Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude is my religion

Join the Gratitude Circle!

I don't believe in much of anything, having grown up an atheist. Religion — of any kind — doesn't make sense to me. Neither does life after death, or the promise of rewards (or punishment) in some place beyond this world. I don't believe in a higher power, a mover and shaker that makes things happen or not happen. I don't believe in prophets or prophecies, or in angels, or in absolute good or absolute evil.

But I do believe in gratitude. I believe it's the single most powerful force we can harness to change the world. It's more powerful than hate, or fear, or even love. Gratitude is what makes a life worth living.

Which is why I love Thanksgiving.

No, we don't celebrate it in Mexico, or here in Curaçao, or pretty much anywhere else in the world other than the U.S. (and Canada, on a different date)—but we should. Actually, we should celebrate it much more often than once a year. Like every day.

We have so much to be grateful. All of us. There is beauty and wisdom and goodness and brilliance in every moment we're alive. Pain and helplessness and disappointment and fear and loss are also blessings; there can be no positive without a negative.

It's so easy to let the big stuff get in the way... It absorbs so much space, so much energy. But the choice is yours. I believe looking at the "big picture" may be a mistake. It's in the small things, the little pleasures and tiny details that surround me, that I've found the greatest joy.

Happy Thanksgiving. Today, and every day.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Mexico Trip (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

The Plan was as follows:

- Fly out of Mexico City at 8 am, get into Miami at 11 am.
- Seven-hour layover in Miami. (I had a really great book to look forward to.)
- Leave Miami at 6:30 pm, get into Curaçao at 10 pm.

Inconvenient, with that incredibly long layover, but no more so than I'm used to.

And it all went according to plan. Until the last part. And it ended with me not sleeping (or changing clothes, eww) for over 48 hours.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#BoTB Results: The Battle of the Genres (Ranchera vs Norteño)

It really did look like a slam-dunk there for a bit... Pepe Aguilar was keeping the Norteño guys down and wouldn't let them up for even a wild swing. And then there was hope... The band got in a couple of good punches, Pepe faltered—but, in the end, it just wasn't enough.

The winner: Pepe Aguilar

Pepe Aguilar (9)

Poder del Norte (6)

My vote? Dang... I forgot about that. Not that it would make a shred of difference either way... This is a hard one. The Aguilar version is charged with emotional context for me. Norteño music, in general, is not (again, for me). But if I stick to this which cantina would you rule I seem to have imposed on this battle, then the answer is the Poder del Norte dudes. So. Final tally is Aguilar with 9 votes, and the band guys with 7.

Not bad for what looked like a shut-out, eh?

They say it's impossible to please everyone all of the time, but—being the contrary soul I am—I'm still going to try. Here's Pepe Aguilar, plus daughter and son, singing a Norteño potpourri. On MTV Unplugged, no less.

Happy weekend, y'all!

(I'll be back tomorrow with Part II of the Mexico trip... Just haven't had time to finish that one. And on Monday, if you're in the neighborhood, I'll be up at Yolanda Renee's blog talking about indie presses, and I'd love it if you came by to say hi. No, seriously, I would.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

#BooktagsBlogHop: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

About the Author
About the Book

I just finished reading this one yesterday. At 4:00 am. Yes, it was that good. I've been hooked onto short stories since I happened, completely by accident, upon a collection of Roald Dahl's adult (and oh-so-twisted) short stories. I was thirteen. And I'd never be the same again.

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