Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Catching Up

Just haven't had much to write about as late. Not anything personal, at least.

Yes, that's my excuse for not updating this blog more often. Aside from being crazy busy at work, I find myself apathetic whenever I sit at the keyboard and about to pour my heart out here on this blog. It's like: meh! Why bother getting worked up in a frenzy about anything anymore? That's really how I feel sometimes.

To be honest, nothing interesting has really happened to me these past few months. The nasty whirlwind that was the first half of 2013 has for the most part settled down to a day-to-day normalcy of work, working out, and trying to get back into writing my short stories. And while I am making progress on the latter, I'm afraid the enthusiasm to blog anymore has severely waned.

That all being said -- I guess I will catch you up on recent events. Or, just my thoughts on them. Which is not much either way, let me warn you now.

So, the holidays are upon us. My favorite time of the year, truly! I find that one's enjoyment of the season--or lack thereof--almost always hearkens back to the type of childhood one's had. If Christmastime was a time of misery, death, and/or division in the family, then as a kid it was not a very happy experience for you. And this might in turn translate into how you view this time of the year for probably the rest of your life. There is no helping it. A friend of mine never received gifts for Christmas due to very selfish and maladjusted parents, so he bitterly despises the holiday even though today he is a grown man nearing 40.

And it makes me think: Despite how shitty a life I've lived, the one thing I could always count on was a fabulous Christmas. When my mother was alive, and even though we subsisted on public assistance at the time, she always went out of her way to bedeck our home with the classical tree and gifts motif, as well as filling the air with the usual assortment of cherished carols playing on the radio. Then, too, we would visit her mother and sister at their house after a leisurely morning breakfast, and get to have a second Christmas of sorts. My grandma and auntie spoiled us rotten, too! Do you know how much fun it is to have two Christmases on the same day? And given that my family actually loved us kids, it's no wonder I grew up with such fond memories of the holiday. In fact, I would say a large part of the reason I turned out so well despite everything is precisely because Christmastime was always there to remind me that there were people in this world who loved me a great deal.

This right there, I think, is the difference between being an adult who loves the holidays, and a Scrooge who does not. It's all about the love. And this is why I'm such a huge supporter of preserving the magic of it for all the children out there. As a parent, I would imagine it must be your express prerogative to make the season a joyous and loving one for your little minions. Am I right? Even if you don't always have the means, or if your life is not what you had wished it to be: please, NEVER take it out on the kids. And especially not at this time. Make it special for them. Never forget that you were once little and full of such innocence yourself. Try to instill that sense of magic in them for as long as you can. I wouldn't be the dreamer I am today if not for the wonder of Christmas. As you can tell, it means a lot to me.

So, yeah . . . I'm in a generally good mood these days. Add to that the fact that we've already received our first, second, and third snowfalls here in New York City--and it's not even New Year's yet! I sincerely hope this bodes well for a very cold and snowy Winter. It is coming, you know? BAM!, Game of Thrones reference! :)

Speaking of snow, we got a fairly decent dusting of the stuff over the weekend. I was stuck in my cozy apartment with nothing much to do. I certainly had no reason to go out while the worst of it was blowing outside my 2nd-story windows. But then, it was just calling to me. I had to answer! So, I got all bundled up and headed out into the thick of it. The flakes were falling heavy and furiously, flying horizontally into my face at times. And already there was around 2 - 3 inches of snow collecting on the dirty, dangerous streets of my neighborhood when I stepped out:

I started north, then changed my mind and headed south instead down this very street. Toward that ridiculously bright light you see in the distance to the right. I live just down the street from the county's criminal courthouse, and lately there have been a lot of police wagons and spotlights parked around the premises. Luckily none of that light reaches my apartment, but it is a little intimidating whenever I leave my house. On this night, however, it was actually welcome.

I headed west eventually, wanting to check out the nearby city park. As I did, I passed the county's supreme court house building as well (where all the civil cases are tried, among other things) and climbed the hill to the park across the street from it. From there I took this pic so as to show how deserted the low down dirty streets of the South Bronx can be whenever there's even just a little bit of precipitation, frozen or otherwise:

Of course, this was more than just a little bit of precipitation. But, whatever. The point is: I had the park almost entirely to myself!

Weeeeeeee! I love it! All the neat rows of trees, the (not quite) pristine snow on the ground, and of course the huge glowy park lights that remind me a little of Victorian gas lamps when the snow is really coming down like it was this night. Ain't that neat? At times like these, the impoverished neighborhood I live in looks quite quaint. Most of the troublemakers are forced indoors (although I did come across a few on the way back home who, fortunately, knew enough to leave me alone), and the streets were mine to roam alone. For all of the 5 minutes it took to get back to my tidy apartment, at least.

But, yeah. Christmas time! Snow! Home for the holidays! What more can you ask for?

Yes, I know I can ask for a lot more. But, seriously, I'm content for the time being. And I hope you're getting out there and enjoying the most of the season, too!


  1. I certainly have fond childhood memories of Christmas day. Turkey dinner with my mum's parents, either at home or (at least until they got too old) at their house, then a big gathering in the evening of my father's side of the family. Lots of merry aunts, uncles, and cousins, fun and games, food and drink...I often wonder what memories we have laid down in our own children's minds with our own traditions now.

  2. I love Christmas! I'm a big kid at heart. And while I may have all kinds of emotional crap going on in my life right now, I still manage to keep my chin up and just be happy. Christmas brings out my inner child. I have lots of fond memories of Christmases past. I also believe that children should be exposed to making Christmas memories with their family. Traditions. That's what it's about.

    I'm so jealous of you, David! Such pretty snow! Your pictures look like postcards. :)

  3. I'm happy to see you happy. Sometimes when there's nothing to blog about, it means you're busy living life and there's nothing really to complain/vent/get on a soapbox about, and that's a good thing!

    Lovely pictures. You almost make me like snow.

    Almost. :)

  4. Ian -- I bet you children have the best of memories! You're such a devoted dad, and they always look so happy in the few pics you've posted on your blog. I hope you and your beautiful family have a joyous Christmas!

    Yvonne -- Your optimism despite all your hardships and worries is always such an inspiration. I mean, wow! :)

    Jen -- It's so good to have you stop by! And I think you can teach a master class in having a busy life and no time in which to blog about it. Haha! May you, er, NOT have a lot of snow this Winter. I know, a feat that's categorically impossible when you live up north across the border as you do.

  5. My kids love our Christmas tradition. Every year we get them an ornament with their names and date on it. This year's ornament is a skier and a figure skater, both sports the kids have picked up. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. And I am looking forward to seeing you for Wigilia. :)

  6. Cin -- You see? It's important to start traditions with kids early. I'm sure they'll carry these moments with them forever. And, yes ... I'll be there with (jingle) bells on! :)

  7. I recently watched the movie "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" and a scene came to mind while reading this post. The one where Bruce has to face his demons or they will be passed on to his children. Remember that one? How is this memory on topic?

    Well, I'm living with four children all under the age of 8 years old. And despite my issues with this time of year, I find myself participating in the festivities of the season. So, I'm helping with decorating the tree, playing Christmas carols on YouTube, confirming the existence of Santa every time the kids ask, threatening to call Santa when the kids don't want to go to bed, you know, normal holiday stuff. All in an effort to keep the magic for them.

    I don't want to pass on any of my issues, so I put them away. I hope that they'll have good memories and be able to fully enjoy this season for the rest of their lives. It'll probably be the best Christmas gift I could ever give them. Right?

  8. You did, and are doing, a very noble deed, Rodney. As Tiny Tim might say to you: God bless you, sir.

    Or something. :)

    Anyway, I hope the little ones show you the true meaning of Christmas, and that your heart grows two sizes too big! Haha.

    Oh, and ... Any great karaoke send-off for your birthday planned?


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