Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Getting Any Younger

My oldest nephew, Brian, just turned 36, and he and his wife, Jen, are expecting their first child within weeks. My next to youngest niece, Melanie, and her husband, Josh, are also expecting their first child within weeks. Gonna be a grand-uncle. Geez, that sounds old. I have no blood offspring (that I'm aware of). So, I live vicariously through my nieces and nephews and step-son. Ahh, to be 35 again ..

Wait! Been there, done that. "Repeat to myself ... live in the present, live in the present". Okay, so what. I can still fantasize about the changes I would've made and things I would've or would not have done, if I knew then what I know now. Now that I think about it, there would be way too many things and circumstances to have to consider, not to mention the "butterfly effect". One can only imagine the impact of changing one thing going forward. Since, I'm not in prison right now, I don't think I would change anything after all. Hmm, that just gave me an idea. Not the prison thing, but the "butterfly effect". Let me flutter a bit on that.

I need to submit my resume to some more companies for job opportunities in this down economy. I think the economy is hurting a smaller percentage of people than we think. Everywhere I go, people are still spending money. They also drive as if gasoline was 50cents a gallon. Of course, the closer to home it gets, the more likely the impact of this down economy will be apparent. I'm confident I will find an opportunity sooner than expected. Likewise for Deb, as she plans and prepares for the finalization and end of her job. We've both been in worse "dire straits".

Friday, February 13, 2009

V-Day is here

Seems just yesterday that it was Christmas. Gift time again. I don't usually get much from the spouse on Valentine's Day. It is, by all commercial intent, predominantly for the ladies. Nevertheless, I always enjoy the participation, as I find gift giving a challenge, not a chore. I do get a kick out of surprised and appreciative looks and everything else that comes along with it.

Now my brother is a different story, especially when it comes to his nearest blood relatives (not counting his only child), go figure. He probably finds more enjoyment giving to his in-laws than his own siblings (not that we hold it against him because we don't). For him, it is a hassle, as far as I can tell. I remember one Christmas, when we were still in high school, I hadn't gotten him anything, so I gave him $20. He said, "Here's my gift to you" and handed the $20 bill back to me. That, in a nutshell, should've told me what he thought about all of that back then.

So, I just made a trip to our favorite "Fresh Market" store and loaded up for a nice home dinner, a little surf-n-turf, some wine and extras. No since in trying to get into a restaurant this late in the game, although McDonald's service is pretty quick (NOT). The wife doesn't do fast food, only as a last resort and when there is not a Subway within 50 miles.

My stomach virus is almost gone. Got in some golf practice, too. Lost 5-6 pounds this past week because I didn't have an appetite. Maybe I can keep it at this level now, as I wanted to shed those pounds anyway somehow. A bit closer to my high school weight.

Going to enjoy Valentine's Day. Also, will enjoy the long weekend with President's Day coming up, too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wide Awake Again

Can't get to sleep again. It's becoming a habit. So is taking benedryl to make me sleep. Sheepishly, I say, "Oh, I can quit any time". Exchanged a couple of emails with an old high school friend. Haven't seen him since he graduated. The past memories makes one realize how lucky one can be. They say success means different things to different people. I agree ... to me, success means staying out prison. If you're alive and well, why worry. Oversimplication, you say! Maybe, but sometimes the present is all that matters.

Trying to get over a stomach virus that hit me on Monday out of the blue. Not a delightful condition to have. I don't recall ever having a stomach virus before, but I know I've had worse. Since the symptons were familiar to a more serious condition I encountered 3-1/2 years ago, I went to my primary care doctor, just in case. It is a stomach virus .. it's been going around. I'm not sure how one catches it, but I guess the Gasparilla party in south Tampa may have been the source. Could've been the food or the drunk people slobbering on everyone. Hopefully, I'll be over it by tomorrow, cause I want to work on the golf game and play a round this weekend.

Kick in, Benedryl, kick in .. still waiting. No yawning, yet. Maybe, I'll just watch tv.
YAWNNN .. spoke to soon. Now, if I can get my cat to stop chasing bottle caps across the tile floor, I may be able to get some sleep.

Monday, February 9, 2009

jammin' by myself

I still have visions of being a rock star. There is no fear of messing up, when you're jamming by one's self. You screw up, and just start over or not. I hear the foo-pa, but don't care that much. I live in a world without pressure, except that which I place on my own self. The pressure from others is only what you allow ... stay in control.

Now trying to learn the main 'riffs' to 'Hotel California' takes some work. I started it once and only got through about the first 3 measures (or whatever they call it in music). Not being music-literate from a technical standpoint, I play by sight and sound and cheat sheets or guitar tabs (tablatures). These have helped me to learn most of the hard stuff that I picked up, but they still take some work.

Nephew M&M (I tried to nickname him 'Dirty White Boy', but was ignored) got a guitar for Christmas ... learning to play it "right-handed" (he's left-handed), which shouldn't matter since he's a beginner. Learning to play guitar has always been a solitary activity for me. When others are around, it is usually an attempt to jam, which rarely goes well .... let's play this song ... I don't know that song ... show me the chords ... and before too long you're bored with it and stop. I play for myself, and depending upon the number of beers I've had, I might play in front of others.

I think everyone should learn to play some type of musical instrument. Heck, I started with the infamous flutaphone. Played melodies by ear, but then came the guitar and I was hooked. It can be an emotional outlet to a great degree, depending upon your state of mind. I never have given it up, as I try to play every day, when I have the time (of which I have plenty right now). I play the same old tunes, but occasionally, I will remember something that I hadn't played in years.

I finally learned how to tune a guitar to a different key, just to play one song. It definitely sounds better than trying to convert it to another key. 'She talks to Angels' is pretty easy, if you tune the guitar to 'open E' instead of standard tuning.

Blah, blah, blah.
I'm a Pickin' and I'm a grinnin' ... hee, haw!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I suck at golf

I suck at golf. Well, sometimes. Let me rephrase ... a lot. My worst rounds seem to out number my average and best rounds. It's easy to say, "I just need to practice more". But then you realize that it means, more precisely, practice driving, practice fairway woods, hybrids and medium iron shots from different terrain (like the rough and the woods, not just the fairway .. by the way, if you can't drive consistently, you won't be in the fairway much), practice your long and half pitch shots, long and short chipping and long breaking putts, not to mention trying to hole 98% of your short putts from 6 feet and shorter. Get the picture? Seems like a lot of practice and too little time to play or better yet, to work and earn money so that you can play often on real courses without having to compromise with your other time and expenses. It is a vicious cycle.

So, why keep playing?
I was bitten by the golf bug many years ago and I have not gotten over the 'fever'. It can be a simple game, yet extremely difficult at times, especially for the average golfer like myself. Ok, I really don't consider myself average, because my score average is lower than the national average of 95. I've been averaging around 90 for the past two years. But they say 'Par for the course' is more like 71 and 72, depending upon the course. So, should I be shooting in the 70's? Should and can are miles apart right now. At least, that is what my ultimate goal for this game is. To shoot sub-par rounds would be a fluke for me and I don't need that kind of pressure, not for just playing golf for nothing other than recreation.

Yes, I suck at golf, but I love the game. I guess for me, it's the journey not the destination.