New Mexico. What Happened To You?

Ahh! The land of, “Enchantment.” Beautiful, clear blue skies. Friendly people, majestic mountains, four seasons, breath taking sunsets, an array of picturesque clouds, fantastic food, of course, our green chile, and multiple churches. What else could one ask for! This the place to live. But wait just one second. There is a very dark side to this paradise.

Let’s reflect on this dark side. Despite the multiple churches, and seemingly religious atmosphere, New Mexico is riddled with a high crime volume, such as murders, corruption, fraud, sex trafficking, criminals being released back into society, and somehow interpreted by these lawbreakers, as a license to continue, “Business as usual.” The education system is at its lowest in the nation. Educators aren’t regarded as genuine educators by other states, based on my own research, and based on the aforementioned, it would appear that this state would not be a fit one to visit.

Thus far, I have touched the tip of the iceberg. Are you aware that New Mexico has been dubbed, “The Abortion Capital of this nation, if not the world? A baby can be aborted a few hours before birth, or better known as late term abortion. How can a state with so many so called Christians, be allowed to practice this heinous act? Is this a problem of a religious nature, or a political one?

Let’s look at religious nature. We Christians are dead set against abortion, and yet, laws are passed and, we don’t get involved in attempting to remedy this problem. We pray and pray, but never leave our prayer closet, and truly explore as to why this practice continues. We have built a ‘China Wall” around us, thereby preventing us to see what is really taking place outside our four walls. We need to get off our knees once we have ended our prayers, and become vociferous with respect to our beliefs, as committed Christians. Time to get involved! If we don’t, we’ll wake up one morning, and wonder why our rights have been taken from us.

Now, let’s talk politics. Our politicians have taken it upon themselves, that they know what’s best for us, and will pass legislation, contrary to what we stand for. Many of us have no clue as to what laws are being passed on a regular basis. The media paints a rosy picture about those involved in politics, and the public, including Christians, believe what’s being reported. We should all be concerned as to whether or not, New Mexico will rise to the occasion, or will continue to sink.

I had the opportunity of attending a meeting, sponsored by the Hispanic Action Network, headed by Mark Gonsalez, at the invitation of Ruben Guajardo, the third, which addressed my concerns, and had the honor of meeting a fiery young man who is currently running for the office of Attorney General, for the state of new Mexico. His name is Michael Hendricks, a gentleman whose Christian values are quite evident. In discussing the problem in our state, he indicated that as the next Attorney General, he will put a stop to late term abortion, and will crack down in a relentless way, on crimes of every nature. His take on the current situation is, that politicians as well as law enforcement agencies are too lax in carrying out their duties. He has promised to fight crime, protect our most priced possession, our innocent children, and will root-out corruption.

As a Christian, I am indignant as to what has happened to our great state. Time for us to wake up, get involved, and vote for those, whose values we embrace. I urge you, to be courageous, stand your ground, and remember…God is our protector. Do not fear, and voice your concerns, whether they be audible, or at the ballot box. God Bless You, as you take that giant leap for our state.

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Should I Trust Him? Hmm!

Should I trust him? Hmm!

Car sales men. The title itself, denotes a sense of being in the middle of a bad nightmare. You contact the dealer, schedule an appointment, and when you arrive at your destination, you are seated, and told to wait for, ugh, the person who will take care of you. As you wait, you look around, and realize that you’re not alone. “Where am I?” After what it seems like hours, the sales person enters the room, greets you, and asks you to follow him. All kinds of thoughts race through your mind. You try to find an excuse to leave, but, it’s too late. You feel that this is the last walk you’ll ever take. You can almost hear someone say, “Dead man walking!”

Well, this might sound too far fetched to you, but, that’s not the case at Reliable Nissan, a local dealership located on the North West side of Albuquerque, especially in the case of Abdul Kebe, a top salesman at the aforementioned dealership. When you meet Abdul, and deal with him, it is like a dream come true. A very caring, and patient individual, who will treat you as a family member.

Approximately two years ago, I decided that the time had come to purchase a new vehicle. It was time to say good by to my old Nissan Altima, which had seen its best days. I visited Reliable, and met with a young man, named Patrick. We spoke at length, and after a back forth interaction, I decide to wait just a little longer. I felt that in order for me to get the best deal, I should shop around for a better deal, if at all possible. During this period, Patrick and I maintained contact with each other. The thing that stood out about him, is that fact that I never felt pressured by him.

Finally, and I do mean, “Finally,” and after discussing several options with my wife, it was decided that I would go back to Reliable. Upon my arrival, and having asked for Patrick, I was informed that he had been transferred to another facility, in Arizona. I stood there for a while, pondering my next move. Just then, a very friendly individual approached me, and asked how he could be of assistance. He greeted me in a very cordial manner, and we both recognized each other. That individual was Abdul, whom I had met and spoken with during my visits with Patrick.

He ushered me into his cubicle, and we began discussing the purchase of a new Nissan Altima. He was very patient, and informative. In a very methodical manner, Abdul covered all the different deals and options with respect to the purchase. After covering all the ares available, we walked over to the lot, where most of the vehicles are kept. We looked at several cars, and finally, I chose one that I felt would meet my needs. We discussed the price and whatever deal he could offer. The prices were very enticing, and very very affordable. I went home, discussed the prices, color of the car, etc. I waited approximately one week, before responding to Abdul.

This went on for about a month. I would go the dealership, speak with Abdul, see other car, discuss prices and deals, and would return the following week. After a while, I kept thinking that by this time, Abdul might be getting very tired of my inability to make up my mind. I felt that he must have thought I was just pulling his leg, and was not serious about buying a car. To the contrary, this was the furthest thing from his mind. Every time a I came to see him, he would greet me in the same manner, as if I were a new customer. To be truthful, had I been in his shoes, I would have been done with me.

The patience he demonstrated throughout this period was uncanny. He continued working with me, until I finally made up my mind, and bought a brand new car, at a very good price. After all the necessary paper work was done, Abdul introduced me to Armando Medina, a very attentive young man, in charge of preparing the necessary documents. Another patient, and caring individual. He will explain everything in detail, so as not to confuse you.

As I said in the beginning, dealing with Abdul, is like having your dream come true. I’m sure that the rest of the staff at Reliable would have treated me in a similar manner, but Abdul demonstrated, that his interest lies mostly on pleasing the customer, and providing the type service that would cause this customer to return to such a caring environment. Should I trust Him? You bet! Abdul is the type of salesman that treats you as family, not as a check in the mail. He will go out of his way to make you feel comfortable, trusting, and at peace. He will not pressure, nor will he attempt to lure you with a lot of tempting rhetoric.

We all seem to have a stigma, about car salesmen. That stigma is no longer a part of me, after having dealt with Abdul Kebe.

Copyright: Dr. Johnny Velazquez

More with Mort

 

Those of you who have read my posts regarding my friend Mort, are very well aware of his eccentric behavior. Well, here we go again. I promise this, you won’t be disappointed.

I woke up to a beautiful, bright morning, and had just settled down to a strong cup of coffee, when the door flew open, and, you guessed it, Mort burst through it, and he looked mighty angry.  (Before going any further, you’re probably asking why the door was unlocked. I do it for Mort’s benefit. You see, he doesn’t believe in ringing doorbells, for he thinks that these contraptions are owned by the telephone company.  His take is this. Every time you ring a door bell, the telephone company makes a ton of money.  Well. That’s Mort).

As I sat there, wondering what would come out of his mouth, I asked him to relax, settle down, and to tell me why he looked so angry. He began to open his mouth, but before he could speak,, I stopped him, and said, “Mort, I know you have a “Great Story” to tell me, but before you start, let me take care of something I have to do. Sit down on your favorite chair, and don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.”  I went the kitchen, got me two aspirins, swallowed them without any water, and prepared myself for the impending headache that was about to attack me. I returned to the living room, and asked Mort to tell me what had happened.

He began by asking what I thought was a dumb question. “What is my name?”  I said, “Mort, of course.” Why do you ask?”  “How  long have you known me, and have I ever used another name?” he asked. “Well,” I responded. “I have known you forever. You know that. What kind of a dumb question is that?” Mort looked at me long and hard, and if looks could kill, I would have died right then and there. He got up from the chair, walked around, sat down, got up again and produced what appeared to be a legal document.

He took a deep breath, and in a very loud, and angry tone, began his rant. “The government wants to change my name. This piece of paper proves it.” “What in the world are you talking about? I asked. Why would they want to change your name?” I became somewhat concerned, as I have never seen him this upset. “Listen, Mort, they can’t change your name at all. You are the only one who can do this. I know that for a fact!”  Mort looked at me, somewhat mortified, and stated, “You are wrong this time, my friend. They will change it, and I don’t know what to do about it. You need to help me here! I have been Mort all my life. It’s the name my parents gave me. Who gives these people the right to change my name?”

“Let see that paper, Mort. Let me see what is says.” He handed it to me, and as I read through it, I started laughing uncontrollably.  He just stared at me with a dumbfounded look on his face, and asked, “Why are you laughing, when my life hangs on the balance?” “Mort, I said, show me where it says that your name will be changed.” He grabbed the paper from me and pointed to a specific paragraph.

“Ok, Mr. smarty pants. Read this sentence here.” I read it out loud, and it said, “You are being Sued.” “Well, he asked, what do you have to say now? I don’t want them to change my name to Sue. I don’t want that stupid name. I have always been Mort, and no one is going to call me something else. Would you like your name to be changed?”  “Of course not, I replied, but they aren’t changing yours.” “What do you mean they are not? he asked. It says right there, that I am going to be Sue!”  “Mort, relax, I said. No one is changing your name. You are being taken to court by the person listed on this piece of paper, That’s why it says, you are being Sued, not Sue. “   “Well, he said. Why didn’t they say that from the start, instead of telling me that they were going to change my name.”   “Mort, I said, go home, open your dictionary, and look up the word, Sue. Hopefully you’ll get it.”

He got up from the chair, and as he was leaving, I heard him muttered under his breath, “No one will ever change my name.” I got up also, closed the door behind him, and promised myself that I would never go through another one of these hellish moments. Of course, I will go through another episode again. Mort can’t help himself, and besides, he is my friend. However, thank God for Aspirins!

 

Registered with the Writers Guild of America, west, Inc. # 8119522

Copyight by Dr. Johnny E. Velazquez: © All rights reserved.

 

Thanks For The Memories, Muhammad Ali

Another Icon, gone, and never to be seen again, but one who will be remembered, for ages to come. Ali, as many came to know him, was  the greatest heavy weight boxer and champion, of all times.

Ali, the man with the ability to throw pin point punches with unbelievable speed, lightning like strikes, that we felt would be followed by thunder, which usually follows, such precision strikes. The mesmerizing, and hypnotic ability, to put opponents in a trance, as they waited for the fatal blow, akin to a Cobra, or Rattler, as they pounce on their prey.

Ali was not just a pugilist, but also an artist,  as he prepared his canvas, which was the opponent facing him. The world was ready for the master to paint another masterpiece, as he flailed his arms, and hands, in fashioned strokes, until his work of art was completed, which I refer to, as the final touch, or knockout.  His body was but a blur, which confused, angered, and at times, caused his opponents, frustration. How can one hit or even grab a moving target, with so much blinding speed? You can’t, and that’s what drove other boxers, who attempted to defeat such a phenomenon, insane.

Ali. The name alone brought fear to those who would face him in the ring, and euphoria, to those who were fortunate enough to witness such a work of art. The magician, with the gift of sleigh of hands, the rapid movements of his feet, which reminded us of a Cheetah on the prowl, and subsequent, successful defeat of its prey.

Ali, the predictor, who had the ability to determine the round, in which his opponent would go down for the count. I would venture to say, that as that round grew closer, it would gnaw at the other boxer, thus diverting his thoughts to that fateful moment.  “Oh man, I’m about to go down.” How can I prevent this from happening?”  The end would always be swift, and eventful. What would go through Ali’s mind?  One phrase. “Next!”  I had the privilege of watching one his fights, when he was an amateur. We knew then, that he was destined for greatness.

Ali. There will never be another like him. The King of Boxing is dead. Long live, the king of boxing.

IS IT HOSPICE, OR A DEATH SENTENCE

It’s May 27, 2010, the day before my wife’s birthday. Another typical day (So I thought) when we regularly present ourselves before the Lord, read his word, and follow our daily routine of working on the crossword puzzle for that day. This routine is usually followed by a light breakfast, and a telephone conversation between my wife and her sister, currently residing in California. Upon terminating said conversation with her sister, my wife will then speak with her mom at length. These conversations are conducted twice a day… in the mornings and at night, prior to retiring for the day. I look forward to these interchanges between the two women that I love, beyond comprehension. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I deeply love my biological sister, and sisters in-law as a brother should. In this instance however, I’m referring to my mother in-law (mom) and my wife.

On this particular day, my mind is racing feverishly as I begin to plan for a lavish birthday celebration for my “Golden Heart.” I’m again referring to my wife, whom I view as an angel with a heart of gold. Those who have been privileged to have met her, can attest to the aforementioned. I want this to be as memorable a celebration can be. I realize that my bias is very obvious, but hey!, I’m talking about my “Baby”, so there!

That evening, I approach her and reveal my plans regarding her birthday. We discuss them at length, and begin to look forward to her big day. At around 10PM, my wife places a call to California, and after speaking with her sister, asks to speak with mom. As I listen, I can hear both sharing stories from the past and occasionally laughing as they reminisce about some past event. They say their goodbyes and as usual, I hear mom sending regards to me. I acknowledge her and upon terminating the conversation, we retire for the evening.

Approximately forty-five minutes later, we are awaken by a loud telephone ring. We both get up, wondering who would be calling at this hour. You have to remember one thing, our mom is one-hundred years, and nine months old. Every time the phone rings at a late hour, our thoughts go immediately to her. On this particular night, our worse fears became a reality, as my wife answered the phone. My sister in-law said in a very calmed voice, that she was following the Ambulance, and was en route to the ER, as mom had tripped and fallen. One can only imagine the shock at hearing these unwelcome words. For the most part, we remained somewhat calmed, as our sister assured us that mom seemed to be well and appeared calmed. She promised to call call us upon consulting with the attending ER doctor.

We began to pray earnestly hoping that all would be well with mom. As one can imagine, we could not sleep that night, and remained awake until about 5 am. At that hour, my sister-in-law called and told us that mom had been x-rayed, and the results revealed a broken femur. Now, put yourselves in our shoes for a moment, and try to visualize a person that age, falling, and breaking a femur. Not a pretty picture. Well, needless to say, we were in a state of shock. My wife cried, and I tried to reassure her, that God would look after mom. We made arrangements to travel to California the following day. Our family was instructed to maintain contact with us during our travel which would take approximately, eleven hours. In the interim, we were told that mom would be transferred to a hospice. The following day, we set out for California. Later on that day, we received a call, and were informed that mom had been taken to the aforementioned facility, that her room was very nice, and faced a beautiful patio. We were somewhat relieved, as we were not too familiar with hospice.

Upon our arrival, we greeted the family, and went directly to mom’s bedside. She gave us a cheery smile, and her usual motherly comments. After a while, I excused myself, and decided to explore this facility. The staff seemed nice, and very attentive. As I ventured further, I notice something strange. Patients were coming in and out on gurneys, like an assembly line. I spoke to one family member, whose wife had been removed from this place. He was crying, and stated that his wife had just passed away. Been the inquisitive type, I asked what had happened. He related how, and why she had died, and explained in detail, the purpose of hospice. I was in total shock. What in the world is mom doing here? I went back to the room, and explained what this place was for. We were shocked. We were under the impression, that our mother would be undergoing physical therapy at this place. Boy, were we wrong. During the ensuing days, mom would cry in pain, not because of the femur, but because of some other underlying condition. My wife had to be blunt with the staff, before they took any action in this regard. Quite few days later, we were told that mom did not need to be there, therefore was being transferred to a convalescent home.

During those few days, we spend with mom at the hospice, I met some fantastic families, whose loved ones were terminally ill. I was able to counsel some, and grieve along side of them. It was a very sad experience for me, but not a new one, as I have had some experience in counseling of the dying.

Well, the day arrived when mom would be transferred. I bid my goodbyes to those hurting families I had met, and followed the ambulance to the convalescent home. Mom was checked in, and we stayed with her until closing time. We got to spend some quality time with her, that day. We left her in good spirits, as she joked and laughed with us. We were satisfied, and prior to leaving, prayed with her, and told her that we would be back, bright and early, the next day.

That next day turned out to be the most horrifying day for us. When my wife arrived at mom’s room, she found her slumped over the railing, and appeared to be heavily sedated. When confronted, that staff denied having sedated her. In fact, they stated that their patients were never drugged. From that day on, it was nightmarish. Mom was never the same, the staff was not that attentive, and continued to deny ever drugging their patients, which to us was an outright lie. It was evident that they did, based on mom’s drugged state. Her condition deteriorated, and days later, she passed away.

Hospice is a place to make the last days of terminally ill patients, comfortable. I have met some wonderful people, who truly believe in hospice. They trust these facilities, and are thankful, that their loved ones who are terminally ill, will transition into the next life in peace. I don’t really care for these facilities. Mom was not in that category. She was alive and well. A few days before, we had left her in good spirits, as someone who had a zest for life. Sure, she was older, but she enjoyed life. Her mind was alert, as was her sense of humor. She always looked forward to the next day, and would wake up, ready to face the new dawn. She was very active, as she reads her Bible on a daily basis, prayed for many, mostly her family, and looked forward to spending the day, engrossed on her daily activities.

Did mom deserve to die, when she was not ready? Of course not! Did she deserve the treatment she received at that facility? Of course not! One thing I know for sure. She was sedated for no reason at all. She was alive when we last saw her, and I deeply believe that she was overdosed.

It has been five years, and I’m still upset. In fact, we continue to be upset. How in the world should we feel? We lost a dear mom, who loved us beyond belief. We loved her so much, and still love her memory. As a Christian, I do forgive these people, but there are questions that still need to be answered. This is how I feel. What’s your take on this?

Johnny (Parrilla) Velazquez, PhD

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Johnny (Parrilla) Velazquez, PhD

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From Obscurity to Notoriety, By Johnny Velazquez, PhD

The name is synonymous with, national recognition, achievement, fame, celebrity status, and success. Who is David Jet Black Horse, and where did he come from? Could he be considered an inspiration when given the opportunity? Would he be considered an overnight Cinderella story once he became an overnight sensation? In order to have a better understanding of such an awe-inspiring conundrum, let us travel back in time, as we search for the motivating factor that we feel will bring forth a response, which will enlighten those in search of an answer.

To his parents, he was a God-given, life-long dream, which brought them fulfillment.To his siblings, nieces, and nephews, he was bigger than life. To other family members, he was a mystery. To the Rock & Roll musician, he was the one who brought forth the essence of the artist, through his focused photographic genius. To the fashion world, he was an enigma, whose vision defied the daily drudgery of the industry, but simultaneously, overcame the status quo.

The name itself, Jet Black Horse, denotes a free spirit, unrestrained, no holds barred, soul searching individual, free to roam, and pursue that inner desire, that continues to gnaw at him. That mysterious force does not want to let go, so, all he can do is to lunge at it and take hold of that which seems to be a bigger part of him.

The name can only be deemed as that given to a Native American. To those who are wondering what the missing link might be, with respect to the mystery surrounding this most charismatic, adventurous, Renaissance man, we must go back in time to an era considered by most, as the emergence of the Western Frontier.

Geronimo, and the Chiricahua Nation. What is David’s connection to these historical names, and that particular era? Allow me to enlighten you. Geronimo: a name synonymous with strength, mystery, adventure, and courage. This name, instilled fear as well, among the earlier settlers in the Western, and Midwestern states. The travesty committed against this once proud and Native American Indian, not only by the white settlers, and the US Cavalry, but by the Mexican Military as well, turned this man into a bitter, vengeful individual. According to history, Mexican soldiers committed the unthinkable against him. They murdered his wife and children, thus fueling his hatred toward these soldiers.

That day in history, sealed the fate of Mexicans living around Arizona, and neighboring states. Geronimo went on a rampage, killing, and kidnapping Mexican women, and children, as he felt that this act would satisfy his vengeful heart. On one of those raids, a young girl was taken by his band of renegades. This girl would someday become David’s great-grandmother. She became Natividad to her family, and subsequent descendants. This explains briefly, David’s connection to the Apaches, a heritage that his father never denied throughout his life. This same sense of pride was instilled on David, and the rest of his siblings.

On his sixteenth birthday, David was presented with a camera. Most adolescents of that age, would have opted for something much more tangible, i.e. a new wardrobe, perhaps a used car, sporting equipment, radio, etc. This gift, not only captured David’s attention, but his imagination as well. This wasn’t just a camera, it was the beginning of greater things to come. From that genesis, the “Man Behind The Camera” was birthed. This seemingly insignificant instrument became the object with which he would embark on his voyage. One which would also introduce his artistic signature to that unreachable world, just as Geronimo, with rifle in hand, set out to leave his mark in the world as well. That sense of adventure, coupled with the fearless attitude demonstrated by his ancestor, would someday open doors of opportunities for David, who in turn rushed in headlong, without any apprehensions on his part.

Just as the artist presents a masterpiece on canvas, so did David, through his prowess with a camera. This camera became his easel, the shutter became his canvas, the print, became his sketch, and the end product, his masterpiece. In time, the music world, or Rock & Roll community, upon witnessing this phenomenon, seized  the opportunity that was being presented to them, and with salivating urges, captured this great gift. David became an icon, followed with accolades throughout his season. His photos were displayed on some of the leading magazines of the day, world wide. David, the explorer, or conqueror, had reached the pinnacle of his profession. “Veni, Vini, Vici.”  I came, I saw, I conquered.

One would feel that after having accomplished so much, David would stop at this juncture, sit back, admire his handy work, and utter, “I did it,”  Au contraire, mon ami. The force that moved Geronimo, beyond his widest dreams, continued to tickle David’s adventurous spirit. Desiring to expound on the legacy his Apache ancestors instilled in his maternal side of the family, he opted on becoming a fashion designer, of Native –American motif. David was not the least concerned of the outcome, as he was certain that this new and foreign venture would be easily conquered. The word defeat was not part of his vocabulary.

In time, he became an institution per se. His name became synonymous with the likes of the elites in the fashion world. The fashion industry had met its Waterloo. This native New Mexican, descendant of Geronimo, kissed this industry, with the same reckless abandon, but shrewd manner, in which he kissed the print industry. His fame throughout Europe, was par excellence; not only in that part of the world, but in other parts of the globe, including of course, the US.

His fashions, caught the eyes of well-established celebrities. One notable one stands out from the rest. David’s designs captured her interest, which culminated in the purchase of multiple Native –American fashion apparel.. The celebrity we are talking about is none other than Cameron Diaz. Other icons, followed suit. David made his mark on the world just as Geronimo, his ancestor, did.

I have used the past tense, in writing this article, as we lost this phenomenal figure, at the peak of his grandiose career. He succumbed to a malady, which resulted from a fierce beating, by a group of men. Eventually, his debilitated body could not withstand the brunt of this cowardly attack, which forced him to forgo further involvement in his most precious and rewarding career. This wanton attack, caused his body to deteriorate slowly. His spirit cried out as he attempted one more charge at this unseen enemy.  His family will forever love him, and will cherish his memory. I met his family in 1965. I’m certain that I saw him as a young child, but alas, cannot remember him. His friends will remember him with fondness, and the industry, which embraced his genius, will remember his tenacity, and artistic eye. One thing that those who knew him well will remember well, and that would be, his engrossing laugh. “Good Hunting, David Jet Black Horse.”

   This writer was commissioned to write this article, by Sylvia (Star) Gutierrez.The information on this article, was also provided by Sylvia (Star) Gutierrez. Foot note: Star was the Apache name given to her, by her dad.

© All Rights Reserved©

Copyright by Johnny Velazquez

MERRY CHRISTMAS

No, I’m not yelling, I’m just making a “Bold Statement.”

Some of you will be offended, and will ask, “Why bring your beliefs into our holiday?” Have I got news for you! To quote a famous TV personality, this is how she answered that mundane question. “We bring our beliefs to your so-called, holiday, because without Christ, Christmas would not exist.” So truthful.
I love what Christmas stands for, which is the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I can not, and will never succumb to the whims of those who would attempt to dispel this truth.

In order for you to grasp what I’m trying to convey, allow me to draw you a scenario. Many can’t hardly wait for the month of October, for to them, this is the time of the year, they have been waiting for, in order to celebrate their holiday, which is, Halloween. They go all out with respect to decorations. They will say to me, “Happy Halloween.” They never say, happy holiday. They call their day what it is, Halloween. I don’t get offended, nor do I threaten to sue them.

Thanksgiving, a favorite of mine is also celebrated. People will say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Again, they call this festive day, by its proper name, Thanksgiving. I haven’t heard any one say, or utter the phrase, “Happy Holiday” in this regard.

Now, why in the world, would the so called politically correct crowd, which I prefer to call, politically wrong crowd, be so adamant on insisting that we say, Happy Holidays, when we are referring to Christmas? Why do they persist in their efforts to remove Christ from Christmas? This is the only festive phrase that has become verboten in this country.
Well, I’ll continue to wish everyone, A Blessed Merry Christmas. Try not to get offended. You have your beliefs, which I respect, and for which I served in the Military, in order to preserve your rights. Well, I have my rights also, so try to go along with my beliefs, and when you hear someone say, Merry Christmas, just smile. You don’t have to respond. Just enjoy the ride.

Dare To Doubt Your Doubts

This year, some of you will experience feelings of uncertainty, apprehension, hesitations, distrust, and at some point, disbelief. You will question your ability to birth that master piece you have longed to write, and because of deep rooted doubts, will procrastinate. You will sit at the computer, type a few sentences that have swirled in your head for some time, but after writing the first paragraph, doubts will begin to inundate your mind, after reading said sentences. You will question yourself, punish yourself mentally, and without hesitation, delete what you have written. “Why, you might ask, can’t I just finish what I start?” Well, I might have some answers, and suggestions for you.

Self-doubts can stem from a variety of emotional variables. You were repeatedly told that you would never reach any goals, were not good enough, never received any accolades, but instead, received continuous criticism. No matter how hard you tried, you were never praised nor for that matter, recognized. Your self-esteem is so low, you can’t even scrape it with your nails. You can’t seem to receive compliments, as you don’t feel you deserve them. When you actually accomplish anything worthy of mention, you get into that, “Impostor Syndrome,” e.g. The inability to accept praise for what you have accomplished. Not only can this malady hurt you Psychologically, but Physiologically as well.
So, here you are today, an adult who still thinks as a child. Well, time to grow up, and begin that arduous trek that will catapult you onto that self-perceived unreachable mountain top. “How do I reach that mountain top?” Let’s begin, by taking it one step at a time.

Sit down at your computer, write something you find positive about yourself. It can be one sentence, or even a short paragraph. Here’s what you have to do:
1: Study what you have written. How does it look to you? Are you pleased with it?
2: Read it over, and over, until you are fully satisfied with its contents.
3: Now, write another paragraph of what you have accomplished in the past, no mater how minute. How does it feel? Are you slowly feeling the rush? Hmm! Not yet? It’s OK!
4: Write three paragraphs, in which you describe your goals for this year, 2014.
5: Instead of reading it to yourself, stand in front of a mirror, belt it out, and smile as you do.How did it come across to you? Were you pleased as to how you looked? Were you pleased with the way you read it? Was your killer smile still there? You’re on your way.
6: Now, begin telling yourself, that what you just wrote is very good. Pat yourself on the back, walk straight, and not in a defeated manner. Maintain that killer smile, and above all else, give yourself kudos.

As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, so what! You are not Rome. You are a great gift from God to the world. He gave you a gift, and the ability to share it with those around you. You have been crawling far too long. Time to start walking. As I previously stated, take it one step at a time. Don’t give up, but rather, increase your speed each day. You’ll be at full speed before you know it.
You are there. Just reach up, and touch the top of that mountain.

DISCLAIMER: The above should not be considered as Psychological advise, but rather, suggestions.

The Dreaded Dental Visit

Dentist! The title, itself, sends chills down my spine. What is it about dentists? They are not your enemy, nor your nemesis. You could say that these well trained and caring doctors, are there for your well being. I don’t know about you, but I do cringe at the thought of having to visit (did I say visit?) one of these clinics.

About a year ago, I broke part of a tooth, and the first thing that came to my mind was, you got it. The Dentist. Well, I made up my mind that no one would be poking my mouth, nor torturing this macho man! No sir! I saved that part of the tooth, visited the local pharmacy, purchased some temporary dental paste, and proceeded to fix my tooth.
It worked! No dentist for me. I should open my own practice! Well, a few weeks later, as I drank some juice, that part of my tooth came loose. I repeated the previous process, and felt quite pleased with the results. Guess what! You got it again. Hmm! How can I avoid that dental visit. By the way,why do we call them visits? Well, time to heed my wife’s advice, and make that appointment.

Aware of how I feel about Dentists, she found one close to our neighborhood. Two days later, I was on my way to who knows what. We arrived at the clinic, and to my delight, the place was jammed packed. Perhaps they’ll cancel the appointment. No such luck. The woman at the front desk asked me to sign in. I looked at her long and hard, but she just smiled. I kept looking around for the nearest exit. Maybe I could make a break for it. I looked back at my wife, and gave her a sheepish smile. I signed my name, walked back to the waiting area, and sat next to her.

After what seemed like an hour to me, a young woman called my name, and told me to follow her to the next room. After an arduous, and torturous walk(well not really. It took me about five seconds, as I was seated next to “that” room, but to me it felt as if I had walked for hours), I entered the room. One thing I do remember. I thought I had heard someone cry out, “Dead man walking!” Hmm! The nerve. I was instructed to sit, and she introduced herself as Stephanie Paiz. I really thought she was going to say that her name was Igor. She was quite pleasant, and joked with me, as she attempted to ease my apprehension. She must have seen the horrified look on my face.

I was instructed to open my mouth, and some square little things were placed inside my mouth. Some creepy contraption was place on top of my head, and I said to myself, “Aha! The torture begins! Where’s my last meal? Again, she set my mind at ease. My teeth were being X-rayed. We completed this phase of the visit, and I was taken to the torture chamber. Well, the other, ROOM!

Stephanie sat me at the dental chair, brought out a few instruments, (I didn’t hear any music) and stated that the doctor would be in shortly. As I sat there, petrified, I kept looking for that ten inch needle these dentists love so much. The good doctor came in, and to my dismay, looked too young to be a dentist. He introduced himself as Dr. Zachary Currie. He asked that I open my mouth, and to be still. He proceeded with the poking, but there was no pain. No needle was used, thank God. After a few minutes, he asked if I had brought the part of the tooth that had broken off, which by the way, was a gold inlay. I showed it to him, and to my surprise, was told that he could attach it permanently.

He brought out the drill, and began to clean out the area. All along, he walked me through everything he was doing. Throughout this process, I felt no pain whatsoever.
After he finished, He told me that all went well. I thanked them, examined the work he had done, and voila, it looked perfect. This is the first time in my life, that I feel good about a dental visit. Dr, Zachary, and his assistant, Stephanie, demonstrated a totally professional, and caring attitude throughout this process. What a team!
For those residing in Albuquerque, NM, I highly recommend this clinic.
Cottonwood Mall Dental Practice. 10000 Coors Bypass, NW # G-218
Albuquerque, NM 87114 They are located inside the Mall.