Flexibility is NICE

I don’t mean the bendy kinds. I wouldn’t know what those were if they walked up and punched me in the face.

No, I mean the sort which allow you to do what you need to when you need to do it.

You see, my kid, Mal, was the first kid born in AZ in 2013. I would say that is some sort of PII (personally identifiable information) which should never be shared, but there were news articles written about it. He’s never going to be able to use his birthday as a secure method of password retrieval, that’s for sure! But the other down side is that he’s never going to get very good birthday parties. He’s always going to be out of school and the like. And as a guy with a late December birthday, I feel his pain.

More rambling below the jump.

I find myself . . . humbled.

Much of this will not be news to many of you (since we did not exactly hide what was going on when it happened), but last week our youngest, Georgia, got sick.

Quite sick.

We were on our way back from Kendra’s Birthday Extravaganza in Barcelona, Spain, when we got a call from my mom and dad, who had been babysitting the kids. She wanted us to know that little Jordi was running a fever. It wasn’t too bad, but she felt we should know. “No big deal,” we said . . . we were on hour 31 or so of a 39 hour trip home, and so our give-a-fuck about anything was pretty low. “Just keep an eye on her and if it gets BAD let us know.”

More rambling below the jump.

Marie Joyce Elward

Today the world lost a shining light. Marie Joyce Elward, my grandmother who was always called “Gigi” by her family, left us to join her husband, Mel, and her many friends who have gone before her to the Beyond.

My family and I had gone up to visit her in her home, and were joined by my mother and my aunt. We all spent time sitting and talking with Gigi (who had long since slipped in to a coma, but we spent quite a lot of time talking to her anyway) for some time before we decided to head out. My family towards home and my mom and aunt to lunch. None of us were gone long before the nurse called to let us know that she had passed.

Opinions vary as to whether she just wanted some peace and quiet in her house so that she could get on with getting on; or if she was the consummate hostess until the end: she couldn’t leave until all of her guests had!

More rambling below the jump.

3 Kids Stories

It’s not often that you get told you don’t talk enough about your kids, but unlike some people that I’m married to, I don’t post a whole ton on Facebook (and my dearth of FB posting is literally infinitely more than I used to, since I only recently re-opened my account).

However some family members recently asked me to share some photos and stories of the kids, and rather than devote a ton of space and time to one story, I thought I’d spend a bit of time telling a few. 🙂

Why? Because the little brats are small and it’s not like they can read.

More rambling below the jump.

A visit to Olympic Game Farm

I am fairly infamous amongst my family in my dislike for zoos. When I was younger I was like any other kid in loving them (so I’m told), but as I grew older I started being a bit snide and calling them “animal jail,” and as an adult I’ve basically refused to go.

But apparently I have a price.

That price is an adorable brown bear which will wave at you if you throw him bread.

No shit, my heart just melts every time I see that video. I can’t even stand it. I have had a thing for bears since just about forever, and when I found out that this guy’s home was “near” Seattle, I demanded we go.

Then I forgot about it.

More rambling below the jump.

Tradition

I like creating traditions. Following them I’m not always super fond of (the traditional hazing at my various high schools, for example, left something to be desired). But when you get to create the traditions, I think there’s all sorts of fun to be had.

As an example, I stole an idea from a co-worker of mine and every 4th of July I read the Declaration of Independence out loud to my family. My wife puts up with it and my kids are too young to understand, but I look forward to when they actively attempt to be elsewhere on that day. Similarly, I recite Henry V’s “St. Crispin’s Day” speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V on every October 25th. Why? Because A) I can and B) when you write a Master’s thesis about the Battle of Agincourt, that speech can’t help but become part of you.

More rambling below the jump.

RIP Sirius Rhodes

RIP Sirius Rhodes

About three quarters of the way through my freshman year, I decided that I did not like the University of Redlands enough that I would be returning the next year. As such, I applied for (and got accepted very late to) the University of Arizona. The late nature of said acceptance meant that I would have to find accomodations with friends from high school rather than in the dorms. This was a good thing, because I was then able to do something I had always wanted: get a dog. That summer, nine years ago now pretty much to the day, I went to the local pound a picked up a pound puppy. I named him Sirius which meant “Companion” and was the name of Orion’s dog in Greek Myth.

The people at the pound and the vet that I took him to later all said that Sirius would not get too large. They were all wrong. He grew up to be roughly the size of a small horse. And ironically enough it was because of the mistreatment of Sirius by my roommates that lead me to leave that first house in Tucson and get my own apartment. Later, when I moved to Scotland, I was forced to leave him behind and so he went to live with my parents and his soon-to-be best friend/worst enemy Tahoe Rhodes. By the time I got back, Sirius had melded with that part of the family and I couldn’t bring myself to part him from them and so he and I never lived together properly again.

Two days ago my Mom called me to tell me that he had been diagnosed by the vets with cancerous pollups on many of his internal organs (spleen, liver, and bladder). One or two of these could be handled with surgery, but the bladder pretty much cinched it. Today my Mom, Dad, and I all went together to the vet and stayed with him as he was sent on his Final Journey. He was almost exactly 9 years old.

I know that to many this is a ridiculously long post about a canine that may technically not have even been mine and which many of you may not have know I even had any more. Those people have not raised a dog since puppyhood.

I am completely and utterly heartbroken.

And no small amount drunk. Seemed the right thing to do. Just saying.

~A.

Update of unknown length . . .

OK, first off, yes, (mostly) moved in to the new flat with only minor difficulties. And these were of the nature of medical problems (second round of kidney stones) and lack of items I thought I still owned . . . but don’t. Which sucks.

So I’ve spent more money than I had planned. Which is not as much of an issue as it could have been for two reasons. One, my parent/grandmothers are helping me out muy a lot (for instance, Gigi bought me blinds/curtains for the entire flat, the cost of which made me pee a little in terror at the thought of paying for them myself). The other, I got word that the promotion (HOLY CRAP!) that I had been working towards for the better part of a year had finally happened.

So yes, I am now a Supervisor for GD. This comes with an eventual pay raise (they put new sups on a kind of probationary period at first) and a whole hell of a lot more stress, but I really can’t complain because it’s pretty much all I’ve been working on for months and months at this point. And if it makes a difference, the team they gave me is one of my old ones that I was a Floor Lead for, so at least I already know the team and they know me!

Not much else going. As I’ve not written a while, I’ll say that (obviously, from the comments left) Alanta and I are still dating and doing well. Snotface and Husband of Snotface are both doing fabulously as well and have each gotten promotions/new jobs themselves. Mom is working her ass off for SSC as usual and also as usual is on the perpetual edge of a nervous breakdown. Dad . . . well, Dad is the same. He works, he plays golf, he watches the DBacks . . . he’s just Dad.

To be honest I don’t really know how pretty much everyone else is doing because I don’t really get to talk or see them very often. Between working 3rd shift, buying the flat, moving IN to the flat, and generally being exhausted all the time, I’ve not been left with much social time (sorry!).

I hope everyone truly is doing OK!

Cheers,

~Ash.

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Ah, Beltane.

Happiest of Beltane Greetings to my brothers and sisters who . . . well . . . know what I’m even talking about.

This day is a bittersweet one for me. It is one of the most important holidays to those who share similar beliefs to my own . . . a day to celebrate life, fertility, and all that is generally good in the world. And yet, it is also the day that my grandfather, Mel Elward, died two years ago. I will regret until the end the fact that I did not make it back from Glasgow in time to say goodbye. I was set to fly home the next day for just that purpose, but I was simply too late.

So I say again Happy Beltane to everyone out there, and at the same time, I miss you, Papa. We all do. I hope you are happy wherever you are . . .

~Ash.

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Always with the bad . . .

It is an unhealthy time to be female and my friend. The two women who are closest to me in life and are quite possibly my closest friends (all baring family/girlfriend) are rather ill.

One, Carrie, found a lump in her left breast several weeks ago. She’s been poked and proded and it was determined that the lump(s) are probably not cancerous, but could certainly become so, and so therefore must be removed. Said lumps were removed on Friday, one of which is eloquently described as being the size of a golf ball. Needless to say, Carrie, in her indominable spirit, jokes that her beautiful cleavage is now unbalanced, all thanks to “Lefty.” Alas, the final word on the lumps’ nature (whether cancerous or not) will not come for several days, and so I shall be concerned until then. Nonetheless she is doing well, so I must be thankful for that!

But then comes my other friend. My dear dear one-time girlfriend and forever companion/manual-transmission-driving-teacher, Meggan. Meg has always had health problems of various natures, so I’m sure she didn’t think much of it when a few weeks ago she started to get horrid headaches daily. She eventually made an MRI apt but almost didn’t keep it as she was feeling so much better. She went anyway and was promptly rushed to the ER where it was revealed that she is bleeding in her brain. There is apparently a blood pool the size of a quarter in her head. The doctors are optimistic and say it is not life-threatening (or so she claims . . . she would totally lie to me to stop me worrying), but still I’m panicing more than I can say.

So I say to you all, especially those of you who lack a Y chromosome, PLEASE be careful out there! I’m rather attached to most of you and tend to get a little crazy when those I love are ill with no way for me to help them!

And please, spare a thought/prayer for my two dear girlies. The world would definitely be a dimmer place without either of them.

~Ash.