As I've mentioned before, my childhood was a bit unorthodox. We didn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays or any holiday (with the exception of Thanksgiving) and I always felt left out when my friends returned from winter break with new clothes or at the least cool holiday stories to share. So when I was old enough, I tried to make up for lost time. I went overboard buying my sisters and brother Christmas presents and when I had children of my own, I wanted to do everything I felt I'd missed out on in my own childhood and ...
When I was a little kid I assumed that everyone celebrated Christmas exactly the same way that my family did. Christmas shopping was done no sooner than two weeks before Christmas. The outside lights did not go on the house until after Dec. 9, which happened to be my sister Sandra's birthday. And above all I knew that Santa did not wrap the presents he left on Christmas morning.
Friday night didn't end the way football fans in Escalon or Oakdale had imagined – or hoped – as both previously undefeated teams took their first, and final, losses of the season in their respective Section title games.
Black Friday has come and gone but it roused more emotions this year because many stores decided to jump the gun and start their sales at midnight on Thanksgiving Day instead of some ungodly hour the next morning.
Did you vote on Nov. 8? If not, you weren't alone. According to Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan's office, there were 35,876 ballots counted for the unofficial results released on Nov. 9. There are 15,000 or so vote-by-mail ballots that still have to be counted before the official results are released on or before Nov. 21. In a county of 514,453 people, only 227,278 are registered voters, and only around 60,000 people actually voted in this election.
When I was a teenager my family had little to spare. My parents were working hard to put food on the table and keep the roof over the heads of their four children, which meant there was rarely enough for extras such as new clothes or whatever trendy accessory that anyone who was anyone had to have. I made do with what I was given, which often wasn't a lot. As a consequence, I was bullied and disdained by those who always had more.