Dorion Mode

September 28, 2020

The shadows of an Indian summer.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 18:49

It struck me recently that a major cause of my outrageous behavior these past few months is that I've continued to neglect writing the articles for the fabled outlines I published through the process of applying be a Pageboy of Diana Coman and the Young Hands Club. As she observed, I spent most of my twenties finding my feet, which lead me to live in a foreign land I came to consider my home.

Then, 11 days after TMSR's closure I decided to leave the city with everything apart from my friends that couldn't be replaced to stay with my parents in the hills I grew up in. Not having written the articles in the outlines is evidence I've not thought through and processed fully those trials and tribulations. Instead of writing, publishing and moving on1, I went on a summer vacation as if it was my childhood. I did what was easy, rather than what was correct. I literally walked in scores of loops around golf courses.

shadows-1

Above, from hole 7 tee box of Rutland Country Club Saturday. Below, from behind 7th green.

shadows-2

It has been a sunny, Indian summer stretching into September and I reverted to the shadows, even if I spent more time outside and under the sun this summer than I have in a decade plus. I'm at ground zero of where my weaknesses are rooted, but I have rested rather than working to strengthen them. I have allowed myself to atrophy and incur opportunity costs. I could think of more things to say and as I start to a lot of negatives come up, but ultimately lead me to asking, what now ?

I'm reminded of a point that was quite a surprising relief to read in the moment and to be reminded of now. What now then is to confront myself and my past, remind myself stupidity is penalized exponentially by the wise and the world with good reason, and start chipping away at writing those articles and doing what I know I have to do. By greasing my writing gears, more will be sure to follow, one simple step at a time. Tu nu poti daca nu te chinui suficient.

  1. While at the same time having it available to reference relatively cheaply at any future point. []

July 13, 2020

In defense of honoring Rutland Raider Power.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:43

The local newspaper, The Rutland Herald, recently published an op-ed written by a former classmate of mine titled, "RHS Mascot must go", which you can read here. I submitted a sightly shorter version of this, e.g. doesn't have any pictures or footnotes, to said herald this evening, which I've linked. The last piece I submitted to them was about 10 years ago, which they didn't publish for unspecified reasons. To give you an idea, this is a paper that still publishes the long-ago discredited Paul Krugman. I'm not holding my breath for them to publish this, but we'll see.

For new readers of the blog, mind there's a comment box at the end. Leave your thoughts, if you please; both supportive and critical comments will be published. At the end of each footnote there's a link that will return you to your place. Here goes.

Dear Fellow Rutlanders and Ms. Gokee,

To be clear, while I disagree with her methodology and conclusion, I write this in the spirit of debate and with all respect due to Ms. Gokee, of whom I always had a positive experience of in the flesh. I learned of several things from her piece and I hope this article returns the favor.

Nicknames and titles are characteristic of honor-based societies, which have endured millennia because they reflect the self-evident hierarchy that exists in nature and predates land-based organisms. True story: even sea creatures secrete endorphins when they win a turf war and raise their standing in the world. This neurological structure is older than trees.

The Latins used ''cognomen'', which English speakers call nicknames, to distinguish, among other things, heroic battle achievements. Fortunately, the bounty of excess resources the capitalists of generations past graciously bequeathed us has provided sufficient cushion to afford our youths (previously known as ''useless eaters'') the luxury of organized athletics. The rub is, when you name a team in town, you don't have those individual stories that support the individual nicknames. As a consequence, the tenacity competition requires traditionally leads the namers to use names representing something fierce, e.g. lions and tigers and bears, oh my!! American football is the sport most reminiscent of battle and probably that which the Rutland Raiders are most renowned for in this state, so let us dwell for a moment. George Carlin nails it, y'know? ''In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line. In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! I hope I'll be safe at home!''.

''Raid'' is a Scottish word with etymology tracing to describe a ''mounted military expedition''. Football requires bravery, tenacity, physical fitness, power and grace, team coordination and willingness to get dirty and bleed for the team and town to experience the high of achievement and victory. Naming the mascot a Raider honors the spirit and characteristics through a symbol the student-athlete can draw on for inspiration. The arrowhead itself symbolizes and honors a culture that leveraged the tool to feed, clothe and shelter families and evict derelict neighbors and perhaps even against neighbors who were simply boring and dull. It's true that there are undertones of violence, but the wisdom of using them in this context is they are actually beneficial in dangerous, physical competition, where strictly enforced rules allow violence to be pushed to the edge of civility and an advantage is gained for knowing well where the line is.

Sure, racists and bigots employ propaganda to manipulate those less bookish, but do you really want to be a person who imputes the views and behavior of a small minority of individuals on an entire community? Pretty sure there's a word for that. It's certainly not consonant with my experience of being around Rutland athletics for over two decades as a water boy1 , athlete2 and fan, during which I can't recall I witnessed any instances of racism3. There is brotherhood amongst opponents.

I accept as true that racist and bigoted people exist across cultures and geography. I've lived over a quarter of my life as a social and racial minority in foreign lands, this isn't my imagination, but first hand experience. Humans are social creatures with in-group preference. We tend to prefer friends and family to strangers for most activities and tend to feel uncomfortable when surrounded by conversation in a foreign language. Learning hurts.

With that being said, to say honoring a culture's symbols by taking them for inspiration into a gamified battle is appropriation and racist is to look at the situation from not only a very limited, but fragile perspective. Where does this argument go if applied ''equally''? Do you really want to start a culture war where symbolizing and utilizing cultural contributions are restricted to progeny of the originators? Should descendants of Europeans now take offense whenever someone else wears a necktie when they are dressing for success? The ''cravat'' is distinctly European military attire, after all. Are you making fun of my ancestors?!? What about electricity and the Internet Protocol and aeroplanes and automobiles and the number zero? Surely it will tilt the balance of power towards the ''just'' if you lot pass a law that grants license to state clerks to use violence to restrict (suspending all sense, for a moment, to assume it could be done) technologies to those who can prove a bloodline (sarcasm). Taking a step back, it seems such a path leads to more division rather than cooperation. And if all of a sudden you don't want to apply your new rule equally, well... I'll let you fill in this blank and I don't think you'll like the word that fits.

It's true, history involves men fighting and killing and taking from and enslaving each other. Such behavior is cross-cultural and recurs throughout history because nature imposes scarcity and language and cooperation take more effort in the short term. C'est la vie. The fact that Europeans developed and utilized technology such as horses and the wheel and gun powder and the printing press which enabled them to more effectively control the resources of this landmass is not to their shame; anymore than it's the Turks' shame for developing superior cannon technology4 that enabled them to take the city5 that was the center of the world for over a millennia; nor is it Michael Jordan's shame for dominating the NBA during his prime, even if he was mean at times. The lists go on and on to demonstrate hierarchies are self-evident. The other side of 'the Indian problem'' was what the Europeans referred to as their burden to spread the high standard of living they achieved and which we enjoy through the harsh winters. Chimneys for the win, amirite ?!?! Monty Python's ''Life of Brian'' hits the nail on the head, ''All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?" That is, check the toolbox you depend on for survival prior to impugning the deceased and scorning their progeny for whatever you convict their ancestors of posthumously, lest you find yourself lost in the cold. Side note: Lost in the Cold is a great Twiddle song, look it up.

To say in one sentence ''we're Vermonters'' and in another that this here is ''Abenaki land'' is a contradiction I hope others caught. Perhaps some progeny of the Byzantines refer to that grand city on the Golden Horn as Constantinople to this day, but any ticket they buy to go there surely reads Istanbul. Perhaps some Bitcoin Barron will take ownership of this land in the future and rename it. Until that day, it's called Vermont to signify this is an outpost of European civilization. There was war, subjugation and brutality on this continent far before their ships beached and for whatever reasons, after losing many battles fighting with and against the Natives, the Europeans came out on top. If you must hate, please don't hate the player, hate the game. Then try to not hate because bitter roots bear bitter fruit. Try instead to learn why the winners won.

It's probably the case some old white man dressed in a three piece suit sat in his leather chair at his Mahogany desk smoking his pipe some century and a half ago to make the name and came up with the alliteration we've inherited. Maybe he even wore a monocle and kept coins in woven bags with dollar signs painted on strewn about the marble floor of his office which his servants polished daily on their hands and knees with toothbrushes. Given we've uncovered the etymology, do you think it could be possible the man was a silly Scotsman who knew what the word meant and used it to counterbalance the rivalrous ''Mounties'' of Convent Avenue in this here city? Wouldn't that be something?

I don't know what the real source of the name is, but I must ask what the long-term consequences are of trying to whitewash the name and symbols thousands of young Rutlanders have been proud to represent in constructive, competitive activities they cared deeply about? If you thrash the arrowhead, will you then chastise me and my friends for wearing our state championship gear? Should we have a big bonfire and burn all the threads6? Or what if I have a son who grows up and wants to wear his old man's throwbacks, should he expect grief? Should I prepare him to defend himself because he may be attacked if wearing it in public? I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, I'm genuinely curious how far you think the 'removal' will go. Seems like a major distraction from the actual travesty taking place presently through socialist central banks appropriating purchasing power via the inflation tax, y'dig? But hey, driving division using the racist wedge and meanwhile debauching the currency is straight out the Communist playbook. Maybe I'm biased, "the Commish" of the Mounties, a.k.a Mr. William O'Rourke III, J.D., did nickname me ''Raider Rob'' for my fidelity to the tradition, after all. My point is there are more sides to the story than the scapegoat of evil white men making fun of people they conquered.

If you manage to succeed, perhaps you pick a name more benign, but likewise virtuous, activity that Rutland is actually famous for. Probably should be something about marble since that's what the world actually knows this area for. The mythology would be similar to a Slater who quarries for sacred material deep in mother earth and erects enduring structures for art and his family's refuge. For all I know though, you'll claim Mr. Proctor was a ''thief''/''Robber Barron''/omgwhatever for ''stripping the land''. Regardless, I reckon the Raider spirit will remain adamant in Rutland independent of whether the current tensions are opportunistically exploited to further the agenda of cultural Marxists7.

My neighbor gave me the nickname out of admiration despite wanting to see me lose and even cry my eyes out whenever his team was on the other side of the ball and I love him for that because competition brings out the best within us. Personally, I'd rather see arrowheads on the backs of teenagers' cars who loved playing as Raiders so much they parade the symbol around town in perpetuity. The reason is, the meaning to me isn't some racist symbol; the arrowhead represents hard work, dedication, deferral of gratification, courage, physical and mental mastery, making enduring memories with lifelong friends, teamwork, excitement, community support, giving your jersey to a cute chica on gameday, sportsmanship, sight and sound, intensity with integrity, living such that you have no regrets and on that score I know I'm not alone. Whether you like it or not, that's what you're attacking and that's probably the primary reason there's resistance. Surely there would be more resistance if the risk and consequences of being slandered a racists weren't so high. I'll take that risk, and say what I believe to be correct, and leave to faith that the logos still remains in the thousands of people who've known and supported me in this community throughout my life.

Ms. Gokee writes, ''The problem is that putting Native Americans in the past erases our existence in the world today.'' Likewise, saying present day Rutlanders use the arrowhead as a racist symbol such that their history should be torn down rather than a symbol of admiration is unmitigated prejudice. I, for one, will keep my nickname with honor as long as I live because the roots of the words are simply too profound not too --you're not digging them up.

For the record, the time is always now, that's why it's called the present. Look it up if you don't believe me. The phrase for the time when you tear down the proud symbols of a society is post mortem.

In Liberty and Sincerely Yours,
Robinson, a.k.a ''Raider Rob'', a.k.a ''Digger'', Dorion.

  1. Here's a pic from 1998 following a Raider victory over Hartford in the semi-finals :

    raider-power-1

    From left to right: yours truly, Jake Eaton, T.J. Bowse.

    The Saturday prior, the Raiders beat the Mounties on Alumni in the Rutland-MSJ game. The following Saturday, MSJ beat Rutland in the State Championship game on Alumni and Rutland was the away team. They were also both contenders for the basketball title that year, which MSJ won. During the 1996-2006 period, Rutland won 7 of 11 titles while MSJ won 3. Ten out of eleven's not too bad for one town.

    For foreigners, the MSJ herein referred stands for Mount St. Joseph Academy, the Catholic School cross-town rival. []

  2. For the pics or it didn't happen crew, here you go.

    raider-power-2

    I had one of my better games that day and Coach Norman awarded me the game ball. Mr. Hadley, the father of Josh Hadley, one of our Senior Captains, and his Sophomore brother Ethan had passed away the week of the game. The ball is buried with Mr. Hadley. []

  3. That's not to say it never happened, maybe it did. It's simply that if it did it was so rare that I don't recall. That is, there are always bad apples, but it was never part of the athletics culture. []
  4. Who else misses the cannon at Raider football games ? 'Bring Back the Cannon 2020 !' ? For those unaware, from about 2000-2002, after every touchdown and other special occasions, a powder filled cannon was touched off at every home game. If I recall correctly, some residents of Gleason Road whined loud enough to get it mothballed. []
  5. Constantinople. []
  6. Here's a small sample:

    raider-power-3

    If memory serves, the story behind that 2000 lid is Josh Finley made a leaping, back shoulder catch on a deep post (the play-call was probably 26 iso pass) thrown by Sean Hurley late in the 4th quarter of a low scoring game to really take the stinger out of the Hornets of Essex and ultimately lead to the Raiders squashing them.

    raider-power-4

    Above: Sam Reynolds, Zak Acquistapace, Ryan Corey, Matt Littler, Josh Hadley.

    Below: Andrew Baker, Justin Stewart, Jon Bassett, Chris Kiernan.

    raider-power-5

    []

  7. Whether you're aware of it or not, that's what's going on. When Communism failed economically, as it always must, they pivoted. []

March 13, 2020

Friday, March 13th

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:53

Friday the 13th is thought by some to be unlucky. Whether or not you think the following to be unlucky, Friday, March 13th past and present have marked key turning points in my life where what I was standing on fell out from under me.

I was supposed to write about this months ago, but what better time to write it than now ? It was five years ago today that I received the news Coinapult wouldn't be continuing. The evening prior they'd asked Silbert and Lenihan for a Series A on top of the seed funding they'd put in and were denied. I wasn't at the table and I don't have beyond hearsay and suspicions why it happened. I do know that while the company was struggling for months, things appeared to be turning the corner. I didn't give up that weekend ; there were talks with other potential investors in motion. Those talks went silent on the 17th 1. I likewise have suspicions about the compromise, perhaps I'll go into the noted suspicions later.

It slapped me pretty hard, but I kept breathing and moving forward in search of my feet. While Jacob and I had known each other for about a year, it wasn't until after Coinapult 2 collapsed to be sold in distress that he and I started forming our friendship that later turned to business. Without Coinapult going down, it not guaranteed we'd have neither the friendship, nor the business.

I was slapped again Wednesday evening of this week with the Closure of TMSR. While I'm much stronger and have much greater support to handle this slap, I don't have the words to describe how much more it stings. It's unquestionable and immeasurable how much greater TMSR was compared to that stack of BVI papers, pile of duct tape and paper clip code and boyish group of gringos. It stings most because I know I should've done better.

While I've wept, I'm not going to be sad, or panic or hold regrets or run away. It is what it is and all I see worth doing now I doubling down on my learning and communication and using it to kill the poisonous stupidity I swallowed as a child and which I've not yet fully purged from my system. I don't know where that will take me, but if I die trying I surely won't have regrets.

  1. Luck of the Irish, eh ? []
  2. An insight into their management capabilities is that he asked them in Q1 2014 about work and they didn't even offer him an interview. []

February 7, 2020

Dealing with Death

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 20:02

As my luck has played out, in ~30 years of life, I've somehow not been touched much by tragic deaths or death generally. As you'll read below a couple tragic deaths have affected me, but they either happened before I was born or I was too young to remember. The closest person to me to have taken the eternal nap was my paternal grandfather - Walter, a.k.a. Red - who passed when I was 21. He was a couple months away from turning 92 and lived ~15 miles away. He was ready and when his time came, I took comfort in the fact that I'd gone out of my way to spend substantial time with him in his last years. Apart from him, no very close personal relationships had been severed by the ultimate fate of all the living.

All that changed a bit the first week of December. The family dog, a Lhaso Apso, had just turned 17 in November and had been on his last legs for most of 2019. We got him when he was 3 months old and I was turning 13. Probably not the only dog in New England around that time named Nomar1. My parents said they got him for my 10 year old sister, but I think a part of them wanted a kid to care for as she and I started becoming more independent. He was an easy dog to have : clean, loyal, protective, lots of energy, but also knew how to chill out. He lived a better life and ate better meals than most people2. Of the four of us, I was the least close with the dog3, so I reckon it really helped my parents for me to be there in coming to the decision. Looming large was the Hawai'i trip, for which they had decided they weren't going to kennel him. The 3rd or 4th of December they made the appointment with the vet to put him down the 11th or 12th. Given the known fate, I spent some extra time with him including walking him up the block the 5th. It was snowing and despite his relatively weak, old legs he ran most of the walk and some of it through the powdery snow which was up to his shoulders.

Chilling out with him the evening of December 5th :

life-death-3

As fate would have it, my Father woke up to him having some kind of seizure the morning of the 6th and thought he was going to die right there. He bounced back, but the decision was made then to move up the schedule to that afternoon. I accompanied my Father and held Nomar in my lap the few mile drive to the vet, he was getting pretty antsy towards the end. We proceeded to the room and had about 10 minutes with him to say goodbye before the vet came in. We took off his collar and my Father held him as they administered the sedative. After that was in, they released him and he wandered the room a bit before the drowsiness kicked in and he fell right at my feet. His goofy last steps reminded me of what he sometimes looked like as a puppy. We were both crying by then, cause what else are you going to do after 17 years ? We moved him into his bed, the vet applied the lethal injection and confirmed shortly after that his heart had stopped. I felt thankful to have him as a dog, thankful to be there for his last moments and thankful for life being able to move on now that the people are freed from the uncertainty and stress they were carrying given his precarious state.

Turning the page to Saturday the 7th, a close hometown acquaintance, Pat Gilligan, overdosed on some form of opiod. He was two years older than me, but the town of less than 20k and high school of about 1k is small. I remember him since I was about 8 and we shared many of the same friends. My sophomore year of high school I mainly spent time with seniors because I was on the varsity teams. I was never teammates with Pat, but his best friends were the group I hung out with so we spent a decent amount of time together from when I was 15 to 20 and always had laughs and good times. It was hard not to like him, his classmates gave him the superlative of "everyone's friend", he was smiling regularly and making others smile and had the brain power to make himself into a civil engineer. The funeral was a standard Catholic affair that didn't really hit me until his two older sisters gave the eulogy at which point it all sunk in and the tears flowed. It was tough to learn that though he had struggled with this addiction for about a decade, he had been sober the past 10 months, spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving with family, was making Christmas plans to sync with friends only then to slip into relapse and have it all taken away days later. I spent the afternoon and evening with those friends4, many of whom I'd not seen nor spoken to for 5 or 6 years. Touching base with them was good for reminding me where I came from and although it had been half a decade, we were able to pick right up as if we'd all been hanging out the weekend prior and every other weekend since high school5. That experience, along with some others helped underscore the strength of the bonds I managed to forge in my small town upbringing6.

life-death-1

Above, Pat7 at "Bomoroo" 2010, Lake Bomoseen, VT. For a number of summers everyone would invite their college friends to a party that started as a boat tie up at the south end sand bar of the lake, transition to BBQ then Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton for the Saturday night rodeo, then to The Bomoseen Inn, a.k.a. The Dog, then for those degeneratesfun people still standing, Hampton N.Y. where the bars stayed open a couple hours later8. R.I.P Patrick.

Now, moving on to a funeral that was paid for, but not yet executed. At some point in December my paternal, 97 year old, grandmother June took the time to make her arrangements. While she has flirted with death on a number of occassions, she could also live another few years. In fact, I thought I'd seen her for the last time and said my goodbyes in May of 2017. About to turn 94, she had moved in with my parents the weekend prior and I was visiting. My maternal grandmother, Pam, was also visiting for the week and the three of us were sitting down to breakfast. June went to the washroom and a couple minutes later we heard a crash from in there. She had fallen and I was first on the scene. After not hearing a response to my knock on the door, I opened it through the resistance of her walker that I found to be obstructing from the inside to see her lying on the ground. I rushed to her side and started talking to her for about 30 seconds trying to elicit a response to realize maybe I ought to check her pulse and shut up and give her a chance to to respond, which she ended up doing. Pam came to the door and I told her to call an ambulance and lay talking with her and rubbing her back until the ambulance came. She said, "The back rub feels nice," to which I replied, "You could've asked for a back rub without falling down," which made her laugh, which hurt her back because she had sustained some compression fractures.

She was in a lot of pain and when we went to visit her in the hospital that evening the pain hadn't subsided. During that hospital visit she shared, "What's the point, we know this isn't going to get any better and I'm going to end up back here in worse shape. You know I love life and I've lived a good one, but I'd just as soon not make it to 95." It was a month out from her birthday. After that, pretty much overnight, she went from being coherent enough to live independently at 94 to disassociating to the point of not forming complete sentences. Part of it may have been the pain meds being administered, but I think the disassociation was caused moreso by checking out from life. What's the point of carrying on conversations if it's about to be over ? This experience taught me a lot and my visits involved trying to make eye contact with her and tell her I was thankful for knowing her. There were a couple times in the hospital when I was alone with her that she briefly snapped out of the disassociation to tell me that I understood her to soon break back down to the disassociation. I returned to Panama with closure thinking it was the last time I'd see her.

The only problem was, her internals were too healthy and after a month of realizing she wasn't dead yet, she decided to come back to reality and go home. Since then she has returned to her correspondence - a good chunk of which is in French with her former students,9 playing bridge,10 drinking her evening Manhattan and carrying conversation when she manages to hear what's being said. In many ways she's still waiting to die. Pretty much all of her friends and many of her former students have passed. I don't really know how to conclude it here other than to say I'm thankful her underlying health bought us some more time together and allowed me to witness someone close preparing to part with the gift of life. Make the most of the time you have with the people you love and say what you have to say because either you die before them and you don't get to say it or they die before you and you don't get to say it. Also, drink Manhattans if you got 'em. Throwing up cheers with June at The Fair Haven Inn, July 2018 :

life-death-2

The final aspect of processing death during this time was the Hawai'i cruise itself. The back story is, my maternal grandmother Pam, isn't my biological grandmother. The first part of the story is when my mother was 10, her family was in a fatal car accident on Highway 37 south of Mt. Vernon, Illinois ; killing her mother Shirley and youngest brother Barry. They say my grandfather was saved by the steering wheel and my mother and her three other brothers saved by luck of being in the backseat. My grandfather married Pam in the late 1980s and the second part of the tragic backstory is he died in a hang gliding accident in 1992. My first birthday :

life-death-5

Despite being married less than a decade, Pam stayed with the family and has been the glue that has held it together since. She has financed numerous holidays, including the trip to Hawai'i, and I'd say is the primary reason I know my uncles, aunts and cousins to the extent I do. Pam remarried in the 1990s to a man with a daughter from a previous marriage. This aunt is the one that introduced us to the French75, in addition to being cool in various other ways.

On one such holiday when I was about 11 I had made some money caddying in Long Island. Pam was making a second career as stockbroker at that point. I later found out her broker had asked her if she was interested in it after he noticed she was good at picking companies to invest in. At the time, she declined because she was preparing to retire from education with my grandfather. After his passing, she went for it. Fresh cash in hand, she sat me down on the porch by the sea, explained the high level concept of long term value investing and made me a proposition : she'd open a brokerage account for me and for every dollar I invested, she'd match. I took her up on this and that's what sparked my interest in investment. Paying respect in 2016 at Grandpa's memorial11 in West Frankfurt, Illinois :

life-death-4

On the negative side, the downside of the tragic deaths of my grandparents is hard to express. The reverberations of how they rocked my family are still felt today. I'd have enjoyed and learned a lot from my grandfather as everyone says we had a lot in common. On the positive side, without those deaths, I'd not have my grandma Pam, perhaps never been interested in finance and for sure would be a different person. Maybe in the alt-reality of them surviving to the present I'd have found my way to where I am now, but I wouldn't be who I am now.

Life is precious and robust. Death is part of life and while it's difficult to deal with the fact that you'll die and everyone you know and love will die, it's still worth making the most of in the finite time you have. What else are you going to do ?

I'll play Ode to Joy and take refuge in amore fati.

  1. After then Boston Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra --Nomar Garciapuppy ?-- who ended up being traded at the deadline summer of '04, the year the Sawx broke the 86 year "Cruse of the Bambino". Despite "our guy" being traded, and Orlando Cabrerra delivering in October, the name wasn't going to change at that point. []
  2. My dad usually served the dog's portion of the meat first to shut up his excited barking. []
  3. You know that bit from Snatch, yeah ?
    Mickey: "Do ya like dags ?"
    Tommy: "Oh, dogs. Sure, I like dags, but I like caravans more."

    I like dogs ok, but I like people more and have a sneaking suspicion most people who have dogs do so to cover the hole in their personality that prevents them from earning higher quality relationships with people. Especially people in cities who essentially sign up to have their lives run by an animal and pick up shit for a decade for a beast they will never hold a conversation with. At least for all the diaper changing children learn to talk pretty early. If I'm ever to have a dog it'll be if/when I own a farm, can keep it outside and train it to hunt. Anyways, </rant> []

  4. Jacob was in town and tagged along to the after "party". []
  5. Within certain bounds of course. Perhaps only one or two in the group can begin to grok what I've written on this blog so far. []
  6. It also underscored how weird people can be because some people that obviously ought to have been at the "celebration" didn't show. Imagine living 3 hours drive away in Boston and not going to the funeral of your childhood/high school friend the weekend prior to Christmas. Unfathomable to me. []
  7. The only pic I had of him. []
  8. No wonder I managed to keep the pace on the cruise like I did. []
  9. A family tragedy typical of gringolandia is that while both her and Red spoke French (she taught at what's now Castleton University), they only spoke it as an encryption mechanism, i.e. when they didn't want their children to understand. So depsite my surname, I'm struggling to reclaim my linguistic heritage in my 20s. The poverty of being American. []
  10. She's a grandmaster, but no, she didn't teach us that either, sigh. []
  11. How he earned the memorial is an article for another day. []

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