Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sometimes the past is creepy

I came across this link today on Facebook, courtesy of Steve Niles, a horror writer who is probably best known for creating the story that became the movie "30 Days of Night." It's a humorous list of some old magazine advertisements that while in some cases are either scary and bizarre or extremely offensive by today's standards, nevertheless made me laugh quite a bit. When you put your mind to the fact that modern advertising is really close to 100 years old, it's come a long way in terms of understanding how to promote their products and understand who they are targeting. Just thinking about what those early years must have been like without the ethics and regulations that guide it (for good or ill) today, it must have been similar to a wilderness.

Anyways, take a few minutes and check out the link and the rest of the site, it's should provide you with some good laughs.

Sleep Issues

The last week has been a tough one for getting good sleep. This is the fourth consecutive day that I have pushed myself into the early morning and the second time in three days that I won't have slept at all. Nothing in particular seems to be bothering me and my mood is pretty solid, so I haven't a clue as to what my problem really is. Looks like I'll need to see my doctor this week to get me a prescription for some sleep medication to help me through this.

Looking past this, it's been a very nice weekend. Meva and I decided to enjoy her three day weekend by relaxing and having a very low-key holiday just enjoying some quality family time together and trying to make a dent into the never ending monster that is laundry. The laundry is winning by the way, but I am hoping to rally from behind later today.

Due to the rainy weather for Saturday, we moved up our Independence Day celebration to Friday night so we could take the kids to see fireworks. We found a good spot with plenty of room for the triplets to run and they had a great time. Surprisingly, Sarah ended up being afraid of the louder aerial bombs and wanted to go home quickly. Ryan, who I was worried would be scared, loved every minute of it and told us that it was "Christmas Time" whenever a red and green exploded into the sky, which surprisingly happened quite frequently. It was a great time overall and as a parent, it was really cool to have that experience from the adult perspective.

Speaking of this holiday, it absolutely drive me nuts when I hear people say they are celebrating "The 4th of July" as though the we were celebrating the fact that it's no longer the 3rd. I have no idea exactly why I am wired this way, but it's a big deal to me to accurately refer to it as Independence Day. Maybe it's because every country has a 4th of July.

Meva and I also got to do something very rare for us, and that was to go out for an evening alone. Tom and Colleen graciously watched the triplets for us while we saw Star Trek and went out to dinner. It was a great time, but I was really disturbed by the absolutely enormous size of the bucket for popcorn. It seemed like everyone got that size, which they accurrately called "Extreme." When a guy my size is awed by the serving size, it's just wrong. When I was a kid, the only time I saw a bucket that big it had 12 pieces of chicken and about 4 biscuits in it. Just sad.

That's it for now. It's anow almost 6am and I need to decide if I'm going to try one last time for some sleep, or if I am going to hang it up and start some coffee. I guess I'll just stare at the strange Autumn-like fog that has crept in from some past or future October.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weird Comments

Almost two years ago we had to replace our air conditioning unit because Gus peed all over the coils and basically killed the thing. Shortly there after I spoke about my general dislike of all things Gus, the ridiculous amounts of money he's cost us and how he has bitten people, the most traumatic was Sarah.

So sometime yesterday I get a comment on that very post. I am more amused that someone felt the need to comment on something so old than I am of their silly comment. The person was in favor of us getting rid of the dog because you can't have one in a house with kids when he's been known to bite them. Well to whoever you were, it wasn't from a lack of trying.

I was planning on taking the triplets to an arboretum tomorrow, but the weather has turned on us, so we will just be hanging at home and doing other stuff.I'm disappointed we're not going, but I plan to have fun with them regardless. Maybe it should be finger painting day tomorrow, that will be fun.

I took one of those silly quizzes on Facebook today, to determine what Jesus might think of me. According to whoever created this thing, Jesus thinks I am a "Sanctimonious Prick!" If my memory is right it consisted of 4 questions, and the first one was loaded about your outlook on orhanized religion. Still, I got a big kick out of it!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It's taken me a bit longer than I had originally hoped, but I finally got my comic book blog, The Comic Book Observatory. In the end, I switched it around and changed the template so that it has an entirely new look, which of course caused the largest obstacles and longest delays. But it's back up and I figure to slowly add to it as I get back into what I want to do with it. So, if you are just dying to hear me talk about Superheroes, sequential art, and all things comic book related (yes, I am talking to you Michelle Williams) then you'll be able to have nerdgasm after nerdgasm over there!

Around here I've been trying to get the house in order for spring. It seems like every time I have a chance to start working either the weather is horrible or there are other priorities pulling me away. I still haven't taken care of the grubs, but I did finally dig out a bush that needed to go. It only took me a few hours and cost me a shovel that I broke trying to dig it out.

We spent a great weekend in Ohio for Easter. This was the first year that the triplets colored eggs. In reality all they did was drop the eggs in and help take them out, and go "WOW" at the bright colors, but I enjoyed it and we were able to get some nice pictures.

I'd like to write more, but there is still a table full of clothes to fold and I have a meeting early in the morning to learn about diabetes. Before you freak out, nothing has changed with my health. For years I have always skirted close to when ever I had blood work during physicals and check-ups. It doesn't help that they've changed what they consider to be diabetes as measure by a glucose check, but it the magic number is 100 and above, I've routinely hovered around 97 or 99. Meva says that recently lowered the number to 99 just in time for me to score 100 on my last test. My doctor isn't overly concerned for me and his only advice was for me to "lose some weight" and the number should come down on it's own. To that end I decided to attend a diabetes class to educate myself and try and stave the off before I end up in serious trouble. I am sure I'll talk about it in a few days.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Return of the Grubs

It's been quite a few years since I've seen spring fail so miserable to gain it's foothold from winter! While the temperature is more to my liking right now it does prevent me from getting outside to work on the lawn and yard. My perennial battle with lawn grubs and what seems like a bazillion different types of weeds seems to have lost ground over the winter and I can already see more grub patches than we had last year. Fun stuff for sure!

Meanwhile I had to fire Ryan's occupational therapist today. There's really not much I can say that was good about her, she was consistently late for appointments, rescheduled or canceled appointments almost weekly, and I honestly questioned her skills and knowledge as an OT. The state of Illinois provides services for children who need them and our kids qualified based on being premature at birth, but this coverage lasts only until they turn 3, at which time the local school district takes over. So I tried to wait these last four months for this transition, but today was the last straw. With her gone though I am hoping to feel a little less stressed.

Over the weekend I took some time and wrote a very short review of a comic book. Despite the comic book being brutal, I really enjoyed writing the review and made realize how much I have missed talking about comic books in general. I think that I'm going to bring back my comic book blog, The Comic Book Observatory. It's really long over due and something I've neglected now for almost two years. As things begin to heat up with my comic book writing, I think this is a good time to start it back up, so look for that to relaunch at some point this week. Once I do I'll mention it here along with some news about the future of things.

Tonight I'll actually be visiting my father. Unfortunately it's happening because he's in the hospital with pneumonia and some other issues. We've been really working on our relationship the last couple of months and he was planning on visiting my house and meeting the triplets for the first time before this setback. Hopefully he'll feel stronger and up to a visit.

That's about it for now. I need to go and make some bread dough.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Still Going Weak

The kids seem to be on the mend, feeling better, playing and just being 2 yr old's. On the opposite spectrum is me. I'm feeling worse than yesterday, but if the kids can stay feeling better, then that might make today better for me overall. If only I didn't need to go to Sam's Club today life would be sweet and I could just sleep when Meva comes home. That will have to be put on hold until I finish the shopping. But then I get to rest. Until then I'm hoping to work on my eBay solicitations as I've fallen behind lately and need to get more up there as well as ship out on package today on my way to Sam's.

In the meantime, enjoy this graph from It's what would happen if I was the only one who bought clothes for the triplets:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One Hundred Times Three

We've had cold bug bouncing around the house seemingly since November. It's been more annoying than anything else; giving us sinus issues, coughs, and the typical aches and pains of a cold. It comes and then goes away for a bit until someone else picks it back up and passes it back around. Just normal winter crap.

Monday Perrin broke down with a low fever and runny nose. He just layed around most of that day and the early part of Tuesday. He seems to have bounced back just fine. Wednesday morning Ryan woke up hot, flushed, and caked with snot. He was absolutely miserable to the point that he layed on the sofa all day yesterday and didn't once get down to play. I had to fight with him to push liquids and he hardly ate. Despite alternating Children's Tylenol and Ibuprofen every few hours, the best I could do with his temperature was 101.2.

After their naps, Ryan stayed the same and Sarah joined him. She woke up real hot and flushed---and I mean REAL flushed. Her temperature spiked to 100.3 and by the end of the night she had perked up and was back to playing.

But prior to the end of the night, I had my hands full trying to comfort too sick kids and then placate the one that wasn't sick. Poor little Perrin just wanted some attention and I feel bad I couldn't give him more. But overall he was so good and very helpful, he makes me smile.

After having Ryan sleep with me last night because he kept waking up and crying, he woke me at 6:00am this morning. I kept him quite for almost two hours before getting him up to start the meds again, getting him something to drink, and then putting him back down with Meva. That's not going over too well though as I keep hearing him cry and call out for his Daddy! I'd go out back in there and lay down with him except my sinuses are all jacked up. One side is stuffed, the other one is runny. My head is pounding and I ache all over. I just took my temperature and I'm now at 100.4.

It is going to be a LONG day (Meva works until 8PM) by myself with at least Ryan and I sick and hopefully no one else. On a positive note, the kids have started to appreciate Batman. They like to watch Batman cartoons (not as much as Word World or some of their others) and they call it "Batman: Crash!" because he beats people up and they "fall down and go crash." DC comics animation came out with a new Batman animated movie, and I won it for $.01 on ebay, and it arrived yesterday! So we'll all get to watch that today. If I can find the strength before Meva leaves for work, I'm going to make some more ham rolls so we can all just snack and eat them throughout the day and not have to cook much beyond that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Blast From the Past

Sometimes when I think about my children and the changes I've made and continue to make in my behavior so that I can be a better role model I realize that I am only masquerading and that I will never truly change. Instead I've become and actor; taking on the role of "Dad" in the longest movie ever produced.

I was thinking about this last night after talking to my friend Michelle. Some how we got on the subject of farts briefly as conversations can often turn silly when late at night over a cocktail or two or three or...........well, you get the picture! So, I told Michelle I had a good fart story, which if you'd read this blog awhile, you know I do. For those of you who are new, let me present a repeat of what I should probably start calling Gasterpiece Theater.

Anyways, here is a story that I have used to cheer myself up from time to time. It also reinforces the theory above that I will always be acting. Anyways, here is something I first wrote about last April and I present it in it's original entirety; enjoy:

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 had 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 snow globes 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 stampers. 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.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

It's Coming

Slowly but surely I'm beginning to get anxious about turning 40 in a few days. Aging doesn't bother me and I'm not feeling like I've missed out on parts of my life or youth or I need to do certain things before I can't. There's not going to be any illicit affairs (unless Peri Gilpen comes calling, but I have Meva's permission on that one, just as she can answer Brad Pitt's knock on the door!); feats of strength, courage, or stupidity; or ridiculous material purchases to compensate for my age. I will not be living any lifetime movie roles.

There are two things that do bother me, and they've caused me so much stress and anxiety that I'm not sleeping (despite meds to help with that) and I'm constantly nauseous and headache ridden over these last three weeks. It's to the point that I think it is starting to manifest itself physically. Each day there are new and stronger aches and pains and when I have time to myself I feel like I am racing, where I get flushed, feel overheated, and at times my hands shake. It is annoying and I'm hoping that once I pass the Saturday milestone things will calm down.

I feel compelled to talk a bit about it, but I don't want to make this a downer of a post. Mostly I just worry about how things are right now compared to how I'd prefer my life to be. So if anyone thinks I've been distant or quite of late, I apologize. My mind has been full and conversation and patience have been in short supply of late. I promise to work on this and make noticable change in the very near future.

But for those that don't know, my son Ryan is already busting my balls. I don't mean this figuratively either. The little shit managed to step on my left testicle (that's about 40 pounds of solid toddler crushing on me) before getting startled by my initial cries of pain which caused him to get scared and drop to his knees. Guess where those said knees landed???? Yeah, that's right, if they weren't already snipped and taken out of commission, they'd be broken now! I spent three days walking gingerly and having to take pain meds for this. Big Ouch!

I want to try and find something positive, so on the plus side of things we had an absolutely gorgeous day today. I had just a small taste of fun raking up excess gravel from my lawn that I shoveled into the grass with each accumulation of winter snow. As I raked it back onto the driveway, I began to think about all the work I would soon be able to accomplish as spring arrives and the weather turns to something much more hospital for lawn and yard care.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What I want

My wife hates to hear me talk about this topic, so you should know I'll be in trouble before you're done reading this post, so I'm going to go ahead and set up a separate bed.

First and foremost on my mind lately has to be where we live. For an urban area, Chicago is the best place in my opinion, but I am sick of the life here in the 'burbs with its poor road infrastructure, distribution warehouses, and flat farmlands. I want life in the wild, surrounded by trees and streams and rivers, with great views of mountains, lakes, and wildlife. Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska haunt me and pull to me. It's becoming a type of religious calling for me at this point and I don't want to regret never being there.

I want to write comic books. I'll publish my own if I have to, but I'd rather get discovered by a company and begin working my way up from there. I've really been working lately on writing when I can and making time for it more often, Even when I am not writing, I'm constantly thinking about stories and how to lay them out in each panel. This is becoming my passion and I need to give it the attention it deserves.

And speaking of comic books, I can't get rid of this itch that I have to actually open my own comic shop. I love comics so much and I want to see them marketed and made cooler than anything else going on out there. This one would take money, but I know I can make it work, and I'm so ready to put this out and give it my best.

Regardless of anything, I keep thinking of a quote that goes something like this:

"20 years from now your greatest regrets won't be for what you've done, they will be what you never tried."

I think it was Mark Twain who wrote that, but I'm not sure anymore. Either way, I think about it every day when the three dreams above take over.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Parenting is exhausting.

I'm just exhausted and stressed out to dangerous levels. I finally bit the bullet and took some anti-anxiety pills to help be relax. Yes, they worked. Very well. I feel like I've been hanging out with Michael Phelps and Willie Nelsen, but with out the munchies!!

I'm still talking with my father, and it's moving along nicely. I even had another appointment with my therapist Ivan, which went better than hoped for and was more beneficial than I would have prayed for. So those are both pluses.

I've just about got my first wave of items that I want to put on eBay all together and ready to be listed. It should be around 30-50 items in that initial group, and then the next one will easily double it, if not triple it.

Perrin had a visit with a neurologist today and he has been officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Make no mistake in that we would rather he didn't have these set backs in life, but having the label official now allows for him to be eligible for services that he needs, which is what we care about. Overall this is good news and hets more focused on determining what his spegific needs are. So, it was a good day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bittersweet Weeks

Lots of stuff going on since my last post. I think the kids have already grown up and moved onto college these last few weeks. Seriously though we've been beset enough car troubles to last us the rest of the year, although considering how old they are, I don't think the odds favor us there. That being said, we've gotten great value out of them, the Vibe alone has almost 150k on it and our van has about 96k, so we are lucky to be here with them. We'll keep babying them and hopefully get another 100k out of each. Well, maybe not the van, it has other problems we are ignoring because they cost more to fix than it's worth. At least we've got a hobby though!

Last week was pretty bittersweet for me. My mother's birthday was Saturday, and it was the first one since she passed away. I'm still not sure I would consider myself as having completely gotten through her dying the day before Thanksgiving on the terms we were on (I wasn't speaking to her) and despite my misgivings I do miss her, if for nothing else than I rooted for her to turn things around and enjoy her life.

The weekend before was also the first birthday for my step dad Lou since he passed away last year too. I miss him a lot and I don't mind saying that my life is just a little less brighter without his cackling laugh and horribly fantastic sense of humor. He shaped so much of my outlook and personality in my teen years that I can't imagine myself without him. I love him and I miss him.

Relations with my real father have been distant and tenuous over the last ten years, and I could probably count the number of times we talked on two hands. It took me years to really appreciate how important it is not to burn bridges in life, and despite whatever feelings of anger or hurt I had, I always stopped short of doing that with him. Well on Wednesday he called me out of the blue and we talked for over 3 hours!

It was a great conversation and he said he didn't like how things were between us and that he wanted to work with me to be a part of my life. It was simply wonderful to hear. You don't get calls like that very often in your life, so it made my day. With everything else, that really helped me get through the two birthdays and I don't think I would have handled myself nearly as well without that phone call and turn of events.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Even I am Cold

I am honestly cold. People who know me have rarely ever heard me say that, especially when I'm not sick. Yet I am writing this at almost 4am and the temperature is sitting at a glacial -21 degrees outside. This is easily one of the coldest days I've ever experienced. Not since the early and mid 1980's have I seen the temperature like this; almost 24 years ago to the date (Jan 19th & 20th) we had official temperatures of -23 and -27 respectfully back in 1985.

Despite the cold outside, we're holding our own inside and staying warm. Meva didn't go to work on Thursday because either the starter and/or the battery died on her car. The van started, but it was stuck behind Meva's car and with the snowy, icy, and uneven gravel driveway we have I was unable to push her car out to the street. We had her car towed to the mechanic so that he can hopefully get it up and running tomorrow, but the van (which once again has a buster heater) is running (with the "Service Engine Soon" indicator on).

Last night I braved the gelid evening and took the van to the grocery store more for the purpose of just getting it started and warmed more than anything. It only takes about 10 minutes to get to the store, but after stopping to make sure I filled the gas tank and put in some gas line anti-freeze, my hands were frozen, stiff, and prickly painful. I had myself wrapped up and covered, but I guess my gloves aren't very effective (so I will be getting new ones) against this type of extreme cold.

And after having to take Thursday off, Meva wants to drive this ice box on wheels 45 minutes to work in the morning. Even as I write this I can't honestly say if I am even going to let her go. Depsite my frequent joking about keeping her in her place and making her obey me dutifully, I do not give her ultimatums unless I am convinced her life is at risk. I already told her last night that if I felt it was too dangerous I don't know how she's going to be able to convince me otherwise. I think the last time I took a stance like this was the day the triplets were born and I told her she wasn't going into work that day because of how badly she was feeling (and the Dr. obviously sided with me since he decided to deliver the babies that day!).

I spent over two hours outside on Wednesday shoveling our driveways, sidewalks, and parking spots here at the house. In some spots I had over 14 inches of snow due to drifting and not having cleared away some previous accumulation. I hurt my back very badly and even had my eyelashes freeze together more than once. Meva has teased me because I actually had to shovel snow off of our evergreen bushes because it was falling on the sidewalk as I shoveled next to it, burying the spot I had just cleared. I'll try to get some pictures of this tomorrow and post them up here.

The van has now been running and warming up for about an hour now, so I need to check on it and get back to bed to rest up for a potential confrontation with Meva should the things be too cold in the van. I'll leave you with an updated weather joke that was inspired by the late Henny Youngmen:

"How cold was it?" someone asked. "It was so cold I saw Rod Blagojevich with his hands in his own pockets."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Let it Snow!!

Living in Chicago you get used to snow and cold, and if you're in the small minority like myself, you absolutely enjoy and love this weather. I admit to being excited today when the weather forecasts began to include warning for a Blizzard, frigid temps, and whiteout conditions. So yes, I am a bit of a Winter junkie and even among those who are battle-tested from living out here I am looked at skeptically. I'd love to denounce my naysayers and critics for being unfair or unwilling to embrace the beautiful diversity of nature that we get to enjoy, but I know they are not too far off (My wife will vouch for this).

I mention all of the above because it's 4am and I just came inside after shoveling snow for just over an hour (The picture above is my street, double click it for a better view). I am old, out of shape, and I have back problems, so shoveling snow in the middle of the night during blizzard conditions really does prove my detractors points.

But my strange hours and questionable cold weather habits aside, I'm up because the triplets decided to rebel tonight. Usually they are very well mannered and go to sleep without much incident, but last night they were just wound up and full of energy. Ryan was the last one to go to sleep at about 12:30am tonight, pushing my end of evening plans back more than a few hours. Due to the weather I needed to do some last-minute grocery shopping and I wanted to get the driveways shoveled before the temperature dipped and turned everything on the ground into ice. I'd love the extra couple hours of sleep I'd have gotten by just going to bed, but everything would be twice as difficult and take three times as long in the morning.

So, I'm just waiting for myself to settle down and then I'll be off to bed. It's hard to believe that one of the things I am waiting on is to dry off from sweating so much outside, even though the temperature was probably close to Zero with the wind chill. Man, how boring am I?? I sure yammered away about nothing but the weather.

There hasn't been too much excitement around here, but:

The triplets are no longer the youngest grandchildren anymore. Meva's sister Kelly and her husband Andy welcomed their first child this past weekend, a beautiful girl named Avery Puffer. It was a stressful pregnancy for them that was high risk, but both Kelly and Avery have pulled through it without any problems that I know of. I only got to see Kelly once, at Christmas, while she was carrying Avery, but I thought she looked beautiful and glowing! Hey, say what you want to about me, but I think pregnant women are radiant and I enjoyed the extra radiance that Meva had while the triplets were inside.

My other sister-in-law, the always adorable Pooh Weaver, is now engaged!! Her boyfriend Corey proposed to here at midnight on New Year's Eve. As the ball was dropping in Times Square, Corey of the Elephants was dropping to his knees and asking for the Pooh's hand in marriage. I am excited for Pooh, because she is a wonderful woman and deserves nothing but happiness. I truly believe that Corey will give that to her. I've told him that he has to take care of her and just like his favorite animal, the elephant, I know he will never forget.

There are a few more things, but it is now time to sleep, so I will sleep. I will add more later, hopefully in the late morning or afternoon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Can't Wait

I have a feeling this state will once again be embarrassed because of our Governor on a national stage. It's not too often I am excited about the swearing in ceremonies of incoming Senators or Representatives, but the fiasco that has become of Barack Obama's vacant is making everything a bit more interesting. While I would love to see this slapped down in Blago's face and further humiliate him, I'd rather out state have two Senators right now.

I have been reading a ton of comics and graphic novels lately since I discovered my library has a nice collection. One of the stories that I was looking forward to read was about Spiderman getting a reboot due to making a deal with the Devil to save his aunt's life, but at the cost of his marriage and love for his wife MJ. Yes, is was a bit weak, sappy, and a tad drown out, but overall I really liked it. Even more, I liked the new direction better that I started reading in Brand New Day. I thought it was a great updating of the concept and it allows people to experience everything that they may have missed when they couldn't buy books in the 60's and 70's. I will pick up the next trade or too as soon as I can so I can get a final feeling for the entire run.

With all my adventures in the land of endodontics and dentistry I really think I pulled a jaw muscle! My left side is very tight and painful and it will often argue with me before opening wide. It loses the argument, but of course it throws a fit and send some discomfort my way. So I have this to keep me company for the near future. It's definitely better the less I talk, but I'll bet anyone who knows me can name three reasons why that plan has yet to work. I'm going to be happy when this final round of tooth work comes to an end so can get a break.

My wife and I are terrible slackers. We haven't updated the triplets blog in probably over a month. Meva never has time (or so she says!! I can tell you I don't see her rubbing my back or my feet or making me sandwiches, so who knows what she's REALLY doing?) and lately I have not wanted to post when I've had a chance. We can all blame me and say I am evil, and selfish, and you could even call me a socialist if you'd like, I can take it, so bring it!!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I woke up this morning exhausted and with a very sore back. It's stiff and will probably take a few hours to loosen up, so it's not big deal. But even though I slept for over eight hours, I feel like I could sleep another four or five. For some reason on Thursday night, I was unable to sleep at all, despite taking something to help, so at about 4am I gave up and decided to call it a day.

We've got family coming over for a final holiday get together today. It's my brother Louie and his wife, granddaughter (yeah, the young kid is already an old fart!) and his mom, my step mother. Potentially my other brother Brian will be coming too, but he is a little sore and may not make it.

Yesterday his wife took him out and told him he was going to the park, but when they passed the park he realized things were wrong and she instead took him to the doctor and got him fixed. The poor guy has a weekend ahead of him that includes cuddling with a bag of frozen veggies! But, since he had the same procedure and doctor I had for my vasectomy, he very well may be up to coming over. I was fine for mine and regretted taking the weekend of of work at the time as I felt fine for light, normal activity. So, we'll see what happens.

Many people know I keep another blog, semi-private, that I use to deal with my depression and stresses from the more volatile relationships in my life. As I've gotten older I've learned more about myself and I know that depression is unfortunately something, probably chemical, that is a part of me and I will have to always fight it (until I am really old and then it's the nurses problem! Hahahahaha nurses, you're in for trouble).

I think I have mentioned it here before, but I decided to stop treating it with medication and have instead chosen to focus on fighting on my own. For those who don't know, or don't understand this type of behavior and choice, what it means is that I've decided to just be strong willed and vigilant about my behaviors, and when I notice that I am starting to slip into depression-type behavior, or even thinking, I follow a mental checklist of exercises that are both mental and physical, to combat this.

The reason I bring this up here is that one, I think I have been VERY successful with this decision, although I have been far from perfect during this learning stage. Despite the deaths of my step father and mother, I think I have pulled through very well. But, as I am moving through this last round of fighting off the depression, something has sparked my interest and I fully intend to investigate it and probably embrace it. I hope that it doesn't change me too much, but I know that change will happen and others may notice it in me and begin to wonder, so I am taking the time now to explain it.

I have decided to heed to call of Jehovah and become one of his Witnesses so that I can spread the word of his teachings and importance in all our lives.

Ok, I'm kidding! That will NEVER happen. I hate knocking on strangers doors and I am not passing out that stupid pamphlet of theirs called "Watchtower."

What I am talking about is Zen philosophy. I think that it may help me to keep a handle on my emotions and keep myself at peace. I don't think I am going to be wearing monk's robes (although they do look comfortable and are like sexy pajamas for big guys) or anything, but I want to treat this seriously and that will mean changing much of how I look at life. That is bound to change me, but I'm more interested in integrating it into my life of triplets, sports, and comic books and not the other way around. So, we'll see how this goes.

Anyways, that's a heads up for you all. Enjoy the first weekend of the year and get some sleep.