Thursday, January 29, 2009

February Holiday

We are officially declaring February as Maier Hibernation Month. After our hectic 2008 and the emotional start of 2009, we just need some time to be quiet. February oughta do it. After all, it's a short month anyway and we have Chloe's b'day in March to start our procession of Active and Exciting Spring Events. So, February is our time to recharge. If you don't hear much from us, or at least, me, that's why.

Thanks more than I can say to everyone for your support and internet/e-mail hugs during my dad's death and funeral. That meant a lot to me. For a guy raised in the grand (NOT!) American tradition of men-don't-cry, I've certainly had a few leaky moments over the last coupla weeks and anticipate a few more as I adjust to this loss.

Music is central to my soul and the one thing I'm gonna spend mental effort on this month is preparing a song for the LIFEisGood talent show. Our shy little family discussed it, agreed to participate this year, and chose a song to work on. We'll see how it goes. I haven't had much experience working with amateur musicians, so I hope we can make it happen! (VBG!)

How does that old country song go? Daddy sang bass, momma sang tenor, MJ and Chloe will be there in the middle... with me not exactly singing bass and Ronnie not precisely singing tenor. But we'll belt out something.

Unfortunately, we also gotta think of a NAME for our group! Shit! That's the hard part!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HappinessTree

Ginger asked me to participate, so here goes:

Six things that make me happy:

1. My nuclear family.


2. My (nonnuclear?) family.


3. My friends.


4. Flying, especially piloting a glider.

5. Sailing, especially during a night watch on the open ocean.


6. SCUBA in warm water (minimum 80F).


I'll add some photos later and maybe a few more entries, cuz 6 just ain't sufficient; but this'll do for now.

1/28 update: Some images added. More subjects and photos to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ave atque vale

Quick note while we pack and prepare to return home.

Dad's funeral Friday was very nice and he had a lot more visitors than we expected. We were all holding up pretty well, having shared dad's death together, until the military honor guard played taps. It was beautifully done and my stupid eyes started leaking like a faucet. Then they presented the flag to Jerry, who survived his Bush-inspired visit to the desert and is now a civilian again, and that started another round of waterworks all around.

It was a perfect day and we reminisced together after the cemetery with a get-together at Chrissy's house.

Then, in true New Orleans fasion, on Saturday night we went to see my old buddy Big Daddy O play music. There were 17 of us ranging from my 60 years of age down to nephew Paul's new baby at less than a year. We ate po-boys and other delish foods, consumed delightful adult beverages, and listened to BDO play his heart out. We toasted Marty and celebrated his wonderful life.

Coulda gone to an after-party to celebrate a Radiators anniversary but we were all pretty much ready to call it a night and prep for our return to Seattle. I asked Owen to insult some of the guys for me cuz I haven't seen 'em in years but our get-together had been more about celebrating together for dad than me reconnecting with old music pals.

Good-bye, New Orleans.

Good-bye, Dad. You were the best!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thanks

I admit I don't have the bandwidth right now to properly thank everyone for their friendship and support; so, as a stopgap, lemme just give all y'all a big generic THANKS.

More and better thanks to come later.

You know you're from New Orleans if you think purple, green, and gold look good together and you even eat things that color!

The Return of the (non)Native(s)

All dad's funeral plans are set, although there are a few peripheral things which still need to be taken care of. His obituary will be available here on Thursday. MJ arrived yesterday, which was nice, and Ronnie and Chloe arrive tonight. Hooray! My little nuclear family will be together again, which is a soothing balm to my psyche. They're flying (not walking, that'd take too long!) to New Orleans and I'm sittin' in my la-la, waiting for my ya-yas! Uh-huh-huh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5LnpErE6f4

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear EX-president G. W. Bush

Fuck you! Good riddance, you fucking shitbird cocksucker!

Oh, and by the way FUCK YOU!

They hang traitors, don't they? Can we call you "Stretch"?

However, they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, so maybe we could call you "Sparky"?

OTOH, most executions nowadays are by lethal drug injection, so we should probably call you "Dopey".

Yep. That one works pretty well.

Sincerely,

Me, a citizen of the U. S. of A.

P.S. Fuck you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Consummatum est

Nothing lasts forever, except maybe love.

Dad died at circa 6:30 CST. Pater, requiescas in pace in saecula saeculorum.

Phrase of the day

Tougher than a $0.25 steak!

Stolen from some forgotten thirties movie but oh-so-applicable to my silly old dad. Medical folks were talking about a 24~48-hour period for his final breath as of Friday night. Today, he's still hanging in. He's distinctly failing, with shallow, rapid breathing, which is nastily wet, and a very shallow, thready, and hard-to-find pulse. But he ain't ready to give it up yet.

Tough? Hell, yeah. They don't build 'em like that any more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Living and dying in New Orleans

It's really a small town in many ways. Things happen and decisions are made based on personal connections. Today, we visited the funeral home for dad: Schoen's on Canal Street, which was established by the Schoen family in the 1800s, one of whose members was in my class in high school, and just a few blocks from the cemetery, which is convenient, and not far from my high school, whose current president is Father Tony McGinn, S.J., who was in my class there. In New Orleans, when you ask "Where did you go to school?" the question refers to your high school allegiance, not college. We Jesuit boys don't deign to speak to lesser mortals unless we absolutely must. Our funeral consultant was a DeLaSalle boy (about my age) and I had to bite my tongue to avoid asking him how he came to work at Schoen's with its Jesuit connections. (VBG! Some things are eternal.)

Anyway, it's a beautiful building and I'm happy with this choice.

We're going small and simple. No frippery. No frou-frou. No jazz band with second-line strut, although that would be entertaining.

More when there's more to say. Right now I'm gonna hang with dad and my siblings. We don't get together very often and this is really a pretty nice thing.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm a travellin' man, made a lotta stops...

We've been a crazy travelling family for '08 and were hoping to have a quieter '09 after the final '08 New Year's trip to the San Francisco area. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. I just bought a plane ticket to New Orleans for Saturday because my dad is doing very poorly. This is probably his final curtain call.

Dad has travelled a long way himself on the great road of life and it looks like he's ready for a new adventure. Like one of my favorite old spirituals says, "Well, back, back, hearse, come git your load. I said, back, back, hearse, come git your load. That evenin' train may be too late. I'm going home on the mornin' train." Dad was never one to postpone doing what needed doing; so when he's ready, I'm sure he'll be riding that morning train to glory. There's another lovely death-train song which says, "You don't need no ticket. You just get on board." [Although I do like the Vanilla Fudge version, too.]Knowing dad, he'll have a ticket ready anyway, just in case.

But I'm gonna miss him.


Y'all take care. I'll post when I get to N.O. and/or know more.

P.S. For those who don't recognize it, the song of this post's title is here.