Sunday, January 5, 2014

State Of The Batista Union

Salute the flag!

In this year of our Lord, two-thousand and fourteen, I hereby declare these United States of Batista ... single and ready to mingle!!!

Haha, I don't know why I just said that. It's not entirely true. I'm not actually ready to start dating just yet. However, I am feeling a whole lot better now that 2013 is over and we're already a few days into 2014. I like the start of a new year. January for me is the perfect month to wind down after the usual busy hubbub that is the holiday season, otherwise known as the triple whammy of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year all occurring roughly within a few weeks' span.

And while I have high hopes for 2014, I just wanted to catch everyone up on how things went at the tail end of 2013 for me.


Basically, I did a whole lot of nothing. Which is actually AWESOME! I needed the rest, and boy did I get it! I don't know if most of you remember, but I tend to save up a huge chunk of my vacation days for the end of the year, where I take up to anywhere from 10 to 14 days off from work. This year I took off from December 19 to January 5--a total of 18 days!

And with all that time off you would think I was very productive, right? You can keep on thinking, brother! No, what I did do was have a lot of ME time staying pat right here at home.

Minus the beer cans, an eerily accurate artist's
rendition of my time off.

I mean, sure, I met up with one friend, and with the family for our usual Christmas get-together, but for the most part I stayed home and watched a whole lot of Netflix as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray disc. The show was completely remastered and looks effin GORGEOUS in HD quality now. Wow! It's almost like watching it brand new.

I should also mention that I finally purchased a bigger tv set. A 50-inch Panasonic smart tv, to be precise. This after having to rely on my 6 year old 23-inch Samsung for all this time that I've been living at the new apartment (7 months, btw--yay!). I can't tell you what a huge relief it is to be able to actually read stuff off the screen from my couch now. No more leaning forward and squinting--winning!

Oh wait, are we not saying "winning!" anymore? Pardon me ...

Playing video games on the bigger screen is so much better, too. And I did plenty of that. It's been 3 months now, but I'm still playing Grand Theft Auto V:

This game is HUGE! There is so much to do in it that sometimes I don't know where to start. I had planned on taking a break from it during my staycation to play a new game called Beyond: Two Souls, from the makers of Heavy Rain, my favorite game of 2010. But GTA V just won't release its hold on me, I guess. I'll get to Beyond in about a month, I'm guessing. February is traditionally a black hole with no new games out, so I think this will be the perfect time. I hear it's very good.

I also went to the dentist for my six-month checkup during this time. I aced it! The dental team is always so happy to see my teeth, LOL. I get complimented on them every time I show up. I take dental health very seriously, you know, and yet I always fear I'm going to hear that I have a giant cavity that will need filling, or even worse -- that I'll need a fucking root canal! Yikes!! But, nope. No cavities! My teeth and gums are in perfect tip-top shape, and I got a gold star for the next 6 months. Thumbs up, brushing and flossing twice a day!

Let's see ... yes, I was also battling with feeling severely lonely at times during my break. Since I don't usually drink, and never alone (except for the occasional 1 glass of wine with dinner), and since most of my friends were too busy, I had a lot of time to just sit around the house bemoaning my fate. You guys caught some of that backwash in my last blog entry. Sorry about that. It happens, you know? But I'm feeling a lot better now.

Part of what helps me feel better is: baking! Over the break I tried my hand for the first time at making a New York style cheesecake. It's a free-standing recipe using a 10-inch spring-form pan and no crust. Just the way I like it! I made it for a friend's Christmas Eve celebration, and it went over like gangbusters! I received a lot of compliments. And even I was pleased by how well it came out. I'm usually my toughest critic, after all. But I have to say, this one tasted like the professionals! Very pleased.

Mix a pint of sour cream and 5 eggs in one bowl.
Mix a stick of butter and 4 packs of cream cheese
in the other.

Combine both bowls, add a cup and a half of sugar,
some vanilla and lemon juice and mix some more!

After baking for two and a half hours, let sit in pan for four
more hours. Chill in fridge overnight after.

When you finally dismantle the pan around it, this is what should
be left behind. Magnifico!

Of course, the bigger and better news is: I've returned to writing! Yes, that's right. After about a year off of not producing any new material. This new short story should be around 6,000 words or less when finally done. Hopefully less. It takes place in the Bronx where I live, and is about an alien invasion. Or it may just be all in this young woman's head. I'm not tellin.

Returning to writing is probably the final sign that I'm starting to get back to normal. I never realized it before, but going through intense personal drama really does sap you of the will to do anything creative. As also evidenced, no doubt, by how low my post count has been on this blog for the past 2 years or so.

So, yay me! Hopefully I can keep this trend going. I really hope so. I've missed writing so much!

Anyway, that's all there is to tell. I return to work Monday, and must say I don't mind it. I feel so well-rested, let me tell you, and completely ready to start a brand new lease on life this year. Which begs the question: how did your end-of-year festivities go? For some of you, I've already read your blogs or Facebook statuses and know the answer. But, you know what? Tell me anyway, dammit!

And, once again: HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)


Botanist said...

Getting back to creativity is a great sign, David. I hate that soul-sapping feeling of time on my hands and no will to make use of it. Glad you've moving past that!

Jennifer Hillier said...

OMG, a boy who bakes. That is too much. I predict you won't be single for long!

Love seeing you happy. For realz. You deserve every ounce of it.

Yvonne said...

Woohoo! Single and ready to mingle! lol I agree with Jen, you won't be single long. Trust me.

I'm so jealous of all the time off you had. I took two SICK days during December because I was actually too sick to go into the office. Bleh. If I took off more than a day my boss would go into convulsions or something. I wonder how she is going to react when I tell her I need two weeks off in June??? Hmmmm...

I'm really glad you started writing again. Definitely a sign of returning to your old self/better self. All that personal crap we go through that interrupts our creativity, really does sap the life out of you. Getting back into the swing of things again, is difficult, but totally doable. I'm excited for you friend! And I'm looking forward to hearing/reading/seeing all that this new year brings for you.

Oh yeah, I want some of that cheescake yo!

David Batista said...

Ian -- Thanks. I hope I'm moving past that. :)

Jen -- Yes, I keep expanding my baking card every chance I get. Don't know why I like it so much. Better than cooking, in fact. Which I'm also decent at.

Yvonne -- I don't know ... it's not that I can't get a date, it's that I don't WANT to date. Not just yet. But, yeah, it feels good to be writing again. And you take care of yourself now! I don't think cheesecake is exactly the remedy for serious ailment. Or is it? Hmmm ...

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