Ten Years

Ten years ago yesterday I talked to my dad on the phone for the last time. I had called from my shared office to wish him a happy birthday. With the three hour time difference, I think I called him around 3:30-4p Seattle time.

I don’t remember what I sent him for that birthday, but I think it was a sports-related book. Maybe one by John Feinstein. I could probably check amazon to figure it out.

It was a fine phone call to start. He wasn’t feeling too great because he had an infection in his mouth.

As we hung up, he told me that he loved me. My officemate was there. I was so self-conscious. Rather than respond in kind, I said, “uh huh.”

And Dad started to flip me shit about not telling him I loved him back.

Later I would wonder if he flipped me shit about this because he knew his end was near and didn’t want me to forever remember our last conversation as the one where I wouldn’t tell him I loved him because I was self-conscious!

It’s a silly thing to remember and hold onto. I never questioned whether he knew I loved him or not – he knew. I only wish I could forget that we ended our last conversation that way.

I will say that 10 years later, I am a lot less self-conscious about telling people I love them on the phone, even if someone else is in the room with me. Maybe that was Dad’s point all along. Love isn’t something to be self-conscious about. Shout it out. Be proud to love. That seems like him.

* Quote from this song is on his headstone.

Hi Chester!

handsome fellow
new guy

Welcome to the latest member of the pack, Chester. He’s already asserted his position in the household and things are more or less back to normal already.

Nintendo

Due to a moving miscommunication last year, N “owed” me a wii, which I received last week after some dental work. I love it! It has me thinking about our original Nintendo.

wii

When I was a kid, our parents would not buy us a Nintendo. It was a toy, it was expensive. They told us that we should save our allowance and buy one if we really wanted one. We really wanted one!

My brother and I saved our money for upwards of a year and eventually bought one to share (our parents actually ended up helping out a little, I think they were impressed that we were saving our money and teaming up without fighting).

We also saved money and bought games as we could afford them. It took a while to save up for the ~$30 games with our allowances — much less agreeing on which games to buy — but we did it!

This means that we didn’t have very many games. Instead, we worked out game trades with our neighborhood friends. Everyone had a Nintendo and we would always try to buy games that no one else had yet so we could trade for a couple of weeks. It was really cool that things worked out that way.

I wonder if kids still do this today?

Happy November

pumpkins
angry and happy

We didn’t get any trick or treaters yesterday in the new neighborhood, oddly enough. But we did decorate. N carved two pumpkins.

I Voted (but does it matter)

Growing up, Dad’s favorite topic was “civil disobedience.” Fighting for what you feel is right, but in a non-violent way. I think he wanted to prepare us to fight for our beliefs, to make good decisions about what to fight for, but he always wanted us to make sure we knew that some things are worth fighting for.

i voted

It feels like the majority of my peers feel a complete dissonance from the government today. That no politician really jives with their beliefs. That even if they vote, there’s no guarantee that their vote will be counted. That the government needs an enema via a rebellion or two or ten. Has it always been this way?

But, I stood in line for an anxious two minutes and voted anyway.