Afterword

11/4/14, approx. 9:35 pm

I don’t often post things like what is about to follow, usually more pragmatic and stoic in my public offerings, however, while I was in the shower, finally braving the coldness of the room and reflecting on my life in general and a bunch of other minuscule and inconsequential things – the things with which we all must deal at many points in our lives, I realized that there is one thing I had never voiced aloud so here goes.

I have the four best kids in the world. That’s right. My four boys, 2 biologic and two step – doesn’t matter, they are all my boys, are each vibrant, successful adults. They are all productive members of society, they are reasoned, considerate and respectful of not only one another, but of humanity in general. I don’t know for sure how I got so lucky, especially after hearing so many horror stories by other parents about their trials and sadness with their children, I think, How the Hell did we Get so Lucky. By we, I mean Marcia too. She was there the whole time and watched them all grow into the amazing people they are today. She got to see them at their individual and collective best. I’m glad for that. And, I’m more than happy that the four are so damn good at the simple art of being great human beings. Thanks guys for being you.

Note from Andrea: I promised Pete a few years ago that when he passed away, I would make sure to post his Afterward and to write a few words for him. When he asked me, I sort of brushed it off, saying of course I would do it but surely it wouldn’t be needed for at least a couple decades or so. Unfortunately, Pete was right to ask me to be ready, providing a gentle reminder about it every six months or so.

Pete was one of my closest friends. We met when he was the editor for The Baynet and he gave me my first “real” writing job. We became fast friends, writing mentor and protege, and eventually left The Baynet together to pursue new avenues.

When Pete was still on the East Coast, we spent many hours together over my homemade omelets and Pete’s favorite beer, Miller Lite. Once he decided to retire and move to Florida, Pete met up with me to bestow his leather bound volumes of “The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.” I thanked him and placed the books in my car. When I turned around to say goodbye, he muttered “what the hell,” grabbed me and kissed me on the lips. I blinked in shock as he simply smiled and waved, got in his car and drove away.

We spent the next few years corresponding through Facebook messenger and email (though we did meet up for lunch one day and for an evening of several beers last year when he came back for a visit) and we sent each other our projects to edit. Pete created a new genre called “Literary Comics” and he pumped out books almost faster than I could read them. He had found his true calling as a writer and had reached that happy, satisfied place most writers only dream about.

The last time we corresponded was the day before he died. I was feeling blue, depressed about my writing and missing my husband, and I posted a few links on Twitter about depression. Right away Pete messaged me asking me what was wrong. I told him, and he made it his mission to cheer me up, telling me he loved my story he was in the middle of editing and engaging me in our usual banter until I stopped feeling sorry for myself. The last thing he wrote to me (before signing off with our usual “l8r”) was:

“Anytime you are feeling down in the dumps let me know and we’ll solve the world’s problems together. You know they keep popping up.”

I’ll miss you more than I can say, my friend, and I know that there are so many other people you inspired and lifted up when they needed it most. The world is a better place because you were in it.

 

 

 

 

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Profound Sensibilities

I have never been accused of being overly sensitive to pretty much anything. Just the way I am, I guess. Who knows what prompts individual sensibilities within? There are times when I am aware of a true sadness, or true happiness, although I will admit that sadness overcomes me more than happiness if there really is such a thing …

Now I have written here about how lost and angry I was when my wife of thirty years passed unexpectedly in her sleep almost three years ago. To be sure, my temporary insanity was profound, when I was in the process of giving away everything we owned to any passersby on the street. I think my anger was pretty profound as well, enough so it took more than a day or two to subside. I was on the road, bumming people’s couches and spare beds wherever I could find them for over ten months. Yep, I’d call those two feelings or states of being profound.

It occurred to me that with all the other irrational senses fired up and burning that I had never really experienced the sense of loss. That is until now.

I have made some friends here in California where I ended up after my wanderings, living with one of my sons and his family and writing up a storm (#amwriting) – seven books in a year, whew I am tired (but not of writing). Around what would have been my wedding anniversary, I started to feel something deep inside that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I was at breakfast one day thereabouts and was talking to a young friend about being down in the dumps, mentioning that it was my anniversary. Now I had paid the appropriate level of tribute to my wife on our anniversary, her birthday and on the anniversary of her death, but until now, I don’t think I had ever experienced a true and or profound sense of loss that I now feel.

This feeling has been building for a while, but I didn’t recognize it for what it was until this morning. I woke up sad, for no reason other than a depressing sullen hole in my core  I could not explain. As I was doing my thing this morning, it came to me (things do come to me all the time, but I rarely pay attention) that there must be a reason for the way I am feeling … Then it hit me, I was alone. I am alone. And, I guess, I am destined to be alone for the balance of my being here on this earth. Then I recognized how profound this sense of loss is. I’m not sure if it can be explained beyond the word ‘Profound’. Perhaps a better writer than I can more clearly define the impact of ‘profound’ sensibilities. But, then again, maybe not.

Oh, well, time to hit the editing bricks and to set aside my feelings for a while.

Wow, editing, I have some profound statements to say about that subject but think I will hold those for another post.

Meandering Thoughts …

So I am in the middle of my seventh literary comic story and the third in my Panther Adventure series and decided I needed to write a blog entry. So I created a couple of scenes for The Star of Kashmir (the third Panther Adventure) and then thought and thought and thought about what to write in this here blog.

Well, damn. I got nuttin,’ ptooey! So I thought some more. Man, this is starting to feel like work. I’m retired and I am, now I know this to be true, deathly allergic to work – of any kind. How else can you explain my lovely level of blissful poverty and utter contentment? I defy you to explain it any other way …

Okay, so I have a title, what the hell am I going to write?

I was tired of thinking, so I opened up the old WordPress End Game Journey page and read all the comments and shit people have written there … ya know I really ought to check this out more than once a month; jeesh! Sorry. I don’t mean to be inattentive, I really don’t, but I guess I am. Sigh …

At one point I thought about expounding on my joy of mentoring youngsters (of course for me, if you’re under 40 or 50, you’re a youngster) and lately I have had one of my mentees rocket up her new ladder and land a juicy midday spot on her new radio station in Centralia, WA. I say I mentored her, but the reality: I just encouraged her and she did all the work. If you want check out her midday endeavors every Monday through Friday from 10 to 1 (Pacific) and say hey from me. Her name is Lexi Ryan and Live95 is her station.

The thing about mentoring is that the mentee needs to be receptive to the process. I have tried to “help” others over the years and more often than not, my help has been rejected. That’s cool (sort of). I mean if you’re as old and have as many miles (and pitstops) as I do, you’re bound to learn shit, right? Jeeze, I hope so, anyway. Oh hell, enough on this subject.

Since I have to get a full blood workup first thing tomorrow morning, maybe my next brush stroke of topic should be that of doctors and patients. For the two precious years I have had a fairly good working relationship with my primary care medical person. She understood me, I understood that I was a pain in the ass and everything worked out okay between us. Hell, I even had edible fruit Christmas bouquets delivered every year to say thanks. Now (wouldn’t you know it) she got a juicy new job in a cardiac care unit up the road a piece and I have to break in a whole new doctor. Not only that, the supervising doctor is retiring and this new doctor is now the proud owner of this family practice office. Yeah, okay, I guess shit happens and everyone deserves success if they work hard for it. I don’t begrudge my old gal for her success (even though I thought about barring her exit from the office on her last day and torturing her until she agreed to continue on as my personal doctor, but then I woke up, sigh) … blah, blah, blah … life goes on. Damn. I hate changing doctors. But, what the hell, that’s a step up from the old me that just plain hated doctors in general.

Is two topics enough to satisfy the headline. I wonder, I wander, I … oh fuck it. Have a great day. I might actually have something to say next time. Have fun, write your cute little brains out and always, always, look better than you feel. Fool ’em all. 🙂

Do Wits Really Have an End?

If they do, well, shit, I think I have found them. I mean come on, I have six books ready to publish and not a single fucking cover for any of them. It’s certainly not for the lack of trying. To date, I have attempted to get covers from three different artists. As I stated above, still no fucking covers. I have no hair, so pulling out all my hair is not an option. Damn.

I am a subscriber to unique talent named Nicole Arbor, a young, pretty Canadian comedic genius who is currently on a rant about how everyone can be successful – all they have to do is try; learn if you don’t know how, make the attempt, over and over and you can succeed. I believe that is true, but …

Okay, I’d be happy to do my own covers and believe me, I have tried and learn, and train, and try again, I am miserable as an artist. Sorry, Nicole, I can train my little pea brains out and still not be able to create a fucking piece of art worth being seen, by you, by humanity, by the fucking cat. Christ!

I know I am poor so I can’t offer too much to any artist willing to give my covers a shot. I know this and I understand the reluctance of some artsy types to make the attempt.

The problem is that I remember being young and dumb and eager to be a success and back then, I would sign up to do anything, for anyone who would give me the chance. Sure I was busy. I had a couple of kids, worked sometimes up to three jobs in order to pay the bills, but if someone offered me a chance, fuck it; I’ll sleep next year. I’d go for it every time.

And, yet, here I sit at the end of Wit’s road – at the very end. Fuck. Can I make a deal with the devil for some fucking art skills, please? Shit.

The sad thing is, that I have been told by all but a couple of my Alpha readers that I have some great stories – these literary comic books; two different series so far – The Collarbones Saga and The Panther Adventures. Still to come are The Brayson Cox Mysteries and The Rainbow Warrior Sagas, and probably more. I mean I can crank out a literary comic in about 30-35 days once the plot is developed and the writing begins …

Now if I could only find an artist to hop on board and keep pace. If I ever do, I’m willing to partner with them in any and all success … IF!!! By ALL, I mean ALL – books, movies, TV, Video Games, what-the-hell-else-ever comes along – they illustrate, create my covers, they’re in and entitled to a share of all potential revenues … sigh, I guess that kind of opportunistic, go-get ’em mindset is no longer an option …

Political Rancor, College Dropouts and Other Forms of Entertainment …

It’s been a while since I wrote this often in Pete’s End Game Journey, but after this morning I feel compelled to do so. Why? Well, when I woke up I had to endure a mother teaching her oldest child about the dangers of our current president in the context of the latest action bringing the political leftists to frothy arms … Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration without a more thorough vetting into their background for people coming from certain countries or areas.

Okay, so I get the point that we’re a country immigrants and that we all share a heritage of being from somewhere else. I decided that it might be a good day to head down to my favorite diner for breakfast where I am somewhat a fixture at the counter. At least I wouldn’t have to listen to much more political rancor and rhetoric … and what I consider to be somewhat uninformed revisionist history being “taught” to a nine-year-old. I mean, really, come on. When the Irish were forced to our shores, there was an immediate backlash and that group as a whole was shunned and discriminated against. Pretty much the same was true when the Italians first came ashore, then the eastern block Slovaks, the list is fairly endless. We didn’t treat the Japanese with much care in World War II after Pearl Harbor.

But, as is my norm, I get off track – meandering mind I guess – So, I get to Katy’s, sit at the counter and then, after a few minutes of my normal pleasantries and watching the kids (the weekend at Katy’s is staffed by mostly college kids and a few responsible adults) hover and gossip and wander around waiting for the restaurant to get busy as is the case every weekend –  I mean the place is a frenzied zoo of humanity on most weekends with waiting lists and shouting staff. What? Yeah, this is a damn diner, not a hip, happening, club, but if you’re anyone, Katy’s is the place to go for breakfast on the weekend.

Then one of the kids was asked a question about his education and his field of study by a fellow counter patron. Well, shit. For the next half hour, during my entire breakfast, I had to endure this college drop out espouse his beliefs on the social ills of America and of the futility of the higher educational system. It was so bad, at one point, one of the kids, a scientists about to embark on his post grad career with the National Institute of Science in Maryland and I started to make fun of the spouting kid and the patron who I was sure was playing the Devil’s Advocate to the boy. My college friend and I, throughout breakfast made more than a few jokes about the discourse to which we were both being subjected. When I had finally finished my meal and got up to leave, Stefano (I really am just guessing at the spelling of his name) ran up to me and begged me to stay for the end of the diatribe still going on at full strength. I laughed and told him that no, I was leaving the debate club for the greener pastures of home. He laughed too and I left happy that I wouldn’t have to listen to the blathering any more.

At least when I got home, the educational session was over … so I thought, but about an hour later, Mom had on her “Nasty Woman” t-shirt was was heading to the airport (SFO) to join the protesters demonstrating against the ‘illegal’ detention of immigrants stuck in limbo because of the president’s executive order …

Well, Monday is tomorrow and life will sort of get back to normal … I hope.

When we all Look into the Abyss

You know it’s pretty much inevitable; one day we all attain the pinnacle of physicality and stop to revel in the glory of it all feeling impressed with our accomplishments and hard work in attaining our perfection, whatever that perfection may be – to each his or her own when it comes to things such as the inconsequential aspects of our presence here on earth – beauty, ugly, physicality, strength … on and on ad infinitum.

But, shortly thereafter we look down and there it looms, the abyss that is The End Game. In the beginning, we’re not sure at what we’re looking. It’s there nevertheless – the despair, the loathing and sad anticipation of the end. So it begins, the slide down that backside of the mountain, the wandering into the deepening hole of life – The End Game.

To be sure the struggles to attain the crest is difficult, for some impossible, perhaps even unobtainable, but the peak is there and at some point, we all reach our own. It is the point in life where we feel at our best – full of vigor and vitality and exuberance – we are at our happiest, and then we take a peek beyond. Something inside shudders at the unthought unexpected feelings when we look down, look beyond, into the abyss.

At first, we aren’t aware, but something niggles at our mind, at our essence, something. We don’t know what, but it’s there, deep within our beings and perhaps after a decade or so, we begin to recognize what it is that has been crawling around our psyches stirring up the pot of our lives, but it’s there and it isn’t going anywhere – The End Game.

My wish is that you are all in your climbing stages of life, have forestalled the slow slide into the abyss that comes with the ecstasy of attaining that elusive pinnacle – that moment we know we have attained allowing us to conquer the world … until we look down …

Then we, already battling The End Game demons will welcome you into battle. We’re with you all the way. We know what you’re going through and what you have yet to endure. We’ve been there, done that. So if this is where you find yourself and in the words of one of the world’s most unheralded profits and pundits, John McClane, “Welcome to the party, pal!” Drink are on the house! 🙂

 

A Bewildered Social Media Nincompoop

Because of the title of this here blog thingy – Pete’s End Game Journey – you should have guessed that I am old – like I was born the day before dirt was invented, you know, older than dirt, old. And, I know that isn’t an excuse for anything other than not being able to get out of a chair, roll over in bed, or walk across the room without an ouch or ooh or uh or groan. For everything else (being any kind of pain-free activity) I have no excuse, it would seem.

So why am I so confounded by today’s social media. I have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pete.hurrey) on which I occasionally post. I have  Tweeting  Twitter account (kind of a dumb name, but a whole bunch of you seem to get it) (@RightPete) where again, I post – oops, sorry, Tweet – occasionally. I mean what can I say in a 140 characters that I couldn’t say perfectly well in 5 or 600 words?

But there are also sites like Instagram, Pintrest, and I’m sure about 50 other social media sites that people rave about and sit glued to each and every waking hour of every day. Beats the shit out of me why. I find something interesting that I think a few of my friends might like, I think about sharing that in a post or a Tweet or some shit, but …

I mean what the fuck do I do with 1062 Tweets from others I am “following” and speaking of following on Tweeter, what the fuck does that man anyway. I thought constantly following someone around was a form of stalking. It isn’t? It is on Facebook, why not on Twitter? I don’t get it. I also don’t get Instagram. I mean it’s just pictures isn’t it. No text, no thoughts, just imagery, right. I don’t know, I just get directed there sometimes and all I ever get out of it are some pictures with no explanation or description.

And, what the fuck is Pintrest? “Did you get my recipe? I pinned it.” What? why not just send the fucking recipe to people who have indicated that they might be interested?

I don’t get it. Probably a good thing I am in this end game. I could never see myself walking down the street glued to a smart phone and ignoring the sights around me – the nature, the people I pass along the way … Nope I just don’t get it. I guess I’m a nincompoop.

Individual Activities and the Correlation to Alarming Fluctuations​ in Blood Sodium and Changes in Blood Pressure … and other shit.

Okay, so as a prelude to the following and subsequent offerings of these daily activity journals, I provide some background …

… on November 1 of ’13 I apparently suffered a mild non-ischemic stroke (a blood vessel leaked in my brain but there was no blood clot involved). You’d have to hold a seance and talk to my dear departed wife who witnessed the event, I don’t remember any of it. It wasn’t the massive life-ending kind of deal, it was a little seeping blood most likely brought on by an absurdly elevated blood pressure (I guess that’s what you call it when the ER doctors panic and get you to ICU within ten minutes of arriving) anyway, I digress. Because of the stroke, it took me six months before I was able to type (some of you wish I hadn’t learned again, huh), walk, talk (still can’t talk too well) and other mundane little activities we all take for granted while reviewing our step-count and cardio rating and calorie burning on our FitBits. The bottom line here is that I have gone through about five different nurse practitioners, ten or more doctors, had more tests and scans and ultrasounds and x-rays than most of you will in your lifetimes. Hey, getting your MRI merit badge isn’t required to enjoy life. I don’t recommend it as a preferred pastime.

So (boy I keep digressing) anyway, I have been battling my blood pressure ever since. Medication after medication and nurse and/or doctor after … blah, blah, blah, you can imagine the deal … my blood pressure settles down for a while, then I guess my physiology is as stubborn and cantankerous as I am in general and all of a sudden my blood pressure is all out of whack. As an added kicker, so too has my blood sodium been all out of whack.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, high blood pressure can lead to more strokiness and low blood sodium can lead to dementia and lame brainedness. Well, shit, I can’t live with a nonfunctioning brain.Hell, it’s bad enough that I have to live with my normal everyday crap, much less adding crazy to the list …

So here I am today – battling both stubborn BP and disappearing blood sodium which really pisses me off, because I add so much salt to everything I eat that I can no longer taste what it is I am eating.

As part of trying to get a handle on things, my primary medical person, the lovely Tiffany, has suggested that we attempt to see if I am doing anything activity-wise that is conducive to fucking up my physiology. Hence, this Activity Journal … and here we go.

(See Title Above)]
or

Pete’s Activity Journal

January 4, ’17 – Woke up with a massively aroused dick at 12:50 a.m. which kept me awake until after 2 a.m. Where’s a hot chick when you need one, sigh …

Slept until 8:45 and did my regular normal morning shit – for future reference – regular normal morning shit equals: Open eyes, squint at clock to see if I still want to be asleep or should drag my ass out of bed. Drag my ass out of bed, take a pee, get dressed, walkout of the bedroom and go outside and smoke number one. Come in, feed the two pain in the ass cats, get a glass of water and take my first round of pills for the day. Oh boy! Take a dump, launch my computer, (see scenario for alternate morning shit below) have smoke number two, cook breakfast, eat breakfast, have smoke #3. Read Facebook, get bored. Read email, (mostly delete email), get stoked for the science articles and get bored with the rest. Read Twitter and get bored out of my skull. Decide if this is a goof-off day or if I am writing today …

10:30 a.m. After normal morning shit, decided to try to finish Chapter 10 in my new Literary Comic book, A Panther is Born. Get on a roll until the phone rings and it’s Tiffany with the wonderful news, my sodium is all out of whack again and low. It’s time to consult an Endocrinologist about my fluctuating sodium levels. Oh joy.

11:50 said fuck it and had a smoke.

12:40 made a roast beef and tomato sandwich and ate lunch (on white bread, get over it) Took round two of meds.

1:05 had another smoke

1:25 emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up

2:10 decided I was done working

2:30 made this blog and journal entry,

3:45 Binge watched something on NetFlix – don’t know yet 🙂

6:15 Started making dinner – throw together some spaghetti sauce, brown some burger, saute some garlic and mushrooms, cook the pasta. Feed the damn cats.

7:00 Eat spaghetti. Too damn salty, ptooey!! Took round three of meds

8:15 Did a little Internet surfing. Proofread what I had written that day.

9:00 Put in the movie dvd Star Trek and vegged.

11:28 Had my final smoke for the day and locked up, shut down the computer. Remembered last round of meds and took them.

11:45 Took a shower.

12:05 Hit the rack.

Our Grandkids Are Going to Have all the Fun, Damn it!

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’d love to go to Mars and write this blog from there. Well, I would, but as this old body begins its shutdown sequence, I don’t see that as available on my Bucket List. But … I do see it on my grandkid’s list. By the time my oldest grandkid turns 40, 27 years from now, I see space excursions and commercial flights being a reality. By the time my youngest grandkid reaches 40, I see regular flights to and from Mars being feasible, well, probably a bit expensive, but doable. If not regularly to Mars, maybe a long weekend on the moon or a week at the new Zero Grav Spa added to the ISS by a consortium of Chinese and Swedish spa promoters.

How do I know this? Life, baby! My life and that of my grandmother who once told me she thought she had seen all there was ever going to be in her lifetime. You see she was born just as the 19th century was giving way to the 20th. In an interview I did, and still have on tape somewhere, my grandmother told me of the wonders she experienced as a child with the first electric lights in her home when Edison finally wired up her neighborhood after years of waiting. She told about the day her dad brought home and installed their first refrigerator and first telephone and low and behold that radical new invention entertainment radio, never to be outdone … well until twenty years later when a magic box was installed and she watched in awe as pictures danced and sang and lived and died in her living room right before her very eyes!

I did that interview when she was seventy something and then we sat and watched the first moon landing together right before our very eyes! As I reflect on all the wonders my grandmother witnessed in her life, I realized that I guess I did too. I was born in 1951 (come on do the math later) and I guess I saw a bunch of new stuff like space travel and supersonic jets and cellphones and hand-held computers and calculators that have more computing power than the first super computers. I have seen pictures broadcast from Mars and the Moon and Jupiter and Pluto (Is it a fucking planet or not? Damn!). Oh, yeah, the Internet – I guess I witnessed what that invention has meant to humanity (besides allowing every level of intellect access to a global communications platform and cheap porn) and wonder what comes next.

The problem is that I won’t get to experience all the new cool shit coming, my kids to a certain extent, but my grandkids, hell they are going to have all the fun … all the fun based on my microscopic knowledge and current understanding of stuff.

They can already do more with gadgets and computers and smart phones than I can – including the damn four-year-old … sigh.

It really would be cool to be sitting in my Mars habitat writing a daily blog and my books and broadcasting back here to pitiful old Earth. Maybe one of my grandkids will do just that. Cool!

And I Thought Pulling Dragon Teeth was Bad …

dragon-fire-coverThroughout my entrepreneurial adult life and existence, I normally worked alone or under the auspices of some unseen board of directors or other corporate hierarchy whilst making my fortunes. But, as I moved on in years and mellowed some of the fires within and broke a few valves, gauges, and other previously ignored body parts and pieces my later business endeavors all included some form of partnership or other.

Well, shit, I spent the last fifteen years of my working life mostly pissed off by partners who just didn’t get it. You see, most of my partners (I usually picked them because they had loads of money – cool, but not much for working) had no clue about maintaining or growing a business. Maintenance is not really my thing either, but growing and building and expanding; that is where it’s at baby!

Yeah, yeah, yeah … I’m one of those … a dreaded dreamer … I dream big and work toward that dream with every waking moment of my day. I did when working, and I do now in retirement. What the fuck? Why the hell not? I guess I could sit around and stew about the consistencies of my morning oatmeal or the bitterness of my prune juice or the softness of the toilet paper, but I don’t.

In retirement, I am a writer. I have written this here blog thingy, five novels, two other blog thingies and am working on another book. I’m told I am good. I wouldn’t know, but I love the hell out of writing. And that brings me to the search for partners – the after writing bullshit. Publishing, marketing, sales, editing, revising. I hate that part of this deal – worse than a damn partner! Okay I guess that last statement does sound somewhat hypocritical – I mean I stated I was searching for partners for the after writing crap, but call them damn partners … I know make up my mind.

I don’t really know what I’m saying here. Must be too fucking sober … but it felt good to write something anyway 🙂