Procrastination (But I Digress)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

400 Posts

That's what it says on my dashboard page. I have published 400 works. True, they sit on a huge library shelve in no order whatsoever in a dusty part of the universe where only a few people ever wander, but hey--I'm published.

So I used my blog about making my class as fun as Toastmasters as a speech for the International Speech contest. I didn't want to win. I intimidate the other members of my club, so they didn't want to compete. I told one of the guys that I would handicap myself by not preparing my speech in advance. All I had was the memory of the blog and a very rough outline--twenty words to take me from topic to topic. I won. Now I have to give that same speech at the next level of the contest which is on a Saturday and will conflict with the Saturday class that I am taking. It is a sickness wanting to win so much. It was a pretty good speech and thinking about it has given me some really good ideas for making my class more fun.

I am into the next semester of my class with a whole new group of students. I like these students much better. Some of the past group are still hanging around trying to do internships this semester. We'll see. So I have livened it up a little and I haven't had to raise my voice and yell at all. But there are only 7 students. I don't think that they will keep the class open for just 7 students.

Yesterday a good friend of mine quoted Rush Limbau (sorry--don't know the spelling). I was a little shocked and a lot sad. I hate knowing other people's politics. There was a guy on the radio talking about why partisan politics will not go away. He said your side says that 2 + 2 equals 4, but the other guys say 2 + 2 equals a duck. How are you supposed to find a middle ground between 4 and a duck? Both sides think that the other side wants to square their 4 with a duck.

This morning I heard that California finally has a state budget, but at what price. To get the last vote needed, the legislature agreed to change the primary system to allow an open primary. He had a really good reason for wanting this concession--he is a moderate who is popular with both parties, but he worries about being popular enough to win the primary in just his party (since he is a moderate saying--wait, isn't that a duck?) The bad side is that an open primary means, if one side is a lock, all the members of that party can forgo voting for the candidate in their party and they can vote for the weakest candidate of the opposite party to give their party a better shot at the general election. I hate politics. This is the worst system of governing in the world, except for all the rest.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Two Years Later

I don't know if I have blogged about this, but when Mary died, her cemetary was closed--locked gates, no one at the helm, closed. It closed before she died and she was very worried about what I would do with her after she died. She was extremely committed to being buried with her best friends at her cemetary. So, I had Mary cremated and I held onto her ashes waiting for her cemetary to re-open.

At one point, before Mary died, the city was having public meetings about the cemetary. We asked Marisa to go and take notes, which she did. Those notes led to finding an attorney who represented some of the families suing the owner. When I contacted that attorney, I got no where, but I kept his name. Later, I noticed articles in the local paper and I contacted the reporter covering the story to find out more information. He gave me the e-mail address for an attorney involved in the case. I e-mailed that attorney and although he never responded to my e-mail, between the reporter and those attorneys, I was on an e-mail list that gave me information.

Through that information I was able to learn how to go about getting a court order to inter remains where we already owned the crypt. When Mary first died, I couldn't find the information about owning the crypt. I searched and searched. When I got the e-mail about a year later, I looked again, and there it was. I think you can have blinders on and not see the very thing you are looking for. Anyway, for money, the court order was a simple process. I was warned that there was more than just a court order involved and I tenatiously tracked down the person who would actually open the crypt and conduct the interment. No easy task--that guy was as slipery as they come. He didn't know the price, he didn't know the timing, he wasn't sure I had the right paperwork. What a mess, but I perservered and I listened and I took notes and pretty soon I was able to tell him how to do his job.

Then we had to order the placques. Mary had been fighting with the cemetary at the time they closed about Urs' placque, so I needed Urs's placque too. They took almost six months to come. Then last November, we were at the end of the long road. We set up a time and I brought the ashes to the cemetary and I was saying good-bye, getting a little teary when I looked over at the placques. They said that Urs and Mary died on the same date.

What are the odds that so many people in the chain of events could be so stupid. I should have bought a lottery ticket.

This time it only took two months to fix the placques and they were kind enough not to charge me more money (they could have--I was totally beyond caring how much it cost to be done with this fiasco). So today was finally the day to inter Mary's ashes. I was standing outside the cemetary gates (which are locked, because all these years later the cemetary is still closed) waiting for the guy. No one was there. So I waited and waited. Nothing. So I went home and sent off an angry e-mail. Then I got a call from my office that the guy lost my number, so I called him and he had the nerve to say "where are you?" I have been standing outside the gate for 20 minutes--where are you? He was there the whole time waiting for me to call him to open the gate in the front. So we connected. I brought Mary.

The workers had already attached the placques with Mary on top and then Urs. The dates were not wrong, but the order was wrong. Every other crypt there had the first to die first. Mary and Urs. It doesn't sound right; its always been Urs and Mary. I couldn't let it go and finally I asked them to change it. They were pretty nice about it and they did. Then I was trying to take a picture with my phone, but the shadows were too dark, so I asked the workers up on the scaffold to take the picture of the placques and then to take a picture of Bea's placque too.

As the guy walked me out and I shared a few stories of Bea, Urs and Mary. They are all saying, It's about time! The guy said, they're happy to be together finally and I said, Oh no, they've been together in heaven all along, but they are happy that I've finally finished my job--it took me long enough. Two years--I really never thought the cemetary would be closed so long. I asked the guy what the story is--how long before they sort out the ownership and open the cemetary. He said it wouldn't surprise him if it took six years. I won't be surprised either--Mary owned the crypt and it took me two years.