I am thankful that I got to meet Dave before he actually stopped writing. I hold out hope that this won't actually be his retirement. He left the door open, a little.
I suppose I'll be reading more Weingarten than I previously did. Gene has some funny stuff. On Tuesdays, he hosts a basically chat-style column, and while it can run long, its usually pretty funny stuff. In last week's (Jan 7th), for instance - he had this to say in response to a reader criticizing a column he had recently written:
This posting makes me think about Dave Barry's goodbye column, which Liz will link to below. It was a great goodbye column -- fiercely honest, moving but without phony sentiment or bathos. In it, Dave discusses how from virtually the time he began writing humor, people have been telling him how he "used to be funnier."
Yes, I used to be funnier, too. But, fortunately, I am a lot funnier now than I will be in two years. So consider yourself lucky.
You, however, never really change. You have always been, and always will be, pretty much the way you are now. Day in, day out. Your wife has, reluctantly, come to terms with this. It is why she is cheating on you...
Remember, the mark of a true humorist is the unerring ability to trump critics with a personal dig.
Later in his column he gets into an interesting discussion on the terms "child-free" and "childless," and the related implications. He mentioned a book that sounds like a good read: "The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless." I look forward to getting this. I don't know when I'll find the time, working more than 1/2 the hours in my week so that my boss can spend lots of time with her kids, but I look forward to getting it, all the same. I'm not saying spending quality time with her kids is a bad thing. I'm saying that pretending like she can both spend time with her kids and actually commit the necessary hours to the job title they've given her is ludicrous, and I don't mean necessarily on her part. She's just riding the wave they've made for her. Someone loses in the end. Its not her kids. Its certainly not her. Its definitely not the company.
Eh, woe is me. Someday I'll have kids and oppress the underlings in the office. I hope not.
Speaking of tsunamis, well, I've generally avoided that, haven't I? An hour or so of trolling video and pictures of the destructive power of nature pretty much hollowed me out on the subject. David asked how he will glorify God from the grave, as I was reminded by my friend Matt shortly before he died. That was a couple years ago, now. Hard to imagine. And Matt was just one person. But he was one person, and there's no overstating the value of that.
And so it is that the gut-churning reality of hundreds of thousands, gone - its hard to really come to any terms with.
I actually have had death on the mind quite a bit recently (since before the tsunami, which only helped to further propel my mind down that path), and I've written some about it, none fit for publishing, at least not yet. I'm not sure why its been such a present thought of late - its felt more introspective than morbid - but there it is, all the same.
For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.
So again, speaking of the tsunami, its easy enough to find ways to help the countless affected - just go to google should you get the urge, you don't even have to search to find it. Unicef, AmeriCares, The Red Cross, all good ideas, however I would highly recommend World Vision. I've done work with them in the past and have friends who continue to work there, and have a great respect for the organization.