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Vida

Happy BirthdayPops!

Happy Birthday to my father, who turned the big 91 today!! Pops, I love you, and hope you’re with us for a very long time. You are the best dad in the world. You have been a great provider, educator, engineer, and friend. You served your country and your family. Even at your advanced age, you are still sharper than men a fraction of your age. Thank you for everything, Pops!

How to handle anger & rudeness

Many years ago, I came across this graphic online about handling anger or rude behavior from someone. Allegedly, this is a teaching from the Buddha. Whether this is true or not, only history knows. But I thought it was an interesting lesson to share with others. I hope you find this as enlightening as I did.

Buddha and anger

This is one of those days

 

Christ, what a shitty day. And dammit I had a feeling something horrible was going to happen. You ever get that feeling, you know like “don’t do X, it is not going to go your way”? That’s a premonition, right? Your gut also telling you to just don’t go a certain route? Fuck, why did I get out of bed today? Who knows what’s next. Maybe I should just take it easy.

Thoughts before sleeping

Much of my life, the hour or so before I go to bed has always been an odd duck in my life. Normally, as the script we are all given called “life”, we’re supposed to be tired. And to be sure, eventually my body and brain do decide to shut down. There are evenings where such a thing does go into play before bed time. But that isn’t always the case. How about you?

Perhaps it is just me, and if it is, please just indulge me for a moment. But…and deep down inside, I’m hoping that I’m not alone here with this and am part of some nocturnal fellowship of folks who have a hard time going to bed. Much of my life insomnia was both my enemy and ally (especially when I had to work on a term paper in college). When I was younger, my childhood was spent many days (and weeks) in hospitals, unsettling of such abodes doesn’t portend to a healthy sleeping enviroment. Yet that can only be one act this theater of the nightly struggle of sleep! The rogues gallery included chocolate bars, music, video games, television, soda, late night take out from dodgy restaurants that had that one dish that was out of this world, and of course…coffee. No one to blame for many nights sauntering through the darkness and halls where light emitting from another residency faded in like a ghost through a window.

But I’m not young any longer, now at the age where even my high school friends have kids! Long past my college years, no homework no late night cramming. My stays in hospitals have shortened over the years as insurance companies have lengthened their excuses to not pay. My job doesn’t force me to work “after hours”, though to be honest, I wouldn’t mind. You, though dear reader, may find such a situation to which your struggle for sleep may be excused. But what if you have nothing? 

What if you aren’t staying up at night thinking of how you will pay the rent or the gas bill? Though such such thoughts have rented out space in my nocturnal mental state. Sometimes meditation helps, but sometimes, and this will sound crazy, the silence is the loudest thing out there. Silence does indeed have a noise, don’t kid yourself, it sure as hell does! Meditation be damned, it comes either comes in that slow growth, or BLAM! It just appears!

We learn to live with it, don’t we? Much like the other thoughts that come to visit us at night. The mind can be a real son of a bitch, a cruel house mate who instinctively knows who to bring over that would rattle you the most. You’ll find a moment of peace then all of a sudden something horrible pops into your mind and you’ll be like “what the fuck was that all about?!?”

Don’t get me started on that shit. And don’t judge me insane either, you’ve experienced it too, even if you won’t admit it. It comes…then you get disgusted or shocked, then as quickly as it comes it goes. You’re either on another thought or back with our dear friend silence.

Maybe this matters, maybe it doesn’t. But I’m physically disabled, which includes a twisted back that brings forth severe back/spinal pain. To many who suffer from such, it can keep one from sleeping. The pills help, but only up to a certain point. Eventually, somehow, it even succumbs to the body’s need for sleep.

Perhaps many of us our not citizens under the Sun, but indeed creatures of the night. There isn’t much distractions at night save for the television (and looking at you Playstation!). Of course being in front of a computer screen isn’t helping much either, is it? How many of you often find yourself shocked that you’ve been in front of the monitor until 2 AM, eh? It doesn’t have to be your Warcraft or Civilization game, heck, going through web site after web site can collect hours on the meter of time. My father, who will turn 90 this year, often finds himself up into the wee hours just watching Youtube! He too carries odd hours, but at his age he gets a pass.

Nights have seen me just stirring in bed, sometimes my legs just feel like moving. Sometimes it isn’t your legs but your brain cells and you get an epiphany or maybe two. Shit you couldn’t think of or figure out in the day light suddenly becomes clear to you while you’re nestled in bed. And that’s the problem, ain’t it? You either scrambled to find a pencil and paper or your tablet or whatever to write it down or you pray to God or the universe that you don’t forget it. You pick the latter, unless you have some damn good nerves making some damn good memory engrams in your brain, odds are you won’t remember 100% of what you wanted to remember. It becomes a no win situation.

This post has gotten way longer than I thought, holy fuck. My apologies. If you’re still reading this, I hope you do find some peace at night. But if you find yourself struggling to bargain with the Sandman to grant you that ticket to dream land, shit don’t worry you’re not alone here waiting in line. 


Night & Peace.

Snowpocalypse 2015

Well another year another snow dump

The above is a picture is a scene from the park by me. The snow reached reached well into a foot. Folks would come out and shovel, 10 minutes later it was like nothing was done. LOL, even the pros who came out to clean both the streets and the homes (for folks who pay up) started waiving their fists in the air. 

Below is a pic just as the snow was starting to really picking up!

I got the green light!

After much waiting, I finally got the results from my cardiologist. He said my ticker is pretty good, a little calcium but he said within normal range or something and that I should stick with my meds. But the big news is I finally got the green light to join a health club! Woot! Gonna get in shape!

Going on Holiday!

Sedona_Arizona

In a few days I will be back in Arizona. Last year my step-niece, Jessica, gave birth to a lovely little girl named Aubrey. I’m looking forward to seeing her and her parents and her big brother, Isaac (who is 3, I think, he’s a grower, you watch, one day he’ll be a linebacker that any football program would love to have!). Of course she isn’t the only reason why I want to come by.

It has been two years since I was last back in the Grand Canyon state. Last time, my father came with and we travelled by train. Actually, first off, I need to make a quick shout out to the person truly responsible for all this, my sister Tina. Like the last trip, she was super generous in providing the way there. In 2012, my father and arrived there via Amtrak, courtesy of my sister. It was a beautiful trip getting there, with our own room and all, but I could only imagine how much it cost her. We are forever grateful of her generous gift and hospitality.

So now it is two years later. My three grand nephews have gotten 2 years older. Christopher and William, Stacy and Chris’s kids, are two wonderful kids. Both love video games (hey, what kid doesn’t, right? LOL). Christopher is showing a talent for musical instruments. Sadly, I have to profess I’m not sure where little William’s talents lie; that’s going to have to be a goal of mine to find out.  I am looking forward in seeing Stacy and Christopher, especially talking politics and economics, both are sharp as samurai katanas in those discussions.

Hopefully, I will get a chance, as mentioned at the start of this piece, to see Aubrey and Isaac. Of course I’m also hoping that includes their parents, Nick (my nephew) and his better half, Jessica, who I have to warn is one of the best Words with Friends player out there! I’m also proud of Nick, he’s got a great heart and I have to say the man is like a Michelangelo of website design. Very proud of the success that they have had.

The last time I was in Arizona, my sister and and my fantastic brother-in-law (and chairman of Tropical-sunset-Arizona-269677the Black Pants Society), Louie were kind enough to escort us all around. While last time we visited my aunt Lally and Uncle Joe, we could not spend the whole day. She was ill, and there just wasn’t enough time. This time around, I’m hoping to see more of them, and their dog, Bozo.

Last, but not least, I have to thank my sister again. Seriously, she is one of the best sisters on the planet. She has been very kind to a no good lug like me. Her and Louie are providing me with a place to stay and chauffeuring my fat ass around. My God, how can I ever repay those two? I don’t deserve to have such wonderful family. But I have them, and I thank God for that. I promise to treat them to something nice.

One thing is for sure, I needed this vacation. For the past few weeks, if not month or so, I’ve been working myself hard. Between that and taking care of my parents have been stressful, trust me my pop could make the Dalai llama pick up a bat and go nuts. Still, I wouldn’t trade it, I love them too much. Look, everyone needs a little break here or there. Doing the same thing, busting your ass, day in and day out, a breather is required. Know what I mean?

It will be very nice to get away from it all, especially the cold. Jesus, has it been cold here in Chicago! A little sun and being in weather that isn’t as cold as a grave digger’s ass is a welcomed change. Just relax, take it easy and enjoy being with some good people!

So I bought a comic book

I purchased my first comic book in 11 years today. Some indie title called Lazarus (like the dude in The Bible, only it’s a female and has nothing to do with said book) that caught my eye on Comixology on the iPad. I’m way behind the curve ball on your major titles like Spider-man or Batman or your Avengers. And I wanted to give some new folks a chance.

The premise is essentially some woman who reminded me of that vampire heroine from the Underworld series only she isn’t a vampire. Takes place in some dystopian future where the United States resembles some sort of Medieval Slavic serfdom and the Italian City States only with cars and tractors. Who knows, maybe it is good maybe it will turn out bad. All I know is that I purchased a comic for the first time in over a decade.

Social Networking and Life Redo

I’ve been thinking of leaving Facebook again. This has to be the 7th time that I’ve been thinking about this. Frankly, its absorbing a lot of my online life. Almost all my friends are on there, and I’ve met many great people on it. One person in particular that I would have only met through Facebook gave me a stroller for my disabled dog!

But it is still a time gobbler. Worst yet, its come at the expense of my blog. No, please don’t confuse me with one of those folks who literally spends hours on Facebook. Far from that, though it got me thinking if I could have become one of those poor souls. Stuff that I would have posted on my blog has instead ended up on Facebook. And honestly why bother? Everything you post ends up being used in some database to sell your information. And it seems to be the same folks responding, or I should say arguing. Still, leaving that social network, I’m going to miss many things like the pictures and posts related to dogs. But here again, that’s a double edge sword. I’m finding with all the awesome dog posts there are posts about dog fighting and other horrors our four-legged friends face that have been getting to me.

Facebook seems more and more to me like the “Walmart” of the internet. Do you know what I mean by that? That its this big boring box that once in a while you may find something of interest but you know that somehow that merchant is doing something wrong with you. Like I said, I’ve neglected my blog. Maybe its because I’m generally lazy. I should have been spending more time on the blog. Facebook has made my brain soft. No wait, that’s a bullshit answer, let me retract that. I’m using Facebook as an excuse to just not be more creative online.

No, I have to push myself. Like my current struggle with my weight, I need to push my brain as well. That’s why its time I rethink how I engage the internet. Primarily, I need to focus it in a way where I can be creative. So yeah, fuck it, I’m going to cut down on Facebook, maybe even ditch it. I’m already on G+ (Though that’s a bit of a ghost town, eh?) and Twitter. Holy shit, I’m all over the place! No wonder I can’t get any of my personal shit done. Yeah, something or somethings have got to give, and its going to start with Facebook!

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