Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pork and Beans

Just when you thought, "Oh man, I love Weezer, but I have listened to their albums so much the CD's are warping! What to do??!!"

Suddenly, along they come with a rockin new song and a video to match. God Bless 'em!

Friday, May 23, 2008

instant messaging is killing the world...

If you ever send me an IM or message, please understand that I am a grammar nut. Sure, there are mistakes in my blog, mainly because they are normally written from bed at the end of the day, but seriously...if you think the following message means anything to me, you are mistaken and will be shunned:
(In response to, "So what have you been doing lately?")
nm u


My Grandfather's death has been a source of many awkward conversations for the last week. But, it has also been the impetus for many great, heartfelt conversations which otherwise may never have happened between my Uncle and I. My Uncle looks so much like my Dad, and yet is so different from him, it is astonishing. They have so much in common too, however, that it is always hard for me to see or talk to him. In any case, one thing I have come to realize over the last week is that I am my father's son...and that makes me very happy.

The funeral has been set, and Grandpa will be interned in the same cemetery my father is in (the Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma). It will be nice for me to know they are together there, even if they were never together in life. It does raise the question, however, if I were to die in Iraq, would I want to be buried there? Part of me feels that it is the obvious choice, but anyone who knows me knows that I bleed black and gold and there would be no other place for me than the West Point cemetery were I to die in combat. Hmm...the choices we face.

It will be nice to go home again, even if for a funeral. I think in the case of this particular funeral, it will not be the typical gnashing of teeth. There will be tears, and we will be emotional, but I think, more than most funerals, this will be more joyous as my father's family gets together for the first time since his passing. Unfortunately, my Aunt Janet will not be there as she is herself bedridden with cancer.

Funny how callously I say things like that now, whereas a few short years ago, death, cancer and all that comes with it were so foreign to me. I guess times change...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Passing of a Grandfather...

My Uncle Gary called last night and woke me up. I knew what the call was about simply because there are few reasons to get a wake up call from an Uncle other than death, and I had also known for some time that my Grandfather and Aunt were both nearing that point. This call was about my Grandfather. I called my mom and sister's to let them know and sat there in bed wondering what to feel.

My grandfather was non-existent to me growing up as he had left my father and family when my father was in his early teens. A decade ago when he appeared in our lives again, he appeared as a drunk...someone who I knew only be his phone calls, the anxiety he caused my father and the difficulties he posed to my grandmother. I remember his ex-wife, Betty, and her funeral, and my dad's half-brother, but very little else about the first five years he was in our lives again.

My grandmother re-married him at a ceremony at our house which I was not there for (a ceremony I missed for something I must have thought was important but cannot now even remember). He made a model ship by hand, which he gave to me and over the last five years has always been the most excited person to receive my phone calls.

I wanted to love him, but he hurt my father so much in life and my grandmother as well that it was always difficult. And now...I want to mourn him, but knowing how much pain he was in and how difficult life was for him, the best I can muster is mourning the life he could have led but didn't. Knowing that he had a son he never really knew who, had he been there for my father, he would have been even more proud of than he was of me. My father, despite all the pain my grandfather caused him, would have mourned him today because a father, even a father as bad as my grandfather was, is to be mourned...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dahlia Lithwick on the Governator...

Anyone who's read my blog knows I love Dahlia Lithwick's writing about the judiciary and laws. Here's her take on the Governator's response to California legalizing gay marriage:
So—and in the event that you are scoring this along with me from the bleachers—that means the Governator, who was once prepared to thwart the will of the Legislature in order to uphold the will of the people, is not prepared to usurp the prerogative of the courts to thwart the will of the people or the Legislature. Nor will he back any future attempts of the people to usurp the powers of the courts. Which by some lights makes him a seriously activist governor and by others makes him the biggest wuss in history.
Ha ha...gotta love her. That, however, was written tongue in cheek as she finishes with:
My own vote today is with the governor, who's smart enough to realize both that activism is an empty label, and that when your citizens and/or their Legislature are racing around banning and legalizing the same thing at the same time, the will of the people is not necessarily the last word on what's constitutional. Moreover, he seems to understand the difference between judicial activism and judicial action, and the fact that the latter is not something for which a court needs to apologize.

soldier issues...

I have my first "soldier issue"...that means where, instead of my technical job, I'm working with taking care of something a soldier did or didn't do. Normally these issues involve alcohol, cars, spouses etc. things that no boss in the civilian world would really involve himself in, but which Army leaders spend the majority of their time on. My first thought was...oh shit, I need to call Adam and ask what he'd do. My second thought was the sudden realization that, much like I went through when I lost my father, when someone is gone, he's gone forever.

So, now I'll have to deal with this on my own, using what I've learned, what I think I know, and the help of my NCO's. While I'm glad to have those resources, which should be enough, I really do wish I could call Dad or Adam or anyone else I know who's done this to ask their advice. Instead, I guess I'll just hope the outcome is something they can be proud of.