Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I should make it an additional goal this year to learn HTML. I spent a couple of hours last night trying to switch to Blogger's new, "improved" version. I know just enough HTML to have wrestled this template into approximately the look I was going for a year or so ago. When I "upgraded" to the new Blogger, poof! All my customizations were gone. No more Haloscan comments, no more blogroll, no more personal picture at the top, just this blank, impersonal thing on the screen.

OK, I thought, I saved the old template; I'll just pick out the customized bits and add them into the new template. But no, that was beyond my limited skills. Blogger just kept telling me, "Whoa, your HTML is all fucked up, please make it better." (My paraphrase.) And, um, I had no idea how to do that. So I scraped the ridiculous thing off my screen and reverted to the old template. Who knows, though, how long Blogger will allow me to slide along with my familiar setup before they force everyone to "upgrade."

I originally logged in last night with the intent of writing about my friend and former co-worker, who is dying. It seemed he would not last the night and I wanted to dwell with him in my thoughts during the night. It's a poor sort of vigil, but it was the only thing I could do.

I sat and stared at the blank screen for a long time, thinking about him. I've often told the story of our first meeting and how he intimidated the hell out of me on my first day working here. We worked together for over four years before his health forced him into early retirement against his will; I quickly got over being intimidated by his sarcastic prickly bluster and learned to give back as good as I got from him. He studied theology before going into fundraising. He loved to lean back in his shoddy swivel chair and put on his "wise old man" face to talk authoritatively about religion and politics. He sent me a lot of good Dubya jokes.

So I thought about all these things last night, but rather than wring out the right words for him I spent the hours tinkering with the stupid blog template in a transparent inability to sit and confront the reality of his impending absence--denying, I suppose, the inevitability of it, as if by postponing the process of writing down my memories about him I could postpone the moment when his whole life passes into memory.

He lived through the night and I'm told he has awakened several times this morning. It's a ridiculously trite thing to say, but today my thoughts are constantly with him.

Wherever you are going, my friend, may your journey be easier.