20 February 2009


I'm not one of those people who quits eating when I am stressed.

I am always amused by those who say things like "I was so upset I couldn't eat."

Ha! I have NEVER been so upset that I couldn't eat.

Quite the opposite. As soon as I found out about That Tragic Event on Tuesday night, I walked in the kitchen and ate a piece of cheese the size of a chihuahua.

THEN I called Curt's wife Gael.

Food is my anchor. Food is my confidante. I don't give up food when I am mad, sad, tired, unhappy. I bring it closer.

Of course, when I am happy, I celebrate with food, too.

All this living is bad for my waistline.

JOKING! WHAT waistline?

I have to learn some new coping skills, or start shopping in the plus size section. I'll start meditating. Tomorrow. As soon as these cookies are all gone.

19 February 2009

A brief pause

I'm a total mess. I did not expect to be so devastated by Curt's death, but, as my sister would have said "No matter where you go, there you are."

I have debated long and hard about what to say. He was a private person, but I'm not. And now he's gone.

Do I respect the dead? Can I take the fifth on that? Or say "Yeah, but not enough to shut up?"

So here I give you 25 things about Curt etc:

1. He loved the Lakers with an abiding, multi-decade long love.
2. I think from the old school Lakers, Michael Cooper was his favorite. Maybe because of the socks. Or the rebounds.
3. His favorite Chick Hearn expression was "Throws up a frozen rope."
4. We lived together for 6 years, the first 3 as BF/GF, then 3 years as just friends.
5. That caused some weird and hilarious circumstances.
6. Then he fell in love with our mutual good friend.
7. See #5
8. Then I got mad and jealous and mean and we did not have much of a relationship for a long time. All my fault.
9. Then we all reconciled, thank God.
10. He loved to play chess and could study books of chess moves for hours. He and his friend Cliff Bidleman would sit out on the front lawn, playing and not talking all afternoon.
11. He was a printer, first on paper, then silkscreening, then had his own silkscreening business with his wife.
12. When he read a book, he read deeply. He would learn all the characters and knew their motivations better than they did. While he read "Bonfire of the Vanities," he studied NYC maps to know where all the action happened.
13. He called toilet paper "buttwipe" and kleenex "snot rags." Our shopping list always cracked me up.
14. He really loved his mama. They were both a little OCD and loved to package things up and to organize. They cracked me up because they could talk fondly about containers for extended periods of time.
15. He was a decent cook. He made a mean Potage Bonne Femme - leek, potato and carrot soup. He added a dollop of honey toward the end and that made it really good.
16. One year we made chinese food for Thanksgiving. Not at all traditional, but it was good chow.
17. He looked good in hats.
18. He and my sister Laura really loved each other, even though she was a Bulls fan. I hope she is showing him around heaven.
19. He was not good with blood. Fainted at "Interview with a Vampire" and while having his blood drawn.
20. One of the biggest fights we ever had was when I tried to get him to waltz in public.
21. He had all the logos and lettering taken off his modified mountain bike and had the whole thing powder-coated white with just one small Schwinn emblem put back on. It was like a perfect stealth bike then.
23. He had 2 vehicles catch on fire and burn to the ground, 10 years apart, both after fueling at the 76 station on Laurel Lane and Broad Street. After that, he would never go to that station anymore.
24. He understood animals and they understood him.
25. I can't believe I will never hear him say "Well, Suebob," in that quiet voice again.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind wishes. This is not really my story but somehow I have inserted myself into the middle of it, as I am wont to do.

18 February 2009

Curt Eric Humphrey

Curt and Bingo

July 6, 1963 - February 16, 2009
Rest in peace, pal. Wherever you are, I hope there is a good chess game.

Sorry to be kind of mysterious. Of course there is a whole backstory but Curt was a private kind of guy and I don't know how much to spill, especially right now, so my best bet is to say he will be missed, and to shut up. Oh, and that he was a great guy. With a great laugh. Smart as hell. Married to a very good friend. Ok, enough.

16 February 2009

Stop me if you have heard this before

I tried to figure out if I have posted this story before, but the blog search feature here is pretty dysfunctional. If you have heard it, just smile and nod along as I do every single day of my life at my folks's house.

(Today it was the one about the time that George the short-order cook threw a guy out of the restaurant for ordering a hamburger at breakfast time. For some reason, that story really tickles my Dad's funny bone. I hear it on average once a week).

The Story of Max

I was volunteering at the animal shelter when a nice-looking college-age young man came in looking for a lost cat.

He described the big fluffly white Persian cat and said that it belonged to his girlfriend, who was at college on the East Coast. Her parents had called her about a week after she got to school and told her that her cat had disappeared and they presumed it had been eaten by coyotes, since they lived out in a rural area.

His distraught girlfriend refused to believe that the cat was dead, and had sent her faithful boyfriend out looking. He posted flyers all over and decided to check the shelter.

"That sounds like Max," someone said, upon hearing the cat's description.

"Max?" the boyfriend said. "That's weird, my girlfriend's cat was named Max."

Yes indeed. The cat was not lost. The parents had turned Max into the shelter as soon as their daughter had hit the road for college. Though the daughter loved dear Max, the parents were not fans.

So now the boyfriend had a quandry. Should he reunite his girlfriend with her beloved pet and let her know that her parents were evil liars, or should he leave Max at the shelter?

He chose to take Max home with him, and to tell the girlfriend.

And she chose to NOT confront her parents. Why? Because she was afraid? No, because, she said, she was saving that evidence for a time when she really needed something good to lord over her parents.
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