ladylarkrune: (Show me your tears)
But today the world is a little sadder. My favorite author, David Eddings, died today.

I first stumbled into him when the picture of "The Guardians of the West" came up on a screensaver program that my dad had in Middle school. I then found the book in my high school library. I read it. It wasn't great, but I liked the characters so I went back and looked up the other books of the series. I flew through the Belgariad, then the Mallorean. I remember waiting and buying the books in hardcover as they came out. Then I looked up the Elenium and the Tamuli - I even bought the last book of the Elenium in Britain when I was over there because it came out there earlier than in the U.S. I love his writing.

He is who I model a lot of my dialogue after. He's the author that taught me that not every piece of dialogue needs a speech or action tag and to use your characters quirks to make them easily identifiable. His characterization of a diverse and memorable array of characters helped me develop my own characterization style. Even though he often went after blue stones, his books were very entertaining.

Safe Journey, David Eddings... Have fun in the Vale with Aphrael, Poledra, Polgara, and Sephrenia.
ladylarkrune: (Show me your tears)
I'm always one of the last to post about friends dying. Probably because I don't know what to say. That is doubly true in this case.

I first met Steve Pearl at Katsucon 5. It was the same con that I met Toshi, Jeff, Kayt, Bill, Pocky and others. At that time, he hung around Jeff and Bill a lot and I remember thinking of him as Pookie not Steve for much our relationship with each other. He was quiet, gentle, sweet and honestly one of the nicest people I have met. He also knew his Anime but his knowledge wasn't ever like he was lording it over you it was more that he was excited to share what he had learned with other fans. He was just Pookie.

I remember talking with him about all sorts of things and the group conversations that I had with Jeff, Bill and he. It wasn't always about anime but the conversations were always interesting.

We lost touch in a while back - when Jeff had a falling out with him. But we would talk on ICQ randomly. But even that stopped after a while. I never considered Steve a "lost" friend like I consider other people. We just lost touch. And now we've lost him. So wherever you are, Steve, you're missed. And we'll have to talk again.
ladylarkrune: (Nausicaa Dreaming)
Two things today have made me do that.

The first was my parents telling me that Steve Irwin died. I hadn't really thought much of him while he was alive but I respected that he captured the interest of the world and got them engaged in biology and zoology. I think he died as he lived and the odds caught up with him, but I still wish that he were still around to ensnare another generation of would be croc hunters.

The second was Spike Lee's documentary "When the Levees Broke" I don't really have words for it. But it is immensely powerful and makes you realize that even though New Orleans is no longer in the news, that it still needs help. I think that the parts that affected me the most was the Medical Examiner talking about his problems, the story of a young man who found his mother in the house, and the old man who was told he was getting only $600 from his flood insurance.

Just wow.
ladylarkrune: (Yuzuru)
I've been trying for days to come to terms with Jeff Thompson's death. For a long time, I would crawl all of the usual news outlets looking for reactions. I read about how Jeff was this and Jeff was that. And it seemed out of place. Because Jeff was always such a vital person that the past tense never applied. Jeff is caring. Jeff is opinionated. Jeff is a cranky goat who is older than sand but younger than gravel. Every word I read from [livejournal.com profile] parasitegirl, [livejournal.com profile] janscottfrazier, [livejournal.com profile] evilblackrabbit, or [livejournal.com profile] goldenboyd the people on ANN or Ohayocon brought me to tears. Because I kept remember Jeff as the friend I had and let slip away.

Jeff is/was one of those people who always seemed to take great pride in the people he knew and was friends with. I think he took more pride in his friends than in his work. He lived for his friends and would bend over backwards for them. He would rejoice in thier successes such as spreading the word of Kayt's job Japan or Melissa's Graduation and acceptance to Graduate school. He would be there as symapathetic ear when you needed one, always ready with a hug if he were there or a phone call -- often at odd hours of the night. I remember sitting on the floor of my dorm bathroom talking to Jeff about nothing and everything all at teh same time. It was a gift he had. Jeff always seemed so self deprecating when it came to himself. He was proud of his work and took a lot of pleasure in making it just right. He strived for perfection in everything he did.

He was an easy man to be friends with, and hard at the same time. There were moments that he seemed fragile and insecure. He could hold a grudge better than my Polish Grandmother. He loved with a passion and disliked with equal fervor. He loved being in the middle of things.

We grew apart after I moved to Florida. It had started before then -- but my move finalized it. Other things got in the way and ultimately the rift just grew too large, and well, I don't really have much other than excuses at this point. But For a very long time though, he was my best friend. One of three people I could trust. I have other friends now, but you never forget the people who you were close to. Even when you aren't anymore.

I still haven't fully managed to cry yet. I keep trying. I want to cry, Jeff deserves my tears.

I think of all of the people who love him and will miss him. And I feel happy and sad at the same time.

I'm sorry we never got to work things out, Jeff.

Have a safe journey.
ladylarkrune: (Julia)
Today I attended the memorial service. As I expected and hoped for, lots of people were there. About 3000 people crowded the EGR gymnasium to pay tribute to Jimmy. I was happy to see that the school and his parents had asked some East Alumni, Current Students, and Teachers to speak on his behalf. In Addition, the Band played and the choir sang, while they were off-key (the band moreso than the choir) you could tell that they were trying their best to honor Kabookie.

I think that this service was more for the community than his family, but I am glad that I attended. My favorite speakers were Bar (a retired Government teacher and the football coach) and Mr. Cwayna, The Principal. Bar related a lot of nice anecdotes about Jimmy and his life and Mr. Cwayna addressed on why Jimmy was such a great human being.

And he was. He was a funny little guy with a smile and hug for everyone.

I was really lucky to know him.
ladylarkrune: (Julia)
A friend of mine died Wednesday. But he just wasn't my friend, he was the friend of every East Grand Rapids High Schooler from the mid seventies until his death. Ostensibly he was a custodian. But in reality he was the manager and mascot of all of East's sports teams and the school itself. He was always there with a ready hug and sympathetic ear, it didn't matter who you were: Popular or shunned Jimmy liked you.

He was born with Down's Syndromw but never let that stop him. He was a great guy who couldn't read very well but could remember where every football was or a student's name long after they graduated.

I remember the last time I saw Jimmy. I had stopped in to interview a teacher for one of my college courses when Jimmy stopped me in the hall, calling me by name even though I had graduated seven years ago. He gave me a big hug and asked how I was doing. He remembered that I had been on the swim team and that I was on the Quiz Bowl in high school and asked if was still doing those. When I told him no, he smiled and said "I bet you found something better!" I nodded and told him about my desire to be a teacher. He gave me another hug and told me that I would make a great one cause I had a good heart.

Jimmy was a great teacher because he had a good heart. The best of hearts. He didn't teach any specific subject but he taught people to love and accept anyone even if they were a little different. Wherever he is now, I suspect that he is still giving big hugs and cheering the kids of East Grand Rapids on to victory.

We love you Bookie and we miss you.

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