Monday, April 29, 2013

Fear and Loathing in a Target

Today is Medea's birthday. Not today as when you will be reading this but today as of when I am writing this. You probably won't read this for a few weeks. I am staggering the publishing of posts doing only one a week so that I can hopefully keep a constant stream of posts in the future. Anyway, per usual and as it is accustomed, me and Medea are not in the best of terms. She is still mad at me for the fight we had in Mexico. On top of that, she is now also mad at me for a recent fight her and my sister had and in which I dared stick my nose in. As I stated before, since she came back from Mexico in February she has been saying that she has "divorced" me and that she was no longer my mother. As of the second fight, we have apparently become even more disenfranchised. Now, I am supposed to think of her as is she were dead. These are her words, by the way. I have never said that she is dead to me. She is instructing me to think of her as being dead because I obviously don't care about her. Ironically, these instructions were given to me during the last fight we had which started with me offering to drive the ten hours to El Paso so that she wouldn't have to. The irony of that is lost to her. My dad had informed me a few days before the fight that they were planning to go back to Mexico on May eleventh and that they were planning on taking both the truck and the jeep. This meant that my mom would have to drive one of the cars for the whole trip. That's when I decided to offer to drive to El Paso in one car so they could ride together in the other. I like driving long distances and I figured this would work better for them. It was when I made my plans public to Medea that she let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she was dead to me and then went on to tell me how much I have hurt her in the past and how much I don't care about her. She kept trying to drag me into an argument but I just kept reiterating that I was just offering to help. All in all I would say that it was a good talk. It could have gone worse although I am not sure what is worse than finding out that your mother is supposed to be dead. I am also worrying what she will say next time we have a fight. I mean, if she is supposed to already be dead to me, is the next step pretending that she never existed? And, if that's so and I am supposed to pretend she never existed, wouldn't that bring my whole existence into question? If she is not supposed to exist, how did I come to be? I am telling you she is deeper than even she realizes.

So, this brings me to Medea's birthday. Now, this is not the first time I have a hard time deciding what to do for her birthday. Her birthdays are always tricky. More often than not, we are either not talking or not completely happy with each other. Also, her birthday is only five weeks away from mine and that is never enough time to forget that she does nothing for my birthday, up to and including simply saying "happy birthday." Now, I know the Bible says to honor your parents (hell, it's even one of the commandments and the first one with the promise of a long life) which she is too fond of reminding me. But, what am I as an atheist to do? I mean, I don't know how long I want my days to be since there is a history of stroke and Alzheimer's in my family and I also have no land that my parents' Lord God hath given me. Still, I always feel like I have to do something. She did give birth to me and all, which coincidentally is another fact that she enjoys reminding me of constantly. Fortunately, this time things seem to have fallen into place serendipitously. This morning she woke up to this:
Do not focus on the very Mexican apples tablecloth or the plastic cover as that is all Medea's doing and does not reflect my decorating style at all.
Please forgive the picture quality but I was using the camera in my phone and I am a lousy picture taker, otherwise knows as photographer but I did not want to insult real photographers by inviting the comparison. What you see is a bad picture of some flowers in a vase and a card on top of a wireless keyboard and mouse. Except for the vase, which I borrowed from home, I bought all that for her birthday. As I said, it all just kind of happened and fell together of its own accord. I had decided a while back that my parents needed a wireless keyboard. They like watching their soaps online so they plug their laptop to their TV, but then they had to get up every time they needed to do a new search. I had looked it up online before and had found a cheap one, my parents cannot be trusted with expensive electronics, at Fry's. Well, I went out to dinner with BF yesterday at a very delicious Chinese restaurant. Seriously, it was very good. After dinner we had nothing to do so we decided to go to Fry's to get the keyboard, not thinking that today was Medea's birthday but because I wanted to get it for them before they went back to Mexico. On my way back from dropping BF at his place, I decided to stop by Target because they had Pepsi for sale and I usually stock up when soda goes on sale. When I walked in, I saw the flowers near the entrance and I thought that it would be nice for me to get Medea some flowers. I must point out that Medea is not a big fan of flowers, or chocolate, or jewelry. I figured that I could get the flowers since she did not like anything anyway. Then I made the mistake of deciding to get her a card. I had no idea that choosing a card would be such a herculean task. There was a section that was dedicated to birthday cards for mothers. I have never seen a stack of such sappy bullshit. It was downright disgusting. They all said stuff like "to the most wonderful person" or "you deserve the best" or "I love and cherish the time we spend together" and I knew I couldn't get those because it would not be fair to lie to Medea in writing on her birthday. Obviously, she is not the most wonderful person and she may not deserve the best. I can tell you that there is an untapped market of birthday cards for people that have tepid relationships with their mothers. I went over to the funny card section and there was one that I liked but figured it might be inappropriate. It featured a horsie piñata in a therapist's couch saying something along the lines of "and the worst part is that I kind of enjoy it when they hit me." The inside said something boring like "go out and have a punchingly good time on your birthday" or something like that. To be honest, the inside sucked. I liked the card though because of how much abuse Medea says she always takes from me. I wanted to write something inside along the lines of "thanks for always being there for me, even if it's just as a punching bag or piñata." See what I did there? This would turn the piñata in the cover into Medea and that is fitting because of two things. First, she is always saying that we just abuse her. But, secondly, and most importantly, Medea is way overdue for a visit with a therapist. I figured the card might give her some ideas and she may seek out professional counseling on her own. I decided that, as great as that idea was and the fact that it depicted her idea of our relationship perfectly, she may be offended by it. All this to say that I did not buy it. I ended up buying a generic card that just said something like "best wishes" or whatever on it. Yes, I was that thrilled about it.

I know that, so far, it doesn't seem like I had such a bad time at Target and that I misled you on the title.  Fear not for I have yet to lie to you. Although the piñata card was enjoyable and made the card experience bearable, that was only about two minutes of the whole hour I probably spent at the card display area. All of that wasted time to get a crappy generic card whose only advantage was that it was cheaper than all the other ones and it did not make me want to puke while reading it. Yes, I may have issues. Moving on, I went back to the flowers after that. I know enough about Medea to know what her favorite flower is. I am not telling you though because it is the same as my favorite flower and I don't want to share that because I am not an open book. I may be an open window on a computer screen, but I am not an open book. Needless to say, but I will say it nevertheless, they did not have her favorite type of flower. They had tulips for six bucks, some flowers I did not know for fifteen bucks, and some roses for twenty. I naturally wanted to go for the tulips because; a)she does not like flowers, b)I did not want to spend so much, c)if I spent too much money and she found out she would berate me for not being careful with my money. I could not make up my mind so I decided to go looking for a vase to see if that would help me make a decision. I don't know if Target sells many vases or if there is a vase section. I only found one aisle with some less than stellar vases. I picked one that I thought would work and then headed back to the flowers. I still couldn't make up my mind but decided against the tulips because I did not want people to think I was cheap. I ended up picking up one of the fifteen dollar flowers and headed straight to the register before I could change my mind. By this time there was only one register open and there was a lady in front of me that had a full cart. She was not even done unloading her cart when I decided that the vase did not work anymore. I left the checkout line, there were already two people behind me and I hated losing my spot. I walked all the way back to the aisle with the vases and put it back. I looked around a bit more but could not find something that looked appropriate so I decided to just buy the flowers sans vase. I headed back to the register. By this time I had already been in the store for about ninety minutes. I was pushing a cart with a squeaky wheel, I had to have a cart for the soda which was the whole reason I went to Target in the first place, and with every step and every squeak of the wheel I hated myself a little more. The whole endeavor was torturous. I was afraid she would not like what I had. I hated being so indecisive. I hated that the cards were all tacky and disgusting. Mostly, I hated myself for taking so much time to do something which I kept pretending I didn't care for and which, even though it took me very long to put together, would look like a last minute afterthought.

While I was driving home, I decided to incorporate the keyboard and mouse as part of her present. I must say once I got home everything went a lot smoother. I found a vase I cut the flowers and poured most of the little packet of powder into the vase (some of it may have inadvertently ended up on my bed). I translated the card and signed it and I set everything on the table for her to find in the morning. Today, everything had been moved to make room for people to eat, I guess. I don't know if she will acknowledge it or what will happen. I still have to say "happy birthday" to her but, with luck, I will not have to give her a hug as the thought of it makes me cringe inwardly. Not a big cringe, mind you, but enough for me to be dreading the situation. We are not a very touchy-feely type of people. At least Medea is not and I learned from the best.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Can't Figure Out Why I Am So Darn Likeable.

I know that title seems a little bit conceited. Maybe likeable is not the right word. Something happened yesterday that made me think of how comfortable people tend to get around me. Especially Hispanic people. They tend to act very familiar too soon. I have a few examples just so you don't think I am rambling for no reason.

Unless you are Mexican, or of Hispanic descent, you probably are not familiar with Spanish grammatical rules. Let me give you a small lesson (I promise it will be quick and that it is relevant to this post). In English, to modify a noun you have to use an adjective. If you want to comment on the size of a tree, you add a descriptive word (adjective) before the noun and say that it is a big tree or a small tree. Now, in Spanish, you can also use adjectives (descriptive words (sorry to repeat myself so much but I don't want to lose anybody)) but you would add the adjective after the noun. Thus, you would say that a tree is an arbol (tree) grande (big) or an arbol (tree) chico (small). However, Spanish also has modifiers in the form of suffixes (endings added to a word to modify it) to indicate if something is big or small. There are suffixes in English as well (such as the ending -er to indicate a greater measure such as tall and taller (tall-er)) but that is a lesson for another time. The suffixes for size in Spanish are -ito for small, called a diminutive, and -ote for big, called an augmentative. Thus, arbolito (arbol-ito) means small tree and arbolote (arbol-ote) means big tree. Now that we are done with the grammar lesson part of this post, let's move onto the cultural semantics part of the lesson. If you were to use the diminutive in someone's name, it would be normal to think that you are belittling them of being condescending. However, that is not the case. If you know someone called Tomas and you call him Tomasito, it is usually accepted as a term of endearment. Now, keep in mind that you are still calling him little Tomas, but that it is not usually an insult.

I hope I did not confuse too many people with the last paragraph. The reason why I wrote it is just to explain that people, Hispanic people, have a tendency to call me Carlitos (the diminutive form of Carlos) a lot. I guess I could just have explained at this point that Carlitos literally means "little Carlos" but that it is used as an endearing term and is not meant to belittle. Now that I think about it, I didn't need that whole previous paragraph but I already wrote it and I guess you already read it so I will just leave it. After all, I did not spend, insert amount of time it took me to write that paragraph here, writing something for it to not be read. Although, in all likelihood and from my lack of readers, it may go unread anyway. At least it will be posted, though. That's what counts. However, I digress. Back to the main point of this very convoluted paragraph. People have a tendency to call me Carlitos. Now, I know they mean nothing by it and that it literally has nothing to do with size, but it kinda bothers me. I know I should be happy that people find me endearing enough and feel comfortable enough around me to call me Carlitos but I can't help but find it unnerving. There are a few reasons for that. One being that I am a big guy. I mean that in the sense that I am overweight, thus calling me the equivalent of Little Carlos seems like a cruel joke, but I am also, for a Mexican, tall. Thus, it is very weird to me to have people that are either younger, thinner, or shorter (and in some cases, all three) calling me Carlitos. Also, calling people by the diminutive of their names is usual... for children. For example, my cousin Beto was called Betito. Cesar was called Cesarito. It also works for women. Rosa was Rosita and Lupe was Lupita. I think that is enough examples because if you haven't got it by now, you really won't get it and I should give you props for even knowing how to read. I bring this up because, even though most everyone was called something with an -ito or -ita at the end of their name while young, the key words in that sentence are "while young." Most people outgrow the cute-ning of their names. Especially guys. And, although I would like to believe that the reason people still feel compelled and comfortable calling me Carlitos is because of my child-like wonder and youthful appearance, I don't know if that is the case. I had a hypothesis at one point that the name Carlos simply lent itself to being morphed into Carlitos. However, of the three cousins that I have that share that name with me (it's a very popular name and I have a lot of cousins so it's not that weird), I am the only one who is usually called Carlitos. I have thus come to conclude that people must like me and feel comfortable enough with me to put me through the ordeal of having to endure them calling me Carlitos, even if I ask them, repeatedly, not to.

You may think, like any rational human being, that the reason I wrote this post was that someone else had called me Carlitos and that I had finally snapped. (Oh my non-deity, I have now written the word Carlitos so much it has lost all meaning to me. Kind of like when you say the word banana (or any other word) too many times in your head and it loses its meaning.) However, that is not the case. If I were a good writer, this post would be organized in a more coherent manner and all superfluous material, i.e. the whole paragraph on Spanish grammar, would be cut out. Unluckily for you, I am not a good writer. The event that led to me writing this post was that someone called me m'ijo yesterday. There are two different statements in the last sentence that need to be delved into and I shall address each in its own paragraph.

First, what does m'ijo mean? Well, it is literally Spanish for "my son." It is a shortened form of the phrase "mi hijo" and, even though contractions are not a formal part of Spanish grammar, it is often vocalized in the vernacular even if not in written form. It is another term of endearment usually reserved for someone younger than you for whom you hold a deep appreciation. For example, I use m'ijo to address my nephews. They are not literally my sons, as they are my nephews, and it would be a deeply disturbing world where your nephews are also your sons. However, I love my nephews so I feel comfortable addressing them as such. It's not unusual. Most of my aunts and uncles, and believe me there are plenty of those, have at one point or another called me m'ijo. Even my boss at work calls me that which, although I have been made fun of for it, just shows me that she appreciates me.

Second, who called me m'ijo yesterday? Well, remember that I mentioned that my parents had left for Mexico and that I had moved into their place to keep up with payments and such? In order to help myself with that burden, I decided to get a roommate. I had it all planned and when my parents moved I had a friend lined up to move in within the week. However, that plan fell through as most plans often do. I was facing having to shoulder all the responsibility on my own when an old man from my parents' church found himself in need of a place to stay. Let's just say that it wasn't my ideal choice but I was desperate because I like having extra money for important stuff like liquor and such. As I mentioned, he is an older gentleman. Scratch that. He is an old man. Yeah, that sounds better. He goes to dialysis three times a week and is a very boring conversationalist. I had already told myself that he was going to be a roommate and nothing more. I try not to engage him in conversation as he is often prejudiced, chauvinistic, and tries to be religious (at which he fails miserably). He tells the same stories over and over and not in an engaging manner. It seems more like he is talking at you than to you. I often avoid talking to him by staying mostly in my room but if he hears me in the kitchen he will come out and start yammering on about something or other forcing me to turn off my Will & Grace DVD (which is what I prefer to watch as I wash dishes). Well, last night, as he was telling me how excited he was that he had found the keys he had somehow misplaced in the inside of his jeans (don't ask me how), he called me m'ijo.

I was shocked. I am hoping I hid it well. I mean he can't see that well to begin with (which he explained to me when he told me why he never drives at night). I don't want him to be so familiar with me. I had hoped that it was clear that we were not friends but roommates. I had already made the mistake of being roommates with a close friend once and that was a fiasco. I mean, I am as close to the Old Man (which shall be his nickname from now on) as I care to be. I have seen him unbutton his pants twice, and both times he did it specifically to show me something. The first time it was to show me how loose his pants were after dialysis. The second one was yesterday as he demonstrated how he had managed to misplace his keys inside his pants. Now, let's be clear on this, I have dated older men before but I have never dated someone that old. I mean, there is older, and then there is ancient. I have never been as terrified of a man unbuttoning his pants as I was those two times he did it. I feel that we are closer than we ever needed to be as it is and then he goes and calls me m'ijo. I am not his son and I really don't want him to become attached or feel that he is close to me in any way or form. I don't know how to dissuade him though and that is scary. What if he starts thinking we are friends? And if being roommates means he unbuttons his pants in front of me, what will friendship entail? The thought of it makes me shiver. No, really. I am shivering as I write this. I also get scared because I start thinking that I might end up like that and that really terrifies me. Luckily, I really hope euthanasia becomes legal by the time I am that age. I hope that is not a horrible thing to say. I don't care enough about it being horrible to not say it though.

I guess I really should not post this but I already wrote it and I will feel like I wasted my time if I don't. I really don't know why people think I am approachable or that I enjoy being treated in a familiar manner. It may have something to do with the fact that I do not share what I really think all the time. I bet if people really knew the way my brain works, they would not be as willing to familiarize my name. That will never happen though. I am a hypocrite at heart and rarely do I tell people my true misanthropic thoughts as I feel that would alienate them in a bad way. I guess being liked will be the cross I will have to bear. And it is a heavy cross, my friends. Believe me, it is a very heavy cross.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thus We Come to a New Milestone... My First Retraction!

Lo and behold! We finally have proof that I am not perfect. It has been less than 24 hours since my last post went online and I already have a situation in my hands. This will be a short post, I hope, and it may not be that entertaining. You see, I was very worried I would upset BF because it was my first time posting about him. I even went as far as emailing him the paragraph that talked about him for his approval. Yes, I know that letting other people influence what I write is not necessarily good as it gives you a less honest picture of how my deranged mind works, but it has never been my intention to hurt anyone that I care for. Fortunately, BF had no issues with the paragraph so, feeling relieved, I went ahead and published the post without any altered content.

Of course, though BF was not offended by the post, someone else was. In my defense, I did not realize I was being careless and I really did not mean to hurt anyone. However, I was careless and I did hurt someone. One of my friends was less than flattered by the paragraph detailing how friend-less I was. I must explain that my definition of "friend" is very narrow. So narrow, in fact, that very few people make it through and earn that title. It has become apparent, though, that I may need to broaden that definition. I must take the sledgehammer of open-mindedness and tear down the walls of my definition of "friend" in order to make it wide enough to accommodate those that are important to me. Hopefully, this will keep me from hurting people that I care about in the future.

Look, I am really not good at apologizing, or at doing so sincerely and sounding sincere, but I feel like I need to apologize since, if I lose one reader because of this, it's like losing half my readership. All joking aside, I did not mean to hurt anyone. I have perfected the art of acting aloof and detached as a way to protect myself from others but I had never considered that these defenses could hurt someone else. Anyhow, I will be lowering my shields and being more welcoming to those that share a special place in my heart and who are willing to allow me entry past their own defenses.

All this is just to say that I know this doesn't in any way make up for being such a thoughtless bastard and I know it won't mend everything right away... but I hope it is a start.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We Are Almost Caught Up... Just Bear With Me.

I am having a hard time starting this post because I am unsure about what to write. I lead such a lackluster life that there are few things to write about. A typical day for me entails getting up, going to work, going to lunch, going back to work, going home, watching TV and going to sleep. It's a pretty routine life. Every now and then I will switch it up a bit. For example, last night I watched four episodes of Gilmore Girls (I own all 7 seasons on DVD) but I also read a few short stories and listened to some music. Every now and then I will go to the movies but that is it. I rarely deviate from that format. I mean, if it ain't broke... right? Except that all this non-broken-ness leads to a life with few complications and it is such complications that are compelling to write and read about. I have no complications. Unlike Jay-Z, I don't have ninety-nine problems. I wish I had ninety-nine problems. It would spare me having to write a paragraph like the one you just read. I mean, this is no way to gain an audience. I need to provide an escape to your mundane lives (I'm assuming, of course) by providing a window into my exuberant and glamorous life, which I don't have. However, there is no point crying over my life, or lack thereof, so I should move on with this post.

In the last two posts, I have caught you up with what is going on with me and my family. The only thing left to discuss would be my social life. I now need to catch you up with all the goings-on of all my friends and my dating life. This should be a short post.

On the friend front, I am happy to report that I have fewer friends than when I started this blog (I'm being sarcastic, of course. Please try to stay with me as I won't always type an explanation). I am a very gregarious person so I talk a lot to a lot of people but I am lacking the connection one usually has with friends. I usually keep my friend list short in order to be able to provide each one with a personalized experience and be able to have more one on one time. I have never had more than 3 or 4 real friends at a time. Let me clarify here that when I mean friends, I mean people with which I will share anything and everything. I am sure that I know some people that will be offended that I don't regard them as friends but, in my opinion, if I only see you at work and hardly ever outside of it, we are more friendly than we are true friends. Then again, I am probably just being really picky like Kristen Wiig's character in Bridesmaids (which, if you haven't watched it, you need to watch it. Maybe not right now. Maybe you should finish reading my blog first and then watch it. Yes, watch it right after you finish reading the blog. You can thank me later.) when she is complaining to Melissa McCarthy's character that she has no friends and Melissa tells her that she does have friends but refuses to acknowledge and reach out to them. I really hope that made sense. The point is, I don't think I have any really close friends right now as I have had in the past. I was at one point going to read the book "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" (which was made into a movie in 2008 according to IMDB) but decided not to as I really don't need help in that department. You maybe asking yourself how I have managed to alienate people being the charming and charismatic young man that I am. I would like to blame everything on stupid drunken nights of debauchery that are so shaming my mind has repressed all memory of them, so I will. It is not my fault at all as I am a charming and charismatic young man. Therefore, stupid drunken nights of debauchery are to blame for all of it. Yes. That sounds right. At least it makes me feel better. Then again, I have not alienated all of my previous friends. Some of them just up and moved out of state and I am fairly certain, about 95%, that it wasn't because of me.

It isn't all bad though. I still talk to my friends that moved to Portland, sporadically but it still counts. We have also had two Skype movie nights. A Skype movie night is when we choose a movie on Netflix and then get on Skype and try to watch it at the same time. So far we have watched Zombies vs Strippers and the 1969 Batman movie. We have a thing for B-movies as they tend to be hilarious. Moving on, I still have my Houston friend whom I have never met but often provides me with excellent advice and from whom I borrowed the ingenious nicknames for my nephews. I also have co-workers like Dottie, Heidi and Preggo with whom I share a bond deeper than just the co-worker bond. In fact, if we could only hang out more outside of work, they could probably be upgraded to friends. Unfortunately, they have families and thus busy schedules which leaves them with little free time. So, I am not as lonely as I made it sound in the previous paragraph. In fact, the only reason I often find myself drinking alone, is because I can't resist the call of a bubble bath while enjoying a few drinks and watching The Colbert Report. And, while drinking in the bath is extremely fun, it does give the phrase "drowning your sorrows" a different connotation.

On to the dating front. I am afraid that I don't have many stories to tell. I have mentioned some of my dating experiences in the past and they tend to not be that great. One could easily assume that I am either very picky or very unlucky when it comes to the dating world. Well, I guess luck has to run out some time, even if it is bad luck, because I actually have a boyfriend at the moment! What?!?! Me having a boyfriend?!?! It is so unlike me, I know. But, what can I say? I met someone who is a sucker for punishment and therefore enjoys spending time with me. BF, as he will henceforth be known as, even thinks I am good-looking and I believe him because he is a crappy liar. He is older than me by a few years and has his life way more together than me. In a twist worthy of Shyamalan's early work, The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable and not The Lady in the Water or The Happening, he is a political conservative whereas I have a heart. Fortunately, he does think I am smarter than him and that makes up for the political differences because at least we agree on something. He has told me, more than once, that he used to think he was smart until he met me. I don't need to tell you how much I love that. Especially if you know me at all and know how much of a megalomaniac I am.  We met around New Year's and have been dating for about two and a half months. To be honest, I am a bit wary of the relationship because we haven't had a huge fight yet. We have had small disagreements and he stood me up, sort of, one time but, other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing and I am not used to that. I am used to turbulence. I am used to Life of Pi style storms that capsize cruisers and leave small boys to cohabit with tigers in a lifeboat. Although I was not the biggest fan of that movie, I hope you have seen it or that reference holds no water. I don't know how much more I can say as I don't recall what his response was when I told him I may write about him. Also, I don't want to jinx anything so I should really not mention anything more though I am pretty sure he will come up in the future.

I guess that brings us up to date on the major stuff. I will have to really start thinking about what to write next. I am going to have to start doing things and that sounds exciting. I am also sure I can reach into my past for some interesting stories to tide me over now and then. I may also re-start my "Reasons Why I Am Going to Hell" but, either I have gotten nicer or I am more numb to what I say, because I don't come across those as often as I used to. I also owe you a recent picture of me but I have not gotten my haircut yet so you will have to wait. 'Til next time.

Monday, April 8, 2013

And Then There Was The Family.

Welcome back. In keeping with my new-found desire to keep up with this blog and updating you all with what has been going on in my life in the last three years, I will now write about my family. Of course, no family post would be complete without Medea and, fortunately, she never disappoints. I will leave her many exploits til later in the post. First, I shall introduce my family.

Let's start with Dad. He's my dad. I think that's all that needs to be said about him. He does not create much drama as he is very easygoing and blends into the background of stories very easily. I will say this about him, though; he is one of the happiest people I know as I have never seen him stress about unimportant things. Unfortunately, my and my sister inherited my mom's personality so, except for him, we are all ticking time bombs waiting to go off.

This brings me to Sister. What can I say about my sister? She is 4 years older than me and has had three kids while I have yet to have any. To the casual observer, it may seem like she is trying to make me look bad. The joke is on her though because I don't like kids and don't plan on having any. She could have outdone me by just having one instead of tripling that burden for no sane reason. Yes, she says that she wanted three kids, but she is not fooling me. No, sir. I am no fool and will not be a victim to her lies about wanting children for reasons unrelated to me. Like I would believe that. She is obviously a crappy liar. As for my relationship with my sister, there is not much to say. We are civil to each other and we care about each other, but, we are not the closest siblings in the history of sibling-hood. We have different tastes in everything (mine are good and hers are tacky, fyi) and different viewpoints. I am convinced she may be a political conservative which makes no sense to me as a self-proclaimed liberal. I think the biggest reason why we are not close is the fact that I am gay. I don't fully understand her views on it. I know she is influenced by the hyper-religious upbringing we both had (mine more hyper than hers as she was not a huge church fan, btw). I also know that she does have gay friends and even had a gay roommate when she first moved out of the house. That being said, on one particular night when we were discussing Medea and during which I felt that we were bonding, I happened to mention that I was gay. I don't think I got the greatest reaction from her. I mean, she cried (as in sobbing not just a few tears) so we cut our chat short and I left. The next morning she did not mention it and has not mentioned it since. I feel fairly safe to assume that's not the greatest reaction though I do think it was not the worst by far. There was no calling my parents plus denial is a pretty sweet, if hurtful, package.

Moving on to Brother-in-law, or Bil as he shall henceforth be known. I debated on whether or not to give Bil his own paragraph. I didn't think he was important enough and the only reason he got his own paragraph is because my sister's paragraph was way too long already. Yes, I am glad he is alive and well since then I don't have to worry about Sister and her progeny being cared for. That's about it though. We don't see eye to eye on much. I was not really aware there were levels of how Mexican you can be, and then I met him. He is way, WAY, more Mexican than me. Think of a Mexican stereotype and he either fulfills it or has family that does. Is he Catholic? Yes. Does he like soccer? Yes. Has he ever gotten a buzz cut with designs on it? No, but his brother did once and I was not allowed to laugh, point, or make otherwise derisive comments. Has he ever worn those pointy boots that are, in my mind, the equivalent of a Mexican vasectomy? Once again, no. But his brother has. Did he have his last name or his hometown tinted in the back window of his vehicle? He wanted to but thankfully my sister was able to knock some sense into him.  Does he eat rat stew? Yes. Now I know that last one is not a Mexican stereotype but I thought it was worth mentioning because it is disgusting. Granted, they are mountain rats and not sewer rats that he is eating so they are supposed to be healthier. That didn't change the fact that when I lifted that pot lid there were rat whiskers, teeth and eyes staring back at me.  I think Bil's definitive story would be the one time I was riding in their Tahoe about eight or nine years ago. We were driving back to Denton from Dallas and it was close to X-mas. As we were driving going north on I-35E, an SUV with X-mas lights along its interior passed us. I was amused, in a condescending sort of way, until I looked over at Bil's face and my amusement quickly changed to terror. His face was lit-up like a child on X-mas morning who just opened one of his presents to find the one thing he had longed for the most. The child who found the one present he had made sure was in his letter to Santa and for which he had behaved and avoided having any fun in the slim chance that he might get it. Bil's smile was so intense even the Joker would have asked him to tone it down a bit. He turned to Sister and made a statement which my mind has luckily blocked out but which amounted to him wanting to place X-mas lights on his vehicle. Fortunately, Sister was not as enthusiastic about his idea as he was so it was never carried to fruition. Nevertheless, take it or leave it but that story encapsulates everything that is Bil.

Moving on to my nephews. I have two. For the sake of simplicity, I will call the older nephew Older and the younger nephew will be known as Younger. ( I must give credit where credit is due and I have to thank my Houston friend for such a clear method of pseudonym assignment.) I hope none of you are lost so far.

Older is about to finish elementary school and move to middle school. I must say that I am very protective of him. I feel a strong bond with him as I have lived with him and his parents during various periods of my life. I have always loved cartoons and I remember having a routine when I used to live with him around 2005. I would get home from work at the same time everyday and he would come into my room and we would watch The Fairly Oddparents and take a nap afterward. I feel it necessary to explain that my disdain for children does not extend to my nephews at all. Although, I am always very glad that I can send them home to their parents when I am done with them. I think the phrase to keep in mind here is, small doses.

Younger is either six or seven years old, depending on when I post this. He is a very interesting character that I often find myself at odds with. He has a very strong will and a very independent streak which are good qualities but can sometimes lead to trouble. On top of that, he is very spoiled. I don't do well with spoiled children. I guess it's because I myself am spoiled and I don't like the competition. He is just more of a handful than Older ever was. I have to say I am not proud of this, even though I secretly really am, in order to come across as more politically correct, but I used to have Older trained to look up and/or come to me when I snapped my fingers. Stop judging me. I know that sounds horrible but it was very practical.  Hear me out. If we were ever in a crowded and loud play area, as we often were, he would not hear us calling his name. However, he would hear the snapping of my fingers and come to us which turned yelling into an unnecessary task. I am only telling you this as an example of something that Younger would never go for.

Although she is the youngest, I think I will just call my niece Emily. That is, of course, not her real name. I don't feel free to divulge that kind of information without parental permission and I don't feel comfortable getting parental permission because then I would have to inform them that I have a blog and they may not like what I write in it. Back to my niece, Emily was the name that my nephews had picked for their sister while she was just an ethereal idea a couple of years ago. It was actually Younger's idea to call her Emily. He wanted her to be called Emily Elizabeth after the girl in the Clifford books. What I love about calling her Emily is that now everyone gets mad at me for calling her that and keep reminding me of her real name as if I had simply gotten confused or forgotten it. They don't know that it is their frustration that fuels my desire to call her Emily. Anyway, Emily is the newest addition to my sister's family. She is not even two months old yet. Her arrival has sure been bittersweet though. On the plus side, Medea can finally stop bugging me about having a granddaughter. She kept telling me how she wanted a granddaughter so that she could dress her up in a nice red dress. Don't ask me why the dress had to be red. Medea is the one responsible for that lunacy. On the negative side though, Emily now has the first birthday of the year. I used to have the first birthday of the year, being a March baby and all, but she had to be born in February and ruin it. On top of that, she doesn't really do anything. She just lays there. She really is kind of boring and I can't wait for her to get a personality because so far I don't think I like her. I am not a big baby person. I like kids more than I like babies and I really don't like kids so you should have an idea how I feel about babies. I have never had to and will, hopefully, never have to change a diaper in my life. I know what I like and I am pretty sure diaper changing is on the list of things I do not enjoy. That being said, I have already told Sister that, just as I did with Older and Younger, I will not babysit Emily until she is potty trained. And that's final.

The last member of what I consider my family would be my mother, or as I affectionately have dubbed her, Medea. I had meant to gloss over the other family members so I could focus on Medea's antics but, alas, brevity has never been my forte. Since this post already seems to be too long and, even if it is not, it has taken me most of the morning to write, I will probably just gloss over her antics and reserve the right to expand on them later. In a nutshell in the past two years I moved out of my parents' house after a specifically terrible fight. After six months, I moved back in with them so I could look after their house since five months later they moved to Mexico. A month after me and a very pregnant Sister (along with her family) visited them in Mexico. During the stay, Medea became very mad at me for talking to one of my aunts she had had an argument with and stopped talking to me. Two months after they came back for the birth of their granddaughter (remember Emily?) but she still refused to talk to me which came as a shock to nobody that ever knew her. Currently, they are staying at their house which coincidentally is where I am staying. They should be here for about another month but their stay is never free of drama. Unfortunately, this drama doesn't lend itself to crafty writing in order to be made bearable so them being here has only been more of an inconvenience and has provided less to write about than usual. I mean, it's not every year they leave me stranded in Odessa.  However, it is worthy of note that Medea has "divorced me" as she keeps repeating to me whenever she is talking to me. I am not necessarily sure what that entails but I shall keep you notified as the disenfranchisement develops.

I think I will stop this post for now. After all, I don't want to sound too bitter. I think I came off as bitter enough. Anyway, isn't life funny? I just realized that the person who I did not even want to write a paragraph about is the one that ended up with the longest paragraph. I was not aware that he could provide so much fodder although it seems obvious in retrospect since the whole family makes fun of him constantly.  I guess you live and you learn.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Here we go again.

Hello. My name is Carlos and I am the neglectful owner of this here blog. I feel like I need to re-introduce myself since it has been almost two years since my last post. I had to re-read all of my previous posts to give myself a clue as to what I was writing about and I noticed a trend in which I usually started by apologizing for not posting enough. I will not apologize this time. I will try to start over with a clean slate and hope that I have a better track record this time around. I will not make any promises as I did not keep my previous promises but I will try harder this time. A lot of things have changed in the last two years so I will try to bring you up to date.

I started this blog close to three years ago. A lot can happen in three years. A lot can change in three years. Actually, a lot has happened and changed in the past three years. When I was reading my previous posts, I noticed a picture of me I had posted. It looked exactly like this:
Just look at how young and naive I looked.
I had thought to post a picture of how I look now so that you could compare and contrast. However, I decided against it because that would just be depressing and that is not how I want this post to go. I can give you a brief overview instead. I still have hair. It's still mostly black. It needs a haircut. There I think I covered everything pretty well. Okay, I guess I can add that I grew a goatee. People tell me I look older with a goatee. Despite that, I don't think I will shave it any time soon. I have also, maybe, put on some more weight. I am not gonna admit to it even if the fact that my clothes don't fit as well anymore makes it obvious. I do still try to work out every now and then. That gym membership I mentioned back in 2010, I paid for it for two years. I just never actually went to the gym and apparently just paying a monthly gym fee is not enough to get you in shape.  I have, however, acquired an Xbox 360 with the Kinect and I try to play on it every now and then and count it as exercise. I mean, it should totally count because I run out of breath every time I use it. The fact that it is fun is just a nice plus. On a different note, I think I have gotten shorter but there is no way to prove that so I am not saying more on the issue. I guess the overall idea is that I have gotten older. I tried not to but I was unsuccessful. Maybe soon I will work up the nerve to take a new picture.It will definitely be after I get a haircut. I can tell you that much.

On the job front, I still work at the same place so there is not much to tell there. Granted, I don't have my second floor office anymore and I am stuck at the front desk again but they had to do some cuts and I am thankful that I still have a way to pay my bills. On the bright side, I still work with Heidi and Dottie and Preggo and the Co-Worker so at least work is not boring most of the time. There are times when it is mind-numbingly dull, but it's usually fine.

On the religious front, I have now accepted that I am an atheist. I don't know if this is good or bad, it just is. Unfortunately, it is very hard for people to accept my atheism. Especially because I still use phrases like "Thank god" and "God, no!!!" People need to realize that those are just expressions and not a statement of belief. I also still have all that Bible knowledge stuck in my head so I find myself at times quoting scripture or even trying to explain to Christians why they believe in what they believe. I would say that I am not a very good atheist. I don't feel I am being graded on it though so I don't stress too much about it.

When I was re-reading my previous posts, I made a list of things to talk about. I still have a few left that I haven't discussed like family and dating. I figure I will wait on those as I don't want to overwhelm you, or me, on this second first post. I am pretty sure the family topic itself can take up a full post so I will probably write about that next. Also, my hands are out of shape because I haven't had to type a lot lately so I need to end this post before they succumb to fatigue and I have to resort to pecking the keys with one finger to finish it.

I know the writing in this post is a little awkward so I acknowledge I am a little rusty. I will get better. I have to get better because this is pretty sad. Writing in this blog again is like running into an old friend you haven't seen in years. You are glad to see them and you know how things were between you at one point, but that just makes this new encounter awkward as you re-discover how to approach and communicate with each other again. Bear with me for a few posts and I bet you won't regret it... much. You won't regret it much.
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So What if I am not Typical? I'm Still Fun. by Not Typical, Yet Fun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.