The Holyfield Knot by Tony Miller

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: #BecausePGH, Firsts, Friends, Rules of Etiquette, Too Long For Twitter

I’ve seen and heard some amazing kindnesses demonstrated in honor of Patrick (P.G.) Holyfield since his fight with cancer began and ended in August.

I’m hand-picking this one specific kindness from Tony Miller to share, because it’s loving, touching, thoughtful and dignified. It’s so Tony. It’s so Patrick G. Holyfield.

And it’s something anyone can do to pay tribute, too, if you ever feel the urge or miss him or another wonderful man on any given tie-appropriate occasion.

Now, for background, Tony is a wonderful guy, a member of my own little Con(vention) Family and someone I am always thrilled to see because of the fond memories and also because of the way P.G. introduced him for the first time, as a trusted friend. That carries a lot of weight with me, as P.G. knew.

If you are also a friend of Tony’s, you know that he has a new job –teaching! Tony, I’ve already sent my congratulations to you, but I don’t know if I told you that I hated you couldn’t be one of our kids’ teachers. Even with the harm you cause shrubbery, you are an amazing person that I think would be a wonderful person for future leaders to learn from. You never cease to amaze me by breaking down stereotypes of men in general, but in particular, men from the south, except for the one about them being chivalrous.

Lately, Tony shares a new treat with us — frequent (daily?) photos or a demonstration video of knot ties he has learned, as well as those he is crafting himself. It’s very spiffy and the knots he makes are almost as awesome as the expressions he makes*.  I love the series and hope he continues it. I have sons that need to know these things!

As a long-time friend of P.G.’s. He recently named a special tie-knot after him. One that Tony himself created and then demonstrated how to do-it-yourself, by posting a video on Youtube.

This week begins three public events (see below) being held in honor of our dear dear friend, author and immensely lovable example of human kindness, P.G. Holyfield. And knowing Tony Miller and P.G.’s friendship to be genuine and reciprocal and stretching over years, this is overwhelmingly poignant and touching for this gal**, but as my own showing of respect for this and so many other kindnesses, I am hoping to master this knot myself for at least one of these events, using a scarf or ribbon. please take time to learn and wear this creation of PG’s longtime friend, Tony Miller, anytime you choose.

I’m personally asking for those interested to share in this tribute by posting pix of themselves wearing it. Please tag P.G. and Tony, as I’m sure they will bring comfort to those that are and will always be, missing P.G. and continuing to check his social media pages because, what else can you do?

At a later date, if enough pictures are sent donning the knot, they will be posted to the Memorial Page that will be polished and shared with content soon.

You will need to submit photos to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com to be included in that or any other public honoring of him.

Love you, Tony <3

*Most people look staged in similar poses, but Tony’s look genuinely awkward or humble. Not fake or staged, even if they are.

**Literally overwhelming. It’s taken me days to write and hit ‘Publish’ on this post.

Information on the Tributes:

Wednesday, 10/8 at 9pm – Online Vid Tribute from The Beyond the Wall crew:

On Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 9pm Eastern, the Beyond the Wall crew will be recording a live podcast show in which we will bid farewell to our good friend, P.G. Holyfield.

There is also an in-person gathering and aMemorial Service occurring on Oct 11th and 12th, respectively.

If you would like to attend one or both of those events, please check the links on this post atSpecFicMedia.com.

Of course, we understand that not everyone will be able to attend in person.

For so many, these podcasts are how they knew him.

So, the show on Wednesday the 8th will be a way for us, and for you, to express your feelings about this man, who brought so many people together.

We on the crew will be sharing our feelings and memories, but, we would also like to hear from you. If you have words, audio or video that you would like to share, please email it to us at BTW@SpecFicMedia.com.

Even if you have already sent something, please re-send it if you would like it to appear on this show. If you would like to send something that is just for family or any other private audience, please indicate this in your email.

And of course, if you are reading this too late or are just unable to put your feelings together before we record, please send anyways.

Also, please help us boost the signal, both for this announcement and the show event links that will follow, so that everyone that would like to can participate.

P.G. Holyfield founded a great community at SpecFicMedia, but now his watch has ended.

Our watch continues and so we will carry on our sacred duty, which is to talk about things we love – and people that we love – with all of you.

Thank you, from your friends at SpecFicMedia.com.

Saturday: A Casual Gathering and A Celebration of Life in Honor of Patrick G. Holyfield

October 11th from 6 pm – 10 pm – Come and go as you are available

Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC
9605 N Tryon St Suite A, Charlotte, North Carolina 28262

Chooch and I will be hosting an informal gathering in Charlotte on Saturday, (October 11th), at The Flying Saucer. (It’s a craft brew honoring restaurant, that we’ve enjoyed with P.G. in the past.)

The official time is from 6 – 8 pm, when we are guaranteed use of the private room. If our numbers dwindle, we may move to a large table or we may be allowed to stay in the private room. They have been wonderfully accommodating and will do their best for us.

There will be self-pay dining and libation offerings in mid-price range

A brief video of memories from Chooch and I including some favorite Con(vention) Family will be available for viewing at any time. Otherwise, come as you are able as you arrive from other destinations or to spend the time together. We hope to highlight P.G., our friendship and shared world with him, in the podcasting and convention realms.

This will be a celebration of life, his life, and our con family experiences with him, but also a place for those that wish for grieving and remembrance, as well.

If you have ideas for this celebration of his life, please make pledges of time or assistance, please send to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com.

If you have pix or vid clips you love of PG, please send to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com, for possible inclusion in the video we are hoping to complete. (Time constraints.)

Also, if you are local and available to assist, please let me know at the above email to coordinate with needs for this unexpected gathering/weekend.

 

Sunday: The Memorial Service in honor of Patrick G. Holyfield

Sunday, at 12pm – Embassy Suites Banquet Room located at 4800 S. Tryon St (near Charlotte Douglas Airport–they will have shuttle service).

A special room block and rate have been reserved and is available until Oct. 5 at 4pm. Call the hotel at 704-527-8400 and use PHM as the code for the rate. 

Please forward any written sentiments, photos, audio or video you would like to make a part of my tribute to me (Kim AKA The Trustee) at kim@pghct.org.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and contributions. I truly look forward to seeing or hearing from all of you, either next week or in the future.

Kim

Health Blahs Update (in great detail)

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Dizzy, Health, Mental, Rules of Etiquette

It’s taking me a very long to write this update, which started two weeks ago, I have initiated my one hour publish rule. Apologies for messiness, but I have to be consistent with … me.

A follow-up with my Rheumatologist resulted in her halting the one month try of a weekly pain patch, Butrans. The increase in my already frequently present symptoms were misery-inducing, after it’d been on four or five days. I joked, with a nervous laugh, “Here we go!” as I pulled off the used one and put on a fresh one. By the time I put on the fourth, I wanted to cry as I put it on.

It was misery in a 1 x 1″ -ish square. The constant high pain migraine, constant nausea, sporadic and spectacular vomiting (no there are NO pix. *shiver*), dizziness (yes, I’m already dizzy a large portion of my day. this was “stay low to the ground” dizziness.), fatigue (I call it my lead blanket) and generally feeling constantly wasted. I burned myself more, cut myself more, have more bruises and fewer eyebrows left because of my slow reaction time (long story. derp!) I quit driving completely, which has put an even greater burden on my husband. (saving throw by Housie Jen, who let me accompany her on a double shopping trip!).  I’m hoping that the next prescriptions lets that resume.

Now, these side effects are things I already was diagnosed with on the “Vestibular Migraines” list of symptoms almost four years ago. I think that’s what made it utterly debilitating. I would occasionally only get 4, maybe 5 hours a day where I was fully cognizant and able to interact my beyond our home, but I required at least one or two days for recovery.

The patch resulted in my being in a constant state of clumsy, bruised, confused, whiny, cranky and sometimes, downright evil. Eldest kindly me Snippy on a stressful day recently. (He was totally right, I really was. My mood was justified, especially with the amount of pain in play that day, but still I had to try and turn my mood around for him, Chooch and our niece. Definitely not their fault!) This was aggravated by my minimizing other medications that could have added to the relief for fear of becoming addicted or of overdosing because these are not the meds you want to mess up and take too often.

When we told her about the vomiting, my fave story being a vibrant purple splash of color (vanilla nutritional shake with blueberries blended in was SUPER purple!) that I left on the shoulder of I-95 south a week before, she laughed along with us, but remained concerned.  I assumed she’d want me to tough it out longer to see if I acclimate to it. And while the mild base of constant pain relief was nice, Dr. says it’s not good enough to offset the symptoms on the lowest possible dosage. But pain relief is pain relief, so I briefly argued that maybe my body needed more time to adapt. In the end, I gotta say, I loved ripping that damned thing off. Didn’t even make it to the car! *ow*

I’ve taken a break off the Butrans before starting the next daily. I needed a damned break from that stuff, the pain increase has been powerful. I’m starting the new daily tomorrow. Bracing for side effects, but as ever, I’m hopeful for relief that I can do long-term. I’ve also gotten a specially mixed lotion (PBJ for good insurance, $900 for 3 month supply of lotion, zero after insurance!) and a regimen change for a regular pain-breaker.

The self-imposed driving ban is going to be extended for at least a week or two after the start of it. I hope to regain being able to drive again. I miss driving and LOATHE inconveniencing Chooch, who already works extremely hard with a 3+ hour near-daily commute. He wants to stay home more than I want to go out, most times, but we have mastered compromise on such things.

So, the process of finding meds that can bring normalcy to my life continues, after my 4th anniversary last fall. And both my Neurologist (neuro issue wrangler) and Rheumatologist (Fibromyalgia wrangler) indicated that there will not likely be anything that fixes me. As in, no cure likely, ever. Frustration? Infinite and immeasurable. Time and money lost (health costs + lost income)? Infinite and immeasurable when compounded by things we’ve NOT been able to do for our sons and loved ones. Gratitude for my problems not being terminal and only being pain? Also, infinite and immeasurable.

It’s at this point that I wonder if I can ever effectively thank the people that have intentionally, unintentionally or specifically shown kindnesses to me since this started. It’s pretty depressing to go back to Square One with every med and track the results. There’s no progress on my health improvement, but I just have too many amazing people that I want to share experiences with. Or watch them strive and obtain their goals or grow their families (preferably both).  Or sit in a corner booth with someone and giggle over nothing worth mentioning and/or solve the world’s problems. And, guys, we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, there are so many games we have yet to play!

Whether I’ve known you 25 years (we gotta celebrate, Cindy!), 10 years ago, 6 years (Con Fam, you’ve never failed me!) or 2 weeks since we met.  Just, ya know, thanks. Good people make the bad days bearable and the good days drip with gold and sparkle like diamonds.

Namaste.

There’s No “App” For Pregnancy

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: /rant/, Rules of Etiquette, Too Long For Twitter
Unverified Tweet from Robin Williams that is circulating on Facebook.

Unverified Tweet from Robin Williams that is circulating on Facebook.

Let’s be clear, the Kardashian empire has not directly made a dime off of me. I have none of their celebrity endorsed products, nor do I seek out their shows. I have frequently questioned the impact of their behavior of girls and young women, and that of others on the covers of the same magazines.

And now, dammit, I have to speak out for one of them. Thanks a hell of a lot, Robin Williams.

Note: I haven’t verified that this image being circulated on Facebook is accurate. I am happy to volunteer the possibility that it could have been photoshopped. I’d rather write this explanation than go to his Twitter account and verify it, simply because it doesn’t matter if he did or if he didn’t.

Some ass decided to copy/paste it and share it. Because hey, it’s not only making fun of a woman for getting fat! It’s also poking fun at a media celebrity. A reality show celebrity. They’re fair game, right?!?

I say nay.

When there’s a baby on board, I believe that allowances should be made. The sheer fact that, whoever she is, I think she should be allowed leeway on a cray-cray flower patterned snug dress. It could have been a gift. It could have reminded her of a deceased beloved one’s garden. It could have been material made from pictures of a bouquet from her man congratulating her on the pregnancy. It could have been the only thing she could bring herself to wear as she left the house, knowing she’d get sliced and diced regardless of what she wore. Or maybe she’s dealing with the horrific changes to her body by trying to channel Mother Nature, being pregnant and all. Who the hell knows?

My point is, who the hell are we to judge what she’s covering her body with or how that body looks? If there is any time period when a human should be allowed to wear whatever the hell makes them happy, it’s people with terminal illnesses and pregnant women.

Period.

In both cases, there is shit going down in their bodies that would keep you up nights, terrified. In the case of pregnancy, the gestational host, err, I mean, the mother, faces tremendous changes to her body. In my experience, from head to toe.  Literally. My hair changed from waves to curls and my feet changed, widening along with other body parts that typically widen during pregnancy to accommodate the birth. I’m told this is common, which I think means that shoe stores need to increase their ratio of wide-to-average width shoes. (Am I right, ladies?!? …??? … No? … *hangs head* … I knew it.)

Lookit, whether we like her or not, she has chosen to grow a human. Inside of her. She is sustaining another life from within her body. She didn’t adopt. She didn’t hire a surrogate. If unplanned, she didn’t have an abortion. She’s created life and now she’s feeding herself and her baby, as pregnant women all over the world are encouraged to do.

Except for Kim Kardashian. She gets laughed at for gaining weight during a pregnancy. Clearly, the popular opinion is that she should have taken this opportunity — a heightened metabolism and another, separate life siphoning off calories and nutrition — to go on a crash diet, starving herself and her unborn child. All for the hope of gaining cheers of approval from the media and America for being back in a bikini 2 weeks after delivery, smiling at us from the cover of a magazine.

Silver lining? Since the baby would likely be in PICU, being kept alive by feeding tubes and a team of specialists, Ms. K will have plenty of time for tanning sessions and photo shoots.

Oh, and keep in mind, there are millions of young women that have grown up with Ms. Kardashian all over TV. Like it or not, they are learning. I wonder how many more young women will under-eat, rather than risk being called a fat ass, to the detriment of her child.

This is my one share of the picture and I don’t hate on anyway that has done so or will do so. If it were Tom Cruise, I’d have shared the hell out of his fat, pregnant ass. But since I don’t hate/idolize Ms. K, the first thing I thought of was something else that recently made the rounds of social media:

A post written by Geek God, Wil Wheaton, that was circulating in response to some cruelty a man with MS recently suffered, and included a Tweet quote from Joel Watson @hijinksensue:

“you make games and comics and books. They make comments.”

So, in this case, Ms. K is making a baby. And I say, comment away, World.

She’s gaining weight, but she’s also celebrating life.

She wins.

Rules of Etiquette, Lesson Five

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Friends, No Whining, Rules of Etiquette, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter

This one does not come from a Victorian essay or etiquette book. And it may not actually be a lesson in etiquette per se, but rather a lesson in paying attention to what you say and type.

Let’s just shorten this to “Own what you say.”

I think after the recent deluge of misquoting Martin Luther King Jr, it’s safe to say that folks are more likely to pull the “Retweet” or “Copy/Paste/Share” trigger than they are to checking to see if it’s a true quote before posting to their social media site of choice.

In case you are one of the lucky few to not know what I’m referencing, allow me to explain. Almost immediately after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s murder late Sunday night, the internet went crazy with opinions, thoughts and quotes. One of two (both now proven to be fake) quotes that was copied over and over and over and over in FB was:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” ~Martin Luther King Jr.”
~Copied from my sister’s FB page on Monday

We now know that only the ending was an actual quote from Dr. King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Very powerful stuff, although not distilled and specific enough to have likely gotten all the attention that it received. But I think it points to a more powerful issue. It’s so easy to podcast, Tweet and post on Facebook or on a blog, that I think words are starting to lose their power. How many times has someone said, “I remember what you (said/tweeted/posted) about (Issue XYZ),” and you have no recollection of it? I think people have a thought, instantly shout it into the abyss of the internet, and in many cases forget about it. As someone with over 33k tweets, I can assure you I doubt I can remember even 1% of what I’ve tweeted, retweeted and linked to.

And I don’t know that I think there’s anything particularly wrong about that. I’m deciding as I type this to contemplate that on another day, possibly in another blog. I just think we have to ensure that we OWN every statement we make, whether in meat space, Twitter, the blogosphere or anywhere else we express ourselves. Too often, people hide behind veils to give opinions, whether positive, invented, embellished or libelous.

Why not check a quote before retweeting it or copying it into your FB page? You’re on the internet already, the answer is just a few clicks away. I can’t even remember if I was one of those that retweeted it, but I can tell you that I take no joy in any man’s death, regardless of his crimes, so it is possible. If I did, I own that I shared without thought and I apologize. I, like many, need to think before I Tweet.

And as I read through various Dr. King quotes this morning, I came upon one that I really needed reminding of. Although I actively continue to embrace forgiveness* of those that have or continue to wrong me with lies and/or hurtful actions (intentional or unintentional), I also choose not to hate.

If that means I have to avoid current events to dodge the toxicity, so be it. There are more than enough people to rage in support or opposition to every issue, so I will bow out of conflict every chance I get. And no, you can’t make me argue that decision. 😛

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

~~~~~~
*Forgiveness is something I give constantly, although many of those I forgive will never hear me utter those words. The toxic nature of some people impact me too intensely. Besides, my words hold no value to them beyond twisting them to use as ammunition against me at a later time. Whether the hurt occurred a week ago or twenty years ago, there is typically no value of forgiveness for the transgressor, but it’s invaluable to the one that forgives.

Rules of Etiquette, Lesson Three

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Convention Attendance, Rules of Etiquette

As convention season is underway, this rule may be a timely one to share. Although it was originally intended for the theatre, I think it applies to panels as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is rude to whisper or talk during a performance. It is discourteous to the performers, and annoying to those of the audience around you, who desire to enjoy the entertainment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personally, I also consider texting and tweeting during a panel to be discourteous and distracting to both audience seated behind you and to those on the panel, with three exceptions.

  • Tweeting that you are in a panel, giving the name of it, and its location is a benefit to the panelists, unless done repeatedly.
  • Tweeting a photo from the panel can also be beneficial, unless done repeatedly.
  • If you plan on “live tweeting” as some do from the panel, this too can be beneficial to the panelists as it can bring others to the panel or serve as a nice touch afterward for the panelists to see what resonated. I would suggest not sitting in the front rows, however. The panelists, if like me, tend to feed off of the energy of the audience.

In addition, I don’t think it serves anyone if an audience member takes over the conversation during a panel. Meaning, unless questions are requested, you should just listen. If you have a question or opinion, raise your hand at the appropriate time and make what you say concise. Remember, the rest of the audience came to share in the information from the panelists, and it can easily turn into a situation where the panelists are unable to continue the conversation because of an audience member with a firmly held opinion that is being voiced.

Again, these are my rules as I’ve developed them over the years and other panelists may feel completely different.

Opinions from panelists? Opinions from audience members?

Many thanks for the read. I look forward to seeing if there are comments on this one.

Rules of Etiquette, Lesson Two

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Rules of Etiquette

This series of posts was inspired by my discovery of Victorian rules of etiquette. The following is a rule concerning calling cards, and when to share them. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, they are similar to business cards, but are used by individuals. A husband and wife would have their own calling cards, and there were strict guidelines to be followed in their distribution to avoid a social faux pas.

Although we no longer use calling cards at social occasions, having hosted many parties through Evite, I found this one to be relevant to today’s world:

“Calls should be paid within a week after the receipt of invitations to a dinner party.”

In those days, your calling card would serve as your R.S.V.P., with a note explaining your acceptance or rejection of the event in the form of a courteous explanation. While I realize that current day logistics may prevent people from responding to Evites within a week, frequently having had a quarter or more of the invitees not respond ever is a bit of stress on the host and hostess. You have no idea if those people may show up and then expend funds to ensure there is enough to cover the largest pool of attendees possible. It is then double disappointing when they don’t come.

Rules of Etiquette, Lesson One

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Firsts, No Whining, Rules of Etiquette

I have two continuing series that I’ve been toying with, and this is the first I’ve decided to jump into. I don’t intend to post those I find to be sexist or bigoted, unless they are so ridiculous that they must be pointed out to (hopefully) show progress made.

Expect them to be brief, as I find little nuggets to share along my way. I may or may not have further comment beyond the quote, but I believe this one speaks for itself.

“Beware of meddlers and tale bearers.”