Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Places we could move to

Every now and again, Nightingale and I entertain the idea of moving away from Chicago.  Yes as much as I love Chicago and am a city boy, this city with its nickel and dime taxes has finally given me enough incentive to move away. 

Right now the commute to downtown is hell on Nightingale because of traffic and there is no easy way to get to Northwestern Hospital.  The El or the Metra require a slow bus and eat up any time that is saved by rail transit.

So moving to a suburb would make her trip even more stressful.  I'm not sure which burb we would move to, it would depend on future jobs. 

This should be an easy choice.  Nightingale would be closer to her Sister and get to see the Little Monkeys more often.  In reality, it wouldn't make our lives that much easier because we would just be ....

Her parents live in Nashville and her sister lives near Memphis so that is technically on the table.  The truth is, if I'm gonna move to a red state, I want a kick ass house with a lot of space around it but reasonable distance to a decent sized urban center.

A lot has to happen at this end too.  We screwed the pooch on our chance to sell Nightingale's condo this year and have to wait another year to try again.  The condo board forced a new rule in the by laws such that new owners cannot rent their units out for two years after purchase.  (nevermind that they simple kept the election open until they got the required number of votes and set the start date retroactive to a few years ago, thus fucking even the most recent buyers).  This allegedly eliminates any potential investors who might have both a south loop condo.

We both would need new jobs.  And we'd have to figure out what to do about my mom.  She does not want to leave her crapshack in Humboldt Park.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Scattered Thoughts with a Chance of Making Sense

Things take so much more time and effort these days:  First, nothing really writes to hard memory these days.  For instance, I got a recall notice for my Element.  I contacted the nearest dealership and they ordered the needed part.  I got an email that the part arrived and I should call to schedule the service.  It's been two days and I still haven't set that up.  I meant to, but it just slipped my mind. 

I cannot remember if it was Moose or Squirrel who got up in the middle of the night and needed a bottle because the nights all blur into one.

They are almost 11 months and most of it really is a blur, we went through a high learning curve.  In the early months (after day care but before they could crawl) we would put them down for the night around 630-7 but they would sometimes wake up 30-45 minutes later, right when our dinner was ready.  Now once we get them down, they are down for at least 4-5 hours.

 The good news is we seem to have turned a corner and they are sleeping a little later.  Now it's closer to 6am.  Natasha was waking up because of her cough and i figured out that if we turn the humidifier on, she sleeps better.  we stopped using it because of the summer but ....

The only help we have is my mom and she is a piece of work herself.  I half joke that we have four kids: our children, our furbaby Austin and my mom.  She is over here ever night now and she is constantly challenging us on how we want to do things.  We think she enjoys having the house to herself when we leave for work in the morning....however, when I work from home, she hangs out a little too long.  My mom  doesn't understand the concept of personal space, privacy or alone time because she has an over abundance of these.

Update:  when I drafted this post,  Austin was still with us.  

It's like Day Break but without the time travel: When I'm away from this blog interface (be it the laptop, desktop or iPad) I think of all sorts of things  I want to write about but once I get in front of the keyboard, the thoughts go away.

Our daily routine is like Groundhog Day or Day Break.  Except for the learning or remembering enough to change things part.  I really thought Nightingale's family would visit more once we had children.  Apparently the chances are higher of some random stranger giving me chocolate and a million dollars.

At home the default status is I'm holding at least one baby or watching to make sure they don't kill or injure themselves.  Traveling 300 miles to another zip code is insane.  I not only get to hold a baby but I have to make sure the Little Monkeys don't accidentally harm my kids.

The Little Monkeys aren't malicious or inherently evil.  They are just two adolescent boys who want what they want when they want it and cannot be reasoned with at an adult intellectual level.  They don't understand how easily they could inadvertently hurt Moose or Squirrel.  Additionally, they are easily distracted so even if they are playing nicely with their cousins, they are just as likely to abandon them for a game of Mine Craft if the mood strikes.

This is fucking stressful to me. I don't mean to sound like a helicopter parent but the kids are still squishy.  They are at a developmental stage where a head injury could impact them for life.  and they are already destined for public education!

And they don't do so well in a different time zone so I'm sure DST is going to suck big time. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rest in Peace Austin

Our cat Austin was put to sleep Sunday night (August 16)  around 10 pm  He had developed feline diabetes last year just after our cat Maggie succumbed to Lymphoma and was put down.

We were in Michigan when we got a text from my mom telling us that Austin wasn't looking so hot.  It turns out his sugar was too low and there was no chance to bring him back.  He was in pain and would have suffered for a long time and then finally die and we couldn't do that to him so we gave the okay to euthanize him.   
I'm okay with the decision to put him out of his misery.  I just wish we had been there.   We left around 9:15am Saturday for a two day trip.  Nightingale wants to believe that he waited for us to leave for this trip before he made his departure from this world to go be with Maggie.

It's strange not having him around.  Every so often I still think "time for Austin's pill or shot" or "gotta close this door so the cat doesn't get out.  A few days before our trip, I had a dream that I was carrying Austin through some body of water, holding him over my head so he wouldn't get wet.  I was looking for a place to set him down and the only thing I could find was this sandy area under a dark tunnel. 

We plan to be pet-free for the next two years or so.  For one thing, it is too soon to replace him.  Secondly, with small children in the house we just don't have the bandwidth to take care and form attachments to a new pet.  Plus the kids aren't at an age or level of development where they can understand not to pull a kitty's tail.  We were very worried Austin was gonna bite Natasha or Boris one of these days.  Finally, there is some financial relief: his pet food and medications were not cheap.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Perhaps an auxilary entrance to Narnia

" If you don't have internet access you probably don't own a car either. "

Someone wins the gold in the Leaps of Logic event of the Unfounded Reasoning Olympics on Everyblock.

Bob Kastigar is one of those internet personalities that is borderline troll.  He has strong opinions and doesn't hesitate to share them on whatever comment thread or community board he happens upon.

Nor does not believe anyone has a right to an opinion opposite his, or even slightly different.

It's one thing to disagree with someone whose viewpoint is the polar opposite of yours.  But when someone agrees in principal but are not completely on board with all the specifics, this is a time to work together and compromise.  Bob chooses a more time honored approach:  berate them until they leave out of frustration.

Friday, August 14, 2015

a terrible monster of a disease

This is something a friend posted on Facebook the other day.  Apparently a friend succumbed to a terrible disease and left this world much too soon.

Kyla Brown
I thought I saw you the other day,
A heartstopping glimpse from the periphery.
As I turned to get a second look,
My vision clarified into a not so tall and
Unfamiliar stranger with a fleeting resemblance of you.
Perhaps it is because I always expect to see you,
Though I know you will no longer be there.
I have been thinking so much of you lately
As the doors closed with thunderous finality.
I woke Saturday morning with such sorrow,
Thinking of our beloveds’ memories waiting
In the dark with nothing but shadows
And eventual strangers for company.
As I gathered myself, shaking my head at melancholy,
An unforeseen message came from a beloved friend
Painful, heartbreaking, and shattering.
Stating her farewell, as she is losing her struggle
With a terrible monster of a disease.
Was my vision of you a portent of the impending loss
Of another heart so dear to me?
Or was it just a remnant of the hope we all have
To see you one more time.
Bitter regret wells in my heart remembering
The last words I said to you face to face
Were the same ones I said to her when
I saw her in December.
To take better care of yourself,
That you are not alone,
That you mean so much to me – to us all
And that I love you, my dear friend.
If I could ask anything, I would ask
You to watch over my friend.
Keep her company and cheer her spirit as
She puts up a hell of a fight.
Though she does not know you, she will welcome you.
The only explanation needed is that
You are my friend and you have come on my behalf,
And with your sweet smile, give her all my love.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Post About Apologies

This is something my friend Patricia wrote on her Facebook page July 31st.  I've never met Patricia in person but we connected back when Mysteries of Life was on, she was one of the four people who followed (or whatever they called it back then) my blog.

I wanted to write up some thoughts to go along with it but instead I think I will just post it with some select comments other than to say this:

I've had more than one friend Ghost on my because they just couldn't deal with me offending them, but could not be bothered to explain what I did to offend them in the first place.  It's a real bullshit move; you did something I perceive as wrong, but I'm not gonna bother to explain what it was because it is so obvious (to me).  After all, there are no repercussions for my actions.

An apology by definition is "a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure." But how often do we really get or give apologies that fall under this definition? " I was wrong, and I'm sorry I hurt your feelings," is not the same as "I'm sorry your feelings were hurt." See what I did there? I think one of the reasons many of us are uncomfortable with expressing our hurt to those we consider friends, is because secretly we sense that by calling them out on how they've hurt us, there's a chance they will hurt us a second time by their response to our doing just that. Does that make sense? This is why it doesn't pay to wait to say, "Hey--I didn't like that." Because we all make mistakes, and it's best to put them out on the table as soon as they occur,so that we learn early, before we're too involved in the friendship, whether this so-called "friend" truly made a "mistake," or whether he or she is just in the relationship for a self-serving reason. Like maybe you think you have a friend, but she thinks you have a car and she doesn't want to take the bus to work...
Posted by Patricia V. Davis on Friday, July 31, 2015
William Donelson Fully-realised individuals take responsibility for all they do. When we make a mistake, or hurt someone, we apologise directly and try to make amends. We grow and learn, and then we forgive ourselves and move on.

Patricia V. Davis Thea, it's a slap in the face. You go to an individual, already uncomfortable that you have a grievance that you feel squirmy about airing, because you know no one likes criticism and hey--you care about this person. But at the same time, you have too much respect for yourself to ignore the hurt this person has done. And what do you get for your pains? They treat it like YOU and only you are the problem. Yuck.
Patricia V. Davis And personally, if I'm the one offending someone, I want to know, so I can fix it. I hate it when someone 'ghosts' on me, because then I can't learn what I might have done to hurt them. I try my best not to hurt people, but sometimes, when a life gets busy, we can be neglectful or careless without meaning to. That's why a heads up is important. I care about my friends, but I'm human and need to know from them when I screw up, so I can make amends.

Time for a new background or avatar

I wonder if I should somehow incorporate this into my blog brand

"Gowy-icaro-prado" by Jacob Peter Gowy - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Something I saved from my Myspace Days

"You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Current mood: pensive
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble"
Bible, Psalms 46:1

With this being said, I would like to challenge God and his mysterious ways as to why innocent human beings have to endure trial and suffering. Should it be considered fair to have a human being nearly two decades of age lie in a hospital bed and ponder whether or not he will see the next sunrise? Better yet, is it necessary to put his body into such a trance that he is a mere vegetable; a coma like state is something that no person should ever wish upon another. So why, God? Why would you do this to an innocent child - a child that you claim to be yours. You made man from the dust of this unjust earth.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him"
Genesis 1:33

Was it because he committed acts of sins? Honestly, what person has lived a just life? No one. I cannot name one person who has not made a mistake; a person who has not committed an act of revenge upon thy neighbor; a person who has not lied to another.

Questions like this constantly go through my mind. I consider myself a child of God, but I also feel like a hypocrite when I question his acts. After all, if it weren't for his creation of Adam and Eve (according to the First Book of Moses, Genesis for those who do not know), I would not be a mortal.

"You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Bible, Matthew 14:31

I wish I knew why I had such doubt. Perhaps it is because I am afraid to die. Maybe I just don't want to be one of the select few chosen by God to undergo trial and suffering. After all, who would? With this said, I guess it can be concluded that not only am I afraid to die, but I am also afraid to live.

My life is in God's hands. It always has been. The life of every mortal on this earth is in God's hands. My life has a predetermined destiny, I suppose. Is it safe to say that it is predetermined for a person to experience pain and misery? Will it make him stronger? What if he succombs to the pain? Does it mean he is a mere weak mortal? Or does it mean that God wanted him back in his arms - he wanted him to turn back into dust?

The cyclical life of a mortal can have multiple meanings. Birth and Death. Birth and Rebirth. Whatever it may be, we're on this earth for a reason, predetermined or not. Make the best of it. Look God straight in the eyes and say, "I will live my life to the fullest. You gave me this blessing to live and I will take full advantage of it." I know I will do this and maybe, just maybe, I will get over one of my fears of living and dying.

* This journal is dedicated to UConn Rugby player Marc Corderre. His life is in God's hands. Lets pray that he gets through his trial and suffering by not only living, but becoming stronger both spiritually and physically