This, of course, isn't the end of the story.
Not fifteen minutes after getting this email from him, I get a very frantic phone call from Mary, who has heard from my aunt Jill, (my godmother and my mom's sister). Evidently, Jim's dearest friend in the entire world, whom he has known since early childhood and with whom he spent so much time as to have been considered a member of his family, is working with my cousin (who's running for State Senate in Illinois, God forbid), and tells him that Jim told him he had had a stroke. My cousin promptly tells his mother (who's Jim's godmother), who then fires up the Connelly Sisters' Communication System to find out if anyone knows anything about it. So, Jill calls here, frantic, wanting to know if we had heard anything, and is he all right, etc. So Mary, not knowing that I had already heard from Jim, calls me, having dealt with Jill and wanting to know what was going on. So, I explain, and I email two of my other aunts and forward the message from Jim, and ask them to please call Jill and let her know that Jim's OK.
I don't know why I shared this story, apart from the fact that I think it's interesting. There's got to be a story in it.
I sat in on class again today, and my partner (one of the other contractors) did a very good job, which is to say that she ran the class the way that I would have. Of course, that's not without its disadvantages, namely that occasionally we end up climbing out on a limb and not knowing how to get back off of it. The boss has decided that from now on he's going to let junior instructors lead the certification classes with a senior instructor in the room as backup, to answer questions and help resolve problems. I suggested to him that, since the real problem seems to be that we instructors don't have the business experience that certification audiences need, he might want to consider having people from support, development and/or implementers in the class to share from their experiences. He seemed to like that idea a lot.
Mary and I went to a Persian restaurant this evening. I had a Cornish hen kabob with saffron rice, half of which was mixed with barberries, dolmeh (like Greek dolmades, stuffed grape leaves), and Persian pickled vegetables that were hotter than Hades, but not bad once I got used to them. Mary had a chicken stew over saffron rice that she thought was a little dry, but that she still liked. It was quite a taste experience; we like Middle Eastern food, but had never specifically had Persian, and it was quite different from what we had had before. Good, though, real good and quite a departure from the rather boring and plain food we had been eating.
Last year around this time, I and several of my friends decided to allow our favorite characters from the infamous Ghostletters to contribute to our journals. As many of you remember, I allowed Mary Cecelia O'Brian (or, as summerlady dubbed her, the scary lady with the red hair) to ghostwrite for me. I asked her to do it again this year, but she said she was washing her hair. So, I'm kind of torn as to whether or not I should pick someone else, perhaps Jack O'Brian (the "Chief Jack" of "Chief Jack's Galley") or Father Flanagan (not the one from Boys' Town, but one drawn somewhat from real life). Or perhaps the beautiful and talented Lana Dean. I might still do it, but this year, I promise that I'll make it clear that it's the character "writing" for me. If any of you have any preferences, be sure to let me know. (Del Wellborn, resident TV guy and a true crazy, is bidding for the job...I'm not sure that he should be allowed to do it...)
Can't think of anything else. Close To Home (with the wonderful Jennifer Finnigan) and Numb3rs (with the wonderful Judd Hirsch, David Krumholtz, and Rob Morrow, not to mention the lovely Diane Farr) are both on tonight, so I'll probably be signing off soon. I've spent enough time at a computer lately.