road unshared

On the final ten minutes of the drive, I explained to the mp3 player that its 'random' choice highly amused me. Sure, of the hundred-plus songs it had at its disposal, its only option was to play 'Time Stand Still' as I crossed into terra familiara.

shorn again

"..and the prince and the drummer and the fire girls
Couldn't get our guitars in tune
And I knew it was over when the sound man said
"I wish we were still in ..."


Every now and then, it's fun to reconnect with someone who has been out of the loop for a few weeks, just for the sheer fun of surprising them with what's been going on in your life.

Seek and ye shall find

Death does not take reservations; it comes and goes of its own free will, leaving the living to tend to the resulting disruption.

I am still tending.

So it's been one year. I can look at my watch and remember where I was. A year ago by the tickings of this watch, I was at Colter's. I showered. I had been instructed to get some rest. While I slept on Colter's bed, Jeff worked on Colter's computer.

The future hung over us, shadowy and low. We knew my father's death was imminent; the oxygen saturation of his blood had begun to drop the day before. Previously, his mask had provided him with eighty percent oxygen. We knew that moving him to 100% oxygen would not save him - nothing would - but if it kept him comfortable, that is what we would do.

But - no. That is not the way to remember.

So much I did not know

Today's mail marked the arrival of a package I've never been able to forget about in the five years since it was created: a time capsule created in Dr. Holbrook's class during the latter part of my hellish senior year of college.

These were my words. Commentary follows.

December 11, 1997

Just some thoughts here. I've got to get this turned in in about 40 minutes, so I'm going to write as fast as I can and hope that I get everything. Mostly I just wanted to set down where I am right now...five years from now I guess I'll find it a little bit amusing to read all of this.

Hell Semester is almost over. I put my November calendar in with this—I can't believe I'm really going to survive it, but I guess I really will. Today is Thursday, and I only have one class tomorrow (Business Law) and then next week is finals. I have two finals on Monday, two on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday.

So as not to forget

I write a lot about the process of actually coding for Quarto, but it's more rare that I talk about the effort that takes place before any code is written. The notebook holds the rest of the story. Not just the story of Quarto, but the story of virtually everything else that has happened in my life in the past year.

The hardback, spiral notebook was part of a birthday gift from friends nearly two years ago. At first brought out only for sporadic scribbling, it eventually began to be used for more than just story ideas.Most of the pages remain undated, but the changing inks and topics give clues to dates. The short notes, scribbled in heavy black ink date from last Christmas, from the last real conversation I had with my father—

"p.1 on left - GM [grandmother] Wilhite's g-pa called 'Doc Bates'"

"—baby next to flowered grave, Edith. Dad says I look like her"

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Stubborn, just like her

What I know is so much smaller than what I don't know.

She was a teenager when she married. From her pictures, she was never a particularly pretty girl. I know nothing of what her personality was like. I only knew her later, after years and circumstances had had their way with her.

Because of family disagreements and her death during my childhood, I never knew her well. To say that she never got along with my mother would have been a bit of an understatement; the knowledge that they never agreed on much of anything was common, yet unspoken, knowledge—even to me, the youngest—when I was a child.