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This is the end.

And I mean it this time. The only way this isn’t the end is if the Birthing Center triage calls us tomorrow and tells us that they’re too crowded to have Heather in to induce labor. In which case we’ll have to wait till Friday, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen. Thus, I repeat, for emphasis and relish . . .

This is the end.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this daylog filibuster (in day 17 now, in case you’re wondering); but I’m certainly not sorry to see it come to a close. I began it in the earnest excitement of thinking my wife would be giving birth within days, if not hours. I never had any intention of posting this many daylogs in a row, ever. I’m just not that interested in offering that wide a window into my life, nor am I driven to write so much so often (I’m not iceowl for god’s sakes); but, as many of you now know, I’m more stubborn than reticent, and so I’ve stuck to the promise of 500 words a day until my baby came. And that will be tomorrow, the Credophage willing.

I’m not saying I’m not going to node or even daylog here any more. I’m certainly going to tell you all, my friends, how things go. It’s just that this day in/day out blather is going to stop. And I know I can’t be the only one here grateful for that.

Perhaps I’ll take these 500 words a day, which JohnnyGoodYear reminds us that Graham Greene admonished us writers to maintain, and plow them into my playwrighting. I’ve got a completely hare-brained idea to write short plays specifically for high school-aged actors. I want to call one of them Wallace Stevens: Superhero! If I end up doing it, I promise to post it here for your downvoting pleasure. (If you think poetry gets blasted, try posting a play here.)

Perhaps I spend a little more time trying to get the plays I’ve already written, done. (Some good news on that end: within the last 24 hours we learned we have a firm commitment from the middle best of the three theatre options we’re courting here to produce Slotin.)

Perhaps I’ll spend a little time with the baby formerly known as Fishy. (Ya think?)

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. . .


I want to thank each and every one of you that has msg’d support for Heather, Declan, Fishy and me. It’s meant a lot, and that’s no bullshit. One of the things I treasure most about this place is how genuinely good we are to each other, especially in times of loss, or in my case, the greatest gain. This place will change. It may disappear completely, but what we have meant to each other in certain precious moments will not disappear, because it cannot.

Cheers to you, my friends. I’ll blather at you again soon. But between now and then, there’s somebody I have to meet.

Things change. Things stay the same.

Life's been.... life.

1) I've now passed the 2-month point without a job. The economy here is so bad there's genuine competition for fast food and walmart-style retail. I really, really hate this town. I can't wait to be gone.

2) mcc and I launched a website. www.grumpybumpers.com is ours and it's got a collection of all the shirts/stickers we've always said "I really wish someone would make that into a shirt". It's as much a personal soapbox as anything, but hey if we make some money off it too, all the better.

3) Java's blown his coat again and just keeps getting fluffier and more handsome each time.

4) We have a third cat. She was a foster that moved in and just never moved out.

5) My window AC unit broke yesterday--belongs to me, not my complex. I can't get it fixed until mcc gets a paycheck. Yesterday was the start of an extremely warm streak, hottest weather of the year.

6) I didn't realize how much I missed being around noders.

7) It scares me to live in a time where it was nessecary to spend 45 minutes explaining WHY an "article" about a supposed transsexual dog was totally medically invalid in every way, and almost 100% guaranteed to be a hoax.

I did a marathon!

This weekend has been a whirlwind. Myself, three friends from high school and one of their mothers left our hometown about noon on Saturday. We drove for about two and a half hours down to San Diego. Once there we checked into the Grand Manchester Hyatt (or maybe it was called Manchester Grand Hyatt). We then went to the convention center to pick up our marathon packets.

At the convention center we got in line and picked up our numbers, timing chip, goodie bag, and t-shirt. We then looked around the health expo that was happening in that same building until it was time for our Team In Training pasta party next door in another section of the convention center. At the pasta party the five of us found seats with two of our coaches, Vickie and Kendall, and ate lots of pasta and listened to several speakers. After the pasta party we went back to our hotel and met up with our head coach, Jimmy, for a brief speech about what would be happening tomorrow including where and when to meet up in the morning.

After the meeting the five of us took the trolley to Target to buy a few things including pajamas for Sergio, a chair for Linda, and some snacks. On the way back to the trolley we stopped at Starbucks for drinks. By the time we got back to our hotel rooms it was about 11:30pm. We still had to write on our shirts, fill out our emergency information, and get everything ready for the morning. Then Sergio and I laid in our beds and talked until a little after 2am. We set up a wake up call for 3:15am.

I never went to sleep. I read some of the book I brought with me and got dressed. At 3:15 I went in the bathroom and finished getting ready. By 3:45am John, Danielle, and I were in the hotel lobby with a growing group of teammates and by 4am we were on the bus to the starting line. It was still dark. We stood around, enjoyed our bananas and water, sat with our teammates, stretched, and used the port-a-potties until just before 6:30am. We then walked and walked.

John and Danielle got too far ahead of me to keep up with. So I found someone in a purple shirt (meaning they were members of Team In Training) that was walking about my pace and started talking to her. Her name was Donna. She was from Virginia and wife of a preacher. We stopped once to wait in line at the port-a-potties because she didn’t think she could go any further without stopping so I went too while we was there. She stopped twice more and I kept walking. She quickly caught up with me both times and eventually got so far ahead of me I could no longer keep up.

I got further and further behind everyone. TNT (Team In Training) coaches cheered me on as well as spectators. Eventually a woman named Liz caught up to me. She was a mentor on the other Los Angeles area team. At points she got ahead of me. The “sweepers” caught me as I was the last Team In Training member. Eventually the one other woman (not TNT) that was behind me, a woman in her 70s, gave up and I became officially the very last person of the thousands and thousands of people in the marathon. This was a little depressing. The two sweepers were funny and kept me going. I forget both guys names though.

Eventually I reached the cut off point. This marathon, the Coca Cola Zero San Diego Rock and Roll marathon, had 2 cut-off points. At 13.4 miles if you didn’t make 17:26 minutes a mile you get rerouted to mile 22, which means you walk 18 miles instead of 26.2. At 19 point something you get bussed to the end and do not receive a medal. I obviously got rerouted at 13.4. I was so thrilled to see that 13.4 cut off. I felt so tired. And when I got to mile 22 I was no longer last, hundreds of people were behind me.

The longer I walked the slower I got. By the end we were close to 40 minutes a mile. I was in so much pain and it was obvious. All the coaches I passed asked me if I was okay and pointed me toward the medical tents. When I ran into (not literally) our coach Kendall she told me where we were on our training course to give me a frame of reference on how much further I needed to walk. That helped. Our head coach, Jimmy, did the same. Kendall had Liz put her hand on my back which got me to walk faster. It’s amazing how having a hand placed gently on your back can really get you moving. Liz was able to walk a little faster than me but made sure I kept up with her. I really liked her.

When we finished they took a couple pictures of us. I was almost in tears from the pain. Then I got my medal, took some pictures with John and Danielle, took our official pictures, and then started the maze to get out and to the TNT tent to check out and get our pin that says “26.2 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training”. We checked out. I then grabbed a sprite, a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a little bag of Fritos. I ate the pb&j sandwich as we walked to the bus back to the hotel. Oh my Gawd, did it feel good to sit down! Getting back up was not an easy task.

Once back at the hotel I took a cold bath, then laid down a bit. I couldn’t sleep so I called Harmony and Dawggy. Told them all about the day. Then I hung up and finished getting ready to go to the Victory party. At the party I had some turkey (which just made me feel even more tired) and some chips. Then I ate an ice cream bar and some cookies. People (all of which had done the marathon) were dancing! I couldn’t even consider dancing as tired and achy as I felt.

After the party we went back to the rooms and talked a bit before going up to the Top of the Hyatt bar to meet up with some teammates. We didn’t stay long. After that I laid in bed and read a bit before going to sleep. I had the room to myself because Sergio left from the Victory Party because he had to work first thing Monday morning.

Monday morning rolled around all too quickly and I got up and was getting ready to go when Danielle knocked on my door. There was a fire or something on the thirtieth floor of our tower. The elevators were shut off. So we walked down 5 flights of stairs to the lobby to meet up with John and Danielle’s panicked mother. We then had to go back up for our stuff. Fortunately we found working escalators that went to the fourth floor so we only had to climb one flight of stairs. We checked out and Danielle drove us the two hours home. When I got home I called my mother to tell her about the trip, then talked to Harmony, and took a nap until my mom called again. My mom has some super sense that makes her call here every time I take a nap. I then ordered a yummy pizza and wrote a daylog. I'm thankful it's over!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYONE WHO DONATED MONEY!
I couldn’t have done it without your support!

Happy 100th birthday Norway!

Dear Keelan Michael Mullin,

Now that you have joined us, I'd like to share a few words with you.

Every child is precious. Your mum and dad, and your big brother too, are the only ones who know right now exactly how special you are. As you grow and reach out to accept the big wide world around you, the rest of us will get to know a little of your specialness, too.

But, you see, the world is changing. It has a habit of doing that. You were born to a wider community in a way; you've got dozens of virtual aunties and uncles within the community of E2, most of whom you'll probably never meet.

Though we have not met you, we love you nonetheless.

While you were in your mum's tummy, we knew about your coming. We pestered your dad endlessly for news of you. And when the time came for you to be born, we stood there by him — in spirit — as you came into the world. We waited eagerly for whatever news he could tell us. Your mum must be very patient to let him be typing at us (briefly!) while you were being born, really. But maybe the positive force of our focus, our prayers and our good wishes made a difference to you and your family. At least, I hope they did.

I don't know your dad all that well, Keelan, but I've seen the fire in his eyes as he watched his work come to life on stage for the first time. He's helped me and plenty of others, too, out of the goodness of his heart, and I can tell you that he's a great man. I don't know your mom at all, but she must be someone very special as well. She couldn't be otherwise, there's just no two ways about it. You should be proud of them both, and your brother, too.

Here are a few wishes and thoughts I have for you, Keelan.

• Always remember your family loves you.
• You don't have to follow in anyone's footsteps. Make your own life.
• May you grow up strong, healthy, and agile, and yet remember, still, to be gentle.
• May you learn the pleasure and the fascination of the words your father uses so gracefully.
• May you wield those words you learn with precision and intent. Words are the best thing that can ever happen to you, next to your family's love.
• Remember that "I don't know" is a good answer, and it is okay to laugh at yourself.
• May you have endless amounts of fun.
• Enjoy Seattle while you're there; the Pacific Northwest is an amazing place to be. Go see Butchart Gardens, it's not too far off. While enjoying them, make sure to learn its history; not many women plant quarries while hanging off a rope! See Deception Pass, a place I know well, and learn its story. Meet the old guy who lives on the road to the pass who sells whirligigs. Find one that makes you laugh. Ride the ferry to Friday Harbor, and watch the islands appear like magic out of the fog in the morning. Learn about the orca pods. Be delighted by the endless acres of tulips in the spring in Mount Vernon. Drive up into the mountains and find the roadside farm that raises miniature horses. The person who created fantastic chainsaw carvings has moved on, I'm told, but you might still be able to find his art here and there. Experience the bald eagle festival in the mountains in the early spring; watch them land in the trees next to you, and hear them calling. When you're older, go see Mount St. Helens and learn about what happened there. Marvel at the power of the earth to renew herself, and, if you get lucky, catch sight of the elk herds — they're pretty amazing too.
• Don't just watch sunrises... live them.
• Observe a hummingbird. Is its breast red, or green? How does it move like that? Wonder how it can sleep overnight, and imagine how tiny the eggs it lays must be.
• Find out the hard way why Everywhere is Kitten Trouble. And enjoy it.
• Find the first daffodil of spring each year, and bring it to your mom. Watch her face light up.
• Eat good food.
Love well.
• Be safe.

And, lastly, remember not to take anything too seriously. It's here for you to enjoy. Be one with your life.

Love,
Maylith

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