Shaved my head yesterday to portray Prof X of the X-Men…my fellow teachers are all coming as one of the particular X-Men superhero’s.
So what do you think…Prof X…or more Lex Luthor???
Saturday, I hosted a little bbq in honor of it being my birthday on Sunday, May 4th, which also happens to be the same day which the “Star Wars, may the 4th be with you” is celebrated. Of course I had my pirate flag flying, which my buddy Frank gave to me some years ago, so as to hoist it in good fun for just such occasion. Plus, it makes for a very easy landmark for those who are coming over to the house for the first time.
Sitting in the backyard, surrounded by my friends, with dad ensuring that my fire starting skills are suffice enough so as to get the actual barbecue grill going, made me reflect silently as to how blessed I am to have the good and dear friends and family that I have, those whose presence I was enjoying that day, as well as those who while unable to join the fun, are nevertheless ever dear, cherished and close to my heart.
Two quotes on friendship come to mind as I write. The first by my Confirmation saint, Thomas Aquinas. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Another by Samuel Coleridge, “Love is flower like; friendship is like a sheltering tree.”
It wasn’t long after everyone was sitting around in the backyard, with both food and drinks plenty, that the various stories and anecdotal tales of things that I have said or done over the years started to be told. It wasn’t so much a bbq at that point as more of a classic Dean Martin Roast. Suffice to say, I loved every moment of it.
A little antidotal story I want to share dealt with getting a birthday cake for the bbq. Along with getting everything ready and good to go for the bbq, it dawned on me that I needed to go get a birthday cake, for what would be a birthday party without cake right? So off I went to the neighborhood “mom and pop” bakery.
When asked what I wanted the cake to say, I thought for a moment as to what would be something really fun and unexpected for it to be. I knew in an instance as to what it should be and asked if she could put “Hail Hydra…Not!” She looked at me quizzically, but after I explained the reference to the Captain America: Winter Solider film, as well as the Agents of Shield tv show, she started to laugh. Sure enough, my buddies Mark, who gave me a Captain America shield keyring and Shield hat as a present and Matt, who made some “Hail Hydra” meme’s to tease me with were totally floored and utterly surprised as to my choice in birthday cake wording!
Such was Saturday, with new friends who I have recently made, to old friends from back in the days of Grammar school, to those in between the years were all there surrounding me. I was given the best give of all, their presence and love.
What a real, tangible blessing is the gift of friendship, one that I thanked God for, as I quietly sat there while being “roasted” with a big smile on my face!
Can you believe that it is a new year already? It just seems that last year was just around the corner and this new year was aways away. The old adage that time marches on is certainly one of the principle truths that we experience in life. You can not escape time.
So with that in mind and the new year here, it begs the question as to what goals and resolutions have you deemed worthy to make a go at?
I did a bit of research about how best to successfully accomplish the aspirations and intentions that have been so recently made. What is the point of making goals and then not obtaining them? So with that in mind, here are four fundamental concepts that provide a good foundation to helping one reach there goals set:
One: Make your goals measurable
Two: Make them realistic
Three: Make sure it comes from you
Four: Don’t make too many
Sounds easy right?
Well, that is the strategy! By being straightforward and uncomplicated, it allows for the best chances for one to obtain their particular goals and new year resolutions. Who doesn’t want things to be straightforward and uncomplicated right?
So with that in mind, I will share the three new year resolutions I have:
Join a local gym and work out at least three times a week there. My goal last year was to lose weight and that I did-90 pounds! Now, I want to tone up and add some muscles this year.
Spend time in prayer when I get up in the morning and and before I go to sleep at night. While I do set aside quiet time to spend with Our Lord, I have come to the reaslization that I could add a few extra moments in the morning and at night to help myself focus more, as well as to be more reflective. One of the primary reasons why I set up my Saintland web page was to help not others with their prayer life, but also as a means to assist myself with my own prayer life. I will add a section specific for morning and night prayers, which I know will help me be faithful to praying them.
Write a book. I have had the desire to write an ebook for quite some time now. I have worked on it here and there, as well as have done some preliminary work on the various aspects needed to make it a reality. Now is the year to finally make it happen!
So there you have it.
Those are my three personal goals and resolutions for the new year. Now that I have shared them with you and made them “public” you can help me stay true to them and stay on track!
So let me ask you if I may, what are your goals and resolutions for the yew year? Have you made any yet? If you have, how faithful have you been to them?
The cool thing about making a resolution is that even if you falter, you can always start right back up again!
We can support one another!
I will finish by wishing you and your family and friends a very blessed and happy New Year indeed!
Well, it was bound to happen. Not that I was looking forward to the sad day when I would have to part with my beloved Park Avenue Buick, affectionately named “The Couch”. Why was it crimsoned which such a name? Quite simply. it was akin to sitting on ones cozy couch, while driving in ultra classic 1988 style. It even had a Hi-Fi Delco Sound System! It was a great car that had an awesome Highway horn, which allowed me to literally blast any knuckle headed driver before me! Oh what tremendous joy and mirthful laughter did that horn produce! Well, thankfully to my good buddy Mark, I now have a new vehicle, a Ford suv/truck, which at this point I am calling Toady2, named after the original Toady, my previously beloved Nissan pickup truck, which was a predecessor to the Couch. Given enough time, a new name might might be deemed better suited, so we shall see. Three tips I can share with you if you are going to “ditch” your car and buy a new one. First, put the time in calling every car salvage shop. Eventually, you will come across one that will give you a fair deal for your car. Second, have a Triple AAA membership. I didn’t have to deal with the hellish and devil filled Department of Motor Vehicles. I just walked in to my local Triple AAA location, dealt with a courteous and helpful employees and best of all it was fast! As in less than ten minutes fast! Third, if your car does not pass its initial smog test, don’t fret. You get a second chance. Put in the highest octane fuel, have your mechanic put in a new air filter, and any other little doodads that your mechanic thinks may help and then drive it for a while before you have it smog tested again, since a warmed up car has a much better chance to pass. It took Toady2 a second go at the smog test. Thankfully, Mark is also my mechanic, which works out well! I owe him a dinner with taking the time to fiddle faddle with truck to help get it to pass. So there you have it! A new used vehicle to get around the mean streets of LA! I know I am going to miss the old Highway horn, but driving a truck again is a lot of fun! The Couch before being hauled off…I do miss her! Spent the morning doing some interior cleaning of Toady2…how many years of dirty is this???? How thoughtful of Mark, he left me all of his change!!!! Woot! And he gave me an extra tire and other truck stuff! Toady2 ready for her new missions!
One of the aspects that means so much to me of my faith as a Catholic is being able to attend Mass. Yesterday being Sunday, I made my weekly “pilgrimage” to the little chapel where the Mass is done within the Tridentine Rite. After the Mass, the choir sang as the closing hymn a very simple song, yet it was one that really moved me while all of the congregation sang. The name of the song is “Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest”. The lyrics are:
Mother dearest, Mother fairest
Help of all who call on thee,
Virgin purest, brightest, rarest,
Help us, help we cry to thee!
Mary, help us, help we pray,
Mary, help us, help we pray,
Help us in all cares and sorrows,
Mary, help us, help we pray.
Lady, help in pain and sorrow,
Soothe those racked on beds of pain,
May the golden light of morrow
Bring them health and joy again.
This is what happens when you let your big, lovable dog play with your Hard Drive. I wonder if my Apple Care will cover this, I need an Apple Genius to fix my HD!
Vid: No Mas HD
Yesterday, I was surprised as all surprised can be! My buddy Matt, who is my other half for the Matt and Pat Show (Don’t Listen!) wanted to take me out to lunch for my birthday. How cool is that! We left his place, along with his daughter and got onto the freeway to drive, what was apparent to me in the southern direction. That was an indication as to where we were probably heading to, which was Downtown Disney where there is a fun restaurant that Matt took me before called the Rainforest Cafe.
Sure enough, we parked within the Disney lot and proceeded to take the ultra chill-out and totally pleasant tram that drops off at Downtown Disney. I mentioned how that would be the prefect job for me, just driving the tram back and forth, leisurely going about five miles per hour, through the well manicured driving lane with the rows of eucalyptus trees providing shade and a tranquil setting.
Walking in the direction towards the restaurant, Matt mentioned he wanted to ask guest services about a potential change to those who have an annual pass, which he has. “Sure thing, of course”, was my response. We waited a moment in line, until there was a guest services clerk available for us. After being warmly greeted by the clerk, Matt stated that he wanted to buy one annual pass-for me!
My look of surprise and dumbfoundedness made Matt laugh all the more. He certainly got the reaction he was hoping for! His daughter smiled and proudly stated how she had kept this a secret the whole time, in fact she said she didn’t reveal it to any of her friends at school early in the day!
How do you respond to a gift that is overwhelming in nature. I was certainly blown away to say the least. I didn’t want to let go of my annual pass card once I had it firmly in my grip! Matt assured me that I could put it away now that we were within Disneyland.
First thing we did was have my picture taken, which would then be connected with my newly activated pass. The photographer snapped a few pictures of me and kindly welcomed me to the park. After that, we strolled down Main Street and decided to hit a couple of rides for fun.
The first was Star Tours. Let me just say, that it is much more “turbulent” that when I first rode it as a teenager. At one point I was feeling a bit queazy and put my hand over my stomach. I thought to myself, if I am sick, no way I am going to barf on Matt, especially after he so kindly bought me an annual pass. Sitting next to me was a kid. “Sorry kid” was all I thought and started laugh. Fortunately for me, as well as the kid, there was no Technicolor Yawn.
From there, we went on The Haunted Mansion and then the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Guess where they sat us for the pirates ride? That’s right, within the front row. Just where I had secretly had hoped! The velocity and momentum of the first drop was only heightened my poundage! When we hit the bottom, there was such a SPLOOSH of water, that it literally created a massive wave of water that drenched everyone within the boat. Matt was shellshocked and I, of course was laughing, which reverberated deeply throughout the underground cavern.
After that enjoyable misadventure, we had a very tasty and enjoyable lunch at Cafe Orleans. I had the gumbo, which really hit the spot! I was also impressed by how congenial all of the servers and hostesses were. Everyone was smiling and friendly. It really made for a very pleasant dining experience.
Afterwards, we proceeded into the Disney Gallery, I managed to spotted a duck on one of the little parcels of green grass. He was happily tending to caring for one of his feathers or two. How cool is that! I wish I had my camera to have taken a picture
Inside the gallery, there were awesome, beautiful and amazing works of art all dedicated to different aspects of the theme park. Some of the pieces, I would love to have hanging on my wall, yet the prices are a wee bit out of my range at the moment. One day!
We finished off the day by taking in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. What I really appreciated about the show was the sense of genuine patriot pride in our country. I walked away with a sense of Americanism, which so often these days is not much in evidence sad to say. It reminded me of certain fond memories I had of my grandparents and those of an older generation, who greatly appreciated our country and had a much deeper sense of civic pride. I wish we had more of that type of sensibility these days.
With that out time came to a close, but it certainly will not be a day I shall forget anytime soon! What a marvelous day indeed and what a surprise to say the least! You can bet your Disney Dollar that I will certainly be going back to the Happiest Place On Earth again in the coming days, thankfully all made possible by way of my friend Matt!
On my way back home Friday, I came off the local freeway offramp and was behind a car that was waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. In short order the light turned green, yet the car in front of me didn’t move. After a momentary wait, realizing that the driver was not paying attention to the now green light so I gave a short tap of my car horn. For those who have heard my car horn, they know how truly forceful it can be, for it is classified as a “highway horn”, which sounds quite like a train more than your average car horn. It is probably the singularly best feature of my now “classic” car has, besides the comfortable and cozy upholstery seats.
Seeing that my gentle tap upon the horn did not evoke any reaction from the driver, I figured to just go around him by turning into the other lane over and thus proceed on my merry way home. As soon as I was in a position to go through the intercession, wouldn’t you know it, the light turned red!
Exasperated, I turned to look at the driver and threw my hands up in the air for added effect. Usually when it comes to driving, I remain pretty calm and Zen like, which in and of itself is quite a feat here in LA. Nevertheless, I was put off by this little happenstance. The driver within the other car saw me and said most apologetically, “I am so sorry!” Hearing those surprising words uttered immediately loosened my mood, where by I gave him a thumbs up and retorted, “It’s cool”.
I turned back my focus upon the red signal, waiting for it to change, only to have the feeling that the driver wanted my attention. Looking back over to the driver, sure enough my intuition was correct, for he added, “I heard a song from my childhood and I wanted to write it down so I could go back and listen to it again.” Good enough reason for me I thought, for how often have I heard a song and quickly jotted down the info, so as to listen to it again. I quickly replied knowing that at any moment the light would soon change, “what song was it?” He replied with a smile, “Do You Know by Diana Ross.”
With that the light turned green and we drove off our separate ways, but my thought driving home was how cool it was that this driver said something so rarely heard these days, “I am sorry” and how it went from some circumstance of annoyance, to one of congenial sharing in a sense.
When I finally came home, the first thing I did after greeting Jake and Bear my dogs was to go find the song Do You Know. Sure enough, it reminded me of my childhood as well, since it came out in the early 1970’s.