It is 10:49 AM on Friday December 13th, 2019. I finally have time to take a breath as the past two weeks have been a complete blur of work and events.
Last week was our national sales meeting and holiday party in Texas. Including travel time that takes up a big 4 day chunk and is a very busy affair. I had made the mistake of scheduling a bunch of meetings on the Monday and Tuesday this week which meant I had to get the preparation done before our sales meeting. Then from Wednesday until today was spent digging myself out of the work that had accumulated.
I always have in my mind that the holidays will be a relaxing time but they never are: they are actually busier times than usual!
In addition to work we had our usual karate, a school concert and went to see the Nutcracker last night. It has been most likely a decade since I last saw the show and my kids had never seen it. This production was extra special as the daughter of our family friends was in it! She did a great job and is becoming a fantastic ballerina.
It was a nice night out as we never go out on the town. We first went to pick up my wife’s renewed passport which meant we had to be in the center of SF during rush hour. We had plenty of time so there was no stress but I really do not see how people who work there could put up with such congestion everyday. I would move and do any type of work elsewhere to not have to deal with that mess all the time.
We were meeting our friends at 5:00 for ramen but were very early so went to city hall to have a look around and take a picture or two. We then went to Nojo ramen and it was certainly one of the best ramen shops in San Francisco. After that it was to the Nutcracker which ended around 9:00 PM and meant we didn’t get to bed until 11. That is very late for all of us so we’re a bit sluggish today.
It is nice to take a moment here at the end of the year to reflect on another year almost over and how quickly time goes. We passed by our old street (Bush St.) in San Francisco yesterday and I realized it has been about 10 years since we lived there. Today I am 42 and tomorrow I will be 52. Life goes too quickly and with the fast paced society we live in we need time to reflect.
Part of my reflection is how much the Trump presidency has influenced my own thinking. Reading the news always brings negative thoughts and for a guy who was once proudly American I know realize the truth. America is a business, we are not a team and the purpose of this country is to gain profit at all costs be damned the consequences. To realize how much my thinking has changed in a relatively short time is incredible to me.
I’m still very much confused about how many of my countrymen (now understood to be competitors) can support such a nasty person for President. I think about this but then my confusion lessened when I look at our society. This is the society of Jerry Springer, the society where shows like Desperate Housewives can thrive. A good chuck of the conversation centers around sports. How many times some guy put a ball somewhere is a serious matter and can cause heated tempers!
Then I think about religion and what a farce that is. There are a lot of mangers going up this season and they depict a splendidly white Jesus who could easily pass for an American! God forbid their depictions of Jesus were historically accurate. No, the Americans want a white Jesus while the Mexicans prefer a darker Virgin of Guadalupe. That is much more preferable than a white image of a man who looks like a conquistador who came and decimated their way of life hundreds of years ago.
I don’t want to get into all of the history. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to travel and learn as much as I have. But in doing so I also now feel more alone, unable to talk with most people about anything of substance. Guys my age mostly want to talk sports or business.
But I do have this blog, where I can record my thoughts and feelings. In summary, two of the primary influences in life, politics and religion, seem to have gone off the rails. President Orange, the billionaire, cheater, narcissist is President and half of Americans love him. Meanwhile they go to their churches to worship a white Jesus, who preached against all the things President Orange does, while simultaneously disliking groups from where Jesus lived.
This is such a stupid time in America.
Side note. In the paper today there was a “Worship Directory” where different churches are advertised. It is really something to think that everyone in all those different churches think their faith is the correct one. It is like Americans can be completely rational people except when it comes to religion and politics.
“Come to the Mountain of Blessings!” one of the advertisements said. First of all this little church is located on some podunk street without a mountain in sight. And blessings? Yes, some magical benefits that will come raining down from the sky if you just come and listen to Pastor Hayseed from small town Ohio tell you all of the divine secrets. I swear churches make up the most ridiculous slogans. I once saw a slogan to “Wear Jesus Christ.” I poked a bit of fun at it and a nun decided to explain to me in all seriousness what it meant. I used to think the church was beyond reproach and priests and nuns were wise and all knowing. Now they are like lost little children to me playing make believe as much as they like.
I truly am alone in a culture such as this. Praise the Spaghetti Monster I live near San Francisco where although there is plenty of nonsense, it is of a different sort.
Before I go, one of my old high school acquaintances posted on social media that if you do not believe in Jesus then why celebrate Christmas? I responded that he should first remove his Christmas tree which has origins in a pagan tradition. Secondly scholars do not know when Jesus was actually born. Finally, in order to convert people Christianity incorporated then modified the many mid-winter festivals. So really, it makes more sense to celebrate the ancient mid-winter festivals than a guy whose birth date we do not even know. But this is too much information. Better get back to sports and worshiping a white Jesus that looks like he came from Wisconsin.