Sh!thole Cowtown

That Tony not only reads this blog, but that he actually links my sometimes opposite views on his tabloid news site has been flattering. He is one of the people that I looked forward to meeting because I wanted to know the person behind the satirical blog, but I wanted to dig deeper. I hope someday he lets me actually interview him, not because people will like him afterward, he never set out to be popular, but because there is probably a lot more about that crazy local personality in the blog sphere that what is portrayed in his writings.

He was nice enough to post a link to our departure post, and his first commenter was nice enough to inspire this post. He called KC a “sh!thole cowtown.”

I have lived in 3 US cities now, and let me tell you that even though Chicago is a great town, KC is really not that far behind. I actually think that KC is ahead in many levels.

When it comes to great food Chicago might have more food choices, but in all reality you pay a lot more for them. For 15 bucks you can have an excellent meal in KC, in Chicago you have to pay over 25 to get the similar quality. There is defiantly more high end places and choices in KC, but with resources like KC lunch spots there are many things that I am sure you still have not tried.

The airport here is AWESOME. It has a very simple design, you can find parking easily. You get in and out in no time, try to do that in O’hare or even Midway, I dare ya.

Traffic. I laugh when people think that there is traffic in KC. They don’t know what a 2 hour work commute looks like. Sure Chicago has the train system and it works great, but try to get anywhere near downtown even at 4 AM and you WILL hit traffic in Chicago.

Accessible Art and Music scene. You can find a lot more art in Chicago and their museums are excellent but they are both super expensive and horrible to get to. You park and you walk forever, here you can make it an afternoon trip and have dinner and see some good art. Add to this that artist here in town are people you can interact with, if you have not done so you are missing out. The music scene here is the same way, you can hear some good music and not have to pay a prohibitive entry price at the door. In Chicago there is a lot of stuff, but when it comes to being able to actually get to meet an artist it cannot touch First Fridays.

Air quality. You have no idea what pollution can do to your body until you have lived it. Be thankful for the great air and plenty of trees that you have around. Concrete jungle might look pretty but air quality truly sucks.

Winter… you guys don’t have winter here… enough said.

Pace of life. It is a lot more relaxed here, it will take Bea and I a bit to go back to big city mode even though she lived in a city about the same size as Chicago (Montreal). People yell a lot more, and more crunched for time, there is a lot more running… the rat race is just something I don’t really look forward to and hope I can keep as slow as it is here.

The thing that hands down is great about this city is its people. There are nice people here, from the waitres that actually has a conversation with you and knows you by name, from the people that still hold doors for you. The a$$wh0l3 ratio is a lot lower here. I am not looking forward to fighting for a parking spot all the time or have people hunk on their horns like they just bought a new la cucaracha ring tone for their rice burner.

Sweet Home Chicago

Today I turn in my resignation letter. I would be a liar if I said I was not happy about the prospect and new opportunities both Bea and I are about to face. It is however very sad to leave this city that I have now called home for the past 3 years. Even though Kansas City has become a very cool place because of its shopping and entertainment district, what made this place cool were the friends Bea and I made. Some of whom very quickly became our surrogate family and made sure our emotional well being was more than taken care of.

So before I get into anything else I want to say, THANK YOU, for being there for us and making us feel part of this community, “Gracias MIL!”

I am absolutely terrified to face Spyder, her and Bea are peas in a pod when they start speaking French and get to be Canadian to each other.

I cannot wait to have a game of BSG with Andy before I go, and hopefully leave this town undefeated!

I don’t know how I am going to deal with not being able to see Nuke because his encouragement and positive reinforcement have made me a much happier person.

I hope that Chimpo and Jen take tons of pictures of Loren because I was looking forward to seeing her grow up.

I am sorry that XO is going to have to look for another Pimp, I was not getting him much business anyway.

I am embarrassed that we did not make more time to spend with Michelle and Eric because we always enjoyed their company very much.

I won’t ever have lunch buddies like Lane and Toast, willing to show me their favorite places and not afraid to try new stuff.

I expect Mike and Kerstin making us come back in the future and having to dress up.

I am going to miss being able to say I know talented people like Celeste and her hubby.

I know that Banky and Linda will probably be the first ones we see up there while they visit family.

It rips my heart out that now that I met my BFF and his wife we have to be hours apart.

I better get to meet in person all of you (you know who you are) that I have not had the pleasure to do so already.

I will miss the twitter crowd(@joeypants @socreepy @princessofworld @jeffisageek @msgigglebox @arogersphotos @angelchrys @markvanbaale), and don’t forget that bloggers were here first and simply rock more :p

… but I have to be who I am and think of all the positive this is going to bring.

I get to be back close to my family and Chicago friends.

We get to come back to Kansas City as tourists. We are also going to be sure to have a place big enough for people to come and stay with us.

I know many of the friends we’ve made while living here will be friends for a lifetime.

AXE Does Not Cut It

Believe it or not, I am a creature of habit. I have to try and be spontaneous, but I do like having some routines. I will try new things when I can, and sometimes love them, but sometimes things just go all wrong.

Bea and I don’t grocery shop together very often because my wife is a “gatherer” and I am a total hunting machine when it comes to going to the store. It was pretty rare that I went shopping with her not to long ago, and it was mostly to spend time with her and not so much the whole experience.

I am getting old, and I say this because one of my favorite deodorant and body was brands is old spice. Not sure why but I like how they smell. I am not totally brand loyal and if something is on sale and works, I go for it. Walking into the store that day and knowing one of the things I needed to buy was deodorant did not really seem like a big deal. Whatever is on sale is what my first choice would be. Well the whole trip turned into a lets change things up, and I ended up getting a different kind of razors and picking up the Axe sculpting hair creme and spray on deodorant.

At first I thought it was awesome, they both smelled great. That was a mistake, I remember my grandpa explaining deodorants to me when I was younger, he did work for a chemical plant that did a lot of toiletry type of stuff. He emphasized that when it came to deodorants I should not be fooled by the stuff that smells good, but go for the stuff that works.

The BFF and I have been working out consistently for a couple of weeks, but we started slowly. Our first workout that involved sweating profusely (and don’t get excited Chimpo, there was no actual physical contact) was our attempt at tennis. I played soccer a couple of autumns ago so I have gone into full sweat mode and had to drive with the “Eau du Logtar” in full effect in the past. Tennis was no joke though, I did not know I could actually smell that much, Axe does not do anything for you, it actually seems to be a B.O. enhancer.

So I said, well maybe what I did not use enough, nope, even after a reapplication of the stuff, if I sweat just a bit it freaking stinks more that is pleasant to me. I cannot see very well without glasses, I had to have bionic ears put in, heck even after the operation tasting food has been hit and miss… so smelling is my super power and dam that stuff just does not work.

Enter the freaking hair product. At first it annoyed me a little because for a product with sculpting in the name it made the little hair I have left fell just sticky not workable. The first couple of uses it has more of the cow lick effect than actually hair styling but whateves! as my wife would say. Then I started to notice that my scalp was getting dryer and dryer. Then a couple of days later, full snow storm… no need for fake snow in December, I think in a couple of days I could start decorating the X-mas tree.

I hate to be wasteful but I don’t think I will use very much of these products once I go back to the ones I know work very well. I guess I am going to have to use them for special events where I want to be stinky and so full of dandruff that someone might become truly become allergic.(ok you can fantasize now Chimpo.)

In more positive news, changing from overprized Mach 5 or 17 or whatever number of blades it is now, to the Sheik Cuatro was a good move. Its a lot cheaper and it works way better. Its nice to have actually purchased something that actually cuts as advertised.

Questions and Answers

Life is full of questions, the funny part is that it is also full of answers. Most people try to find the meaning to their life on their jobs, their religion, what surrounds them, but they seldom find a definitive answer. People love to question things, but when it comes to answers, seeking the truth becomes very subjective.

I have done my share of searching and in the past days I have received many answers, but a busload of more questions closely followed.

I received a huge compliment from someone I work with, to paraphrase what was said, I was told that I am willing to always evaluate myself and eager that better myself. It was a great because I constantly strive for self actualization and know that I have lots to learn about a lot of areas both professionally and in life. It was nice to see someone recognizing that I do try hard to do this, but most importantly that it shows. A part of having character is being able to admit and work on your flaw instead of hiding them or hiding behind them. The situation answered the question of “are people really noticing that I am trying hard?” but it opened up a new door to, “What other areas can I improve on?”

Recently I had to let go of another friendship. Trust is something so powerful yet so easily shattered. I will never understand why people use others to justify their views or opinions. Most gossip is created this way because instead of people saying, hey X is an #$#% they say, so and so said that X is an #$#%. The he said/she said game is so often played I wish people would just be up front about what they say. The situation answered a question I had never posed fully, “Can this person be trusted?” but it opened up a whole series of questions, “Why do people not value friendship and trust?”

Letting go of someone you thought was a friend is not a loss, you are always better off being surrounded by people that you can fully trust and that bring positive things into your life rather than drama. The question of “Is this person really worth my time?” which is one that I regrettably did not ask enough in the past is quickly answered. The new question is, “What makes some people so unhappy, insecure, or just detached, that they lose respect for the friendship or the people?” “Do people even care if someone else feels disrespected simply because their standards or morals are different?”

Religion is something personal, something some of us have and some others don’t want. Many intellectual conversations I had engaged on make people with no faith have a sense of superiority or enlightening when they chose that path. Faith carries me through the day, the week, my life. My faith has answered the question of “Why are we here?” with a simple “To love one another.” Being a believe though opens up so many questions, “Why are people of “faith” so so ready to hate?” (quotation marks inside of quotes seems redundant but necessary)

To love one another, to have true friendships, to have true relationships, to have a family, to make your friends your family… I think all of those are answers, and at least in my life, finding true relationships not only answers some questions, it stops many of them coming all together.