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.

Reason, Season or Lifetime

I wrote a post about poetry that I have not posted yet. I actually enjoy writing poetry even though I personally don’t think I am all that good at it. The first time I read a poem about friendship and the words reason, season or lifetime; I thought it was famous and well known. Later some google research showed me that it is actually something that has been used by many people in different ways and I truly have never again found the poem that I originally read. I have found some very long ones, but the one I read was short and sweet… I wish I would have memorized it. I will never forget what it actually meant to me. I’ll do my best to capture the essence of the poem.

Some friends come into your life for a reason, they come into your life and teach you a lesson but they exit your life in such a way that the lesson is learned and they seldom cross your path again.
Some friends come into your life for a season, they make your life better, but time or death leave you only with the great memories you shared.
Some friends come into your life a lifetime, they make your soul dance of joy every time you see each other and even through distance you stay close. Those are the ones you should cherish and hold very close to your heart.

I grew up thinking that most relationships were experiences that lasted a lifetime. I was rudely awakened when my best friend growing up died in a horrible car accident a year after I moved to the U.S. She was one of two people that ever wrote me while I was new here. Back in 1994 there was no internet everywhere and an international phone call was not something I could do all the time. Another post that I have written but never posted is one titled, my best friend was a girl. It is painful to even begin to think of the loss because when she died, a lot of my innocence died with her. I have no doubt we would have been friends for a lifetime.

When I encountered the poem I was still not completely aware that relationships could end as abruptly as some of them have ended for me. I thought that once you called someone a friend or a lover those people would never go away from your life. Even when relationships had ended I had amicable relationships with many people in my past. Then divorce comes through and taught me the lesson that some friendships were just there for a season. You learn, you live, you move on. Hard to swallow, but simple to understand.

The poem made sense to me back then, but I had not fully grasped what it really meant knowing someone for a reason. Sure, while you are with someone for a season you learn lessons, also a friend for a lifetime will make you a better person. I really did not understand the concept of having someone change you, but at the same time make you realize that they don’t need to be a part of your life, in fact some of them are toxic enough to be only approached with a radioactive suit on.

Enter Voldemort. I don’t talk about one of the worst experiences of my life very often here. I always believe that people should not be trashed online without the ability to defend themselves. What I will say about that relationship though is that it is the first time the reason part of the poem clicked. I learned so much about myself during that period of time in my life that I will never be the same person. One of the most important lessons is that you have to really evaluate what people bring into your life, and if it is at all cancerous you need to remove it before it takes hold in your life. Life is short.

Wait though, this is not a sad story…

Finding my life partner was not an easy feat. I went from thinking that relationships were a constant struggle to defeat many demons to finding that those demons are cute little bunnies that are fun to cook together. She will probably disagree with the animal slaughter part, but that is what is great, we disagree on many subjects and still love each other more every day. The kicker is that what unite us is so strong, the reasons that make us laugh so many, the inside jokes so numerous that I think I have laughed harder and more in the years I have been with Bea than the rest of my whole life combined.

Second is that this past week I received news for my best friend’s Mother and siblings and they are all doing well. I have not seen pictures of them in years and it was nice to see them and also the faces of the people that died in that car crash of the survivors. My best friend’s Mom happens to be one of my Mom’s best friends.

The third part is that I now have expanded my circle of friends (or gang as Average Jane calls it) so much it almost feels like a big family, even with little dysfunctions here and there, but overall it has enhanced our life quite a bit.

Last but not least is that I used to think I had no best friends anymore, and that the only way to have one was to grow up with one… it was sad to think that my best friend had died in a car crash… but then this year my best out of town friends visited me; Travis, Mike and Daniel bring happiness to my life, and the only regret is that we don’t live in the same town to see each other more often. Then here locally its Mark who is the little brother I never knew I wanted; lol. Nuke who every time someone says I am a nice person I want to finish the sentence with, well that is because you don’t know Nuke, lol… and last but not least is my most recent BFF, John who this past weekend sentenced me as his best friend and told me I cannot move back to Colombia, ever. I don’t know if to be happy or scared because this dude can actually crush my skull. A lot to get off my chest, thanks for reading!