Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Doing Well

Meva and Perrin came home about an hour ago. The results from his CT scan were positive and didn't show anything to make us believe that his shunt isn't working!



I'm at a point right now where I am totally alone. I mean this literally, Sarah and Ryan are both down for bed and already asleep and Meva and Perrin are at the Emergency Room. Earlier today Perrin had an episode of vomiting that was unrelated to feeding, as it happened after a three hour nap and hadn't eaten in four hours or so. That's a serious sign that his shunt has malfunctioned and he needs brain surgery again.

Meva came home from work and took him in to have a CT scan and possibly more to check and see how things are going. It's been almost 4 hours and I haven't heard anything from her. The longer I go without some word, the harder this is to bare. For reasons that seem completely silly right now, we don't have a cell phone, so Meva probably doesn't have any way to get in touch with me and let me know how things are going. This has happened before, but it will not happen again I assure you.

So I'm sitting her alone, patiently waiting for some word and I'm not embarrassed to say I am a bit scared. As I know more, I will update things here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Deportation Blues

Last year Chicago was put in the national spot light when an illegal immigrant by the name of Elvira Arellano sought shelter in a church to avoid deportation back to Mexico. Even though they legally could have gone into the church and taken her by force, authorities decided to wait it out.

Mrs Arellano's complaint was that she wanted to stay in this country until her son was an adult. Her son is a US citizen, and he's 18. She repeatedly called for the government and the nation to have compassion for her.

Well, her story came to an end when she was dumb enough to leave the church and travel to LA for an immigration rally. Guess what? She was captured and back in Mexico in less than 24 hours!

I am so absolutely glad that she was deported. She broke out laws by illegally entering the country, and then falsified documents (such as illegally using someone else's social security number) to stay in the country. So we're all supposed to just ignore her disrespect of our laws and traditions just for her, when the money that she has cost this country in her deceptions and then deportation could have been used to feed or house an impoverished family, or fund an educational program, pay for college for a deserving student without the means to go on their own, or even pay for medical care for the elderly? Were was her compassion when she stole these opportunities from US citizens?

I am sensitive and compassionate about her quality of life in her home country, but we have rules and procedures for entering this country, she just chose to ignore them and break the law. I wonder how long it's going to be before we put up a brick wall? In my opinion, it's not soon enough!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I've been feeling really squeezed for time lately and I feel myself pulled in too many directions. The sole focus of this situation is my part-time job that I work on the weekends. The job itself is really fine; its a job like many others out there that promises you more money than you actually get and is frustrating and beneath you, but the money is good enough to keep you there. Specifically what is bothering me is the opportunity cost I have to pay to continue that job.

If you're unfamiliar with the term "opportunity cost" it's an economic term that basically means you have to pay something for every action. It doesn't have to be money, it could be labor or time, but you sacrifice one of those three commodities for just about every action or decision you make. I'm not going to get into a huge, boring discussion about that, if you want to learn more about it, you can go here. What I find myself using as currency more and more is time.

This became more clear this weekend when I had to bow out of helping do some yard work around my step-parent's house. In the scheme of things it wasn't a big deal, it was just fixing and putting up a fence, even though I spent Friday evening helping out as best I could. My brothers took care of everything the next morning, but I was hurt that I couldn't be there with them.

For those of you that don't know, my step-parents are in their 60's and 70's and my step dad, Big Lou, is not in good health any more. Physical activities are really too much for him these days, so maintaining the upkeep and repairs of a house is really too much for him. This was evident when I got to their house on Friday and it was being overrun with weeds, many of which had become small trees. I immediately felt bad about not having come down there more often and taken care of these things.

Between them, my own mother, Meva's mother, and my wife and kids, I am paying an awful lot to keep that job on the weekends. It makes me feel cut off from everyone and quite useless if I can be honest.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Recently it was one of the more, pardon the term, Holy , weeks for me. It marked this years Chicago Comic Con! I always try to get friends or family to go with me, but no one is ever interested enough to join me, so I end up going it alone. This year was different though because I met up with one of my friends from the Internet for the first time! I've been talking with Cary for almost two years now, connected initially over our love of comic books, and since that time we've really hit it off and often share ideas and collaborate on each other's projects.

Cary is from Texas, so it was a real vacation for him and his best friend Mike to come up here for a few days and just wallow with me in comic book bliss. Without boring those of you who aren't comic fans I'll say that we had a great time meeting a lot of people, finding some good deals, and we ate pretty well. We went to Gibsons, the Cheesecake Factory, and Superdawg as well as going out to see the Bourne Ultimatum, which was a blast I might add.

The sale of our house is quickly grinding to a halt I fear. The buying season is quickly closing with the beginning of the school year and the number of showings and interest in our house seems to have decreased significantly within the past two weeks. Our current plan calls for us to leave the house on the market until October and if we don't have an offer by then, we're going to take it off the market until next spring. It's not what we wanted, but it many ways this works out for us too---just not as well as if we sold the place.

One thing this does do is force me to look at the upkeep of the house as though it isn't going to sell and begin preparing the house for the winter and autumn. That means being more aggressive with the landscaping and polishing up the driveway and other areas so that come spring we'll be ready to roll as soon as the season opens again.

Through sheer luck we're actually managing to make some headway into our debt and I think we're possibly better off now than we were in the spring, hopefully Meva and I can keep that momentum going and build on this!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Can't See

Earlier this week my wife and I started some pretty serious diets. Without going into great detail we get to eat one lean and green meal a day and 5 small packaged meals. The goal being to limit ourselves to around 1000 calories a day. It's pretty tough. And did I mention the food tastes like crap for the most part? Well it does. It's almost entirely powders mixed with what to make things like puddings, soups, oatmeals, and chili. I like the oatmeal and chili--the rest is brutal.

Well, the first day I was on this I got half way through the day and went into a hypoglycemic shock and had to stop. I ate regular foods in normal amounts the rest of the day and was better, then I started back up the next day and I've been going strong ever since. It's been just 5 days, but I can feel and see the difference already, so I'm psyched about that.

Here's the bad news. After 5 days, eating like a rabbit finally caught up to me and I had a horrible ocular migraine today while I was at work. The stupid thing gave me blinding prisms, nausea, and a headache that made me want to cry. I've taken more pain medication tonight than since I had my gallbladder removed. It's actually added to my stomach ache. So, I feel like absolute death, just thought I'd share that with everyone.

Now, the last and largest batch of pain meds are kicking in, so it's time to go. Wish me luck and I hope none of you out there ever experience this or something even remotely close.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Preparations And Mad Creation

I'm sure to everyone else around me it seems like business as usual, which to a normal person would require medication, caffeine, and counseling, but I've been incredible preoccupied. In less than two weeks I'll be attending the Wizard World Chicago Comic Convention. All fan boy stuff aside, this is a big convention for me because I'm going to do things that I am normally uncomfortable with; selling myself!

I'm talking about making pitches to editors and comic book publishers for some of the series I have ideas about and have actually gotten into working pieces, or pieces that can be worked. At this time it only amounts to two stories, but that's two more than most other people have.

Let me rephrase that, I hope to have two stories. I think I'm pretty set on Atonement. I've got that worked out and I have my small script, so I am doing very well there. All it needs is some polishing and if I have the time I'll be creating a more user friendly bible for it, something that someone besides myself could read and understand. The other story I have is Toy Chest, and I feel confident that I'll have that ready.

So, to have them both ready, at least to the point I will feel comfortable with, I'll need to have a "bible" for each, scripts (at least 1 each), and a written pitch. I'd love to have had some artwork to couple with it, but I just didn't get around to finding an artist, but that brings me to my next feat while I'm there: Finding artists!

If you've never been to a convention, there are artists showing their work and portfolios and selling sketches and previous work. It's a great place to meet cool people and network with someone who you think would work well with your story ideas. This also requires that I be very sociable and engaging, which as I get older seems to be harder for me for some reason.

So, lately all I've been thinking about is getting everything set so that I can look prepared, professional, and ready to create comics. I know I'll hear many polite refusals and rejections, which is fine because my stories aren't for everyone, but if I don't try I'll never get a yes. No one is just coming to my door and asking me to write for them, so this is how I'm going to do it.

So, if I'm less responsive than normal, understand this is why. Working and pursuing your dreams can take you away from other areas, and that's what's going to be happening as I enter this crunch time! Wish me luck!