Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jeremy vs. BSG: Part 1

The most recent incarnation of Battlestar Galactica has been hailed by friends and experts alike as possibly one of the best science fiction television series ever... some have gone even further and declared it one of the best television series of any genre ever produced.  That being the case I suppose I should take a crack at watching it.

I'm four episodes in and here is what I've learned so far:

  1. I was a big fan of the original series as a kid and I'm glad that they put in just enough "fan service" to make me smile, but not so much that I sit and roll my eyes at the TV for forty two minutes.
  2. I want a Viper of my very own!
  3. I'm finding myself really enjoying how the characters are being developed. The writers really put a lot of effort into making sure that the characters are not the usual stock cardboard cutouts that most sci-fi shows rely on.
  4. OK... I get the handheld camera thing, but holy shit does it get annoying in some scenes.  Forgive me for saying so, but sometimes it feels like they hired Michael J. Fox to shoot the show.
  5. Sorry friends, but yes, I too would sell out the entire human race for a chance to do bad things with Tricia Helfer.  *rawr*

Friday, September 23, 2011

When I grow up to be a man...

This was supposed to be just another Friday.  Get the kids off to school, go to work, come home, put the kids to bed, do some chores, watch some TV and then crash out myself.  Never happens that way.  I was sitting at my desk talking to a customer about some issue they were having with their in store point-of-sale system when I started to phase out.  I had already gotten all the of information that I would need to address the issue and he just wouldn't shut up so I started to tune him out.  I looked over at the screen on my tablet and looked at the calendar widget.  One line stood out... "Grandpa passed away..."  There it was in black and white.  I froze in my chair.  Finally the customer let me go and I hung up my phone.  The memories of that day began to creep forward from the recesses of my brain's long term storage.

I had driven to Albany to go to a concert with my friend Chris who had moved out that way a couple of months previous.  I had decided before making the trek from Rochester to Albany that I would stop and visit my grandparents on the way back as it was right on my way home along the New York State Thruway.  It was a Sunday.  I had gotten back to the hotel only a few hours before the bedside phone's ringing woke me up.  I was groggy and a bit incoherent when I picked it up.  It was my mother.  She had called to tell me that my grandfather had passed.  I can't remember much of the conversation that followed.  I hung up the phone; alone in a hotel room I wept.  The pain was almost unbearable.  I didn't understand.  I didn't want to believe it.  I was supposed to be on my way to see him that day and in an instant he was gone from my world and I was left with a hole in my very being.

I drove to my grandparents anyway that day.  I spent the night there and comforted my grandmother as much as I could.

A couple of days after that I stood in front of a crowded room (much as I did a year ago for my father) and spoke of my grandfather.

I attempted to articulate to them how much he meant to me.

I tried to give them my perspective on who he was.... a genius with his hands, a man who could make anything grow, a father, grandfather, husband and son.

A veteran, a scout master, a patriot and a prankster.

A man with no enemies.

A hero to one little boy and an example of true manhood to the man that boy would become.

I miss you grandpa...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's in a name?

So, I have decided to change the name of this blog.  I had this idea to create a series of posts where I give myself challenges to tackle.  Everything from watching every episode of a particular television show to this like eating healthy for a week.  My thinking is that is might be a fun way to get a chance to talk about the things that interest me while also breaking down the challenges of life into achievable short term goals.

This will also give my the opportunity to fulfill a very specific challenge that I have placed in front of myself...

At least one hour every day will be spent doing something creative... writing, drawing, practicing guitar... something that will allow me to stretch my creative mind and sharpen my skills.

Most everyone that knows me is aware of my desire to be creative and knows that this is not just something that I want to do, but something that I HAVE to do.

So... stick around, this might actually get interesting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

O Captain! My Captain!

This past Monday, September 5th 2011, marked the one year anniversary of my father's passing.

Unlike my siblings I did not publicly mark it in anyway.  I cried for a few minutes that morning reliving the pain of kneeling before his ashes knowing that I would, for the remainder of my days, exist in a world where he did not.  His voice would only be in my memory and his image only in the photographs that I now cherish.  I thought of my daughters and how they would grow up with only a vague recollection of him and how my father was robbed of the joy of watching his granddaughters grow up.  I let myself feel all those things again and when it passed I went on with my day.

So, here I am tonight, and again I find myself thinking of him.

One year ago I stood in front of the crowd that had gathered for his memorial and spoke about my father.  I had some notes, but I pretty much improvised.  He would have hated a long somber prepared speech.  I spoke of our relationship.  I told them the truth; my relationship with my father had never been easy, but when it came down to it, I loved my dad and he loved me.  We didn't spend as much time together as I was growing up as either of us would have liked and there were times that I resented it.  Now, being a father myself, I understand.

I spoke to these people, most of whom I did not know, and I told them about the Saturday nights we'd spend when I would visit as a teenager eating hot wings and french fries and watching Cops and Saturday Night Live.  I told them how I reveled in that time we got to spend together and that even though as my siblings got older and they began to join in, ultimately, at the end of the night it would only be my father and I left standing.

There were things that I didn't tell them.  Like, how my proudest moment was watching him play with my oldest daughter, Sophia, as a baby and how she seemed completely at ease with him; as if she knew who he was without having to be told.  She spent her time pulling on his mustache and laughing.  Later that day he pulled me aside and told me how proud he was of me... proud of the man I'd become, proud of the father he knew I would be.  He told me much the same thing again when my youngest daughter, Molly, was born.  He was so proud of being a grandfather.

I wish he would have had more time.  I feel cheated.  Cheated for myself and my daughters.

I still carry a small burning ember of anger and sadness that he is gone, but I have to keep moving forward.

I have to.


I miss you, dad...