Sam as he ever was...

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Demi: 2006-2022

A morning of crushing grief as we bade farewell to Demi. In the four years I taught at Code Fellows, she was on campus for many of the days as a friend and comfort to hundreds of students. She lived a full life, and left it in peace surrounded by love. Everything was her favorite.

BuddyCat: 2002-2021

The past few days have been an incomparable emotional grind. To recap:

BuddyCat always had something to say

Thursday, 2 September: Kimberly and I made The Decision that it was time for us to help our long-time feline companion BuddyCat to a dignified and peaceful exit from this life. His health was in rapid decline due to chronic issues, especially his kidneys, and it was clearly only a few days that he had remaining. The thought of us getting into a long weekend with him, and him having a crisis and suffering while assistance was difficult or impossible to find, was not something we could bear.

Friday, 3 September: Goodbye, BuddyCat. Perhaps one day I will record the details of the day. Or not. The important thing is that he got a gentle, peaceful, and loving departure. I had never before considered that crying could lead to dehydration, but I learned.

Saturday, 4 September (yesterday): Our first full day without him. It was a hard day, with many moments of intense debilitating grief that somehow felt shocking and surprising, even though we knew we were amongst them.

And now we are on to the next day.

There are so many things I want to write about him, so many stories to tell, and so many photos to share and contextualize. Not now. At the moment, I just want to get through today.

4/20 Eve, Pandemic Version

Twas the night before 4/20,

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring,

Except a bong-ripping mouse.

Don’t forget tonight to leave out a White Russian and some cookies for The Dude. And also Willie, Cheech, Snoop, Chong, and Martha. And also Brad Pitt in “Say Anything”. Aw hell, go ahead and add all of your favorite stoners, whether fiction or non-fiction, who partake of the sacred herb; my blessings and high times to all. Say “Alexa, play Bob Marley, but do not listen in to my personal conversations,” and just go with it.

Anyway. To the pandemic…

We’re all going to emerge from this ongoing national crisis with our own unique stories of how fucked up it was, and those stories will probably become as dull and self-absorbed as “Where was I on 9/11?” (we were all staring in disbelief at a tiny TV, of course) or simply trying to re-tell one’s dreams to someone else.

Sure, there will be a few stories that are compelling, such as my friend who was atop WTC 1 on the evening of 9/10, or another friend who lived less than 100 yards from the nursing home in Kirkland WA where this Covid shit first went large in February. He had told me about the increased frequency of sirens in his neighborhood while we were still working together, onsite, not at home like we are now.

But, overall, we’ll mostly end up collectively griping about a period of inconvenience that pales in comparison to what Anne Frank and her family experienced, and there will be a numb centrality to the stories about Netflix, toilet paper shortages, and social distancing. “There was that time on March 25 that there was one pack of toilet paper left and a guy crawled over me to get it, that sumbitch.”

I don’t intend to sound cynical, but I think we will all learn that our individual boredom is not interesting to anyone else. Second-hand boredom is even more boring than regular boredom.

But it is not just boredom. There is anxiety. That is the true thing that defines where we each are. Everyone has anxiety these days, and they are all different collections of worries. That is the interesting part, and where we can learn and find help from our friends.

Some folks worry about livelihoods. Some folks worry about parents. Some folks worry about children. Some folks worry about health. Some folks worry about friends. Some folks worry about the economy. Some folks worry about politics. Some folks worry about themselves.  Some folks worry about sportsball. Some folks worry about the Masked Singer when many of us now wear masks. And it goes on and on and on.

My point: share your unique set of worries with your friends, and listen to theirs. While all of this craziness has been going on, the usual bullshit continues: people are still experiencing divorces, people are getting new cancer diagnoses, people are having horrible traffic accidents, people are losing pets, people fail job interviews, etc. Be a friend and be there.

The Revolution @ The Showbox in Seattle, WA

Following the death of Prince in April 2016, his former band The Revolution went on tour as celebrate his life and music.

I was there. The guy who took this video was in front of me in the crowd, and I appear numerous times. I am very thankful this video exists.

Bill Hicks: March 1991

I was in Nashville for the SEC Mens’ Basketball Tournament in March 1991, and my friend Richard and I went out for the evening, looking for adventure. We found it!

I was already aware of Hicks and his work, so I was thrilled to see his name on the marquee at the club, and even more so upon learning that there were seats available. We sat right by the stage to the left of the video frame.

Sitting up front at a comedy show is not a great idea: Richard received a fair amount of attention from Hicks throughout the show.

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