Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Am I going to have to eat herbs?

Steve Jobs died today. Cancer doesn't care who you are. I, as well as everybody in design, owe him a big favor because he showed the world that design matters. If used correctly, design can be more than just an aesthetic pleasure. It can change everything and anything.

I've gotten lucky the last two times Icame ro New York. About a month ago, I happened on a good deal for a hotel in the downtown area of Manhatten. The cab driver pulls up to the hotel and across the steeet was some kind of busy construction project. I go up to the lobby and holy cow, thar's Ground Zero. The hotel overlooked Groumd Zero. My room overlooked Ground Zero. I could barely sleep.

A month later, today, I weasled my way into another downtown hotel deal. This was on Wall Street. I'm in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street protests. I went down to take a look at it. I gotta say, there is an aweful lot of earth tones down there. A lot of wool, too. It smelled of a college dorm and looked like a college lecture just got out. There are a couple hundred youngsters and lots of police people. The people are yelling stuff. The police aren't. I decided to chime in and I yelled too. I screamed, "My underwear is riding up my ass!" And, "Let's hear it for 100% Cotton!" Only some people cheered me on but I think they were French tourists.

I don't care what anybody says. These protests aren't about the inequalities in our economic system. No, this protest is wholly and solely the result of the Grateful Dead. You see, if the Grateful Dead were still touring, all these young people who look like the haven't showered in a few weeks would be spending their time enjoying the confusing riffs of the Dead. They'd be doing the white guy dance, chewing on some mushrooms and then talking about the waning influence of the middle class in our economic and political lives. I usually picture a teepee, too. I never understood the attraction but my friend Sarah somehow enjoyed the Bands sounds. There's no Grateful Dead now. Where are you Gerry Garcia?

I see Dr O'Connor tommorrow. My run with this treatment is about up. My gut hurts. I'm itching more. I have lump on my boob. I don't have a plan B. I wanted to go to Houston but now I'm not so sure if I even can get into the trial. I'm getting tired. Unlike most cancer heads, I've never really had a remission period. It's hard to wake up, notice that you feel like crap and realize that oh yeah, I have cancer. I'm doing that everyday. A rough count puts me and cancer reintroducing ourselves to each other for about a thousand mornings now.

Every time someone with cancer dies, I do something I'm not very proud of. I count the years they struggled with it and compare myslf with that hoping to go as long. Steve Jobs went almost eight years with his monster but he went to Switzerland and ate nothing bit herbs for a while. I'm only butting up to year four. It would be incredible if I went as long as Steve Jobs. I hope I don't have to eat herbs, though.

One other thing, being down here allowed me to see the grave of my hero, Alexamder Hamilton. He was the father of our economy. He made sure our dollar was worth something. He forsaw the intricacies of interstate commerce. He led a bayonett charge in the last major battle of the war. He wrote most if not all of President George Washington's speeches and with him, helped forge a brand new society. Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton fought over what type of country this should be. Jefferson wanted a country of gentlemen farmers with a weak and non-existent federal government. Jefferson won, for awhile. After the Civil War, the country slowly but surely tilted all the way toward Hamilton. He is most likely the only Founding Father who foresaw what we are today. He was an orphan who ran a trading company at nine years old. At thirteen, he was turned down by Princeton because he told the dean he wanted to finish college in three years. Only being thirteen years old, the Dean thought he was crazy. Almost as admirable in my mind is how he was human. He was very vain. His son died in college after he was challenged to a duel, a fight over his father. You would think he would stay away from duels but he didn't and died as well, at the hands of Aaron Birr (even after he shot his bullet into a tree). Yes, he was vain and he did cheat on his wife one time. But I compare that with his rival, Jefferson, who owned slaves and betrayed Washington. I'll take Big Al. It was cool seeing his gravesite. Sad, too. I was so inspired to be so close to his actual body. But then I heard about Steve Jobs. I hate, hate, hate death.

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