July 31st, 2018 – this post is NOT for the easily-offended

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

Goddamnfuckinghell.

I am in my hotel near KCI, leaving tomorrow morning to go back home. Today was a rough day with bad news.

My dad had surgery this morning to remove the remaining part of the tumor in his bladder. A discussion I had with the doctor afterward brought more bad news. They had to remove more of his bladder than originally anticipated due to the depth and size of the remainder of the tumor. We already knew it was stage 4 bladder cancer and may possibly be in his bones. I was also told today that not only is the cancer in his lymph nodes, but it’s also in his liver. The doctor told me that he has had this for a while. The doctors’ plan is to do intravenous treatment on him since he is too weak for regular chemo treatments. He was told last week it is not curable. Perhaps if it had been caught early there would be a chance…

But it wasn’t. And there isn’t.

My heart just sunk. It felt just like June of 2016 all over again – when we got the news about my mom’s stage 4 glioblastoma.

What the fuck?!?! First my sister gets sick with it, my mom dies from it, and now my dad probably has but a brief time left. You try to stay positive and hopeful, yet there is reality and that really blows at certain times in our lives. It is so horrible and you feel so helpless when you are looking at losing your other parent and a sibling along with already losing a parent…all within a very short time. It can be difficult to keep your shit together.

I’m trying really hard to do that. Yes I have shed many tears over all of this and nobody should be afraid to do that – it’s not healthy to keep it in. Besides… I am human and it fucking hurts.

Luckily I am so very fortunate to have the best family and friends that a person could have and we are all there for each other. I’ll continue to stay as positive as I can – life continues to move forward for those of us left behind. We always have the memories, and those will never die.

Fuck you cancer. For a third time in too short of a time fuck you cancer.

That’s all I can write at the moment.

July 27th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

As I start this post I am back in Seattle and will head to my hotel this afternoon. I catch a plane tomorrow morning to go back to KS again.

My day as it unfolds:

Until then I am starting out in the Capitol Hill station getting ready to get back on the light rail. Came up this way to go to Dick’s Drive-In for a snack (burger, fries, vanilla shake) before I go to Pike Place Market for another snack. I am debating going to the International District for another snack but not sure yet. There’s a lot of good stuff to eat at Pike.

Capitol Hill is a really cool area. I would like to explore around there a little more and may be doing just that in a few weeks when some family gets here. There’s a restaurant in that area that I want to find – I just haven’t been there yet.

Got to Pike and went directly to Mee Sum Bakery for both a baked and a steamed bbq pork hombow. Been a year since I had one and it was delicious as always. The area was busy as hell and I didn’t stay there long. I saw a little boy there that had a shirt on that said “Snacks first, then pants”. Cracked me up.

Seattle is just swarming with a lot of people. It is also pretty warm so I decided to head to my hotel and went back to Westlake station to head south to check in. I also was not very hungry with what I had eaten on the two stops I already made plus the heat was nothing I wanted to hang out in. No International District this go around.

My usual hotel was booked up so I am trying out a new place tonight. It’s actually more convenient to the airport so if it works out I’ll probably be changing my hotel preference to this new one.

Seattle is such a cool city. It has major homeless issues and can be expensive but there’s no denying it’s an interesting place to hang out, eat great food, and have a lot of fun. Be prepared for some huge crowds though.

I got to the hotel and it is damn good to be in the A/C. I walked 3/4 mile from the light rail station to get here and it was almost all in the sun. Good to get exercise though and as of right now I have walked a little over 4 miles today.

I took a walk to get dinner and ended up having Japanese at Masae’s Teriyaki. I have really never been a fan of teriyaki, but the teriyaki I have had in the past has been pretty heavy on the sweet taste and not much savory. This was a perfect balance. It was delicious and filling, and I even ate the slaw that came with it. I thought I would at least try the slaw since I didn’t see any of that nasty stuff called mayonnaise on it.

Since I will be making several trips back to Kansas in the near future I will maximize my time while I’m in Seattle, finding some new places to eat and interesting things to see and do. Today worked out pretty well, and I can even get over here earlier to have more time to do stuff.

I’m anxious to get back and spend time with my dad. This cancer thing has really surprised us all and it sucks. Life is always too short and I try to make the best of it all the time. This will be no different for any of us – we’ll enjoy the time we have and make the best of the situation.

That’s all for now.

July 20th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Today is a cooking day. The weather is nice and cool, but it is supposed to warm up quite a bit in the next week so I need to get it done soon.

I made breakfast sandwiches for the week this morning, then after a quick inventory and spice run I am now making barbacoa beef in the Instant Pot, The whole house smells wonderful right now! This recipe is quite earthy and is so good. Next thing, while that is cooking, I will take the burrito mixture that I cooked and froze last month and make burritos and portion them out for meals. It is still a bit frozen so I may have to wait until tonight but that will get done today. I also want to fire up the oven and make up some red velvet cake mix cookies.

Since I got home Tuesday we got more bad news about my dad from the oncologist and now we are waiting for more news after scans today to see what exactly is going on. I have been wanting to get some cooking and meal prep done the last few days but I have not really felt up to it after getting the oncologist report. My original plan was to come home from this trip and get the trailer out but I got that phone call and thought I should stay closer to home in case I was needed. I’ll be making a lot of trips back it’s looking like.

I need a big distraction and once I get this cooking done I think I may take a walk. Work looms tomorrow so I need to get in a better headspace and that might help. It actually might even help by getting back to work. The cooking is definitely helping today.

The big news I was referring to about a month or so ago won’t be happening after all, but something else big is quite possibly going to come through for me concerning a job. It will be pretty exciting if it happens and I hope to find out soon.

That’s it for now.

 

Some Thoughts on Travel

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

I got back home successfully yesterday and it was another first for me, especially here in the States. My trip to and from the airport was all on public transit and it was fantastic. No traffic, no stress, some exercise, no parking fees and actually quite inexpensive. I saved some money for certain.

European Adventure 2018 made us both realize just how ridiculously easy and cheap it is to get around using public transit. It also really showed the accessibility that everyone has for getting from A to B. With it being a way of life over there you soon realize you don’t really need a car! It is too expensive in some areas to drive or own one anyhoo.

It is also one of those many experiences that you never forget after a long trip, or, perhaps, I guess even a short trip: the people watching, the countryside, the back streets and neighborhoods, villages both in and out of the city…the out-of-the-way places. It gives you a “local feel”…a closer look at the place you are in. No, it’s not quite the same as walking the area we were in while in Antwerp, but still quite interesting.

I am so glad I finally have the option to use public transit to go to places and not have to drive in Seattle traffic. That will be nice over winter if I want to go over to the big city for a night and hang out. That brings up another option.

Ride-shares.

I myself  have not used it yet but do want to give it a try. Meghan and I had to take one in Denver a few years ago after that Frontier Airlines cluster when our flight got cancelled for no known reason. She had an app and got us a ride from the hotel we were put up in. It was pretty painless. I really do have to give it a try soon though. Getting around on trains, buses and planes is more difficult than hitting a button on an app I guess and I have that down pretty good so far.

Perhaps the thing is I am not really interested in taxis (at least here in the States; I would like to try one in Europe just for the experience, though) and it reminds me of getting a taxi. The cost is another thing I would think would be expensive but maybe they aren’t. I am okay with getting around like I did today for the time being.

Reminds me of a story…

On one particular tour run we made in Tennessee when I worked for the Statler Brothers we decided to go out to eat. To do that we had to get a taxi to get us across a city whose name I cannot remember. The semi was not an option on this particular stop.

The taxi showed up and it was a rather interesting trip. A big old gold Ford pulled up and the four of us road crew got in. The taxi reeked of Jack Daniel’s, and with good reason. The driver had been drinking so we did the adult responsible thing.

We got in the cab of course.

The restaurant we went to was actually out of the taxi “area” and in another county but a tip took care of that little issue. We went in and ate a pretty good meal and called another taxi to take us back to our hotel.

A big old gold Ford pulled up and the four of us road crew got in. AGAIN. Reeking STILL. It was the same guy. AGAIN. Yet drunker.

That leg of the journey was not even as good as the previous one you could say. We thought we were gonna die with this crazy redneck driving like a maniac. He scared the shit out of us.

A taxi experience that was less than optimal.

Anyway, that’s it for the moment.

July 17th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel

I am typing this while on an airplane heading back home. I have been in Kansas visiting family for almost a week.

Cancer is rearing its ugly head in the family again, this time affecting my dad. We are staying optimistic, waiting for the results from his visit with the oncologist. There are good signs but it is still of concern obviously…especially given the family history the last two years.

With all of this going on you can bet that I am staying on top of all my checkups and staying vigilant with keeping an eye on my body. I have certainly been trying to be more conscious of my health, getting more exercise and watching my food intake with regard to amounts and what I eat. Sure I will have some junk food on occasion but it’s no longer the norm for me. I need to do better, however, and I will do better. I have things to do, places to go, people to see.

It was a good visit. My dad seems to be doing okay and is in good spirits. I did some home repairs for him while there and did some watering in the yard and garden. He’s got a good crop of tomatoes going and they were delicious. Chelsea and her family were in North Carolina but got back two days ago so we got to hang out.

I also got to catch up with some friends and my first night there I got together with three of my long-time friends. It has been over 30 years since we were all in the same room together so that was cool.

There was not much cool otherwise. It was way too damn hot and humid – comfort levels over 100 degrees. I usually avoid going back there this time of year for that reason but that was the last thing I was worried about.

Yesterday we went out to a restaurant that served Korean, sushi, Vietnamese and Chinese. I opted to try something new – bibimbap. It was delicious and quite a hearty meal. I also ordered up some hot sake for us. It was my first time having that and once was plenty. Tasted way too much like whisky and I am not a fan of that taste at all. I drank my half of the little bottle though.

Obviously it was rookie day on Alaska Airlines this morning. People acted like it was their first flight and did not want to follow directions from the flight attendants. They would not stay seated so we could leave the gate, and would not stay seated during some major turbulence while the seatbelt light was on. They had to announce several times over the intercom concerning these things.

The asshat sitting behind me thought that my armrest was a footstool while I got up for the bathroom. He soon realized it was not one when I sat down and elbowed his foot off of it.

WTF is wrong with Americans and why the arrogance? We are no better than anyone else. All they care about is themselves and the hell with those around them. Yes, I am American but I don’t do things like that. The guy in that seat behind me apparently thinks he is entitled to something since along with that he had to be told more than once to unplug his charger during takeoff. I am not full of much hope but maybe he learned something today and quits being a dick.

Soapbox put away.