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.