Friday, July 26, 2013

Timothy Morris, and the person we said goodbye to today



This past Monday, I went to work as usual and was exchanging weekend going-ons with my friend and coworker Julie, when an email appeared from my sister Shawn. It said simply “CALL ME”.

I said to Julie “Something’s wrong. Shawn doesn’t email me here.” Julie said “Uh-oh”. So I called my sister, and through her tears and stifled sobs I heard “Tim was in an accident this morning Doug, he’s gone.”

My nephew Tim, and his girlfriend Nettie

Tim is my brother Steve and wife Ann’s youngest son--the youngest of their three boys, Steve (II), Edwin & Tim. He was 21 years old and a junior in college (and an excellent student, a psychology major with a 4.0 grade point average). He’d been coming home from his girlfriend’s house late Sunday night/early Monday morning, had missed a curve in the road and hit a tree. The coroner said he died instantly.

I wasn’t sure what to write here, or if I should say anything at all. It’s still too fresh, the funeral was today. I haven’t seen my brother cry since we were kids, and all I could do was hug him and grieve with him. But at the same time, it was amazing to see all the love there today, how many people had gone out of their way to be there for Tim. Besides family and friends, and people he knew from his job & school, Tim was an online gaming enthusiast, and friends he’d made online traveled from states as far as New York & Georgia to be there for him.

Steve & Ann's son Tim--a chef at Obama's InaugurationIn 2008, Tim was one of eight culinary students selected to attend Obama’s inauguration

His obituary reads he was born March 2, 1992 and was a junior at California (Pa) University, and enjoyed playing card and computer games, cooking and was a volunteer at Castle Blood (a haunted house attraction). And he loved his two dogs, Dexter & Dolly.

But that’s just the facts; it doesn’t say how close he was to his maternal grandparents for example, and how he regularly cooked for them.

This is what Tim’s oldest brother, my nephew Steve had to say about him:

Tim was the sort of guy that everyone wanted to know. He just had that knack, people were drawn to him. He was witty and clever in ways I only pretend to be.  And talented. He was ridiculously talented at anything he decided he was going to do. It didn't matter what it was. When he wanted to learn how to cook, he learned how to cook. When he started playing WoW, it took him no time at all to pick it up, and become one of the legitimate best players on his server. Anything he wanted to do, he just got up and did. And he wasn't afraid to put the effort into learning.

He was the sort of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, and the only thing he'd ask in return is for you to not mention it, because he didn't want the attention. That's the sort of person we said goodbye to today.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Maybe it’s an odd thing but apaches have man-crushes too


Last weekend I was watching ‘This is 40’ (a very funny, very raunchy sequel-of-sorts to ‘Knocked Up’) & it occurred to me that I pretty much like everything that has Paul Rudd in it. 

THEN I thought “waitaminute, am I developing a man-crush on Paul Rudd?”

Man-crushes are a tricky thing; the Urban Dictionary defines a man-crush as ‘when a straight man has a "crush" on another man, not sexual but kind of idolizing him.’   Yeah, that works for me!

Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I realized a couple things: 

  • I don’t have a man-crush on Paul Rudd
  • I do have one on several other guys; I should come up with a Top Ten list, in ascending order & list them here
  • They have to be real men—nothing personal, Superman!

So, at the risk of raising an eyebrow or two, going from smaller man-crushes to the biggest, here’s my Top Ten List of guys (for reasons I can’t fully explain) I just can’t seem to get enough of.

10. David Duchovny (when he was on “The X-Files”)

Okay, I’m not into David so much anymore—but during his X-Files days, I thought he was the coolest dude on tv.  As much as I’ve always loved the idea of an alien takeover, I think David (in his spiffy FBI duds) was half the reason I watched the show.  David, I still want to believe.  (You know—in UFOs.)

9.  Lee Majors (from “The Six Million Dollar Man”)

I recently got the first 3 seasons of “Six Million Dollar Man” & I’ve gotta say, I love Lee Majors just as much now as I did in the ‘70s.  You can’t go wrong with bionics, but Lee ROCKED those leisure suits!  I swear to God, he wears 3 different suits in each episode and never fails to kick ass—bionically AND fashionably.

8.  Daniel Craig

Y’know, I first saw Daniel around 7-8 years ago in the film “Layer Cake” (about a cocaine dealer who wants to retire) and was instantly smitten.  I ran right out and bought it, I’ve watched it 4 times since.  Years later when they announced he was the new Bond, I was ecstatic—I love James Bond, and I love Daniel Craig.  ‘Nuff said.

7.  Martin Milner/Kent McCord (from “Adam-12”)

In the 70s, I’d watch this pair—Kent and his constant disbelief at how rotten people could be, & Martin’s wry smile, and it was like comfort food.  One of my all-time favorite tv shows and I love these guys just as much now as I did then.  And hey, who doesn’t love a man in uniform?  Here’s two.

6. Paul Reubens (as Pee-Wee Herman & himself)

I love him, I love him, I love him—and where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow!  Yes I proudly admit it: Paul Reubens will always be my guy. He’s awesome.

5.  Gene Kelly

If it wasn’t for Gene Kelly, I don’t think I’d be a terribly big fan of those old MGM musicals (let alone all that hoofing).  But with his short, stocky musculature and big hammy smile, he always made it look so easy, like dancing was just a natural thing.  I used to envision us being pals, a real couple of swells.  Dammit, it’s true!

4.  Rod Serling

Rod Serling

Are there younger photos of Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling out there?  Sure, but I think I liked him best during his ‘Night Gallery’ days.  With that craggly brow and his quiet, literate voice he always made me sit up and take notice.  I miss him still.

3.  Stephen King

I have been in REAL LOVE with Stephen King since 1982, when a friend loaned me ‘The Dead Zone’ and I felt like he was writing for me personally.  Have I read all his 50+ works?  Of course, at least twice!  Do I have a favorite?  You bet—his simple, honest autobiography.  What a powerful imagination & real soul this man has.  For the last 30 years, I’ve been hanging on his every word.

2.  Leonard Nimoy

Yes, of course I loved him in his earlier days as Spock, just like a billion other people.  But I love the man he grew into too as well, wise and thoughtful and full of character.  “Grow old along with me… the best is yet to be.”  That’s how he makes me feel.

1.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

If there’s a case for real hero worship, this is it.  As my sister Shawn well knows, I’ve been captivated by this great man and his greater deeds for as long as I can remember.  I get goosebumps when I read about or see old film clips of him still.  I wish I could’ve been a part of your time FDR, or you in ours.

There, that wasn’t so bad… was it?  Smile

Thursday, July 4, 2013

There’s something special about a back porch… oh wait, I know what it is

Here’s my lovely little niece Sophia, in all her summer glory on her backporch—isn’t she a beauty?  Today she proudly told me about her West Greene softball team winning the championship (“We just got a medal, no special ceremony or anything”) and what she planted in her vegetable garden:  “tomatoes, squash, peppers and three watermelon, Uncle Doug—we have to wait 74 days for them though.  For 3 watermelon.”   I know they’re difficult to grow, I sure hope this little farmer gets those 3 watermelons!

Well, that’s all I have for now!  And on that happy note…

Happy Fourth of July

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