Sorry it’s been so damn long, but these past few months have been so surreal. Did I really leave UMBC? The school I’ve made my home for the past 12 years? The town in which I’ve become a very local celebrity? I thought I’d never leave. Neither did anybody else. And I got a job at Miami. But wait. It’s in Ohio. What? And in a place called Oxford. This has got to be made up. Well, OK. Better get movin while I’m still young.
And so I got here. And it was even more surreal. It was like Fantasy Island here. The chicks are amazingly hot. It’s apparently one of the things the school is known for. And it’s 92% white here, a far cry from UMBC’s 45/45/10. The convocation parade looked like the Girls Gone Wild tryouts. Does this place really exist or did I make all this up in my twisted mind? Is there such a place where pepsi and coke can live together in the same vending machine? Did my new roommate and I really just crash a wedding the first day we met? Are those clocks really melting over those trees? Did Mike really move out here too? No way. I must have made this up in some 1/3 life crisis Fight Club Tyler Durden induced panic attack. I’m going to wake up someday soon back in my corner at UMBC with a huge headache and what’s left of Casa De Sol telling me I’m a crappy soccer ref. But until then, it’s party time here on Fantasy Island. And you’re all invited. And remember to bring your swimsuit. I’ll take care of the booze.
I think all of you know this, but my father passed away less than a month after I moved to Ohio on August 21st from lung cancer. I want to thank all of you once again who took the time to send cards, flowers and to those of you who drove up or flew in for his Memorial Service. It was quite a show of support and valued friendship. Shortly after the service, I was talking with Fred about my dad and he mentioned how most tribes of Native Americans believe in two deaths. There is the death of the body and the death of the spirit. The death of the spirit occurs when the stories cease to be told about him or her. And so I’ve decided to exploit the forum I’ve already created to keep my father’s spirit alive.
My dad was already diagnosed with terminal cancer and the doctors wanted to figure out what kind it was by performing a biopsy. While on the operating table, the doctor told my dad that there was a 15% chance they wouldn’t get anything and they’d need to do it again, a 10% chance they would hit a blood vessel and he’d cough up blood for no more than a day or two, and a 20% chance they would puncture his lung and need to shove a tube down there and keep him overnight…
Even in his 11th hour, he managed to keep a sense of humor about him to share with everyone around him. Think about that next time you get angry or upset about anything for whatever reason. I hope that all of you know someone like him sometime in your life and I hope you’ll all help keep his spirit alive and the spirits of others that you know.