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A Long Overdue Update

The last time made any kind of an update to this thing I mentioned my mother's brother having cancer. I'm going to start out by saying he's still fine and alive. He's recovering and his wife is recovering from her Crohn's related surgery. That said, the last few months have been a series of emotional ups and downs for my family. On the ups side there's the preparations for my brother's wedding, my niece is in high school now, my cousin is expecting his first baby after ten years of marriage any day now, and another cousin had her third baby boy recently. Those are the ups. The downs it seems have been outweighing the ups.

Down number one, my uncle was found to have cancer. No not that uncle and no not that cancer. My father's younger brother was found to have an aggressive form of Leukemia over the summer. My dad last saw him on a trip out west with his brothers in June. He moved to Oklahoma to live near his son and his wife. It was good that he did because it gave him a base of operations for all of his medical issues. Up until this summer my uncle was battling heart issues and lung problems. That was the reason my father and his brothers went to visit him. Since then they learned he had Leukemia. As for me, I chalked it up as yet another health issue my uncle had to live with.

Down number two, my father refused to believe anything was seriously wrong. It's no secret in my family that my father can be stubborn as hell. That can be a frustrating trait in him and no one feels that frustration more than my mother. Time and time again over the remaining summer months she nearly begged and pleaded with him to call his nephews or talk to his brother about what was going on. No one really knows how much this affected him for life but I had an uncle that I, or anyone else in my family, never got the chance to meet. My dad's not the oldest in his family. That honor went to his brother who died because of a plane malfunction back in the fifties when he was a test pilot for the military. My father since then has a very hard time facing that someone just might be on their deathbed. That there caused my father and subsequently my mother and I to be out of the loop where his brother was concerned.

Down number three, my uncle contracted diabetic leg issues. After a lot of prodding and several e-mails my mother and my father got current information from Oklahoma. My cousin who had been living in Atlanta was now living with my uncle in Oklahoma. He had insisted that he'd be the one to take care of my uncle. My mom did not think that was going to be a good idea. My father famously denied any degree of how good or bad an idea it was and was just glad my cousin who had so many issues had a purpose in his life. After more poking and prodding from my mom my dad finally came to his senses and called his brother to talk to him about getting some home health care for his latest issue. My dad was too late to be the one to convince him and his son that it was a good idea. His other brother, the one who is ten times better at keeping in the loop, got to him first. Mom was just happy someone did and did not care about any hurt feelings my dad may have been feeling. That issue, the leukemia, and the current lung problems would at least have some proper medical attention even if it was two or three times a week.

Down number four, my uncle's health declines and he is sent to a long term care facility. By the time this latest issue arises September has rolled along. My mother's nephew and his wife were preparing for the arrival of their first child with a baby shower and my sister and niece were down for the day. After the shower we find out from my sister that she had been keeping in touch with our cousin in Missouri over Facebook. Now I'm on Facebook and I did friend my cousin but I'm terrible about keeping up to date with things on there. I didn't know just how bad things really were. Maybe I was denying things and maybe I wasn't but finding out my uncle was now at that point in a home of sorts brought about feelings of intense guilt. I felt guilty because I just couldn't feel what everyone else in my family was feeling. I just physically couldn't. My mom took it harder than anyone else because her family is quite emotional.

Down number five, my uncle is rushed to the hospital. September was on its way out and October was nearing. We had the first of two bridal showers for my brother and his fiance coming up. I had an eye doctor's appointment. My parents were going to head for Florida. To ease his mind in his typical fashion my dad made a lot of appointments. Drag me to one of our financial planners. Make time to see my brother-in-law's associate for some legal accounting advice. It was how my dad could deal with his brother's situation. He thought he could just call his brother and talk to him but my mom had to continually remind him that he was now in a long term care facility. He had to talk to my cousin to get any news a task he refused to do. Dad was just going to drive to Oklahoma with my mom before going to Florida and see my uncle in person. Calling my cousin was a task he should have done because while they were at their last appointment for September I received the call that my uncle was rushed to the hospital. His kidneys had failed him.

Down number six, at 2:45 am Sunday October 4 my uncle died. I didn't know it when noon rolled around and the bridal shower for my brother and his fiance began. My mom knew as did my dad but they didn't say anything. My dad's baby brother took him to one of my dad's favorite sports eateries in town to spend time with my mother's brother-in-law and his son (the one who'll be a father this month). By the time the shower ended my mother gathered the five of us together and broke the sad news. She was in tears and I could tell my sisters were in shock while my brother just didn't show any reaction. As for me, I didn't feel anything at all. I just couldn't feel anything. My uncle was sixty-nine years old and in the end his kidneys just couldn't function any more. On October 2 my father was given the chance to have one final goodbye over the phone. His brother and sister-in-law were present at the time of my uncle's death.

Last Friday we buried my uncle next to his parents and his oldest brother. It was a simple service provided by a funeral home he and his brother used to bowl for. He had a Cubs casket, his Cubs banner, a winning card hand, and somewhere with him a golf ball. Through the entire service and the week before I just could not cry like everyone else. My mom said at the time it was perfectly fine for me to not feel as sad as everyone else. It didn't hit me as hard as my uncle's daughter, sons, grandsons, and granddaughters. It didn't hit me as hard as my sisters and brother-in-law who had lost his own father years before we first met him. I may never cry but I still miss him. As for my mother's nephew, we're still waiting to hear if he and his wife are parents yet. She's due this Friday and if she has her way she'll walk from work to the hospital to deliver the baby. Last word at the wake she was three centimeters along. Where one life ends another begins.

Life is Sucky

Life sucks. Karma, Murphy, and whoever is in charge of the universe can shove it. My uncle has cancer and he'll damn lucky if he's still alive in five years. There's more but I'm really not allowed to say what's going on yet. Still there's at least some good stuff going on like my brother getting married this December and my niece starting high school next month. I'll give you guys a better update later as I'm typing on my iPod and it's hard on my thumbs here. Plus, it's slow as he'll. So yeah, expect a better update later.

A Little Help Friend's List

Yes I am alive here. But more on that later. Anyhow, I know a good portion of you friends list are into the Japanese music scene and can either name practically every album every group put out or know where to find such information. I have a buddy who's big into the early hip hop and Jazz funk sounds. He loves anything that has to do with 80s style dance crews, as he belongs to one. For the life of him he just can't figure out what album contains a song by a Japanese jazz funk/hip hop group he likes. It doesn't help he can't find much full English language info on them and he can't read Japanese. If any of you guys have any clues where to find what album the song comes from or know about the group in question it'd be great if you can help and point us in the right direction.

Here"s what he does know plus the video he linked toCollapse )

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help out.


It's way too early for...

...Easter candy.

That's right kids the small section of Easter candy hidden next to the massive display of Valentine's candy has appeared at the CVS around the corner. Easter candy should not be on the shelves until at least the Monday before Ash Wednesday. Lent does not start until February 25th and yet there's Creme Eggs and my weakness Mini Eggs out already. Cadbury has already sent out their Easter candy to the CVS and like the weak fool I am I purchased a mini bag of Mini Eggs this afternoon. I just can't be buying Easter candy every time I spot it. Pretty soon it'll be Peeps and Reese's peanut butter eggs. Then the real test of willpower begins. I'm weak and powerless to the call of the Easter candy. Weak I tell you. WEAK!


My name is Halo and I have an addiction...

...to Disney pins.

Oh my god. I had forgotten about the whole culture that surrounds the Disney pin collecting craze when I went to Disney last weekend. I forgot about the huge pin shop at Downtown Disney and what goes on outside that shop. I knew you could trade pins with cast members that work at the individual shops and resorts if they were wearing a lanyard with pins on it. What I did not know about was the huge culture that goes on with the individual collectors. It's just as bad as a comic book convention.

People like me will go to Disney and visit the parks, ride the rides, go to the resorts, and see the shows. Then they'll get a pin as a badge of honor that they "conquered" an intense ride. I picked one up for Space Mountain because I felt I deserved a personal reward for sitting in the front seat of the rocket car. Everywhere you go you see pin stands and displays at the shops connected to the rides and attractions. However, the Pin Traders at Downtown Disney is whole different atmosphere.

At the large pin shop people from all over the country and the world come in on specific nights just to set up a table and trade pins. They come on the same night every single year to do nothing but trade pins. They don't stick their pins on lanyards. They can't even fathom people doing that. They have special binders and messenger bags where they display their collections and oh what collections they have. You can't just go up to one of them and say, "I'll give you my duplicate series one handstand Vinylmation Mikey for your German flag Mikey head." Oh no they have specific things they're willing to part with but only if you have that one specific pin that can complete their sets and only if you're willing to give it up. In the end it's not worth it to try and trade with them if you're not as serious a trader as they are.

That duplicate series one Vinylmation handstand Mikey that I wanted to trade off no serious collector would even touch it. They hate the $10 mystery boxes. Reason being people like me are fools for taking their chances on something when they should be getting a complete set. Call me a fool for buying two boxes and getting two handstand Mikeys and two "costumed wrestler" Mikeys. I at least got rid of the extra handstand Mikey at the pin stand at my resort hotel for a "pissed off" pirate Donald from a stater box.


Quick Update

Just to let you all know I'm currently on the road to Disney. My brother is doing the Goofy Challenge this weekend (over thirty miles of running in two days)and we're going to watch the race and spend time with him and his girlfriend. So I'm currently sitting in a room at a Holiday Inn Express in Effingham. We left later than we thought we would because I procrastinated and slept in a half hour more than I wanted to. Anyhow, tomorrow night we should be either in southern Georgia or northern Florida. It all depends on when we leave here and how far we go. Hopefully, that half tank of gas in my car can get us to Paducha before we have to refuel. Gas prices are way less in Kentucky.

Come Wednesday I might not be able to get back on the net until Sunday night. It's not that the Magic Kingdom doesn't have net access at their resort hotels it's that the Magic Kingdom charges you a bunch for net access at their resort hotels. It's times like these when I wish I had a mobile net card in my computer. Oh well, if we really need to get on the computer we can pay the fee for one night of net access. Since my sister is staying at a Double Tree with her family she gets the free net access and I don't. Those net fees were the one thing a lot of people on a Disney Vacation Club forum were complaining about when I went looking for tips about having a laptop with you at Disney. I should be okay with my lock on my computer case, the safe for my parents' portable HD, and a few of my small electronics and jewelery. So that's the schedule for the rest of the week.


The Dark Knight Before Christmas

It's Just Some Random Guy offers this little DC spin on a beloved holiday classic.

Of Hair and Health

To quote the opening of my entry from Oct. 27th, 2008 at 7:13 PM, "Seven letters: I AM SICK." Once again I'm sick. It started overnight from Sunday to Monday with a dry mouth and an odd sounding voice. Then, it hit. Monday morning I went to take pictures for my sister (crap I need to get them to her) and by the time I got home around lunchtime I could not get warm for the life of me. I got really light headed and couldn't do much more than lay as horizontal as possible. I tried to get some stuff done Monday but that didn't help much at all. I ate some dinner last night and that's when all shit hit the fan. All of a sudden I went from "What the hell I can't get warm enough" to "Oh god I'm warm like hell." I had taken my temperature earlier in the day and at that time it was a little lower than the last cold I had but when I took it again when I was feeling warm it was over ninety-nine degrees. Mom said that was normal but I maintained it wasn't. Then, about an hour later I took it again and *BAM* almost one hundred one. I pulled the sickie's prerogative and claimed the couch after getting my jammies on. Fortunately, the cold meds broke the fever and by eleven or so I was back to normal. Good thing too because I had a hair appointment today.

Ah, the hair. The bane of my existence for the last few weeks has been my hair. Love it or leave it the locks on my head have left their mark all over my house. My folks don't need a shedding dog when they have me around. Now I needed a cut anyway because it was getting to that time where the curl wouldn't curl as much and locks were a bit too long. Plus, it was just before my cousin's wedding over the summer when I last got a cleanup cut. Today, at my mother's suggestion, I tried her hair guy. He's a great guy and a community staple for all the ladies in her age bracket and the people he has working for him do hair for a bunch of people we know. Anyhow, he cut my hair. Boy did he cut my hair. It's now at the top of my shoulders and I have actual bangs again. I can still put it back in a headband if I want to and I can stick it in a hair tie at the bangs for when I go swimming. But the thing is I don't need the big barrette all the time anymore and I'm not cousin it anymore. No more hair caught in the straps of my purse, computer bag, camera case, and backpack. No more hunks of hair in huge knots. No more hair all over the house. I actually picked out one of my hairs from the dustpan in the kitchen this afternoon and felt a little sad. I'll miss all the things I used to be able to wear in my hair but it's better this way.

And on a side note my car has been sucking lately. Rather my tires have been sucking lately. I think I have bad stems on my tires because the passenger side tires have been going low and flat lately. I came home from picking up a sandwich to hear my front passenger tire hissing and going low. I'm going to have to get my car to the dealer and have them check out the tires because it's not safe driving on those things if we're taking my car to Florida again. More money for me to spend. I have a dental bill I need to pay on top of this. Oy.


Avatarded You Bet It Is

Back in August as the Olympics were beginning and we hit the date 08-08-08 I took part in the Worldwide Moment movement. At the time the moment took place I was in the mood to photograph my good old Aang action figure. I saw the time on my watch and figured I had no choice but to use one of my shots of Aang. So I sent in the photo and proceeded to forget about the fact that I even took part in the moment. Month's later as I was able to get caught up on my e-mails after the holiday weekend and the fact that our internet was out for a few days I find an update from the founder of the Worldwide Moment movement. He was finally able to put together the gallery of the images that he received which will be going into a book. Going through the gallery there I found it my moment with Aang. One of my photos is going to make into a book and it just so happens to be Aang.

Edit: The link starts at the beginning of the slide show. Just hit the forward arrow until you get the TV with Kirby as the first picture and there you'll see my Aang action figure.

Minor Update

Hey all after eight months of Gwee I decided to change my journal layout. For the first time in a while I'm no longer using any outside images. The entire layout is completely Photoshop produced. I'm still working on perfecting the technique used for the header but it's a lot better than my first attempt at it. Expect to see a new user info layout in the near future. As for the iconage I'm thinking of going back to making Flaaffy the default. I seem to be going back and forth between Flaaffy and a few others that aren't Gwee when I remember to change my icon. Anyhow take a peek and let me know what you think.


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October 2009


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