Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with a whimper

Tonight I'm marking the end of 2008, which by most people's measures would be a rather shitty one due to losing my Step-Dad and then later my Mother. Although they didn't surprise anyone, knowing they will be dying soon and then living with that baited anticipation isn't much comfort and doesn't make things much easier.

Yet with their respective passings and the sorrow that comes with the realization that, no matter what your relationship was with them, you won't get to see them, hear them, or hug them again; what I find is that my mind seeks out the fondest memories and events that I shared with each of them. Sure there were rough times, but they are what make celebrating their lives and achievements special and motivating if you take the time to make it a part of yourself.

In a nutshell (can two paragraphs really be succinct enough to fit in a nutshell??? That's one big ass nut if it does!!) that really sums up what 2008 was for me. I got past challenges and watched my life blossom from the bad moments into the good ones. My son Perrin, who will always be my hero because of everything he overcomes each day, is walking better and has a chance (with hard work) to walk just like any other kid. He's tough as nails and I wish I could have half the zeal he does for life, but I suppose we could all say that about every two year old.

The funny thing about tonight and about this post is that I could care less about New Years Eve. It's an arbitrary marking on a political calendar that has no other significance than being the last in line. I kid that I have already become a crotchety old man, and maybe there is some truth to that, but the older I get the more I realize that marking the passing of one year and embracing a new one isn't as important as being aware of present and how precious our moments are.

To that end, I sent my wife off to celebrate our friends at a party so that she could unwind with out having to worry about the kids being there and just be an adult, a woman, and a friend. I put the kids to bed as I normally would and I now have the house to myself, which is itself a treat. I intend to spend my rare evening alone writing and maybe just relaxing and watching a movie. Just having the chance to work on some projects I have been neglecting is so exciting that at times today I had to distract myself to avoid being overly anxious.

So, if you're one of the handful of people who pop in here and read my rantings, I want to wish you a happy evening and the presence to enjoy the moments as they come. While it's impossible to move forward without knowing our past, its also too easy to get lost in either or both. Seize the moment and smell the roses......or whatever the hell that smell is that comes from the back of the refrigerator!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Come and Gone (or going)

Thankfully we are coming to the end of this year and I couldn't be happier to see 2008 in my rear-view mirror. I don't want to turn this into a pity post, but losing my step-father just days before my birthday and then losing my mother the day before Thanksgiving. It absolutely sucked, but I honestly mean this when I say that I am fortunate those are my biggest lamentations because I know there are people out there who suffered more and endured more than I could possibly even remember. So, while death is a natural part of all our lives and transitioning yourself from life with and then without your parental figures is hard, I am thankful that I wasn't hit with more adversity.

Christmas was very nice. Everyone spoiled my kids and I think we brought more toys back with us from Ohio than what we had at home. I am fortunate that they are loved by so many. Meva and I had a good time, and I think she enjoyed the gifts I gave her. I wish I could have got her more, but she got a lot of what she asked for, and all things considered, you can't ask for much more than that. Meva gave me some great books on Zen philosophy and a book by Les Stroud of Survivorman. That was really great and I am looking forward to devouring each one of them.

Our trip back and forth to my in-laws was much easier on the kids as it was the first time we used the new DVD player and it was a fantastic success. The overall crankiness was down, and even Ryan had a hard time finding something to cry about! It was totally worth everything we paid for it and luckily we got it on sale for a ridiculous price.

On a really annoying note, new comic books won't be out until Friday this week. I don't know what it says about me that I am pretty pissed about, but I am and I'm not going to be ashamed of that (OK, maybe just a bit ashamed). It's only three more days, so I think I can make it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

First Snow & Hanging Up The Lights

The first snows came, and by last years standards it wasn't too much. I think we got about 4 inches of it, not even enough for me to even bother shoveling the driveway. I can't wait until the thick heavy stuff comes so I can get out there at like midnight and shovel the snow and be in the element. Yeah, I'm crazy!

Thankfully I was just able to get the outdoor Christmas lights up. I had planned on doing this on Saturday, but Meva wasn't feeling good and the day just got away. Usually I don't have any problems hanging up the lights or at least nothing that gets to me (And I fell off my roof last year and landed right on my head trying to put up lights with a broken hand, two pins sticking out of it, and a cast). This year though I was ready to go nuclear!

All I wanted to do was set up four strands of net lights on my evergreen bushes. I had brand new lights that I hand purchased last year after the season, but they all tested well when I checked them inside. Somehow from the trip in the house to the bushes out front, two of the strands stopped working' one completely and the other just in the middle. I brought them back in and checked all the bulbs and the wires. One strand had a defective wire, so there was nothing I could do there, and the other one was beyond me. So I headed to the hardware store and bought a different (read cheaper) set. I even bought extra boxes just in case.

I got them home and on Sunday, when the snow started coming down fast and heavy, I went back out to finish. Each one of those cheap ass strands of lights either wouldn't light, or literally fell apart as I tried to gently lay them over the bushes.

Even Meva knew I was fuming. Money is tight, but with everything happening with my mother dying, my kids just now old enough to enjoy the pretty lights, and this being the first Christmas since my step-dad Lou passed away, I was going to have lights on those bushes if I had to set them on fire! Meva could sense of close I was to losing it and didn't say a word when I told her I didn't know where I was going, but somewhere I would find working lights and I didn't care where I had to go. I don't know what she was thinking, but she knew how important it was to me and just let me go. I guess we could call that reason number 37653876087502 why she is such a fantastic wife and that I love her so much.

Anyways, I got lights that work and finished the bushes. The snow was coming down at it's heaviest and I still had to put the lights on the roof. We have a low roof, so it wasn't a problem, other than the cold, and those lights went off without a hitch. The only thing I didn't get out this year were my plastic candy canes to go along the walk, but that's my fault for not getting them prepped and with working bulbs, so I wisely skipped them. I don't have as many lights as I'd like, but it's enough for this year. Next year I will build on this.

The other interesting thing to note is that the lights I have for the roof and my other bushes are new LED lights and they didn't give me any problems. The net lights for the evergreens are regular lights, so if we can swing the cost I may have to go LED there as well. The energy savings alone should offset that cost. Anyways, I'll try and get a picture here of the house soon if the snow will hold (or more will come).

With the economy the way it is and money tight for all, I'm going to be giving out cookies this year to all my friends. I love to bake Christmas cookies, so it will give me something to keep me focused on good thoughts and it will also help me stay in the holiday spirit. Hopefully I can narrow down the kinds I want to make and get started on them so I can begin getting them out to everyone.

That's it for now. I have a house to clean and possibly a small nap to take because I did not sleep soundly last night.

Monday, December 01, 2008

This Week Can Only Be Better Than Last

Last week I wrote about what was a very miserable Monday I was having, culminating with putting my foot through the season. I should have relished those moments because as it turns out it was about the best day of the week for me. The lady to the left is my mother. It's the only recent picture I have of her, and it is over a year old. She was suffering from COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. Her health was slipping slowly, and she was in and out of the hospital and ICU several times over the past year, often it included being put on life-support to get her through the event. Well, the very next morning she passed away at about 6:35am. I try to keep things topical here, so I'll continue that. I had stopped speaking to her over a year ago about some things I felt very strongly and I had made the decision that it was best for me and my wife and kids. It wasn't an easy decision to come to, but it was the right choice to make and I stand by that decision. I can't think of anyone in my family that supported me; I'm not even sure anyone respected my right to make that decision.

So as she passed, things have gotten very dramatic. It's been tense with my family and emotions are very raw. For me, even though this was something that we all saw coming, it's been more difficult that I would have imagined. I'm running all the normal gambits of losing a parent, even if we ended on the outs, and although I expected that, the intensity has caught me off guard. The other thing that has gotten me are the memories.

Whether I'm awake or sleeping, they come flooding to me out of nowhere. Bad ones, good ones, things that make little sense, things I hadn't thought of in years, and things long forgotten. It's exhausting and turns my mood and thinking into places without my control. And when you mix all of that with the issues with my family, it's been an incredibly tough week. If you want to know more, you can read my more personal blog.

I guess I'm putting this up so people have a bit of an understanding or a deeper understanding as to where I am at right now and what I'm going through. So if I appear flaky or you aren't hearing from me as usual, you know why. I'm blessed to have such a fantastic wife and three of the most exceptional children to help me forget things for awhile and remember to smile and feel good about myself,

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Bad to Worse

So, I already wasn't feeling good today and I originally thought I would do the minimum and take it easy. Some people say that even if you aren't feeling too horrible, it's a good idea not to do to much because you can often make mistakes. That's definitely true today.

I changed my mind and decided I would finish my insulation project in the attic while the kids were sleeping. The project has two specific goals, one is to put back the insulation that numerous contractors have moved and failed to return to it's correct spot, and second was to place some boards over the studs so I could walk more freely and easily. Well, I get everything up into the attic by myself and I'm moving along and placing things where they need to go. I'm about half-way through and I lose my head and place my foot between two studs.

I instantly realize the trouble this could be, so as I attempt to slowly take my foot away and place it on a solid spot, the drywall gives way and my foot goes through the ceiling into my hallway below.

Well, that put a stop to the insulation project, which will have to wait until I can find someone much leaner than myself to go back up there and finish things.

So, instead of taking an hour to do a project and then begin on the Christmas decorations, I now have 45 minutes of wasted time toward a project I won't complete for fear of doing more damage, and I now have my hallway covered in drywall, blown insulation, and fiberglass insulation just a few feet from where my children are sleeping.

So, I clean up the biggest pieces of the mess and begin cutting the whole in my ceiling so that I can repair it with some new drywall. After measuring and edging out past the area my foot came through, I line off where I' am going to cut the drywall and get to work.

Of course, more calamity ensues when, as I am cutting the ceiling with a utility knife, the blade gets stuck. Standing on my step ladder I grab the knife with both hands and begin to pry it out. But the knife must have been playing with me because as I began my pull, the knife loosens, and I of course fall backwards into the hallway wall, smacking my head.

You'd think that would be bad enough, but as it turns out my head is able to land perfectly onto a framed picture of my family tree that my wife made by hand, cracking and shattering the glass that it was behind. I haven't even told my wife about this yet (sorry Meva).

All I really wanted to do was begin hanging my Christmas decorations and have an easy day with my kids. The funniest thing about this whole thing is that it happens literally right outside my kid's bedroom and through the sounds of me crashing first through the ceiling and then into the wall, running a drill to hang the new drywall, and then using the vacuum cleaner to clean up the debris I couldn't get with my hands, the kids never stirred! Not one sound or whimper or laugh.

Of course that means that the phone will ring, which it does, and instantly begins waking them from their nap.

Outside of cleaning my kitchen and making dinner, I don't expect I am going to do anything else today. If I could I would just lay in bed so I don't break anything else.


I think I might be getting sick or something. My energy level has fallen dramatically and I've got this tickle in my throat along with a cough, which probably explains why I don't feel like doing anything today.

I've got to finish playing around in the attic with the insulation and then it's straight to decorating the outside of the house for Christmas. If I have time, I have a load of things I need to put up on eBay for the holidays. It's supposed to be pretty easy to put things up, but for some reason doing that seems to take me forever. Either way, I need to do that and capitalize on the holiday spending as I figure many people will be looking to save money by shopping on eBay.

Meva and I watched Hellboy II last night. You could definitely feel and see the influence of Guillermo del Torro in this, especially compared to the first movie. Meva said she liked it better than the first one and I thought it was about the same, which means it's not a waste of money, but it didn't do anything special to stand out of the crowd. I did appreciate the background story of the villains, but that's a theme that seems to be popular in Hollywood these days, sort of like the new Lovecraft. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but it seems like it's everywhere.

The kids are doing great, talking more and more everyday. We're trying to get them to understand some aspects of Christmas, but it's going slow. Maybe once we start decorating the house they will be more into it. Today they are very cranky and fighting with each other and for some reason they knocked over the garbage can and then started yelling at each other! Tell me that's not going to be a common scene for me over the next 11 years!

Monday, November 17, 2008


So yesterday was an absolutely horrible day in Chicago if you are a Bears fan. They got slapped around and manhandled in the most embarrassing game I've seen since getting their asses handed to them on a Halloween Monday night loss. Both loses came at the hands of the Packers, which sure doesn't help. About the only thing I can find of comfort is that I think the Bears played as hard as they could and I don't think they quit. Unfortunately that means they are bad, poorly coached, and lacking talent.

Of course, I think I would feel even worse if I was a Philadelphia Eagles fan. They played to a tie with a very messed up and pathetic Bengals team. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. The only problem is that many of the Eagles players didn't know it. Even 10 year veteran and face of the franchise Donovan McNabb, who was playing in 2002 when the last tie happened, was ignorant.

"I've never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book," McNabb said after the game. "It's part of the rules, and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately, with the rules, we settled with a tie."

I found that quote on ESPN. You don't get to be an NFL player if you don't at least grow up watching the game as a kid, following your favorite players, learning some of the games' history, and the basic rules. Heck, checking the standings from time to time you'll see a column for ties. Yet he missed it. Just dumb.

And it gets better. Instead of just explaining his ignorance, he bitches and moans about it as though this is some ill-conceived part of the NFL that is poorly thought out and the owners and rule-makers are as guilty as he is.

"I guess we're aware of it now," McNabb said. "...... I never knew in the professional ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs."

He's played in an overtime game in the playoffs, yet he doesn't realize that a playoff game, or Superbowl, can't end in a tie?? After 10 years you'd think he might try to learn a little something about the industry he works in. It just makes me think that many of today's athletes really are nothing more than whiny, spoiled, paycheck players that don't understand what they're doing and probably don't realize how fortunate they are to play in the NFL.

Not only didn't he win on the field yesterday, but it looks like he had a few losses elsewhere as well! Idiot.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like.........

Christmas!! Well it's not exactly looking like Christmas yet around here, but I'm starting to get the bug for it. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday despite the ridiculous commercialization that takes place, sometimes even before Halloween. To me it's always been about family getting together and having a good time together. That and it's a little known secret of mine that I just love giving presents to my friends and loved ones. Anyways, I will save my sappy Christmas rants for when we get a little closer.

It seems most people get really upset around this time of the year with all the stresses of Christmas, the snow, and the cold, but I truly enjoy all of that. Just getting ready for the winter is usually enough to get me a bit cheerful as I think of the snow and bitter cold that challenges us and makes us really appreciate the basics like, heat, food, and family.

This requires quite a bit of preparation and I've got a long list of prep work I have to get done. I need to get into the attic and repair any drafts and leaks in the insulation (which I know are there), put away garden hoses, repack the garage so I can get at least one car in there for the winter, put away all the summer yard furniture and kids toys, and then there is getting the Christmas decorations ready. I've got many new decorations to put out this year that I need to check and make sure they are working and I am excited about my new Christmas lights. Last year I went to the After Christmas sales and bought a completely new set of lights for the house that are all LED. Saving energy and having brighter lights is something I'm looking forward to.

And for all my Scrooge friends out there I'll make sure I include some pictures for you.

And speaking of pictures, here's my all-time favorite Christmas video. I watched it as a kid and the jingle has never truly left me. It's old and in black and white, but I guess I am too! (Especially if you look at my hair these days.) Anyways, here is Hardrock, Cocoa, and Joe.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Something to Believe In

After putting up with the campaigning BS in all of its forms this weekend, I've decided to embrace my inner John McCain and go "Double Maverick" for the next few days. I'm also warning everyone that I also will not hesitate to go farther the the Senator and bring things to "Triple Maverick." You should all now consider yourself warned. The following video should further explain my position.

Out of the ashes of this political election I have seized my first issue that I am going to embrace and fight against. Once everything settles after Tuesday I will begin learning what I need to do in Illinois to stop a tactic that I find annoying and harassing. I'm talking about recorded political messages and campaign ads being delivered to my phone!

I'm lucky in the fact that my state is not a battleground state for the national race, so we've been left alone for the most part. I can only imagine how bad things are for my in-laws that live in Ohio. They are just as annoying as any telemarketing call I ever received. I received 6 calls total tonight, at least two were from someone I specifically asked to stop. It's enough. They're an intrusion on my evening and the interrupt my peace and quite or quality time with my friends
and/or family. So the time has come for me to begin organizing a collective voice and begin speaking our concerns. I'm looking forward to this challenge! If anyone is with me, please feel free to join me!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Feeling Like Poo

I think my kids are out to get me. Somehow, like we all did as kids, they brought a cold virus into the house and I of course was the last one to catch it. As a result, it seems to have hit me the hardest. I've been fighting all the fun congestion, sinus, and coughing I can handle and it's leaving me unable to sleep at night and completely exhausted during the day. I'm hoping that getting an extra hour of sleep, along with the vodka, will help me get some deep serious sleep tonight.

We had a blast on Halloween trick-or-treating with the kids. Biased as I am, I thought they looked absolutely adorable and I was pleased at how well they behaved. We didn't have any problems, although they were really confused with the entire aspect of it. I'm most impressed with how often they said "Thank You" and "Please" when dealing with strangers. Meva and I work hard on making sure they understand how to be polite in the hopes that some of it will stick when they are teens. We can only hope.

Three more days until the political gesturing, lies, and mud-slinging can stop. Of course we'll then be subjected to ridiculous claims that the victors will never fully keep and wild excuses and accusations as to why the losers didn't win. Hopefully it will be palatable by Christmas, if not just about manageable.

We've got great weather this weekend and I'm hoping to take advantage of it and get things done around the house before the real lousy weather sets in. Being sick doesn't help, but I'm at least making some progress. I know I won't get everything I want done, but I'll try.

I'm on my second vodka drink now and since I'm not much of a drinker anymore, I'm feeling it, so I think I'll sign off before I make an ass of myself and start talking about the things I dream about, which after tonight should really be something.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stuck in the Mud

It's funny how the older you get all the predictions of your parents and teachers happen again and again. Friday nights are really "swinging" if you're up past midnight, let alone even out of the house, the thought of having McDonald's for dinner if a real let down, and how eventually you'll become concerned about voting in ALL the issues if you have any concern for your community.

Has any of this happened to me yet? Well, other than an occasional McRib (I don't know why, I just can't resist it once a year) I have no desire to eat anything from the golden arches, I don't care to stay out late on ANY night, and as for politics on a local level, I present exhibit "A" for your viewing.

Yep, that bad boy is sitting right in my front lawn, standing almost 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It is in support for my incumbent state representative. He's been in office for about 15 years now and I really think he's done a good job representing my district and best of all, he's not a part of the ridiculously incompetent majority party that has seriously screwed up Illinois. His challenger has been literally flooding our district with a misleading campaign of mailings, door-to-door visits, and prime time TV ads.

God, I hate this time of year. There is so much mud flying around, it's hard to make any head way into the true issues even when you actively pay attention to your community and the issues you find important. But what makes me the most stressed and frustrated is how effective this type of political campaign is against the ignorant and uncaring. Anyways, today marked one more week left until this election season is over and I can't wait.


I've been toying with the idea of deleting most of my old blogs and amalgamating them into one new blog, but I have since decided against that. My previous post looked a bit sad and desperate, but it was just a poorly executed attempt to end this blog and quickly put up the new one. Unfortunately my haste caused some concern over my well-being. As moved as I am over the concern of those involved, I'm sorry for the false alarms. Trust me on two counts here; The first is that I am definitely fine and the second is that I truly believe that should I ever have any crazy mental breakdown it will most likely involve a bombastic display of pop culture overload and strange references to ducks, bacon, and large construction equipment.

The biggest reason I'm keeping things the same is that I really like the panorama pics I have at the top of the blog. As I tried to make a new design for the new blog, I kept lamenting the loss of that header and in the end since I decided to keep it, I also decide to keep the entire blog. I'm sentimental and getting older, so get over it.

Currently I'm feeling just a bit overwhelmed with housekeeping chores taking away my free time to write or even think constructively. Winter is coming and I just see a mound of tasks that I want and need to take control of and get finished before they take control of me. Once Halloween is over it's all down hill as the Holidays start coming and everything moves at breakneck speed. I thought I was just imagining it until it snowed for almost a half hour today and accumulated for a bit. Nothing like having mother nature bust your chops to get things done.

Everyone here at the house is fighting off a cold bug. The kids have definitely got the worst of it with runny noses, coughs, and crankiness, but Meva and I are under the weather as well. Mostly sore throats, sinus issues, and fatigue. It will pass, but it sure isn't fun.

That's about it for now. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on things and let you all know that Desultory Views isn't going anywhere. Hopefully I'll get back to posting a bit more frequently now that I have that all ironed out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I'm not going to be here anymore.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's October!!

I love the smell of desperation, ignorance, and deception in the air, which means we must be getting closer to a presidential election. One of the issues for me during these times are the increased political activity of people who are all of a sudden concerned about the welfare of their lives and begin to spout off about how they have to vote for Candidate X to turn things around in the White House yet they have no idea who their State, or Federal Senators or Representatives are. What's even worse than this ignorance and inactivity is the blind acceptance of political ads and distorted claims without giving a thought to history, information, or even common sense. If I am to be honest, I find myself more saddened and disappointed in my fellow countrymen than I am energized about our wonderful liberties in voting.

In the district I live we've had the same person as our representative for the last 15 years. This guy is a Republican, but I feel he has represented my district well over the course of his tenure. During the time he has served in this capacity he has promoted the economic growth of the district, sponsored and advocated for; tougher laws on sex crimes, fighting for enhanced rights and help for the disabled, built parks, roads, and bridges, and even sponsored stem-cell research. So basically I have no problem continuing to support him.

His opponent has canvassed our little subdivision and had workers out in force campaigning for her and placing signs in numerous yards. This is the 4th time he has come up for election since I've lived here and I have never seen so many people involved in local politics as I am now. I find it alarmingly funny that so many people are supporting the opponent despite the incumbent's work on their behalf to help us with taxes, infrastructure and reform. In response to this blind zealotry, I am now sporting a five foot tall sign in my front yard!! I wonder what my neighbors will think of me now?

On a more personal level, I've been slowly cleaning out boxes of my things that I had stored in the garage by selling them on eBay. The money I make from these sales are to go towards buying a laptop so I can go in another room and write during the night without being disturbed, or to keep them to a minimum. I think it took me a little over a month and I had enough to get a refurbished Dell that is more powerful than I would have imagined I could afford. I'm very happy and I've been clicking away at the keyboard once again.

This weekend Meva and I are going to Ohio. She and the kids are going to spend time with her parents while I go to Columbus to attend a Comic Book Convention. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and seeing some older friends once again. It should be a blast and I hope to have some great pictures when I return.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Catching Up Part 2

I wish I could find more time to update here and to write in general, but I just haven't made the time I should. It's not all bad though because one of the "Distractions" that keeps me away from writing is the fact that the kids are growing up so fast and are demanding more of my time and attention. I spend much of my time as an incredible multi-faceted entertainment tool of fatherhood, serving as (and in no particular order) chef, climbing mountain, movie operator, letter and number instructor, finder of lost shoes, food dispenser, hairdresser, scape goat, toy repair mechanic, identifier of the obvious (yes, that's black or yes, that's a "Q"), tent master, toddler tosser (babies getting thrown into the sofa), and lastly my favorite; Urinary Instruction Demonstrator!!! You'd think that since they're triplets they would be able to entertain themselves, but apparently they need to bring me in. I don't know if that means that they love me THAT much or if they think I'm just like one of them with better posture and a mutant pituitary gland? But I digress.

Meva and I talked quite a bit this week and we decided that I will be able to attend the Mid-Ohio Comic Convention in October! I've never been to this one, but everyone tells me it is a great little event that's a lot of fun and much more focused on comic books; as opposed to the other cons I've been to which are really just comic book saturated pop culture merchandise marts. I'll get to hook up with my friends Brant and Scott, who are both guests and have their own booth, so that's going to be a good time for sure.

We also talked about camping. Sometime in September we will be taking the triplets out for their first camping experience. None of this crappy easy overnight stuff in a lodge either. We're going to get the tent out and the sleeping bags, roast some marshmallows, build a fire, and get a bunch of mosquito bites!! Yes sir, it should definitely be a blast and I'm hoping to get a bunch of great pictures out of this.

In addition to the family outing, I will also be taking some time alone to go camping by myself. I won't be going all Survivorman or anything because, well quite frankly I would probably die, but I won't be leaving the state, so there won't be any inherent danger for me to "overcome." That being said I have a few ideas for where I'd like to go for some hiking and time alone with the new laptop (which I will get by then) and get some writing done. I don't think I'll touch on Thoreau, but it will be close enough. I'm looking more forward to this than I am the comic convention the week before.

Thanks to the uninspiring spectacle that is the Olympics, Meva and I haven't been able to watch Conan O'Brien. All is not bad though because it's given us a chance to check out Craig Ferguson over on CBS. Honestly, if you haven't had the chance to watch him, take the time and tune into him. He is damn funny!! All I've seen so far are mostly reruns due to it being summer, but it hasn't mattered one bit. It's some good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, I said I mentioned two separate things last time that caught my attention. The first one was an interview on the lovely conservative mouthpiece for retarded fundamentalist thinking, otherwise known as Fox News (specifically Fox and Friends) with the "Still Not Dead" Ernest Borgnine who, unaware that his microphone was still one, told the American public that the secret to looking as young as he does at the age of 91 is that he "masturbates a lot!!" I can't wait until I get to be the age where I can say any damn thing without repercussion or offense because I'll be a crazy old guy!!

And a couple of idiots from Georgia got national news coverage for taking pictures of a gorilla suit with pig intestines on it, throwing it in an old refrigerator, and then saying that they have the body of a Bigfoot. Never mind the fact that their story changed three different times, or that they refuse to actually show anyone the body, or that they have a deal with a guy who runs a Bigfoot site and sells ad space and merchandise to promote this farce. Pay no attention to that or their lack of any credibility, just realize three things:
  1. It must have been a slow news day
  2. They were from the South
  3. NASCAR wasn't in Georgia that weekend!
Really, what more do you need to know than that??? Hunters stumbling across a Bigfoot corpse my ass!

That's all for now. We're heading out to Indianapolis for the weekend to attend a wedding renewal ceremony and a mini-vacation with for the kids to see their grandparents.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Catching Up Part 1

It must be something in the air or the summer or maybe even the upcoming Presidential Election, but I've noticed that myself and many of my fellow bloggers have begun to slack with their updates. I can't say for sure why, but I know I am not the only one so in this I can find some solace.

So, what made me finally decide get back here where I really do belong? Well I was sitting up later than I really should be, unable to sleep and looking for something to help me wind down when something came to me. I had actually considered watching the Olympics tonight!! Yeah I know, I'm not that much farther from thoughts of suicide or of taking out a school bus full of whatever adorable thing you can think of, by running it over a cliff. However you want to put it, it was a definite sign to get writing. So now you know and I finally have a positive experience from the Olympic games.

Anyways, first and foremost my son Perrin had successful spinal surgery. The hospital stay was rough at times due to nature of having a 2 year old cooped up for 5 days and nights, but I'm grateful that he came home and has healed quite well with only one minor setback being a small infection on his wound that we quickly got under control and have almost completely eliminated it. He's been home three weeks now and he will be resuming his physical therapy next week. So, a big cheer goes out to Fudd as he is the toughest little guy I've ever met.

If you haven't seen my pictures on Facebook or MySpace lately, I've shaved my head. My plan was to go as my son Ryan to a costume party, so I needed to dye my hair brown. Long story short; I went as Ryan but the dye came out brassy and I shaved my head bald because since I was going to look ridiculous anyways, I had the power to choose how it was going to happen, so I chose bald look. 10 years ago it was a great look for me--- now, not so much!!

The fallout with my real family continues with very welcomed walls of silence. It's been helpful to me and I enjoy the lack of drama that I get exposed to and that's been wonderful for my stress levels and for the rest of my family. The last time I spoke with my sister's I was told that my mother was hospitalized again due to breathing problems and a stroke. They also told me that she has around 6 months left to live.

Despite the above, or maybe as a result, I've chose to stick to the boundaries I set for myself through counseling. It's a way for me to protect myself from the drama, stress, and spiteful comments that are often bedfellows to interaction. Hence I've not called and no one has call me. I explain myself better on this blog, which you are welcome to read anytime.

We've also been having problems with the minivan due to the heat & AC completely dying on us, which isn't acceptable when you have 2 yr old triplets and summer drives of 7 hours. The price was a whopping $1200 to repair everything, mostly due to the labor costs of having to take out the dashboard to get to the bad parts.

That means this old Bear needs to find a new job for some extra cash! To that end I'll probably be going back to the Comic Book store for a few hours here and there to contribute what I can.

I also finally got the ball rolling on my laptop fund. Meva and I already decided we couldn't afford a laptop with our current situation so if I want one, I need to start selling some of my excess crap and comic books (this last one will also help with the crowding we are getting into). I've only sold a handful of junk and I've already raise about $150. I really only want this for writing, so it doesn't have to be very powerful. But at the same token I'd like it to have enough under it's hood to allow for using/viewing Photo Shop effectively. We'll see how this goes here in the next few weeks.

It's late, but next time I'm going to talk a little bit about Bigfoot and Earnest Borgnine. And no, they aren't the same person!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pitter Patter On The Roof

Normally when it rains I'm able to fall right to sleep and rest peacefully. For some reason that's not working today. Hopefully my meds will kick in and I can get some sleep here soon.

It's going to be pretty busy for the next 10 days starting with tomorrow. I have an appointment to have my gums scraped at 7:00am so I can get two teeth capped off with crowns. Lucky me huh? On top of that I need to prepare my house and get ready for my son Perrin's surgery this coming Thursday. He's going to be admitted Wednesday night, so I figure I'll be staying with him at the hospital for at least 2 or 3 straight nights while he recovers. I'm very lucky that my wife's parents will be coming to help out and watch the other two kids while my wife and I take turns at the hospital staying with Perrin. I don't mind admitting that it all scares the hell out of me and I am having trouble sleeping or staying focused on much of anything right now. I can't wait for this to be over and to have Perrin home with us back were he feels safe and happy.

I think the anticipation of this has caused me to have migraines for most of the week. They've been the normal batch of nastiness that I've become used to which caused me to cancel several things this week and mostly just hide out in the house like a injured bear. At least I have the oral surgery in the morning to look forward to!

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but the Triplets turned two recently. We had a great party with wonderful friends and family of all kinds dropping by and sharing that time with us. I plan to get some of the pictures of that day up on the Triplet Blog sometime this weekend. We also had one of our triplet friends take their pictures to mark their second year. The pictures were fantastic, which is unbelievable given that the kids were really pretty crabby for the most part. Our photographer Amanda even put two pictures off that session up on her blog to show off he work. The picture you see above is from her website of me kissing Perrin in black and white. You can visit her blog and see another nice one of all three of the kids together.

I've also started to go through my comics and get them ready to be sold on eBay. It's early yet and I've only touched a fraction of what I intend to put up, but I have to start somewhere. I'll let ya know as soon as that happen.

And before I go, I just want you all to make sure you don't let Jesse Jackson "cut your nuts off!!"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Shoes Dropping

I'll tell you what folks, life can be a cruel companion as you get older. In less than a week I've been hit with tough breaks and what seems to be mountains of stress that don't seem fair. But of course crying about it won't help anything because life surely ain't listening to little O me.

My son Perrin is going to need another surgery. The poor little guy has already had his brain operated on and now he needs to have his spinal cord fixed and adjusted because there are some fibrous cords attached to it that shouldn't be there. To me, when I hear someone say they're operating on your spinal cord, that's not good or a slam dunk routine procedure by any means. That's one of the most sensitive and delicate areas of the body where even the slightest slip can cause an impairment for the rest of a patient's life. Yet all things considered, as far as spinal surgery goes, the one Perrin will have is one of the lowest risks. I don't really feel much like going into the specifics of the surgical procedure, but I sure as hell hope this is the last surgery he needs for many many years. I'm not as tough as he is and the stress of this weighs on me heavier and heavier each day.

In addition to my son's problems, my brother Louie is going through a rough patch. After almost 20 years of marriage, he's decided he wants to end his marriage and divorce his wife. I've watched him struggle over the years trying to keep a strong outward face to all of us, but I knew that inside he was suffering with a whole series of different stresses, pains, and emotions. He's finally decided that enough was enough and he told his wife. I don't think she saw this coming and as such she's having a hard time with his decision. Unfortunately it seems her way of dealing with the situation involves a large dose of irrational behavior and mind games that is making an already difficult decision for Louie that much harder to deal with. I don't know of another guy who is more caring and giving than he is and he deserves a chance to find happiness for himself in life. And as much as I want to jump in and protect him from everything, all I can do is stand at his side and watch his back. If I could insulate him from all the BS, I would do it in a heartbeat, but instead I have to settle myself with knowing that as I watch his back, he will get the best advice and insight I can give him from all my years of BS and Drama from having dealt with my real family. I can only hope that it's enough.

In the midst of this storm of "The Other Shoe Dropping" the yearly event that I look forward to the most came and went. I'm talking about the Chicago Comic Con, otherwise known as Wizard World Chicago. It was definitely already marred with the events of my own life distracting me from what I wanted to accomplish when the entire convention seemed to slow down and drag over the news of the passing of Michael Turner. He was only 37 and I think his best work was yet to come, but what you keep hearing over and over again is how wonderful a person he was. I only had a chance to meet him once for like 5 minutes, but he was incredibly nice to me and went out of his way to draw me a sketch when the line I was in was really only for signatures. He made me feel special and made me feel that I was doing him a favor by letting him do this for me. You definitely don't meet people like that every day.

On the other hand I did get to meet my friend Brant Fowler in person for the first time, and that was just too cool. We had a good time and it was fun to put a face to the signature at the bottom of all those emails. I also got a chance to meet Gail Simone and to talk to her a bit. I definitely gushed my fanboy colors while she signed some books for me, but it was enlightening and exciting to talk to her and I would rank those 5 or so short minutes as the highlight of my entire weekend. It would be fantastic to talk to her again one day specifically about writing without a line of people behind me.

For now that's all I really have to add. I think I'm going to lay my little horned head down for the night.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just a Great Day!

My wife, her mother, and I took the triplets to the Dupage Children's museum today and kept the kids there until they had a meltdown and were overdue for their nap. It was a great day, and Meva was a real trooper to go through with it while she's still recovering from surgery, but it was her idea and she doesn't regret it at all. The kids got to run around and play in water, through balls and blocks around, and beat on things with a stick to make music. It was a fun time for all.

Anticipating thunderstorms that we are predicted to get followed by temperatures in the high 80's and high humidity I decided I needed to go out and mow the lawn while it was still relatively cool and not unbearable. But with the daylight going away I finally finished raking the last pile of grass clippings and put everything away for the storm. My yard is now ready, so I hope it's a good soak!

Tomorrow will be one of the most bizarre and stressful anniversaries Meva and I have yet had. (It's been 8 years now, and we're still going strong). We have two doctor's appointments in the early morning for Perrin, one of which may end up leading to him needing spinal surgery, something that will totally not be something we're looking forward to. Afterwards we are all going swimming with the kids at an indoor waterpark within our fitness center. I can't wait to watch all three of the kids get excited and splash all over. I know it sounds corny, but that alone is such a great present for me to just be able to have a nice family activity. Once the kids are in bed though, Meva's mother is going to watch the kids so we can go out and see a movie. Not sure what one we'll see, but we will get out of the house alone.

Two more days until the Chicago Comic Con. I'm looking forward to a great time and I can hardly wait to get there and see some real cool people. There is the potential that my brother Louie will actually be able to make it for the Sunday session! I'm really stoked about that one as it would be a good time for the two of us to hangout together.

That's all she wrote for today folks. Stay dry.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back Again

I look at the date and it sure doesn't seem like it's been over a month since I last updated this thing- feels like I just looked away for a second and a whole moth has whizzed past me. I guess that's life with children for you!

Things have been going pretty good. My wife just came back from the hospital after having three elective surgeries. She initially went in to have gastric bypass surgery and since they were in there she had the doctors take out her gallbladder if it needed it (it did) and fix a small hernia she got during pregnancy if it needed it (and it did too). After two nights in the hospital she came home on Friday. Fortunately for her the surgeries were all laproscopic, so she will be able to bounce back quickly. The side effects of the surgeries aside, I think she'll have the hardest time not being able to pick up the kids for 6 weeks.

The kids are doing well over all. They're growing like weeds, talking and learning at such an incredible rate. They'll officially be 2 years old on June 29th! Each day seems to bring new words, behaviors, and understandings for each of them. I don't think there is a proper way to describe what a parent feels watching this happen in their own kids. Perrin is the only one we have any concerns about, but they aren't exactly new concerns, which is good. He may however be needing spinal surgery here soon. We won't know for sure until we talk to his neurosurgeon next week (on our anniversary of all days!) but I imagine they'll want to do it sooner than later if that's what needs to be done. As scary as it sounds, I don't think it's life threatening, and I'm quite certain that he will pull through it exceptionally. He's a tough little shit and unfortunately he's had worse thrown at him and survived. I'll keep everyone posted on this front.

As for me, I've pretty much been focused on the above and the day to day details to make our lives revolve around and through it. I feel I'm in need of some serious "me" time here soon, and as luck would have it next week is the Chicago Comic-Con! It will be a thrilling 3 days of standing in line for autographs and sketches, hunting bargains, and attending panels. I'll hopefully meet up with a few people and just have a fantastic time. One things for sure, I intend to get plenty of pictures of people in costumes.

In other news I've spent much of the little free time I get really into some of the wilderness survival reality shows on cable like Survivorman, Man vs Wild, and The Alaska Experiment. My brother Louie and I have reached a point that we've both signed up to go on the next season of The Alaska Experiment. We both see it as a once in a lifetime experience and it's something we've always talked about doing. I recommend checking the site out a little to find a bit more in-depth knowledge about it if you didn't watch it while it was on. Louie and I both believe that we would not only struggle initially, but we'd get our legs under us and be kicking ass at the end of the show! So, hopefully I'll be hearing back from the show soon!

In anticipation of this experience I have just started a new diet program, to be followed by a new workout program to make sure I am in the absolute best shape I can be in for the show as I know it will be extremely demanding. It's going to be fun having a concrete goal in my head as I go up the StairMaster and lift each weight!

That's it for tonight fans. Stay dry and cool!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The FIght

It's been too long since I've had a chance to sit down and air out my thoughts and update what I've been up to, which is ironic because in many ways I feel like I haven't been doing anything, but that's really not the truth.

The most important thing for me, and something that has consumed a huge amount of my time and efforts over the last 3 weeks has been my ongoing battle with depression. It's not as bad, or if you'll pardon the pun, depressing. If you're interested, you can check it out here, otherwise just know that I've taken treatment away from the doctors and I think I'm doing better than ever.

More interesting of late, I went shooting for the very first time in my life. Although I would never want to own a hand gun in my home, I've always been a very big supporter of our right to own guns. I prefer we own them and use them responsibly, but I'll be more concerned when they try to take them away from us. Anyways, I went shooting with my brother Cecil and our friend Tom. They both have 12 gauge shotguns and we went to a nice and isolated public shooting range and took out many clay pigeons. Cecil and Tom said I did pretty good for my first time, and I was impressed with how well I did. I truly expected to do worse. The kick from the guns was exactly what I thought it would be like, and I still have the bruises on my shoulder and arm to prove it. Strictly as a sport, I had a good time and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Not too much is happening on the comics front of late. I've been focused on domestic duties and just enjoying my children. There are some projects I'd like to get finished around the house this month before I tackle more writing, but I have been keeping up with my reading and I have about a dozen new story ideas that I've been jotting down here and there. I may not be writing, but the stories still form and want out nonetheless.

We've got less than two months now before the start of the NFL training camps. My Bears were so horrible last year that I really wish they would have just overhauled the entire team, but of course they didn't. Say what you want to about the team as a whole, but that defense is still Super Bowl quality and it's hard to give up on those guys. They made some great moves in the draft on offense, but who knows how it will all pan out until those guys get on the field. I can't believe they'll be worse offensively than last year though.

My Cubbies have been playing great. Sure, it's not June, but if you know anything about baseball you know this is a talented team with World Series talent. But after 99 years, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

Both of my boys are teething pretty badly and have been up and in a bit of pain tonight, which explains why I'm still up at 3am. These should be the final teeth, big molars and their "I" teeth, and I feel so bad for the little guys. They're drooling like St. Bernards and chewing on everything. Perrin completely bit off one of his nipples from a bottle tonight. It's been a lot of holding and hugging tonight as I try and sooth them and sing to them and get them to sleep. Oh yeah, and plenty of infant Tylenol too!! Nights like this make for extremely long days afterward, that's for sure. Makes me smile and laugh when I hear about parent's with only one child try and tell me how difficult they have it!!

Now that it's quite, let's see if I can get some sleep.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And I've Been......

I've been doing almost absolutely nothing of late. Sure, I watch 22 month old triplets, and for some people that is a task that they can't fathom, but I think I do a passable job. My kids are well behaved for their age, they're growing smarter every day, and they are all happy, loving children that I can see possess a spirit of love and compassion. In other words, they are pure innocence and I am lucky enough to see them and spend my days with them.

I've also unfortunately entered what may be the darkest stage of my life. Inside I feel absolutely black, defeated, and alone. I find myself day dreaming and unfocused, longing to get away and embrace nature and the outdoors, to challenge myself on levels I've never tried. I can't say this is the answer for me, but my instinct tells me this is something I have to do, and unfortunately I believe I need to accomplish this alone.

The past six months have been challenging and stressful for me. I've gone into counseling and while I've made some great stride and advances, I still feel lost. Maybe it's because my step father passed away last month, a man who meant so much to me and who helped shape my life and my outlook on life. Then there was the uncomfortable confrontation with my real father that was filled with gaps in his memory, distortions, and what I believe to be out and out lies for what ever reason. My mother has now twice been hospitalized and put on life support because of breathing problems. And lastly my youngest sister has begun to deal with being molested by her father when she was between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. At times, I'm barely able to keep it together, and I know I wouldn't if it weren't for the counseling.

So mostly I sit and try to enjoy my kids, but when my depression gets very bad, I escape into mindless computer activities. It makes me uncommunicative and I find myself finding ways to avoid contact with others if I can help it.

So if you haven't heard from me in awhile, please don't take it personal, I've just entered one of my blue zones and I hope to work my way out of it shortly. You'll know that's happened when I'm writing more and sharing my day to day activities.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Hate My Dog

Years ago my wife and I got a great dog from a family that could no longer keep her. She was a mutt named Freckles with a bit of chow, collie, shepherd, and border collie. At first she was a pain in the ass, nipping at my heels because she didn't trust men, but eventually she warmed up to me and she was a fantastic dog. My wife and I loved her deeply, but unfortunately she died rather unexpectedly.

So after mourning, my wife wanted to get another dog. We searched animal shelters and finally came up with our current dog Gus, who looks very similar to Freckles, He's a cinnamon brown chow, shepherd, collie mix and he was a rescue dog that was abused. He instantly warmed up to Meva, but after 4 years he still fears me and quivers when I'm around or talking for a length of time. At times I've tried to bond with him in various ways, but each time I end up getting bitten or snapped at eventually. He's even freaked out during a thunderstorm and attacked me, bitten my daughter in the face (3 stitches there), bitten my friend's baby, and bitten Meva's uncle the day before he was going to take him.

And did I mention he has seperation anxiety and gets into the garbage when we leave the house, even going so far ans to getting on the counters and eating food that might be left out there?

So, as I really don't care for him, but I don't want to send him to the pound.

Then there was this week.

He started by eating a loaf of Irish Soda Bread that my friend Colleen went out of her way to make for us. Then last night he ran into the screen door trying to come into the house and I think it's going to require a new screen. But the best news is how he destroyed our central air conditioner.

No, he didn't attack it or knock it over, he simply peed on it repeatedly, causing it to corrode and eventually led to the fan motor seizing up and the condenser motor burning out. It costs so much to fix that we're going to have to get a brand new one. Yeah, I wanted to pay for that.

Man, I hate that dog.

I haven't written in awhile for various reasons, most recent being that I'm sick and so are the triplets. Their moods and attitudes are up and down and very demanding, so it leaves me exhausted and with very little time for much else. Hopefully as things improve and get back to normal I'll be able to update much more frequently.

But on the plus side, despite the humidity and heat of today, thanks to Gus I was able to honor Earth Day and not run my AC!

Stupid Dog.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How I Shopped For Christmas Lights

The last thing I want to do is talk about my continuing struggles with depression and all of the drama in my life because quite frankly, it just serves to feed the fire. To that end, I thought I would talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, something that anyone who knows me is familiar with on levels that are hilarious and repugnant, often at the same time.

I'm talking about flatulence. Farting. Dropping Stink Bombs. Now if you don't know this about me, I guess you'd have to call this a TMI situation, but I'm going to operate along the lines of sharing is caring, so stick around.

Through my wife, I've learned to love a bargain despite hating to shop. She'll be the first to tell you that I can often find some great deals. This past Christmas season was no exception, and when it came time to replace my entire holiday lighting for both the indoors and outdoors, I jumped at the chance; lured by the cruel mistress of "up to 70% off."

My object of affection this time were LED lights. They're brighter, prettier, and use up less energy, so how could I not like them? Now was my chance, and I headed over to American Sales to see just what they were offering. I have to admit, it was incredible. But saving money isn't always a sexy story, and neither is this one because it spotlights and comments on the nature of this thrifty, money-saving section of our society.

For the first time in my life I fell in the path of senior citizens, armed with their AARP discount cards and motorized scooters rushing for gaudy Holiday decorations like they were elixirs for eternal life. I tried as politely as I could to pick and choose the right mixture of colors and strands of LED lights in the ridiculously narrow aisles they provide. To make matters worse this sales discount had created a euphoria that totally destroyed any order to the stock on the shelves and the extra stock above the shelves. Everything was chaos, strands of lights by the caseload were laying open and scattered on the floor, trampled on and impeding any chance for an orderly flow through the aisle.

I took my time in trying to describe this environment because as I entered, it was already filled with silver hair and OPS looking for lights and trying to understand this new fangled technology (LED lights). I already knew the amount of lights I needed and the colors I wanted, so it was just a matter of trying to find them.

So what does this have to do with breaking wind? I'm getting there. First off let me extol a bit on my prowess in this department. I've never been sure if it's a gift or a curse, but I was born with a proficiency for quantity and potency. In high school my notoriety was so bad that my gastric emissions were assigned levels with names such as :

Class 3 Lingering Death Bomb--- These stayed so long they signed a lease.
Class 2 Silent Assassin--- These were the ones you never heard but always felt.
Class 1 Roaming Vapor--- You couldn't run fast enough or far enough to escape these.
Class 0 Internal Devourer--- Affected only me and damn near ate me away from the inside out.

Now a days we just say someone has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) but as a youth I was good enough to not just go pro, I had serious hall of fame potential here. Whether you needed me to warp vinyl or clear a room, I was THE MAN.

And I've gotten older, so you know how things stand. My wife will attest to this (last night she slept on the couch just based on my recommendation).

So here I am, gingerly trying to maneuver around people who probably won't be alive next year to enjoy the shit they're buying, doing my best to be polite and wait for them and not push my way past them. But I kid you not these were some of the nastiest people I have seen in quite some time. They were seriously scolding me for taking a box of lights that they "had their eye on," telling me I was rude for even trying to take a box of lights 5 feet from where they were since they were still shopping.

But it got worse from there. They began to bully me and push me out of their way. I know, you're thinking I'm grossly abusing hyperbole, but let me assure that I am not. I would literally reach for a box of light bulbs and have a 60ish or 80ish old man or woman push my arm away, or actually use their entire body to knock me and block me out of the way of my selection and push me further down the aisle.

One thing I've learned is that I'll always lose an argument against the AARP crowd when it comes to retail situations, so I backed away and strolled the store until they were finished before trying again. But guess what? This didn't just happen to me once; of no! This happened again and again and again with different sets of people. I'm not making this up in any way. Part of the reason I don't think I acted sooner is that I was shocked and in awe of the belligerence I was experiencing. I am definitely not used to being a victim of physical abuse.

The long and short of this is I was mad, really mad. I wanted those lights. I love Christmas and I enjoy decorating the house in all the bright festive colors and getting into the mood of the season. It was still about a week before Christmas and these nasty old people were displaying some of the most selfish and ungiving spirits I have ever witnessed. But considering the age difference, the obvious diminished health, and their nasty demeanor, I was impotent to really confront them. But again, I hate shopping and I wanted those lights, I needed those lights. Next year would be the first year my kids would be excited about Christmas decorations, and I wanted some nice bright lights. So I used the only option available to me.

In the spirit of the Holidays, I decided to give and share with them the precious gift of my talents and abilities---- I LET IT RIP!!

Not just once or twice mind you, but over and over and over again. I wore it proud, but best of all, I wore it loud! At the time there were about 6 or 7 people in this aisle, some couples, some singles. I farted standing directly next to some crotchety battleaxe that han just ran into my ankle with her stupid scooter. She was maybe 6 inches from me and her face was closer to my ass than it should have been, but I gave her a vociferous mouthful!

It then went silent. I think even the snowglobes stopped working and the music died. Everyone in the aisle turned and looked at me, frowns and shocked looks floating around my head like swarms of gnats on a summer day. Two other people, as well as the old witch in the chariot were about to say something when I inhaled deeply, scrunched up my face, contracted my stomach muscles and pushed out another beauty that was longer and louder than the first one; this time catching the old crone with her mouth wide open.

It was simply marvelous, the perfect offense. What did I care what these nasty people thought of me? People who behave as they did aren't worthy of my attention or opinion of me, so they got what was coming.

So now I've ripped two loud, and I mean heard two or more aisles over loud, farts. The complaints and comments start flying at me fast and with a flurry of fury. Lucky for me I must have eaten something that provided me with substantial fuel, because I could feel more pressure building inside.

I told them all that I found their behaviors and attitudes to be more obnoxious and crass than the uncouth behavior I had just exhibited. I said I had been trying to be polite and courteous but I'd had enough of their entitlement behavior, rude comments, and physical abuse as they shoved me aside to save money. With each word I could feel the pressure increasing and increasing, and as the last word came out my previous vapors hit everyone's noses.

I loved seeing the looks of disgust and even some horror as I had unleashed both a class 1 and a class 3 fart. Hands began to wave in the air in front of their faces, noses were pinched, and a few coughs came out of barely working lungs that were constantly assaulted by the fumes of their BINGO ink stompers. This didn't deter me one bit though, and if you know me at all, you know what I did next.

I told them all I wasn't leaving. I was tired of being mistreated. And that this was going to continue for as long as I wanted it to. I then proceeded to open the flood gates in a stream of pestilence that damn near frightened even me. The final harmonic, rippling, and at times moist (I'm not ashamed to admit this either) achieved my goal and cleared out at least my aisle and possibly a few more. Finally I was able to shop unmolested and get the items I had wanted. Less than 5 minutes later I had over 2000 lights and I was finished.

The trip to the counter was filled with hatred and malice from the survivors as I passed them by and dragged along reminders for them to battle a second time. What's important here is that I won! I fought AARP and I won!!! Not many my age can say that.

Curse or gift? You decide. I only know that I can control it to an advantage at times, and in this instance I had made the world a better place.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wham!!!! BoF!!!! Kerblaam!!!

Lately I feel like a punching bag. It seems like I just keep taken shot after shot after shot; too stupid, or stubborn, to go down. The last six months have been rough and I feel at the end of my rope at times. The littlest causes of worry seem to be going straight to my heaping pile of stress.

Today for instance, Perrin has an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to look at his bone structure to determine what type of help he might need for his walking. I was expecting braces and the like and possibly surgery, but what I got was that and a series of tests to rule of cerebal palsy, spina bifida, and a malfunction of his shunt. All of this is something I've been aware of ever since he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but for some reason they hit me harder than they probably should have.

This next week I'm planning on trying to focusing my energies and stress into my teaching resume and some applications and finally getting my massive amount of eBay items listed so that Meva and I can free up some space and I can put some money towards my special projects. Who knows, eventually I may actually have enough of a break and enough tranquility to do some much needed real writing.

The one good thing is that Monday is the actual start of the baseball season, with the Cubs playing their first game at 12:30. I am so looking forward to this distraction. The fact that the Cubs have a strong team helps, and it sure would be nice to see them in the World Series.

That's all for now kids.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just One of Those Weeks

There were only two things good about this Friday was that I didn't get the 6-8 inches of snow that they predicted and that the week is finally over. It was just one of those weeks we all have that sucks.

I started the week really stressed out and having some insomnia and anxiety issues, which is always fun. It often leads to bouts of crankiness and exhaustion from lack of proper sleep. And did I mention it makes me a ball of joy to be around? I'll let my wife be the one who tells you about that bit of fun.

Both of the boys got sick early in the week, running fevers and cutting new teeth. So they don't sleep well, don't play well, and they want to be held all the time. Not a problem when you have one toddler, but when you have three. Lets just say that despite being a big guy, there is only so much room on my lap. I can hold two kids very easily, but when that happens the third child feels left out and wants in on the attention. I can do all three, but when this happens it doesn't take long for a fight to take place. Lots of fun there.

That was Tuesday, and by Thursday I had gotten the virus that the boys had. I really feel badly for them because this thing is weird and horrible. Its part flu like in that you're overwhelmed with exhaustion (which makes sense because I haven't done a damn thing since) and slightly achy. Then there is the swollen throat that unbelievably hurts and gives me a not even close to sexy hoarse voice, trouble swallowing, and pain at all times. Meva's not complaining though because it keeps me from talking that much, which she says is a rarity. The only thing that's really helping me is warm liquids, which seem to relax my throat and sooth things to a degree. I've mostly used coffee, since I like drinking it, but I think tomorrow I might switch to hot tea and see if that does even better.

Friday came around and it was the second straight night of having Ryan in bed with us because he wasn't feeling good and needed his dad to protect him. As much as I love him, I don't sleep well with him because he doesn't sleep well and I tend to him. So now it's been about 3 days of feeling horrible and I really started to look it and I was totally out of it. I hadn't showered or shaved, let alone combed my hair and as I was ready to put the kids down for their naps, Perrin's physical therapist arrived for his weekly session, which I forgot about and the house was completely nasty.

Poor Perrin has a hard time. Being sick he was in no mood for his workout and performed poorly. In the midst of things he fell down and smashed his face into the corner of the entertainment center and has a nasty red mark on his face. Then later in the day he fell off of our bed and landed right on his head. Normally he doesn't make a sound when he hurts himself, such as earlier when he bumped his head, but this time he screamed loudly and for a long time. With his hydrocephalus, it's always a scare and concern, so we're watching him closely and hoping he doesn't have any problems and need to have more brain surgery.

By this point the virus has spread to Sarah and she's now displaying her mother's charms when Meva gets sick, which is basically being tired and wanting to be left alone, until its time to devote everything to her. So now all three babies are sick and demanding attention and fighting among themselves at an incredibly pace.

Then, to add insult to injury, I decided I wanted to use a left over onion on a frozen pizza I was making and as I was chopping, I chunked right into the tip of my thumb and it bled for a long time. Meva has asked that I call her and let her know about these things in case of needing stitches, so I did, only to get ridiculed about my "little boo boo." I did exactly what she's asked me to do in the past, only to be teased and mocked!! She's so mean, I guess that's why we're such a good match and I love her so much. Besides, if I didn't call her and I needed stitches, she would have been cursing me all the way too and from work as she went to get stuff to stitch me up.

So in a nutshell my kids all got sick, I got sick, grimy, and lazy, and then I almost chopped off the tip of my thumb and dealt with insomnia and anxiety. Not exactly my most productive week, but at least it's over!! Now all I have to do is whip the house into shape for the Easter Dinner we're hosting. Should be fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can't Sleep

At the risk of sounding like I'm in some type of manic mode, I can't sleep. Thoughts and ideas keep racing through my head and I've taken as much medicine to calm down and sleep as I dare to and yet I'm still awake.

This means I'm going to have another day feeling exhausted and unmotivated to get things done around the house. May all of this is because I'm not sticking up for myself and confronting some issues I have head on. I know they're going to be a hassle, so maybe that's why I don't want to deal with them. I'd really like to take a week for myself and go camping to find my center and recharge. Who knows.

On an unrelated topic, I really hate those stupid Campbell soup adds with the guy who can do nothing but slurp them like a meth addict. I get the point, but they're just stupid. I actually like Campbell soup, but I refuse to buy any more until that as campaign is gone.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing enough as a citizen and what more I could do to contribute to make my city, state, and country a better place to live in. Cynically it would be to start a revolution and remake the country into a better place---- but with my last name I will get shot in the head right away.

Drew Peterson is still in the news. Isn't that fucking fantastic! I guess it's much more important than talking about examples of all the good things people are doing? Interest rates are going down again, so I'm still benefiting from having an ARM, which is good sense I can't sell my house for enough to pay off the loan and my second mortgage.

And you know what else pisses me off===== Ribbon Magnets that people put on the back of their cars with their wonderful messages like "Support Breast Cancer Research" or "Fight AIDS" or something to that effect. I'll admit that I'm not doing enough for ANYTHING I've ever read on a magnet sticker, but come one, it's not like I'm rooting for Breast Cancer, or an increase in AIDS, or Homosexual Intolerance. Enough with the ribbons, that don't mean a damn thing anymore. I think at this point I would like to get one that says "Stop Buying Magnet Ribbons"

Well, I need to lay down and pretend to sleep. My son Ryan was scared and he's in my bed, so I can at least cuddle with him and relax, maybe enough to sleep.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Slowly moving forward

Since my father died I've been slowly trying to get a grasp of my life and move forward in a direction that is productive and satisfying. Doing that won't be easy and I'm sure it will cause me some major difficulty down the road, but the one thing I have come to see is that I deserve these things.

Writing is still the number one priority for me on a daily basis. I've been sluggish in selling things to finance a new laptop so that I can write in peace and quite, but I am moving closer to making this happen. I've actually begun sorting through my comic books and preparing them to be sold on eBay. In addition to the comics I have an off assortment of books, baby items, and games to add to this list in hopes of affording a laptop that will allow me to write and manipulate graphic files for my comic book assignments.

For now that's all I really have to talk about, with the exception that I am looking to restarting my comic book blog to discuss all things comic books. So that will be a fun undertaking.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Loss, Grief, and Thanks

During the day on Tuesday March 4th my father, Lou Cicirello passed away. After a long bout with cirrhosis and emphysema in early February he broke his femur and he eventually succumbed to a heart attack, stroke, cancer, and kidney failure over this last month. His pain and suffering is now over and he is finally at peace.

The last week has been intense and stressful while we watched over him these last few days. In many ways this has been one of the hardest times I've ever been through in my life. I say that because through out it all we were left with trying to honor him, his memory, and his legacy. It's even more difficult to do than it sounds because it is so important to us that we worked hard to try and make sure we were doing the right things. I think he would approve of what we've done.

In dealing with these final days, I want to make sure that people know how absolutely devoted his son Lou Jr. was to him and our mother. He took on a mountain of responsibility in seeing to the big picture and the day to day needs of our parents. I don't think you can count past one hand the number of days he didn't check on and spend time with him over these last 4 or 5 weeks. Whether it was staying with him through the night, taking charge of the medical issues, looking after finances, doing the little things, organizing the end events, or just being there for our father and our mother, he selflessly gave of himself and his time to make sure our father was as comfortable as could be possible. He was my sounding board and companion as I went through this. I will never be able to adequately express the gratitude I have for all he did, and he did it well.

My other brother Cecil was instrumental in offering me a solid ground of reason, and logic, and love during this time. I knew I could turn to him and get sound advice, input, and observations about the situation and anything relating to it. I could rely on him to see the forest when I only saw trees. His contributions and support can not be overlooked.

My friend Colleen, who I sometimes refer to as my second wife, was simply amazing and outstanding throughout everything, specifically since the heart attack. She juggled her very busy schedule and made herself available at short notice to babysit my triplets so I could spend time with my dad and help out Louie in whatever small way I could find. To know that my kids were being watched and cared for safely and properly was a tremendous asset and gift that I don't think I can ever fully repay. She has been an absolute blessing to me in my time of need.

And finally I come to my wife, who may have accomplished the greatest task by putting up with me the entire time. That can not have been easy and I'm lucky to have her watching my back. She was ready and willing at any time to talk to me and be my rock of strength and support when I was grieving, or unsure, or just having a hard time dealing with the situation. She gave me patience and love in amounts I can't believe I deserved.

I wouldn't have made it through this without any of them, and others also offered me help and support during this time too. Whether it was just a kind word or an offer of help, I appreciated everything everyone did for me and my family.

This outpouring of support and dedication from family and friends exemplified the values and beliefs of my father. These are the kinds of actions that he taught me were the way to treat our family and loved ones and everyone has honored him by doing so.

Letting go is a hard thing to do, but knowing the fantastic support network I have and am a part of tells me that I will be able to do this and get on with living a life that he would be proud of. Thank you all.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

An Update

My father has continued a downward slide with his health and at this point it's all about making him comfortable until his last day.

He spent almost a week in the hospital and it was determined that he had a massive heart attack and that his kidneys had also taken great damage. His body is so weak and damaged that the doctors have decided they can't do anything to save his life and that doing further tests will only serve to traumatize him as well as be in vain. We suspect he also suffered a stroke, but that is one of the tests the doctors don't feel is worth running as they won't be able to treat it.

So as of right now he is recovering from the heart attack, is in liver failure from cirrhosis, kidney failure, emphysema, lung cancer, COPD, and he has a broken femur. Like I said, at this point it's all about keeping him comfortable and without pain as much as we can. He is currently on a consistent program of morphine and he's back at the nursing home.

It has been understandably tough on all of us and I've had good days and bad days. The ones that affect me the most are when he's in a lot of pain or just completely out of it and afraid. I think seeing him afraid is the hardest one for me because he was always such a large figure to me that its a devastating paradigm shift.

My brother Lou and I are both ready for him to slip away and for the pain to end. He has told us both that he's ready to go and doesn't want to be in the condition he's in. We're going to miss him quite a bit, but in the end we'll be happy when his suffering stops. We just hope that peace comes for him sooner than later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I've been spending much of my time the last few days at the hospital visiting my dad or trying to help out my brother in any way I can. We've gotten tests back that have determined that he had a heart attack and some kidney problems. Hopefully we'll know more soon. As of now I am heading back to the hospital to spend the night with him, so I may be out of touch for a day or two.

Be safe everyone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reflections & Observations

I've had far too much "color" in my life of late, so much so that it has interfered with my ability and desire to write in any form. The "Color" I'm talking about comes from the normal phases of life that we experience ourselves and in watching others. It's not always easy to say which is the least painful to experience either.

I'm not of the disposition to blunt my words, which is my way of telling anyone who reads this that I am liable to forget the normal censor I use to filter my words on this medium. There are those that will read this and not fully understand my meaning due to the presumptuous tone of my writing tonight, most of them will be my immediate family, so let me speak plainly and say that I am of a mind to piss off some people with my comments.

My real father, by all accounts and history, is a real piece of shit as it relates to his responsibilities to myself and my sisters. When light is cast upon the truth of his work as a father, his lies, deceits, apathy, and extended absences are held naked for all to see. He is just another sad example of his generation that has only offered me crumbs of wisdom, genetic material, and a shining example of how a father should never behave. It is important for me to recognize and accept that through no actions or faults of my own, he decided at an early age in my life to cast me aside and build a new life that did not include room for me. That places me in an all too large fraternity.

Unlike most of my fraternity brothers, I was fortunate enough to have received an angel to fill the void that my own father declined. I often think I fell ass-backward into this, but the important aspect is that I was able to find someone who had the kindness and passion to take me under his wing, and at times into his home, and treat me like a son. That was no easy trick either. As a child I was difficult, troublesome, and charismatic enough to spread my mischief to others. Despite this, my friend Louie's father shepherded me as part of his flock.

There were times when I was out of line, far too many as most young boys are, and he was there to reign me in through lecture, example, and brief banishment when it was warranted. Throughout the years he gave me stability, inspiration, motivation, and love when I was alone and neglected by both my father and mother. And he did all of these things through his own steep trials and troubles. He often had very little for his family, but he always made sure there was something for me if I needed it.

Like all of us, he had his faults, but they seem so minor and unimportant now. What he gave to me far outshines any deficiencies that may have existed in his character. Despite the odds, he and his wife showed me the importance of family in ways that I was not shown by my own blood family. Throughout my life, it was he that served as my father. During the important and also the troubling times, he stood larger than life and supported me as he would his own sons. I am forever grateful to him for taking the time to just show any interest in me and my well being when he could have easily turned his back on me.

But I sit here tonight conflicted with love and sadness as he approaches death's door. To be sure the man is stubborn and a fighter, but we all must succumb to our final curtain call. I don't know when that will be, but I expect it won't be much longer. I will miss him and mourn him far more than I will the man who gave birth to me. Big Lou may not have brought me into this world, but I truly believe he kept me here and kept me grounded.

To me, that is the man who is my father. Not the pretender and genetic donor who turned his back on me and placated me whenever I tried to reconnect with him. Lou Cicirello is my dad. He is the one who was at my wedding, took part in the lives of my children, and used every thing he had to push me to a better life than he probably even dreamed of. The important milestones of my life have all been touched by him and as a result, I will never be the same.

It's true what they say about not being able to choose who gives us life, but there is no rule that says you can't choose over or choose another. However you explain it or however you want to rationalize it, I am damn lucky to have had him in my life.