You know...

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: You know...
By _Blackjack on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 12:03 pm: Edit

My dad actually ended up adopting my older sisters because he wanted to "get his money's worth." When they were seeing their social worker, they got the usual speil about a waiting list of several years and such, so as they were leaving, my dad joked, since they were going to have to wait that long anyway, if it would cost the same to get two. As it happened, just that day the social worker had gotten the file for twin girls whom the mother had requested be adopted together. Since that is usually a tough placement, my folks got bumped to the front of the line.

Than, of course, 2 years later, it turned out mom COULD get pregnant...

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 06:37 am: Edit

Congrats Bob.

I have chosen not to reproduce for a number of reasons but I admire those who attempt it with courage and humility.

By Melinelly on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 12:18 am: Edit

Bob, that is awesome news! Congraulations :)

mel and i have our "god i hope i'm NOT pregnant" moments for now, but when we're in a position of being able to support and care for another life on this planet i hope we've smooth sailing ahead. we really want kids too, and are doing all we can to keep from jumping the gun and driving ourselves deeper into debt, eh.

my aunt and uncle thought they would never conceive, but they worked with specialists and after several years of trying (and overcoming the crushed hope and joys following a successful conception then miscarriage), our lives were blessed by the birth of my wonderful cousin into this world a decade ago.

cheers, bob!

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Thanks to everybody for the kind wishes. I'll let you know more as I find out more. Right now, I'm just hoping there's only *one* in there. I used to joke about wanting twins "to get my money's worth," but now the idea of doubling the size of our family in one fell swoop (or is it two big contractions?) is a bit scary. One kid at a time is fine with me.

Marc, keep your head up. I'm sure you have a good reproductive endocrinologist who knows WTF (s)he's doing. (I'm a little curious, though, why you went the IVF route if you're both healthy.) IVF wasn't an option for us, as making embryos outside the body doesn't jibe with our we were really at the end of our options. If we didn't get pregnany this time, then we were going to be child free forever. No more doctors, no more treatments, nada. You can imagine how my denial worked, too: I wasn't the one injecting drugs and having swollen ovaries and such. "C'mon, sweetie, let's try one more time," is easy to say when you're not the one with the needles.

If you want to email me privately, I'd be happy to relate all the stuff we went through to get here.


By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 01:49 pm: Edit

"...It's strange how we're taught to chase grand goals, college degrees, better salaries, finer furniture, better personalities... and then you put all your energies into that, you chase it... and then... "

We spend our lives chasing all sorts of things (material and otherwise) that we think will make us happy and the fact is that they won't.

Happiness is not achieved by gaining or achieving anything. We don't have to look very far to find happiness, we just have to look within ourselves, but we don't do this.

Part of the problem is that we live in a society where, arrogant, vain and opinionated as they may seem, people in fact don't really like themselves very much.


By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 01:42 pm: Edit

Well done the Chonger!

By Verawench on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 09:42 am: Edit

Little Chonger! Chongerito! Big Congrats, Bob :)

You will let us snoops know when you know the gender, won't you? We'll have a big ol' name suggestion thread.

By Pataphysician on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 07:30 am: Edit

>rock on Bob, and Bob Jr., ohh let it be Bob Jr...

How 'bout "Head Prosthesis Chong"?

But, seriously, congratulations.

By Marc on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 04:31 am: Edit


I am so happy for you. Your post gives me hope. Jennifer and I have been trying to conceive for years. We're both healthy, but it just hasn't happened. We've gone the envitro route without
success. I have a 27 year old daughter, so I've experienced the the glory of fatherhood. Jennifer desperately wants to be a mother.
Nothing would make me happier than for that to become a reality.

By Zack on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 02:46 am: Edit

"And then the phone rang, and it was the doc's office, and we found out that we're five weeks pregnant! In an instant, everything changed again. But it's not just that it changed "back," because I am not the same person I was six months ago or even two weeks ago"

I know what you mean Bob. You have not been the same lately, but this news is great. Another "Chonger," is just great. I really could not have chosen a better person off this forum for this news to happen to. This probably sounds like sarcasm coming from me, but I am serious. rock on Bob, and Bob Jr., ohh let it be Bob Jr...

Maybe I am drunk, but I am serious..

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 01:21 am: Edit

Great thread. I had a recent (and ongoing) experience along the lines of what has been expressed here, about evaluating priorities and such. Over the past months (big, long ordeal, really), I was starting to believe my wife and I would never have kids, and that everything I had always "prepared" for was not going to turn out that way at all. I more or less went through all the stages--denial and so on to finally very recently (i.e., last week) accepting that my life is not going to be the way I had thought.

And then the phone rang, and it was the doc's office, and we found out that we're five weeks pregnant! In an instant, everything changed again. But it's not just that it changed "back," because I am not the same person I was six months ago or even two weeks ago.

I think I'm rambling. Sorry.

It's one of those "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" things, but don't be surprised if a lemon tree sprouts in the compost pile after making all that fine lemonade. Or something like that.


By Heiko on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 06:06 pm: Edit

I am also a great fan of Portishead, only I have listened to it a bit too often, so I needed a break (about one year). Now I can again appreciate the music in its full splendor.

"why do they, a British band, name themselves after a harbor in Oregon?"
Portishead UK

In addition to that, I found something funny:

Watch out for the upcoming band contest ;-)

By Artemis on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 04:49 pm: Edit

Don's deadly accurate "chase the wrong things" post (I'm the same age as Don) amazed me, especially coming on the heels of an email I got a few minutes earlier wherein someone said "Don's getting mellow - he's being NICE!" They weren't even talking about that post, either, but a previous one.

I like Absinthedrinker's line about the dress rehearsal - so often I catch myself putting my life on hold to be lived later, at some golden time that of course is never going to come.

I've told this story here before, but I'll tell it again since we're being maudlin - I had some Belgian ale (several styles of Chimay, in those champagne style bottles with the wired-on corks) in a spare refrigerator at my Dad's house. I figured he wouldn't see them, much less drink them, because he didn't drink beer or much of anything alcoholic. I went for the beer and found one uncorked. I gave him hell about it and he said he wanted to see what "ale" tasted like. I told him I was saving it to drink with my friends. He said "I'm not good enough to drink it?" So I said, you want to drink, we'll drink. We sat down in his kitchen and drank all that Chimay. Got shitfaced, got silly, laughed like fools. The first and only time I got drunk with my father in my life. He died not long afterward. I would trade a truckload of Chimay for the chance to ask him some questions I never asked, and say some things I never said, but it's not to be.

By Admin on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 04:40 pm: Edit

I had an axolotl once ... she was precious.

By Anatomist1 on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 04:14 pm: Edit

It seems like the forum is drifting into my yard. I advise all threadgoers to venture out and get a copy of Gillian Welch's brand new offering TIME(REVELATOR), it is so slow and beautiful and sad and excruciatingly real and it feels like home. I also advise long drives with no real purpose, laying still just to watch your breath, and an indefinite holiday from ambition...

By _Blackjack on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 02:37 pm: Edit

And just to prove I ain't goin' soft, here's an axolotl:


And here's an atlatl:


By _Blackjack on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 02:32 pm: Edit

I don't have to wax meloncholic, because I've had my meloncholic laminated...

But seriously, folks, some thoughts on the family thing. My dad died a little over two years ago. I am lucky in that there was never any of that macho bullshit between us, and we were always totlly aware of our love for each other. He wasn't very adept with expressing his feelings, but I always understood.

The thing which drove this home for me most was when he found out he was sick. Of course he was sad, and terrified, and every other natural human reaction. But the thing was, as the cancer really took hold, the thing he seemed most was proud. He was proud of the fact that he had lived the kind of life where he would be so surrounded by love when he was in need. He was proud of the fact that he had raised three (mildly neurotic but) good human beings, who cared about others and could make their own way in life.

He never wrote the great novel or made any scientific breakthroughs, tho he probably could have. He didn't miss out on much, mind you. He worked every job poor white kid in Georgia could work in the 40's, and did 20 years in the Navy before starting a family. But some people could have found a lot to regret. He didn't. He had given every ounce of himself to those he loved, and I think, I hope he understood that that was as much as anyone could hope to achieve.

I try to remember that when I chastise myself for wasting my genius fixing other people's computers. There was a personality test I took once which had the question "Which would you prefer, to be called a smart person or a warm person?" Now, had the question been "which ARE you called more often," the answer would have been easy. But, as much as I like to whip it out and club people with it, my intellect isn't something I'm all that proud of. It's just there. I haven't really done much to foster it (really, I barely ever read). It's certainly not doing anybody much good posting 2-page rants on web forums.

My warmth (and I can be warm, tho it may not transmit well electronically) is something I really do treasure, because that, far more than my frontal lobe, is the part of me that does the most good in the world. Sure, it isn't ending hunger or eradicating disease, but I know damn well that my love and friendship have improved the lives of at least a few people.

By Tavarua on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 12:04 pm: Edit

Portishead cornered the market in meloncholy Hip Hop. I am a fan, wish I had more of their stuff. I actually only had one of their CD's, which is since lost and was pitted to hell anyway. I think I will dig around the mess and find it. I really like the way they can take a dreary song, through in some scratches, and liven it up. Anyway, thanks for bringing back some old memories Heiko. Maybe you can answer a question that I have, why do they, a British band, name themselves after a harbor in Oregon?

By Heiko on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 11:20 am: Edit


I can only agree with Carfax: "sigh"...

Yesterday must have been the official "melancholic thursday". I've been listening to Portishead the first time in months and really enjoyed it.

"Ohh, can't anybody see
We've got a war to fight
Never found our way
Regardless of what they say

How can it feel, this wrong
From this moment
How can it feel, this wrong

Storm.. in the morning light
I feel
No more can I say
Frozen to myself

I got nobody on my side
And surely that ain't right
And surely that ain't right"

"Roads" by Portishead

...time to open the green Chartreuse...
...I'm sure a bad demon made me buy it - I just couldn't resist ;-)

By Artemis on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 10:55 am: Edit

Too soon old and too late smart.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 10:37 am: Edit

You know, it matters not at all whether you really get on with your parents, or not. It's only when you young that you care about arguing with them. Get just a little bit older and all that goes away. If you are lucky, they will live long and you will just know. as I do, the anticipation of their demise, seen through the eyes of their own pain at the loss of their own parents (and sensitized by the loss of one's grandparents). Project that into your future, and spend years anticipating the pain. Is it any wonder we drink too much?

I suspect it is worse if one is on bad terms with one's parents, then one can't get closure. I'm on splendid terms, I just live a half a planet away, and sometimes wish I didn't.

By Heiko on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 10:26 am: Edit

"Let`s not forget that education and a better salary can buy you more fine absinthe, antic spoons and glasses."

Only it's hard to find a way working as much as you need to have nice things but not working too much. Most successful people don't have time to drive their porsches or enjoy partying with their friends. On the other hand having too much money AND too much time doesn't seem to make you happy either...

I like the (slightly twisted) saying: "Better to be rich and healthy than to be poor and ill" ;-)

By Wolfgang on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 09:56 am: Edit

Let`s not forget that education and a better salary can buy you more fine absinthe, antic spoons and glasses. It can also buy you a house with a terrace in your garden where you can enjoy the green delight when looking at the bees working around those splendid rose bushes.

I will work hard all my life for those tiny magic moments.


My absinthe supply is also running low and I`m looking at this dreaded Ser-piss bottle...Will I realy drink that ? Will I have the strength to wait for the Holy Grail ?

By Admin on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 08:53 am: Edit

Don, can I start early? Just about to turn 33 and I have begun to feel the icy fingers of regret creeping. Not all of it is rational, most of it is not really. I can rivet people with tales of my adventures, but sometimes I think that is just because I am a good story teller.

So I am trying to tie up loose ends. I saw what began to prey on my parents and their generation.

Drink more and tell the truth. This is my solution.

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 08:24 am: Edit

It is a problem with not being able to accept one's own mortality. We have a habit of living life as if it were a dress rehersal, sadly it isn't.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 08:15 am: Edit

Yeah, Vera, they do teach you to chase the wrong things. They don't teach you to want what you end up longing for in your dotage, like spending more time with your parents, or being nicer to your second (or whatever) partner or spouse, or having kids if you didn't, or being a better parent if you did. They don't tell you to live your life so you won't spend the last third regretting the first two thirds, but believe me, life will teach you, in any of a thousand variations, that this is exactly how you will spend the rest of your life.

Melancholy and wisdom are inextricably interwoven just as are youth and folly. It's the old joke: by the time you know how to live right it's too late to live much longer at all.

Downer, eh?

By Verawench on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:44 pm: Edit

Blackjack, you're a cold, cold man. Brilliant and pensive but cold. I have a dare for you: go home, have 4 glasses of your favorite green brew and start us a new thread.

I talked to a beloved friend from California tonight. His life is falling apart whereas mine is refusing to begin. Unhappy and lost, we recounted the things which would make us happy... my ideal was simple enough: a quiet night at home with a bottle of absinthe and my best friend hanging out... we amuse ourselves with Tom Waits on the old record player ("the piano has been drinking... not me..") and with old goth magazines populated with pictures of pale, aloof girls in pricey attire, pictures of icy loveliness, and with dusting off my book collection, and with pestering little doom cookies in AOL chat rooms, and with going outside for a cigarette to watch the moonlight and get philosophical and hopeful for a bit and a tad romantic like she and I always do... all the while slipping into Greener Pastures where the clouds louche beautifully in the midnight sky and verdant hues flood the cynical eye.

By Frater_Carfax on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:27 pm: Edit

Well, that just broke my pleasant afternoon melancholy....

Ok, I left out an O, Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Axlotl? Isn't that a South American spear-throwing device?

By Frater_Carfax on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:14 pm: Edit

Beautiful Vera.....

*Big Sigh*

Where is my axlotl of happiness?

By Verawench on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 08:59 pm: Edit

...It's strange how we're taught to chase grand goals, college degrees, better salaries, finer furniture, better personalities... and then you put all your energies into that, you chase it... and then...

Then you realize all along you wanted tiny things.. Molecules of existence almost, but those make you happy, so happy you weep with joy over that cup of coffee and that antique glass you've filled with exquisitely brewed green aperitif and that one note in a violin concerto that lingers one second into ecstasy and those lips you love so much being right where you want them on your body...

And the way you find your favorite coffee place at mid afternoon, cool and empty and the few people there know your name and you get a discount on your favorite apple cider cause the owner is being nice and the cider is cool and sweetly sour and the cigarette smoke pleases you because it's soft and familiar...

And if you're lucky you realize it's the fragile droplets of life that integrated into a puddle of contentment. And you dwell in it like the happiest amphibian until death comes to find you smiling.

I'm on a rant. My blood has long ago turned from pale green back to a crimson and words alone sustain me.

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