Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making sense of nonsense...

Like many of you, I'm still struggling to wrap my head around what happened last week at Sandy Hook. I think it's still too much to process as it just doesn't seem real. The fact that such a person existed is the stuff of Hollywood, or at least so we all thought.

Like many of you, I have strong opinions on the matter. For starters, I have extreme anger towards the responsible thing that did this (I am calling it "thing" since I do not regard it as human so I will apply no gender or identity to it). I am not ashamed to say I hate it, and would've rather seen it caught, arrested, and then thrown into general population of some prison somewhere. That way, the hardened criminals would've had a field day with it using rope and dull kitchen utensils to do the job. And some people have said hate is not a appropriate response. Good for you for thinking that. You're a better person than I. Think about what it did one more time, think about the 6 and 7 year olds who looked up to see what was happening, and then really honestly tell me whether or not you don't hate this thing.

Hate is a recognized emotion. It exists and has a purpose. To say it's not appropriate to hate makes about as much sense as saying it's not appropriate to love. It's a ying yang thing.

Like many of you, I seek answers to not only why, but to how to stop this from happening again. There was a Facebook posting going around attributing some speech to Morgan Freeman saying how sensationalist media is partly to blame. While this narrative turned out to not be given by Mr. Freeman, I still agree with it's message. Perhaps the people who blew up the building in Oklahoma, or the kid that shot up Virginia Tech, or this loser responsible for this post wouldn't have taken it to such extreme had they not been convinced we would be talking about it today. I believe there is truth to the fact that the way these monsters are portrayed and glorified in a way gives rise to another individual looking to be remembered. Like the post said, if we all paid them no mind, perhaps they would indeed go away a sad nobody. Instead, we plaster there face all over the news, headlines, we make movies about their story, we write books for generations to read.

Like many of you, I fear what lurks outside these walls of my home. But to truly put my children in a bubble would rob them. You can't protect them from everything, and you would go insane trying. The world is still full of good, experiences still need to be experienced (good and bad). For the most part, the world is still a decent place. Dark corners exist, but denying them freedom to go and explore would prevent them from finding the light switch.

Like ALL of us, I don't have the answer as to how to go about preventing this. To think banning the sale of all guns will work is absurd, and just won't ever happen. Now, I will be the first to voice out and say no civilian, for any reason, needs a fully automatic weapon. No civilian, for any reason, needs a clip that holds 25 rounds of ammunition. No civilian, for any reason, needs a .50 caliber weapon of any action type. You just don't. And don't quote the 2nd amendment bullshit. If you're someone saying you need any of the things I listed and are saying it's our right, you are skewing what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote that magnificent document. I also wouldn't personally mind waiting a couple weeks, or even a few months to get a gun. I'm in no hurry. Furthermore, I've heard a few people now with regard to this event and the shooting at the theatre a few months back saying they wish someone was carrying during the incident so they could "end it". To those people I ask, "Are you truly retarded?" Unless you are a licensed active police officer, you DO NOT have the necessary skills to effectively act in either of these two situations. Chances are you'll injure or kill more people engaging the shooter. Sorry, but your 3 day conceal and carry class taken at your local gun store does not give you the skills that these officers practice for months. If you believe otherwise, you're part of the problem mentality.

There is no good answer, so here's what I'm going to do. I vow that this will be the last time I mention the thing that did this cowardly act. I vow that I will always remember the young ones who were taken all too soon from this world. I vow to never take any day for granted as you just don't know what you're going to get that day. I vow to never hold my children back cause I'm scared of the unknown. I vow to keep plugging forward in an ever chaotically changing world.

Evil exists. However I refuse to let it paralyze me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Old House...

I'm typing this to you all with a computer atop 2 cardboard boxes while sitting on a lone dining room chair. The rest of our belongings are scattered about in various areas, piled in the garage waiting to be loaded onto a moving truck, or patiently waiting their turn in one of 2 storage garages.

In case you haven't heard, we're on the move.

We're all excited. The plain truth is simple: We've outgrown our current home. And with the market as such, it was the right time for us to pick up and move to greener pastures. So, we'll be going from a house with 2 bedrooms and just around 1200 square feet to a house with 4 bedrooms and just under 2300 square feet. It will provide ample space for our current needs and also if we need additional room we won't be so limited.

Plus it has a brand new kitchen. It's the focal point of the whole house.

But it's kind of bittersweet. As I sit here and pack and prep and move stuff out of our current house, I'm reminded of just what this house means to Elli and I. I was newly hired at the VA and not even a week into work when we signed off and moved into this house. We were excited to be homeowners and looking back we did rush into this and had we taken a year or two we would've been better off. Regardless, we had our first home. It was a tiny starter home on a corner lot and had an old school charm to it (it was built in the early 30's). But that old school charm meant plaster walls, old electrical wiring, somewhat dated plumbing, and a concrete slabbed cinder block basement pretty much only good to house appliances such as the furnace and water heater and be used as storage and a laundry room.

So throughout the years I grumbled about patching yet another crack in the plaster, I grumbled about the 2 pronged outlets. I grumbled when it took me 5 hours to replace an electrical outlet. I grumbled when we had to replace the roof, I grumbled when we had to replace the drafty large window in our playroom, and I grumbled about the confining space as we attained more stuff yet didn't attain more square footage.

But for all the grumbling, I sit here today and I simply can't forget that this will forever be our first house. This will be the thing we nervously set foot in that day so long ago in 2005. It will be the site of our first mortgage payment, our first utility upgrade, our first home improvement project. It will be the site of our first run in with the law (someone stole stuff out of our garage), and it will be the site of, shall we say, practice for my handy man skills.

And it will be in our memory as the place where we brought home our two children; Dav in 2008 and HM in 2011. I will always remember pacing these scuffed up and faded wood floors at 3am rocking a fussy infant back to sleep. I will remember placing a sick toddler up on the counter next to the sink as I measure out ear infection medicine. And I will remember all the early mornings spent gathered around the island in the kitchen as we all got ready to go to work and daycare while eating peanut butter toast.

In the past 7+ years, I've repeatedly said how much I hated this house. It was a lie every time.

I love this house. And I'm going to miss it something fierce. I'm excited for our new house and look forward to making many new memories there, and I'm glad this house is going to a couple with a younger child as well. This house is a great one to start off in, and I couldn't have asked for a better one.

To our Maplewood neighbors reading this, thanks for the years of friendship. Thru the miracle of social media I'm sure we'll keep in touch. And Mounds View isn't all that far away. Know that this area will still be a training ground for our biking needs and you'll see us cruising on thru I'm sure plenty of times in the future. Thanks for helping making this a home!
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