Finding Peace thru Softball by Rollie Agado

Before things took an unexpected turn last week, I had committed to participating in a company Softball tournament.  An activity I genuinely loved participating in when I lived in Detroit...  but hadn't gone out of my way to get back into when I moved to San Antonio.

Stepped onto the diamond in what I believe was 13 years the other night and it felt amazing.  I couldn't believe how much I missed fielding ground balls, instructing people around me what to do and not do while at practice.  

Not entirely sure how I'm going to check my hyper-competitive-self tomorrow.  It kinda helps knowing going in that I'm taking the field with a group of people who are looking forward to having a good time.  I don't anticipate winning any of our scheduled games... I just hope we make it off the field without any major injuries.

hand in glove
Ultra Hydrated

Ballad of Rhiannon Bath by Rollie Agado

The love of my life passed away last week after losing a very long and hard fought battle to cancer.  It was a fight we kept private for roughly a year and then went public about it at the beginning of 2017 to drum up some financial support to extend treatments in hopes of beating cancer or extending her quality of life to live with it.

There were a number of times where I wanted to sit down and write about how I was feeling during our journey.  I find it therapeutic to sit in front of the screen and work out thoughts on the page.  I just happened to find it more therapeutic to spend every available second bedside as I saw the disease slowly shut down her facilities. 

So.. I'm a week into the grieving processes.  It's been really weird. There's a number of lose ends I need to still tie down: 1.) securing her ashes  2.) finalize ceremony arrangements with the Church. 3.) commit to seeing a grieving group/therapist.

I've also made the decision to return to work tomorrow...  something I wanted to do after Rhiannon's ceremony and ideally something after I spending some time by myself outside of San Antonio - but the calendar isn't co-operating.

I wish I could truly describe how I'm feeling inside right now.  I'm upset and in disbelief about her being gone about 80% of the time I'm awake.  The other 20% of my time is truly peaceful... Rhiannon and I spent a lot of time communicating clearly to one another about our mortality so I know we expressed absolutely everything that we needed to one another.  We couldn't ever find any peace in knowing that it wasn't enough time to express our love to each other but we knew how deep and genuine it was at the same time.

Last bit of advice, from me to you.  
Love your lovers.

In Memory of: Gonzalo Lopez by Rollie Agado

Penning this entry with a heavy heart...  I received word on my drive home that my Uncle Gonzalo Lopez had unexpectedly passed away.

Gonzalo was an Uncle whom I connected with cerebrally when discussing Sports or Politics.  We would spend a number of evenings by a family taco stand - pouring over periodicals and discussing world politics.  In these intense conversations, I would marvel at how man who lived in Mexico City - knew the names of Prime Ministers, Presidents and Secretary of States around the World.

I asked him once why he even bothered knowing so much about the world stage and he said something to me that was very impactful.  He said something to the effect of:  "In Mexico, we are directly affected by leaders and decisions that are made abroad."   When we weren't discussing global political topics, we would often talk about corrupt political practices in Mexico.  

To the best of my knowledge, Gonzalo did not advance beyond the US equivalence of High School.  He was soft spoken (around me) and carried on with a professorial delivery.  His mastery of the Spanish language was impeccable.  There numerous times where I sat in front of him only absorbing 90% of what came out of his mouth.   He never simplified his thoughts by dumbing down his verbal delivery...  I respected him so much for that and wished I could have told him that before his passing.   Often times, I wished that he knew better English so that I could showcase my appreciation for a number of subjects were engaged in. 

Thanksgiving In Chicago

I forget the year... but I'm pretty sure it was November of 2004.    My uncles (Federico, Jorge and Gonzalo) arranged to fly me in from Detroit to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with them.  The visit to Chicago was a little weird for me because I really hadn't seen my extended family since 1996.  There wasn't really a falling out as much as I had begun to live my 20's in Michigan and I didn't really "know" these gentlemen any more.

All my concerns were brushed away as we caught up on life over a few cases of beer in the basement of my Uncles house on the South Side of Chicago.   I forget how cold it was that night but snow began to fall pretty heavily on Chicago that night so it kinda grounded us into the house together.   We talked about a number of things...  music, movies, women, college and life.  I recall talking about the 2004 ACLS with Gonzalo for what seemed like hours as we went over Game 5 and Game 6 in fanatical detail.

I don't know where the time went..  but we drank until we finished 2 cases of beer.   My cousin Miguel and my Uncle Federico retired to their rooms upstairs and I squared away sleeping quarters with my Uncle Jorge and Gonzalo in the basement.   Jorge informed me that the couch I was sitting on had a pull out bed and that I could sleep with Gonzalo on it.   

Jorge elected to take a cot in the basement that Gonzalo regularly slept in....   The following 20 minutes got really weird.  My Uncle Gonzalo really wanted to sleep on the cot.  Not because he didn't want to sleep next to me... but because fuck Jorge, he felt that the cot was his.  This was older brother telling younger brother to eat shit.  All three of us were pretty lit so Jorge told him to piss off and insisted that he wouldn't move.  

I laid up in bed staring at the ceiling as the shouting began to escalate in the room.   I then heard Gonzalo take off his belt.... the next sound I heard was the sound of Gonzalo whipping my uncle Jorge's back in a drunken delight.   I don't know who was more shocked by the behavior... Jorge or me, but I'm going to say that I was probably him.  

I couldn't stop laughing hysterically and this sorta defused what was going on in the basement.  My Uncle Gonzalo came thrashing down again with his belt across his back and Jorge continued to not budge from the cot.

Gonzalo dropped the belt and shuffled off into another part of the basement.  A number of minutes passed by and I didn't couldn't figure out where he went.   Jorge and I talked about what just transpired in the dark and laughed the whole thing off.

Gonzalo quietly sneaked back into the darken room and dumped a freezing bucket of water onto Jorge and the Cot.   The screaming reached a new pitch and now everyone in the house was awake because of the commotion in the basement.  I'm not entirely sure how it didn't escalate into a pair of 40 year olds exchanging physical blows - but it was on the brink of total cluster fuck.

This is my favorite memory of Gonzalo and it always will be.

So You're Diabetic Now by Rollie Agado

Posted a short blurb a few weeks about some ongoing sciatic pains in my back...  sought out the opinion of my primary care physician (Dr. Pico) and was assigned physical therapy for a few weeks.

That's been going ok I guess.  The pain has subsided... but I will occasionally have some evenings where it hurts like shit and I just get through the night.  Anyhoo, while there I also had some dreaded blood work done and feared that I would get dealt the diabetic card.

Surprise/Surprise = I got the beetees.  

My dad has it and if I remember correctly, he had an older sister (Lupe, RIP) who also had a case of the beetees too - so this is a family affair.  I also happen to know that I haven't exactly made some of the best dietary decisions in life either - so I wasn't really all that surprised by the diagnosis.

What I was however surprised to find out was that after being diagnosed - you're kinda handed a pamphlet and prescribed Metformin to sort out your blood sugar.  My doctor naturally forgot to update me on my x-rays for my back...   my visit (3 weeks after blood tests) was to review my lab work.

This is where shit gets sideways for me.

  1. I don't really go about my day feeling any "diabetic" effects.
  2. I saw my blood results online the day after I took them and googled some of the numbers I found to be suspicious...  It took me all but 5 minutes to know I had the beetees.
  3. How is it ok for me to be walking around with the beetees for nearly a month and not be called in sooner?

Side Affects:  the Shits

So I'm in the process of getting a meeting scheduled with a person (maybe a nurse/maybe a dr.) who is going to give me the 101 on Beetees.  I think we're going to talk about diet and confirm that my want for honeybuns is a thing of the past.  This isn't all that big of a deal tho',  We've made a lot of dietary changes in recent months - so this is no big woop.  I just don't really know when I'm supposed to start with the blood sugar tests and stuff.  I wasn't prescribed any insulin, so my fear of sticking needles into my leg and belly have gone away for now.  I believe I will need however to prick my fingers tho and do the blood strip thing.

2016 is off to an amazing start. 

The Year Twenty Sixteen - Year of the Sciatica by Rollie Agado

As we ease into the last week of January, 2016...  I've been thinking a lot about what direction to take with the blog this year.  I had a number of unexpected things occur to me last year and that kinda curbed my desire to sit down and write personal stuff in a public forum.

I'm filled with an incredible urge to just share thoughts on all kinds of silly shit so I think things are about to get a little weird on this blog.

The biggest thing going with me these days is some trouble I'm having with Sciatica.  A nerve disruption that is sending pain down my right leg into my right foot - causing discomfort and the sensation of it being numb. 

I haven't been able to pin point the cause of this... outside of just being a fat ass - but I made it a point to go see a doctor.  He got me in touch with a Physical Therapist whom I'm paying $50 per visit to stretch me and rub me down for about a month.

The treatments are working and I have a number of fatty yoga exercises I affectionally call ROGA - that I perform daily.  

In addition to that, I've been eating better in preparation of receiving word that I'm probably diabetic.   Also not a shocker, given that I kinda have some family history with it and I'm a fatty.  Lab results came back and they got posted to my "personal portal" page... but I haven't heard back from my doctor.   I'm not sure what to make of this tho'.  Part of me thinks, that if I was diabetic - they would have called and been like - HEY you need to come in and learn how to inject yourself with insulin and shit.

Another part of me thinks - that one blood test - does not make one a diabetic.  Maybe they're coach me up and ask me to do another blood test or two before we go down that path...  

In the event I do get word I have diabetes - 3 or so weeks after doing lab tests, I suspect I may yell at my doctor and embarrass my lovely fiance who has been so incredibly supportive of all this crap.

So yeah... more soon.

From Boyfriend to Fiance by Rollie Agado

I typically take time on September29th to send my sister birthday wishes...  but I really need to take some time to pen some thoughts on my recent engagement. 

That's right fellow earthlings...  Rolando & Rhiannon are officially engaged.

Officially put a Ring on It

I popped the question on Saturday (September 27th) night and she said yes...  before I get into the details of how that all came about, I guess I should start at the very beginning. 

I knew deep down inside that I wanted to marry Rhiannon about 8 or 9 months ago..  That feeling was affirmed after having a number of deep discussions about life and how we wanted to navigate through it together.

I didn't want to rush into an engagement so we had a discussion about wanting to wait till we were together for at least a year together before revisiting the "topic".  Our relationship is a byproduct of perfect timing....  one of the requests that Rhiannon asked of me was to secure the blessing of her father and brother before proposing, so I knew that I would have to develop strong relationships with them individually before making the big jump.

Much to my surprise... our first year together came and went faster than I could ever imagine.  The process of selecting a ring started in early late July and early August...  I intended to pop the question some time in October of November of this year.

Rhiannon spent a good amount of time on the road in August, so this allowed me to visit local jewelers and learn about rings while she was away.   I wanted to take my time in the selection process and I couldn't be happier with how all of that turned out.  I could pen a big write up about how I came about selecting her diamond, but I'll save everyone the trouble by acknowledging that I simply knew it the moment I saw it.   I would liken it to knowing which is the puppy you want to select for a pet from a litter.   I genuinely saw it, felt it and asked the jeweler to make it happen.

The Blessings
I have to say that the most memorable part of our engagement, was me getting the blessings from Rhiannon's parents and brother on the morning of September 27th.

I had a few opportunities to reach out to them while she was away in August, but I wanted to have the ring in hand when I approached them for the blessing.   I leveraged my parents being in town over the weekend to my advantage and diverted Rhiannon's attention so that I could sneak away and secure the OKs.

I paid a surprise visit to Rhiannon's parents house in the morning, informed them both of my intentions and they happily blessed my request.  I asked them both to keep it quiet, until I met her brother and they happily complied. 

Meeting up with AB (Rhiannon's brother) on Saturday - became a comedy of errors.   He was battling a flu that day...  we missed out on an opportunity to meet before lunch - so we tabled everything for an unspecified time in the afternoon.

AB asked me to help him with moving a scale at a house he's renovating and I acknowledged that as the time and place we would sit down and have a heart to heart about my intentions.

That plan however was thwarted when Rhiannon's car had an electrical problem...   Shaking her on the afternoon of September 27th was harder than you could ever imagine.  We finally got the car to turn over, we took it over to her father's house and while that was being addressed - I called AB, begged him to meet me so that I could talk to him in person.   The day began to unravel a little bit and feared Rhiannon was beginning to piece together some strange behavior on my part...

My meeting with AB was 180 degrees different from the meet up I had with her parents...  we talked about a number of things, but the conversation circled around our profound love for Rhiannon.  In addition to that we talked a lot about how we wanted to perceive each other as brothers.  It ended with a firm shake of the hand and with that...  I had all the blessings in hand.

The day ended with Rhiannon agreeing to catch a sunset by the Riverwalk...  we had a crazy day and I asked her to indulge with a request to simply see the sun set together.   We didn't get a chance to connect throughout the day because of the secret circus I was conducting and with that I felt like I saw sitting on a secret that was burst at the seems to get out.

Rhiannon and I have a lot of great memories together on the Riverwalk...  we had transformational date that included a boat ride over a year ago on the River, so it felt like the best place to sit down with her to discuss the day, decompress and propose to her.

It all came down to timing again, so I asked and she said "Yes".





Memorial Day/Random Observations from the Work Desk by Rollie Agado

Salutations amigos...

If you're reading this from home today, there's a good chance that you're one of the many whom are excused from work duties today.   Memorial Day however is a "bizay" day for us in the world of Retail, so I'm at the office today - anchoring the I.T. desk at the home office.

My workday will likely consist of monitoring STORIS user account usage, SOP proof reading, Spotify streaming and occasional texts with Rhiannon who has been dispatched to one of our largest retail stores.

Today's biggest perk will come by way of a comp'd lunch... I'm pretty sure we're going to score pie from NY Pizza Pub.  I haven't heard anyone cast a vote for any other places, so I got that going for me.

As for random updates regarding "life"...

Things are going remarkably well on my end...  Last week was a little weird because I found myself adjusting to not being in the Bahamas.  I never thought of myself as  "beach/resort/getaway" kinda person, but I found myself longing for the sun & water in ways that I never imagined.

Couple that with returning to a busy week at the office and all I could keep telling myself was "this is nothing like the Bahamas last week".

We did however get to have some friends come into town for the weekend tho'.  Our plans of living it up however were up-ended because of Thunderstorms and Tornado warnings.

We did however get to have an amazing brunch at Tuckers and spend lots of quality time with Goddaughters and Nieces.

May 1st? by Rollie Agado

It just occurred to me that an entire month came and went and I didn't post a fucking thing on this website...

I'm not exactly sure how things (day2day-life) got in the way of sitting down to jot down random thoughts or observations but April had an unusual amount of highs and lows.

Elliot Update - I don't think I ever posted a final Elliot update on the internets...  His surgery was a success and the little nasty bit of "mass" that was cut out was benign.  I didn't bother looking up this word, so I want to make it clear - he has the cancer that came up as "negative".  We still have to keep an eye on him and take him back to the vet if it grows back.  If that happens, we may have to explore removing teeth/bone in the area that is causing the masses to grow.  He's been slowly recovering and he's just as awesome as ever.

2nd Degree Leg Burn - I don't quite know how this never made the internets, but I strained my calf playing a game of tennis.  Went home, applied ice...  incorrectly on my leg and I ended up with a second degree burn.  How did this happen?  Well... that's a really long story, but all you need to know is that you shouldn't apply Frozen/Salt-Water packs directly to your skin and run the risk of having said packs burst on your skin.   It's freakishly painful and gross.

On the left - the ice pack being applied.  
In the Middle - the morning after... it felt like a sun burn.
the Right side - roughly 12 hours after applying ice... it began to bubble and get crazy.  I went to the doctor and it go SO MUCH FUCKING WORSE. 

I'm perfectly fine now...  the whole thing was hassle and I had to combat two kinds of pains - The Calf Strain (that took about 2 weeks to recover from) and the Burn (that took about 3 weeks to recover from).

Record Store Day! Braid - so I'm fairly certain that the best thing to happen in the month of April, was securing a copy of Braid's record store day 7" record.

Kids Get Grids - is surprisingly good.  I'd be lying if I said their new stuff makes me swoon like I did in college, but this shit really makes me excited for more stuff to hopefully see the light of day. 

Wurstfest 2014 by Rollie Agado

One of the best things about being with Rhiannon is discovering an unfound willingness to participate in activities that I would normally go out of my way to avoid.

Obligatory couple photo

Obligatory couple photo

I attended my first ever Wurstfest (think Octoberfest in November) last night and I'll be the first to admit that I had a really good time.

There's a good chance that I will be posting an entry at some point where I talk about how I had a really good time at a Rodeo and at that point amigos, you can pretty much join me in saying that I'm truly a changed man. 

There's an indescribable joy in willingly giving into things she wants to do and I think I provide the same for her by way of taking her to scooter rallies, comic cons and record stores around the great state of Texas... I can't wait to see what kind of adventure we'll have tomorrow.

Sunday is for Paranormal Lovers by Rollie Agado

All is quiet at the apartment right now, but the morning got off to an unusual start...  before I get to what occurred at 4:00 AM, I need to preface this by saying - I don't believe in ghosts.

Took this photo while visiting a local book store last week... much to my surprise, this is a real genre of books.

I've been living in my apartment for nearly 5 years now and I have always had a number of strange sounds and bizarre (but explainable) electrical problems.

Example: There are light switches that affect power outlets in other areas of the apartment.  It's a little freaky at first to turn off a ceiling fan and then hear a television turn on in an empty room, but I've been able to replicate it numerous times...

That being said... I've had a few people visit who have witnessed/experienced strange things.  I have one personal example.  Mine involves a light switch.  I turned off a light switch and then felt it flip back down inexplicably.

It's something that I really can't explain, but it's the best example that I got.  Rhiannon recently stayed at the apartment by herself while I was away in Seattle for work and after finishing some dishes after making dinner at home one night.  The kitchen sink turned on inexplicably...

My cat Amos, will inexplicably sit and stare at nothing from time to time and we've been known to kid around about that too...

My sister and niece stayed over last night and at 4:00 am, my sister came into the living room to alert me that my 2 year old niece was talking about a little boy in the corner who "dies".  My niece could have been mumbling a number of things and for all I know she mumbled something that sounded like the word "boy" - but my sister (paranormal believer) woke me up to inform me that I indeed had a ghost.

So there you have it.  A ghost resides among us.