No Words

That’s it.  Two deaths in two days.  No, they were not people that were immediate family, they were not people that were in my everyday life.  However, they were people that had a profound effect on me.

The first was a childhood and family friend who died yesterday from a glioblastoma.  It had gone into remission then came back with a vengeance.  He left behind a wife, daughter, sister and mother.  His father died less than two years ago.  We still spend Christmas with his mom (and had with is dad until his passing) every year.  A few weeks before the brain cancer came back, I had had a dream that he was actually dead and called my mom to ask if he was ok.  During Memorial Day, his mothers home was flooded with 3′ of water while she was visiting him.  His sister flew back to Atlanta three days before he died, thinking she would be back in a few days.  Even though he was young, we all knew he would succumb to the illness.  I was just in denial the entire time, and when I heard the news yesterday, I was just overwhelmed and really had now words for his sister.  What do you say?

image2The second we lost today.  If you have ever lived in Houston, have ever been involved in the medical community, are a JFK assassination buff or ever watched TV in the southeast region in the 80’s, you probably have heard of Dr. James “Red” Duke.  He is a legend in the Texas medical community.  He was instrumental in advancing trauma care at Memorial Hermann Hospital and launching the Life Flight program in the 70’s, now which serves one of the largest populations and areas in the country.  He has served in the armed forces, trained countless doctors, nurses and medical students.  I only had the opportunity to work with him for a short time compared to his lengthy career.  He would come up to our floor, with his cup of coffee and pull a chart to write his notes and orders on a patient.  He would never know your name, but he always greeted you like you were family, “Hey darlin'” or “Mornin’ sweetie”. Plus the stories.  I loved listening to his stories.  He lived at the hospital, he had an apartment in the building and his dog, Jake, stayed with him.  He also had acreage and a home outside the city for when he wasn’t working, but I don’t know when that was!  I would see Dr. Duke in the basement hallway, taking Jake out for a walk and would always stop to say hi and pet Jake.  That was my inspiration for the piece of pottery, which I was able to give to him in July.  He did really enjoy it, he thought it was very intricate and asked me if I had ever considered being a surgeon!  He looked at it for quite some time, looking at all the detail.  I was happy that he was able to enjoy it for a little while at least.  Just like Stephen, I had been at work on Sunday night and Monday night, and had considered stopping by his room on Monday morning or Tuesday morning, something was nagging me in my gut and I just thought, it’s too early, I’d come back in the afternoon on my day off.

I guess I did have a few words, although they probably didn’t make too much sense.  I guess I just need to start trusting my gut a bit more and appreciate what I have in front of me.

The Rules – Shit Women Do

The number of ‘How To’ and self-help guides out there on landing a man could fill a small city library. One of the great ones (she said with a shit eating grin) was “The Rules”, a detailed road map of how to get any guy out there, guaranteed, IF you followed all the rules. Sounded simple enough, follow some simple rules, laid out in detail, couldn’t be any worse than the savory advice you get from your girlfriends at 1:15 in the morning, drunk at the bar after an unsuccessful night in the clubs of man hunting, again. Crying with her into your rum and coke (sorry, diet coke) in your great new shoes that are now on the bar stool next to you because they were killing your feet by 10 and that outfit that you were sure would at least get the back up guy to hit on you. So, you bought a copy of The Rules. There are 35 rules. Crap, 35! 35! I already have a problem with authority, and now this book wants me to follow 35 freaking rules? O.k., the first rule: Be a “creature unlike any other”. I think we have accomplished that, just read this book, women are fucking weird! I’m not going to list all of the rules, because, well, they are just insane, but some highlights. #7 is don’t accept a Saturday night date after a Wednesday. I guess this is to give the impression I’m not desperate and that if you haven’t ‘booked’ me by Wednesday, you’re out of luck, even if I have nothing planned except on orgy with Ben & Jerry. I also like #3 don’t stare at men or talk too much. Uh, oppressed much? Or #16, don’t tell him what to do & #18, don’t try to change him. Obviously these two rules were NOT written for women, this is in their genetic makeup, I think there was a National Geographic special on it, they found the bitch gene, it was telling all the other genes what to do and how they should have been doing it all along. The whole concept of the book is the archaic concept of landing “Mr. Right” for marriage and the writers even reference the early 1900’s as the origin for the material. The problem with The Rules, advice from your girlfriends, self-help books, gossip, Facebook, your sister, your mom or any other female for that matter, is that the guys are not in the loop – they have no clue about the rules. So while you don’t call him back because the rules tell you that you aren’t supposed to ever call him and only take his calls occasionally, he just thinks you don’t answer, gets someone else’s didgets, and you’re left at home with your cat, Ben & Jerry and a copy of The Rules on another Saturday night.

PC Rant

Ok, so I’ve added a new category, I have a feeling this will be popping up a bit, because there is a bunch of shit that just crawls under my skin, sits there and festers.  We have gotten to a point that almost everything out there has become offensive, dangerous, dirty, tasteless, politically incorrect, too far, racial, in poor taste, sexist, objectifying, horrifying, intimidating, mortifying, whatever.  Get over it!  Most of these people that are so offended and shocked are the same people that when they were seven were dishing out the worst jokes around.

So this morning, after the rest of the world deals with real shit, like 18 dead in Bangkok, volcano in Ecuador, bombing in Ukraine, our news covers . . .

Sorority-gate!!!  OMG!

A sorority in Alabama is getting shit for being too blonde and too girly.  Seriously?  No, really.  Seriously?  A sorority.  Blonde.  Girls.  Alabama.  What fucking planet am I on?  WTF????  Apparently the Alpha Phi sorority at U of A had created a recruitment video which some people have found to be offensive because it lacked, ready, diversity and objectified women.  I will give you a moment to compose your self from either laughing your ass off or throwing shit across the room.  One person even stated ‘the only black person shown in the video was at the end and was a football player’, or ‘the sorority was mostly blonde girls in scantily clad bikinis’.  I watched the video.  It looks like typical Greek Row life, typical big university life, typical clique life.  Come on kids, you’re not gonna have a Disney movie, it’s not going to end perfectly.  It’s not going to be super harmonious all the time.  I do believe that hate is not something you are born with, it is something that is taught, however, by the time someone is in college, and they are rushing, you aren’t going to teach them anything in those two weeks.  There are a billion things to do in college, and if you are more worried about a damn rush promotional video at your kids’ school, dude, you’ve got your priorities way screwed up.

Besides, there are people who want to rush and will be part of the Greek system, people who don’t want to rush at all, and then there are those people who want to rush and have no business doing so.  I have a feeling that most of the people causing this uproar are part of the latter.  These are the people that watched all those damn Disney movies and thought that ‘if I just try hard enough’ or ‘the underdog does win if I just show them’ or ‘make a fool of the leader and the minions will fall in love with me’ crap and then fall into despair and obscurity when they don’t get picked.

Get a grip people.  What these girls are doing in the video is exactly what girls do in college and is probably the tame, non-alcoholic version.  They are all wearing shorts and jerseys, or summer dresses or their bathing suits.  They are on the balcony of what I assume is their house waving to the camera, or on the dock  at the lake, or at the university stadium with the one football player.  They are smiling, having fun, giving each other piggy back rides (apparently a very derogatory thing for young women) holding up a sign that says their sorority name.  Now if they would have done a video of what really goes on in college, someone might actually be able to make a case about objectifying women.  Because then we would have men gawking at women, women potentially not making the same amount of money in work programs as men, women not being treated fairly in math and science classes, date rape not being reported to the authorities because the campus police don’t believe a crime took place and the campus administration won’t report the incidence.  Now that I would say is objectifying women.

Pick your battles assholes.  Focus on what you need to focus on and get off this PC bullshit.  I’m sure I’ll be back soon with another one, this place is full of them!

Moving

Have you done it?  As a child with your family?  Going off to college?  Out of your parents home into your first apartment, or perhaps into your first home with your partner?  Most of us have, at least once.  You’d be hard pressed to find someone that never has (and to be quite honest, those that I know that never have are just plain weird).

Moved.  That exciting yet dreaded task of packing your life into brown boxes and starting over in a set of four new walls, most of the time.  Sometimes you don’t have a choice and sometimes those four walls aren’t so new.

I have done this exercise a total of  20 times,  5 of which required long haul trucking companies and one round trip over seas.  I’m tired of brown boxes, and you’d think by now, I’d have this crap down.  My sister is the same way.  Yet every time, when it comes down to the wire, and we are looking at things as we put them into the boxes, the same question pops into our head, “do I really need this?” And inevitably, the crap we really don’t ends up in the box and the crap we spend the next three weeks looking for as we unpack doesn’t.

While packing, you always start smart.  You pack away the things you can live without for a few weeks, pack them nice and gingerly.  You mark the box and even include a detailed contents list so you know what’s in each box.  This activity lasts about a week.  As your time starts to crunch, your stuff starts to look never ending and you start to wonder why you have so much shit.  Do you really need five serving bowls?  What the hell?  How many times have you ever put out that many Doritos?  What about all of those A/C adapters, you don’t even know what they belong to, but you hang onto them anyway, and they get thrown into that box labeled ‘misc. crap’ which by the time the movers come, you have about 7 of those boxes.  The rest of it, starts to get boxed ‘however’.  Can’t find the bubble wrap, no problem, those dishes are getting packed in dish towels.  Out of boxes, trash bags work great for linens.  Honey, can you go to the liquor store, get me a bottle of vodka and whatever boxes they have?  You’d be amazed at how much shit you can fit into a Fiat.

Oddly enough, I had more crap go wrong and more crap break in my last move (which I’m still unpacking from AND still actually moving) which was a local move and my shortest distance by far, a whopping 3.4 miles, than I had in any other move.  I even paid extra to have three guys instead of two, I had clarified like five times in the days before, “three guys, three hours, $199  – yes” NOPE, two hours into it, the owner is calling saying it will be another $100 for another hour!  This was after they had broken a custom framed photo that cost me $250!  After some arguing, we agreed to a compromise but in the end, we still ran out of time and I still have boxes at the old address.  That much, I can’t fit into a Fiat!

In the meantime, I’m unpacking, putting things in their new home, discovering things about the new place, getting to know my neighbors.  I open boxes, some I know exactly what’s in them because of the label on the outside with the careful description on the box telling me the contents.  Others, I open them like on Christmas morning, wondering what kind of surprise is inside, and just like Christmas, am totally disappointed wondering, “what in the hell is this shit, and why do I have it?”