Archive for Ramblings
As I prepare to leave the only profession I’ve done my entire adult life I want to take the time and reflect on my career, and list significant moments from it so I have a record. If you are reading this thank you for taking the time, I’m writing this for myself, mainly, but if others find it interesting that great as well.
There was never a burning desire in my youth to become a police officer. I can’t remember ever declaring that that was what I was going to do, in fact, I remember wanting to become a stuntman of all things. That was my little kid dream as I jumped ramps with my bike and purposely fell off it and rolled along the ground like a “stuntman”.
The decision to become a police officer was sort of put upon me. I was a senior in High School and my father, who was a municipal police captain at that time, had a conversation with me at the dinner table right around the Christmas Holidays. He asked me what I planned on doing when I graduated High School, I said I wasn’t sure but I’d like to go to college. His next question was who is going to pay for that and where will you live? I said I’d get a job to pay for it and I had hoped to live at home. My father’s next words stunned me. “I want you out of the house after you turn 18, you’re not going to stay here and do nothing. You better figure something out”. Well shit, I wasn’t expecting that but it certainly told me where I stood. My parents had divorced when I was 12 and I asked my Mom about living with her, she said no. Talk about feeling unwanted. I was 17 and was going to be homeless in 8 months.
Obviously, at least in my mind, the Military was my only option. Still, I wasn’t leaning towards Police Work. I visited recruiters from all branches of the Military and the recruiters did what they do best, make it sound like the greatest adventure ever. I made up my mind, I was going into the Air Force and becoming an Air Traffic Controller, only it’s 1982 and Ronald Regan has just fired all striking Air Traffic Controllers, seems everyone else had the same great idea and the waiting list for Air traffic Controllers school was 2 years. Still I could go in, get on the list and after two years go to the school. I decided thats what I was going to do. Problem number 2, no Air Force Basic Training classes were open until the following spring more than a year away. When I told my Dad that he said that was unacceptable and that I needed to get out after I turned 18. He had his reasons I’m sure but let me assure you I was not a troublemaker or on drugs, etc…I think he just wanted me out of the house plain and simple.
So I went back and decided I’d go into Law Enforcement and go into the Marines. Having already taken the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) I had qualified for anything I wanted to do in the Military except fly helicopters because of eyesight issues. The Marines sounded promising until I started hearing about embassy guard duty and that was mainly what I’d be doing. Hardly any law enforcement at all. The Army made promises about tours of service in Europe and actual law enforcement. My mind was made up, the Army it was. I was going to become a Military Police Officer. I was afraid to tell my Dad that I wouldn’t leave for Basic Training until September 29. That was 29 days after my 18th Birthday. He let me stay until then. My father signed the papers in February 1982, since I was still only 17 and I knew where I was going after my 18th Birthday, Fort McClellan, Alabama.
I don’t truly know why my father wanted me out of the house so badly, and frankly I no longer care. It was a leap I probably needed to take and perhaps my father saw that as well. I certainly grew up fast and it set my life on a course that I followed for over 30 years. I will retire 39 days from today, just shy of my 49th birthday. It’s been an adventure with some really great satisfying moments and some that were very dark and solitary. At times it’s been exhilarating and at other times mundane. It’s pushed me to my limit both physically and mentally and almost took my life. I’ve laughed at inappropriate things and shed tears that I had no business shedding. I’ve watched people be born and watched way too many die. I’ve seen people shine in the moment and I’ve seen the darkest that humans can be. I’ve taught people life lessons and been schooled by 5 year olds. I’ve risen to the occasion and screwed up royally. I often questioned why but never regretted my choice.
Over the next few weeks I plan on detailing my career as best I can, more thoughts than deeds, although I will chronicle some of the memories. I hope if you’re reading this you’ll come back and read the other stuff I’ll write about and not judge me too harshly, after all, you should really blame my Dad!
There was a time, and yes it was a long time ago, that I was a little kid and I recall my sister coming home from the movie theaters terrified and deeply disturbed by a movie she had just seen. The original Night of The Living Dead…the black and white version is still superior in many ways to anything that has been done since. My sister had trouble sleeping and just her descriptions of the movie gave me nightmares. After I grew up a bit (some still debate whether or not I actually ever have) I saw the movie and “They’re coming to get you Barbara.” is still a classic scene in my opinion. This is when being a Zombie meant something.
I bring this up because I have to ask the question, “What the heck have we done to zombies?” I am not afraid of Zombies any more, we have so commercialized them and mainstreamed them so much that Zombies no longer hold any fear over us. Occasionally, a zombie might turn the corner in front of you, you might even get a little startled, but then you just take 3 quick steps and you’ve left the zombie in the dust. They can’t run, hell they can’t even talk, but according to this video they can sing.
Zombies were once at the top of the scare me crapless chain, they took over for Godzilla and Mothra, the Blob and other 50s and 60s movie monsters. Godzilla et al ,took over from our classic monsters Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf man (I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Teen Wolf DO NOT COUNT) and the Mummy. Now I know the Devil tried to step in there and scare us all senseless what with the Exorcist and the Omen, he had a pretty good run of it there for awhile. The Exorcist is still number one on my list of all time scary movies. But Zombies, well hell, they were scary because they were real! What you’ve never seen a zombie? Ok, the next time you go out all night drinking, get up the next morning and look in the mirror…now you tell me if zombies are “real” or not.
Zombies were minding their own business, eating the occasional brain or two (see Barrack Obama) scarring us senseless first in black and white, then in full on color in Night of the Living Dead. You know after Night of the Living Dead I never trusted the fragrance ladies in the mall again, what was all that make up and perfume hiding? (Let me remind my reader(s) that Night takes place in a mall, ahh now you get the joke). Then along came a little ditty called “Thriller” Zombies DANCING. Wh-wh-wh-WHAT!!! NO NO NO NO Zombies DO NOT DANCE…ok occasionally they dance the night before while they are still drinking, but they are never proud of it, especially if they are wearing Cowboy Boots and telling everyone to get in a circle (for my sis). All Zombies EVERYWHERE were aghast, those that still had their jaws attached before this video literally dropped them…the 80s had become a tough time for Zombies, the Hooters totally New Waved them with their song “All You Zombies“, Zombies were being portrayed unfairly in the media and they united and wanted everyone to know they didn’t like it. (see No Nukes Protest).
Their protesting worked and we got away from Zombies for awhile, they went back to their own mundane undead lives working hard just to put a little brain on the table, while we moved on to scarier things. Aliens…Not E.T… ALIENS!!! Ok the first Alien and maybe the second but not the rest of them, by the time we got to 3 and 4 the Alien was like Mickey Rourke, too much plastic surgery and just not that interesting any more. Freddy Kruger entered our Nightmares. Zombies still popped up, see Evil Dead, but they just weren’t how can I say this without offending, scary anymore. I know I’m sorry I said it, but someone had to, come on you know you were thinking the same thing.
We saw Zombies in video games, as far back as the 80s with Zombie Zombie (even then we were teasing them) to today with Left4 Dead (which is FAKE, everyone knows Zombies CAN NOT RUN, JUMP or CLIMB).
World War Z SUCKED!
The Walking Dead is doing its best to restore the Zombie reputation but I think it’s too late. We have Zombies selling us phones now.
Zombieland and Warm Bodies totally dissed Zombies as once again they seem to be portraying the Zombie as a stupid, bumbling fool who serves no purpose but to eat the occasional brain (see Miley Cirus). We have taken a poor Nightmare producing creature and reduced it to the brunt of jokes;
Why did the zombie go to hospital?
He wanted to learn, a few sick jokes.
How do you know a zombie is tired?
He’s dead on his feet.
What do little zombies play?
Corpses and Robbers.
What did the zombie get a medal for?
What’s a zombie say when he gets a letter from his girlfriend?
It’s a dead-letter day.
Where do zombies go for cruises?
The Deaditerranean Sea.
What did the zombie’s friend say when he introduced him to his girlfriend?
Good grief! Where did you dig her up from?
What do you call a zombie in a belfry?
A dead ringer.
What did the zombie eat after its teeth were pulled out?
And my favorite…I mean..ah hem…this one is ridiculous.
Two zombies and a human go into a bar. The first zombie says to the other zombie, “Graaaghaa haarann margahhaa naaarrrrrrgnn!”
The other zombie says “Hrraaaaa Maggaa GRAMMA GRAMMA bargh nrrrrhr!”
And then they eat the human.
Good God what’s next Zombiepalooza?!? A Zombie Mud Run for charity? What?? You’re kidding…They did it? OMG!
Zombies deserve a little respect…so the next time one turns the corner and startles you, politely smile, take your three quick steps and move on, please don’t stare.
Please enjoy this video as a reminder of how cool Zombies once were.
Up Next Twilight and True Blood what it means to the Vampire Nation.
Here are a few observations I made on the open road these past couple of days.
- I’m not a very good conversationalist…I tried talking to myself but got bored with myself real quick.
- I have KICK ASS tunes on my iPod…just be happy you were not in the car with me because when I wasn’t trying to talk to myself I was singing LOUD and your ears would have bled!
- I picked the right time of year to go to upstate NY…the foliage was breathtaking, so much so that I forgot to take pictures…I was dumbfounded, or in a comatose state from boring myself with conversation.
- Speaking of Lyme Disease NJ has way too many deer…I’m driving through the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, wide open areas and I didn’t see one dead deer on the side of the road NOT ONE, but as soon as I hit NJ dead deer everywhere. Either NY is better at cleaning them up, they have HUGE vultures that swoop in and clean up, or the deer are just plain smarter in NY.
- Mad props and shout outs to all the NY driver’s (and you know who you are) that I passed on The NY Thruway…people just know how to get out of the hammer lane and move to the right, smooth sailing through upstate NY.
- NJ is full of assholes, I’m convinced the planet Assholio established a colony in NJ or a Nuclear Asshole bomb was detonated right in the middle of NJ because everyone, I guess me included, drives like a complete asshole in NJ…BIG MIDDLE FINGER TO ALL THE NJ DRIVERS WHO CAMP OUT IN THE FAST LANE…move the HELL over!
- People LOVE to gab on the phone when they are driving. Here’s an idea…PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD!
- Other than the recording studio I was at I couldn’t find many positive things about Schenectady, granted I was only there for 24 hours, but I did a lot of driving around today while wasting time between hotel checkout and recording time…Some very nice OLD houses, a very large cemetery which morbid me drove through lots and lots of Italian names (dating back to the 1800s).
- And finally It Is Always Good To Come Home Where I Know I’m Loved and I Can Bore Other People With My Conversation.
I’m headed to NY to cut my Professional Voice Over Demo, with a goal of having a National Commercial under my belt within four years…local stuff first I’m sure, I’ll conquer Philly first and then it’s onwards and upwards. I’ll see you all in a couple of days…wish me luck.
Read with Movie Trailer Voice
In a world full of a mayhem, one man drove to NY to sit in a studio and create a demo that will shock the world. This fall, Pottsie is, The Demo-lition Man! Rated PG-13, coming Fall 2009 to a TV, Movie Theater, Audio Book or Cartoon near you…Veni, Vedi, Vocal…He came, He Saw, He Spoke…This Time It’s For Real!
(Please read with the exaggerated 1940’s announcer style voice)
That’s right girls, no Executive Assistant here, no sir, straight up YOU WANT TO BE A SECRETARY. Congratulations on your ambitious career choice. Choice? Of course you have a choice, Secretary or stay at home mom taking care of the kids.
Ah yes, striving to be all that you can be, no silly, not in the Army, but in the office, being subservient to men, doing what all woman were born to do… be a Secretary.
No ordinary classes for you, no m‘am, you’re on your way straight to ADVANCED CLERICAL STUDIES.
But first…we pay a visit to the routine clerical room. Where the girls are lucky enough to have windows looking out on the fakest cityscape I’ve ever seen. The girls in this room require supervision because the job is so hard. Remember ladies, this was before computers, voicemail, e-mail, Microsoft office, so much to do. Hand typing and filing, sounds hard doesn’t it? It sure does, but in 1941 your little brains couldn’t handle the work load. You’ve trained hard to get to this room, you’ve trained in accuracy and speed (what college courses give you that? I need that for my next run, especially the speed part.)
What’s that we hear? The pitter patter of typewriters down the hall…why it’s the stenographic department, where some of the girls are transcribing short hand notes and typing form letters that can’t be duplicated…no copy machines for you…making copies, the ladies, the feminine one, the I want to be a secretary, making copies, and cutting stencils for the “duplicating machines” (remember the ditto copies we got in elementary school, why the hell did they smell so good? Because they got us HIGH that’s why, crazy ditto sniffing kids, get the hell off my lawn!).
The average typist has had a year or two of training beyond high school, that’s right you went to college or trade school for 2 years just to TYPE. I’m so proud of you! 70 to 90 words per minute hot damn you are cooking now mama!
Of course do your job well and there is a BIG FAT PROMOTION in it for you….DITTO ROOM WOOO HOOOO!!!! What’s that??? MEN in the duplicating room? Oh Oh Ladies. But , your in luck because “girls” are preferred on routine jobs. Men handle the harder more intense duplicating tasks that require speed and accuracy, your puny 1941 brains can’t handle it.
Ok I’m gonna just say it right here…what the frick is up with Ms. Lee’s hair??? I mean what the hell is that style. She looks like an oomph loompa. Come on you know you thought the same thing.
Wow but Ms. Lee has got it going on, her MOST important job is making appointments for the president of the company. You go Girlfriend…you go! You use that tact to keep everyone contented, and that hair to get the bratty blueberry kid down to the squeezing room!
June now knows she needs college to get that fantastic job of Secretary, of course it is important to get a man’s approval so even after asking Mom and Dad she asks Mr. Adams if he thinks she could “make a go of it.”
Let’s review June’s aptitude test, no indication she’d be good at any other job but secretary. After a few more questions with Mr. Adams, June discovers she would make a GREAT secretary (imagine that.)
Unfortunately the apocalypse happens at the end of the movie and June is reduced to a Zombie staring off into some dark void typing the same thing over and over again…All work and no play makes June a dull girl…all work and no play makes June a dull girl…all work and no play makes June a dull girl…all work and no play makes June a dull girl…
You know I’ve seen some pretty strange things in my day, squirrels in garbage cans jumping out to scare you…mice that swell up to the size of an oppossum when submerged in a pool, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING has prepared me for the dangers of SUDDEN BIRTH!!!!! I’ve heard of Sudden Death, flip a coin first to score wins…is this because you Suddenly “SCORED” (and you know what I mean) Sudden Birth is the result. Is it a fact that every time a football team wins in sudden death a sudden birth occurrs?
I’ve been in the delivery room for my kids birth, it wasn’t sudden, in fact it took a long time. I believe my wife and I knew 9 months before the babies arrived that she would be giving birth not very “Sudden” if you ask me. It wasn’t like one day my wife turned to me and said “Hey guess what, we’re having a baby.” “Wow that’s great hon, we’ll decorate and pick out a crib!” “No you idiot. I’m in SUDDEN BIRTH! LOOK!” “Holy Hell, WTF is that?? WTF Is That!!”
Apparently Sudden Birth is a problem, at least it was back when this video was made. Now I understand things happen and sometimes kids are born in the car, I of course am making fun of the whole Sudden Birth thing. But seriously Nothing prepared me for this video, I thought I was just watching a bunch a very bad actors and then BAM LIVE SUDDEN BIRTH!!! WTF OMG HMSPOF (Holding My Stomach Puking On Floor…please God let that become a new texty thing…please God, and bless all the little boys and girls and let there be peace on earth, Amen).
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls over the age of 17 (because children under the age of 17 are NOT admitted to this without a parent)…I give you….SUDDEN BIRTH!!! GRAPHIC BE WARNED!
If you’ve ever faced the “problem” of going steady (read having sex) this video is for you.
You see Marie and Jeff have been exclusively going steady (having crazy monkey sex), only they didn’t know it, because they never talked about it (read Marie is real easy and Jeff is a dog). Mom questions Marie about her seeing Jeff too often (read she over heard them in her room just the other night), and asks Marie why she doesn’t date other boys (read be the school slut). Marie says no one will call her and neither does Jeff (read Jeff is a douche but knows Marie will be waiting for her, other guys see Marie as a tramp). Mother says she hopes Jeff isn’t taking certain “liberties” with Marie (read getting his freak on) and Marie feigns shock (read wishes Jeff had her on the couch right now). By the way Mother looks like Mrs. Gulch from the Wizard of Oz. Marie’s little brother just then hangs up the phone and says sheepishly, “That was Alice, she wants me to come over and make some fudge with her.” (read…really? Do I need to infer something for this one? It really speaks for itself).
Jeff wants to ask Diane out to the Senior Class play (read wants to get in her panties) but she is already going steady with Hal (read already doing the nasty with someone else she likes better). Then she says she already knows Jeff is going steady with Marie (read putting his key in her ignition) and that she is her friend and couldn’t do that (read Marie told Diane Jeff cries after doing the deed). Jeff then talks to himself as he pulls out a picture of Marie and reminisces about all the “fun” (read getting his Dinky Stinky) he and Marie have had
Now Jeff is at home playing checkers with his Father (read not getting his Ramen Noodle cooked) and can’t actually play because all that’s on his mind is if he is going steady or not (ever going to put his spoon in the pudding again). Jeff quits and tells his dad “I guess I better not play anymore because I’m not so hot” (read Apparently so Jeff…apparently so) Dad leans back and asks what’s wrong (read what’s up your ass, son) and Jeff tells him his dilemma. He tells his Dad that the kids are all saying he and Marie are going steady (read foraging for cherries). Dad replies well you haven’t dated anyone else for awhile (read You haven’t been firing your photon torpedo at anyone else lately). Jeff says “We haven’t even talked about going steady and Dad, looks over at Mom and says “You sort of just go steady.” (read do the horizontal monkey mambo)..watch the sly look Dad gives Mom, Dad is GETTING SOME TONIGHT!!! Dad then goes on and tells Jeff that he’s been in the habit of dating Marie (read doing the tube snake boogie) and then tells him not to commit (way to go Dad!!!!). Dad tells him that they used to worry about him going steady when he was younger (read we weren’t ready to be grandparents) but now that he is older they feel he is better able to cope with going steady (read you have the box a raincoats I bought you). Mom chimes in here and says Jeff’s played the field for some time now and the first time he goes steady he shouldn’t expect it to be permanent (read…Holy Hell Mom is telling me to go out and use other girls..SWEET!!!!) Dad then tells Jeff that “Mother and I went steady for quite awhile, but it wasn’t the first time for either of us” (read..did Dad just call Mom a whore?). Mom goes off on some marriage tangent when Jeff says who’s thinking about getting married Dad perks up, angry and tells Jeff “A lot of people do start thinking about marriage before they’ve had the chance to get to know other people” ( read Dad is pissed because Mom got pregnant young and now he is trapped in this God Forsaken death trap of a marriage, that is until the boy goes to college then he’ll leave her for that cute little secretary he just hired, that’s right keep talking BITCH.) Sorry got carried away.
Diane is now doing Marie’s hair and of course she rats Jeff out but in reality it sounds as if perhaps, and maybe this is just me, you know wild and crazy me, she is hinting at a Ménage à trois, even if you don’t think so, I’m going with that version. Marie starts talking about “circulating” (read being just as easy as Diane) and asks if she’s “old enough” Diane of course has been the class go to girl since 7th grade and asks “how old should you be?” Then she starts talking about her and Hal and how good it is to know you belong to somebody (read she is submissive). Marie then seriously asks about “petting” concerned that you can get too deeply involved if you’re going steady (Marie…what have we been talking about this entire movie??? Did you actually think it was about going steady?) Diane lectures about some boys thinking they can take advantage of you after a few dates but you have to know when to stop. Marie says “that isn’t the way she wants it to be, it sounds crude knowing when to stop.” (There’s the Marie all the boys know and Love!).
Jeff shows up at Maries house, unannounced I might add, and after asking her to the senior dance (read he got shot down by Diane again) they sit on the couch and listen to records (read take the skin boat to tuna town.)
There you have what they were really saying to our parents in 1951 OR the type of movies they’d be showing in High School today if they still showed films like this. Now I invite you to watch the video and see if you don’t agree.
Have a nice day boys and girls.
That title alone should make you all breath a sigh of relief, not because I was some super hero guarding you through the 80s, but because we made it with people like me guarding you through the 80s.
As I am apt to do let me tell you a little story about the kind of people that were on the first line of defense in Europe, guarding the free world against the mighty Iron Curtain. Sounds ominous but in reality I think I’m going to burst your bubble here.
Close you eyes for a moment, seriously close them, closed? Well wait open them because you need to read, of course how would you know that I just said that because your eyes are still closed. Damn, I screwed this up.
Hopefully your eyes are open again. Now imagine yourself back in the 80s, Ronald Regan is president, he has declared the Soviet Union the Evil Empire and there is a massive build up of arms and armed forces. I am smack dab in the middle of this cold war stationed in Germany, on HQ USEUCOM that’s Headquarters United States European Command, this is THE post in Europe for US Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines) All branches of service stationed on the same post. We were the Military Police Officers charged with keeping order on this post that was constantly buzzing with activity.
I had a roommate named Jeff H. I won’t reveal his last name because, well if he was telling the story I wouldn’t want him giving my last name out. Jeff and I had some good times together and did some really stupid things that I’m sure will make this blog at some point.
Jeff just bought one of those new fangled VCRs that were all the rage back in the 80s and we hooked it up in our room. Now we needed movies so we went down to the Audio Visual Center and rented two scary movies. The Evil Dead and Salem’s Lot. We were pretty psyched (such an 80s word) to watch movies right there in our room.
First the Evil Dead, WTF is wrong with Sam Rami, this from the director of Spiderman? Ok so I didn’t know he was going to go on and direct Spiderman back then but this movie is just disturbing…so much so that I have the entire series in my DVD collection. Crazy tree raping, and cut up body parts and some creepy possessed lady locked in the basement, if you’ve never seen it please rent it, just not with little kids around. We were in our gory glory…sick twisted demented movies right there in our very own room.
Once Evil Dead was finished it was time for the movie I had been waiting for Salem’s Lot, I read the book years before and was really psyched (there it is again) to see this one. By this time it was very dark outside, a light mist had come in off the moors, a lone wolf could be heard howling in the distance. OK not really but it was dark. Now if you’ve seen the movie then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say The Window scene. If not, well spoiler alert!!!!!!This kid’s brother, who has become a Vampire, comes a calling on his brother. There is a fog behind him as he begins to tap on his brother’s window, you see the window is closed and everyone knows a Vampire can’t enter a house without being invited in. So his brother in all his creepy scary vampire makeup in knocking on the window telling is brother to let him in. FREAKING SCARY RIGHT??? Your damn right it was. See for yourself…remember this 1980s scary!
So the movie ends, and we’ve got duty early in the morning, it’s time for bed. He slept on one side of the room and I slept on the other, between us were two large lockers so we had some privacy in our rooms. On each side where we slept we had HUGE windows that opened out so we could let the fresh German air in to cool us off on a hot summer night, which OF COURSE was this night. Our windows were wide open.
I get in bed as quick as I can and so does Jeff, neither of us has turned out the light, we argue for 10 minutes over who is going to turn out the light because we’re Chicken Poop, suddenly I realize my window is open, I say “Jeff, is your window open?” He says “Yes” aww crap! What now, I tell him to look outside and see if there is anything there, he tells me to “F Off” and that I should be doing the looking. I said “Dude, if our windows are open the vampires can just come in” BAM wide awake for the rest of the night, we managed to shut our windows but spent the rest of the night watching the only German TV station we got and jumping at every rap tap tapping at our chamber windows.
These are the brave souls that guarded your freedom, protected you from Communist rule, and ensured the American way of life on the Front Lines of the Cold War far off in Germany….. If you only knew.
What the hell am I doing? Another blog? Really?….Really!!??!! YES Another blog ok, leave me alone gezz. Snot Bubbles, Seriously? Yeah, Snot Bubbles, Oh like you never laughed so hard that Snot Bubbles came out of your nose, I thought so. I figured we could laugh here together, I hope that I won’t be the only one contributing stupid, silly, wacky or otherwise juvenile stuff here. I certainly hope that you my dear reader(s) will be kind enough to share. comment and become involved in this blog.
While I’ll certainly make every effort to be humorous, I’m sure I’ll post some stuff on here that won’t be too funny, some of my writing etc…don’t worry I’ll warn you at the beginning of the post so you won’t have to suffer through that stuff.
Things I find on my travels around the web that strike me as odd, funny, or just make me say WTF will ceertainly find their way to the Snot Bubble and we can all gawk in all it’s juvenile glory together….I can’t wait.
Keep checking in and bring a hanky!