Diary Of States Visit September 2023

A wedding was to happen! A wedding of two of my good friends! I had to go back for that! No way I was going to miss it. So I decided to plan an entire trip seeing friends and family in the states.

We have been living in Portugal for about a year so it was about time.

Below are all the things we did during the trip. Thanks to all of the people who made time to see me and thanks to the friends and family I saw along the way!


Thursday, September 7th, 2023

  • Woke up before alarm & started moving
  • Walked the kids and ran into Lorna
  • Continued to get ready & close up
  • Walked to bis station and ran into Brandon
  • Bus to Lisbon
  • Checked bags in
  • Food court
  • Waited for gate
  • Flight to IAD
  • Long customs line but we got through easily
  • Met up with Heidi after we got bags
  • Parking $12
  • Dropped off stuff at Heidi’s & got Benji
  • Went for drinks and fries and nachos at CraftHouse $37
  • Back to Heidi’s for sleep

Friday, September 8th, 2023

  • Bri kept waking me up
  • Up at 5AM
  • Heidi got up early & went to her appointment
  • Made bread & coffee & packed up sheets
  • When Heidi got back, Walked Benji around & ran into Heidi’s neighbors
  • Tried to find & went to T mobile and got a sim card $31
  • Dropped Benji off
  • Went to Chipotle
  • Went to Makers Union Pub and got a beer
  • Back to Heidi’s to pack
  • Heidi dropped us off Curtis & Wilma’s
  • Hung out with Bri’s parents
  • Went over Britney & Jason’s
  • Played wildlife game
  • Got Chinese & drank
  • Drinking game
  • Went back to Curtis & Wilma’s

Saturday, September 9th, 2023

  • Got up early
  • Duolingo
  • Went to Target $320
  • Went to grocery store
  • Went to bank
  • Back to Curtis & Wilma’s
  • Played a few hands of pinochle
  • Drove to Rochy’s
  • Hung out there & had seafood & drank a little
  • Went to nearest hotel to Aaron & Sabrina’s & dropped Stacy & Charles off
  • Went to Aaron & Sabrina’s & drank
  • Picked up Stacy & Charles
  • Matt arrived at Aaron & Sabrina’s
  • Ordered Mama Lucia’s
  • Played game & drank & pokemon & hangout
  • Dropped Stacy & Charles off at hotel
  • Hung out a little bit more & went to bed

Sunday, September 10th, 2023

  • Got up early
  • Matt on couch so couldn’t do Duolingo
  • Bri got up so I did Duolingo
  • Waited around
  • Aaron & Sabrina got up around 9
  • Had coffee & coffee cake & talked
  • Picked up Stacy & Charles
  • Went back to Curtis & Wilma’s
  • Family party! Wine & saw family
  • Charles left then eventually Stacy & Matt
  • Talked to Shawn after Eagles game
  • Bri Bri Went out
  • To sleep

Monday, September 11th, 2023

  • Got up and got ready, took some sandwiches & drinks
  • Got to Uncle Georges around 12:30
  • Got in pool & had a few drinks
  • James & family came over & hung out
  • Steak dinner
  • Watched a tiny bit of the game & went to bed

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

  • Got up about 6 & did Duolingo
  • Bri slept on couch then after I got up slept in bed a bit
  • Had shrimp salad for breakfast & coffee
  • Left for beach around 10:30 AM
  • Parked in Surf City free area & walked on beach for a bit
  • Went to restaurant & got a beer & bang bang shrimp
  • Drew on table paper & ate
  • Went to get crabs & picked out live crabs
  • Stopped at several places to find Coors Light in bottles
  • Uncle George steamed crabs when we got back
  • Went in pool for a while until crabs ready
  • Brendly came over & had crab legs
  • Patrick came home
  • Everyone ate crabs for a while
  • Patrick & Brenly got in pool & we followed
  • In pool for a bit & Uncle George got in for a bit
  • Kim drinking & dancing
  • Went to sleep


Wednesday, September 13th 2023

  • Kicked Bri out of bed because he kept moving around
  • Got up & did Duolingo
  • Uncle George got up
  • Brenly left
  • Had breakfast (sausage and waffles)
  • Left Uncle George’s around 9:30 AM
  • Ran into bad traffic
  • Went to Target on way back
  • Arrived around 4 PM
  • Went to Streetcar 82
  • Bryan S and Helen E showed up
  • Drinks then went back to Bri’s parents

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

  • Got up early & did Duolingo & took a bath
  • Bri helped parents move safe
  • Pinochle with Uncle Neil
  • Went to dinner/lunch at Olive Garden
  • Went to Silver Branch
  • Met up with Alicia, Bryan S
  • Arlene came!
  • Helen came & we all drank
  • Later Marc came & we moved inside
  • Arlene & I went to car to retrieve wine and ran into Tony!
  • Went back to Silver Branch but last call had happened but Hung out anyway & split last beer
  • Said bye to Arlene & Tony
  • Went over Marc’s place for a hang out
  • Went back to Bri’s parents late

Friday, September 15th, 2023

  • Got up early
  • Bri’s mom made french toast when Bri got up
  • Played pinochle a good part of the day
  • Decided to ping Sabrina
  • Went over Sabrina & Aaron’s around 3 and hung out for an hour and a half
  • Went over to Helen’s place
  • Ate pizza & drank a little
  • Watched Barbarian
  • Went back to Bri’s parents

Saturday, September 16th, 2023

  • Got up early
  • When Bri’s parents got up they took us to Bob Evans (I drove)
  • After Bob Evans, back to Bri’s parents for pinochle for a while
  • Started to get ready for the wedding around 2:30
  • Left for the wedding & got there around 3:30ish
  • Awkward at first, caught up with Paul’s family & some of their friends
  • Wedding & ceremony happened where we were called out :)
  • When time to go inside, had the honor of sitting at the same table as Paul, Becky, Shawn, & Jen :)
  • Chipotle dinner & open bar
  • Paul’s dad & his brothers came over to me to ask about Paul & Becky story
  • Bri started talking to one of Paul’s uncles
  • Caught up with a lot of people like Seth, Paul’s dad, others; hung out with Shawn & Jen
  • Jen walked in on first dance
  • Danced & talked & drank
  • Helped clean up
  • Decided to go home since it was so late & we couldn’t go anywhere else

Sunday, September 17th, 2023

  • Got up early & started to pack
  • Got ready & waited around for a while
  • Finally got moving to the brewery around noon
  • Lots of traffic!
  • Stopped at Brew Belly for some beers but they didn’t have Sweet Baby Jesus or the cider Brian likes
  • Finally arrived at Brookeville Beer Farm; the area changed!
  • Eric & family & Chris were already there
  • Got a bigger table
  • Helen, Frank, Aaron & Sabrina, Tricia & Travis & family, Angela with Jasper showed up!
  • All talking & having a good time
  • Mel & Jim showed up
  • Heidi showed up then Dave
  • Talked with everyone and had a good time
  • People started leaving then we left around 5:30
  • Heidi dropped us off at IAD very early (just in case of traffic)
  • Got checked in & waited at gate for like two hours
  • Got Five Guys
  • Boarded plane
  • Couldn’t sleep too much; kept waiting for food & uncomfortable

Monday, September 18th, 2023

  • Didn’t sleep too much on flight
  • Watched the last episode of Shameless
  • Finally arrived in Lisbon
  • Several minor incidents then got to bus station
  • A few minor incidents then finally got on bus to Lagos
  • Arrived in Lagos & started to unpack
  • One of the beers had exploded in Bri’s suitcase
  • Lorna dropped the boys off but Lando isn’t doing well with his nail
  • Bri cooked dinner
  • Tried to help Lando but he was in too much pain
  • Sad night worrying about Lando

Moving To Portugal

I’ve decided to blog about this! I’m not sure who reads my blog anymore but here it is.

Bri and I have decided to move to Portugal. The plan has been in the works now for a while. Here I will document what steps we’ve done and where we’re at in the process.


We visited Portugal in December 2021 and decided it would be a place we would like to live. For various reasons, Portugal has been our number one retirement destination. It is cheap to live, has great healthcare, great culture, speaks mostly English (thought we will be learning Portuguese).

Time: 10 days in Portugal.

Choosing A Lawyer

We interviewed a few different lawyers and figured out (roughly) what we need to do. We met with four different immigration lawyers (all in Lisbon) and received quotes.

Time: 4 months (finding and interviewing lawyers). This process might be faster for others.

Signing Up With An Immigration Lawyer

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022 we paid and sent over our information to the immigration lawyer we chose. We sent them over pictures of our drivers licenses and passports as well as some other information they asked for. We paid around $3,000 initially. The remaining is around $1,000.

Time: 1 day.
Cost: around $4,000

Getting NIF Numbers

The migration attorney is in charge of getting us Tax ID (NIF) numbers. We need these numbers to open a bank account (which the attorney will also do). It took them around two weeks to get us these numbers. We received them on Monday, March 7, 2022. The attorney now needs our United States Social Security cards which we will send over today.

Time: 2 weeks.

Getting A Bank Account

We obviously needed to open up a Portuguese bank account there. In order to do this, we need various forms and other information. We had to send them almost everything… copies of our passports, social security cards, proof of income, our last few paychecks, our tax returns for various previous years… it is a lot.

On top of which, they needed INKED documents so we had to print out various documents (bank account information with Millennium) and send it to them… like actually send to Portugal.

We sent these documents (the first time) on Monday, April 4th, 2022. We eagerly awaited their arrival. We sent them through USPS. No tracking info. It cost around $20 to send.

By April 18, 2022, our lawyers were wondering where they were. We decided to print out these documents AGAIN and resign and send them. We did this on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 and sent them out this time through UPS.

This process is finally finished but we still need to fund the account all the way.

Time: 2 months

Putting Money Into The Account

Once we finally got access to the account, we had to put money in it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t cheap. Bri created a Wise account to transfer money from his account to the new Portuguese account. He also couldn’t initially log into the account so he had to call the bank.

We completed this in a week though we need more time to transfer funds as the Wise app takes some money and doesn’t allow large transfers.

We are also playing the market a bit and only transferring money when the Euro is at a better position so we get more Euros for our buck.

Time: 1 month

Finding A Place

Well, we have to find a place to live, right? In order to be accepted, we need a place to stay. We initially started looking on our own but we decided to go with a realtor. We hope to not have to fly over there to look at places. Right now it’s a very busy time. It also costs money and time to go over there to look.

Reading online, it can take a while to find a place. This is why we are hiring a realtor to do the finding for us. We are looking in the Algarve (which is really hot right now because of summer).

Our realtor sent us a listing and we wanted to pick a place from their list but none of the places were available. I don’t know why they would send us stuff that they didn’t first check was available.

We ended up going a different approach through our lawyers. Our lawyers were able to find us a room to rent with a lease. We will be using that address and lease as our housing requirement. As far as a real place to live, we will be staying in an AirBnB somewhere in the Algarve until we buy a place.

Cost: $133 (for realtor to find places)
Time: 3 months

Fingerprinting/Background Check

Us living in the DC area, we kind of have an advantage. It was really easy to make an appointment somewhere close to get the FBI background investigation and fingerprinting scheduled. We did that on Wednesday, May 11th.

Cost: $160
Time: less than a week

Getting Our Pets Over

More time and research needs to go into this (and I have a checklist for them). So far I’ve bought two dog crates and am getting them used to them. Unfortunately, they will need to go in the cargo hold.

Getting the pets over is a very tricky process. Portugal is a rabies-free country so they both need to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. However, they also need to be microchipped which needs to take place BEFORE their rabies vaccine.

We needed to do the following:

  • Crate train the pets – This was a difficult process with Lando. Wiki was aces. Lando would whine all the time in his crate and would become destructive. He destroyed a plastic bowl that was left in his crate. He also destroyed a blanket we had overtop of the crate.
  • Find a USDA approved vet & make an appointment – This process was more difficult than it sounds as there are not a lot of places that still do it. They need to go to this vet within 10 days of travel.
    • The vet did a lot of paperwork and research for us. Lando was an issue as his microchipping occurred AFTER his rabies vaccine. We needed to get him another rabies vaccine which had to happen 21 days prior to his vet appointment.
    • We told the vet about Lando’s anxiety and she gave us eight pills. We tried one and that made him calm down. Before the plane, we gave him a pill which hopefully worked.
  • Get the USDA certificate certified – The vet looked up what we needed to do. Once we got the certificate we had to overnight it to a place in Albany, NY that certifies certificates and have a return overnight envelope to send it back to us.
  • Properly label the crates – The crates that I bought came with “LIVE ANIMALS” stickers so we put those on the crates. We also put stickers with our phone numbers as well as Bri’s dad’s number. We also put a bag of food duct taped to the top of the cages just in case.
  • Pet trackers – For piece of mind, we bought Samsung smart tags for both our pets. We tested them out first and they worked! It just needs to have a Samsung phone around to find the pets.
  • Call the airline – We flew out with TAP so we needed to call them AFTER we booked our tickets to tell them we had two dogs. They asked about breeds and sizes and sizes of their crates.
    • We needed to arrive there two hours before our flight. We went to the luggage counter with them and our luggage.
    • We rolled them in then later took off the wheels on the crate. The airport took them on a cart which we followed.
    • The airport/TSA scanned their crates. We had to zip tie the doors closed. TSA/the airport said they could no longer touch the animals once we had them zip tied.
    • We tracked them and after an hour of no activity on their tags, they finally appeared underneath us! We were the last ones on the plane on purpose so we could see them get loaded. They took them out in this van and loaded each one up on the belt. A lady then walked both of them into the cargo of the plane and I assume strapped them down.
    • At the airport in Lisbon, we asked where to pick up our pets. The airport person said to wait by a door (funny story to ask me later). The door eventually opened and we retrieved our dogs, safe and sound. They couldn’t wait to get out of their cages and had to go to the bathroom really bad.

Cost: $263 (for two dog crates) + $618 (USDA vet) + $83 (for certified overnight certificate) + $1,600+ (for the dogs to be in luggage)

Getting A Place To Rent

We contacted a realtor a month and a half before our VFS appointment. She sent us some things but nothing met our requirements or it turned out to be unavailable. She got another realtor involved which had a few places. However, even after making a decision, the properties were unavailable.

How We Eventually Got A Place

Days turned into weeks. The final week we needed a place, we were freaking out. I was reaching other realtors in Portugal to see if they could help.

We finally told our lawyers we didn’t think we were going to make the deadline. She offered us an alternative and we took it. We have a lease for a place in Porto.

The place in Porto isn’t a place that we actually stayed. We ended up getting an AirBnB for two months in Quartiera. We then bought a place in Lagos.

This was a very difficult part of the process! It is NOT easy at all.

Cost: $625
Time: 2 months

Getting Travelers Insurance

It only took a phone call. But we did some research before we decided on a company. We chose Mutuaide and made the call to have our insurance start on October 1, 2022. No deductible. Best part it was only 1,200 euros for two people for a year! If health insurance was that cheap in this country, we would stay.

Cost: $1250 (1,200 euros)
Time: 1 day

Getting Ready For VFS Appointment

This took a long time. We needed to print out many documents. Our list (per person) was:

  • Application for National Visa
  • Passports
  • Two passport sized photos – we only needed one but they said to bring two
  • Colored copy of passports  – we needed them notarized; which we didn’t know; but luckily, the person was able to copy ours and notarize them herself
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of financial means – we brought bank statements, a letter from our property manager, and account statements from accounts we have which generate income
  • NIF documents – we got these first thing from the lawyers; this was one of the easiest things as they did the work
  • FBI criminal records – see above
  • Release/request for Portugal criminal record check
  • Proof of travelers insurance – see above
  • Proof of accommodation – see above
  • Copy of marriage certificate – they did not ask for this but we provided it anyway
  • Representation letter – our lawyers provided this for it; they didn’t ask for it but we provided it to them anyway
  • Two money orders – one each person; made out to Embassy of Portugal; both for $95.19

Now all that’s left to do was wait.

Time: months (see above steps)
Cost: $95.19 + $95.19 + $150.38

Selling Our Home

Of course we need to sell our current house before we make the move. It might seem a little pointless to put this in here but I feel it’s important. We had to find some realtors and vet them.

We finally decided to go with a local one recommended from a friend. This same friend also will do the photography and video of our home. We listed our house in August.

After a week and a half of being on the market, we finally got a bid! After a lot of negotiating and the home inspector finding a lot of shit, we settled on a price. We closed at the end of September, 2022.

Time: 6 weeks

The Waiting

After our VFS appointment (mentioned above), the long wait happens… We went through DC which is usually faster than other places but that wasn’t the case for us.

We kept checking on our application online but no update. Just kept saying it had been forwarded to the embassy.

Finally on August 2nd (right as we were leaving for GenCon) we got an email requesting our 2021 tax returns. We quickly gathered the information, went over to Brian’s parents, and scanned it to a PDF. Within an hour of their email request, we had sent it back to them.

We waited another long time to get any feedback back. We emailed them and called several times in September as it was going on 90 days since our VFS appointment.

FINALLY on Monday, September 19, 2022, we got an email saying we were approved! The email came in the morning right before my standups. Finally a weight had been lifted and the long wait was over!

Brian mailed our passports a few hours after we got the good news. They stamped with our Visa and we will have the ability to get into Portugal on our six month D7 Visa.

Time: 95 days + 4 days (we sent our passports on September 19 and got them back September 22)

Getting To Portugal

Bri made flights at the beginning of October for the end of October.

We hung out with a lot of people in this month. We went on a kid of “going away tour” and saw a lot of family and friends before we left. It was quite sweet. I loved seeing all my good friends one last time. We saw:

  • Uncle George in North Carolina
  • Heidi in Virginia
  • Bryan S – We hung out with Bryan S who lived close to Bri’s parents a few times since he was so close
  • Megan & Matt in New Orleans
  • Our local people: Helen, Andrei, Jason & Brittany, Aaron & Sabrina, Shawn & Jen, Eric & Delaura, Joe & Kate

Like I stated earlier, we booked tickets for October 30th. We flew out really late and arrived in Lisbon on October 31st. We rented a car and got down to the Algarve (lots of steps before, see the pets). We checked into our AirBnB on November 1st.

Diary Of Portugal Scouting Trip November/December 2021

As some of you may know, Bri and I are looking at Portugal to possibly retire. We wanted to visit the country to find possible towns that we like that could be possible retirement spots. We planned this trip for a few months. We rented a car for the whole trip and stayed at two different places in Portugal (though it ended up being three hotels).

Portugal is a great country full of friendly people, culture, and fun things to do. Cervejas (beer) is sold everywhere and at all hours of the day it is not uncommon to drink. Cervejas are in coffee shops, souvenir shops,  lingerie shops (just kidding about that one).

Most people speak English but we did run into some who did not but we were able to easily get by. We learned some Portuguese before going of course such as “olbrigata” (which is thank you for women).

It was an awesome week. We did a lot. Visited a lot of places. It seemed like a very long trip even though it was only a week and a few days.


Here’s what we did:

Friday, November 26, 2021

  • Got up around 7:30 am
  • Went to CVS for covid test
  • Ate leftovers
  • Lounged around all day
  • Bri’s parents picked us up
  • Drove to Dulles
  • Got there really early
  • Ate and drank at bar
  • Talked to lady for a while at gate
  • Boarded plane
  • Started to watch Titanic
  • Couldn’t sleep on plane

Saturday, November 27, 2021

  • Got to Lisbon
  • Very long line at customs but they didn’t ask us anything or checked anything; just stamped passport
  • Got luggage
  • Tried to find rental car place with no luck
  • Finally figured out they didn’t have a stand there; had to wait to get picked up
  • Got rental car
  • Tried to get to hotel but phones were not working
  • Had panic attack because our phones weren’t working
  • Bri found wifi and downloaded Lisbon map
  • Got to hotel but we were too early for check-in
  • Walked around & Got Portuguese dish and beer to eat
  • Back to hotel & checked in
  • Took a shower and nap
  • Walked around Lisbon
  • Got a cafe (very small coffee)
  • Walked and found beer place outside & Got a glass of wine and 0% alcohol beer (oops)
  • Walked around; checked out outdoor markets
  • Ate at place outside; bri Got sausage on fire
  • Walked around Lisbon & found beer museum
  • Had many beers
  • Went back to hotel and slept
  • Woke up 11PM our time (4AM Lisbon time)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

  • Time change fucking with us; got up around 2 am Lisbon time; had sex; played on phones; back to sleep
  • Got up around 8:30 Lisbon time
  • Headed to breafast; had breakfast
  • Took a nap & got up around 11:30 Lisbon time
  • Hit the road; got gas
  • Évora; walked around and finally found food inside the castle walls
  • Suviner shopping
  • Went to grocery store on the way to Mourāo to see if we can eat here cheaply; about a wash
  • Went to Castelo de Mourāo; waited for sun to set
  • Tried to go to telescope place but it was closed; waited for sun to set
  • Saw stars; thousands of then
  • 2.5 hours back to Lisbon
  • Got dinner at sushi place

Monday, November 29, 2021

  • Breakfast
  • Nap
  • Went to Fonte de Telha
  • Had lunch at cool Beach restaurant
  • Walked around town
  • Tried to go to Corva but it was just a neighborhood
  • Back to hotel
  • Walked around & Got dinner at hybrid restaurant
  • Drinks at hotel’s rooftop bar

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

  • Breakfast
  • Chilled in hotel room (no nap)
  • Walked around and hit up a cafe; expresso
  • Went to an old church, sé de Lisboa
  • Walked to Tagus; had expresso and cerveja by the water
  • Went by pink Street
  • Walked to Praça de São Paulo; cerveja
  • Walked around hitting various cafés; Benard
  • Went to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
  • Walked back to hotel
  • Walked to Lizzo’s and got pizza

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

  • Breakfast
  • Got going to Quarteira and checked into hotel
  • Went to Fonte de Telha but restaurants were closed
  • Went to beach restaurant in Lagos
  • Walked around Lagos and went to grocery store
  • Back to hotel & drank & watched Netflix

Thursday, December 2, 2021

  • Back hurt in the morning and too much light in room
  • Bad hotel & bad hotel food
  • Decided to check out and find a hotel in Faro
  • Traveled to Faro
  • Checked into hotel
  • Walked around and got food at Italian place
  • Had to get Euros from ATM
  • Walked around and went to marina bar & drank most afternoon
  • Went back to hotel & relaxed
  • Went to Portuguese restaurant

Friday, December 3, 2021

  • Breakfast (better than the others)
  • Started early and went to Tavira
  • Cafe and walked around; visited shops
  • Went to Cavanas (clear winner)
  • Drinks on the boardwalk
  • Went to Santa Luzia & had lunch
  • Went to Olhão; drinks by the water
  • Went back to Faro
  • Dinner at nice Mexican restaurant; learned some português
  • Talked to Stacy on messanger video chat
  • Drank in room

Saturday, December 4, 2021

  • Woke up to wrong number
  • Breakfast
  • Went to pharmacy to schedule covid test
  • Headed off to Sagres
  • Walked around Praia da Mareta beach
  • Lunch at beach bar
  • Went to Lagos; walked around & Got drinks at a tap bar
  • Went to Portimão; walked around & ate dinner at a pizza place
  • Back to hotel

Sunday, December 5, 2021

  • Breakfast
  • Spa
  • Walked to tap pub
  • Drank cerveja and had conversations with people from Ireland and England
  • Too drunk so Went to hotel to sleep
  • Went to covid test
  • Bri Got dinner
  • I got dinner later
  • Talked to Stacy and watched the Ravens game
  • Couldn’t sleep

Monday, December 6, 2021

  • Got up around 7 AM
  • Breakfast
  • Checked out of Faro hotel
  • Traveled to Lisbon
  • Got to airport way early; I fucked up the time and thought we flew out at 2 PM instead of 5 PM
  • Cervejas and coffee
  • Got food
  • Walked to immigration
  • Waited some more
  • Segregated our gate & made us fill out form to return to US
  • Loooong plane ride
  • The plane could not land so we had to circle around again since the wind was bad
  • Bri’s parents picked us up and dropped us off home with the dogs

Diary Of Myrtle Beach June 2021

My mom’s boyfriend, Kenny, was kind enough to give me his timeshare in Myrtle beach in June 2021. I originally wanted it to be a big girls trip with just Arlene, Becky, and I but I realized that wouldn’t be fair to our guys. When Arlene decided to get her own place, I made the move to have the guys there too all week.

We had an awesome time! We did breweries, wine tasting, lots of mini golf, pool, dinners and drinks, games, and (of course) the beach! I always wanted to do a trip like this with good friends. It was awesome.


Here’s the diary…

Friday, June 4, 2021

  • Worked half day; got everything done
  • Packed
  • Got stung by a plant
  • Dropped dogs off at Bri’s parents
  • Got hotel in NC
  • Hardee’s for dinner; drank a big beer

Saturday, June 5, 2021

  • Crappy breakfast
  • Left hotel
  • Got to Sands Beach Club
  • Found car spot with electric parking
  • Met up with mom & Kenny
  • Drove to Ocean Annie’s
  • Drank a lot of beer, live music
  • Got food
  • Went back to resort
  • Room ready
  • Kenny & mom showed us around room then left
  • Went to hot tub & drank
  • Becky texted & we met up with them
  • Hot tub & pool with Paul & Becky
  • Twisted Restaurant dinner
  • I was plastered
  • Back to room
  • Arlene & Andy came by

Sunday, June 6, 2021

  • Got up & Went to breakfast with Paul & Becky (good place)
  • Went to Costco
  • Came back to resort
  • Walk on the beach
  • Hit the pool with everyone
  • Played with ball
  • Back to room to chill and change
  • Went to the pirate Voyage show
  • Went back to our place for games

Monday, June 7, 2021

  • Talked to Kenny but weather not good
  • Went to the beach
  • Went to the brewery, Andy & Arlene Met us up there
  • Walked to golf but Went to a wine tasting place along the way
  • Hung around wine place for a bit
  • Paul drove us to alpha gold put put place
  • Went to Arlene & Andy’s
  • Got pizza

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

  • Got up somewhat early to go boating
  • Met Kenny & Mom at the marina
  • Went to Bird Island
  • Walked around a bit, did the ocean
  • Got stranded on Bird Island because of the tide
  • Had some beer
  • Did more ocean and beach
  • When we were able to get out, did a toast with wine
  • Boated to LuLu’s… bad service
  • Had lunch, drinks
  • Boated back to marina
  • Everyone tired & Went to bed early

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

  • No one wanted to go out to breakfast
  • Bri & I went to blueberry grill for breakfast
  • Went to Publix
  • Back to hotel
  • Went to the beach
  • Met up with Arlene, flew kites
  • Walked to Harry the hats for lunch
  • Hung around hotel
  • Hit up the boardwalk around 5
  • Paul, Bri, Becky drank at Hurricanes (cat 5 Hurricane’s)
  • Played the Mind, alcoholic slushi’s
  • Rode the SkyWheel
  • Met up with Arlene & Andy
  • Went to some tiki bar (bad service) but shots and food
  • Went into some shop
  • All rode back in my car; everyone drunk

Thursday, June 10, 2021

  • Everyone drank the night before
  • Went to pancake house for breakfast
  • Back to hotel
  • Mini golf at two places
  • Went swimming in pool
  • Met cool guy by the pool
  • Went to seafood place for dinner
  • Checked out kite place before we ate
  • Back to our place for games
  • Everyone called it an early night

Friday, June 11, 2021

  • Paul & Becky got up, packed and left
  • Kind of sadness
  • Waited for Mom to message me
  • Got in the pool for a bit
  • Went over Kenny’s
  • Went out to lunch with Kenny & Mom
  • Hung out with Kenny & mom for a bit
  • Back to hotel
  • Met up with Andy & Arlene and went to place next to Ocean Annie’s
  • Back to our place & played rummy
  • Went over to Arlene’s for their beer
  • Watched half of a movie

Saturday, June 12, 2021

  • Got up and cleaned and left
  • Traffic a lot
  • Picked up the kids
  • Got home & watched movies

Diary Of RV Trip 2021

A lot of time went into the making of this trip. Heidi, Bri, and I have been playing Dominion online since the pandemic. Earlier this year (2021) we wanted to do a vacation that was “covid friendly.” Since Bri had always wanted to do an RV trip, Heidi and I went along with it. We let him plan the whole thing which was probably a mistake… we just let him go at it with the assumption that he knows what we like… which he did.

We had several mishaps during the trip like forgetting the pillows and having to drive almost two hours out of the way to pick up and drop off a rental car. But we had a great time but it was very stressful at times (at least the driving was). But we had a lot of fun and have a lot of good memories.


Anyway, here’s a diary of what I did on the trip…

Friday, April 30, 2021

  • Worked from home for a few hours
  • Heidi came over
  • Got the RV, went through the whole spiel about “how to RV”… thinking to myself they need to have a degree program in this shit
  • Went home and started to pack, neighbors came over to check the RV out

Saturday, May 1, 2021

  • Left around 6 am
  • Realized we forgot the pillows!
  • Went all the way to some airport to pick up the rental car
  • I picked up the rental car by myself and drove to Walmart (ewww! First time I’ve even step foot in a Walmart much less buy something in like 15 years!), got pillows, beer, and other supplies, and other shit
  • Got to KOA and relaxed, I built the fire
  • Couldn’t sleep, tried to sleep in rental car; half way through the night I was cold so I went back in the RV

Sunday, May 2, 2021

  • My back hurt in the morning after the sleep on the top bed
  • Went to the Fontana Dam with everyone and dogs
  • Walked around Cherokee
  • Cherokee memorial
  • Went to Firehouse Subs where there was an order for “Trump” (a Trump guy said his order was for Trump; he had a Trump patch on his biker vest)
  • Heidi went for a walk so Bri and I could do adult things
  • Dominion at night before rain

Monday, May 3, 2021

  • Back hurt in the morning after sleep on top again
  • Heidi watches dogs while Bri and I went out
  • It was rainy all day
  • Tried to go to Mingo falls (but it was closed); dudes who walked down said don’t waste a trip up
  • Scary one way gravel road next to creek to get out of the place
  • Went to Mingus Mill; a nice guy there gave us a tour
  • Drove through Smokey Mountain National Park
  • Camera broke before Laurel Falls!
  • Did the hike up to Laurel Falls; no one wearing masks
  • Went into smallish town in Tennessee to get gas; no one wearing masks walking around like it’s Marti Gras… got out of there fast!
  • On the way back noticed a “Native Brews” sign
  • Ate at Native Brews

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

  • Returned rental 3 hours out of the way; I drove rental back by myself; met up with Heidi and Bri
  • Got on the road
  • Bad wind and rain
  • Bad accident which caused traffic
  • Heidi panic attack
  • We drove through GA for like 10 minutes (very strange)
  • Canceled rental for Alabama since we weren’t going to make the time
  • I drove through nasty rain storm to get to Alabama; hazard lights on the whole time
  • Drank at night outside after rain
  • Decided that I will sleep on the table bed which had to have been built for a midget (excuse me, small person) since I had to sleep catty cornered

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • Bri Bri got pan cakes at the Market place in KOA
  • Walked around KOA
  • Did laundry and played cornhole; talked to the owner of the KOA
  • Debated food; nothing around; no one delivered not even Dominos
  • Decided to drive to store and get food
  • Bri and I did some adult things in the Publix parking lot while Heidi got the groceries
  • Walked around KOA when we got back; cinco de mayo food

Thursday, May 6, 2021

  • Breakfast and coffee outside
  • Heidi went for a run
  • Went and did kayaking around lake
  • Birds divebombing us around bridge where their homes are
  • Walked and chill; of course drank
  • Tried to grill but severe thunderstorms
  • Lando kept me awake at night… tried to do adult things but it rocked the trailer too much and woke up Heidi… blamed it on the wind and the dogs

Friday, May 7, 2021

  • Got on road to KY
  • Got rental car
  • I found yet another fucking Walmart (all they got out there) drove there and got cupcakes for Heidi’s birthday
  • Went to the KOA store… everyone was super nice; offered to drive me back to RV since I bought 4 six packs of beer
  • Walked around and played on bounce thing
  • Ordered from New Jersey pizza… story… they did not deliver :( But ordered pizza from somewhere a little closer who did deliver
  • Played Dominion and got on Fri night call for a few minutes

Saturday, May 8, 2021

  • Drove to random bourbon place but it wasn’t there!
  • Drove to Wilderness Trails distillery and did a tasting
  • Went to little Mexican place which had awesome food; dogs were welcome too
  • Went to Four Roses but they were sold out
  • Went to Wild Turkey distillery; Heidi and Bri drank so I could drive
  • Debated what we were going to do on Monday; Heidi made some calls and set up a KOA for Monday night
  • Bri and I went out on a date night but the first BBQ place didn’t wear masks (very scary!) so we went to another joint that had masks
  • Heidi went for a walk so Bri and I could do adult things
  • Played Dominion

Sunday, May 9, 2021

  • Went to Cumberland Falls with dogs; just Bri and I
  • Drove through Boone National Forest; stopping at interesting places
  • Came back, rain, the mind, and drank

Monday, May 10, 2021

  • Had shower and got on road ASAP
  • Part way through I did calculation from home and from KOA to home
  • The KOA we booked ended up being another 2 hours total versus just hammering it out and going home being 1 more hour
  • Decided to head directly home instead
  • I drove the final leg which was all of Maryland; drove by our college, Frostburg <3
  • Got home around 6:30; unpacked and cleaned

Diary Of Philadelphia At The DNC 2016

I decided to go to Philly to protest the DNC and the horrible choice of Hillary Clinton. I’ve been putting my heart and soul into Bernie Sanders’ campaign since he announced. I donated time and money for over a year. I saw it through to the end when he conceded at the DNC in Philadelpia. I cannot possibly try to describe the once-in-a-lifetime feeling I had being there around people like me. Everyone was so awesome. Everyone talked. It’s like we were all friends. I even got to see and meet some of my progressive heroes like Lee Camp, Debbie the Sane Progressive, Greg Palast, and Jimmy Dore.

Pictures: http://yearscollage.com/user/niles38?set_id=41

Here is the diary of what my experiences were. If you ever get a chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself, please do it and see it all the way through. I need to keep harping on these feelings since I may never feel this way again. That’s how much this experience meant to me.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

  1. Woke up & finished packing; texted Heidi
  2. Went over Heidi’s house & helped decorate her car with Bernie writing
  3. On the way up to Philly we saw another Bernie car decorated; we honked & waved
  4. We also saw Black Men For Bernie bus; they later honked at us
  5. Got to the hotel in New Jersey and checked in
  6. Went to nearest PATCO station; Heidi & Ken got the Bernie Sanders banner; I got my Jill Stein quote sign
  7. There were other Berners on the platform; talked to them while waiting for the train
  8. Some guy accidently fell; when he got up, he said, “Hillary for prison!”
  9. Did an interview with a news station with Heidi & Ken on the platform
  10. Talked with other Berners on where to go; decided to go to the Climate Rally
  11. Started marching with the Climate Rally that ended at Independence National Historic Park
  12. Chilled at Independence National Historic Park; Ken got us lunch
  13. Decided to go to the March For Bernie at 3; saw Josh Fox speak as we were leaving; gave the rest of our lunch to a homeless man
  14. Went to Philly City Hall to start the March For Bernie
  15. Marched to FDR Park; fire hydrants were open so we took turns going through them to cool off; march was around 4-5 miles
  16. Chilled at FDR Park for a few minutes
  17. Decided to head over to the Fire early for Lee Camp
  18. Walked a few blocks since traffic was blocked off to get an Uber (only Uber we took the whole time)
  19. Chilled at The Fire; Heidi got pizza; drank until the show
  20. It was really hot in the room; Lee Camp and company were late coming out
  21. During the show Ken made a chair joke; there were a few chairs at the front; Ken said “one less chair today” referring to DWS; I was also the only one who “wooed” for agnostics
  22. Left the show early since it was so hot
  23. Got directions from fire fighters; caught the Philly subway (SEPTA) to PATCO
  24. Went back to the hotel

Monday, July 25, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast; they had waffles; took picture & sent it to Bri
  2. Got ready & left the room
  3. Had a problem finding parking; parked at a Bernie campaign headquarters a few blocks away
  4. Met more Berners on the platform waiting for the train
  5. Went to Philly City Hall for the Press Conference which turned out to be a rally
  6. It was a huge rally; got separated from Heidi & Ken several times
  7. Saw Nina Turner speak
  8. Met up with Mel & gang
  9. Heidi wanted to eat so we decided to do the 3:00 march instead of the 1:00 march
  10. Walked across the street to a ritzy place; had a crabcake sandwich & beer; talked to two college kids who were Berners
  11. Jimmy Dore walked in as we were leaving!
  12. Said hi to Jimmy Dore and that I was a huge fan while walking out… didn’t want to bother him while he was eating
  13. Ken left for home
  14. Marched to FDR Park
  15. Banged on wall & protested outside the wall
  16. Found a spot on the lawn for the Jill Stein Power To The People Rally
  17. Heard others & later Jill Stein speak
  18. Afterward banged on fence during the rain
  19. Hundreds of Berners seeked shelter under an overpass walking back; some of them wanted to block up traffic; tried to stop them since it wasn’t helping anything
  20. Headed back to the hotel; got a shower
  21. Went to Wegman’s for sushi & fruit

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Ran into Hillary supporter at breakfast; asked me where I was going today; tried to tell me Bernie will be a huge part of Hillary’s campaign & platform moving forward; doubted it heavily
  3. Got to the train; went to Thomas Paine Plaza for the Bernie or Bust rally
  4. Debbie the Sane Progressive spoke; Lee Camp spoke; YahNe Ndgo spoke
  5. Heidi stalked Jimmy Dore & when he was free called me over to get my picture taken with him! I told him I had a crush on him & he kissed me!!!
  6. Jill Stein spoke
  7. Got on Philly metro (SEPTA) to take it to FDR Park
  8. Had to exit one stop before since we weren’t allowed at the last stop (since that was for the delegates); when we got off the train people were chanting “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie”; amazing moment
  9. Saw the DNC put up another wall to stop us; protested at the wall; yelled to Hillary delegate that she just voted to send her children to war; cried for my cousin and my friends who are in the military
  10. Watched a bit of the convention in FDR Park (they had a stage & huge screens)
  11. More protesting at the walls
  12. Headed back & ran into Jill Stein walking to FDR Park; I was like two feet away from her; she spoke briefly; people swarmed around her
  13. Headed back to the hotel & had a shower
  14. Went out to dinner and ran into some Berners; had dinner with them!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Ran into Bernie supporters on the platform; an older guy named Dan (who looked like Robert Reich) and his trip mate, Patricia; lots of Berners did carpools and traveled together even if they didn’t know each other
  3. Heidi & Dan did an interview with HBO
  4. Black Men For Bernie Rally; a few Hillary supporters showed up; someone took one of their signs & then gave it back (hey they did it to us inside the convention); we later all hugged the Hillary supporters
  5. Heidi got up on stage & spoke
  6. Ran into Mel who got up on stage & spoke later
  7. Kshama Sawant spoke
  8. Had milkshakes at McDonald’s; spoke to a woman who didn’t know who Bernie is; spoke to a Hispanic young guy who would have been deported thanks to the crime bill but he fought it
  9. Listened to Jill Stein speak again :)
  10. They took a picture of everybody
  11. Headed down to FDR Park
  12. Heidi met LBJ’s daughter on the train
  13. Got stuck on the hoity toity delegate train since we couldn’t get off; had to ride it back a stop
  14. Banged on wall
  15. Listened to delegates speak at the stage
  16. Greg Palast spoke
  17. Watched Greg Palast’s new movie
  18. Met him & got my picture with him!
  19. He sat on one of our posters for a bit while we all watched his movie
  20. Rumor started about Bernie so they stopped the movie to address it
  21. Did the death of the DNC march with candles & a coffin
  22. A helicopter started to fly really low since hundreds of us were protesting around the wall & they got scared we were going to do something crazy
  23. Peace and love thing started again
  24. A Bernie delegate was being interviewed; told stories about how the delegates were told to remove one sign, then another, then another; if they didn’t do so they’d be kicked out; if they got up to go to the bathroom or get a snack a Hillary supporter would take their place; the whole convention was staged to make it seem like the democratic party is united when IT IS NOT
  25. Headed back to hotel; had debate with Hillary supporter on the way back

Thursday, July 28, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Packed up & checked out of the hotel
  3. Headed down to Philly; no Berners on the platform since we just missed the train
  4. Dance party at Thomas Paine Plaza
  5. Saw Debbie again
  6. Listened to various speakers; Hillary supporters there & they spoke & BM4B debated them
  7. One of the BM4B guys got an email from a Hillary supporter who worked for the Pennsylvania government; read the email; horrible horrible email
  8. Left for home
  9. Stopped at Burger King along the way for food
  10. Ran into traffic; didn’t get home until around 7
  11. Sad days ahead

Pictures I’m In

Searching through the internet, pictures of the DNC and protest around it; I’ll keep track of photos I find myself in here:

Diary Of Panama 2016

Here’s a diary of all the things we did on our trip to Panama. I wanted to write this to keep track of the days.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Got up really early and caught an Uber to Jeff’s place in Silver Spring. Picked Jeff up and took the same Uber to Dulles airport. The plane ride was one of the worst I’ve ever had. We had tv’s on the backs of our seats which was awesome however the dude in front of me kept putting his hand on the back of his seat (on my screen) which obstructed my view of the movies I was watching. Also the kid who sat in the back of my seat kept kicking my seat. We did have a meal on the plane (I got eggs). Once in Panama City, we took a taxi to our hotel. We checked in and walked across the street for sushi for dinner and drinks. Awesome drinks! Walked around to explore. We had drinks and watched some of the playoffs at this cool bar that had great drinks. The lady at our hotel marked the wrong place as our hotel so we were getting drunk walking around (being careful where we walked) and got lost trying to find our hotel.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Got up really early again to get the Jeep ride to San Blas. The Jeep ride was very crowded and the driver didn’t speak English. Had a great conversation with a French woman while traveling in the Jeep though. The Jeep ride was rough as we were all squished and the roads were very rugged in parts. Our Jeep sucked. Once we got to the place they dropped us off and we waited around for our boat. We got a water taxi to our catamaran. We kept on the table like waiting. Captain Franco told us what to do, showed us our stay rooms, etc. Then we traveled to a place where there was great snorkeling. Bri and I learned how to snorkel. Bri’s snorkel wasn’t good so he held his breath to do it. It was great snorkeling in the reefs. Afterward, we were all starving since we didn’t eat all day, we had lunch. Then we sailed to Jose’s island and docked there for the night. Had an awesome dinner with wine (I think lobster). Played cards and drank the rum we brought.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Had breakfast. Snorkeled at the island where we stayed. Took boat to the island where we met local people and met “crab dog.” Walked along the beach with “crab dog” following. Awesome food for lunch and dinner. Went to another island and kayaked around the other island. Explored it a bit. Another awesome dinner, drinks, and cards in the night.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Awoke to the engines rumbling. We were leaving the island to go back to the other island since the water was rough. Didn’t get much sleep. We should have left this day however we did snorkeling and visited the beach for lunch (a real dead fish for lunch with salad and rice). Excellent food. Swam and snorkeled. We headed to another island when I realized that it was Tuesday and we needed to be in Panama City to go to Bocas the next day. Scrambled around, trying to contact airline to reschedule since we couldn’t make it. Turned on my phone and used data. Went to the island and had a good dinner and a beer. Cool island place. Captain Franco made arrangements for us to be picked up in the morning. Couldn’t sleep that night. Tried to sleep in the hamack, got rained on. Boat was rocking and it was hot. My lip swelled. It was an awful night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Got some pictures of the sun raise since I was up all night anyway. Waited for everyone else to awake and get ready. Got ready. Waited for water taxi. Had bowl of cereal. Water taxi came, loaded our stuff and we went back to San Blas reserve. Once there we waited a long time for another Jeep to take us back to Panama City. The driver kept drinking water and stopping to go to the bathroom. We arrived at the Panama City domestic airport and talked to AirPanama. They weren’t that helpful but we were able to get on standby for our plane. They also informed us since we missed our earlier flight, they canceled our flight back to Panama City a few days later. The airport had WiFi and we stayed there around 3 hours. All three of us were able to get on the plane to Bocas del Toro. Sat next to a dude who owned a dive shop there. Once there, got our luggage and a crowded van to the hotel. Got checked in. Very nice rooms! Washed my hair like three times. Went to a nice restaurant and had wine with dinner. Drank at some bars but I wasn’t feeling well so I called it an early night. Bri and Jeff stayed out.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Had lunch/breakfast at a Chinese place. Good food. All the restaurants we ate were on the water. Walked around and got information about activities to do. Got a taxi to Starfish beach. Walked to Starfish beach. Were worried about people and the path so someone was always watching our stuff. Saw lots of starfish and swam around. Afterward we did a beer crawl through the various beer stands located around the place and walked back for our taxi. We had a few drinks at a bar near where our taxi picked us up. There was a lizard in the bathroom. When we got back to the hotel we took showers and did dinner at a sushi place. The sushi was pretty expensive and not that good but we had a good time. Jeff and Bri wanted to do a snorkeling/beach tour the next day so we had to get up early for that.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Got up early and walked to a breakfast place. The breakfast sandwiches Bri and I got weren’t that good. Walked back to the hotel and got ready for the trip. Met up with some other folks in our hotel doing the same tour. There was this dude there trying to use his credit card when it was cash only. Also we put down phony passport numbers and faked our ages on their sign in sheet. When the tour was underway in the water taxi, we first went to Dolphin Bay where we were supposed to see some dolphins. We saw a few. I tried to get a picture but they were too fast. We then went to this restaurant/dock place to place our orders for lunch. We then went to a beach. It was crazy getting there as the boat wasn’t doing so well landing on the beach. Walked like a half a mile to a nice but dirty beach. The beach had a lot of debris. Snorkeling wasn’t happening as the water was very cloudy. We stayed there way past the time when we wanted to leave as there wasn’t much to do. We swam and skipped stones. The boat tried to pick us up there but the tide was too rough. Bri hopped on the boat though and then the boat went back to the original place where we docked. Jeff and I helped people and walked back to the boat. After the boat we we dropped people off to eat and went snorkeling. The snorkeling wasn’t great and the current was pretty harsh. After snorkeling we ate and met an awesome girl backpacking from Ireleand. We kinda hit it off with her. Her name is Ann Marie. After lunch we went to a few islands via the water taxi. The islands weren’t that good. Sloth Island we didn’t see any sloths. But we did see starfish by a place we stopped by. We also went to Bird Island but didn’t see any birds. When the trip was over we invited Ann Marie to dinner with us at 7. We took showers and met downstairs at our hotel at 7 and walked to a nice seafood restaurant. After dinner we had drinks. It was really hot but the drinks cooled us down. Bri and I decided to go back to the hotel since we had to get up early to leave to go back to Panama City the next morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

We got up early and met Jeff downstairs. We took a taxi ($2 a person!) to the AirPanama airport. Bri and Jeff were able to get on the same flight as me. Their scanning machine was broken so they were checking all the bags by hand. We had to wait a long time and our flight was probably late. When we got back to Panama City we checked into the hotel. Our room wasn’t ready but we put our stuff in Jeff’s room which was ready. We ate breakfast at this nice restaurant that had an “American” breakfast. After breakfast we walked around looking for souvenirs. Jeff couldn’t find a Panama t-shirt he liked. We then went to the pool since it was really hot. After the pool, we played cards and Jeff got a notification that our flight had been cancelled. We rushed to our rooms to call Copa Airlines. A half hour later we got through. They told us to go to their place at some mall the next day. I was sooo ready to go home and kinda freaking out about the whole thing. We got some booze and drank and watched CNN’s coverage of the blizzard hitting DC.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

We got up kinda early and walked to the Panama City metro. The thing only took bills smaller than $10 so I had to go and seek change. The Subway and McDonald’s claimed not to have change. I bought a McMuffin and all of a sudden they gave me change back! Took that back to the metro. Bought our tickets and went to the “mall”. The “mall” wasn’t open yet so we had to wait around. When it did open we asked a few people where the Copa Airlines was. We chilled out in the food court until they opened and tried to find them. Once we found them we rescheduled our flights for Thursday, the earliest we could fly out. I wanted to see about Planes, Trains, And Automobiling it back but it would have been extra cost and I wouldn’t be sure when I could get back. We decided to stay in Panama until Thursday. We all got ice cream at one of their food courts and walked around. We walked around Panama City some more then went back to the hotel. Bri and I tried to find a place to do our laundry so we tried to pull it up on google maps. We tried to walk there but got lost since we didn’t have WiFi except at the hotel. The hotel wanted to charge $5 a shirt for our laundry. Later we had dinner at the place we went drinking our night in Panama a week earlier. We decided to tour the Panama Canal the next day. Probably drinks and cards and pool (billiards).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bri tried to venture out again to do laundry and find a place. No one knew of one around there. We were desperate so we did our laundry in the shower with shampoo and soap. We met up with Jeff later and got a ride to the canal. Our driver was also with us. We toured the Panama Canal’s museum first, looked at the history. I was pretty underwhelmed with the museum. They had a few interesting things there but nothing about the real history. We did get to see a simulation of what a ship sees when going through the canal which was pretty cool. We then got to see an actual ship pass through one of the locks. Afterward we saw both the Spanish and English version of their Panama Canal movie. They are very proud that they acquired the canal from the United States. After the canal we probably did the pool. We also arranged what we’d do the next day. I think we ate at the pizza place up the street. Jeff was thinking about doing some of the Panama late night. Bri wasn’t feeling well so we played some cards, drank some rum and he went to bed. Jeff and I went across the street for a few drinks.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We got up early and got a ride to the ferry to go to Tobago Island. There were a bunch of seagulls that followed the ferry all the way to the island. There we got breakfast at a nice little place. I got pancakes. We then walked to the beach. The water was pretty cold and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our stuff alone. We rented an umbrella for $5 for the whole day. Bri and Jeff mostly got in the water. There wasn’t much to do. The other beach on the other side was very dirty and no one was over there. There were a lot of rocks. Bri and Jeff had a little adventure while I watched the stuff and took a nap on the beach. Once they were back, I got in the water again with Bri. After that we decided to find drinks. I also had to cancel the maids for the next day so I needed WiFi in order to send an email to Bri’s parents. We found a little place and I was able to use Jeff’s phone to send an email. The place was nice (a bit hot though). We had many drinks and ice cream there. The fish kite they had kept smacking Jeff in the face. We also played some hearts until it was time to catch the ferry back to Panama City. Our driver was there almost when we arrived back. When we got back we went out to dinner at one of the places up a ways from the hotel. We ate at a place that made their own beer. They gave us a free flight. We stayed out pretty late doing a mini bar crawl.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We asked the hotel where good breakfast was and they pointed us to a cafe. Once there, we weren’t impressed since it was a cafeteria kind of cafe. We decided to go to the good breakfast place on another street where we ordered the American’s before. The waitress was nice and showed us what they were having for lunch. We contemplated going back for lunch. We then went to the Old Panama. They had a museum. We went through the museum… there wasn’t much there but it was interesting to learn the history of the first Panama City. My camera started to run out of memory so I had to go through pictures and delete them. We then took their golf cart thing to the actual ruins. We walked up the old church, learned roughly how it looked like back then. It was pretty fascinating. Captain Henry Morgan destroyed their city in 1671. Pirates would come by and steal their stuff including rocks. We walked around the ruins and walked midway back and took their golfcart the rest of the way. Our driver was waiting for us. We then did the pool at the hotel. We got dinner later at a place up the street. Jeff’s food wasn’t sufficient due to his allergies so we went to another place afterward and got drinks and Jeff got better food. After drinks Bri and I decided to call it an early night and pack and watch the democratic debate we missed from Monday.

We caught the flight home the next morning. An uneventful flight (just the way I like them). We got home to a lot of snow! We got Bri’s car out and I picked up Wiki.

Pictures can be found here: http://yearscollage.com/user/niles38?set_id=40

It was an awesome trip!

Diary Of Feelings — Re: Dad 1/7/08 – 1/31/08

Here’s a sort of diary of feelings I’ve had since my father passed away and before.

Monday January 7, 2008
Suzanne called my cell phone pretty early in the morning saying my Dad is in the hospital. She called again later that day telling me that they think it’s theroitoxicitous. I get Brian to look up the medical terms of what she said. She also said he was admitted Sunday night. I, of course, asked if there was anything I could do and to keep me updated. Suzanne also said Dad is to be released the following night.


Tuesday January 8, 2008
Suzanne called me again with one update. I asked some medical questions based on the research Brian provided about said condition.


Wednesday January 9, 2008
No update from Suzanne.


Thursday January 10, 2008
Suzanne called with the status of Dad. Now, I believe, is the time Suzanne tells me of Dad’s staph infection. Mom also called that night. She said that I should really come down to see Dad. Dad is to undergo a test to see if the staph infection has spread to his heart. Brian researches when the hospital is open for visitation hours.


Friday January 11, 2008
I start to plan to see Dad sometime. I didn’t want to that weekend because of the playoffs. Since family comes first, I try to plan to see Dad Saturday. I also plan to see him Monday, so I asked Masoud for a half day. I give in and I plan to see him in the AM on Saturday and get back home before people start showing up around 3PM. I believe I talked to Suzanne this night with more updates. She tells me that the staph infection has spread to Dad’s other organs and confirms that it has infected his heart. I ask and have the comfort of friends. Shawn is not sure how one would go about treating a staph infection to the heart. I decide to get dad stuff for his visit in the hospital. I go to Radio Shack to pick him up gadgets I think he’d like. I also plan to burn him CD’s. I pick him up a robot Panda bear, two robot bugs, a laser pointer, and lots of batteries for the CD player. When I get home, I start laying out a track list on ITunes for songs I want to burn.

Being not quite finished with the list, I went out to TGI Fridays with Marc, Shawn, Jen, and Bri. Good service. Everyone has had a crappy week (of course mine tops) and wants to drink. Marc says something really really mean to Jen to get her depressed and put her in a bad mood. I honestly didn’t think the comment was that bad, but then again I’m not trying to get pregnant either. We go home and Shawn, Jen, Bri, and I play Rockband. Shawn and I have a few car bombs. Bri and I walked home around 11 in order to finish laying out the tracks and burning the CD’s. I burn 7 CD’s for him and print him out a list of all the songs on each CD. We get to bed around 12.


Saturday January 12, 2008
We get up around 9AM in order to leave and make it just in time for the 10:30AM hours of visitation. Brian and I go up and see where Dad is and travel to level 3, the ICU. We get the okay for the nurse at the desk to open the door. We walk back and try to find room 318. I hear Dad’s voice as we get closer. He’s talking to a nurse. The nurse says that he must identify us for us to go in. Bri and I go in initially to see Dad. We exchange plesentries, and I ask how he’s feeling. He doesn’t look good since he’s bed ridden. His arms seem weaker. He also complains he can’t see. He thought it was snowing when I said it was a nice day outside. I decide to bring in all the stuff I got for him. I try to get packages of the robot panda open, the CD player, the bugs, the laser pointer. The panda needs a screw driver in order to get to the batteries. No nurse has one so we said we’d work on it again when we come back. My sister comes and her and I set him up. Brian is left to wait in the waiting room. I play “Jannie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith and Dad rocks out. He asks to repeat the song. I let the CD player keep playing and “Jessica” plays next. It’s a long instramental song of which Dad, I think, complains about or calls it a hippy song or something. More songs play and Dad tells my sister and I to leave and enjoy our day. This is the last time I ever spoke to him. Stacy hasn’t eaten yet so we decide to go to the Annapolis Mall to get her food and try to pick up an adapter for the CD player. We ask Radio Shack but we’re not sure what adapter would work. Stacy and I buy a smoothie together and she makes plans to eat with Robbie. Stacy drops Brian and I off at the hospital and we proceed home.

At home, we clean for that night’s party. I feel down the whole rest of the day, like I was holding back something. People start to show, the first game with Green Bay against Seattle comes on. Alan and his sister show up before the first half is over. Everyone except Joe and Kate drink. We all have a good time and we order pizza. I tell Brian to pay for everyone. Joe and Kate leave after the first game. Next, we root for Jacksonville to win over New England (of course no luck there). After the games, we play Skategories, listen to music, and chill. Alan and his sister leave around 1AM. We finally get to bed. Up until this night I haven’t had much problem getting to sleep. I just remember lying there, thinking about Dad and looking forward to seeing him again.


Sunday January 13, 2008
We got up and started planning what the day was going to be like. We were going to watch the playoffs. Stacy called me to tell me Mike Imbach and Kim wanted us to meet over Dad’s to discuss what’s going to happen. I was very confused and didn’t want to drive down for nothing so I called the hospital. They said they wanted to do a family meeting and designate a spokes person. They also said that Dad was knocked out because that night he started mumbling gibberish so they wanted to do a cat scan. We decided to leave for the hospital.

We gave our key to Shawn and Jen for Candi. We met Stacy and Kim at the hospital. We waited around for the doctor and he had us in a room while he explained some things. Dad was completely out of it. It was like a deep sleep for him. They kept saying they were sure he was going to wake up. They explained that he was hevily medicated because he suffered a brain frat or something the night before. We get pretty upset because the news is just not good. Kim gets so upset she storms out crying. The nurse is there to comfort us. She left and we’re talking but crying. I get so upset I throw up in the trash can. I told the nurse and the doctor I would want to try to donate Dad’s organs if we could. I knew that most of them were probably unusable anyway. We talk about what’s going to happen and decide Suzanne shouldn’t be allowed to visit because of incidents in the past. The nurse gets mine and Stacy’s information to make us POC’s.

We decided there wasn’t anything to do at the hospital so we went home. We caught the last bit of the Dallas and NY Giants game. We fixed dinner.


Monday January 14, 2008
We get up early and I text message Ernie telling him that I wouldn’t be in. We had an appointment at 10 to see Littleton. We asked if Dad had a living will. He did not. We also asked about the real will. Littleton said we should look for it just in case. We visited the hospital to check on Dad. His condition didn’t change. I talked to him for a while, just telling him how I felt and how sorry I was. I told him what I wanted to say to him for years, given this opportunity. I couldn’t. He’s my father and I forgave him everything he’s ever done to hurt me. I told him I loved him and I was so sorry about anything I ever did to hurt him. Stacy came in also and we played some music for him. We met with Rita and others in the waiting room. Aunt Janet said she would be taking care of Rita for a night then she can stay over Dad’s (of course one day turns into a week). We gathered some people and decided to make some phone calls to tell people of Dad’s condition. We had another meeting about it. The doctors, again, said there wasn’t much hope. We decided to give it a few more days again. They were talking again about transferring him to another hospital that might be able to help him and do surgery.

The family and I decided to wait on it because the doctors didn’t think it was likely. I never wanted to feel like I’ve given up on someone. I’ve never wanted to feel like I had control over anyone’s life. I had control over Dad’s. It was a mutual decision. We tried to read between the lines of what the doctors were telling us and what we think Dad would have wanted. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Brian and I went home and went to work the next day. I called the hospital right before I went to bed.


Tuesday January 15, 2008
Went to work like normal. I called the hospital but the nurse didn’t answer. Decided to call back in a little while. I called two or three times during this day. They said his condition hadn’t changed. I called Littleton to see what’s going on with Dad’s checks.

Suzanne wanted to write out a bunch of checks for things. They wanted to buy a bed for Rita, give Stacy and I $200 for driving. Give Kim $200 for driving. A blank check for the grocery store. Littleton said he didn’t approve. Brian called Stacy and a little tiff happened. I called Stacy later that day to explain that Brian was sorry for making people upset. She said it was cool, just that we weren’t around so we shouldn’t dictate. I just want to watch out for both of us. Stuff like that shouldn’t happen in a time like now. It’s just not fair.

When we got home, Brian got ready for his green party meeting. He went and I stayed home and watched Scrubs. I called my sister with the status of the family meeting that I couldn’t attend. She said that the infection spread to Dad’s brain. She basically said there was no hope. I got really depressed and the feelings flowed through. Brian called said he was on his way home. I decided I wanted to be drunk so I could hopefully not remember any of this. I took a shot to Dad and immediately threw up. I just lyed there, emotionless. I cried forever when Brian got home. But, yet I still feel I’m in denial.


Wednesday January 16, 2008
I had planned to sleep in a bit and purposely be late for work so I could just put in four hours and bolt. The hospital called right after my alarm went off. They said a decision needs to be made about Dad right now. I told them I was on my way. We got out of bed. My mom called, then Stacy called. Seems I was the last one informed. We got Jen to watch Candi and headed on our way. I texted Mike on the way telling him I wasn’t going to be in. On the way, Brian took the wrong exit on 50. I called everyone to make sure we were all coming.

When I got there, they told me and Bri to go back. The nurse was there and she said that Dad had passed away in his sleep that morning. A wave of devastation took over me. I couldn’t believe it. I just stood there, with blank emotion. Denial had begun. I walked into see Dad one last time. He sat there like a wax sculpture. Kim was in the room crying. I told Dad I loved him and gave Kim a hug. We went out to meet people in the waiting room. Stacy, Mom, Suzanne, all came. I sat them down and told them Dad had passed away. Everyone started crying. Littleton came too and explained what we needed to do next. The hospital gave me a list of funeral homes. We gathered around the hospital, a few people went back at a time. We all waited and I contemplated what we had to do. Everything seemed so confusing, and I haven’t even started to grieve yet. I was way in denial, making jokes, livining people up. I don’t know how to explain how I felt because everything was so strange. It felt like it wasn’t real. It still doesn’t feel like it’s real. We went back to Dad’s to start planning things. We took Mom and Rita. Aunt Janet stopped at a store to get a whole bunch of food for everyone. We also wrote the obituary. We visited Littleton who said he had the will all along. He left everything to Stacy and I. I couldn’t help but cry right then and there. Dad said he wanted to be viewed with his Rolex on. We couldn’t get into the safe. There was nothing we could do. We discussed questions we had. Littleton was the executor. Our number one priority was getting the Rolex and figuring out what Dad would want. Littleton said he wanted us to decide or whatever. It’s so hard.

We then went to Singletons funeral home because Mom said Dad would want to be there, where both his parents went. We sat down and figured out some basic stuff. We then went to the cometary to arrange things. Dad had a plot there and a vault. Bri, Stacy, and I went back to Dad’s house to discuss other details. Everything was so confusing. We got a hold of some of Dad’s old friends. I talked to a few people to try to figure out what is going to happen.

Brian and I went home and fixed dinner. I kept saying to Brian how I wanted a certain episode of Scrubs where JD’s father dies. Brian went out to Best Buy and bought it for me. I guess I didn’t know how to feel. Everything was so strange. My bad dreams began that night.


Thursday January 17, 2008
I tried my best to put in a half day at work. We told Stacy we were going to come down to help with the collages. I kept crying at work as I told my co workers what happened. Sometimes I just randomly cried. It looked like it was snowing pretty bad outside. I wanted to go home so much. I wanted to try to be honest and put in four hours of work, but I gave in at 11:30. The snow was really bad, the roads were horrible. I took my time and called Brian to tell him to take it slow. When I got home I watched Scrubs and waited for Bri. We watched Scrubs together, contemplating whether or not to drive. We also needed to get pictures for the slide show. My sister didn’t do them.

Around 4 or 5 we drove to Brian’s parents for the night (with Candi), right after I took a bath. We called Stacy to tell her we’d be over for the appointment but we couldn’t come down that night. I called Kim to see if she was okay.

We got to Brian’s parents safe. Right before, we stopped for dinner at KFC. We stayed up and snuggled and watched TV. Sleep is only half.


Friday January 18, 2008
We got up early and went over Dad’s to pick up Stacy. She was running late. We had breakfast at Wawa. We stopped by Wawa to get Stacy something. Suzanne needed a ride to Glen Burnie, so we dropped her off before Singletons. We went to Singletons to plan the funeral. We picked out everything and planned everything. The lady there was asking us for information that we had already given them before. I was ready to snap but kept a little composure but acted rude. It was really difficult figuring out what Dad would have wanted. We picked out the perfect cascate, called the Forest II. Dad named his tractor Forest. We changed the dates of the viewing and funeral to Tuesday and Wednesday instead of Thursday and Friday.

After the funeral home, we went to the cometary. The lady was being really slow with the paper work. We had to get pictures for Dad’s slide show before 3. She said come back at 4:30. We tried to visit Littleton to get information about Dad’s heat that just went out. He was out to lunch so we decided to eat something then come back. We went to this little bar and grill place. The prices were really expensive and I lost it and stormed out. I refused to pay them $8 for a sandwich. I just walked to the other side of the building.

Brian kept calling me. At that moment, I didn’t care what happened to me for I wanted to die. All this was happening and I couldn’t control anything. I felt so alone. I refused to eat anything. We went back to Littleton’s but he was still out. We decided we couldn’t wait and went home to get pictures together. A little detour because Stacy forgot all the pictures in her friend’s car. Littleton called Brian and told him to spot $700 for the oil. It was to be delivered Saturday. We only had 45 minutes to pick out good pictures of Dad.

We got good pictures but I wasn’t happy because it didn’t show any of his childhood. After that, we went to Singletons again to drop off the pictures.

We had an hour and a half to burn so we decided to go let out Candi in Bowie because we couldn’t get a hold of Brian’s uncle. I’m still in denial. We stopped in, let her out, then went right back to Glen Burnie for the cemetery meeting. We planned it and walked out to the grave site. They seem nice but they want to be paid. Mom kept calling the entire time. We picked her up to take her to Dad’s.

Stacy was going to drop her off at someone’s house. Mom and Suzanne don’t realize how hard it is for us to do everything. We wanted to have a reception after the funeral, but if we have to plan it, I don’t think so. The added pressure of driving them everywhere they need to go. I hope people realize how hard it was for my sister and I to do everything.

Bri stops by B&T bank for the ATM for me. It kept saying “invalid pin” when I go to withdraw $700. I lost it there. I typed my pin number in correctly. I tell Brian, he calls them and gives me the phone after a long hold. I’m already nuts, kicking the building, kicking the ATM. The person tells me that I’m limited to $500 a day withdraw. I tell him it’s crap and my Dad just died and we’re trying to get money for oil cause the heat is out. I loose it and hang up on him. I had severe anger, I kept hitting myself. Brian tried to calm me down. Mom tells me to calm down but I go off on her. Stacy gets angry at me for yelling at Mom, explaining to her that we’ve been doing this all on our own with no one’s help. Brian’s been doing the driving which I still feel bad about. Brian withdraws $300 from his ATM and we’re on our way home. We give Stacy the money and finally get to go home after we pick up the puppy in Bowie.

I appologize to everyone over the phone but am still so hurt.


Saturday January 19, 2008 – Sunday January 20, 2008
I take the weekend off to try not to think about anything and distress. We just relax, watch football, drink a little, play Rockband. Brian and I get our minds off of it. All Stacy is left to do is the collages.

Sunday night, Brian tells me he’s taking off Monday to make sure things are going to go as planned. I have Monday off for a federal holiday anyway.


Monday January 21, 2008
Brian and I slept in until about 9 when we both got up. I believe Brian got up before me. Always when I wake up, I’m in a daze. I just lie there in disbelief that I’m still alive and that this is really happening. We got up and made our way over Brian’s parents house to drop off Candi. That’s where we’ll be staying until Wednesday. The cometary called on the way down, asking for money. I said my sister should be taking care of it, so they called her. She didn’t have it and Littleton said that we can’t access Dad’s money, so we’ll have to front it. Also, more stress, our cousin, Billy Ray, wanted to go to the funeral, but he doesn’t have the money to come up. Stacy said she could charge $600 for it, but I told her that it’s not her responsibility to do so. We’ve absorbed a lot of cost so far. With gas costs, the heating bill, stops for food, Brian taking off, we’re behind on where we should be. I called the cometary back to ask what the total we needed to carry on with the funeral was. After 20 minutes of them trying to tally a number, it came to $1,512. We, of course, didn’t have it on hand. They wanted it by 2PM. We had to ask Brian’s parents for a big favor, for them to get it. They gave us a check for $1,512. We immediately, after saying “thank you thank you thank you” went to the cometary in Glen Burnie to pay it off. We’re just so lucky Brian’s parents were off, and we’re so lucky to have them.

After the cometary, we went over Dad’s to finish the collage. Sine it was pretty early, we got pictures together and made one. Bri and I also found some stuff to decorate the room for the viewing. I’m still mad at the cometary for calling demanding money. Just seems very insensitive. We went back over Brian’s parents around 4PM because there was nothing more to do. We started placing locks (with the help of Mike Imbach) on the house.

Brian’s mom gave me stuff to wear at the viewing the next day. Brian’s parents made a good dinner and we went to bed around 12. We did watch a little bit of the democratic debate. We discussed a lot of things and I played sudoko a bit. When we went to bed, I just lied there in a mist, the day had gone okay, but I get really depressed and sad when I go to bed and when I get up.


Tuesday January 22, 2008
We got up early to head over Dad’s by 10. Mike Imbach was meeting us there to put some more locks on the house. Marcus also came by. He’s one of Dad’s old friends. I don’t remember him. We chatted a while and waited for Littleton and the safe crackers to come. Mike also chatted a bit, telling us that it would be nice to drive the Camero to Dad’s funeral the next day.

Around 12 they got started. I got Brian to get me a sandwich at Wawa. Stacy, Littleton, and I stayed in Dad’s room, just chatting as the safe crackers worked. We talked about what’s going to happen, questions we had, etc. It was around 2:30 and we needed to get started to go to set up for the viewing. After discussion, Stacy decided to go with all the stuff to set up and I stay behind with Littleton. Brian opted to drop Suzanne and Kim off and pick Mom up to take her to the viewing. Bri got back around 4.

They finally got the safe open and we found Dad’s rolex. It was too late to put it on him, unfortunately, so Littleton gave his rolex to Stacy for Dad to wear. Brian and I had a good little debate with Littleton as the safe crackers were cleaning up and putting the new lock on. When everything was said and done, Littleton left and we decided to head for Aunt Janet’s where she was making dinner for us.

We heard on the way that Heath Ledger died. We had turkey and gravy at Aunt Janet’s. We discussed a lot of things. Uncle Mike offered to help with whatever we needed. We got ready and left for the viewing. There were a lot of people who showed up. Brian’s parents came, a lot of people from Dad’s past. The old gang I remember when I grew up all came. Interesting things came about. Kim Bracado took me a side at one point and told me not to trust Kim and to get her out of the house ASAP. I didn’t really know what to think. I mingled and met a lot of people I used to know. My old high school friends, Rick and Sara came. We mostly hung with them and caught up. Brian, at one point, stepped outside where the guys were talking about Kim. They, basically, flat out offered to cap her for us. It was strange.

Throughout the night, I felt like I was acting wrong. I wasn’t really happy, but I wasn’t too depressed, either. Just mingled and hung out. Towards the end, the priest who is to speak at the funeral came up to me, introduced himself to my sister and I, and asked what Dad was like. I told him the story about the flat tire. I said Dad was into boats and cars and trains. Stacy went back to her group of friends who were mingling. I prayed with the priest. Come 9, the funeral woman confronted me about things. I said we needed to get the rolex off of him, so she did. Afterwards, my sister went to Dad and cried for a good 20 minutes. Robbie comforted her. She didn’t want anyone to talk to her, she just wanted to be with Dad one last time, I guess. We chatted with Stacy’s friends who still remained. After that we packed up the stuff around Dad. Suzanne had said that she placed a ring with Dad. Whatever. We headed back to Brian’s parents house. I told them how glad I was that they came. I had both rolex’s. We compared and chatted about things. Bri and I had to be at Dad’s by 10 to get ready.


Wednesday January 23, 2008
Brian woke up before me and walked Candi. I got up slowly because I was in the usual fuzz. I lied in bed for a while, just thinking about everything. I felt embarrassed to get up since Bri’s parents were still in bed. Brian’s dad made breakfast when I got up. We had to get to Dad’s at 10. When we got there, Mike got into the garage and got the car down (we had to find the key in a bunch of keys in the safe before that). We had to move the truck in order to get to it. The battery had died so Mike had to jump it. As it was charging, we went around the house and finished up some locks. We talked about the plan with Stacy and everyone who was there. Stacy agreed to drive the Camero to the funeral home and the funeral. Stacy and I got ready and went.

When we got to the funeral home, we notice a familiar face, Ms Patt, one of Dad’s old employees. She was shaking and was crying. They told her that Dad wasn’t there, she just wanted to give him a flower. We both went in. Uncle Mike also came because he thought paw barrors had to be there. The funeral home gave us all of Dad’s stuff like his flowers and everything.

Until this point I was okay. I felt very weird driving in Dad’s favorite car and the whole thing. We were one of the first people to arrive at the funeral. Ms Pat followed us, and so did Uncle Mike. People started showing up and I talked to them. Mom showed up dressed in casual clothes. I could have punched her. Aunt Ruth came, Brian’s parents, Rick and Sara, Dad’s friends, a lot of people. I started to weep a little bit because everyone else was teary, but I could only a little. I sat next to Mom and Ms Pat. The priest said good things and we prayed. When it was over, people walked up to the casket and said good bye. Mike made an announcement that we were to have a reception over Dad’s.

Rita wanted to go instead of going with Aunt Janet and Aunt Ruth to a restaurant. We stopped Brian and he took Rita. Stacy and I rode in the Camero but stopped because we needed to get gas. We made it back to Dad’s and everyone mingled. There was plenty of food and drinks. I’m so glad we didn’t need to plan that. Littleton stopped by and we talked about what was going on. He said he opened the estate. I mingled with a lot of people and showed most of the house to Brian’s parents. I was mostly outside talking to Uncle George and people. I was inside but since people had to move cars to shuffle them around, I went outside. Uncle George and I had a nice long talk and we both cried. He told me what Dad’s parents were like, and he said he loved Roland. He said how fucked up the situation was with him and that he thought he needed help. He wanted to help him. When people started clearing, we told Mom and Suzanne to get their stuff. Two less people in the house. Rita started to ask for things, and in some instances, just took things. My grandparents pictures were off the walls mysteriously. There was rumor later that she asked Mom and Brian for things. Mom and Brian have no authority to give anything away. Also there was rumor Aunt Janet told Rita that now wasn’t the time to get her stuff from there.

Aunt Janet showed up to pick up Rita. Rita used some of Kim’s boxes for her stuff. Uncle Mike took the kids around to show them the house and garage. When they left, we decided to leave. We had Mom and Suzanne to take to Glen Burnie. We stopped at Wawa because Mom wanted to get some drinks. We dropped them and all their stuff at Glen Burnie and went to Bowie. We were only there about 15 minutes.

We just got our stuff and the puppy. I returned everything and, of course, said thank you for their hospitality. Then we finally got to go home.

At home, we got a chance to relax and unwind. We are to go to back to work the next day. Everything feels so strange. I don’t know how to feel. I’m still in denial. I asked Brian to let me have two days of peace before we need to worry about anything again. This might have been the night when I dreamed of who will die next in my family.


Thursday January 24, 2008
Finally back to work. It’s Steve’s last day at MORI. We go out to lunch to celebrate or whatever. I like to get off what’s going on in my life, but I tell people around the office when they ask. When Steve asked, I quickly turned attention to him. I asked what he was going to do and his plans. Steve left the office around 2 or 3. Shortly after that, we celebrated Dimitri’s birthday (which was Saturday) with a cake.

I left the office at my normal time. I’m getting back into the grove of working again. It felt like I never left. I got home and let Candi out and watched Hardball like usual. It must have been shortly after Bri got home, Brian was going out to run some errands. He mentioned that he was going to pick up some boxes. I was on the computer and I just snapped. I got so angry and I told him I didn’t want to hear it until the weekend. That I wanted two days of quazi normalcy. He couldn’t give me that. I knocked over the table, knocked over the chair. My world was spinning out of control. I hit my head like I normally do when my mind bends like that. I yelled and got really angry. I probably hit and punched Brian. His emotion and anger got to him too and he started hitting me. He hit my arm pretty bad and I started crying. I retreated to the bedroom where I collapsed in a sea of emotions and started shouting “just kill me so I can see my Dad again”. That’s all I wanted at that exact moment was to see my father. I wanted to die so badly so I could see him again. I just didn’t want to think about everything we had to do. I want my life back. I just want my life back.

Brian left and went outside. I usually just lie in bed or somewhere and think about all I’ve felt and try to get better. He came back in and we both apologized. Dust settled and we had dinner. Brian told me he spoke to Aunt Janet and that she cried on the phone because she was upset about Rita. She told me how she felt duped and fooled that Rita just came down to get her stuff. I told her it was okay but she said she wanted to protect Stacy and I. I also talked to Stacy. She seemed to be doing okay. She said she was working until Sunday.


Friday January 25, 2008
Went to work like any normal day. I think I woke up in the dark and I complained to Brian that I hurt myself trying to find something. Had lunch at work, like usual. Went home and Brian went to the bank. We decided to go out to Applebees to try their three course dinner. It was pretty crowded, but we waited. While waiting, I decided to try to find a jewelry store via our GPS. Brian called them and asked for an appraisal. Welp, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted him to ask to see if they can verify if the watch we have is a real rolex or not. I just snapped there. I was going insane because Brian is so stupid sometimes. He just doesn’t get it sometimes. It was really hard at that moment. Just little things, so much stress, so much pressure. Little things get to me a lot.


Saturday January 26, 2008
Half way sleep again. Anticipating what we need to do. We’re going to go over Dad’s to figure out some stuff. I couldn’t get back to sleep around 4AM. I have a bad habit of waking up every hour or so. I decided to write this note to display how I feel, when I’m going through moments.

I’ve been just going through a lot of denial and stress, and, at times, severe anger. I snap really easily. I get mad at Brian, mad at my sister. I haven’t gotten mad at my sis in years. Anyway, I decided this note might be therapeutic, if not, maybe help someone else going through the same sorts of things. It’s really hard loosing a loved one.

I finally got to sleep around 7 after writing some of this. We got up around 9 to go over Dad’s for the security system guy. He explained things, found wires of which were installed but not used. we had Candi the whole time. Mike Imbach came over and helped Brian figure out all the cars in the junk yard. Stacy said she’d pay for the security system. She just wants everything to be safe.

Afterward, we talked to Mike about things. Stacy said he shouldn’t have come up unannounced and that no one should come up while no one is there. Kim agreed, and she’s for keeping things safe because her stuff is there, too. Kim got picked up by her mom. She brought some stuff back because she will be living there now.

Stacy left for work, we locked the house up. I went though the safe a bit and disposed of pills and things of that sort. We then left for Bri’s parents. We took Dad’s laptop. we had a nice dinner over there. Afterward, Brian dug on Dad’s computer and found his 2006 tax form. Bri’s parents deciphered it for us. Dad was, obviously, cheating on his taxes.

Brian and I went to sleep around 12 to get up quazi early to help my sister and Kim move. I couldn’t get to sleep. Can’t stop thinking about Dad.


Sunday January 27, 2008
Brian got up before me and let Candi out. I was sitting there pondering whether or not to get up and start this whole mess which is my life, again. Everytime I get up, a tiny portion of me still thinks and hopes that this isn’t real. Brian made pancakes for us for breakfast. Brian decided he wanted to take the van to help people move stuff, if necessary. I thought it was unnecessary. We had taken the Prius this weekend.

We got over Dad’s and discussed the agenda with Stacy, then went to the hardware store to get necessary materials. I went to Graul’s to see if they had coffee cake. I should have went to the hardware store. Brian forgot a few necessary things and had to go back in.

When we got home we discussed how we needed to seal up the house and what we needed to do. I took the things out of the bag. Brian had only got 75 feet of tape. Dad has a lot of windows. I snapped, yet again. I went off of him and called him stupid and what not. So frustrated. My world kept turning without slowing down. I started crying and yelling. I threatened to go home but I didn’t have my car. Brian gave me the keys to the van telling me to go home. I threw them back at him, breaking the remote. I was still so upset but we tried to find the buttons. My world was still spinning. I was still screaming and Brian lost it too. Brian needs to understand he needs to be stronger than me. I just want to know what he’s going to be like when one of his parents die. How strong will I be for him? He’s not strong enough for me because he looses it. I wish he’d know just hold me just comfort me. Stop my world from spinning, he can do that. Why won’t he be strong for me? It’s not hard for him, he wasn’t close to my father at all.

Brian finally just held me and stopped my head. I just cried and collapsed. The usual feeling of getting ready to throw up. I kept saying all i wanted to do was die. That’s all I wanted. To see my father again, how I wish this wasn’t happening. It slowed down and we took a logical look at where I threw the keys and found the missing parts. We assembled the remote back and it worked.

I decided to start putting the final lock on the upstairs door. Brian went with Kim’s mom to drop stuff off. I sealed up the door with a lot of tape and explored the garage. I took video of the garage. Jen called, asking when we were going to be home. I told them late because we still needed to pick up the Prius and the puppy from Bowie. I said to take the van but Brian wanted to anyway.

Brian finally got back to Dad’s. Kim left from there after she packed up most her stuff. Stacy also left with Robbie. We made sure all the doors were locked and everything. We tried to block the doors and windows as best we could. The house seemed secure. As we left, we took Dad’s looney tunes pictures with us.

We dropped off the looney tunes art and got the puppy and headed back to Germantown. We hung out with Shawn and Jen and played Rockband and watched Blades Of Glory. They ordered pizza. While watching the movie, Suzanne called to talk to me about Stacy’s tuition, the cars, and her stuff. She also called again to tell me about the tanning bed might be Christy’s. She also mentioned malpractice again.

It’s getting to the point where it’s harassment. Suzanne has called at least once every two days. If she’s harassing my sister and keeps calling, we will have a problem.

We walked home around 9. We both weren’t really tired so we decided to watch Harry Potter 5. I went to bed rather quickly, but again, half sleep.


Monday January 28, 2008
I woke up this morning thankful that it wasn’t a weekend. I woke up several times during the night. Once was with Size_t sleeping on me. My side hurt a lot throughout the day because of the way I slept. I went to work, pondering what things I had to do. My phone died so I worried the whole day someone important may call. I got Brian to call Littleton to tell him what Suzanne had told me the previous day and about the tax return we found. I went to lunch with coworkers at the mall. During the day I kept thinking ahead of what we needed to do. I figure everyone make a list of things in Dad’s house. We put all their stuff in one location like the pool room.

Therefore we can sort through the house piece by piece without worrying about throwing anything valuable away. Came home, talked to Shawn for a minute, let Candi out. Watched about 5 minutes of Hardball before Brian came home. We went directly to UPS in Gaithersburg.

Dad’s thank you cards from Singleton’s arrived. I have no clue who to send them to. We had only received two flowers from the funeral.

I guess I can not do anything with them.


Tuesday January 29, 2008
Having a hard time staying asleep always. I wake up frequently and I can’t not dream when I sleep. It’s a half sleep all the time. When I’m awake, I’m awake, but when I sleep I’m only half asleep. This day I went to work as usual. Had lunch. Boring day at work. When I got home I played guitar hero because I didn’t want to watch Chris Matthews. I wanted to play “When You Were Young” by the Killers but I didn’t get to that song yet. Brian made meatball subs and we went over Shawn and Jen’s to play some Rockband and watch House. During rockband, I had them play “When You Were Young”. After the song I felt like crying because I always think of Dad during that song. It was so hard but I kept tears back but they came anyway. I just miss him so much. We all watched House. When we came home we watched a bit of SVU then went to bed. Brian and I made love. Afterward, I went to the sink and started to cry uncontrollably. Brian rushed to comfort me but I kept feeling and emotions kept coming and wouldn’t stop. I almost threw up like I always feel like doing when I get that upset. I kept thinking about how I will never talk to Dad again. I’ll never hear his voice again.


Wednesday January 30, 2008
I got up really angry because, like always, I haven’t been sleeping well. I woke up and needed light to see so I got mad because Brian is always still in bed. I jammed my thumb trying to get to the sink. I went to work like normal. Had lunch with Dimitri at the place down stairs. Monique told me that Lockheed Martin needs a web developer temporarily. I had a phone interview at 1PM which I did pretty well on. The guy seemed to like me. But I don’t want to go into DC. I’m not ready for another dramatic change. I only get three days of normalcy in the week. Friday’s we’re planning what we’re doing that weekend, Monday’s we’re recovering from what we did. And even there, I’m always “on call” with everything. Suzanne calls, Littleton calls sometimes. I can’t get a break anyway. I can’t go.

My life is too hectic now. I was desperate to talk to someone about it but decided to talk to Brian when I got home. I talked to him and we decided I should talk to Bri’s Dad about it. After the grocery store and dinner, I called him. I told him I didn’t want to seem selfish in asking that it’s not a good time for me to go anywhere. It’s just another thing I need to worry about right now. My life is too messed up right now. Maybe after the summer, maybe when things can cool down. I just lost my father, I need a break. It’s hard enough going to work sometimes, but I need the money so I don’t have a choice. Everything’s so difficult. That night right before we went to bed I talked to Seth a little bit. Right before bed I cried again. Brian held me forever. I had finally told him my one dream I had. The next people to die in my family are Aunt Ruth, Candi, Mom.


Thursday January 31, 2008
It marks the first time I got a decent sleep in a long time. Granted, I went to bed late like always. Went to work, had lunch. Debated a lot with Seth on the debate group. Brian forgot the tax form of Dad’s. He went home during his lunch break and let the puppy out and got it. He faxed it and the canceled check (for the cometary) over to Littleton. I got home and played some guitar hero. We had dinner. Shawn stopped over to borrow one of Brian’s suits for his interview on Friday. After dinner we went over Shawn and Jens to watch the Comebacks. After the movie, we went home and snuggled. We made love again. I think it was like the forth time in like three weeks. No real emotions came over me when I went to bed. Brian and I just talked. I always think right before I go to sleep of how I wish I could wake up and this not be happening.


Currently, I still have bad dreams some nights. Right before I go to bed I worry about a lot of things. I think about and worry about a lot of things all the time, really. I’m still in denial, I think. I don’t know when it’s really going to hit me. I keep thinking back to the way my Dad coughed when he picked up the phone, and his voice. I can’t express it into words how hard to believe it is that he’s gone. I feel so much guilt about everything.