Monday Musings: Black Friday and Moving

As of yesterday, I finally finished moving my “stuff”.  Weeding out and tossing away wasn’t as easy or probably as successful as I had hoped it would be, although I did take one good carload of donations to the Salvation Army on Saturday morning.

Even though I thought that the movers had taken a lot of my smaller items along with the furniture and other big pieces almost two weeks ago, the quantity of “the rest” was–though not more than I had anticipated–time-consuming to gather, box, carry, load, and haul.  Even with the items given away and thrown away, a lot of what I have–when it comes to moving it–is just “stuff”.

Good enough reason–that while I was finishing up lugging all this personal “stuff” over these last few days–not to be in the least bit attracted by Black Friday and other holiday sales.  It’s a little like over-indulging in Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings, and then not wanting to have anything to do leftovers the next day.  There’s no temptation for me to go out and buy anything–sale or no sale–just to add to the stuff that I already have.

Of course, I have many unpacked boxes.  I was asked to take some pictures of my house, and post some on here, but, alas, I have no idea where the USB cord for my camera is.

So here I am at work, taking a break.  It’s actually a chilly fall day here in Houston.  I love the view of downtown Houston from my office (even though because a lot of the buildings near the bayou are older,  it may not be a shot the Houston Chamber of Commerce would use for marketing).  And, yes, though not as long, nor as dramatic as many other parts of the country, a change in seasons, when some of the trees show their vibrant colors, does come to the Bayou City.

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Monday Morning Musings: Still Moving and– Adam Lambert . . . Still Moving

Yesterday I had no energy for musings; hence, no “Sunday Morning Musings”.  The move to my new house is ongoing, although I definitely am living there.  Last week at this time, I couldn’t say where I lived;  I was just too tired from lifting and toting and pushing.  Then too, I was sleeping on the sofa in the new place.  It all felt like camping or the numb feeling after Hurricane Ike.

Now I feel like I’m living again even though much of the house is in total disarray (todo un desmadre).  I still have several loads of possessions to collect at my old apartment, which I have to be out of by a week from today. 

Satellite was hooked up on Saturday; this means that now all of the communication devices are working.  So with a shiny, new TV, I was set for Sunday football, but most of the day, I spent on the necessary weekend chores, plus settling in some more, making one more trip to the apartment, and even painting a bit.

So by 8:30 PM, exhausted as I was, the Bears vs. the Eagles held even less interest for me than the Bears vs. the Eagles normally would.  I switched over to the American Music Awards, then went into the kitchen to do some more sorting and putting away, only to hear Janet Jackson singing Michael Jackson, sounding like Michael Jackson:  maybe they really were/are they same person.

After the ho-hum of more unpacking was interrupted by a phone call, I decided to give up the ghost for the night at just before 10 o’clock. I checked out  the NFL game, then started flipping through the channels.  At the moment I got to the local ABC station, up popped the AMA once again, announcing Adam Lambert.

Truly, I don’t know much about Adam Lambert, only that he was the runner-up on American Idol, that he’s got this 80s glam look goin’ on, and that he hasn’t been shy about his being gay.  Actually, I admire him for having that “I’m gay, take-it-or-leave-it” attitude so early in his career.  I admire that same attitude in a lot of young people these days, that they just can be who they are without stodgy conservatism trying to make them hide themselves.

That’s why while watching Lambert’s performance, I was amazed to see him dancing and prancing on stage in front of a national audience, the likes of which I don’t remember having seen since the days of David Bowie.  Oh, we’ve seen similar dancing and hip-thrusting, but with female stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson.  Then when he pulled one of the male dancer’s head to his crotch and soon after kissed a keyboard player, I said to myself, “You go, Adam.”

To be honest, I didn’t care for the song at all, and I’m not really sure whether he’s got a voice or not, but when it comes to chutzpah (and I definitely mean the good chutzpah), Adam Lambert has it going on.  Lambert will find someone to write some decent music and he’ll get some voice training, but his gutsy performance last night on the American Music Awards is going to go along way for him . . . and for other gay people.

You see, Adam Lambert is not afraid to be himself . . . like a lot of gay people are.  Unless gay people act like themselves in public, straight people are forever going to keep their blinders on and deny that we exist.  They can’t deny that mixed-race couples exist when they see them or they see their children.  But they still can deny gay people exist when they see two guys together or two women together even when they know they are together.  They can deny it because gay people help them deny it by not holding hands or hugging or giving a smooch in public, the same physical acknowledgement that straight couples give to each other.   How do we ever expect straight deniers from seeing that we really are just like them, unless we show them that we are?

Yeah, there have been those screaming their negative comments about Lambert’s performance today in response to articles about the AMA, but these are the same people that would have been screaming if it had been Madonna or Lady Gaga.  Let them scream; artists that want to make it big take it to the edge, and this is just what Adam Lambert was doing.  However, in doing so, he’s saying, “Hey, I’m gay and this is who I am.”

You go, Adam.

“Hello, Police Department . . . I’ve Been Robbed”

I just saw this article in today’s Wichita Eagle and almost peed on myself from laughing, so I have to share it:

Couple Arrested After Reporting Robbery

WICHITA — A man and woman notified police that robbers had stolen something from them at their Planeview apartment Monday night, and ended up being arrested themselves.

What had been stolen? Marijuana.

The 32-year-old man and 29-year-old woman said five armed men came to their place in the 3800 block of East Ross Parkway at about 9 p.m. and took marijuana. One of the suspects accidentally fired his gun, spooking the rest of the suspects, police said.

They ran from the apartment and fled in a white Cadillac, dropping marijuana as they ran.

More marijuana was found inside the apartment, police said, so the man and woman were booked on suspicion of various drug charges, including selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Tony Alamo Update: Evangelist Sentenced to 175 Years in Jail

alamo guiltyFinally this child molester who hid behind religion will get his just metes.  Read more about the sentencing.

Happy Veterans Day–Even If You Have To Work

veteransday2009A short gripe, then I have to go . . . work. 

Veterans Day was created to honor those who served their country in the armed forces.  Great!  But why is it that so many who get to take advantage of the day are people who aren’t veterans at all?  Wall Street is closed.  I wonder how many of those money grubbers who are getting the millions-plus bonuses are veterans.  Most of the banks and credit unions are closed.  Likewise, many government workers at all levels have the day off.  What percentage of these people are veterans?

If the government wants to honor veterans, why don’t they make it mandatory that all businesses give their veterans the day off?  Otherwise, if they want to give banks and government workers the day off, why don’t they just implement bank holidays like they have in Britain?

Sunday Morning Musings: Hurricane Ida and the Moving Transition

IdaThere’s a hurricane–or “would-be” hurricane out in the gulf.  Her name is Ida, and she has come into the Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatan coast.  Check out the latest information on Ida at weather.com.  This is the first named storm to come into the gulf this year, but, of course, we all remember the horrible “I” storm from last season–Hurricane Ike.

Hurricanes and other rough weather take on a new perspective now that I have my own house.  Even so, I’m looking forward to being inside the house for a good rain–something cozy and protective about that.

Actually, I’m in the midst of painting.  I got the utility room done, and the washer and dryer arrived yesterday.  I’m going to test them out today for the first time.  I’ll take Annie, a car-load of “stuff”, and a basketful of clothes.

The move is a slow one, and that’s just what I want.  I’m not going to kill myself by trying to do it all at once.  I haven’t called the movers yet to do the big furniture, but I expect to do that this week.

It’s a bittersweet time.  I’ve lived here for ten years, and my apartment is comfortable, and I like the feeling of having people near.  On the other hand, aside from the driving commute, I got the house I wanted, and the more time I spend there, I realize just what a nice house it is.

OK, now I gotta get hoppin’.

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)–No, It’s Not Really Mexican Halloween

calacasSome people think that El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is something like Halloween because it falls so near that holiday that was brought to America by European immigrants.

From what I’ve learned, it has more in common with Memorial Day than Halloween.  I suppose the connection between these two “dark” holidays comes with all of the artistic images of skeletons (calacas) that are used in connection with El Dia de los Muertos.  When the conquistadores from Spain arrived, like many other of the natives’ traditions, the invaders tried to put an end to this ritual; however, the best that they could do was to get it moved to the date of the Catholic All Saints Day.

The traditions vary by location in Mexico, but, in general, El Dia de los Muertos has been celebrated since pre-Hispanic times, with people going to the cemeteries, decorating graves, taking food and other gifts that their deceased loved ones might enjoy, and even spending time near the graves; all of this as a way to remember or perhaps “reunite” with the dead relatives.

candyskullOn a trip some years ago to Mexico City, I visited the Escuela Normal de Maestros (Normal School for Teachers) just to take a look at some famous paintings that are housed there.  It was just about this same time of year, and in one building on campus, the students had set up “Day of the Dead” exhibits, which showed a wide variety of rituals for celebrating this holiday across the whole of Mexico.  Everywhere in Mexico City, there were vendors selling little skull candies and ofrendas, which seem to me somewhat of the “Hallmark-ing” of the ancient event.

What I like most about El Dia de los Muertos are all the cartoon-like skeletons, almost always seeming to be having fun.  Maybe they are mocking death.  To me, these calacas make death seem much happier and bright, rather than the morbid, dark association that most of us north of the border have.