Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Weekend Pt. 2 + Monday

So after the extremely long road trip, I got home and things were looking pretty good. There were hugs and we were all very happy to see each other. So I'm going to frame this whole thing very carefully. First, I'm going to show you some brief snippets of Riley, my parents' dog.

Why? Because she's freaking adorable and you can watch it if through any of the later bits you feel yourself getting a little down.

Also I'll be uploading another short video of showing my dad how to play Halo. I didn't have a way to capture gameplay but the reactions alone (when compiled together) were pretty funny. We have since learned that first person shooters can make dad a wee anxious. Though he may actually like Borderlands. Though Borderlands isn't really your traditional FPS.

If you want to skip over the serious pie section of this post, scroll down until you see a bolded lettering again.

Okay, so the serious pie part of the weekend started when we went to breakfast Saturday morning.

"How many?"

The waitress was just doing her job but her question rattled us. We froze, looked at each other uncertainly, and the elephant that had been following all of us from room to room for the past 6 months waved hello. 

"Four," my father said.

And we were promptly seated. 

Months ago this would have been where we'd be talking so much we'd forget to look at our menus for at least one pass of "Have you decided yet?" But this time we just stared down at our menus, awkward and quiet... and then looked at our phones.

And the lump in my throat made me remember exactly why I had been putting off going home for a visit since Joel's funeral.
Eventually we worked ourselves out of the awkward silence and were able to carry on with the day fair enough but there was some definitely underlying tension.
And then we tried playing a game that night.
Ever since I was a kid, a family favorite has always been the domino game of "Chicken Foot". If you're not familiar, basically it's a set of dominoes with a combination of numbers going up to 12. There are 12 of each set. So the set of 12s would look like 1|12, 2|12, 3|12 and so forth up until you get 12|12. So lots of combinations with lots of dots.

At the start of the game every player has 7 dominoes and whoever has the highest double (eg 12|12, 11|11, 10|10) puts it down and the round begins. If no one has a double, you have to keep drawing from the pile until someone gets one.
You have to match one side of your domino to the start until all corners have been used. At least that's how we learned it. Apparently the people who were playing the game in the picture are more core than we are. Show offs.

Anyway you can then just match numbers to numbers as shown above. Reason it's called chicken foot is that doubles can be put on their side and force everyone to play that number until 3 dominoes have been placed down (thus making a chicken foot-like shape).

Sorry, explaining that took more effort that I thought it would. But hey, now you know we weren't doing some weird voodoo chicken ritual.

And my sister got uncomfortable and started turning inward on herself and when prodded she finally said, "I don't know if I like this game anymore."

And again we realized we were playing it with just four of us. 

And then we finally talked a bit more about it.

"I get it every time at restaurants, anyone else?"

There was a weak agreement.

We didn't talk about it much after that but there was something about admitting aloud that we were all struggling helped.

And that may be why things went they did on Sunday when I stopped by Joel's grave.

Look at that. Even in death the jerk is cooler than me.

I didn't quite remember the exact location, it was 96+ degrees and I ended up wandering the general area of the graveyard for about 10 minutes.
I was getting frustrated, feeling like I'd never find it and then finally... there it was.

"Hey dummy."

It was the first time I'd seen it in person. When we'd buried him, there had just been a placeholder. I opened a bottle of Mt. Dew (his favorite), poured some into the grass and for the first time since the funeral, I acknowledged the full weight of the situation.

And the next hour would be one of the craziest and undignified manners I have ever acted in a public place. First I cried--well, cried more. When I couldn't find it, I had started to tear up but after actually seeing it I started sobbing. Loudly. Full on wail. No one was immediately around me but I wouldn't be surprised if some other mourner didn't hear me. And if they didn't, they certainly heard what came next.

I... started yelling. A lot. And I may have swore. And by "may have swore" I mean I hope no children were visiting grandma during that hour because I think some true mental scarring would have happened. I'm not sure how much of it was coherent or if someone onlooking might have called the cops. I was pacing and crying and half shouting and half accusing and demanding answers or help because it wasn't fair he got to leave us so absolutely broken because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to handle trying to hold everyone together.

And it was hot and I was a mess and emotionally exhausted and I took a sip of soda and immediately remembered why I don't drink soda (carbonation and I don't do well together) so I spit it out...

And I hit the headstone... because I'd apparently forgotten stone is going to win that fight.

And while I was rubbing the forming bruise on my hand and still leaking profusely from my eyes and nose and talking very irately to him... a car slowly eased by.

Oh good. I was hoping I was going to experience pure unadulterated humiliation today.

I'm pretty sure Joel was laughing somewhere.

So I ended our conversation with "Shut up." And angrily trudged back to my car.

Maybe it was the way it ended, but I didn't feel better after that visit. Or maybe I needed to have a fight and leave angry. I don't know.

It's at least a first step to actually dealing with this rather than repressing until I pop. And that's good.

...whew, okay, that was super heavy.


Happier things that I completely forgot to announce on Monday because I was still trying to get the weekend out of my system.

For those of you who helped vote for me for Geek & Sundry Vlogs and campaigned and were pretty much the most amazing people to have in my corner in the world... WE MADE TOP 30!

We did it, guys, we're hitting the 2nd round! And getting that sorted and filmed is probably going to eat the rest of my week, but that's okay because it's going to be worth it.

Voting starts on the 10th, so I will be going into crazy campaign mode again, but don't worry, it will be over on the 19th and I will do my best to make it interesting and not be spammy.

I feel it also important to point out that it will be looking a little different in round 2. Wit & Whimsy will be continuing on my personal channel (and here) regardless if I make it into the final 10, but I realized that if by some miracle I DO end up being chosen, I want to keep all the legal rights to W&W. I mean, I have the website, I have a channel that I can do whatever my wits or whim declare...

But not to worry because while the name may be different in round 2, the hunger for knowledge and quest for geeky info will still be alive and well.

I love you guys, take care of eachother.


  1. Your serious pie made me have feels. You need to warn a fella when you do that. There's rules about sort of thing. And it's my right as a dude to have the emotional range of a teaspoon.
    Hope...well, actually, I am not strictly sure how to finish that sentence (TEASPOON, DAMMIT!)...so I will just say I hope it gets easier for you all soon.

    And further congratulations (even though I have already said so elsewhere) on W+W getting into the next round. :)

  2. Sending lots of hugs your way <3 Although your brother may no longer be here, not only does he have the love of family and friends but by way of you sharing him with the world he has the love of many who never were fortunate enough to meet him.

    Congratulations on making it into the top 30 before you obviously proceed into the final 10! I'll be back voting for you on July 10th!

    1. Thank you! I'm really excited and terrified about round 2. Plotting what's going on and coming up with some really fun stuff. =D Hoping everyone will like it.

  3. I don't know how I ended up reading this post on today of all days, but I suppose it makes sense. Today marks six years and six months since my little sister died. Her gravesite is about 20 miles from where I live now so I still go out there to put new flowers and such fairly often. But July 23rd, will be what should have been my older sister's 31st birthday. She died back in 2000 from a car crash. I was six and over the past few years it has become clear how very little I knew about her. I may be a horribly morbid person, but I find it interesting to debate which was worse, losing the sister I barely knew and can hardly remember or losing the sister who I was with everyday and helped raise and take care of. But anyways, I intend to drive out to my older sister's grave sometime before the summer is over because I haven't been there since her funeral. And I may take her some Mt Dew because one of my few memories of her was a time when she drank so much mt dew that her hands would not stop shaking. Anyways, thanks for this post. It helped me realize that everyone mourns in different ways and it's okay to be upset. I hope you are doing okay.

    1. There are good days, there are bad days. Most days I just miss him. Others I forget he's gone.