Tuesday, March 27, 2007

So So.

I don't quite know where to begin... This weekend I didn't go on my trip. I ended up having a car accident on Thursday. That cancelled my trip pretty quickly.
I miss my little car, it got totaled. So I have not been around as much lately between work and sharing my wifes car. I also have been in a bit of a bad mood at times, since I not only lost my wheels but had to pay to get rid of it and have to find a way to get another.
Anything but work has pretty much been curtailed until I can get the car, so my Thursday thing is suffering too, which I love very much.
Now for the good news, most of my writing I can do from home and I am alive. So all and all I am doing so so. I am confident that I will be back on feet soon. My wife has been supportive and great in this and it has made me realize how blessed I am. Though she is sick today so I am spending time on the other side of the room.
Anyway thats a wrap.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Burning Midnight oil

Still at home, which is a long story. I will probably give a more detailed description tomorrow. Tonight I am cramming and getting some stuff done before tomorrow morning.

So talk to you soon.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Janus digging his way through the inbox.

Hopefully after the weekend sanity will return, but I doubt it. I have spent much of my free time getting prepared for this weekends trip. I don't think I could feel prepared enough if I had 3 more months, but we shall wing it.
Thursday thing is still running strong, though I have expanded a bit in my role. Which is good because I feel more useful, but means I have much more things to run around and keep up with. At least that one I am done at the end of the afternoon, and don't have to take home with me.
So whats next for Janus? Alpha. Starting April 11th, I am back with the Alpha program. This time I am going to be a helper, which at least isn't as much pressure as being a leader, so helping is nice. In the meantime I am helping getting the materials ready and attending meetings for the next few weeks.
I still have a few things to do on the side with my in-box but I am just trying to get things knocked down one at a time.
Next week I have a doctors appointment, the usual work schedule, an Alpha meeting, 5 articles or so in line for the other site, my Thursday becoming Friday for hours, and my nieces coming out for the weekend. So maybe next week will be more normal...but I am beginning to doubt it.
Sometimes I miss slacking off more.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Growing up too fast

No one has ever accused me of growing up too fast, but this isn't about me.
This is about Jose.
Jose is not just a friend and a co-worker, Jose has been family to me since I was a teenager. I could talk about his cooking, his humility, his homemade birthday gifts (I will have to talk about those things sometime) and many other tales, but I would have to split this article in a lot of little pieces.
Those most amazing thing about Jose is his character. When people ask me who I think of as Christlike I immediately think of Jose. Even back in the day when I thought I was a little better than I was (or am), Jose was a cut above. Honest, considerate, and the voice of reason.
He had a hard childhood at least compared to me. From the time he was old enough to walk his family had him working to pull his weight. The money was to be sent to Mexico to help his family, he lived off garage sales and discount school lunches. Jose didn't have a bike, toys, or anything of his own per say.
When we had one of our creative writing classes one day I asked him to write about a Christmas memory, he told me when he was 8 years old he got a shovel for Christmas. He asked Santa for a book, and his dad gave him the shovel and told him to get a job and buy his own book. The story broke my heart when I first graded it, and it still does.
His father told him to quit school and get another job so that he could send more money to Mexico, I fought hard to keep him in school. I am very grateful that I succeeded, but back in those days it was a regular struggle. Jose was a great student and very bright, but the pressure from his family was powerful. Jose dreamed of going to college and instead of supporting his dreams his family mocked him or asked him if he thought he was "too good for him." At times I felt like I was the only family Jose really had.
In High School in my senior year I noticed that Jose didn't go to school for three days in a row, and I grew worried. Jose wouldn't miss school unless he was seriously ill or dead, he had perfect attendance except for one week when he had the chicken pox and that was only when they made him go home. I called his home and had no answer, so I went there after school.
The house was dark and I could see things thrown on the floor all around. The house was empty of people though, so I let myself in with the spare key and waited for a bit. 4:00 in the afternoon slowly turned to 10:00 at night. Finally the door opened up and Jose came in wearing a stained apron and pants that were two sizes too small, with his younger brother Manuel in tow. They had a good scream when I turned on the light to say the least.
After Manny was sent to bed, I pulled one of the chairs out for Jose and told him to sit.
"Did you drop out?" I asked feeling frustrated with him beyond words. "It's your senior year...you have less than 4 months left. Why the hell did you drop out now?!"
He looked down at his hands and mumbled.
"What did you say?"
He looked up with wet eyes. "She left us."
Then I understood. Jose told me the story of the last few days. His father in Mexico got in a fight with his "step-mom" and she got angry and left Jose and his younger brother in an empty house with no money. For the last three days Jose had been working since he didn't have any food in the house and was trying to earn enough to keep the roof over their head.
Jose was a good person and many people felt compelled to help him out, and through others and hard work he was able to finish high school. He graduated with me back in 1996, the first in his family to get a high school diploma. At the age of 18 he had saved enough money from his three jobs to get the down payment for a mobile home, and raised his younger brother Manuel for two more years.
Manny was a handful at many times, and if Jose had any weakness it was being too soft sometimes on his brother. Jose didn't know where to turn since he had problems with Manny sneaking out, partying, and skipping school. So that is when I had to become Poppa Janus. Jose and I worked together to make sure Manny held it together until he was 18 and then he could be responsible for his own trouble. Through time, patience, and strong arming from Poppa Janus we got Manny to graduate, making him the second in his family to do so.
Some parents talk about how kids are terrible for their careers, some older siblings complained that they had to take care of their siblings a lot. Jose never has said a single word of regret about taking care of Manuel. Someone might say that it was his job, since he was Manny's older brother. Actually Jose is the second youngest of five. His two older brothers and sister didn't step up because they had "problems of their own." I was there to help when Jose needed it at times, but Jose was the one that made the sacrifices.
Jose didn't have to, but he did. He gave up his college dreams, his childhood, and many painful hours to take care of Manny. He worked three jobs for 5 years to pay for all the bills for the roof over their heads and to make sure his brother would not miss any school. Jose did it all without complaint and without regard for himself.
Years later Manny is doing better now, and he realizes how much is brother paid for his way. A phone call a few weeks back brought many tears and memory about those rough years. Manny now had his own home and a few kids of his own, Jose feels he did his job.
Last year Jose had his first child of his own, and is happily married today. He might still have to wait for that college dream he has, and as we reach our 30's, he wonders if he will ever be the first in his family to get a college degree. He still thinks he will, but he has other things to do.
God I love my friend Jose. The world needs more like him.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Where did the week go?

Has it really been since Tuesday, I guess it has.

So I will fill you in a bit in the last few days and whats going on.
Jose turned 30 in the last week or so, and I am trying to figure out what to get for him. Jose and I have been great friends and work together on things since Jr. High. I am going to talk a bit more about him in the next week, time permitting.
I am going to West Illinois for a business meeting next weekend and trying to get prepared for that. Lots of typing.
I had stomach flu a bit earlier this week, I was fine after 24 hours other than looking like hell, which is normal for me.
I will try to be around a bit tomorrow at least.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why I don't write poetry (often)

Two forms of writing I stay away from like the plague.
Romance and Poetry.
Romance for obvious reasons I am sure. I am married and everything but I am not very good with the emotional gushy details it takes to write a romance story. I haven't met a guy that really is though. Believe me if I was a hack and I could write it, I would give myself a womans name and fire these off like Danielle Steele does in the local grocery store. I wonder if Danielle Steele is actually a guy named Dan or Dave or something. You never really know.
Poetry is another story. I have written something that kind-of-sort-of resembles poetry. I never learned poetry though other than taking a whole 2 weeks worth of English classes for us to study it. Haikus, sonnets, and all that...bleah. I can't do those without having to fake it. Some people can naturally write with a certain mode or pattern, I can't. The only patterns I have is bad grammar, I use my Midwest ain'ts and yeahs, and I do a lot of ...'s (Because I hate commas.)
So when I do Janus-Poetry (that is writing that is not in short story or novel form) it isn't really poetry. It isn't prose. It is...well...rambling with even less structure. I also have to be in a certain state of mind too that is really depressed, really happy, really restless, or really drunk. That is a lot of reallys.
Janus Poetry sometimes has a rhyme bit to it, until I get stuck then I stop doing that. It also doesn't have even spaces let me give you an example.
The cat in the hat gave me a Plasma Television
It was a nice TV with Tivo and all that sort of thing, I had it sent up for surround sound and this sentence is too long so I will have to make a revision,

See...it doesn't rhyme or it doesn't have any sort of pattern.
the only pattern is that it is really bad.
And that is why I will not put poetry up here or ever ever ever write romance.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Next time I am away I should get a tan

Well I have taken a few days from the blog and I forgot to tell people again. Thank you for the offline messages and the emails checking in on me. I wish I had something exciting to tell you about me being gone but not much has happened.
I wish I could say that me and my wife went to Orlando or something, but I just have been working at my desk on several other projects.
When I get in a mode I forget to write blogs, eat, occasionally breath and all that sort of thing. Though I am at a snag again, since my co-worker hasn't returned calls for a few days and I get frustrated.
I have also used the time to do some soul searching, I think I found part of me. Last night I actually wrote Janus-Poetry (No I don't publish that, they really stink.) I normally don't write that stuff unless I am very happy or very depressed...last night I just started writing.
So I am back, thanks for waiting. I am a little refreshed though I still wish I had something more exciting to say from being gone.
Will catch up with you all soon.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Janus shines with his inner geek

Maybe it was because I read C.S. Lewis a little with Rob, but yesterday I said bittersweet quite a bit in my comments and my blog. Today I will try to use the word "Chocalicious" more.
Yesterday I mentioned getting back to my book, but to be truthful it is an altogether Chocalicious tale, so I will talk about that one later eh.
The last few days I have been a little more outgoing with the name Janus Torrell offline. I have a few reasons for this really 1) I am not really hiding from everyone anymore, now it just to keep me own name off the internet so I can write more freely. and 2) So people know that it is pronounced Jaynus and not Janice....Besides I end up using that email a lot more so I am not really secret with it.
"Janus (Jay-Nus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. His most apparent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January." -Wikipedia. That sounds more impressive than perhaps that the name Janitor comes from my alias. Janus is also used by a lot of pop culture references, which if I were to cite here would make me look even more like a geek.
Now for another healthy dose of geekness.
Captain America is dead after 66 years of being in print. (Yahoo news only covers the important stuff.) He was apparently shot by a sniper leaving a courthouse in his last issue.
Captain America was created during a time of war to fight the forces of Hitler, and to keep spirits up in the US. Captain America stood for an ideal, wasn't afraid to fight, and even if he wanted to hide he couldn't. (Try hiding from anyone when you are dressed like a walking American Flag.)
I must admit I never have read Captain America in my life, and had to look everything up about him online today. From what I can read about him though, he died the way he would of wanted to...er if he was real. He died working for what he believed in, and didn't die of old age in his faded glory nor did he die from cancer from wearing his spandex suit which probably killed many of his less famous fellow comic book characters like Animal Man, Dazzler, Black Condor and Dr. Bong.
Er. Yes, I did not make those up. I research with Google alright? So quit looking at me like that. Incidently unless Cheech and Chong reunite again, don't be looking for the Dr. Bong movie to be released anytime soon. (Actually I guess he is a guy dressed up like a giant bell....thus his name....but don't look for his Chocolicious memorial on yahoo anytime soon either.)

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Whew am I tired.

The good news is my neck isn't really hurting anymore, the bad news is now I hurt my back.
(hangs head in embarrassment.) I didn't do anything wild like wrestle a wild boar with my bare hands or anything, I twisted the wrong way while loading the dryer.

I wish I could say the boar thing, but I am trying to be honest on this blog.

Today I learned a bit about Excel (I never had a use for it before) and I am getting involved with a new project to go with my normal Thursday thing. I might be a little crazy for wanting another project, but I am really excited about it. It will take a while to catch it up, but then I feel it will do great and amazing things.

I have been bracing myself to get back to my book too after taking too much time off from it. My book is a bittersweet project, and perhaps I shall go into that more tomorrow.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Something old, Something new

I am sure feeling better this morning than I did the last couple of days. I got a bit more sleep and I was able to get the knot out of my neck which was making me kind of mean.
Today I am doing lots of follow ups...again...
Hopefully a little more Motrin and rest and I will be fighting trim this week.
Tomorrow I have a meeting to learn some new computer skills and a new task. I am looking forward to it now that I am kind of back to normal.
Over the weekend I went to a finance class and learned how to do a personal budget. Something I am very bad at, though I am much better at work budgets. I need to save more, pay bills faster, and dine out less. Of course I already knew about that for the most part, but now I have to live up to it.
We went to Aldi's to buy food after that instead of going out.
Giving up dining out is probably going to be the hardest part for me, since I normally get tired and I want to grab a burger instead of cook.
Well I stalled around too much, so I better get ready for work.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Training day

This morning I went in for mandatory training.
I hate getting up.
I have to say though the doughnuts and coffee made it much more bearable, and I did learn some new exciting stuff about Airborne pathogens, ok not that exciting but I did learn something.
Tomorrow I can sleep in until 10:00, I never thought that would be sleeping in.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

back to basics

Sorry it's been a few days, I have been a little grouchy and sleep deprived lately. Though I have thought of some great posts I could put up if I just really sat down and did it.
The last few days I have been a beast to be around, but I was able to relax a bit this evening with Rob. I haven't eaten much lately, not because I am trying to starve myself but because I just haven't felt hungry. Thanks for the BBQ pork sandy Rob.
I keep much of me bottled in at times, despite me not shutting up here. I should try to talk to God about it at times, but I am not very good at that. I can be very pig headed like that. So again, good advice especially to my sisters kids...don't try to be like me too much.
I appreciate the people asking if I am ok, it is good to know that people check the blog and if I am missing more people than my wife and the IRS will notice.
So I am ok, and if I am gone for a few days that is just because I am refreshing myself and going back to basics. Incidently I missed the 5000 counter mark for my camcorder. So consider the time off I took and maybe another day or so as an oil change.
I plan on being back by Monday though at the latest, so keep me in prayers and see you soon.

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