Got to hang out with Paulo last night. Paulo is a buddy of mine from back in California. He was part of the Portuguese community in Turlock. Man, I loved going to the festas and dancing. It’s one of the small set of things I miss about my life in California. Anyway, during the summers, it seemed like there was a festa within driving distance every weekend. I and some friends (people like Kathleen, Patricia, Cesar, and others) would drive out to a Portuguese Pentacost Association hall or church or whatever, to go dancing. One of the very cool things about Paulo was that he, along with another friend, Joseph, would try to come up with new dance steps. We would then demonstrate and teach them to each other. It was great fun.

Paulo has been living in New York for the past seven years and is now moving to Nashville. He took a vacation road trip across the county to see people, discover  new places, and generally recreate before settling in to his new life. It was good to see him. We had dinner and then a drink before bidding each other ciao.

On (Violent Femme’s brass section)

Every once in a while, I am seized by a desire to apologize/make amends/set things right for stuff that happened once upon a time. But would doing so really just be a selfish act?
Twenty years ago, I lacked the courage of my convictions and was not the friend I should have been. This led to an estrangement that lasted the better part of the past two decades. We have reconnected a little, but I still wish I could undo what was done. Short of that, I wish I could truly make my friend know how much I regret my failings.

So, if I say something, I MIGHT feel better, but would that be likely to just reopen old wounds? Is it best to let sleeping dogs lie?

Catch up #1

Ok, so what have I been doing?

Well, as promised, I have been laid off. It was harder to contemplate when I first was told of it than when my last day came. Although there were some very sad moments towards the end, particularly on my last day. That last day was scheduled to be Thursday, but I had already decided that Wednesday was going to be the actual day. I took my inspiration from The Office. Michael Scott avoided the awkwardness of the farewell party by not coming in that day. There was a very moving and touching moment with Jim.


It’s been about a month since I stopped posting. It got pretty hard there for a bit. Things are better now. I’m not entirely out of the woods, but some people have really helped me out, and I have a plan.

I’m moving to Oregon by the end of this month. I asked my aunt if I could come live with her in Salem for a couple of months and she very graciously said yes. I’m looking forward to being an Oregonian. Not sure how long it will take for that to truly happen.

Anyway, either the cost of hosting this blog is already covered from when I first signed up, or a little money is taken each month and I didn’t notice it, clearly, the blog is still here and I can post to it. So I guess I will resume. Not sure I’ll continue/get back to a post per day. We’ll see.

Blue Monday

2 things of note today.

#1 I was informed that, once again, I am being bumped by someone more senior with the district. I will be unemployed after July, 31st. This sucks. I’m tired of fighting to continue working in a place that has done none of my requested/suggested things to ensure that they retain me. I don’t want to lose my job, but I’m at the point where I feel I just have to make the best of it.

#2 I went to the bullfights tonight. Photos tomorrow.

Remember albums?

Today, I list 5 of my favorite albums of all time. Of course, these days, albums are somewhat anachronistic, so this list will be heavily weighted towards the past.

So, in no particular order:

  • Some Great Reward – Depeche Mode
    This was the first DM album I ever heard and to me, it is the peak of the ‘sound’ that I like most from them. Not every song is the greatest, but the album as a whole is so significant in the development of my musical aesthetic.
  • The Joshua Tree – U2
    U2 was on my musical radar before this album, but this is the point at which the band became mega-stars. So many good songs and some of my favorites aren’t even the ones that were released as singles.
  • 2.0 – Garbage
    I’m not a big fan of a lot of the music from the 90s, but this album was really solid. It’s one that I could happily put on and listen to in its entirety.
  • Abba Gold – Abba
    Scoff all you like, there is not one dud among all the songs on this album.
  • Stunt – Barenaked Ladies
    Like Some Great Reward above, this album marks my first real introduction to the band. I’d heard other songs before this, but it was during their tour for this album that I first saw the band perform. So much fracking fun at that concert! I didn’t appreciate the band before I saw them live. Since that first time, I’ve seen them perform another 6-8 times. Love them!

What are some of your favorite albums of all time?

Blood on the sill


  • When I was in my teens, I corresponded with my cousin (3rd cousin once removed, actually), Danielle, via cassette tape. I’d record a message on one side and she would record on the flip side. She lived in Edmonton, Alberta, so in a way, she was my exotic foreign cousin and at the same time, she was a connection to Canada, where my family was from.
  • On at least one occasion, my friend, David, participated in the recording of my message to Dani. We were silly and stupid and goofy. In the course of the recording, we made some reference to a tiny island off the coast of Great Britain.
  • I used to sort of collect maps from National Geographic. I’d pin them to the walls and ceiling of my room.
  • Also, I was very active in a martial arts class, attending and working out 4-5 days a week. Thinking back, I was in REALLY good shape. What a shame I slacked off on that.


Some time later, in eighth or ninth grade, I was lying in bed listening to this old recording. It came to the part where we were talking about this small island. I happened to have that map tacked to the ceiling above my bed. I stood up from my supine position and at the same time, tilted my head back to look at this map. I sort of recall a sensation of falling through blackness but from a great distance, almost as if it was happening to someone else or something. Well, the next thing I know, I became aware that I was sitting or lying back. All of this came on  gradually, It took longer to put all of these elements together than it will take to read this. I noticed some blood next to me on the window sill and I realized that I had fallen half through my bedroom window. I got up and went to the bathroom to look in the mirror. I felt something behind my right ear. I reached back and pulled a 2-inch shard of glass out of my head. More blood, yada, yada, yada.

Anyway, it seemed that low blood pressure plus standing up suddenly (sending blood to my legs) and tilting my head back (interfering with the flow of blood to my brain) had caused me to black out. Good times!

Happy cows come from California. Skinny Cows come from Genesis 41:3

I don’t think that many people share my way of thinking about some things. For example, I don’t think that I should pick up after others, nor should they pick up after me. We should each be responsible for fixing or cleaning up our own mess. Of course, we are free to ask others for help, and they are free to ask us. And it’s only polite to offer that help (when asked) within reason. I suspect that most people would say that we SHOULD go around and tidy up or whatever after others. Poppycock. You know how I mentioned that on Sunday I came back to Central Catholic and found the gate closed and locked? That was undoubtedly some do-gooder cleaning up after me. But what he really did is make things worse.

In 2002, I shared a house with Letitia and Becky. At the time, I was working a job that was more or less swing shift, so I tended to get home well after the girls had gone to bed. One night, I arrived home to find a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches had been left out on the table and had mostly melted. It was a mess on the table-cloth and had begun dripping onto the floor. Now some people would think that they needed to clean this mess up. Not me. As I said, I didn’t create the mess and I didn’t think I was responsible for cleaning it up. However, if I left it alone, it would continue to melt and make a bigger mess. So I placed the whole thing in a plastic grocery bag and left it where I found it, only now it wouldn’t make more of a mess. This struck the girls as ludicrous and I’ve received a fair ration of crap about it since, but it made perfect sense to me.

So I ask you, what do you think of my solution? Should I have cleaned up their mess? Should I have thrown the whole thing away without cleaning? Should I have ignored it (and maintained plausible deniability) and just gone to bed?

Topic #88: What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

Topic #88:

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

Bonus: what is the worst gift you’ve ever received? (Think re-gifting)

Easy. The best gift I ever received was from my friends Patty and Kathleen. Way back in like 1999 they bought me a Vikings jacket. Totally unexpected. I loved it! I am usually too warm and therefore tend to not wear jackets, but I liked this one so much that I wore it even when it wasn’t freezing out. Sadly, I left it in a car when the car went in for repairs and I never saw it again. 🙁

I loved the jacket because it was the colors of my favorite team. But I loved it more because it came from two very special people.

A very close runner-up is the shirt my buddy Tim gave me this year. It’s a Vikings jersey. So, hint to all you people competing to get me great gifts, Vikings stuff seems to go over big!

I love my mom, but I get the most random gifts from her. One year, she gave me a little pocket multi-tool. This year, it was a flashlight to keep in my car. Another time, it was a miniature letter opening that looked like a dagger. Completely useless stuff to me, but I always try to express my appreciation. Except one year, (and I feel bad about this) she gave me something quasi-useful. She gave me a set of towels. They didn’t match my bathroom at all. And my first reaction upon opening the gift was to reply that I’d just recently purchased towels. I wish I hadn’t said that. It served no purpose other than to diminish her gift. I regretted it immediately.

Topic #83: How did you get your name?

Today’s topic – How did you get your name?

Who chose it, and why?

My dad named me. He has a cousin named Sean and he once told me he’s always liked the name.
Though I wonder if the fact that, at the time, there was a rather famous Scottish actor named Sean didn’t enter into the equation. I’d like to think so.

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