Unlike a lot of people in Boston I can’t claim I knew Tom well. I’m sure that the couple of times we met didn’t make an impression on him at all, as a matter of fact. But he was a bit of a legend in his own time and, unlike a lot of far less talented people I’ve met, he wasn’t a legend in his own mind. That much was clear the moment you met him, he didn’t buy into the “Artist as Asshole” phenomenon.
I hate that particular phenomenon.
Regular readers will remember that not long ago I posted in this space about a benefit for Tom. The link to that post is here. Teri had told me recently that Tom was being moved into hospice care. That’s never good. People generally go into hospice care in order to peacefully move from this world into the next, not to return to the bloom of full health. Tom had apparently been given about 6 months, maybe less, as a prognosis.
The Early Music community here in Boston has been collectively holding its breath while Tom’s illness has been unfolding. He was not only a well respected performer here, he was also a teacher and friend to many. He was also just unfailingly nice.
Tom died on Saturday. And though I didn’t know him nearly as well as many, I still grieve for those who loved him, especially his lovely wife Lilli, the community of which he was a linchpin, and the rest of us who were touched by his presence.
There is a lovely post about his life here. I encourage you to read it. I do not know the author, I found the post by happenstance, but it is beautifully done.
“Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 5, Scene 2
Rest in Peace, Tom.
Kelly found an article recently that she knew would interest me.
One of the things about zombies that is commonly accepted within the genre is that they are dead and rotting.* And in the normal world, all dead flesh is eventually broken down and picked apart by Mother Nature, leaving only bones, which will also one day disappear. Everything from bacteria to bugs to birds to bears, all feast on whatever carrion they can find. And so one scientist finally asks, how would zombies fare in the real world? Pretty poorly, apparently. As the author puts it:
Relax. Next time you’re lying in bed, unable to fall asleep thanks to the vague anxiety of half-rotten corpses munching on you in the dark, remember this: if there was ever a zombie uprising, wildlife would kick its ass.
*There are notable exceptions. The zombies in films like 28 Days Later and Zombieland, as well as the zombies in the Left4Dead video games, are technically alive, but have been turned into rabid/feral monsters due to some nasty disease.
I try to not rant too often on our blog, because I prefer to talk about things that are interesting and beautiful and even uplifting. But sometimes I just feel compelled to do so because the absurdity and stupidity of something really gets to me. This is one of those times. So I ask your forgiveness as I indulge my anger a bit.
Continue reading “Denial, or where science and belief collide”
Geoff and I are still here. He’s under the weather and I’m recovering from a little surgery. It was minor and I was in and out of the hospital in under an hour. Geoff has a more long term GI issue and so he’s been feeling a bit down for a while. We’ll be back to our more regular posting soon.
As it happens with these things, Geoff and I were approved for Commonwealth Care. We picked Neighborhood Health Plan, paid our premiums, and promptly got screwed over in every way imaginable. Before you click through to read the rest, know this. This isn’t a screed against Obamacare or Socialized Medicine, I am a fan of those things. This is a screed against incompetent people, those who don’t want to do their jobs, and corporations that put their bottom line over the health of individuals and, in this case, possibly thousands of people.
Continue reading “Pneumonia”