Thursday, May 08, 2008

I really want this week to be over...

...I can't stand hearing about all my friends who have passed away.


Another Max...

Max, November 23, 1998

This isn't my week. Today I learned about that a good friend of mine, Max Mandle, passed away suddenly at the age of 55. Max used to work with me, and was my boss for a short while...and I learned a lot of things from him. Like Sonia, he was one of the most important mentors I had in my life. Max was funny all the time...but had a way of engaging you when he needed you to focus on something. Quick to laugh, Max was a lot of fun to be around.

Max was one of the first people to try out an old Polaroid land camera that I bought at a garage sale for $2. He took this photo of me when I came into work one Saturday in 1998.

I used to call Max on his birthday every year; Max lived up in New England, and we saw each other infrequently...but we did keep in touch once or twice a year, and I always looked forward to calling him on his birthday, just to say hi for a few minutes at least.

Max focusing intensely on the work at hand...

I hadn't worked with Max for several years now...and haven't seen him in person since 2001. But the friendship remained strong. While Max could get easily excited/stressed about things at times...there's one major thing that he never seemed stressed about: that he almost died on 9/11/2001. Max had tickets on one of the four flights that were hijacked that from Boston to L.A. ...but Max switched flights at the last minute after some meeting details couldn't be worked out before his trip, so he decided to fly out earlier. If it wasn't for that...Max wouldn't have been here until now. But, just as suddenly...he's now gone.

The last time I saw Max, October 6, 2001, when I got to stay over at his place during a trip to Boston.

Max, I miss ya, buddy. You were a great friend, and someone I always looked up to and admired (not that you would have felt that was appropriate). I hope you are in a better place, and that your family and friends are taking your loss well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sonia Dietz

I received some very sad news today. Sonia Dietz, a friend as well as former boss/mentor of mine, passed away this morning. She had been fighting cancer for years, as well as heart problems, and the combination was finally too much for her.

Sonia was a wonderful woman. I would not be where I am...who I am even...if it had not been for her. A fellow red-head, she helped teach me to exhibit patience when I needed to the most, and, well, how to schmooze...but then again, I may have had some of that in me already.

(Sonia in a rare 'more relaxed' moment, not that she would have ever posed for the photo.)

A friend of mine and I were going to go up and see her next month...we believed it would be the last time that we'd have to see her. Sadly, she died before we had that chance.

Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. I plan on going to the funeral up in North Carolina on Thursday, and I'm sure it will be nice. I'm sad to see her go.

We love and miss you, Sonia!

(Sonia and I at her last day at work in 2006)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Some people are just sooooo lucky...

Today, a friend of one of my co-workers came by to show off his new baby.

No...we're not talking kid...we're talking about his brand new Lamborghini, still with temporary tag!

It was...beauuuuuuuutiful!

*cue Yello's "Oh Yeah" from Ferris Bueller's Day Off now...*