Meet Charlie

As you know, we had to put our beloved Chimera down on the 20th.  It was a rough time and we all missed her.  Everyone grieved in their own way.  Cheryl and Gregory are still the hardest hit.

But, last Saturday, Cheryl and Clair went to Town Lake Animal Center and found Charlie.

Charlie is a Tibetan Spaniel/Chow mix.  He's about 30 lbs and as far as anyone knows will be 3 this Halloween.  He's very sweet, gentle and friendly.  So far he likes sleeping most of all.  He doesn't bark and the only sounds we've ever heard him make are when we started crate training him (which took all of a day.)  He has an under-bite and a snaggle-tooth.  He loves being pet and will roll over and let you pet his belly at the drop of a hat.  He pounces like a puppy and knows how to sit and lay down when commanded.

He was at TLAC because the previous owner had a dog already.  The two got into a fight and the other dog tore up Charlie's legs pretty bad.  The medical care was more than the owners could shoulder, so they turned him over for adoption.  He'd been there 90 days and was on the at-risk list.  He had another week before being put down.  We were shocked, he's such a nice dog.

Yesterday he was alone with Cheryl and he had a seizure.

It lasted about 5 minutes and was very severe.  For the rest of the evening he was scared and unsure of where he was.  He shied away from everyone and then slept all night.  Except for at 1 am when he had another one.  This one wasn't as bad, but he paced afterwards, didn't anyone petting him and just generally seemed like he didn't know where he was.  It was heartbreaking.

As of this writing he hasn't come out of his crate, nor has he eaten.  He drank some water after his last fit.

We're all understandably concerned.  The shelter didn't tell us he had seizures, but after contacting the previous owner, they told us they had seen them frequently.  They also said this was something they told the shelter, which makes me think Town Lake conveniently lost that piece of information to make him more adoption worthy.

But just like in humans, seizures (unless caused by outside stimuli) aren't really anything you can cure.  I believe there are meds you can give people (and dogs) to limit them, but they don't really ever 100% go away.  Hopefully his seizures aren't common.

In the end, it's good he got this home.  It's full of people that love him (I mean look at that face) and he'll get all the care possible.  Whatever life he lives now will definitely be a happy one.


Pacific Rim vs. Neon Genesis Evangelion

I think it's okay to talk about this now.  I mean, it's been out a while, yes?  And, as far as I know it hasn't been talked about at all.

If I were an average American, which by all rights I am, I'd probably not know about Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Even if I'd heard of it, I may not know its origins as a serialized animated television show.  The movies are just recaps, and in fact some of the plot lines were abandoned for the movie.  As far as I know, there's no US equivalent of what happened.  We've had TV shows turned into movies, and we've even had kids cartoons turned into major summer blockbuster movies.  But I don't think we've had a long running main stream cartoon turned into a major motion picture, but containing its own story.  Closest I can think would be the Simpsons.

But I've become completely sidetracked.  The point is, Evangelion is a pretty big deal.  It had a huge following in Japan and a rabid one in the US.  The last few episodes were among the most watched and most talked about of any TV series.  And its ending has left a lot of fans unhappy.  (So now think M*A*S*H or Dallas or Lost.)  It's a well known idea, it's a well known story.  It's not like this is some weird little DVD only anime that Hollywood has never heard of.

Personally, Evangelion was a bit of an eye opener for me.  I wasn't ignorant of anime by any stretch.  I'd been watching various serials and movies since Robotech first hit the US in 1985.  But there was something about Evangelion that frightened me and yet also made me more invested.  It could have been the time I was watching or the people I saw it with or the fact that I hadn't seen much like it in a while, but regardless, it made an impact.  Probably the same impact it had in its televised form in Japan years before.  There was something primal about it the ideas; the link between man and machine, the fact that we've been targeted by supreme beings for annihilation, the fact that the angst and confusion of youth seems universal.

For those that don't know, Evangelion is set in the future in the city of Tokyo-3.  Earth's population has been cut in half by a great cataclysm.  Most think it's the result of a meteorite, but the result is the world is physically and politically changed.  The remaining populace band together and the resultant scientific breakthroughs allow them to create towering mechanized warriors called Evangelions.  These giant machines were useless unless a pilot was included and were controlled primarily by neural interface.  This was in preparation for the coming of the Angels, creatures of vague origin setting about to destroy humanity.

For those that have seen Pacific Rim, does that sound familiar?

It should, but in defense of the new movie, that's about where the similarities end.  In Pacific Rim, humans know where the Kaiju have come from and we've been able to beat them back for years, handily.  The pilots in Evangelion are children because of their youthful brains and ability to meld with the EVA.  Pacific Rim has two pilots to offset the neural load, but for the most part they are trained and hardened warriors.  The Angels in Evangelion are complex and completely unearthly figures (save for the first couple.)  The Kaiju are just giant beasts.

To be fair, Neon Genesis Evangelion is actually an adaptation of many properties before it.  Pacific Rim is just a different version of that adaptation.  To say the later is copying the former is disingenuous.  It's easy to point and say, "It's just Western Evanglion!"  What we should be saying is, "This is great, can we make a decent live action Robotech now?"

I like both for what they are.  Yes they are similar, but so many stories are.  To me, Pacific Rim at a story level was more in line with Independence Day than Evangelion.  If you haven't seen it, it's not the greatest movie ever and I rolled my eyes a few times, but it's just damn fun.



Lil G is at camp.  Based on the photo, he's not that little any more.

G is in Webelos and joined just in time to go with his pack to go camping.  On this last day, his mom is there so the kids can get a ride home.  The pack leader had an emergency and had to leave, so Cheryl filled in.  I know what you're going to say, yes the BSA does have a fairly strict anit-gay policy.  The pack G is in, however, knows about C & C and is actually trying to work to change this stance from inside the organization.  They feel it's more about the kids and should be less about politics.  We like them.  And G seems to like being a scout so far.  This is his first event, so we'll have to see how it goes.

Some more somber news, we had to put Chimera down last Saturday.  Initially the vet thought we could do it in a couple weeks and at home where we'd all feel a little more secure.  But the following day it was apparently she wasn't doing well at all so we made the decision to do it then.  It's been really hard on Cheryl.  It was her dog.  After our cat died so many years ago, and after we found out she was pregnant, we decided to get a dog.  That way the kids and the dog could grow up together.  I wasn't really a dog person at the time (still not really, but I like them okay) so it was mostly for her.

She was a great dog.  Well trained and sweet.  Like all other dogs she had her issues, like getting into the trash or eating a low hanging sandwich.  But all dogs do stuff like that.  Yes, she destroyed a lot of my books and my grandpa's old watercolor paintings, but that's equally my fault for not making sure my room was closed off or those items put higher up.

So the house has been quiet.  We moved her stuff out of sight.  G took it really hard initially, but seems to have moved past it.  He mourned his first fish for days, and still gets sad about that.  I think I've given him my proclivity to hold on to sadness.  Horrible trait to have.

Speaking of, things are still touch and go for me.  You always hear that eventually the good days will outnumber the bad days.  I'm hopeful for as much.  So far they've all been varying degrees of bad.  I want to thank everyone for their kind words.  I know it's hard to talk about or say anything, but I appreciate all the advice and sympathy.  Just doing my best to get past it.

That's all for now.  Carry on.


Update of all things

This probably isn't a smart idea, but writing seems to help.  I shouldn't have been so drastic earlier.

First, our dog is sick.  Chim is old and has been losing her hearing and eyesight.  She's had joint pain for a while now and takes pain meds.  The other day she got into the trash and ate a whole chicken carcass.  I mean all of it, bones and all.  Now she's listless and doesn't like moving or eating and is just all around not good.  Vet said nothing was wrong with her, just that she's old.  So she's on softer food now till she's feeling better, but we're all worried this is it.

When it rains...

There are a few things I should catch you up on.  The summer has been *ahem* otherwise pretty good.  LMA and G-man are both doing things and keeping active.  They're changing schools so this August looks to be quite exciting.  There have been a lot of local events that they've gone to and their moms have done a good job making sure they don't get summer-lazy.

G is in a coach-pitch baseball league through the Y.  It's pretty cute, if a little disorganized.  They've had one practice so far and got their uniforms.  I should have some pictures up on Flickr soon.  He's also a Webelo now.  The Boy Scouts of America has a very staunch anti-gay policy, but they've recently relented a little and said they would be okay if the child was gay or was the child of gay parents.  However, they still didn't want any gay folks in adult roles.  The troop that G is in is very friendly and open, more so that the parent organization.  G seems to like it and he's really cute in his kerchief and hat.

G is also on some ADD meds that have been really effective.  He ended school with great grades and he's just a wonderful little ingenious person around the house.

LMA went to a band camp and made a few friends.  She did fairly well and when she got back was able to meet with her new instructor for her new school.  She just loves playing music and it's nice to have around the house.

So, elephant in the room.  It's been 10 days since the break up.  I'm not going to lie to you and say it's been anything but hellish.  I'm writing about it elsewhere so I won't go into it much here.  Just the nuts and bolts are that I'm still in a lot of pain.  I miss her all the time, with a furious passion.  I don't know how to describe it without sounding desperate and weak.  I don't know when it'll get better.  It's not even day to day, but minute to minute.  My friends have been kind but I know people have different ways of coping and I don't think they know what to say, really.  I've just gotta keep busy and hopefully it'll fade.

That's all for now.  I'll try to keep the break up talk to a minimum and focus more on what the rest of the crew are doing.  Carry on.


"...here at the end of all things."

Sunday the 7th of July, 2013.

Grace and I are no longer seeing each other.  The wedding has been called off.  She has decided that she needs to learn to be by herself.  She told me she's confused and conflicted.  She believes we're both at a crossroads and it's a perfect time to find out what we really want and how we want to live our lives.

Last night we were talking and she said she had to admit a few things.  After we talked everything seemed okay.  I (literally) put out some fires at the house and went to bed.  I had had a horrible day with my job and was not looking forward to Monday.  Just after 11 she called back with more stress and anguish about everything.  Eventually I asked if she wanted to break up and she said she did.

What followed was categorical grief.  There was no sleep.  I cried a lot, but I mostly just sat in bed stunned. I stared at nothing for hours trying to think of what to do or say.  In the end there was nothing I could do.  As sudden and unexpected as it was, there was no changing it.

I'm still angry and I'm hurt beyond recognition.  She still wants to be friends, because there's a chance she'll have her few years of growth and realize she's ready to make a commitment.  Until then, I've got no plans to grow or seek happiness elsewhere.  I'd found something inordinately special and I'll likely never find her like again.  She's convinced time will make it all right.  I'm not at the point I believe her yet.  I'm 40 now and I know what it's like to be happy and what it's like to hurt.  I know that it's not going to get better.  I know I don't want anything else.

I'm sure I'll be able to cope.  I'm sure that in time the sting won't. be as wicked.  My concern is that this will turn to resentment.  I also know myself and I don't recover well from these.  It's going to take all I have not to be petty and hurtful just because I'm wounded.

I don't understand it.  I can't comprehend the reasoning behind being happy (as I was told) and in one turn being conflicted and confused and wanting it it all to end.

So, I'm going to be quiet for a while.  I don't know how else to do it.  I'm also fairly sure this will mark the end of this blog.  I haven't been writing and I don't see much of a reason to keep up with it.  I wish you all well.

Carry on.