Saturday, March 25, 2006

...and the fun begins

My family is all in Colorado to help with the mom move. Yes it seems like overkill, but we know this is a big move for mom, and want to help in every way possible. Too bad the truck rental company isn't being as helpful.

I had origiinally reserved a 16 foot truck, because that's what I figured it would take. She has donated a ton of stuff including her couch and recliner. So the big stuff that remains didn't warrant a larger truck. BUT... then it ends up that both of my brothers and I are driving it to Michigan. The 16 fotter doesn't have 3 person seating. So we changed the reservation to a 22 foot truck a few days ago. They said they'll get one down here from Denver.

All was going well except works been kind of kicking my ass. Yesterday I started getting a flurry of calls from family members to do this or that in preparation for the load out. My brother-in-law John called to ask me to get moving blankets with the truck. I thought that this was something that would be easily available when I picked up the truck, but I decided to call and make sure they had enough.

When the lady answered the phone and I told her who I was, she told me that my truck was in and was wondering when I would be in to pick it up. I told her 9 a.m. tomorrow just like I had asked. She seemed to think I was getting it Friday night. She was ok with that.

This morning at 8 a.m. while I was in the shower I got a voicemail saying that my truck was NOT in, but they had a 26 footer that they would give me at the same price. I told her what the lady said the night before. She said she would check on it and get back to me. She has not called back.

What the hell am I going to do with 10 feet of additional truck? Fuck! I could put my car in there with room to spare. My brother Mike is totally pissed and wants me to tell them to go to hell and rent from UHaul, but I don't want to get a last minute truck that is sure to be the biggest piece of shit they've got.

I'll see you Michiganders in a few days.

I will probably not be posting until I get back, but I am taking my laptop, so I may find time to read and comment. I hope you all have a good week.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How did you celebrate?

Being part Scottish and French, but mostly Irish you would think that I would have been partying with the best of them. Not the case. I "celebrated" the day by picking up my kids for the week, then taking them to dinner and to the books store.

Erik has gotten into "The Great Brain" series by John D. Fitzgerald. I read them when I was a kid. It was probably the only books I got into growing

I have the memory of a stump, so there are only bits and pieces of the stories that I remember. They are all based upon the exploits of a young boy and his brothers in the late 1890s. The prevelent story from the first book that I could remember is how they were the first family in their area of town with a water closet (a toilet, if you didn't know the old term), and how they would have kids come by and pay them a penny to see it work.

This may have been the beginnings of where all the toilet humor my brother Mike and I came up with over the years.

Kevin is reading the "Series of Unfortunate Events" books. I think he is on book 9. He had lost interest in them after the first movie came out, but his need to read them has returned hard. He read through one I gave him just a couple weeks ago in a matter of a few days.

The rest of the evening was spent watching a movie (I don't remember which), then when the boys were in bed I watched some FireFly episodes, listening to the commentary track if the episode had it.

I am a party animal!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Manhattan the day before St. Patrick’s Day is a giant guest bathroom, perfunctorily tidied up and waiting for the world to hang over the bowl. Any bar within a square half-mile of the parade route quadruples its prudent reserve of beer, whiskey and whatever fad concoction the kids are throwing up these days. Walk inside and quaff the giddy scent of anticipation. Tomorrow’s forecast, same as last year: A tsunami of cash amidst a light undertow of broken glass and vomit.

- Bill Scheft "Time Won't Let ME"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Busier than a...

I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post. It doesn't seem right.

There are so many things going on. It's almost dizzying.

The boys were great last week. No major dramas or traumas. We had Erik's parent/teacher conference. He is doing VERY well. After all the struggles last year with his reading and needing a tutor, this year he is reading better that the majority of his class and retaining extremely well. The teacher had nothing but great things to say about him. She even noticed that Erik is really responsible when it comes to taking his asthma medicine before gym class. That actually surprised me since he isn't as diligent about it when we are home.

Kevin has had some difficulty this year with keeping his grades up. My neighbor, Robin, works for the school district. She invited Kevin to go with the high school kids to go snowboarding at Winterpark over the weekend. The invite came quite a while ago, and Irene told him if he has any grades lower than a B he couldn't go. I thought for sure that meant he wasn't going, but miraculously he's been able to get his grades up. They went on Saturday. One of his teachers reported that he was at a C+/B- range, so my ex thought that was good enough.

We've been busy packing up mom's belongings for her move to Michigan the weekend of the 25th. This move has turned into another big family event. My brother Billy is flying in from Connecticut, my sister Patti is coming in from the Lansing, MI area, and my brother in law John and neice Katie are flying in from Ann Arbor, MI. The "current" plan is that after the closing we will load up the rental truck. Billy and I will be taking it across country. Then everyone else is flying to Michigan to meet us for the unpacking. My brother Mike (he lives here) will fly there as well.

Mom is moving into a senior apartment complex that is a converted library, I think. It's going to be hard not having mom near by. Other then when I was in Phoenix for college, I haven't ever been more than 45 miles away. I am certainly no momma's boy, but this is feeling like a major life changing event for me. I don't quite understand it.

I am going to take some extra time and stay in Michigan until April 1st. Not everyone is going to stay and help completely unpack mom, so that will keep me busy. Plus, this is falling on the same timeframe as a Michigan Bloggers gathering. I am going to meet up with Roxi and her boyfriend, Signgirl

On another fun note, I went on a date the other night. This is the first real date I have had since January. It went very well. She is a very sweet, intelligent and funny lady. We have a lot in common. She's a geek, so conversations about work are understood by both of us. It's nice not to have to explain all of what I do, or to have to edit what I say so that it doesn't cause that "OMG you are boring me" look. We've already made plans to see each other more.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Raise a glass of Vernor's...

February 25th would have been Paula's 54th birthday. It has become a tradition since many years before her passing to celebrate that day with a gathering of her friends, eating Dim Sum and drinking Vernor's Ginger Ale. For those uninformed, Vernor's is probably the tastiest ginger ale you will ever have pass through your lips. It was Paula's favorite.

I notice a month or so ago that Safeway had a spot for Vernor's on it's shelf, but there was no 12 packs to be found. I don't like buying 2 liter bottles. It's a pet peeve. I started thinking about Paula.

Last year my brother-in-law, on his blog that is dedicated to Paula, extended an invitation to friends and family to join in the continuing celebration. Paula had only been gone for a couple months. I guess the gathering last year was great. I had checked the blog a few days before her birthday and there was nothing mentioned.

That same day I was back at the store and there it was, Vernor's in 12 packs... SNAG!

The boys were wondering what the big deal was, so I explained that it was aunt Paula's favorite. They tried some when we got home. They are hooked.

I did not have the boys this year on the 25th, but a friend of mine who is going through some tough relationship times wanted to get out of the house and for something to eat. I suggested Chinese food and explained the significance of the day. She was game... WOOHOO!

Food was good, not great. Company was good, but a little depressing. Her whole situation may require another post. I took her back home, then headed to mine. A glass of Vernor's had my name on it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lucky 7s

I've been tagged by TVH

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

1. Train - Am I Reaching You Now

2. All American Rejects - I'm Waiting

3. Sheryl Crow - I Don't Wanna Know

4. Teenage Fanclub - Alchoholiday

5. The Cars - The Dangerous Type

6. The Killers - Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

7. Collective Soul - Better Now

Now 7 people I have to tag... Damn I hate doing this to people

Mel - Because I get great new music ideas from her
Chrissie - Because I had this dream...
DZER - Because it's going to be good. It has to be.
Ailyn - Because we are 2 guys will some similar experiences
~Deb - Because deep down I am a lesbian too
Ava - Because I owe her bigtime
Echotig - Because she has already influenced me

Friday, March 03, 2006

I missed my anniversary!

Feb 17 marked my 1 year blogging anniversary. I totally spaced it.

Thank you all for becoming such great friends. I started this blog to get some things out of my head that was bugging me. I didn't realize until after my first couple posts that other people could openly read and comment about my blog . Yes, I am a techie, but I had more important things to worry about then.

Group hug!!

You all never cease to amaze me with your great stories and photographs. Please don't stop.

Moving Mom

I knew this was coming, but I somehow hoped she would change her mind. My mom has put her house up for sale. As soon as it sells she is moving to Michigan, near my sister.

I have mixed feelings about this move. Part of me is glad because she will be close to my sister. Patti is a very independant person, but I know she misses having family around. We've seen a lot of her this last year or so since my sister Paula died. I know mom will love being near Patti and Patti will love having mom near by.

Her decision to move back to Michigan is also health related. Her 60+ years have smoking has left her with emphysema. She had to go on oxygen about 6 months ago. Things have gone downhill since then. She had bronchitis over Christmas which put her in the ER. She needs to move to a lower elevation that has more oxygen than Colorado.

I feel guilty in that this takes a lot of responsibility off of me. Not that I have to do a lot for my mom (although sometimes she makes lists of things to fix for her house), but it has been worrying me a lot this last year or so about mom's health and having to take care of her when she can't anymore.

Having mom around is a lot of fun. She tells some hilarious stories about our childhood years, and her own. We all have a lot of negative feelings about my dad, but we can laugh about it now. She has been great with my boys.

Christmas is never going to be the same. My brothers and sisters would always travel here for the holidays. Now I'll be the one travelling. This means no skiing in the Rockies around Christmas with my sister. We'll have to schedule it for a different week I guess.

On a good note, this will get me back to Michigan to visit more often. So all you Michigan bloggers be prepared ;)


I just talked to mom. She has already sold the house after being on the market for 2 days.

Now Mike and I are going to help her pack on Sunday. The closing is on the 24th. This is insane!

My other brother billy is coming out as well as my brother-in-law John to help with that move. I am not sure at this point if I am going to make the trek, but I am considering it.

I was freaking out before, now triple that.