2008 Recap

2008 was filled with LOTS of things……here are some of them:

Kirstie 2008

Kirstie with me at my MBA Orientation of Hope International University

  • Josh - First Day of School
  • Josh – First Day of School
  • The Angels Rock!
  • The Angels Rock
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    Sleepy days……


    And the consequences of the only one falling asleep!

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    And perpetual paparazzi avoidance…….


    New Friends


    Amazing memories!


    And fun activities!


    Cool kids…….


    And manifestations of tempers!


    Music Production……


    New loves…..

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    And the comfort of family!


    New toys…..


    and the winner’s circle!

    See, 2008 had some fun happenings!!!

    See Ya, 2008!

    I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but the years sure pass by quickly nowadays! I was just getting used to the sound of 2008, and now it’s gone! And then I think about years past and it amazes me that the memories are piling up so high…..sigh!

    So 2008 was an interesting year…..well, it could even be described as a horrible year in many ways. And maybe some of my regular readers expect me to recap those horrible parts. But I actually don’t feel like it! Right now I can’t help but think that, even with the tough part of the year, God has been faithful and brought me to the point of feeling His peace – not to mention that I’ve grown in ways I never thought possible. So, I’ve decided that these pieces of my year are more important to reflect on than the unfortunate circumstances that, ultimately, helped me on the journey.

    • I appreciate the love and support of my friends over the year. Paramount in my mind are Rona and Stephanie, who helped me in ways that words cannot express.
    • I have been able to live well this year, even without being employed most of the year. During the summer months especially, the time I spent with the boys was AMAZING! I would not change that for anything.
    • Even though I hurt my shoulder, I am blessed to have COBRA and was able to have it fixed.
    • I was able to see some amazing things this year; front row, just off center seats in Madison Square Garden with Cathy, where we watched Bon Jovi rock! The next night wasn’t bad either – 8th row! Seeing NYC, being in Central Park, and getting hot dogs and pizza were amazing, too! I appreciate Cathy giving me those memories.
    • Spending a fun-filled mini-vacation at the Disneyland Resort with the boys was great fun too. It truly seems to be the happiest place on earth.
    • Forging friendships for life filled this year. Edgar is truly my best friend and I am so glad to have him back in my life. Rita has shown me that it’s okay to be honest. Eddie, my brother, has reminded me that unconditional love does exist. Anita (Edgar’s Mom) has shown me that friendship takes on many shapes and convention should not be a determination.
    • I have gotten so close to Kirstie this year that I cannot express how happy I am.
    • I can talk to my Dad and Ellie and love spending time with them.
    • I have been blessed by the internet in that I can easily communicate with family members who live far away; Aunt Kay, Cousins Lori and Christine, even Edgar’s brother Eric – all the way in Hungary!
    • I love Gracie and am so glad she is part of my life! She fills spaces I never knew existed.

    Okay, that’s all I have right now! Maybe more later!

    Christmas Day and other Excitement

    Yep, Christmas was filled with blessings this year.  I have been with the kids at Edgar’s house since Christmas Eve!  LOTS of fun, lots of food, and lots of love!

    Here are the Garza boys working on their MySpace faces…..


    Here is Edgar vying for Josh’s candy, and Josh’s response……

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    Josh with his new go phone and Gracie enjoying the great outdoors…..

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    Kirstie playing Guitar Hero World Tour on Expert and KICKING IT!  Yes, she plays left handed!


    Visiting Grandpa David and Grandma Ellie


    Grandpa giving the Boys gun safety lessons…..


    Kenny has been waiting for this FOREVER!!!! lol


    It was a great Christmas and I am looking forward to the blessings God has in store for me in 2009!

    Christmas Eve Eve

    Since Rita had a ticket to leave for Chicago on the 24th, she, David, Gracie, Nike, and I opened presents on the 23rd.  It was FUN!  The most exciting part was when the “kids” (Nike and Gracie) opened their presents.  This is my first Christmas with Gracie, and she is still pretty young(1 1/2), so the odds are good that this was the first time she actually opened presents.

    Nike was the first to go…..

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    Then it was Gracie’s turn!

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    Overall it was a fun night for all!  Next, info from Christmas Eve and Christmas!

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    Sunday – aagghhh!

    It’s hard to believe that next week is Christmas!  So much has been going on in my life, that little piece of info seems to have been lost in the shuffle!  Rita and I WERE able to get a few items earlier in the week, but not much!  Today I ordered some more gifts for the boys from BestBuy.com and hope to pick them up later today.  I have a few more items to get on my list……hopefully I can knock them out today or tomorrow!

    I also spent a large amount of time yesterday and this morning finishing up my portion of the Final Project for my latest MBA class.  This included sharing my team’s business plan and results from our simulated business.  I actually enjoyed this class very much – way better than Statistics!  I have learned much to use in my career and look forward to – hopefully someday – opening a business with Rita.

    The kids are doing pretty well.  I spent the night at Edgar’s Friday – it was not planned.  I had a team meeting at 7pm on Friday and there was no way I’d get home in time for it.  I also was meeting with Edgar after my physical therapy session to take care of some other items.  The meeting with my team lasted MUCH longer than I expected, ending at around 10pm.  The boys, especially Josh, were anxious for me to spend the night, so I did.  It was fun hanging with them, and I even got to see Kirstie when she got home later that night.

    Josh woke me at 7:45 in the morning and we were able to eat some donuts together, thanks to Anita’s early outing to get them!

    Kenny, Josh, Rita and I (and maybe Kirstie if she’s interested) are taking a ski trip from the 31st through the 3rd.  We are all very excited and, fortunately, PT has been good enough for me that I can ski too!  I might be a little tentative, but it will be fun to be out there with my boys and Rita.  I can’t wait to see Kenny snowboard and Josh ski!  They took several lessons a couple years ago and they were getting pretty good….hope they remember how to do things!  It’s gonna be SO MUCH FUN and hopefully the beginning of a new tradition.  And it will be interesting if I actually STAY AWAKE for the new year instead of sleeping and getting up moments before midnight…..LOL.

    Okay, I am taking off now….have lots to do…..like watching Terms of Endearment!  Wait, where are the tissues????

    It’s Thursday?

    In the short months when I have been back to work, I had forgotten how the days meld together when you aren’t working.  It surprised me to realize that today is THURSDAY!  Wow.  I used to live for this day before as it meant tomorrow was Friday and I would have a two day reprieve from the crap at work!  LOL  Now I just think, “wow, Rita and David will not have to go to work in a few day!”

    Speaking of work, Rita went into work at like 4am this morning!  Just the reality of owning your own business can be hard work!  Well, to give Rita some credit, she is a hard worker 100% of the time and one of the most fair owners/bosses I have witnessed in my long life…..

    So yesterday I went with a friend to finally see the movie Twilight.  You may remember from earlier posts, Kirstie got me hooked on the book series this past summer – she read the first 3 books (over 1,500 pages) in like 4 days and then pre-ordered the 4th book.  She likes to read, but this was very unusual for her.  So, me being into books and all, decided I would check it out, too.  And they ARE good books.  In fact, forgive me for being lazy, but I will update my book review page, hopefully today.

    Anyway, I usually hate when books are made into movies……not sure that is fair, because obviously books are a different genre and can express emotions/thoughts/feelings so much better than can be expressed in film.  Even still, I usually am very disappointed with films based on books I have read.  I disliked The Notebook very much.  The Other Boleyn was another disappointment.  So I went into this movie, although excited to be finally seeing it, with low expectations.

    It’s important to note that the characters in Twilight were well developed by the author, and I have to state right away, the actors who portrayed them in the film did an EXCEPTIONAL job.  Too often I see different people there, but that was not the case with this film.  (And again, remember I am a little bit of a snob in this area.)  And, although this was a low-budget, independent production (which means bad editing and some footage looked like Mom did it with the family camcorder), the film stayed very true to the book.  While every detail is impossible to touch on, and there were a few awkward points were non-readers may miss some key info, overall it was VERY well done and held my interest throughout the film.  I think this is worth your time and money to see, and I even plan on buying the DVD when it comes out next year!

    So today I am working on homework – LOTS of homework!  It’s the last week of my class and there is a big Final Team Project due!  I am meeting with my team online tonight – the members are in Carson, Chicago, and New York.  It’s interesting, this online MBA program!  I must say, the caliber of the Kaplan classes are VERY good and they truly challenge me!  MUCH better than the university I was last enrolled in for my MBA!  I am happy to report that I currently have 97.56% in the class….whew.

    And, for those curious to know – NG’s average of reading this site per day remains right around 5.

    Dogs are sneaky, too!

    So yesterday I decided to actually take a shower, since I was home and being lazy. The shower is off of Rita’s room and usually Gracie follows me and hangs there. Nike usually is more independent and doesn’t follow, and he NEVER gets up on her bed because it is too high. The first thing that happened was this – Gracie barking at the stuff animal…..


    (notice the pink piece in her mouth?)

    And then I heard Nike come investigate the barking – he is a big boy, so you hear when he enters the room.  Then Gracie seemed to be barking at him for support:


    I got tired of trying to make her stop barking and went to dry my hair……the next thing you know…….


    (yes, they are kissing in the first pic)

    So, I had a good laugh and Nike didn’t really need that much help getting off the bed (which IS very high! and, at his size, he is not the most graceful dogs around…..).  I warned Rita that she may be very crowded during the night!  LOL  But I SO love these dogs!  They are so sweet!

    Okay, might share the boys’ hair trims later, but for now I need more coffee.

    Sorry for the Silence

    Lots of drama and fun in my life, so haven’t had much time to write.  I am hungry right now, so this will be quick:

    • I sent to Physical Therapy on Friday and it looks to be great AND hard work.  Reginald is my PT and is nice.  I have exercises to do and they are simple, but much harder then I anticipated!
    • The kids are GREAT!  Was able to spend the weekend with the boys and it was fantastic.  They are VERY comfortable in my new dregs so that makes it that much more fun.  They even let me get their hair trimmed!
    • I quit my job on Friday.  The ultimatum was not reached and, in fact, things had gotten much worse and Lien’s husband (one of the owners) pretty much said what she says, goes.  I didn’t have a title, clear responsibilities, unclear reporting channels, and was made to outright break California Labor Law.  Further, I had no authority, not even being able to send a generic fax without both of their approval.  So, I said forget it even though this economy is so bad.  It may have been a bad decision, but I was tired of having pain in my gut and other physical/emotional negative effects on my life.  Plus, I could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor for some of the things they wanted me to do, so why stay?  I DO have to say, I have nothing but respect for Corey, the owner who contacted me, and whom really wanted to make the necessary changes and who backed me up , often leading to confrontations with Son.  I am sorry to leave him.
    • Now, it’s time to focus on the holidays……

    Hope my faithful readers (and those who read it several times a day!) have a great day and holiday season.  For those in Southern California, especially those that were effected by the recent fires, I pray that you drive safely and avoid the mud slides, etc.

    Tuesdays after Birthdays

    Okay, I have about 10 minutes to jot down a few words about my birthday weekend.

    • First of all, Nancy Goens DID write again, although she assured me “she is done” now. I will let you know if that remains the case.
    • Friday night traffic was a bear, but Rita was still able to salvage the night; we went out to dinner and then she gave me some presents. She had hints on each present so I would have to try to figure them out…..it was very fun! The coolest present – which happens to be the reason I am writing this right now – is a USB wireless modem! So I can get on the internet anywhere I need to (that doesn’t already have a wireless connection)!!!!
    • Saturday, Edgar, Rita, Kirstie, Kenny and Josh really DID take me out to bowl! Those stinkers took advantage of the fact they could beat me with my bum shoulder! I bowled right handed and did pretty darn good actually! Although Rita had a stellar first game at 157! Kirstie had to go to work, but she got some great frames in too and we all have great fun together.
    • Then, we all went to Dave & Busters for dinner and more fun. Kenny won me a huge pink stuffed animal for my birthday. We also played tons of games. Note here that I totally whooped Rita in basketball…..she tried several times afterward to beat my score, but didn’t come close. Ba ha ha ha.
    • The boys came to my place and spent the weekend, which was great fun. One funny end to my birthday is that I bought Kenny an early Christmas present – DRUMS! Well, they will be at Edgar’s house and I bought practice pads for them, but it was SO FUN to pick them out, set them up, and play on them! He has already gotten pretty good at the basic rhythm I taught him! It was nice being able to get the drums considering I have been unable to for a long time.

    That’s about it for now. School is still going, I am still getting settled, and my shoulder continues to heal. In fact, I can go about 6-8 hours before I even think about pain pills now. It is encouraging. I start physical therapy this Friday.

    Okay, I better get back to work!

    Message about and to Nancy Goens

    Nancy G., who reads this blog at least 4 times a day – and has since this summer, has an issue with me. You see, we began to chat online during the summer and, quite honestly, we enjoyed emailing each other. This went on for several days – maybe a week or two – and there were no red flags in our conversations. In fact, there was mutual interest to meet and see what might happen. THAT’S when things began to turn south…..

    Our meeting soon showed me that there were a few red flags with Nancy – things I will not go into here. Did I think she was a “bad person”? No. But I knew it was a mistake to meet her and there was no reason to continue seeing her. My mistake at this point is I believed her psyche could not take the truth. Am I justifying my actions? Probably. But the bottom line, I did not tell her what I was thinking that night and even indicated that I was looking forward to going to Disneyland the next day. However, driving home from dinner – talking to Rona – I came to my senses. I couldn’t continue anything with Nancy just because I was afraid to hurt her feelings. So I called her that night, thanked her for dinner, and said it wasn’t going to work out. She didn’t answer the phone, so I left it on her voice mail. Maybe that was a mistake, too.

    This is when the psychosis came out – it didn’t seem that way at first. Her message back to me was that of hurt and anger, a bit of confusion, and that all was reasonable. She even said she would never contact me again. I understood, in part, her response and I was truly sorry that I didn’t have the guts to say it to her face the night before at dinner. But it didn’t end there – this was followed by call after call, each more angry, each more concerning, each more layered with veiled threats and anger that didn’t quite match the fact we had met only once – that we were still strangers and we certainly did not have a relationship. The messages were followed by numerous emails – tons of emails – and it was getting ugly. I finally decided to respond – to give her what she wanted – the “why” to my decision. At this point I admit that I was angry, that I had been pushed beyond my initial concern for her, and let her have the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately, instead of ending the exchange, this created more questions for her and the onslaught continued. THEN, she claimed that I was the one sending tons of emails, over and over. I thought it was my Mac account, I called them, and they checked their servers or whatever. They said there was not excessive traffic to her IP address, so whatever. Yet the emails to me (we’re talking like 20-30 per hour) continued to roll in. Calls and texts did as well. It was truly an onslaught. Finally, I told her I would contact the police and file a report that she was harassing me, maybe even get a restraining order. Thank God the onslaught ended.

    However, I could easily see that she would read this blog about 30 times a day. You can go back to earlier posts where I said something like “thanks to the reader in Oceanside who is pushing up my reading stats”. Now, months later, the number has gone down, but she is still an avid reader, hitting the site multiple times a day. I have no problem with that – she can read all she wants, this is the internet after all. I do find it strange that she reads it so many times throughout the day, I do think there is a bit of an obsession or something going on – but whatever, it’s not my problem.

    But that “relationship” changed last week, when she started leaving “hate comments” on this blog. She thought is was anonymous at first, she cloaked herself with a generic email address. What she DIDN’T know is that I had her IP address and yep, it confirmed it was her. However, I chose to play the game, to not acknowledge her post. But then more came, and each followed the previous pattern of escalating in anger and hate, and while she basically said I was not nice in judging others, was certainly passing judgement on me (and that’s fine, but it is somewhat hilariously ironic…).

    So yesterday, she chose to use my birthday to send an especially direct and hate-filled post to this site (well, two actually). I decided on my 2 hour commute home, to reply and let her know that I KNEW who she was and that she was the one with the issues. Again, we are STRANGERS to each other and I don’t owe her anything. I mean seriously, WE HAD FREAKING DINNER AND EXCHANGED EMAILS FOR A FEW WEEKS. It didn’t work out – MOVE ON!

    And yet, I woke up this morning and she was requesting to be my friend on Facebook! Seriously? Nancy, I did not accept your request and, in fact, blocked you from my site.

    So here is my message to Nancy:

    Enjoy reading my blog – continue to be obsessed with me or whatever the case may be. Feel free to hate me, despise me, think poorly of me, and whatever else makes you feel able to go on with your life. But do NOT leave posts on this blog, do NOT send me emails, do NOT request to be my friend on any social site, or make any contact to me in any way whatsoever. If you choose to ignore this, I WILL take all the emails from our initial interactions, take all the posts made to this site, everything I have, and file them with the police and accuse you of stalking and harassing me. It’s your choice.