Tag Archives: Holidays

Happy for the Holidays

Hi y’all!  Can you believe it?  We’re two weeks away from Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and the full swing of the holidays is upon us.  It’s been a very quick last half of the year by all accounts.  It feels like it was just yesterday that it was the beginning of July and now we’re halfway through November.  Where does the time go?  I mean, I’m a believer that time starts to fly by faster the older we get, but holy smokes, this is the fastest time has passed by in my memory.  I can’t complain about it though, I love the holiday season.  I enjoy watching the holiday commercials on TV (yeah, I actually watch over the air TV sometimes.  Well, it’s mainly NFL Network and whatever networks the sports I love are on, but still!), and my favorite morning of the year, Thanksgiving, brings about the excitement of said day coming at us very quickly.  I actually have the majority of the day already planned out yearly.  I get up at around 6:45am, fire up the TV, and tune it to the local NBC affiliate as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 7am.  I either enjoy a cup of eggnog or coffee while watching the parade, and about midway through it I set up my Christmas tree too!  I purposely bought a Peanuts Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that I made extra snazzy with a small set of white string lights that I have wrapped around the branch.  It looks cool!  Once Santa Claus brings up the rear of the parade and the hosts of the show wish us all a happy holiday season, I tune to the football games on and get the kitchen cleaned up and prepped for the traditional thanksgiving meal.  By that time my favorite NFL team, The Dallas Cowboys, game is on, so I make sure to watch all of that.  About halftime or so is when I set the oven to start up so that by about 3-5pm, the turkey and ham are warmed up and ready to go.  Then it’s dinner, more eggnog, and Christmas music.  I love it so much.  It breaks my heart that I see a lot of my friends hate on the holiday season so much and Christmas music even more.  I know at least some of these friends of mine are atheists and I’ve almost been tempted to tell them to stop giving their kids gifts on December 25th because if they don’t believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, what’s the point of taking part in one of the acts of celebrating His birthday?  Then again, I’m super non-confrontational, so I just let bygones be bygones.  I think I will start posting Christmas songs on Facebook, though!  Somebody has to keep the Christmas spirit going, right?!  Oh man, speaking of Christmas!!!  I think I’m going to really try to watch as many Christmas movies as I can this year.  There are so many to choose from on Netflix and now Disney+!  That doesn’t even include my annual Christmas Day personal film festival that I throw myself.  In no particular order, I watch the following films annually on Christmas Day:  Batman Returns, Friday After Next, Gremlins (sometimes), A Christmas Story, Polar Express, and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (the original Rankin & Bass production) while wearing comfy attire and drinking eggnog and coffee.  I don’t really know why, but I really feel to be in the holiday spirit this year.  I’m not going to complain, though.  It feels good to feel good, if that makes any sense.  I must take advantage of the good feelings while I got them, right?

Well, if you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day (which I haven’t even talked about either!), I hope and pray that the holiday spirit has hit you too!  What are some of your traditions for the holiday season?

Talk again soon!

Caeruleum Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!  I hope you spend baby Jesus’ birthday filled with love and joy.  Mine, initially, wasn’t very loving or joyful I must admit, but things turned around for the better at the end.  That’s what matters, right?

It was such an odd buildup to Christmas for me too.  The weekend seemed to be just an odd blur.  I know I got stuff done on Saturday and watched Christmas movies then too, but it feels to me like I must have been in a coma or something because the days flew by so quickly.  Since I was out of touch with my football watching, I spent all Sunday watching the various NFL games too, so my Sunday flew by as well.  Before I knew it, Christmas Eve was here, and I was awake and getting ready to drive the 30 minutes to my grandparents’ house.  It was a quick visit, however, because everybody in my small family had places to go aside from my grandparents’ house, me included.  It was cool to catch up with my cousins and see my family together again, but I felt a little guilty for having to leave my grandparents in order to sleep to go to caroling at 11pm and High Mass at midnight, but I departed anyway.  I was still the last one to leave, so there’s that.

That’s about the point where things started to go south for me.  As soon as I got home, of course I was wide the hell awake.  I could not fall asleep for the life of me.  To make matters worse, I think my neighbor upstairs had kids or something visiting him because all I heard was the pounding of feet and God knows what else hitting the floor making percussive thuds down onto me.  Normally I tune those things out, but this time my brain was still working in overdrive so I couldn’t fall asleep.  I think I only slept about 45 minutes before I got up and got ready to go to my parish.  As soon as I got into the church and sat at my normal pew I started to feel ok until the choir started singing.  Apparently, I was so relaxed that I started to feel myself slowly wanting to go to sleep.  I fought it all the way through until Mass started and thankfully I was very much awake for the entire Mass.  I didn’t think I’d make it, to be honest.  So, after Mass concluded and I walked down the aisle to exit the church, a bit of sadness came over me.  And this is going to sound stupid and narcissistic and for that I apologize, but I started to feel sorry for myself.  Actually, I started to feel this before Mass even started, but of course as Mass takes place I tend to focus on that.  Anyway, the reason I started to feel sorry for myself is because a wave of loneliness took over.  Normally, I prefer to be alone, but there are certain days and activities where the bad light of being alone hits and this happened to be one of them.  I started to feel pretty worthless, actually.  How sad is it that there were a lot of families there celebrating the birth of our Lord ready to celebrate even more as soon as Mass ended in whatever way they were going to choose to, and there I was attending Mass alone, going home alone, to an empty house.  The emptiness of it is the part that bothered me, actually.  I’m used to being alone and as I just mentioned, prefer it most of the time, but that 10 minute drive back home was the saddest I’ve had in a while.  There are a few questions that go through my head sometimes like “Why is it that my life is this way?”  “What the hell did I do to deserve this?”  They were sure dancing through my head then.  Where did I go wrong?  If you want me to be honest, I don’t think they’ve ever been right in my adult life.  How sad is that?

I don’t want to be misunderstood, though.  I’m not seeking sympathy or anything; I’m just merely stating the facts of my life as it’s stood for 20 years.  I always have the worst luck in trivial things, but trivial things that make the most emotional impact.  I think I’m the only idiot alive who wants to have a family life that currently doesn’t.  I know there are probably a lot of men in family situations that would kill to have my life too, so I guess it works both ways.  There have been a lot of blessings in my life likewise that people would die to have blessed onto them.  It doesn’t change the emotional feelings when you’re right in the middle of them, though.

Anyway, I got home about 1:45am and decided to watch The Polar Express since I wasn’t going to go to my dad’s house (as I found out we weren’t getting together at all on Christmas day, which was a first for me) for Christmas and I doubted that my nephews would want to see it as they’ve never been interested in it, so even though I was going to see them later on in the day I knew I’d only have this opportunity to watch it.  I made a cup of hot chocolate and tried to cheer myself up.  It only masked the hurt because I still felt lonely and just empty, and of course the exhaustion I had still was lingering so that made things worse.  Well, I only lasted about an hour until I was in and out of sleep before I decided to shut the movie off and go to bed.  A heavy sleep brought the morning quickly and for as much as I was hoping that my Christmas blues would kick rocks, of course they didn’t.  I opened my cards like they were pieces of mail because nothing about it felt special.  I appreciated the gifts and the cards, but it just felt… what’s the word?  Ordinary.  There was no Christmas spirit there at all.  I went back to bed since I felt like I had a hangover even though I didn’t drink and when I woke up again still feeling bad, I had no choice but to get up to go deliver the Christmas gift I gave my dad as he was at work, then I drove back home to wait for my sister to show up.  By this point, it was 1 or so in the afternoon, my head was pounding, I was starving, and I felt pretty bad emotionally to boot.

When my sister finally showed up about an hour later, things really turned around for me.  Seeing my nephews made all the difference.  I was glad to have them over and I was glad to watch a few Christmas films and other films with them too.  The loneliness was gone and I was just glad to spend time with the kiddos.  I’m still not playing with them as much as I’d like, but that’s because I’m so busy always catching up with the adults that time just slips by.  That’s my fault too.  The need for solitude that I have means that I have to get in all my catching up when I do see my sister in person, so that kinda leaves the kiddos in a bind.  I gotta do better with that.  I will.

So, there it was.  Christmas.  The good and the bad.  At least it ended on a good note.  I’m relatively happy today, and I have a short week so there will be nothing to complain about.  I’m looking forward to a visit I’m getting on Friday and to go through with my traditional New Year’s Eve festivities too, so no more reason to be blue.  Let’s finish off 2018 on a high note, y’all!

Merry Christmas and may God bless each one of you!

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!

Happy to be Sad

It’s currently Friday night and inspiration has finally stuck to put finger to keyboard.  The past week has really just kicked my ass up and down.  I’ve been so busy that I realized that my tether from ok to being pissed off because I haven’t been home long enough is less than a week.  I have been going nonstop since thanksgiving and it finally got to me on Wednesday.  I was in a horrible mood and I was not nice to a lot of people.  I couldn’t really pinpoint it until I remembered that I just haven’t been home to do my thing.  And by my thing, I mean relaxing.  Alone.  Some people just don’t understand my need for solitude and my need to be home the majority of my free time. Things finally turned around yesterday as I just had to make a quick pit stop at my sister’s and I got to see the kiddos for a minute then I got home to spend quality alone time.

Today brought along new old adventures.  I was my heterosexual lifemate’s plus one at a holiday party just like last year and our walk through downtown to get back to our vehicles was just beautiful.  It’s so amazing what transformation is currently happening in downtown El Paso.  Granted, there are still buildings that are big-time eyesores and I don’t mean this to sound bad, but there are some stores with cheap merchandise that just look bad in and around downtown too, so there is still some work to be done, but the area around the newish-ly renovated plaza that acts as the unofficial center of downtown is thriving.  I work there, so I am getting to see the changes first hand, but I’m hardly ever there at night.  During the day with all the construction going on, it’s just a maze of madness.  Currently at night now, the streets are blocked off and the plaza is blocked off, and the plaza is lit up with Christmas lights, there are families and couples everywhere enjoying the city, and the new businesses and condos that have opened up are all open and thriving too… it’s just a beautiful sight to see.

I mentioned the thought to my heterosexual lifemate that it looked like a perfect place for a date.  Take the newly refurbished streetcars from uptown into downtown, stroll through the park all decked up with lights, maybe go into one of the many bars or restaurants for a cocktail and/or meal, take the streetcar for a ride through the downtown loop, and call it a night.  The thought of doing that seems so cool… then the reality hit me.  I got nobody to do that with.  Sheesh.  I’m not gonna lie, allowing myself to think about it makes me a little sad about it, but you know what?  It’s ok.  I have an otherwise happy life, I have friends and family that care, and I got my place to come and get away from everybody and recharge when I need to.  And by the looks of things, I can’t leave my place for more than 3 days until I start getting pissed off.  It’s good to know these things.

I hope you have a great weekend.  December starts tomorrow.  How crazy is that, right?!

Learn-ed Moron

Salutations once again y’all!  We’re heading into the end of another week as this year really comes into the fast swing towards the end.  With that, television has brought me some happy and exciting feelings with CHRISTMAS (not “holiday”) commercials! Snowy scenes about gift giving and buying with kids, dogs, very expensive brand new cars in the driveways of multimillion dollar homes, and Santa Claus are filling the commercial breaks between shows now and to be honest, I can’t be any happier.  I LOVE the Thanksgiving into Christmas season the most out of any other time of the year.  I’m trying my hardest to NOT play my Blu-ray Christmas films right now!  It’s that fierce this year!

That’s not what I wanna talk about this blog though.  The thing I want to talk about is being Hispanic.  Heck yea!  I’m one of the 52 million people in the United States who can be counted amongst the people of various Hispanic countries.  Personally, (and saying it jokingly) I’m an American made with Mexican parts.  LOL!  As funny as I put it, it’s true.  I don’t think about it living in El Paso because as you can see here, El Paso is about 80.7% Hispanic.  There are only a few spots, and I’d venture to guess certain areas of the westside and most of the northeast sides of town where you may encounter people who don’t at least understand Spanish.  Everywhere else, though, sheeeeeesh… you almost better understand Spanish because especially if you look like me (and most of us do), people assume you speak Spanish first.  It’s even more prominent in the areas close to the border to Juarez, Mexico.  Most businesses along the area are run by Spanish speaking people, and you’d be really out of luck trying to go there and try to get somebody who even understood English.  Luckily for me, my brain works well enough where if I’m having a good day, I can transition seamlessly from English to Spanish and not even think about it.  Most days, though, my brain refuses to translate Spanish from English and I either forget my words or it takes me a minute to process the translation to say what I need to say.

I say all of that because I was able to see the first third of a new show on Netflix by the great John Leguizamo.  I’ve followed this dude’s career from back in the early days of the late 80s and early 90s and absolutely LOVED his specials on HBO dealing with growing up Latino.  Freak and Ghetto Klown really spoke to me and made me realize just how much in common Latinos live their lives.  His new special, Latin History for Morons, goes away from introspective views of living life as a Latino and instead shows the audience just how we came to be.  Even though I’m only a 3rd of the way through, there’s been so much information that he’s given me that I honestly didn’t even know, that I’m just blown away.  I’m appreciating my heritage a lot more than I did before, but at the same time I’m a little heartbroken about it too.  I know I’ve got a lot of Native American blood in me because of my skin tone and well the fact that I know my paternal great great grandmother was full blooded Comanche, and I’m pretty sure that I have a lot of Aztec blood in me coming from my mom’s side, but that can’t be verified because I really don’t know much of her history.  In any event, the reason I’m a little heartbroken about it is because in the special, John tells us the story about just how we came to be.  There were millions of people all throughout the American continent living in peace amongst each other until Christopher Columbus took a wrong turn thinking he was going to India that had him stumble upon the islands south of what is now Florida.  Long story short, he and his people violated women and children, killed the men, and brought the diseases from Europe to the Americas and that killed millions more.  The Spanish soon followed and went through what is now Mexico, brought their violence and diseases with them and soon killed the Aztec tribes, and most of them traveled north through here, oddly enough, and made their way a bit further north and then slightly southeast and west.  Some also went south and ended up killing the Inca via violence and diseases as well.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten into the show, and I can only imagine things remained crazy until that history started to blend in with the northeast section of America and the formation of the United States and all that violence and disease that was brought upon Native Americans from them.

It sounds so bad, doesn’t it?  The Aztec people were very advanced for their time, all of the Native American tribes lived off the lands that looked so incredibly different back then, especially in what is now Massachusetts and New York (it was all super dense forest), and the whole American continent was full of people just doing their thing living in peace.  Part of me wonders what would have happened if the Europeans wouldn’t have raped, pillaged, and killed the indigenous people to this land.  Things sort of worked out in the end, I guess?  Who’s to say, right?  I guess if it wasn’t going to be them, it would have been the English and the French to do it instead, but what would have happened if everybody that came here from other continents just let these people just live their lives as they were? Well, I guess I wouldn’t exist.  That’s for sure.  Haha!  My surname is Spanish and I’m Catholic too.  I wouldn’t have those things if nothing would have happened.  I might have still spoken English and Spanish (both badly as I do now, if you wanna know.  LOL), but I’m sure I would be speaking a language native to this area (well, back in the day at least) as my primary language instead.  It’s crazy to think about.  I know one thing though.  I’m glad that I’m me.  All the guilt of the Spanish, but all of the pride from my Native American people too now lives in me.  I just hope that if God blesses me with children, I can pass along all the history that I know so that they can know where they came from too.  Now, I can’t wait to get back home to finish the show and tell everybody that I know that has Netflix to watch it!

One Hundred

One hundred.  Wow.  I never thought I’d write one hundred blogs on my page, but yet here I am.  It’s hard to believe that still here writing my silly musings after so long.  Actually, I’ve been meaning and wanting to write about different things, but I had been holding out trying to make this post special, but right now I’m thinking that I’m just going to let my mind wander and see what comes out!  Apologies if I go a little astray.

I have been thinking back to November 5, 2011 when I first started posting here on WordPress and at that time, I was really just coming out of my suicidal episode and I was needing a positive creative outlet to let all of my energy free.  Mind you, I had already been blogging on MySpace (remember that, kids?!) and Facebook for a while before that, so writing wasn’t new to me.  Little did I know then that this little blog of mine would help get me through the many lows and the very few highs in these past 7 years.  I had no real direction for the blog and I still don’t now.  I like to write about the current events in my life or the world events that give me an emotional response and I thank you all for taking those few moments every post to read through it.

With all that said, we’re in the last 3 days of October now.  WOW.  Where has this year gone?  This has ended up being another year of change for me.  So much has happened this year.  It started off with a pretty cool New Year’s Eve impromptu get together with my sister and her family at my place, then quickly turned into a crazy 9 months of family medical drama that really tested not only me, but the bonds of my family.  I don’t feel I’m at too much liberty to talk about it other than to say just about that much.  Aside from that, though, I’ve had a pretty good year.  I’ve met new people and spent time with the people that I already love and cherish, and I actually took a vacation for the first time in years to an area that I’ve wanted to go and revisit since I cancelled my trip post near suicide attempt 7 years ago.  Since then, I’ve been settling into a new routine that allows me to finally have a free day so that I won’t go crazy and get into one of those overwhelmed bad moods.  Overall, I think everything is coming up Milhouse.

Now, as I look ahead to what’s coming up I’m getting really excited.  I know that November is going to fly by, especially with the two extra days off I’m getting thanks to holidays, then December is going to be an action packed insane month for me.  First off, even though I didn’t want to do anything for my birthday, my heterosexual lifemate and I decided to have, what we’ve coined “White Don” to celebrate my day of birth.  We’re gonna have White Russians (one of my, if not the all-time favorite cocktails) and mimosas made with the cheapest sparkling wine we can get and Donald Duck Orange Juice.  It’s gonna be awesome!  Then the following week, we’re going on a cross country road trip that one could only imagine about.  We’re flying out to Baltimore, Maryland then driving back to El Paso from Annapolis, Maryland making stops in more than likely Columbus, Ohio so that we can pay our respects to “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and where he was murdered (a quick stop as it were), then overnight stops in St. Louis, Missouri and the DFW area before we make the homestretch back across Texas to our little spot on the map.  Some other cities are in the works there too, and in total we’re going to drive through at least 13 states on our journey.  I cannot wait!  Then the following week, Christmas arrives, then the New Year arrives and we start this crazy thing we call life all over again.

Speaking of life… funny how it works sometimes, right?  I’ve had a lot of happy moments lately that have made my days constantly brighter.  For one, my brother from another mother and his new bride had their first child earlier this month.  I still remember my eyes swelling up with tears when he told me earlier this year that they were expecting.  He’s such a good dude and it makes my heart so happy to know that not only did he find a wife, but now they have a child.  He’s gonna be an awesome dad.  I just know it.  I’m dying to meet this little dude too, but since they live way up in the greater Salt Lake City area, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to meet my new nephew.  Of course he’s not my real nephew by blood or marriage, but I consider my friend a brother and I’m taking on my uncle title with him with pride and love as I do my own two crazy nephews.  Another bright spot that’s been shining on my life lately is the remembrance of the bonds of close friendship that I have with a number of people in my life.  Just this past week, I got the chance to spend time with a friend of mine who I don’t get to see much since she lives in the DFW area.  That doesn’t change the fact that we have a very close bond and I mutual feeling of deep love and genuine friendship that even thinking about right now makes me feel warm inside as I thank God for having her in my life.  Being with her recently reminded me of just how great having true friendship in my life makes me feel.  Added to that, I’ve been having great conversations with other friends for whom I hold deep love and affection for lately as well so overall I’ve just been in a great mood.  I just hope that by sharing it and feeling good right now I don’t jinx it.  Fingers crossed, y’all!

So, there it is.  100 posts and I’m glad that this one is a positive one.  That’s what my life is now, really. I’m living a positive life with a few sprinkles of sadness mixed in just to give it some counter balance.  I’m glad it’s turned more positive than negative.  It’s taken me a while, but I think I got it now.  Here’s to another 100!  We’ll talk soon!

Enter Night

There’s excitement in the air!  And it’s not because college and professional football are back… well, maybe just a touch of that (HOOK ‘EM HORNS AND PURO PINCHE COWBOYS ALV!!!), heh, but there’s excitement around me because over this past weekend, I noticed something.  The days are getting shorter now!  Heck, this Saturday marks the halfway point of the month.  Really?  September, you just got here and now you’re out?  Wow.  I kinda surprised myself at noting that right now, but yes!  Summer is on its way out and fall is on its way in.  I couldn’t be any happier about it.  For as much as I love the dry heat here in El Paso, I’m just about over the 90+ degree temperatures and I’m ready for things to cool back down to the 80s, 70s, and 60s for highs.  Along with that, comes the even shorter days and with the time change (which honestly I think has run its course now as a thing) that means that it’s gonna get super dark by 5pm.  You have no idea how happy this makes me.  For as much as I am an early bird as that’s how my life schedule dictates things, I love the quietness and solitude of the night.  The peace that the night brings me is something that I miss from time to time.  Then again, I do get that same feeling when I give myself the time to head to my room, close the door, and just let my mind wander in the dark since I have my blackout curtains permanently drawn over my bedroom window.

The other thing that the fall and winter brings is the holidays.  Man, I LOVE the holiday season!  Now, those that know me know that I don’t decorate for anything.  I think it’s kinda silly if you want me to be honest, but I love the moments that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year brings.  I thought about this when talking with a friend of mine the other day and I brought it up to another friend yesterday.  I wanted their take on the matter because I always seem to get a mixed bag of reactions when I ask about the end of November to the beginning of January.  Some people hate it and associate it with lost loves, broken hearts, family that they hate, or the fact that people make it a point to be just a little happier in their lives.  Then I get the people who go full on Will Ferrell in Elf excited about it decorating everything in sight.  I’m down with the excitement, but not the decorating, so I tend to lean more towards the latter.  Now, the funny part about it all is that over the years, I’ve actually yearned to be alone during the holidays.  Now wait a minute, don’t get me wrong here, but I’ve honestly fallen in love with the personal celebrations I’ve turned into customs for me.

It all started around the passing of my mother 10 years ago, actually.  I don’t remember specifics, but I do remember that first thanksgiving without her.  My dad and I were just going to hang out and watch football, but my sister stopped by and brought us food from her in-laws party.  Personally, I thought this was strange because it felt like we were some sort of charity case getting plates of food from strangers.  I didn’t feel all too comfortable feeling helpless like that, and it’s not that we didn’t have any money for a thanksgiving meal; it’s just that we were only a few months out of losing my mom and we really didn’t care too much about it.  I don’t remember Christmas too much, nor New Year’s Eve either, but I’m sure that I spent them either alone or with my dad.  The following years, my sister did the same charity case act with us and I hated it each time, but slowly, my dad was either working or would just skip out of town and spend holidays and such in Vegas so that would leave me to my own devices and that’s when I came up with my traditions.

 One thanksgiving, I decided to make myself a thanksgiving dinner so that I wouldn’t deal with the annoyance of the charity case feeling and I made myself some turkey breast, a beer ham, and all the fixings.  It was awesome.  So awesome, as a matter of fact, that I continue that tradition to this day.  And, in case you didn’t know, I can cook meals like you read about so it’s not like a person has to pray after you eat due to food quality!   My birthday falls in between thanksgiving and Christmas, and dad would bail then too sometimes, so I started to celebrate birthdays my own way too.  Usually I lay low and maybe go to a favorite restaurant and follow that up with a quiet evening of favorite movies at my house.  Christmas has become an evolving thing in its own right too.  We’ve always gotten together at my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve, so I do that for a while, then for the past few years, I’ve made it to midnight Mass at my parish.  That gives me Christmas day to either see my dad, my bonus mom, and my sister/brother in law/nephews for a bit or just stay home and get my not-so-traditional-Christmas movie marathon going (which is what I prefer to do honestly).  That’s probably my favorite day ever.  I stay indoors, make hot chocolate and/or coffee, turn my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree on (my only Christmas decoration by the way), and sit back the whole day watching movies that happen either during Christmas time or are those not so traditional Christmas movies that people give you looks for until you remind them that they are in fact Christmas movies.  I love it!  It’s my way of being festive.  Just thinking about that makes me happy.  I can’t wait!  105 days and counting as of the writing of this blog!  The following week brings New Year’s Eve which I have really solidified a tradition there too.  I would usually spend that night with my parents hanging out watching the NYE shows on the national networks, but one year, my girlfriend at the time, insisted that we go to a friend of hers house and spend the time there.  I hated the idea of it because I was only slightly acquainted with this friend of hers and as my INFJ traits dictate, I hate being around random strangers.  Going to a stranger’s house just incites a panic attack, and I have felt super awkward when people have brought complete strangers over to my house.  The idea of it is just so insane to me.  BUT, I digress; I did it because that’s who I am as a person anyway.  I always put others before me, and yes even though I enjoyed my time there, I would have rather been at home having a nice quiet time.  In any event, again after the passing of my mom, most of the time I would find myself marking the new year alone, so I decided to come up with a party for myself.  I’m not a big fan of pizza, but I figured that ordering one would solve the food issue, and continuing to watch the network shows would work if I had my alcohol handy.  That way, I could still enjoy a few beers with my pizza and when midnight came along, I could pop a bottle of champagne and party along.  I had such a great time doing that that some of my friends have even joined me a few of those years, and I’ve even added the celebration from Las Vegas to the mix so I still feel like I’m partying with people, just by myself in the comfort of my own space.  Hahaha!  That eliminates any chance of any harm coming to me in the form of a car wreck, or spending too much money at a bar for the same amount or less of beer and champagne.  I do it smarter, in my opinion!

So, here we are my friends.  47 days until the time falls back an hour and we get longer nights, 72 days until Thanksgiving, 105 days until Christmas, and 111 days until New Year’s Eve.  I’m excited already!