Tag Archives: ride to see Christmas lights

A late Christmas present for a dear friend

Greetings, readers. A very dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since junior high school has had a very rough couple of years. Me, being the kind of guy I am, wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all better. I don’t have one of those, so I thought to myself what is the next best way to pull off a Christmas miracle? Then the answer hit me.

My friend has always wanted to take a cruise to the Bahamas. I’m going to do my best to be Captain Santa’s elf. I’m going to start a GoFundMe page for her and her fiancé in order to raise money to send them on that dream vacation.

Her health is not what it used to be and I really want her to be able to enjoy the cruise that she’s always wanted to go on. Rebecca and I were crunching numbers on the Royal Caribbean website, and we will continue to do so on other cruise sites. The amount we came up with is $4,000, which is $2,000 per person for the cruise tickets and travel expenses. I’m thinking about a cruise in April 2019. That will give us plenty of time to raise the money and find the perfect cruise for them.

I’m going to construct the first draft of the GoFundMe page contents. I told my friend I would let her see it, in case there were any changes she wanted to make. Once she gives me the thumbs up, I will complete the GoFundMe page and make it live. I am so excited to make this happen for her.

Finally, on a Christmas topic, I did manage to string two strands of lights around a picture frame and my bookcase. They look extremely pretty. My kitty cat, Josie, to my happy surprise has only pawed at them one time. I’m shocked beyond belief. I fully expected her to pull the strand down minutes after I plugged it in and all the lights lit up. I also hung up a couple of stockings. I drank plenty of eggnog, went on my traditional Christmas Eve light ride, went to two Christmas dinners, and passed out at 8:30 Christmas night with a full belly.

Rebecca and I will be here tomorrow, for our last Thursday, as we go down to one working day a week … at least for a while.

Until tomorrow, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, love one another, take care, and happy reading.

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Run, don’t walk

Greetings, readers. I recently, on Facebook, changed my relationship status from single to it’s complicated. Yes, I am in a relationship right now, but its dynamics are quite bizarre. I’m going to keep her name out of it for obvious reasons because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Here’s what is going on.

One evening a couple of months ago, a female friend of my ex-fiancé knocked on my door and hit me with some news. She told me that she had a crush on me. Then she prepared me for more. She told me that she was in love with me. While flattered, I still felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t know how to react. You know me, readers, I tried to be as gracious as possible and said something like, “Oh, that’s nice. Wow!” Apparently her love had been growing for several months, even while I was engaged to my fiancé.

I talked to Traci, my ex-fiancé, about our mutual friend. I asked her if she knew about the feelings of said friend. She said no. Once I learned that, I felt worse. What to do, what to do? I decided to play it very cautiously and very, very slowly.

After a couple of coffee dates, and one home cooked meal at her place, it quickly became apparent that my new love interest had more feelings for me than I did for her. This is a huge problem. I’m not going to settle just because I want to be in love, but I’m also terrible at hurting people. I already feel like I strung her along a little bit and I am afraid that when I end it, this nice woman’s feelings will be crushed. That’s not going to be pretty. Unfortunately, I believe it has to happen. If only one of the two people in a love situation is actually in love, it’s never going to work. I’ve heard that the Lord tests people, and if this is one of those tests, it is not funny.

I’ve talked to a number of friends about this, and they all agree. Run, don’t walk. A friend whom I had dinner with last night told me that exact phrase. She said the woman came on too strong and that I do not have the same feelings. It just won’t work. I’m going to take this advice, but it will still be hard for me, because again I hate hurting people. I’ve been dumped many times before and I know how painful it is. Tact, planning, and luck will be all needed here. I say luck, because I do not want this love interest to turn around and take her frustrations out on Traci.  I don’t think she will do that, but you never know.

I know dear readers I don’t usually get this personal. I tend to talk about TV, the weather, or sports. But if anybody has any suggestions on a good way to proceed, I’m all ears.

I was not going to mention this, but I’ve decided to. Several years ago, I took a very good friend of mine who I was in love with on my Christmas Eve light ride. Afterwards we stopped at McDonald’s for coffee, and I professed my love to her and she reacted the exact same way I did the other week. Now I know how she felt. Trapped, scared, and not knowing what the hell to say. After learning that I was being rejected, I kind of mentally closed the rest of the evening out. It didn’t ruin the light ride, thank goodness, because we were on our way home after coffee anyway.

I’m taking a personal day tomorrow for an appointment. Rebecca and I will be back with you next Wednesday. This should be the last Thursday off for me in a while. Time will tell. One of us will post a new blog entry tomorrow. Until then, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

Merry Christmas everyone

Greetings, readers. As my regular readers know, I love Christmas and this time of year. I try to keep up with as many family traditions as I can. I have my decorations up, but not as many as I would have liked. I did my annual Christmas light ride with Traci, who is now my fiancé, and we both had an excellent time. Just as we had given up all hope of seeing the Santa Firetruck, there it was, returning to base. They must have begun a bit earlier than in years past.

I hope you and your family are having a great holiday, too.

Until next week, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Merry Christmas eve and Christmas

Greetings, readers. This will be a short blog entry today, because I have a gazillion things to do before tonight’s Christmas Eve light ride and tomorrow’s Christmas festivities. As has happened in the past, things that I need to find disappear into the black hole that I call my apartment. The latest lost item is my electric shaver charger cord. There are two places that it may be hiding in. If it’s not in those two places, I’ve got a problem.

I was listening to lots of Christmas music yesterday and I’ll be sad when the season is over. Somehow it just seemed to go quicker this year. I feel like Traci and I just got back from Thanksgiving a few days ago. In actuality, it was really three and a half weeks.

Some time next month, I hope to begin my new budget as planned, though the beginning of a new insurance policy year may blow up my expenses for medication and co-pays until my deductible has been reached.

Finally, I will let everyone know that the first blog of the new year will be my annual New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to choose resolutions that are realistic and that I can attain. Spoiler alert: One of my resolutions will be to keep up with old friends better than I have been. So to my Facebook reader friends, you might just get that invite for coffee sometime.

Again, happy holidays to everybody, and here’s to a great 2016. Until Wednesday, take care, enjoy, and happy reading.

Dreary warm Christmas week

Greetings, readers. I know that the calendar says that it is Christmas week, but today the temperature is 56 degrees and tomorrow it might hit 60. Now, I know that we have global warming and El Nino, but I think 60 degrees is pushing it a bit much. It is also raining all day with grey skies. As much as I hate snow and ice, I do like a white Christmas, for it reminds me of good childhood memories. It was much colder in those days.

My girlfriend and I are going to continue the Christmas Eve lights ride tradition, which we are both looking forward to. The Zipcar rental has already been procured, and even though it might rain, at least it won’t be freezing rain. As of this moment, the light ride is a go. Other holiday traditions which I’m indulging in are the lighting of scented candles, and listening to plenty of Christmas music. Tonight, or tomorrow night, I will watch A Christmas Carol, as I always do, and, if I can find it on YouTube, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I know I had two opportunities to see Rudolph, but they were both shown on Tuesday evenings when I’m not home.

Christmas morning, I’m going to see if there are any parades on, and then Traci and I have a full day of visiting her family. I’m looking forward to that, because I’ve not seen her sister Roni since high school; she was in my graduating class. I can just imagine all the wonderful food and pleasant conversation we’ll have.

The day after Christmas is always a downer for me because it is the beginning of what I call the dead season. Shortly after New Year’s the town’s outside decorations come down, and without leaves on the trees, the whole area looks dormant. Sometimes I suffer from my depression at this time, but I’ve already taken steps with my therapist to help me this winter. I don’t think it is going to stay warm all winter, but every warm winter day is one day closer to spring.

On January 2nd, I’m going to watch the Penn State bowl game. I was a little disappointed by how the team finished the season, but we are going bowling, and that is good for the school.  A few days after that, I think all my Christmas decorations will be taken down and boxed, and the business of the new year will begin.

I bid everybody a happy holiday season. Take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

I’m way behind in my Christmas preparations

Greetings, readers. By this time last year, I had my lights and other Christmas trinkets up and on display. This year, so far, on December 4th, I only have one Christmas poinsettia which I didn’t even purchase; it was given to me by Meals on Wheels. Thank you to them. Either today or tomorrow, I’m going to get out the manger set that I got from Mom – I do know where it is – and set it up either on the credenza or on the window sill by the heater with something under it. In my small apartment I don’t have a whole lot of room to spread things out or have displays.

I was going to hang lights, and still might, but visiting my girlfriend everyday as I do, I can enjoy her light display and that just might be enough. I do have little things, such as miniature Christmas houses, and snow globes that light up. Those will be put up soon. I say soon, because if I don’t do it in a timely fashion, the season will be over. I wait all year for the holiday season and it seems to go quicker and quicker as the years go by.

I do have a couple of holiday traditions lined up, such as my Christmas Eve light ride, which will take place unless bad weather hits. I’ve invited Traci to go with me and she happily agreed.

Getting back to decorating the place, I long for the space to have a full-sized Christmas tree. It just isn’t gonna happen. The small quarters and a kitty cat that would climb on it makes having that full size tree not even an option. So I improvise. I hang light strands on picture frames, and one year I cleared off my coat rack to turn it into an impromptu Christmas tree. I will find ways to get ‘er done, as Larry the Cable Guy would say. Pictures of the lights and coat rack will be up in the picture gallery later today. It was easier for us to simply add a link to a previous blog entry from November of 2012 that has the pictures in it.

Before I forget, I can tell you I have plans for Christmas day. Traci and I are going to see her friends and family, and I’m definitely looking forward to that.

I’m going to save my New Year’s resolutions for a blog entry closer to that day.

Next week should be a normal week as far as I know with at least two blog entries. Please continue to enjoy your holiday season, have some eggnog from me, take care, and happy reading.

And on the 14th day, God gave us sunshine

Greetings, readers. Yes, it has been a full two weeks since that glowing orange ball and blue sky has appeared. Two weeks of clouds and rain. OMG. I was fighting depression every way I knew how. But even though a few clouds are beginning to make their way back, this morning was beautiful and it was a most welcome sight.

I hope all my readers had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did. I enjoyed probably the best Christmas Eve light ride outing since my parents passed away. Christmas day was restful, filled with Christmas tunes and a wonderful dinner at a local church. I really couldn’t have asked for more. Keekee got extra treats and somehow I think she knew that it was a special day. I think she can sense when I’m emotional, happy or angry. I know that when I’m upset she stays closer to me.

The weekend will be slightly different. Rebecca and Darren have family visiting, so our usual Dungeons and Dragons gaming day will be postponed a week. Even though I love the game, the postponement is fine with me. The Penn State football team is playing in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday afternoon and I am excited about seeing them play in Yankee Stadium.

I am taking a rare road trip on Monday and Tuesday to Pittsburgh with my cousin Ed. The Penn State men’s basketball team is playing a couple of games in a tournament there. Cousin Ed is treating me to it. I’m sure Keekee will be fine overnight, since she has done well in the past with just a few checkups from Rebecca when I go to Maine for a week.

When I get back on Tuesday, I’m going to take down my Christmas lights and put all the decorations back in the closet where they go. I could wait until after New Year’s, but I’m noticing already that light bulbs are beginning to burn out. I’ve had these strands a number of years now, and if our drug store is still there next year, I may need to purchase two new boxes. Time will tell.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend, and safe and happy plans for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Rebecca and I will be working Wednesday and Friday next week, taking New Year’s Day off. After that, our work schedule should get back to normal. Until Wednesday, enjoy, take care, and happy reading.

Christmas Eve 2014

Greetings, readers. I am very excited that tonight I get to do my Christmas Eve Light Ride. I have a Zipcar on reserve that I will pick up, and then use to drive through the neighboring communities to see what beautiful decorations people have put up for Christmas. I will use most of the same route that I have enjoyed since childhood when my parents started this tradition.

There were some years when, due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to do my light ride, and I missed it a lot. A couple of years I had to do it by bus, which was not the same at all. It wasn’t the same route, and one time a bus driver actually asked me if I had missed my stop because he thought I had been on the bus too long. That was embarrassing. The next year I told the bus driver when I got on what I was doing, and that worked better. But I still prefer to have my own wheels.

The weather has been cloudy for almost two straight weeks, and mist and precipitation are in the forecast for this evening. However, the temperature is supposed to be above freezing. As long as it isn’t icy, I don’t care what the weather is doing tonight – I am taking part in my tradition.

I am all ready to go for Christmas. Decorations are up, I have purchased for everyone, and I have been filled with Christmas music. Yesterday, I heard Eartha Kitt’s version of “Santa Baby” for the first time this season. I can’t believe it took this long. Thank you, Music Unlimited.

Keekee has extra special treats bought for her as her gift. Everyone knows I spoil her rotten. She and I will spend a nice day together tomorrow and at 6:00 I shall be off to a local church dinner. I, of course, will be thinking of the family, especially Godmother. It is the first Christmas without her.

I’m off to Pittsburgh on Monday for an overnight trip to see the Penn State men’s basketball team play a couple of games. Poor Keekee will have to keep herself company until I get back late on Tuesday. Then, I am looking forward to the parades and big bowl games on New Year’s Day. My favorite is the Rose Bowl.

Rebecca and I will have work next week Wednesday and Friday. So readers, have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and we’ll see you next week. Take care and happy reading.

I had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas

Greetings, readers. I had an unusually festive and rewarding Christmas Eve. Not only did I do exactly what I wanted to do, but thanks to a service called Zipcar, I was once again able to fulfill my traditional annual light ride around the State College area. As a lot of you know, this tradition dates back to my childhood and is most important to me. I reminisced about Mom and Dad, and the Christmases we shared. Four years ago, I had to do it on a bus on Christmas Eve eve. That went okay until the bus driver asked me aren’t you getting off anywhere? It became horribly awkward as I explained to him that I was looking at the Christmas lights and just waiting for the bus to get back into town. Last year I rented a car from a more traditional company, paid lots of money, got a great car, but thanks to a snow storm the day after Christmas, almost got charged an arm and a leg extra. This year, with my Zipcar membership, I was able to rent the vehicle for only the number of hours I needed it; and even though I extended my reservation, because my friend wanted to find a place to eat, it was still a lot cheaper.

Christmas Day got off to a late start for me and I did not watch the yule log on one of the local TV channels. Netflix has a very similar burning fireplace with Christmas music tracks, so I could start it whenever I wanted, and I watched it about 11:00 am. Keekee and I had a very nice Christmas morning together, and then out of sheer habit I went to Panera cafe and realized as I was approaching the door that they were closed.

After resting in the early afternoon, I used another Zipcar vehicle – they have several in town – to spend some time with Godmother. It was a truly cherished visit, since I don’t know how many more holidays I will have with her. After that it was Christmas dinner at, of all places, McDonald’s. It was the only place open. When I got home at 5:00, I had some eggnog, played some PS3 Football, and took a nap. Along with writing emails and Facebook messages to family and friends, and of course the phone calls, I deemed Christmas 2013 a good solid 9.5 out of 10 for me.

Next Wednesday, Rebecca and I are going to have a half day, leaving me time to watch a parade and perhaps the first half of a football game. That will be after I enjoy the New Year’s Eve activities. I will be watching the ball drop in New York City, on the show Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. As many of you know, this is another of my many traditions; I always like to ring in the New Year with Dick Clark’s show. I might even get myself a bottle of sparkling cider and pretend it is champagne.

We are planning to write a blog tomorrow about my performance last Friday, which turned out to be called The Mimic Unmasked. More on that tomorrow. We plan to add photos too, if we can get that to work. So the blog entry might not be posted until close to 3:00 pm. Until then, take care, stay warm, be well, and happy reading.