Friday, April 26, 2013

Going Down Memory Lane

Four hours on a Friday night.
Five friends taking a trip down memory lane.
Telling stories, sharing laughs and enjoying a few beers.
It was something we have done numerous times but this time it was different because we did not know if we will ever get this opportunity again.
It was never mentioned but I am pretty sure each of us at the table thought it.
“Will this be the last time we see our friend alive?”
He was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer on Wednesday.
The doctor told him he has 50 percent chance to live to see 2014 with the chemotherapy treatment. Two days later we met him at a local watering hole and gave him what he wanted: lots and lots of stories.
He just wanted to hear and talk about the good old days we had while we were at college. To remember all of the stupid shit we lived through and were lucky enough to still recall.
It was a good time despite the circumstances.
We were locked in. Ignoring the wall of TVs, the classic rock, and the other customers.
Just focused on our table and contributing our funniest stories and memories from what seems like a lifetime ago. Talking about the fun we had when we were much younger and life was not as complicated.
We were not worried about mortgages, our jobs, our relationships ... anything for those four hours.
We were just in the moment and we wanted it to last forever.
But we knew it couldn’t.
Unfortunately, life does not have a pause button.
However for those four hours on that Friday night we were all back in school at the University of Idaho. Nobody had been divorced, nobody hated their job, nobody hated their situation, and nobody had cancer.
But it had to end. We had to go back to reality.
We would wake up tomorrow with hangovers and the daily grind of life with all of its worries would return, but for this one single night we went back in time and just reminisced about how much fun we had, how much life we had lived, and how much we loved our friend.
Stay strong Jeff, and kick cancer’s ass so we can have another four hours on a Friday night sharing laughs, enjoying a few beers, and making some new memories.

This is a picture of me and Jeff. I thought it was a good one because he and I both studied hard but definitely enjoyed our free time at school, and to us that usually meant drinking some beers. And if anyone has a clue where I can get a Grateful Duck shirt I will owe you big time. It was one of my favorite shirts from college and I have not been able to find one since I graduated.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Random Acts of Shifeness

  • Why do I continue to watch "The Following"? Anyone else watching this? It is going along fine then it just does something ridiculous and I want to punch myself in the neck for wasting an hour on this show.
  • Thanks for your positive words and comments about getting rejected by literary agents. It is going to work out just fine, and this is just part of the journey.
  • I will be turning a year older next week. Birthdays are not as exciting as they used to be but I am grateful especially in light of recent events that I can celebrate with family and friends. Someone much wiser than me said, "Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many. 
  • Speaking of those recent events, it definitely has been a difficult week. I have a few friends personally connected to the tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, and I just have them in my thoughts a lot right now. I wish I could do more but at this time all I can tell them is that I am there for them if they need me. I hope tomorrow is a more gentle place for them. "There are times when there are too few words left to heal us, when what we wish for is to be carried, when all we have left is the hope that tomorrow will be a more gentle place to land than today."
  • Back to my birthday. If you are wanting to buy me something, I would love a t-shirt cannon. I want to load it up and shoot it at all of the wonderful solicitors who like to come by and tell that I am going to Hell or that I need salvation. And the t-shirt would have something on it like "Romans 2:3." or maybe I will just cut to the chase and have it say "Don't be a dick, man."
  • This made me laugh.

  • I might need one of these to make it through the weekend.

  • I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, April 12, 2013


    If you ever wanted to have one of those wonderfully awkward, self-esteem crushing, my life is over because I got rejected junior-high type of feelings again, then I suggest you submit your book proposal/query letter to literary agents.
    You get a whole bunch of "It is not you, it is me" or "I don't think it is a good fit" or "Thanks but no thanks" kind of replies that really sends your self-esteem soaring.
    And today's sarcastic word of the day is soaring.
    I was expecting it and prepared for it but it still stings a little getting shot down multiple times in a week.
    The last time I was turned down this much I was using horrible pick-up lines on the ladies like "I wet my pants ... can I get in yours?" at my fraternity.
    Maybe I should take a Viagra before I send off my next round of letters? Those guys on erectile dysfunction commercials always seem to be exuding lots of confidence after popping the little, blue pill.
    You know the commercials, right? A couple is doing dishes or watching TV or riding a bike then the next thing you know the man is a virile tiger who puts a smile on the face of his now beaming partner because all the blood in his head has now rushed to his penis and then the porno groove starts playing ... bow chika wa wa.
    My all-time favorite has to be the middle-aged guy who is just about to mow his lawn then he sees a football in his backyard shed. He tries to throw the football through a tire. Of course the tire is hanging from a big, giant erect tree sprouting up to the sky.
    What does this symbolism mean oh clever advertising gods?
    The throw is no good. Wide left or maybe wide right. Doesn't matter. He just misses. The voice over suggests that you should ask your doctor about an erectile dysfunction pill like Viagra. The name of the erectile dysfunction product appears on the TV screen next to a silhouette of a burning flame, and you hear the sound of a match being struck.
    More subtleness from those wily marketing gurus.
    The suddenly reinvigorated man throws the ball straight through the tire, again and again. A smiling woman joins him in the yard. They nuzzle.
    Then he gets a book deal. =)
    Oh wait that is not what happens.
    I have no idea how I got on the subject of boner pills after starting this post but there is no turning back now. I hope you are still with me.
    So yes I have struck out a lot in regards to my plea to literary agents to give me a chance.
    But it just takes one.
    Maybe there is a middle-aged literary agent out there who has suddenly become reinvigorated and is throwing a ball straight through a tire again and again. A smiling woman joins him in the yard. They nuzzle. Then he has sex and totally forgets to check his email so he doesn't see my query letter and then he is rushed to the emergency room because he is one of those guys that has an erection for 4 hours.
    After his recovery, he has an epiphany and remembers how awesome sex is so he wants to have a lot more of it. He quits his job, sells everything and goes forth into the world, popping little blue pills, visiting lady friends, and finally dying of a sexually transmitted disease. And he never reads my query letter.
    The End.
    Wow this post just got really weird.
    Shife needs to get his groove back and evidently writing about getting rejected is not helping.
    Actually I am fine.
    Writing about it does help and I know I have better odds of becoming a huge fan of Justin Bieber's music than getting an agent.
    But I am taking a shot.
    One way or another this book is getting published because I want to do it dammit.
    Like I have said at the end of my blog posts since October 22, 2011, I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.
    Thanks for reading.

    Little Miss Hayden all dressed up in her Easter dress ready to go find some eggs in the yard.