25 September 2010

Pretty Boy

Some people think this is mean...but Luca likes to make me laugh, and this sure did.

I thought he would like to try on part of one of my Halloween costumes (yes, one of two costumes...in New Orleans we go big or go home)...a lovely pink tutu. I think, in fact, the first tutu I have ever owned.

He wasn't too happy, but kind of walked around in it while he was trying to shake it off. HILARIOUS. (well, to me at least) Don't worry, he got treats.


22 September 2010

Time Passes

It's been a month since my world was completely turned upside down. I'd like to think things are getting better -- I know someday they will -- but right now, that's just not happening...and with birthdays, holidays, and family events coming up...well, I imagine it's all just going to suck.

But I will say I've learned a lot over these last four weeks, not that I ever really wanted to...in talking with my friend who also had a terrible loss earlier this summer, I am finding that how I am feeling is not all that different from other people going through something similar.

Friends - I have the best friends. I really do.

Reaching out - The one thing that has really helped in coping with all this has been people reaching out to me. This was probably the biggest shock to me...I am pretty used to being quiet and alone. Whether it's a call, email, text, whatever...just hearing from people, without me reaching out to them, makes things feel a little better. And with that...there are people I wish I could reach out to, that I'd really like to talk to. But, really, I'm having a hard time with that. So hopefully I'll hear from them soon, but I can't express how much gratitude I have for all the support I've been given. Amazing, really.

Ask Me - This one surprised me, too. I need to talk. I need to tell people what a great and funny guy my dad was, and what happened to him. Some people are hesitant to ask how he passed away, I know I was in the past, too, but I've found that it helps immensely to let people know.

Tell Me - I want to hear stories about my dad. Many of my friends hadn't had the chance to meet my him, which makes me sad, they really would have liked him, but a few have said really nice things based on their experiences at his services. I am surprised, pleasantly, with how much these things help.

I have been really humbled, really, by all the support I've received over this past month, some from very surprising places. I am ever so grateful for all of it. I've learned so much, unfortunately the hard way, but it is one positive to come out of the experience. People have such a capacity to amaze...

(these beautiful flowers arrived at my work the other day, sent by my most awesome former teammates on the Boozehounds. It was such a sweet surprise, and...well...no words...)

19 September 2010

Boo: Tasting Fees

I am heading to Napa soon, and we wanted to do a little tasting before an event. In researching wineries, I have been appalled at the tasting fees. I can see perhaps justifying 5$ here and there, but many of the places have fees upwards of 20$! This is so ridiculous to me...

I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in the area I did, where I was close to beauty that others may never see in their lifetime -- the Bay, Yosemite, the Redwoods, vineyards... Each time I see these things, I am ever so grateful.

I love the wine country, and grew up visiting the area and various wineries...usually in the Russian River area, where I believe I first got served at around 15 by a particular place, but, still, throughout the Napa and Sonoma counties. Tasting has always been fun, and, when I was growing up, free.

Some waive the fee when you buy a bottle...but, still, the commercialization of the area is just out of control. I also understand the need for a winery to make money...really, I get it. But in the Napa area, you couple these ridiculous fees with complete snootiness of those pouring (and chintzy pours!), and where is the fun in that?

I have a bunch of wine that I have purchased simply because the tasting experience, and the memories that come with it, were so good. Maybe if they threw in a little food, the fees could be justified. But as it stands...I will take my business elsewhere, kind sir.

15 September 2010



This time of year -- the end of the baseball season -- was probably when I talked the most to my dad. I would usually get a random call in the middle of the day to talk about something that happened in a day game, or to chat about the night before, or to see if I saw that one catch that one guy made and didn't it remind me of the time that something happened in one of my brother's baseball games where I was keeping score (which I never did, but my dad remembered everything...steel trap of a mind).

Generally, we'd talk about the A's. And sometimes about the Giants...and when we did I had to remind him that I don't cheer for the Giants, and he would remind me that they are our closest national league team, and I should want them to do well. We would go back and forth on this a few times until one of us, usually me, realized neither of us was going to win.

So he would have loved the current pennant race going on right now. The Giants were on fire, and though they've slowed a bit, they still have a real chance of winning their division. The A's are playing great, too, and I know we would have discussed how they had an outside chance, but the A's stink and probably would choke. Then we'd argue again about how I hope the Giants choked, he wouldn't understand, and we'd then have to agree about how much we don't like the Red Sox.

It's hard to go through these few weeks without him to talk to...he is a big reason for my love of baseball.

So as we enter these next two weeks, the final two of the baseball season, I guess I'll do him the honor of NOT routing against the Giants. I am heading to the Giants/Dodgers game on Thursday, and...well, maybe I'll even give a clap or two when the Giants win, just for my dad.

11 September 2010

Get your Dance On

My friend Dan introduced me to this song during our River road trip a few weeks ago...

It cracks me up...I'm doing my finest doo-wop boogie.

And no, he wasn't trying to tell me something. He just thought it was funny, as do I.

**caution...strong language. Will make you want to shake your groove thang**

08 September 2010

Must Read: Zeitoun

Like many Americans (I'm assuming here), I haven't read too many first-hand accounts of Hurricane Katrina. I remember watching it on TV, seeing this city that I loved turn into an absolute state of chaos. Seeing the conference center I'd spent more than a week in turn into a den of human suffering. And beyond that, I knew that it had been mishandled by the government on all levels -- city, state, national -- and also by the people that had refused to leave.

This new book by Dave Eggers (one of my favorite authors) shed a whole new light on it for me. The back cover describes the tragedy as both natural and having something to do with terrorism. This confused me a bit...terrorism and Katrina? I hadn't heard that one before and was wondering how he'd weave it in.

Zeitoun is an American, born in the middle east. He and his family had a booming business in New Orleans, and he is as hard a worker as you've ever seen (in a way, his description reminded me of my dad, who I think would also have been bull-headed and not left his business in the path of an oncoming storm). His family leaves NOLA, while he stays behind.

While not wanting to spoil it, Zeitoun's story really shed light on the human element of Katrina, and the scary idea of martial law. Zeitoun and his friends were able to help many people that government officials would not, and then were suddenly suspected as terrorists due to the color of their skin, despite having official documentation. This was part of Katrina I didn't know...that it had gotten so out of control that even those who helped were treated like prisoners at Gitmo.

The writing is a little uneven, but it's a quick, important read. Katrina is one of the biggest national failures of recent history, one that I sincerely hope will not be repeated.

06 September 2010

Summertime Rolls...

Thankfully...summertime has rolled right to a close.

The end of summer always brought mixed feelings for me. Often, I was ready to go back to school or do something. But Labor Day also meant take down weekend at the River, and saying goodbye to all our summer family.

This year it was particularly hard to say goodbye...for obvious reasons. We had so many people rallying around us from this special group -- from the services to taking down our camp to the party that got held in the campgrounds (which my dad would have HATED....but we loved) to feeding my brother & I incessantly -- leaving them was particularly hard. I skipped out on goodbyes...I was upset on Saturday night and not feeling well, and couldn't handle a dance. Pulled an Irish goodbye and headed home.

I must say, however, this summer at the River and life in general has been bittersweet. Aside from the events of the last week or so, which turned things upside down, this summer has been a weird one. It's been a complete roller coaster, and not necessarily the fun kind... Occasionally it was, but...I dunno. I am glad to see this summer end.

This summer did, however, bring this song to my head quite a bit. From about early July on, it's been in my head quite a bit (not sure if that's when I first heard it, or circumstances brought it to mind...regardless...{love}).

(and...if I knew the video featured so much of Dave, who is getting hotter and hotter the older he gets, I would have shared earlier!)

02 September 2010

I Choose Me

Happy 9.02.10!

(ok, yes, I am cheating and posting this a few days late)

Seriously, the happiest day I've had in a while. Why? Well, first, my friend and fellow Bev9er uberfan reposted this lovely picture (which, if I ever get my own campsite at the River, I will totally be importing this and spending my summers in it). It was the one thing that made me grin from ear-to-ear last week.

Then, this same friend and I mused about all the great things we learned from this most fabulous show....Lessons include:
- If he loves you, he'll wait for 6+ years, and even though he may cheat, he won't pressure you to have sex

- Even if you are 32, no one will ever question why you are hanging out with high school students.

- It's ok to call someone else a slut for sleeping with a bunch of guys, even if I have slept with all the same people.

- U4EA may make you do the nasty with someone, even if you've already said no

- Bringing an egg into a liquor store may get you directions to a rave

- Getting caught in a fire may be a gateway to experimenting in lesbianism.

- Do not trust people who just want to take the special electric car for a joy ride

And, my friend's life lesson: even the most sanctimonious stuck up bitches can get addicted to drugs.

And you should never, but never, make Ray Pruit mad.

In honor of this fantastic day, I wanted to present to you one of the best all-time moments...featuring DownwardSpiralDylan & once virgin now easy girl Donna Martin. But I couldn't find it. So instead, I will leave you with this great song by David "I may be white, but I'm not vanilla" Silver: