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I talked to Elle last night

Elle called me last night. She had been out of town to attend her mother's funeral, and I hadn't heard from her in over a week. It was the longest I'd gone in years without any kind of communication with her. I had never been so delighted to hear from anyone in my life.

She thanked me for the flowers I had sent to the funeral home. I told her "I couldn't not do that" and I meant it. When my mother died in 1995
she was my rock, my sanity. She showed up at the house the day after the funeral with some lasagna she had made. Later, she held me for half an hour while I cried. I have never forgotten these things and they were in the forefront of my mind when I heard about her mom. I didn't do nearly as much for her as she did for me, but I tried. This is why I couldn't not send flowers.

She was impressed that I even knew where to send them, since she hadn't given me or anyone else  any information about the funeral. I responded "Well, that internet is something!". 

I'm going to stop trying to be modest. I was as impressed as she was that I was able to send flowers. From the time I heard her mom had died, I googled her mother's first and last name every damn day. I was amazed at how many hits I got, even when I put the first and last name in quotes. When I got frustrated with this, I threw in the word "obituary". Then I just googled  the word obituary, and found this site.  I spent a couple of days entering her mother's name with no luck. Finally, on Friday, I found an obituary.

It said there would be a memorial service from 2 to 4. IT DIDN'T GIVE A DAY!!!! Both Friday and Saturday have a two o'clock, and it could have been either one. I didn't know if I'd missed the funeral or not. So I looked up the website for the funeral home and called them. There was nobody there that knew. But the guy that answered the phone asked for my number so the owner could call me back. FINALLY she called and told me it was Saturday. I hadn't missed the funeral and went straight to good old 1800flowers. Mission accomplished.

Tackling this probem  gave me  the same good feeling I have when I get a really stubborn program to work. Or when I reached a new dungeon level back in the days when I played hack. I'm not sure if that was the appropriate emotion, but that's what I was feeling.

Maybe it was appropriate. It's typical for guys to set out on a quest to do something for a woman they care about, and in the process start thinking more about the tools and skills involved in pursuing the quest  than they do about her. That sounds cold, but  it keeps out emotions and relationship issues that could endanger the mission. This is how dragons are slain. It's how pregnant women with cravings get ice cream. And it's how flowers get sent to her mother's funeral. It's how guys work best.



I'm glad you were able to accomplish your mission. It is also good to know that someone else treats certain aspects of everyday life like a quest that you, the valiant hero, must complete so that the realm will sing your praises.
There's probably more of us than you might think. :)

Edited at 2008-12-18 04:55 am (UTC)
You played Hack? I never played the original, but played NetHack. Just recently I have started messing with NetHackish inspired game called Dwarf Fortress. It has been a total inspiration. I had heard about it a while back and was moderately confused why someone was making an ASCII tileset game nowadays, but years later now I downloaded it and it was one of the best games I've ever played.

The premise is that you are a group of dwarves, setting out to build an outpost in a mountain.

The thing that makes it interesting is that the entire world, along with other civilizations, entities, mountains, rivers, resources, weather, etc, are randomly generated by a procedural content generator when you start the game. You head off from there, pick a site, and then start mining, producing, digging. The guy has been working on it for 8 years, and the level of detail is staggering. You can do everything from make steel (with an irritatingly accurate process of gathering coal, coke, hematite or other iron-bearing ore, making pig iron, and eventually progressing to steel) to making soap. I was shocked once to look at the memory usage of the game at 200 dwarves in my fortress and find out it was using over a gigabyte of memory at one time -- putting it on the same level of resources utilization as the modern game 'Crysis', a graphics-laden monstrosity.

The community is pretty interesting too. I added a tileset that was from the community in order to make things look a little prettier, and uploaded my fortress to a flash thingy. Beachbells was the randomly generated name. I really should have taken the option to make my own name for it.

I'm happy you were able to get some flowers to the funeral. I hope they helped Elle.
Hack was a lot of fun. It's cool that there's another game out there like that, and even cooler that computer resources are used to make the game interesting, instead of on fancy graphics.

On another note,I want to clarify something for everybody reading...perhaps unnecessarily, but it's important.

This post was very self-congratulatory. I hope everyone who reads it understands that it was not
about the mere sending of flowers. I do know that just going to a web site and making a credit card transaction is not something I deserve a medal for. I also know I didn't do nearly as much for her as she did for me when my mom died. Sending the flowers was pretty minimal.

The "hey everybody looky what I did" tone comes from the internet sleuthing and perseverance involved. Maybe that was already clear, and I might have just violated the first law of holes, but I wanted to be sure.
you didn't come off that way. i think you did good. tell elle i'm sorry to hear about her mother.
thanks :)