Changes

I used to love this blog. Then it got to be like a job. I was trying to force things to post about. I stressed over it. So I quit. Tried to come back last year, couldn’t quite pull it off. But life is a funny thing. Just when you think you have nothing more to say something happens and you realize there were a ton of things to say, stories to tell, events to share. Some of the problem is Facebook/Twitter. Why keep up with a whole blog when you can click share or post pics to tell your story?

But life can’t be told in 140 characters can it? And even the most mundane Facebook post can spark uncivil war. So maybe it’s time to revisit the old Suburban Guerrilla homeblog. Tell some stories that need to be told and some that don’t. There have been a lot of things happen in this trailer park since I last posted regularly. Lots of epic tailgates. Two puppies have joined the crew and one has been lost. The Princess and Budman have grown up and out.

So I think I’ll try to go back and capture some of those stories. Memorialize some of those precious memories. Share some of those good times. And that is important because life brings unexpected changes. We’re all going to need those great memories as we live through some not so great times.

Life can change in an instant. In our case it was not like a lightning bolt. More like a slow motion train wreck. It started with a cold. Or the flu. Or some other passing annoyance that just hung around. The Esposa got sick. Then her Mother passed away. Facing a long car trip we decided to hit the ER for a Z pack and maybe an inhaler. In and out we thought. Go early in the AM, out in time to stop for lunch while the pharmacy filled the prescriptions.

If only.

Within an hour pneumonia was diagnosed. Within two she was in the ICU. By dinnertime on a ventilator, packed in ice to bring down her 105 degree fever. Within 24 hours chemically paralyzed and strapped into a device that kept her flipped on her front side so her lungs could expand. Within 48 hours tests confirmed she had Legionnaire’s pneumonia. We almost lost her. Christmas came and went. Then New Year’s. But she fought her way through it. Weak and beat down. All we needed was a couple of weeks in rehab. Physical therapy. Get her strength back.

If only.

Doctors at the rehab hospital were concerned about a potential intestinal blockage. They ordered an abdominal CT scan. Then they scheduled another for the next day, with dye this time. What they didn’t say was that they found concerning liver spots on the first one and needed the second to confirm a diagnosis. A diagnosis that no one would enunciate. It was there in their downcast eyes. In their lowered voices. Transferred back to the big hospital for more confirming tests, biopsies and such.

After 4 days the diagnosis was clear, but the tests would take several more days to come back. So we fought our way out of the hospital, lined up some home nurses and she got to sleep in her own bed for the first time in three weeks. Oncology appointments. Chemotherapy. Surgical insertion of a chemo port. Now, just fight through it. It’s just lost hair and nausea.

If only.

Four weeks in, oncologist notices an irregular pulse rate. Referred to a cardiologist. Diagnosis? Atrial Fibrillation. More pills. More risk. More worries.

Multiple times throughout this truly slow motion two month and counting train wreck I have thrown up my hands. “Jesus take the wheel!” But I always grab it back, try to fake like I’m in control again, only to realize (once again) that I’m not in charge here.

So to keep myself from looking forward past the next round of meds, the next round of chemo, the next doctor’s appointment; I’m going to look back. Write stories about the good times. Road trip to Tuscaloosa to watch Johnny Football beat Bama. Buying a boat last summer. Nights at the Dixie Chicken. Years worth of good memories to retain, relive and retell.

A sweet distraction from the truth. The truth is that I lack the faith and courage to relinquish control of my life to God. And maybe while I’m distracted I can finally cede control. Finally have the faith that I need to have. And let God take control.

Good times.

 

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ZOMFG!!1!! I’m Bloggin’!!1!!

It’s been a long summer. While I never intended to take the summer off, that’s pretty much the way it worked out. Funny thing, before the summer sabbatical I was getting tens of hits per day. After three months of my hit count has dropped to…….tens of hits per day. Must be bots. Clearly it’s not the content.

Anyway. It’s been a busy summer with lots of activities of which I will regale you in later posts, but with the election coming up, the kids back in school and football starting up I thought it was time to dust off the old WordPress machine and get back into writing mode.

Catching Up

lgindhead.jpgI guess I should have put one of these up after my last post.  “Semitough has reached the end of the broadcast day.” Younger readers accustomed to 24X7 television may not recognize a test pattern or understand that TV stations used to sign off for the night and there was nothing on overnight.

One of the perils of living in the Suburban Jungle is that one never knows when life events, kid activities, or simple ennui will overwhelm what precious little free time we have.

My deal over the past few weeks is a little bit of all three. First I got a new gig at work. Still finishing off the old one, but I was one of the lucky ones. Lots of good folk are moving on. Between The Princess and her senior activities, everything is “the last time I’ll ever….” and the Budman and his sports activities it has been hectic. Throw in a little traditional Semitough Holiday Funk ™ and there you go. No blogging. So now to catch up here is the last few weeks in a nutshell.

regionchamps.jpg

The local gridders continued their romp through the 5A playoffs winning their Regional Final and qualifying to play in the State Semifinal. Unfortunately the boys fell short this past Saturday night on the very same Texas Stadium field where their playoff quest began. Plano’s unprecedented eighth Texas state football championship will have to wait for next year. Much of Plano was at the game and all who were there agreed, these guys left it all on the field. They were battered and hurting but gave it their all, losing by a field goal in double overtime. Good job Wildcats! I’d tell you what classless clowns the Trinity Trojans, their student body and their fans are with their longtime (dating back to 2005) sacred haka dance ritual, but if I told you all what a bunch of whimpy posers they are that would sound like sour grapes so I won’t. I won’t even go into how rude and immature their students were during the Star Spangled Banner or how after that show of disrespect they got all bent because the Plano band played the fight song during their special rite. No, that could definitely be construed as sour grapes so I won’t even go there. Even telling that one Samoan dude to get a haircut might be misunderstood so I won’t even say that. Seriously. My lips are sealed.

Speaking of football…..the Aggies are playing Penn State in the Alamo Bowl down in lovely San Antonio. Guess who has 4 tickets and a reservation at the Hyatt Riverwalk. Go on. Guess. Pictures will definitely follow, maybe even video.

Speaking of Aggies, admission application has been submitted. The Princess is one step closer. Now the big step, getting admitted.

Speaking of submitted, this blog’s Northern correspondent has submitted photos that will absolutely go viral once posted. I’m negotiating with his agent, Mr. Nimbus, for exclusive North American publication rights so stay tuned for something never before seen or attempted at least as far as you know.

Speaking of staying tuned, we have reached the end of Semitough’s broadcast day. Tune in for more “Bloggin’ the Burbs” tomorrow. Or whenever I get around to it.

Where You At?


You know where I’m at. I’m in the burbs fighting the good fight. And I know where you at. You’re out there in the intertubes wondering where I’m at.

Seems every time I get into a posting groove life events overtake and I end up two weeks later with more ideas bouncing around in my head than I can write about. So here’s a quick catch up:

The Friday Night *ights has gone on hiatus. First because I’ve run out of things that rhyme with Nights and second, missed a game, then a week. But the Cats are still winning. Two Fridays ago in a walk over the Pirates from Wide Awake Wylie and last Friday in a defensive battle with crosstown rival Plano West. With two games left in the season the Plano gridders have clinched a playoff spot. The biggest test will be this Friday’s other crosstown rival, the Panthers of Plano East.

Thanks to Extrapolater for the shout out in advance of this weekend’s A&M – Kansas game. The only thing I can say is that at least the Ags stayed in the stadium with the high powered Jayhawks. If I had doubts before, they are now removed. Kansas looks good and is for real. Also thanks ExtraP for not rubbing it in.

Best tshirt out of the Kansas game was seen on a Kansas fan….”Our Coach Ate Your 12th Man.” That’s funny I don’t care who you are. Countering the tshirt, some Aggie fans engaged in ManginO’lantern carving and other sundry activities.

guitar-hero-iii-1.jpgAs previously reported, the Budman had a birthday. We had a massive teen party with what seemed like hundreds of screaming teens in attendance. He scored enough Target Gift Card booty to get both Guitar Hero III AND Halo 3 to go with the Xbox 360 Esposa and I fronted him on the day. I played Foghat’s Slow Ride once and I’m hooked.

What else? Oh yeah! I got a new whip. New to me at least. No more carbon pumping MiniSUV Express for this Greenie. I have joined the dark side, cashed in my carbon offsets for gas money and hit the streets in this fine ride…..

cobalt2.jpgThat’s right. It’s a 2.2L ’06 Chevy Cobalt. What’s wrong with that? I blew from Texas Motor Speedway to North Plano in just under 45 minutes at 35 mpg this afternoon. So just shut up. I even passed some macho guys driving pickups. Environment ruining losers. Don’t blame me when global warming makes your babies come out naked. You’ve been warned.

Seriously, I saved enough carbon credits that now I don’t have to quit burning the trash in a barrel out back. There’s nothing like tossing Momma’s empty hair spray cans into a roaring trash fire, cooking it off for a bit, then watching the sparks fly in a frantasmical hillbilly fireworks display.

The picture above is not my car, but a reasonable facsimile. It’s even parked in front of a doublewide to simulate what it looks like parked out front of the Semitough Love Ranchette.

Here’s where I need some help. I need to give the new whip a name. I was thinking El Fuego del Diablo or somesuch, but I’m open to suggestions. Something manly to counter the “grlie” reputation these cars seem to have up North. Post yours in the comments or email them to me and we’ll select a winner.