Sunday, November 29, 2015

On Grieving

Someone shared this with me earlier today, I had to share it as well...

Someone on reddit wrote the following heartfelt plea online:

“My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

A lot of people responded. Then there’s one old guy’s incredible comment that stood out from the rest that just might change the way we approach life and death:

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me every time someone I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter’. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the waves come crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find the waves are only 80 feet tall, or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.


Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”
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UPDATE: 11/30 - I unintentionally forgot to include the link to the original post. I manually typed it here because in the original post, it was presented as a graphic with white letters on a black background and can't be read by screen readers. For the original post CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Where's the Fun?

As I close in on 3,000 posts and more than 11 years into this blog - I have recently found myself reflecting on its life and future.

I hate to say that I am closing it down or even to say I won't be posting...I do still love this place and I am especially grateful to all who've read it over the years.

I do recently find it hard to get to and when I miss a day or more, I begin to feel guilty. I know, it's silly to feel that way, but I do.

I just don't know, but I think it's only fair to at least say there is a chance that there will be longer gaps and fewer posts, and I know that could eventually mean that some, or even all of you who do so kindly come to this place will eventually stop.

I can't express my gratitude adequately enough - I've shared a lot here, perhaps more than I should have sometimes.

This isn't goodbye, it's just I have no idea at all...I may show up tomorrow and just go in a posting frenzy...maybe I shouldn't say anything and just do whatever feels right when it feels right....

Can you tell that I am thinking out loud?

Feel free to chime in on comments...for now, I am going to bed.

I love you all, especially the radioactive one!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Firepits are Good


My Saturday was filled...then I faded!

I "slept in", Saturday, which to me is anytime after 5:30 am (I got up around 8).

I had a bunch of materials left over from the bath remodel that I wanted to return for a refund, it was a workout just getting it all into the car from upstairs, but I got it done. I had tickets to a pancake breakfast fundraiser, my plan was to hit the breakfast, then head to the tile shop to take care of business.

At the breakfast, I ended up bumping in to a number of people I know, so it was nice. I brought a deck of cards to try out a new trick I have been working on, I went to perform it for a friend and the two grand kids of a colleague - of course they kept screwing it up - but I was able to improvise and do a different truck that wowed them.

The tile shop return netted me back about $650! On the way back, I stopped for a froyo and got a call from my friend Ameesh - who was planning to go walking and asked if I was interested, Despite getting a good upper body workout loading the car and then later unloading, I knew I could use a good walk.

We did a 6+ mile loop and went back to his place. Next thing I knew there was a firepit going, his wife made some apps and we sampled some Ace Pumpkin Cider (super delicious), Nitro Stout (pictured above, also yu,,y) and a Red Wine that they had picked up (I didn't think that was all that good).

Later, other friends came by to hang for a while - I was planning to go see the Road Dawgs later than nigiht...I got home around 6:30, maybe 7...I sat on the couch for a bit and ended up passing out. By the time I woke up I was feeling off...so I decided to stay in. I got so much sleep, I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep!

An Evening With Gilbert Gottfried

Friday night I saw comedian Gilbert Gottfried live. I had seen Gilbert once before and it was the only time I ever laughed so hard at a comedy show that I nearly pee'd my pants and stopped breathing. He's not for everyone, it's a very unconventional comedy act, but for me, it's just so damn funny!

It was either the late 1980's or early 1990's when I first saw him perform, until Friday night...and once again, nearly stopped breathing with laughter.

Cooler this time, he was very accessible at the end of the show - he greeted his fans (sure, he was selling merch too) but he is so different off stage, very quiet, humble and gracious.

Here are some pics...most taken by my friend Joel:

Gilbert checking out the crowd before show - I took this pic

Me and Gilbert - taken by Joel
Here are some shots Joel took during the show:




Finally, here's an artsy post-show shot, taken by Joel:


Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Short and Tall of It


On the left, the shortest of all my colleagues, 4 foot something (also 93 years of age and still works full time). On the right, the tallest of all my colleagues, 6 feet 10 inches.

This is a spectacular photograph.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Bathroom Done....ish

The contractor I hired to do the bathroom completed the job, in a proper amount of time, for a fair price, he showed up for work every day, did exactly as I asked, provided perfect service...there is a first for everything!

The bathroom looks amazing!

I do have one more thing to do to it, I decided I want to put sliding doors on the tub/shower instead of a shower curtain. I set up an appointment for next Wednesday, their earliest available spot, for a well reviewed local company that specializes in such work.

Feeling good about it all...

Monday, November 02, 2015

Coyotes

There have been a large number of coyote sightings in my town. Worse, it seems animal control doesn't give a crap.

My stance is we should kill off the population - before they kill one of us, they are dangerous.

I have a headache, a bad one.

Stupid coyotes!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

From the Mouths of Children

There were a number of baptisms in church today. Usually, the sermon during baptisms is geared toward the kids, who all come up and gather around the altar and Julie, our rector includes them in the sermon by asking questions.

Today, one of the questions she asked of the kids was if they could name a famous saint. One kid said St. Paul, another, St. Francis...then, out of nowhere, one young child uttered:

St. Louis

The church erupted with laughter!

Football

It's rare that I  watch a football game in which the Patriots aren't playing. With the Pats off and me heavily desiring to procrastinate from grading, I saw there was a game between the  New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants...so I went for it.

This has been one of the wildest football games I've ever seen, an offensive frenzy with lots of excitement and incredible plays. As I type these words, the game is tied at, are you ready for this, 49! 36 seconds to go....

20 seconds to go...

Amazing...Saints win 52-49