dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
ALS killed my father, his sister, their mother, their maternal uncle, and their maternal grandmother. This is rather exciting news.
dcseain: (Me Headshot 20090215)
As you can see in my profile, i attended Dale City Elementary School in Dale City, Virginia. You can also see in my profile that i attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, where i first met [livejournal.com profile] tomhundleyrn.

Recently, on Facebook, i reconnected with some peolpe i grew up with. As i stated in that post, we were very blessed in our growing up years, not least in that those of us who remained as the neighbors were transferred around us every three to five years, got along to the point that we're still in touch.

Come grade 6, those of us from Dale City Elementary were combined with the students from nearby Bel Air Elementary (which school the youngins in the neighborhood i grew up in attend today) and Neabsco Elementary found ourselves all together at Mills E Godwin Middle School, where we would be together for 3 years.

As some of you know, i've always been, or at least felt, a bit of an outsider, while at the same time having wonderful, supportive friends and family, and moving with relative ease as needed between groups. I've gotten over the outsider feeling as i've grown older, in part due to good career and job choices and in part due to learning to realize the advantages i have in my culture as a white male. Well, the rich social life i have helps, too. :)

As Middle School progressed, i felt more and more isolated - again plenty of friends and an active social life, but that does not preclude feelings of isolation. As 7th grade drew to a close, i was feeling simultaneously reasonably well liked and at the same time like most were really only tolerating me.

I remember when my guidance counselor talked to me about applying to Jefferson, and talking to me about what the school would be all about. So, thanks to the guidance counselor, i applied to be in the 1st class at the new magnet school.

I chose to apply in part to escape from the social situation i felt and in part because i was bored silly in school. Dad was still ambulatory and going to work as i embarked on the application process, though his speech had begun to slur, and his physical reaction times were slowing. I was terrified of getting into the car with him driving, but he drove me to all the testing sites i needed to get to take my exams to get into the school, including North Stafford High School in Garrisonville, VA, and West Springfield High School in Springfield, VA. He was very, very, very supportive of my attending that school. Mom, on the other hand, was opposed.

Anyway, coming back to were i was at the beginning, reconnecting with people on Facebook. I've been very surprised - in a good way - by people that have reached out to me there, which helps put into perspective my feelings of isolation and what back in middle school, and makes me wonder how much of that relates to my shyness, which is deeper than most think, despite my cheery, outgoing public face.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Tonight i had a tomato sandwich: a nice, thick slice of fresh, home-grown tomato, between two pieces of white - bot not Wonder - bread, the bread thick with mayo and ample salt and pepper. NOW it is Summer.

Growing up, we always had a vegetable garden, and the tomatos and the hot peppers were the highlights. In HS, i spent a light of time at the Arnaoot's house, where Ghassan, the dad there, kept a tangled patch of various tomato vines, which produce copiously through the Summer and into the Fall.

*Raises glass* To Summer, to tomatos, and to our ancestors! L'chaim y salud!

*hugs [livejournal.com profile] nadyalec*
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Here's what came out of my fingers tonight )

And thus was my last summer of innocence. I knew i had an essay itching to get out today. Had no idea this would be the topic. Though it's been on my mind of late. I even pointedly went to, and much enjoyed, a cookout at [livejournal.com profile] leiacat and [livejournal.com profile] bfudlmint's place on his birthday this year, rather than my usual picnic at the graveyard.

The 4th

Jul. 4th, 2006 11:51 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The 1st and 4th of July are two of my favourite holidays of the year: Canada Day and Independence Day respectively. They were the 2 holidays a year that we always observed as a family, and Dad was around for, not having to work.

Here i reminisce about a Canada Day of yore )

Today, i had a total blast. I hung with loreleisays and her hubby, and our mutual friend Elizabeth (who has invited me to her new place in Messina Province in Sicily :D ). We hit the Nats v Marlins game, in which Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th, on 2 strikes, 2 outs. I'm SO glad we stayed till the end.

After the game, back into the Metro to Rosslyn, where the food was waiting in a cooler in my car. Loreleisays' hubby and i went to the car to get the food. As we were crossing the Skywalk bridge over Forty Myer Dr, we saw a flash of lighting, and simultaneously, heard a deafening clap of thunder. We scurried across the bridge, and took shelter at the church entrance, before deciding to get the stuff before the weather got worse.Ha! )

What a wonderful day. :D
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Today, for whatever reason, twenty years ago is on my mind: Spring of 1986. Second semester of my firt year of high school. The second year of what was to become six years of drought. Mom was working afternoons/evenings at the time, and i came home from school to Anne, the swing shift nurse for Dad, who was in the bedroom. School, and the perpetual waiting for him to die was the rhythm of life then.

Not sure why this is on my mind today. May be the coincidence of the degree of dryness/drought conditions is similar to what it was then. Or mayhap that my current work environment is as engaging and challenging as school was. Dunno. Just thought i'd share. It's not sadness, nor melancholy, that i'm feeling. Just a persistent recollection of a moment in time.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] happypete posted a brief memoir about the Challenger disaster. That brought back a flood of complex, rather melancholy, memories for me. It was a Sunday, and i was finishing some homework in my room.
It's not long, but it seemed appropriate to cut it )
It's amazing how poignant a memory can be twenty years later. :) I also remember being interviewed by CNN in Mr. Sane's 3rd period (or was the 3rd class called 4th period that year) biology class the next day. And unlike [livejournal.com profile] happypete we lived in Prince William County, so i saw it on Cablevision, many years before they were eaten by Comcast.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The intersection of the Terri Schiavo brouhaha and my Aunt Marty's passing brought up some issues for me, as various of my comments at the time may have indicated. The intersection of those two events brought me to write an essay. Finally, after eighteen and a half years, I can look back at that period of my life and honestly say that I've dealt with it. :) That's good news. The contents of the essay are, how did Fred put it, powerful. That was what he called it.

I've provided the full essay below. It details my life from the first appearance of my father's symptoms, up to his death. I feel a need to share it, though you ought not feel obliged to read it. It's much more difficult content than my earlier-posted essay about fishing with my maternal grandfather, at least from my point of view.

And to my more anal friends who may read this, totally feel free to pick apart grammar and punctuation; content is what it is, unless you find it unclear somehow, in which case i'd like to know. Though I wonder that a couple of the paragraphs might be a bit long; I've only done minor editing to date.

The full three-page single-spaced story best as I recall it. )


dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)

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