Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: You Forgot Your Phony Dog Poo

Okay, yes, it's been what, 10 months since I last posted on here? It's been a busy year. A busy year and not really one I'll care to remember, though definitely one that will never fade completely from my memory.

Anyway, I was looking at Dana's blog earlier and I realized how long it had been since I wrote anything for the masses, both of you. I decided that it was probably time to either delete this thing or start using it again.

So why have I been away? Frankly, I've been at a loss for words this year.
This has been a year marred by the removal of two people from my life. The first was my grandmother, who we called Me-maw. Me-maw departed in January and, although it was undoubtedly her time to go, it opened 2010 onto a rough road.

The second has kept me silent and hunkered down for the last few months. Right before Halloween, we lost my dad. It was sudden, totally unexpected, and all the other small descriptions you can apply. That day I saw and felt things I hope no one I know ever has to. I’m going to leave out the details, because they aren’t necessary, and because they are mine.

When I find the words, I will probably write something about him, because he was far more than just my father. He was, in point of fact, one of my best friends, my compass for most things professional and personal. In the time since he passed, I keep finding myself in situations where he’s the only person I can conceive of having an answer for me, or even some kind of guidance, which is perhaps the greatest irony of it all. How do you make sense of the world when the person who usually explained it is gone?

I’ve spent the last few months not so much handling as coping, looking for the center so I can keep standing on my two feet.

There are a few components to that center. The first being my family and friends. Even the ones I didn’t know or expect.

But in all honesty, the one who’s kept me standing is the woman in my life. I am lucky beyond words to have her. She has shown me time and again that she can keep me up and running when for all intents and purposes I should have collapsed in a bloody, broken heap on the side of the road. Thanks to her I’ve started sleeping nights. I've learned to drink wine. There's paint on my walls. We had our first anniversary and our fist shared Christmas.

So no, 2010 can’t come to an end fast enough. Although I know that 2011 will have its share of challenges, I am looking forward to meeting and surmounting them. I am looking forward to all the things, small and large, that will dim the memory of 2010. Powder days, good beer, good workouts and good friends. I hope to see more of you out there in the world than I have this past year. It’s time to make new memories and see what the world can offer after you’ve shaken off the punches and got up off the canvas.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegas, from the Boot Heel

If you've ever been to a party at my house, or been told about one, you've probably heard someone say "Das boot!"

No, we are not talking about an old WWII submarine movie starring Jurgen Prochnow. Though I hear that's awesome in its own right.

No, what you're hearing about is a much more "useful" iteration of Das Boot. It's a boot-shaped shot glass that once prompted a victim to exclaim "It goes all the way to the toe!"

For the record, it doesn't. But if it makes you feel better....

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you all this is that "Das Boot," as seen below, has been trumped.

Its big German cousin has come to stay for a while.

So why am I telling you this? Good question. I had to tell you that to tell you this:

It's strange to fly with only a 2L glass boot, a copy of Wicked (the book) and the contents of your pockets as carry-ons.

Wicked, you may rightly ask... Yes. Ask Dana. She's been after me to read it. It wasn't nearly as gay as I thought it would be either. No singing at all. Mercifully.

Anyway, after the usual fun in the security line, I put my plastic tray of stuff (wallet, keys, phone, ipod, etc.), flip flops and shopping bag on the x-ray belt. Now the boot is packed in a brown box and this is inside a clear plastic Hofbrauhaus shopping bag, along with the book. The stuff goes into the machine and I step through the metal detector.

My bin comes out. My flip flops follow. All is well. The bag starts to emerge from the baleen curtain, and wait! It goes back in. The girl watching the monitor leans in for a better view. She's about my age and she's squinting at the monitor like she's got glaucoma, or is very drunk.

She ponders the view for a minute and calls over her supervisor. A middle-aged civil service type with a government issue mustache and glasses. She asks, "Is that really an empty box?"

The supervisor looks at the screen for half a second and says "I know what it is. It's a big glass boot."

This confuses the girl on the stool, so he says, "Run it out. It'll be in a Hofbrauhaus bag."

She looks at him, perplexed. He says, "It's a drinking thing." This does not help. She is still confused. He thinks for a moment and asks "Haven't you seen Beerfest?" and turns to me for confirmation, to which I can only say "Great movie."

She's still drawing a blank and the line is getting longer. She runs out the belt and the supervisor shows her the Hofbrauhaus bag. She nods as though she has learned something. He hands me the bag and I go on my way.

That's it. No moral or anything, only a question. If you work airport security in Vegas, how many odd drinking vessels do you see in carry on luggage in a given day? How many plastic Eiffel Towers and yard long margarita glasses? Have you never really seen an invisible glass boot on an x-ray?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yes, I am alive....

In case you were wondering. If, like me you use the blog roll tool to keep track of things, you probably haven't seen me above the fold for quite some time. Well I'm here. I'm alive. I still have fingers to type with. I also have lots of stories I can tell.

But I'm not going to.

Those of you in my regular orbit have lived them with me or heard them already, and most of you are the people who read this thing.

So I'm also seeing a rash of "Year in Review" posts. So here's mine.

2009: Oof. I'm glad it's over. I'm even more glad it happened.

Time to move on into 2010 and figure out what the hell is coming up next. I've got a series of goals and objectives, which I won't write about until they become necessary to the story I'm telling.

What I will say is that I am looking forward to the adventure. I learned a lot in 2009 and I plan to apply the lessons well. I've got a solid circle of friends who continue to surprise me (no mean feat, that!), a family that stands behind me, and an incredible girl by my side. This is gonna be one hell of a ride.

See you on the roads, kids.