Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life is...


I found out yesterday that one of my former co-workers at Up with People, Hector Ramirez, died in Germany. I'm not positive the details of his death, I only know that it was from an accidental fall apparently.

I've only known Hector since June, 2007, but he left a lasting impact on me. He was one of the Education coordinators for Up with People's Cast B 2007. He was full of life, passion and energy. We really bonded at the Up with People reunion in Tucson, Arizona in July of 2007. I remember enjoying a few drinks with Hector and talking about life and the exciting things that we would do with our futures.

My last interaction with Hector was a few months ago while I was in Australia. Hector needed some help with his application to Doctors Without Borders, so I helped edit his application. I was more than happy to help someone I considered a true friend. I know he would have done the same for me if I asked him for a favor.

So Hector, wherever you are, you are already missed by hundreds of people that you touched in your 30 short years here on earth. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends. I'll never forget you.

Also, the same day I heard the news about Hector, a well known family man in my home town, Steven Krause, died in a car accident. I grew up playing street hockey with his children.

Another man died that day as well. He was a former co-worker of my fathers. Hearing about the deaths of three amazing men on the same day was hard to take.


On Tuesday morning, I woke up and checked my facebook news feed and noticed that a former co-worker on Carnival Cruise Lines was playing in his band in Northampton, Mass., only about an hours drive from my house. I wrote him back right away and let him know I was interested in going to the show.

Joe set me up with a few tickets. I didn't have any friends to bring so I asked my parents to come along. You know you're getting older when you finally ask your parents to go out to a bar with you for company.

Joe and I met on the Carnival Glory in the Fall of 2004. We watched the American League Championship Series together. If you don't recall, that was the series where the Boston Red Sox came back to beat the New York Yankees in seven games after being down 3-0.

Joe plays piano in a band called Bonerama. It features three trombones in the front, as well as a guitar, bass, drums and piano. Joe is probably the most talented in the whole band. My parents and I were also impressed with the lead singer. He could belt it out.

One of my favorite parts about the traveling I've done in the last ten years is the fact that I get to meet people randomly that I haven't seen in years. Like Joe for example, I haven't spoken to in person for five years, yet when we met on Tuesday night, we talked just like it'd been a couple of weeks.

Full of uncertainties

I've been applying to random jobs lately. Luckily for three weeks I was employed by a vending company but they only needed temporary help. I've applied to be a sales representative for a up and coming drink called Vita Coco. They will not be making their decision until December or January.

So the search continues. I am going to try and give waitering another go. So far I haven't heard from anyone.

I've even thought of returning to the cruise ship life lately. In the 28 months since I've left ships, I once in awhile go through phases where I think I want to go back to the ships. Then I shake the thoughts out of my head after a couple days. But recently I had a day where I watched a movie that took place on a cruise ship (Boat Trip), watched a documentary on cruise ship life (The Norwegian Pearl was featured), and talked to my best friends from ships, Craig Johnson, aka Sexy Craig. All these ship references in one day had me really wanting to return.

So you never know. I still speak very highly of my experience with the cruise industry. I can definitely see myself returning.

Overall, Good, if not Great

I've been seeing a lot of family lately. Mostly my parents and brother. But I've also had the opportunity to go lunch with my grandpa a lot lately. He is 88. He still has his wits about him and makes me laugh. While I was in Australia, I really missed my family. And more than I used to, I appreciate seeing them everyday. Over the past 10 years I've always felt that I was in a hurry to get somewhere else as soon as I arrived in Keene. But since returning, that feeling has faded. I still have dreams and aspirations that involve leaving New England, but as long as I'm here and get to see people I love everyday, I'm not in such a hurry.

I've been able to connect with some friends over the past month from Up with People and also my childhood. I am lucky to have met some amazing people in this life. The fact that I get to see or talk to them nearly every day is a blessing.

So that's a little update on things in my world. Thanks for checking in.

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