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Rest easy, Sweet Angel

It’s been a little more than a week since my friend Kate passed away and I still can’t believe it. She was 30. She found out she had a rare kind of ovarian cancer in August. Just six months later—she was gone. It’s shocking and tragic because Kate was the eternal optimist; one of those people whose smile was infectious; who brought light wherever she went. She threw herself into whatever she was doing with joy and enthusiasm. She was selfless and supportive. She didn’t seem to have a drop of cynicism about her. Her spirit was wide-eyed and wondrous. Every single one of us who had the privilege of knowing Kate really just thought she was going to pull through. It didn’t seem possible that someone that radiant, so full of life, could succumb to cancer at all, let alone so quickly. She was one of the good ones. And now she’s gone.

Her death has wrecked me more than I expected. Probably because Kate was an angel on Earth and in these dark and uncertain times, we need people like her more than ever. In the wake of her absence, the force of her presence has emerged. Kate inspired people all over the world, their collective sadness overshadowed by the shock. And I know the grief I feel is only a shadow of what her parents and sister are feeling. A loss that never ends. Maybe it dims. But loss changes you. Forever.

It’s been a long year of loss, not just people lost to COVID, but ‘deaths of despair’ are also at record high numbers; overdose, suicide, depression and anxiety are all on the rise. There is the cost we see constantly in media—the number of COVID deaths—and the ones we do not. Even in the wake of someone’s death, there is little room for proper closure. Zoom goodbyes to loved ones in hospitals are barbaric. Zoom memorials are barren of the ability to comfort one another, reach out and hug someone who is breaking down. The stress our frontline workers have been under and the decisions they’ve had to make—and live with—will haunt them long after this moment has passed. Many of the ripple effects on small businesses we won’t even know about until we go to our favorite store and it’s gone—but every one of those businesses represents sweat, blood, tears and a dream, now gone.

Almost everyone I know, for one reason or another, is grieving. I see this playing out in our virtual spaces. The process isn’t linear so millions of people, in our little bubbles, are projecting rage, denial, bargaining, depression and our collective coping mechanism, memes, into the world. Myself included. Grieving the loss of a way of life. Grieving lost potential. Lost loved ones. In the midst of all of this—our institutions are crumbling around us. It’s easy to look around and say “what’s the point?” But don’t give into despair. Old towers crumbling gives way to new ideas. Fresh life. Rebirth.

Kate’s smile lit up a room. She gave you her full presence and attention. She made the world better wherever she went. She was selfless and thoughtful and even when things were getting bad and she was staring down her mortality, she just wanted to listen to your dumb, petty problems or talk about boys.

Her death has given me a lot to think about. How fleeting this all is. How precious. How we really have no idea how much time we have—and how much of it I squander. Most importantly, how will I use the time I have? Kate’s benevolence was a reminder that meaning doesn’t come from asking what we can get out of life—but what we can give to it. Kate gave us her all. I will miss her dearly. Rest easy, sweet Angel.

Love to you all,

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Live Streamed on March 9, 2023 11:07 PM ET
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Hello new followers, I hope I don’t disappoint you. I want this place to feel like home, where we can escape the Thunderdome and process the world. Where we can post dog pics and recipes and book recommendations. Where we support each other as we get sober, lose weight, embark on new business opportunities, creative endeavors, relationships and travels. I want this to be your oasis of sanity and laughter in an increasingly mad world. A creative outlet where you can share your spirit with us.

We might not have any control over the news cycle—but we can control our habits and attitude. It all starts with us. And hopefully a little piece of that will start here.

Hey hey! Just catching up with you lovely people and your posts. My life has been effing CRAZY. Still smoking cannabis, unfortunately. But otherwise it's all good. So good. I hope you're all well. I'll be snarking up your comment sections more regularly again. 💜

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March 24 - Bizarro World
What struck me as strange was the realization that my audience or fans (I’m not comfortable with that term) or you the person reading this post—know more about me than my good “friends.”

Describe a bizarre experience you had recently.

Two times this week I had the bizarre experience of getting in touch with an old friend and sending them a picture of my daughter and having them respond with, “Who is that?” To which I responded, “She is my daughter!”

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March 23 - Local Flavor
And the floats, oh the floats! There were floats? Apparently there were and you won't believe your eyes when you see the creative and colorful displays in your photos the next day.

Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

If you're looking for a grand St. Paddy's Day parade experience, look no further than Newport, Rhode Island.

Now, let me tell you, Newport knows how to celebrate like the Irish. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and if you want the truly local experience, you’ll already be on your way to blacking out by the time the streets are lined with green-clad revelers ready to paint the town green (with vomit.)

Image taken from the Marshall Slocum Inn website.

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March 22 - Stranded
There are rivers to sit by in Prague—or lakes in Chicago—or beaches to go visit in Barcelona.

You’re stranded in a foreign city for a day with no money and no friends. Where do you go; what do you do?

Oh I’ve been here before—this isn’t even theoretical. First of all, it depends on the city but the absolute best way to get to know any city is to start walking. So if I was in a city with no money or friends, I would just start exploring. You can easily look up a walking tour of any city online if you’re someone who needs more structure and wants to take in some architecture and history.

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