BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West

17Sep/180

A Goodbye To My Cat Marshmallow Fluff

Last night I had to rush my cat Marshmallow Fluff to the animal ER.  She wasn't doing too well.  She had to be put down unfortunately.  She was having trouble breathing and was uncomfortable.  They found a buildup of fluid in her lungs and abdomen.  The vet thinks that it was heart failure from the end stage renal disease, but she also is thinking it could have been a return of lung cancer that she had removed almost 10 years ago.  The only option really was just to put her down.  She was really struggling just to catch her breath.

She'd been kind of so so for about the last week, and then this weekend she just really wasn't doing all that great... She did manage to eat and drink on Saturday and early Sunday.  After I arrived home though from the 8K run I was in, she only ate a small amount for dinner around 6.  Then around 8 she was really just not seeming to be doing too great.  I already had a vet appointment scheduled for today at 10:30 so I was just trying to get her to eat and drink a little bit and had planned to just spend the night by her side and get her to the vet today at 10:30 in the morning.  After about two hours, around 10pm last night she started coughing and was having trouble breathing.  So I called the emergency vet ER and they told me to bring her in.  She kind of went back to a semi normal breathing after about 15 minutes of having some pretty major trouble but you could hear that she was straining to breath.  It was definitely taking effort for her to take each breath.

They did a ultrasound on her as soon as I arrived and found the fluid.  The vet at the animal hospital just really told me right away that she was in pretty serious trouble, we could have tried to drain the fluid but it was only a temporary solution because the underlying fluid issue was most likely due to her renal failure progressing or cancer and all of that causing heart failure... And given that she was 15 years old it just wasn't going to be a likely successful outcome to treat her and do tests, and to do all of that while she was very uncomfortable.  The vet urged me to just decide to take the option to let her finally rest.

I reluctantly agreed, I've just been super sad all day.  Today the primary vet called me to offer her condolences and say that given her history and such she definitely thinks it was time and that I did the right thing.  She thinks that even if we had tried to treat Fluff, it still would have only been days, or maybe weeks given the fluid build up.  Fluid build up is a very serious condition and generally indicates something really serious is going on.

Today I've just been looking back through some pictures and a couple of videos I have of her.  She was a good cat.  Fluff, or fluffernutter as my mom called her, or sometimes yow yow since her sister was ying ying.... It was because of the way she meowed that sounded almost like she was saying words.  She had a super funny purr, since she was missing half a lung it would be very loud and deep and longer than a normal purr.  She was just a cute cat.  She'd wake me up each morning by pawing at my face... She'd run around the house and hide when she needed to go into her cage to go to the vet...

That's how I knew that something was wrong, she didn't even fight going into the cage, she was just soo wobbly and sleepy.  It was just her time to go I guess.

I miss her a lot though, I keep expecting to see her around the corner or in one of her normal spots around the house.  But she's in a better place now and no longer suffering... Yesterday was just terrible, she just was struggling so hard to keep going, especially last night at the vet just trying to show that she wasn't ready to go and keep breathing, but you could just tell from the fluid in her lungs that it was hard for her.  She just wanted to sleep.  And now she's finally at rest.

She seemed to be very at peace once they gave her the medication to sedate her and then finally the rest of the meds that would stop her heart.  Before that moment she really just was trying hard just to breath.... I felt bad keeping her in my arms.  I did sit with her for about 5 minutes alone before the end, she purred a little bit as I pet her but it only lasted about 30 seconds and then she went back to just trying to keep up with her breath.

Anyway, I got to say goodbye to her and I spent a lot of the weekend with her as well, I spent most of the week tending to her getting her to eat, so I spent a lot of time with her in the last week.  She was a good cat and had a good life, she was 15, so she definitely had her fair share of lap time and pet time and all that.  Now she's at peace and with my mom and as well her sister who passed about 2 years ago.  I still have 2 more of my mom's cats to keep me company.  So, I'll just be spending a little more quality time with those two from now on.

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14Sep/180

What Can I Do To Make Your Day Better

So, yesterday I received word that my old boss passed away.  He'd been fighting brain cancer for nearly 2 years.  A lot of us were very hopeful that the outcome would be good, but, it just wasn't how things went.  It's super sad.  He was funny guy, nice, hard worker... or as he liked to put it... A mule.  He just had a ton of weird and funny phrases that he'd always say.  He was the director but he'd always insist that he was just there to "mule it".  He would insists that he had to be "in the bowels" with his "boys".  Or, usually most mornings he would say, "What's up homini?" as I walked in.  It was supposed to be the singular of homie.... Which I'm pretty sure isn't actually a thing.

Anyway, so, it's definitely very sad and he'll be missed by a lot of people.  We worked in the same office for a good 7 or maybe 8 years, 40 hours week.... Year in and year out.  So, it's definitely weird to not have him around.

One of the phrases that he'd always say when someone came to the door or picked up the phone was "What can I do to make your day better?".  That's kind of how I remember people, by their phrases that they use often.  My mom had a ton of them as well... I just think that I'll continue to recall these phrases and remember him every time I hear how he would say something in his unique funny way.

Some of the phrases really crack me up... I just think of how cool he was and I'll always remember him for sure.  It's a big loss.

I'm not really sure what else to say.  Cancer definitely sucks for sure.  He went too young... I also feel really sad for his family.  I can't imagine his wife and kid must be just devastated.

I can compare losing my mom... It's not a nice feeling.  It's just like there's a void where a bright light used to be.

Life is full of the unexpected and you never know how much time you've got on this planet.  Thing is, I think we spend too much time fighting or being sour, it's not worth it... I think a better attitude to have is "What can I do to make your day better?".

This isn't all that well written... Although, none of my posts really are... But I just kind of wanted to write something about him.  It sucks for sure that he's gone, that's all I can say... He was a pretty awesome dude and a really fun boss as well.  So, I'll always remember him.

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10Sep/180

Signs or Random Noise

It amuses me I suppose...

This last weekend was intriguing to me... It's just another one of those things that is a little bit, shall we say, unexplainable.

For all intents and purposes Thursday night was terrible.  TOTALLY terrible... But I'm fine with it now.  Is what it is... Fate of the universe and what not.  I really was so upset Thursday night though, I mean beyond upset, and jealous and everything.

Here's the thing about it all...

As EVERYONE knows, there's this Kara chick... Met her basically turn of the new year 2009/2010...

That same summer I met another Kara... At camp.  I called her Mini Kara because she's like 24 now and the other Kara is older... Which is just why I call her Mini Kara... she's just younger.

Anyway... IN some ways she reminded me of the original one, in other ways not so much.

Now, going WAY back, there's this family friend, Eddie... Eddie and my mom went to elementary school together and everything else.  He was life long friends with my mom.  Eddie's son is Dan... Dan made this movie called Dina...

So... Here goes... let's timeline this...

Thursday night happens, what happens?  Simple... Kara was stalking my Facebook as per usual, which I had no hard proof she was doing that, but I had suspicions.

She accidentally clicked the like button on a status.... Oops.  Well the cat was out of the bag.  I saw a notification on my iPhone.  You can't UN notification once you click like and Facebook says someone liked your status.

It happened... You did it... You can't undo it.  You can undo the like, sure... But it's already done.

I find out Kara is a newly wed... Jealous mostly... I mean do I STILL have feelings for her?  Who knows... I sure as hell liked her a lot though back in the day.

When you like someone, you can't un like them... You can try.... But it stays.

Anyway...

Same day I find out she's married?  Dan, yes, the Dan who's dad was Ed, my mom's best friend... Posts an instagram from Miami with his girlfriend.

They're chilling at some posh resort having a sunset dinner.

Why is that significant?

Because Kara lives in South Florida, near Miami.

So?

Ever since I met Kara every time Kara and I would start talking, Eddie would be super talkative with my mom or me and show up to hang out or take her to a baseball game or something...

When Kara and I would stop talking .... Eddie would get super busy and I wouldn't see him for a while.

In fact I hadn't really seen him much during most of the 2000s until... Kara showed up.

Weird right?

How's this one work...

In 2013, I was suppose to go to my sisters wedding... Well, A thing happened where I had a disagreement with my sister... and my mom made me leave the house for like an hour.

Kara and I stopped talking after that night...

I didn't go to my sister's wedding.  I was supposed to have been roomies with Eddie but I was so upset because Kara and I weren't talking that I skipped out on the wedding...

Eddie had a stroke early morning of the day of the wedding.

If I had been in the shared room to call 911?  Who knows... He might still be alive.

But who knows too, Dan's movie Dina mostly got made because of the connection that Dan and Dina had when his dad passed.

It's all just so coincidental.

I guess it's amusing.

The day I find out Kara is married is the day Dan is in Miami with his girlfriend posting Instagram photos of him and her having a sunset dinner.

Oh and also, I totally forgot... It was the night before Mini Kara's birthday too.

Maybe it's all just a bunch of seeing things where nothing is to be seen, but... I don't know, it seems way too coincidental if you ask me.

Have to wonder... and as well once Eddie passed away my mom's own health deteriorated very quickly.  She missed him like crazy.

The thing is... No one can know, maybe it's just the way it was all supposed to go.

I don't know really.

So here we are now in the future.

The only thing to do is just see where it all goes next.  Can't change the past obviously, if I'd gone that night Eddie could have still passed away.

If Kara and I had kept talking, then who knows how that would have played out when she finally met her now husband...

Maybe it was better that I stopped reading all her stuff in the way that I did BEFORE she met him... I don't think I could have been able to handle being friends and watching her move into the arms of another dude.  It would have driven me mad with jealousy.

No one can know for sure...

Who knows.... maybe my sister's fight leading to Kara not talking to me, leading to Eddie's passing... Leading to me no longer reading Kara's social media.... Saved me from going insane from jealousy.

I mean, Kara only even moved to Florida too because of her sister.  It's like both of our siblings were part of the reason her and I don't talk anymore.  Which I find interesting...

Who the heck knows, maybe if her and I HAD kept talking she might not have even met this dude...

And maybe Dan and his girl wouldn't be where they are either?

And maybe I wouldn't be sitting here writing blogs to no one... Hah.

Eh, what can you do... The world happens and we all are just passengers in this wild ride.

All you can do is hang on tight to see what comes next.

It's just weird how all the puzzle pieces continue to shift around us... Pushing and pulling us all in different little directions.

Her sister pulled her to Florida for PA... my sister pulled Eddie to VA for her wedding... and pulled me away from being in Eddie's room that morning when he had the stroke and upset me so much that Kara and I disconnected on Facebook...

It's a whole thing... Of course the irony of it is that she still was reading my Facebook, I just wasn't reading hers.

Anyway... I guess where I'm at now is that I'm just noting the interesting twists and turns and finding them intriguing.

The thing is, I'm sure it will happen again in the future in some way, maybe even with new or different people.  Perhaps this thing with Dan and Kara and Miami means something too....

I guess only time will tell, as the story of all our lives unfold into the future.

 

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7Sep/180

#DearFutureLove

So, I've decided to start posting future love letters to the woman I one day marry.  I haven't met her yet, so I know nothing about her, so they are kind of like pen pal letters out into the world.  Or love letters out into the world.

One of the professors at my job said that I just have to put it out there and I'll get it back.  If I say I'll never meet someone, then I never will... So she was like... Just put it out there and she'll come along.

So, I'm going to just write lots of love letters to my future love.

And then wait and see what happens.  I might even just post one a day, or maybe once a week or every other day... No idea yet.  I'll post as often as I feel like posting.

And then who knows... Perhaps one day I'll start getting love letter posts back.  Never know.  It's definitely worth a try.

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5Sep/180

Getting closer on a new tune

So, I'm getting closer on a new song.  It still needs a good amount of work... But it's getting closer for sure.  I don't yet have a timeline for when I plan to finalize it and then put it up online.

I'm hoping to have it up soon though!

I still have a whole list of things I need to fix yet.

The good news is I've started numbering mixes.  So, when I get close to being finished a song, I start numbering the mixes.  When I know that I'm not anywhere near having any kind of finished product I just basically will mix out rough mixes to listen to, but I won't actually start labeling them until I know I've got something that I eventually want to post.

Most of the time before I number them, they aren't even complete songs, it's just half a song.

Currently I'm on mix 13.  I usually will do over 100 mixes before decided I like the mix.  I mean, all I really do is just keep exporting versions and then I listen to that for a while and write down things I don't like.  What happens is the changes just become less and less, until I get to a point where I really can't think of anything else to change.

That's when I really just decide it's good to go and I put it up.

I've always wondered what the process is for professional musicians.  My guess is that collaborate with a lot of people, producers and such, and they also have people to songwrite with.  Once the basic recordings are done I'm guessing they send it off to someone else to mix and master, and then if that person doesn't like something, they have them re-record or even rewrite parts.

And then there's some final engineer who masters it and then it goes from there.

I'm obviously just one guy because... I'm not signed to some big label...

With my process I not only have to make the song and all that, I make the cover art, and I also have to take care of all the boring admin stuff of actually posting the song... That boring legal stuff too of copyrighting it.

Who knows, perhaps one day I'll have someone who can do some of that for me, or I'll have a whole team of people.  The problem is I don't really make very much from the music.  So, any costs I want to cover, I cover them with my personal income that I make outside of doing music.

Even the initial cost to buy the recording equipment is all just my personal money... It would be cool to get to the point where I can at least fund creating music from the money I make making music.

Right now, that is but a dream.

For now?  I'll continue on though jut making one song at a time and posting them when I get a chance.

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