Monday, September 17, 2018

another episode.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is on.


The 225th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include: who's life are you impacting?, adult cartoons and the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) I Don't Know What to Do With My Hands by Minor Alps
2) In Bloom by Neckdeep
3) Birthdays by The Smith Street Band
4) The Mixed Tape by Jack's Mannequin
5) Chasing a Feeling by The Narrative
6) Leave All the Lights On by A Day to Remember

Saturday, September 1, 2018

guess who's back? 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour', that's who.


The 224th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include the passing of a friend, do any of us feel like we belong and finding yourself. It's a deep show. enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) Bed Case by Tancred
2) Seashore by The Regrettes
3) Heavenly by Adventures
4) Starchild Skull by Cloakroom
5) DQ by Charly Bliss
6) I'll Make You Sorry by Screaming Females

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

my thoughts on.... Val Camilletti


It's very seldom that I'm at a loss for words. For anyone that knows me, they know that words are something that I love. They're a personal passion of mine. It's apparent in my writing, my podcasting and even in my choice of profession as a customer service representative. I talk and write for a living as well as a hobby. The only time I'm not volleying my vocabulary, is when I'm sleeping and I've been told that even then I'm still as verbose, however incoherent it may be. Today, all my words escape me. Today, I lost not only a friend, but a family member, a mentor and one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. It's not just me that's feeling the loss, as we all shared a connection and a bond with the amazing Val Camilletti. She was a true original and to call her one of a kind would be selling her short. When she came into this world, they broke the mold. There never was and never will be another one quite like her. People always ask if working in a record store is like 'Empire Records' or 'High Fidelity' and the reality is, it kind of is. At least some aspects are the same. This is my journey. One that I took with Val that lead me on a crazy adventure where I learned who I was and grew up surrounded by a family bonded by love and music.

When my story began with Val, it was 1993 and I was a 19 year old college Freshman. I was new to the area and had just moved from Kansas City Missouri to River Forest to attend Concordia University. My goal was to become a high school teacher, majoring in art and English. On a day like any other, I made my way to a little record store located directly across from the 'El' platform known as Val's Halla Records. I'd heard this song on the radio and couldn't get it out of my head. I was hoping to track down a copy of the cassette and had seen a colorful postcard in my welcome packet at school and decided that this was the place to track it down. When I walked in the door, I was taken aback at the sheer overwhelming visual onslaught of sights and sounds that flooded my eyes and ears. Behind the counter, was none other than Val herself and Andy. They immediately welcomed me to the store and asked if they could help me find something. At this point, after hearing the song on Q101 several times, I mistakenly heard the name of the band as 'Cleft of Soul'. Andy jumped into action and began to browse the various written resource materials that were littered about the counter top and then moved to the giant phone book like index that seemed to be a catalog of everything ever recorded. Remember, these were the days before Google, as the internet was barely even a blip on anyone's radar. After questioning me further and not having any luck in locating this band, I got the spiel that perhaps the album wasn't out yet or it was a local group that didn't have much distribution. Feeling a bit crestfallen, I wandered the stacks of CD's, cassettes and records and eventually left, empty handed. After some time had passed, I finally came to know that the band was called Collective Soul and the song was 'Shine'. After purchasing the cassette from Val at a later date, I began to become a more frequent visitor to the store and despite being a little intimidated by Val, I never the less began to feel at home.


As my college career continued, soon it was 1995. While spending another afternoon between classes at the store, I found out that there was a job opening and hesitantly applied. At this point in my life, my music diet was fed mainly by the radio and the first batch of cassettes from Columbia House, that I'm not sure I ever paid for. Despite all of that, Val saw something in me and I was hired. Now, as a college kid who's creative and wanting to find his place in the world, this was like winning the lottery. Everybody wants that cool job that your friends are envious of. We all wanted to be record store employees. My days there, slowly turned into months and then into years. I devoured every piece of knowledge that Val would bestow upon me. I learned about every genre of music imaginable. She instilled in me a work ethic and the groundwork for what makes for excellent customer service. All along the way, providing me with valuable life lessons that you can't learn in a book or in school. I learned more in those first few years at Val's, then I ever learned in all of my years of higher education. It wasn't just from Val though. All of the people she surrounded herself with, fed my eager mind and gave me the tools to be more than I ever could have been otherwise. I even learned things that I didn't know were possible and things I never thought I needed. Case in point, Val consistently drove the point home, that we were always to be multitasking and paying attention to our surroundings. If there was a customer that was staring at a section too long or that looked like they were waiting for some attention, we were to address that immediately and make sure that we took those nonverbal queues seriously. But quite possibly the most fun party trick I gained was how to be an ambidextrous listener. Val insisted on the fact that if you were talking with someone else, that you should be aware of what's being said around you. This way, if someone had a question, you didn't miss it. This also meant that if you were being helped by one of us, that at the same time, the other staff that was there was to help out too. So if she didn't know the answer, but I did and I heard the question, I could stop mid sentence with the customer I was helping and address the other customers question too. It's a skill I retain to this day and makes me very alert to my surroundings and can sometimes garner strange looks from others. Val also was a firm believer in providing more than the customer asked for. Like when we got a phone call requesting what time we closed that day, we were also advised to tell them the full schedule for the week. You never knew when someone might say, “Hey, I didn't know you were open on Saturdays!” This is something I use in my current job and it gets me accolades for going above and beyond for my members. This was just another life lesson that Val taught me, that went beyond just being useful in the store. There's so many more, just too many to list and I'm losing my words again.

Before long, I had the opportunity to take over as a manager. I had changed career paths at school and was now at Columbia College studying film, so it only made sense to change roles in the store as well. Needless to say, I was floored at the idea that she trusted me to be her right hand man. Something I did not take lightly and thus began my era in the stores history. At this point in my life, I was firing on all cylinders. I knew more about music then I ever thought was possible. I could research things with such ease and accuracy, that it became like second nature. I became comfortable in the role of helping people and guiding them to things that maybe they hadn't tried before. I learned about what it takes to run a business. My entire world was opened up to all of the possibilities that there were in this life and that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. I felt like I was a part of something far greater than I was and it was all thanks to a woman who gave me chance. Who saw something that even I couldn't see. Something that everyone deserves in this life, but not every one gets. That was the kind of woman she was. Because of this, I wear my time working with Val as a badge of honor. Some of the greatest days of my life, were spent behind that counter with her and no one can ever take that away from me.


Val also introduced me to all that Oak Park had to offer. Primarily in the form of places to eat like Erik's delicatessen, Grape Leaves, Vivaldi's, Tasty Dog and Luo's Peking House, just to name a few. She broadened my cinematic horizons and my taste in literature. Val was not only an expert in music, but an expert in just about anything that she loved. I'll never forget our Christmas parties, hosted after hours in the store. The anniversary sales, where one of us would go pick up some beer before the festivities started and for that one day, we would drink on the job. How many of you can say that? I remember one particularly snowy day, when I used to live within walking distance to the store (which she helped me find that apartment), walking to work and finding Val stuck in the snow, as driving a teal Camero in Oak Park is just asking for trouble. I helped push her out of the snow and met her at work a short time later. For that entire day, we only saw one customer, a man on ski's who had basically cross countried his way to come and shop. The rest of the day was spent with just she and I talking. It was something I will forever miss. That one on one time that we shared, because that.... to me.... was more valuable than any amount of money in the world. I also remember making runs to the White Hen Pantry for coffee, cigarettes or soda. Even as a manager, I was not above a 'Hen Run'. Which reminds me of another perk of being in Val's circle of friends, people know you. Not me in particular, but that I worked for Val. I'd get questions about how she was doing or “Do you carry the new album by Pearl Jam?”, it was a regular occurrence and something I never minded one bit. Did I mention that Val was intregal in my decision making process on what kind of dog to get? Yup. My love affair with basset hounds all stems from Val as well. She even introduced me to her personal vet, who soon became mine. Which reminds me that in the early days, Val didn't come as a one person act. She always had Loki in tow and Woden manning the store, even after Val had gone home for the night. I can't tell you how many times we'd go looking for Woden out in the bushes, when he decided it was time to patrol the area in front of the store. Those two had just as much personality as she did. Val also had an interesting knack for the people she hired. She once confided in me that she tended to only hire Virgo's. Not intentionally, but for whatever reason, she was drawn to them. I even polled the employees at the time, after I learned of this, and sure enough.... almost every single one of them was a Virgo. Just one more thing that made Val who she was.

Eventually, my time at the store came to an end. At this point, I had since completed all of the schooling I could handle and was married and wanting to start a family. (Val was at my wedding) I continued on in my role for as long as I could, until one day the decision was made to move to Kansas City again. The promise of a home and a place to raise my children, was too great and that was it. However, that is not the end of this story. Every year after, I was always there for the anniversary sale, right up until the original location closed. Any time I was in town, I always stopped in to say hello and chat. I even made sure that shortly after my daughter was born, that she came into the store to meet 'Grandma' Val. Time marches on, as I moved from one state to the next and then back to Illinois, but this time I was an hour and a half away. It was no longer a short walk to the store, but I still made time to see Val and to re-introduce her to my ever growing children. There was that moment when I'd walk in the store, where I was anticipating her seeing me again and that ever so familiar greeting, “Oh hey, you!” that just made me feel like I was home again. We'd spend time catching up, as we're both simultaneously listening for the cue to jump in and answer a question of a bewildered customer. It was always like no time had passed, but things can't last forever.


Last week I got the message that Val was in the hospital. By the weekend, she was in a rehabilitation facility and it was suggested that I come and see her, as her time may be short. I drove down late in the day on Sunday and was greeted outside her door by 14 other people who loved her just as much as I did. It was a bittersweet homecoming, as everyone smiled and put on their best faces. I could only wish that I would have so many people surrounding me that felt the way we do about her. There were plenty of deeply felt hugs and proof that family isn't just blood. This was my family and Val was out matriarch. We all spent time catching up and one by one visiting Val by her bedside. As the numbers slowly dwindled down to just me and my former right hand girl, Jen. We sat down next to Val and talked to her and regaled her with stories of the good old days. We're not sure if she heard what was said, but I like to think that she still knew we were there. Eventually, I was left alone with the woman who has always meant more to me than any simple words could express. I told her that I loved her and I thanked her for everything she did for me and for making me a better man. I rubbed her back and said my goodbyes and that was the last time I was ever to see her. By Tuesday.... she was gone. I still can't fathom how someone who was always so bigger than life, could just be taken like that in an instant. In our minds, we picture those around us as being immortal. I always thought that Val would be there. She was such a fixture in my world that the idea of her ever leaving it was impossible, but it's happened and I don't know where to go from here. As I write this, I have yet to really break down and feel the true weight of her being gone. I know it's still coming and I know it will be a crushing blow, but the one thing I continually take comfort in is that this isn't the end. The connections I made and the extended family she provided, will always be there. Val was the center of all of us, out bright shining star, and we orbited around her, like oh so many planets. Some of us were closest to her and others would drift in and out, but she created a greater universe of amazing people that I'm proud to have known. We've seen some come and go, but they're never truly gone. Once you're a member of Val's family, you're a member for life. For that, I thank her.

Which brings us back to the beginning, when I was once a 19 year old kid who wandered into a store, looking for a cassette. The thing is, I'm 43 years old now and I'm just realizing that.... I never really left after that. Rest in peace, Val. I only hope that you knew what a truly unique and wonderful person you were for so many and for so many reasons. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

get your big boy Kpants, it's time for 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!


The 223rd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include what friendship is like, comfort from old shows and news ones and how experiences matter. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Westermack by Charly Bliss
2) Movie Star by Swearin'
3) Hollywood Factory by Skating Polly
4) Pens by Tancred
5) Prestine by Snail Mail
6) Smash Hit by Potty Mouth

Sunday, June 3, 2018

heads up, it's Veruca Salt on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'!


The 222nd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include Veruca Salt, entertainment impotence and being anxiously peaceful. Enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) Seether by Veruca Salt
2) The Morning Sad by Veruca Salt
3) Touch by Dave Grohl and Louise Post
4) Number One Camera by Nina Gordon
5) Born Entertainer by Veruca Salt
6) Eyes on You by Veruca Salt

Sunday, May 13, 2018

another day, another episode.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is available now.


The 221st episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include Mother's Day, The Outhouse and being transparent. Enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) Skeleton by The Front Bottoms
2) Boxing Timelines by The Early November
3) I Miss You by Incubus
4) Old Friends by Pinegrove
5) Calgary Girls by The Smith Street Band
6) Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Captain Spaulding is in the house on the 220th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....


The 220th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include the 'House of 1000 Corpses' 15th anniversary, my love of film and replacing the old with the new. Dig in and enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Chasing A Feeling by The Narrative
2) Seasons (Waiting On You) by Future Islands
3) Got to My Head by Waters
4) I Can Make a Mess by The Narrative
5) A Song for Our Grandfathers by Future Islands
6) Hiccups by Waters

Sunday, March 25, 2018

"Chicken? I like chicken. Chicken is good." as 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is here!


The 219th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include Charles Bronson vs Robert Kovacs Bronzi, changes and why is waiting so hard? Let's go! Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Peach Scone by Hobo Johnson and The LoveMakers
2) Cut Your Hair by Pavement
3) Junk by Eyedea and Abilities
4) Feel the Pain by Dinosaur Jr
5) Nobody Really Cares if You Don't Go the the Party by Courtney Barnett
6) Get Free by The Vines

Saturday, March 3, 2018

are you ready? i've got ants in my Kpants. 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants' is ready to go!


The 218th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, a semi-featured artist show. Topics include: film critic vs film reviewer, finding the time? and good stress or bad stress. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Forrest by The Smith Street Band
2) Peach by The Front Bottoms
3) Parachute by Neck Deep
4) Birthdays by The Smith Street Band
5) Skeleton by The Front Bottoms
6) Beautiful Madness by Neck Deep

Sunday, February 11, 2018

are you ready to dance? new episode of 'The Kpants!'


The 217th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, the music is front and center. Topics include: how awesome i am?, Valentine's Day and changes. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Please Forgive Me by David Gray
2) Pedestrian At Best by Courtney Barnett
3) Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
4) So Into You by Shudder To Think
5) Pressed Against the Sky by The Toadies
6) Enigmatic by Huffamoose

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

i'm back again....! another episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded! (finally)


The 216th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, music left behind when the artist is gone, what's your fuel? and how time is all we have. It's an introspective episode, but which one isn't? Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) I Would Die 4 U by Prince and the Revolution
2) No Excuses by Alice In Chains
3) Which Will by Nick Drake
4) So Real by Jeff Buckley
5) Sunday by The Cranberries
6) Blues at Sunrise (Live) by Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Double Trouble featuring Albert King

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I'M BACK! ....for now, on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'!


The 215th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include: motivation, how you can anticipate a moment and being happy where you are. I'm back, for now.... enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) SelfMachine by Juliana Hatfield
2) Give Me Some Of That by Juliana Hatfield
3) What Do I Care? by Juliana Hatfield
4) Batteries by Juliana Hatfield
5) Anemia by Juliana Hatfield
6) Cry In The Dark by Juliana Hatfield

Monday, November 20, 2017

seasons they fly.... especially on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'


The 214th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, topics include: knowing your place and purpose, finding the time to do all the things that need to be done and the passing of a friend. Another season is upon us.... enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) The Way It Stays by We Are the Bravest
2) The Summer by Citizen
3) Damaged Kids by Broadside
4) White Lies by Dream State
5) Last Train Home by LOSTPROPHETS
6) Bang Bang by Story of the Year

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Emmet Swimming and more on the new 'Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!


The 213th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, my voice seems to have returned! Topics include: Emmet Swimming, losing friends and friends coming back. It's a show! Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Arlington by Emmet Swimming
2) 8:45 by Emmet Swimming
3) Turnstile by Emmet Swimming
4) You're So Pretty by Emmet Swimming
5) Tom Collins by Emmet Swimming
6) Broken Oar by Emmet Swimming

Sunday, October 8, 2017

....i'm back, for now.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is here!


The 212th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, we're covering remakes, weddings and divorce. It's quite the show. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Sixteen by Diet Cig
2) La Dee Da by Foo Fighters
3) In Bloom by Neck Deep
4) Asphalt Ocean by The Mites
5) Young Once by The Smith Street Band
6) Over and Over Again by The Used

Sunday, August 13, 2017

turn it up and get ready.... for the new episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!


The 211th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, I'm enjoying the sound of Nirvana. Topics include: Nirvana, David Lynch and untimely passing.... and seeking help. I'm back from a hiatus and ready to talk. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Negative Creep by Nirvana from 'Bleach'
2) Breed (Rough Mix) by Nirvana from 'Nevermind'
3) Molly's Lips by Nirvana from 'Incesticide'
4) Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle by Nirvana from 'In Utero'
5) All Apologies by Nirvana from 'MTV Unplugged In New York'
6) You Know You're Right by Nirvana from 'Nirvana'

Sunday, July 9, 2017

....summer time rolls, featuring 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'.


The 210th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, it's summer time! Topics include what you do for others, nightmares and the return of the mugging fear. School's out, Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Summer Season by Daylight
2) Sun and the Stars by Victory Sweet Victory
3) Overstepping by Belmont
4) Shy Guys by Seaway
5) Tring Quarry by Trash Boat
6) Coffee Talk by Broadside

Saturday, June 24, 2017

i'm back, again, for the umpteenth time.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is on deck!


The 209th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, i'm back for more! It's an update on things that have happening since the last show. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Castling by The Narrative
2) Violent by Beijing
3) Waiting Room by The Narrative
4) Into the Rain by Beijing
5) Eyes Closed by The Narrative
6) Standing by Beijing

Sunday, May 28, 2017

you needus some Wheatus in your life.... on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!


The 208th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, it's all about Wheatus, never growing up and change. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus
2) American In Amsterdam by Wheatus
3) Truffles by Wheatus
4) Lemonade by Wheatus
5) A Little Respect by Wheatus
6) The Song That I Wrote When You Dissed Me by Wheatus

Sunday, May 7, 2017

a tribute to my big buddy, Tucker....


On April 26th, I lost my big buddy, Tucker. In an effort to work through my emotions and to share his legacy, I felt the need to tell his story.

Tucker had a hard life, but despite everything he went through, his first and foremost goal, was to please others. When the Guardian Angel Basset Rescue found him, he was suffering from some horrible skin allergies which caused him to constantly itch. He'd become so overwhelmed with it, that he eventually rubbed off the majority of his facial fur and caused permanent scars. He looked rough. Along with Tucker, was his partner Jess, who was pregnant when they found them. The rescue took them both in and immediately worked on getting Tucker some relief. Over the course of his stay, he came down with bloat. Luckily, his foster parents saw what was happening and immediately rushed him to the vet and had to have emergency surgery to have his stomach tacked. However, that never dampened his spirits. Always a lover and a dog who never gave up, he pulled through and with the help of some allergy medication, started on the road to recovery. Along the way, 6 puppies were born. All healthy, happy and adorably cute. As the puppies grew, so did Tucker's popularity. He was soon ready for adoption. This is where I first met Tucker. Reading his story online and feeling like he was a good match for our family, which included one little basset spitfire named Lucy, we set a time to meet him. We when all first saw him, we already had fallen in love and before long, he was in the car heading back to his new forever home. One of the first things we did, was took him to the vet and started working on a long term plan to continue improving his skin condition. Over the course of the next several months, he was placed on new medication and dog food. It was a lot of trial and error to get there, but soon he was almost itch free and the fur on his face started to return. You never would have believed it was the same dog. His beautiful tricolor coat was soon punctuated with a stunning red face. It was an amazing transformation that saw him showing on the outside, what was always there on the inside. A lovable, fuzzy little boy who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved in return. At approximately 6 years old, by this point, it was a long time coming.


Over the next year and a half, we saw him blossom and become a true basset in every way. A classic, in every since of the word. However, about 6 months ago, a tumor developed on his paw. Not wanting to waste any time, he was immediately taken to the vet for an evaluation. It was determined that he needed to have a minor surgical procedure to have it removed. There was no way we were leaving it to chance, as the vet was concerned it could be cancerous. After it was gone, the pathology showed it was a sheath tumor and benign. He was back on the road to recovery. The medications he was on for his allergies, slowed down the healing process and forced us to have to put him back into surgery, to re-open the wound and create fresh tissue in order to help it heal. This time, it worked. Before long, he was on all fours and walking proud. This was very short lived. Within about a month, we noticed a large cluster of bumps on his hindquarters. Soon, they were almost everywhere on his body. The vet took a biopsy of one of them and found that Tucker was suffering from a cutaneous lymphoma, unrelated to the tumor that had been removed. We started him on a chemotherapy treatment, to slow the progression of the lymphoma and hoped to increase his lifespan for another 9 months or more. Sadly, this was not meant to be. He made it through two rounds of chemo, but his immune system was not responding to the other medication and his body was becoming prone to infection. Because the bumps were irritating him, no matter if he was wearing a cone on his head or not, he would find a way to break the skin. This brought on a series of infections and antibiotics were required to help get him healthy enough to continue his treatments. His fur began to fall out and he started losing weight. He no longer was interested in food and we feared that he might not make it. Eventually, when my mom came to visit, a breakthrough happened. She brought one of my childhood favorite foods, Vietnamese egg rolls. At one point, I still had some on my fingers and Tucker perked up at the smell of them. I quickly grabbed one and put in front of him. He gobbled it up and looked up at me, asking for more. I took another one and fed it to him. A wave of relief came over me, as he was finally eating again. From there, I saw his interest in food return, as I hand fed him just about anything he wanted. Striving to provide protein rich foods, he was eating fairly well and putting back on some of the weight he had lost. For about a week, he looked as though we had made it through the worst of it, but soon the infections were back. So, another round of stronger antibiotics were prescribed. Shortly, before those were finished, he stopped eating again. No matter what I tried, he didn't want any of it. He wasn't strong enough to continue the chemotherapy and was in need of more antibiotics, as the infection reared its ugly head again even worse. On Tuesday morning, Tucker went in for a full exam and the next round of antibiotics. He wasn't able to go outside anymore, without being carried and he barely moved. There was some discussion of if it was time to let him go, but I could see it in his eyes that he still wanted to fight. So we made the decision to use an injectable form of antibiotics and to take it one day at a time. On the way home in the car, he held his head high and sniffed the breeze. Looking like the proud boy that he was, I felt confident that he was in this for as long as I was. The vet recommended daily baths to help break up the sores and to get him over the infections that continued to plague him. So that night, I bathed him, made sure he was completely dry and he did something he hadn't done in a while, laid in his favorite spot on the couch. He climbed his little stairs on his own volition and slept peacefully on the couch that night. There was hope.


The next morning, he did the same thing. Climbed right up those stairs and laid on the couch, until it was time for me to go to work and the kids to go to school. About 6 pm, as I was just getting done at my job, I got a frantic text from my daughter. She told me that Tucker had stopped breathing and she was sure that he was no longer with us. I rushed home as quickly as I could. When I got there, it was too late. Tucker was gone. There was nothing more I could do. I spoke quietly too him, as I wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the car. I was heartbroken. The boy that had come into my life only 2 years before, was gone. When I came back in from the garage, my children told me what had happened. Once they had gotten home that night, he greeted them by wagging his tail, then laid down and had never gotten up again. He had decided it was his time to go. On his terms. We all felt a huge loss, in that moment. Here was a loving creature that wanted nothing more than to love and be loved in return, waiting to say his goodbyes, before letting go. One final act of unselfishness. That was our Tucker. The next morning, I took off of work and the kids stayed home from school. It was raining pretty heavily, as we took our last drive to the vet. When we arrived, the techs came out and moved his body onto a stretcher and took him inside. There, they took an impression of his paw, something for us to keep in remembrance of our special boy. We said our goodbyes and that was the last time we saw Tucker.


In the days since then, I've thought a lot about the life he lived. How everyone that met him, loved him. How he would waddle over to anyone who came into his vicinity, push his head up against your leg and wait for you to reach out and pet him. The way he would ride in the front seat of the car, right next to me and be the perfect passenger. He loved to eat and he loved to cuddle. He was never a kisser, but he wouldn't shy away if you wanted to give him one. He was always happy to see you and rarely caused any problems. All he wanted was to be the best dog he could be. Tucker will be forever missed, but he left a legacy of 6 beautiful puppies, who continually share his enthusiasm for life. I was lucky to have him and I will never forget him. He was my big buddy and there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him.


Thank you for everything you did, not only for me, but for everyone who ever had the privilege of meeting you. Rest in peace, Tucker. 4/26/2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Juliana Hatfield is back, on this week's episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'.


The 207th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, things are a bit all over the place, but I had to take the time to record. Thank you for listening.
Songs played this week:
1) I Wanna Be Your Disease by Juliana Hatfield
2) Impossible Song by Juliana Hatfield
3) You're Breaking My Heart by Juliana Hatfield
4) When You're A Star by Juliana Hatfield
5) Sunny Somewhere by Juliana Hatfield
6) Rhinoceros by Juliana Hatfield

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Front Bottoms are back! On this new ep of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....


The 206th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, it's an episode! Topics include: Dealing with emotions, 'Doctor Who' and being everything to everyone. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Flying Model Rockets by The Front Bottoms
2) The Plan (Fuck Jobs) by The Front Bottoms
3) Jim Bogart by The Front Bottoms
4) Plastic Flowers by The Front Bottoms
5) Wolfman by The Front Bottoms
6) Au Revoir (Adios) by The Front Bottoms

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Death, for all the world to see.... on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'.


The 205th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, a bunch of odds and ends, including: the band Death, losing a loved one and how it's okay to be different. Enjoy!
Songs played this week:
1) Keep On Knocking by Death
2) Rock-N-Roll Victim by Death
3) Let The World Turn by Death
4) You're A Prisoner by Death
5) Freakin' Out by Death
6) Where Do We Go From Here by Death
7) Politicians In My Eyes by Death

Sunday, March 12, 2017

long live the horror host! on this weeks episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....


The 204th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, it's all about Tucker, horror hosts and being unpopularly popular. Dig in and enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) My Only by The Mites
2) Cheif Don't Run by Jidenna
3) Asphalt Ocean by The Mites
4) The Let Out by Jidenna
5) Washaway by The Mites
6) Long Live The Chief by Jidenna

Sunday, February 26, 2017

time for some new/old music.... on 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....


The 202nd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio, PodcastDirectory.com and streaming LIVE right here. I'm also a proud member of The Podcast Collective! Find all of our great shows at http://www.PodcastCollective.com!
This week, it's all about new/old music, a Tucker update and celebrity deaths. It's a show, kids. Enjoy.
Songs played this week:
1) Mykel and Carli by Weezer
2) Fourth of July by Van William
3) Jamie by Weezer
4) Revolution by Van William feat. First Aid Kit
5) My Name is Jonas by Weezer
6) Hiccups by Waters

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