A Holiday Analysis.

I love my family and I really miss them this Holiday. Normally my daughter and I make the trek out from New Mexico to Nevada and spend the 4 to 5 days getting fed ENOURMOUS amount of wonderful food. It’s basically our fattening session for the winter.

But this year I decided against the trip. Moneywise, with a new business, it’s pretty tight. So it’ll be just my daughter and I for the afternoon.

And at 9:05 am the annual “Happy Thanksgiving” text messages begin. Amazing how technology has changed our communication habits. A quick few sentences and you’re reaching out is done.

But after a few messages from friends and family, I received a group message that totally, for some reason stung. It was from my ex brother-in-law asking everyone to keep the thanksgiving messages to one exchange.

Great idea.

Except that he proceeded to name everyone one in the family and left me out.

Ok, I get it. I mean, I’m not technically family. We’ve been divorced for over 9 years so it’s understandable not to be involved in his term “family”. But why the hell would you send someone a text and single them out? Out of everyone tagged, I was the only one left out. Honestly, that kind of hurt.

Now, I’m a grown man and I really shouldn’t care what my Ex-In-laws consider me.

I’m not in any way still attracted to my ex. I’ve made a point to avoid her family functions and gatherings because over the years I kind felt like I was over stepping my place with them. She’s pretty possessive when it comes to her family, as she should be. So I’ve backed off and turned down invites from other family member’s and just kept it casual. But this exclusion in particular hit a nerve.

Why? Am I just a little moodier than normal?

So in the true fashion of family+emotions+drama= holidays, lets investigate further.

  1. First holiday away from my family does create a sense of sadness. It’s my only one on one time with my little brothers and sister. So maybe my skin is a little more tender than normal?
  2. After losing my mom when I was 18, I developed a ‘mom need”, where I latched on to any person who I could see as a mom figure. My ex mom-in-law fit this mold perfectly. Took me years to realize she wasn’t, nor would ever be my mom. Accepting that was pretty hard. So maybe this is some type of unresolved feeling towards that?
  3. My ex brother-in-law can be pretty blunt at times. So maybe this is his way of pledging to his sisters loyalty?
  4. Or maybe it’s his way of confronting me with my “backing off” from family events?

Some pretty deep possibilities.

But after much thought (well, 10 minute’s worth) I’ve come to a conclusion.

Fuck it. Who cares?!

It amazes me how as human we tend to reach out to what we really don’t want, but feel we do. It’s like not getting a happy birthday wish from your ex the first year after your break up. I guess some just move on faster than others and that’s ok.

I better get cooking

Happy Turkey Day y’all.


I realized something yesterday.

I realized something yesterday.

I’m a good dad but I suck at being an adult.

My credit sucks. My work history is spotty. I have no savings and I’m currently steps away from a total financial collapse. But my daughter’s healthy and we have enough food to keep her fed and supplied with school lunches. I have a beautiful roof over my head. And I’m thankful for the wonderful support from friends and family.

But let’s be honest, I’ve made some freaking horrible decisions.

But in my defense, being depressed sucks. I mean, the happy to sad, it’s freaking exhausting. Seriously. After a whole day of dealing with myself, I’m freaking tired. But I’m recognizing my own patterns. Recognizing my triggers. And that’s the hardest part. Being on the lookout for what has gotten me in trouble before. I do find it funny how you can go through your entire life living a certain way. Building routines that help you get passed certain situations. Learning those “self-taught tools”. And then just to find out that they were actually very unhealthy habits. They were actually triggers that lead me to unhealthy results.

Well fuck me. Now I know.

Yeah, so this whole being an adult is pretty hard.

You know, I don’t remember my dad ever telling me how to become a responsible adult. We never talked about relationships, credit scores or how to manage money. And that’s cool. I was in such a hurry as a kid to grow up that I probably wouldn’t have listened anyways. But I’m not going to make that same mistake with my mija.

I think I sometimes over explain things to her. And that may be my over compensating for what I didn’t experience as a kid. But the way I see it, if I’m not annoying her as a dad then I’m obviously doing something wrong.

So onward with this depression crap.

For the most part, life is good. Just got to keep reminding myself of that.

Piñon Nuts

I’m driving down the street and I see a guy selling piñon nuts out of the trunk of his car. It’s windy, cold and miserable out. But there he is,  holding up a sign and doing his thing.
   My brother and I started our business back when we were just kids. It was illegal, dubbing and selling mixed tapes at the local swap meet (that’s a flea market for those non Californian). We would buy one original, make copies, make a cover at the local kinkos and then sell it as our own. Made enough money that we were able to rent our own spot out of Del Amo indoor swap meet. It wasn’t a true store front but to us, it was success.
   So I’ve always been more inclined to running my own thing. I’ll be honest with you, my work history isn’t stellar. A few years back I started my own janitorial business (that was another proud day). And recently I started another business specializing in trauma clean up. We do the cleaning after a suicide or accidental death. It’s not easy work but it being my thing, it makes more tolerable.
   As a kid I was always jealous of those other kids that did really well in school. They had a self confidence that I envied. I ended up dropping out in the 8th grade after my parents had some trouble paying bills. My brother and I started selling tapes full time to help out. A few months later we were making enough to pay the house mortgage.
   So maybe that’s were my push towards doing my own thing comes from? I still get jealous though when I meet someone who followed a path. High school, college, then a job in a field the love. Doing what they care for, what they’re passionate about. Honestly, I’ve always winged it. Getting by and sometimes failing horribly. But it’s always been my doing.
   I’m not sure this business will pay off. There’s always a chance it might not succeed and I might become homeless, begging on the street corner. But at least it won’t be because I didn’t try.
   Everyday we’re all out there hustling. Trying our best to make it to the next day. We all have our reasons (kids, rent, ect). We wake up every morning with one goal. To survive. To get to the next test. The next level of our path, whatever that path maybe.
   Yeah, I have much respect for that guy selling piñon nuts.
Sometimes you have to suffer. Sometimes you have to hurt before you can take a breath.

A day for my mom and NIkki.

Even though the actual holiday started yesterday afternoon (10/31- 11/1 then the second part from 11/1 – 2), many celebrate it starting today. The reason why it’s one of my favorite holidays is because it doesn’t discriminate. It’s for all of our passed loves, regardless the reason or method of their passing. It’s doesn’t shun suicides, judge accidents or whatever maybe considered “natural causes”. It applies to all of our loves.

So this morning I place fresh sliced apples on two plates with two cups of coffee.

My mom liked her coffee black.

She was always smiling. She knew when to be stern and when to be gentle. She taught me so much in the little time I had with her. Miss you mami.

Nikki liked it sweet with heavy creamer.

Nikki’s grin was contagious. She could break a mood swiftly with a splash of her smile. Amazing how much of her comes across with her two brothers.  Miss you mija.

See, death isn’t to be feared. It connects all of us to the same cycle, regardless of class or species. It walks hand and hand with life. It’s fair and cruel. It’s gentle and harsh. It’s a gift that can easily be taken away. To me, it’s a constant reminder to always live because someday I will die.

Later today I’ll place some pan dulce (sweet bread) on their homemade alters. Tonight we’ll light a candle for them so they can find their way to our offering. And for one night they can walk among those who miss their laughter, miss their scents and pray again for their guidance.

Here’s a link to a sweet animated short that, I think gives you a pretty clear idea about this special holiday.

Starting a new business can be stressfull.

I have to apologize. I started writing about one specific-topic and then I started to veer a bit to the left touching on another issue. So I’m sorry if my direction seems off. I just realized after I started writing that this was turning into a touchy subject for me.

So be kind regarding my lack of structure.

Before I decided to start Bosque Bio-Cleaning and Janitorial, I had called around to all the listed companies looking for open positions. I wasn’t looking to start a business just yet. I just wanted some hands- on experience to build on. So I just googled “crime scene cleaners, Albuquerque NM” and went down the list.

The first few numbers I called were located in the state bet they didn’t have any opening at that time.

So I kept calling.

The next two told me they did have openings but not in the regular sense.

“What do you mean, “In the regular sense”?

They went on to tell me that they were out of state (the first one was in M.N. and the second one was in T.X.). But they offer the option to become affiliated with their company for a fee (between $400-$750). That includes all the chemicals needed for the job, business cards and flyers and they would teach me how to promote the business in my area.

They said I would become they’re contact in the states (I found it funny how both companies insisted that they didn’t have anyone else in the state and that I would be able to control the entire market of N.M.).

I asked them, “What about training or certifications?”

“You wouldn’t need them since your working under our information.”

Yeah, that’s a HUGE NO-NO. Like $7,000-or-more-fine huge.

“We can teach you everything over the phone. And once you’re all set we can start sending work your way immediately!”

The red flags were whipping in the wind at this point. They both insisted that they had plenty of work to offer.

Yeah, hell no. It didn’t sound right. I just wanted a job in the field so I could develop experience. I wasn’t looking to take all that on.

So I kept on, calling down the list.

The next few referred me back to their websites, which all stated they covered New Mexico. But after looking further, they were actually located out of states. How do you cover the area if you’re 12 or more hours away? Well, here’s their process.

They buy up all the domains, set up all these generic pages and link them back to their toll free numbers. Someone in need calls them, they refer it to some local contractor they have in the area and that person does the work under the websites company information.

Is there any guarantee that the person that shows up for the jobs is properly trained? Maybe?

Any guarantee that they’ll use the proper cleaning supplies or methods? Maybe?

So it’s a risk. My suggestion, always go local.

There’s plenty of qualified companies out here, or in any state that can provide a thorough, positive experience. Crime-scene cleaning is a needed thing. We all know that. Tragedies happen and there is a need for someone to deal with it. But besides a need, there also seems to be a lot of greed in this industry.

In all reality, all you need is some OSHA certification, a general janitorial business licenses (in most cases-depending on the state) and some great advertising and them BOOM, you have a trauma cleaning business. So with our relaxed regulations, it’s open for people to over-charge, lie regarding experience and use extreme scare tactics.

Here are a few tips for someone dealing with a traumatic cleaning situation.

(I understand that the likelihood of the person not being in an emotional state to be pretty low. But as a professional in this field, I still need to make my recommendations.)

  1. Check out the company (Google is a great tool).
  2. Ask if they’re certified in the state (in California and Florida there’s additional Certifications that apply).
  3. Ask if there’s a guarantee for the services provided.
  4. Ask if they provide photos and a verified letter (some call it a re-occupy certification letter). It’s basically a statement from the cleaning company explaining what was done, how and if it’s been decontaminated for safe re-entry.
  5. Do they offer a quote?  Whatever you can get in writing always helps. Especially for the insurance companies.
  6. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask question. Some in our industry, I hate to admit it, use some pretty rough tactics. You’re the boss, we’re there to help you. Not bully you.

Ok I’m done ranting. It just bugs me that good local help is ousted by larger groups. It shouldn’t be about how much advertising you can pay for, but the honesty of the work you can provide.

A mixture of rants, written moments of clarity, confusion and joy. This is my life, errors and all as a single Chicano parent.