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Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy

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My friend, My Wife, My Teacher... [Feb. 2nd, 2016|01:53 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Below is the English translation of this entry which I posted yesterday in my German Livejournal superigel.

Many have asked me "Why have you learned German?"

I have several reasons: Because I wanted to learn a foreign language, because I'm interested in German culture, especially German music. But I always answered "My first German teacher was my ex-wife."

My ex-wife was Doris Kyburz. Last Friday Doris passed away. She was not young, a few years older than me, but she was too young to die. Last week she injured her ankle and a bloot clot formed. This blood clot made its way to her heart and she had a heart attack.

German was Doris' native language. But she wasn't German. She was Swiss. That means extra German!

Doris taught me German. I have also taken classes at the Goethe Institut and also at Language Schools in Germany, but she was the best teacher I ever had. She was mostly nice, occasionally mean, but always strict. I am proud that I have learned this language. It's true that too many Americans can't speak a foreign laguage.

My life really changed because of her. My first trip to Continental Europe was my trip with her to Switzerland. No, I can't speak Swiss German. When I went to Switzerland my German was good. Not so good as it is now, but not bad. Nevertheless I could barely understand anyone. Chuchichäschtli? Wat??? But Switzerland is a beautiful counrty. Zurich and Lugano and a train through the Mountains and Doris' wonderful family. Awesome!

After our divorce I made three language trips to Germany. Two to Berlin and one to Munich. Doris and I remained friends, but I kept going with my German adventure by myself. I love Berlin. I have friends in Berlin now. And I have made friends with many new people in my German conversation group.

Everyone is impressed when I talk about Doris. She had lived in Tokyo. She was a German professor at a University. She studied martial arts. She could speak six languages. (Seven if you include Latin!)

She was not a typical woman for me. Most of the women I've gone out with had tattoos, funny looking hair, and most were some sort of artist. (Painters, dancers, musicians...) Wild and hot tempered and oftentimes besotted. (As is often the case with bohemian types.) Doris was not at all like my past girlfriends. My life as a young man was wild and chaotic, ergo so were my relationships. My relationship with Doris marked a turning point in my life.

My German is a bit rusty. I have negelected this blog. (The superigel blog that is.) I have not taken a class in a long time. But I didn't totally give up. I still have my German conversation group. We meet twice a month so I can practice my German. I still read German books and see German movies. (Berlin and Beyond Film Festival!) Maybe my German is a little strange to Native German speakers, and perhaps this entry has a few mistakes here and there. Nevertheless I keep learning German. Especially now. I will really try to improve my German. I'll do that for Doris.

Goodbye my dear Doris. Until next time, at that Language school in the sky.

I'm a better man, because you've been part of my life.

Yes, Doris was also a biker chick!
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(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2016|12:52 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I saw Bowie's Serious Moonlight tour. It was the best big concert I ever saw. And what made it extra special was not just Bowie and all of the incredible musicians he brought along with him, but the audience as well. Everyone from clueless preppy peckerwoods to incomprehensible freaks from hell and everyone in between. His influence was universal, breaking through so many cultural barriers.

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My Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS!!) [Dec. 30th, 2015|04:02 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
This review contains TONS OF SPOILERS and how! So don"t say I didn"t warn you!Collapse )
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Unexpected Guest [Dec. 20th, 2015|11:35 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Heard a noise in the basement on a cold and raining night. Went down to invetigate. Realized that a door was left ajar, and I found a skunk curling itself up under a pile of tarps and work clothes.

The skunk looked up at me, pointing his nose at me. He did not fluff up his tail, and he didn't act aggresively.

And I just didn't have the heart to chase him outside, because it was so cold and wet ouside.

So skunk gets to sleep in the basement tonight. So sue me.

(It's also the same skunk that comes around trying to get me to feed it and let it in the house.)
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Race Report: Not my Best Day at the California International Marathon. (But I still finished...) [Dec. 8th, 2015|09:27 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
This past Sunday I ran the California International Marathon. It was my 6th completed CIM and my 17th Marathon since 2009.

The CIM is a nice, flat and quick course from the city of Folsom to Sacramento in Northern California.

I had planned on making this marathon a possible PR attempt, especially since the CIM is a pretty easy course that I've already PR'd on twice. I carefully planned out my training schedule earlier this year, and ran the San Francisco Marathon last July as a training marathon. But things didn't turn out the way I had planned.

read on if you dare!Collapse )
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The Next Great 'Merican Novel? Shameless self promotion! [Nov. 3rd, 2015|12:20 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I published a book! Well, self published a book...

Check it out!

It's the harrowing story of two drug addicts, one who's trying to get clean and sober, and another who's sinking deeper and deeper into her addiction. It's ironic how similar the two worlds can be, with contacts and code words and covert meetings with fellow addicts, whether they're trying to get loaded or trying to stay off of the stuff.

I just put this out via Amazon's CreateSpace, and it's available now. Just starting to hawk this thing. If you want a preview, there's a sample from the book under the LJ cut.

Read a sample section...Collapse )

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Race report: Napa Valley Ragnar 2015 - 33 hours in Paradise [Nov. 2nd, 2015|07:25 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I know this race report is rather late. Originally I had been far too busy to write it right after the race, but several people were all "Where's your race report?" So here it is!

A couple of weekends ago I was one of twelve runners for the team 33 hours in Paradise during the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay, a long distance relay that went through four counties in Northern California, starting in San Francisco. (From October 23rd to the 24th.)

For those of you not familiar with a Ragnar Relay: The Ragnar Relay is a long-distance relay race a la' Hood to Coast. The average team has 12 runners, and the course is around 200 miles long. Each runner runs three legs of 3 to 9 miles, and the race takes an average of 30 hours to complete. The runners get from exchange to exchange via two passeneger vans. While one van's runners are running, the other van is resting and trying to get some sleep. For more info, check out this link.

I was in van one, which included Emily, our fearless and practical van captain, Zandra the bionic relay runner, (She had a cyborg running outfit for one leg,) thee Hiromi who hails from New York, New York, Erica who was my teammate last year for this very same team, and Andy, a runner who jumped onto the team at the very last minute since we had someone drop out suddenly just a week before the race.

And we"re off!Collapse )
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Bashir's Memorial Photo Album [Oct. 12th, 2015|04:59 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I made a memorial album for Bashir on my Facebook:


In case you missed it, my cat Bashir passed on last week when he was struck and killed by a speeding car. Post here:

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Goodbye Bashir [Oct. 6th, 2015|12:51 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Yesterday morning my large tabby cat Bashir passed on when he was struck and killed by a car.

Bashir was more like a dog than a cat. Nine times out of ten, when I drove up to the house, he would come running up to greet me, meowing loudly. Sometimes he would jump into the car, and you could actually close the door and drive around the block and he would look out of the window like a dog. He loved to go for car rides. (Which made taking him to the vet much easier!) Sometimes I would see him a block or two from the house when I was driving home, and I would stop and he'd jump in the car and I'd drive him home.

I refered to him as my "genetically attached" cat. He would follow me around the yard when I was gardening. If I went from the front yard to the back yard he'd follow me and just sit nearby while I was raking leaves or cutting ivy, as if he were supervising. He slept with me in my bed almost every night. He would bother me when I was at the desk, when I was working, when I was playing video games, when I was writing. Whenever I got on the floor to do leg exercises or foam roll, he'd run up and headbonk me and try to play with me.

Oftentimes it could be annoying, getting headbonked at 2 AM, or having a cat nose in your face when you were trying to debug a program. The thing was, he was always around. My other cat Jadzia is oftentimes aloof. She hardly ever sleeps on my bed, she never ran up to me when I drove up, or when I got down on the floor for foam rolling. Sometimes she follows me around the yard, and occasionally she will ask for pettings or to play. (She loves the red dot.) But she wasn't around nearly as much as Bashir.

As much as he stuck beside me Bashir was also a wanderer. He wandered all over the neighborhood. In a way it's not surprising that he met his end this way. I always knew it was a possibility. He was sometimes reckless about crossing the street, and I would holler at him and chase him back onto the sidewalk. He was much more of a wanderer when he was younger, going all over the neighborhood. In his older age he stuck to home much more often, and I assumed he had it figured out, how to move around the neighborhood and stay out of danger. I assumed, after awhile, that he really would live to a ripe old kitty age. I thought we had at least five more years together before age started catching up to him, and probably not even then. At ten years old he was still very healthy and robust and active. Usually he stuck to the quiet side streets when he did stray from the house, such as the one I live on, but his body was found on a main street, a very busy street not too far from my house, where he rarely ventured. Animal services, who picked him up, were able to find us because of his mirochip.

I once wondered aloud on my Facebook, "Why must my cat love me so?" (In reference to his always sticking by me and harrassing me.) Yeah, this seems like a big deal for a cat, but like I said, he was more like a dog than a cat. For more than ten years, he was a part of my everyday life at home.

Last night I spent the night at a friend's house. This morning I droppped him off at the vets, so he can be cremated. I gave him one last kiss and one last scritch in the front yard before I took him into the car, because that's one of the places where we spent so much time.

So tonight I will sleep in a cold and empty bed, without a big tabby cat keeping me warm. So many things around this house remind me of him: Getting down on the floor to exercise or foam roll, gardening in the yard, working or playing on the computer, or just even driving up to the house; All of those regular, everday and routine things I do remind me of him. Call me a crazy cat man if you must, but this pet's passing has affected me more than any other previous pet's departure. I've lost cats and dogs before, but this one is the toughest loss.

Goodbye Bashir. You were a big strong cat full of unconditional love, affection, and loyalty. My life just got a lot more cold and lonely.

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Fooootball! And Counter Attack Memes [Sep. 11th, 2015|09:40 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
So the NFL season officially started last night, and I'm in not one, but two fantasy football leagues with thee greeneyedsadie.

Along with being a longtime 49er fan, I always get rather irked when people start posting snarky memes and posts about how much they don't care about football. It's like, I might not care about the ballet, but I'm not going to go out of my way to dump on people who do.

That's when a friend of mine posted on Facebook about this anti-football behavior, an inspiring rant that was shared by several of her friends, and which inspired me to make this lil' meme, which I posted to Facebook:

So there! :)
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