Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day, a time for remembrances.  I miss my children, I miss my parents.

Dad served at Peleliu in 1944,

and Okinawa in 1945,

before he left us in 1986.  Mom was with us for another 13 years before she passed on.

JJ&D, be well.

Happy Memorial Day to all.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new

As a former president of the DCRRC (2009), I want to congratulate my friend Lauren Bullis (pictured below completing a relay race in 2009) upon his election as president of the DC Road Runners Club.   Lauren replaces the divisive and controversial outgoing president who had this to say in a Washington Post article last year about the vast majority of runners in DC:
Brian Danza, president of D.C. Road Runners, divides runners into two groups: the competitive subset, who run for time, and the participatory or recreational group, or “people who do it to check a box.” Speaking on behalf of his running club, he said, “we firmly promote the sport of running in a competitive manner.”
Running a marathon just for the sake of completing one, said Danza, isn’t worth the effort. Danza cites “the advent of social media and bragging” as fueling marathons’ increased popularity. “The way to one-up each other — ‘I’m thinner than you, I’m better than you in various ways, I also checked this box’ — has really perpetuated the growth of the sport.”
Lauren has an attitude about runners, inclusion and participation that is diametrically opposed to that expressed on behalf of the club by Mr. Danza.  I am delighted with the new, promising direction taken by my former running club.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  You were a classic.

Small Colorado prairie town girl, opinionated, scrupulous, intense, you went off at 18 or 19 from Yuma Colorado to San Diego to work in the war industries during WW2.  There you met Dad at a USO dance, just before he shipped out to fight the Japs and married him.

And I am here!  He came back from two terrible Pacific battlefields unscathed (somehow) and I am one of six.  (No, we're not Catholic.)

A family staple story is the time he was quivering in bed asleep and you touched him and he woke up instantly and surrounded your neck with his strong fingers, ready to choke you until he realized he was not in a foxhole on Peleliu.  You were terrified, he was horrified, I feel so sorry for what both women and returning men went through in those days.

The world was saved from the Nazis, at a price the two of you paid.  What was the price your six children ever paid for anything?

I don't know.  I know I loved you.

I remember in the tumultuous 60s you driving along the streets on Nantucket (where we had a summer house) looking for a strong willed young man who had been at our house (seeking a date, obviously, with one of my two older sisters) who left with no place to go, to bring him back to our spacious house at 40 Lily Street so he would have a place to spend the night and get on with trying to change the world on the morrow.

Then time ran out.  Dad died at age 61 and you died in 1999 and, well, everything changed.  A ruinous divorce costing a quarter mil (only in America), 3 estranged children who haven't communicated with a single Lamberton in a decade (classic PAS) and I can only hang on the beautiful image of you and Dad to justify my 62 years.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Got Intel Today

None of my three sons of has spoken to me in over seven years or to any Lamberton in over ten years, classic Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).  She won't even tell me if they're well or even alive (can you see why I don't regret being divorced from her?).
Today I ran past our old house a few miles away and spoke with a former neighbor I spotted who told me she had heard that my oldest, now in his late 20s, has or had made a lot of money in on-line gambling.  Since he never went to college (I own a prepaid tuition plan with him as beneficiary which pays 100% of his tuition & fees, which the IRS has threatened to vacate this year for non-use due to its tax preferential treatment) I guess, if true, it's good he's "gainfully employed."
And with Obamacare, now he can get health insurance too.  Is this a great country or what?
It was a great run, going into Arlington through parks and past the two houses we used to live in.  And it's always beneficial to hear news, any news, about your children.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

B Strong

Meb.  The mere 3-letter name says it all.

Pure American.  Runner-extraordinaire.

He won Boston, watching an insurmountable end of the race 90-second lead be reduced to a mere six seconds in the last mile.  As a world-class elite Kenyan runner valiantly tried to haul him down on Boyleston Street he hung on and won, repeating to himself, "Boston strong, Boston strong, Meb strong, Meb strong."

You see, tragedy visited this great race, the Boston Marathon, the oldest continuously run marathon in the world, last year when two immigrant men planted bombs upon its course and killed and maimed people as was their sole intention.  Men who had come here as boys, benefited from all the advantages our great country has to offer, and found hatred inside of themselves instead of reaching for greatness as Meb did.

You see, Meb came here as a boy too, as a war refuge, ran track in high school and then at UCLA where he won national championships, became an American citizen and continued on to greatness as an American marathoner.  His name goes up there with other great American male marathoners such as Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers.

It's no secret that Africans are the best marathoners in the world currently, with Kenyans especially standing out.  No American had won a major world marathon in decades (London, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Boston); a Kenyan usually was standing atop the podium.

Until Meb astonishingly broke through in 2009 and won New York.  The Africans let him get far out front and then couldn't bring him down at the end.  (My former running buddy A met Meb the night he won New York.)

Meb outran all his pursuers at New York, they were asking each other what his strengths and weaknesses were and nobody in the chase pack knew, so lightly did Africans regard Americans.  He was strong, Meb strong.

His time has never approached 2:05, which is a time which the elite Africans regularly reach and once, an American (Ryan Hall).  He PRed yesterday at 2:08 (at age 38), his prior best was a 2:09 when he won New York a half-decade earlier.

He is a consummate professional, unfailingly polite and gracious, and a master tactician.  He won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and came in fourth at the London Olympics two years ago.

I personally thought that was his swan song, at age 36 he had won an Olympic medal, an American major and he outdistanced a world class field at London save for the tight lead pack of 3 medaling African elites.

I came in from a noontime run yesterday and immediately googled "Boston Marathon 2014 winner."  When the name Meb immediately popped up I was astonished and proud.  (I have met Meb twice at DC races.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Encounter

I eased my vehicle down the bank's ATM car lane, hoping to use its single ATM machine.  There were two people already using the ATM, both pedestrians standing on the 3-foot cement skirt suitable for interloper pedestrian utilizers of the ATM machine.

I recognized her immediately.  Super platinum blonde (she should be grey like me), heavily lined face (she's older than me), she was standing submissively, or perhaps dominantly as befits a shrew, behind her current husband, who was crouched over the ATM machine working it for cash, apparently.

My ex.  The woman who destroyed my relationship with our 3 precious children through her manipulations upon these vulnerable minor children during six years of ruinous divorce litigation she initiated and drove along with her coterie of paid whores, "professionals" (you murderers-of-childhoods and family-destroying enablers know who you are).

I drove on by as she glanced at me and then looked away with no apparent recognition; obviously she doesn't recognize my current car.  But I saw her clearly and experienced NOTHING, not hatred for her ruining my life (or rather, my children's lives) nor nostalgia at over twenty years living together wasted (she was ice-cold) nor rage at her some-would-term-it abusive treatment of my children (classic PAS) nor pity for her at her soon-enough accounting for her worldly actions in depriving our children of their father and his family at St. Peter's gate.

I forgave her years ago, and now she is nothing to me.  It was so clear to me as I drove by this wreck with no feeling whatsoever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Happy

Today is THE day, the day I started working towards when I graduated from law school 24 years ago in my late 30s and went into government service.  Being able to get my family of five, with two of three children with pre-existing conditions and a wife with expensive utilization of mental health provisions (we were kicked out of our Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for using covered services), into the government's gold-standard health care plan (basically its single-payor, and it works mostly great), had everything to do with my mid-life career choice.

Only in America would the health-care industry boot an asthmatic two-year old toddler, a sickly one-year old baby and a panic-attack stricken adult out of their existing, fully-being-paid-for plan into Virginia's catastrophic individual family policy which I quickly found was an expensive (ruinous) joke akin to a pay-fully-for-everything-as-well-as-triple-the-former-premiums "plan."  I'll meet those health care plan industry executives in hell, along with all divorce lawyers except my own, when I'm done with this life.

I hear the gentle patter of rain falling outside.  It rained on my wedding day too, 37 years ago.

My three children, the ones I struggled to get proper health insurance for, for whom I purchased tuition plans for with them as beneficiaries that paid 100% of their college tuition and fees using money given to me by my mother, haven't spoken to me in over half a decade nor any member of my family in over a decade.  Only in America.

In 2010 I took a retirement seminar just to see what the possibilities were despite knowing that I would have to work till I died after the five-year divorce litigation destroyed me financially pursuant to her nefarious and sick-minded plan.  I discovered that the maximum enhancement for my retirement formula, insignificant as it might be, accrued on 4/15/14.

Any time worked past that date gilded the edges slowly for sure as the years droned on, but that date became emblazoned in my mind.  It's here.

Almost all my college friends have retired or are retiring this year.  But I can't afford to retire, yet.

After living through a life-altering modern western divorce, and the calamitous (in so many ways!) Dubya presidency, perhaps next decade, or next year.  Or perhaps next month, or tomorrow.

But I'll go in to work today and keep at it, working under the supervision of my thirty-something managers.  After almost four decades of work at jobs ranging from dishwasher to bartender, cop to lawyer, I know one thing foremost among many things--that managers are in it primarily for themselves.

My few friends who really know the workings of my mind say that I don't have a plan, I have a date.  But it has arrived, hasn't it.