Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for January, 2009

Guilt, Selfishly

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I had a pretty good week last week, especially considering Wednesday night was filled with a vomiting 6-year old.  Nothing headline worthy — it didn’t start raining gumballs or anything, but a good week.  A couple of very enjoyable lunches, nothing really irritating happened at work, Shakespeare’s for at least one meal, lots of laughter, and so on.  Easy to please, but a good week.

It was topped by my mom calling Thursday night late saying they were going to come up over the weekend, if that was OK.  It certainly was, both because it had been a bit since we’d seen them (which now means something like 3 or 4 weeks, given the habits of the latter part of 2008), and because it was going to give me some time out.

So, then Friday I made last-minute plans to meet relatively new friends out for the night.  I was bubbling with excitement and couldn’t wait to go.  That went well, a good time was had by all (I think).  Being this was a normal Friday night for them, they went home.  I went out further, ran into another group of relatively new friends at the second stop, continued fun.

Then woke up Saturday with a guilty conscious to go along with my headache, and the former remained with me for the duration of the weekend.  I feel guilty for wanting to be away from the kids.  I feel guilty for sleeping in late both days and letting my parents deal with the kids.  I feel guilty that I believe they’re better off and happier when other people are entertaining them.  I feel guilty for not just going out on Friday night, but for making every effort to keep going to keep the good times going.

After a couple of conversations with various people earlier in the month, I’ve also quit wearing my wedding ring.  I still have to stop myself from putting it on when I grab stuff in the morning.  I’d given much thought to how much time was appropriate, had thought about various anniversaries, etc., but in the end just stopped one morning when it seemed like I was lieing by putting it on.

However, going out and having fun with no wedding ring also seemed like a lie.  It made no difference to the amount of attention paid to me or paid to others by me (and never has, despite urban legends of a ring being an attractor/detractor), but was something else that was on my mind during the fun.

Finally, because it’s come up a few times from different directions, I have no idea how dating works in my situation.  Everyone seems to assume or recognize that I’ll likely eventually date again and likely even eventually marry again.  Even me.  However, how does that happen?  How can I even consider it and be fair and true to the kids and to Sarah?  And when can that happen?  How can I even consider it and pretend I’ll be any good for someone new in my current state?  Seems like any potential date should get a warning from others:  this guy is jacked up for a while, you might just milk it for a free meal or two then leave him alone.  Like anyone I might actually even want to date, I really wouldn’t want to put them through that.  And if I wait until I’m sure I’ll be any good for someone, are we confident the world will exist that long?

Written by Jason Becking

January 25th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Presidential Ambitions

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I asked Adelaide at dinner last night if they’d talked about the Inauguration at school.  She knew all about it, including the names of all involved, and said they’d watched part of it in their class room.

After dinner, then, she wanted to watch more, which was a welcome relief from the Disney Channel.  We watched, both kids wanted to know who everyone was and couldn’t understand why I didn’t know the names of the Honor Guard members, the drivers, etc.  And couldn’t understand that McCain had never been President.  And “Where’s Michelle?”

After a bit, “Daddy, I think you could be President,” Adelaide said.  “I think you should.”  Oh yeah?  “Then we could do whatever we wanted in the White House.  We could jump on our beds.  And play our radio as loud as we wanted.”

After a bit more, she asked “Why can’t I be President?”  You can.  “How do I become President.”  You first have to let everyone know you want to be, then work very hard, then hopefully you’ll be elected.  “Nah, I don’t want to work really hard.  I know, I’ll find someone else to do all the hard work for me, then after the election I’ll show up and say “I’m here, I’m the President!” “

Written by Jason Becking

January 21st, 2009 at 10:55 am

Posted in Kids

Everything Changes information

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Prior to Sarah’s party, Lance Jungmeyer, a good friend of ours, told me he’d written and recorded a song, then handed me a CD.  On it were two versions of a song titled “Everything Changes”, which we then immediately decided to play during the service.  Lance dedicated it to “Sarah Becking, and others who I lost in 2008 — Randy Johnson, Carlos DeLeon and Bob Schneeberg.”

Another good friend of ours, Chris Maupin, told me later he had thought and wished for a way to hook up with Lance beforehand and do something similar, but was unable due to travel (he lives in Denver, Lance in KC, both trying to get to Columbia on short notice), and had never even brought it up.  With that in mind, he was very glad when he learned Lance had done it on his own.

A few weeks later then, as Hold That Hug started coming to be fully-formed, Chris thought more.  What started as an idea of playing with Lance’s song more, maybe finding some professional musicians to fill in the score a little, whatever, has now turned into a separate event.

Everything Changes, with some details still tentative, is scheduled for Denver, Colorado, in June 2009.  Either Friday, June 5, or Saturday, June 20, at The Soiled Dove.  In Chris’ words, “Honor Sarah, Fight Cancer, Have Fun”.  The event will combine live music and photography with good friends and fun, with proceeds benefiting the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers Foundation – “providing support and care to Colorado cancer patients with dignity”.  The Hazel Miller Band will headline the show.  Chris and other Denver musicians will open.

There will be a photo contest, also featuring the theme Everything Changes.  With any luck at all someone we know has connections with a photo lab and Kodak or someone, and we’ll have prize packages for the winners.

For any and all, we’ll have audio downloads of original songs available online later.   There will be a silent auction featuring Colorado stuff and other valuable goods as we come upon them.

In all, the makings of a very nice event, with some details almost certain to change, for a good cause, honoring Sarah and all others who’ve dealt with it, in another place that she considered home (Sarah’s family moved from Denver to Columbia her junior year of high school).  Chris has done the vast majority of the work thus far.  Lance has graciously allowed his song to be in the mix and is helping with a facebook group among other things, for those of you who are 16 or who are pretending to be (pot/kettle).

Hope all is well for you and yours… continue to hug your friends and family, continues to be my sole bit of useful advice.  And on a side note, screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

January 16th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Adult Conversation

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I’ve had a couple of occasions recently to just sit and talk with people — friends, family, co-workers, whomever.  Kids weren’t around.

I just wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate that.  The kids are awesome, but it’s extremely nice to have real conversations with smart people that don’t involve comments about diapers, sippy cups, breakfast, or bedtime.

One of the reasons I enjoy coming to work, actually, is just the smart talk with smart people.  Although if you heard us blathering on it would be difficult to imagine calling it smart talk.  Or smart people, for that matter.

Written by Jason Becking

January 16th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Stomach Ache, 5 Minutes Down

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I was on the phone with a friend last night as the kids were going to bed… about 3 minutes into their movie, Jack comes downstairs asking if I’ll come lay with them.  No, go back to bed Jack.  Part of the routine.

About 3 minutes later Adelaide comes down to tell me her “stomach just started hurting really bad.  And it hurts really bad.”  Go back to bed, Adelaide.  Part of the routine.

About 3 minutes later she’s screaming from the top of the stairs saying her stomach is really really really hurting, can I please come upstairs?  At this point I give in, go to the kitchen to put my glass away, then go upstairs.  To find her sound asleep.  Out.  No movement.

Jack is now convinced I’m coming to lay with him though.  So, I do.  “Can we still watch some of the movie?  Just a little bit?  A teeny bit?”  Yeah, we can, but just a little.  One minute.  “No, 5 minutes.”  How about 2 minutes?  “No, 5 minutes.  5 minutes is good, I think.”  I laugh, cause that’s funny.

Since he really has no concept of time, I turn the movie off about 2 minutes later.  That’s it, Jack, time for bed.  5 minutes is up.  “No, five minutes is down.  Five minutes is down daddy.”  Again, I laugh, cause that’s funny.  About 30 seconds later, he’s asleep.

Written by Jason Becking

January 8th, 2009 at 10:27 am

Six Months and Now What

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Writing not so much because of the timing, but to break out of doldrums hopefully…  However, coincidence or not, 6 months ago today it was.

One week into 2009, I’m finding it to be not very fine.  That’s an overstatement, but it rhymed.  November & December are extremely busy at my work.  Throw in the holidays and my worrying about how all that would go, some football, and it made for relatively quick days and weeks.  And our Christmas went very well, as I mentioned before (and provided video proof).

Maybe I was so consumed and consumered with making sure we had a good Christmas, or that I was at least prepared if things were rough, that I didn’t give any thought at all to what the New Year would be like.  Or maybe it’s just natural as things slow down to also feel a little more down.  I’m typically bored in January anyway.  Or maybe it’s just there’s nothing really that I’m looking forward to until I’m not sure when.  Jack’s birthday in June, I guess.

Whatever the reason, combination of all of it probably, I’m finding the routine of returning to normal not so fun.  Guess the first week back to school for everyone is a bit like that too, as the time of sleeping in and doing whatever is hard to leave.  It will improve.

Random bits:

  • I’m going to eventually have to cook.  It’s not even the fact that I don’t really ever have much interest in cooking that’s holding me back.  More that it seems the final straw toward accepting what’s going on, which I don’t really want to do.
  • I’m going to eventually have to figure out what to do with my wedding ring.  Even if I quit wearing it, what do I do with it then?  I have a safe deposit box, but what would I be saving it for?  I wish I’d have thought of placing it with Sarah, but doubt I would have done it at the time.  That’s where I wish it was now though.
  • Sort of connected, I’m thankful for the things that did get placed with Sarah… all of them, but especially the scarf with the kids’ pictures and the camera.  And the people that made all of that happen, including the clothing and hair.  I tried to think of every detail possible for the party (services), but missed everything on that.  I knew they had her taken care of, but just never could manage the time to come up with things I’d have liked her to have.  Am glad others did.
  • I wish I could remember more of her services.  My mom asked if I had any interest in videoing it, both for me and the kids.  She didn’t think I would, I didn’t, and I still think I’m glad we didn’t, but I still wish I could remember more about it… who all was there, people I spoke to, what was said, and what I said.
  • I’m relatively close to having her memorial stone finalized.  Made significant progress on remaining details while I was in San Antonio.  I have, though, encountered a snag with the cemetery.   I’m fairly confident we’ll find a way past that, though, if for no other reason than I’ll be obnoxious and belligerent if it truly becomes a problem.
  • Despite repeatedly telling myself I don’t need a new car, I keep looking at new cars.  Continuation of my regression to a teenager where buying junk will make me feel better is a rationalization for purchase.  Sarah & I had said we were going to buy a hybrid next.  Luckily, regression hasn’t made me blind to how much those damned things cost.
  • It seems we’re going to finally have direct deposit at work.  Holy 1990s.

Written by Jason Becking

January 7th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Video Christmas

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Written by Jason Becking

January 5th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Christmas, San Antonio, Friends, Fun and Suffering

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The kids and I are back to normal now after the travel gauntlet of Christmas.  We had a total of six family celebrations in four days, which is fairly typical holiday style.  Their big gifts were a remote controlled dinosaur for Jack (remote controlled seemed to be a theme for him) and an American Girl doll for Adelaide.  Her “twirling skirt” and HS Musical dance pad were also big hits, as was lots of the other stuff of course.

Except for moments here and there, Christmas was OK for me.  I had expected Christmas morning to be relatively awful (not because of relatives), but perhaps all that build up prepared me as things went well.  We had a quiet morning/day at home with plenty of time to play with all the newly acquired stuff.  There were times scattered throughout Christmas that were hard, but until New Year’s came (to be explored in another post probably), it was very smooth for all of us.

On Sunday I travelled to San Antonio via Memphis to attend the Mizzou football game versus Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl.  The trip  had a sense of dread attached to it also, because of our time in San Antonio. (Sarah & I lived there in 1996 & 1997, have made many trips back.)

I arrived Sunday evening and stumbled around the Riverwalk and Southtown for a while, running into some old and new friends along the way, including some on the plane from Memphis.  It was a very nice welcome back to San Antonio for me, a blending of the old familiar with the new familiar that eased my way into the vacation.  I appreciate all who I chatted with along the way.

A couple of friends with nicknames came to town on Monday, with a beaker brother-in-law in tow, and we all hit the game Monday night.  A friend helped me with the tickets, so we happened to be sitting in the coach/staff family section for the game.  If you think the average fan watches those games anxiously, I’ll point out it’s absolutely nothing compared to the families of those who are involved in the action.  As the game went down to the wire, I found myself watching those around me as much as the game, making sure everyone was OK.

Again, it was a blending of old familiar and new familiar as Sarah would have been equally nervous near the end of that game.  If you’ve ever tried to find a shot of hers from the end of a nail-biter game, you’ll notice that the pictures posted are always just after the final play is over.  She turned into a complete fan in those circumstances, putting the camera down and cheering, making sure everyone was OK, then picked it up and started shooting once we won.

The game turned out well, yay, with an overtime victory for the Tigers.  All teams feel like they deserve to win, no doubt, but especially true for these guys.  Congrats to all.  (And please go recruit some more bootheel kids.)

On Tuesday, then, I was again alone walking around our old neighborhood and eating with our San Antonio friends.  Fun and hard, familiar and uncomfortable, all describe that day.  Only thing certain to come out of it was we should have spent more time at LaTuna and should open a similar joint in Columbia when time and circumstances allow.

2009 is here, like it or not.  Down with the mythical shoe-wearing birds.

Written by Jason Becking

January 2nd, 2009 at 3:59 pm