Monday, March 31, 2008

my homework

My oldest niece will be graduating high school this spring and my sister had asked family/friends to write her a letter about lessons we had learned in life.

Dear A-

There are some very important things that I have learned in m life. First, the D in CD stands for D-i-s-c. (an inside joke). Second, if you have to go to the bathroom while waiting for a flight never, ever leave your newspaper behind. Someone will take it and then you are stuck on a two hour flight with a thief and nothing to read while you are suspended 30,000 feet above the earth. I just hope the thief isn't the pilot.

You have excelled in high school and I have no doubt that you will in college and life. I imagine a lot of others will tell you to be honest with yourself, go for yhour dreams, set goals etc... All of those are good pieces of advice.

(pause here while I search for the second page of the letter which I had laid down right next to the monitor last night but which seems to be missing now. Which is a shame because it really held some deep philosophical observations about life with gripping introspective that would help guide not only a seventeen year old but elected representatives, religious leaders, and others who can't seem to find a real job. Oh well, any real insight will have to wait until I locate it because one of the painful lessons I have learned is that once that idea has found its way out of my head and onto paper it is completely forgotten)

Anyway, in conclusion the most important thing is that you don't assume some evil hearted stranger stole your paper until you double check to make certain that it didn't simply slide underneath your seat. It will only lead to embarrassment. Especially if you have leapt atop the chair and loudly accused your fellow passengers.

I hope this helps.


Uncle K

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sushi Confessional

I was going to be cutting it close by stopping for lunch before MD appointment but remembered sushi place on north side of town that I used to eat at pretty often and not only had food always been good but service was very quick so I exited off interstate and pulled into parking lot.

The bar itself only had one customer although several tables were filled. I waited a couple of minutes before hostess/waitress pointed me to the bar. In fitting with one of Murphy's Laws the one time I was in a hurry the service was dreadfully slow but finallhy the sushi chef noticed I was about to leave and called for a waitress and things seemed to finally be moving along. Soon I had my sushi/shashimi combo in front of me, plus a salad, soup, and bowl of rice. By now I didn't have time to eat all of it so I focused on the fish and soup. The chef had a bit of a break now so came over to ask how the food one. I stuck my thumb up while swallowing a last morsel of tuna and replied that it was excellent. She wrinkled her nose a bit and said, "I only eat it one or two times a year. Never cared for raw fish, prefer McDonalds or Checkers." My jaw dropped and I blurted out (forgetting to use my inside voice) "You don't like sushi?!?!" Suddenly her English became broken and she shook her head, "I not speak much English good, don't understand". I felt badly if I had blown some deep secret for her but also made a mental note to stick to the Japanese restaurants on my side of town and stick to topics like politics, religion and sports with sushi chefs but never ever ask if they like fish.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

My Mom turned 77 over the weekend. I took she and Dad out for dinner Sat evening. Her favorite, shrimp. She looks great although both of them now have hearing aids and poor Dad's back is bothering him again. Looking at Dad now is not the same as even a decade ago. He made his living through physical labor and that that strength is obviously not what it used to be. So he hesitates now in conversations, especially around people who are not his family. (C & son went with me to meet them) He is polite, as always but not wanting to offend, he withdraws. Also even with the hearing aid the backround noise in the restaurant bothered him some. He later found a phone book and looked up a guy he used to work in the garage with 30+ years ago before we moved. The guy is dieing of cancer. Everyone Dad knows seems to be dead or dieing. His silence grew.
Mom has always enjoyed learning, reading, solving puzzles, playing Scrabble, engaging others in conversation. Ironically Dad was always the more outgoing but then again I always remember him either with family, at church, or at his work, all of which defined him. Mom does not speak as much as Dad in church, or even with his family, but she lights up when it is the immediate family or even with friends. I know they love each other, have been devoted to each other for most of their lives now. They have always been affectionate around us, never heard them argue once until I was an adult and that was just about Dad following (or not) too closely. They seemed ideal for each other. Still, as I gave Mom her flowers, card, balloon, and gifts I tried to think of any flowers or gifts Dad had brought her. There had been dinners, but I don't know if he had ever picked out a gift on his own for her. He would usually have one of my sisters pick out something. The one time I went with him to get Mom's gift was when he bought her a sewing machine. (Which in his defense we needed at the time and she did want one. But even at that young age I knew that was not what anyone wanted for their brithday)