Wednesday, June 20, 2012

18 Years

18 years is a long time. It's 216 months, it's 936 weeks, it's 6,570 days, it's 157,680 hours, it's 9,460,800 minutes, and it's 567,648,000 seconds (give or take). It's the amount of time from the day you're born until you're old enough to vote. Or to join the military. It's 4 1/2 presidential terms. It's 9 Olympic Games (if you count Summer and Winter). 18 years ago it was 1994. Sometimes it seems so long ago, sometime jut like yesterday

A lot has changed in 18 years. CD's? More or less gone replaced by digital music files that can be played on an infinite number of devices. Cell phones have taken over our lives (for better or worse). What's funny is even tho we walk around with phones we talk a lot less. Text messaging, email and tweeting rule the day. There's this thing called social media with which we tell everyone every detail of our day, post infinite pictures and let everyone know where we are every second of the day! I know, sounds lame but its kinda fun. We're all trying to be "greener". Television is loaded with dreck known as "reality tv" in which they get everyone interested in a bunch of uninteresting people. Balanced with this is some of the best tv of the decade found on pay cable channels. Video stores have gone the way of the dinosaurs and we rent movies with the click of a button on our tv remote. Record stores are all but gone and books stores are heading the same way. There's still good music out there but so much "popular" music is "artists" sampling other songs and making music with nary a guitar or drum kit in sight. Cash and checks have been replaced by debit cards, we shop "online", and smoking is about 1 step away from leprosy.  In the past 18 years we've seen 3 Patriot's Super Bowls, an NBA Championship for the Celtics, a Stanley freakin Cup for the Bruins and the Sox manged to win not one but TWO Worlds Series. We've added words like texted, Facebooked, and Skyped to our vocabulary. And we blog incessantly. Blogging is when we sit down and write a bunch of boring stuff that nobody really reads. Like this. Yes, things have changed.

Some things haven't changed. The family is still crazy/awesome/nuts and I wouldn't trade them in for anything. We welcomed Dom, Anna, Brendan and Olivia (and Willie the cat) to the family fold and they are all special! Mom is still the toughest, kindest, greatest person there is. The last several years weren't the easiest on dad but he hung in there like a trooper until the very end. We've lost a lot of good people but made a lot of new friends. Suffered through tragedy yet had so many great times. We've all had our ups and downs but you know what? We're doing OK. There's a term for how we're's on the tip of my tongue? Oh yeah, it's called life

18 years is a long time. I still can't believe it's been 18 years.  Each year it gets harder and harder to think how different these past 18 years would have been, could have been. It's hard having so many indelible, lasting memories but no NEW memories. We still laugh when we speak of you and when we do we always remind the kids how much they would have loved you. I have no idea how different things would have been if you were still here but they would have been a lot more interesting, a lot more fun

18 years is a long time

Patricia "Mimi" O'Rourke
June 16, 1967-June 27, 1994

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick Random Thoughts On The Cusp Of A "Long" Weekend (in other words even fewer folks then usual will read it)

Some quick, random thoughts under the influence of Miller Lite and a Kona crusted burger-

  • Why when a new movie comes out do they have to repeatedly tell you it's "only in theaters"? Can a movie studio be sued if someone goes to Netflix looking for a movie that is not there because it's "only in theaters"?
  • The definition of "be careful what you ask for"- You are bitching about all the road construction fixing the roads whose condition you bitched about all winter
  • A lot of my friends are upset over losing one of Boston's last independent, alternative radio stations. While I never want to hear something like this I have trouble empathizing. Music radio died for me a long time ago. I am not in my car that much and when I am I listen to sports radio. I get my music fix from iTunes, Pandora, and the like
  • I get irked when supermarkets and chain retailers remind us to " honor Memorial Day" then turn around and open on Memorial Day. Really??
  • I haven't had a true long weekend in ages. Comes with the job. But really, how many people between work and their kids activities etc ever have 3 whole days to do something with friends and family uninterrupted?
  • I know I'm an anomaly but the idea of going somewhere where everyone and his brother is going for s short period of time and dealing with gridlock, long lines and inflated prices just doesn't appeal to me anymore (if it ever did) . So, no, I'm not going to the Cape, or York, or Hampton, the Lakes or the Mountains. I hear Cambridge is lovely this time of year

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best Friends...Forever???

So, where was I??

In the age of initials, shortcuts, memes, and the like a few stick out like LOL, BRB, IMO and BFF. Now the last one, BFF, tends to be geared more towards young girls (but not exclusively) and stands for Best Friends Forever. Common use would be (on Facebook or the like) "Chillllliiiinnnn wit my BFF". Ahem. Now, the first 2 words are words we all used growing up and still do today. Best Friends. But forever? Well, more times then not, it doesn't happen. Assuming you're over the age of 25 (maybe younger) who was your best friend in 2nd grade? Are they still your best friend now? Do you even speak to them? If no then does that mean that friendship at THAT point in time meant anything less in retrospect? Does it mean that former best friend is now an enemy (or frenemy as the young ones like to say)? Not in most cases. The bottom line is most friendships formed at a young age are born of location, school, or like activities and not out of actual friendship. Real friendship may or may not happen. If it does then maybe you are going to be BFF's if not then maybe you'll just be F's

Let's get one thing straight first. Proclaiming someone a "best friend" is a lot of pressure. You're starting a relationship by qualifying it. What about your other friends who have no been designated something other then best? Or what if this "best friend" doesn't see you in the same way? Wow, awkward. For the rest of this pointless blather I will stick to best friend but I don't agree with it. Nope, no sir I don't

What is a best friend? To me it's that person outside your family that you spend the most time with, trust the most, confide in the most, and just plain enjoy being around. So, by that definition your best friend is unlikely to be your best friend from kindergarten to retirement as your life changes and to be someones "best friend" isn't always as easy as just saying it. I had a best friend from Kindergarten to 9th grade. We did everything together but we started moving different directions. Him towards a more popular group and me to several diverse groups. There was no bitter, seminal moment and there was no dislike we just stopped being friends. Shit happens. The guy I still to this call my best friend I didn't meet until I was 16 but is still my guy when the chips are down. Unfortunately he lives hundreds of miles away and we rarely see each other (and if you've been reading you know my disdain for phone calls). The 3 people I spend the most time with I've been friends with for 27 years, 25 years (we knew each other in high school but we ever really "hung out" etc) and about 7-8 years. Not to mention I'm lucky enough to still see friends occasionally that I've known for decades. While all extraordinary amounts of time most of us didn't meet until long after the formative years but I'd trust all of the guys I just mentioned with my life. Seriously. And how do I refer to each and every one of them? As ONE of my BEST friends

The problem now days tends to be the total immersion of entire families and groups of friends into best friendship. Parents of kids who are friends tend to become friends which is awesome until the kids stop being friends. Then you learn if it was only the kids you had in common. I had a lot of friends growing up my parents loved and their parents loved me back. All that said they never meddled, never stopped liking those kids, and certainly never become, um, BFF's with those kids parents. The stress and pressure this causes kids is unnecessary. When you're in grade school you go with the flow, no need to rock the boat. But when things open up in middle school and high school kids are now developing their own personality, opinions, likes and dislikes which may now be the complete opposite of your BFF. It happens. The thing is growing up is tough enough on kids and they don't need their parents, siblings, or peers pressuring them over who their best friend is. If there is no animosity, let nature take it's course. If there is animosity, relax, it will likely work itself out if they were really friends to start with. If they're never friendly again no big deal they will both have friends aplenty as the years roll on

I guess my best advice is don't worry so much about labels. Friends are friends, best or otherwise. These days you can have friends you never see but communicate with constantly, friends you make through chats, video games or social media, work friends, church friends, bar friends...see what I mean? Labels. Friends are friends. Every real friend I've ever had has left some kind of impression on my life and I don't regret a single one of those friendships. It's unlikely your best friend from 2nd grade will be your best friend in high school, post college, middle age, etc. But they may still be friends. And even if they're not they were at one point and that can never be taken away