In Loveland, Colorado on July 7, 2021, it ranged from the mid 60’s to the high 80’s with a blue sky sporadically dotted with white clouds. It was a perfectly beautiful day, but not an ordinary one.
Honey my Foxfire Red Lab and I walked that day – a lot. She didn’t want to go back inside. 5AM-5:30AM we saw more than I’d expect from the wild and domesticated kingdom. Baby bunnies played in the grass in front of us. A large raccoon came out of the bushes, sat down and watch us walk. Her current best buddy, Jaxson the cinnamon lab, came strolling by with his human pal Bridgette and did a quick nuzzle. The birds, most of them, came out in force. A great horned owl swooped down right in front of her followed by a white pelican. Mallards swam toward her. Swallows dove in and out, and a lone cardinal played its song.
No geese though. Very unusual for a typical morning, but not so unusual for they knew – she hated geese. What else did she hate? Fireworks but only if she saw them as she seemed to think we were under attack. Cats, but cats hate pretty much everything. People moving without moving their feet – like kids on scooters or skateboards and people coasting on their bikes. She once took a kid right off his scooter. Didn’t hurt him, just knocked him off like a safety taking a wide receiver out from under his feet.
Parenthood is strange. For the first few decades of life, you’re led to believe adults have all of the answers. They did, for better or worse. The subjective nature of finding the ‘right thing to do’ is the divine outcome of being alive and getting hurt. We endure pain on every plane of human experience and try to keep our children from bearing it as well, knowing full well that heartbreak is, in fact, an education. Most times, the answer is merely being there. But what comes of that when we’re gone?
That’s the sound. That’s the sound of my name tag being stuck on to my shirt. Why the nametag? Well I’m the new kid here. The new kid in town, in school. That being said (or in this case written) I need to engage in the cliched tradition of breaking the proverbial ice. Well, why? Why should I? I mean, you’ll get to know me in time right? Why would I need to spill everything at once? I mean is there a reason I can’t just be random and let you all find me? In a word, no.
There’s a dry-erase calendar hanging up behind me as I begin to write this. It mostly displays my work schedule and reminders of an occasional virtual D&D session. I bought it a couple years ago because I thought having a physical calendar would give me one less thing to rely on my phone for, as if my eyes being constantly glued to a screen would be a calendar’s fault and not the dark, endless ocean of internet garbage. Right now, however, as I write these very words, there’s something different written at the bottom of the calendar: “Days Left: 26”.
I chuckled to myself this morning at how vague it would look to an onlooker, and I laughed even harder knowing that a realtor would be showing my apartment to potential new tenants this afternoon. I considered planting ominous objects near the calendar to further the mystery. Mostly, I contemplated the large dive knife in a shoebox on my closet shelf, as purchasing a spool of rope would perhaps be a bit extravagant and in poor taste. All sight gags aside, the event the countdown represents is not even close to sinister, but it represents one of the most significant events I’ll ever experience; I’m leaving the only area I’ve ever known my whole life to move across the country.
It felt like a gut punch. It felt like so many things that I love had died at once. It felt like losing a sharp, foul mouthed family member. It came in a tweet. Things like this always do in this day and age. Jessica Walter, an integral part of my comedy enjoyment over the past two decades had passed away today at the age of 80.
Walter’s career spanned seven decades. Her TV career predates steaming. It predates cable. It even predates the proliferation of color television. Walter starred in memorable television shows over the decades such as FBI, Mannix, Love American Style, The Love Boat, Trapper John MD, and Murder, She Wrote. She won an Emmy in the 1970’s for her role in the show Amy Prentiss.
She was even the mom on Dinosaurs!
But more importantly, she was Mallory Archer.
And EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY than that, she was Lucille Bluth.
It’s snowing in Colorado today. We’re supposed to get somewhere between 18 inches and 3 feet, depending upon what part of the front range your domicile resides. As such, why not give you some great Oscar moments in time.