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27 February 2009 @ 08:46 pm
Okay, so I'm not the most dependable poster on the planet. Or even in the top ten. Or the top 2 million.
Life over here has been remarkably interesting. I work for an electric utility, which is as close to a safe job as one can have. As I keep telling my staff: "Congratulations on having found a nice safe bunker from where you can watch the rest of the world burn down," which is only a part-exaggeration.
Thanks to the collapsing labor market I was able to hire some people so I'm now fully staffed: five smart people to do my  bidding. It's a good number: at my last company I had 21 reporting to me and that was no fun whatsoever. Particularly since half of them were insane. Okay, 60%.

The work continues to be interesting, and I've become quite good at convincing skeptical executives of obscure mathematical points. I like my boss, I like my colleagues and I like the paycheck, so I'm a lucky man.

Meanwhile, at home: the missus is in the middle of some ghastly dental work that will take months to complete, but she's holding up well. We've acquired a new cat (#4) who just appeared in our back yard as a 10-week kitten. He's now a homicidal nutcase of 6 months. If anyone remembers the cat that stayed over at Steve's in Twickenham for a few months (Mad Max, Steve called him), that's pretty close.

The back yard continues to attract wildlife. In the evenings we get raccoons (3) and possums (3-4) for which we leave large amounts of food out. Raccoons are new to me (as are possums, which look like the world's biggest rats), and they're handsome animals, with delicate black fingers. They do actually dip their food in water, so a bowl of water is right next to the bowl of grapes/cat food. One even left a hand-print on our window.

Enough for now. I'm well, if old. (HOLY CRAP, I'M 50!).
01 March 2008 @ 08:28 pm
As friends living in different countries, I only got to enjoy Steve's company in frustratingly small doses. When we became friends living on different continents the doses became nonexistent: the last time I saw him was in 1998, when I worked in the City for 3 weeks as part of a clever scheme to work in the USA legally. I was staying in a hotel in Chelsea and we managed to meet twice, and he narrowly missed meeting my then girlfriend (now wife) when she came to visit me. Since then, a few emails and..*poof* 10 years go by and he's dead. Fuck.

My Better Half believes that we are fundamentally unable to internalize death, and as a result we don't deal with it very well, nor are we ever prepared to deal with it when it happens to someone. What do you mean, Steve's gone? No! I don't want that...

I've wracked my brain trying to remember where Steve and I first met, and I reluctantly conceded it might have been through the X-Men Fanclub *repressed shudder* and if so, that makes up for all the other horrors that particular organization spawned. We met, talked, became friends, visited each other in our respective countries as often as possible.

I won't even go into all the things that made him such a wonderful human being. If you knew him at all, you already know. If you don't then you don't. I've been reading the many tributes and obits written by other friends of Steve and we've all had the same wonderful experiences knowing him.

There are some private memories of Steve that I cherish - long raving discussions of Hugo Pratt, Steve's first visit to Lambiek in Amsterdam, his wonderful "Gang of Five" one-pager he tossed off one visit to Hilversum, the two abortive projects we discussed together...

Maybe one day I'll actually finish "The Hidden God." If I do, I'll dedicate it to Steve.

Fuck. No. I don't want this...