Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Bad Morning

Life's Hardest Lesson

I have said it before, and I have no doubt that I will say it again. I'm saying it this morning because someone I wrote about in this space just yesterday has died, suddenly and unexpectedly (see the "Until Next Time..." section for more). Life teaches many hard lessons, but the lesson about loss is the hardest, and we never seem to really learn it...

Life has a way of distracting us from thinking about its fragility, and its impermanence. We stay busy, we make lists, and plans, and calendars to organize our hours, our days, our weeks, our months...but we are none of us guaranteed those hours, days, weeks, etc. We might not even be around by this time tomorrow. That's how life is.

The hardest lesson life teaches us is that there will come a time when someone whom we love will suddenly be lost to us, at least in this life, forever. And when that happens, we will wish with all our hearts for the chance to tell that person just one more time how much we love them. But we can't.

So what then, brothers and sisters, is your excuse for not saying it as often as you can while that person is still around? There is nothing--absolutely nothing--that you can do to avoid the inevitable pain of loss. But you can make sure that not another day, not another hour, not another minute goes by before you tell that person that you love them, and mean it.

Because there is nothing more painful in this life than losing someone we love and not being able to remember the last time we had told them...

On Being Offended By Words

Last Friday the President recorded a podcast with comic Marc Maron. Not a lot of people heard the podcast, but in light of the events in Charleston over the weekend, the White House released the transcript yesterday. And in the course of the conversation, the President of the United States said this: "Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'nigger' in public."

Now, believe it or not, there are people out there who consider it newsworthy that President Obama actually said the word "nigger" out loud in the course of making his point. More to my point, there are people out there who are upset that he did so, and they are clucking and tut-tutting about it endlessly on TV and online.

I'm really not in the mood this morning to get into all of my objections to this sort of behavior, but in brief, anyone who was offended by what the president said needs to grow the fuck up. If you can't distinguish between someone saying the word in a serious, adult conversation about a serious, adult topic and someone saying it at lunch counter in Mississippi in 1963, you need to toddle back over to that card table in the corner and sit with the rest of the children. Us grown-ups don't have time to humor your tantrums.

More on this general topic in the days ahead...

Things That Make Me Happy: Left Coast Baseball

I have been a night owl for as far back as I can remember. It's just how I am. There are times in my life these days when it is difficult to indulge this side of my personality, but whenever there is baseball I care about taking place in the Pacific Time Zone, I can relive the days of my youth, laying in bed with the lights out and listening to Denny Matthews describe a game with the Angels, or the A's on my crappy little transistor radio. Nowadays, of course, I can watch the game on TV, but it is still fun to stay up late following my beloved Kansas City Royals.

They were in Seattle last night to begin a three-game series against the Mariners at Safeco Field. They struggled in their final home appearance for the month, losing two of three to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, and last night had to begin the road trip facing Felix Hernandez, the Mariners' ace, perennial All-Star, and Cy Young candidate (he won in 2010, was 2nd last year). But while King Felix currently leads the American League with 10 wins, his lifetime record against the Royals dipped under .500 as KC prevailed 4-1.

The star of the game for the Royals was fill-in starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who turned in a second straight strong outing. In six innings plus one batter, Joe gave only two hits and a single run. The Herrera-Davis-Holland triumvirate steamrolled the Mariners the rest of the way, and the team got the road trip off to an encouraging start. Joe is now 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA.

"Just doin' what I can to help the team."
And we sincerely appreciate it, Joe. Keep up the good work...

Being Sentimental Sucks Sometimes...

Please give a raise to whoever is responsible for this.
So, yeah, I was just minding my own business last night, enjoying some bachelor comfort food (i.e., frozen stuff that can be easily microwaved), when I got emotionally bushwhacked by my own sentimentality.

I was innocently enjoying my dinner when suddenly, out of nowhere, I remembered when I had first encountered the delicacy known as "Swedish Meatballs"...

It was at my second wedding in 1988. My ex-wife had them on the menu for our reception, and they were fabulous.

Uh oh...   *sniff*

Thanks, old friend...that helps...  *sniff*

Until Next Time...

I can't begin to describe how crummy it feels to wake up to news of the death of an artist whose work I was praising in this space only yesterday. The death of film composer James Horner will get plenty of news coverage, so I'm not going to recount the details here, or otherwise write about his life. I shall leave that to others. I'm just going to return to his body of work, and be grateful for his artistry.

As I mentioned yesterday, his score for Glory is my favorite, but a close second would be his score for Braveheart. The closing credits for that film were a nice reprise of the themes and motifs he used throughout the score. Enjoy...and remember. Requiescat in pace, Mr. Horner...

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