Saying Goodbye

clutterAfter my last post, you might be expecting something maudlin about dealing with the passing of a loved one. But that’s not what this is about; it’s not something I wish to dwell on. So on to other things!

How do you declutter your life? I am not a hoarder as you may have seen on TV, but I think I’d qualify as a pack rat. I–without a doubt–have too much stuff. That needs to change, and soon! Unfortunately it’s hard for me to get rid of things. I tend to associate objects with memories, as many people do. But the problem is I keep lots of  things that aren’t associated with significant memories. Like a mundane memento from an insignificant trip. I also tend to keep freebies, which I almost never need. Like a Frisbee from some bar that was used a plate at a food event. I can’t remember the last time I played Frisbee! Most of them aren’t even on display or anything. They’re just sitting on a pile or in a box.

So how do you make yourself get rid of these things that are just taking up space in your life? For many people it’s probably easy, but I find myself getting oddly attached to these silly and pointless doodads. Or I think “I might need that some day!” Never mind that I haven’t had a need for it in years and could probably acquire a new one in the unlikely event that the need some day arose.

I’ve been working hard on decluttering the last couple weeks and I’ve made some good progress (the freebie Frisbee is gone). But I am not there yet. I know I’m still holding on to too much stuff.

So how about it? Any other recovering pack rats have advice on how to say goodbye?



purple violetI am now down to one remaining biological grandparent. My paternal grandmother, Violet, passed away over the weekend shortly after her 89th birthday. She is survived by her 91 year old husband, my grandpa, Burt. For how long, I don’t know. My mom’s parents passed about a year apart, a few years ago. And I still miss them.

In my mom’s family, when my grandparents passed the family started to unravel. I wouldn’t say it’s fallen apart, but it’s not what it used to be. We used to all get together every Christmas at my grandparents place to eat, exchange gifts and play games. There hasn’t been a full family Christmas since they passed. There are occasional family reunions, but they aren’t as well attended, and just really aren’t the same. This makes me sad.

I’m afraid the same is going to happen with my dad’s family, and based on conversations I had this past Christmas, I’m not the only one. Because my relationship with my dad (biological father) was strained after my parent’s divorce, I never spent as much time with his family as with my mom’s or step dad’s. Often I’d only see them at Christmas. There are first cousins on that side that I couldn’t name (in my defense, there are 25 of them in total!) and that’s not even getting into my cousin’s kids. I haven’t spent enough time with these people as it is, and I’d hate to see it reduced even more.

But there will be time enough to worry about that. For now it’s time to mourn, commiserate and remember. Grandma Vi lived a long and happy life and had a big, loving family. She will be missed, but her memory lives on in all of us. RIP, Grandma!

Bruiser Blogs on Burgers

Five Guys burgerOne of the items I’m retrieving from my defunct previous blog is my Burger List. In a nutshell, the BL is a list of places I created based on several “best burger in Chicago(land)” lists from Grub Street, Chicago Magazine and Metromix. These are places I want to try a burger. It is my mission to try them all! The list is as follows, including my current progress toward my goal (*’d places are on the two original lists; the Metromix list was of new places, which I added in 2010): Continue reading

Bruiser Blogs

This is my new blog. My old one is caput. I will miss it, but it’s time to move on. I’ll try to use Google’s cache of my old blog to bring some stuff over, but most of it will not make the cut. It’s a time for changes.

I haven’t been blogging much in the last year or so, but with another election cycle now in full swing, I have a feeling I’ll be needing an outlet for my ranting, and the 140 characters Twitter allows is barely enough to get started. Also, some big changes are coming up for me (stay tuned!) and this will give me a place to document them.

I can’t promise I’ll blog with any regularity. This is really out here for me, but if people read it all the better! If you do read, please leave comments to let me know. Dialog is fun, yo!

That’s all for now. More to come soon.