- The [Nothing] reaction, "How is that even possible" & those that assume I am in recovery camp.
- The "What kind of freak are you" and "Come on, have a beer" crowd.
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Sunday, June 25, 2023
Saturday, June 17, 2023
The title comes from a song by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, which I really enjoy. Have a listen...
I don't normally listen to much newly released music, but I gave this one a try and am glad for the decision.
I found the song after reading about the Gallagher brothers from the (former) group Oasis, namely Noel, and Liam. For those that may be unfamiliar with the Gallagher brothers, they are mostly famous for:
- The above-referenced English & defunct band Oasis, and...
- Hating each other's guts.
A few articles and an hour or three's worth of video interviews and I now know far more about the Gallagher brothers than what is actually required for any practical reason. There is, of course, a bigger thought and story here, over and above Noel and Liam: Namely family dynamics between siblings.
Thinking back over my life, I realize that I have been pretty lucky in the sibling relations department. Perfect? Hell no. It feels as if I haven't vested nearly enough time in keeping in touch with my sisters, which I own, and I need to do better. As I approach the end of my primary working years, it's pretty clear that other parts of my life up to this point have been pretty much all-consuming, at least as far as my physical, mental, and emotional energy has been concerned. Some of this is unadulterated ambition: I desperately wanted to have a better life than I had growing up. I think that, when it comes to that last point, I've been more or less successful.
When it comes to maintaining relationships with my brothers, I think that I've tried...probably more so since my brother Chris' passing in 2017. As for Chris, I wish I would have spent more time with him. Like me though, he also had a kind of inherent ambition, which made connecting doubly more challenging. Then there were a few squabbles, of which 99.87% always had to do with politics. I still, for example, recall the seeming mix of hurt and disgust in his voice after I repeatedly referred to Rush Limbaugh as "Pumpkin Head". This was because Chris adored Limbaugh and he (Limbaugh) truly had an enormous head. I think though that, for the most part, we both knew that the political arguments were more of a sport of sorts, and neither one of us liked to lose.
I'll also note that, in retrospect, it's clear that my brother Chris was a deeply conflicted man who was fighting an ongoing (and losing) battle against self-medication. I wish I could have helped more, but I also know that I did what I could at the time, including listening. Among the many things I am grateful for is the fact that we were in regular contact before he passed.
Getting back to the Gallagher brothers, it's painful to think that two siblings are so disconnected. I don't pretend to understand all the dynamics between them, but I know that our siblings understand our story better than others do. That's true for the children of my parents as well as rock musicians from Manchester. Denying the benefit of that connection...not having that person in your life who has some sense of your story and struggle...is tragic.
My ongoing hope is to not make that mistake.
Monday, June 12, 2023
I wanted to come up with an interesting and engaging title for this posting, but I more or less failed. The result is noted above. If you don't get the reference, well then that's okay. It probably means you have something of a life (reference HERE). On to the real business of this posting stuff.
We've now been back from Scotland for going on three weeks, so I'm thinking an update is due.
The traveling back was hell.
Yes, thanks to something of a British Airways meltdown (HERE), our initial flight from Edinburgh to London was canceled. Luckily, we got a very competent agent, who was able to book us on a later flight. That's the good news. The bad news? We had to spend 8 hours at Edinburgh airport. Many of the gate seating areas at the Edinburg airport look like this...
The really bad news? The new flight was leaving at 3pm local time, meaning that we would not get back to the U.S. until 10-10:30pm. Note there is a 6-hour time difference to figure into all of this. True to form, that happened, and the net result was Ms. Rivers and I took turns with the drive from Newark back home. Honestly, we are lucky that there wasn't a lot of traffic. Put another way, had we still been in the U.K., we would have been up for something like 20+ hours by the time we got home.
Oh, and British Airways lost one of our bags, which we got back...a week and a half later. Given the reach of British Airways, there's no way of knowing what happened to our bag during that time. I told my younger stepson to smell the suitcase to see if it had an odor of "curry and despair".
All well and good, and certainly first-world problems, for sure.
It took me days to fall back into a regular sleeping schedule. And I was absolutely buried with stuff at work. Ms. Rivers and I both agree that there won't be any Atlantic crossings for a few years to come. Come to think of it, I'm pretty good not flying for a while, truth be told.
It's important, or at least it seems like it should be important, to separate the travel from the destination. In that case, the destination is wonderful. British Airways is not. Enough said.
So here I am back to more life as usual. A bit wiser and more worldly for the wear. Now I feel somewhat compelled to pay more attention to my flowers, especially my burgeoning honeysuckle forest. Pictures to come at some point.