Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ernestine 1935 - 2008

Late Friday night, March 28, my mother passed away. She was diagnosed with renal (kidney) cancer two years ago. Despite a courageous battle against the cancer, it finally took her life. Never once during this battle did her spirit ever falter. She left this world with the same dignity and grace that she had shown all her life.

Damn it's hard to type through tears...

Ever since I was told she was gone I keep having this mental picture of her pop-up in my mind. It 's actually from a real picture I recall seeing in an old family photo album. There's little girl in a white dress, skinny legs, curls in her hair and a shy happy smile on her face because she's holding the new bike she just got for her birthday.

This little girl does not know what lies ahead of her.
She does not know that in few short years she will marry her high school sweetheart on her 17th birthday.
She doesn't know that she will give birth to 4 children who will cherish her every breath.
She doesn't know that in this picture she bears a striking resemblance to at least two of her children.
She doesn't know that she will experience the joy of birth and endure the sorrow of death.
She has no idea that her gift of endless humor will be passed on to her youngest son and that they will laugh together for years to come.

No, all she knows is she just got a new bike - and she's really, really happy about it.

Over nine years ago my older sister Nancy died (from complications of an allergic reaction to a bee sting). Just prior to her passing my oldest son Jake was born. Just prior to my mother's passing my brother-n-law Dave and his soon-to-be wife Lynn had a baby. Also, my niece Jennifer (daughter of my sister Nancy) is pregnant with what would have been my mother's great grandchild. what you will into this birth/death cycle that seems to coincide with the passing of my immediate relatives, but alls I know is there is nothing that helps a person deal with the grief of death more than holding a baby. Not just because they are all cute and cuddly - but for the possibilities they represent.

I'm telling you, they should rent babies out for such occasions.

Anyways, with that in mind, the "ying and yang" of life now befalls me as I type this, the day before my mother's funeral.

A Sunrise, a Sunset.
Beginning and End.
The passing of 72 year old woman and a smiling little girl in a billowy white dress.

Thanks for the memories mom.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sinus headaches, baseball and cups

Ahhhh, spring is in the air, and it's killing me. I never used to get allergies! Now each year as I get older it gets worse and worse - and this year it's by far the worst it's ever been. My eyes itch, my ears itch, my throat is raw and I am an absolute snot factory. Some of those symptoms have subsided and now I am left with a major sinus headache. I took a dizzying array of allergy medicines today that helped a little but mostly left me feeling jittery - with a sinus headache. Actually I think I am on the downhill side of this now though...thank goodness!

I think something that certainly did not help my situation was that my boys have started baseball practice. As I was driving home from my oldest son's (Jake) end of the season basketball party (held at a local ice cream shop) I was thinking "Ahhhhh, now for a nice break between sports" and just as we got home and I walked in the door the phone was was Jake's baseball coach calling to say the first practice was the next day. Doooooohhhhhhhhh!!!! Anyways, springtime in Seattle looks a helluva lot like winter in Seattle - cold and wet. I like to help out at these practices so that means I get to stay out in the cold and wet with the boys. So every night after practice I could feel myself getting a little more stuffy, then suddenly whammo!! I was a full blown mucus monster.

Funny thing about baseball this year, the boys are required to wear "cups". I went and got Jake his, selecting "Youth Large" from the giant display on the wall at our local sports store. Okay so this is a delicate topic but the reason I got him Youth Large was because he has a rather large...butt. The boy can pack the food away. Let's just say he's "husky" (which is exactly what I was at his age). Anyways, when he tried the underwear/cup combo on it looked like it was about 3 times too small for him. So back to the store I went and this time I got him "Teen Large". So now the underwear fits him but the cup is um...well...huge. I mean the kid is only 9. It looks hilarious. Rock stars would be proud. Anyways, I told Trevor (our 7 year old) that we had to get him one too. At first he was little confused because he didn't know what it was for and I joked with him that I was just gonna put one of my coffee cups in his pants, but eventually he said "Oh - it's to protect your peanuts!" and I said "Uhhh, yeah!". So I was little surprised to see that instead of being all embarrassed about it he enthusiastically told me "Okay - I want a red one (cup)!" Like this is some kinda fashion statement. Ahhhh, I can't wait for puberty to start hitting them.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What I hate about you

I've been accused of being slightly sociopathic before. This is not to say that I don't love my fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but I must admit that there is a fair number of humans that just bug the live'n crap out of me. For some reason I enjoy being out in public places and picking out people that I find particularily annoying. So with that in mind I decided to put the following list together - it's not a complete and comprehensive list - but it's a good sampling.

I hate you if...

You are wearing baseball cap in any way other than the bill pointing absolutely straight forward. Crooked, sideways, pointing straight up...uhh "no". Backwards is "okay", especially if you are working, but if you are out on the town with a buddy and you both have your hats on backwards - I hate you.

It's rush hour, the freeway is in gridlock, but for some reason you feel the need to weave in out of lanes trying to gain 5 car lengths on everyone else, you never signal and you are talking on the phone - I hate you.

I'm at the grocery store, you are in front of me in line, you feel the need to question the price of asparagas, then you pay with a check - I hate you.

I'm in my car in a parking spot close to the store entrance, you are sitting in your car waiting to see if I am leaving so you can take my spot. You are bugging me - and I hate you.

I'm using a public urinal, you insist on using the one next to me even though there are several others that are empty, you fart - I hate you.

I can't tell if you are wearing shorts or really short pants and your boxers are hanging out - I hate you.

Your Honda Civic sounds like a giant bumble bee (and your hat is on crooked and you have those pants/shorts things on) - I hate you.

You have a "Cowboy/Cowgirl Up!" or one of those "Peeing on..." stickers on your car - I hate you.

You are bald and you are wearing a sunvisor - I hate you.

You wear your cell phone bluetooth thing in your ear where ever you go - you look like the communications officer on Star Trek and you look like an idiot...and I hate you.

You are in front of me at the drive thru at McDonalds, you order a quarter pounder with specific instructions to the pimple faced 16 yearold working there to add "fresh lettuce" and cook it medium well - I loathe you....

I could go on and on...and probably will.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


People crack me up. Apparently there is a conspiracy behind everything. I was reading some posts on a forum of one of the local news websites about the recent arson fires that members of "ELF" declared responsibility for. I had expected to see posts from people who were disgusted about the intentional fires and of course I also expected to see a handful of posts from people who defended ELF's actions. But what I did not expect to see was all the posts from people who insisted this was a conspiracy by the builders of the luxury homes to collect on insurance!

I'm always amazed at how quickly people jump to these conclusions. Like somehow the ordinary or obvious explanation just can't possibly be true! Obama just an (extra)ordinary guy running for President? Heck no! He's obviously a Muslim extremist bent on the destruction of the United States! Did Hijackers ram airplanes into the World Trade Center? No Way! That was our own government who did that! That Flu vaccine you got? ...probably a chip implant to observe your whereabouts at all times.

Oh sure, people will say "Oh you are just soooo naive!" and to that I say "Mmmmmaybe, but at least I was able to keep you reading this blog long enough to control your mind using my internet mind control technology - now go...go I command you...go and...umm...cluck like a chicken everytime you see a Walmart!"