Kicking the snow aside…


Dad's new marker is in place. I would've spent far more than the $40 cab ride to honor him.

How can it possibly be six months since June 28, 2010?  As you’ve read time and again, the focus is on the now, not what was then.  But with some frequency I remember what once was and bring that to the attention of Ellen and Reid.

——————

January 3, 2011

Ellen/Reid: Happy New Year to you both, and let’s hope for good days ahead in ’11.

I’m back in the shop this morning and glad to be working again.  It’s hard to believe that for all or part of six years I’ve been down in North Carolina.  No one has accused me of developing an accent yet.  Instead, when they hear me they say ‘you’re not from around here, are you?’

There weren’t any fanciful resolutions developed on this end.  Forget about weight loss and all the other usual complaints.  Won’t happen.  If there is one thing, it’s to stop pointing the finger at other people’s faults and be a little more introspective and self critical: how I can make things better on my end rather than expecting others to improve?  That’s not so much a resolution as the end result of the past half-year or so.  This sort of personal momentum has been building for a while now.  They say you can’t teach old dogs (me) new tricks but the landslide is already moving in that direction so we’ll see if any of that mud sticks to the wall.  If I can make improvements in small increments, that’s good enough for me.

Reid, I’m glad you’re looking at graduate school.  A colleague here just this morning instant-messaged me that she will continue her efforts to get a business degree on top of her B.A. in communications.  Spreads the risk if or when the job market gets a little dicey.  I like the way she thinks on that.  As we were talking yesterday, it’s fine to pursue the New School but I would do your own ‘spread the risk’ planning by applying to other schools in some concentric circle outside NYC.  I’d look as far up the coast as Connecticut and down toward Philadelphia.  You can always take the train or bus into Manhattan, and you’ll lower your costs and avoid putting all your eggs in the New School basket in the event you don’t get in.  I understand, too, your reluctance to attend a school that might have tentacles in the ad agency world, but if you do end up in New York, that is agency central.  It is where the ad world revolves, or at least it did revolve there.   The reality, unfortunately, is that schools are hard pressed for dollars these days, and they’ll gladly accept agency money in exchange for a seat or naming rights for some class or department.  That doesn’t make it a bad thing by any means, so don’t assume that just because a school has accepted dough from an agency that it means they have capitulated to agency pressures.  But you can’t hurt yourself by getting an advanced degree, especially if you want to become a researcher or teacher which, in reading from the tea leaves, is what I assume you want to be.  Since I’m wrong on the weather, stocks and the outcomes of pro sports, I might be wrong there, too.

I forgot to tell you guys that during my layover in Omaha, I took a taxi over to your grandfather’s grave.  Like an idiot I didn’t think to do this until about an hour before the shuttle to Grand Island was supposed to load, and the taxi driver literally broke all known speed records and ran every light to get me to the cemetery.  But once there I erred on where the grave actually was.   In my taxi-meter/shuttle-to-GI induced panic to find him, I frantically kicked a recent crusted snow off markers in the area where I thought he was buried.  It was so frustrating to think that I would not find his plot, but at the last moment I looked over to the south twenty yards or so, and there I found him.  His marker was, miraculously, not covered by snow or slush.  The new marker is very simple.  I said a few words and in the space of a couple of minutes, was back in the cab headed back to the airport.  That was a highlight of the trip.  One more item removed from my short term bucket list.

Well, in the vein of introspection and improving myself rather than asking others to improve themselves to fit my whim, I’ll sign off for this week.  But I reserve the right to pester you guys this weekend.  Did I tell you it was in the mid-60s here yesterday?

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