Salvation

Sometimes you need a little – sometimes you need a lot.

Back in January 2001 I was in Phoenix Arizona and I needed a lot. I met an angel there and we were reborn, rising up together through the ashes.  I believe that Shannon and I knew each other from another time, that we have come together again in this time, and will find each other again in the future.

To celebrate our re-connection I took Shannon to get a Tattoo of an infinity on her birthday of that same year. I got the same one – mine rides along on my strong arm – my left. Hers sits on her back. The infinity is our symbol, a representation of our knowing each other through time, of our connection, of life that does not end.

Since then we have often discussed getting a Phoenix tattoo and we have always made it a point to look for Phoenix symbols that we liked for the purpose. We’ve found many visual representations of the Phoenix that we’ve enjoyed but none that ever seemed quite right.

Friday night, May 18, 2007 we were driving over to South Beach in Miami when Shannon said…

“We should go get our Phoenix Tattoos.”

She happened to have her laptop in the car (god I love her) and she was connected to the Internet so she started looking up images of the Phoenix. The first page she brought up under a keyword search of “Phoenix Tattoo” found this one that we hadn’t seen before:

Phoenix Tattoo By 0Bsessi0N-1
We both immediately knew it was the one we had been searching for.

Where to go for the ink?

Miami Beach has no shortage of overpriced Tattoo parlors and good artists to go along with those prices. We decided we’d try Miami Ink just for fun, and as you might expect, they were very busy (with T.V. fame and all). None of the artists we’ve gotten to know from the T.V. show were present either. Most importantly the guy at the counter just had a really bad vibe. In other parlance, he was rude. It seemed obvious that to get a Tattoo here was all about being part of a T.V. show and had little to do with the experience we were enjoying. We had passed a place on the way to Miami Ink called The Mosh Pit that does tattoos. We liked the name and headed back there.

We were walking along and just one store away from The Mosh Pit when Salvation appeared – Salvation Tattoo Lounge that is. It seemed appropriate.

Needless to say we got our Phoenix Tattoos there. Sharky, a Tattoo artist for over 20 years performed the work. He’s from the Village originally and has been down in South Florida for a few years. He seemed competent and we liked him so it was off to the races.

I went first, putting the Phoenix on my right arm. Shannon followed with her vision of weaving the tail of the Phoenix into her existing infinity.

There you have it. It was a magical evening where we shared a great time on South Beach, a wonderful dinner at Perricone’s (run there don’t walk) and before that a fantastic time looking at Triumphs and Ducati motorbikes, which we’re hoping is in our near future (Ducati S2R800 specifically).

Social media equals less than six-degrees of separation

Summary: a real ramble (sorry) on how online social media makes me feel like there’s less than six-degrees of separation…

I blog. I use WordPress . I use a theme called K2 . I went to a site today to download the latest version of a blog plug-in called flickrRSS that I use on several of my blogs. While I’m there I notice a modifed K2 theme called Fork that looks cool. I click on the image of the theme and I notice a comment on the theme from a flickr member who calls himself SoFlaChris

“I use it on my site… it’s killer. See blog.maltese.net“.

Given the name of his flickr screen name I know he’s in my neck of the woods in South Florida so I click on his link so I can see the Fork theme in action. By the way, here’s another modified K2 theme I really like that I am now using on a blog I just started yesterday (it’s about my four kids and raising them as a part-time stay-at-home dad / part-time entrepreneur).

So SoFlaChris is also Chris::Wired . He blogs, he uses WordPress, and the modified K2 theme called Fork, and he has some of the same interests that Shannon and I have like Motorcycles (we used to have a 2002 HD Fatboy and lust after all sorts of other alternatives). He has a pic of his new VW golf on his site and I think about the VW GTi that I just sold a couple of months ago and how I really like the latest version . I notice he has a lot of stuff about weather on his blog. I have a blog called abigwind about hurricane protection. I notice Chris has recently been interviewed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about his home weather station. The article is no longer live in the Sun-Sentinel’s archives (they drop off after two weeks) but I find a cached version via Googlefun article. I need to link to his site from our hurricane blog.

Anyway, the guy who interviewed the blog author (Chris Maltese) for the Sun-Sentinel is the guy who I’ve corresponded with a number of times about hurricane related stories — Josh Frank , who writes their hurricane blog. Speaking of which, I STILL have to follow up on a prior story of mine that I had suggested Josh write as I now have a lot more information from an expert interview that I conducted with Dr. Tim Reinhold (the article I have to still write is about the efficacy of various plywood materials and the best methods of their installation). And though I haven’t had much of a chance to investigate it, Chris had a bunch of headlines on his blog that referred to Australia and New Zealand which made me think he may be from there. But, from reading his bio he sounds like a New Yorker so perhaps we don’t have Australia in common after all.

Weirdness…the virtual world of the blogosphere connects to real life in all sorts of interesting ways. A couple of months ago we discovered we were right down the road from a delightful fellow blogger who is in the recruitment space (jobs/employers/job seekers/stuff that supports same) that Shannon and I write about on via EXCELER8ion. I’m out of breath. That was a link-full now wasn’t it?

What’s the point?

Even though it’s my business to use blogs and other online tools to connect people I’m still amazed when it happens to me. I find it to be a very rewarding and compelling experience. Online tools like blogs, search engines and myriad other social networking sites can connect seemingly random (and not) people, interests, and data with each other and they can intersect in equally pleasing and random (and not) ways. Without my interest in blogs I would have not found Ami or Chris. I may never meet Chris but he knows about me now because I linked to him, and we are connected now. That may be the extent of it. With Ami, we eventually arranged dinner and had a great time (after all, there were pre-existing similar interests). Soon, Shannon and I will be out for our second dinner with Ami and we can’t wait. Perhaps he’ll even talk his wife into coming along on this round.

Shannon sent me an article today about how some highly popular bloggers are starting to see the limitations with the medium. I could identify with some of what the popular bloggers were saying. It’s easy to get carried away with ourselves when our ego runs roughshod over our original purposes for blogging. At least it is for me. But, most of the time (when I’m not being a wanker) I use my blogs to connect with people, to think more clearly, for therapy, for entertainment, to make money, to make connections in my head about indisciminate thoughts and ideas, to connect in a richer way with the life that I am participating in, to the community out there in the world that I want to be part of, to gain more expertise, to make new friends and professional associates, and more. And it’s not about dry humping your computer – the big wins come when we make connections in the real world.  When I think about how blogs have enriched my life, both personally, financially and professionally, both online and offline I just can’t see much down side. I know these thoughts of mine (ramblings obviously) don’t seem particularly well articulated. And since this is my personal blog, and I allow myself the freedom to publish un-edited brain***** in this forum, I’ll let this go into the ether in the hope that it will inspire greater thinking on my part, and interaction with people like you, who surely have an opinion or some useful thoughts to add. Do let me know.

On the day before….

my birthday…I had a fantastic time with Shannon and the kids. I got stuck into writing a fun article on our blog that Shannon edited for me later on while I was at work. After some trepidation on the topic I took off and pecked out a good post in short order.  From there we managed to get out of the house and go down to Okeeheelee Park for a little adventure.

We rented a canoe, threw John and Julia in the middle and paddled all over the place for an hour. Julia was a little uncertain about the boat but she didn’t complain. John was right into it after just a couple of minutes. He called the buoy’s what sounded like bootie, which gave us quite the chuckle.  After that we were inspired to make an impromptu run down to the Publix to get some supplies for a quick Bar-b-q. We got back to the park and grilled up some chicken and burgers and downed a couple of Peroni’s – much to our delight. The kids had a blast feeding the seagulls and we all felt so glad to have spent such a nice time together.  Today was the kind of day you fantasize about all the time when the mood is high, the company is great, the sun is warm and your belly full. Cheers!

Our wedding

Shannon M. Seery and Julian E. Gude were married Saturday, September 27th in NYC. Although our love and commitment to each other has been complete since the moment that we met almost three years ago we never did take care of the marriage part. OK, so no one ever accused us of being highly conventional. We had the opportunity to tie the knot before the birth of John but frankly neither of us wanted that to be the final motivation for us to marry (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

What – no big wedding you say! Well, we’re actually going to have two weddings. The service on September 27th was the first service and was just for the two of us. We were married in our favorite hotel in New York – The Royalton. Due to everyone being scattered around the U.S. and the world we figured you could use some time (we certainly do) to put the resources together to attend our second wedding affectionately known as BPIW (big party Island wedding). So, the BPIW will take place next year on an Island somewhere off the coast of Florida (probably the Bahamas since they’re close). We want all of our family to attend!

In the end it was a recent plane ride to San Jose that kicked me in the pants about doing this. There I was flying along when I had one of those moments where I wondered if my particular plane, at that particular moment might just fall out of the sky. Those thoughts led to how much I would miss this wonderful life and all the unbelievably great people I know and love. It’s moments like these that cause us to take stock of our lives and evaluate the things still left to be done. What I determined in those moments is that I didn’t want to go through any more of this life without proclaiming my love for Shannon in this manner – so marriage it is!

Remember, BPIW to follow.

P.S. Since people always ask these questions:
1) I proposed under a moonlit sky on Palm Beach without a soul around
2) I think it was Shannon that said yes but it was kinda dark.
3) No, she’s not changing her name but WE both are. We figured if Seery Gude was a good enough name for our son John that we would both take the name as well.
4) Don’t feel obligated to send anything to us other than well wishes because if you are so inclined we’re going to do that kinda stuff next year.

More about the service
We were married some time around 8:30 in the evening on Saturday, September 27th, 2003 in our suite at the Royalton Hotel at 44 W. 44th Street in Mid town Manhattan. The Royalton is the first hotel that Shannon and I met at after our original meeting in Phoenix in January 2001. We also went their last Valentine’s Day. We stay each time in the same room (1505) and did so this time on our first night there (Friday, September 26th).

Shannon and I both loved the service and Reverend Laura did a really good job of incorporating our vows and beliefs in the wedding. Her husband was there as a witness and also took pictures of the service for us with our digital camera. Even though Rev. Laura has been marrying people a long time this was the first marriage that her husband was ever a witness for which surprised me. I am very happy that Shannon and I are married now – it feels like the right thing for our life.

Our Wedding Vows

September 27, 2003

The Royalton
The Royalton Hotel at 44 West 44th Street in New York City
44 WEST 44 STREET NEW YORK CITY NY 10036

WEDDING OF JULIAN EDWARD GUDE & SHANNON MARIE SEERY

“Julian, you are your own person. I do not have the right to bind you to your bride. Only you have this right. If it is your wish, then take this ring; put it in Shannon’s hand and say, “It is my wish”.

“Shannon, you are your own person. I do not have the right to bind you to your groom. Only you have this right. If it is your wish, then take this ring; put it in Julian’s hand and say, “It is my wish”.

I, Julian Edward Gude take you Shannon Marie Seery, to be my wife, my partner in life and my one true love.
I will cherish you and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.
I will trust you and honor you.
I will laugh with you and cry with you.
I will love you faithfully.
What may come I will always be there.
As I have given you my hand to hold.
So I give you my life to keep.
For life is short but sweet for certain,
so shall we live each moment as it were our last together.
For where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
And where you die, I will die and there I will be buried.
And when we are but ashes may our love rise up like a Phoenix and fly away together.
For not even death can part you from me.

Then you will place the ring on Shannon’s finger.

I, Shannon Marie Seery take you Julian Edward Gude, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love.
I will cherish you and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.
I will trust you and honor you.
I will laugh with you and cry with you.
I will love you faithfully.
What may come I will always be there.
As I have given you my hand to hold.
So I give you my life to keep.
For life is short but sweet for certain,
so shall we live each moment as it were our last together.
For where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
And where you die, I will die and there I will be buried.
And when we are but ashes may our love rise up like a Phoenix and fly away together.
For not even death can part you from me.

Then you will place the ring on Julian’s finger.

As we light the candles, Rev Laura will read:
“Infinity” to your relationship means that your love is connected through time. This journey that you are embarking on today began on an earlier day and will not end in this lifetime. You dream that you will discover each other again and again in this life time and in lives to come.

The Royalton Hotel at 44 West 44th Street in New York City
Posted by jsg at 08:13 PM