Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye 2018

A glass of wine (a glass, a bottle, same difference) my laptop and me

Such is what is happening right now at 12:43 a.m. on December 31, 2018.  There isn't even any music playing in the background.  The thoughts in my head are noisy enough.   What's up bloggies? I trust everyone's Christmas holiday was grand.  Mine was great.  Lots of family time, lots of catching  up with old friends and making new ones time, lots of eating and eating and wait for it, more eating time.  I think I gained 1000lbs!  Santa forgot a few a lot of my things.  Again.  Bastard.  

So here we are, hours away from celebrating a brand spanking, never before used, year.  Out with the old and in with the new.  Buh-bye 2018 and hello 2019!  We've been expecting you.  I don't know about you, but I for one, am glad to see 2018 go. (no offense 2018)  I'm eager for new beginnings and hopeful for what is to come.  Aren't you?

But hey, I'm getting ahead of time here.  We're still in 2018 so let me reflect on it for a little bit longer, yes? 

This year taught me things like, realizing that the only person I can truly count on is myself.  I learned that we see only what we want to see and convince ourselves that what we see is true, when in fact, deep down in our hearts, we know it's not.  I learned that I am a strong woman (calm down, I don't mean like Popeye strong) that can handle all kinds of situations and still come up standing and that, my friends, is so powerful to me.  I learned to let go of the bullshit that I carried on my shoulders for so long.  I let it go and it's ok.  I'm ok.  Life went on.  I learned to stand up to people who called themselves my friend.  I learned that  I am enough.  For myself, for my friends and family and for any man that is fortunate enough to catch my eye.   I learned that falling apart is not a sign of weakness or failure.  It's a sign of being alive.  Of feeling.   And it only becomes weakness or failure when you stay down, when you don't attempt to get  back up or rise above the burning pit of hell that we put ourselves in.  So yeah, I made mistakes but I didn't sweep them under the rug. I dealt with them and learned/am learning from them.  I crawled and scratched my way back up and got myself back into the land of the living.  That's pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

But you know, the best part of this learning year for me was learning how to love myself.  Putting myself first.  Wanting the best for ME.  Let me tell you something, that alone is so empowering, so uplifting and I feel free.  Yeah I sound corny and maybe even a little annoying but I don't care.  This is how I feel.  Take from it what you will.  That is what I got from 2018.

From my house to yours, may this 2019 be everything you want it to be.  May your bellies be full, your hearts content, your troubles bearable and your sadness fleeting.
Happy New Year friends!  Salud!

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's Storming

Usually, December is the most happiest time of the year.  Usually. This December, however, has been anything but the most happiest time.  I don't even have a Christmas tree up -that's how bad it's been. Because if you are a regular of my blog, you know I channel my inner Buddy the Elf and just enjoy every single minute of Christmas, every year.  But not this one.  In my previous post I wrote about my cousin passing away.  Well, as all that happening, an uncle from my dad's side of the family, suffered two heart-attacks within hours of each other.  Fortunately, the paramedics were quick and were able to save him both times.  They later told our family that he had pretty much died twice.  They were amazed that he was talking  after the first time they brought him back to life.  I went to visit him and almost ran out of the ICU.  That was not my uncle.  But I took a deep breath and walked into the room.  He was awake and alert and talking. Barely.  He smiled when he saw me and I walked up to his bed and gave him a hug.  Actually, because of all the tubes and machines, I kind of just lay my head on his chest briefly.  He took my hand and held it all the while I was there.  I caressed his handsome face and ran my fingers through his hair.  I told him I loved him and he needed to listen to the doctors and nurses, so he could get better.  It was a short visit.  He needed to rest.

I cried all the way home.  Today, my dad called to tell me he is much better, his color is back and he's sitting up and is more animated.  Which is good news.  And he's out of ICU.  Which is great news.  But he's not out of the woods yet.  And so we wait and we pray that everything will work out and he will be able to go home soon.

He's 56 years old.  He's my dad's baby brother.  We grew up together.  He baby-sat my siblings and I.  He's got two awesome grown kids.  And a sister and brother who adore him.  Oh and a first grandchild on the way!  He has everything to live for.

I try not to question why these things happen.  I try to make sense of it by embracing my faith.  But it is so hard to do sometimes.  Actually, it's so hard to do a lot of times.  I have this sadness that I don't know what to do with.  And I am so worried, for him, for my dad, who by the way, is freaking out inside, but on the outside he is doing everything he can to be there for his brother.  My dad is 78 years old and not in the best health either. But you could never tell  by looking at him now.

There has been so much tragedy and just bad news and chaos in our family these past few months.  But December is officially, the worst of all.  It's contagious, this bah-humbug mood that everyone is feeling.  I see it myself, in my siblings and my parents.  My faith taught me that in these most trying and difficult and tragic circumstances, is when we must be most faithful.  I'm trying, but as I said, it's hard sometimes.

If you made it this far, thanks. Really.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

For you, JLL

My cousin died on Friday.  He was forty-seven years old.  He was a twin.  He lived life to the fullest.  He loved and was loved.  I wish I could say more about him.   But we were not close and he always maintained a certain distance between the family.  I do remember that in my early twenties, we would hang out whenever he came to Houston.  He and his immediate family lived in another city.  That version I remember well.  He liked to laugh and tell jokes.  He could be eccentric at times, demure at other times.  He was a talented artist.  A free spirit.

I'm sad to say that I cannot even remember the last time I saw him.  

His death was not unexpected.  But it still took everyone by surprise.  I think we were all hoping beyond hope, that he would beat his illness.  I feel bad for my uncle and my aunt.  I cannot even imagine their pain.

Rest in peace my dear cousin.  You were handsome and had a beautiful smile.  Your light has dimmed here on earth, but I know you will shine bright from above.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

For Myself

I miss her.  I miss my friend.  It's been eight months since we last spoke and it still torments me.  She was my best friend.  My ride or die.  My sister from another mister.  We were friends over ten years.  We met late in life but from the very first day, we had a great connection and commonalities.  We became friends almost instantly.  There was hardly a place one would be without the other.  Always laughing, getting into shenanigans and crazy adventures.

All of that changed the day I decided to stand up for myself. Tired of being manipulated and disrespected and just plain treated like crap, I said, "Enough!" and ended our friendship.  There are days when I have had a lousy day or a fantastic day or have a "date from hell" story, that I automatically reach for my phone and start texting or dialing her number.  But then I remember that we are no longer friends and I stop myself.  And I get so sad.  I feel bad that things went down the way they did.  And I feel bad that I didn't mean enough to her that she didn't try and understand my angst.  Even so, I do not regret what I did.  

This year I learned and continue to learn, a lot about myself and how strong I am.  Even when I think I am not, I surprise myself and realize that I scratch and crawl as hard as I can, to keep going.  And that's pretty amazing for me.  I am most proud of myself for that reason alone.  Sometimes in this chaotic, roller-coaster of a ride, world we live in, we have to do things that are painfully difficult to do.  But no matter how much our hearts may ache, we stand firm and do what we need to do.  And that's what I finally did for me.

I have re-connected with old friends, made new friends, started going to new places.  All on my own. All because I love myself and want to be kinder to me.  And let me tell you, it feels really good.  I've always been the "mother hen" of the bunch.  I take care of everyone else, look out for others and kind of lose track of myself in the process.  But not anymore.  I'm first. I'm important. I matter and  I am so blessed to have people in my life who truly have MY best interest at heart.  No strings.  No ulterior motives.  I harbor no ill will to my friend.  She is a good person and deserves happiness and good things.  It's just, I wish her all of that from a distance now.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

My Heart is Full

A grateful heart.   That's what I have.  For all the problems, personal issues, family drama, work drama that is going on in my life right now, my heart remains grateful.  In a time when people have seemingly lost their ever loving minds, and spewing hate and vitriol seems the norm, I have managed to remain grateful even though it's proven to be a daunting task at times.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Thanksgiving week and  I find it only fitting that I remind myself (maybe even you) of what is truly important and how fortunate, how blessed I am.  But I'm only human.  Sometimes, I get caught up in myself and my world that anything that occurs outside of it, goes unnoticed, or gets noticed but is soon forgotten.  And for that I am so sorry.  Every day I am reminded that life is so fleeting.  This year alone has seen a few of my friends pass away, deal with cancer, deal with divorce.  And I watch the news report on the fires in California and realize that only by the grace of God, I am spared such a tragedy.  I drive around the city and go through a random underpass and see the homeless milling about, their temporary, self-made paper tents  strewn among countless others.  And as I drive away, I thank God that I am not in their circumstance and thank him also for my home and my abundant blessings.  I'm far from perfect and am not a holy-roller.  I am a huge sinner -let's not even pretend that I'm not.  But I  have faith.  Alot of faith.  I rely on that for strength, for sustenance, for everything.  I know that Thanksgiving will come and go and then everyone will be on the Christmas countdown.  But I will try very hard to remain grateful.  To remain humble and to give thanks for all that I have and all that I don't have.  My Catholic faith is a huge part of my life.  But it's not for everyone, I get that.  And that's ok.  Find your strength, your grateful heart and your hope in whatever way works for you.  Because if we don't have that, we don't have anything.

I wish all of you an amazing Thanksgiving.  Lots of turkey and ham and pies.  Hopefully not too much indigestion (heh) but mostly, I wish you love and time well spent with your families, your loved ones, your frenemies and yourselves.  And I ask you to please be kind to one another.  You don't have to like each other, but you could at least be kind to one another.  Be the bigger person.  Politics and party affiliations be damned.  Remember, we're all in this together.

Gobble-gobble everybody!


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Baseball, Astros and Mindless After-hours Jibberish

It's been a long week.  Ever since the Houston Astros clinched the division, it's been a long week.  It's 12:30 a.m. now, so only a few more hours until game time.  Am I excited? Uh, do you even know me??? (if you are a longtime follower, you do)  I'm nervous and excited and anxious for the series against the Boston Red Sox to begin.  It's not that I doubt my team, no that's not it.   Being a long time Astros fan and witnessing season after season of gut-wrenching losses, takes a toll even on the most loyal fan you know? And even though we are still the reigning World Series Champions and have a chance of repeating,  I still think we suffer from PTSD.  No one gets it unless you are from Houston and a fan of any of our sports teams. -Don't get me started. Nonetheless, I'm a die-hard Astros fan and a firm believer that our boys will take this series and then take the prize in the next one. Fingers, toes, eyes crossed.  Ok maybe not the eyes so much.  Heh.  

One of my co-workers is very superstitious.  He is also a super crazed fan of the Astros.  He wore the same socks the entire Cleveland Indians series.  And he says that when the Astros advance to the World Series, he will not shave until the last out of the last game of the series.  Because that's what he did last year and we won.  I didn't go to that extreme.  All I did was sit in the same spot each game. If we were at a bar, I sat at the same table in the same chair.  If we watched at someone's house, I sat in the same position the entire game and drank the same amount of beverages liquor as the night before. Because you know, the outcome of the game was on my shoulders. Ok, reading what I just wrote does sound kind of weird. Perhaps I'm more extreme than I thought?

How about you?  Any superstitions or rituals you have before or during a game?  It doesn't have to be for this series, just in general. Share with me.

I'm super excited and can't wait for the first pitch!  


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Am I In the Twilight Zone?

There's just no other way to say this.  So here it goes: "What the fuck is going on America?"  I mean, really.  What.the.fuck.  It's not a secret to those that know me, that I am not a Donald Trump supporter.  I'm not one to hide my feelings and I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  But lately, I found myself becoming quieter and quieter.  Not giving an opinion on current events.  Not for lack of interest, no.  More for keeping the peace with family and friends alike, even with strangers both in person and behind the computer screen.  But you know, one can only take so much.  One can only stomach so much bullshit before they I explode.  And did I ever.  Of course, I am rambling about the current immigration chaos going on at the borders in our country.  The zero tolerance law that Trump enforced back in April of this year.  The topic that has been played over and over and over and over again on the radio, on the news outlets, on DJT's go to, Twitter and of course, good ol' Facebook.  I was in line at a local grocery store a few days ago and two people in front of me, both were different nationalities, got into a heated discussion about the current president and his administration.  I was behind one of them and I got out of line because those fools were about to go to blows and I, well I wanted no part of it.  That wasn't the ugly part.  Well it was but it got uglier.  How is that possible you ask?  Well, because the others waiting in line, started cheering for one or the other to fight. They were encouraging violence.  Did you get that?  It was like I was in the middle of a street fight gone bad, instead of the local grocery store.  Nothing happened, thankfully.    Security was called and life resumed.  I walked out of the store feeling more dejected than anything.  How is this possible?  How can so much hate be walking amongst us?  Such things happened in the past and lifetimes ago, not now.  Not in 2018.  At least, that's what I kept saying to myself in my head.  It's not just that incident at the grocery store that has me feeling angry and sad and helpless.  It's also the fact that there are so many people in this country who would rather turn their nose at innocent children who are incarcerated in CAGES for gawd sake, than help them or try to speak up for them. Now, I know that some of you out there will vehemently disagree with me.  And that's fine.   That's your right to do so.  We can agree to disagree.   Yet there are others who vehemently oppose my views on this topic and  all hell breaks loose.  Names, ugly and vile names are spewed, insult after insult.  All because we disagree.  You know, I get it.  When it comes to religion, politics and oh hell, anything you feel strongly about, emotions and our passion takes over.  I'm guilty of this as well.  But I won't go toe for toe with you if you are being ugly.  I don't do ugly.  I don't do stupid either.  If you are going to debate me, do so with facts, not memes or videos that may or may not be altered. I like to debate, sometimes I have to eat crow because I am wrong.  Sometimes not.  The thing is, instead of trying to help fellow man, we beat each other up.  Why??? What is the end result of that? I'll tell you what it is, nothing.  That's the result. Nothing. All I know is that I cannot sit back quietly while those kids are out there helpless, in a foreign country (to them), not able to fend for themselves.  I just can't. And so, I become active and attend rallys and protests in efforts to stop the opening of yet another "Baby Shelter".  They want to open one here in my city.  Actually, really close to where I work.  But no way am I going to not do something, anything to try and stop them.  Even if we fail, at least we tried to help.   I've been to three so far.  Protests.  They have been interesting to say the least. And peaceful.  A few crazies among the groups or we're met with opposition from time to time but nothing has gotten out of hand.  Not yet and hopefully not at all.

I'm sick and tired of being called out, sometimes by my own family, for having and voicing an opinion.  I'm tired of being silent.  Of bowing my head whenever something happens.  Over this week and most of last week, I've seen and heard things from so called friends and acquaintances that leave me speechless.  And that's hard to do. -gotta keep the humor going.  I even let myself get caught up in the proverbial Facebook discussion about DJT's abhorrent decision to separate children from their families.  It wasn't pretty, friends.  Not pretty at all.  But because of that so called discussion, I was able to see people's true colors.  Their essence, if you will.  Like I said, it was not pretty.  I quickly removed myself from the situation, but not before damage had been done.  By both sides.  I felt almost dirty afterwards.  As if I had done something terrible.  But, I hadn't.  I just voiced my opinion and came to the defense of the defenseless.  How could that be wrong?

After the last presidential election, I thought to myself, "Surely, this is the worst of the worst."  Well, Surely, was wrong.  -again with lame attempt at humor.  Work with me people.

Now I know, I know we don't live looking out through rose colored glasses -maybe just a few, and we don't walk in harmony all day errday but can we agree that ugly has reared it's disgusting head and has a death grip on us?  If you don't agree with me, that's fine.  Just don't try and convince me that I am on the "wrong" side of the fence with my beliefs.  As I told someone today,  this is still America and I have the right that freedom of speech gives me, to speak my mind, not yours, to be as passionate as I want to be with my beliefs, to stand up to injustice(s) and have differing opinions from yours and at the end of the day, still meet you maybe for a drink or lunch or take in a movie.  Just because we may disagree, does not make us enemies.  Well, theoretically anyway.

Maybe I should have stopped at glass of wine number 1 before I started writing this.  But I'm on glass of wine number 4 and well, you see the end result.

It's been fun kids, until next time.