A few notes from the navel-gazing-sphere

I haven’t blogged much lately.  Haven’t updated my Facebook status or Tweeted much either.

So I thought I’d just run through a few things that have been going on in my life.  If anybody’s interested, fine.  If nobody’s interested, that’s fine too.  A little public navel gazing helps me sort things out for myself.

Alicia and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary on Friday.  We didn’t go out that night because she had to get up very early Saturday morning and take Emma to Greensboro.  It’s been our tradition to go to a movie at the Manor in Charlotte on our anniversary, so we went Saturday night.  We saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a really good Swedish film.

I’ve been working on a full-length play, writing a page or two each morning.  Hopefully I’ll be done with a draft mid-summer.

I took my mom’s recycling and garbage to the street tonight, possibly for the last time.  I’ve been doing that on Sunday nights for many years — ever since street-side garbage collection began in Salisbury.  Her house was in use by relatives last weekend.  They made a lot of trash and didn’t take it out.

Business was slow in May, but we had one great week that really helped.  June has been okay so far.  Last week, I trained somebody to do some of our deliveries.  I’ve been doing about 350 of our 470 Coffee News locations each week.  He’ll do about 100 a week, which leaves me with 250.  That basically gives me an extra day each week.  It’s going to cost — but I think I’d rather have the time than the money.

I like summer.  I always have.  When it gets above 95 and stays above 85 at night, I complain as much as anybody else.  But I generally like hot weather.  Days like today don’t bother me at all.  We have AC.  Until about mid-way through my childhood, we didn’t.  In fact, we lived in the house we’re in now for two years before we got AC, in 1988.

My 2009 New Year’s resolution was to walk 10k steps a day each day of the year, and I’ve kept it up now almost a year and a half.

My 2010 resolution was to do yoga every day, and I’ve done that.  There have been a few days when I made it brief — ten or fifteen minutes.  Usually I spend thirty to forty minutes.  If I have the time, I’ll take an hour or even 90 minutes.  I pretty much stick to the same routine, but vary how long I stay in the poses.  It’s almost the exact same routine I’ve used since 1974.  I’ve always done yoga, but haven’t made it a daily routine since Sarah, our first child, was born.  Yoga requires a quiet house, and kids aren’t all that quiet — so my yoga was sporadic for 27 years.  Now that my daughter Emma is 17, has her driver’s license and a job, the house is quiet again.  This was a great resolution.  Daily yoga is ten times better than yoga two, three, or even four days a week.  I feel great and have lost 23 pounds.

I was a little sorry missed the Six Pack of Plays that Lee Street Theatre just produced.  I knew some of the playwrights and would have liked to support the effort.  I never got done with work in time.  Saturday was an option, but we wanted to celebrate our anniversary.  It would not have been kosher to attend those plays as an anniversary celebration.  I had some highly egocentric emotion over the whole affair because they didn’t pick my plays (the scripts didn’t conform to the guidelines).

I did put those rejected plays online — on this website — and received  an email yesterday from an international student in China.  He said he was just writing to thank me for the play.  He was an actor in Nice Name for a Sky.  That’s all he said.  It’s nice to know somebody is making use of the script.  I’d love to see a picture.

Alicia took our dog, Jackie, to the vet.  She got some pill for fleas and the dog feels a lot better.

I’m really enjoying my new car — an 85 Honda Civic station wagon that I bought two months ago.  It rides well, is easier to load and unload, and is easier to get in and out of than the ’94 Civic I got rid of.  Every once in awhile, a spark plug wire gets loose, but everything is cool when I pull over and push it back in place (as long as I don’t burn my hand).  Thursday, the speedometer/odometer stopped working.  I’ve got to get that fixed.  I like to know how fast I’m going.

I’ve been visiting my mom each day in the Alzheimer’s unit.  She spends her days shuffling up and down the halls.  I’ve enjoyed being there and have gained a lot of respect for the staff.  They are special people.  I’ve also enjoyed getting to know some the residents.  They’re each at their own stage, dealing with the disease in their own way — and some of them are a real trip.

So that’s about it — and now it’s after one o’clock in the a.m. and I’ve got some work to do!  And my own garbage and recycling (mostly recycling) to take out.

Four years ago today

My father passed away on this day, February 28, four years ago.  Those kinds of days get frozen in memory.

I didn’t visit him the day he died.  It was the day we started Coffee News, and I was out delivering our first papers.  I did go by his house that day and looked in on him.  He was asleep.

Dad and Ikeybird

I did visit twice the day before.

Once, at lunch.  I was in the kitchen, eating some of his food, and talking with Tammy, his caregiver.  He walked in there, without the walker or wheelchair.  I looked up from the kitchen table and he was sitting across from me, breathing hard.

“You’re paying for that,” Tammy said.

Pulling for air, he nodded.

Later that night, I was at Port City Java, buying a cup of coffee for me and a piece of cheesecake for him.  He liked cheesecake enough to take a bite or two of it, towards the end, when he barely ate anything at all.

He called my cell phone to tell me that somebody good was on Larry King.  I wish I could remember who it was, but can’t.  I do remember it was somebody he knew was of special interest to me.  I went over and we watched the show together – something we did many nights.

After that, we watched a basketball game.

As I was leaving, he asked me if I would be back the following night to watch Wake Forest play.  He was a Carolina fan first, but he also loved Wake Forest out of sympathy for me (and because sending me there cost him a lot of money!)

Wake had a pretty bad team that year, and I think they were up against a much better team from Florida State.  I said, almost cruelly, that they were going to get killed and I didn’t want to see it.  Instead, I told him, I would watch American Idol with my daughter – and then visit after the show.

He died during American Idol (and he was a real one).

The picture here is from about 2003 or 2004, I think.  Taken in our house with an early PDA camera (fancy tech at the time).  Not great resolution, but a fun picture that I enjoy often.

[Thanks to the generosity and superior searching skills of Crystal Holmberg, I now remember Larry’s guest that night.  I had already tried, but Crystal successfully located that night’s transcript.  Larry’s guest on Feb. 27, 2006, was Jon Stewart — certainly my very favorite, as Dad knew].