Quarterly Report #10

Ten quarters is two and a half years. Throw in the quarter where I blew off writing one of these, and I’m almost three years into writing this blog. My output last quarter was just under a post a day, and some of the posts I added weren’t more than a picture and a few words. But it’s clear to me I still enjoy doing this.

This quarter I quit drinking coffee, on the theory that I would sleep better at night if I cut back on the caffeine. And I also created an avenue for artistic expression with the teabag haiku thing that I do sometimes. I have fun with it, and that’s the best reason for doing it.

Last quarter I also didn’t eat at McDonald’s once, which is probably a good thing. I still overeat in other ways, and other fast food outlets may get a visit on occasion (darn you, Colonel Sanders) but on the whole this is a change that I’m glad to have made.

I also commented on some celebrity deaths last quarter, including Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harold Ramis. We all die eventually, and a classmate of mine from high school died very suddenly this month,too. I didn’t know her very well, but again it’s a reminder that we have to enjoy the time that we’re here.

And lastly, I contributed a few things to four other websites, so that cut into the things that I put here. But it’s all good, because taking a thought from my head and then sending it out to the world always feels great.

The next one of these will be in the heat of the summer. Until then….

A eulogy for Brandt


As a member of the Dudeist clergy–the only such group I would ever belong to–I feel a need to say a few words on behalf of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who so brilliantly played the part of Lebowski’s manservant, Brandt.

I have been fortunate enough to never get mixed up with heroin. And even though Hoffman had been clean for decades, something set him back down the path that eventually killed him. It’s a real shame that someone with all of his talent couldn’t rise above his addiction.

One of my favorite Springsteen lyrics seems appropriate here. In Tunnel of Love, Bruce sings that “you gotta learn to live with what you can’t rise above.” And for all those years, that’s exactly what Hoffman did. He rose above heroin, and he had major success as a result. But then he couldn’t rise above it anymore and as a result, he couldn’t live with heroin in his life.

There’s a saying that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, and Hoffman’s tragic end just reinforces this statement. Let’s all rise above things that might harm us, in the hope that there will be more tomorrows coming our way.