Year of Ch-ch-ch-changes

Well, we didn’t die.

That’s about the best I could say about the flight that took us from our old home toward our new home. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

In the past year since I last updated this site, almost exactly, everything in my life changed. All for the better. But it was quite the journey. Life comes at you fast.

The first, best, and most life-changing was the birth of my son. He is now a year old, and I can’t believe how fast he’s grown. He went from a bean to a little man in no time at all. Ever since he was born, I’ve done quite a bit of soul searching about my life and career, and it’s true what they say about your children becoming your whole life. And I mean that in the best way possible.

I took a little bit of necessary time off. It really is BS how little time (if any!) we get off to take care of and bond with our children after their born, but I am definitely much more fortunate than most. I had to put a few personal projects on hold, but my work allows me to work from home, so that has been a life saver. And it gave me the ability and opportunity to be a stay at home dad for a bit. Getting to do that for the first year of his life is an experience I will always cherish. Which brings us to the next big change. The Move™.

The Move was something akin to an unexpected journey, though with significantly less gold and wizards, but a lot of greedy hairy old men and goblins and more fire-breathing dragons. My wife got an incredible opportunity to move with her company to the DC area, and between the bonuses, cost of living and promise of good school districts in northern Virginia, we committed to leaving L.A. behind and moving east.

I have always had a complicated relationship with Los Angeles. Like a lot of people that live there, I did not grow up there but came there for my career. There is a lot I love about it and some stuff I don’t, and for better or worse, it had become my home. I grew up moving from state to state all across the country, so I’m used to the idea of moving to a new home. Emotionally speaking, the decision for me was pretty easy. Though I will admit I shed some tears when I left our old house for the last time. But all in all, I was ready for another adventure. Because I have been fortunate to be able to work from home, I can take my work with me wherever we go. So after living the better part of two decades in Southern California, I was ready to become an east coaster again. The actual journey east was not so easy.

Like I said, I moved around a lot as a kid, but the first time I moved was when I was five. So at the very least, I was well off bottles and properly potty trained and you could put Star Wars in front of me and I’d pretty much sit still. We had a six-month-old and all the challenges that came with him. To add to the difficulty factor, we also had a dog and a cat to move. To say it was complicated was an understatement. We arranged to have the cat sent out after we got settled, and we brought the baby and the dog, who is small, on the plane with us. And then we missed our flight.

Let me rephrase that. Ahem…

And then we arrived at the airport to check into our flight and the incompetent agent at the counter took a full hour to check us in because he claimed to have lost our son’s travel record despite reading it to us two seconds prior to said claim and promised to call ahead to the gate to have them hold the plane and we arrived at the gate 5 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart and they had already closed the gate on us because departure times mean nothing and they wouldn’t let us on the plane.

It was a saga. There was yelling. It was bad.

Side note, when airlines insist they have a stellar on-time departure record, it’s because they do crap like close the door early so they can claim they departed early/on-time despite the plan still sitting on the tarmac and not even pulling away from the gate until much later. Flight time, it actually takes much less time than the airlines claim. They’re just trying to get around the ridiculous bureaucracy that is the runway ground traffic. Can’t tell you how many times I was on a flight that “landed early” at LAX only to have them hold our plane on the tarmac for half an hour because our gate wasn’t available yet.

Anyway, we then had to deal with a different kind of airline bureaucracy. Instead of the direct flight we booked with extra legroom, we had to take two connecting flights with less room on the seats. Oh, and the flight out of LAX hit the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced, and we were all pretty sure the plane was about to crash at one point. Even the guy across the aisle, the guy with his machismo dialed up to 11 and was a pretty arrogant jerk talking back to the flight attendants earlier in the flight, that guy cried worse than my baby in the middle of that turbulence. Okay, I kinda enjoyed that part of it.

We finally got to our destination a good six hours later than we should have. And both my wife and the baby got sick on the way. I got sick a couple days later from whatever they caught. It was bad.

Yada yada yada… We finally close on the new house and get settled. And my cat died.

Not in transit, by the way. I should back up. My family sent him out and he arrived save and sound. We even got him into the new house, which he loved. It has giant windows and a big back yard. It was perfect. But then we noticed he was getting sick, getting thinner, not eating. I knew something was wrong with him. Sadly, the vet found a tumor that was eating away at him. Agreeing to put him down was one of the hardest decisions I had to make and one of the hardest things I did not expect I’d need to go through yet. I’d had him for twelve years, known him since he was born. His mother was a stray that just followed by mom home one day. He’d been through more changes with me in my adult life than anyone. He was a good cat. I’m glad he at least made the move and got to enjoy the new house for a couple months.

And here we are. Here I am, anyway. A year later and I have a child, a new house in a new state, and I even have a couple new projects I’m working on. Those will go on future work posts (once I can properly talk about them of course). I hope to someday revive the Zero Days Podcast, though I’m sure it will be in a new form, so stay tuned for that. And I will continue to post short stories and random nonsense as usual. In the meanwhile, I’m just enjoying being a dad, writing from home, and exploring out new home. Out to enjoy the next year as much as I have enjoyed this past one. Because there’s always an adventure to be had.

Life comes at you fast.

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