Tag Archives: Music

I Stand Apart

“No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.”

― George Carlin, Brain Droppings

“You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me, Dottie.  I’m a loner.  A Rebel.”

– Pee-Wee Herman

When I was growing up, now that I look back on things, I don’t think I was ever liked right off the bat.  Hell, come to think of it, nothing has changed there.  I say that being picked last during playground activities, etc., and the “Don’t take any shit from anybody” message that was given to me by my tía and my grandma formulated the thought in my brain that I was always going to be a one-man wolf pack first.  I was short, and after age 7 I was fat, but I was at least likeable and sometimes funny so that gave me an advantage in my youth to gain friends when given the chance.  During my childhood, as I’ve touched on before in my music blog post, I was allowed the freedom to find my love in the arts.  Not only did I listen to a lot of different music, but I also watched a variety of movies, and I also got into stand-up comedy.  I liked the popular stand ups of the time like Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, etc.… but I also got even more into the guys I shouldn’t have at my age, like George Carlin and Sam Kinison.  They are still pillars of my emotional foundation.  I wanted to listen to everything they put out and I loved them dearly.  Kinison’s albums “Louder than Hell”, “Have You Seen Me Lately?”, and “Live From Hell” along with his HBO Comedy Special “Breaking the Rules” plus the bits he did on Rodney Dangerfield’s Young Comedian Specials still has me laughing up to this day, and  don’t even get me started on George.  “Free Floating Hostility” from his album “Back in Town” is something that I still preach as a foundation of my core principals in life!  Well, maybe not all of it.  “Cowboy hats and cowboy boots” is something that I wear, so I’ll skip that part of agreement with him.  I carried his first book, “Brain Droppings” around like the cherished item it was to me, and the thoughts and ideas therein made me feel like it was ok to be the outcast and forgotten person.  “You don’t want me to be a part of your group?  Well good.  I’m better by myself anyway, suckas!” was and still is my mentality.  I’ve never really fit in with anybody, nor have I wanted to.  What’s the point of doing so?

That brings me to the point of this little post.  Groups.  Last month, out of curiosity to satisfy the knowledge of why these people exist, I watched the expose documentary series on the freemasons.  As some of you may know, Catholic men like myself are forbidden from becoming members of said society, but instead of just being told that I couldn’t, I had to see the reasons why as to give myself ammunition for those who would seek to debate me on the topic.  I do the same thing every night learning my own faith so that I can defend it against those who oppose it or try to talk me out of it.  Anyway, there I was watching this multi part documentary all the while thinking to myself, “Why do people do these stupid things?”  Not just men and their freemasonry, or whatever.  Women too.  There are lots of groups, clubs, etc. that individuals join just to be part of something.  I can’t understand it.   Every little group thing I’ve been talked or forced into, I’ve hated.  Yes, even religious ones.  I’m so much of a loner that I can’t see the point of gathering together as a group to do the same thing.  It’s strange to me.  I’m such a private person when it comes to my interests that quite honestly I’d rather keep them to myself.  Does that make me even weirder?  The only interests that I share out to the public are this blog and my music.  I’m proud of the music I’ve made with my brothers, but I’m not going to go out and seek some sort of community either in real life or online about the brotherhood of being in a band.  Same thing with blogging.  I’m not gonna seek out some online forum for bloggers.  I don’t do either to seek the approval of others.  I do them as a creative outlet for me.  If somebody happens to enjoy either one of them, that’s freaking awesome and I thank you, but honestly, I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for me.

Maybe it’s the very strong type b personality of mine coming out, or the INFJ traits that manifest themselves more and more as each day passes, but I just don’t want to be a part of a larger group for anything.  I like to watch from afar and make decisions and speak on a topic from my own point of view and stand as an individual so that I can have my voice truly heard.  Are you still reading this?  Nah, you probably tuned out long ago.  Ha!  It’s alright.  It happens a lot.

Until next blog, amigos!

An Outlet

Hey y’all!  I’m back with more thoughts from this ol’ dome of mine.  I just had a nice long weekend thanks to one Christopher Columbus and having that extra time gave me a lot to think about.  I also refreshed the look of my page here for the first time ever, but I figured 7 years with the same layout was a good run.  I tell you, I’m not good with change.  LOL!

First of all, and quickly, I’ve decided to be even more regimented than before and I think it’s actually working out for me quite nicely!  After a few years, I’ve finally gotten tired of wasting my one true day off on Saturday by either having to clean, do laundry, or be committed to go anywhere.  I’ve been making it a point to clean my joint up and do laundry on Wednesday and Thursday to give me Friday night to start my 1½ days of freedom.  Now, funny enough, when I mentioned my entire week (Monday gym, Tuesday Grandparent’s Day, Wednesday/Thursday Clean and Do Laundry, Friday & Saturday let the chips fall where they may, Sunday Mass then NASCAR/NFL) to some friends, they shook their heads in shame.  For some reason, they can’t comprehend the fact that I am very structured.  Not only do I have my designated days for things, but I try to go to bed at the same time every day and it’s early at that, so even more reason to get ridiculed.  What can I say?  I need that structure in my life.  It makes me happy.

By allowing myself to have those 1½ days of freedom between Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, I gave myself the opportunity to catch up with some programs on Netflix, HBO, and Showtime.  I had been wanting to watch Kevin Smith’s and Henry Rollins’ respective specials on Showtime for a while now and when I finally did get around to watching them, boy did they give me even more sadness about myself.  I’m trying to use the right words too, because maybe sadness isn’t quite it.  Regret, maybe?  I don’t know exactly what it is, but I’ll try to explain here.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I have a very needy creative mind.  I’m a musician, and if it were up to me, I’d also probably be some sort of public speaker, creative writer, something!  I feel the need to express myself via those two art form mediums pure and uninterrupted, and that’s why I’ve had this blog for 7 years running now.  I don’t get paid for writing it, but it soothes that creative itch to share those expressions that feel they need to get out of me.  Additionally, yes, if you are seeing this blog post on clonesn.wordpress.com and not the wordpress reader, that mic’ed up drumset is mine.  That was taken the last day I played them which was Memorial Day Saturday of last year.  It goes without saying that I desperately miss playing music.  It’s not really my fault that I haven’t.  Life has gotten in the way of my bandmate’s and I’s schedules and the band has taken a backseat.  I’m free now, but they really aren’t so that’s left me with this unscratched itch to play in a band.  The thing with that is that I need to play music with people that I know.  I just can’t play with complete strangers.  I need to know their musical likes, dislikes, and style of playing so that we can see if we’re compatible.  I know it sounds snobbish of me to say, but that’s the truth, so I don’t want to go to Guitar Center or Craig’s List or somewhere and try my hand at auditioning for some band or to form a band myself.  Maybe if things get bad enough, I might resort to it, but I don’t know yet.  Anyway, while watching Henry Rollins’ special, he told the story about his band, Rollins Band, opening up for Ozzy Osborne somewhere in Florida in the early to mid 1990s and playing for a crowd of roughly 25,000 people.  I don’t want to ruin it much for you, but something about the story struck me.  The thing that made me think was that Henry has now purposefully retired from music.  That, I learned from his latest appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, but in any event, Rollins at one point in his life played for a crowd of 25,000 people and even though they didn’t really cheer for him anywhere near as loud as they cheered for the headlining act, he got a response and loved every minute of it, but now finds himself not wanting to keep that dream alive.  He says that he has nothing else to say lyrically.  I find that insane to believe, really.  How can you not write songs about the experiences that he has now traveling the world gathering stories to speak of on his “talking on stage” tours?  Maybe he gets the same rush from the hundreds to a few thousand people he gets at the venues he gets booked at, and that’s cool, but to me the rush you get from playing music has to be different.  You’re speaking a universal language where somebody who doesn’t even speak English can understand the music you’re playing and their energy combines with yours to create even more emotion and musical expression.  I know, I’m getting too deep here, but my point is that hearing that story of him playing got me sad that I haven’t every had that experience in a rock band setting.  I’ve played for a few packed houses of a few hundred people and I can still tap into that feeling and crave more.  It got me wanting to play my drums and get people to connect with either me or a feeling inside themselves and right now I don’t have an outlet for that.  I guess sadness is the word I’d describe how I feel about it.

I finished Henry’s special and went on to Kevin Smith’s special.  Now, for those who know me in the real world, you know that I am a big Kevin Smith fan.  I was really looking forward to seeing this Showtime special for a few weeks now since it’s come out, but it was only until this weekend that I actually had the time to do it.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The one message that Kev always tries to put out on any of his numerous podcasts and now this special is that anybody can do what he does.  Everybody has a talent.  Chase your dreams!  I hear this every time and I say to myself “Hell yeah, man!  You’re right!  I should write more!  Play more music!  Make more people laugh with the stupid things I say!  Something!  I have these creative gifts, I should freakin’ use them!”  And well, here I am!  I figure this medium will be the closest I’ll ever get to going up on stage and talking about my life and maybe hopefully inspire somebody to follow their dreams or save them from ruin with one of the many stories of my life.  My feeling of needing to help those who are in need of a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, and ear to beat, whatever, is out there.  I’m gonna follow what Kev told me and do this.  If all I ever do is connect with you, then that’s good enough for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post!  Until next time, y’all!

¿Who Dis?

This past week, for some reason, I surpassed the 100 follower mark.  Insane, right?!  I thank each and every one of you for following me, by the way!  In honor of that, and also in honor of a recent discovery and mutual follow and their “About Me” blog post, I thought I should do one of my own!  Just in case y’all are reading this through WordPress’ Following<Reader section of their website and that “About Me” section just isn’t really there.

Oh, still reading!  Whew!  Cool!  Well, hi there!  My name is David.  At least, that’s the handle my loving parents glossed me with.  For about the past 10 years, most people have known me by my band name, Clone.  Yep, I’m one of those imaginary rockstar dudes.  Even worse, I’m a drummer!  I know, the old joke is that drummers really aren’t musicians.  I get it, I get it.  Haha!  In any event, yes, I am a drummer in a band with my most of my best friends and our name is Searchlight Needles.  Look us up!  You’ll find our first album is up on all your favorite digital music outlets.  I’ve been a drummer nearly all my life.  Some of my favorite memories as a child were playing drums on my couch with flyswatters.  I’d be drumming along to 80’s hair metal, because that’s what I really loved back in my youth.  Well, I take that back.  I’ve loved all styles of music since I was young, if you want me to be honest.  That’s one thing that I can tell you right off the bat.  Music is my life.  I was raised on The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Grupo Mazz, Selena, Emilio Navaira, “King” George Strait, Reba McIntyre, The Judds, The Latin Breed, and Led Zeppelin just to name a few artists my parents exposed me to.  From there, my godfather (who is a badass, by the way.  I miss that dude and I need to really reconnect with him), dropped by the house one day when I was about 6 and brought me a stereo system.  It was one of those receiver deals with two separate speakers.  Not a boom box, this thing was legit!  Naturally, I just wanted to hear whatever songs the radio had for me.   Well, not too long after, I found it.   Mötley Crüe had a new single out titled “Girls, Girls, Girls” and I was in love.  From then on, it was a love affair with heavy metal music that continues to this day.  I got into the aforementioned Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Poison, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, and the list goes on.  Yes, Glam Metal!  It ruled!!!  That’s why I love the band Steel Panther so much too.  But that’s another story.

Where was I?  Oh yes, me.  So, yes.  Not only am I a musician, er drummer.  Whatever.  I’m also just your regular ol’ dude who is passionate about many other things aside from music.  One thing people will tell you about me who know me in the real world is that I’m passionate about the relationships I keep.  I love my friends and family.  Without them, I’d be nothing.  Most of them put up with my stupid qwerks, my crazy moods, and my tendency to find the joke in anything.  If I’m talking to you and I haven’t made at least 1 joke in about 5 minutes, you know something’s wrong with me.  I can have my serious moments too.  Take religion, for example.  That’s one thing I’m serious about.  I’ve blogged plenty about it, so take a look around at my previous posts and find out about that journey.  I think it’s kinda cool.

I suppose I should mention this too.  In an odd turn of events in my life, I’ve also never been married nor do I have any children.  I think that topic in today’s society deserves a blog all of its own, but yeah, I’m a regular guy living his life out solo deep.  To be honest, I always imagined myself being married and having kids as a kid myself.  I was always waiting for it to happen, as stupid as that sounds.  I think it actually gives me a nice prospective on life, though.  I’ve found the blessings in it all, so it’s not all that bad.

That’s really all I can think of about me that can’t be explored further here on my blog.  I’ve actually been blogging here on WordPress since November 5, 2011! I’m coming up on 7 years here!  94 posts (including this one) and counting!  Well, I actually had more, but I deleted some that no long had relevance in my life/didn’t represent me well.  I’m sure you’ll find something interesting about me in those other 93 posts!

So, thank you again for following me!  You keep reading, and I’ll keep on writing!

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!

Settling in for the Happy Times

Another summer is nearly gone.  Man.  I can hardly believe it.  This year has been such a game changer for me personally.  My schedule has had to change due to personal problems, and because of that, it really threw off my spring and summer.  It almost feels like I really didn’t get 2018 going, actually.  Now to think that it’s pretty much ending has me pondering things.

First thing I’m thinking about is all of the cool things that changed for me emotionally/personally this year.  As I was talking to a friend of mine, I came to the realization that as each day passes, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with who I am.  I know that sounds like I’ve yet to reveal some sort of dark secret or something, but what I mean is that instead of being shy or embarrassed for being nerdy, for being dorky, for being introverted, for being FAT, or for liking the music and movies that I do, I’m putting it all on Front Street now.  I don’t know what changed, or when it really did, but I’m not hiding anything anymore.  I think it’s because I’ve gotten tired of trying to impress people.  It’s the natural thing to do, right?  Putting one’s best features forward generally gets favorable results, amirite?  Well, I’m tired of trying to put my best foot forward for nothing.  I’m just going to be who I completely am.  Awkward and funny, strange and recluse all for anybody who cares to see.  If you don’t like it, cool.  I’m not going to try and keep you around.  I hope that doesn’t come across as standoff-ish or anything, but what I mean is that I’m not going to try and be something I’m not or to try to fit in when I clearly know I don’t.  I don’t need to, really.  To go along with that, even though I’ve been pretty tied up since March with things, I’ve really found the true comfort I’ve always sought in my solitude.  Let me try to explain.  I’ve tried to do my best to have somebody else around, mainly to please others who think that’s what I need.  As you can probably guess, that hasn’t really gone anywhere thanks to those 6 things that I mentioned that are the 3-8 of things of importance/things that define me (1, being God and my relationship with Him, & 2 being friends and family) .  Every now and again whenever I’m doing the most random or mundane things, I tend to get a calming peace that hits me that actually causes me to pause.  I know it’s strange, but I love spending time alone, even if I’m cooking, cleaning, or waiting on laundry (and I actually LOVE doing all of those things).  I love the fact that most of the time, I have nowhere to be, nobody to please, and nothing to do.  I desperately crave that alone time so much and I feel like nobody understands my need for it.

The second thing that was cool this year was the new tech I got.  I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging, but I bought some really cool stuff this year that now I feel has been missing for the longest time.  LOL!  The first new thing I got this year was a PlayStation 4.  Yes, I know, I’m about 5 years too late in getting one, but I’ve finally joined the rest of the band to complete our online stupidity known only as Drunk Fat Man Gaming, where we generally play Grand Theft Auto V and broadcast it on YouTube for our own amusement.  I’ll speak for myself in saying that I’m a lukewarm gamer and I really don’t like to play challenging games, so playing something like GTA V where skill isn’t always a requirement to have a blast is right up my alley.  Added onto that, I’ve found that the PS4 is an all-around entertainment system that has many uses outside of gaming.  I watch HBO shows and movies on that, MLB when the app decides to play nice, and Spotify when I want to listen to albums that I don’t physically have for some dumb reason or another.

Another piece of new tech to go along with that is a new 4K TV that I pulled the trigger on buying about 2 months after I got my PS4.  Now, this thing has changed my life.  I was one of the first people I knew who was on board with HDTV 20+ years ago and I was impressed then, but the advancements that technology has made since then has really blown me away.  Obviously, the picture quality on this thing is nuts!  Even watching things in what looks like “ghetto vision” to me (that’s what I coined SDTV on an HDTV to look like back in the day), which is now 1080i (the new highest quality ghetto vision to me) are amazing to me.  I’ve watched a grand total of 2 things in 4K.  Those were the films Jumanji:  Into the Jungle and Ready Player One, and those things blew me away.  Secondly, the freakin’ TV is a smart TV too, so it’s got apps AND Chromecast built right into it, so instead of watching stuff on Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu on my PS4, I now stream them directly off of the TV instead, which is how I saw those two movies in 4K thanks to Vudu.  Obviously, I got a larger TV than what I had before, so it took a few days for me to really adjust my eyes and how I view the TV, but now I’m cool with it.  Going back a bit to my ghetto vision blast, I’m finding that OG DVDs just don’t cut it on my 4K TV, even with the upconversion from 480p to 1080p on my PS4.  The visual noise on some of my movies is really noticeable and distracting.  Thankfully, most of these movies that I like to watch on DVD are also now available on Blu-Ray and are relatively cheap too, so I’m slowly but surely upconverting some of my favorite titles to that format now.  I know what you’re saying too.  Well, aside from “First world problems, pal!!!!!” is “GET WITH THE TIMES, POP!  WE’RE STREAMING NOW!!!”  BUT!!!  I refuse except for renting films.  I’m a digital old schooler in that I like to have the physical copy of things.  I love buying CDs and I love buying Blu-Ray discs just so that I can have the physical copy, and see the cool artwork and hold those in my hands.  I’m the same way with books.  I need to have an actual book to read.  I can’t read a book off of a computer or my phone.

Another piece of tech that I got is a 15 year old piece of tech, but it’s something that I’ve wanted for a while.  I finally got a Bose SoundDock for my 10+ year old iPod.  I know, I could have gotten a SoundLink, or some other Bose product (if I really had the money, I would have gotten a SoundTouch 30), but to me, the SoundDock systems work the best for my needs.  I needed something that size with that kind of sound to put in my room for the times that I just lay in bed and listen to music and nothing puts out sound like those.  Thankfully, I found one on EBay WITH a carrying case, so I’d be able to take that with my on trips too and have my music with me in hotel rooms.  I did just that on my trip to Oceanside/San Diego & Vegas.  It was the best!  Instead of watching broadcast TV, I was listening to music the whole time and relaxing.  I use my SoundDock every day and I think it’s also made my life better.  I’m not even kidding.  Music is my life and my passion.

So, now with all that said.  What’s next for me?  What are my goals?  My goals are to continue to be me and to have as much fun as possible.  I need to camp more (I’m going next week!).  I need to go to the other things I like to do more.  Go out to the golf courses a lot more and pick that back up.  I need to keep doing the things that make me happy.  I can’t wait.  September is nearly here which means football is back, NASCAR is starting up with the playoffs, and the cool weather will quickly bring in the holiday season and I’m dying for that.  I want a white Christmas.  I want to kick back, drink some coffee or hot chocolate, and watch the snow fall, all while I listen to some kick ass music.  Things are looking up.

…You don’t have to tell me

Holy smokes!  Has it actually been since November since I’ve last jotted something down?  Man.  I’m horrible!  What has happened since then?  Well, a quick recap… I celebrated my 37th birthday with family and friends as I threw myself an ode to Kevin Smith party.  Christmas and the New Year were awesome, and the first quarter of this year was pretty ok too all things considered.  As always with my life, there are strikes and gutters (to use The Dude’s way of saying it) and I find my days to just blend into the next.  My life is a routine and I can honestly say that I love that aspect of it.  I know what’s coming each day to the next.  Some people would consider that a death sentence and would want desperately to get out of that rut, but I worked my way to comfortably get myself into the spot I’m in and I’ve been taking the time to let it all soak in.

The reason I mention myself being a creature of habit is because with the joking threat of violence on me (not seriously, my homegirl and I love each other and she just wanted to push me into a new adventure), I was talked into joining up those dreaded new aged dating apps/websites.  I’ll tell you, the idea of it at first sounds pretty fun, but then when you get into it you realize just how crazy things can get.  For example, on one of them, I am constantly bombarded with pornographic pictures for profile pics with these companies not even trying to hide the fact that it’s porn.  On another, they are a bit sneakier about their bad intentions, but I can sniff these fake profiles out from miles away.  And on the last one, that seems to be the most legitimate, even after verifying my authenticity, I find it to be a personal ghost town.  Wait; let me backtrack a little bit there.  When I boil everything down, all 3 are personal ghost towns which therefore affirms the fact that maybe I missed the calling to be a priest.  I say that half-jokingly because a lot of people have actually told me that I should or should have been a priest.  Anyway, back to the point… yeah… I don’t know what it is, but at first this social experiment brought on by one of my dear friends gave me an ego crushing that I knew was coming but didn’t want to see.  In a 100 or so mile radius, I got nothing.  I was avoided like a black plague.  I was shocked, amused, and saddened all at the same time.

I laugh about it now because it’s been a few weeks since that and still nothing, but it proved the point I had made to myself that I’m unwanted.  I don’t mean that negatively or anything so don’t try to say nice things to cheer me up or anything like that because I honestly feel ok about it all, but the truth is the truth.  The truth.  Heh.  That’s probably the biggest part of the problem there too.  I am very truthful in my profiles.  I put things there on Front Street.  I am a short, fat, traditional Catholic, INFJ introvert, nerdy, comic, musician.  That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.  Why try to say something I’m not?  I know at least being honest in saying all of it.  Not that I was a liar in the past, but I have been making it a point to be honest about everything in my life for a couple of years now.  Why hide stuff, right?  Why omit things?  I find just putting everything out there on front street in my life is the best way to go.  I know said friend told me that maybe I should spice things up or show some different side of me, or something to that effect after I said I struck out swinging, but in a moment of honesty I thought about it and said that there was no other side of me.  What you see is what you get when it comes to me.  I’m generally an even keeled dude who loves to joke around and enjoy life.  I’m serious about the things to be serious about (which is pretty much my relationship with God), but otherwise it’s jokes and taking it easy.  Why be wound up and stressed out over things, right?

So, with all that said, I’m going to take myself out on a dinner and a movie date tonight to break up my hospital cabin fever frustration (long story) and keep on doing my thing.  I’ll try and write more here, much to the chagrin of a few of my best friends, and continue down this path that God has set forth for me.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy St. Valentine’s Day, and Happy St. Patrick’s day to everybody out there!

Ragrets and The End

I’ve had a lot of strange moments in my life lately.  Mainly, they have all been brought to my attention thanks to my continuing chronological journey through Star Trek.  Here’s an example.  This is going to sound morbid, but I don’t mean it this way… BUT!  Has it ever crossed your mind, or have you actually done a goodbye video in the event of your death?  What brought this about was the death of a main character in season 1 of The Next Generation. The rest of the main cast goes to the holodeck where they are greeted by a hologram of the recently deceased giving a goodbye message.  I thought this was the coolest thing ever.  Now, I have seen about 88% of the episodes of TNG, this one included, but this time around I’m really paying attention and that scene struck a chord with me.  I started to think about it and I think that would be the thing that I would want to do.  Actually, I’d make two videos.  I’d make one for the people organizing my visitation/Rosary/Funeral making sure that they dressed me up in the tie I’d like to wear, make sure that they don’t have the Requiem Mass anywhere else but my FSSP parish and offered by one of the FSSP priests, and to make sure that the people I happened to mention in the second video would be present for said video if I did blast some names out.  THEN I’d go ahead with the goodbye video.  I think that would solve a lot of problems.  Gone would be the “In according to what we believe his wishes very well may have been…” business, it would be put right there on front street what I’d want.  Now, I know funeral planning and prepaying is a thing already, but I would like to add the personal touch of a video.  Some co-workers and I talked about that today and I was hoping they wouldn’t take it that I was morbid, but thankfully they fully understood what I was saying.  It’s not a bad thing to give at least a few passing thoughts about the end of the line here on this planet.  I know the important thing is to prepare for the next life after this one, but not dwell on it too much.

That quick conversation with the co-workers of mine brought another thought to me.  Regrets.  I know that’s a big word and people have even inked “No Ragrets” on their bodies and many a song have been written about not living wondering what could have been, etc., but if I’m being honest with myself, I have to say that not only do I have general regrets, but I regret the things that I think I could have achieved in my life through no fault of my own or my family.  Let me explain.  As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of NASCAR, and I enjoy other forms of racing as well, but for me stock car racing is where it’s at.  With that said, every time I’ve been in the informal positions of racing, I’ve always dominated it.  My hand and foot coordination has always been on point and as my pops and sister can attest and I’ve always been a natural driver.  Sadly, west Texas isn’t the most ideal place to get a racing career off the ground.  The way I understand it anyway is that most of the drivers that are climbing up the ranks of NASCAR have invested upwards of $200,000 to just have the chance at making it.  I know my mom (rest in peace) and dad love me and would do anything for me (within reason), but I wouldn’t allow them to find ways to help me get that insane amount of money together to chase a dream.  That’s just crazy.

Another dream that comes to mind is what is still a delusion of grandeur of sorts.  I think if I had the means and the effort put forth back in the day, I think I would have made it in the music business and made a career of it.  Don’t get me wrong, some mini versions of these dreams have come to pass.  In the two bands I’ve been in, I’ve played for crowds in the hundreds (yay me, right?), I’ve played mostly all the genres of music I’ve enjoyed sans jazz and hard rock/heavy metal, and I’ve recorded two albums to date.  That’s pretty good, I’d like to think!  BUT, there’s always that dream of being discovered, signed to a major label contract, and going on tour playing 20,000 seat arenas, and writing and recording music the way I’d want to with all the time needed in the studio to make my vision a reality.  Who knows, maybe it could happen.  Getting back out there and gigging at different places and continuing to write music needs to happen first.  Heh.

Point is, I do think of these “what if” scenarios often.  Well, maybe often is not the right word because it’s not like I live in the past questioning every step I’ve taken, but there are those occasional thoughts of “Damn.  I think I’m pretty good at ____.  I should have pursued that in my youth.  *sigh* Oh well.”  Things, in the end, are meant to happen the way they happen.  I’m a firm believer in God’s plan.  He knows what’s up.  I’m at where I am in the entirety of my life with reason and purpose that He knows.  It’s not my place to question it.