Farewell to a friend

Quite recently, we all lost a lady of beauty, of originality, a lady with no peer in the lives of many, including myself. Many beautiful words have been written here on LJ and elsewhere in praise of her and of the loss her passage brings to all of us.

I thought this perhaps the best venue in which to express my own gratitude for the benefit her life has brought us all, as well as the personal benefit to my life that her friendship brought.

There are too many things to enumerate that can be said in her favour, so I shall add to the expressions of loss only my own personal angle on things, though I recognize, appreciate, and second all others as well.

Though perhaps a silly notion, I think it best to express this in the first person, on the off chance that some circumstance might permit you to peruse LJ postings still, and somehow I think that you would, if you could (and hey - surely if heaven is all it's cracked up to be, it has decent broadband).

Thank you, Tandra, for the benefit you have given me in my life. A fine friend, you have always had a warm smile for me, even when the end was neigh. Over the years that I have had the privilege of knowing you, I have always admired your strength, as well as your individuality. You taught me many things, perhaps not deliberately, but by virtue of your own strength, pride, and personality. Perhaps the most vital lesson of all was that I should be proud of myself, no matter what others might think of me. This has benefited me greatly in life, though it is a concept I still struggle with. In your memory, though, I shall press on with the application of such an ideal.

Some other readers may remember these events, some not, but I would like to thank you for some of the greatest moments in my history of interacting with friends, of course including yourself on these occasions.

-Of course, the Wright Bros. evening
-TMI night. Always good fun to seriously disturb people at neighbouring tables
-The day of your wedding

I am sure there are many more, but these come to mind foremost.

I should avoid rattling on extensively, but I thank you for the invaluable contribution you have made to my life, as well as the brightness you brought to this world with your presence. Wherever you may be now, farewell. You will have a pin in your possession, if such things can come along for the ride. It has been a number of wild and wonderful places - if you have the opportunity, please show it more.

Among the many hats you wore in life, you wore the one of support for me well. Attached is a photo that is generally representative of my memory of yourself, complete with hat.

Farewell, my friend.

The Management
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic

Moment of regret

A moment of refelction has come upon me this eveining, leading me to ask myself a fateful question. What moment in my life do I most sincerely regret? I have a feeling that my friends would have a variety of answers, and I suspect that they would all be wrong. Therefore, allow me to tell a very short story, one which to this day I believe would have changed the course of my life for good. Not for any good reason, mind you, just... for good.

It was many years ago. The weather was unremarkable. It was a Friday, very much like this Friday. A Friday when I was not attending class. And a Friday on which Miah was not at work. As was much our style in the day, we got together that day, drove around in my van ('82 Chevy short-wheelbase full-size, in case anyone cares), and went back to his parents' house, where he lived at the time. Unremarkable, except for a moment in the van, sitting on Yale outside the house, which I to this day believe to be a definitive moment in my life.

We sat in the van for a moment. I had just shut it down and rolled up to park by the roadside, quieting the signature exhaust note to avoid bothering his parents. We sat. Bullshitted. Had a good time at the conclusion of yet another perfectly ordainary evening. At some point, he asked me "Wanna do anything else tonight?". In jest, I replied, "Yeah, let's go to Chicago". With that, I hit the key, bringing the 5 liters of power under the foot-long hood to life. We laughed. Then... he said... "Ok.".

I laughed, foolishly. Gave the engine a touch o' the gas to bring out the usual rumble from the glass-packs under the box-like vehicle. As if we were really going to do it. There was no reason not to. We should have. I would be a better man to this day if we had.

For reasons to this day I cannot support, I didn't throw the gearshift into drive. If, at that moment, I had brought the clutches together, I doubt not that several hours later we would have found ourselves on the Tri-State Tollway, making joyous idiots of ourselves. It was a moment to make a decision, a moment to move that lever down about four inches. Or not. I thought about it. I thought I needed to be in class on Monday. I didn't. I thought he needed to be back to work. He would survive. I thought we couldn't afford it. We had $250 in cash jammed in the sunvisor. Gas was under $1/gal. My reasons not to go were crap. Every last one of them. The gearshift stayed right there, the indicator firmly resting on the fateful 'P'.

So that's it. Pretty anti-climactic, huh? Go figure. That's why I regret it. I invite your response, be it your own most regretted moment, or what you think the Chicago trip might have held for us, or where you think I might be today as a result.

If you would, please, bring it on. :)


1st Amendment, WWF style?

Yeah, it's been a long time since I've posted. But this morning, I just need to say a few words. Yeah, that's right. Say a few words. Not viciously beat someone down by the side of the road because I think he's a jackass.

So far, I've read the articles and kept my opinions to myself with regard to the whole debate over the teaching/validity of creationism. Sure, people have some very strong, incompatible beliefs about the whole topic, and I'm more than happy to read and/or engage in some intelligent discourse on the topic. That's how we can get things done. Heck, maybe I'm wrong in my own beliefs. That's why we have the freedom to speak. Maybe someone can explain to me their side in a way that would convince me to change what I think to match what they think. That's the whole idea.

It also so happens that my opinions about what we teach in public schools are much different than my opinions about what we teach in institutions of higher learning. When I was attending college, I relished the freedom of thought and ideas (while imperfect, it was still invigourating) that I discovered there. Sure, people disagreed. And guess what - I felt free to express a contradictory opinion, to speak up with ideas that weren't popular, to argue with someone that I thought was on the wrong track. It was a thing of beauty, a thing to be cherished, one of the greatest things about reasonably free thought, reasonably free expression, in a reasonably free society.

The attack in Lawrence was no drunken bar brawl after a game. It was a couple of people who think it their right to strong-arm their way in a premeditated manner to ideological dominance, upon an individual who (however offensively) was simply exercising his right to express an unpopular view in the form of intelligent discourse in an institution of higher learning. It matters not to me which side the professor and/or the goons were on, the goons did more damage to their side of the debate than anything a professor says could ever possibly do. It matters not to me who they were in terms of society... If the professor had chosen to brutally assault a couple of goons by the side of the road, I would indeed be quite firmly and vocally opposed to his actions.

In addition to my general opinions on this matter, if Kansas was seen as something to ridicule in national circles for this sort of debate in the first place, what will this do for the national image of our state?

What's next??!? The COMFY CHAIR?


Aeroplane. Minus wings.

Yeah, I know. It's been an exceptionally long time since I've posted here. For some reason, this very evening, my attention was once again drawn to the existance, at a reasonable price, of real-life dinosaurs, ready and willing to lunge forward and roar at only the hint of pressure on a long, narrow, vertically-oriented pedal beneath their dashboards. This one is in Lawrence. Close enough. No bids, three days in. $1000 to start, but there's a reserve. I daresay $2.5K would take it. I don't have it, but woo...

If only I had the money... And that much more in gas money. And a travelling companion that actually wanted to do stuff like that with me (oops... didn't say that). Take it, and drive it coast-to-coast. See everything. Live life as it was intended to be lived, through the 36-year-old safety glass of a highway-eating machine. 8MPG? So what. That's why there's 2.5K in gas money figured into the whole equation. There are few machines on the road today that can boast that which it does. Today, we see a vehicle marked with an engine displacement larger than 3 liters as having a BIG engine. Try 8.6. Can you say "passing ability". Good. I knew you could. Sure, the headlight doors don't work. All the better for blinking lights at people when you're coming up behind them at double their speed... When they're going 70. (it really is capable of that - look it up)


(we out)

This has gone too far!

AAAARGH! Cellular technology, marketing, and the general popularity of related gizmos has gone TOO FAR! My 2-year-old just grabbed my cell phone, looked at it, and asked (completely unprompted)

"Daddy, does it have a camera on it?"

He put it down and walked off when I said 'no'. (Nokia 3395)


The night before

Yea, 'tis been a long time since I have updated the jorurnal. It has been, in fact, since the last business trip of seneless luxury that was Palm Springs. Stay tuned, though, as more is to come, quite soon. Tomorrow, I shall be in Las Vegas. Good night, dear friends, and I do hope that all have experienced as good a Monday as I have. TGINF.

It's Official!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... It's official! I have been (in appropriate style, via SMS) declared to be... GANGSTA! By the master of gangsta studies himself, busychild424. Though it did take kicking back on a private patio of a hotel suite in So. Cal which came at a cost best expressed in scientific notation, sipping on gin and juice (quite literally... Is this supposed to be done with orange juice? I rather prefer grapefruit, but I had room service bring orange because it struck me as more likely to be gangsta), and having my money on my mind (not that I in fact have enough money to rent this joint out for more than 4 hours, but I try not to dwell on that too much) to achieve this status, I have been, at last, declared GANGSTA! Woohoo! Now I need to go rent an Escalade and roll up into L.A. (probably not a real good idea, really, but it does seem an awfully gangsta sort of thing to do).

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To be, or not to be... Gangsta

To be or not to be... gangsta. That is the question. The answer, however, can be elusive. In the neverending quest to gain a more complete understanding of what it means to be gangsta, and how to do it, may I propose a discussion of that in this world which is gangsta, and that which is not. Below are a few things that I personally believe to either epitomize gangstadom, or to fit neatly into the category of that which is not, never was, and bears not the capacity to ever be, gangsta. Rather like this paragraph. I mean seriously... There is absolutely no way that any paragraph carrying with it the word "epitomize" could be gangsta. It doesn't matter what you drive, what kind of piece you wave around, how many pounds of crack you got under your seat. Utter the word "epitomize" and there's nothing you can do about it... You ain't gangsta. No way, no how. :(

And now... On to the table! (HTML code is definatively NOT gangsta. Spray paint would be more appropriate, but is not capable of targeting an audience properly. Targeting an audience in a gangsta sort of way would have to involve some kind of concert. And a scope.)

Gangsta:NOT Gangsta:
Cadillac EscaladeVolkswagen "New" Beetle
Jay-ZJefferson Airplane
Cell PhoneNovelty phones shaped like ketchup bottles
Oscar The GrouchBert
MAC 10S&W Model 29
Serving timeServing breakfast
Roland 808The bassoon
Bass you can hear for milesMini iPods
Popping a cap in yo assPopping the cap off a soda
CrackFault lines
DivX adult moviesAnything to do with an S/390
Rolling upRolling your pants up
Pizza bitesQuiche
Denny's at 3amBrunch

This is just the beginning... Please feel free to add your own items, but please be careful to include a similar or in some way equivilent item which helps us to define your contribution... If you contribute and item which is gangsta, please also include the definitively non-gangsta entry of the same category. The word "definitively" is not gangsta. The word "Mothafukkas" is.

By this logic, the phrase "You better watch yo back, 'cause I'm gonna definitively pop a cap in you ass one of these days, mothfukka!" would be at least half-gangsta, but it just doesn't work at all. See? The word "definitively" just spoils the whole thing.

So here we go... Let's see y'all bring it. Definitively, if you would.
  • Current Music
    Eminem - Loose Yourself

Cars, Cars, Cars...

Well, it's been over a month since the timing belt broke on the 960, and my life has become an endless series of last-minute rentals, and being a major car-leech for those who are willing to and have a spare one to loan out (Bruce Rocks). Anyway, it doesn't look like the Volvo is getting fixed right away (the only shop that can do it right and has time is the Gorgeous Brothers, and they need want $3500 to do it (probably to help pay for spa-days and other beauty-related treatments). Therefore, I've had my eyes open for something budget oriented that I could stand to drive. It needs to be 'nice', by my strange standards. High performance at some level. Unique. Hmm. I think I've found it:

One person told me "It looks like a police car"
Guess What? There's a darned good reason for that.

More soon...

New Word. Cool Word. Word. Up.

vadding: /vad'ing/ n. A leisure-time activity involving the covert exploration of the `secret' parts of large buildings -- basements, roofs, freight elevators, maintenance crawlways, steam tunnels, and the like. A few go so far as to learn locksmithing in order to synthesize vadding keys. The verb is `to vad' (compare hack, sense 9). This term dates from the late 1970s, before which such activity was simply called `hacking'; the older usage is still prevalent at MIT. The most extreme and dangerous form of vadding is `elevator rodeo', a.k.a. `elevator surfing', a sport played by wrasslin' down a thousand-pound elevator car with a 3-foot piece of string, and then exploiting this mastery in various stimulating ways (such as elevator hopping, shaft exploration, rat-racing, and the ever-popular drop experiments). Kids, don't try this at home!

Not to worry. I've never done any of the above at home.

The Management

  • Current Music
    Styx - Paradise Theatre