go by as the rails go right along the beachfront.  Anyway, all of that got me thinking about going back to Oceanside and instead of driving, I’d take Amtrak.  Sure enough, there is an actual station in Oceanside itself, so the need to jump on the commuter train from San Diego is not needed.  The route there would take me from here, westbound stopping in a few places in New Mexico, Arizona, and a few more in California until reaching Los Angeles.  Then from L.A., I’d get on another train that goes down to San Diego and back, so I’d just get off in Oceanside.  How cool is that, right?!  Now, the travel time is 20 hours, but seriously, I think this would be the coolest thing EVER to do.  I’d still have that road trip experience without actually being worn out from the road itself, I’d be able to relax and watch shows on Netflix, read, or listen to music, and get to Oceanside ready to relax on the beach and do my thing.  You can’t beat it!  The great part is that its costs just as much or a little less than air travel or driving, so aside from the time benefits of flying, it’s the best deal.  I think I’m going to aim to do it sometime next year if I can and if not, for sure in 2020… God willing, of course.

So, here we are my friends.  We’re 2 weeks away from Christmas Day and 3 weeks away from 2019.  I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!

Future’s End

Salutations, y’all!  I hope you are having a great day.  As I write this, it is December 6, 2018.  Yesterday, a State funeral was held for our 41st president, George H.W. Bush.  Now, I’m not going to get into politics because well A) I can’t, and B) I don’t really want to share my personal political beliefs and frankly I don’t want to hear yours, so I won’t do it.  The one thing I do want to say though, is leaving politics aside, from most accounts George H.W. Bush was an awesome dude.  He was a funny, kind, caring, loving person who put family first and didn’t take himself too seriously.

I had the opportunity to see the entire funeral yesterday and I was just struck by it all.  The reverence that Washington, D.C. showed towards this man was moving in itself.  The eulogies were moving, and I was surprised at just how Novus Ordo Catholic the Episcopal service was, or maybe surprised/saddened at how much the Mass of Pope Paul VI was protestant in its nature.  In any event, the thing that moved me the most was President George W. Bush’s eulogy of his father.  As has been discussed at length over time, President Bush (43) is an emotional man, as was his late father.  What I knew but didn’t think I needed to hear, however, was just how much he meant to him.

Let me backtrack a bit.  Even before he mentioned that, another thing struck me.  “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”  Man, how true is that phrase, right?!  I mean, really?  I know I just spoke of this a few blogs ago about me being too grown up to play with my nephews and now that quote.  That’s so true.  Do young people things and you won’t grow old, man.  It’s as simple as that!  Then another thing, when President Bush mentioned that his father made sure to cherish the gift of life and live each day to the fullest thanks to his two brushes with death early on in his life struck another chord with me thanks to my near suicide attempt 7+ years ago.  Yes, my brush with death was self-inflicted, but it was a brush nonetheless.  After those few dark days, I purged the darkness and let light flood me and I made sure to shine that light on those whom I love and cherish to this day.  Some people think that I’m putting on an act, like I’m really some sort of a jerk, but honestly I’m not.  I’m always trying to go out of my way to help my friends in need if I can, let them know that I am there for them, even if it’s just an ear beating they need to unleash to a waiting person.  That’s what I do best.  I hope my friends know that.

The things that got me, however, was President Bush speaking about how great of a father President Bush was, giving unconditional love even when his kids tested his patience.  It got me to think about two things.

First off, I thought of my parents.  I know I put my parents though some things in my teenage through mid-20s years, and even though I had sort of “Come to Jesus” talks with them, they knew that I knew I messed up.  They didn’t need to tell me that I was messing up.  But not once did I feel they gave up on me or didn’t care.  If I think about it hard enough, I can go back to the handful of times I hurt my mom and even though we have a deep love for each other, sometimes I feel like I never actually got the chance to let her know just how much it pained me to have been an idiot and made her feel bad.  I know it’s too late now, as she’s passed away, but I would hope to think that she knows now just how bad I feel for my mistakes in my youth.  As far as my dad goes, we have a great relationship.  There’s nothing on my end that I need to tell him that he doesn’t already know.  I don’t know what his expectations were of me when I was born 38 years ago, but I hope he knows that I’ve tried my best at everything I’ve set out to do.  He taught me a lot and I love him.

The second thing that I thought about as President Bush continued to eulogize his father was that I wondered about legacy and the things we’ll leave behind when we die.  I know, it may sound morbid to some people, but death is something that none of us can avoid.  We all have to think about it.  In giving that some thought, I wonder what I’m going to leave behind.  As it stands now, not much.  I mean, I have this visual record of my last 7 years writing down my thoughts about the good and bad in my life.  I also have the 2 recordings I made with my band that will live on forever.  I have the memories that will live on with my friends and family as well.  But the one thing that, as of this writing, won’t go on will be any legacy of children.  I’m one of those weirdos who actually wants to be married and have children.  I want to raise children to follow in the faith in Jesus Christ as I do, to love everybody unconditionally, to be that kind soul that a friend or family member may need from time to time, to not care about worldly possessions, to appreciate the arts, everything that I love and stand for.  As of now, that is probably never going to happen.  It hurts, but you know what?  That’s ok too.  Let God’s will be done.  The thing that worries me though is who is going to bury me and give me the proper Catholic Traditional Latin Rite rosary, requiem Mass, and burial?  I’ll have nobody to trust to ensure that happens as it stands now and honestly that scares me.  My soul won’t be at rest with some sort of protestant “service” *insert nauseous chills here* or some sort of offensive guitar/percussion music filled novus ordo Mass at a protestant looking Catholic Church either.

I don’t know.  Maybe I’m over thinking it.  But I do like to know at least of a few things that will eventually happen in my future.  Perhaps I should start looking into preparing my funeral arrangements to ensure that what I need, I’ll get.  I know it may sounds nuts considering my age, but the future is never guaranteed for any of us.  Might as well make sure your last wishes are respected while you still can plan them out.

Until next blog, y’all!