Friday, September 30, 2011

Ducky and Kris

Role models for creative, fun aging are often hard to find. I am especially happy to see older people doing what they love, getting paid well for it and continuing well past the age most people expect. That’ll be me in thirty years.

Two of my favorite current examples are actors David McCallum and Cheryl Ladd.

McCallum came to fame in the U.S. in the 1960s TV show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” playing Russian-born secret agent Illya Kuryakin. The 78-year-old actor is now well-known as “Ducky,” the Medical Examiner on NCIS.














Cheryl Ladd got our attention (guys anyway) as Kris Monroe on Charlie’s Angels in the 1970s. The 60-year-old actress is going to show up on NCIS this season as Ducky’s “love interest.”













You are never too old to do some version of whatever you want.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sharing a Video

Duran Duran fans from the 1980s ... here they are now. They are playing in my part of the world in just over two weeks and I'm going to see them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vegas Randomness

I spent last weekend in Las Vegas for the I Heart Radio Music Festival. I work for the company that put the whole thing together, produced the basic promos that ran on all our company’s country music radio stations and was “paid” with a trip to the event. Here are some random thoughts and observations about the event and Vegas:

- The event was a music-lover’s dream: two nights, twenty or more well-known performers from numerous genres, all set in Las Vegas.

Kenny Chesney

- Music highlight: Kenny Chesney owned his part of the second night, even though he was sandwiched between high-energy, bass thumping, rap-based pop acts Nikki Menaj and Lady Gaga. And the screaming 20-year-old girls behind me who sang along with every Nikki and Gaga song also sang along with every Chesney song. People have their favorites but they are not limited.

- Vegas is hedonism, opulence, sex, money, luxury, money, entertainment, money and money.

- There is literally a “feel” in the town that you sense the moment you get off the plane. Is it marketing or is it something in the raw piece of desert this mecca was built on? The atmosphere and aura seem to be karma’s evil twin or maybe it’s sinister second-cousin.

- Another music highlight: Steven Tyler opened the second night. His band included Jeff Beck on lead guitar and Sting on bass. Wow!

- The MGM Grand complex is a city unto itself. My room, uhh suite, was in one of the Signature towers, part of the complex. The concerts were in the MGM Garden Arena, also part of the complex. There are fully-enclosed walkways connecting all of this plus the Grand itself, the casino, numerous bars, restaurants of all styles and price points and at least two Starbucks. It is possible to spend your entire visit without going outside.

Front of MGM Grand Hotel and Casino

- Another music highlight: Lady Gaga and Sting singing TWO duets. My first thought was ‘who put these two together? Did somebody have to talk Gaga into this?” Turns out it was probably her idea. She gave him the most amazing, heart-warming introduction and their first song was “Stand By Me.” Definitely didn’t see that coming. Then they did his song “King of Pain.”

- I did actually leave the MGM complex and walked up the strip to Harrah’s to have lunch at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. Just what I expected: beer comes in a mason jar, one signature menu item is the Big Chili Cheeseburger (they promise extra napkins and yes, you need them), there is plenty of Toby and Oklahoma stuff on the walls and there are numerous big-screen TVs with college football games on.

I definitely understand the seductiveness of Vegas. I’ll go back. I’ll limit my exposure because I could easily be sucked into the whole experience.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Coming Soon

I had a very interesting weekend in Las Vegas.  Plenty to talk about, plenty to share, but I was tired when I got home Sunday night and had a very long, complicated day at work today and am still tired.  So, details coming soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Travel Quotes

I love to travel and I have re-discovered both the joys and the
headaches of road trips. I like to see new places, re-visit familiar spots, meet people, observe cultures and feel the distance. I am travelling at least three times between now and the end of the year, so it’s on my mind tonight. Here are a few quotes relating to travel:

I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full.
~Lord Dunsany

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
~Anatole France

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
~Lao Tzu

The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land.
~G.K. Chesterton

And that's the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.
~Dave Barry

I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.
~Lillian Smith

Fitz

I like this band.  Some of their musical influences are obvious yet they put a unique spin on every song.  This is the latest release from their CD.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From An Unexpected Source

I don't usually expect to find inspiration in a commercial.  Information, creativity, humor - maybe.  Advice or mildly profound observation?  No so much.  But this interesting statement is a line from a TV commercial advertising singer Marc Anthony's new clothing line at Kohl's Department Stores:

Your passion chooses you.

Blurring the Lines

What are inappropriate behaviors? That is my “loaded question” of the week.

The Human Resources departments of many companies set guidelines on appropriate behavior in the workplace. I usually agree with and respect those policies. Behavior between male and female co-workers, in both words and actions, are regulated for good reasons.

However the lines of appropriateness for men and women who know each other on a non-work social level are somewhat blurred.

Some examples …

- Can a single man and a married woman have lunch together, if at some point in their past they were in a relationship with each other? Back in the early 1990s my Mother was horrified that I was having lunch with an old girlfriend who was now married. I was not married. We had lunch. That’s all. My Mother thought that was inappropriate, although her words were more like “it’s not right.” What’s not right about that? Sleeping together could be considered “not right” but having a meal in a restaurant together? C’mon, what’s not right about that?

- Can a single man and a single woman who are friends and not involved with anyone else be physical with each other? That line seems a little less focused. I have had friendships with women that involved varying levels of kissing, making out and sex. Is that in some way inappropriate? By the way, most of my friendships with women have NOT included any of that. But who besides the two individuals should really make those decisions or judge them? Being judgmental on that matter is something I would consider inappropriate, not the behavior. It’s up to them, not anyone else.

- Can former lovers be friends with their old flame and his or her new flame? Getting blurrier, isn’t it? I spent time this weekend with an old girlfriend and her husband. She and I were in a relationship more than two decades ago in another city in another state. Part of our breakup was due to my move halfway across the country. There were other issues but that was a big one. We did try to make it work but it didn’t. Meanwhile she and I each found others. She married one and, surprisingly, they moved to my part of the country. I saw her once shortly after they arrived (20 years ago) because she interviewed for a job I was leaving. We spoke by phone a couple of times a few years later but had no further contact till about a year ago when we found each other on a web site. She has been happily married the whole time and I am truly happy for her. We emailed about meeting for dinner some time but did not, until this weekend when I invited them to join my party at a baseball game. We all had a great time! It was a three-hour fun fest. I really like the guy and it is clear to me that they were meant to be, which makes me even happier for her. He knew about our history but there was little, if any awkwardness in the time we all spent together. Do you see anything inappropriate in that story? Some people might; I don’t. Our time together was not about trying to recapture some kind of feelings from back in the day, it was about seeing if there was still a friendship in the mix. I think there is.

- Can a male and a female who are ‘just friends’ have frank discussions about sensitive and personal matters such as relationships and sex? Is that inappropriate? Is it inappropriate to ask each other deeply personal questions, either in a serious context or just about fun stuff, like, uhhhh, sex or relationships? I am intensely curious about other people and am a ridiculously open book about my own life. I probably have a line but it’s never been crossed. But I certainly have reached it with some women in my past and even some in my present.

Maybe the lines of what is appropriate are just blurry for me. Or maybe I just question the appropriateness of being appropriate. Do you have lines? Where do you draw them? Do I over-think this whole matter? Or do I not consider the consequences enough? Have I been inappropriate with anybody lately and don’t even know it? Because it doesn’t seem appropriate to them to tell me?

Am I crazy to think I’ll hang out with that former girlfriend and her husband again? I was surprised at how much we all have in common now. He is the kind of guy I could be friends with. Or is it not appropriate for me to even harbor that thought?

Blurry, isn’t it? Or is it?

Monday, September 19, 2011

More Quotes

"Be good to yourselves, and it will just naturally follow that you'll be good to others."
- J.P. Patches


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
- Fortune Cookie

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Are You Afraid Of?

I just read an article about space junk falling to earth. Really! NASA says a 6-ton satellite the size of a bus will fall out of orbit this week, breaking up into 26 pieces that will survive the burning re-entry. They’ve moved up their estimated target date to Friday, but have not said where they think this stuff will fall yet. I will be on an airplane on Friday. I already have some fear of flying and this isn’t helping.

Statistically, flying is the safest form of travel. That does not comfort me. I have probably flown more than a hundred times and only once was there any obvious safety issue – a very bumpy landing in some tricky post-thunderstorm winds. I emphasize “obvious” in the last sentence. There are many unknowns relating to metal fatigue, inadequate inspections, inexperienced or drunk pilots. The terrorist attacks ten years didn’t help any. In fact, I did a radio interview with a psychologist about fear of flying just a month after 9 11 that year and he was very reassuring. That interview was basically a free psyche consult for me because I knew I’d be on a plane later that fall. I’ve only been on three planes since 2001 and no flights for the past five years.

I am not obsessed over this but it is on my mind because I am taking two round-trip flights in the next two months. Falling space junk is dangerous if it hits somebody on the ground, catastrophic if it hits a plane in the air. NASA says the odds of somebody getting hit are 1 in 3200. One of my flights is to Vegas – should I make a bet? That is certainly more thrilling than my annual LSU-Arkansas bet, although not as much fun.

So what, if anything, scares you? Do you have any of the typical or publicized fears, like fear of flying, fear of losing your job, fear of clowns? Are you afraid of food poisoning? Terrorism? Asking someone out on a date? Do you experience fear of failure? Fear of success? Are you scared to go into certain neighborhoods in your town? Are you afraid your shoes and your belt don’t match? Are you worried about the possibility that part of a falling satellite might rip a hole through the plane you’re on next Friday?

Or do cerebral things scare you? One of mine is that I might die before I do some of the things I want to do while I’m still young enough to do them. That probably scares me more than the remote chance that space junk will hit my plane.

None of this is predictable, of course. Experts can estimate chances but very little in life is certain, except that it will end some day. For much of my life I considered myself to be pretty boring, yet when I look back, I know I’ve led an amazingly exciting life so far. And I think there is plenty more to come. I have places to visit, hikes to take, women to love, songs to write, pictures to take, conversations to have.

So, am I truly afraid of this space junk thing Friday? You should know that I usually have a “half-full” attitude rather than a “half-empty” one. If the chances of being hit by space debris are 1 in 3200, then the odds of NOT being hit are 3199 in 3200. I’ll go with that one.

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CLICK HERE for more info.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Five Words

“Did. You. Get. The. Email?”

Those are five words I hate to hear. Here are five more: “It is in the email.” And this one: “I sent you an email.” Or “Didn’t you read my email?” “Instructions are in the email.” “Everyone should have the email.”

Email is a great tool but it is often also an electronic excuse or a substitute for real communication of an idea, a request or instructions. Here are fives words of a manager mantra: “Get it off my desk.”

What I’m trying to say is that people in the workplace often assume that as soon as they hit send, their responsibility ends. They said what they had to say and they assume everyone who got the email will drop everything and do whatever they asked for in the email. That might just work if only one person was emailing only one or two others, but what happens when ten or twenty people email something to forty or a hundred people? “I sent out an email.” “Didn’t you read my email?”

And we are now so used to texting, chatting and tweeting, that if our work place does not have chat or messaging, we use email for one-sentence or half-sentence communication. If that involves several people whose feedback you’re seeking, you end up with twenty or thirty ‘reply-all’ messages and have to sort through the email chain to see what is actually requested.

Sometimes my five-word response is this: “Don’t send me an email.” Or “Call me on the phone.” Or “I will come see you.”

Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interesting Advice

A Facebook friend posted this tonight.  I don't know the original source, but I think it's good advice, or at least something wise to consider:

"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. "

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Random Songwriting Thought

I want to write a song one day. If I ever succeed, I think it will be like this one.

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch of the fire burning so bright
I don’t want to mess this thing up
I don’t want to push too far


Just a shot in the dark that you just might
Be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life
Baby I’m alright
With just a kiss goodnight.

And here is the whole song:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Little More About Today

Sometimes the main thing we 'feel' in our busy lives is stress. I have watched some of the 9 11 specials today so I can feel a full range of other emotions - fear, panic, sadness, outrage, patriotism, connection and love.

Early in the afternoon I watched as much as I could before reaching an emotional wall. I turned the TV off, took a shower, met a friend for a media-related event, drinks, dinner and music. I got some control of my emotions and had some fun.

When I got back to a TV this evening, I turned on the History Channel and began to watch more of the minute-by-minute special, with footage shot by news photographers, free-lancers and video camera enthusiasts. It seemed that I had steeled myself a bit, didn't cry, wasn't as affected.

Then I saw a scene shot minutes after the second tower fell ... a little girl looks at her mother's camera and says "It's gone. The building isn't there any more."

Tears, my tears. OK, enough. I turned off the TV, wrote this; and now I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow is September 12th. Back to my usual insanity and stress. I had an interesting weekend, with a good mix of sadness and fun.  Balance.  I hope I can take that balance with me into the week ahead.

Ten Years

There is so much I want to say every year on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC, but at the moment I am writing this I am talked out. The media is saturated with remembrances, specials, replays of events timed to coincide with the moments those things happened. I am in the media and produced some of those audio pieces that are running on my radio stations this morning, including a moment of silence for each plane that crashed. Ten year anniversaries always get more attention than other years; it’s that zero-year I thing I’ve often written about.

Some people cope with grief by remembering details and some cope by ignoring them. I am in the “remembering” camp. I want to and do remember that day ten years ago in great detail … where I was, how I felt as each new piece of information came out, how I reacted. I retell the stories at every opportunity. I am probably annoying as hell when I do that. But I have repeated my stories and listened to others so much in the past few weeks that I am almost numb to it today. As soon as I post this I have to go into work to finish a project, then I’m meeting friends for drinks and food at some waterfront place I’ve never seen before. After this post I believe my memories of that horrible day will recede into personal silence for the rest of the day. But I know I’ll be thinking about it.

I want to remember the fear. I want to remember the panic, the traffic jams, the intense desire for information, the thought that I live so close to DC that one of those planes might have flown right over my house as it took aim on the Pentagon. I want to remember coming home to see my wife doing exactly what I had planned to do – filling our front garden with little American flags, as if that could protect us somehow, then going inside and hugging each other for five minutes (a happier time in my now crumbling marriage) while standing in front of the TV watching live coverage of billowing smoke filling the skyline of two major American cities

I also want to remember how suddenly Americans went out of their/our way to help each other; a coming together of spirit that is often non-existent in our crazybusy lives

I did two things yesterday that are connected to this anniversary in ways I would not have expected ten years ago. In the morning I joined other volunteers in a community service project during which we helped clean up a recreation center in a low-income section of DC. September 11th has become a focal point for volunteer organizations to use that moment to bring people together again and capture that one brief positive aspect of that day. Then last night I went to a Toby Keith concert. He and his music have become focal points for the anger we all felt that day (see song below) and for saluting the heroic actions of firefighters, police and the military. He has done numerous concerts overseas with the U.S.O., many domestic activities for wounded warriors and patients at hospitals. He does much of that in private. The DC area stop for his annual concert tours in recent years has occurred on or near September 11th and he is usually in town before and after, making un-publicized visits to places like the Walter Read Army Hospital. At the show last night, his pre-concert meet-and-greet included spending plenty of time with veterans and wounded warriors and he made many on-stage salutes to them.

OK, so now I am REALLY talked out. I guess I needed this. Thanks for reading it. God bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It

I don't know the source of this (other than I copied it from a Facebook friend's post), but I do like the idea:


Life is short, live it.
Love is rare, grab it.
Anger is bad, dump it.
Fear is awful, face it.
Memories are sweet, cherish it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Choices and BS

So my choice last night was to either watch the GOP debate or floss my teeth. I chose floss. At this point in the campaign circus it’s all posturing, a big phony ploy to show who hates Obama the most. It’s all bullshit. To be fair, I said the same thing about both sides four years ago.

The Republicans think the issue right now is to see who can beat Obama next year. The real issue, in my opinion, is to see who can fix the mess Bush left us four years ago. The choice will come down to either giving Obama four more years to fix it or giving a Republican the chance to try and fix the mess Bush left us. This implies that the President, any President, can actually fix this mess, which also implies that it is previous President Bush’s fault that we’re in the economic mess we’re in. True, a President can lead but it is never one person’s fault.

I blame Bush partly because he is largely responsible for the outrageously expensive wars we started during his administration. One of those wars was justified, if any war can ever really be justified, but the other one wasn’t.

What seems to be lost in all this so far is that the whole world is in some form of economic recession. The economies that are surviving are the ones that invest in their people and in knowledge. China and Japan come to mind as potential examples of that statement. OUR country used to be the leaders in science, technology, education, infrastructure and manufacturing. It would be difficult to make that case right now. I hope that condition is temporary.

We all have many important choices to make at the polls next year, in the primaries early in 2012 and at the general election in November. We have the right and I believe the obligation to pay attention to the real issues, not the personalities and political bullshit, and make our choices accordingly. We don’t have to agree and you know we as a country will not agree on the details. But hopefully we do agree that we can express our opinion and accept what the majority votes on. The crap we’re seeing right now is not what we should base our choice on.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boomer Childhood

So here is an interesting perspective on children of the Boomer era, borrowed from a boomer friend on Facebook. It might explain a few things.

Me, behave? Seriously?


As a child I saw Tarzan almost naked, Cinderella arrived home after midnight, Pinocchio told lies, Aladdin was a thief, Batman drove over 200 miles an hour, Snow White lived in a house with 7 men, Popeye smoked a pipe and had tattoos, Pac Man ran around to digital music while eating pills that enhanced his performance, and Shaggy and Scooby were mystery solving hippies that always had the munchies. The fault is not mine!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sharing Tunes

I'm always looking for new sounds.  I found this song and group while searching a website with out-of-the-mainstream music, although I think this could be a hit.  Maybe it is.  I usually listen to country music and hit music stations so I'm not sure what's popular outside of the top twenty or thirty.

Anyway, here is a song I like listening to.  Not sure if I like the video or not.  What do you think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who’s Kids

Do you like a good mystery? Here’s one for you: why wasn’t Jerry Lewis on what used to be known as the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon?

Comedian/actor/entertainer Jerry Lewis began hosting telethons to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 1952 and took it nationwide as an annual Labor Day Weekend event in the late 1960s. Jerry was well-known and popular then; muscular dystrophy was not. He combined the idea of a marathon, a long endurance event, with televised entertainment and virtually invented a now-popular fund-raising form known as a telethon (or radiothon). He brought awareness for a medical condition and ultimately has raised more than $2.5 billion to help find a cure. Children living with the variety of muscular diseases under the MDA umbrella became known as Jerry’s Kids.

Watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon was an annual Labor Day Weekend tradition for many families, including mine. In the event’s early years most cities had only three or four television stations, not the three or four hundred options we have now, so many people watched. It was rare to find that much entertainment all in one place. The endurance aspect was an added plus; it usually featured more than 20 hours of non-stop entertainment and charitable fund-raising.

In recent years the Telethon was more difficult to find. Many local affiliates didn’t carry the whole thing, opting to join in during late night hours or closer to the end. Even with the addition of texting and Facebook donation opportunities, totals were down. So earlier this year MDA announced that the Telethon would only be six hours long and that this was Jerry’s last year as host. Apparently Jerry himself didn’t confirm it would be his last and he publicly blasted some of the co-hosts. A month ago MDA announced that Jerry would not host this year. There are conflicting reports about the reason. MDA is silent on the matter.

So how did the Telethon do yesterday, in six hours instead of twenty and without Jerry Lewis as host? The final total was $61.5 million, the third highest in its history and slightly higher than last year. You could say the event did just fine without Jerry or you could point out a fact about fund-raisers like this: most of the money is raised in advance and the total is updated as checks are presented. The real indication of Jerry’s impact will come next year, with a full year of Lewis-less fund-raising.

I have mixed feelings about Jerry and his absence. I care about the MDA organization and have done my share of collecting money for them. I saw some of Jerry’s movies as a very young child and watched television specials about his career and admired him for surviving as long as he did. But he has become very cynical over the years, publically insulting some of the very people who helped bring in the bucks. Maybe MDA was afraid of having him on the air live and uncensorable. Maybe he would have made a fool of himself and hurt the charity in some way. Maybe he has become a public figure who didn’t know when to go private – isn’t the key to go out while you’re on top and not while you’re hanging on by a thread?

Mostly I guess I’m just sad to see another tradition disappear. If Jerry is done, who’s kids are they now?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Odd Thought

Over the past ten years I have intentionally focused on the present and concentrated on not living in or dwelling on the past. Sometimes, however, little pieces of past peek out from dark hiding places in my mind, daring me to look.

Yesterday morning an image of my first wife popped into my head. With one exception I have had no contact with her in more than thirty years. We were young and foolish back then, especially me, and we should never have been married. I knew some of how her life turned out since then because my mother used to read the daily newspaper cover to cover and would occasionally find a birth notice, award announcement or obituary relating in some way to people my sister and I knew and she would tell us about it. So I knew my first wife had remarried a few years after our divorce, had at least two kids and had lived in various towns near New Orleans and in Florida.

Also in the past ten years, I started looking up people from my past, to see how they turned out; I would usually look for her too … just out of curiosity. Four years ago I found her in a website that is quite scary in that there is so much personal information on it. I learned the names of her sons, the name of each city she had lived in for the past few decades and even her then current address… fifteen minutes from where I now live!!! I don’t know what shocked me more, that I could get that information so easily or that she lived five highway exits from me here in Maryland, a very unlikely place for her to live.

When I made that discovery I thought about sending her a letter. Would she be shocked, surprised or pissed? Probably all three. I decided against it. Of course I wondered what would happen if I ran into her at the local Wal-mart. Would we recognize each other? Would that moment be even more awkward than sending her a letter? I decided to forget any thought about contacting her; I merely added this to my list of goofy life stories.

Then I found her on Facebook. Earlier this year. Based on the picture in her profile, I would not have recognized her. No, I did NOT “friend” her, but her privacy settings weren’t all that strict so I DID send her a message. And she replied. That was quite an “interesting” round of catching up … thirty years in three paragraphs from each of us. Definitely odd and mildly inappropriate. I am happy that things turned out well for her and I am certain we will have no further contact.

I am curious why her image popped into my head yesterday. First kiss to last signature on divorce papers was three years and it all happened decades ago. I have three or four vivid memories of that time but most of the rest is erased. Nothing ever conjures up thoughts of her; no song, no movie, no event. New Orleans is on my mind this week because of the current tropical storm dumping rain there and this is the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s visit, but those things shouldn’t connect me to her in any way. It’s all just a random odd thought, emphasis on “odd.”



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Missing Her


Do you ever have a random thought that you suddenly want to share with someone and you almost take a step toward the phone or a keyboard when you remember that particular someone is dead? That doesn’t happen to me very often but it did happen this afternoon. I do not recall what piece of information or story I wanted to share but I do remember the person was my Mom, who died six years ago today.

She was a storyteller with a serious sense of curiosity. Those are two of my dominant personality traits and I know I got that from her. Her vision and hearing were both bad in her later years, limiting phone and writing contact, so the storytelling mostly happened during my visits to see her in New Orleans. She often asked about technology in an effort to understand things that were totally alien to her. She asked about my job, my town and my current and past wives. She gave me “that look” when referencing the wives (yes that’s wives with an “s”). She was judgmental but also tolerant and forgiving; I guess Moms do that.

I thought of her when Hurricane Irene was travelling up the coast last week, just days before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s assault on New Orleans. I think maybe I wanted to tell her some piece of information about the hurricane; that’s a topic we spent plenty of time discussing. She and I each had numerous hurricane stories. Hurricane Katrina is partly responsible for her death, so I still have storm stories relating to her.

The more the years go by the less I think about her on a regular basis. I had hoped that would never happen, but I guess it is inevitable. I certainly will never forget her, of course, and I am grateful for time markers like birthdays, anniversaries and Hallmark holidays to jog my memory. But she is always around: when I over-plan a trip, when I tell a story, when I laugh at my own jokes, when I look in the mirror (my eyes and my hair color come from Mom).

I miss Mom today.