Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Remembrances

We are halfway through November. Already. It shall likely be a forty-five day sprint to year's end from this point forward for a lot of us. The stress and anxiety normally associated with the "holiday season" in the best of times is amplified and multiplied during times like these. My advice? Take deep breaths, slow your stride a pace or two and enjoy what is happening around you to the extent that you can. It is not always easy. I am as likely to violate this maxim as anyone I know but try to find a moment or two to embrace that which you have while spending a moment or two less pining over that which you lack. Easier said than done? Surely. Worth the attempt? Absolutely.

The Missus begins her newest work adventure today. About six weeks ago, she left what had been her professional home for several years to take on a new challenge. Sadly, the challenge became trying to balance that which had been told to her when she interviewed for the gig with what the gig actually was when she started working there. What it was represented to be turned out to be something significantly different from what it actually was. The dichotomy was not something she could reconcile. Thus she has moved on to something new. Bigger and better? We shall see. I hope only that it makes her happy. Being married to me should be the most stressful part of her day-to-day. Believe me when I say keeping an eye on an idiot is in and of itself a full-time gig for Margaret.

Margaret took advantage of her final "vacation" day to bring our old man Milo home. Milo was cremated. Yesterday Margaret went to the office of the doctor who put him to sleep to pick up his remains. He is now where he shall stay until we bid farewell to 57 Delaware, which is on a shelf in the den next to the fireplace. For an eyelash short of two decades, he lived as an integral part of the fabric of our family. That bond shall not be broken.

Much has been written in the past ten days about the atrocities that are alleged to have been committed against multiple youngsters at the hands of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. I am compelled at this moment - before going further - to say two things. First, I have read the entire Grand Jury report/presentment in this matter. If you have voiced an opinion on the case and its peripheral issues (such as the firing of Joe Paterno) without having read it, then do so. Second, it is the lawyer in me that mandated that I use the phrase "alleged to have been committed". The case laid out in the Grand Jury report is damning but Sandusky has to date denied any and all wrongdoing. Until such time as he pleads guilty to any or all of the charges and/or is found guilty after a trial, the phrase "alleged to have been committed" applies.

Disclaimer notwithstanding, I weep not at all for Joe Paterno or for anyone else at Penn State who has paid for his role in this whole affair with his job. Gene Wojciechowski writes for espn.com and (I think) the network's magazine also. On Friday last he wrote a piece that included the following remark, "Success without honor is an unseasoned fish. It will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good."

The words were Coach Paterno's, given as part of his Commencement Address to the Penn State University Class of 1973. As true today as they were when he spoke them almost thirty years ago. Am I alone left to wonder if they mean anything to him today and if they meant anything to him when he uttered them? Were they words to live by or merely something to say? I know not. I wonder if he does.

I doubt it.


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