Sunday, March 11, 2018

Today has been a rather weird day. I got to sleep sometime after midnight (late for me) and woke up an hour later than usual, with the time change back to daylight savings (or off daylight savings- it makes no sense to me). I just know I have been looking forward to more light in the late afternoons and evenings. Especially when I get out of work at 6:00, it is nice for some light to be in the sky again.

This time change necessitated a nappy this afternoon, and I don't actually remember my last nap. Sometime before Florida. And I am a nap addict, so that says something. I took a walk after a late nap and it was gloriously sunny out. There were crocuses poking up in some yards. I was thinking about how much more active Hannah and Eli seem to be in Florida, and I think the warmth and weather has something to do with it. I do go to the Y in the evenings during the winter, but it's so much more fun and energetic to ride a bike or walk in the evenings when it can be done outside. So, my plug for keeping the time like this year round. Or moving to Florida.

I have just finished reading a psychological thriller today (All Is Not Forgotten), and started Lincoln in the Bardo. Both kind of address the idea of what this thing called life is and the possible finality of it. I suppose that has been a human question since humans started recording their thoughts and ideas.

I don't think I can articulate this properly, but the first book has a psychiatrist narrator masterfully orchestrating a series of events around a brutal rape. He does talk about our motivations and the unknown thing called death and whether it really matters what we do here on earth. The bardo is the transitional state between life and death and this book deals with young Willie Lincoln who died at age 11 being caught here. So we shall see if this novel is as good as its recommendations.

Friday, March 09, 2018


My brain didn't get the memo from my body that it needs rest. I call it "activation" or my brain is activated. Probably the main reason is Cal wrote and shared on Facebook a song he rapped as a tribute to Adam last night. It's Adam's life from his perspective. Raw, emotional, sad, yet hopeful. Very brave of that kid to put himself out there like that. This morning he texted me back that he wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't told him to keep at and it will come when it's time. At least I think that's what I said, as I do believe creative endeavors will come to fruition if you are patience and open.

So here I am, coffee in hand, heart full of love, and enjoying the silence. A couple of other songs have touched me this week. They were both up for Academy Awards and so were performed Sunday night. One by Sufjan Stevens, that dude's music is so haunting yet heavenly. This song was featured in "Call Me By Your Name" a film I would love to see. The other was "Remember Me" from Coco, and it just brought back all the beauty, emotion, and tears from that beautiful movie. I absolutely loved that movie. I've always been fascinated with Day of the Dead and that aspect of Mexican culture. A must see for all ages. As much as I hate Disney, well, they do some things right.

Because Cal put his rap together with a collage of images (music video) which I wasn't expecting, I was quite stunned. It reminded me of the bizarre but wonderful experience of being at a group meditation and seeing Adam's life in reverse from age 27 back to his birth, like a movie. One of my all time favorite pictures Cal included is of the three boys in our bed in Lockport, snuggled under the sunflower comforter we had for many years. I think part of Cal's project is reconciling the Adam we knew with the Adam we didn't know, especially as an adult. He had a whole other life we knew nothing about, not to mention the inner turmoil we were likewise ignorant of.

Writing, music, art, whatever form gets us out of our head is super important, and gives us insight and perspective on this thing we call life, and the other thing we don't like to think about, death.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


I didn't bring my camera to the beach, because, you know, you just want to not have to worry about that. The ocean was about the same temp as the apartment pool, around 72. We all got in and walked the beach. Jellyfish were washed up in the quieter stretches of beach. Fascinating creatures.

Pat and I went to the movie Annihilation while H and E went to an organ recital last night.

Sunday I went to church with the kids. My second time there. We're really just chillin'.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 4

Two entire days left here in sunny Gainesville. The distinguishing feature of Gville is the Spanish moss draping most all of the trees, and the gators of course. We have already seen many of the most famous Gators including loud Dennis who shouts angrily at passers by in the UF crosswalks, poor Ivy who is a 'business associate' of Dick Butkus, and the Friday afternoon dancing  Krishnas on campus.

We got a little lazy and a little pink yesterday at the pool, then met Hannah downtown for dinner. I am glad to say our Illinois flu bug has passed out of our systems.

On to the main event, the Gainesville Orchestra with Eli sitting in on La Mer movement 3, where five trumpets were needed. He had a stunning three note solo! The program theme Majesty of the Sea included Eli on Rapture, a contemporary piece, selections from West Side Story (?) and Pirates of the Carribean overture. They performed to a full house in the concert hall at Santa Fe College. Pretty imptressive. Afterwards we went backstage to meet Dr. Randolph Lee, Eli's trumpet professor. 

And just for Betsy, there was yet another Musical Chris Vick Doppleganger on second violin.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Nothing like waking at 3:22 when you don't have to be up until 6 or it anticipation, excitement, or just old vanilla insomnia. Maybe we will make an earlier departure for Florida than we thought.

Getting right with myself means leaving work behind, being grateful for all I have, and apparently stocking up on decongestant and Kleenex. Here's hoping we leave our colds and our worries behind and enjoy a week away from cold, frozen Illinois. 

Hello You Two

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

All I can say is, I wish you were here. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bucket List

In honor of Adam's life, I am hereby declaring my intention to fulfill my Bucket List. First things first: come up with a new and better name for bucket list. How about Dream Execution? Nah, sounds like I might be wanting to kill someone. Fantasy Rendering? Too kinky. Passion Inventory? This is not a business proposition. Joy Manifesto? Ted Kazinski anyone? Now I am attracting the attention of the FBI. Jiminy Christmas, let's just start over...

I'm just going to go with the working title: Zesty Index of Life Wishes to Complete Before I Die. Nothing to do with crackers, though.

So last week I knocked a couple of items off...I spent 60 minutes in a sensory deprivation isolation tank. Lest this sound too scary, these are also known as Relaxation Floats. You actually pay money to float in a closed pod of body temperature salt water. It is supposed to be sterile, sound proof and lightless. I found only the last component to be completely true.

I took a friend who happens to be a germophobe, so I can attest that the "perfectly clean" claim is questionable at best. You see, there are supposed to be two hours between one hour floats, plenty of time to filter and replace the water, right? But when we arrived, someone had fallen asleep in one of the tanks and was just getting out, and we were told the proprietor would have it ready in just a few minutes. Hmmm, no way were they replacing that water before we climbed in. I gallantly volunteered to use that tank, so that my friend could at least pretend like the other tank had been genuinely cleaned and filtered. It actually didn't bother me that much once I got in and had other issues to contend with.

The pods each have the option to keep the light on and meditation style music playing. I turned the music off almost immediately as wanted the full deprivation experience. Problem there was this location was on a busy city street and I could hear or maybe feel when heavier vehicles were passing by. Not really too distracting though, and only occasional.

The light is initially a pretty iridescent soft blue that makes your body look pretty amazing. Of course, you're in there by yourself so who really cares? I shut the light off too and it was truly pitch black. I couldn't tell if my eyes were open or closed.

Two things initially grabbed my attention and those were that I forgot to dry my face off before getting in as Molly suggested, and I forgot to put ointment on a small blister on my foot, and 1000 pounds of Epsom salt is pretty stingy to even small open wounds. After letting those thoughts go and consciously attempting meditation, I began to worry about haggling over the price when we got out- the posted signs in the spa didn't match what the internet said, so I worried there would be a debate. I worked that out of my head, using my masterful skills, telling myself this is all part of the process. I felt my shoulders and neck not cooperating with the relaxation, and I later realized I forgot another tip Molly gave us: to raise our arms above our head. That might have helped. Eventually I began to feel like I was submerged in a jelly mold. So I began swaying ever so slightly. This was a pretty cool feeling.

Towards the end of the hour, the humidity in the tank was feeling pretty heavy to my breathing. I had the faint thought I might be literally using up all the oxygen. But I didn't want to stir so much as it would take to open the door, so I just settled into that as well. Before I was necessarily ready, the soft light and music gently came on, and I got ready to exit, pleased that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I was absolutely thrilled that we were charged $10 less than we expected due to being referred by another customer. All in all, it was an interesting experience, but I am not dying to repeat it.

This is not me, but gives you an idea what the process looks like.