31 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 31 2015 - Last Post Of The Year

This is it! 2015 is on it’s way out the door. It has been like any other year for the most part. There have been good times and bad, joy and sorrow, the full gamut of emotions and experiences. When I look back, I will see 2015 as they year that I truly began to recover from the financial burdens that had plagued me for many years. That in and of itself, makes 2015 a good year for me.
I will be at work for just a few hours today. There will be nothing left to accomplish for this year, next week will be a different story at work, obviously. I am caught up with everything that I needed to do. Hal has said that he wants to go to the Apple Store before they close this evening, so we will do that. We are coming directly back home afterwards, we are staying in for the night. While there are several places holding celebrations this evening within walking distance, there is no reason to pay $75-$100 for the event.
We went to Pentagon City after I signed out from work. It was a nice trip, other than me having a hypoglycemic episode that required a very quick trip to the food court. At least, I ate healthy there by having a wrap. I ended up getting some new shoes.

For some reason, I decided that I would get these Chuck Taylors. I will wear them out just like I did to the ones I got each summer as a kid. Perhaps it was those memories that unconsciously coerced me into buying them, but hell, they look good and are comfortable.
My other purchase, an early birthday gift to myself, was a bit more costly.

I decided that it was time to upgrade my sounds. After discovering that SOL Republic has gone way, which is a shame, I was looking at Beats but then decided that I could not go wrong for the same price with Bose. I predict that I will get plenty of enjoyment from these cans. In fact, I am writing with these things on and jamming to some music.
Since Hal (person) and I took Metro to Pentagon City, it was a quick and easy trip home. We got here before the evening rush hour began. There is no reason for us to be out this evening, and we are safe and warm at home. This is a good way to end this blog for 2015. I hope that everyone will have an awesome 2016.

30 December 2015

Dreamer’s World December 30 2015 - Almost There

2015 has nearly departed. Looking back it has been a very good year. I realize that this might not be the case for everyone, I can only speak for myself, but I am hopeful that we will all have an excellent 2016 to look back on in a year’s time.
Each new year brings the promise of a new beginning although there is nothing magical about it other than the human dictated changing of an arbitrary number associated with one day as opposed to the preceding day. We have imposed this measurement onto time in order to give our own lives a sense of measurement and purpose. Actually, we should not set aside just one day each year to celebrate and resolve to make things better, we should do this each and every day.
I normally do not make “resolutions” in order to avoid the inevitable sense of disappointment when one of them is not achieved. 2016 will be no different, if there is anything that I resolve to do it is to be a better person in whatever way that I can. No amount of preparation can get us ready for what will happen, our ability to adapt is what will determine how we look back on any given year.
I have already made a list of what I am grateful for as the year draws to a close. I am the happiest I have ever been and I want to continue to improve upon this. The only thing that I have already decided upon os to try the Blogging U. course offered from WordPress. I will do this because I have managed to maintain a good record of updating my blog throughout 2015. Now is the time to take this blog to another level.
Now is a time to reflect and prepare for the new year. It is a time when work is extremely slow for me. I can focus on other things and make certain that what I have done is done correctly. Today also marks the last opportunity that Hal (person) and I will have to spend an evening together away from home without the increased risk of drunk and distracted drivers on the roads. We have already determined that we are staying in tomorrow evening to avoid all the trouble.
As far as today itself, I don’t expect to hear much from anyone at work. Those few who didn’t take the entire week off will be feeling the same way that I am today, looking forward to tomorrow and then Friday. I would like to go and drool over some tech toys later after work if Hal (person) wants to. He has to go to work later today as usual, but he will be back home before my normal Wednesday quitting time of 1530.
There is one thing that I have done since I began working from home earlier this year and that is to take plenty of walks to increase my daily step count. I want to maintain 10k steps on a daily basis. Since I got my mountain bike, I plan to get more exercise on that as the weather permits. Right now, it looks like New Year’s Day will be an excellent opportunity to get a ride in since the weather is supposed to be clear and not too cold. The drawback right now is the short days in terms of daylight. Once the days get longer, I will have more time after work to get some rides in. This will help me to get closer to my ideal body weight as the time passes by.
Hal (person) is getting ready to leave for work while Hal (cat) has been settled in my lap for about 30 minutes. He has adjusted to his new home very well considering that he was a stray that had been brought to the local animal shelter about a week before we adopted him. He no longer has the dreamy “Is this real?” look in his eyes that was so prevalent for the first few days. He has bonded with Spartacus and Stevie Nicks gradually and now he is part of the family. He still occasionally jumps at loud noises, but that is not surprising given his background of living on the street for 2 years. Now he looks at us with a peaceful and grateful expression.
I am happy to report that I am halfway to my 10k step goal and it is not lunchtime yet. This has not taken away any time from the job, I just manage to get in some walks through the hallway in the building as I keep ym cell phone available in case I am called. I also am much more ready for lunch. I also took both Hal (cat) and Stevie Nicks out for a stroll through the hallways. Not at the same time, of course, that would be an impossible task, but I am glad to report that each of them got their exercise in as well as helping me with mine.
The afternoon has arrived, the last daily meeting of the year is now completed. They had the common sense to cancel the one that was scheduled for tomorrow. I am still waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work and then I want to go and see about getting some new shoes before it gets too late. I hope that there is no more rain to deal with this evening as well.
We did go look at shoes, but I didn’t find the right pair. After that, we stopped at our favorite Asian restaurant for a nice dinner and we are now back home for the night. Tomorrow will be a very short day at work for me as we prepare to ring in 2016.

Dreamer’s World December 30 2015 - I’m In A Hurry To Get Things Done

A Good Song to Listen to at this time of the year


28 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 28 2015 - Meadowlark Lemon

I read something today that makes me feel old. Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters passed away. I remember my parents taking me to the Owensboro SportsCenter for my birthday in either 1970 or 1971. We had courtside seats and I remember being the unwitting stooge in the water bucket gag. I had the time of my life that day. Meadowlark was holding me up as Curly Neal was threatening to throw the bucket of water on myself and Meadowlark. Of course it was only confetti, but I remember being excited and scared at the same time and I loved every minute of it. Remembering that day brings tears to my eyes because my parents are gone.
The afternoon has arrived. I have had a full day of laughing and crying already. Life is good, we cannot dwell on the past for too long. We must always be looking ahead.

27 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 27 2015

    I hope to get more rest tonight. For the last several days I have been sleeping, but waking up feeling exhausted and I don't know why. I am lurking around the apartment this morning before I go to get my bicycle helmet and then take a ride on my new mountain bike this afternoon.
After a much longer and busier trip running errands than I anticipated, I came home exhausted and was on the verge of not riding the mountain bike at all today. Finally, late in the afternoon, I pushed myself out and rode for about 30 minutes, nothing too strenuous. I finished just before Hal (person) came home from work. He was also exhausted from his day, so we made a quick trip to get a few things for him and then had dinner at Fat CIty Kitchen in Alexandria, which is less than a mile from here.
We are back home, I will be going to bed soon. Hal (person) is already there. Hal (cat) is asleep in the living room, and Spartacus and Stevie Nicks are in the bedroom with Hal (person). I am being quiet in order to not disturb them, so I decided to write a little more for today before surrendering to exhaustion.
Tomorrow morning I get up and go back to work. It will be a tiring week since there will be nothing going on. I am ahead of things and I will make sure that remains the case through Thursday. We are staying home for New Year’s Eve. It is pointless to go out and deal with the lunatics on the roads, so we are safer and more comfortable here.

That is it for today. I hope that everyone has had a great day and will have an even better one tomorrow.

Dreamer's World December 26 2015

    Today is a good day. My wallet hurts a bit, but that is because I purchased a mountain bike today from Performance Bicycle in Springfield, VA. 

     I have been debating this for some time. I was on the verge of just going to Sears and getting a bike there for the price, but then I realized that I had too many questions for the people at Sears to really give me help with. After Hal (person) and I returned home from Glen Burnie last night, I made up my mind to go to Performance Bicycle today and look at what they had to offer. I also went there loaded with a list of questions that I wanted answers to before I was going to do anything.
    The sales person, John R. was very knowledgeable and was able to help me find the right size of mountain bike for my frame that was within my budget. I was given the opportunity to ride several mountain bikes outside the store in order to get a good feel for them and determine what was right for me. I felt much more comfortable spending a little more than I had planned to in exchange for the lifetime service plan and the reputation that Performance Bicycle carries with it.
    I will be picking up the mountain bike this evening after Hal (person) gets home from work since he has a bigger car than I do. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be feeling the burn after a nice ride on my new bike. The apartment building has bike storage racks that are free of charge that makes things so much easier than having to find a place for the bike inside the apartment.
     I am glad to have friends who I looked to, even without their knowledge, as a source of encouragement as I made my decision. One of them, Chad, commented almost instantly on FaceBook when I posted the news. I told him that he was one of those people who had inspired me through our friendship to go ahead and make the purchase although he never realized it until after I told him. 
     We have friends that we never recognize properly and this is something that I want to change about myself as 2016 begins. I want to reach out, I want to try new things, I want to broaden my horizons and to live a fuller life than I already have. It isn't the purchase that makes me feel good, it is the knowledge that I have taken a first step on a journey. I want it to be a journey of exploration and excitement and new things. Too many years have passed with me struggling to make ends meet. I deserve better, but the only person who can make it happen is yours truly.
     Tomorrow I'll be riding my new mountain bike. The forecast calls for a beautiful day. 

24 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 24 2015 - Xmas Eve

As Xmas eve is arrives, I am grateful for so many things. I am not religious, so I don’t ascribe anything to some mythical sky-being who supposedly knows everything. Not that it matters, I just thought it was worth clearing up before I go any further.
First of all, I am grateful for Hal (person) with whom I have been in love for 16 years now, well technically it will be 16 years on January 6th. I had no idea when we met that we would still be together and going strong after all these years. I am far from a perfect person, but being with Hal has made me a much better person than I was when we first met. I was getting out of the Navy and I had no clear idea what I was going to do with my life. I drank like a fish and showed no signs of slowing down. Within a year I had almost completely stopped drinking altogether. The amazing thing was that Hal never once got on me about it. I unconsciously made the decision because I didn’t want to lose him by doing something stupid that I would regret. I suppose that is the truest testament to love that I can think of.
I am grateful for my career. I have been with the same company for nearly 10 years now. Once again I attribute this to the influence that Hal has had on my life. Without the commitment that Hal has shown to me, I seriously doubt that I would have this job today.
As far as family is concerned, it is something that I learned to live without a long time ago. It has nothing to do with me being a Gay man, it has everything to do with coming from a family that existed in spite of its own extended circumstances. Both my parents were outcasts of various types. My Mom was the youngest of 13, and was orphaned when she was an infant after her parents died in a car crash. She didn’t know her siblings until she was an adult and by that time they had absolutely nothing in common. I remember the Xmas when my Dad took me out to bury some valuables because one of Mom’s brothers was coming to visit and he already had a long police and prison record for burglary. My Dad never trusted him and let my Mom know that. Another of Mom’s brothers showed up one time and neglected to let us know that he had 2 guard dogs in his big RV. I was almost attacked by one of them. My Dad threatened to shoot the dogs and then my uncle for not letting us know that. Ah, memories that define my view of extended family.
My Dad was also the youngest of his family, but he was much older than my Mom. From what I always understood, their marriage was not approved of, so they bonded intensely and remained close for the rest of their lives. This sense of the household being the most important thing was ingrained from an early age. I was the only child. Extended family was not really something that I grew up with. To this day, long after Mom and Dad have gone from this world, I have almost no contact with any of them. I prefer it this way, it is Hal and I against the world and I am comfortable with that. Hal does have a more traditional relationship with his siblings, and I respect that. At times it does make life rather complicated because I won’t insert myself into his family relationships, but we make it work.
I am grateful for friends. I tend to have a few close friends rather than a ton of acquaintances. Through the years I have purged many people from my life for various reasons. Nothing worth going through now, let’s just say that I am better off having done that. Let’s just say that there are people who are very important at certain times in your life for a specific reason. Once that time is past, the connection is broken and you have to move on. I learned this lesson by trial and error, and I learned that I also tend to place a higher value on friendship than most other people do. For better or worse, I expect the same level of commitment and effort from the other person but that rarely happens.
I am grateful for The Stooges. They keep Hal and I grounded. They are a wonderful addition to our lives and we have never regretted the decision to have the Stooges with us at any time. If nothing else, they are a true judge of character. There have been instances when a new or potential friend has visited, and The Stooges react with hostility. In every case, those persons indeed turned out to be bad news.
I am grateful for my own inquisitive nature. I got this from my parents, that is the gift to never accept things simply because everyone around me does. My parents taught me that my individuality was the most important thing in the world, and one of the very few things that would truly be mine. It is this inner peace and confidence that allows me to move through life and the associated struggles with the knowledge that I am doing the right thing. I remember my parents talking to me about things like religion and politics without attempting to indoctrinate me. I was taught about all sorts of things and then given the choice to make for myself. This kept me away from religion as I grew older simply because when something or someone offers all the answers with the condition that you just follow them, it always means that they are taking advantage of you and fucking you over.
To this day, one of the most common comments made about me is that people have never met anyone quite like me. That is exactly how it should be. I have grown throughout my life, I was left with a solid foundation by my parents, including the belief that I was in this world to make a difference, and that when it came to myself and my life that I should never compromise because that was the start of dying an early death. Getting along with others is important, but not at the expense of losing yourself in the process.

For all of this, and for so many other things, I am grateful right now. My life is still in the making, I still have influences over the outcome. I am happy and have learned from my mistakes, but those mistakes have not made me afraid to continue to grow and learn. I don’t need a particular day to remind me of all this, but in the sense of the conventional world, it seems to be appropriate to take note of them today.

23 December 2015

Dreamer’s World December 23 2015

I am glad to report that I am feeling better this morning, but I still would have preferred more sleep. Today is my early day at work, but I am not going to any meeting that the client might hold this morning. SInce at least half of the people will be on vacation, I really don’t expect that there will be a meeting anyway, but I will drop an email asking them to dial me in if there is a meeting. I am not traveling this morning, I am staying here at home and relaxing as I work.
At least today is my early day at work and I will be finished by 1530, if I choose to be here that late. Since I logged on and started tracking emails by 0615, I really don’t expect to still be working at 1530 anyway. If Hal wants to do any last-minute stuff after work and I feel OK, then we will get out for a little while. It does look like it will be rainy most of the day here because it is so warm once again.
I am happy with how things are going right now. IN fact, I cannot remember being this happy in many years. I am not sweating bullets over money for the first time in I cannot remember how long, and this is after the unexpected expenses with Maxwell and getting Xmas stuff for Hal.
I had forgotten that Hal actually does go to work today for a few hours. I hope that the fog lifts so he can see things more clearly by the time he has to leave. I wish that he didn’t have to work today, but he has his own job to attend to.
I just got the official notice that there is no meeting at all today with the client. That means I don’t have to dial in at all this morning and my day just got even more relaxed. The only downer is the weather, but nothing will change that, so I won’t worry about it. The only trip I know of for today will be to the grocery store to get some necessities, but there is no rush for that.
Sadly, we are having a daily scrum meeting. I say this because so few people are available and since I am not a software developer, my time is always wasted by dialing into these meetings. I occupied my time by placing one last order thru Amazon that should arrive tomorrow. It will be the very last item I purchase for the holidays, I promise myself that. Although I am still thinking about a mountain bike for myself since there are plenty of trails throughout Alexandria that I can ride on, it is nothing that I need before Friday. It will tie into my resolution to get into better shape for 2016. I will undoubtedly end up with a mid-range bike since I will not spend thousands of dollars on some extravagant bike.
I bailed on the meeting call as soon as was polite to do so. Hal (person) is still at work and should be home within an hour or so. After that, we will go by the grocery store and that should wrap things up for the day here. Since this is my early day, I am not going to put any extra time in at work.
I feel much better after a nice shower. Still a little time left in the workday but no one is talking or emailing, so I used my break to clean up. Hal (person) isn’t here just yet, but he should be home soon. At least I will be ready to go to the grocery store as soon as possible.
Hal just got home and I have just a few minutes before I sign off for the afternoon. I don’t want to wait too late to get to the store. There is nothing but rain in the forecast for the rest of the day and all night long. Hal (person) has decided that he wants to go, so we will be leaving here in just a few minutes.

We had a nice time while we were out, even though it rained the entire time. Hal found a watch for himself and I found the mountain bike I have been searching for. Hal got his watch but I will hold off on the mountain bike until this weekend at the earliest. The rain was still falling as we made our way to the grocery store. After that we returned home and are spending the evening watching Dr. Who on BBC America.
At least tomorrow marks the end of the week at work for me. I am looking forward to the long weekend with Hal (person) and The Stooges.

22 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 22 2015

The week slowly marches on. After an uneventful Monday, it is time to regroup and focus on Tuesday. The weather has warmed back up here and I had a difficult time sleeping last night. I will make sure that the A/C is turned on prior to going to bed this evening because I always sleep better with a cool space to sleep in.
I am waiting for some Amazon deliveries today while I am at work. There is also the possibility of us going back out since Hal (person) still needs to find a replacement gift for the one that was lost in shipment to him. I will take him wherever he wants to go later today. I don’t predict a full day of work since so many people are on vacation already. I have to admit that there are some extremely tempting last-minute sales on tech goodies that I am interested in, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to spend any money.
At least we know that almost everything is in place for Friday. We will be traveling to Glen Burnie to visit Nicola and the kids, along with some of Don’s family. It still doesn’t seem real that Don is  not here anymore. This will be the second Xmas without him and in a lot of ways this will probably her the toughest on Nicola. Last year at this time, she was too numb from shock and too stressed from all the people rolling in and out of their lives to really comprehend what had happened. This year it will be much quieter. Hal (person) and I did not go to visit last Xmas simply because there were already too many people there. We stay in constant contact with her, and she has confided that the real pain of missing Don started around the first of November, within a few days of the anniversary of his death. Until then, she had remained busy and managed to duck the pressure and loneliness. Nicola has come through all of this with flying colors, and we are very proud of her. She has held things together for Brianna and Connor and left other people in the dust as she charges ahead.
Lunchtime will be here soon. Only a few emails have arrived today, and those mainly deal with announcements regarding who will be on vacation when for the next 2 weeks. I will fix something to eat in a little while and prepare for the two conference calls that are still scheduled. I am beginning to suspect that one of them will be canceled since the other person involved has not responded to email yet today. This tells me that she is probably on vacation as well, and I wish her a safe and happy holiday if she is.
Sadly, there has been no notification regarding the deliveries I am expecting today. Just my luck that they will be among the very last items delivered, although I hope I am wrong about this. I will go to the apartment office if and when the email arrives stating that the packages are ready to be picked up. According to the tracking information, everything should be out for UPS delivery already today.
It is now nearly 12 noon, and Hal (person) has gone to Kohl’s to pick up the gift that he didn’t purchase last night because he forgot his coupon for 30% off. I cannot say that I blame him for wanting to save the money. I am about to measure my BG and then decide on lunch for myself.
Thankfully, my BG was in excellent range before lunch and I didn’t have too much to eat so I should be fine for the rest of the afternoon. Hal still hasn’t returned from his trip, so I suspect that he is out choosing a gift for me even after I asked him not to. I will deal with that when the time comes because I know that there is no stopping him once his mind is set on something.
Hal (cat) and Stevie Nicks are slowly adjusting to each other. There is still some chasing around, but nothing violent anymore.

They will eventually become best friends, but considering the first few times they encountered each other, real progress is being made. Just a few days ago, there was no way that these two would have been this close without some kind of fight breaking out.
Hal has returned from his trip. It looks like we will be going back to Kohl’s once again after work this afternoon. My packages have arrived, but the apartment office is totally swamped with deliveries right now, so I will wait until they notify me that things have been sorted out and my packages are ready to be picked up.
I am really getting tired right now. I hope that I can stay awake for another few hours. If not, I hope that I have the best nap in recorded history! The last few nights I have not slept well at all and it is finally catching up to me. Knowing that I have 2 more days this week to work is not making me feel that energetic right now for some reason. I am sure that I will get my second wind once I am done with work today.
Now I technically have about 2 hours left in the workday. I am still waiting to hear from the apartment office that my packages have been sorted out and can be picked up. Almost like a kid a Xmas. The only difference is that I already know what the packages contain, they are my gifts to myself.
The day at work ended well. The packages arrived and I got my gifts to myself. Hal also gave me my gifts early, and I will post pics tomorrow. We ordered dinner for here, and I really began to feel a sense of exhaustion that surprised me with it’s intensity. We ate dinner and I am going to take a nice shower and go to bed early. I do feel much better after dinner, but still very tired. I hope I’m not coming down with anything right before the holiday, but time will tell, it always does.
And so, I am wrapping this blog post up. I hope that everyone is safe and happy this evening. I will be back tomorrow.

21 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 21 2015

Today is the shortest day of the year. It is also the official first day of Winter. 2015 continues to fly past with no signs of slowing down. 2015 has been like any other year, there have been ups and downs along the way, but for the most part, 2015 has been a good year for me and I am happy as it draws to a close. My hope is that 2016 will be even better.
     I am ready to start my day at work. It should be a rather slow day since so many people are either already on vacation, or they are just going through the motions this week until their vacations officially start. This is fine with me since I am only taking Friday off. I prefer to have time to use when I want to, rather than when everyone else is using theirs.
     So far, I am 2 hours into the workday and there is nothing going on at all. I have my tasking completed and am just waiting around for lunch. The afternoon should be more of the same, although there are a few conference calls that I have to take part in. I don’t expect much to be accomplished by these meetings other than to document that we are all at work today.
     At least I know that after today, the days will begin to get longer again, and the nights will become shorter. This will help to improve my mood especially after work. I dislike leaving work in the dark because that generally means that there will be no  plans for the evening. It isn’t that I need to go anywhere, but having the option is always nice.
     The upcoming holiday just  doesn’t mean much to me. It never really has. Since I am not religious at all, I enjoy the time off, and I am glad that so many people try to act more civilized. I just wish that they would put the same effort into being nice to each other for the rest of the year. I am not doing any extra shopping for gifts since i don’t ask for or expect any. I have gone through enough rough financial times to be wary of spending extravagant amounts of money now. I am more likely ti give a gift than to expect one, but I don’t lose my mind buying for people sho I hardly ever see or talk to. What shopping I did is compete and I know that everything is already paid for. If I get something from Hal (person) it is a bonus for me. The best gift I can get from him is the joy that I see when he receives something from me that he likes.
     It will soon be time for lunch. At least that will give me some sense of how much longer this workday will last. I am still debating what to have for lunch. A sale is my first choice, but then a lot depends on the BG reading. I might just have a frozen entree’ from Chez Freezer and be happy with it. There is roast beef here for dinner this evening, and I hope that I get a good night’s sleep. Last night was not very restful for me for some reason, I wasn’t awake all night, but I certainly don’t feel like I got any real rest either.
     Lunch has turned out to be a delicious frozen entree’ from Chez Freezer as I predicted. It will get me through the afternoon until quitting time. The daily meeting is at 1230 and after that I hope to avoid any complications until my 1-1 with my supervisor at 1530.
     After a particularly nasty bout of very low BG, I have recovered and am waiting for the last meeting of the afternoon, after which my day will effectively be over with. Less than an hour to go now. Hal has talked about going to Kohl’s after work. Apparently, a gift that he ordered for someone has not arrived, and he wants to see about getting a replacement just in case it doesn’t arrive on time. If he wants to go, I will take him and perhaps see about us stopping for dinner somewhere along the way.
     My meeting is over with and I have the informal OK to let myself off a bit early this week since there is really nothing going on at work. I won’t take advantage of this to any ridiculous degree. I will do whatever Hal (person) decides to do when I decide it is time to leave work for today.

     Somehow I survived the day at work. We went to look for a last-minute gift, but Hal decided that he would wait until tomorrow, so he can pick it up then. After a stop at KFC, we are home for the evening. I am getting ready for bed as it is nearly 2300 here. Just 2 more days this week before the holiday and weekend.

19 December 2015

Dreamer’s World December 19 2015

This is an outstanding day. I managed to get to Harris Teeter this morning and picked up a nice roast, some potatoes and white onions and some Worcestershire sauce in order to start a nice home-cooked meal for tomorrow. After slicing and soaking th potatoes in cold water to leech the starch out, I boiled the potatoes for about 20 minutes before putting them in the crockpot with the roast and the sliced onions. I will slow cook for 10 hours and then repeat overnight so things will be ready tomorrow.
Hal (person) just got home from work. We will find out if we're going out at all this afternoon or evening. Personally, I hope that we decide to go somewhere, but I will leave Hal (person) to make his own decision. There is really nothing that we need right now, it would just be a chance to spend some time together away from home. It is very rare that we go anywhere these days, not a complaint, just an observation.
If there were a place that I would choose to go, it would be to check out bicycles. My doctor has strongly recommended that I get a bike and make riding a regular exercise for myself. The thing is, I don't want to spend a ton of money on an expensive bike when a decent one will do. Thankfully, there are plenty of bike trails nearby that I can use on a regular basis. If Hal wants to go out, or asks me what I would like to do, I will mention this to him although I am not expecting Hal to get me a mountain bike for Xmas. I can afford one myself as Hal works on his own finances.
The evening has turned quiet. When Hal (person) dame home from work, he showered, ate a salad and then went to bed. Once again, my plans for trying to go out have been ruined but I don’t know what I can do about it at this point. I suppose I will just stay here and try my best to occupy my time and pay attention to The Stooges.

I hope that tomorrow I feel like going out while Hal (person) is at work, because I am really sick of being stuck here and waiting on him in the hopes that we will spend time together.

14 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 14 2015

     Another Monday is here, and the weather is rather dreary, almost as if to match the mood of things. This will be the last full work-week of the year for me. I am not taking any extra time off, just Xmas and New Year's Day, so the next 2 weeks will be 4-day weeks for me but most likely they will also be extremely boring with most people away. That is good because I also deserve some down time, even though I will be at work and on-call to deal with any crises that might erupt with any of the non-existent people who are on vacation anyway.
    For today, my goals are modest enough. Make sure that things are ready to roll for later in the day when the meetings start. Get tomorrow's briefing in order to present, meet with my supervisor for my 1-1 for the week and generally keep ahead of the game here. Hal (cat) is keeping me company in the bedroom/home office as usual. I enjoy his presence because he is so good-natured.
     Hopefully, the day will progress smoothy, but Hal (cat) is here to help me through the tough times at work. Hal (person) has gone to the store. He has been gone for a while now, and I suspect that he might be doing some Xmas shopping. That is OK with me, I already told him that I am tapped out for the year after the medical expenses with Maxwell drained my savings account nearly dry. I told Hal to not spend any money on me this year, but I am sure that he conveniently didn't hear me as well.
    Since I am going to work a little late today in order to catch up with my team lead, the afternoon will be a much slower pace. I have about 90 minutes to play with on today's schedule since I don't want to get into the hours worked arguments with HR at this time of the year. I will just shuffle the hours around and stay at 8 for the day.
    A big event just happened. Stevie Nicks and Hal (cat) were almost touching noses without lots of hissing and growling just as I walked back into the bedroom/office after hearing Hal (person) arrive at the front door. He bought wrapping paper and will probably begin wrapping presents today. I don't know if we will go anywhere after I finish work, perhaps a nice dinner nearby. I will bring the subject up with Hal (person). After a quick consultation, we are going to Reynolds Street Bar and Grill after I finish work this evening for a nice dinner. Reynolds Street Bar and Grill is less than a block from us so we will just walk over there. No sense driving when we don't have to.
    It feels great to actually have an evening plan for a change. We have become homebodies over the last several months and we deserve some time away from here. So our evening plan is all set. Now I can take it easy for a while here without feeling any guilt whatsoever. My next meeting isn't for nearly 2 hours. I hope that no unexpected events cause chaos and confusion this afternoon, and that things will stay nice and calm for a change.
    I am glad to report that things are indeed calm this afternoon. I am ahead of the game once again and looking forward to this evening. I am all ready for my meetings with the team lead, and expect no problems with either meeting. The only drawback is that I will be working until 1900 ET since team lead is on the West Coast. Things like this happen from time to time, so I never think to complain too much. The first meeting went extremely well. Now I have to pass the time until the second meeting begins in about 90 minutes.
    As luck would have it, rain has started falling rather heavily at around 1730. This is not supposed to end until after midnight and effectively kills us going out. It is too much trouble worrying about getting soaked on the walk to the restaurant, and far too complicated to get the car out to go less than a block. We will go another evening. I am waiting for my last meeting of the day in about 20 minutes and after that we might just order pizza and relax at home together. I will definitely be glad to see the end of this day which has stretched to nearly 10 hours by the time it is over with.
The meeting ended early, which isn't a surprise. The rain has subsided so Hal (person) and I will be walking to the restaurant after all in just a few minutes. I am glad that things have worked out for the best and I am glad that the workday is finally over with!     

13 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 13 2015

     I did get a good night of sleep once again. This means that I am going to start Sunday morning ready for anything within reason. I don't believe that Hal is going to work today. However, Hal (cat) is wide awake and ready for adventure.

     Hal (cat) is still making adjustments to his new home. He still has growling episodes around Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but there are not as many fights as there were the first day or so. It is taking a bit longer for Hal (cat) to adjust than I would like, but since Hal (person) is responsible, I am letting him take charge of the efforts. It will all work out in the end.
     I am somewhat surprised to find that Hal (person) is going to work today. That is his call to make, and I hope he is making the right choice. His back is still rather stiff, but he knows what is best for him until proven otherwise. He has to be at work by 1000, so he is nearly ready to leave here at just after 0900. We will all miss him today. I have no plans to get out for any long period of time today since Hal (person) will be at work. I might go out for a short trip, but that is by no means certain. There is nothing that I need today, perhaps it is best that I remain here at home after all. Today is the first day that I am here with the Stooges and Maxwell isn't one of them. We still miss him, and we always will, but he is no longer in any pain and we must be happy about that.
    On a different note, I am still happy overall with things. The medical bills involving Maxwell are already paid, there will be no struggling to pay off those debts from a credit card. I will come through this battered, but not beaten. My savings plan paid off to deal with the emergency, and I am very happy about that. I think back to how sad and depressed I was this time last Sunday caring for Maxwell and realizing that there probably wasn't much that we could do for him. Sadly, we were right. Today, I can visit Hal (cat) in the bedroom where he still spend most of his time.
     Another aspect of things is that Xmas will be very lean around here. Naturally, the money will be tight but we will survive and get back on our feet in 2016. I will take the time this afternoon with Hal (cat) and we will all be waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work later this afternoon.
     The evening has been quiet and peaceful. Hal (cat) is slowly getting used to the place and will eventually begin to venture out from the bedroom on his own to encounter Spartacus and Stevie Nicks more often. As some jazz plays softly in the background, it is time for a shower and then time to get ready for bed.  Good Night.  

12 December 2015

Dreamer’s World December 12 2015 - A Different Saturday

Saturday has begun here and there is a noticeable difference. Hal (person) is here today since he is still sore after his Chiropractic visit yesterday. Since Hal (person) is a Massage Therapist, there was no point in him going to work today and hurting himself all over again before he heals up. Personally, I am glad that Hal (person) is here today as well as Hal (cat).
Actually, we just returned from brunch at Shooter McGee’s, which is located across the street from us. Hal (person) had not been there for brunch due to his work schedule and he really enjoyed himself.

Personally, I am glad that things are like this today. We seldom have days off together, I wish that our schedules were not as messed up as they are. It does make our life together very difficult and trying at times, but I think it also helps us to focus on time together and cherish it rather than grow bored of each other. Perhaps I am crazy, who knows? Since Hal (person) is still experiencing tightness in his back, I doubt that we are going anywhere else for the rest of the day.
Hal (cat) is also making adjustments to his new home. There is still growling me hissing between him and Stevie Nicks, but they haven't fought today and that's a good sign. Considering that Hal (cat) only arrived here on Tuesday night, this is very good progress.
I am watching the UK basketball game this afternoon. There was no way that UK was going to be as good or as dominant as last season, so I am not disappointed with the team’s performance this season. They will be as good as they will be, they will get better as the season progresses or they won’t. Each game and each season is to be enjoyed. Thankfully, UK did win the game today and I am happy about that.
This evening will be a change since Doctor Who is not on this evening. An early bedtime is not out of the question this evening for me. I recently changed the pillow out and I have slept much better for the last few nights. Sometimes it is the smallest changes that produce the biggest results. At any rate, it will be a quiet evening here at home with both Hals, Stevie Nicks and Spartacus. The time together is invaluable, and something to cherish deeply.
I do not expect Hal (person) will go to work tomorrow, but he might go out of a sense of obligation. Personally, I think he deserves the break but it is his decision to make. It is supposed to be yet another mild day here with temperatures near 70 degrees. This is unusual for mid-December by any stretch of the imagination. THis warm weather has been going on for almost a week now. It is nice to get outside and enjoy it, so that is what I will plan to do regardless whether Hal (person) goes to work or not. I think that the warm weather is finally supposed to subside next week. I will be returning to work Monday for the last full workweek of this year. 2015 has been a year that has just flown past us, at least it seems that way to me.
After a quiet early evening, I am now more sure than ever that there will be an early bedtime.

Dreamer's World December 11 2015 - End Of The Week

The week is nearly over with. This morning I had to take Hal (person) to the chiropractor because he had somehow hurt his back and was in terrible pain. I worked around this by telecommuting, and I didn’t miss anything important at work. My boss is super, she told me that my main job was to make sure that Hal (person) is OK for the rest of the day. We are back at home now and I am technically back on the clock and will be until 1730.
After work, I plan to go to the grocery store and stock up on items that we will need for the next several days. I will not be cooking too much, but I do want enough stuff here to be able to without trouble. Hal (cat) is still adjusting to his new home, and more importantly, to his new big sister Stevie Nicks. It is now apparent that Stevie Nicks will remain the Queen of the house even after the addition of Hal (cat). Hal (cat) is still spending most of his time in the bedroom to be alone, but things will change in the near future when we open the door for good and he no longer will have a place to hide. He will have to adjust at some point.

On an unrelated note, I was notified by WordPress that I recently published my 1000th post! I had no idea I had become so prolific, although not necessarily better as a writer. I look forward to my 2000th post in the future!
I am settling down for the afternoon now. Hal (person) is having his lunch and relaxing after his visit to the Chiropractor this morning. I am making sure that there are no surprises awaiting me when Monday morning rolls around. It will be the last full week of the year on the job, and yet it is about 65 degrees outside right now. What makes this more unusual is that it is sunny as well. I wonder how much longer this will last?
All things considered, I am very happy this afternoon. Hal (person) is feeling much better, Hal (cat) is adjusting to his new home, I am not broke before payday, and the weather is nice. I don’t think there is anything else realistic that I could ask for at this point. I have written several times this year about learning to be content and not always trying to chase down the next new and big thing. I believe that how I am feeling right now is a result of that decision I made some time ago to be happy with the way things are. They are actually so much better than I expected them to be. I told Hal that I really don’t want anything for xmas because of this feeling. I was able to pay the medical bills for Maxwell and not have to put them on a credit card and sweat paint it off later. That alone is amazing to me, but it is also an indication that my practice of self-discipline has paid off.
As the afternoon slowly creeps past, Hal (person) just told me that he feels much better but that he will be taking tomorrow off from work. This only makes sense because he is a Massage Therapist and shouldn’t be straining himself so soon after his adjustment. It will mean a rare Saturday for us together as well. I am hoping tog get away from the job a little early today in order to get to the grocery store before the rush hour kicks in. I don’t think that will be a problem at all.
And so, I am going to make certain of things being ready for Monday at work before I start my weekend. This evening, Hal (person) has said that Hal (cat) will be spending time in the pen in the living room in order to adjust to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks once again. I will observe things, but I won’t interfere with them. It will ne interesting, that is an understatement.

10 December 2015

Dreamer’s World December 10 2015 - Another Step Forward

Today is an unusual day. Since we lost Maxwell, things have been a blur. Hal (cat) has adjusted well to his new surroundings in the bedroom here and later today he will get his first face-to-face with Spartacus and Stevie Nicks. There will undoubtedly be some kissing and possibly a tussle or two before they completely accept each other, but this is the last hurdle that Hal (cat) has to overcome to completely be a part of our family.
Hal (person) has talked about how Hal (cat) has helped him to get over the loss of Maxwell, and I feel the same way. It is impossible to deny love to an animal because you lost another one. Hal (cat) had absolutely nothing to do with Maxwell’s condition, but he is also in need of a loving home and that is why Hal (person) decided that he was going to adopt Hal (cat) the other night. Personally, I wonder how my sanity will cope with having two Hals running around here, but I will find a way to cope with it. I certainly never expected this situation!
Right now, Hal (person) is at work, which is unusual for him on an Thursday. When he gets home around noon or so, we will begin the introduction process with the new Stooges. We have a large pen that we will put Spartacus and Stevie Nicks into that will separate them from Hal (cat) as we let Hal (cat) out of the bedroom and let him explore the apartment for the first time. Eventually, Hal (cat) will encounter Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but there won’t be any conflict, just some noise. After a while, we will open the pen to let Spartacus and Stevie Nicks out as things calm down and the real bonding will begin. This process will at least lessen the shock of the first meeting for all of them. Hal (person) and I will be closely monitoring the situation to prevent any trouble, but we don’t expect any and hope there is none.
I just finished my lunch while at work here from home. Hal (cat) is still sleeping under the bed. Hal (person) has not come home from work yet. My weekly meeting had to be canceled due to other peoples’ scheduling conflicts but that doesn’t upset me at all right now. The events of this week are beginning to wear me out, I hope that I can get a good night of sleep later but until then I have another 6 hours here at work to look forward to when I am not watching Hal (cat) get introduced to his brother and sister.
Hal (person) just got home. It is 12 noon and I have about 30 minutes before the conference calls start up. Since Hal (cat) is still sleeping under the bed, the introduction will wait until both Hals (cat and person) are ready to proceed. I will let Hal (person) take charge of this. Until then, I will be listening in on conference calls and working until 1730.

As you can tell Hal (cat) is awake now and will soon be meeting his Brother (Spartacus) and Sister (Stevie Nicks). I am slightly anxious about the event, but Hal (person) will be in charge of the festivities. In the meantime, the conference call drones on and on and on with no end is sight. Once this is over with, I should NOT have another meeting for the remainder of the day to worry about. It looks like tomorrow will be the monthly local team get-together in the afternoon and that will make the workday go by more quickly. For that I will be grateful.
It is just after 1500 and Hal (person) is having a late lunch. I am still not sure when he wants to introduce Hal (cat) to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks, but I don’t think it will be much longer. In fact the 48 hour window officially passes in about 5 hours anyway. They have all gotten the scent of each other by now and we know that each of them is aware that there is another cat in the place. The only thing left to do is to let them meet under controlled conditions for the first time.
The introductions have been made. Spartacus was almost afraid of Hal (cat) and made no noises at all while I was holding him. Hal (cat) was on high volume and letting everyone know it. When I brought Stevie Bicks into the room, both she and Hal (cat) started hissing and growling at each other. This was fully expected since Stevie Nicks is the Alpha of the household. Thankfully, neither she nor Hal (cat) really wanted to tangle right away, I took Stevie Nicks out of the room and she crept back in several times for another hissing/growling match with Hal (cat), but nothing physical thus far. Hal (cat) has retreated under the bed and Stevie Nicks seems determined to get to him very soon.
At last work is over with for the day. Still no direct conflict between Stevie Nicks and Hal (cat). Hal (person) is letting them work things out on their own time and I agree with his plan. As long as there is no real fighting, things will work out just fine. Obviously, we are staying home tonight, personally this week is catching up with me and I am on the border of exhaustion right now. At least there is only one more day left in this workweek and it will be a short one due to a team lunch tomorrow. Sadly, I will return from that for a meeting, but it is better than no break at all.
After the first 2 rounds, Stevie Nicks is the clear winner.

She has chased Hal (cat) around even though he is slightly larger. They might go another round this evening, but I think that Hal (cat) now knows who the Alpha is around here. Spartacus wanted NO PART of the argument and was content to sit and watch. Spartacus has always been a very smart cat.
So much for now. I will tell more of the story as it unfolds tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great night.

09 December 2015

Dreamer’s World - The Agony and the Ecstacy

I want to apologize for not writing over the last several days. This has been a tough time. One of our cats (The Stooges) became ill and we were busy caring for him. Sadly, the vet finally told us that he had inoperable kidney cancer. He had dropped over half his body weight and was not able to eat. We tried everything until the truth was undeniable.
Last night we took Maxwell to the vet for the last time. The staff was very kind, we stayed with Maxwell until the end. Hal and I decided that the last thing that Maxwell would see before he went on his way was us telling him that he was loved and cherished. Obviously, this was a very tough time and there are tears falling as I remember and am typing.

We will truly miss Maxwell. He was one of a kind. Spartacus, his brother from the same litter is in good health and we hope that he will be with us for a long time. Stevie Nicks is much younger and should be around as well.
At any rate, after we said our goodbyes to Maxwell, we walked outside the vet’s office. Hal indicated that he wanted to go by the nearby animal shelter to see what cats were available for adoption. I agreed to take him, I knew that it was just a matter of time until we would be ready to adopt another cat. We find that 3 cats balance each other out and prevents grudges being held between them.
We got to the shelter about an hour before closing time. Hal and I went to the room where all of the cats were in their cages to be seen. Hal initially went to an older male named Smokey, but the tech informed us that Smokey was on a special diet due to health reasons. That was something Hal and I were not willing to take on, we had just had to say goodbye to one pet and we were not willing to take on a special-needs cat so quickly. Since Hal had been the one who picked Maxwell all those years ago, I let him do most of the visiting and bonding with each of the cats.
As I wandered the large room, I noticed a black male cate, age 2. He was a stray that had been brought in. Then I looked at the name tag on the cage and it said “Hal”. I stopped and looked twice to be sure I was not hallucinating, but the name was Hal. I let Hal wander until he found me then he noticed Hal (cat) and Hal and Hal seemed to bond almost immediately. It was only after this that Hal (person) asked what his name was. At first he didn’t believe me, but I showed him the tag on the cage.
Today myself and Hal each had to go out for work at different times during the day. Hal (cat) has stayed in one of the bedrooms with the door shut as he adjusts to his new surroundings and it keeps Spartacus and Stevie Nicks from bothering him too much at first. Tomorrow we will formally introduce Hal to Spartacus and Stevie Nicks.
The key to all of this is that we went from depression and sadness to elation in just over an hour last night. It is amazing how much things can change if we refuse to be in a mood just because of something that happened. Maxwell can never be replaced, but life goes on for us and we have made our decision to share our love with another cat, another Stooge. More to follow.

04 December 2015

Dreamer's World December 4 2015

The week is nearly over with! I am so ready to start the weekend here! I cannot wait until this afternoon when the workweek is over with. There are no plans, but there is no need for plans when the weekend arrives.
I am glad that this week has been both pleasant and productive at work. I remain ahead of things and that takes a lot of pressure off. With luck, I will avoid meetings today. So far, there is only the daily 30-minute meeting that I am on the hook for, and that should go quickly.
Another reason I feel so good is that I am about to make a big payment on one of the credit cards to get the balance down. I have been practicing fiscal discipline for some time now, and this is just another example of the benefits. I will not have to empty out my savings to make the big payment, in fact this will take less than 50% of savings. Still a large chunk, but worth it in the long run to eliminate debt. After this I will build up the savings again in order to do the same thing in a few months at the latest. It is an amazing feeling to be back in as much control as I am right now after years of staying one step ahead of the bill collectors. So long as I maintain my discipline I will get through this.
A big reason for my getting ahead right now is my refusal to go out and participate in the consumer orgy that happens at this time every year. I am happy and content with what I have and I have learned to control the urges to get something just because it is new. That has saved me immeasurable money through the last 10 years and I am not going to let my guard down now. I might treat myself to one thing for the holidays, but that is far from a done deal because I still feel the sting if debt far too much to want to tempt fate again.
Having said all that, I am still ready for the weekend. Staying at home and resting is something that I have come to expect due to years of self-imposed restriction. I have not suffered as a person due to this, so I no longer feel sadness about not going out. Now that the benefits of my plan are more clearly seen, I know that this was the right choice all along.
Of course, when one does go out, it is always important to know what types of friends one goes out with. Unfortunately many of the people we know are all about possessions and accumulation. For them, going out is just an opportunity to show off what they have and the latest things that they have bought. Of course they also want to try to impress by purchasing things when we are out together. This made me uncomfortable for several reasons. Obviously it became a sore point for me that they were always using things and I was not. Whether intentional or not, the arrogance that they projected became rather unbearable and that was a primary reason I stopped hanging out with them. I realized that even if they were on the same self-harming path I had already traveled that they would not listen to me or my advice. I don’t wish the same on them, but I realize that they will have to make their own mistakes if they fail to listen after my first and only attempt to advise them.
The key is that I am happy once again. I am back in control of my life for the first time in years. I am no longer in the position where the only thing I can do is to respond to things, I can now initiate them myself within reason. Elation is not quite the word that I am looking for, that is too extreme and conveys a sense that I lack any control over things now. Far from it, I am now more in control than I have been in over 10 years and I want to maintain that control.
In a far larger sense, my happiness is something like an old friend returning after years apart. It is comforting and somewhat unnerving at times as I settle back into what passes as a normal life. Anxiety that existed as I struggled to pay bills has been replaced to a much lesser degree by anxiety that this it too good to last and that something bad will happen to ruin everything. Believe it or not, I use this new anxiety as a motivation to keep pushing ahead. Defeating it gives me more purpose in life. I will thrive in spite of that feeling. I know that as time goes by that it will fade, but until that happens, it will serve to remind me of where I have been and where I am going.
Lunch was delicious. I remembered my promise to myself to use sea salt in place of table salt with my meal and it gave it a new flavor. I really enjoyed the change and it should be healthier for me in the long run. Just another case of making a decision and then having the discipline to follow through on it.

This evening will be taken as it happens. I will ask Hal if he wants to go anywhere and then deal with his answer. It is possible that he might want/need to do something. In that case, I will take him without any problem. I won’t make any suggestions because it won’t make a difference to me in the least whether or not we go out or stay at home.
The afternoon is slowly passing by here. Just a few more hours until I can sign out for the week. Let the weekend begin!

The evening was delightful but it is getting late and I will be going to bed soon. I hope that tomorrow will be a good day. I will decide in the morning what to do when I wake up in the morning. The Stooges are sleeping all around me right now, and Hal is already in bed. I think they all have the right idea.