Thursday, January 30, 2020

Radio radio


1/30/20 21:49 Bethlehem, PA

I went to the radio station earlier today and sat with the GM, Neil who were a plaid shirt and had a great radio voice. It was natural.  I could see myself having a beer with him and catching up on what bands we liked and maybe we are both frustrated singers now we’re smack in the middle of middle age.  Keith Morris is still doing it, man.  Anyway, it’s been a busy week which started on Sunday.  I woke up and could not find my wallet anywhere.  I swore it was on the dresser and in fact, I organized my money in it, not too much, maybe $50.  I tore apart the room, the house and no wallet.  The odd thing, I did not go out on Saturday, I was a homebody.  Meli called me and I vented to her and emotionally lost it.  The next morning, I was flying to Boston for a client meeting, and I was responsible for the rental and driving us to the scheduled meeting. It’s a long story, but I found it.  On the street and under my car - under the driver’s side.  Note, I did not drive my car. The trip was fine and we all made it back alive.  Tuesday, our old roommate came over to visit.  Tom and I had pizza across the street.  Similar story happened to Tom when he was living here a few months back.  Left his wallet on the dining room table and lost it.  It was found next to his car, on the street between the curb and his car.  What about last night?  Meeting and tonight?  A run and yes it is time to call it a night. 

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Surrendering


1/25/20 19:59 Bethlehem

It was the first time this year I made my dinner from scratch.  Still on the vegetation kick for the most part.  I eat eggs and an occasional fish, but no red meat or poultry.  I chopped up onions, thinking about how an old friend used to say onions.  Garlic, peppers, chopped in simmering olive oil till brownish, add some more, pitted black olives, artichoke hearts, veggies and seasoning – taco powder, vegan and let it mix together.  I cooked rice from scratch and it all came out very good tonight.  I have to say I am proud of myself.  Read the Power of Now and the sense of surrendering.  Last night, I went to a meeting and one of the men shared that he was hospitalized since he had suicidal thoughts.  He was on medication, pale skin, weak voice and my heart went out to him.  I need to surrender this.  And there is the story I read last night, the parents on Long Island, keeping their young boys in an unheated garage, the youngest dying or was he killed by his father.  Surrender this as well.  If I carry the pain, I will be drawn into the misery and today was one of those days.  It was raining, I felt alone in the house.   I made some calls and one of the guys I reached out to shared, he too had suicidal thoughts.  He said it so matter of fact, as if it was as a passing thought.  My heart went out to him.  I am working on my relationship with my savior.  It has been an on and off again relationship.  There are always reminders that God is in this world as long as I cultivate the awareness and presence within me.  No need to seek outside influences, at the end of the day the answer is within.  I can let go and let God into my life and I earnestly try and will add to this by surrendering.  There will always be pain.  I can choose to cultivate the pain and darkness or shine.  I have the choice to make the right decision which is difficult at times or slip back to old behaviors.  Gradually, letting go of the darkness and discovering each day that the answer is within.

Thank you for reading this

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Driving Ma and Da to the theater; in the snow!


1/18/20 16:11 East Northport

It was an easy task.  Dad asked if I can check to see how long the play was.  I called the theater, it’s two hours and fifteen minutes the woman said.  Had her on speaker.  Dad made a comment that it will be dark by the time the musical ended.  Got it.  I took the hanging bait like a good son.  I offered to drive my parents to the theater in Northport, where they have tickets to see The Million Dollar Quartet.  It was a Christmas present.  It is snowing here and I thought it over, it would be better for me to drive them than let my eighty-year-old Dad.  The play started at 3 PM.  We live seven minutes away.  What time should we leave?  Dad asked and quickly answered himself, 2:30.  No, better make it 2:20 since we don’t know what the roads are like.  Dad was charging up his track phone.  I have plans to have dinner with Emma, and I asked, can I invite her over?  Of course, we love Emma.  But she’s getting over a stomach virus.  Ma said, I will wear a mask.  And she would.  Dad said, it may not be a good idea to have her drive all the way due to the snow.  We both know we’re only expecting an inch or two.  My first reaction, ever the controlling man, but this was out of concern for Emma Tess.  An hour before departure Dad calls up to me.  I was upstairs listening to a podcast.  “One hour before departure,” he said with a British accent.  Got it, I called down. I don’t like the accent and know he’s anxious.  I came down and he repeated what he said about Emma.  Got it. Yes, I will drive out there.  30 minutes before departure, the snow still falling, I was alerted to the time.  Not that I don’t have a watch or my phone can’t tell the time.  Got it, I called down and this was the way it was, but I did not come downstairs till five minutes before departure which was 10 minutes after the 15-minute warning call.  I was dressed and in the car, on-time. “Can you back the car out into the driveway so there’s not too much weight in the back and it clips the edge.”  Sure, I responded.  What did I get myself in for?  Ma sat in the front which is a crisis brewing.  Growing up the Lord’s name and all the saints and Mary’s would be exclaimed loudly if Dad or me dared to drive faster or hit a hidden pothole.  She’s a pack of nerves.  With good reason, she was in a deadly car accident when she was a teenager.  Got it, but it does not make it any easier.  And we get out of the driveway and I drive slowly on the snow covered street.  Ma suggests I take a left.  I go straight down the steep snow covered hill.  It’s just a coating.  I was mistaken.  The VW Jetta’s anti-lock or some safety device is not stopping the car and we were shimmering and sliding.  There was an oncoming SUV and it appeared we were slowly heading into an accident.  Ma was quick to remind me we should have turned left and added, “Like I suggested not renting a car when you arrived into Dublin.”  Passive aggressive comments and I was brewing while clutching the steering wheel.  Yeah, you’re right.   That drive in Dublin was the worst.   We made it on Main Street in Northport and Dad asked from the back seat, where do you want to pick us up?  Very good question, your father is always thinking.  That is true, we call that in business, being proactive, I said.  Ma adds, related to the word reactive.  I say, “If you are reactive you are reacting after the fact, proactive is what Dad is, he is making plans before I get there.  I will pick you up across from the theater.”  Just before we approached the theater, cars stopped and the car behind me jammed on his breaks and slid off, almost hitting me and a parked car.  I didn’t say anything.  Ma was shocked.  A blank expression.  She was silent.  Almost there.  Would you like me to pull over and you can cross the street? I asked.  Can you make a u-turn and drop us off in front of the theater?  I made my turn through a parking lot and was ready to boot them out.  Plans are to pick them up in front of the police station which is a two-minute walk from the theater.  I hope they enjoy the play.  I also hope there are no sexual innuendos or foul language since Ma may become offended, depending on her mood.  I’m not looking forward to picking them up at 5:15 or maybe I’ll show up at 5:20 or wait for Dad’s call.

Thank you for reading this.
  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Dead Kennedy's are coming


1/14/20 22:44 Bethlehem, PA

Just a few words before I close out for the day.  Having goals is giving a direction to work.  I had a white board installed during the Christmas break and already it is full.  Each morning I write down my goals for the day.  It is not only goals, but staying present.  I can go off on a tangent and search for concerts in the area and find myself thinking of Meli.  How come she does not call?  Like now. I’m laughing since I have been reading The Power of Now, “True Communication is Communion, the realization of oneness which is love.  He also writes about addiction, implies love addiction.  “The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in anyway.”  In the past I would become angry and why, based out of fear and ego.  I project fear and vulnerability.  But I can make a choice, either wallow in self-pity, how come she does not call or I can make positive changes, I can read like, The Power of Now.  And now it is time to call it a night.  The Dead Kennedy's are playing in Philadelphia in March and tickets go on sale tomorrow.  Maybe I will be there.  Maybe Dave wants to join me?

Thank you for reading this.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Tough Times


1/13/20 21:50 Bethlehem, PA

This morning I was out of bed before 0500, coffee, a banana, and back to my room for a meditation session, exercise, stretches, 3:10 three minutes and ten seconds of planks, sit-ups and weights and back down for eggs and a protein drink.  I felt my energy waning around 10:00 AM although I had my goals.  I was making progress and got up and moved around the office, a tall glass of water and a chat with my colleagues about the weekend and I was back into reality and back on my calls, making calls, conference calls.  Took lunch, bought a pack of new Moleskine notebooks which I like to journal in.  In my journals I can bare my soul.  In my blogs you are reading the surface.  But there is enough here.  My goal is to get up at the same time this week, regardless of what time I fall asleep.  I have my tea next to me.  Jazz is on WDIY and I am content.  I was in contact with some friends today, and there will be more tomorrow since it’s a new year.  The new roommate lost his job and I feel sorry for the guy.  In November, a deer jumped out and hit his car, dying in the act and wrecking his Mustang.  December, his girlfriend breaks up with him and at the end of his shift he’s called into the HR office.  His company tells him they don’t need him.  The guy is drinking beers and I can tell is on his way to a drunk.  I’m not playing in that.  I need to complete my goals and talk to Meli eventually.  You know?  Besides, there is only so much I can say to him.  Hey, I’m sorry.  You will find your dream job, tough times don’t last, but tough people do!

Thank you for reading this

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Smoking Permitted


1/12/20 21:37 Bethlehem, PA

Last night I hung out with Andrew.  He moved back here after living in Florida for the past few months.  It was the first time we hung out and asked where I wanted to go.  I mentioned the dive bar down the road and the brewery on Main Street.  He suggested a member’s only club in his neighborhood, but he warned they permit smoke inside and if it’s a problem we can go somewhere else.  I drove over to the club.  He met me outside.  Before the door opened, a wall of smoke seeped out.  I was reluctant.  We found two seats at the bar, he signed the members book and we ordered two beers.  It was alright, the smoking made me feel as if I dropped back into 1989 in a VFW lounge that I was invited into.  But once the guy next to meet started smoking his cigar, I asked Andrew if we could play a game of pool.  He beat me in 8 ball, but I made a valid attempt.  Next was shuffle board, where you push solid metal discs down a long wooden board covered in find sand.  When I was a kid, saw dust was used.  But again, I have not played this game in 15 years and before that?  God only knows.  I beat him in the first, but he came back in the second and rounded out the third.  By the third game I was buzzed, plus as he said, he had home advantage.  There is roughly 25 years difference between us, but we are similar souls.  He is a gentleman, married for years and has a young son and is an artist, musician, and a professional accountant.  I am in awe of this guy.  Music was always on our minds, The Mats, We Were Promised Jetpacks and I thought about Mo Cheeks and taking her to see her favorite band (Stone Pony and Maxwells) we listened to the band in our minivan, It’s Thunder and Lightning.  Yes, the memories.  The beers flowed and the smoke seeped into my eyes and ears and hair and I didn’t care.  It was Saturday and I was in a club and could feel somehow privileged in the poison.

Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Bella's Birthday


1/9/20

It’s Bella’s birthday.  She is not talking to me, although I wished her a happy birthday this morning via text. There was no response.  I am not feeling sorry for myself.  It's reality. For a couple of years after the marriage ended, I was wracked with guilt.  There was a continuous cycle of living away from the kids and finding the battles with depression and loneliness.  For some I failed as a father and a husband.  I held onto that belief for a long time.  But until I started defining who I wanted to be and cultivate an inner joy and compassion, I continued to rely on the opinions of others.  There is little I can do except to cast out a line and wait to see what the response would be.  Once a week I tried to make plans to see them, to let them know I love them, take them out to dinner or anything, to have the time.  So it is Bella’s birthday.  Last year she responded that she did not want to talk and gave me a cease and desist.  So, I ceased and then the pot began boiling, where is he?  He never calls or contacts us?  He is living his life and abandoned us?  He doesn’t care about us. I went for a run earlier.  I went in the cold and night.  I spoke to Lou and Jason and shared with them this message, life is too short, be happy.  I am not hurting anyone.  It’s my daughter’s birthday and I would love to talk to her.  The pain is too great for her to listen or hear the message about happiness or to understand this gift called life is too short.

Thank you for reading this.


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Spousal Visa


1/8/20 22:33 Bethlehem, PA

Last night Meli and I read over my recent blogs.  She wrote a warm passage on how much I mean to her and I hope I can share this in the blog.  She posted it on Instagram.  It described how we started, how her life has changed and her outlook on life and what a positive impact I have been.  When I met Meli on the meditation app, I was cautious to a point, I was attracted to her and was curious who she was.  We started communicating via the app.  I would use Google translate, and write what I wanted to say in English, translate and retype it into the app, not realizing I could copy and paste.  That was the first week.  I really wanted to talk to her, especially after she said she spoke English.  But her family was visiting from Costa Rica.  Her messages were sweet, a happy young woman who laughed easily and to this day, that is what I love about her.  Meli’s contagious laugh, her sense of humor and her strength.  We have been through a lot before we met each other.  We both feel we are taking the hard lessons from our past and learning from them.  Both of us were not faithful in previous relationships, stayed in relationships too long, since we were not strong enough to make the necessary and healthier changes.  It’s not easy being in a long distance relationship and it takes a different kind of commitment.  In the past that sort of responsibility would evade me.  But this is different.  She lives in Mexico, I live here in Pennsylvania and we have been married for less than three weeks.  After reading what she wrote, I wanted to share a few things tonight about how much it means to have someone in my life who loves me unconditionally. When we first became serious, I told her, God brought our hearts to be together.  This was my statement.  I would read The Little Prince, and this is significant.  When we met with the attorney the week before the wedding, she said she will like to use some passages from the Little Prince, not knowing the significance.  I would read The Little Prince to Meli on most nights and when the page had a 7 in it, it was even more special.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.  And that is the way our relationship has grown and evolved.  If anyone would question how can a man who is 54 share a meaningful relationship with a woman who is 31, who lives in another country, whose first language is Spanish, who was born in Costa Rica, well there may be some skeptics.  She just wants to come into the country and will run off at the first available chance.  She won’t.  This is for keeps and forever.  Meli and I have been in relationships, but nothing was like this for either of us, and I wish I recited more at our wedding.  The words tumbled out.  I meant what I said.  I remember the last was the quote from the Little Prince, but I could have added, there is Neruda and the song, God gave me you.  The other songs, Lovely Day or You Make Me So, Very Happy…it’s not always sunshine and the distance is tough especially when we don’t get a chance to talk on some days for too long, but this too shall pass.  I would like to laugh with her.  I would like to hear her voice.  I would like her to sing something, especially before I go to sleep.  I’ll keep you up to date.  This year is going to be filled with anxiety and stress as we proceed with the spousal visa.  Putting it all in God’s hands.  Have a goodnight.

Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Grateful for this moment


1/7/20 21:27 Bethlehem, PA

This was one of those days when the work in the office was piled on, when each second counted and there were demands and tasks that needed to be addressed.  It was a reminder that the holiday season was far away and the reality of the day was settling in.  It’s not too late and yet I want to call it a night since tomorrow is going to be another round, but here is the thing, I will not change it.  I love to be busy since it keeps me focused and I am hungry for more of it.  I went for a run earlier.  I didn’t want to.  After work I had to go grocery shopping and I am grateful I have money to buy the food I want, which is primarily vegetarian.  I am grateful for Meli.  I am grateful for the program which is keeping my sober.  I am grateful for my health.  I am grateful for my children and know they are healthy and we will talk again when the time is right, let go and let God.  I am grateful for my parents who are still alive.  I am grateful for my friends.  I am grateful for my cousins.  I am grateful for my sisters who called me while I was in Costa Rica to wish Meli a happy wedding and a long marriage. I am grateful for my brother for his sense of humor and strength.  I am grateful to God for this night.  To run in the snow wearing shorts and feeling as if I have gained some weight which I did, let’s face it, I was on vacation.  I am grateful for the roof over my head and I am very grateful for this present moment since it is a gift we are sharing together as my words seep in and I wish you can be grateful as well.

Thank you for reading this.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Married to a Tica



01/05/20 flying over Cuba

I am married.  Meli and I were married on December 29th in front of more than fifty friends and family.  It was raining before the ceremony and a few asked if I was nervous.  I was not, but as we neared the event the butterflies started.  Rain stopped.  A beautiful sunset lit up the sky over the lake.  Yes, there were sections I had to recite in Spanish, which was the main reason for my nerves.   Meli came out as the music started, Here Comes the Bride. Her parents walked her to me.   There was not the formal hand off, Meli and I approached one another and kissed.  She looked beautiful and calm.  Are you happy, she asked me with a bright smile.  Yes, I am very happy.  The night is a blur.  We were busy talking to the guests and I tried my best to speak Spanish, Mucho Gusto.  There were some relatives who spoke English which made it easier for me.  We ate dinner, shared cake and soon enough we were packing.  I paid the attorney who handled the ceremony and we discussed the visa process.  Once the holidays are over, she will file the papers.  I will set up an appointment with an attorney from Catholic Charities when I am back and when I have the marriage certificate.  Last month they were busy till mid-January.  There may be the possibility Meli will move to the US before this year is out.  With everything it is God’s hands.  Looking at Florida in the near distance.  I will go through immigration and have to recover my bag and check it in again.  But it is alright.  I have five hours in Orlando to ponder the state of my affairs.  I have work emails, reading and will buy something to eat.  I think we have another forty-five minutes in this flight.

22:20

Flying over Virginia.  I am picking up a rental when I get back.  There’s nothing quite like listening to a grown man telling his kids he got a nasty look from a woman, for who knows what, but he adds, go ahead and arrest me.  Mom calls her child an idiot and suddenly I feel the warmth of the winter, note the sarcasm is seeping into the cabin.  I am almost back in New York.  Had a coffee.  Up since 3:30 AM, worked on my emails and still feel there is a lot more to accomplish.  Jet Blue offers WIFI on most of their flights and it gave me the ability to work.  I could have watched NetFlix, but didn’t.  I worked while at Orlando airport, well most of the time.  Picked up a late lunch or dinner at Burger King, an Impossible Burger and it was delicious.  For most of the past two weeks I’ve kept up my vegetarian meals.  There were some meats that slide into my system, and I know if was difficult for my Mother-In-Law who always wants to feed me.  She was upset that she could not find some real recipes.  The woman has her hand’s full, taking care of her granddaughter.  Thinking back to the beautiful weather in Costa Rica, holding Meli’s hand whenever we drove or sat together.  Attending mass last night and not knowing what the priest was saying.  I will make an effort to learn Spanish. 

Thank you for reading this.

Six Months since I saw my wife due to Covid

  9/6/20 19:13 Home Tomorrow will be six months since my wife and I waved goodbye at the airport in Mexico City.   I planned to work in Me...