Friday, August 09, 2019

Kipper

I miss my dog.
I miss him terribly. We had to let him go last Sunday, August 4. He was 11 years old and for the last year and a half, maybe more, his hind legs had been bothering him to the point where it was visible that he was having a hard time going up and down the steps. He liked to sleep at the end of our bed where he has his own pillow so when it was time to come upstairs, he'd take his time and as time progressed he was slower and slower.
He brought everyone in our family lots of love. As most animals do. When he was much younger, he certainly was not a friendly pup. 3 members of our family met with his sharp teeth. When he snapped at one of the triplets, we thought he was going to go away, since we had to take the toddler  to the ER and of course explain what had happened. Fortunately the baby was fine, nothing but a small scratch on her scalp. 
You would think he, like a cat, had many lives. 
His name was Kipper. A friend form work back in 2008 was fostering a family of baby chows along with their mom. Julie, who passed died a few years ago was a very friendly animal lover and she did not want the puppies to return to the shelter so she arranged for all to be adopted, except for Mr. burns whom she kept and raised to be a very friendly therapy, service dog. Totally opposite of what Kipper would grow up to be.
When I went to her home to see the pups, the color of kipper was what caught my attention. Golden soft hair all over, climbing over his brothers and sisters and would not stay still. 
I had not mentioned anything about this to Melissa. I wanted it to be a surprise for her. At the time, we already had a dog, Lulu. 
Lulu was a cute small dog who fit Melissa's personality. Perhaps because she had this dog, I felt that I needed not only a dog that was kind of "my dog" but also one to keep Lulu company.
So, one summer day I went to get him and drove to the office where Melissa worked and surprised her with Kipper.
So many stories, so many pictures, so many moments that will forever be etched in our memories.
Today he came home. His ashes anyways but his presence has not left the house and probably never will.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Welcome to 2019

It's been about a year and just by reading my last post, exactly about a year ago, not much has changed.
Government is a mess with another shutdown. Only silver lining is that the democrats took back the house of representatives, while the senate remained in Republican hands. Our government has been divided before but never like this where everyone, including the electorate are constantly attacking each other. It's hard to remain silent and most everyone has something to say, mostly through social media. 
What has happened in the last year?
My wife's dad passed away after a short period of being in bed he had been battling with diabetes and much like my mom and my dad, the disease won out against them. We will for sure miss him. 
The triplets are now in second grade. Charlie and Catherine are enrolled in Gymnastics three times during the week while Cecilia is involved in Ballet twice a week. Our life as parents is really busy with school, extra curricular activities, school activities and birthdays in addition to full schedule at work.
Olivia and Anthony are busy with their own lives as mini adults. Olivia decided to return home after being in Reno for two school calendar years. She is now enrolled at UNLV full time. Anthony is also going to school part time while working a full time job in construction. He is learning a lot about the business. This is good.
Last year in February was the anniversary of my mom's death. I ended up going to Oaxaca during those days. Got to see some of my sisters during my time in San Miguel.
I also got to go in the last part of the year after Christmas. This was definitely a time to relax and unwind, without any worries. Only bad part of trip was me getting sick. 3 days of Montezuma's revenge was not fun.
No trips to Disneyland this past year. We decided to have the girls' birthday at home this time with their school friends and family, the usual crowd.
There was a Lopez family reunion (My mom's side of the family) in LA. That turned out to be a good weekend getaway with all the family.
In between the busyness of our lives we also managed to go camping. Cedar Breaks in Utah was a great location, though we found out that Catherine gets altitude sickness. 
Overall it was a good year for all of us.
I sure hope I can keep up with this Blog a lot more often than I have in the last few years. 
Gotta come back and upload pictures to this post.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018

2018. 
Government ran out of money. No budget or funds to pay for services. Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as presidency and yet they can't seem to get their act together. With Trump as their leader and after he's antagonized all Democrat lawmakers, he cannot expect that they will tag along with any of his proposals.
All the while, 2017 ended with a bang. 
Melissa and I welcomed the new year on the Strip. Olivia came home from school and spent Christmas at home. Typical American home. 
So much is happening all over the world that it would probably take me pages and pages on this blog to go though them. Better that you read your news feed. I do everyday and at times I feel like I'm living in a story that repeats itself day after day (Groundhog Day). 
Super Bowl is coming up fast, then valentine's and then Christmas. It seems that way, time flies....
It's gonna be a year since my mom died. I think of her often, more so because of the relationship that we didn't have. There was closure, I spent time with her as often as I could, sporadically we talked on the phone and that was it. It was the nature of our relationship.
When she left us with my dad, I was 10, I did all my crying and missing her for years. Once she was back in my life nothing was the same.
Life is good overall. The triplets are getting bigger with each passing day and very smart. Scary they way they express themselves sometimes.


Love them to pieces. They brought me hope, they bring me hope each day that things will get better despite our current political situation.
Stay with me.

Friday, October 06, 2017

SOME UPDATES

Lots of milestones since I posted last year. I mentioned that my oldest daughter was starting College and my son was entering his last year of high school. Well. Olivia is now in her Sophomore year at Reno and my son decided to stay in town and is attending CCSN. We are very proud of their accomplishments while the triplets will be turning 7 next week. They are of course in first grade and looking forward to celebrate their birthday in Disneyland. A tradition going back to when they were 2.
Work is keeping both Melissa and I busy. 
My brother in law will be fighting in a boxing/MMA event next week too. Something he embarked on about a year ago when he decided to join a specialty Gym to just get back in shape. I wish him well.



Las Vegas, Sunday October First

Today we woke up to very bad news. Not personal but for our city. As usual I woke up about 5:30 in the morning on Monday. First part of the day involves opening phone to look at time and the News app. Maybe I'm still dreaming of something awful but my dog scratching at the door to be let back in tells me that it is Monday morning and Social media and news are exploding about 50 people being shot by someone from a high floor at The Mandalay Bay Casino.
This individual shot at a crowd attending a country music concert so he pretty much discharged his weapon at will into the crowd while people were huddled and hiding since none wear sure were bullets we're coming from. Outdoor concerts tend to set up glaring lights shining onto the crowd and some others onto the opposite side of the stage, so it's hard to make anything out past the lights. I saw a video on Facebook and all I could see was people huddled on ground. I wondered why they were just there instead of running or getting to a safe place. This was outdoors so there was nowhere to run. Surrounded by fencing and with only the stage to offer some form of protection, people were at the Merck of the shooter.
First thing you wonder is, Do I know anyone there? The only way to find out of course was through social media. I used to work at Mandalay Bay, MGM and Tropicana, so a lot of my contacts were posting the previous night as shooting was happening. 
It started with establishments being locked down where no one could leave or enter. Staff and people didn't know what was going on other than by whatever was being shared on social media. Eventually the whole picture emerged.
Our people responded with open arms to all those hurt and everyone united for a common cause. These episodes of unity only happen after this kind of tragedy and this time it was our turn.
I have heard of some acquaintances who knew someone who died in this incident. Only one of my fellow coworkers suffered some fractures, probably while people were rushing to escape. H is alright and checked out of hospital on same day.
All of us who were not affected by it are grateful of course. As we all get back to our routine we notice that tragedies will continue to happen, particularly in our second amendment loving country. Rare to see this in other countries as often or in these numbers.
Hopefully Some form of legislation will pass to curtail these type of incidents. Who knows, it's happened before without much change.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Life changes


milestones every year. 
I mentioned before that my oldest daughter started college this week. My son begins his senior year of high school and the triplets started kindergarten as well. Even though we've experienced the same with the older kids, it's new again with the girls starting school. It's emotional it's exciting particularly when they are just as excited and eager to be in a new place with new faces. I am quite sure that they are also sick of looking at us everyday; with our barking as to what they can't do, pick up toys, put away their clothes, get in the shower and on and on.
Another thing that never changes is the rude parents who park their cars wherever they feel like, even when they are blocking traffic or when there is a spot available in parking lot. They must park the behemoths right at the gate and wait and wait. I'm a 100% sure I'm not the only parent that feels this way.
I don't sweat it much though, it's like brown spots on bananas, they will happen.
Besides school today for the girls, they also have extra curricular activities, ballet and gymnastics. So Mondays are going to be very hectic.
The rest of the week goes back to normal with my wife back to work (she took a few days off from work). We are also going camping this weekend. It will be the first time for the girls to "sleep" outdoors. This should be a good trip since the weather is quickly changing and is cooler in monies and at nights. Thank goodness this heat is over.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Past and Present

I took the black and white picture at PCC - Pasadena City College sometime back in 1990 while taking a photography class. This was a picture amongst many others I took during that course. At this time in my life I was living in South Pasadena, CA. The girl in picture just happened to be at what I considered to be a great spot with the sun at her back and side on the West and the metal school sign. I asked her permission to take her picture while she was reading just as she was when I approached her.


26 years later while driving around Southern California with my daughter Olivia; I decided to give her a tour of my old school where I obtained an Associate of Arts degree prior to moving on to college. Of course the school is much more modern all around with many new buildings. The old buildings are still there though and will be there many years after.
As we were walking by this building, I remembered the picture I snapped many years before so I asked my daughter to sit and tried to recreate the same shot.
The results this time were immediate with a smartphone. I could retak the shot until I was happy with result. 26 years before I had to shoot entire film, develop it and wait for results. I made two prints of the original shot one on black and white and a sepia.
Here is the shot with my daughter.


Since the original focus of the shot was the girl with the sign next to her, as I remember it, I got closer to Olivia and snapped a second picture.
Since my intent is to show the Past and Present, I put the two pictures together for comparison.



Friday, August 26, 2016

New Lives


And just like that, she's gone.
It happens to every family with children and some are lucky that their children don't move away too far just to keep an eye on them from time to time. But, when your child goes away to college, it hurts. My oldest daughter left yesterday morning to begin her New Life away from the only home she known for the last 18 years and nothing will ever be the same. Not for my wife, for my son, who will also start college next year and not for my youngest children (Triplets) who will also start kinder in a couple of days.
Our last life changing event was when the Triplets were born. Prior to that it was just coasting with two teenagers who were very independent and that gave my wife and I more time to each other. Then the Triplets came.
I am of the belief that we all live different lives during our mortal lives and that through each stage we come to meet different people and as we transition from each one, we have to learn to let go of the previous one, though there is always a constant and that's our immediate family circle. This stage will stay with you 'till death. That gives me hope that even though my daughter is now gone to discover herself and branch out into her own life, that I will remain a constant in hers. I am hopeful but also realize that to every rule there is an exception. 
Her leaving also prepares us for my son's departure next year, even though he says, he'll never leave. (We're in trouble) At the same time, it gives us a glimpse into our future with the Triplets, triple the love and the drama.

Last week, I had an opportunity to take my daughter to Los Angeles for a trip down memory lane (details will be in a different post). This trip was intended to give her a closer look as to where her dad came from and how his life in the United States began, as if given birth to, stepping out of the trunk of a car and into his new life. The intent of the trip was to show her that our lives evolve in ways that we control up to a certain point, then whether your life is already written in a book by a mighty being or left to chance, you have to make the best with each situation that you find yourself in.
I can't deny that I'm happy about her choice to leave town for a college experience but also sad that she won't be in the house, or her bedroom when I get home from work. 
Just like that, she's gone, and we will get used to our new lives. 






Sunday, June 07, 2015

Honeymoon #2

True beach volleyball 

Melissa getting tossed by the waves

Chillaxing 


Kids at play



This guy had just proposed to his girlfriend. They asked me to take a picture of them. So I did, including one with my camera

Breakfast with a view 


Butter cake for my birthday 

"And I see your true colors shining through."




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chapter 17

I've seen you grow and become a woman with your own:
Personality
Taste
Anger
Love.
I've seen you cry through pain and happiness and I've cried with you.
I've seen you trust and love without questioning.
I've seen your loyalty for those you love.
I've seen you love your sisters as if they were your own children. 
I've seen you love your mom as if she was your natural mom.
It saddens me that we are approaching a time when you will take flight
A time when you will become more and better than you are now.
It saddens me that the price to your happiness is my joy and tears at the same time.
But like the flower that closes at darkness only to spread its leaves at the first sight of light, 
I look forward to the day that you take flight and become yourself.
What our creator destined for you.
I've seen you grow and I can't wait to see more of it.
Through sadness and joy.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

A great day with the triplets


Drove out to Lake Mead and Dam and look what we found. Tunnels!
It was a great day and the babies walked like real pros, there were some trip and falls but overall they did great. 
Enjoy the sights

This was our first stop. It seemed a bit steep then we realized trails were mostly for mountain bikers, so we decided to go to the Dam instead.
Dangerously peeking over the bridge and looking down into the Dam.
The Dam as viewed from bridge.
Ready to start our hike. It is now 1:30PM

First of five tunnels. Weather was great

La familia, walking together.

Low flying helicopter tours, noisy.


Couple of hours later, they were getting tired. 

Almost back to car. 
It was a great day. Who says there's nothing to do in Vegas?