These strange times…

So, how is everyone doing during these strange times? I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Especially those of you that are still working and putting yourselves at risk daily so that the rest of us can get our groceries or other essentials–ya’ll the real MVPs.

So what’s going on with me? How have I been spending the COVID-19 shelter at home thing? Well, aside from watching the news everyday and witnessing our president contradicted daily by CDC doctors–I’ve been working from home and staying indoors and away from people. I only wander out to grab groceries. So basically trying to do the whole social distancing thing.

I might be having a bit of a vitamin D deficiency when this whole thing is over with.

Most of my time consists of working, exercising at home, or watching TV. And writing, too, of course. Especially those first few weeks–I was just writing up a storm and getting a lot of words in. Now, it’s a slow drizzle. But progress is still being made so I’m happy about that. Did I mention I have a title? I’ll let you guys in on that soon.

But really–it’s crazy to think how far we’ve come from just a month ago (when I was at Lost in Wonderland) to now. People were out an about with their families having fun. Now, all the stores are closed. Gyms too. Bars. Clubs. All closed. Some of you social butterflies must be really feeling the heat right about now. Cabin fever is a real thing, and I’m sure it’s a challenge right now to do the right thing. Which is stay home.

It’s so simple. Just stay home. Watch some Netflix or read a book. Learn to play an instrument–Musicians Friend delivers by the way, so no need to leave your house. Or just chill. Just relax. This is the best time to do one of my favorite things in the world.

Just do nothing at all.

Jiu Jitsu and all its suckage

It’s been an age since I’ve written about jiu jitsu. Could be because attending class has been a bit hit or miss the last few months. Anyway, yesterday I had the hardest time finishing a roll because some dude’s feet smelled so bad. And I mean bad. So bad, like, the smell was on the mat and on my gi. It just stuck to everything.

Disgusting right?

Well, they really don’t tell you about what you’ll go through when you first join jiu jitsu. You just sort of learn as you go, and if it doesn’t scare you off, then you stick around and just deal with the suck.

And there’s a lot of suck.

I’ve had sweat drip in my eye and my mouth. I’ve finished rolling and was drenched with other people’s sweat all over my gi.

I’ve smelled so rank that I couldn’t wait to get home to wash, and literally splashed water over my upper body, shirt and all, to try to wash the smell off.

These are the things you go through when you’re in jiu jitsu.

These are the things I tell my friends who aren’t in jiu jitsu. Who are grossed out, and suggest I try something else for exercise. Because why? Why would anyone put themselves through it? To be all up in another person’s sweaty, smelly space?

Of course, they don’t understand–even though there are times when it sucks, the reward is worth it.

When you finally nail that arm bar you’d been wrestling so hard to get. Or pulling off the kimura, omaplata, or triangle. Or hell, just surviving seven minutes without getting choked out is an accomplishment in and of itself.

So, no. I won’t quit jiu jitsu and join taekwondo.

I’m good just where I’m at.

Hamilton 2019

Around fall of 2015, I went New York City on vacation, and at the time Hamilton was all the rage. Personally, I had no idea what the musical was about, but I really wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, the tickets were well over a thousand dollars and way, way to pricey for me. But I did promise myself that when the Broadway show came to Texas, I would buy a ticket, and get myself to the show and see what all the fuss is about.

Flash forward–and here we are in 2019, and finally, Hamilton came to town. Now first of all, not much has changed since 2015, I really don’t know much about the musical other than it was based off an Alexander Hamilton biography. That’s it. I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs, I hadn’t read any reviews, I just had a clean slate–a blank paper of which to scribe my own conclusions.

So what did I think of the musical, you ask?

It was amazing. Like, seriously amazing. From the opening of “Alexander Hamilton” to the last song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”, it was non-stop energy. This had to do with the fact that most of the music was hip-hop with rapped versus that were catchy, educational (who knew Alexander Hamilton lived such a dramatic and interesting life?), and full of such passion that I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed at times. I admit, I cried. I cried quite a bit. Not because there were maudlin parts (there were), but because there was just so much. So much emotion. So much life. I can tell you, I’ve never experienced a live performance that moved me as much as this musical.

If you ever have a chance to experience Hamilton, I suggest you do. I assure you, you will not regret it.

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New Year Rant

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a good holiday, and I hope those of you that made a New Year’s Resolution made a realistic one.

I didn’t. Never do. That whole New Year New Me thing isn’t for me, and it’s rather irritating.

I’m gonna be honest, this post might be a little snarky, but that’s because I’m just so tired of all the people advertising themselves like the one thing they need more than life is a relationship. Tired of all the corny motivational New Year New Me memes. Like, why can’t people just focus on themselves, work to better themselves, and not post it all over Facebook? Motivational pep-talks are best had in person anyway, not on social media.

Ugh! It’s just all so corny. And goddamnit! God gave you brown eyes, you’re not fooling anyone with those green contacts.

TV at the moment…

This post may contain spoilers. Beware.

I just finished watching season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and it was excellent! For those of you who have never watched this show, I really suggest giving it a try. It’s super funny, has great characters, and has a great story line. It takes place in 1950s New York, and focuses on a young woman who happens to discover she has a talent for stand-up comedy. In an era when woman shouldn’t say certain things, Midge, the main character, defies the social norms in a way that’s extremely fun for viewers, and in other ways can be a bit shocking–either way, hilarity ensues.

Another show I wrapped up fairly quickly was The Ranch. This season was pretty good too, and discovering how the show handled Rooster’s leaving was interesting. I thought they did a good job of writing Danny Masterson off the show, although I was surprised they decided to kill his character off. I wasn’t expecting that after last season’s finale. I really thought Rooster was going to just disappear into the sunset. I will say that the only disappointment I had for the show was that it ended with more Colt and Abby drama. Can’t those kids get their stuff together?

Last, I saw The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix. This movie is a collection of Wild West tales by the Coen Brothers. The tale that was my favorite was Meal Ticket, which starred Liam Neeson, and a completely unrecognizable Harry Melling, who played Dudley in the Harry Potter movies. It was a strange film, but it was the end that got to me, and had me thinking about it for days.

Anyway, that’s all from me this week. I hope you guys are enjoying the holiday season! I’ll see you at the same time, same place next week.

Movies and TV at the moment…

This week was a good one. The day job is going pretty well, I spent some decent time with the family, and I also got to do a little bit of writing. Not bad, I say. Not bad at all.

I also got to see the new Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It was excellent! At least I thought it was, anyway. I can appreciate a character like Newt that isn’t your typical hero. I also appreciate that he happens to be on the autistic spectrum, which makes for a completely different dynamic in the way that his story plays out, especially his past relationship with Leta Lestrange. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so that’s pretty much all I say about it right now.

Narcos: Mexico also premiered on Netflix this Friday. I’m three episodes in, and I’m enjoying it as much as the other Narcos series. Michael Peña did a great job as DEA Agent Kiki Camarena. And it’s got me so hooked, I’m a little disappointed I promised my mother I’d watch it with her, because I can’t binge the way I’d like to!

Another show I’d suggest watching is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. It’s weird, but a good weird.

Ok, folks! That’s all for me this week. If you have any movie or TV show suggestions just comment!

Some random things…

Now it’s November, and I’m pretty sure the holidays will arrive then pass in a blur. Before we know it, it’ll be the New Year and I’ll say: What happened to 2018?

But until then, I just want to soak in the last few months of the year, write, and enjoy the gloomy weather that’s hit South Texas.

If you’ve never been to Texas, let me just say, sometimes it just seems like the perfect setting for horror or fantasy. Like for instance–the fog was rather thick this week, and there were times I felt like I was in Silent Hill. Other times, it’s non-stop rain, which usually isn’t our norm–but still, pretty gloomy.

Things I’m also doing–spending time with family. It was my Dad’s birthday this week, and we took him to see Overlord, which was not as good as I expected. I thought it was written by JJ Abrams, but it actually wasn’t, and I could tell–It didn’t have that special “Human” feel that Abrams manages to pull off. The heart that is apparent in many of his films. Don’t get me wrong, the movie tried, but it was a facsimile of what I’m used to.

Also, if anyone cares how I’m doing in my two Fantasy Football leagues: I’ve got ZERO chance of winning one. Ok, not zero chance, but I’d have to win out and hope for many people to lose, so not much chance there. The other league I’m not doing so bad! I actually have a chance to go to the playoffs.

Alright then, that’s pretty much it for me for now. I hope you guys are enjoying the beginnings of November.

Six Flags and the NBA…

We’ve had a bit of bad weather here in south Texas. It’s been raining pretty much all week except for today, so my brother decided to take a trip to Six Flags to experience all the Halloween Spectacular stuff–which is pretty fun, especially for the kiddos.

I had originally intended to go but had to pass because yesterday I spent the evening at the Navy Ball, and this old lady is tired and can’t possibly have two late nights in a row. So instead I decided to stay in and relax.

I’m also watching some NBA basketball, which is my first favorite sport after football. If anyone out there cares, I’m a huge Spurs fan. And although San Antonio traded their number one player, I’m still very hopeful that they will do well this season. And I hope that they demolish Toronto the two times this year they will play them.

In other news, its been a slow writing week. I had a lot going on in my personal life, and it has pulled me out of the mood to write. As we all know–it happens. We all go through it, but I’m hoping that things will calm down, and I can get back to trying to get some good writing done.

But if not, I’ll be wasting my time watching NBA games. Or trying to ignore my brother while he gives me a hard time for not going to Six Flags like I promised.

All in all, it’s not the worst way to waste my time.

A little distraction never hurt…

So last week I posted about Fall, Halloween, and how it’s a great time of year, but today I watched, like, fifteen minutes of Jeepers Creepers and now I’m so freaked out I don’t think I’m going to sleep well tonight. So screw you Fall! Screw you to hell!

Just kidding. I still love Fall.

And I still love the scary stories, too. But I need to watch something to calm me down, and guess what?! Empire Records is on Netflix!

For those of you that don’t know what Empire Records is, it’s a 90’s cult classic that combines all the best things I love about that decade. Music, comedy, love, angst–this movie has a little of everything.

It’s got Renée Zellweger and Liv Tyler before they found plastic surgery and went under the knife. There’s even a young Ethan Embry who plays a goofy skater that is just the right amount of weird. And it has Johnny Whitworth, who plays a Jordan Catalano look alike, who is completely in love with Liv Tyler’s character. The music is pretty cool too (“Plowed” by Sponge is one of my favorite songs, ever).

It even touches on some serious topics like drug use and attempted suicide, but even so, not too deeply, and all in all, the movie is fluff. Massive, massive fluff.

So it’s pretty much the perfect movie to watch after being scared the heck out of. And I know it was just fifteen minutes of a scary movie and hardly any time to get properly scared, but still! It was more than enough for this poor scaredy cat.

That time of year…

Fall is finally here, and I have to say, so far I’m loving it. Texas is hot. Like fry an egg on the sidewalk hot, and the cool weather of autumn is always welcome.

But with the nice weather also comes one of the best times of the year for readers and authors: Halloween. Now let me just say, I’m not super into Halloween. I don’t dress up, nor do I go to many parties. Some years the most I do is pass out candy in a mask, and do I end up eating most of the candy? Yes, but that’s beside the point! The point is it’s Halloween time, people! And you know what I love? The stories!

You see–I can be a scaredy cat. There are very few scary movies I can watch and to be honest, the ones I do watch I spend most of the time with my eyes covered. But I love a good scary story, especially when they’re told orally.

Growing up, this was the only way stories were told. No one wrote down their tales about La Llorona or the Chupacabra. Everyone just shared the ones they had, face to face from across the table. Or under a blanket fort with the lights off and a flashlight. I can tell you that everyone had an grandpa, uncle, aunt, or cousin that saw La Llorona when I was a kid. Was it real? Who knows. But it was fun hearing the tales. All different, yet similar.

One time, my grandma told me a story where she came face to face with La Lechusa, and you know what? I believed her. Was I able to sleep that night? Hell no. Do I still ask her to tell that story now years later? Of course! It’s my favorite scary story of hers.

The story where my grandma, the badass, survived an encounter with a monster. Talk about heroes right?!

So does this time of year have you guys excited too? I hope so.

I really, really do.

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