A Weekend Without a Plan

Well, sort of. I did all of my weekly errands yesterday afternoon, when I was flexing off the overtime from Sunday. This afternoon I finished up a few odds and ends when I flexed off the rest of the overtime. Now I am facing an entire weekend in which I can do exactly NOTHING and still have nothing hanging over my head. w00t!

I have a wee bit of a headache at the moment, which I hope will subside with a bit of water and ibuprofen. I unintentionally overdid the caffeine this morning. I just wasn't paying attention to what I was drinking or how much. This got me all sorts of jittery. I'm really glad I just had a half day at work because I was buzzing so badly. I ended up spending the afternoon trying to wind down. I did get in a nap which helped take the edge off. Now I'm good to go for the evening.

New Beginnings
The fire station is being re-born. Cinder block was delivered yesterday. I'm curious how long it will take to finish. I don't think I've ever seen a fire station being built.

Much of the other tornado damage in the area has been eradicated, with the exception of obvious gaps where trees used to be. The house which was completely obliterated down to a bare slab has been completely re-built and is even occupied! That only took about 30 days.

Reality Show Reassessment
Some time ago I ranted about reality shows, mostly for their inanity. I have found an exception. This past week I caught an episode of Deadliest Catch on The Discovery Channel. This show I like. Here's why: the people in it aren't trying to prove they are better than anybody else or to justify their existence. They talk about what they do for a living and share their experiences. It's more of a documentary about crab fishing in Alaska than it is a true reality show. To me, the typical "reality show" seems incredibly fake, staged and otherwise manipulated to be sufficiently dramatic and self-aggrandizing. In Deadliest Catch, the environment makes things dramatic without any assistance from the people and the people don't have time to be pompous idjits. These guys are just trying to stay alive while they do their jobs, which is not to say that they don't have fun too (there is a tendency to play pranks/practical jokes within and between crews). It is interesting to see how different people and personalities handle various stresses and strains. Some of them get angry, while others remain calm and just explain things increasingly firmly. A couple of the captains get quite philosophical while driving through the night.

I was unaware until this week that one of the boats in season three actually rescued a fisherman who fell from another boat. I wouldn't have thought the intensity level among the crew could have gone any higher until the "Man Overboard" call went out. Everybody was scrambling. The fisherman was rescued successfully and everybody cried in relief/release when he was safe aboard and wrapped in a warm blanket below deck. I, too, was relieved to see a happy outcome to that situation. Not all of the overboard incidents depicted have ended happily.

RIP to some great people this week
First, we lost another wonderful actor--Charlton Heston. I will be spending the evening watching Ben-Hur and cheering wildly during the chariot race.

"Art is imperfectable...but the wonderful thing is that you get to keep trying."
--Charlton Heston

Secondly, Oscar Cuniberti "The Little O" Canavan. I do not know this person and have no connection to him or his family. I take great delight in reading his obituary. If there was ever an example of how to celebrate the life of someone in writing, this would be it. The author clearly loves "O" dearly and feels blessed for having known him during his short stay on Earth.

The obituary reminded me of a brief classified ad printed in The Daily Illini on December 13, 1999:
In Memoriam
Hattie Jean Hilliard, October 2, 1945-February 15, 1995. B.F.A. 1967, Graphic Design. M. A. 1975, Education, New York University. Talented artist, scholar and teacher. Long-time resident of New York. Went to Nigeria on a Fullbright Fellowship to teach, and to fulfill a life-long dream -- cut short by an automobile accident. Remembered lovingly by a 1966 Sociology 100 classmate, who found her interesting, inspiring, and the most beautiful woman on campus.
I cut out that little ad and have saved it for almost 10 years now. It is carefully kept under the protective plastic covering of my desk, where I see it almost daily. I find it incredibly touching and even romantic. A love letter to Ms. Hilliard in 1.5 column inches. Simply beautiful. I wonder if she knew how he felt about her or if he loved her from afar. Was this an unknown romantic crush? Were they friends at all? I have often wondered about the author and what prompted him to print the ad in the paper--did he still live in Urbana? Was there any particular significance to December 13th? It is all a mystery. Perhaps some day I'll write a story of what might have led to this poignant and public bit of very personal prose.


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