Archives for category: My People
Brad L. Graham

Brad L. Graham at Fray Cafe 9 (SXSW 2009)

This isn’t what I thought I’d be writing about tonight. This is about the furthest thing from what I thought I’d be writing tonight.

I had planned to write about the end of the Russell T. Davies/David Tennant era of Doctor Who – specifically the two-finale, The End of Time. Then I saw this…

Tweet from @weegee re: Brad's passing

…and it felt like I’d been sucker-punched.

A bit of background – in 2005, I attended South By Southwest Interactive for the first time. I knew practically no one. And the ones I did know (save for a certain Jersey refugee and his wife), I didn’t know very well. I was stepping WAY out of my comfort zone – so much so that I didn’t sleep the night before traveling, and thought, albeit briefly, abut calling the whole trip off.

Brad Graham wasn’t the first person I met in Austin that year – that distinction went to Kristin – but it was Brad, through his annual “Break Bread…” opening night soirĂ©e, that I met so many of the people with whom I would spend the following 4 days and remain in contact with over the following five years; in no small way, he helped build the SXSWi family. And in that time, we bonded over our shared obsessions – theater, web geekery, Doctor Who – and I’d felt like I’d found something of a kindred spirit.

Brad passed away sometime over the long New Year’s weekend. He was 41 years old. I think James may have said it best: “The glue of SXSW for the past decade is gone.” And I never got a chance to thank him for welcoming me, with open arms and a cold beer, into that amazing family.

I’m not going to pretend that I knew him as well as the folks who were with him at that first SXSWi 11 years ago, but that doesn’t make his death hurt any less. I knew him well enough to know that he was a sweet, funny, passionate man. He had no shame (I mean that in the best way possible), and heaven knows he never missed an opportunity for an ribald comment…and that’s one of the reasons why we loved him.

I’m not sure I can write much more right now, and to be honest I’m not sure if what I’ve already written will make much sense unless you’ve taken up residence in my head. I will get around to that Doctor Who post soon – I think Brad would have liked that – but somehow I think it’s only appropriate to let Brad have the last word.

From Fray Cafe 9 at SXSW 2009, I give you the story of Brad’s ‘second time’.

Thank you, Brad. Godspeed, you magnificent bastard.

Edit (2:50AM) – there’s a memorial page (of a sort) up on Metafilter.

…Mother’s Day, to my mom, Ali, and all the other mothers out there.

…Birthday to JessaJune (who hopefully managed to find something fun to do this weekend with everyone out of town).

…to cut this short, because I’m watching “Familiy Guy”.

I realize that I’ve been a little remiss in posting here. I mostly attribute that to being sick. I’ve finally managed to shake off what can only be described as The Plague, what with the sneezing, and hacking, and congestion, and the constant spitting of the HEY FROINLAVEN. Anyway, I’m back in action now, so I guess I should provide a quick update.

I’ve mentioned it selectively, mainly because I wanted to make sure the people I work for didn’t suddenly realize they’ve made a horrific screwup, but I’ve been promoted. I’m no longer an administrative assistant – I’m actually in a position now where I get to make decisions and run scholarship programs, and what not. Youth of the world, fear me, for I hold your futures in my rather sizeable hand. (Nah, I’m just kidding, you’re alright.) Truthfully, my new job includes a lot of the things I took on above and beyond my old job – it’s just that now, the above-and-beyond stuff is my focus, and I get to shed the filing and phone answering. And there’s a slight pay raise involved. So it’s all good.

Until, that is, I’m asked to stay until nearly midnight to finish a project. (Spike, I feel your pain.) Truthfully, I didn’t mind staying – I still collect fat overtime in my new position, and the project was important to the future existance of our program (and, not-so-indirectly, my future employment). But, and you-know-who will back me up on this, we were planning to have The Sauce that night. So, not so much with those plans. (Maybe this week, sometime?) Also, I never want to be stuck in L Building until midnight again – it’s a normal cube-farm during the day, when there are people around, but at night…it’s just downright creepy.

Let’s see…what else has happened? Well, there was this. (For the record, yes, I did go to the men’s room after the meal, but seeing as how I abhor public spectacles and the Happy-Clappy Birthday Song on my birthday, under no circumstances did I say anything to the servers. Not that I was accused, but I thought I’d just mention.) And I’ve lost a handful of money at poker. (Pocket aces. I had pocket aces and got beat – by trip threes! UGH!) I haven’t had much of a chance to get to the movies – a situation I hope to correct over the forthcoming holiday break – more on that in a minute.

As mentioned elsewhere, tonight we had our non-demoninational holiday celebration. (Chrismas? Hanukkah? Why choose? I had even suggested the traditional Festivus pole, but I was shot down.) As I felt like Cindi and I had started to bond, in a “kid and goofball uncle” kind of way, I got her (what I thought, anyway) would be a nice gift. As it turns out, to a one-year-old, an Eeyore that talks, crawls, and plays music, is, in fact, the antichrist. When Darren posts the video, you’ll see what I mean. (I swear to Brak, I thought I was getting her something nice! I should have just given her a cardboard box filled with bubblewrap and crinkly tissue paper. She would have liked that.) Anyway, I hope that, eventually, she and Eeyore can see eye-to-eye, and I’ll just say thanks again to everyone who was there, both for a fun evening, and for a mighty haul of fantastic gifts.

I’m fully getting into the Xmas spirit – mainly because it means time off from work. My cell phone ringer has officially been changed from “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” to James Brown’s immortal yuletide classic, “Go Power at Christmas Time” Go Power at Christmas Time. Becca comes home this week – she’s got a lot on her schedule, what with her sister being home too, and other various plans, but I figure I’ll at least be able to have coffee with her or something. I just have to make it through three more days of work, and then it’s vacation through the beginning of the new year – and that’s never a bad thing. I assume there will be poker at some point soon, because my luck’s due for a turnaround. (Pocket aces, for chrissakes!!!) And we got out first snow of the year tonight – to hell with the “official” seasons, winter is here! Woot!

For now, tho, it’s to bed with me. Hopefully this week will be less busy at work, and I’ll have time to check in on the job.

Just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I spent most of today with my family up at my aunt’s house in Pomona – and as usual, I had a much better time that I expected to. Of course, it might have had something to do with listening to Lewis Black all the way up (at my mother’s request!), but it was just a very pleasant day.

On a related note, it’s time for the Garden State Parkway to install those Express EZPass lanes at ALL of the toll plazas. If I have to pay tolls at all, I like not having to slow down below 55mph to do it. So get on that.

Happy warm birthday fuzzies to Becca, the smartest person I know.

Happy Birthday to two very lovely ladies.

It’s become almost ritual for me to check other people’s blogs while I’m on lunch at work – I mean, if I have to be chained to my desk while eating, what else am I going to do? Anyway, recently ETS installed some kind of content filtering software. Like most filters, it’s supposed to prevent access to web sites with “questionable” material. Apparently Erica, Leia, and Amanda all qualify, but (interestingly) not Tina. Hmm.

Here’s pictures from the joyous union of Bry & Lyn.

Still working on the other photos. Have patience.

Alright. I’ve been home for nearly a week, and I keep talking about a wrap-up of the Big Road Trip. And, as you can see, that hasn’t so much happened. All I’m going to say is that it’s been a very long and complicated week.

With that said, the recap still isn’t ready. But in the interim, here’s link love to some of my new friends in DFW:

Leia – Random Thoughts from a Large Head
Tina – The Sound and Fury
Amanda – Evaporated
Erica –

More links as I track them down/stumble upon them!

I’m still working on the pictures from the Road Trip and DFW, but in the meantime, to whet your whistle, here’s a video clip of Bry rocking out.

Please bear in mind that this video was shot using my Canon Powershot S330, and the video quality isn’t the best.