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November 2019

Today Was Not a Bad Day

OneblogBToday was not a bad day.

A pal came over and hung a new overhead light in our bedroom, spackled a few spots in our ceiling, and taught my bf and I how to re-grout and caulk a shower. We also bought a Xmas tree, ate Tday leftovers, and watched "Rogue One" (in the ramp up to the next movie... #2 and #3 aren't as bad as I remembered, but #1 is still a real dud and "Rogue One" is still awesome maybe even more so than when it came out given the national conversations we've been having the past couple years)

Yup, today was not a bad day.

The Concentric Circle of Space and Time

MacysblogI've purchased our Thanksgiving turkey and it's sitting on our tiny kitchen counter thawing. At this point, It's literally a 9lb block of ice with some turkey thrown in for good measure. But, thankfully, we have a little time until it needs to get thrown in the oven. 

One of the things that I am most thankful for this year is that I am now only about 6 months from the date of May 27, 2020 - it's the date when all space and time converge for me - it will be the day I've lived longer than my father who died after a year long battle with cancer when he was 56.

I don't know why it's become like This Thing, but I do remember those days following his death, when I was 17, and thinking that 56 seemed scary but thankfully so far away. And now... I turn 56 on March 9th and then .... well, then I'm nearly there to the point that he was. I'm nearly where the scary part is. The part I've spent my life preparing for. A kind of time of a cosmic report card surveying all I've done and left undone. 

What I haven't really thought of is, what occupies that space, filled for so many years with the anxiousness of 56 in the distance, when it's May 28th? 

And, then, of course, it hits me - what if I don't get beyond his age? That's scary for lots of reasons. LOL 

But in the here and now, I have a frozen turkey, a great partner of 4 years, a home I've been in for 16 years, am drawing (sporadically, but I am doing it), a job and a few friends sprinkled across the world. For right now, it's what I will focus on. 

On a completely unrelated note, tomorrow, Thanksgiving, I will once again be a balloon handler in the Macys Parade, if the winds allow it. My first year was 2006 and I was on Super Grover. It rained a lot and I wore boots that had holes in them (I didn't know, of course, until the first puddle I walked through). The Macys people had a policy of no photos at the time so I don't have a picture from that year, but above is a montage of all the other years I've been in the Parade. It's comforting, somehow to watch me morph into Santa Claus. :)

Have a very happy Thanksgiving all! 

Happy Special Kind of Monday!

Good morning and welcome to a special kind of Monday - the Monday that precedes a Thursday holiday and acts, then, as a sort of Super Monday where you know that you can't actually shove five days of work into 2 1/2 but you're going to try anyway and, also, you know you're going to have to let go of that laundry list that you think you can get done in the time you have available.

Now, those that know me, know that every year I'm a balloon handler at the Macys Thanksgiving Parade -  and this year they have placed me on a special balloon and I'm very grateful. Not going to say what it is only because, after 10 other parades, I know that it's possible to get re-assigned at the last minute. That would be a drag as I am very much looking forward to this particular balloon but what will be, will be. Anyway, I will be posting from inside the Parade up until step off on my Instagram account @jacobandrewaltenburg (please follow me!). 

I found the below on the Facebook and it made me laugh especially since I've been wrestling with how to handle upcoming JOHNS AND MARYS stories. Some folks don't come off that well (and frankly, there are a couple places in the narrative where I might not either), but not sure I want to spend my precious time writing and dwelling on negativity either.... but does a varnished story have much value if it glosses over the pain? Something I have been thinking about a lot all of this year. 

Finally, in the upcoming frenzied holiday season, remember that you are not expected to go broke or have a nervous breakdown trying to make everyone happy and get everything done. Set some realistic expectations, ask for help, let some things go, but most of all, keep focused on the reason for the season in the first place. :) 

Have a great day! 

You own stories

I Guess We'll Have Paris, After All #netflix

6a013484a96e3f970c0240a4cb351c200b-800wiA few weeks ago I wrote a blistering expose on the closing of the Paris movie theater where I named names and ... ok no I didn't do that. I just wrote a little blog post that lamented the closing of a popular place to see (mostly) art house movies. 

Since then, Netflix has swooped in and saved the single screen theater. Sort of. Netflix's MARRIAGE STORY opened there a couple weeks ago as a theater run is required for the film to be considered for an Oscar. It's a neat trick and I'm glad that the treasured place can maybe get a second lease on life. 

I don't really expect it to last - I mean, how long before the tech giants convince the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that the rule about a theatrical release isn't needed any longer? But I'll take what I can get. 

I can't say that I'm going to be rushing out to see MARRIAGE STORY as I'm bummed out enough what with seasonal disorder and just general life stuff that I don't think that I need to immerse myself in a film about divorce, but I highly support the idea of it and hope that the next flick that Netflix plays there is something I'd actually like to see. 


Didja Get The Number of That Truck?

Good morning all - I don't know about you, of course, but the past few weeks have been intense! Job stuff, personal stuff, and other stuff that just decided to happen in October because, hell, why not? all collided and gave the past few weeks the unmistakable earmarks of being hit by a truck - BAM. 

TruckblogI am here, however, safe and sound and doing OK. 

When this happens (and it does often because that's just how life works), I find it best to be the CNN crawl - slow and steady and continue doing the things that need to get done - simple stuff like getting enough sleep and eating regularly but also shaving and getting haircuts. Turning into the wild man of Borneo isn't going to help things and will just make one feel a bit worse. 

Usually when things are colliding, I use the mantra of 'what do I really need to get done right NOW?' to guide me towards what is important. I find this separates the necessary from the things that I would like to do but aren't urgent. 

As a side note, my Christmas shopping is done and now I can tra la la my way through the holiday season drinking mimosas all along the way. :) 

That's it for today, have a great week ahead!