The long week ahead

Today is Friday, and this is my last day off until next Saturday. I hate working long stretches. Hell, I hate working, period. No, let’s be positive. I have a job. It pays me a pathetic wage, but at least it’s in a currency that (still) has some intrinsic value attached to it. Tomorrow I’ll get off at a reasonable time, and I’m positive I hate working, period.

See? Who says I’m always negative? Silly people. Joking aside, I will have to work seven days, but then when I get off next Friday, I’ll be leaving immediately to Corpus Christi, a  mere 654 miles (1052 km) away. That’s in no way exhausting. I think I need a nap.

Next Saturday, the family is getting together to celebrate my Grandmother’s birthday, so in spite of my whining, it’s actually worth it. She’s my last grandparent still alive. It would be nice to see her while I still have the opportunity.

I think we take family for granted, especially when they are involved with our lives. We get used to their being there, stalwart and true, the rock upon which a family is founded. Once they pass, it’s amazing how quickly the family goes their separate ways, each becoming the patriarchs and matriarchs of their respective clans.

Just think about the history they have, our grandparents, and great-grandparents, if you are lucky enough to still have any yet living. What have they witnessed? What were their lives like before they settled down? What family history do they know that will go to the grave once they pass?

I don’t want to come across as depressed, but it’s just a thought that crossed my mind. It’s scary how fast time flies by, and it seems to speed up with each passing year. I swear, I still feel like I should be in my twenties, but that old man staring back at me in the mirror likes to remind me that I’m not. I hate you, old man!

No point worrying about what will happen. Instead, come next Saturday, we will celebrate what we still have. Yes, we have suffered heartbreaks, losing members of our family. It’s both a joy and a curse to belong to a large family. My grandmother had fourteen children, and has lived to bury three. It’s sad, but we have to continue living in the present.


My belated night out

I celebrated my birthday last week by working until midnight. How did that happen? Where were my friends and the partying and the booze and the loose women…? Oh right, I’m getting old and I’ve never had friends and parties with booze and loose women. But on the bright side, I’ve never had to go to the doctor to check out a weird “rash”.


Enjoying a Heffeweisen at Crush Wine Bar & Deli. Sorry, my phone takes crappy pictures. ~Joe~

I’m not being entirely honest. The anniversary of my expulsion from the womb was indeed spent at work, and I was scheduled until midnight. However, I finished my work early, begged to leave an hour early, and shamelessly exploited the fact that it was my birthday to get the hell out of that hell hole. And it worked fantastically.

My girlfriend took me out a couple of days later on Saturday to celebrate, which was nice. Went to mass first, before going to a little place in downtown Amarillo called Crush Wine Bar & Deli. I liked the atmosphere, and they had a great selection of beers but an unimpressive selection of food. I had a burger, which tasted okay, but it was dense, dry, and hard to eat. I think the guy next to me would disagree since he was practically orgasming over his burger. Made me feel all icky they way he gushed to his server. The truffle fries, however, were exquisite. I’d go back for those fries. Also the beer and wine.

Next, after a brief layover at her apartment to wait for the night to fall, we headed out to Skooterz. Before I go on, I don’t go to clubs. I hate clubs. They’re noisy and filled with people, oft times people who make poor choices, and I just don’t like crowds, but since it was my birthday and my girlfriend wanted to see a band, we went.

Finding the place was a nightmare, but eventually we did. We got inside a little before ten, found a place to sit, and the nice server brought us a couple of beers, which they made me pay for. The band, Feed the Machine, did an outstanding job rocking the kind of music I actually listen to. After a couple of drinks I began to mellow out and I found myself actually enjoying myself, but since I drove I had to limit my consumption. Ah, the joys of being a responsible adult.

Finished off the night at IHOP for some pancakes before making the hour drive home. So maybe I didn’t have the crowds of friends, and the obligatory party with drinks and girls, but I did have a great time with a fantastic person who laughs at my stupid jokes and generally puts up with my idiocy. All in all, Saturday has to be one of my better birthday celebrations, belated observed. Though next time, I want to go with a group of people, and have them drive, so I can sit back, mellow out, without having to worry about driving. Oh, I and forgot to eat some cake. Damn!

End of term crunch time

Birthday cake

Birthday cake (Photo credit: 3liz4)

It’s been a busy week here at Team Joe HQ, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in the next few weeks. Yes, it’s crunch time and I’m just trying to survive these last few weeks as the Spring semester comes to its end. Alleluia and amen!

This past Tuesday I attended my last Geology class of the term. The next class time has been set aside to allow for any make up tests that need to be taken, as well as to give some of us to retake a test we may have done poorly on. I aced mine so I’m good. I just have to return the following week for my final exam.

I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday and I celebrated in style, by attending class until almost nine that night. Nothing says birthday party like sitting in a class room with a bunch of young twenty-somethings. At least I sat with an amusing young woman. And the instructor’s fair to look at. I only wish I could understand what she’s saying, but I guess that’s my fault. I should learn to listen.

Thursday, I had a project due for psychology. I knew about it all semester so naturally I waited until the night before to start it. Five pages later, nearing four in the morning, I completed my project and submitted it via a drop box on the class’s webpage. I ended up not going to class since I was dead to the world until ten.

Going forward, I still have to finalize my portfolio of four essays for my Creative Writing – Nonfiction class. The portfolio is due at the end of the term. I have a few assignments yet to do for my grammar and I have to study for all my finals, but it’s almost over. And I’m glad. I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall, academically speaking. I’m exhausted.

I’m not complaining. I’m happy that I’m finishing my degree, I just forgot the amount of energy it requires to go to class and do homework. It’s not easy, but most things of worth demand sacrifices and this one is well worth the effort.

If I have time, I plan to post my monthly book review that I’m starting. My plan is to write one book review, usually a self-published author, as the first post of the month. So May’s review should be up on May 1st.

Now I think I’m going to soak in the tub for a bit. I stocked about 6 pallets of paint, with some assistance, in two hours and my body is protesting. The great part of this job is that it is a bit mind-numbing, no thinking required. The bad, my body aches, but I’m not planning on making a career of it. This is only something to do until the end of school, which if all goes according to plan, will be the first week of July, and I’ll graduate in August, nineteen years after I started.

But at least I will have come back and completed my studies. I only hope that it will be worth it.