A Life Doing for Others

My grandmother wanted no obituary. No funeral. She never wanted to be the center of attention.

She spent her life never having her way. She did for everyone else, and never had any semblance of control or agency.

She wanted to be cremated, buried in her favorite purse, and have her family go to her favorite restaurant together. Order a plate of her favorite food and leave it at the table for her. And that’s what we gunna do.

So, in her death, she finally gets her way. This will not be an obituary. An obit involves names, and those left behind, and arrangements and shit. And plus…I know why she hated obits. Its always rubbing your accolades in someone’s face…at least it always felt that way for her. “So and so was well respected by the business community…member of the rotary club…etc.”

She hated that shit. So, this will not be an obit.


I would be remis if I didn’t share just a few stories. The things I will always remember. So, maybe I am hijacking elements of an obit, but…..I just feel like this has to come out of me or I will lose my mind.

For most of my childhood, my maw maw drove a 80s Monte Carlo. She had only one Maxwell Cassette. She played that cassette till the tape ran down to nothing. I still know all those songs by heart. I will intersperse these stories with some key tracks.

As discussed at length, high school was rough for me. I spent the good portion of it with what I know now to be depression. I would mope around and listen to nu-metal all day every day.

One day, I am coming home from school, and I assume something happened. Something always did. I had my head hung low and slumped into the house. Maw maw would always have some kind of dinner for us. Sometimes it would be showing up a few hours after we got home, but for things like a roast, she would be at the house cooking already.

She looks at me skulk in, and yells at full volume “STAND TALL BOY AND BE PROUD. You do so well in school, and you gunna go to a good college. Be proud. You’ve done a lot.”

I’ll never forget it.

My maw maw’s house was the neutral zone. When there was strife or conflict in the family, it would fade away at her house. Mostly cause she never stood for that shit. If you were going to have a fight, you better get the fuck out of her house and have it.

That makes it sound too aggressive. She just wanted her house to be a place where anyone could go.

What sticks in my mind was halloween. By the time we got too old to trick or treat, we felt like we had nothing to do on halloween. And typically, I didn’t get along with my brothers friends. But at maw maw’s house, that was always different.

I can’t remember how it started, but we started doing halloween night at my maw maw’s. Maybe its because she lived on the busiest street in the area, so it was the street you would go to for trick or treat anyway. Who knows. But, we had all kinds of great junk food. Chili cheese fritos. Homemade mac and cheese. Grilled hot dogs. And we played SNES or watched horror movies on cable all night.

We did that for years, cause that recreation room at my maw maw’s house was magic.

If I needed something, my maw maw was there. She never had money, but she had a workers ethic. If she couldn’t do it herself, she would have paw paw do it.

One time, maw maw and paw paw came to my house in college. Brought me some frozen gumbo and spaghetti sauce. Helped me fix up some things in that fucking shithole. Paw paw sees some wine bottles I had on top of the fridge. I had started to go to vineyards and what not. Getting into wine

“I didn’t know you liked wine…ok…”

The next time they visit the apartment, paw paw gives me a clear glass two liter filled with this BLACK liquid.

“This is that good black cherry bath tub wine that my friend makes…”

I smelled it, and it smelled like fucking death. Like you could get rust of a car bumper with it.

Cut to me moving out. We are packing up my stuff, and the only wine bottle left is the wine bottle my paw paw brought me. My maw maw is packing up things in my bedroom, and paw paw and I are in the kitchen. Paw paw turns to me and says, “Oh you dont want any of this good black cherry wine?”

Without missing a beat, maw maw, who SOMEHOW heard it, yells at the top of her lungs.


I cried I was laughing so hard.

I did see her one last time this week. She looked bad. Leukemia. She must have been hiding it. Never wanted treatment. Was on oxygen. Bedridden. Her arms look like she got in a fucking fight. Bruises everywhere.

But that visit. Was like the calls we shared every Thursday evening. Talked about all kind of stuff. Life. The old days. Like nothing happened. She was in really good spirits. After I told her I loved her, my last words were “I’m gunna see you tomorrow”

My dad thought he messed up having me come down and that maw maw was going to be fine.

She was dead 5 hours later.

That’s how it happens I suppose.

The biggest blessing I can give is that at least she didn’t linger like that. When it was her time to go, she punched the clock.

I’ll miss her. She was the one who raised me up. I didn’t have a ton of people in my family who advocated for me. My maw maw always did. “Chase that dream” she would say constantly. She was the ONLY person in the family who thought academics mattered more than sports. She told me my graduation was the proudest moment of her life.

So here is my suggestion. Go get some good shit to eat and drink. Enjoy it. Celebrate. That’s what my maw maw would have wanted. So my suggestion to you congregation is to celebrate. She had a life well lived and has moved on to the next journey.

Thoughts from the AMEN Pew #52

More shit. More shame. More liquor.

Well, one aspect of the current trends hit my way. Without going into too much detail, it is a rough time to be gainfully employed at large.

I was having this discussion with my wife last night. When I was growing up, I do not remember this much turmoil. Maybe it is a matter of privilege, but things felt…..I dunno, stable. My parents both had the same job for the entirety of my beginning life, from birth to college.

And I assumed, cause I was trying to do better than they would that my life would be on easy street. Just work, retire, death.

I think our whole generation doesn’t get to live in times of any kind of comfort. I can only hope that things even out by the time my kids gets out of college, but at the rate shit is going, it ain’t looking good hoss.

Alot of moaning and gnashing of teeth out there for Diablo Immortal. There will be a blog in a few weeks when I get there, but I wanted to share a preliminary hot take.

I’m around level 45 right now. 60 is the cap. I playing it off and on, when I can. No grinding. Definitely not paying one red dime….If I can beat the final boss in the campaign without spending money, I mean……you know what. Bully. Sounds good to me.

Oh also, no matter how much you whinge, Blizz already won. We discussed this. They gunna make so much fucking money. The war is over. You lost. And blizz will cash your tears straight to the fucking bank.

So, I watched The Northman. Intelligent motherfuckers said everything that needs to be said (see below), but someone asked me for my thoughts, so here they are. Its fine. I think its Eggers worst movie. Like I get what he is going for, the anti-bro, anti-revenge revenge epic. But its like….they spent too much money on it to make his point. The revenge looks too good, and the fucked up parts aren’t fucked up enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I dont hate it, I am just really meh on it. I doubt I will watch it again.

Someone asked me this week to describe how I am feeling right now in one word.

I said “pain.”

I got a new thing I fucking hate. My wife has gotten into this…brand…I dont know how to describe it. There are books and a show now….called The Home Edit.

Here is the issue I have with all home organization concepts. These people must not live. Like they must not live their life. Or they are rich enough to fucking afford someone following around them to clean up their shit.

Cause yeah, I get it. What they set up looks nice.

You ever had a kid? Or fuck that. Are you like me and are just a fucking slob? I don’t have the energy to fucking maintain a instagram level aesthetic. I would rather just eat cheetos, drink, and fart all over my house.

When the revolution comes, we eating these people too.

Well to make the shame that is this week complete, I have been bested by my own flesh and blood at Smash. With me playing my main no less.

Yep. Shame is complete. Life is not worth living. Existence is bullshit. Hopefully we are all still alive next week, and there will be more preaching.

Find a reason to go on I guess? I know I am still looking for it.

Severance – Season 1 – A Review

[As usual, spoilers]

My father-in-law loves anything that is remotely Homeland-like. But, he doesn’t want to understand a fucking thing about technology. None.

So he has me doing like one to two month rotations on various streaming services. And it was only a matter of time before something that hit his criteria made it to AppleTV+. So he made the request, gave me money, and here we are.

Generally speaking, I am against the bifurcation of streaming services to where people that shouldn’t have a streaming service have it. I find it anti-consumer, but I have no fix for it at all. I just wasn’t going to participate. So, I would never have touched AppleTV+ cause I would have said they have no business getting in the streaming game (even if they can building into every phone and tablet).

But alas, familial bonds forced my hand, and now I have AppleTV+…at least till this season of whatever ends. So, I immediately went looking for the one show I wanted to see.

So how was it? No bullshit, it may be the best show I have seen that was a streaming-first exclusive. I have yet to see something this polished that didn’t show up on cable in some fashion simultaneously. It does so many things right that it is fucking impressive. If you add in the fact that they did all of it during the heart of the RONA, its a fucking achievement.

Lets start with Optics and Design (natch). A struggle with this kind of show is not letting the real world be the kind of weird that it naturally is. This show handles this perfectly. This little corporate town in PA has the look of a corporate town, with the right twinges. Setting up in the old Bell Labs complex is a stroke of genius. Having the real world be relatively normal (but you still feel the COMPANY looking over your shoulder) makes the surrealist office space sing that much more.

Comparisons have been made to a Twin Peaks or something Lynchian. I think the difference is they are way more interested in narrative and keeping the weirdness subtle. For example, there is a sequence where they find a room in the office complex that has a bunch of baby goats. In a Lynch movie, they would have seen it and walked away. In this show, they debate (not all the time, but in like occasional passing comments) about why the goats are there and what Lumon (our evil corporation) is doing.

I have also seen Mr. Robot comparisons, and I think that is fair. But, the tone is totally different. Less moody and more…..clear cut in its emotional direction.

Big shout out to the performances here. This is the performance of Adam Scott’s career. For being a emotional lynchpin of the entire show, he does it so effortlessly. It makes you wonder why he hasn’t had major accolades as a dramatic lead.

Also, shout out to Britt Lower, who I haven’t seen in anything before. She has quite a career ahead of her. Completely crushes the part.

One last acting shout out, fucking John Turturro and Christopher Walken act off each other throughout the season (this I will not spoil). And it is MAGICAL. Just fucking magical to see these two titans operate off each other. People who are masters at their craft should act together in every show.

There is something about the sterility of this show’s oddness. There is this very specific design elements and they stick to it no matter how weird the show gets. Its almost like the cleanliness is part of the show.

Another thing I fucking love about this thing is its commitment to narrative. There is clearly a story they are telling and there isn’t just fucked up things for the sake of having fucked up things. Everything builds on each other piece by piece.

Best example of this is the last episode. A masterstroke of an episode where everything building this season just lets loose with you only wanting more and more afterwards. Its 45 min of anxiety and adrenaline and its the first successful season cliffhanger I have seen in a long time.

Supposedly they have an end for the series in mind, and I have faith it’ll be good, and not get stuck in the Lost trap. But, even if it doesn’t stick the landing, we have this season. And this season is wonderful.

4/4 – The best fucking season of television I have seen since True Detective Season 1. I am completely in, and I am really glad we are getting another season.

Curse you AppleTV+ for making good content. Now no one will see it cause its on your shit platform. You fucks.

© Church of the Holy Flava 2016 - 2021