Watching Movies

May 25, 2010

As we like to do, my wife and I decided to watch a couple of movies over the last couple of nights. We have a large library available in addition to Netflix so we have a lot of movies available. On Monday night I had a really tough time which caused us to turn things off. I was already having a tough couple of days then we watched “An American Werewolf in London” and there’s a bunch of talk to the main character about how he needs to commit suicide to end the werewolf chain. I was OK until a character said that he should use a gun because it’s reliable. We got through that OK, then started watching another movie.

We then started to watch “Extraordinary Measures”. I thought this would be a nice “feel good” type of movie. We lasted about 15 minutes before we turned it off. I couldn’t keep watching this story about a family losing their child. Yes, it’s a totally different situation, but I still could not watch it. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and we stopped.

Tuesday night we watched “Falling Down”, which, at least in a side story, involved Robert Duvall’s character losing a child.

After that we watched “Blood Work” which repeatedly showed a killer shooting a victim in the head. I had to turn away every time. I held it together, but it was tough.

The season finale of CSI: Miami repeatedly showed a woman being shot in the head.

It’s “interesting” how many movies have similar themes. Nothing like that has ever bothered me before. I’ve never had anything against violence in movies and I still don’t. I’m not calling for anything to be changed or am not against violent movies. None of this would have bothered me  two months ago. Now, depending on the day, I cannot even make it 15 minutes into a movie without breaking down and there are definite situations that cause me to at least turn away.

It’s just another of those weird things that you never think about, yet now changes your life and how you look at things.

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My aching foot

May 22, 2010

Much to my chagrin, my wife’s cat (*ahem*) woke me up at about 5:30AM on Saturday. This is more or less normal, but still sucks on the weekend. As I started to roll out of bet to get the pissy cat some food I noticed the sharp pain in my left foot.

Crap, my plantar fasciitis is acting up again.

I hobbled out of bed, fed the cats and went back to the bedroom. I grabbed one of the splints I have and put it on. Too little too late, but it can’t hurt. The thing that’s stupid is that my lovely wife asked me last week if I had worn them lately and I acknowledged I hadn’t but I would then. Of course I didn’t. It’s probably been two months since I last wore them and that’s about the limit I can go now. If I wear them once a week every couple of weeks at bed then I don’t have problems.

Of course, I’ve had a few other things on my mind and my go to bed routine often has me “watching” TV for a couple of hours after my wife goes to bed. By that I mean I go out to the living room, flip on the TV, maybe pull up the laptop for some browsing and such, and watch some TV. And by “watch” I mean eventually lay down on the couch and fall asleep until about 2AM. Then I groggily head into the bedroom and fall asleep until the alarm goes off at 5:45. I am not always thinking clearly at 2AM and don’t always remember to wear the splints.

Plus it’s uncomfortable to wear them. Not so much the wearing, but it’s harder to sleep. It’s hard to roll over and get comfortable, especially if I wear both. These things are like big snow boots, but stiff to keep your foot flexed.

Oh, did I mention the cats?

Our cats sleep on the bed with us and there’s usually one curled between my legs or against me or something. This makes getting comfortable even more difficult. They’re so cute though, I feel bad moving them, so I do all sorts of contortions just so they stay comfortable.

Anyway, today has been spent hobbling around the house. I’ll be making sure to wear the splints tonight and hope that it clears up soon. It usually does if I take care of it and, at least for me, is preventable if I remember to wear them.

The past week has been OK. I’ve been taking care of some of the business side of things (more on that later), which is actually a tough thing to do. This side of things is starting to wind down, but there are a couple of big things left. You wouldn’t think there’d be much to do with a 21 year old who had no assets, but there’s more than you think. Today (Saturday) has been a little tough, and I always have problems on Sundays, so I’m already not looking forward to tomorrow. We’re getting through things though, it’s one day at a time though and every day is a challenge. Some days are better than others and you never quite know when things are going to hit.

Biggest Loser 2010: I won!

May 17, 2010

For the last few years a few of us at work have run a “Biggest Loser” contest to try to get us to lose some weight. It’s like an office pool, you pay in and the winner (based on percentage of body weight lost) gets most of the money. The same guy has won it the last couple of years, which caused this year’s participation to drop to just four people. This year we decided to make it more interesting by increasing the buyin to $200 and increasing the length of the contest to 5 months in hopes that it will actually cause people to change. You can earn some of that back based on the amount of weight you lose (3% you get $50 back, 6% is $100, 10% is $150, $50 always go to the winner).

I got off to a good start, and halfway through I had lost 25 pounds and was in the lead (we had monthly weigh ins). The previous winner was close though, and one of the other people had actually gained weight. However, over the last month I had bigger things on my mind and while I didn’t go crazy I didn’t worry about the diet. I had already started to plateau so I thought I lost, however the other guy had to go out of town for two weeks for some training. Thankfully he thought he thought that I was in the 12-15% range and basically gave up.

Today was the final weigh in and I lost 8% of my body weight (about 20 pounds) and the next guy was 7% so I barely won. Due to the way the payouts work I’m walking away with $450.

Now I just need to figure out something “fun” to get with it. I’m kind of thinking of an iPod Touch (despite the fact that my current old school iPod is still working). Could use the rest for a night at the ‘ol card club and be “that guy” and wear some sunglasses and iPod at the 2/4 tables.

I’m not done yet, i want to lose another 20 pounds, but now I’m going to add some exercise into things and not got so hardcore on the diet. I can do it, but right now it’s hard to think about dieting too much, but I know I’ll get back on track and it’ll start to come off again.

A Relaxing Afternoon with T-Mobile

May 16, 2010

I just got back from the T-Mobile store to convert my wife’s prepaid cell to post paid on my account. I’m not sure we’re going to save all that much, if any, in the end but it will be easier to manage and it will give her a smart phone.

That in itself is a total cluster. First they say that they may not be able to let her keep her number. This is a prepaid T-Mobile number going to a post paid T-Mobile account. The guy (who was super helpful and patient and understanding) said that it always works going the other way, but not always this way. This makes no sense to me whatsoever, but we’re trying it anyway.

I switched a no contract family plan because I already had phones (I have the Google Nexus One and I am giving her my old G1). Then they said that I wouldn’t be able to convert back to a contract type plan if I changed my mind because the numbers wouldn’t port back that way. Again, this makes no sense. I still did it because usually if you pay full price for the phones you are coming out ahead by around month 18 anyway, so it’s not really a big deal long term.

So now she’s got 2 phones for 48-72 hours because they gave her a temporary number on the G1 while waiting for the old number to port. Wow, that’s convenient.

I attempted to do this over the phone and got to step 1a before I realized that it was going to be a total cluster and I told the CSR that I’d just go into a store to do it. Thankfully I did because it still took an hour to do it and was a bit confusing.

Oh, and in the process they removed the Internet from my phone. Awesome. The whole point of the Google phones is to have Internet, it’s basically worthless without it. The guy said, “Oh yeah, that happens sometimes during a plan conversion” but he got it put back before I left. Thankfully he knew it may happen and had me check before I left.

The whole process was just awesome 😛 Seriously, this shouldn’t be this hard. I’m still just crossing my fingers that the number ports correctly since that’s not a done deal yet.

The weather here has finally been good and I’ve been able to get out on my deck which I really enjoy. We grilled up some steaks last night and watched a movie. Nothing too exciting, just trying to get back to “normal”, whatever that is now.

One Month

May 11, 2010

A month ago today we lost our son. Today was very difficult, I figured it would be because it started to hit my on Monday. I worked from home because I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through the day without breaking down.

I was right.

Things have been going forward, but it’s been really tough. Today my wife took care of some of the business side of things dealing with an insurance company and as usual she did a bang up job and it looks like things won’t be an issue (*whew* because it would have been really expensive otherwise). This side of things really sucks. Things need to get done, but it’s hard to think about them.

On Mother’s Day we hosted lunch. My parents, my brother’s family and Jon’s girlfriend came over. Everything went well. The food turned out good (I grilled some steaks and everybody went home with leftovers) and the talk was good. Little Audrey explored our backyard and loved sniffing the flowers. I’m glad Emily came over, it was really good to see her and she’ll always be family. I’m glad we decided to stay in this year, it was much more comfortable. Family is so important now, I know I wouldn’t be able to able to get through as well as I am without them, although they’d say I’m not dealing with it yet, which is probably true.

It was still a very tough day for everybody though. I know it was for my wife and I can only imagine how my mom dealt with it (considering she just lost her mom less than two weeks ago). The day started out “normal” for us, then we started cleaning up. It was then that I went to my wife, and while holding back tears, told her: “Happy Mother’s Day.” We just held each other and cried a bit. It was tough, but we love each other and got through it together.

I’m already dreading Father’s Day…

Cleanup Day

May 8, 2010

Every year my city has what they call a “cleanup day”. They have a garbage company come out to the city and they subsidize getting rid of whatever you haul out there. We do this every year and you’d think that after a few years we’d run out of things to get rid off (that we couldn’t normally get rid of in our garbage), but inevitably there’s a few big things that we haul out in my van or my brother’s truck. This year they had cheap electronics disposal and I got rid of all my old “normal” TVs, not to mention about 25 cans of paint.

As I sat in the van waiting my turn I remembered last year’s cleanup day. Our son came along to help me unload and such. Sometimes the lines are long and we had to wait about 40 minutes that time. We had a good talk during that time. In retrospect, I probably should have talked about “serious” things, but we did have a good talk, even if it was about “stupid” things. When your child is 20 years old, any time with them even talking about unimportant things is a good time.

I had forgotten about that day until this morning. While it was hard to think about it, I did smile when I remembered it. It’s funny how when you look back, it’s the strangest places and circumstances where you may have time to talk with your kids. For those of you who still have the opportunity, make sure you make those times count.

Date Night

May 6, 2010

About a year ago my wife and I decided that we wanted to enhance our communication. We were dealing with some new things and needed to talk things through. We were also dealing with my wife being laid off, which added to the stress. We also determined that sometimes we communicated better outside of the house. Therefore we instituted “Date Night” to happen every Wednesday night.

We decided to go to the local pizza place/bar, Adagio’s Pizza Factory, because we wanted to be able to talk and just relax and not have to fight the dorks at the sports bar. We couldn’t have picked a better place. I can now fully understand the liking of the neighborhood bar because it is a joy to go there.

The staff is incredible. Ashley, Joe, Chantale and the crew are great. We don’t even order anymore, we just walk in, sit down and in a minute or so we have Sapphire martinis sitting in front of us. A bit  later we have this sitting in front of us:

How awesome are those nachos?

This has been a great way for us to talk, cry, and even fight. We’ve been “asked to leave” and offered a ride home from the pizza delivery guys. We always have good talks there, some (much) more serious than others, but in the end the important thing is that we both come away feeling that we’ve addressed things that are on our minds. Date night has been one of the things that has kept us sane and on the same page for the last year. I’m not sure how we got by without it.

I’d encourage others to take time to make a date night of their own. It doesn’t have to be every week, but make it regular and make it important.

Goodbye Grandma

May 4, 2010

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, my grandma died at the age of 86. She lived a long and full life and had been sick the last few years so while there was some acceptance ahead of time, it still sucks to lose my last grandparent. She was a stubborn and determined person, but loved her family and would do what she could do for them given her limited means.

I’ll admit to not being the best grandchild (she had 18) the last few years. She lived in Des Moines, IA, I live in the Twin Cities, MN and while it’s only 4 hours away, I didn’t make any trips down to see her. I saw her once a year during the family Christmas, but that was probably it. I honestly don’t think I even saw her during 2009 (Christmas was cancelled due to weather and work issues), and I feel bad about that now. She made the trip up for Jon’s funeral and it look like it affected her. It meant a lot to me that she came up (and I thank those in the family that helped her get there) as I know it was not easy for her to travel.

I’ll also admit that I’m not very close with my relatives in Des Moines. This has changed a little bit thanks to Facebook. My cousins are very active there and it’s helped us at least keep up to date a bit even if we don’t always know details. In fact, it was through Facebook that I first learned of my grandma’s passing (about 30 minutes before my mom called to tell me). Such is life in these connected times. I’m not sure how much we’ll be connected now, my grandma seemed to be the reason that people got together, at least those of us outside of Des Moines, but we’ll see.

It was really hard to be at the funeral. I tried to hold it together and I did well. It was a different emotion than before, but it was there. It was hard to see all the other kids there. It was hard to hear Jonathan’s name mentioned. It was hard to lose another loved one so quickly.

What hurt even more was reading the folder at the funeral and seeing: “preceded in death by great-grandson Jonathan Halverson.” They read that aloud during the funeral and I about lost it. (I haven’t written the start of that yet, and that’s what prompted me to restart this blog, but it’s coming…)

To add insult to injury, as my wife and I went out to load up the van to leave we saw we had a flat tire. Unreal. Thankfully my parents were there and we rode with them to the funeral and such and then had some help from the hotel to get to a repair shop who was able to patch the tire within about 30 minutes and $20 later we were on the road. My hatred for cars grew that day again, but that’s a topic for another post 🙂

I do know that my grandma is now at peace, healthy and in good spirits and keeping an eye on Jon. Rest in peace grandma, you earned it.

Welcome back

April 28, 2010

Just a quick note to welcome back people to the blog.

It’s been a while, and the old one was focused on poker, which I haven’t played in any real way in a couple of years. I’m not all that outgoing, and my life isn’t all that exciting, so I kind of let the old one languish. Eventually the server crashed and I didn’t bother setting it back up. I know all the old links and RSS feeds are broken, but in reality, that’s a bunch of old low level poker grinding stories. Even I get bored reading those now.

My life has changed greatly since then, then next post will detail that.

It’s been an interesting couple of years since I last blogged, and although I can’t promise that it will be that exciting, but it could be a good way to vent and to stay connected. I don’t play much poker any more and there will definitely not be any hand histories here because I find them boring. My poker blog reading has shrunk to a handful of the old guard and maybe not surprisingly they don’t post a lot about poker.

Thanks for coming back, and I hope I can update this more frequently than I did when I basically just dropped off the face of the blogger earth.