Saturday, April 12, 2008

Marcie's Own Words

Rather than tell you how Marcie felt about our days in Vegas, i will simply share her joy in a slideshow of some of the notes she made on pieces of paper, postcards and napkins. I'll explain some of them tomorrow.

For now, enjoy this little treasure trove of her person in her own hand and her own words and see if you don't just fall apart seeing how excited and happy she was then.

To see the postcards and notes better, click play and then click on one of the pictures to go to a much larger and clearer view.

I miss the happy lightness you can almost hear in her writing, as I am sure the rest of her family and many of her friends do, too.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A tough time to wed (Pt. 6)

We were on our way to the land of married respectability in the week before the wedding. Everything was arranged and we were set to travel. Our suite at the Monte Carlo was reserved, plans for entertainment firmed up and our flight was reserved. One last thing before we left was a late lunch the day before our departure.

We chose Indian. We'll call the restaurant "Bombay Barf," as its choice would turn out to be a bad one for me.

Marcie enjoyed a curry dish while I had chicken tandoori. Unfortunately, I took a big bite of the chicken before I realized that it was lmost wholly uncooked in its center. If you have ever had frozen chicken that is tossed into the oven unthawed, then you know the sensation. I tasted cooked goodness then squishy, almost gelatinous inner meat.

I spit it out and sent it back. I was served, some 15 minutes later, a fully cooked tandoori by a scowling and curt subcontinental who seemed to think I was putting him out by demanding properly prepared food. Never mind. I left it on the plate and Marcie accepted that.

The damage had been done.

In the morning, I woke feeling slightly woozy and a little tired. I also had an urgent need. I ended up spending a painful half hour  there. I will spare you the details. Nausea was not alone in keeping me company, though. I wanted to stay a bit longer, but was informed that might lead to some worse pain.

"Honey, I am sorry you feel so sick, but you'll feel better when it's all over with and we're married," Marcie said through the door.

"Great!" I thought. She believes I am faking illness or suffering from nerves.

As if to test me, Marcie proceeded to cook a hearty, massive breakfast for us, the last thing I wanted at that point. I poked at my eggs, ate my toast and drank my orange juice, and tried to avoid looking at the bacon, whose usual greasy, salty goodness was vaguely, nauseatingly repellent to me. She noticed.

"Frank," she said, clattering her fork. "Would you eat your goddamn food? I swear, you are being such a baby. This is what you wanted, too, right? Or were you just trying to appease me? No, tell me so I don't get my hopes up and end up left at the altar, because I swear that will be the end for us."

I looked up at her and I croaked, "Honey, I am just sick. I think the chicken did it. I don't want to cancel our wedding, I just don't feel well. I'll be fine, though."

"Yeah, the chicken did it," she said, narrowing her eyes and tapping her fork angrily on the plate. "You only had one bite of that fucking chicken, I watched you, so don't tell me you were poisoned from that little bit

But my temperature climbed, reaching 102 that afternoon as I finished packing. I tried a cool shower, adding a good half hour to my considerable time in the facilities for the day. No dice. Later, I even had to invade and take over the kennel's bathroom when we dropped Seamus off, and spent a good 15 minutes there. Things were getting worse.

"Stop it," Marcie said under her breath, her ferocious glare and tight lips showing her at the end of her rope with me. "You need to buck up and be my man, not wimp out and play sick. And if you are sick, you need to try to get it under control."

So it went. Eventually, she realized this was not playing sick. But by that time, we were in the air. She was pleased to be on the way and overwhelmed with giddiness, and that change in her attitude opened her eyes. Maybe I was sick, after all.

As she looked over at me on the plane, she leaned in and whispered, "Oh, honey, you are sweating so much," she said. "Are you okay?"

I squeezed her hand and was more relieved that she realized I was not faking my illness than concerned with telling her I was sick again.

"I'll be okay, honey," I whispered. "I think the sweat is because my body is fighting it off."

The second we were in the terminal, I went into the bathroom. I took time to, after my more urgent need, wash my face and make myself presentable. I was very pale and remained so for the whole trip, as the wedding video shows. But when I came out, she took my hand and squeezed it, kissed me and leaned into my chest, and I knew she understood how sick I was.

We had a wonderful night despite my illness, and gambled a bit to boot. We came out $200 ahead, but I demurred on visiting the steak house we had planned to. She understood. But my illness would interfere with other activities, which her little notes remind me of. Those, I will post tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Getting Ready For the Big Sell

Last night with Marcie’s parents was easy and short. I had my visit and conspired with Barbara to get her out of the house one night for a little dinner. On to current events.


I am about to be unemployed if the budget plan does not change here at San Diego Unified. I have options, and I have ideas. That’s all I really need for the moment, and I can always go back to writing the news and blogging more formally. No problemo.


But I need to start cleaning my house out. Everything must go. I will sell the best stuff online, other stuff through Craigslist and a big whopping load through a walk-in-and-make-an-offer sale. Every single penny, will be going into the mega-memorial mission and to (if any cash is left over) subsidize the writing of her book.


I have been putting this off for quite a while. Now it’s time to get it going. I hope that, in two months, I will have cleared the decks of most of our stuff, furnishings and all. Some things will be saved, of course, but most must go. I will begin with the videos, both tape and DVD, and the newer books.


Once I have cleaned out most of that, it will be all about the yard-garage-estate sales. I plan to keep enough cookware, etcetera to take care of myself (saving only the best gear), but to get rid of the extras. When I say everything must go, I mean it. Only the sacred will remain.


I am posting this so that, if her friends see this, or her family, they can tell me what they might be interested in having first. Think about it and let me know if there is something special, folks. Okay, wish me luck and send fundraising ideas.


Much Love,




We return to Marcie and my wedding when my scanner works again. Damn  thing is on the fritz… I want to share what she saved and wrote of our trip. After that, we’re back to Seamus and Marcie and I.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I am taking a brief break, perhaps. I don't want to blog myself into a heart attack, after all. Actually, tonight I will have dinner with Marcie's parents. I will continue with the story of our little wedding and such afterward.

I plan to share the video with them, so that will be tough. I may bring a few videos, actaully. Ditto for pictures... Rough night ahead.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A tough time to wed (Pt. 5)

After our long drive in Marcie's little Tercel, I decided to make every effort I could to show my interest in our wedding. Marcie was, happily, amenable.However, I was till busy and a zombie from my workload.

I wanted a spa or jacuzzi tub, I jotted to her in a note to her about the wedding. "More to slide around in with you than anything because I don't much like to take baths," I wrote.

Done. The Monte Carlo suite, which we previewed online, had a tub for two... couples. It was damned swimming pool.

"Room service at least once," I asked. Agreed, as it meant more time in the sack for us.

Things finally had hit a nice pace of accommodation and the occasional rough spot was soon smoothed over with negotiation and excited planning.

However, I was till busy and a zombie from my workload. When I got home at 10:30 one night and Marcie wanted to talk wedding rings, I snapped. It was not a shining moment, I admit.

"Honey, why the fuck are we even talking about this?" I said, 30 minutes later as the late news came on. "Can't it wait? I don't want a diamond ring, I just want a simple band to show people I am taken."

She nodded and listened, and I stupidly took that to be license to continue.

"What? Do you want us to be paying off rings for the next 10 years?" I asked. I instantly regretted it.

Her face melted into grief and she covered it, wailing through them "I knew you didn't want to get married, Frank. I am such a fool. You just go along with me because you don't want to argue."

She left the catalogs on the kitchen table and ran into the room, closing the door and locking it behind her. I slept on the couch after a half hour of fruitless apologies and admonitions from her to leave her alone.

When we did get the rings, after a tearful reconciliation the next morning, she refused to buy anything but a simple band for herself (of gold) and a silver one for me (as I have always disliked gold).

I have worn my father's gold ring, which she loved when he gave it to me and which includes three small diamond settings. But my simple band, which I still wear, is as beautiful a reminder to me of our love as I need or ever needed.

I would say that Marcie forgave me, but I am not sure that is completely true. She saved the receipt, which I still have, but unlike every other memory from our trip, which have notes for her memoir, it is unadorned by her writing.

In a way, I suppose I did not deserve to be forgiven for that outburst. She, on the other hand, deserved a ring that would take a lifetime to pay off, if that is what she wanted. I wish I had given it to her.

But her pride, nobility, and resolve to never show weakness would have won out over any grand gesture. She would rather carry the wound without comment.

There were other little sins that, in her passing, she noted. These, I know, were long ago resolved and forgiven, or understood to not be sins at all.

But my illness before and during our wedding, because of her fears of my commitment to the event, abounds in her notes, which tear at my heart still when I read them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A tough time to wed (Pt. 4)

So, having relinquished my say in the venue, it soon became apparent that Marcie was not sure when and where she wanted to marry. She vacillated between Vegas and the chapel in Hillcrest until the last few days.

"Silver Bells," she said one Sunday morning as we enjoyed roasted potatoes and eggs. "Silver Bells wedding chapel is where we will get married."

I nodded and smiled, continuing my morning repast. "So that's up in Hillcrest?" I asked, casually prodding her to let out some of her excitement.

I looked up when the fork clattered on her plate. She folded her arms across her breasts and bit her lower lip, leaning down onto the table.

"No, Frank," she said, shaking her head. "No, this is the chapel in Las Vegas i was telling you about for the last two weeks."

However, for that last two weeks I had been working at a feverish pace, desperately trying to save some money for some gifts, to gamble with, anything. I was essentially a zombie.

"I'm sorry, honey, I'm just really tired," I offered.

She was very sad and upset looking, and she reached across the table and took my hand. "Do you wanty me to cancel everything, honey?" she asked, biting her lip again, shaking her head.

"I don't want to force you, because you'll just end up hating me," she said. "So, if you're not sure about this, or you're not ready, we can wait."

I pulled my hand away and wiped my mouth, then stood up, bewildered. I had no idea where this could go and did not want to know.

"Honey, that is the second time you offered to call it off," I said. What are you trying to tell me? Are YOU having second thoughts?"

She glared.

"I want to marry you, but I cannot keep up with your changing ideas and you don't tell me anything, or you tell me than I say something you don't like."

"You could show some interest, you know," she said. "God, it's like I am dragging you to the altar, Frank. It's totally humiliating."

I did not hug her this time, but took my plate, dumped it in the trash and left the apartment. As I began walking, she drove up and pulled over in front of me.

"Frank, god damn it, get in the car," she said.

I sighed and hopped in, and that was likely the worst mistake to date. She drove us around the neighborhood as she laid into me for every little thing she thought I was doing wrong by not doing them.

I had no doubt I wanted to marry her, but was beginning to dread what married life might end up like for me.