Monthly Archives: August 2014

Before the Lake Freezes Over

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I wanted to share this picture that I took at the very end of Navy Pier on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. The weather wasn’t more than 85 degrees. Hot, but the wind from the water kept my family and I nice and cool.

Before we Chicagoans know it, that sun will be setting over a frozen lake…so I embraced every moment of this day. Hopefully when I’m wearing two different kinds of socks, a hat, scarf and gloves, a winter jacket and long underwear, my nostalgia will warm me up.

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Eat, Pray, Drive to Wisconsin to Buy Beer

I live in Chicago and thank God I am close enough to Wisconsin, the beer capital of America.

Real women don’t drink light beer…but some do drink fruity beer and I am obsessed. I will drive one-hour out of my way for New Glarus’ seasonal Apple Ale…and luckily I was able to get my hands on some today. Ever since I was a kid it’s been a tradition to stop at Mars Cheese Castle, a palace of local made brats, cheese, beer, hot sauce, and other gluttonous goods. While heading to Door County a few weeks ago we made our usual pit stop and to my disappointment, there was none on the shelves.

I checked the New Glarus beer schedule…yes they have a beer schedule…and I was sad when I saw that Apple Ale was in season, but no where to be found. When I went to the brewery last month I was told that it only comes around after the Fall harvest, which would make sense, but nope…it had to be somewhere. When we got to Fish Creek, WI, my father and I walked into a tiny local market and to my surprise I found three four-packs hiding in a cooler at the back of the store. I grabbed a cart, cleaned them out and that was the only supply I could get my hands on…until we headed home.

Thanks to my brother for having to use the “facilities” we stopped at Mars Cheese Castle again and I nearly flipped the f–k out when I saw that the shelves and coolers were fully stocked. As I previously mentioned, this beer sadly only comes in four packs…and they don’t sell cases of it so I’m forced to buy excessive amounts.

To make a long story short…I bought 32 bottles of beer that day and today after a random road trip to Mars Cheese Castle I bought 32 more. In my dad’s eyes, I’m stocking up for the fall…now winter. In my mom’s eyes I’m an alcoholic who needs to stop spending almost $200 on beer.

Yes I know, hefty price tag…but I’m a craft beer lover and if I could only drink New Glarus Apple Ale for the rest of my life, I would. It’s not a beer that I drink to get drunk. It’s a flavor of a beer that I find uniquely irresistible and I can’t get anything like it in my city. I limit myself to one bottle each time I drink it because it’s so hard to come by. Oh and if you want to try some, you’re allowed one sip and then it’s “Drive to Wisconsin and get your own damn ale.”

New Glarus…don’t stop making this stuff…otherwise you will have a very angry and weepy customer.

Ice Bucket Bandwagon

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Yea, I jumped on.

There is a video circulating on the internet of a man who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease. In this video, he is lying in a bed, paralyzed from the waist down and can’t speak. However, while using his communication device he announces to the world that he accepts his life challenge…as well as the ice bucket.

This inspired me to shut up the two cousins that nominated me. So I did it, and damn that water was cold.

I also donated to the ALS research foundation, as should you.

Chapter 2

Emotional strength is as important as physical.
Emotional strength is as important as physical.

Le sigh.

I make no apologies for my last post being a low-spirited one, so hey, here’s a sliver of another.

I mentioned that I lost my grandfather on February 28, 2013. At that time I was also at my goal weight of 130lbs. I bought these $80 size 6 jeans from New York and Company and I was rocking them. Woo-hoo? No woo-hoo. Most people starve themselves when they’re depressed, but I’m the one who will rob the pizza delivery man for all the scraps in the backseat.

The result of that mentality…gaining 28lbs in the past year and a half. Totally not proud.

You can imagine how that has played into my “funk” this week. Especially after stepping on a scale for the first time in six months.

So today, I make a promise to myself in writing.

I will be 130 again. Hell, maybe 125 by this time next year.

I know what to do to lose. I’ve done it before. It’s just time to put that motivation mentality to work.

A year ago this month I started applying for jobs in my field. Obviously today, that goal has gotten me ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE…and although it’s disappointing, I haven’t given up on my search.

I may have no control over that last thing, but I control my happiness and the number one thing that needs to change is my ass…by getting it into shape.

A Speed Bump.

I hate when unhappy feelings come to surface. I’ve been holding them in for too damn long now. So here’s chapter number one.

I’ve always been a ball of emotions, I’m a Scorpio for God-sake and certain things that have happened in my past have taught me to shove them down my throat into a deep crevice to a place I’m unaware of. However, every now and then they want to arise…usually when I’m in bed early and have to be up at 7 A.M.

In March of 2012, I learned that my grandpa’s cancer came back for the seventh time. In December of 2012, he would end up in the hospital…for the very last time.

He was a second father to me. Saying he was always there would be an understatement. My mom would be on the phone with him in the kitchen telling him I was sick, I’d be in the next room and after they hung up my cellphone would ring and it would be him saying, “What’s the matter with you?” He was always concerned. Always trying to help and make things better for me. I lost him on February 28, 2013, giving myself no time to mourn, because I had to graduate in 3 months. I did, and my meltdown took place the day after I walked across that stage. One day I’m in the hospital telling him that he needs to be there to see me walk…then that day comes and he’s gone, his house is gone, and his car is gone, as if he vanished into thin air. I spent his last evening on Earth holding his hand…with no idea that it would be his last. There is forever a hole in my heart. I try not to think about him sometimes, because when I do, I sob so hard, I can’t breathe.

The same month I learned of his cancer coming back, my grandmother was told she had pancreatic cancer. She wanted to refrain from telling me because she didn’t want it affecting my work. Once she told me the news, I hugged her and cried and said, “I’m sick of hearing the word cancer.” She was optimistic from the beginning, when she told me that everything would be alright, until the end, when I cried that she wouldn’t see me get married and she assured me that she would.

For the next two years I would watch this headstrong, compassionate, wonderful woman who gave me my mother, suffer and wither away to skin and bones. A woman who once baked 5 different kinds of Christmas cookies have no appetite and needed painkillers to get through the day. A woman who took me shopping for my birthday and Christmas every year until I turned 21 turned into a shell of the physically strong woman she once was. The week of March 1, 2014, my family literally waited for her to die. In a hospice center where people were being carried out to a hearse one after another. On March 7, 2014, I lost another piece of my heart. Exactly one year, one week, and one day since I buried the last piece. I’ve been lost ever since.

I know this is a little off key, but I have a point. Robin Williams recently committed suicide. The actor/comedian who each fan saw as The upbeat Genie in Aladdin or the witty Mrs. Doubtfire, one of the biggest adult kids around, hung himself because he was so depressed. I can’t even begin to explain how sad I am for the loss of him. Here’s why.

My childhood was The Genie in Aladdin and it was Mrs. Doubtfire. I remember being a kid and quoting both movies with the same enthusiasm as Robin Williams did. I remember going to Blockbuster (when it existed) and renting “Jack,” a movie he made about a boy who had a disease that made him look like an adult when he was a child. I was a child myself, but that movie made me cry, because it reminded me how special people can be.

Lately I just feel like my childhood has died, and no one should ever feel that way. I know it’s silly to mourn a person you’ve never met. But you don’t realize how a person had so much impact on a part of your life until they pass away. Until some of the joyous parts of your childhood pass away.

I have struggled with more issues than growing up with two disabled brothers. Things I don’t care to speak of. But I want people to know that I sympathize with Robin Williams because I have been in a hole that deep. I just someone managed to crawl and burn my way out of it. How, sometimes I still have no idea, and I hate that his death has made me rehash on that time in my life.

I am thankful to still be here, I am thankful for everything I have and everything I don’t, but when it comes to dwelling on the people I’ve lost…it scares the living shit out of me for my future.

I just don’t want to lose another piece of my childhood. I don’t want to be a shell of a happy character I once was.

And the scariest part about life is that no one gets out alive.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I’m in Door County, Wisconsin and the WiFi up here is non-existent. I’m glad however, because now I get to appreciate nature and being away from home.

For the past few days I’ve been roaming around Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Sister Bay and every other small town around here. One night, we even had a real campfire in the middle of the woods.

Sadly, the trip ends tomorrow. Until then I’ll be doing three of my favorite activities…shopping, drinking wine and eating.

When the wireless connection lets me, I will upload some pictures.

Forgive Me Blogger For I Have Sinned…Again.

I’ll be honest. Sometimes I forget that I even have a blog. I started it to refresh my writing skills and I haven’t even been able to do that as much as I’d like.

I know most blogs have themes and my is kind of all over the place, but tough shit, it’s my blog and I do what I want. ­čÖé

I want to share the top 3 things that amused me this week. Hey! Maybe that could be my new consistent topic. I can start writing about things that make me giggle. We’ll see. It’s a work in progress. Then again, so am I.

#1 is short and sweet…I got Garth Brooks tickets, woo! It took me six hours dealing with the BS that is Ticketmaster, but I got them and I am happy.

#2…I took Jason for a ride in my car this week and while my dad was buckling him in, Jason slammed the door in his face. That’s not the funny part because he has no patience and always does that. I’ve noticed that things are funnier when you can see them happening, but can’t hear anything. In this case, I’m observing Jason from the outside and all I can see is him kicking and flailing his arms about like he’s screaming for help. Meanwhile, he reaches over to grab the steering wheel and pretends to drive my car. When I finally got to the door, I opened it and asked him, “Are you done?” then he calmly said, “Yeah,” and we drove off.

#3…I’m from Chicago. The Lollapalooza capital. My dad is a 911 dispatcher for the Chicago Fire Department and constantly tells me about his daily phone calls…good and bad. It’s only natural that the fire alarm office gossips with the police department. So today when it rained at Lollapalooza guess where all the stoned festival goers ran for shelter? The porta potties. What happens when multiple people stuff themselves into a shit-filled box? It tips over. Oh the hilarity.

Another upside to this week is that I’m going to Door County, WI on Friday. I’ll be sure to blog out there as I relax my head off and enjoy nature. Maybe I’ll even share a picture or two.

Goodnight folks and thanks for listening.