Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Well this is really embarrassing to admit. Not only do I butcher the English language when writing (eg. to vs. too, by vs. buy, you're vs. your, effect vs. affect). But I also mispronounce words. For instance today, I learned that cumin is a spice for Mexican dishes. I was wondering if it was really needed in chili and was advised not to exclude it. Well when my wife came home, I said I had to run to the store to buy some cumin but I was pronouncing it come-in. Well she quickly corrected me and I even looked it up to make sure she was right, and yes, I was way off. It is actually pronounced KUH-mihn. So thankfully, I knew where the spices are stocked and did not ask the grocery lady where the cumin was located. I could have been arrested!!!
I have also misused words because of my German mom. She used to always use the phrase "chew them down" when referring to the act of bargaining. Now I really hope that was the phrase she was using. Well this year at the ripe old age of 42, I learned no one says "chew them down" but instead uses the derogatory phrase "Jew them down." I was mortified. I mentioned it to my cube mate and he said he was always shocked I used the phrase since it wasn't Christianish. But I found out I am not alone. A friend from Indiana used the same phrase.
So if I have ever been offensive it's due to my German heritage.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tonight I received horrible news. Recently I made contact with an old fraternity brother, Zane, who was a blast to be around. We both had an AG background but at the time we were pledging a fraternity and pretty much just being stupid. However, a bond was formed and when it came to naming my son just 7 years later, I chose Zane as his middle name rather than giving him my name - okay Judy was not going for Stephan Zane. I really liked him and also thought the name was a cool California name rather than a Western novelists name (Zane Grey).
I googled him this summer and found his facebook site. We shot a few messages back and forth on facebook and found out he was here in Oklahoma for the Summer. I called him twice and left dorky a messages on his phone like "give me the creed pledge" or something like that. I never heard back so figured he moved back to the Northeast.
Today I receive a facebook message wanting to know if I was Zane's friend and that I should call or message back at my earliest oppertunity. I just figured it was someone trying to track him down and was planning on calling Zane before giving information out. After a few messages back and forth, I read this "Steve, Zane passed away early yesterday morning. He was hit by a car and died instantly." It was gut wrenching and right now I am wishing it was just a sick story.
I called her up on the way to pick up my son from church. I was supposed to take my Josh Zane to get something to eat but I am just driving aimlessly around our city talking randomly about memories. I told her how he used to open his wallet and start showing pictures of his family and then come to a picture of Elvis and say "this is my dad." Man it was cheesy and I would just laugh. We would do stupid stuff to pledges but more in a fun, relief way as opposed to harsh treatment. I plan to scan old pictures to show you some of the stuff. Hope I can find them soon.
The last time I remember seeing him would have been in the fall of 1990. He took a hop into Tinker AFB and I hauled him and my pregnant wife down to Ada to hit our old stomping grounds. Judy you're a saint for going along.
Since then we maybe interacted only two or three times until recently.
Our last "conversation" saved on FacebookThat pretty much was the end. Just a few days ago I checked his profile out because someone tagged him in pictures.
Me (Aug 3): "Hey is this Zane from...East Central University. If so, man how have you been doing?"
Zane: "Oh my god. I was looking for you last week. All over the internet. Oh my god. Wow."
Me: "Cool. Did I ever tell you that my son's middle name is Zane. I am so glad to find you but did not think you would be on the East Coast. We're still in Oklahoma but did two assignments in Europe" [noticed I had to slip Germany in the convo]
Z: "Brother, I'm in Edmond for the summer! I'm here now."
I was so happy to get back in contact with him and so wish I would have called, e-mailed, and messaged him more so I could have seen him before he passed away. Now I just sit her stunned, waiting to hear news of where his funeral is and paying my respects. Would have loved coffee at Starbucks, reminiscing about old times, and sharing new stories.
PHI KAPPA TAU
The mission of Phi Kappa Tau is to champion a lifelong commitment to brotherhood, learning, ethical leadership, and exemplary character.
I MISS YOU MY PLEDGE BROTHER AND SO WISH I WOULD HAVE KEPT OUR TIES STRONG. REGRET SUCKS!
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