Dreamer’s World December 31 2015 – Last Post Of The Year

This is it! 2015 is on it’s way out the door. It has been like any other year for the most part. There have been good times and bad, joy and sorrow, the full gamut of emotions and experiences. When I look back, I will see 2015 as they year that I truly began to recover from the financial burdens that had plagued me for many years. That in and of itself, makes 2015 a good year for me.
     I will be at work for just a few hours today. There will be nothing left to accomplish for this year, next week will be a different story at work, obviously. I am caught up with everything that I needed to do. Hal has said that he wants to go to the Apple Store before they close this evening, so we will do that. We are coming directly back home afterwards, we are staying in for the night. While there are several places holding celebrations this evening within walking distance, there is no reason to pay $75-$100 for the event.
     We went to Pentagon City after I signed out from work. It was a nice trip, other than me having a hypoglycemic episode that required a very quick trip to the food court. At least, I ate healthy there by having a wrap. I ended up getting some new shoes.

For some reason, I decided that I would get these Chuck Taylors. I will wear them out just like I did to the ones I got each summer as a kid. Perhaps it was those memories that unconsciously coerced me into buying them, but hell, they look good and are comfortable.
     My other purchase, an early birthday gift to myself, was a bit more costly.


I decided that it was time to upgrade my sounds. After discovering that SOL Republic has gone way, which is a shame, I was looking at Beats but then decided that I could not go wrong for the same price with Bose. I predict that I will get plenty of enjoyment from these cans. In fact, I am writing with these things on and jamming to some music.
     Since Hal (person) and I took Metro to Pentagon City, it was a quick and easy trip home. We got here before the evening rush hour began. There is no reason for us to be out this evening, and we are safe and warm at home. This is a good way to end this blog for 2015. I hope that everyone will have an awesome 2016.

Dreamer’s World December 30 2015 – Almost There

2015 has nearly departed. Looking back it has been a very good year. I realize that this might not be the case for everyone, I can only speak for myself, but I am hopeful that we will all have an excellent 2016 to look back on in a year’s time.
Each new year brings the promise of a new beginning although there is nothing magical about it other than the human dictated changing of an arbitrary number associated with one day as opposed to the preceding day. We have imposed this measurement onto time in order to give our own lives a sense of measurement and purpose. Actually, we should not set aside just one day each year to celebrate and resolve to make things better, we should do this each and every day.
I normally do not make “resolutions” in order to avoid the inevitable sense of disappointment when one of them is not achieved. 2016 will be no different, if there is anything that I resolve to do it is to be a better person in whatever way that I can. No amount of preparation can get us ready for what will happen, our ability to adapt is what will determine how we look back on any given year.
I have already made a list of what I am grateful for as the year draws to a close. I am the happiest I have ever been and I want to continue to improve upon this. The only thing that I have already decided upon os to try the Blogging U. course offered from WordPress. I will do this because I have managed to maintain a good record of updating my blog throughout 2015. Now is the time to take this blog to another level.
Now is a time to reflect and prepare for the new year. It is a time when work is extremely slow for me. I can focus on other things and make certain that what I have done is done correctly. Today also marks the last opportunity that Hal (person) and I will have to spend an evening together away from home without the increased risk of drunk and distracted drivers on the roads. We have already determined that we are staying in tomorrow evening to avoid all the trouble.
As far as today itself, I don’t expect to hear much from anyone at work. Those few who didn’t take the entire week off will be feeling the same way that I am today, looking forward to tomorrow and then Friday. I would like to go and drool over some tech toys later after work if Hal (person) wants to. He has to go to work later today as usual, but he will be back home before my normal Wednesday quitting time of 1530.
There is one thing that I have done since I began working from home earlier this year and that is to take plenty of walks to increase my daily step count. I want to maintain 10k steps on a daily basis. Since I got my mountain bike, I plan to get more exercise on that as the weather permits. Right now, it looks like New Year’s Day will be an excellent opportunity to get a ride in since the weather is supposed to be clear and not too cold. The drawback right now is the short days in terms of daylight. Once the days get longer, I will have more time after work to get some rides in. This will help me to get closer to my ideal body weight as the time passes by.
Hal (person) is getting ready to leave for work while Hal (cat) has been settled in my lap for about 30 minutes. He has adjusted to his new home very well considering that he was a stray that had been brought to the local animal shelter about a week before we adopted him. He no longer has the dreamy “Is this real?” look in his eyes that was so prevalent for the first few days. He has bonded with Spartacus and Stevie Nicks gradually and now he is part of the family. He still occasionally jumps at loud noises, but that is not surprising given his background of living on the street for 2 years. Now he looks at us with a peaceful and grateful expression.
I am happy to report that I am halfway to my 10k step goal and it is not lunchtime yet. This has not taken away any time from the job, I just manage to get in some walks through the hallway in the building as I keep ym cell phone available in case I am called. I also am much more ready for lunch. I also took both Hal (cat) and Stevie Nicks out for a stroll through the hallways. Not at the same time, of course, that would be an impossible task, but I am glad to report that each of them got their exercise in as well as helping me with mine.
The afternoon has arrived, the last daily meeting of the year is now completed. They had the common sense to cancel the one that was scheduled for tomorrow. I am still waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work and then I want to go and see about getting some new shoes before it gets too late. I hope that there is no more rain to deal with this evening as well.
We did go look at shoes, but I didn’t find the right pair. After that, we stopped at our favorite Asian restaurant for a nice dinner and we are now back home for the night. Tomorrow will be a very short day at work for me as we prepare to ring in 2016.

Tuesday’s Quotes – December 29, 2015 -advice for the new year

Time for my thoughts...

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

— Neil Gaiman

I stumbled upon this Gaiman quote a few days ago and figured my final scheduled post of 2015 was a good time to share it. And it reminded…

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Dreamer’s World December 28 2015 – Meadowlark Lemon

I read something today that makes me feel old. Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters passed away. I remember my parents taking me to the Owensboro SportsCenter for my birthday in either 1970 or 1971. We had courtside seats and I remember being the unwitting stooge in the water bucket gag. I had the time of my life that day. Meadowlark was holding me up as Curly Neal was threatening to throw the bucket of water on myself and Meadowlark. Of course it was only confetti, but I remember being excited and scared at the same time and I loved every minute of it. Remembering that day brings tears to my eyes because my parents are gone.

The afternoon has arrived. I have had a full day of laughing and crying already. Life is good, we cannot dwell on the past for too long. We must always be looking ahead.

  

Dreamer’s World December 27 2015

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I hope to get more rest tonight. For the last several days I have been sleeping, but waking up feeling exhausted and I don’t know why. I am lurking around the apartment this morning before I go to get my bicycle helmet and then take a ride on my new mountain bike this afternoon.

After a much longer and busier trip running errands than I anticipated, I came home exhausted and was on the verge of not riding the mountain bike at all today. Finally, late in the afternoon, I pushed myself out and rode for about 30 minutes, nothing too strenuous. I finished just before Hal (person) came home from work. He was also exhausted from his day, so we made a quick trip to get a few things for him and then had dinner at Fat CIty Kitchen in Alexandria, which is less than a mile from here.

We are back home, I will be going to bed soon. Hal (person) is already there. Hal (cat) is asleep in the living room, and Spartacus and Stevie Nicks are in the bedroom with Hal (person). I am being quiet in order to not disturb them, so I decided to write a little more for today before surrendering to exhaustion.

Tomorrow morning I get up and go back to work. It will be a tiring week since there will be nothing going on. I am ahead of things and I will make sure that remains the case through Thursday. We are staying home for New Year’s Eve. It is pointless to go out and deal with the lunatics on the roads, so we are safer and more comfortable here.

That is it for today. I hope that everyone has had a great day and will have an even better one tomorrow.

 

 

Dreamer’s World December 26 2015

  

    Today is a good day. My wallet hurts a bit, but that is because I purchased a mountain bike today from Performance Bicycle in Springfield, VA. 

  
     I have been debating this for some time. I was on the verge of just going to Sears and getting a bike there for the price, but then I realized that I had too many questions for the people at Sears to really give me help with. After Hal (person) and I returned home from Glen Burnie last night, I made up my mind to go to Performance Bicycle today and look at what they had to offer. I also went there loaded with a list of questions that I wanted answers to before I was going to do anything.

    The sales person, John R. was very knowledgeable and was able to help me find the right size of mountain bike for my frame that was within my budget. I was given the opportunity to ride several mountain bikes outside the store in order to get a good feel for them and determine what was right for me. I felt much more comfortable spending a little more than I had planned to in exchange for the lifetime service plan and the reputation that Performance Bicycle carries with it.

    I will be picking up the mountain bike this evening after Hal (person) gets home from work since he has a bigger car than I do. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be feeling the burn after a nice ride on my new bike. The apartment building has bike storage racks that are free of charge that makes things so much easier than having to find a place for the bike inside the apartment.

     I am glad to have friends who I looked to, even without their knowledge, as a source of encouragement as I made my decision. One of them, Chad, commented almost instantly on FaceBook when I posted the news. I told him that he was one of those people who had inspired me through our friendship to go ahead and make the purchase although he never realized it until after I told him. 

     We have friends that we never recognize properly and this is something that I want to change about myself as 2016 begins. I want to reach out, I want to try new things, I want to broaden my horizons and to live a fuller life than I already have. It isn’t the purchase that makes me feel good, it is the knowledge that I have taken a first step on a journey. I want it to be a journey of exploration and excitement and new things. Too many years have passed with me struggling to make ends meet. I deserve better, but the only person who can make it happen is yours truly.

     Tomorrow I’ll be riding my new mountain bike. The forecast calls for a beautiful day. 

Dreamer’s World December 24 2015 – Xmas Eve

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As Xmas eve is arrives, I am grateful for so many things. I am not religious, so I don’t ascribe anything to some mythical sky-being who supposedly knows everything. Not that it matters, I just thought it was worth clearing up before I go any further.

First of all, I am grateful for Hal (person) with whom I have been in love for 16 years now, well technically it will be 16 years on January 6th. I had no idea when we met that we would still be together and going strong after all these years. I am far from a perfect person, but being with Hal has made me a much better person than I was when we first met. I was getting out of the Navy and I had no clear idea what I was going to do with my life. I drank like a fish and showed no signs of slowing down. Within a year I had almost completely stopped drinking altogether. The amazing thing was that Hal never once got on me about it. I unconsciously made the decision because I didn’t want to lose him by doing something stupid that I would regret. I suppose that is the truest testament to love that I can think of.

I am grateful for my career. I have been with the same company for nearly 10 years now. Once again I attribute this to the influence that Hal has had on my life. Without the commitment that Hal has shown to me, I seriously doubt that I would have this job today.

As far as family is concerned, it is something that I learned to live without a long time ago. It has nothing to do with me being a Gay man, it has everything to do with coming from a family that existed in spite of its own extended circumstances. Both my parents were outcasts of various types. My Mom was the youngest of 13, and was orphaned when she was an infant after her parents died in a car crash. She didn’t know her siblings until she was an adult and by that time they had absolutely nothing in common. I remember the Xmas when my Dad took me out to bury some valuables because one of Mom’s brothers was coming to visit and he already had a long police and prison record for burglary. My Dad never trusted him and let my Mom know that. Another of Mom’s brothers showed up one time and neglected to let us know that he had 2 guard dogs in his big RV. I was almost attacked by one of them. My Dad threatened to shoot the dogs and then my uncle for not letting us know that. Ah, memories that define my view of extended family.

My Dad was also the youngest of his family, but he was much older than my Mom. From what I always understood, their marriage was not approved of, so they bonded intensely and remained close for the rest of their lives. This sense of the household being the most important thing was ingrained from an early age. I was the only child. Extended family was not really something that I grew up with. To this day, long after Mom and Dad have gone from this world, I have almost no contact with any of them. I prefer it this way, it is Hal and I against the world and I am comfortable with that. Hal does have a more traditional relationship with his siblings, and I respect that. At times it does make life rather complicated because I won’t insert myself into his family relationships, but we make it work.

I am grateful for friends. I tend to have a few close friends rather than a ton of acquaintances. Through the years I have purged many people from my life for various reasons. Nothing worth going through now, let’s just say that I am better off having done that. Let’s just say that there are people who are very important at certain times in your life for a specific reason. Once that time is past, the connection is broken and you have to move on. I learned this lesson by trial and error, and I learned that I also tend to place a higher value on friendship than most other people do. For better or worse, I expect the same level of commitment and effort from the other person but that rarely happens.

I am grateful for The Stooges. They keep Hal and I grounded. They are a wonderful addition to our lives and we have never regretted the decision to have the Stooges with us at any time. If nothing else, they are a true judge of character. There have been instances when a new or potential friend has visited, and The Stooges react with hostility. In every case, those persons indeed turned out to be bad news.

I am grateful for my own inquisitive nature. I got this from my parents, that is the gift to never accept things simply because everyone around me does. My parents taught me that my individuality was the most important thing in the world, and one of the very few things that would truly be mine. It is this inner peace and confidence that allows me to move through life and the associated struggles with the knowledge that I am doing the right thing. I remember my parents talking to me about things like religion and politics without attempting to indoctrinate me. I was taught about all sorts of things and then given the choice to make for myself. This kept me away from religion as I grew older simply because when something or someone offers all the answers with the condition that you just follow them, it always means that they are taking advantage of you and fucking you over.

To this day, one of the most common comments made about me is that people have never met anyone quite like me. That is exactly how it should be. I have grown throughout my life, I was left with a solid foundation by my parents, including the belief that I was in this world to make a difference, and that when it came to myself and my life that I should never compromise because that was the start of dying an early death. Getting along with others is important, but not at the expense of losing yourself in the process.

For all of this, and for so many other things, I am grateful right now. My life is still in the making, I still have influences over the outcome. I am happy and have learned from my mistakes, but those mistakes have not made me afraid to continue to grow and learn. I don’t need a particular day to remind me of all this, but in the sense of the conventional world, it seems to be appropriate to take note of them today.

Dreamer’s World December 23 2015

I am glad to report that I am feeling better this morning, but I still would have preferred more sleep. Today is my early day at work, but I am not going to any meeting that the client might hold this morning. SInce at least half of the people will be on vacation, I really don’t expect that there will be a meeting anyway, but I will drop an email asking them to dial me in if there is a meeting. I am not traveling this morning, I am staying here at home and relaxing as I work.
At least today is my early day at work and I will be finished by 1530, if I choose to be here that late. Since I logged on and started tracking emails by 0615, I really don’t expect to still be working at 1530 anyway. If Hal wants to do any last-minute stuff after work and I feel OK, then we will get out for a little while. It does look like it will be rainy most of the day here because it is so warm once again.
I am happy with how things are going right now. IN fact, I cannot remember being this happy in many years. I am not sweating bullets over money for the first time in I cannot remember how long, and this is after the unexpected expenses with Maxwell and getting Xmas stuff for Hal.
I had forgotten that Hal actually does go to work today for a few hours. I hope that the fog lifts so he can see things more clearly by the time he has to leave. I wish that he didn’t have to work today, but he has his own job to attend to.
I just got the official notice that there is no meeting at all today with the client. That means I don’t have to dial in at all this morning and my day just got even more relaxed. The only downer is the weather, but nothing will change that, so I won’t worry about it. The only trip I know of for today will be to the grocery store to get some necessities, but there is no rush for that.
Sadly, we are having a daily scrum meeting. I say this because so few people are available and since I am not a software developer, my time is always wasted by dialing into these meetings. I occupied my time by placing one last order thru Amazon that should arrive tomorrow. It will be the very last item I purchase for the holidays, I promise myself that. Although I am still thinking about a mountain bike for myself since there are plenty of trails throughout Alexandria that I can ride on, it is nothing that I need before Friday. It will tie into my resolution to get into better shape for 2016. I will undoubtedly end up with a mid-range bike since I will not spend thousands of dollars on some extravagant bike.
I bailed on the meeting call as soon as was polite to do so. Hal (person) is still at work and should be home within an hour or so. After that, we will go by the grocery store and that should wrap things up for the day here. Since this is my early day, I am not going to put any extra time in at work.
I feel much better after a nice shower. Still a little time left in the workday but no one is talking or emailing, so I used my break to clean up. Hal (person) isn’t here just yet, but he should be home soon. At least I will be ready to go to the grocery store as soon as possible.
Hal just got home and I have just a few minutes before I sign off for the afternoon. I don’t want to wait too late to get to the store. There is nothing but rain in the forecast for the rest of the day and all night long. Hal (person) has decided that he wants to go, so we will be leaving here in just a few minutes.

We had a nice time while we were out, even though it rained the entire time. Hal found a watch for himself and I found the mountain bike I have been searching for. Hal got his watch but I will hold off on the mountain bike until this weekend at the earliest. The rain was still falling as we made our way to the grocery store. After that we returned home and are spending the evening watching Dr. Who on BBC America.
At least tomorrow marks the end of the week at work for me. I am looking forward to the long weekend with Hal (person) and The Stooges.

Dreamer’s World December 22 2015

The week slowly marches on. After an uneventful Monday, it is time to regroup and focus on Tuesday. The weather has warmed back up here and I had a difficult time sleeping last night. I will make sure that the A/C is turned on prior to going to bed this evening because I always sleep better with a cool space to sleep in.

I am waiting for some Amazon deliveries today while I am at work. There is also the possibility of us going back out since Hal (person) still needs to find a replacement gift for the one that was lost in shipment to him. I will take him wherever he wants to go later today. I don’t predict a full day of work since so many people are on vacation already. I have to admit that there are some extremely tempting last-minute sales on tech goodies that I am interested in, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to spend any money.

At least we know that almost everything is in place for Friday. We will be traveling to Glen Burnie to visit Nicola and the kids, along with some of Don’s family. It still doesn’t seem real that Don is  not here anymore. This will be the second Xmas without him and in a lot of ways this will probably her the toughest on Nicola. Last year at this time, she was too numb from shock and too stressed from all the people rolling in and out of their lives to really comprehend what had happened. This year it will be much quieter. Hal (person) and I did not go to visit last Xmas simply because there were already too many people there. We stay in constant contact with her, and she has confided that the real pain of missing Don started around the first of November, within a few days of the anniversary of his death. Until then, she had remained busy and managed to duck the pressure and loneliness. Nicola has come through all of this with flying colors, and we are very proud of her. She has held things together for Brianna and Connor and left other people in the dust as she charges ahead.

Lunchtime will be here soon. Only a few emails have arrived today, and those mainly deal with announcements regarding who will be on vacation when for the next 2 weeks. I will fix something to eat in a little while and prepare for the two conference calls that are still scheduled. I am beginning to suspect that one of them will be canceled since the other person involved has not responded to email yet today. This tells me that she is probably on vacation as well, and I wish her a safe and happy holiday if she is.

Sadly, there has been no notification regarding the deliveries I am expecting today. Just my luck that they will be among the very last items delivered, although I hope I am wrong about this. I will go to the apartment office if and when the email arrives stating that the packages are ready to be picked up. According to the tracking information, everything should be out for UPS delivery already today.

It is now nearly 12 noon, and Hal (person) has gone to Kohl’s to pick up the gift that he didn’t purchase last night because he forgot his coupon for 30% off. I cannot say that I blame him for wanting to save the money. I am about to measure my BG and then decide on lunch for myself.

Thankfully, my BG was in excellent range before lunch and I didn’t have too much to eat so I should be fine for the rest of the afternoon. Hal still hasn’t returned from his trip, so I suspect that he is out choosing a gift for me even after I asked him not to. I will deal with that when the time comes because I know that there is no stopping him once his mind is set on something.

Hal (cat) and Stevie Nicks are slowly adjusting to each other. There is still some chasing around, but nothing violent anymore.

They will eventually become best friends, but considering the first few times they encountered each other, real progress is being made. Just a few days ago, there was no way that these two would have been this close without some kind of fight breaking out.

Hal has returned from his trip. It looks like we will be going back to Kohl’s once again after work this afternoon. My packages have arrived, but the apartment office is totally swamped with deliveries right now, so I will wait until they notify me that things have been sorted out and my packages are ready to be picked up.

I am really getting tired right now. I hope that I can stay awake for another few hours. If not, I hope that I have the best nap in recorded history! The last few nights I have not slept well at all and it is finally catching up to me. Knowing that I have 2 more days this week to work is not making me feel that energetic right now for some reason. I am sure that I will get my second wind once I am done with work today.

Now I technically have about 2 hours left in the workday. I am still waiting to hear from the apartment office that my packages have been sorted out and can be picked up. Almost like a kid a Xmas. The only difference is that I already know what the packages contain, they are my gifts to myself.

The day at work ended well. The packages arrived and I got my gifts to myself. Hal also gave me my gifts early, and I will post pics tomorrow. We ordered dinner for here, and I really began to feel a sense of exhaustion that surprised me with it’s intensity. We ate dinner and I am going to take a nice shower and go to bed early. I do feel much better after dinner, but still very tired. I hope I’m not coming down with anything right before the holiday, but time will tell, it always does.

And so, I am wrapping this blog post up. I hope that everyone is safe and happy this evening. I will be back tomorrow.