George Zimmerman, grown-ass man.
As my five-year-old niece Abby would say: It’s time to talk about things that are gurd and things that are bad.
Deciding to protect other people: gurd! Going out looking for a fight in lieu of that “protection”, bad. Apprehending an intruder: gurd, probably. But seeing someone as an “intruder” when he is not, and confronting him with lethal force?
Not gurd at all. Bad cop, no doughnut.
Massive shaken baby George Zimnmerman has attracted a lot of press lately. Continue reading
Why does the Western idea of the year end (and the next begin) in the dead of winter? I mean, I know how cultural the thing is: Pope Gregory XIII decided on ours, in Islamic culture it’s in spring, Judaism places it in fall, and here again the Chinese have the edge on us, both in solid terms of years lived and really good origin stories. And of course North Korea passes recorded time in a very Kimilsungian way.
If we measured the year in terms of our own entry into life (birthday to birthday), that would be so American. Many already do this, if unofficially.
2011, the year I lost my Dad, got me thinking about the whole journey of life: not just how it begins but how it ends. Continue reading
People had waited for this one. The baby would be a boy in a family of two adults and one perfect little girl, who was so excited about her brother’s arrival she’d named him “Abby’s Boy”. She also was taking on a new role in the games she played: Big Sister. If you were lucky enough, she’d gift you with this role, and be Mommy herself. “Big Sisser, it time for bed,” the little Mommy would say, and off you’d go, to five seconds of sleep on the carpet.
As for the baby, he was enjoying his time with the real Mommy. My sister had to induce: and here’s an odd thing about life, that someone else can choose your birthday for you. Obviously, someone can also choose your date of departure, but that’s much less legal, not to mention little cause for celebration.
Very early on the morning of the summer solstice, I joined my sister, brother-in-law, and mother-in-law on the trip to the hospital. On the sunlit trip through the sleeping town of Matthews, we passed under a sign strung across the street: the community theater production of “The King And I” was about to open.
It was the best morning of the year. We were all so excited. I remember looking at that sign, thinking: Shall we dance?
Honestly, I could have. Continue reading
People had feared this one. My parents have six children, twelve grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, and all of us knew the end was coming for my Dad. On the last day of the first month of the year, he’d had a massive heart attack, which he survived. But that event had finally given us all the map to what was going on inside him: a series of small strokes (doctors traced the first to about 2009; I’d put that one at least a year before), progressive dementia, and now the thing with his heart.
Dad struggled to understand it himself. Months later, we would find handwritten notes he’d made. “Hart attack,” says one, dated February 17. “Thank them for the gifts,” it adds. “Flowers and fruit.”
As his children recognized the enormity of what had happened (was happening) with Dad, we planned the annual family gathering with more attention than usual. It was understood that no one would make the mistake of sitting this one out. No one, that is, except Dad.
He just never spoke about it. August. San Diego. My mother would talk to him about these things, but he never really responded. To Dad, it was as if they did not exist.
Of course he was right. That event simply wouldn’t happen for Dad. We didn’t want to hear anyone say this, but it was true. Continue reading
Never say never.
In my favorite story of this week, snowboarder and TBI survivor Kevin Pearce did the one thing he’s longed to do since his horrific accident on the last day of 2009: he got out on his board and rode.
I love everything about this.
Kevin was a leading contender for the 2010 Olympics, and in fact was a week away from trials, when he hit his head on the halfpipe during practice runs in Mammoth, CA. There were those who doubted he’d survive, never mind walk, talk, or use his working memory again. I was all kinds of sad. For Kevin, snowboarding again seemed out of the question.
Still, there he is.
What a great story, awesome kid, and terrific family. Back in 2010, I said that I wanted to prove that the love in the Pearce family had the power to heal their wounded son and brother.
It’s a good life, isn’t it?
Depression hurts? Yeah, it does.
For me, it’s not even the experience of not wanting to do stuff. It’s not my poor, overworked couch. It’s not the interrupted sleep, the loss of appetite and friends, the tendency to forget the word that’s on the tip of my … GOD.
The side effects are awesome. Eating and gambling while asleep really liven things up. I have a bookie I’ve never met, Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar wrappers under the bed. I don’t have to do yoga to sweat; I can get there from my couch, just flipping through the channels. Intestinal bleeding is always fun.
But the worst part is probably this:
It’s just really hard dealing with a giant hand crank on your back, you know?
#11: Working on a little homemade shrine to this guy
10. Refreshing my browser. Again. Again. Again.
9. Figuring out which black top(s) to wear with which jeans today.
8. Trying the spent-fuel-rods-in-the-backyard experiment, which the Japanese guy on eBay made sound so promising, but so far has been less than successful, unlike …
7. My neighborhood-serial-killer experiment. Which, on the other hand, is a success beyond my wildest dreams.
6. Enjoying Twitter’s trending topics as I wait for the skulls to boil.
5. Switching my meds — into different bottles. Anyone tries to take my Vicodin now, he’s in for one hell of a surprise.
4. Baking quite a bit. No, the other kind. My kid said, “Great cookies!”, and I did thank her — three hours later.
3. Talking back to the books I read (to page 33 of Three Stages Of Amazement: “Oh STOP IT, you histrionic chick”).
2. Writing top-ten lists. Yes really, am too, yeah huh.
1. Hiding things I own from myself. I hope I never find that other red shoe.