Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Relaxing weekend, anxiety laden week approaching

Our weekend was rather chill in spite of the obligatory trip to the remote ends of Chicagoland for a family birthday party.  The reason was because my mom went home Friday morning and stayed there all weekend.  When she is around, she is an extra set of hands to help with the kids.  but it comes at a price. When shes' not around, its more physical work for us, but the atmosphere is more relaxed.

Saturday AM, Nightingale went to Costco while I kept the kids...alive.  She got home, we had a late lunch and then headed out for the birthday party.  My cousin Wednesday has two kids, 2.5 years apart, the youngest being just a few months older than Moose and Squirrel.  Wednesday is going through the birthday learning curve between having combined Bday parties, one for each, and also learning that not everyone wants to give up their Memorial Day weekend to go to a kids party. 

I've always said that the best time to throw a kids party is when it's a good time for you.  Kids don't learn how calendars work until much later in life so take advantage of it as long as you can.  As long as you give them cake, ice cream and presents they really don't care if you do it 2 weeks after their real birthday.

The party was nice but we overstayed.  the plan was to leave during the 5 o clock hour and we stayed until almost 7.  The meant that we were due for a meltdown on the way home because the kids were getting hangry.  Luckily we got to the McDonald's on the highway Oasis before full meltdown occurred. 

Sunday was nice weather in the am but cooler and rainy in the pm so the kids couldn't go outside and burn energy. 

there are two projects I want to get to ASAP but I won't be able to touch them until this weekend.    This week is a conference for my job which involves seeing a lot of the people from the No-Name Software Company.  I' m a little anxious about that. 

There was one thing that occurred over the weekend, which I will write about in detail later.  In the past, things like this usually leave me with an ominous pit in my stomach.  To be sure, there was a bit of a dark cloud hoovering around.  But I also have enough confidence in myself to know that this is not of my doing and I don't deserve the bullshit this person is sending my way. 

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Replacing ugly window treatment, one room at a time

I was never in love with the window treatments that came with this house.  Most of it was of the "eh, it will do" variety, with occasionally patches of WTF were you thinking?   I've since replaced the ugly pink blinds in our bedroom with cordless blinds that do a decent job of keeping the light out.
Luckily our bedroom windows face East so there isn't much light to worry about on the occasions that we get to sleep in.

In the kids room, which they have not slept in for over a month now, the blinds that are over the changing table got broke somehow.  I imagine it was a combination of them being cheap, and years of my kids grabbing at them while being changed.  Anywho, I had to replace the one and because you have to have matching treatment on all windows, I had to also buy a replacement for the perfectly functional one on the other window. 

Unfortunately, the woodwork in this house, specifically upstairs is very hard (insert your own joke here).  You have to predrill with a bit much larger than you would think and you can still risk stripping a screw or breaking a drill bit. 

My fantasy was to simply hire some store to replace and install all the window treatment at once.  But since we likely aren't staying here forever, that will change to only replace what is necessary.  I suspect I will do the heavy blinds in the kitchen but otherwise all the curtains should be sufficient and there will be no love lost when we leave them behind.




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Friday, May 12, 2017

Being Her own worst enemy

My mom saves everything.  From the sentimental to the stupid.  She saves all her paperwork.  When she pays a bill online, she actually prints the confirmation page out.  I've tried showing her how to make a PDF of it and save it on the hard drive but I'd have better luck convincing a dog not to eat a sirloin steak.

So it is with great irony that we are looking for some specific documents and my mom cannot locate them in the piles of files she has at home.  This is not the fault of her angry neighbor who allegedly called the inspectors on her; this is not her ex-boss who was an asshole for not paying her above market value for non-market value skillsets.  This is her own doing. 

And it is fucking frustrating because it falls on us.  At the very least I have to hear her bitch about how tough her life is but am not allowed to recommend the obvious solutions that would improve things.  At the more important level, we really could use those original documents that will likely show up once we give up and order expensive reprints.

Beyond that, some day the woman is going to die and it will be up to us to sort through that hellhole to find the few documents that could make our lives easier.

Let me paint a picture to hopefully provide some background context.  My mom has the mental and emotional faculty of a teenager.  Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, she never developed the tools and savvy to navigate Life beyond this stage.  In addition to that, she also has a closet full of Bad Decision Jeans which she wears to death.  I keep talking to her like she is an adult capable of understanding complex scenarios and making mature, adult decisions.  Unfortunately,  her brain is not wired correctly to process these directives.

TL/DR:  My mom isn't good at Adulting, in fact she's terrible at it.


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Public Transit Woes

I've taken public transportation in Chicago more or less my whole life.  Whenever I see someone commit an infraction against their fellow rider, I have to wonder:  Are they really that clueless or do they just not care?  How can you ride the escalator and not notice that people stand to the right and walk on the left?


Okay it seems some people were raised by wolves, or didn't get the necessary socialization in kindergarten.  Maybe they weren't taught common sense or their brain chemicals fire off differently. 


Escalators:  you can walk up or down them.  if you MUST stand, please move to one side so others can get by. And if it isn't obvious, stand to the same side as the other lazy morons. 

Elevators:  let the people off before you get on.  Seriously, these are nothing more than boxes that travel up dozens of floors supported by a metal cable that, while strong, can have a bad day too.  The\ less weight the better. 

In fact, if you are taking the elevator to go 2 floors or less, chances are good you could use to lose some weight yourself.  please find the stairs.

Catching an Elevator:  Unless you are in one of those old buildings with a single elevator, if the door is four inches away from closing, let it go.  I gurantee it will come back or there will be another one.  Sticking your hand in the door only 1) makes me late, 2) sets off that annoying warning noise and 3) risks you getting the nickname lefty.  Why would you trust your fingers to a $3 sensor?

Once I was coming home from G-school relatively late at night and I missed the connecting Montrose Bus because some lardass got in front of me on the stairwell.  It was a deliberate move and probably the fastest he went all day.  He proceed to walk slowly down the stairs and there was no way to go around him.  There was no bus tracker at the time but it was likely to be another 30 minutes for the next bus and I ended up walking home.

I realize it's not the biggest crime against humanity but it is irritating to miss your bus or train because someone couldn't or wouldn't move fast enough or get out of your way.

When I use to get on the Irving Park blue line, there is a long narrow escalator.  I get upset by people who stop walking up the escalator when they know *they* will make the last car of the train but not consider the people behind them (or that we would like to have enough time to get to a middle car for a better chance at a seat).

My wife pointed out that i could take the stairs.  BUT my dear the escalator would be faster if Ms-only-thinks-of-herself weren't impeding me.  I want to maximize my chances of The ultimate case of entitlement I ever encountered was someone who stepped off the bus and the stopped while she put her suitcase on the ground pulled the level so she could roll it.  BECAUSE moving 2 steps to the right or left would have been too fucking courteous and considerate!


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Matryoshka dolls and birthdays

So I got a little older over the weekend.  It was a nice day, the kids let me sleep a little longer than usual. Lately I have been waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep right away.  Not as bad as Nightingale experiences but still, that's valuable sleep time I need. 

Nightingale took Natasha to the store while I kept Boris busy. It was a nice sunny day so after nap I tried to keep the kids outside to burn energy. 

In the evening we met Katness and another mutual friend-couple that also have twins for a kidless meal.  The meal was actually something we talked about doing and I offered this weekend since I knew May gets busy between the bookends of Mother's Day and Memorial Day. 


I like our house and for a city house, it is awesome.  However, I'm so over some of the issues and shortcomings it has.  Every problem is a Russian Nesting Doll with an issue embedded in another issue wrapped around a new issue. 


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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Daycare dilemmas

The last week has been rough in some ways. Last Wednesday we got a call from daycare that Natasha threw up, so someone had to come get her.  The call came just 5 minutes after I had arrived at the office, stressed as usual that I get into the office so late because of the logistics of dropping the kids off at daycare and then getting to work.

Because it was still "rush hour" I was able to get back to daycare within less than an hour and was home in time to make all my scheduled meetings. 

On Thursday we got another call that Boris had some massive dyheria. We sent my mom to get him because neither of us could go.  On Friday Nightingale kept them both home and today they are home because a city crew had to shut the water down on  the block.  So we have effectively paid for 3 or 4 days of daycare that we could not use.

Oh and construction crews have been working on Cicero Avenue for the last few months and have forewarned of needing to turn the water main off one day.  That day came Monday -- Because why would it not happen on a day that we weren't there -- so I took the day off and kept them both home again.  

It was essentially a 4 day weekend with my kids and a a week off of daycare as far as they were concerned. 



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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Getting Stuff Ready

So this weekend was a little different than the usual format.  On Saturday I had a special ChicagoNow blogger Group Discussion and I wasn't sure Nightingale would give me a hall pass because we had plans with Katness later in the day.  She even did the Costco shopping with the kids and my mom, which had to be like the 8th circle of hell. 

The meeting was fun with the usual social overhead.  I like to catch up with people I know but also meet new people so it's hard to talk to someone and then find a way to disengage to go talk to someone else.  And there is always that one person who doesn't know when to dial back the amount of personal TMI they are sharing.  Also a group that large needs some parliamentary procedures when talking.  I did learn a few things so I feel like it was beneficial from both a social maintenance aspect as well as blogging.

I got home while the kids were down for their nap, in fact they had just settled down.  My mom decided to leave because we were having Katness et al over, but again she takes so long to decide to leave and get her things that nap time was halfway over.

All we did was go to the nearby park and then order Thai food.  Probably not what Katness had in mind but she had swim lessons for her twins earlier so it didn't make any sense to try and go to a museum that would close by 5. 

On Sunday we just hung out at home and called/facetimed with the various the in-laws.  While anything could change, I believe we are going to move to Tennessee by the end of 2018 if not sooner.  To this end, we need to get a few things done around the house and some of those things I want to enjoy as well instead of just paying to have the next buyer have them. 

My frustration is some of these things, are too big for me to do myself, but too small for a tradesmen to bother with.  and apparently it is against their belief system to take credit cards.

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