Monday, October 31, 2011

The Great Tribulation's album The Flood Brought The Fire earns kind words from Rust Magazine, publishing out of Gainesville GA. Thanks, fellas.

If you hit it quick, you can still get a free download of The Flood Brought The Fire ... offer expires in November, if I remember correctly. Give it a whirl, I personally guarantee you'll feel like you got your money's worth.

Happy Halloween. Let me recommend something for the holidays ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

My mother, Diane Josephine Storz (later Beldin, then finally Meier), died on October 9, 2011 after a six-month battle with lymphoma. The initial prognosis was good, the doctors believed that the type of illness she had was treatable, so while the situation was serious, we all were optimistic about her chances. However, she took a sudden turn last month and spent her last weeks in the University of Michigan hospital, surrounded by family who took turns keeping her company as she declined.

Diane was a kindergarten teacher in the Flint school district for much of her education career (a vocation she chose for herself as a little girl), travelled the world with my stepfather Roger during their retirement, was active in her local Methodist church for 30 years, was proud of her German heritage and collected Hummel figurines, played pickleball (what? it's this), hated cats but loved cat-sized dogs, and was frankly a pretty lousy cook ... everything I ate in my childhood was either boiled, microwaved or distilled in crockpots. She raised two boys alone for several years after her divorce from my father, lean times which surely informed her mania for saving money later on when she was more financially secure -- scouring newspapers and the internet for deals on things she either didn't need or didn't need in the quantities required was her greatest hobby, always a great victory for her to stock up on a dozen extra toothbrushes or travel-sized shampoos, which she would eventually bag and present to various family members with pride.

I have had very little experience with death, even at age 44 -- my people tend to last a long time and I still have living grandparents (both maternal and paternal) in their mid-90s, so her passing at 68 was a shock. I'm gradually recovering from the stress and tumult that any large event might create, but I feel that the true impact of her absence will hit me at some time in the future. We were fundamentally different people but also essentially similar, two identical machines fueled by contrasting solvents. My lifelong dedication to the baser arts caused her much concern at times, but she eventually grew to respect my drives as an expression of my essence and not simply a desire to shock and upset her. I loved her, and my upcoming birthday will not be the same without a phone call from her insisting on singing "Happy Birthday" to me as I cringe and roll my eyes.