Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shadows of Friendships

Somebody that I use to know wrote on her blog about the phenomenon of friends disappearing into the sunset because you are now a couple with child(ren).
" I found myself getting tired of having to justify our lifestyle choice - this must be what vegans living in Texas feel like. I also felt a little sad because I could see a future where we continue to drift along our separate paths that ever widen in distance. I understand now what my sisters talked about when they talked about moving to new places and finding it difficult to meet others in the same head space as them. I get that now. There will be new friends who do share that head space, but you'll be sad to see the older ones move on. Ah well c'est la vie!"

Friendships are hard to maintain even under the best of circumstances. Some friendships exist only because they were founded in the beginning of time (i.e. childhood, college, etc) and you cannot conceive of a world without them. Like a world without Nitrogen, you don't use it daily but its nice to know its there. 

Others are formed through circumstances that might change like Work Friends or Church Friends or Social Organization Friends.  As it happens, I've also, if we're being honest here, had at least a few friends figure me out and stop taking my calls.

Our Wedding Party

The friend who gets married becomes alienated from her single friends not because of jealously or because of being in a head space, at least not always or exclusively.  Rather, they grow apart organically, it just seems more abrupt because it involves change, and hurt feelings, which do not mend as easily as a broken arm.  The friend gets alienated because she is no longer available to her friends in a manner that continues to cultivate and nurture their friendship.

What happens with the new mom is the same thing that happens with a lot of friendships, it's just quicker and more visibly obvious. The person who once had the energy to either pay attention or pretend to pay attention when you are going on about your latest love interest or promotion or family drama, no longer has the ability to show or feign even a modicum of interest in what is going on with you because there is a germy, projectile-barfing poopsack that is totally dependant upon its creator and demands absolute and immediate attention.

The person giving the news soon figures out that the access they were accustom to is no longer unequivocal available. They either have to get their story in after bedtime or get use to repeating details over and over and over. "you're dating a new dog and you had to put your boyfriend to sleep? what?"

Even when the mom does get a few minutes to herself, reaching out to a friend to hear her talk about things they use to do probalby isn't the 784th thing on her list of things she wants to do with her prescious fleeting alone time.  She opts for sleep, food, cleaning the puke off her shirt, not necessarily in that order. 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that friendships require a particular currency called Attention.  Some friendships don't seem to cost much because you're simulatenously sharing the expenses.  Meanwhile some friendships cost too much to maintain especially if you don't get any ROI.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Project at a time please

One of my home improvement magazines did a section for new homeowners.  Among the gems of advice was only take on one project at a time. 

So we got one of these over the weekend.  Nightingale's sister had one in her basement and since we couldn't get our shit together in time to pilfer it before they moved it to Michigan and packed it away in someone's basement, we had to go out and buy our own.  It's only $200 which isn't bad as far as snap-together IKEA furniture goes.  And we're not quite yet at the point where $200 will make or break us, though if we don't rent or sell my condo soon, we might have to get jobs for the cats.

Nightingale is very happy because she was able to put away a lot of things there were stored in plastic bins which makes me happy because now we have a lot of empty bins which can go away and we now have an almost empty basement floor.  That means I can order the furniture I've dreamed about for years.  Though I'm holding off on that until I know for certain what we are doing with my condo (rent or sell).

I would say at this point we are 95% unpacked and 70% organized.  We have a few bins of stuff that just won't get unpacked now and in fact likely never will be unpacked.  It will live in the attic for the short term until finally we run out of space or need to make better use of the attic in which case it will fall into the "we haven't used it in 5, 10 years’ time to get rid of it".

I think the next step is to move everything that hasn't found a home into the attic and start hanging the various artwork, mirrors, and other things that need to reside suspended on a wall to be fully appreciated.

There are a few other more involved projects.  By that I mean once you start them, you cannot or should not ignore them because until they are completed, your life will be in disarray.

I want to epoxy the garage floor.  In spite of the unseasonably high temperatures, I still have to wait for the warmer weather of the spring before I can tackle that project.  The level I want to take it to will require having our cars not in our garage for at least 72 hours, perhaps an entire week.  I've avoided bringing over my table saw and other tools from my mom's basement specifically so that I have fewer things I need to drag out of that garage and store in the basement

We were going to pick up some bookcases and perhaps a "bridge" to build out our coat rack storage system.  We want to utilize this bench that I got from Target a million years ago along with this shelf that I got at a yard sale and touched up.

However, we have some limitations and want to think about this before we get ahead of ourselves.  We have 71 inches of space to work with.  The storage bench we are trying to utilize is 40 inches so that leaves 31 inches to work with.  It is fine if the edge of a bookcase goes past the door opening by a few millimeters but anything beyond that would be unacceptable.

Our first option was to get two Billy Bookcases from IKEA because, at 15.75 inches, they would line up perfectly.  Unfortunately, these are very simple plain looking bookcases; they just don't make a good impression when you walk in the door.  Also, we would not be able to utilize a wall/bridging shelf effectively.

A much better-looking bookcase is this Hemnes Bookcase.  Unfortunately, it is 19.25 inches wide which would be too long if we try to use two of them.  Therefore we have to wait and determine a few things.

  • It might be a case of me building something custom.  That could take time as I build up skills and also cost as much or even more than buying stock pieces.
  • We could keep looking until we find another bookcase that happens to be the right size and yet elegantly built.  Doesn't seem likely as 15 inches seems to be the minimum width for a functional bookcase.
  • We could use just one bookcase, a bridge, and be done with it.  I'm not opposed to that idea but I'm also not ready to spend the money to find out it looks funny, so I need to figure out a way to sketch it out first.
  • We could not use the existing bench but then that creates two more challenges.  What to do with the existing bench and what to use in place of it?
Every option has its own set of drawbacks and what-ifs.

Update:  We went with this option.  


Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife) or Facebook 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow Blowers and wi-fi connections

Buying one of these was supposed to guarantee no snow:  A couple weeks ago I bought this on Woot.  I didn't want to outlay the cash but it was on sale and I figured I'm going to need one eventually.  I was looking forward to using it last Friday but by the time I got it assembled (less than 5 minutes) my neighbor had already plowed the entire block...with the exception of the last two houses on my side of the street.  I don't know if this is because he ran out of gas or there is something else going on.  I expect that when the weather gets warmer and we meet our neighbors on a more regular basis, Nightingale will pick up on the subtle alliances and secret wars that we will have to navigate.

Alas, it looks like I will get another chance to use my snow blower tonight as we are expecting anywhere from 6 to 60 inches of snow if news reports are to be believed.


Another quick weekend: On Saturday for a belated Valentine's Day present I got Nightingale a massage and a facial at a spa not too far from our house.  I got one myself because she appreciates the effort I make not to look like an old man too soon. 

Saturday night was GNO and I was looking forward to doing anything other than what I ended up doing: trying to set up DSL at my mom's house.  We are supporting my mom financially which is not a pleasant situation to be in.  We added her to our family cell phone plan and for the first time in a long time, received one of those you are 50% over your data package.

Nightingale panicked and, thinking my mom was using her phone to surf the entire Interwebs, canceled her home phone (she was using for dial-up) ordered her DSL.  It turns out that it wasn't her using too much bandwidth somuch as three people on a plan are going to use more than two.  In fact when it was just us two, we used just under 50% of our data plan on average. 

We were planning on getting my mom off dial-up anyway because it would be cheaper.  The problem is multi-fold. 
  1.  my mom's house hasn't been updated in...ever and that includes the phone lines.  Most of the hosue has the old direct to the phone line type box which do not exist anymore.  When ATT started offering DSL to people they never considered these phone lines because they hadn't been used in like 20 years.  
  2. My mom tries to be tech savvy but just isn't.  She knows how to connect to the wireless at our house but doesn't know why it works.  And it's never occurred to her to take her laptop somewhere with free WI-FI when she was job hunting.  Inste
  3. There is all the passive aggressiveness and years of resentment and butting heads that makes ordinary interactions stressful.
So it took a visit from ATT to come out to the house and re-wire her jacks.  Apparently the guy who came on Thursday/Friday didn't think to do this, probably because he was scared of being in Humboldt park and wanted to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. 

He also set up her wireless for her.  He did not however move her credenza back against the wall and she really, really, really needed me to come move it because it's so heavy.  And if she doesn't move it back, her cats will chew on the cords.  This is where I lost it.

Growing up, one of her many warcries was "Didn't it occur to you to..." followed by "use your head."  Apparently I was expected to have the foresight to anticipate the unexpected and act accordingly.  So it is one of my trigger buttons when she fails to troubleshoot anything on even a basic level.  I was pissed that she didn't even try to ask the guy to move her credenza back for her.  I basically lost it over the phone and Nightingale had to take over and finish the conversation. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Crib Chatter Weekend

This weekend was another one of those weekends where the decent weather came on the busy day and the useless weather* came on the not-so-busy-day. 

On Saturday all I really manage to accomplish was taking the recycling to the recyle location -- our hood hasn't got the blue bins yet.  In the evening we had dinner with SHB and her husband.  We went Blind Faith in Evanston and had a tasty vegetaran/vegan meal.  First we went to an art showing of a friend of theirs. 

Sunday was meet some Crib Chatter people in the real world. A couple months ago I met Milkster in person.  She had moved to Albany Park and wanted to meet Nightingale and me.  I was hesitant at first because well you're talking about meeting someone from the internet and I have yet to see a news report where that turns out well.  However, there was something admirable in her insistence so I ran it by Nightingale and she thought it would be okay since it was at a Starbucks.  And the meeting was fun.  She reminds me of my friend Hanna from the No-Name Software Company.

Speaking of which, Milkster lives in the same building on the same floor as JF, a guy I went to high school with and helped get a job at the No-Name Software Company.  He lived there from 2005 to 2009 and was lucky enough to sell in time to avoid the crash in our area.  He sold for $10K less than he bought according to Redfin but when you consider how much most places are under water today, he did well.  He's always had a lucky horseshoe up his arse.

Milkster put together a lunch gathering at  El I got to meet Sonies and Benjamon9, and their SigOthers.  Sonies wife seemed familiar but in that I've met a person like her before, not that I've actually met her before.  Benejamon09 was quieter than he is on CC and his partner did more of the talking.

I suggested a CC group photo but everyone half heartedly agreed so I didn't push it.  After lunch we drove back to the north side so that Milkster and her guy could see this house at 5627 W School in Portage Park. 

Milkster was hoping to get the house for a song, rehab it, rent it for a fwe yearas and then move in herself.  Unfortunately, the hosue was in very bad condition, too much work for her and her contractor to take on.  The amount of money she would need to sink into it would buy her a house in better shape.  This is the kind of home that someone will buy for cash and then fix up and sell for $300K.

We did meet an interesting couple there.  I call them the Real Estate Fairy and the Polish Prince.  The Polish Prince had an interesting way of sizing things up, I'll call it the Trinity of Rehab:  Cost/Time/Quality

Essentially if you can get two of the following but it will cost the third:

Cost -- Time  --- Quality   aka   Cheap, Fast, Good.  If you want it Fast and Cheap, it won't be Good.  If you want it Good and Cheap, it won't be Fast.  You get the picture.


*(cold, rainly, bleak or all of the above)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mayans missed, Pope retirement next apocalypse

"Now that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning, the next pope may be the final pope according to the "Prophecy of the Popes" by St Malachy. This final pope is to reign over the Catholic Church during it's destruction at the time of the Antichrist. Malachy refers to this final pope as Peter the Roman. The prophecies are report to have been received and written in 1100s and published in 1595. "
Jorge from my FB friends.

"Many folks are now taking a very close look at the prophecies of St. Malachy. Could this next Pope be the last before Judgment Day? I'm more in the "thief in the night" crowd, but the prophecies from Malacy are a bit haunting"  --  Terry McG from CoS.

"He’s an old man who’s going to die soon, and he cares enough about his job to leave it when he knows he can no longer do it. There are legitimate criticisms of the about-to-be-vacated papacy." -- Nancy Nall.

I don't think there's much to worry about.  I don't think this marks the end of the Catholic Church as it is today.  But even if it is, I don't think it will be a big bang catastrophic destruction.  I'd like to believe it's going to be the point people look back on and say, this is when the Roman Catholic Church was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 20th Century! 

One of the things I was slow to realize when I converted to Catholicism is that there ar a lot of people out there that will assume because you are affiliated with a religion, you are 100% dogmatic to all their wacky archaic beliefs.  Many of these people view themselves as open-minded and liberal, yet they also simultaneously bash all things associated with church and religion. 

Has the RCC done things to deserve such bashing?  At times, sure.  The child abuse and cover-ups. 

Will the church change its stance on things like:
  •  Abortion?
  • Same-Sex Marriage?
  • Contraception perhaps.
  • Role of women and celibate priests?
I've listed them in reverse order of the likelihood I think could happen.  It's possible that something could happen, like the Zombie Apocalypse, that causes such a population shortage that the RCC leverages that as a justification for increasing the role of women and/or allowing priests to be married. 

The contraceptive thing is interesting because while the stance has always been "they're bad, don't use them" when I was going through RCIA and attending church regularly, they really weren't brought up.  It was pretty much don't ask, don't tell.  These days it seems like the Church is on a mission to eliminate them from the stratosphere.

Say what you will about priests and nuns, they aren't generally dumb people.  Quite the opposite in fact.  And while they may put on an air of naivety, they are usually anything but.  So they have to know that the Catholic Couples who are volunteering their time and energy to help out with church-related functions, biding their time until they can get that special date for their wedding, are boofing each other like rabbits when they are back home.

Crack team of Ninja Technicians

Looks innoculous enough
I bought a Mr Beams MB360 Wireless LED Spotlight with Motion Sensor and Photocell for our back deck because I wanted some extra safety and security for our new home.  The previous owner actually has a motion sensor light above the door but for some reason it isn't working and is at the moment beyond my ability to fix.  Someone on the now retired board recommended  Mr Beams MB360 Wireless LED Spotlights so I decided to buy it. 

I mean come on, it's "Weatherproof" and has 140 Lumens, that sounds like a lot of lumens to me.  I was even able to buy it with my  Discover Rewards Points so it technically cost me nothing, though I might have paid something since I opted to get extra batteries.

Either I got a lemon or this was just too good to be true. I left it in my basemen laundry room because it was too cold to install outside and it seemed to work fine. Once I took it outside however, it failed to function properly. I suspect either the cold was too much for it, or there is too much ambient light from other sources confusing its little circuits.

I posted a review that said as much on the Amazon and got the following response from the Manufacturer:

It sounds like it is an issue with the ambient light level and the photocell in the unit. Please contact us at or call (877)298-9082 for support in getting the light to work properly for you.   That was in January.  There were a couple of volleys of phone tag and then finally a guy managed to get ahold of me live and offered to send me a replacement light.  He asked that I send back the broken one but didn't have to if I didn't want to bother.

It was two more weeks before I finally got the light and then a couple of days before the weather was hospitable for me to install the new light.  I'm proud to say it worked like a charm.  I sent back the broken light and after words got the following email.


From: MR Beam
Sent: Wed, February 6, 2013 9:10:21 AM
Subject: Mr Beams MB360 Replacement

Hello Icarus,

I wanted to follow up on whether the MB360 replacement I sent worked in your applications. Please let me know if it is working properly.

Thank you,
M--- R-----
Mr Beams LED Lights


to which I responded.....

Hi Mr Beam,

The replacement worked from the very beginning. I could tell once I put the batteries in that it was functioning differently from the broken unit it replaced. I think you were correct that the photocell was damaged. This new unit is off during the day and comes on at night when I approach the back door where it is situated. It turns off after the appropriate amount of time.

I sent the damaged unit back to you in case your crack team of ninja technicians want to perform forensic analysis.

thanks again,


Monday, February 18, 2013

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

I haven't mentioned it here yet but we finally bought a house!  I've kept it on the down low because I have one or two readers who read what I say here and then comment on it elsewhere (yes DZ, I'm talking about you!). 

At the very least, that is considered rude blog manners, it also could cause some grief as I'm writing about our House Hunting Adventures on Chicago Now and I'm posting in "delay mode".  Most of the posts between now and when I out myself will be based on things that occurred last summer and fall.

I also want to keep as much detail a secret because those same blog-hoppers can figure out from a
few small bits of information my real identity.  It's not a state secret who I am and it can probably be figured out quite easily.  However, I don't see any reason to help those who might be too lazy to do rudimentary work.

However, I also want to write about the projects I'm working on at the house during run time. As I'm finding from my CN posts, writing about something that happened a few months ago is quite a bit more challenging than when it is fresh in your mind.  So whenever this post publishes, keep in mind that I probably drafted it months before as we bought the house last year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Probably because I suck at it

Austin isn't much on Small Talk either, just feed and pet him please
I generally hate Small Talk.  It's usually superfiscial observations or comments on what is perfectly obvious.  I get that it serves a purpose in social situations like conversation openers, silence breakers and even a way to begin the process of bonding.

There are two ways to think of Small Talk.  One way is to accept that you are going to be stuck with the other person for some lenght of time and you might as well make the best of it.  you talk about unimportant safe subjects that won't offend anyone or reveal any significant secrets. 

The other way is to view small talk as a tennis game of phatic talk until a more substantial subject arises.

Them:  Isn't this great weather?
me (playing along):  Yes though it's unusually warm for this time of year.

Them:  So what do you do for fun?
me (finally something fun):  I run marathons and stalk real estate.

Them (ignoring my peeked interest and moving to the next topic):  Do you have any vacations planned?
me:  Purple, because aliens don't wear hats.
Them:  Aren't these crabcakes delightful?
me:  ugh!

And I think this is where the break down occurs. I'm from the second camp and I often encounter people from the first. I get frustrated if I find a topic I want to talk about or want to steer the  conversation towards, and the other person is going through their script of safe, boring topics that they don't care what the answers are.

One of the things I truly hate about social small talk is when personA asks me a litany of questions, most of which are Icarus-FAQs because they already stalk me on FB, and then as soon as they are done, PersonB walks in and asks the same exact questions.  I'm like, really  you couldn't get here when the movie started!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent Obligation from Hell part II

The following is a re-post from an old blog/column I wrote for another medium a long time ago. I've tweaked it a little to bring it up to date while hopefully keeping the content intact.

In a previous post, I wrote about my Lenten penance of doing charity work instead of giving up my beloved French fries and the headache that turned out to be. Well the saga continued well after Lent ended.

Each day I would get an email, phone call or thought sent via telepathy guilt tripping me into putting in a few more hours at St. Clements. Eventually I’d cave in and show up to put in a few hours of work. Most of it would involve climbing up a very unstable ladder to an extremely high spot. On top of that, the Executive Producers kept having this misguided notion that I knew what the hell I was doing. I was beginning to think that maybe in order to be successful play producers, they had to start drinking really early in the day.

The two people in charge had slightly different philosophies on how things should run. Jason didn’t want anyone to get killed working on Stage Crew. Bart on the other hand felt that a 10% casualty rate was acceptable if it meant finishing on deadline.

A big problem was that we didn’t have enough people to get the work done in a timely fashion. They shot themselves in the foot on that one, as far as I’m concerned. When they were doing cast call, they asked us to keep the months from January through April open and devoted to the play. I would have gladly done this had I been selected. But because they insisted on adhering to their rigid requirement of having only talented people in the play who can sing, dance and act, well I had to make other plans for my time.

But getting back to the story. The only other person on Stage Crew was a girl named TJ. She was a spunky gal who was a firm believer in “Girl Power”. One of our tasks was to drill holes in the wall of the Gym-turned-Theatre area. Naturally it required climbing really, really high to make these holes because God knows you wouldn’t be able to use holes in the wall at ground level for anything useful.

TJ insisted she could climb up and take care of all the hole making. I had no problem with this as I had a feeling the St Clements insurance policy was more of a rumor than an actuality.

And now that the play is over, I’m still touched by this group via the listserv. Every time I check my email there are dozens of emails from this group, most of which are responses to a single conversation thread or joke. What’s strange is that this listserv has been around for months, but it wasn’t until the week of opening night that the actors started using it. It was as if they suddenly discovered email.

When it was all over, Jacob emailed me to thank me for helping out. He also mentioned that when the next production comes along, he’d be sure to let me know. Thanks, because I will definitely want to change my phone number.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent Obligation from Hell part I

The following is a re-post from an old blog/column I wrote for another medium a long time ago. I've tweaked it a little to bring it up to date while hopefully keeping the content intact.

For many years I’ve given up French Fries for Lent and doing so has been sheer torture. The rest of the year I can go weeks without eating fries and not give it a second thought. But somehow when the time comes to intentionally go without the fried spud, it seems like there is temptation everywhere.

It feels like every food item you order in the world seems to come with a side of fries. Even if there are other choices, they all somehow sound unappetizing. “Would you like fries, Cole slaw, or monkey entrails with that?”

So one year instead of giving something up I decided to do some charity work instead. A lot of Catholics don’t realize this Lenten Loophole exists. Now you would think that it would be easy to find a soup kitchen to work in, or a homeless shelter to help out, or even a crisis hotline to answer the phones at for a few hours a week. The problem is none of those places are within walking distance of my apartment.

While sitting at home, waiting for charity work to come knocking on my door, the phone rang instead. It was Jason from St. Clements calling to ask if I could help out on stage crew for the spring play. The reason Jason has my number is because I actually auditioned for a part in the play back in November during open auditions, but wasn’t talented enough to get cast. Something silly about needing to be able to sing, act and not look like a buffoon on stage. They have such high standards in community theatre.

Anyway, on the audition form, there was a little box asking if we would be willing to help out in any other manner if we were not cast for a part in the play. I did not check this box. Naturally they called me anyway. I ignored the message left on my answering machine last December and figured that was the end of that. But alas, Stage Managers, Telemarketers and Con men have the unique ability to not take no for an answer.

Jason called again a few weeks ago and did the unbelievably sneaky and dastardly move of complimenting me on the enthusiasm I showed during the audition and felt that the play could benefit from that energy. Guilt Trip Tactic #1: pay someone an extraneous, irrelevant compliment. Remembering my Lenten promise, I called back this time and as no good deed goes unpunished, my good intentions have lead me to the Lent Obligation from Hell.

So I show up for the first afternoon of stage crew duty. There is only one other person on Stage Crew: a girl named TJ. The guy in charge, Bart, actually has a degree in stage development and is also a few hours short of his computer engineering degree. His day job is being an attorney. Those are three excellent reasons to hate the guy right off the bat. He then seals the deal by calling me “Ichy”.

Bart asks us what we are doing for the rest of the Sunday between then and Easter as it turns out that Sundays are the only day Bart is available to work on stage setup. I mention one Sunday that I know I’m committed to something else and then he changes the subject before I can list any other reasons I can’t be Stage Crew guy. Guilt Trip Tactic #2: the old bait and switch. Instead of it being about when I can’t come in, it becomes more of what one day do I absolutely need off?

So now that we’ve indentured ourselves into Stage Crew Servitude until sometime slightly before the second coming, Bart starts telling us what we’re going to do. He rattles off a list of objectives, which sound relatively straightforward and doable. Hang some lights, speakers, build out the stage. Then the kicker comes: the three of us over the next three Sundays will do all this.

Bart then starts telling us what to get started on. He rattles off sentences like the following:

“I want you to take the ladder and at every strut juncture, drill a couple of holes in the wall about fifteen feet above the horizontal plane of the stage in and then drop some anchor bolts into them.”

He then goes off to work with another group of people doing something else. We heard something about a ladder. We position the ladder by the first “strut juncture” and hope that we can stall long enough for Bart to come back and show us what he wanted us to do.

Next year it’s back to giving up French fries for this volunteer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Weekends are just too short

Trying to set up the Wii for
additional exercise options
This weekend was over way too quickly, probably because we had friends over for dinner on Saturday, which means Sat morning/afternoon were spent cleaning the place and grocery shopping.  yesterday was just a recovery day in terms of sleeping in and not needing to accomplish anything.

Over the past two months, I've managed to shed a little weight.  Not as much as I'd like but definitely enough considering the weak effort I've made toward it.  I topped out at 215 around Christmas and now am at 207, still a ways to go IMHO.  It might be unrealistic to get down to my optimal 190 or even the 195 I was at the Low-Rent Consultant Company, but 200 is an achievable goal.

In my younger years 30s, when I was averaging 90 miles of running a month, I didn't worry about winter weight because it would disappear once the spring thaw began.  Now I have to work a little harder to remove it and since I've technically spent the last two years rehabbing a knee, it's been hard to obtain the mileage necessary to shed all the weight.

* I use the term rehab liberally, it's not like I'm at the gym listening to an 80s montage while working the leg press.  The first year post surgery was consumed with other endeavors like planning a wedding.  Since I wasn't training for a marathon, I wasn't following a training regime so  naturally my mileage drastically reduced itself.  What I learned from that was I wasn't disciplined enough to run large amounts of miles on my own especially if we didn't get up at the buttcrack of dawn on hot summer days.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flustercluck Weekend for sure

So it was a busy and somewhat awkward weekend.  At work we have been doing some community work with the the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  They asked everyone to volunteer for a day or half day and I opted to do two half days thinking I'd get out early and could beat traffic home.  Once I realized just how freaking close to Iowa the Food Bank is, I revised that idea and went to Plan B:  social maintenance with Suburban Friends.

First, I dropped off the shelf for Montana1969.  She lives 10 miles from the Food bank so it was
more or less on the way.  I hung outwith her and her finance CMB.  I told her about my cousin of
the same name and her heart condition but didn't go into the part that would cause CMB and I to butt heads.  He's pro-Life and I'm the devil for being Pro-choice.  And Cousin needs her some birth control to prevent a pregnancy that would kill her. 

My cousin almost met the Grim Reaper which has kinda freaked my blood related cousin out.  That's one of the Dark Sides of Marriage that they don't tell you about -- eventually, someone has to leave first, be it death, illness or other.

Later that evening I met JV and her crew at The Club House.  the Club House is the cougar central of OBT -- JV likes it because of the free buffet and dancing.  The last time I was there, I got home late and was thrilled to find a parking spot across the street from my condo.  I was less thrilled the next morning when I discovered someone had stolen my catalytic converter stolen from my Honda Element, so at least this time I didn't have that memory to re-live.

Could really use one of thse sometimes
Saturday was a bit of running around and a bit of organizing.  I bought this desk from 3flat and
the idea is to set up our home office so that there are two work stations that one can easily plop a laptop on and do some work.  It could also double as a baby changing station if the need should arrive.

Sunday we had a P10 brunch which was a little chaotic.  It started out okay.  but since we were
late and everyone caught up with one another, we kinda got pounced on as fresh meat. One of the things I truly hate about social small talk is when personA asks me a litany of questions, most of which are Icarus-FAQs because they already stalk me on FB, and then as soon as they are done, PersonB walks in and asks the same exact questions.  I'm like, really  you couldn't get here when the movie started!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Look Out World, my mom now has an iPhone

the only phone that lets you take a picture of it
front and back at the same time
Because of a chain of unfortunate circumstances we have had to pay some of my mom's bills. While crunching the numbers, it turned out to be more economical to put my mom on our family plan than to continue paying her cell phone bill. 

We went to the store to figure out the best option.  We didn't really want to give her a Smart Phone and hoped that a Clever or Adept Phone would do.  However, Verizon was giving free iPhone 4 as the upgrade or additional line on family plans.  I was up for an upgrade as well and though I thought about the Galaxy Whatever version is hot now, that would have cost a couple hundred bucks so I went with the free iPhone as well.

So now my decent into darkness is almost complete.  I bought the latest and greatest iPads that were available last spring so that Nightingale and I could enjoy checking our email and FB from the comfort of our deck instead of being inside on nice summer nights.