Thursday, December 29, 2005

Did you have a Merry Christmas, too?

It was a wonderful Christmas. Mine came in two parts. One with my friends on Christmas day and one with my family a couple days later.
There's nothing like friends and family for the holidays. And the one on one connection with the Lord is made more special around Christmas, too. A day to recall the great gift God gave us through his Son. What a doorway of immense blessing he opened on the day of his birth. The angels couldn't contain themselves and they burst into song that day. How I love that thought. Christmas is a season of great joy and wonder.
May all of you be filled with Christmas blessings as we start the New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Have a Merry Christmas....

I got off work early today- got a three day weekend for Christmas. I wanted to blog today and the libraries were closed for Christmas. My oldest son, who has an internet connection and lives close by, wasn't answering his phone so I came to WebJoy but I forgot it didn't open until 11 am. I had a couple of hours to kill. I sat in the parking lot wondering if I should Christmas shop or wait for the after- Christmas sales since my family isn't celebrating Christmas until Tuesday.

I sat there for a couple of minutes and then my cell phone rang and I thought to myself that this would determine what I would do. It was Barry from Ireland! He called to let me know he sent a Christmas gift and to wish me a Merry Christmas. We also had been planning on talking for over a month. So we chatted for over an hour about life, our foibles, the Catholic church in Ireland (they can go to confession daily there!), our families and our spiritual disciplines we practice. I learned that Barry almost joined the US Marines when he was here in the 90s. What a surprise that was. After we talked I finished These High Green Hills, a Mitford novel in my Caddy. By then WebJoy was open. A perfect morning!

So here I am blogging away.

Now, I don't know what to blog. Well, let's see... Christmas day I will go over to Mark's to exchange gifts. I don't know what to get them.... I haven't done any shopping yet. Had to wait for payday. Then we will go to Chris and Missy's for Christmas dinner. I had to apologize to Missy for my big mouth. I had offended her last time they had a barbeque. I didn't know it until last week. My ADD mouth can get me into trouble, I sometimes say things without thinking of the consequences. Making amends is a good thing. Though I hate having to do it cuz I messed up, I am glad it is available as a way to restore human contact. I learned a lot about that when I thought I was an alcoholic and took the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A wonderful program for all types of problems, btw. She told me I didn't have to apologize but had to go because of a family emergency. I felt like I was in a quandary cuz my making amends wasn't complete and was trying to figure when would be a good time to call her back. But she called Mark the next day and told him I was very welcome to come over for Christmas. What a good feeling that bit of news was! I like life.

The sun is shining today with some high clouds. It is 60 degrees with no breeze. A great climate, though I wish it were colder for Christmas. It is 4 degrees Celsius in Ireland. I'm guessing that's around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Barry said he could walk around without a jacket so it can't be too cold. Wait, I'll surf the net and get a conversion from C to F.

I was right. 4 C is 39.2 F. He is warm-blooded. 60 F is 15.5 C. A bit warmer here.

What is the high temperature where you are at? Leave a comment.

What are you doing on Christmas day, gentle reader? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pizza and cards...

Had most of my kids over last night for Texas hold 'em and pizza. My youngest son, Josh, couldn't be there cuz he had to study for his finals. Jon came home for the holidays night before last and we all had a great time laughing and carrying on. I was the first to run out of chips. Then Chris went out and Jon and Serenity went at it for a few more hands before she went out.

We ordered pizza and salad, Chris had brought over cokes. We were chomping away between hands.

It was fun to see my blessed not-so-little ones teasing each other and laughing. My daughter kept anteing up for me as my chips dwindled in her sweet sympathy.

Then time was up and after hugging my boys I took Serenity home. We climbed into her new used car her aunt got for a heck of a price which she will sell to her. She drove under her learner's permit to Target where she shopped for her Christmas list and I gave her moral support as she decided what to get for her friends and family. She kept saying how delighted she was to drive her bright red 96 Grand Am. It's a blessing to see your child being delighted.

So, Christmas is around the corner, less than a week away. I might be able to go to a Christmas dinner with friends which would be a real treat. My family will celebrate Christmas a couple days later cuz of various work schedules. It looks to be a full time of celebrations this year.

I have to be creative for gifts this year. Might try and write a poem for each of my kids....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

As promised, my latest poem

The Tears Of Monica

Bloodshot eyes, tear stained cheeks
Not unnoticed by heaven’s eye.
Running nose, puffy eyes;
Pure, like finest incense.

Matter mixed with the human soul,
Languishing; body convulsing
With the twisting of the spirit:
Most wholesome prayers.

The tears of Monica
Washed away deafness
From the Maker’s ears,
Caused heaven to be swayed.

Weeping for her first born son
Whose wage was death
Though he breathed the same
Yet was captive to his sin.

“Mountain be moved!”
her tiny faith said.
“Cursed fig tree,
Bear fruit!”

The prayers of a mother
Quaked the earth.
Her inward groaning
Touched infinity:
A saint was formed,
Augustine stood up,
Fortresses fell
And cathedrals arose.

Tim Underwood
November 23, 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Party with my daughter

I took my beautiful daughter to the company Christmas Party, dubbed Holiday Gala for the politically correct. I still have to retrieve my digital camera from a friend's house so I have no pics.
We arrived a little late. I had forgotten our tickets and almost panicked at the thought of driving all the way home to get my wallet. So we snuck right past the guy taking the tickets as if everything was normal. Heh, worked like a charm. How does the adage go, it is better to ask forgiveness than permission?
They had a sumptious spread. My favorite was the penne pasta in Alfredo sauce, the Prime Rib and eggnog custard. I sat with the same folks I sat with last year. You know, the girl I was going on a semi-date with? Check it out on this link from my first entry, way down at the bottom.

I got to show off my darling daughter. She makes me look good. We had fun gossiping about my different co-workers. Mostly, though, I shared with her my warm feelings towards most of the people I recognized. I realized two things that night. I knew a lot of people, being there for 5 1/2 years, and that I had a lot of positive feelings about most of them.
Another blessed night in the life of the not so lonely man.

Friday, December 09, 2005

And then he went into cardiac arrest...

That's right, gentle reader, my stepdad almost died. On the way to the hospital he went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance. The paramedics had to pull over and defibrillate his heart. And less than two weeks later he is resting at home. A Christmas miracle!
He has been ill for the past several years with some rare kidney disease. The past six months he has been in and out of intensive care.
He is my stepdad and at first I was indifferent towards him but the years have melted my heart. He is a wonderful man with keen insight who keeps a steady pace through life and has earned the love and respect of all his stepkids and grands.
He has had little appetite for a few weeks now and was low on his electrolytes and that coupled with his heart medicine almost did him in. I got several people in the community to pray for him. He still has no appetite but maybe he can get IV solutions administered like they do to NFL football players and people who've had fevers and are dehydrated. Once a week for a refresher, maybe?
Please pray for him to recover his health and to be at total peace with the Lord. I want to be with him in heaven.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Holiday trees? Bah, humbug!

Well, now they have taken Christmas out of Christmas. I can smell college educated personnel at work here. As Rush says about those who have been trained at liberal universities, their skulls are scooped full of mush.
I got motivated by this nonsense and posted about it at's forum as well as a quote from the Federalist Patriot. Then I decided to send a letter to the editor at our local paper the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Here it is:

To the editor:

What a colossal blunder major retailers have made in censoring Christmas from one of the nation’s biggest holidays. Holiday trees? Bah, humbug!
I can think of no better way to anger the general public at large than this ludicrous censorship.
And there are those who say that Christians should know that the “world” will hate them and we should expect and accept such treatment.
I say, not in America, baby. We aren't a pagan nation with a pagan majority. We are a Christian majority who refuses to be treated with contempt by a vocal anti-Christ minority.
You can't let the barbarians win a single battle. They must be put in their place.
The majority protesters of this censorship are saying this to the college trained politically correct corporate weenies of America:
"Stick it in your ear, it's a CHRISTMAS tree, get over it!"

Hehe, I love tweaking the noses of elitist busybodies....

Monday, November 28, 2005

Poker night with the kids

Well, I had the kids over Saturday at my friend's house which I am housesitting. All of them, except for my beloved Jon, who is 22, who is studying in Memphis, were present. That's Josh, Serenity and Chris, the oldest. That would be 19, 16 and 25 years old respectively.

I made Tim's famous Garlic Guacamole and some chili mac. Later we bought some Hornsby's apple cider ale, supposedly more alcohol than beer but I didn't feel it.

We had a great time playing Texas Hold'em and arguing how the game should be dealt. My daughter and I were beating up on Josh who kept wanting to be the dealer and wouldn't rotate who started first. I only had a couple hundred poker chips so we had to keep restarting once someone won them all.

We kept Chris up an hour later than he wanted to. He had to sleep that night before his graveyard shift started.
Parental sidenote here: I protested to him about working a graveyard shift when his first priority in life is his schooling. He ended up failing his two classes he took this semester and had to withdraw, which is throwing a major cog in his school plans, let alone that he has to pay back the financial aid he got for the semester. He blames his horsing around with friends vice studying. I tried to point out to him that going against the sleep pattern throws him off his stride and makes it too burdensome for him to properly study.
But anyways, he won the whole stack of chips the most times, so he is the night's winner.

It felt good to host my children for a night of fun. I rarely cook and that was a blessing to me and them. We had moments of genuine fun and they got to relate to each other in a way they rarely do, since the two younger ones don't see their oldest brother much. "I can't believe you're 25," my daughter said to Chris. I want to have more poker nights. Gotta see if my roommate would mind.


Well, my Irish friend, Barry, started up his own blog: Congratulations to our friend from the green island. Learned a few things about him I didn't know. Now I know another narcissist in the blogworld. Heh!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, the big Turkey day is here. Though I am alone this holiday, I am not lonely.

I had a great Thanksgiving dinner with my family earlier this week. A few of us work in casinoes and have to work on holidays. So we get together on an off day for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There were 12 of us gathered in my sister's house. She makes a lot of money as a cocktail waitress and real estate agent and she went all out and refurbished her house. Her bedroom and bathroom are works of art. Well, she and my mother cooked a bounty of food. My daughter brought over cherry and apple pie. I brought my appettite. I nearly ruined my dinner eating the snacks: guacamole and salsa were my favorites.
Three of my kids showed up. Their brother is stuck in Memphis at the university with only a couple days off for the holiday. My brother has three boys who had a great time talking with my kids. Some of us watched Gonzaga beat Virginia (not sure if it was VA). I stuffed myself almost til it hurt. My two younger kids and I played Texas Hold 'em. I wiped them out. My youngest son has been watching all the stupid poker shows on cable and is excited about it. As we were playing I recalled to them how I taught them to play 7 card stud when they were real young. My daughter cried the first time someone bluffed her. She couldn't get over the fact that someone would lie to her. It was a precious moment. I made him give her money back. Poor little innocent soul. But not that night, I took her chips gladly.

So, I get up this morning at 4 am and get ready for work. I drive out of the neighborhood and am thinking about getting coffee at Starbucks when it dawns on me that it is Thanksgiving day and I'm off! So, I made a quick left turn to the local Starbucks and hung out there for about three hours reading my favorite book and the NY Times. They had a front page article discussing the Vatican's directive on gays in seminaries. I was relieved that there wasn't an all out ban on gays becoming priests. It seems to be directed at active gays who wouldn't or couldn't control their impulses. It seemed to me that the recent directives were mainly a rehashing of guidelines that have been around since the sixties.

Anyway, I enjoyed watching the people getting their coffee with each of their different lives. One happy young woman was talking about how I simply must visit Dublin. I must take the ferry from London to Dublin. The only problem is I think both those cities are inland. Hmm, I know London is but lemme check out Ireland's map. *** Ok, Dublin is on the coast. London is inland but there is an inlet that comes close to London. Maybe one travels there and catches the ferry. You have to sail around southern England to get to Dublin, though. *** Yes, the Thames river becomes an inlet that leads to the sea. Google is an amazing site.
Then I talked to an elderly man who was chatting about visiting Ireland with us. He said he wasn't a world traveler but that one can take these kinds of trips without it breaking the bank. I told him I have a friend in Ireland who could put me up.

Well, then I went back to the house I am house sitting while my best friend, Mark, is off on a family vacation in Hawaii. I grabbed his labrador mix and drove out to the Redrock Canyon area. I went to one of our favorite places. We made up our own names for the topography. I entered through the Gully of God's Goodness followed some of the burro trails and then tramped up a dry riverbed to the Beautiful Valley past God's Cannonball and the haunted yucca forest (remember Vegas is in a desert) and rested at Chris's Crack. Poor Drooper was exhausted by the time we got back to my car. I opened the car door and instead of jumping in he laid down on the ground to rest his sore muscles. I had to command him to jump in. We came back home and he drank his whole bowlful of water. Poor dog is getting old. He needs more exercise.

So, I drank some water myself and drove over here to Webjoy where I just played a couple games of online spades with my distant son in Memphis. He is without a place to go today, too. His friend who invited him over for dinner got sick and wasn't going to go. He gave me a virtual hug as we said goodbye. I liked that... very much. Then I IM'd my Mexican friend who is studying in Canada. He is fixing on getting drunk tonight so he can compose more of a poem he is working on. I forgot to tell him I just wrote one last night about the tears of St. Monica. I'll post it here like I promised. I wrote a poetic tribute to my dad the day he died when I was drunk on Tequila. I was surprised how well it came out considering the circumstances.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you had a warmhearted Thanksgiving day.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another day in the Lonely Man's life

Actually, not so lonely, but I covered that in my last post.

I am at the Rainbow Library checking out my fantasy football team score. I beat my archrival, hurray!

I saw my mother and stepfather last night. He looked like a wizened hobbit with big ears sticking out on a bald head. He has been awfully sick of late. His kidney disease is getting the best of him. He almost died a couple of months ago. Long weeks, weeks! in intensive care.... We had a deathwatch going for awhile there.

They are planning on Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house. My lovely daughter wants to bake or cook something. She loves to cook and have people enjoy her food. I love that about her. It's good that she is easy to please in that respect. A woman needs to be easy to please. Hear that, ladies, be easy to please and men will enjoy your company.

I just emailed my Irish friend. He is considering a fast. I told him the virtues fasting held for me but he wants to do one for 40 days. An ambitious lad, he is! He is a wonderful soul who is fearlessly searching out his anxieties that Christ would fill every nook and cranny of his soul and present him to the Father with no blemish or defect. Courage is what the lad is all about.

I want to write a poem about St. Augustine's mother, Monica. Her prayers for her son's sanctity are said to have been baptized in tears. Would that I had a mother who prayed to the Lord for me thus.... I'll call it Monica's Tears. I'll post it here when I am done.

Well, that is what this day in the life of the Lonely Man looks like.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My goodness time has flown!

Well, I haven't posted since I became a full fledged Catholic. AND, it's been a year since I started this blog! Last November I was thinking I was lonely. This November I beg to differ.
I don't feel lonely at all. My life is rather full. I did have a girlfriend for a couple of months, a shortlived affair and even with the demise of that relationship, I still don't feel lonely. I might have to change the title of my blog.
I am happy to be attending Mass, taking the Eucharist and helping out with RCIA (that's where people go to become Catholics). I thank God for the Sacrament of Confession. How do Protestants live a godly life without it?

Well, what is going on lately?

My daughter is learning how to drive! Oh my stars, every time I pick her up to give her a ride it's, "Can I drive, Dad?" My heart is torn between pleasing one of the loves of my life and the fear of getting into an accident. After all, she is my baby! Oh, the wings are spreading and soon she'll fly away.... *Sigh*

I am adapting well to my new position at work. I even earned a small bonus for last month's labors. Things are looking a little bleak this month. Got to get on the ball....

I am fasting one day a week for repentence and self control. What a relief this brings me. I feel more confident in myself and freer now that sin isn't driving me mad. I had a terrible bout with temptation a month ago, a reaction to the demise of my relationship with THAT girl.

I read the Mitford Years series of novels. Oh my goodness, folks! If you like a good read then you got to read this series. They are NY Times bestsellers and they leave you with a good feeling about life. They are about small town living and the loveliness that Christ adds to life. You'll fall in love with a dozen characters and the town of Mitford. And did you know there is a whole cyber Mitford community? They are at and they add to the joy of this wonderful series of books. Get the first one, At Home In Mitford, but be careful, they are addicting!

I'm emailing a fellow Catholic in Ireland who I met at a Christian conference on the healing of the soul (which recommended the Mitford books) years ago. We've kept in touch and the last three weeks have been emailing daily. We are ministering to each other with the flow of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I am a Catholic!

It is done. I have made the big plunge. On Saturday night, the Easter Vigil, March 26, 2005, I got baptized, confirmed and had first communion.
There it is. I am in full communion with Rome.
For years I have been going to Catholic mass and not fully participating. Now I can take communion. I am in the proverbial car. I can go to confession. Now all I have to do is get my annulments and I can get married in the Church.
I am a new Catholic Christian. I am a new man.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Without a car

So, my brakes go bad and I have to leave the car with my mechanic for a couple days leaving me without a car.... Does my life go down the tubes? Nope! I got friends. The ex who is grateful for the rides I help the kids with gives me a ride, with no hassle, everyday back and forth to work. Mark picks me up for RCIA and Aunt Connie gives me a ride to my class tonight. I got it made in the shade. My life is rather full and not so empty as I worry about sometimes.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

New Year's Eve and Day were great.

On New Year's eve I went to a family party. I knew no one but my friend, Mark, and his friend, Bill (somewhat), and they were all open and warm to me. It felt great. Some of Las Vegas' best people. We left the party early and I fell asleep at home before the big moment. Oh well, it was a great night, anyways.
New Year's day at Mark's was a day of helping make clam chowder and enjoying all the people who came over. It was a sea of faces and everyone smiled all the time. I took a walk that morning to stretch my legs and start on the path of getting in better shape. I got the new year off to a great start.
Tonight I start up again with RCIA. It will be good to see familiar faces again. Ben and Christy are becoming good friends to me. Cheryl and Matt are great, too.
Here's a prayer that all you will have a happy and healthy New Year!