Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Houses And Arms

Well, I made the plunge.

I put in an offer on a house, and it was accepted. We signed the sale agreement today, and close in four weeks.

It's open on the inside with high ceilings, which I really like. Very welcoming and conducive to having get-togethers, or home studies, or whatever the future holds.

Paul Reiser, in his book "Couplehood", talked about the sort of thing that made me like this house:

"And you always walk through the place imagining a life that has nothing to do with reality. Planning things you'll never do: parties and soirées with tantalizing guests and performers from other lands. 'This is great. We can have a dance floor here, a cocktail area there, the orchestra can set up near the receiver line...'
And then you move in and spend the rest of your life eating corn chips out of a bowl in front of the TV.
'What happened to the dancing and the waltzing and jugglers and cocktail pavilion?'
'I thought we were someone else. My mistake.'
Because in real life, you're always in one of three places: the kitchen, the bathroom, or the bedroom. There are only three things to do in life, and that's where we do them."

I'm thinking it might be the same for me. After all, I can't think of more than two or three people who might help me move, much less a crowd who would come over for a party. I don't do cocktails, and a receiving line of one is just a receiver, after all.

Fortunately, I do at least four things in life, so the extra bedroom which I'll turn into my home studio will get used as well.

Speaking of moving, some of you know that my left arm hasn't exactly worked since the beginning of January. I've had limited movement and no strength in it for seven months. (As in, "Help, I can't push a door open, lift the milk jug, or pour the laundry detergent." I couldn't even lift the sheet to make the bed.) Not exactly a great condition to be in when trying to move from one residence to another.

Honestly, it's been pretty scary. It happened when I got deathly ill at the end of December, and was sick for 2 or 3 weeks. Every night, severe shoulder muscle cramps awakened me a dozen times a night, with pain so bad I would often be in tears. And when it was all over, I couldn't lift a five pound dumbell out in front of me.

In hopes of fending off potential rotator cuff surgery, I decided to see a chiropractor. After all, maybe it was just out of joint or whatever, right? As it turns out, it was all in my neck. Last week, I got the ol' scrag crunched, twisted, snapped, and manipulated in ways which caused sounds that should only be heard when biting down on hard candy. Fortunately, I'm pleased to report that by that evening, I'd regained more than 50% of my arm's ability! I continue to improve daily and expect to be back at a hundred percent soon.

Just in time to move boxes and furniture, eh?

Saturday, July 14, 2007


A few days ago, I got the itch to get some design work done. So I've taken some late-night time to redo the main page of my web site.

As with any redesign, some will rave and others will complain. But I like it better, and since it's my web page, that's all that matters. (It's a different story when it's a client that complains. I learned that in the graphic design business sometime around 1992.)

So here's the before and after:

Now that the front page is done, I'll be able to satisfy my cravings to get a design fix by bringing into conformity the pages deeper into the hierarchy.

So there you have it.

Morning Ramblings

I'm amazed, but in less than a week on steroids, Dakota's muzzle is almost completely back to normal. His nose had been pushed a half inch (literally) to the left, and is now just the way it should be. Two of those big tumor things are completely gone, and the third is shrinking very quickly. He's back to breathing normally, and no more snorfeling. (Yes, I'm aware that I just made up that word. Just because I'm not actively pastoring at the moment doesn't mean my right to invent words has been suspended.)

On another subject, I've been debating about buying a house here in Fort Wayne. My second 6-month lease is almost up, and my apartment building has unfortunately become somewhat of a tenement lately.

Now those who know me know that I've got no ill will towards people of other races and income levels... but I DO really despise it when humans leave beer cans, cigarette butts, and trash everywhere, and won't pick up after their dogs. While I rarely even see any of my neighbors - my hours being what they are - I do see telltale signs of their existence in the daily accumulation of their refuse.

Fortunately, houses here are really reasonable. (Not to say that houses can be irrational in other cities. Except maybe Amityville, if you buy into that sort of thing.)

What I mean, of course, is that prices here are incredibly low, lower even than Cheyenne, the housing market from whence I most recently came. So you may soon be subjected to some house searching-, loan securing-, belongings moving-, home repairing-sort of blog entries which make for such exciting reading. (Yawn.) I'll try my best to make them entertaining, if I choose to go that route.

On the other hand, I haven't fully committed in my mind to staying here long-term, though I certainly could. Fort Wayne is great, the job is satisfying at times and pretty secure (if not a constant roller coaster of income). Plus, my dad lives here now, which sort of locks me in for awhile. But there are times in the day I despise the fact that I'm in this career instead of making a real impact on people's lives like I did before.

Yes, I am aware that some find fault with me wanting to "be somebody of note" in this life. As one anonymous commenter recently railed, "Your codependence (sic) stems from your arrogance, egotism, and the need to be the center of attention."

Is there truth in that statement? Sure, it's very possible. What type-A man out there isn't striving for perfection to impress people in addition to himself? What musician doesn't write a song with the listener at least partially in mind? For that matter, who doesn't mow their lawn with maybe a fraction of a thought about what the neighbors think? Pride is always present, and haughtiness in mind is a constant struggle - especially for people who produce, create, design, and yes... serve. An honest person will admit that anything done publicly for man or mankind brings a measure of pride. Yet another opportunity to recognize the source of your strength and abilities and give credit to Whom credit is due. (And repent if necessary!)

So... My decisions in the upcoming months and years will need to be made with an active suppression of pride. After all, "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them." (Proverbs 11:2-3)

Okay... I've typed too long, no time to edit, 'cause I'm off to work. Enjoy your weekend, people!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Finally Some Good News

It seems that the tumors which are distorting the front half of Dakota's face and preventing him from breathing much through his nose are not cancer after all. His vet says that after multiple tests, the smart guys at Purdue have determined that this is a rare condition called sterile granuloma dermatitis. And apparently there's been some success at treating it with steroids.

Of course, with the high concentration of steroids in his system, he won't be allowed to compete in any bodybuilding competitions. But he never did well in them anyway. The judges always said all that eyeliner made him look like a girly man.