Tag Archives: Friends

Strikes and Gutters

Hi y’all!  Here I am again barely getting a chance to write some random thoughts about the things that have been going on in my life.  Holy smokes, what a crazy time it’s been for me lately too.  It seems like nearly half a lifetime since I’ve gotten the chance to jot down my thoughts, so I apologize for the randomness of this blog.  Actually, this blog has always been random, so I suppose I should apologize for the randomness of it all.  Ha!  Anyway, I don’t even know where I left off last sometime last month, so I’ll just pick up my life story from sometime this month.

The biggest thing I can say that’s been going on is my ongoing struggle with these mood swings of mine.  I know the cause of them by the way, but damn it sucks to have them!  I’m happy and content some days, ready to break down and cry the next.  It’s amazing what the influence of other people’s energy can do to your soul.  My soul happens to take the energy of people around me and convert it to my own and sometimes in the very negative.

Lately, it’s been due to a woman who I am (I should say was to be honest) romantically involved with.  For some insane and completely stupid reason, I keep trying to have this thing survive even though it’s on life support and brain dead.  Stupidly, I keep holding out hope for a miracle and that she’ll come to her senses and at least reciprocate my actions towards her, but so far nothing.  Honestly, I’m positive that she’s moved on from me and when I confronted her on it, she of course turned it around on me and made me the bad person, but I had the proof I needed in her words and from what I saw on social media.  It felt like I got punched by a life-sized boxing glove, but with the slightly positive things in my life that have been going on, I deflected it and only let it completely destroy me for a short time.  Spoiler alert, she again refused to let me go on with my life and I’m still stuck.  UGH.  I should just shut up about it until something more concrete happens, but just know that it’s the worst thing that has happened to me in probably 9-10 years, since the other bane of my romantic existence “Lady Voldemort” was in my life.

Now, in more happy news, things in my non-romantic personal life are pretty damn gangbusters.  My band, Searchlight Needles (look us up!), is gigging semi-regularly and we’re having fun AND getting paid doing it!  We actually have another show this Saturday night that I’m pretty excited about.  Now if only we could actually slow down just a bit in order to write some new music, we’d be going somewhere!  In time, I suppose!  Also, in a related topic, I came to a realization this past Saturday night.  One of our band friends were having a show at a bar close to where I was at that night and this band loves to bring up their fellow musician friends to play a few songs with them.  4/5ths of my band was there, so 3 of us went up there and played a song with the booked band’s guitarist and when people wanted another song, said guitarist pulled a rabbit out of his hat and was able to play this second song with us.  It was such a good feeling to play music with somebody new and still have it sound great!  The best part was when I thought we were done; I was asked to stay on the drums and play with another guest guitarist/vocalist and the booked band’s bassist.  We played 3 songs.  Two Johnny Cash classics and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had never even met this dude who was going to sing and play guitar, but this guy blew me away.  He was so talented.  The Johnny Cash tunes were great, and he played some awesome solos, but man, when we got to “Comfortably Numb”, he took things to another level.  I locked in with the bass player, dude sang his heart out, and played a 4+ minute solo and I was just in heaven.  I hadn’t felt so alive playing drums (even though they weren’t my drums) in such the longest time.  All I have to do is think about it and go back to that time and holy SMOKES!  It’s hard to describe the feeling.  It’s like excitement mixed in love, joy, a sprinkle of anxiety, and ecstasy all together.  The bar was packed and the majority of them were engaged and enjoying the performance and that just made all those feelings come rushing up to the surface.  It was then that I realized that playing music is what I should be doing with my life.  It’s my purpose.  It’s what God put me here on earth to do.  Nothing, aside from going to confession and Mass, makes me happier.  No offense to family and friends, but that’s the truth.  Playing music with people who are at least as talented as I am makes me the happiest.  I need more of that feeling in my life, so I hope to push the guys in my band to play more music.

Speaking of things that make me happy, camping season is coming right around the corner.  The season here in the southwest, or at least in the west Texas / southern New Mexico area is from April to October.  We (the band) didn’t really give ourselves the chance to head out last year and even though I could have gone by myself as I have before, it didn’t happen last year and now I’m dying to head out.  I stepped my game up with this year’s income tax return and bought a new tent, new air mattress (since my older one has some sort of small leak from where I assume is in the seams), and a brand-new camping chair.  I had my eye on the tent I bought for years.  There is nothing wrong with the tent I still have now, mind you, but this one that I got now is slightly larger and incorporates “dark room technology”.  That means that it’s dark in that tent all the time and is also supposedly cooler during the day too.  The only downside is that I’ve read from more than one review that the thing leaks in rainstorms.  Not good.  No bother though, I went out and purchased some seam sealer and I’m going to hope for the best.  Besides, the only things I keep in my tent when I camp are my air mattress, sometimes an extra blanket, whatever it is that I’m carrying my clothes in, my portable air pump in case I might need to reinflate said mattress, and hanging from the top, my fan/light combo.  It’s not like rain will completely flood the tent (in theory), so I’ll just put everything in a spot to keep it all dry if the seams leak and the sealer doesn’t do its job either.  I’m already happy with my purchase.  If I remember correctly, my old tent is 8×8 and the new one is 10×10, so I’m sure I’ll notice those extra two feet of comfort and darkness now, and that’s what matters the most to me.  As far as the new chair goes, I realized during my last camping trip that my chair started to hurt me with it’s support points on my thighs, so sitting for long periods of time wasn’t going to work out with the current chair I have.  It’s good for short bursts, but if I’m going to have a bit of a lounge act like we tend to do while camping, I’d have to invest in another chair.  Sure enough, I decided to buy a zero-gravity reclining lounger chair that has no points that can hurt any part of my legs (in theory).  I’ve had my eye on these new style chairs for a while now too but just never had the guts to just buy one until now too!  I figured the heck with it!  It felt awesome when I sat in one before, our next camping trip is coming up in 2 short months, why roll the dice and hope to not hurt sitting down and relaxing when I can just recline and relax instead?  So, heck yeah!  That’s what I plan to do.  Now, I just gotta get over to my dad’s house some weekend soon to pitch the new tent, seal the seams and pull out my camping gear to run an inventory and test the worthiness of it all so that I can be ready for when we head out.  I really hope that this is not the only trip we make this year.  Even if it’s the only one the band makes together, I’m planning on going out at least a few more times, even if it’s by myself.  I’m excited!

Well, there it is my friends.  A quick look into what’s going on with me right now.  A big time low being combated by two big time highs.  And that’s what really matters too.  We gotta find the highs to suppress the lows.  Take care of yourselves!  May God grant me the strength to assemble my brain’s thoughts into more words to share with you all!  I’ve been bad with that lately.

Holiday Trip-Up

Happy Monday to you all!  Here in the United States the holiday season has just begun to kick off.  This Thursday brings Thanksgiving and the slightly less than a month wait to Christmas.  As my last post indicated, I was pretty excited about it until last week put my excitement in check.  To make a long story short, my best friend in the whole world drove down from Salt Lake City to here in El Paso with his parents but for a sad reason.  His paternal grandfather passed away.  He knew it was coming, as his grandfather was in hospice care and they gave him just about the amount of time it ended up taking for him to pass away.  It was still good to see him as we ended up having a great heart to heart on Sunday, and I ended up spending time with his family on Monday.

If that wasn’t bad enough, after pretty much feeling like death thanks to the severe lack of sleep all day Tuesday, my day went from bad to extremely bad by the afternoon.  I found out that my grandmother had fallen at home and ended up fracturing her left hip and on the same day, one of my best friends/bandmates drove himself to the hospital and ended up being admitted for what ended up being nearly a weeklong stay.  Tuesday was the worst, however, because there was a lot of despair and confusion when it came to my grandma’s situation.  We, as a family, had to decide how to proceed with first the immediate medical issue, then later on, how to deal with the overall grandparents situation.  I can’t remember if I blogged about this or not last year, but when grandpa went down with his many health issues last year, it was very difficult emotionally for me to handle.  Ever since my last stint with hotel work I’ve had emotional issues, to be honest.  I used to joke about things like that about being emotionally scarred or people not being able to handle something or a job making people crazy, but my experience has proven those jokes wrong.  I’m now left with anxiety and panic attack issues and I cannot handle stress very well.  I avoid it and situations that cause me anxiety or stress like the black plague.  In an odd twist, I’ve found that I cannot handle any sort of family emergency well either as all cool I may have I lose really quickly.  So, with all that said, when my sister told me that my grandma had fallen and fractured her hip, my already fragile emotional state went into a tailspin.  I went straight to the hospital after work and did my best to keep it together when I went up to my grandmother’s room.  Thankfully she wasn’t displaying pain, so that made me feel better, but the “future tripping” of mine started to kick in quickly.  What does that mean with our situation with grandpa?  He isn’t self sufficient anymore and we all work.  Who’s going to take care of him?  And now grandma is down for the count for a while… will she be able to recover?  Will she be well enough to go back to the way things were before the injury?  If not, what do we do?  *insert panic attack here*.  It was bad.  I stayed at the hospital for a couple of hours then I drove home in the steady rain, which did nothing for my desire to race home to my safe zone. We, as an entire family, decided that surgery was the way to go, and her surgery was scheduled for the next day.  I took half the day off to be there for my family, and it was there that I found out that the bit of discomfort my dad had in his neck and shoulder had gotten worse.  He couldn’t really hide it at the hospital as we waited for grandma to get out of surgery so I had yet another thing added to my plate.  Grandma made it out fine, but my mind didn’t.  I lost my cool a lot during that day.  I was very short fused and I did all I could to fight off the anxiety attack that was just under the surface.  After talking to my sister once we all left grandma’s bedside, I felt better as we both apologized for being jerks.  I stopped to visit my friend in the hospital and once I saw he wasn’t bad off, I felt better about him.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, but I’ll say that now my anxiety and panic attack levels have kinda decreased a bit.  Speaking of decreasing, my excitement for this holiday season has also done the same as I’m really broke to the point that I won’t be able to get anybody presents this year, my dad is in some sort of crazy chronic pain that medical science can’t pinpoint the cause of so he’s even in an arm sling, grandma is half a week into a couple of weeks of rehab, grandpa is being taken care of by family and friends of our family, and I’m left trying to keep my positive spirts intact through it all.  What a festive time, right?  So, wish me luck and count your blessings this year.  Things could always be worse, my friends.


Hi y’all!  We’ve made it to another week.  God only knows how I made it to this week.  I feel like I overextended myself this weekend, but at the same time felt like I needed to reach out to the friends who first reached out to me.  I’ll explain.  Oddly, on Friday, the wave of depression just hit me hard and all I wanted to do was to pick up the film I rented from Redbox, go home, watch said movie, and hibernate.  Well, that didn’t work out as I planned because a good friend of mine sent me a text asking if I would like to go over to hang out.  This is the guy that I usually say yes to going to his house 1 out of every 5 or so invites.  I was sleepy and exhausted (both mentally and physically), but decided to power through and go anyway.  I ended up staying there pretty late, but had an enjoyable time.  That stunt, however, threw off my Saturday because my plan was to tidy up just a bit, do laundry, and relax.  Well, I ended up watching the film I rented first thing, didn’t feel too hungry so I just ended up drinking two cups of coffee, and I ended up relaxing for the rest of the morning to early afternoon until band practice.  That’s another thing that I wasn’t looking forward to, actually, because I still haven’t gotten my rest yet.  Of course, I went to practice anyway, and we ended up staying late after practice just hanging out and talking which caused me to miss Mass yesterday morning as I thought sleeping would help me out to not be totally out of energy for my bi-weekly visit to my dad’s.  I feel bad about that, but this weekend was just too weird for me.

Things took a different turn yesterday morning as well, as my best friend who lives in the greater Salt Lake City area sent me a message telling me that he was 78 miles away and arriving back in El Paso shortly.  This didn’t come as a huge surprise as he had called me last week to tell me that his grandfather was in hospice care and wasn’t expected to last more than 2 weeks.  He asked if he could see me later on in the day, and of course I said yes as I was excited to see him.  After a few hours at my dad’s house, my friend messaged me to see if I was ready to hang out, so I told my dad that I needed to go, and raced home.  My friend was about 10 minutes behind me, but we had such a great conversation.  That’s really what triggered me to write this post.  See, my dude here has been gone from the area for 20 years.  We became acquainted during our sophomore year of high school and really became good friends by our senior year.  His dad got a job with a company that wanted to relocate him to Salt Lake City, so he ended up moving at the end of 1998 and left his wife and 3 kids back in El Paso for the next half year to allow his oldest (my best friend) to finish high school and graduate with his friends, and then the whole family would move up to meet him there.  I got to spend the summer with my friend before he moved out and we stayed in touch via telephone (this was pre-social media) pretty regularly after that.  He came down a few times the next few years and I went up to see him after I graduated college in 2004 and had a blast seeing the Salt Lake valley and some of the new friends he made.  Anyway, I say all this to say that even though our bond was pretty strong, him being up in Salt Lake City, a 14+ hour drive from here, made our friendship a lot stronger.  Out of all my friends, I can say that I feel the closest to him.  We have similar family backgrounds, and have similar interests.  It’s as if we are truly brothers from other mothers.  Our visit last night was no different.  It was kinda funny because one of the things my boy mentioned twice was how crazy it felt that even though I hadn’t seen him since last April, being there with me felt like no time had passed at all.  I have to say that I felt the same way.

Another part of the conversation we had actually made me tear up.  I forgot what we were actually even talking about, but I expressed the fact that he was family to me and I would do anything for him and I loved him deeply.  Just having him around filled my heart with joy, even though the reason that he was here was for a bad one.  Without hesitation, I lent him my air mattress so that he wouldn’t be sleeping on his brother’s couch, and we got to talking about family.  He’s a relatively new dad, so he’s seeing the other side of things when it comes to just pure love for somebody else.  It was a great heart to heart, and we ended the night in a hug with the knowledge that even though we have hundreds of miles and countless hours of distance between us, we’re going to be friends for life.  The viewing and rosary for his grandfather is going to be tomorrow and he’s going to fly back out by himself on Thursday, so there might not be a chance to see him again on this quick trip, but I was glad that I was able to spend at least those couple of hours with him last night.  It’s always good to have heart to heart’s with those who you care about.  I can’t wait to be able to drive up there at some point hopefully in the near future to finally get the chance to meet his kid and tell him that I’m the crazy “uncle” his daddy talks about sometimes.

Until next time!

I’m Broken

I’ve needed to write out a lot more lately, as y’all have noticed.  Today’s topic is something I’ve actually known about for 2 weeks coming now.  My heterosexual lifemate’s last day at our workplace is today.  For 13.5 of those days, I was actually pretty cool with it.  Not much is going to actually change with us.  Hell, I’ve known the kid for 27+ years and counting.  The only things that are changing are going to be the walks to and from work to our vehicles and our talks during lunchtime.  Camping, roadtrips, and playing in our band are still the same.  With that being said, just this morning, after everybody was asking me if I was going to miss him, etc… the thought occurred to me about me leaving this place one day.  The thought of it almost induced a panic attack.  Seriously!  I did it once, 4 years ago when I went back with my old boss to this current job to go back to the hotel life and the 9 months I was there gave me severe panic attacks, pretty bad anxiety, and now a lingering problem with said anxiety.

I had always been more of a loner, but after that madness I became even more of a recluse.  Talking on the phone gives me anxiety, being around too many people for long periods of time gives me anxiety, and I generally want to be left alone most of the time.  It’s the only way I’m comfortable.  I guess one can make an argument that it’s a bad thing, but I just find a way to manage.

So that brings me back to the present.  I’m now the last one standing of the old crew at this place.  I’ve seen everybody else come and go.  I don’t even know how to feel about that.  I’m not going to lie, it’s gonna be nice to be able to stay indoors every day and watch stuff on Hulu and Netflix for my free hour, but now I’m not going to have the outlet when I need to get something off my chest.  Maybe I’ll blog more!  Actually, I should.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting blogging on a more consistent basis.

As far as the future goes, I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave my gig.  I love doing what I do.  I’m kinda left alone even though I’m around people here, and I enjoy my work.  It’s a Monday-Friday gig and I live 15 minutes away.  I can make rent, pay my bills, and never go too hungry so I can’t ask for much more.  I’ve never been materialistic or greedy, so it all works out for me.  The thing that gives me anxiety and is almost inducing a panic attack now is the thought of me having to find a new job for one reason or the next.  Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do and still be able to support myself.  I don’t know if I can handle the public or not.  That’s kinda scary, isn’t it?  This sounds so bad, but if I were to ever get let go for whatever reason, I honestly think I would try to get disability.  It’s getting harder and harder for me to function semi-normally as it is.  Just this past week I was just burnt to a crisp emotionally.  I was dying for at least one day to be left completely alone and with nothing for me to do.  I was irritated, and annoyed, and was very short fused with everybody.  It was bad.  And worse yet, it almost felt like a new normal for me.  Even this week, I’m going to force myself to clean my house and do laundry today to give myself the 3 day weekend to do absolutely nothing aside from going to Low Mass on Sunday morning.  I need to.  I need to just get away from everybody for my own sanity.  And that’s the end game too, to put it bluntly.  If it were up to me, I’d just stay home and never leave the house.  It’s what I need to be happy, but I can’t do that, so I force myself to go to work.  It’s a messed up existence.

So, wish me luck, my friends.  I’m going to need it.  That and my old buspar pills.  I feel a damn anxiety attack coming on.  Ugh!

A Great Reunion and the Decay of Society

Hi y’all!  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and good health.  As for me, what a difference 24 hours makes.  Let me get right down to the biggest news.  The hood cat IS BACK!  Old habits die young with me, so at about 5:30 this morning, I opened up the door to my flat and there the hood cat was, by the stairs waiting to see if I’d open up the door.  She immediately meowed and came inside.  I can’t begin to tell you how my heart quickly filled up with happiness at just seeing her.  She was meowing for a good two minutes, which I hope tells me that she missed me as much as I missed her.  I had sadly put her food and water bowls away in my closet, so I got them back out and poured her out some breakfast.  Poor girl was hungry!  So she let me pet her a bit and let me ask her where the hell she had been for the past 6 days, then I told her that I had missed her dearly, then she had her breakfast.  It was great to have her back.  She has no idea just how much she has helped me out emotionally and if she would have let me, I would have hugged her.  Petting her and telling her that I missed and love her were good enough, though.  And with that, I think she’s earned a new name from me.  She’s no longer “Quick” (as in Eddie Murphy’s character in the film Harlem Nights, specifically the opening scene when the character was a child), but now she’s earned the name “Bunny Lebowski” from the film The Big Lebowski.  *Spoilers*, but the main plot of the movie involved the ransom kidnapping of said Bunny Lebowski by nihilists, only to have her show up at her mansion towards the end of the film on her own after going to party with her friends in Malibu.  I wouldn’t know of any confirmed people to party with my favorite comedian, the late Sam Kinison, but he joked in his last special Live From Hell that he’s had parties that lasted longer than a skirmish the Kurds had in the early 90’s with another military force and people were lucky to be alive after said parties.  I was joking to myself that the cat found herself at one of Sam Kinison’s parties too, considering she was gone for 6 days.  HAHAHAHAHA!  Either way, I’m glad to know the girl is still around.  Maybe now I’ll get an inexpensive cat tree for her with a scratching post and see if she wants to hang out with me some more and stay out of the cold.  Time will tell.

Speaking of time!!!  Here’s an interesting topic to me that has come up today.  I’m going to get ranty here, so if what I say offends you, then I apologize.  Here’s what is grinding my gears:  People’s attire and the changing of said attire in our times.  This has come about because my heterosexual lifemate has been complaining all day over the fact that he has to wear a tie to work today.  He’s one of those people who despises any sort of formal wear and if it were up to him, he’d wear denim jeans and some beat up looking shirt every day.  He finds clever ways to insult men like me who enjoy wearing dress shirts and ties, and suits, and calls the actions antiquated and disingenuous.  I just don’t understand it.  Granted, this dude wasn’t raised by a good father figure, or actually the way he describes it any sort of good parental figure of any sort, he rebels against any form of authority, hates authority and rules, and can’t see the value of appearance and how it affects people.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m rocking out a suit to work or anything, or like I don’t have casual, damn near bum looking attire, I do, but there’s something to be said about going to work with dress shoes on, dress pants of some sort, and sometimes a shirt and tie and if not a polo shirt.  It’s just the adult thing to do in my opinion.  You gotta dress to the occasion, you know?  I mean, I can go from wearing a heavy metal band t-shirt (specifically Metallica, Pantera, HELLYEAH, and Damageplan) or a sports team t-shirt with some Nike shorts and Nike shoes, to wearing a suit and it wouldn’t faze me at all.  I know how to dress for time and place.  I don’t mind wearing a shirt and tie either, I don’t complain about it… actually I express the fact that I enjoy it when I do!

Question is, what’s changed from the 1950’s where men were in suits and hats every day of the week to now where guys can’t even bother to respect God by showing up to their church of choice in a shirt and tie.  The example of this sad state of affairs happened one of the last times I was forced to attend a Novus Ordo Mass when I made a brief return to hotel management.  I couldn’t attend my FSSP Traditional Latin Mass as I was still on duty at work, so I had to attend a Sunday afternoon Mass at a parish near work.  What I saw appalled me.  Where do I even start?  Drop down screens on either side of the sanctuary (what’s wrong with people?!  YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SANCTUARY AT MASS!), little girl altar servers (umm, alter serves should be boys who at least possibly have the intention of becoming priests one day, so that should disqualify girls), nobody showing reverence before taking their seats at the pews (lack of knowledge in their faith), and the thing that really got me, the “choir”.  UGH!!!  I had forgotten about Novus Ordo “choirs”.  Guitars, drums, and other instruments that shouldn’t belong in a Catholic church.  That aside, the choir leader was wearing cargo shorts, some casual looking short sleeved white button up wrinkled collared shirt, and FLIP FLOPS.  DUDE!!!!!!!!!  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!!   This is the respect this guy showed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Read that again.  THE RESPECT this guy showed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  …NONE OF IT.  I know the counter argument to that… “God doesn’t care what you’re wearing…”  We don’t know that for sure I guess, but it damn sure is a sign of respect to try to dress your best in front of those who deserve our respect and the king of kings without question deserves that.  This dude couldn’t have cared less and that just broke my heart.

But that’s society these days.  Nobody has any respect for others.  It’s all about me, me, me, me, me.  Who cares about the other person?  It’s beyond me.  You know, I say that and remember my own words to friends when I say I treat everybody as equals, as I do, but there are a few people who I treat with greater respect than others.  People of authority (Priests, my elders, law enforcement, etc.) are given more respect by me than other people, but I also expect the respect to be reciprocated.  I know I’m a nobody, but I hate to be talked down to or made to feel inferior.

Back to the point, though.  It’s just a sad state of affairs to see where society is at right now.  As President Obama wrote about recently, we’re in a “cancel culture” where people are having to apologize for every single thing that offends people (which is dumb by the way), everybody is so self-righteous and shows no respect towards anybody or anything anymore, and rules are being thrown out the window.  Man, what a difference the world would be if we all just learned that it’s not just about us.  It’s about showing respect to those who deserve it and it’s about showing reverence by our actions and dress when appropriate, just to name a couple of things.  Maybe this world would be a better place than it is now.

Anyway, have a great day y’all.