After a rather difficult week I am heartened to report that some very generous people have come forward and shown me that there is in fact some good left in this world, and they have convinced me not to turn into the full-fledged curmudgeon that I was well on the way to becoming.
Herein, I would like to say a few words about the folks who have helped to restore my faith in the goodness of humanity. In chronological order:
John Stephens. I met John many years ago when we were both coffee jockeys at a cafe on Newbury street. What I didn't know at first was that he was playing in what would become, in my mind, one of the most amazing live bands to play in Boston. The Vehicle Birth was rather short lived, and could put on some of the most absolutely incendiary performances I have ever witnessed, driven often by the unbelievable bass played by John. I remember once at a show, a mutual friend Tyler nudging me, and, motioning to John, during the opening of the song "Sideshow," shaking his head and saying, "The solid brass Balls on this guy..." He was right. John now lives in Brooklyn with his lovely wife. Thanks, John for your generosity. You really helped to cheer me up when I was pretty far down.
Lisa and Dave Simons. I think I met these guys at about the same time I knew John. I met Lisa through another friend at the cafe, and Dave through Lisa. They were installing a mural at what was once the greatest rock club in Boston, The Rat. Invariably, when we get together now, at some point we will lament how old we are and how much we miss that place. I once dogsat Shelby, Lisa's tiny dog for a weekend, and that dog destroyed everything in its vicinity, howling with rage at the abandonment. For some reason, I didn't tell Lisa about it for years. I still don't understand that. Lisa is now the Creative Director at Health Talker, a word of mouth ad agency. Thanks so much you guys for your kindness.
Becky Birnholz. Becky is easily the sweetest, most giving person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. (Sorry, rest of yous!) Not only are we friends, we're also neighbors, so I often have the serendipitous occasion to run into her randomly around the 'hood. She's an apparel design grad from RISD, and I'm looking forward to some roof deck movie nights at her gorgeous apartment this summer. Thanks Becky! You know how to make a fella feel special.
Jane Eisensmith. I met Jane in college at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. A friend of a friend, I was told "You should meet my friend Jane, you would really like her," which was absolutely true. Jane is one of the good ones, people, and I'm grateful for her friendship. She recently became a mom. I know all babies are at least kinda cute, but James is ridiculously cute. The kid is a cute factory. If cuteness was a river, this kid would be flooding his banks.
See? Thanks Jane! You're the best. And Dan's recent story about the dude eating corn on the cob in line at the Dunkin Donuts has had me laughing for three days now. Pass that along for me, k?
Melody Norton. I've known Melody longer than anyone on this list. We met in sixth grade, and have been good friends since. Growing up together, we had ample opportunity to get into a lot of trouble together. A lot. But it was all of the harmless adolescent type, and we both made it through unscathed. We used to play music together in high school, and she won't hesitate to pull out the video of our performance at a talent show, in which I've got ridiculously long hair and an equally awful outfit. She lives near a zoo in York Beach Maine where she says she can hear the lions in the morning with her husband Rusty, their awesome golden retriever, and one of the biggest horses I have ever seen in my life. Thanks Mel! We've been friends this long for a reason.
Jeremy Majewski. Jeremy and I went to college together but only became friends much later through mutual friends. A renaissance man, Jer continually amazes me with the amount of things he is good at. Baking? Gardening? Cycling? Playing the banjo? Yep. Jer does it. Jeremy also is the anchor to our bowling team The Thunderballs. He's also a very talented illustrator. Check out his website. Thanks Jeremy!
I'm still taking donations here, so if you're feeling generous, have a look. You can also be enshrined in the pantheon of the kind friends of mine here at ThatDude. Thanks again everybody, and be good to one another.