Jul 15, 2013

Meddling Mother

My lovely Miss Erica, eldest child, only daughter and one of the absolute joys of my life is single again after only two years of marriage.  How that happened is not my tale to tell other than to say that this change was gut wrenching for all concerned, each in their own way.   My advice from the start has been to dust yourself off, learn the lessons you need to learn and move on.  Nothing else to do.  You can't change the past so it's wasted time to wish you could.

Now, about Mike Schramm.  I first heard him years ago on a podcast called Wow Insider.   It's about the World of Warcraft, a game which I love and play to this day.  At that time I was part of a raiding guild that spent a good deal of time trying to defeat digital "bosses".  It took coordinated effort and a dedication to achieving the goal.  I was mediocre at best but they needed me because I was a healer and not many people are willing to do such a thankless job.  I tried to improve by learning as much as I could about the game.  That's why I started listening to this podcast.

I liked Mike Schramm's style.  He is easygoing, smart, funny, eager to learn, open minded and not afraid to laugh at himself.  All good qualities in a person.  When he left that podcast and moved on to another I followed.  It was a different format, less formal but a lot of fun to listen to.

Then Mike took a trip to Europe and that's how I discovered his blog.  He's a really good writer, not surprising given the easy way he talks to his podcast audience.  His writing is the same.  At some point I facebook friended him.  His posts make me smile.  When I read and heard he was going to Berlin I messaged him some recommendations for his visit to one of my favorite cities.  He took my advice about a restaurant and I was thrilled to hear him actually mention it on his podcast.  Silly I know, but it was nice to have a semi-personal connection with someone whose work I admired.

Back to my daughter, at some point, during a discussion with her about plenty of fish in the sea I think I said something like "There are plenty of Mike Schramm's out there." She responded with a sigh and asked who Mike Schramm was.  I told her the tale I just told you and then suggested she FB friend him.  She did and she's noticed the same qualities I have, especially his great sense of humor.   I kept telling her I'd be happy to message him that if he liked my restaurant tip he would love the one about meeting my daughter. She absolutely forbade me from doing it.   Fine.

Then Mike started planning a driving trip out west.  He crowd funded his trip as a travel blog and I backed him.  My motive was to support and encourage a great writer.  I really enjoyed reading the blog posts from his European vacation.  I chose the level where I would receive a souvenir from his travels.  Then I received an email from Mike asking me to forward my request for a personal picture since I had qualified for that on top of my souvenir.  That's when the wheels started turning.

I requested the picture above and the affable Mike Schramm happily complied.  My daughter was mortified, well a little embarrassed at least. Maybe they won't ever have dinner but my message remains the same.... there are plenty of Mike Schramm's out there - fours on the four point scale..... smart, funny, handsome and tall..... .sorry, we're a tall family so it merits a point.

Apr 9, 2013


Words come hard when  you lose someone you cared about.  But I feel like they need to be said, or written.  Scott was one of the most genuine people I have ever met and also one of the most intense.  He was like a roller coaster, thrilling and scary and raw.  He died this week after a year long battle with cancer.  Sad.  But as he wrote to me once, "So long as your memories of me live so do I."

Scott was a music lover.  He loved all types of music and felt it in his soul.  To this day I've never seen someone get lost in the music like he did. I'll never forget the day we were riding in the car and heard on the radio that John Lennon had been shot.   He was heartbroken.  He felt it.  Music would never be the same and he knew it.  He was depressed for weeks.  Genuinely depressed.  That's what I mean about real.

He was a writer too, though he came late to it.  When he wrote from the heart that raw intensity of his came through.  I was lucky enough to read his writing over the last few years.  He brought tears to my eyes sometimes.  "I wonder when I die will I become a dream?"

Scott's roller coaster ride was one I couldn't take with him.  He and I broke up thirty years ago.  We both knew it wasn't going to work.  That doesn't diminish what we shared.  It also doesn't make our lives after each other any less meaningful.  He had an impact on who I am today and I can't change that.  Wouldn't want to.  When I have to steel myself to say what needs to be said to someone, no matter how hard, it's Scott behind me. He never cared what anybody thought..... anybody.  When I hear certain songs I hear him singing them, even today.

I wish him well on the journey he travels today.  I'm sure he's telling somebody what's what with a spark in his eye and with a heartfelt passion that is so real it's a wonder to behold.