Monday, January 23, 2006

Following my wife's lead (for once!)

So Season's latest post about music and memories also got me thinking. I just thought I'd put down some of my musical associations, except, they're all by album, rather than individual songs. Here we go!

1.) One of the strongest associations I have is DMB's "Under the Table and Dreaming." Without fail it always makes me think back to right before my first girlfriend and I started dating. Some music associations come and go, but not this.

2.) Ozzy Osbourne's "No More Tears" and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. This is a strange pairing, I know, but it was in my "Discman" while I was driving through MVNP with my parents. That was so long ago, I bought that album in a "long-box," remember those?

3.) Hum's "You'd Prefer and Astronaut" and Soul Asylum's "Let Your Dim Light Shine" make me think of when I was in Alaska. I actually bought Hum at a Musicland up there. I was like "hey, how does a band from Champaign, IL get a CD in Alaska?!"

4.) Better Than Ezra's "Deluxe" takes me back to Germany. Coincidentally that was the same summer I was in Alaska. Three very different bands I was totally into in the same summer I guess!

5.) Metallica's "...And Justice For All" goes way back to junior high and sleep overs with my best friend, Nick.


Those are probably the "Big 5" for me. There are so many more, I just can't think of them right now. But they hit me when they come on. And what's best, is when you've forgotten all about that memory until the song starts playing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Holidays, the black-hole of time.

It's true, don't you think? Time just seems to stop every year around the 15th-20th of December and doesn't resume until at least a few days into the next year. I've always wondered what would happen if something truly epic, of national or even international importance, happened during this "dead" time. Would anyone notice? Would the media respond or trot along with their previously scheduled holiday "foof?" It's a bizarre time of year because so much happens, but yet so little.

As I'm writing this, I was planning on ranting about this observation I've made but I'm actually realizing that it's somewhat of a good thing. In this 3-4 week period of time the world does stop, because everyone turns inward to family, close friends, and people you don't know well enough anymore. It's the one time of year where people focus soley on those closest to them and the outside world doesn't matter. I guess that the magic of the season.

You philantropists out there will greatly disagree with me and say that this time of year is when we need to think of others the most. I do agree that the needy must get the best of the "Spirit of the Season," they're just as entitled as the rest of us. You're definately correct, but in the end, the season comes back your closest loved ones. Even if you are out there contributing to the greater good you're still focussing your attention.

The point is...the world seems to shut down, and I like that. Sure, I feel a little disconnected right now, but it was a nice respite.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Nothing brings a family together like a greasy pizza.

It's been 8 years since my mother's family has gotten together to celebrate Christmas. Other than the occasional wedding, there's been no other time for years that she's gotten together with her brothers and sister. She has one brother who she's close to, but that still leaves three other siblings that, quite frankly, might as well not exist. That sounds harsh, but sometimes I feel like I have no extended family.

What's worse is that this isn't simply a case of families drifting apart and growing up. My Mom phrased it as "dirty laundry" that keeps her family from having any sort of normal existance. To put it bluntly, my mom and her siblings had a pretty bad childhood, and my mom actually had it worse than anyone else. To give you some idea, my uncle (who is close to my mom), went to my grandfather's grave shortly after he died, spit on it, and said "I'll never be like you." That's pretty harsh when your father makes you say that about him. It's been within the past few years that I've really come to understand what divides my mother's family. As a child I thought her family wasn't close simply because they annoyed each other. But no I understand the really tension.

It's so sad. One, to know what my mother went through breaks my heart and fills me with rage all at the same time. I grew up being sorry I never met my one grandfather, now, knowing the truth, in a way I'm thankful that he died before I was born. Two, it's sad that my mother's family is so torn and they all don't even have the whole story. It's probably true that bringing out the truth would most likely do more harm than good, but I can't stop feeling like it's what everyone deserves. Three, it's sad that I almost feel closer to my wife's extended family than my own, eveen though an ocean divides us. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good thing that I've connectted with her family, but I look at them my almost jealous eyes and wonder why I can't have that same relationship with people less than an hour away.

I suppose in a way this has helped my mother become more focussed on the immediate family and on her children. I have a great mom. She has given my sisters and I so much love. I'm truly very lucky.

I'm a little lost. I don't when people don't have the entire story. I want to go up the my uncles and aunt and just be like "HEY! THIS is why you all don't get along!" And my utopian vision then shows my mother's family all going "OH! That explains so much! We understand now that we grew up in a horrible household with a terrible father and we can come to terms with that together as a family." But realistically, the space would grow even larger between them if I did that (and it would terribly upset my mother). So I'm left looking at my uncles and aunt feeling as though I have nothing to say to them because they don't know everything, so therefore, cannot possibly understand who I am and who my family is. It's a terrible feeling. I suppose I should just push it down into my soul and just be willing to make the usual mindless small-talk with them that all other extended families do this time of year.

If you're close to your aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., I envy you. Make the most of your relationships this holiday season and into the new year. And if you know how to deal with a skeleton in the closet, let me know.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Yule-Tide Thoughts

This is my ninth Christmas with Eddie Bauer! The company's been good to me and I can't complain about having a good job. It does take something out of Christmas though and dampens my spirit. I get the first hand look at the "ugly" side of the season. Droves of people buying things for other people not out of desire, but out of expectation. Impatience runs through the mall like the plague. Everyday I'm reminded that a lot of people don't really absorb the true meaning of the season. It breaks my spirit. Not to mention the long hours and near impossibility of making plans with family and friends. I've learned to do what I can and make the best out of the Christmas season. At least I know what I'm celebrating and know that it doesn't truly matter how I celebrate it.

So I wish anyone who reads this a joyous Christmas season. No matter how crammed your schedule is or how tight your pocketbook might be, make the best of it. Spend as much time with your loved ones as possible. Eat until your pants burst, and welcome in 2006 with a killer hangover.

I hate old people.

Not really, old people can be great, and old is relative, it's just the last thing my boss said to me before he left for the day. In retail this time of year, you have to move at a pace, and if you're not moving fast enough, or one of your employees or a customer even, then it throws everything off! My boss is a riot! Though we make better friend than we do coworkers I think.

So, don't think my Blog is psychotic (speaking mainly concerning my "description".) It really does mean something, and I'm sure someone out there has figured it out. Yes, I will succeed. Beer WILL grow on trees!

Posted by PicasaHow a sophisticated man eats his pineapple.

Uh, where am I?

This world of "blogging" is strange and unusual. "It's blog, blog, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood. It's blog, blog, better than bad, it's good!" Tell me where that comes from and I will tell you that you rule!
Anywho! So welcome me to your kingdom of e-journalling! And know that it is not by pressure from wife or friend, but by my own volition that I have joined your virtual club. With that I bid you all good day and good blogging.

P.S. The snow has slowed sprouting of the beer seed. Drat, I'm being to hasty. I must prepare more and be patient. I must research.