If We Were Having Coffee // I’m Looking Forward to Christmas this Time

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a quick chat and a cup of warm coffee with me. The weather is chilly today, and earlier we had some flurries. It seems winter may have shown up late but it is here to stay now.

This past week was a hectic one—I had to work some, I had to write a lot, and I had to see family—but I was glad the holiday passed without too much stress. Normally this time of year is hard for me. The pressure and stress of it all are usually more than I can handle but this year feels different. I’m looking forward to Christmas this time.

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If we were having coffee,  I would tell you that I won’t get to visit with you very long this week. I have so many words that need writing if I want to be able to meet the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word goal on time. I’m sitting at just under 35,000 words, and if I can manage 4,000 a day for the next four days, I can make it. I hope to write 5,000 by the end of tonight.

I haven’t looked over what I’ve written so far. Not much anyway, except to expand or add dialog to boost my words counts. I know it is all a pile of shit. A steaming pile that I will need to dig through and see if there are a few gems I can salvage and use in the book that I hope to write eventually.

After November I plan to take a break from it all and start on a new project. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my Thanksgiving was nice and quiet, just the way I had hoped it would be. My girlfriend and I spent the morning and the early afternoon at home. We had brunch with mimosas and stayed in our pajamas as long as we could. Afterward, we went to my mother’s for dinner and drinks. My littlest sister and my brother and his family were there. We ate plenty and had a really good time.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving and this year, in particular, the holiday feels empty and wrong. The clashing of Native protesters and police over the Dakota Access Pipeline has been a much-needed reminder of the ways this country still oppresses and silences its people.

It’s a much-needed reminder of how awful it is to celebrate a holiday which mischaracterizes the relationship between the early settlers and the Natives. It’s a much-needed reminder that we are not so different nor have we made as much progress as we’d like to believe.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a bit of a dull and lonely one. My girlfriend spent the weekend with her mother. They went up to the mountains for gambling and drinks in celebration of her mother’s birthday. Gambling isn’t my thing, I had writing to do, and our dog needed looking after, so I stayed home.

I spent the time cleaning, trying to write, and watching way more Netflix than was good for my productivity and creative mind. I didn’t sleep well, and I hardly ate so even now I am struggling to stay awake and do the things I need to do.

I’ve only slept alone a handful of nights since we moved together over 14 years ago and when she isn’t here I can’t even lay in our bed. The house doesn’t feel so big anymore, and my mind isn’t quite so loud. Being alone is hard for me, and I am very glad she is back home.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that before my lady left for the weekend, she did surprise me a movie date. We saw Arrival, which good but also surprising, intense, and emotional and I highly recommend it.

We went to a very late showing, to a theater we used to spend a lot of our time in. We snuck in a flask of blood orange vodka and pockets full of movie candy. We giggled and acted like young teenagers. We kissed and cuddled and felt young again. It was a perfect movie date. Like all the ones she used to take me on when we were getting to know one another and deciding whether or not to begin our lives together.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. If I don’t start writing a few scenes or putting my characters through some pain and anguish, I’ll be very disappointed in myself. If I get disappointed in myself, I will have a hard time staying motivated and hopeful. I’ll give up.

So, I must go, but I am so glad we’ve had this time. If you have a moment drop by the comments and let me know how you have been, how your holiday was, and how your own projects are faring.

Until next time :)

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My new favorite mug 😊

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I started a weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering. You can sign up here: (:

Featured image via Unsplash

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Thankful for Time

Hello and happy Monday to you all! I’m having a rough one thanks to freezing temperatures, all the snow we got over the weekend, and my inability to cope with returning to work after five days off. I really, really want to run back home and crawl back into my warm bed. But that is not an option and so I have to make the best of the day. I have to take advantage of the new start to make changes and move closer to my goals.

All month I have been working, week by week, on incorporating the principles of Thanksgiving into my life. I know the holiday is over but I couldn’t move on to the Christmas season without being thankful for one more thing. I had to acknowledge my gratitude for the passage of time.

Time is both a curse and a blessing for us humans. Time only moves forward so we get no do-overs. We can’t go back to make better choices, right our wrongs, or see the people we’ve lost once. Time hurts us all. It ticks on and on and moves us further toward the inevitable end. Time is harsh, uncaring, and it never stops or slows for any of us.

Worst of all, it slips by us unnoticed, and its gone before we learn to appreciate it.

Then again, time does heal all wounds, or at least makes them easier to bear. Time forces us to appreciate what we once had. Time teaches us lessons. Time makes us all wiser as we age and learn from those things we can’t undo. Time changes us and if we are aware of it we can change into someone we can love and be proud of.

“I may not be where I want to be but I’m thankful for not being where I used to be.”

Habeeb Akande

I think of where I came from and how far I’ve come from that and I am amazed with myself. Whenever I think something is impossible I remember how much I’ve already done and I realize I can do so much. I think of where I could’ve ended up and I make sure to be aware of what time I have and what I do with it.

I do not doubt that if I had made any other choices I would either be in jail, or dead.

There was a time when I was all messed up. I didn’t know which way to go and I carried a deep sadness with me wherever I went.  Time passed me by and I did nothing at all good with my life. I am paying for those poor choices now. I will never get a do over but I have learned to appreciate my time more.

I have learned that the time we have to enjoy life and make the most of it is fleeting. I never went to prom. I didn’t get to go to parties with my friends or join fun after school clubs. I didn’t get to go to college. I spent a lot of time drinking and drugging and hanging around people who I meant nothing to. I didn’t get to ease into adulthood and will forever feel like I have fallen behind my peers. I’m 30 years old now and I still feel like I’m catching up.

Time changed me and changed my environment. Time made everything better, but now I have less of it left. Time is not on my side so I have to maximize what I have. I have to do better every day. I have to be mindful of every moment and not let one more minute pass me by. Time is a vessel and I only want to fill it with things that feel good and get me where I want to be.

If you are aware of time and it’s movement you can see the beauty in it. You can appreciate the way life flows and moves. You can feel happier knowing that whatever your current circumstances are, time will change them. Things will get better, and then worse, but always better again. Time brings good and bad and it’s all beautiful. Time is precious.

Take time to love. Take time to learn. Take time to see, hear, taste, and touch all that you can. Take your time, make the most of your time, but do not take it for granted. You do not have as much as you think you do.

“Be grateful for who you are and what you will be.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

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Featured image: Leaves of Gold by Ashtyn Warner

The Small Things I Am Thankful For

Obviously we are all thankful for family and friends. We are thankful for our jobs, our food, and our homes. We are thankful for clean water, freedom, and safety. Of course we are, but what about the little things? What small things make life better? Here are mine:

I am thankful for my dog, Lola. She’s stubborn and she drives me crazy but she is so freakin’ cute! When we first got her she got sick and we were afraid that she might have parvo. We were afraid we would lose her. She didn’t and she got better and now she is family. We love her so much and she loves us much more than we deserve.

I’m thankful for technology which puts so much information at my fingertips whenever I want or need it. I am especially thankful for the Khan Academy and YouTube channels such as Crash Course, In A Nutshell, and School of Life. I have learned so much from all of these sources and continue to everyday. What a time to be alive!

I am thankful for my favorite places to frequent, the Alamo Drafthouse theater and the Mexican restaurant around the corner. Whenever we need to get out, whenever we want to have a little fun we can always go to one or the other and we know we’ll have a great time. Whenever we want to have a night to be together and fall in love again, these are the places we go.

I am thankful all the Tarantino films, especially Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards, and Kill bill volumes I and II. Oh and Jackie Brown! Whenever I need a good laugh or am in the mood for gore and guts I turn on a Tarantino film. I look forward to seeing his newest film, The Hateful Eight, in January.

I am thankful for music from artists like Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar, Outkast, and Glass Animals. There are a lot of days I wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for their music to help me through. When I need to get away but can’t escape the place I am in, usually work, I put in my headphones and I am whisked away. When I need motivation or encouragement, when my mind feels stuck the get me thinking. When I become emotional, the level me out.

I am thankful for wine, margaritas, bloody marys, and white russians. I know it sounds bad but at the end of the work day just one of these will mark the boundary between a stressful day and a relaxing evening. It marks the time that me and my lady come together to vent about our day. Having a drink is a way to slow the world down and be present.

I am thankful for my other pets too. My cat sophia who loves me but rarely shows it, and my snakes, Ava and Delilah, who give me something to care about and learn about. I am thankful for the pets I have lost, my dogs Samson and Angel, who I miss very much and who I am glad I got to know.

I am thankful for he many notebooks I carry around and my Pilot Precise V5 pens. I love writing about my day and writing about what I need to get done too. Everyday I write about five good things that have happened that day and I swear it has changed how I think. These items mean a lot to me and I carry them wherever I go.

Finally I am thankful for this little space on the internet and for every reader who stops by. I have been at this for a year and a half or so and it has become my favorite thing to do everyday. I write here as much as I can and I cherish every like and comment. Having a blog seems like such a silly thing and surely too small a thing to matter much but that is so far from the truth. This blog has changed me and made me see myself and the world around me differently. I hope I never lose my passion for it.

I am thankful for family, friends, and others around me, and I am thankful for the love I have in my life, but there are little comforts that make life such a beautiful place. I couldn’t end the day without thinking of them too.

What little things are you thankful for this year? What get you through the day or makes you feel happy or comfortable?

 

A Day to Give Thanks and a Day to Remember

As I’ve been writing all month, I do think the principles of thanksgiving are wonderful ones. I think there is so much for us all to be thankful for, so much that we take for granted, that it is nice to have a holiday that reminds us that we have so much in this life. It’s nice to have a day that brings us all together to celebrate our joys. I want that for everyone today. I want you all to laugh and stuff yourselves full of delicious food and drink. I want you all to have a beautiful holiday.

I only wish we would take a moment to recognize that Thanksgiving tradition could use a tiny bit of tweaking.

My biggest grip with the holiday is we forget what it really means. We were taught a cute little story about pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for a celebratory meal. We were lied to. In reality the first Thanksgiving was in celebration of a massacre of over 700 Pequot Indians.

Now, I don’t want to put too much of a damper on the day. I know that isn’t what we are celebrating now but being honest about the history of this day is a very important step in really moving forward. No one can deny that in this country the Native American have been treated very poorly. Their land was stolen, their people were killed, and their struggles belittled, and now we have turned a blind eye to them.

I think the least we can do is take a little time today to be honest about where this holiday came from and to remember that the people whose land this was first continue to face issues of poverty, mass incarceration, violence against their women, the continued exploitation and seizure of their lands, and much, much more. I think it is insulting to celebrate, as a nation, a holiday marking the killing of their people, and still forget to take a moment for them.

I don’t want to get rid of the holiday at all. I don’t want to ruin it either. I really do wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you have much to be thankful for this year. I only ask that you do not forget what this holiday might mean to cultures other than your own. I ask that you be sensitive to that and raise awareness if you can. Do not let the lie we were taught in school live on any longer. That’s all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)

Featured image via U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr

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P.S. Please think of the turkeys today too, which have been breed to be so big they cannot even stand upright anymore.

Monday Motivation // Thankful for Love

Hello and happy Monday to you all. Mine has been a busy one already and to be honest I’d like nothing more than to head back home and crawl into my nice warm bed. But that is not what Mondays are for. Mondays are a new start and a fresh chance to make changes in our lives that move us forward and make us happy.

This month I am doing my best to incorporate the principles of Thanksgiving into my daily routine. (Even if the story of the Native Americans and the Pilgrims coming together to share a feast is a complete lie). I am working on being thankful for what I have, showing gratitude, connecting with, and appreciating, my community.

This week I am doing something a little different and thanking the person for whom I give credit for all my happiness. This week I am thankful for the love of my amazing girlfriend. I know without a doubt that without her, my life would be less joyful, less fulfilling, and certainly less comfortable and secure.

“Thank you…for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.”

― Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come

Of course I am thankful for the love of all my family and friends but her love has changed me in a way I would never know was possible had I not experienced it first hand. Romantic love is so different from the other kinds of love we have in life. It is the love you have for someone who sees you at your best and often at your worst. This love reminds you that you are not an island. It reminds you that going through life with a teammate and a witness is the greatest gift this life can offer.

My lady is there when I have bad days. She is there to help me through life’s demands and hard choices. She is there to struggle with me and to enjoy the rewards of that struggle. She supports me in my crazy plans and ideas. She listens when I need an ear and she tells me the hard truths no one else will.

One of the things that makes me saddest in this world is when I hear someone who has that kind of love complain about it. I hate to hear that love is being taken for granted. I once had a coworker, after spending a few minutes complaining about his wife, look at me and say “after 14 years there just isn’t anything to talk about anymore, you know?”. No I don’t know, and I hope I never do! After 13 years together me and my girlfriend still talk, joke, and vent together every day.

I think this coworker had gotten lazy in his relationship. He forgot to love and cherish his wife. He forgot what brought them together in the first place. Worst of all, he forgot what it was like before he had her. If you are in a relationship, remember to appreciate what your significant other has given you. Remember to show gratitude and to return the favor. If you can’t do that, then I urge you to love them enough to consider letting them go.

I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have this kind of love in their life. Even our love has not been without its ups and downs and there were times in the past when we almost lost each other. We were lucky and we got through the bad times. I hope we will continue to be lucky and make it through many more.

Even if you’ve loved and lost, you have to admit that when it was good, it was really good. I hope you can look back and see the good that kind of love did for you. If you loved and that love was not returned, be grateful that your capacity for love was proven and do not give up trying to find someone who will return your affections. Be grateful there is even a chance in this world to have that kind of love some time.

As for me, this week I will have a little time off of work with the love of my life and I plan to tell her how much she has meant to me over the years. I hope to remember to do it more often because, without her, my life would be a very lonely and harsh one.

Without her I would never have known how beautiful a place this world could be.

“I want to thank you for the profound joy I’ve had in the in the thought of you.”

― Rosie Alison, The Very Thought of You

 

If We Were Having Coffee // Roller Coaster Weather and Fast Approaching Holidays

Hello friends! I apologize for being a little late for our chat, I slept in later then I meant to this morning. I can tell you I am not happy about it either. I like to get up early on Saturday and Sunday so I can enjoy as much of my days off as possible. By early I mean 7:00 AM at the latest. This morning I slept in until 10.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the weather has been a real roller coaster ride lately. We’ll see temperatures close to 60 degrees then well drop lower and lower over the next few days until we are freezing and snow is falling. Last Tuesday we actually had a snow day and I got to stay home, warm and cozy in bed. There are a few perks to working for a school district.

This coming week will be warm at first, today we might see 60 degrees again, and by Thanksgiving day it will be cold and snowing again. It’s too early for accumulation predictions but I hope the roads stay clear enough for everyone’s holiday travels.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that because my girlfriend has been working so much we have been doing our best to the little time we have together every night special. We spend the evening talking while she cooks and I clean and we have started watching a few shows together like Carnivàle and True Detective, both on HBO.

I loved the first season of True Detective and I can’t wait to start the second. I wish I hadn’t started Carnivàle though. It’s not that I hate it, in fact, I’m only a few episodes in and I’m hooked! I just found out that it got canceled after 2 seasons so there are going to be a lot of unanswered questions and I am sure I will be disappointed in the end.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that most of yesterday was spent cooped up in the house. By about 8:00 at night I was feeling antsy and wanted out. So, I found a few “rain check” movie tickets we had lying around, got ready, and went out to see the newest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay—Part 2.

I’ll write up one of my “short and sweet” reviews but I will tell you right now, I was a little disappointed in it. I hate to say it but, the book was better. I might have to read them again to rid my mind of this lackluster version.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that as usual the holidays are sneaking up on me. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is only just over 30 days away! I don’t have my plans figured out for either holiday and I don’t have any gift ideas yet either. I’m starting to panic. Well, I have one gift idea for my girlfriend but it’s something I’m making and it’s going to be a very big project.

Deep down I I’m not sure I can pull it off and I’m starting to regret the decision. I don’t think I have the time or the skill to make what I want to make for her. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. It’s too late to try to do something else now so I am just going to have to try my best. I just hope she likes it.

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If we were having coffee I would thank you for stopping by and apologize for having to cut the visit short. There is so much to be done around the house and more errands to run than usual. I am already so late that I doubt I will be able to accomplish much today but a little something is better than nothing.

I do hope you had a good week, and either way I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Monday Motivation // Appreciate Your Community

Hello and happy Monday friends! As most of you know, Mondays are always rough for me but I am trying, week by week, to change my attitude and learn to love the most hated day of the week. I don’t want to waste a whole day out of every week of my life grumbling and grouchy. I want to think of Mondays as a new beginning and a chance to start the week off on the right foot.

This month I am doing my best to incorporate the principles of Thanksgiving into my daily routine. (Even if the story of the Native Americans and the Pilgrims coming together to share a feast is a complete lie). I am working on being thankful for what I have, showing gratitude, and this week, connecting with, and appreciating, my community. These days a lot of people have lost their sense of community. The world has gotten so big people no longer settle into one place or one job. People come and go from our lives and we make little effort to keep in touch. This week I want to get a better sense of who and what my community is and what they mean to me.

I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.

– Howard Schultz

I spend most of my day at my job so my first sense of community comes from my coworkers. Many of us have worked here for a long time, between five and nine. There is a small group of us that have been hanging out for years. Members come and go but there is a core group that keeps it all together. I consider them to be my good friends. They make me laugh, they help me when I need it, and we share stories and thoughts on current events, philosophy, our childhoods, our families, and our hopes and dreams. They are definitely my community.

There are a ton of other people who work here and while they might not be my friends we are still a “team”. This is especially evident this time of year and throughout the winter. I work on a school bus so you can imagine that snowy days are a little worrisome for us. The weather here is predicted to turn ugly within the next few hours. By tomorrow we might have somewhere between eight and twelve inches of snow on the ground. The district rarely calls a snow day so we will all be here doing our best to keep each other, and our kids, safe.

My family is obviously my community, my first community. We’ve all grown up and moved on but we still feel a connection no matter what happens or how long we’ve gone without seeing each other. It’s been awhile since I have seen my family, some members longer than others, and I miss them when it’s been too long. Life gets in the way and I never feel like I as much time to give as I want.

This coming year one of my goals, in addition to seeing my parents and all my brothers and sisters more often, is to see as many members of my extended family as I can. I want to see the cousins I grew up with. I want to see my grandmother who tells everyone I’m her favorite. I want to see my Godmother, who was one of the few stable adults in my life growing up. I want to get to know them better and let them know that I do care for all of them, even if I forget to show it. I want to strengthen this community that I have neglected my whole adult life.

For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community.

– Joe Biden

One community I want to work on too is my neighborhood. When most people think community they think of where they live but how many of us really take time to know our neighbors? How many of us feel like the people who live in our city, or town, or on our street, or our block, are our community? So few ever reach out to their neighbors or give back to the city they live in. I admit I never have.

I like my neighbors. They are quiet, they leave me alone, and, for the most part, they are willing to help me out when I need it. I borrow tools from the guy across the street and our dogs play together. The guy that lived next door moved out but the new guy and his wife seem very nice. They have introduced themselves and they wave when we come and go. My other neighbors are a little crazy but they are fun to talk to when I get the chance. They are all nice and I feel bad because a lot of the time I want them to just leave me alone.

It’s not because I don’t like them or anything, it’s actually mostly out of shame. My house needs more work than any of theirs and I feel like they must hate me, or are at least judging me very harshly. In the summer I see them all outside together drinking and joking and sometimes and I wish I could go out there and be a part of it. I’m sure I could but I am shy and I feel bad about my house and so I stay inside. This year I want to start getting to know them, and when I get the house fixed up I want to invite them all over.

I want to build up a small community on my street. We could all help and look out for each other. We could have little barbeques and parties and what not and of course my friends and family would be there too because, eventually, I want to bring all my separate little communities together :)

What is important is family, friends, giving back to your community and finding meaning in life.

– Adrian Grenier

Monday Motivation // Show Gratitude

Good morning dearies and welcome to another work week. As most of you know, Mondays are always rough for me but I am trying, week by week, to change my attitude and learn to love the most hated day of the week. I don’t want to waste a whole day out of every week of my life grumbling and grouchy. I want to think of Mondays as a new beginning and a chance to start the week off on the right foot.

This month I am choosing to focus on the principles of Thanksgiving (even if the story of the Native Americans and the Pilgrims coming together to share a feast is a complete lie) and learn to appreciate the life I have and the people who share that life with me. Part of that is not just feeling thankful is showing you are thankful. This week I am  going to work on thanking people more and letting them know exactly how they have helped me or made my life better.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

– William Arthur Ward

Gratitude is a word that most have forgotten. Gratitude is thankfulness made visible. It means taking you feelings and showing them by either expressing them verbally or returning the favor in kind. Usually this part is saved for Christmas time, when we celebrate each other by giving gifts, but the season has been robbed of it’s message and we tend to focus too much on our own families and not the people we might not be as close to, people you might not even know, but nonetheless make our lives easier.

For example your coworkers. The ones who see you have a lot on you plate and offer to take over a task so you could step away or get some food. The ones who make sure to ask about your weekend and really listen when you tell them how it went. The ones who offer to get you something when they go to lunch because they know you like Chipotle, or Panda Express.The ones who tell you it’s okay to go home early because you don’t feel good, they got this. They are a part of your community and they all work with you to keep you at your best. Thank them!

What about the people working tirelessly to bring you services you take for granted all the time. The mail woman who shows up day in and day out, or the trash men who come rain or shine and cart away your waste. What about the school bus driver who works hard to get your kids to and from school safe and sound? The waiters, the cashiers and baggers, the mechanics who fix your car and the barista that makes your coffee. Don’t look past these people like they don’t exist. Think about what your life would be without them and thank them!

As for your close family and friends try to think of a way to thank them that is personal and thoughtful. Don’t just spring for a generic card and a gift card to a big box store. Make them something, write them a letter, tell them why you appreciate them. Let them know exactly what they mean to you in the sweetest, corniest way you can. Get emotional, be vulnerable, tell them how you feel because in this world too many people feel unseen and unappreciated. If we all took a little time to really thank each other, with feeling, then we would all know we mattered to somebody.

Who knows, maybe you matter to someone you barely know too.

Monday Motivation // Be Thankful

Good Monday morning to you all! I hope you had a good weekend and I hope you have meet the work week well. I know Mondays are the hardest day of the week. I know Mondays are the hardest days to like. I know that we are all conditioned to drag our feet and maintain a negative outlook but that really isn’t good way to live. I say it’s a huge waste of the short time you have on this earth to go on hating one day out of every week. I say let’s work every Monday to start the week off right.

This Monday is the first of the holiday season, a very stressful time for many families. That stress could be lessened if we’d all get back to remembering what this season is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about giving thanks for what we have and helping others who have less. I am not a big fan of the Thanksgiving story, the one where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans come together to feast and give thanks, mainly because it is completely false, but I do agree with the sentiment, and I do think it’s good to spread it.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”

Oprah Winfrey

This week I am trying to get back into the swing of things after taking off a whole week of work. I woke up sad my break was over and angry I had to go back to work doing a job that is not fulfilling. I quickly realized this was a poor way to view my life. I realized I was being very ungrateful for all the good things I have that many others don’t. I might not always like my job but compared to many other people in many other places around the world I am lucky and quite rich.

This morning I wanted to put my money into perspective, I googled “where am I on the global wealth scale”. The first result was a link for the Global Rich List, and oh man did that make me feel bad. I won’t divulge my income but I can tell you that according to this site, globally I am sitting in the top 1 to 2 percent. That isn’t even including my girlfriends income, and she makes considerably more than me. I am rich and working a cushy job and I woke up complaining. How horrible am I?

I have clean water and heat on demand. I have good food, I have clothes, I have a stable roof over my head, and I generally feel safe where I live and work. I can vote, I can take people to court who wrong me, and I can move about freely in the world. I am not religious but the best word to describe my station in life is blessed.

So this week I am going to remember to be thankful for what I have. I am going to remember that while I sometimes forget how lucky I am, there are those who would gladly switch places with me. I will stop taking my life for granted. I will stop complaining so damn much. I will do this because when we are always wanting more and more in life we forget to look behind us and help those who need our help the most. We forget that while we are complaining about not having the newest and the best there are some who are just trying to survive.

Black Friday Ain’t So Bad!

I have never participated in the craziness that is Black Friday before. I love shopping and I love getting a good deal but I hate crowds and chaos and Black Friday looked like nothing but crowds and chaos. Then me and my girlfriend got to thinking, we needed a couple of big ticket and we neede to save some money on those items so we decided to join the masses this year.

Normally we spend the day after Thanksgiving resting and recuperating from the stress leading up to the holiday. This morning we woke up at 5 AM, the same time I would be getting up for work if I had to go in today. We got up and I stumbled to the coffee machine, I knew I would need the caffeine. I didn’t plan on being out long but this was Black Friday and everything I had read about the day told me I needed to be prepared for anything.

Turns out though that it wasn’t horrible or crazy at all. Borning I know but since stores are starting the deals Thanksgiving night there wasn’t much of a mad rush this morning. We started out at Target. One of the big purchases we needed to make was for a new TV and I had heard rumors that Target had them for $200! Our old one is 6 or 7 years old and starting to crap out. We got to Target at about 6:30 AM and we were immediatly told by the associate in electronics that all the best deals had been sold out the night before. He said some had been gon as early as 6 PM! I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated.

So then we decided to see what Best Buy had. We planned on going there anyway because the other big purchase we needed to make was for a new camera. We actually don’t have one at all right now but we are tired of documenting precious memories on our cell phones. We got to Best Buy at about 7:15 and saw there was a line forming outside. Apperently Best Buy had been open until 1 AM Thankgiving night but was not opening early on Black Friday. This makes no sense to me but whatever, we grabbed a sale ad and got in line. They were going to open at 8.

The whole expierience there was a bit confusing. There was a cop pacing outside which made me a bit nervous. Then employees kept walking down the line asking us what items we were there for. Not because they could hold anything for us but because they just wanted to get a count of how many people wanted what items. Then they told us that there was color coded lines and in we were there for TV’s to get in the green line, for computers and laptops get in the yellow line, and for cameras and what-not get in the red line. No one followed the line thing.

The people in line with us seemed to be Black Friday pros and were very anxious to get inside. The chatted away amongst each other about where else they had been and what they hoped to buy. Many of them had even been shopping the night before, some had even been at that very Best Buy!

They kept asking every employee who walked out how many of this TV or that laptop were left. I got more and more irritated as opening time approached. They would find out in just a few minutes what was in stock and what wasn’t! We got in and once again a lot of the deals were sold out already but in the end we did find our TV and our camera and we did get a good deal on both.

Afterwards we decided to do something a bit more fun so we went back to Target and bought a nice new Christmas tree. We usually don’t put one up but this year I’d like for us to start. I just hope our cats don’t go too crazy. We only bought a few ornaments because I imagine they are going to destroy the tree everyday until I can’t take it anymore and take the damn thing down. I plan to keep my reciept, the tree wasn’t cheap.

By the time we were done with all of that we were very hungry and tired so we decided to go eat breakfast and then head home to nap. We ordered matching omelets and white peach mimosas and talked about the ideaof having children one day. The holidays aren’t as fun when you don’t have a little version of yourself to share it all with. But that’s a topic for another post on another day.

Today was about starting a new tradition, a tradtion of spending a little time shopping and the rest just hanging out and setting up the tree….for the cats to play with. Also this tradition includes moderate amounts of tasty alcoholic drinks. I recommend eggnog and a bit of rum!