I’m Insane

I am very stubborn and when I set my mind towards a goal – I accomplish it. Most of the time. Too bad that does not apply towards chores and housework. I have been working a lot of hours and this past week was a marathon. Monday – Wednesday I went to MN for a work conference, with about 6 hours of sleep for the past couple of days Wednesday was my first “crash” day. I slept most of the afternoon and all night. I worked again on Thursday and Friday until my DSL was finally disconnected.

The task of packing the fishies and tanks began. After most of it was done and I took some sleeping pills around 5 PM. I needed to be knocked out so that I could wake up in the early hours of the morning. I fought the weird half awake half numb state that the sleeping pills caused as long as I could. A little bit before 7 PM I crashed again and woke up to my honey hugging me and letting me know she was not letting me go alone. After talking her out of it, ( and I claim this win only to her half asleep state after she stayed up until 1 AM packing for me the necessary stuff and other miscellaneous things for the trip) I set out into the night.

The first 4 hours were good. A fresh pot of coffee in the morning, half I chugged at the house and the other half I took with me. I was only going to stop for gas, bathroom breaks and caffeine consumption. Right before dawn I ran out of coffee, and my brain started to tell me… dude you are in trouble. I stopped for gas and my first instinct was to replenish my caffeine stash. I blame this brain-fart on the zombie like state I was driving in, I had mentally turned off everything except for my driving skills and my ability to sing girlie songs (I was listening to Maroon 5 by this point). My barista by nationality abilities were checked at the door when I chose to refill my travel mug with French Vanilla Cappuccino from a machine. My brain woke up its emergency alert system and tried to spill it, but I ignore the warning. At this point I am getting close to Indianapolis. I start to notice that I am actually starting to feel tired. I am not even half way into my quest… so I upped the situation to DefCon 2 after realizing that I was using faulty fuel. I chugged the remaining coffee by-product and let nature take its course. I figured that my bladder would keep me awake until I could get some real caffeine in my system again.

The plan had worked. My body was awake again and I made it to my next stop. As I walk into the gas station, my first question was, where is your restroom? before the lady behind the counter responds like a sign from the heavens, red bull 3 for 5 dollars in a huge tub full of ice. I was saved; red bull was going to give me wings. I am leaving Indianapolis, which btw is far less impressive than I thought… I am sorry if there are any people from IN that read this, but seriously your State needs some attraction because it is still on my list of States you just drive through even after seeing Indianapolis. I looked at my map and saw that the best course to get to St Louis the quickest was I-70. So, I take that route thinking that around 7 AM I was going to wake up Travis and guilt him into meeting me for breakfast. I waited until 7 AM and somewhere in the middle of Indiana, I woke him up. After wrestling with the signal I figured out that I miscalculated. I thought he lived close to I-70 from my past visits to him, but I was always coming from Chicago, this was the first time approaching him from the IN side… well, he lives close to I-72 which was about an hour North. I blame this miscalculation on the lack of caffeine and just being in Indiana.

Making killer time I made it to St Louis. I had hoped that I was going to be able to take a good look at the Arch which I have never seen before. However there is a section of I-70 that kind of circles the city, but also a more direct way that cuts that loop which is 270… so I chose to save the time and skipped seeing the Arch. To my surprise while crossing the river I find that I can see the Arch and downtown from a great distance… it is an amazing thing to see that huge arch just as tall as the big buildings. I am looking forward to seeing it up close. I then continued to Kansas City. My body had been cooperating until I entered Missouri. I then had to take my first real break and go into a Jack in the Box for some food. I actually sat down and took the one and only break.

I made it to KC in about 13 Hours + gas stops and breaks. No one believes me that I set the cruise control the whole time and I did not go over the speed limit more than a couple of miles here and there. But I did… I don’t recommend it since it takes someone really crazy to actually try it, but it can be done. Surprisingly I did not fall to sleep right away when I got to our new place… I had time to kill all the fish that I kept alive during the whole trip. Only about 5 of them made the first water change… I am not sure if KC puts something different in their water but they did not like the change. I know quite a bit about fish, I have been a fishgeek for years, so I know what to do, I am sure if I would have cycled the tanks for a week things would have worked better, the fish were pretty hardy but could not take the shock… it could have been that KC water if fille with chemicals… So, unless you have some great insight into KC water chemicals, keep your fishy suggestions to yourselves! (I’m still mourning the death of many beloved fish so, touchy subject… you have been warned). Before I close this post I want to say that there were two reasons for me to make the trip straight, one I had to get to the leasing office before it closed, and two I wanted to keep the fish alive… which I was successful in doing until the were tanks set up.

One thing I do want to note about my new hometown, people are really nice. I had stopped in numerous gas stations along the way in 3 other States, and it was not until I got to MO that I was greeted by a stranger… It makes me happy to live in a place where everyone holds doors for you and greets you like a friend.

Moving

I am not sure how many of you have made big moves during your lifetime, but man is it stressful. There is not only the packing and restablishing of the services in the new places, there is also the emotional stress of the people you are leaving behind.

I did not like Michigan as much as I had hoped I would. I like a lot of the people I met, but suprisingly enough it was a 50/50 kind of thing. I met a lot of jerks, losers and overall people that I just don’t want to associate with. Starting the process of meeting new people again can be a hard task… but what if the place where you are going everyone you meet is a decent person…

Growing up I moved around my hometown a couple of times. I never really considered it a big change, and most of my teenager years were spent in the same place. Even when I did move, I still saw my extended family every weekend and I managed to always stay in touch with most of the people I grew up with. When I started High School over there I got to know a lot of new people but only related to a few. Some of them I am still in contact with thanks to the internet. I had achieved a level of freedom in my city that was exhilarating for me. I could hop in a bus and get around the city with no problem. I would go visit friends, go watch movies or go to my favority burger and hotdog joint.

Then I moved to Chicago. Almost out of highschool and not knowing anymore language than what sesame street might have been able to teach me I became I suddenly lost all of my freedom. My parents were very concerned so I could not just say, I’ll be back later and set out to just hang out. Slowly I made some good friends, but it was not like in Colombia where the public transportation was very accesible to me. Here I had to be driven by other people if I wanted to get around. Not knowing English was another problem, I could not even go to a fast food place and get a meal. By the time I was a senior I had started to speak a little more english and I bought my first cars with the money I was making working at McD’s. It was as if the wings that were clipped when I moved had suddenly grown back.

One of the things I did first was drive as far as I could to get somewhat lost. Not to the point that I had to call someone, but where I would have to find my way back on my own. I got to know Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area pretty good. I will never forget the day that I took Travis around Chicago and showed him the city and he said, I cannot believe a foreingner is showing me my country. That is just how I am though, if you put me in a unknown environment I eventually find my way around.

I love Chicago. It is still my favorite city in the world. Great food, great blue collar attitude and just an overall pride that tells East and West coasters, we don’t have to shout we are better than you… we know we are. ;)

A little over 3 years ago a job brought me out to Michigan. I have only the good friends that I made to be thankful about. Besides that this state really beat me up emotionally. People are overall cold and reserved. Even though they are always polite, they say how are you doing without really caring what you respond. At times I felt like responding, purple turtle, to see if anyone would even notice. I did make some great friends, but it happened toward the very end of my life here. I did get to meet a lot of people, but most of them were just passing friends. I hope my friends do come and visit me out in KC some times, but if I know anything from experience, only a couple of them will make it out there.

So far I have spent a total of a couple of weeks out in KC, but I am amazed at how nice people are. I would venture to say that the people are even nicer than the ones in Chicago, but maybe I have just been lucky and met all the nice ones first. My coworkers welcomed me in such a way that I never expected. I did not need to rent cars or pay for hotels because they were all ready to take care of me while I needed it. One of the things that always bothered me about moving to Michigan was that after I got the job my boss never invited me out to dinner, his church or any other event. I felt that since he was the one that made me move out here he should have done a lot more to make me feel confortable than do a simple drive by the apartments I was going to move into. When I voiced that to people in the past they always told me I was expecting too much. At my new job I have not even have to ask once, and I have gotten dinner, free stays and an overall commitment to make sure I feel confortable in KC. Someone could argue that maybe it is that the companies were different sizes… but in reality, my last employer could have afforded a lot more than what they did for me. Maybe it is just KC, maybe I am just lucky… even thought moving is not easy, meeting new people made me understand that “alone” does not apply when you have good freinds around.

Where is Logtar?

Well, I have been in KC and Jefferson City MO. Working hard, very hard I might add. This new job has my time super occupied! but I am loving every single minute of it. I finally feel appreciated by my employer and its great. By the time you read this I will be back in Michigan. I am looking forward to this long weekend and getting tonse of sleep!

Kansas City

My first visit to KC was quick. I was there to interview for a job and I came in and out getting to see only highways and the airport. What little I saw I liked. Even though KC is in the middle of the great flat lands of our nation it is surprisingly hilly. A lot more than what I have seen in IL or MI. My second visit was mainly to find a place to live, looked at various places but decided on something medium sized.

One of my biggest complains about Michigan has been that there is not a lot of great places to have a good meal. The Tri-City area (Saginaw, Midland and Bay City) is horrible when it comes to good restaurants. In my 3 years here I found one good Mexican chain (Los Cuatro), one good Italian restaurant (Villa Di Alexandro) and a couple of good Asian food places (Pi’s and Genji’s). There was other places to have a good meal but nothing that was a place I would want to come back to town and say, I have to stop at X for Y.

One weekend in KC and I already have places that I want to visit again. Besides the chains that I had missed, like Red Robin and Chipotle, KC has great BBQ places. Not only that but the Mexican food that I had at Baja 600 was outstanding. They had a freshly made guacamole that was almost sinful.

The architecture in KC is awesome. There is a mixture of styles all over the place that makes the city seem almost surreal. A lot of streets have statues right as you enter them, something I have never really seen before. There also seems to be an encouragement of artistic expression not confined to just the “Art center” of the town. Everywhere you look in KC you can see either fountains or sculptures.

A ten minute drive away from the city takes to wonderful open nature. The amount of trees all around is outstanding for a developed city. The birds seemed almost eager to come and greet you, even though they were just hanging around trying to pick up half eaten chips off the floor at the outdoor eating area. Cows, yea even the cows looked happy to see us visit their town.

The people in KC were very welcoming. They all seemed to be polite, respectful and willing to help you if you needed it. Everyone we talked to was very glad to have a conversation with us and talk about whatever topic we put in front of them. Not that everyone in Michigan is rude, but trying to hold a conversation with a stranger can be as difficult as trying to dodge the rain in an open field.

Airport Blogging

Sitting here waiting for my flight the Kansas City airport has free wireless so I am taking the chance to do a little Airport blogging.

I found a nice townhouse to live and got to visit a lot of neat places… more details to come :)

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