Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

Hey, everybody, have a happy and safe weekend, with lots of barbecues.

Kelly Malloy has a series of wonderful posts to remind me what the weekend really means.

To Lt. Ed Novak in the Undisclosed Location, I'm thinking of you, right now.

And okay, you caught me, Ed. I'm also thinking of bratwursts and Ommegang by the lake with you on the 4th of July. I think bourbon will also be involved, but I doubt the Wisconsin Sa.... Never mind. Oh, what the hell... Do they have salami in Iraq, or is that just a Wisconsin thing?

Inside joke, people, between Ed, a few Cooperstown types, and me. I promise, no more inside jokes, but it's about 115 degrees where Ed is, and he's all bundled up in camo, carrying a rifle, so I figure he can use a laugh, even if it is an inside joke.

And Ed, I'm also remembering being an usher in your wedding, and being Alexis's Godfather, and remembering the mornings you and I couldn't remember the night before... Even the low points were high points.

I should paraphrase the Boss... maybe mess around with his lyrics:

Drivin' in to Otsego County,
Me and Ed on the Fourth of July

Enough of that: We're all proud of you, Ed, but get your ass back here soon.

In the meantime, I'll remember that this isn't just a long weekend. There's a reason we call it Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day.


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Friday, May 12, 2006

Celebrate Today

My Dad would have loved my kids. They remind me of him, the disparate parts of his personality. All three share his love of life.

My oldest son is a thinker who analyzes everything. That was my Dad in quiet moments.

My younger son, the middle child, is the slapstick comedian. Both boys are popular with their friends, much more than I was at their ages. My father (and his outrageous sense of humor) was the life of every party.

My daughter is as smart as her brothers, maybe smarter. She's smarter than I am, and she knows it. Her blue eyes sparkle with mischief. That smart, mischievous sparkle was my Dad every day of his life.

I wish the kids and the Saint could have met him.

I've outlived him. I'm going to be 36 in July, but 36 will be a piece of cake. 33 was the hardest birthday I ever experienced.

My Dad died at 32. My oldest is almost 3 years older than I was when my Dad died. That was more than 25 years ago.

Wherever he is, he's 58 today.

I can choose to brood, or I can choose to celebrate. I know what he would have chosen, so I'll celebrate, too.

I'll celebrate his love of the Yankees, even though, as a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation, I'll hate the Yankees every minute of every day, forever. Loving the Red Sox taught me adversity and pushed me to root for the underdog. And yes, I cried when the Sox finally won the World Series. But beating the Yankees to get there was even better. Sorry, Dad.

I'll celebrate his love of Rock and Roll. He was a crazy dancer. I mean: Crazy Dancer. And the World's Worst Singer Ever. Unfortunately, I inherited only one of those titles.

I'll celebrate his wit and his intelligence and his love of History. I'll celebrate his making me a Democrat. (My mother helped.) In fact, one of my earliest memories is of sitting on his shoulders as I held a George McGovern sign over my head.

I'll celebrate his spontaneity. He'd see a friend. He'd start talking. They'd have a beer. Another friend would stop by and join them. Then another. Within an hour, they'd be cooking on the grill. Twenty or thirty people would end up in our back yard. The party would go all night. I'm glad I inherited this gene. The Saint is not.

I'll celebrate his love of reading and of great books, and I'll celebrate his other attributes privately.

Someday, I'll meet him Further On Up the Road.

And today?

And today....

Today, I'll be happy, Damn it, because that's what he would have wanted.

But I don't have to like it.


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Monday, May 08, 2006

Alive and Kicking

I'm writing. I'm coaching my son's baseball team. I'm working. I'm spending time with the Saint and the kids.

So if you don't see activity here for a few days, fear not. I'm out there living.

Hope you are, too.



Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Great Guns!

Joe Konrath has a spectacular post about handguns here. I admit, most of my firearm experience is with shotguns and rifles.

Anyway, Joe's post is great on several levels. He shows a real depth of knowledge, but most importantly: He did his homework. Research is key to credible fiction. Joe did his.

I think Barry Eisler would be able to add a few things to Joe's discussion.

Hunters (even occasional hunters like Jamie Ford and former hunters like me) will have still different points of view. A lot of people rounded out the post in the comments section.

Whatever, it was fun, and impressive seeing all those writers who are also gun owners... and gun haters who learned about guns.

Got comments? Fire away!


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