Archive for category Family

Five years without my biggest fan

Today is the fifth anniversary of my mom’s death. She was the biggest, proudest and most outspoken fan I’ve ever had, and it’s been tough generating all my own enthusiasm all this time without her. It’s a hurt that hasn’t gone away after all these years, but distance from the day my grandfather called with all his bluntness has sure helped with the perspective and the healing and all the good emotional stuff that’s supposed to dull the edges of such a traumatic, horrible thing.

I miss her dearly, and it’s not fair that she won’t be here to celebrate her favorite holiday with her little grandson, but she’s celebrating Christmas with our King this year. She’s okay now.

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A very happy birthday

I took a vacation day to celebrate Mom’s 62nd birthday today. 62 isn’t much of a milestone in the books of most, but to me it sort of was: it was the 5th one to come round since I lost her.

It was a good day, and was the first really warm, beautiful one we’ve had in a long time. I made a new arrangement for her stone with some of her favorite spring flowers, and in the back I added three peace lilies. It probably didn’t turn out as well as something a professional might have put together, but I thought it was appropriate. Besides, she always preferred homemade birthday cards and gifts and whatnot. I forgot my camera, of course, but my creative failures and/or bouts of anti-masculine-traditionalism probably shouldn’t be documented anyway. Since I hadn’t really felt like visiting her for a few years my grandfather, Tuck, had been maintaining her flowers for me. He passed away last December, though, and handed that particular responsibility back down to me. I think the arrangement already there might have been from him, and since it was still in pretty good shape I didn’t have the heart to pitch it; I gave it to my great uncle Teddy (and Mom’s favorite uncle ever), who is also buried in the same cemetery.

Afterward I took myself for lunch at Kublai Kebab, which is sort of a raw bar/hibachi kind of thing, and to a showing of Taken. It was between that and a Wes Craven remake, but since a) Mom wouldn’t have ever wanted to see a horror flick on her birthday and b) I was afraid Jonathan Craven might be as talentless as his father, the Liam Neeson movie won. And honestly, except for the anti-climactic and unsatisfying ending, it was a pretty good movie.

And of course after that I helped myself to the birthday doughnut I always got for Mom.

In all, it was really a great day of celebration. It’s the first time I’ve been able to enjoy the memories of her without being overtaken by the sense of loss. That element is still present, of course, but time and distance do wonders for those wounds that never heal. And I’m finally in the place I need to be.

So happy birthday, Ma! 🙂

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Of birds and their peckings

My uncle (the one that’s finally come home after years of service in D.C.) is a nature-loving biology guy who used to run a nature center (in this case NOT a euphemism for “nude beach”) on the west end of the state. I figured that, of all the folks I knew, he would be the most likely to have a solution to a problem that’s been driving me nuts for months. But alas, it looks like I’m going to have to turn to Lynn’s cookbooks…

Eugene B-S to Lars Liebling:

Hey, I thought you might know the solution to a weird problem we’re having at work.

There are some gigantic crows nesting (or at least hanging out a bunch) on top of our building. The atrium my office is connected to is open all the way to the roof, and has windows all around at the top. Now, I don’t know if these fellers are seeing their reflections in the windows or what, but for about an hour a day (and not always at the same time or only when the sun is out, etc.) they’ll continually scream and peck the crap out of a window.

To put it mildly, this is very distracting.

Any thoughts on relieving their desire to annoy me? J

Lars Liebling to Eugene B-S:

Too bad you have Crows they are very smart and are not tricked into flying away by rubber snakes or plastic Owls like other birds.  Even if you use a noise deterrent the crows will become accustom to it and just sit and enjoy!

If it is possible, change the way the light hits the windows (I doubt you can do this in an atrium) to divert or eliminate the reflection….not sure why it is only for an hour and not the same time every day???  Could be they are enjoying the warmth held by the glass and frame work around the glass??!!

Another option is to have some one remove all of the nesting material to discourage them from roosting on your roof. 

If all else fails there are several good recipes for Crow……….after they have died by ‘some unknown cause’ one night!

Good luck,


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Announcing: Carter Mills Beauchamp-Simmons

Lynn and I had our followup ultrasound this morning, and had some suspicions validated about our unborn baby:

  1. He’s very active
  2. He’s very healthy
  3. He’s very male

Carter Beauchamp-Simmons

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It's Not Easy Being Yellow

Here’s a group shot of some of my friends and family, courtesty of Burger King.

Group shot

Of course there are people missing, and I don’t really like some of the people present, etc. But it’s all the folks I had easily-accessed pictures of, and it was really too much work to keep adding people anyway… yeah.

Click for full size image. 🙂


Sand Fleas in My Shorts

I just discovered my friend Wayne’s brother is still mobilized in Iraq. He’s got a job (or at least he did… shows how little concern I’ve expressed over the last two years to not even realize he had never come home like I thought) that brings him in close proximity to potential no-goods-its, and in my not-so-humble opinion, the man doesn’t get paid nearly enough. Better equipment and training are essential, of course, but when we ask men and women to endanger themselves again and again and to carry out unpleasant exercises against an enemy who doesn’t distinguish himself from noncombatants, it’s also important to pay like we appreciate the sacrifice. Of course, proposing to increase military spending would make me evil. And Islam is a religion of peace, Americans are the true bad guys and we don’t need a standing military anyway. Right? Plus, poverty is just so dadgum ennobling!

In related news (sorry), my father’s Drittefrau announced that he was going to go be a contractor in Iraq. She said the first $80k or whatever was tax-free, so I guess that makes it okay. I haven’t heard whether my father actually knew about it before she started telling the family of the career change, or even if it really ever was (or still is) a possibility. I guess it’s his business, but I hope it’s his decision if he winds up doing something so idiotic. I mean, taking insane risks for an unappreciative public is one thing, but doing it for money is something quite else. It makes the reasons for all the jeopardy two-dimensional and really subjective.

Hey, can’t we all just be rich without getting shot at?

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Mom would be 60 today. Happy Birthday.

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