Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Current state of my dissertation work

 I’m not in the mood to work tonight. Even after another inspirational dream last night about this F’ing dissertation, I am brain dead to it tonight. It’s been a problem to get new theories organized lately; my brain doesn’t like to think chronologically. Fortunately in my dream, I figured out an indexing schema that should get things straightened out, and gee, I would try it if I had any motivation tonight.

I drove 4.5 hours this afternoon/evening for a class that starts tomorrow. Two days of learning how project managers can improve their ability to negotiate. How does a geeky person with no people skills learn to negotiate? We’ll be finding out tomorrow. Class is scheduled to end at 5:00 Friday – at least I won’t be driving through Columbus at rush hour.

So things were kind of weird today. I’m trying desperately to wrap up an estate (my grandfather’s). I stopped by the little bank in a tiny town and picked up one last item from his safety deposit box – emptied it, and released the box back to the bank. The clerk led me into the little room (vault) and opened the box. She left me alone so I could have privacy. I pulled out the box and had an eerie feeling that my grandfather had done this same thing…how many times? I did this today because I had reason to drive down that way (only a few miles detour) while the bank was open. It’s not exactly combining business with pleasure…it wasn’t very pleasant. It was more like combining business with personal business.

He died last summer, just a month before his 95th birthday. Is it bad taste to blog about this stuff? I was with him when he died in the nursing home. I had never seen somebody die, although I’ve been to more funerals and visitations in my lifetime than I could possibly count. What was most amazing to me was how quickly he turned white once he died. A few more details to close out the estate– transferring some stock and dividing the estate account, and then it will all be over. A corpse in a coffin is like plastic or something not real. We had my grandfather cremated per his wishes…so much better.

I spent a lot of the drive thinking about him. Driving through Columbus, I passed Riverside Hospital and remembered about 6-7 years ago, I picked him up at Riverside and took him home. An ambulance had rushed him up there to fix a lead that had come loose from his pacemaker – that could have killed him. My brother called me and said he needed a ride home. I left work and made the 2-hour drive in pouring rain. It was winter and nearly 6 PM before he finally got dismissed. It was like a monsoon all the way home – one of those drives (in the dark) where you have to drive slow with the wipers going as fast as they can and you debate about pulling off because you can’t really see where you’re going. I was on super-alert all the way, hands properly 10 and 2 on the wheel and white knuckles no doubt. My grandfather talked more that night than I’d ever heard him talk in my whole life. That night, I got a chance to know him.

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