Archive for December, 2011

WordPress 2011 In Review

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2011

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Almost there.

I noticed that several colleagues of mine who live in other countries have begun to wish everyone a happy new year. But for myself, 2012 is still several hours away.

And as extremely taxing and difficult as 2011 has been for me, I can honestly say that there’s been a whole lot of good that I could possibly reflect upon.

I started this blog back in February. Hoping to use it as a tool of releasing frustration, confusion, and overall make it an outpouring of negativity to get it out of my system based on some events that were just plain awful. Naturally, the tone to a majority of the posts would change. And today, I’ve accumulated nearly 200 posts. And I’ve had over 6,000 views to my blog. I am quite proud of that. I enjoy writing in this blog and I do see myself continuing to write.

I’ve made some new connections with people. Acquired several new acquaintances. And even walked away with my head held high from the bad ones.

I’ve made new friends. And friends I’ve had before, have become closer friends. And what is even more endearing is the fact that some of them who had been already close to me, I now cannot fathom life without them. To remotely think about it, makes me cry.

I’ve met in person many wonderful people! I came away with some memories that I will never forget!! And in others, I’ve crossed the lines, shattered the boundaries, and still came out squeaky clean on the other side.

I’ve received so much support from others. More than I would have ever been able to imagine. And I am grateful for that, and for them.

I’ve been given so much help in my hour of need to the point where I probably would never be able to thank them enough or repay them. But knowing that “thank you” was just enough caused me to learn that there are some people still left in this world who genuinely do care for me.

I keep making progress in sledge hockey, even though I was not able to finish out last season due to illness and the fact of the matter is that this season has barely gotten off the ground.

I know that I have repeated myself time and time again about how desperately I wanted to get away from 2011, but I feel that there’s so much more to be thankful for that did happen this year. Many blessings were bestowed.

And I look forward to advancing in 2012 with the hope and faith that regardless of the low-times of this year, which were plentiful, I can stand tall and push forward towards a better year, with all of the lessons and experiences to take with me as I learn. And leaving behind the bitterness, sadness, and things that would drag me down so heavily.

May we all learn our lessons both from the good and the bad of this year and apply them to better living in 2012.

To those who have played such a pivotal role in my life, I want to say thank you and .. I love you!!

 

 

 

“But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year old habits.”~ Andre Gide

2011 is almost over. I’ve said it once before, I’ll say it again: I am so glad! I am ready to get to the year of 2012 and start over.

A fresh start and a fresh outlook that is more positive than ever is what I want to be aiming for!

Now comes the time where people are starting to think about their New Year’s Resolutions. What it is that they want to change about themselves in the coming new year.

I was reading the blog of author Leigh K. Hunt, and she had actually opened my eyes when it came to the whole idea of having to make “resolutions”.

“Make GOALS, not resolutions.” she says.

http://parchmentplace.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/hopes-and-dreams/

Suddenly it became clear to me. I think that making goals works far better than a resolution. With a goal, you have a set end date, your own personal deadline to achieve whatever it is that you want to do (or stop doing what you do not want to do.)

You always hear the same resolutions over and over again. I think the top New Years Resolutions are to lose weight, stop smoking, and excercise more often. Some of us make it, most of us fail horribly no matter what the resolution.

It comes down to whether or not you have the true deep down desire to do what it is you want to do in the following new year. Sticking with it also helps you become successful. So many of us (including myself) often don’t stick to our plans and then by mid-January, our lists of resolutions are thrown into the garbage.

Setting goals in the proper manner will actually allow us to be successful. Setting a goal and then not following up with it doesn’t work at all.

Example: If you want to stop smoking– then set a date. Say to yourself “I want to be stop smoking completely by ________ .” Then you have something to really work hard for. And all of that hard work will be worth it when you are rewarded with accomplishing that goal.

Sensible goals also come into play. I’ve written about that in a previous blog post.

Who knows what friends and family will make as their resolutions come the final day of 2011. But if you are not serious about it, you’re just wasting your breath and time as the clock begins to get closer and closer to midnight on the 31st.

For myself, I will no longer mention about resolutions. But instead I will talk about goals.

In the past few years, whenever I noticed someone who had broken their resolution, and I asked them about it, their response was always the same:

“Resolutions are meant to be broken.”

If that is true then why bother making them at all? Unless you are dealing with someone with a wonky sense of humor who claims that their New Years Resolution is to never make any more New Years Resolutions.

So as we get closer and closer to the new days of 2012, I hope that all will be safe as they celebrate the ringing in of the new year. Have fun, but be safe.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

Having That New Year's Kiss

“I do not want to be anyone’s obligation. I’d much prefer to be someone’s option rather than their obligation. To be someone’s obligation means that they are feeling forced to deal with you.  When you are feeling compelled or forced to do something, eventually it will grow old and you will become tired of it and not want to do it any more. And that is far worse than having someone make the conscious choice to do so from their own free will, because being the option means that they’ve made that choice.” ~ P.T.

I find myself sometimes very fortunate to have deep meaningful conversations with people one would least likely believe would come from. Mainly those who are in the professional fields, and I am someone whom they are working with.

But this conversation about “option vs. obligation” was rather interesting to the point that I really did agree with them. The basis of this conversation was the whole idea of people’s social interactions with others. Whether it be a pleasant telephone conversation or meeting for lunch somewhere or whatever it may be. And the bottom line was that there’s a vast difference between an obligation and being an option.

To be someone’s social obligation, means that you are feeling very compelled and responsible for socially interacting with someone. You do it, because you feel that you have to. But the obligation will eventually become a drag, and after a while of doing what you do to socially interact with that person, you’ll began to feel bitter and negative about it “because YOU HAVE TO” and far less because you WANT to.

Being someone’s social option, it was agreed upon, is far better. Nobody honestly owes us anything in life. Instead people take the option because they make the choice to do it. They choose to give you a call or go out to lunch… why? Because they truly want to! And not because they feel that they have to.

So the conversation ended with the desire to be the social option. Because people are going to socially interact with you because they WANT to. And they’ve made that decision of their own free will.

A lot of us crave social interaction. Some need it more than others. And even still, others will get it in any way that they can. But it is a necessity in life (to a degree).

I would not want anyone to call me, or hang out with me because they felt that they had to. I’d much prefer that they do so, because they genuinely want to. So I too, prefer to be the option instead of the obligation.

I would not want anyone to socially interact with me time and time and time again, in order to keep a social flow when they honestly don’t want to be doing it. Because then eventually, it will collapse and fail, and they will make the choice to stop interacting.

I know that on the Internet, there’s a quote that constantly pops up:

“Do not make someone a priority when they’ve only made you an option.”

Yes, I agree with that as well. Mainly because I translate it as “Don’t spend so much time on someone, who isn’t willing to spend just as much time in return.” But being the option is not so bad once you realize that people are actually doing something with you because they honestly like you and enjoy interacting with you, rather than feeling that they have to.

If they call you, great. If they don’t? Too bad, its their loss.

If they want to go to the movies with you or go shopping or something, well then that’s awesome! But if they do such activities because they feel that they are in debt: well then eventually their minds will change at some point in time in the future and they will believe that their debt has now been paid in full, and no longer interact.

Everyone makes choices. Allow others to make their choice to hang out with you. Never force their interactions with you, otherwise they will just be filled with regret in the long run.

 

 

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45817406/ns/today-today_people/t/man-divorcing-wife-years-over-affair-s/

A 99 year old Italian man is seeking divorce from his 96 year old wife, after 77 years of marriage. I could not believe the story when I read it!

After finding letters from a lover that was written to his wife over 50 years ago, the husband suspected an affair. The wife ultimately admitted to the affair- which happened in the 1940’s!!!

Understandably angry, the husband is now filing for divorce.

Whiskey-tango-foxtrot, over??

I get that he is angry. I get that he was betrayed by the woman he married. I get that he is hurt and his aging heart might be broken and what not. But 77 years together?? What in the world was their marriage like one year ago, ten years ago???

I don’t get this move. I think that they are both freakin’ lucky that when he found out the truth that he did not suffer cardiac arrest. Or worse.

What in the world are the two of them going to do now? And how do the split up everything? Who’s insurance gets to pay for the nursing home? Who’s retirement gets to pay for medical bills? It’s all so confusing.

And from reading the above article, what kind of is fascinating to me is that they have one great-great-grandchild. That’s a lot of greats!! The family lineage is strong and the family tree has many branches.

I wonder what this Italian family is going to do for holidays, birthdays, and other special events in 2012?

Insanity!!

So now this 99 year old man will be single again. The only thing that I can do is wish him well as he jumps back into the dating pool. But I really believe that for his age group, it’s pretty damned shallow!!

Good luck. But I don’t think e-Harmony, OKCupid, and other dating websites have a “70 and older” category for their members. It’s going to suck for him. And not in a good way either.

And the poor wife. Cheating on him so very long ago. People make very stupid decisions. And I guess that she is feeling somewhat relieved that she no longer has to carry this secret with her any longer, now that she admitted to her husband that she did have the affair.

I’m not sure as to why the husband cannot forgive her. MY GUESS is that the lover is probably no longer living. But, I don’t know that for sure.

77 years of matrimony, gone in one day.

Hello Guiness Book of World’s Stupidest Things That People Do? Yes, I’d like to submit an entry for your next publication.

 

 

‘Like- Merry Christmas, and stuff!’

“Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!!”~ Randy Quaid as ‘Cousin Eddie’ in “Christmas Vacation” [1989]

 
Okay so I’ll write the disclaimer now. This blog post is not for two sets of people:
 
  • Those who still believe in Santa Claus.
  • Those who have a weak stomach.
 
But for the rest of us, I will share with you the top moments of Christmas from my own youth. There is some humor in it, if you can find it.
 
Growing up in a large family, myself being the third child out of four. Yep, I’m a middle child. Christmas was a bit rough when it came to buying Christmas gifts for everyone. Each one of us would spend time in the bedroom of our parents to wrap the gifts, place bows on them, and fill out those silly little Christmas TO/FROM: tags and place them on the present to each member of the family.
 
When it was my turn, my father was running out of time to help as he had other things to do, so instead of “helping me” wrap gifts, he wrapped them and then I would write out the TO/FROM: tags and then I would place them under the Christmas tree.
 
Finding just the right one was difficult. Or it could have been that I was just being difficult because I could never really choose which one I wanted to put on each present. I would go through many tags and then finally take the stickers off the paper and then place them on the present.
 
After the first one, I wrote “FROM: Santa Claus”. That went by unnoticed. The second gift however, was not so lucky in getting by passed by my father.
 
He noticed that I had written “Santa Claus” on two different gifts. It was a figure that was not celebrated in my youth. Before I knew it, the present was thrown back into my lap and then the authorative voice of my father booming out, “What’s this??”.
 
The moment I said the word “Santa”, I felt the full parental authority come down on me as I got my butt kicked. I went through a five minute lecture as to WHY we did not celebrate Santa Claus and was told to do the tags over again.
 
But it wasn’t over.
 
My mother heard the shouting and came into the bedroom to see what was going on. When she heard what I had done… well, I got it from her too. I would go on to say that if I or my siblings were disciplined by BOTH parents, that I would call it “Frequent Flyer Miles”. One parental backhand would send me sailing into the reach of the other parent and then I would be returned back to where I was standing by way of ANOTHER disciplinary action by the second parent.
 
It probably sounds a lot worse than what I am writing it out to be. There was no “time out” back then as a form of discipline. When you got in trouble– you got it from your parents!!
 
But that year, I received a BONUS Christmas gift from my parents, that came a few days early by way of discipline. I would never dare mention or write the name of the jolly old elf again in the house. EVER. And it began my own belief system that there probably was no such thing as Santa Claus. But I would never go and ruin it for the other children who believed.
 
But the other story has a lot more humor to it than the first:
 
The memory is a bit vague as I was probably about four or five years old. But the day of Christmas Eve, I was with my mother and my younger brother inside a crowded shopping mall. The odd thing about it was that my brother and I were both sick from the day before with what would only turn out to be the 24-hour flu, because by the time Christmas Day arrived, we were fine. We were getting to feel better, but we weren’t out of the woods. But my mother couldn’t leave us in the house alone, we HAD to go with her.
 
Over and over again, we would pass by Santa’s little corner. It was the place where children could go visit Santa Claus and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. My brother and I pestered my poor mother to go get in line and tell him what we wanted. But my mother would refuse each time. Until we finally just wore her down and she gave in.
 
The mall was about to close, the line was a mile long in front as it was behind us when we stepped in line. Many parents who had seen that I was a disabled child, allowed my mother to cut in line to get to see Santa Claus a lot sooner.
 
For those of you who have seen A Christmas Story, it was very similar to the part in the film where Ralphie and his kid brother were in the back of the line and panic set in with Ralphie because he did not think that he would get there in time to tell Santa Claus what he wanted for Christmas.
 
My brother went first. He began to tell this man in a red suit and a white beard which had happened to be real, what he wanted for Christmas.
 
Suddenly, my brother stopped talking. The poor mall Santa wondered what was going on.
 
In a flash, my brother opened his mouth and proceeded to projectile vomit all over the place. That flu had gripped on to my brother and made its presence still known. It went everywhere! Stuck in his beard, down the front of his red suit.
 
The poor man removed my brother off of his lap and tried to take everything in stride. He was handed a towel before I was next to be sat upon his lap. My mother on standby in case my balance was thrown off. 
 
The bastard that was portraying the happiest and most jolly of elves began to grumble to me about the “little brat that threw up on him”. That “little brat” was my little brother! It didn’t please me so much that this person who was supposed to be so uplifting and a positive thing for children was calling my brother names.
 
I think that my body was ready to stand up to Kringle, and fight. As I was situated on his lap so that I would not fall, my body began to churn. I didn’t even get as far as to tell this so-called Christmas “go-to guy” what my first name was before I too…. had given him a baptism by vomit. And not only that. Everything that did not come out from the top, exited my body from below.
 
Santa Claus was given the double dose of vomit and diarrhea. This guy, whomever he was.. was covered in puke and shit. From his beard to his boot, he was NOT covered it soot. That’s for sure!
 
But you know what?!? Give me a break.. I was a child.
 
The Santa Claus began to scream obscenities in front of everyone. Clearly he was pissed off. I cannot say now that I blame him. And he closed up for the day. He was done and he left the mall, trying to dignify himself by “ho-ho-ho”-ing as he walked away covered in body debris. Those parents who had allowed us to cut in front of them probably regretted it. The long line behind us would not get a chance to plop their children on Santa’s lap that year. Unless they went to another shopping mall before it too, had closed.
 
I was covered with it too. Such embarrassment for a child to have crapped his pants and had to walk in it until we got into the car in the large mall parking lot, where luckily my mother had packed extra clothes for me and my brother and we did the best we could to change clothes and clean up in the back seat of the Matador station wagon.
 
But hey, as an adult? That story is funny as hell!!!
 
Gross and disgusting, but funny. After my teen years, I began to wonder if that guy ever was hired again to be a mall Santa. Or even if he dared to take the job after what my brother and I had done to him.
 
I think that though we all have our memorable Christmases. Some of us have received lavished gifts, others getting engaged or married around the holidays. And whatever else that could only happen during what seems to be the miraculous season of Christmas.
 
Some are heart-warming. Others (like mine) have humor to it. But give thanks that we can spend time with our loved ones and family during this time of the year. Some people don’t have anywhere to go this year. I’ve gone through that too, many times in the past decade or so.
 
So be sure to reflect and smile on YOUR special Christmas memories. And may THIS year bring even brighter and better memories to you and your family.
 
I am sure that since people have been receiving gifts early this year, that they will have no problem in sharing what they’ve received ON Christmas Day. Be sure to comment and share what you receive this year and what makes Christmas time such a special time for you. Yes, I would love to know.
 
To my subscribers, friends, family, and dear ones close to me: I love you. Merry Christmas!!

“May your days be merry and bright!!”.

 

“We’re kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.”~ Chevy Chase as ‘Clark’ in “Christmas Vacation” [1989]

It’s Christmas Eve. At least for most. Christmas Day is several hours away and we gather with family and friends to celebrate in love and harmony, not to mention in pride and avarice (for others).

Each family who celebrates Christmas throughout the world has their own holiday traditions. I know that growing up, my family sure did. But after having those traditions for many, many years- it is sometimes difficult to realize that others do not do the same thing as I have done for most of my life.

Growing up, my family did our Christmas celebrating and the opening of gifts and presents on the evening of Christmas Eve. For many years I just thought that was how it was done. Until I was much older and realized that the only reason why my parents decided to open presents on Christmas Eve, was because of the fact that my sister’s birthday is the 26th of December.

So many Decembers gone by, and I could never figure out why other neighborhood children had only had their toys and gifts for an hour or so when me and my siblings had ours freshly unwrapped overnight. I would learn after the age of ten or so why that was.

Most of my life though, and even into adulthood, I would open up Christmas presents on the 24th of December………. except for one year.

On the 24th of December in the year of 1982, our family stayed at home instead of attending Christmas Eve services. My father would go on without us and then return home. Meanwhile, a thunderstorm came through and by the time we had heard the garage door opening, signifying that my father was home and “Christmas” would begin, my younger sibling ran out the front door to greet him in the pouring rain. At that moment when the front door was opening, the tornado sirens began to wail.

Christmas was not going to happen for several hours later as the F4 tornado ripped through in the middle of the night. Two days later (on my sister’s birthday that year) we had twelve inches of snow. Go figure.

That year, so memorable. Opening gifts and drinking tiny glasses of egg nog well after midnight and practically falling asleep on the floor amongst the disaster area of torn and shredded Christmas wrapping paper and emptied out toy boxes and packages.

Christmas traditions vary worldwide as well. Not just from American family to family. Some have already opened gifts and presents. When I was studying German in school, we learned about something called “Saint Nikolas Tag” (St. Nicholas Day). That was the time when many children would open gifts and presents. Of course in Germany, they do celebrate Christmas on the traditional days of 24th and 25th, and even on the 26th. But what we learned, Saint Nikolas Tag was the day that the German version of Santa Claus would visit and bring gifts for the children.

Now as an adult, now that I am an uncle; things have changed a little bit. My niece and nephews will most likely be opening gifts tomorrow morning as many children will in this country.

But I really don’t believe that it matters all that much on WHAT DAY we open our gifts and presents for the Christmas holiday. It’s more towards what the real meaning of Christmas is about. And being with family and loved ones.

And that’s just me.

For those of you reading this blog post, and celebrate Christmas– MERRY CHRISTMAS. May your holidays be full of love & joy.