A Chill In The Air

Posted in Uncategorized on 2015/02/15 by Robert Leu

The chilliest night of the year so far is just getting underway, to be followed by the chilliest day of the year so far. The closer you are to Lake Erie, the less likely that you’ll see a high temperature above 0° Fahrenheit. Here in Napoleon, we should hit 2° Fahrenheit, if we’re lucky. And if we’re lucky, our everything won’t end up frozen to our everything else.

Got a phone call yesterday from my little brother. Didn’t last very long, sadly. Wherever he was, the cellular reception was cutting in and out; I only managed to get a few seconds out of him before the line cite out completely. Nice to hear his voice again after so many months. Soon he’ll be back on dry land and begging not to end up on the waves again anytime ever. You’d all like him if you knew him. Of course, being active military leaves little, if any time for social media. Or any media. I sent him a care package a couple months ago full of videos from his favorite YouTube accounts. Mom was more than a bit jealous of the fact that my care package cost less than $2.50 to send.

Everything else is functioning as normal as can be expected. I’m still spending far too much time isolating myself up in my bedroom and office. I’ve got just about everything I need up there, except for running water and food. Mom is wiling away her days getting back into crocheting. Finally finishing up the blanket my sister asked for last year.  Which wouldn’t have even been necessary if the other one hadn’t ended up sold at a garage sale held by the owners of the home she left it at. (Treasure that blanket; you’ve got yourself an original my mother there)

Spent a lot of the last couple of days in bed, and nor just for the sake of preserving body heat. I can’t recall the last time I’ve slept that much. And every minute of it was divine. Never really been much for taking care of myself. Looking out for myself, I’m pretty good at. But actually taking care of myself, I’m absolutely terrible at. There’s always someone or something else that has to come first before I’m satisfied enough to take a rest. I’ll be putting my ducks (and everyone else’s) in a row, right up until the ducks have to tuck me in to their straw bed.

The nice thing about my particular job function is that there’s plenty of downtime for writing. All you need is a little inspiration, even if it is staving off boredom and lonelinesses. At least I’ve had plenty of time to learn how to write on an electronic tablet. The sliding keyboard has certainly made that easier, even if you have to go back over your work to make sure the right word went in. I think it was just a year or two ago that I was trying to peck out a blog entry on a tiny phone keyboard without sliding my finger over the right letters. With tiny, chubby fingers it quickly became more of a chore than a creative writing exercise. I tried bringing a pad and paper, but trying to read my handwriting is even more of a task than working a tiny onscreen keyboard with chubby fingers.

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Still Not Getting Things

Posted in Uncategorized on 2015/02/12 by Robert Leu

As in mail-type things. But it’s getting there. Had to drive up to the office again to pick up a paycheck. At least the next one will be circumventing the postal service entirely and showing up where it needs to be when it needs to be.

A new neighbor started moving in yesterday. My former residence is finality occupied, which means the landlord is happy. Let’s see if he keeps plowing the driveway now that he doesn’t have to worry about showing an empty apartment. It’s been a nice couple of weeks nor having to worry about all that shoveling.

Had to pull an extra night of work a couple of days ago. Once you get into a routine and expect a couple days of rest, losing one of those days wreaks havoc with your internal rhythms. Yesterday was spent within about one foot of my bed; I had absolutely no energy to even change out of my pajamas. Which, if you’re not planning on going out that day, really isn’t a problem. Unless you’re wanting to do your laundry, and it’s just not proper to yours your clothes in the wash and walk back to your bedroom to put fresh ones on. Even if you have curtains.

All in all, it’s been another slow week at the office. Even with that extra day I put in. Winter is the slowest time of the year. Nobody wants to step out of line in the cold. And frankly I don’t want to have to step out into the cold to have to deal with people who step out of line. Kinda works out for everybody. It does pose the question of how to occupy one’s downtime. Nor like you can bring a book into work with you in this business since it will distract you from the things you’re supposed to be dozing off to while looking at.

Mom’s taking to the new place just fine. When she was staying with one of my other brothers, she was basically confined to her bedroom, lest she face the wrath of the unidentified woman now known as ex-wife number three. How someone can get through that much of their life hating everyone and everything that isn’t herself I’ll never be able to understand. And it all showed on her face, which had congealed into this central orifice of negativity. But I suppose that if you were blackout drunk every day of your life, it wouldn’t matter what your partner in the adventure looked like since you wouldn’t remember anyway.

Anyway, mom has the whole run of the house; I made sure to put my foot down before she even moved in. And since I’m used to having very little space to myself, I’ve managed to confine myself to the upstairs portion of the place. Really need to work on that, but I’m usually so tired in the mornings anyway I spend a lot of time in my bedroom. The laptop stays next to the bed so that I don’t have to stumble to my desk if I don’t want to, and a lot of days I don’t.

The snow has done a pretty good job of melting over the last two days; my shovel had been pretty lonely standing guard at my back door with nothing to do. A solitary sentry awaiting the winter’s return. While the shovel longs to return trip it’s duty, my backside is thankful not to be out there executing said duty. Any winter that doesn’t involve a heating pad and plenty of aspirin is a good winter.

One Month Later, Still Settling In

Posted in Uncategorized on 2015/01/27 by Robert Leu

Had a little hiccup with the mail for a couple of weeks. Here’s a hint: if you’re moving from one part of a duplex to the other, don’t file a change of address with the post office. My residence was marked as vacant and my mail was getting bounced back to the senders, most of whom already had my updated address. Almost missed a paycheck along the way.

Hung the curtains around the tail end of last week, and continued to work on the upstairs office. Started getting the books onto the bookshelf and got the radio working. Thought I could save a little bit by using my computer and a ClearQAM USB tuner in the outside, but there aren’t a lot of ClearQAM channels left on my cable system these days. Thanks to switched digital video capabilities, channels are only sent down the digital pipe when they’re requested by the tuner (i.e., your cable box). Without a box or a CableCARD to store the channels in local memory and decode them as needed, you’re pretty much up a creek. Oh well, I suppose.

Still have to clear out the boxes and sort what hasn’t been unpacked yet, then likely switch to the other bedroom upstairs. The one I’m currently set up in only had two electrical outlets (one of which is in the closet for some reason), and Mom is pretty sure I’m going to overload it and cause a fire. Never had one in any of the places I’ve called home so far, and not about to press my luck in this new place.

Getting There

Posted in Uncategorized on 2015/01/05 by Robert Leu

Managed to get a lot more done than we thought we would over the weekend. The kitchen now functions as a kitchen instead of a collection point for things that belong in a kitchen. My mother could not sleep early Saturday, and at some point before the sun rise she was already cleaning out the cupboards before I even rolled out of bed! Can’t even leave her alone for a full night without her trying to work on things.

All the clutter in the dining room has been stowed away; most of it upstairs except for mom’s things which are around the corner from the staircase until the rest of her bedroom furniture arrives. A woman who confined herself to a single room in her last place had now gone and (temporarily) confined herself to the living room. The more things change…

I’ve finally started to assemble my upstairs office. It has a chair, a desk, a microphone, and a bunch of boxes full of things I haven’t sorted through yet. I’m saving that little time consumer for my next day off later this week. Don’t want to have to stop midway through to head into work and forget how I wanted to arrange something.

It’s all coming together incredibly well. Probably due to the fact that I let someone with far more interior decorating experience than myself take care of pretty much everything while I keep to the heavy lifting. I’ll have to have a little housewarming once everything is done. It, should the child air decide to stick around for an extended period, I’ll just start encouraging friends to chop up their furniture and their it into the fire pit I’ll dig into the living room floor. That’ll certainly be a housewarming to remember.

Settling In

Posted in Uncategorized on 2015/01/02 by Robert Leu

The following was composed earlier in the evening and uploaded upon my return home

I’m moved in now. But there’s still much to be done. Most of my stuff is in boxes scattered along the walls of the dining room. My mother’s things are still at my brother’s house. If the weather isn’t too bad tomorrow, we’ll start loading up our cars and bringing it down. Thankfully gas prices have dropped back to levels that make frequent trips manageable on limited budgets. Nice to be able to catch a break once in a while.

My former residence is now cleaned up. If you ever need an example of how much depression can cripple you, move out of your place and give it one last cleaning before you turn the key back over to the landlord. Heck, I was so down that I didn’t even realize my vacuum cleaner had a broken belt. Which makes my last attempt at cleaning up after myself six months ago all the more futile. Mom’s bed still isn’t here, so for now she’s crashing on the living room sofa. She chose one with a pull out mattress which I assumed she would be using in the short-term. But every night this week, when I come home from work and set my shoes in the front breezeway, she’s curled up on the couch with the mattress still tucked away inside. Makes me feel bad that she had to put up with that, but it’s better than where she’s been living for the last year. The stories I could tell if I weren’t brought up to keep family business within there family…

Along with the sofa, mom also picked out a bigger television so she could see better. It’s a used 62″ rear projection set from circa 1996. The darn thing wouldn’t even fit through the doors; we had to tear apart a window off the dining room that leads to the back porch and somehow lift it into the house! It got in, but sadly the picture isn’t quite right; it’s all red and green. Now that’s all fine and dandy around Christmastime, but for the rest of the year it’ll probably give you a headache. Hopefully the appliance shop here in town can repair it, because it’s going to take a Herculean effort to get it back out of the house.

Despite my reservations, I managed to get my pork and sauerkraut in this year. Here’s hoping you were able to observe any New Year culinary traditions by yourself or in the company of family and/or friends. And, like me, you got to be the tickle monster chasing your cousin’s little boy around the house.

Panic

Posted in Uncategorized on 2014/12/21 by Robert Leu

Yes, I panicked this afternoon. Probably due to the fact they I’m putting down the security and utility deposits for the new place tomorrow. I’ve always been uneasy with the outlay of large sums of money. Probably due to the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot of it to go around growing up, and letting go of it represents an immediate short-term loss in the wallet.

Once that’s done, it’s just a matter of moving my stuff from point A to point B, a grand total of fifty feet. And yet I’m still scared that something is going to screw the whole deal over. It would seem that I’ve grown up to become quite the neurotic little ball of weird.

Suppose I should update you on some things

Posted in Uncategorized on 2014/12/21 by Robert Leu

I’m sitting here at work, tapping this out on my tablet. There’s not a lot going on, which will leave plenty of time to fix any mistakes before I can upload it. Actually, tapping wouldn’t even be right; everything that days had a keyboard that you can just slide your finger around and it folks in the word. It works most of the time; once your keyboard is trained to your sliding style it makes the process a lot easier.

It really does feel like something out of science fiction. Except for the fact that you’re limited to wherever you can find an Internet connection for the uploading. I suppose Wi-Fi will be everywhere someday; possibly even within my lifetime. After all, I honestly thought I’d never see an African-American hold the highest elected office in my country and look at where we are now. It’s kind of mine to be wrong about some things, and I hope that I’m wrong about not making it to see a true world wide web.

It’s been a really busy year for me. I spent about five months of it working seven days a week, so I missed or on a few things. Most of the summer, actually. Still been very active on Twitter, though. It’s become sorry of a surrogate to the big blog here. Mich easier to just throw something up there and get a response, be it from IRL friends or people whose opinions I respect. Which raises the old question of whether I should even metro the big blog up. Well, there are some things coming down the pike that aren’t firmed up yet, so you might just want to stick around.

One thing that is firmed up is my upcoming move. I’m gonna be the good son and take my mom in under my roof, which necessitated getting some more roof (and the rest of the house, obviously). That will start on Monday, so don’t expect me to be around much into everything is situated in the new place. Thankfully, the larger half of the duplex I’ve been living in for the last three years opened up a few months ago. The landlord’s been making a few repairs from the previous tenants, and now it’s ready for people again. It will be more expensive, but mom will have my back and my little brother will likely help out when he can. I have no intention of imposing upon him, though; kind of like when mom was in danger of losing the house a few years ago and she refused every offer of mine to turn over my entire paycheck (such as it was, working where I was at that time) to help her out.

I’m starting to ramble here, just like Garrison Keillor as he gets to the week’s story from Lake Wobegon. But it’s been so long, so I’ll allow it. Up to a point. This point.