I’m in a morbid mood this year tonight, so you get some death talk.
I like the thought of death. I don’t mean that I currently actively want to die right now (though I’ve felt that way a few times this year*), but I still just like the thought of death.
I figure it’s because death is something that’s going to happen at some point or another. Like, you can’t get away from it, you can’t get out of it, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
It happens to everyone. It will happen to you, it will happen to me.
And it’s incredibly personal. There’s going to be something—be it a medical condition, an illness, an accident, or something else—that’s going to end my life. I will have an experience completely unique to me that will put an end to my existence as a living being.
I just think that’s really, really neat. I like the idea of death, as weird as that sounds.
*I’m not going to actually do anything, so chill.
(This is just an excuse to do a dinky little statistical analysis. Because I’m feeling analysis-deprived tonight.)
Long ago (2011) I took a series of online quizzes to figure out when the internet thought my average age of death was (which is a super valid prediction method, right?). Because I’m bored and have no life whatsoever, I’ve decided to re-take those same quizzes today and see if there is a statistically significant difference in the mean age of my death according to the internet.
Year2011 year2015 86 87 70 67 79 79 90 84 89 89 85 85 91 90 85 85
Method: Since this is me just repeating a bunch of tests I’d taken before, this calls for a paired t-test!
H0: there is no difference in the means for 2011 and 2015
Ha: there is a difference in the means for 2011 and 2015
Results: The difference of the sample means is 1.125. With t = 1.3864, p-value = 0.282, we do not have significant evidence to reject the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the means for 2011 and 2015
Basic conclusion: My average lifespan (according to the internet) has neither increased nor decreased since 2011.
Sorry I’m so boring.
SAD NEWS: the amazing composer James Horner was, in fact, killed the other day when his plane went down in California.
Who is James Horner, you ask?* He’s the conductor/composer behind a lot of really fantastic film scores. Examples:
- The Land Before Time
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
- We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story
- The Perfect Storm
He also did the score for Apollo 13, which has my favorite movie song ever (listen to it here!). Seriously. Awesome.
R.I.P. James Horner. You were an awesome composer.
*Or maybe you don’t ask this. Maybe more people are familiar with his name and works than the news would have us believe.
Today was grandma’s funeral mass and burial. It was sad, of course, but it wasn’t too sad; my dad gave the eulogy and his goal was to keep it light and full of funny stories (which it was; even the altar servers were laughing) and yesterday and today were basically spent telling stories about grandma and grandpa and all the weirdness of our family. I think that’s the way grandma would have wanted it.
In case anyone’s interested, here’s the obituary my dad wrote for her that appeared in the LA Times:
Emily Ortega Mahler, of Brea, California, formerly of Huntington Park and Los Angeles, CA, died peacefully in her sleep on June 3, 2015. Born June 27, 1927, she is predeceased by her parents Emilio C. and Mary Magdalene (Bustamante) Ortega of Huntington Park, CA and her late husband of 56 years, Robert A. Mahler of Los Angeles, CA. Emily is survived by her sister Evelyn (Ortega) Sheppard of Placentia, CA; son Robert Mahler of Moscow, ID; son Blake Mahler of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; son Lance (Kerry) Mahler of La Habra, CA; daughter Vicke (Tom) Helmer of Greenwood Village, CO; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Emily went to St. Matthias elementary school in Huntington Park and to Huntington Park High School. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1949. After completing her degree and while Bob was in the service she taught school in small California towns including Maricopa and Susanville. Later she taught in several junior high and high schools in the Los Angeles School District. After many years in the classroom her energies were spent raising four children that included involvement in supporting organizations such as the PTA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. As her children matured she changed emphasis and became a professional volunteer. Emily was especially proud of being a Trojan (USC). She always supported her alma mater. She was a charter member of Trojan Guild, an important support group for USC, and served on many committees within the University. She has been a USC football season ticket holder since 1967. She will miss tail-gating, traveling to South Bend for the great rivalry between USC and Notre Dame, and going to all of the home football games at the Coliseum. She is especially proud that two of her children, Vicke and Blake are USC graduates along with her son-in-law Tom. Over the past 20+ years she has volunteered one day a week at the USC Norris Cancer Center. Many of her best friends were met either in school at USC or at events that supported the institution. Emily was a professional volunteer and always a member of “something.” The more important “somethings” included the Mother Goose Guild support organization to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), several chapters of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and Friends of California State University, Fullerton. Over the years she received dozens of awards for her efforts. In 1984 she received Brea’s first “Woman of the Year” award. Emily and her husband Bob were world travelers. They were able to visit all seven continents. She took tens of thousands of pictures to document her travels. Some of her favorite trips took her China, Antarctica, safaris in Africa, the Andes of South America and to Spain. Her last trip in 2014 was a Panama Canal cruise. Emily was always proud of her California family history. The Ortega’s, originally from northern Spain, have been in California for eight generations. Her great, great, great grandfather discovered San Francisco Bay as a scout for the Portola Expedition. She had relatives who are buried at 17 of California’s 21 missions. The Ortega Highway in Orange County is named for her family and her father, Emilio, founded the California-based Ortega Chili Company in the 1920’s. Many of those original products including Snap-E-Tom and canned green chilies are still on the market today. In college she wrote a history of this distinguished family. Being a catholic was always an important part of Emily’s identity. After marrying Bob she became a parishioner of St. Raphael’s in south-central Los Angeles where her children attended school. In addition to being active at St. Raphael she served as the school’s kindergarten teacher twice. She was a member of St. Angela Merici parish in Brea, California for the last 48 years. Her faith has allowed her to look forward to again seeing her husband Bob, parents Emilio and Mary, nephew Michael and many good friends who left before her on the other side of life, as we know it.
So I’ve got some bad news today. My grandma (on my dad’s side) has been in slowly deteriorating health for approximately the past 9 months. The doctors didn’t think she was going to make it through 2014, but she did because she’s stubborn as hell.
However, my dad emailed me this morning to let me know that she finally passed away late last night.
I haven’t seen her in awhile, but I always liked going down to California and visiting her, both when I was a kid and the few times I did so as an adult as well. Luckily I’ll be able to attend her funeral, as dad is getting me a ticket to fly down there sometime at the end of next week.
RIP, grandma. You will be missed by many, many people.
(Birthday, 27 years old, party all the time, blah blah blah.)
Of much more importance is the following news: Monty Oum, an animator at Rooster Teeth (the parent company of Achievement Hunter) and the creator of RWBY, passed away yesterday from a severe allergic reaction that had put him in a coma last week.
It’s always sad to hear news like this, especially since he was only 33.
Rest in peace, Monty.
The world lost a funny, awesome man today. Super sadness. In tribute, have this clip from Aladdin:
As we all know, I’m going to bite the dust someday. And it may be sooner than a lot of your own “bite the dust” day, since I really don’t have much desire to live past 45 given that Alzheimer’s/dementia apparently run in the family, especially for the women.
So even though this will never be considered an official, binding document/will thingy, I want to let you all know what I’d want you to do when I die.
- Most important: take care of my mom if she’s still hangin’ around. Sell all my crap and give the money to her. If you know her in person (maybe one or two of you do?), talk to her and keep her company. Buy her like 40 cats.
- If my body’s in good enough condition, donate the hell out of my organs, then have the rest of me cremated. If it’s not in good enough condition to donate, just throw the lot of it in the cremation fire.
- If y’all want a funeral-type thingy, don’t wear black. Wear obnoxiously loud color. Or have a Rock Band party (still in obnoxious colors) instead.
- If y’all want a funeral-type thingy, please play this song (it’s Coldplay’s O (Fly On); I’m assuming that the YouTube vid will be taken down sometime before I die, haha).
- Somehow, get a portion of my ashes to Hanover and scatter them around the grounds of Leibniz’ archives. This is actually really important to me. Hell, ship ‘em to some German dude over there and have him do it if that’s the only way it can be done.
I’ll add more if I think of anything, but I don’t think there’s anything more. And I know it’s kinda morbid, but I wanted to type it out somewhere.
When you think about death, does it excite you? I think it should. Death is, in my opinion, a pretty amazing thing.
Why? Think about it: we go through most of our daily life never giving it a thought—maybe being reminded of it only when a family member succumbs to it or we hear about a fatal accident on the news. But it’s there somewhere in each of our futures and there’s no escaping it. As abstract and distant as it may seem, it’s still going to happen. There’s no escape. We’re all going to get to experience it.
Isn’t that exciting? Seriously. No two deaths are the same, regardless of what the ultimate causes are. Two guys on the same block may die from fatal heart attacks, but that doesn’t mean that their deaths are anywhere close to comparable. We each get our own individual way of leaving the (known) world. How cool is that? Individual, personal exits to whatever’s after human consciousness. Personally, I’m excited to see what mine will be.
I’m feeling frivolous today. QUIZ TIME!
Today, we explore at what age the internet thinks I’m going to die. Why? Because. I’m stressed. Shut up. Clicky-clicky on the numbers for the respective sites.
Mean expected life span according to the internet: 84.375.
It would also take 80 Red Bulls to kill me via caffeine.
Yes, I AM bored. My father’s coming up Friday to do a Spartan Race on Saturday, so I’m stressing out about that.
My grandpa down in California died suddenly last night.
We weren’t close (he was pretty reclusive, he wasn’t really close to anyone), but still, it was a pretty big shock.
He had Alzheimer’s really bad and spent a lot of time just mumbling incoherently. He died of kidney failure. Yhe center that was taking care of him figures that he had been having issues regarding his kidneys for quite some time but wasn’t really able to express it.
I may be going down to California for the funeral, but we’re not sure if I can get a ticket.
RIP grandpa, you will be missed.
I submit that you haven’t lived until you’ve heard a rap about Quebec.
Or a country jig about New Brunswick.
I’m not even kidding. I think Canada’s tourism department promotes solely through their music industry. I had the radio playing for about five hours this afternoon and I think I head a little ditty about almost every province. It’s funny until you realize it’s like rapping about Idaho or singing a blues song about Florida.
The rest of the songs were just freaking weird. There was this one whose chorus consisted solely of the phrase “watch out for the fuzz” repeated about twenty times (this, interestingly enough, wasn’t a rap but some sort of upbeat folksy tune). I’m not denying that there are some really weird songs from the States, but these are weird in an entirely different way.
And now I can’t stop singing “Noooooova Scotia!” to the Oklahoma! melody. This may need to be a song rewrite in the near future.
I’m not embedding ’cause the screencap will haunt you. This is perhaps one of the creepiest videos involving chocolate bunnies on YouTube. Don’t watch if:
a) you can’t avoid thinking that putting eyes on something automatically makes it a living thing
b) you’ve had a bad experience with an iron/heat lamp/hair dryer
c) there are chocolate bunnies in the room
You’ve been warned.
I fall into category A, which may be why it’s so disturbing to me, but I don’t know. I mean, I know it’s just chocolate, but it’s bunny-shaped and has eyes. Peep death doesn’t bother me, but the fact that the chocolate bunny eyes seem to be staring into my soul is somewhat unsettling. Some of the comment-leavers seem sufficiently freaked out as well.
Haha, I hope you don’t watch it right before going to bed like I did.
Today’s song: Round and Round by Ratt
Jeremy = best stats teacher EVER. Just had to have that known.
Also this. I’ve known Tyler since I was born. He’s the son of one of my mom’s best friends, and as such we used to do a lot of stuff together. So yeah, I got this call this morning. Pretty insane. RIP, Tyler.
Today’s song: Slow Show by The National
Do you guys ever think about immortality? I mean really think about what that means? Would you be able to resist the offer if it were given to you? I guess it would be pretty easy to; after all, you’d live forever, and there would never, ever be a way out. You would never die. Things would get boring, and you’d still be stuck around. When the year 4000 comes, no matter how bad things are, you’d still be around. As the sun starts to grow into a red giant, you’d still be around. You would always be around. Forever.
Of course, there would be a definite upside to it all. If you were ever immortal, you’d live long enough to do everything. You could literally experience almost every experience on earth. You could learn everything, you’d have time to memorize as much as you possibly could. You’d have eons and eons to work on experiments and designs and try to figure out how the universe works. How awesome would that be?
But there’s always the downside. You’d almost definitely get bored.
Yeah, I was so un-busy at work today I was thinking about immortality. Wee.