Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Memoriam: Jason Dean Brantley

I first stumbled across Jason while he was in jail for the third year.  We became penpals and fast friends.  He had lived a very extravagant life—as well as a very dangerous one.  He lived a life of dark alleys and drugs.  Expensive cars and fancy labels.  He lived just as he had meant to.  As the law caught up to him, he did his time.  That's when I began to know him.  He told me about his plans to change his life, get a job and a home of his own.  Legitimately.  Legally.  He wanted to return as a productive member of society.

He was released this summer and we became very close friends.  We learned a lot from each other.  One of the things I learned was a phrase he and another friend of his used a lot, I tried to understand it in context but that proved impossible.  I couldn't tell if the words "going through" meant becoming drunk, engaging in general merriment or fighting.  As it turns out, it's all of them.  He taught me that it's following one's actions and one's convictions to the fullest extent; it's going through to the end.

Through his recovery from a number of serious drugs, he was gripped by alcohol.  He considered it an innocent strand of his former life.  He was also in a lot of pain, and it helped him to cope.  I don't agree with it.
In fact, I differed from him in a number of aspects and even though I didn't agree with him, I understood him.  I understood his motivations, his desires.  His dreams.  And in that way, I loved him as I love myself—for I found that they were the same as my own.  He and I followed different paths to the same end.

However, Jason's end came to an early and tragic halt.  It was a car accident at night.  It was something that could have happened to anyone.  I regret that this sudden end came a mere 6 months after his release for I know that he would lament the impact this has on his mother, but for himself he would not weep because he felt that he had a life worth living. He lived exactly as he had meant to.

This is my memorial to Jason Brantley, someone who went through as he lived.

In Memoriam: Misty

When I was in kindergarten, my aunt saved a little black labrador puppy and gave her to my family and me--we named her Misty. Misty and I were inseperable for some time, both incredibly energetic. I used to make little books about Misty, the Wonder Dog. They were lacking in plot, but they more than made up for it in love. She was more than just another one of my friends. One day, I was curious about the variance in the life expectancy of different species, so I asked my stepmother how long she would live. She replied, "Misty will live to see you graduate high school." To a kindergartener, that's lifetimes away.

And here I am, lifetimes later. I graduated last year, and since then we've pretty much been counting down the days, not taking any more for granted. Even I've shown her the love I've always had for her even though I haven't shown it like I used to...
It finally happened while I was at work.  My parents called the vet to come to our house, Misty doesn't like traveling to the vet and we couldn't let those be her last moments.  My parents then took her to my grandparents' property in Leonard and buried her there facing towards the pond so that she'll always know which direction the water is in case she feels like playing in it—just like she loved to do before she started to hurt.  She was gone when I came home that night.  Though we lost someone very important to us, we know that she's gained something in return:  Peace.
Though we'll miss her, we take solace in the fact that she's not struggling anymore--she's no longer in pain. She's free again.

Misty the Wonder Dog, always our hero.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

World Domination

There comes a time in every megalomaniac's life where he or she must attempt to take over the world.  For me, that time is now.  I'm tired of not ruling the world with an iron fist.  But I'm going to do it right.  If you look at those historical figures who attempted such a feat in the past, their failures were obvious.  Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, Pinky and the Brain.  Stopped by death, their own hubris, or the fact that they were laboratory mice, those conquerers have paved the road for me, with unsurpassed bravado, to complete my hostile takeover of the world.  This is a three-step process.

Phase One:  I would create two kinds of hats: purple jester hats and red/yellow top hats.  Then I'd advertise them by showing lonely ugly people without the hats, then when they put on the hat, they become sexy, wealthy and surrounded by beautiful people.

Phase Two:  When everyone got either a jester hat or a top hat, I'd set them against each other, to create a deep hatred between them: People with purple jester hats and people with red/yellow top hats.  I'd spread nasty rumors...(Hey, did you hear that the people with purple jester hats said that the mothers of people with red/yellow top hats are all fat?  And ugly?)  Eventually, this would lead to an all-out war between the jester-hatted people and the top-hatted people as tensions rose to a boiling climax!

Phase Three:  I'd use an invention I make to teleport all of the hats so that everyone that was wearing a purple jester hat will suddenly be wearing a re/yellow top hat and everyone with a top hat will suddenly find themselves with a jester hat.  This will lead to a self-loathing mass suicide of everyone, save me because I'll be wearing my red ball cap.  Being the last person on the planet, I'll claim it in name of Jason!  And I'll rename it "Funkyland"...

Quote of the Day:  "Why is there toast on the orange?"