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Survivor Journals

Bob of If I Die Before I Wake has invited nine journallers to participate in a Cyber Survivor Adventure.

Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a "challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.

After the challenge entry is posted, the nine journallers will vote one of the writers off the site.

The "ousted" journaller will actually remain on the site, but rather than posting further challenge entries, they will act as a judge and commentator.

The first challenge entry has been issued, and can be found at the Survivor Journal website. The actual entries should be completed by
October 1, 2000.

Please take the time to visit, especially once the challenge entries are posted. There is a message board to post your thoughts/comments and also a instant poll where visitors can vote for who they would want to see kicked off the site.

The reasons behind Survivor Journals are simple.

1. To try something new.
2. Increase the interaction of the journal community.
3. The challenge.
4. Increased exposure to all journals involved.

So take a look around, explore all the journals involved.

If you would like to take part in Survivor Journals, Year Two (around Nov/Dec 2000), let Bob know!


November 3, 2000

I had made a lunch date with my old boss this afternoon. Lunch was at a restaurant downtown. At the time I made the date, Walt had a dental appointment and would be taking the car with him to Berkeley (he drives 80 miles to his dentist and has been doing that for nearly 30 years now...but how can you give up a guy named Hercules Demosthenes Morphopolous?). Peggy was still here at the time and convinced me I should walk to lunch. I agreed. It’s probably a mile and a half. But I’m all into this walking jazz now.

Well, when the day actually arrived, Walt had cancelled his appointment because he’s busy working on building the set to Kismet and couldn’t afford to take a day off. So there I am with a car after all. But I’d promised Peggy. So I set off on foot.

When our “walking program” started while Peggy was still here, we walked to a friend’s office. It’s about the mid-way point between here and the restaurant where I was meeting my old boss. I remember that day, and thinking, about half way to the office, what an idiot I was for suggesting such a distant location, how I found excuses to stop to take a breath, and how I felt like I was going to die by the time we got to the office. That walking jazz really works. I walked about twice as fast--not “fast,” by any stretch of the imagination, but a brisk pace for me.

It was a nice cool, but sunny day. I had a time crunch. I allowed myself an hour; Peggy felt it would take me 45 minutes. It took me 40. When I arrived at the restaurant, 15 minutes earlier than I expected, I felt so good, I could easily have walked home again (but my boss gave me a ride, and I wasn’t dumb enough to refuse!).

I realize now that I really need to continue this program Peggy got started here. I really do feel better when I get out and walk. I haven’t quite reached the point where I’m walking for the thrill of walking. I still feel I need a destination, and I do kind of resent the time I’m out not “doing something” here at home but it’s really quite a neat thing to feel comfortable walking a mile and a half, not feeling out of breath, and not coming home with feet that hurt.

I think I’ve decided that I’m going to promise myself (and Peggy) that I will walk a minimum of 3 times a week, starting right now at making it an hour’s walk each time and then working up to more. It’s so nice not to worry about how I’ll feel if I have to walk somewhere with someone. Funny, but before she left Australia, Peggy said she would get me walking. I scoffed. And I was also uncomfortable thinking about her being here because I didn’t think I would be able to keep up with her. But in the end, she was right. I’m walking. I’m feeling good about it. And what’s more, I want to walk. Whoda thunk?

As for the lunch itself, it was quite interesting. Leon received a Robert Wood Johnson award some years ago for use in the midwifery program he had established here in Yolo County, expanding care to low income mothers and their infants and young children. Now would like to use some of the remaining funds to examine death and dying in this county. The purpose of the study would be to find out if people here die the way they want to die and how we can improve end of life issues in Yolo County.

This meshes well with Steve’s work in speaking to medical professionals about what it’s like to be a terminally ill patient, and how the attitude of the caregivers can make all the difference in the world in treating a patient. This was the main reason why I wanted to talk with Leon about his proposed program. I find that I’ve become interested in death and dying issues by default. I’ve learned, through losing two children, that we don’t address death in this culture. We’re uncomfortable with it and we don’t know what to say or what to do. Death is going to come to all of us. It’s going to come to everybody we love. We do a great disservice by waiting until it’s too late to even think about it.

Anyway, Leon and I discussed this, and my interest in the whole subject (as well as where Steve might possibly fit into any sort of program that might come out of Leon’s fledgling program). To my delight, Leon said that if he actually goes forward with this program and funds a needs assessment, the first step in getting any sort of program implemented, he was interested in having me work on it with him. It would be great to be working for him again. I transcribed for him for 8 years and managed his office for 2 years and we always worked well together.

It’s still too early to know if this is going to evolve into anything, but I’m hopeful that it will. It seems like my life has turned into a spiral, with all sorts of parts of it intertwining in bizarre ways. While I’m here in Davis discussing how I can get Steve together with my old boss, Steve was in New York meeting my best friend/adopted brother, who came to the staged reading of The Last Session in NY this afternoon. It’s just very weird to see all these disparate parts of my life kind of moving together like a big jigsaw puzzle.

Now if we could figure out how to move all of these components to Australia, it would complete the circle!

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created 10/31/00 by Bev Sykes