Holidays Journal

Halloween 2015

It is 4:55 AM – I get an extra hour of “my time” this morning thanks to the daylight savings change on Saturday.  This is no guarantee that my youngest will actually sleep an extra hour as I don’t believe he yet honors daylight savings.

I always like to get a journal entry in at the start of the holiday season.  I wasn’t motivated enough this past week and was feeling pretty sluggish due to lack of exercise.  I found an opportunity yesterday and went for a short run which made me feel great.  Unfortunately Halloween happened while I had a lack of exercise endorphins so I wasn’t as in to it as I should have been.  But that has now been corrected.

"Spooky" - 2015 TB145
“Spooky” – 2015 TB145

This Halloween we had an earth destroying asteroid named “Spooky” fly pretty close by the earth.  Scientists only caught it 20 days before and if we properly reflect on this event it should have made us all turn white.  We are just one rock hit away from being almost completely wiped out from a catastrophic impact.  We inhabit a flying orb that would take only one direct impact to change life as we know it in a neighborhood full of enormous asteroids.  We are lulled into a false sense of security as these events seem rare due to an amount of time – one of hundreds of lifetimes – to actually occur.  When it does – unless we find a reliable way to deflect asteroids – it will not be a good day.

Enchanted Forest

Humanity however just read it as another news story and the majority most likely paid no attention.  I did pay attention but at the assurance of scientists was not worried and we went about our Halloween festivities.  On October 31st, we went down to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve but it was high tide so we couldn’t see any of the pools.  This was OK because what I refer to as the “Enchanted Forest” gave us a spectacular Halloween appropriate display.  The sun was in the perfect position for the light to be dimmed and scattered through the dead and seemingly petrified trees which made it seem enchanted indeed!  We got more than a few pictures which made the trip more than worthwhile.

Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin Graveyard
Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin Graveyard

As I’m writing this post on November 2nd, I thought I should include a picture of Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin graveyard where the passage of time will ensure he slowly rots away.  I like this tradition because it does remind us how quickly time goes and nothing stops its relentless forward motion.  We’ll all return to our daily routines and soon Jack will have disappeared completely.  This is a fitting reminder for Samhain (aka Halloween) – a day in Gaelic lore when the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is more easily crossed – as we too will age and disappear from the earth as well.

My recent visits to my ancestors graves also serves as a stark reminder that our lives are brief and we should appreciate the gift of life and try to live it as fully and happily as possible.  It is all too often we become focused on the trivial, on work and the accumulation of money, on things that really do not matter in the end.  When one reflects back on their life who can really say they would have liked to spend more time at the office?  Life is best spent with family and friends, in appreciating sunrises and sunsets, enjoying good bottles of wine and taking joy in watching our kids grow and learn.  None of these will last, and to me, are activities which promote a life well spent.

This really is a special time of year as the end of one holiday just signals the beginning of another.  Halloween is now over for the year 2015 never to return again but we still have Thanksgiving and then the king of all holidays, Christmas.  So, I’ll be sure to get my exercise to ensure I enjoy the next two holidays to the fullest.

Holidays Journal

Thanksgiving Day 11.27.2014

It is now 12:00pm on Thanksgiving day.  I’ve got the turkey in the oven and the stock is simmering on the stove. 

As the reason for this blog is to record my life I really enjoy being able to add an entry while a special event is actually happening should a moment present itself and it looks like I’ve got a few spare minutes before people start arriving and the wine bottles are opened.

I had thought about writing a post this morning when I awoke at 4:30 am.  The mornings are best because the rest of the house is still asleep and I (usually) won’t be bothered for at least an hour or so.  However, World of Warcraft’s Warlords of Draenor just came out and so I’ve gone into Azeroth for the first time in many months to see what the commotion was about.  It turns out that we can now build our very own garrison which is reminiscent of the first Warcraft games I played as a teenager!  So, yea, a post didn’t happen this morning, I needed to secure some lumber supplies this morning and get my new homestead built!  

This mornings preparations have gone just ok.  It turns out the wife used too much butter for the pumpkin pie crust because we were both confused about what a “stick” of butter meant.  In my mind it was a complete stick, the size you see in a butter serving tray.  But apparently a “stick of butter” has become “HALF A STICK” of butter in USA cooking directions.  WTF!??  

I was sure I wasn’t wrong no matter how many housewives have written on the internet that a “stick of butter” is only half a stick.  So I thought back to my earliest memory and sure enough, “a stick of butter” is an entire stick people!

As I got things ready to start the turkey preparation I received quite a shock.  The website whose directions and cooking method I use was actually DOWN!  Apparently it has become extremely popular and it looks like too many people are trying to access it.  Luckily, I was smart enough to web clip it with Evernote as not having directions would be a catastrophe for me.  I even took a screenshot as I was so shocked.  

Mom's Roast Turkey

That crisis was averted and the preparation went smoothly.  Well, except I poked my finger twice with the skewers while flipping the bird over while applying olive oil, and the second time I drew a bit of blood.  As we have to be especially careful when handling raw poultry I wonder if some germs got into my blood stream and this will be my very last post, for eternity?  Perhaps I’ll be able to kill those germs with the wine I’m about to open?  

We shall see.  

Ok, time to jump back into the day. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

The Thanksgiving table of my dreams



Holiday Post – Halloween

I wanted to write this post right at the beginning of the holiday season which I consider to be right before Halloween!  But with two kids now I find that my free time has evaporated to approximately zero.  The only time I have to myself is very early in the morning, around 5:00 am or when the wife and boys are at preschool/shopping.  It just happens I have a moment now and am determined to get this post finished.  

So I’ve turned on “This is Halloween” by The Vitamin String Quartet to try and transport my mind back a month or so.  

I have always loved the holidays.  I think the main reason is that my mom was and still is so enthusiastic and gets excited herself.  She decorates the house to the brim and we would do fun things like watch the TV specials, make popcorn and all the other activities associated with holidays.  Every holiday was a wonderful time and full of magic.  

I can still remember the most magical moments.  Let’s begin with Halloween since it is first in line.  I was in 7th or 8th grade and it was one of the last times I would feel young enough to go trick-or-treating.  I lived in a wonderful neighborhood called Golfview Woods that was like a labyrinth.  There were only two ways in/out which were right next to each other.  If you didn’t know where you were going getting lost was almost a certainty.  In this neighborhood there were no businesses, just middle class housing right next to an 18 hole public golf course called Raymond Memorial and a smaller 9 hole golf course known as Wilson Road GC, hence the name Golfview.  

There were only a smattering of schools for the neighborhood kids to attend, all of which required a commute/bus.  With such a limited selection we all pretty much knew, or at least knew of, all the other kids.  As there were a number of kids and the neighborhood was family friendly, most people would decorate their houses.  It was rare to not make any effort at all.  

These things made the neighborhood magical in itself, just a really great place to grow up before one got a driver’s license and had a wider world to explore.  

Anyway, this particular night was warm, trick-or-treat was winding down with only the die-hard teenagers still soliciting for candy.  I was with my friends on En-Joie Dr near Pamona Ct when looked up in the sky and saw a shooting star.  It was at this moment where all the magic that is Halloween, comes together and through a simple spectacle of nature plants the memory of this night firmly in my brain.  These are the golden nuggets of holidays past which being very rare are things one will never forget.  

To add to this there was also a women in a house across the street who did not close her bedroom blinds and took off her shirt.  For the first time in my life (not counting being a baby) I saw a real and quite voluptuous pair of boobs.  I have to say they were almost as beautiful as the shooting star.  Instead of enchanting me with the magic of Halloween night however, I was overcome with a feeling quite different from deep appreciation of the holidays.  

I have seen quite a number of boobs since then and thus they don’t elicit the same type of excitement; first times are simply often the most spellbinding.  

Time goes on and I’ve never experienced a Halloween moment as magical as that.  I find that as we get older the magic almost disappears completely.  I try to re-conjure it with all my might for my son and he gets mightily excited but for me adulthood has muted the experience which used to occur on its own.  

I can still get a quick flash of the magic but it is quick and usually involves me alone, outside looking at the stars or out over the ocean or at a fireplace and in a sort of trance trying to bring back all my wonderful holiday memories as though I’m casting a spell which will bring back the wonder and joy of childhood into my adult existence.  In order to do this I must consciously stop and make it happen at certain moments during the holidays.  Today for instance I had just finished sweeping the leaves when I paused, appreciated the chill in temperature, picked up a dead leaf and said hello to Autumn.  

I then glanced outside the gate to where I had put the pumpkins so we could see what happens when pumpkins decompose and was reminded that although time is supposedly an illusion, it leaves very convincing evidence by the fact that the pumpkins are now mush and I am 37 years old and no longer gets (as) excited by boobs!  


Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, the once feared Pumpkin King is no more. 

It is at this point that I realize I can write no more.  The wife has returned and I am forcefully returned from the enchantment of past Halloweens to current domestic duties.  I must confirm that we have everything needed for the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  Seems a reasonable enough request!  

I hope to write something on Thanksgiving but stay tuned for my next post on Christmas.  The most magical moment of my entire life happened on Christmas morning at about 4:00 AM when I was 6 years old, sitting on the heater vent staring at the shining and glorious Christmas tree.  


Google+ Holidays San Francisco

Big bulbs

Big bulbs.
Bay Area Google+ Holidays Restaurants

The historic Hotel Mac ready for the holidays

The historic Hotel Mac ready for the holidays.