kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)

That which is remembered, lives.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
So the news about my grandfather has gone from "days, maybe hours" to "not as bad as all that" to "he may not make it to next weekend." And I've spent much of today in conversation with [personal profile] gridlore, [personal profile] murphymom, and my sister, trying to work out whether going this weekend is viable. And I realized in the midst of that discussion that part of why I was stressing so much over making this work is that I didn't get to see Aunt Mary that one last time (which in itself carries residual guilt from blowing off Nana's last birthday...jesus, twenty years ago now).

Mom has multiple things keeping her from making the trip this weekend (not the least of which is she's moving on the 7th, to the second - third? - housing arrangement she's had since the fire in May). Amanda has said that if money is the only thing keeping Doug and me from making the trip, tell her how much and where to wire it. Knowing I get paid on the 9th has certainly been part of my motivation for waiting till next week to drive down, but more of it is thinking I was going to need that much time to collect the spoons the trip is going to take (both in terms of the emotional weight of the journey and the simple fact of trying to do it all in 72 hours). There's a definite chance that if I do go this weekend, Doug won't be in a condition to go with me, which sucks, because he was hoping to stop on the way back and visit a dear friend from high school who has at least as many health challenges as he does, and they may not have many opportunities left, either.

And I fucking hate that I have reached an age where having to think in terms of "the last time I'll get to see this person" is going to become a regular occurrence.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)

I remember watching this live, and how completely shattered I was as Bowie dropped to one knee in the middle of his set and recited the Lord's Prayer.

If there is a hereafter, I can only imagine that Freddie was waiting at the gates with a drink and a smoke.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
The Last Plane to Heaven, as many of you likely know, is the title of a forthcoming collection of [livejournal.com profile] jaylake's short stories, set for publication this September.

Now, thanks to the prompt I left in [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's latest Poetry Fishbowl, it is also the name of a poem in her Schroedinger's Heroes universe.

Check it out, and if you like what you see, go feed the fish.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
[livejournal.com profile] jay_lake passed away this morning, June 1 at 5:45am Pacific time. His partner Lisa and friends were with him. He will be missed.

If you want to make a contribution in Jay’s name, please make it to:
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Pizza and Hawaiian shirts on Friday. Don't forget.
kshandra: Satellite photo of San Francisco Bay; the Marin Headlands and Oakland are also visible (San Francisco)
When Dennis Erectus passed away in June, one of my very first thoughts was of Fran (formerly Frank) Bennett. I wondered what her reaction was, and actually got as far as composing an email to her...but I deleted it unsent. To call her final years in Bay Area radio challenging barely scratches the surface - she was living as a woman full-time, but had to be "Weird Old Uncle Frank" again as soon as the mic was hot. I thought perhaps a reminder of those days might not be welcome from anyone, much less a stranger.

Every so often, one is happy to be wrong.

Fran - now living in Austin and working in multimedia development - had offered up her services to put together a video for Dennis' memorial in September, and posted it on her website shortly thereafter. For those of you who never had the opportunity to hear Dennis in his heyday, be warned: He was one of the original shock jocks (in case the stage name didn't give it away), and some of the airchecks in this video are about as rude, crude, and socially unacceptable as they get. For those of you who remember the man who made 98.5FM "the sticky spot on your radio dial," stick it in your ear one more time...

kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
...I'm not sure what was harder: Hearing the news, or having to tell [livejournal.com profile] murphymom. (I actually called her in the middle of class; I needed to know she'd heard it from family.)

The tears I feel today
I'll wait to shed tomorrow.
Though I'll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight;
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to talk
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My mouth cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
Yes, I'll keep my tears till later:
But my grief will never go.

  --Song for Petiron, from Dragonsinger
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
Today was the memorial service for Paul Metz, long-time local fan and one of my oldest friends. My clearest memories of Paul are from the period where he and I dated, and as such I figured sharing them at the service wasn't necessarily the right thing to do. (His wife knew we had a history, but now is not the time to try and explain that to their two young sons.) But they're stories worth telling, because they really do showcase who he was.

The first memory is of a trip to the local amusement park that went awry rather early. I was carrying a bottle of eye drops with me that had spoiled in some fashion or another, and I had a fairly nasty-looking reaction after taking them. So the day was cut short as Paul bundled me into his car and took me off to the hospital. And I have this astonishingly clear recollection of him standing at the payphone in the waiting room, talking to [livejournal.com profile] murphymom, and using a key to scratch my insurance number into the back of a receipt so he could get me checked in.

The other is from a later summer, at one of his frequent gaming parties. This particular party happened to coincide with my birthday, and he'd ordered an ice cream cake for me from Baskin-Robbins. We open the box...and they've misspelled my name. I was absolutely disconsolate. (I'm trying to remember if this was the summer of '88, when they had misspelled my name on my senior yearbook; it would go a long way towards explaining my disproportionate reaction to seeing the cake.) So we're standing there, in the kitchen in his condo, me with my face buried in his shoulder. And I look up to see that he's grabbed a steak knife with his free hand, and is trying to slice up and rearrange the icing letters so it looks right.


I asked Mom this afternoon if she could remember if there had been a specific end to our relationship, or if Paul and I had just drifted. She was fairly certain it was the latter; there was a significant age difference between us at the time (I was still in high school, after all), and she suspects it finally just got to be too weird for me. We remained friends, obviously. I remember Mom helping me bake and decorate a cake for the party he hosted for the final ST:TNG episode. But I don't think I had realized just how much he still meant to me. He'd become one of those people who would Always Be There, No Matter What.

Except he isn't anymore.

Please.... NEVER pass up an opportunity to tell the people you love that you love them.

Spirit Day

Oct. 2nd, 2010 07:48 pm
kshandra: The Sacred Chao from the Principia Discordia, in gold, superimposed on a Bisexual Pride flag (Bi Chao)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown, Billy Lucas (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

There has been some discussion in the blogosphere about the original graphic being used for this post, noting that the photos of the deceased were almost certainly used without permission. I've spent some time this morning creating the graphic you now see above; feel free to use it in your own posts.


Mar. 2nd, 2009 07:23 pm
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
My sister-in-law [livejournal.com profile] laurellady is dead.

Take all the time you need for that part to sink in - I know it's kind of abrupt, but that's pretty much how I found out about it. I was in the bedroom reading, with the intention of taking a nap, when [livejournal.com profile] gridlore came in to tell me about [livejournal.com profile] madelineusher's post.

I always wanted to be closer to her. We had a fair number of (what I thought were) significant things in common - both bigger girls, both poly, both chronically depressed - and the few times we did have the chance to talk, we always seemed to have such a rapport. And when I learned that she and [livejournal.com profile] isomeme were splitting up, and that her mental health was a factor in it, I had so much empathy for her, because my relationship with [livejournal.com profile] dafydd ended similarly. (I had - have - empathy for both of them, really, because I'm far enough away from it now that I know dafydd made the right decision, and that we're both healthier people as a result.) But I didn't know how to reach out to her...I guess nobody did, really.

[livejournal.com profile] madelineusher called me about an hour ago; Doug and I both got to talk to her, and she actually laughed while she was on the phone with him. We'll be worried about her for a while, but it sounds like she's got support where she is.

...I'm just gonna sit here and be weirded out for a while.


Jan. 14th, 2009 11:56 am
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
...I mourn Barry Baker.

EDIT, 1358HRS: [livejournal.com profile] filkertom, in picking up the above link from here, did me one better and found corroborating news sources.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
Over the weekend, [livejournal.com profile] sammyd said:

[livejournal.com profile] shadowlynn said it best one day while visiting us, "Meg doesn't know how to quit." Shadowlynn is right, meg doesn't know how to quit, she is hanging on for a reason. I don't know what that reason is exactly, but I think it might have something to do with December 23rd being the day she was told she only had 2 months to live. That was three years ago this coming Tuesday. I expect she wants to hit that three year mark.

Well, she made it....

[livejournal.com profile] meglimir - Robin Hilp, known variously as rolybear, RubyTues, RubyMeg - passed away this evening at 8:30EST. She leaves behind her loving husband, [livejournal.com profile] sammyd; two sons, [livejournal.com profile] grendies and [livejournal.com profile] ratlan; her godson, [livejournal.com profile] dajonjon, who lives with the family; and countless friends whose lives she improved simply by being in them.

If I can live, and die, with half the grace she did, I will have done very, very well.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
Phil Frank, whose cartoons graced the pages of The Chronicle and other newspapers for more than 30 years, died Wednesday only a few days after he announced his retirement because of illness.

I'm a little disturbed by how hard this is hitting me...I was heartbroken on Monday when [livejournal.com profile] gridlore read me the article announcing Phil's retirement, but I never got the impression that he was terminal.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
Left LA around 11ish this morning; arrived at Offhand Manor about an hour ago. I drove the entire route, after [livejournal.com profile] murphymom and #1 Son split driving duties on the way down. (As I noted to both of them, I spent eight years driving 8-10 hours a day for a living - and always ended up back where I started. So this was an improvement.)

The funeral was..."lovely" seems an inappropriate word, but it's the best one I've got. It went much better on an emotional level than I had feared it might. The rest of the trip, OTOH.... I am so not ready to discuss what happened yet; suffice it to say it involved an Emergency Room visit and very little sleep last night. [livejournal.com profile] kor27 is a Hero of the Revolution for having been my sanity anchor after [livejournal.com profile] gridlore had to go to sleep; honorable mention goes to [livejournal.com profile] firestrike for fielding the first round of panicky text messages until he had to turn in as well.

Before I left work on Friday, I let my supervisor know that there was a possibility I wouldn't be in tomorrow; I'm emailing her to let her know that has now become definite, because I am certainly in no frame of mind to be dealing with people yet.
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
[livejournal.com profile] murphymom called me while I was in SF tonight at a Burning Man meeting; the funeral is Monday at 1pm. We're driving down Sunday and driving back Monday, possibly leaving directly from the cemetary (yes, my mother's crazy, but we knew this). I'll be taking Monday and Tuesday off from work, since I will clearly be in no condition to think the next day, no matter how quickly we make it back to the Bayarrhea; I'm giving serious thought to enhancing this by having Mom drop me at the bar (she has to return [livejournal.com profile] n_1_n and the minivan to San Mateo, anyway, so she'll be driving right past it). [livejournal.com profile] kor27 has already said he'd be happy to pour me into the Short Bus at the end of the night and take me home if I choose to do this. I will probably not take the opportunity to get obliterated, but being around friends and chosen-family that evening will be a good thing, methinks.

More later; my alarm goes off in five hours.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
I printed out my letter to Aunt Mary last night and put it in the mail today. The relatives with her POA are staying at her apartment during all of this, so I figured I would call and tell them to expect it, and to go ahead and read it to her if she wasn't able to do it herself.

It's worse than [livejournal.com profile] murphymom let on (or perhaps worse than she gathered from her phonecall); Aunt Mary hasn't opened her eyes since they admitted her on Thursday. The doctor doesn't expect her to wake again.

It was actually a pleasant call, despite the reason for it; it's probably been a couple of years since I last talked to Uncle Roland and Aunt Barbara, and it was good to hear their voices. They've got the arrangements well in hand; the family plot is at Forest Lawn (Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Alfred are there already), and they'll be going over some time this week to confirm as many of the details as they can in advance of the event. I gave them my phone numbers, and Aunt Barbara joked that it was a good thing I have a different last name, because she wouldn't have been able to fit me in her phone book under her last initial. *watery grin*

I wrote the following on Tribe last night and wanted to share it here, too.

She's ready to go, too - has been for a while. "99 - isn't that terrible?" she'll say on the phone to me. And I can understand it up to a point; she's outlived her husband by a decade, outlived all her siblings...outlived several members of the generation that followed hers, as well. But when she asks me not to cry for her when she's gone.... I've told her that I'll be crying for everyone she leaves behind, and I think she's okay with that.

All I want is for her to see that next birthday in two weeks. And to share it with her. I deliberately blew off what turned out to be my great-grandmother's (her sister's) last birthday; she'd been suffering from dementia for several years prior to that, and my last visit with her was too painful for me to face again. But Aunt Mary has been in excellent health for her age up to this point, and has kept all her wits so far.

I just want to hear that laugh one more time....

My math was wrong; the 31st is three weeks away. It feels much, much longer.

I suppose I should start practicing; Mom spontaneously sang a verse of "Amazing Grace" at Nana's gravesite service, and Aunt Mary asked her to do the same for her. And I'll be there, this time (I couldn't afford the trip to LA for the internment, and the funeral up here had been hard enough on me), so I want to help.
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