So…Where Have I Been?

Posted by on Sep 3, 2011 in Featured, Tales From a Faraway Land | 6 comments


In case you haven’t noticed, this is my first real blog post since March (5 months!)…Firstly, for all of you who perhaps upon realizing this said “YAY!!! No more terrible stories to read!” (Dave!)…I would like to offer my most sincere thanks for your unwavering support 🙂

For the rest of you, whom I assume (quite pathetically at times) still enjoy reading my blog at times,  I hope you will enjoy the fruits of my renewed literary resolve here on this site.

But perhaps some of you do not know what exactly lead me to abandon my blog for such a large period of time…I guess now would be a good time to play the catch up game and explain whats been going on in the last few months.

…And Then Came The Spring…Or was it The Fall? I Can Never Figure That Out…

The last 6 months, nay, really the last year or so has been filled with several elements that have contributed to varying degrees to my more chaotic than normal lifestyle since then.

Mamma No Esta Bien

The foremost of these has been the continuing health condition of my mother. In late August, less than two weeks before I was to move to BsAs full time, she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

Instantly, I began thinking about how this news was going to affect my plans. I initially began thinking that I should put off my move to BsAs…I even considered the possibility of moving to California to be closer to Mom. As these worries were tearing me apart, I managed to convince myself to hold off from full freakout mode until after we knew exactly what was going on.

After a very tense week or so for our family, the doctors finally told us that she had a very good chance of beating the cancer with a evidently “routine” chemo regimen. After a brief, less than fun, last minute visit, I managed to make my flight to BsAs, confidant Mom was in good hands in California, and that the situation was under control…

Fast forward to early January, we receive news that despite the favorable odds for a full recovery, Mom’s treatment was not 100% successful against her cancer. Needless to say this situation was quite distressing for all of us. Speaking for myself, I know I initially felt an immense regret over my choices regarding the previous six months of my life. I began having thoughts of feeling guilty over leaving her, etc…

After a few agonizing weeks waiting to hear what else could be done, we finally received news that a new different treatment (albeit less certain of success) seemed to hold promise for her. So after some quick thinking, I managed to arrange my affairs here so that after a few hours I was ready to depart to lovely SoCal for the next phase of her treatment. That decision made late at night, in less than five minutes, was what lead to over a quarter of my year being spent in SoCal living with my parents and two brothers.

Love Sweet Love

For those of you who have somehow missed the vast amount of information floating around about me and a certain Argentine young lady (we shall call you the deaf, dumb, and blind ones), I have some breaking some news for you…

Around the turn of the year, things began…”developing” between my and a certain young Argentine beauty by the name of Gilda. After having been close friends for several years, I guess you could say our relationship took a more…serious turn.

We started dating the beginning of March, and since then have been blissfully, and majestically in L… you didn’t really think I was going to do that did you? I mean come on, did you think I would start writing about our relationship like we are two hapless teenagers in some pathetic modern love story featuring vampires, or as yet unexploited ridiculous near-archaic literary horror stock character…Does that sound like something I would do? Anyways back to my point…

Somehow I managed to land this amazing girl, without having to pay her, steal her, or threaten her super villain style (besides some jerk in multicolored  form-fitting spandex always foils those kind os plans). I guess I am just that charming, or funny, or something…who knows, maybe you should ask her…I would like to know why as well…

As expected, the arrival of a girlfriend into my life inevitably lead to some drastic changes in the amount of free time I had to devote to the writer’s craft, and thus impacted my writing here.

Bye Bye B.A. Hello SoCal

After spending a wonderful two months living it up with my newly acquired girlfriend, Gilda, things with Mom finally started to come into focus. Her treatment would require her to take another five rounds of Chemo, followed by a single massive dose at the end to kill off all of the remaining cancer, and prevent it with a very high degree of probability from ever coming back. To enable her to cope with the immense attack by the final Chemo on her system, the doctors prior to this, would collect and store stem cells from her blood, and then inject them back into her system to boost her recovery. With this treatment being quite a bit more intense and risky than the one that preceded it, I decided my place was there with her in California during this difficult time.

As on several occasions before (including the one that brought me here to Argentina for the first time, and when i first moved here) I pulled what I have termed the “Dominick Maneuver” when planning my trip. I spent 5 min thinking about the matter, and then bought my tickets to take me half way around the world. This whole thought process began at about 7pm on Monday night, and by Tuesday night I was on a plane to SoCal. Thanks to Gilda for in a large way making that possible…Besides obviously letting her new boyfriend leave for an indefinite amount of time, she watched my apartment for me, delivered my rent payments to the landlord, and of course kept the place warm by making sure there was always a party going on there.

Despite my initial excitement about “going home”, I found it quite hard to leave behind my life here in BsAs. Over the last year, I had grown to feel as though this was “home”. Finally after years of feeling somewhat adrift in a sea of eerily-foreign familiar places in my life, I finally felt like I found my place, somewhere I felt needed, and that I belonged. But as the saying goes, “duty calls” and thus off I went to play the part of some sort of savior back home. I don’t know how successful that would end up being…

Riding Big Waves In SoCal

Anyone that knows me well, is aware that despite more normal all-loving personality, I do harbor a deep-seated loathing, rather hatred, for a certain group of people…

Death to the Dirty Hippies!

Now it may surprise you to learn that despite my intense hatred for all things about no-good, down and dirty, free-loving, non-working, tofu-loving, tree hugging hippies, during my time in SoCal I would come to identify with one of the largest demographics in the hippie universe. This change to my identity came about when I started surfing. Now before you starting calling me Cory, and ask me if I grew dreadlocks as well…I want to mention that just because the dirty hippies have tried to ruin something as amazing as surfing, it does not mean that they have succeeded in forever ruining it for the rest of us good people who love the ocean, and the beauty of God’s lovely creation.

Anyways, I managed to spend many a day out there learning to surf in the precious and few free moments I had while there. I didn’t always fair so well, but I learned a lot about surfing, and in the process I feel I learned a great metaphor for life, one that is particularly applicable for my time in SoCal.

The first thing you learn from experience about surfing, is that the bigger waves the better the ride…and the worse the wipeouts. At the same moment that the sea picks you up and proceeds to send you flying high, is also the same moment it can (and will) drop you hard to the ocean floor, then fall on top of you, pushing you down further, keeping you pined down under all of its fury. While you’re stuck there, trying to avoid gasping for air and sucking down a lung’s worth of water, you find that the heartless waves just keep on crashing down upon you, one after another, holding you down, without any letup. On some especially devastating wipeouts, you end up being tossed around so much that you literally end up not knowing which way is up…A scary prospect even for the most experienced swimmer.

I feel this is the perfectly represents my time in California during those 3 months. At times I was riding high, having some of the greatest experiences ever, seemingly with nothing above my head that could hurt me…then as quickly as the raising waves had lifted me up and been the force behind my flight, they soon transformed into a most malevolent force, becoming the most stressful and depressing times of my life. With the waves under my feet that once lifted me so high, now having become the crushing load upon my back pushing me down further and further into despair.

What My Time Was Actually Like…

So for those few months I was in California, I was occupied mostly with the dreary and the mundane.

I spent a good deal of time going with Mom back and forth on the seesaw that is her current health treatment. She would have to spend a few days in the hospital every three weeks while she received her chemo treatments. She would be in terrible shape afterwards for about a week or so…and then after spending a few days at home resting would make a modest recovery and be doing well for a week or so, until the next treatment came. Interlaced in those regular cycles were the occasional bout of infection due to her compromised immune system, which would usually require another hospital stay, and close observation. Highs and lows for us all indeed.

In addition to that, I am thankful that I managed to be preoccupied with an exceptionable amount of field work. For a few weeks there I was leaving the house at 4:30 am, returning at 7:30 pm everyday to work at the port of Long Beach municipal incinerator. My favorite part of that job was when law enforcement agencies would come and burn all of their captured drugs. For backup they would roll up with about 20 squad cars, and 2 vans of SWAT just to make sure everything was all cool…Sometime they would also put snipers on the roof of the Baghouse…needless to say, some of them were a bit more jolly than others. We also did a big job out in the middle of the High Desert for 10 days straight…We credit the hot tub, and cool beer in the room every night for getting us through that one.

Besides work, and “Hospital Stuff”, I was pleased to be able to make a lot of good friends during my extended stay. From Italians, to the “Black Irishman” (his words not mine) and all the rest, it was a pleasure to have gotten to know so many in such a short time. I even managed to run into my old buddy/former BsAs roommate Jon while at convention in San Diego. Indeed with friends, new and old, I found strength during this difficult time.

After three months of my California exile/assignment/sojourn/outing, things finally ended in a fine way. Mom was doing much better, I had logged a lot of work ($$$) and Gilda was finally able to get permission from work to come and visit. We spent the last two weeks of my time visiting with family in California, and then went to meet more friends and family in Chicago (next blog post, with pictures, and ).

Don’t Worry Its Finally Over!

What a wonderful ending to a visit that was initiated in anxiety, and distressful uncertainty. With the lingering aftereffects of this dreadful (service) year still holding influence over my life, I can for now at least enjoy a brief respite and try to get back to a normal life…well normal by my standards anyway.

To all of those who played a part in the drama that has been the last year of my life, I want to say thanks for all the support and help. Hopefully we can move forward from here, and try to get through another year of life in this world, keeping ourselves out of trouble, and doing the best we can to use the time allowed wisely.

Stay thirsty my friends…


  1. “I guess I am just that charming, or funny, or something…who knows, maybe you should ask her…I would like to know why as well…”—– Nobody makes me laugh as you do and, you have a Mac and …. you are the best friend I have ever had”.

    “As expected, the arrival of a girlfriend into my life inevitably lead to some drastic changes in the amount of free time I had to devote to the writer’s craft, and thus impacted my writing here” —- I want to clarify that this is not fully true… We have just devoted some more time to what you always do, that is, go drinking…

    • The lovely Gilda everyone…And thank you for being my newest, and best ever drinking partner!

  2. Interesting saga. Very glad we all were able to meet Gilda. Hope to see you both someday soon in BA.

  3. I am So Happy/Sorry for you! I am apparently very drastically out of the gossip loop! I had NO idea! I pray that your Mom continues to recover well. And I am so for sure happy to see you find someone that makes your so happy in your life! It is a wonderful blessing Jehovah gives us to enjoy, close friendship!

    • Thanks for reading up. Thanks also for the consideration and the prayers for Mom…those are always welcome 🙂

    • Thanks. I hope you and Mark are doing well. Maybe one day you two will pop into our part of town…(more like world) and see us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *