May 31, 2006

140/365, Steve

Steve was like my evil twin in high school. Both redheads, similar body styles, he was as dark and brooding as I was positive and upbeat. Ten years after I realized he'd spent two years trying to steal my girlfriend.

Posted by dwaber at 11:05 AM

May 30, 2006

139/365, Larry

Larry is a professional salesman who calls people "Tiger" when he can't remember their names and seems to be the paradoxically proud owner of a congenital lack of sincerity. His pep talks close with the hush of the collective "woo."

Posted by dwaber at 11:49 AM

May 29, 2006

138/365, Paul

Paul always drove the biggest car money could buy, and drove it like an MG, because to him, it was. When he was in the Air Force he drove B-36s and B-52s. He was the very definition of ramrod straight.

Posted by dwaber at 12:45 PM

May 28, 2006

137/365, Ken

Ken was the kid who got picked last when others were choosing up sides. He was built like the Michelin Boy, ran like a girl, and had an awkward smile that only occasionally indicated hurt. His clothes smelled slept in.

Posted by dwaber at 12:50 PM

May 27, 2006

136/365, Katey

Katey was a kind of a social strange attractor. She herself wasn't all that interesting to many of her friends (to hear them tell it), though she was a friend to a group of people who were each wildly interesting.

Posted by dwaber at 12:37 PM

May 26, 2006

135/365, Andy

Andy came back from culinary school calling everyone "Buh-bie" and making disastrous cream of lettuce soups. He could dice though. Keeping my mouth shut and ears open I got paid to get most of the education he'd paid for.

Posted by dwaber at 11:26 AM

May 25, 2006

134/365, Glenn

Glenn had been cooking longer than I'd been alive. He made the world's best New England clam chowder. When I noticed that I'd never seen him have a bowl of it he shuddered and said, "Yeelch, can't stand the stuff."

Posted by dwaber at 11:20 AM

May 24, 2006

133/365, Wick

Wick was my first college roommate. For one semester we didn't have a meaningful conversation about anything more interesting than schedules. We did share "ugh" glances waking up every single morning to our neighbor's stereo playing "Fantasy" by Aldo Nova.

Posted by dwaber at 11:12 AM

May 23, 2006

132/365, Jason

Jason is the kind of friend who won't blink if you say, "I need 5 million unique images to underlie 5 million unique typographical arrangements of the same text, on transportable media." He'll say "Pregenerated or done on the fly?"

Posted by dwaber at 11:38 AM

May 22, 2006

131/365, Dan

Dan helped me buy my first car (a Toyota Corolla SR5 with a moonroof!), and was the first hardcore computer (multiple TRS-80s) and consumer electronics (video disk, and projection TV) geek I ever knew (but certainly not the last).

Posted by dwaber at 11:42 AM

May 21, 2006

130/365, Madelaine

Madelaine was the quintessential Italian mother. If she heard us come in late, she'd come downstairs, ask if we were hungry, and then (regardless of our answer) make pizza or mostaccioli from scratch (even the dough or pasta) for us.

Posted by dwaber at 12:54 PM

May 20, 2006

129/365, Mike

Mike was the senior captain of the varsity hockey team the year I was freshman captain of the junior varsity. He was found in early February, passed out, inside his car, parked on a lake's thick ice, frozen to death.

Posted by dwaber at 01:20 PM

May 19, 2006

128/365, Pete

Pete was my high school girlfriend's mostly away-at-college older brother. He was a big boy (like professional football player big) and still growing. He once ate an entire sandwich-sliced Krakus ham in a less than a day.

Posted by dwaber at 12:19 PM

May 18, 2006

127/365, Catherine

Catherine is passionate and pigheaded, tough, smart and a real ballbusting crazymaker. She conducts herself as if her job was at the center of an unstable system with the power to change thousands kids' lives for the better. She's right.

Posted by dwaber at 12:25 PM

May 17, 2006

126/365, Bill

Bill and I clicked from the first minute flying stunt kites together although (or because) our life experiences were otherwise radically different. On the way to becoming a best friend ever our freetime schedules stopped meshing. We lost all connection.

Posted by dwaber at 12:16 PM

May 16, 2006

125/365, Geof

Geof is my voice double, or, as my grandfather might have put it, he sounds enough like my brother to be me. A guy who wouldn't blink at documenting the way he documents his documents (even the ones about documenting).

Posted by dwaber at 12:09 PM

May 15, 2006

124/365, Robin

Robin believes, like I do, that you don't make the determination of "are we at fault?" based on how much it will cost to fix. A company is no less liable for fixing expensive mistakes than for fixing cheap ones.

Posted by dwaber at 12:16 PM

May 14, 2006

123/365, Javier

Javier took it as a personal affront to his manhood every time any other car on the highway would attempt to pass his car. He'd pound on the gas pedal and cuss a blue streak until he regained the lead.

Posted by dwaber at 12:23 PM

May 13, 2006

122/365, Stephanie

Stephanie just needs to dial it back a notch. Okay, two notches. She's damned good at what she does (if a little inflexible), but you can't yell (even praise) at people and expect them to take it the right way.

Posted by dwaber at 12:22 PM

May 12, 2006

121/365, Charlotte

Charlotte had been cooking at the club longer than I'd been alive. As her new supervisor I had to be the one to instruct her to please not lick her fingers before and after she checked cooking meats for doneness.

Posted by dwaber at 11:48 AM

May 11, 2006

120/365, Steve

Steve was the impeccably dressed manager at the restaurant Corporate sent managers on the way up, or on the way down (the employees really ran the place). His professional tact: Kim, you smell, take a shower before you come back.

Posted by dwaber at 11:54 AM

May 10, 2006

119/365, Karen

Karen has everything anyone could want. A storybook home, a lush garden, a beautiful daughter, a husband, a love of her life, a talent for poetry, a past to draw from, a future worth anticipation. The pieces, somehow, don't fit.

Posted by dwaber at 11:28 AM

May 09, 2006

118/365, James

James has mastered the art of doing just enough work to fly under the radars that locate employees who are candidates for more responsibility either because they're overachievers or are underachieving. His thinks "the nail that sticks up, gets pounded."

Posted by dwaber at 11:21 AM

May 08, 2006

117/365, Mischelle

Mischelle seems like she's sort of tumbling through life in a slowly failing effort to keep any more of it from tumbling through her. Poetry is the facet of stabilization I would want extended, at the expense of the others.

Posted by dwaber at 01:11 PM

May 07, 2006

116/365, John

John paints two kinds of pictures: the eerily good home run and the sadly ill-advised strikeout. Nothing in between. The good news is, he takes a lot of swings. The bad news is his bat is a wine bottle.

Posted by dwaber at 01:10 PM

May 06, 2006

115/365, Conor

Conor can make a believable world from construction paper, a branch, a brass lamp, some actors, a script and puppets. There radiates from him the good kind of charm that verbs the world around him more than it adjectives himself.

Posted by dwaber at 01:09 PM

May 05, 2006

114/365, Kristen

Kristen was the first true artist I ever met. Her family moved to our area in 8th grade and she was already doing brilliant mixed media work involving nailing altered dolls to plywood sheets. Powerful and haunting work, even today.

Posted by dwaber at 01:09 PM

May 04, 2006

113/365, Chaz

Chaz can run a workshop, but is a lousy attendee. Imagine Bowser from ShaNaNa, only older, fatter, shorter, grayer, and balder. Now hear him mash, immediately after that first poem by the imported workshop leader: It's really about fucking, right?

Posted by dwaber at 12:05 PM

May 03, 2006

112/365, John

John slept in his mother's bed too long, if you ask me. No one asked me, I only got told about it. I saw him recently and they were right not to ask me, he's become a genuinely complete person.

Posted by dwaber at 12:03 PM

May 02, 2006

111/365, Doug

Doug is one of a half dozen people who can be considered local supersupporters of the arts. He teaches, attends, performs (brilliantly) in a range of styles, promotes, and encourages. I've never heard him say a bad word about anyone.

Posted by dwaber at 12:12 PM

May 01, 2006

110/365, Craig

Craig was a couple years older than me and was my best friend until I moved from Minnesota to Chicago. He had a brother my age who seemed younger. His family was so into archery they even went bow fishing.

Posted by dwaber at 12:06 PM