Monday, May 25, 2009

the thin blue line

memorial day. a day set aside to commemorate the men and women who have given their lives in defense of our country. while the commonly observed U.S. memorial day memorializes soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and other members of the U.S. military who have fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy, another yearly day of memorial is celebrated by the hundreds of thousands of warriors who go to war HERE every day to uphold and protect those same freedoms.
may 15th is national peace officer memorial day and is a day when the 800,000 U.S. law enforcement officers (and countless others from foreign agencies) honor those among us who have served and fallen. each year, the NLEOMF (National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund) sponsors a week of activities, ceremonies, and seminars, commonly called "Police Week," in washington, d.c. which focuses on the fallen officers, their families, and their coworkers.
for me, the police fraternity has supplanted (for the most part) my own biological family and my emotions and loyalties run deep with what has come to be known as "the blue brotherhood." each year since i became a police officer (way back in 2003) i have made the trek to the national memorial in d.c. and have paid my respects to my fallen brothers and sisters. last year was the first time in 6 years that i didn't get to go (because i was in another academy here in the springs) and it hurt me deeply to have to miss it. fortunately, the stars aligned this year and i made it back east for at least part of the festivities.

i selflessly braved sleep deprivation and alcohol poisoning to make it there and back in a 4 day window but i reunited once again with my east coast colleagues and likewise with the spirit of the memorial week. it's a great time. in a lot of ways, it's like a week-long wake. there's camaraderie, sharing of stories, bearing of secrets, purging of guilts, and lots and lots of the police officer's stress reliever of choice, alcohol. sparing the gory's always a bittersweet event for me. i always leave there with a better understanding of the job we do and of myself in general. i get intensely emotional (even now as i write this) and really connect with that intangible link that joins all police officers as family.

the one event that especially wrecks me every year is the candlelight vigil. the family metaphor is punctuated by the hundreds of officers standing shoulder to shoulder around the fallen officer's memorial sharing the flame from a central candle lighted in remembrance of officers killed in the line of duty and the observance of a bright blue laser beam cast skyward representing "the thin blue line" that all members of the police profession comprise. i'm going to need a amongst yourselves....
for ALL of the warriors who have fought and fallen...

shedding a tear,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

on easy decisions

amidst all the weighty things we routinely have to toil over from day to day, every once in a while we get to enjoy the respite of a truly easy decision. i was recently visited by two such easy choices. the first came after i hastily pledged to my lady friend that i would abstain from alcoholic beverages for the entire duration of her pregnancy/nursing. (clearly a case of my chivalry galloping off with my logic before i could do the math that it would be almost two years without beer!) the problem is that there were several bottles of unique microbrews including Rogue's Hazelnut Nectar and Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre still left in the fridge from before i learned of our impending critter. so here's the easy decision: my aforementioned lady friend said, "you'll have to drink them or give them away." i tried not to knock her over getting to the bottle opener.
the other easy decision spawned from my recent research regarding vegan-friendly fast food places. through various vegan blogs and forums on the web, i learned that certain configurations of ingredients at both little caesar's and papa john's will render them vegan-friendly. so a couple weeks ago on a snowy thursday, i had to make the choice...still true to PJ's after all these years :-)

hoping YOU get some easy ones soon too,



i've already broken my no-alcohol pledge...badly. progress, not perfection *sheepish grin*

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the world may never be the same....mine certainly won't

that, folks, is a bean. this is a picture of a 6 week old bean in my lady-friend's belly that i helped create (on purpose even!). first seeing those fateful litmus lines and then hearing the doctor confirm, "yep, it's in there.," brought my world skidding to a standstill and simultaneously kicked it into an exponentially higher gear.
what happens now? according to every parent out there, life changes. now that i've had about three months to get used to the idea of being a father, i've started to really contemplate what it actually means to be a parent and ponder exactly HOW this little peanut is going to change me and us.

will i be more mature (i sure hope not!)? will we be better with our finances? will i learn to iron properly? will i acquire those mysterious "dad" skills like being able to pull coins out of ears, untying any conceivable knot, making skinned knees less painful, deftly pulling splinters from careless appendages, making the best weekend-morning breakfasts, and knowing the answer for every possible question? will i be able to tone down my potty-mouth? will mama and i be more steadfast and united with things like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and baby-related chores? will i learn any magic tricks? what songs will i lean to play on the guitar to pacify the little monster? will we be able to find a Punisher t-shirt for the baby? what is an appropriate age for baby's first tattoo? will my juggling skills improve? will i be able to find a diaper bag that holds all the baby's accoutrements AND my pistol?

the coming months will undoubtedly hold many more questions but i'm really comfortable with the laissez-faire approach and learn-as-we-go outlook that mama and i have. i'm sure the structure will build itself as necessary and that despite it all, our little person will be twice as incorrigible as mama and myself :-)

i'm already swelling with love and pride and joy and hope and excitement and a zillion other emotions that are growing in strength, depth, and complexity every day and i can scarcely wait to pour all those feelings out on our little bean.

i welcome all perspectives and comments and advice and will do my best to keep you posted as the due date approaches. in the meantime, i've got songs to learn and magic tricks to practice...


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

natural selection is shitty sometimes

y'all know that i try not to bring things from my work life here into the blogosphere but sometimes things are just too good to pass up. one such monumentally stupid thing occurred and i had to share with you.

i was sent to the hospital to meet with a man who had been at a party and had ingested a caustic liquid at the urging of other partygoers. this unfortunate soul was dared to drink a shot glass of ammonia and, as any self-respecting reveler would, he did it.
i was speaking with the attending ER doc who was explaining the procedure for putting this humpty dumb-ass back together again and learned that they were going to have to remove most of the patient's esophagus and replace it with a section of his colon. then, with an emotionless delivery, the doctor said candidly, "That guy's breath is going to smell like shit for the rest of his life." thinking he was joking, i laughed. the doctor turned to me and said, with that same deadpan delivery, "That wasn't a joke."


i told you natural selection was shitty,