Sometimes things sneak up on you.

Fourteen years ago and one day ago if you had asked me if I would ever forget what happened on August 23 and August 26, 1993 I’d have laughed at you. I’d have told you that I would never, ever forget what anniversary fell on those dates. I obviously would have been wrong. For it wasn’t until about 3:00 today that I realized I had forgotten.
You see, on August 23, 1993 my Father died. He finally lost his fight with the cancer that had attacked so suddenly and had ravaged his body that spring and summer. None of us should have been surprised he had cancer; among other things he was a three pack a day smoker and drank to much. I know some cancer patients fight the disease for years, but Dad’s illness came on so quick, and spread so fast it was only four months from his first indication of illness until the day he died. A relatively short time, I know. I should be glad it didn’t drag out over years. Etc. Etc. I know that, I really do, but fact is, at the time it felt like the period lasted somewhat over twenty years.
His memorial service was held on August 26th. Since my family is fundamentally unable to do anything in a traditional matter, it was not a traditional funeral. There was no “viewing”, because Dad had been cremated. A couple of months later his ashes were spread in the Gulf Of Mexico, over the reef where he had caught the biggest fish he had ever caught. The Gulf was his favorite place on Earth. The cremation, and the ash dispersal were what he wanted. He made sure we (Mom, Kris, and I) knew that before he went into the hospital for the last time. The rest of his family, his parents and sister’s didn’t like it, but in a rare display of common sense they were not stupid enough to argue with the three of us.
The memorial service was led by three Episcopalian priests: The priest of the church my sister was actively part of at Auburn, Father Bargetzi. He didn’t know Dad at all, but he came up from Auburn at Kris’s request. Then there was Father ….Hell, I’ve forgotten his name. He was the Priest at Mom and Dad’s church in Decatur, where we were living at the time. I was not active in the church with them, I had …other issues I was dealing with at the time and had not been going to church for years. Then there was Father Masters. We had only known him for the last month or so. He had gone to seminary with the Priest from Decatur, and was the main priest at a church in Nashville (Dad was in Vanderbilt Med Center in Nashville when he died). He had visited Dad many times in the hospital, at the request of his old friend from Seminary. Father Masters was a good man. He cared more for Mom, Kris, and I, than he did for Dad. I think he knew that Dad wasn’t going to make it, so he saw his job as taking care of us. We spent a LOT of time in that hospital that last month. He was not a typical priest in a lot of ways. He had a bit of a …..I can’t think of any other way to say it, but he was a bit of a smart ass. A good man, certainly, but a smart ass. Can you guess which of the three was my favorite? I thought you could.
I remember the first anniversary. I was afraid of that day. I thought it would be horrendous, and in some ways it was. I knew Dad wouldn’t want all of us to spend time feeling bad, etc, but I did any way. We all did. Each year after that first anniversary, the approach of those two days got a bit easier. I was less afraid of them. In the last three or four years I tend to spend August 23 and August 26 remembering the good times with Dad. And despite the fact that prior to his illness he and I had gone through a kind of rough period in our relationship, the good times, the good memories far out number the bad times. So, my feelings about those days, has changed, but I had always remembered them. I always made sure I called my mom and sister, to make sure they are dealing with the day ok.
This year, I just plain forgot the anniversary of the day he died, and of the memorial service. When I realized on Sunday I had forgotten, I called my Mom. I was feeling truly awful about not remembering. I was feeling guilty. I expected a major guilt trip from Mom, but that wonderful lady, a lady I make fun of a lot, simply said, “Hell! Do you think wherever He is this weekend He’s spending time remembering those days? He’s not, he’s enjoying himself, and expecting you, me, and your sister to do the same. “. I thought about that for a couple of hours and realized she was right. Dad’s soul is off fishing the Cosmic Ocean. I truly believe that, and someday, if you ask, I’ll tell you why. He would not have wanted any of us to dwell on those particular days. So I’m not going to feel bad about it.
I am, however, going to ask you to join me in a toast….

/raises a glass of diet coke….

Wherever you are, old man, I hope the fishing is good, and know that I think of you often. I miss you, and the fun we had together. I know I didn’t turn out the way you wanted. I didn’t follow the plan you had for my life, but I was able to chart my own path because you raised me to think for myself, and to have the courage to live the life I wanted, not what other’s wanted for me. You did a good job. You were a good parent, and I love you Dad.


Just say “No to Warcraft”

I need help. I really do.

For the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about re-opening my World Of Warcraft account. I think I could control the addictive urge this time.

Of course, that’s what I think now. However, I know myself to well, and I know, KNOW, that if I were to re-0pen that account that I’d end up spending way, way to much time playing that stupid game.

So, I need you that read this drivel. I need you to help me stay strong and not reload that game. Help me to (to paraphrase Nancy) “Just say no to Warcraft”.


Enough Already!!!

Sweet jumping jesus! As I write this it’s 11:30 at night and the temperature  is STILL OVER 85 FRIGGING DEGREES!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve had enough! I want the cooler temps of fall, and I want them NOW. I want to be able to go outside and not have an attack of PSS (That would be Projectile Sweating Syndrome) in less than three minutes! I want to be able to drive my truck, my black truck, the one with no air conditioning, without feeling like I’m in a sauna!
Dear Gods, please hear my prayer. Please, please, please, send us some cooler weather, I beg you. We need some relief.


Ok, now this is funny.

Or it would be if I could figure out how to embed a picture. 128294720808907500callmahlawyur.jpg

Lesson Remembered

A while back I posted the revelation that I dislike the learning curve. What I meant by that is that I dislike the process of learning how to do something. There are some things that I do, like planning and organizing, that come naturally. I didn’t have have to “learn” to do them. Those activities come easily to me.
Now, I freely admit I have no artistic abilities whatsoever. I can’t draw, I can’t paint. I can’t sing. Some very kind ladies once tried to teach me to sew so that I could make my own garb. At the end of that day two very talented costumers were both heard to order me to step away from the sewing machine and not to come within thirty yards of it ever again. Normally this lack of artistic skill doesn’t bother me.
Well, that’s not totally true. What would be totally true is this; normally the lack of artistic skill doesn’t bother me enough to make me actually take the time to learn an artistic skill. The lack of skill doesn’t bother me enough to actually sit down and practice something, to learn something. Normally, that second statement is true. Well, it was true until I got intrigued by the cool chains I saw being given to the Gleann Abhann army a couple of years ago at Gulf Wars. They were cool, and I found I wanted to learn how to make them.
In the last couple of years I’ve been playing with wire. I learned how to make three or four different chain patterns. It wasn’t easy, for me anyway, but it was the first thing that was even vaguely artistic that I kept working on for more than a couple of hours. I found I enjoyed the process of making the rings, cutting the rings, opening them, and finally assembling them into a chain that could be used for a necklace or a bracelet. It’s a great way to focus the mind. Focus on one activity that is rather repetitive, and as you get more comfortable with it you will find that while your hands are busy, your mind is busy working on whatever may be troubling it.
Recently I’ve been trying to learn a couple of new techniques, and that is what caused the most recent comment about the learning curve. I still haven’t mastered them, but despite the other statement, I find I’m enjoying seeing the improvement in my practice pieces. I just wish the skill increases would come faster. I guess what I really need to learn, or remember, is that it’s the journey that is important, not the destination. That is is true about so many things in life.

Sunday Evening.

Last Thursday night I wrote two, count them two, posts, and for some reason the posts got eaten. They disappeared into the great nowhere that is cyber space. I was not happy.

So, not a great deal has been going on in my life since my last post. Mainly I’ve just been trying to deal with the incredibly hot weather. For those of you not blessed/cursed to be living in Memphis, or indeed the southeast in general, it has been DAMN HOT for the last three weeks. I mean offensively hot. The kind of hot that when you walk outside the temperature literally takes your breath way. Anyone that knows me knows that I sweat a lot. The last three weeks or so I have discovered that I actually suffer from PSS: That would be Projectile Sweating Syndrome. I can literally walk outside and after thirty seconds I can hit sparrow in flight from a distance of twenty yards with a droplet of sweat. Not a particularly useful skill, I know, but it’s one of the few skills I can name.

I spent this weekend at Aphar Faire, and absolutely wonderful event hosted by the good folks of Shire Lagerdamm. This was a new experience, as I had never before had the opportunity to go to a Lagerdamn event, and I have to say I had a ball.
I traveled to the event with Her Highness Kenna and the royal children Allison and Jonathon. I don’t have a lot of experience with small children, but they are great kids. Very polite, very respectful, and a joy to be around. We didn’t stay on site, but stayed at the home of Karis and Kohlr ( I truly hope I spelled that right). I didn’t know them until this weekend but they are incredibly friendly, welcoming people. Their home is a very pleasant, beautiful place in the country side outside of Conway Arkansas.
Saturday morning we got to the event site around 9:30 A.M. We quickly got the Royal Thrones set up and went about enjoying the day. I guess there were roughly a hundred people on site. There were not many fighters, so the tournament was over before I had a chance to see it. I did attend Her Majesty’s class, and taped it for Linnet. I also listed to the round table discussion on Arts and Sciences documentation. I even asked a couple of relatively on topic questions. I impressed myself.
Court was held outside under a covered pavilion. The highlight of court was seeing Elena get her court barony. She was…..shocked doesn’t even begin to cover her reaction. Stunned, elated, disbelieving. That announcement was the first time I have ever seen a standing ovation in a Royal Court. There were also a couple of AOA’s given out, and Sir Leto received a Silver Ram.
I didn’t eat feast but all reports say it was a truly wonderful meal. Near the end of the day, the last couple of hours before we left site there was a bardic circle held in the main hall. Stu performed several pieces, including his famous (infamous) Squire’s Song. Her Highness Kenna sang a truly wonderful song called “The Fruit of the Yew”. A lady who I had never heard before, and who’s name I never heard sang a haunting and beautiful song about being far from home. It was truly a great time.
We left site about 9:00 PM and went back to Karis and Kohlr’s. I don’t know how late the other’s stayed up talking but I took a shower and hit the sack pretty early. I hadn’t really done much activity during the day but I was really worn out. It was the first shower I’d taken in a VERY long time that did not include any hot water.
This morning Karis made french toast for breakfast, and more importantly a pot of very good coffee. We talked and socialized for a while. We left their house at 12:15 and got some lunch before leaving Conway. The drive home was full of good conversation. The time literally flew by. Eventually I was home, the laundry was started, and I took a nap. Another great weekend in the history books.


I have discovered

I have discovered that I dislike the learning curve.

Friday Night

It’s somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00 PM on Friday night, and I am hiding. I’m guessing that needs a bit of explaining.
I am normally a fairly gregarious person. I like being with groups of people, I like being with my friends. Now, I’m not obsessive about it, I am not afraid of being alone for periods of time or anything like that. Given the choice I’d rather spend time with good friends, but if I have to spend time alone I can entertain myself and not get upset or anything like that.
However, lately I’ve been feeling the need for a bit of a retreat.  A need for some time where I can just sit, and think, plot a little, plan a little more, and most importantly not have to deal with anybody I don’t want to have to deal with. I want to just vegetate for a weekend.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do tomorrow. There is nothing, NOTHING I have to do tomorrow. No one I have to meet with, or talk to. No job I have to do. In other words, I’m free, for a day. I’m going to spend that day working on some stuff I’ve put off way to long. There’s  a couple of upcoming events I need to do some for which I need to do some plotting and planning. I want to spend some time developing the idea I had Tuesday night. I want to spend some time making jewelry.
So, the rest of this evening, and all day tomorrow, I’m hiding. I’m not going outside of my house. I don’t plan on answering my phone. I may not check my email.
That’s my plan, and I hope to god I can stick to it.


A mixed bag

I finally figured out why I don’t post here as often as I feel I should; I don’t want this blog to turn into one of those “always angry” blogs. I don’t want to post about things that are annoying me, making me angry, or depressing me. Who wants to read that kind of stuff all the time? After looking around the blogoverse it seems that an awful lot of people want to write about that kind of stuff.
So, I tend to only write posts when I come back from events, or something that involves SCA people, because even with the large number of things in the SCA that annoy me, there is an even larger number of things in the Society that I love. A large number of things that I find in the Society that allows me to recharge and face the mundane world. When I spend time with SCA Folks, I come back feeling renewed, recharged, and ready to deal with all of the other things. I feel able to deal with the hundreds of annoyances in the SCA and the thousands of annoyances of the mundane world.
So, with that understanding, last night was a very mixed bag of feelings for me. I was not at all happy that my barony had to have the meeting we had last night. I’ll not go into the details about it here, because this isn’t the place for it, but if anyone wants to know what I’m referring to please feel free to contact me either by email or on yahoo messenger or google talk. I honestly believe that nobody in the barony was happy that we had to have that meeting last night. However, for whatever reason, we did. I think it was handled in the best way possible. I also hope that we all learned from it, and that we never have to have another meeting like that again. Because of that meeting last night sucked. Sucked rocks. Big, fat, greasy, republican rocks.
After the meeting, however, my usual crew went out for dinner, as we usually do after meetings. The conversation was interesting, and the laughter was contagious. I think we scared the poor waitress at Ruby Tuesday’s at first, but at the end of the night she was laughing right along with us. And during that conversation, amid the jokes and laughter I had an idea about a possible event theme for a Samhain. Not to be modest or anything, but it is a brilliant idea. As I sat their last night listening to and participating in the conversations I had most of the planning and the event schedule figured out. Now, to get it to work I just need to convince three other Barons and Baronesses it’s a good idea, and get a feastocrat. Shouldn’t be much of a problem at all.  Got plenty of time to plan, I don’t look at doing this until Beltaine 2009…