Hey there little personal writing adventure I pay attention to every few months, I mean blog. How’s it hanging? Shocked you’re still around? Me too. Shocked anyone still clicks on you? Me too. Here’s to another resolution …
(p.s. Still thinking about you, Missy Elliott. Come back to my life.)
Things are a-happening around here! By here, I mean my life and clearly not this blog. I’m working 60+ hours a week trying to keep it all together and pay a bill or two while simultaneously juggling an almost completely non-existent social life and oddly wonderful relationship. Aside from the lack of gym visits and thousands of miles I’ve put on Winnie in the last few months (driving over 100 miles a day is and isn’t the worst thing in the world. Special shout out to the world’s best playlist’er, DJ Amber), I’m pretty damn content with how life is playing out right now. I’m just happy as hell the last few months are over and I’m actually working as a reporter with a publication.
Girlfriend got an internship (PAID!) at a newspaper and let me tell you, it’s pretty fucking amazing.
The last semester at school physically sucked the life out of me. Previous semesters I had deemed difficult feel like a walk at the beach in comparison to those four months of mental carnage. When I walked into the newsroom on the first day, I truly believed everything would be different. I thought I had an incredible group of people who were interested in being the best editors in the world and that we were all going to work together in some form of sick harmony to produce a weekly paper- the best weekly paper the school had ever seen. Clearly, my life is supposed to play out like a Disney movie and you bet your ass there’s a soundtrack.
Listen, there was talent on this team. There is no doubt about the talent that dedicated hours to this paper, but with that talent came the most insane egos. From college kids. From people under (and sometimes over) thirty at a community fucking college. I was challenged, lied to, made fun of and ignored on a daily basis by people who two months prior were friends I was sharing drinks with and planning our “change” to the journalism world through our printed words. I was in a room for 25+ unpaid hours a week (in between the other FOUR JOBS I WAS HOLDING DOWN. Still have NO IDEA how I survived.) with people who questioned my dedication and in return wouldn’t even acknowledge me when I said “good morning.” I was the fool for hoping that in a college setting, people would act professional and leave high school attitudes behind. I was wrong. And I suffered each and every day.
As I left the newsroom on a day where editors wouldn’t respond to my questions even when we were looking directly at each other, my adviser flagged me down in the parking lot before the tears started rolling.
“Are you OK?” -adviser
“No. I’m not OK. They don’t even acknowledge me. Everyone is so rude and they all act like they have everything to give and nothing to learn. I thought we all had something to learn here? Why are they so fucking mean?” -me, clearly
“Tracy, it doesn’t matter.” -adviser
“I lay myself out there every fucking day and it just doesn’t matter how awful they treat me?” -me, again
“Nope. There will always be people who treat you this way regardless of who you are or what you do. It doesn’t matter. You’re not doing this for them. You’re doing this for you. That matters.” –adviser
Then the clouds parted and the sun started shining and a bird flew by singing the sweet sounds of spring. I kid, I kid.
I did have a profound moment though, and at the time thought “Ya. Fuck them. This is for me.”
And it was.
Three years ago, I would have never challenged myself by applying for the editor-in-chief position. Three years ago, I would have never dedicated countless hours or energy on anything that had to do with bettering myself, let alone pursuing my dreams. Three years ago, I would have been bored, at a desk, starting a blog about keeping hope when all you want to do is melt into a pool of whiskey, Xananx and complaints (they go hand-in-hand sometimes.)
Shortly after the pep talk, I heard news of an internship, applied and was hired during the interview. I showed up to meetings I didn’t have to attend, I suggested story ideas and made myself as readily available to do whatever they needed me to do. I’ve been published three times, took photos for two of the stories and can’t even count the number of online articles under my name. I’ve met with the publisher a few times and have some solid hope that I’ll be hired for a staff position.
Now that the semester is over and I’m no longer a part of the newsroom or editor-in-chief, I’ve let go of most of the bad feelings but I do have a regret or two hanging around.
I regret assuming people were on the same path as me. They didn’t assume the leadership position that I willingly took on, I did. I regret taking things personally. In one of my favorite books, “The Four Agreements,” a cardinal rule is to not take things personally. I have the exact mantra written on a Post-It note that’s stuck to my bathroom mirror from the night I read that page over four years ago (tangent- holler Post-It’s! Four years stuck to MY bathroom mirror? Way to fucking WORK.) I took things personally and I shouldn’t have. I’m only responsible for myself and my actions and can’t control others. I regret the time I lost worrying or complaining to my boyfriend or friends when I could have easily taken things as they were and not let everything consume me.
You know what I don’t regret? Working my ass off to get to here. I feel absolutely no regret about how hard I have worked and how hard I will continue to work to be better than I am at this moment. I want whatever it is that I’m feeling right now to last forever.
I’ve been on this health-ish kick lately (to further specify, I’m just trying not to inhale every single thing thrown in front of my freaking face. I’m human. I don’t know how to eat 7 million vegetables a day or say ‘no’ to a manhattan, but I am trying to be a better me), and have been falling in love with the gym.
I use to take a boot camp class that was incredible and changed my entire body and mind, but with being in the newsroom a zillion hours a week and holding down four jobs and a NEW INTERNSHIP (!!!!!! Just let me finish a few sentences without parentheses’ and we can discuss) my available hours to gym it up are weird. But I love it! I’m lifting weights, sweating all over disgusting gym machines, and talking to trainers about supplements and stacks and UGHH it feels so good. I see regulars and we do the “whatsup” nod to each other and I’m sure soon enough that we will all be best friends, drinking protein shakes at the park and laughing about our former fat selves … or maybe not. Whatever. A girl can dream, right?
While I’m loving the gym and their insane playlists (really, out of this world. I’ve almost asked who makes them and if I can jump in to the rotation), I am 100% not in to the gym bathrooms. Let me rephrase- I am 100% not in to the full on bush every single time I walk in to the locker rooms. It’s bush central. Lot’s of bush. Bush walking around, bush towel drying, bush SITTING ON THE ACTUAL BENCHES WHILE IT FINDS ITS CHONIES. How. Why. STOP.
I’m so pro woman. The pro-est of woman and god we are beautiful creatures, but can I just not see your bush? Can you hide that thing? I don’t care what you do with it, but can I just not have it in my face every time I walk in to the room? I’d say I see a minimum of eight new bushes a week. I’m averaging four gym trips a week and each one of those trips includes a stop in the locker room to lock up my oh-so-valuable purse (no value, quite honestly. Less value than an empty wallet. It’s. sad.) and with every turn of the corner in that freaking room is a goddamn bush.
Maybe I’m the prude? Maybe it’s just weird for me to walk around naked in a room full of women. I’m actually starting to like my body and it still freaks me out that women of ALL SIZES AND SHAPES are so ok with theirs.
And, I’m insanely jealous. To be able to feel so comfortable in your own skin … a girl can really dream. I envy each and every one of those women, of all ages, that rips off their gym clothes and full frontal walks to the sinks to wash their hands. Naked. Totally accepting of their body. One day, Tracy, one day …
On a brighter note- internship! I got one! It’s paid! It pays shit! But it pays!
Starting this summer, I will be working for an actual publication! I think this means I am actually fulfilling my dreams of writing and I am scared as shit but it’s beyond exciting. My boyfriend can attest that I’m almost always exhausted and I usually fall asleep within seventeen seconds of seeing him (he’s the greatest I SWEAR), but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been working my ass off to catch this dream. It’s all happening you guys; it’s all happening.
I totally understand your complete lack of interest in the blog. Really, I do. With the zero posts that you’ve received and read in the last year, I fathom the disinterest. You see, I became the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper and all writing has come to a halt while I deal with building a new, baller resume. That resume may or may not include the four jobs I currently hold to keep living the dream and also full-time school schedule. I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote a post, I was also diving in to a new, severely INCREDIBLE relationship. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and (gross yourself out) madly in love. In addition, I lost a bunch of weight, gained some back, lost some more and then ran a 5k in 30 minutes. I’ve been battling body image issues like a mutha, but the gym has been newly found therapy and in the few spare hours I have per week, I hightail it over and get my ugly-sweat on. To say that I am busy is an understatement.
But, I care! I swear I do! I need to keep this blog alive! If I could turn back time (cue Cher voice), I would be documenting all of the absolutely ridiculous events in the last few months, but hey. I’m here now, right? Can I tell you about a cinema class I took over winter break? It was horrible. and magical. and really miserable. but also really wonderful.
Let’s start with the wonderful:
- I’m watching movies I’ve never seen and probably never would see because I have a fear of watching movies.
I know. You see, it’s not that I can’t sit through one (well, that’s a slight fabrication…) I get emotionally invested … easily … in everything. I cry over commercials. I cry when the right song comes on at the right moment. I cried watching The Real World the other night. The Real World. It’s the THIRD EPISODE of THE SEASON and P.S. I’M TWENTYNINE. When you’re this emotional about the MOST INSIGNIFICANT THINGS, it’s really difficult to commit yourself to a full 90+ minutes of a storyline, let alone an ending that may or may not play in to what your head has already concocted. I’ve started slowly falling in love with actors and movies I never thought I would have any interest in. Would you believe that this girl is actually enjoying- nay, seeking out silent films? I know. Breaking barriers here.
- Adults in college level classes talk a lot and I do not want to be one of them. I know that technically every student in the room is an “adult”, but there are two or three guys that are older than 35 that LOVE to hear their voices whether they’re being relevant or not. I debated putting this in the “miserable” section, but it is truly a wonderful experience whenever they chime in and I don’t. I’m constantly reminded to shut the fuck up because I’m borderline the fourth oldest person in the room and in competition with two other people for teacher’s pet. The teacher’s pet part is due to the fact that the professor is also my journalism professor during the regular semester and he constantly reminds me and the class of how much time we spend together. If one of the old guys isn’t interjecting with one of their irrelevant non-movie stories, it’s usually my professor asking “Hey Tracy” this or “so Tracy, what do you think about…”
and, well ya. There’s the wonderful. The list of miserable?
1. You’re either absolutely insane or grinding your ass off if you sign up for an 8 a.m. class during Winter Break. It’s the worst. I’m barely alive before 11 a.m. and to have a professor that you like expecting you to be engaged in the class because everyone else except the four 35-year olds is asleep is the worst. The. Worst. And now I’m the teachers pet because no one responds to “Who is Judy Garland” and I don’t want my professor to feel that old. See, I care.
2. No coffee. How the fuck I survived a morning class without coffee or food is a goddamn miracle and in my books an automatic A. The classroom had a “problem” with insects and animals. Yes, animals. Food and drinks were strictly prohibited in the room and I sat through a MOVIE CLASS for three hours per day, four days a week without a perk.
Someway, somehow I passed the class and am currently missing it more than ever. I’ve been busting my ass every week as the editor-in-chief for this newspaper and am flat out exhausted. It’s tolling spending hours upon hours on a project that you 1. aren’t getting paid for and 2. have to be the biggest cheerleader for even when everyone has doubt in your abilities. I’ve learned more about myself in the last three months than the last twenty years. I’m constantly reminding myself that everything that happens in the newsroom is a learning opportunity and I will apply it in my professional life at one point or another.
And, I need to write more. I need to remember that this is important to me. Just holding the glimmer over here guys, holding the glimmer the best I can.
She is my muse, love. My life. My soul, which I never knew or believed existed until I felt her breath… my breath, filling my lungs. Lately words have been flowing from my heart that I never expected to hear, feel, or believe. It is as real and as drastic a transformation as I have ever experienced. Apparently, it is wholely possible to look forward to speaking to someone just moments after hanging up the phone – to miss someone mere seconds following farewells. It seems that, despite all doubt, in all appearances, potentially, probably, ipso. fucking. facto. that love not only exists, but that I find myself eyebrow deep in it. This is a first. Many firsts, in fact. But, certainly the first time I find myself deep in something that did not require legal, medical, or moral assistance to get out of.
I am writing this for the same reason I’ve ever written anything, because I have to. I have written, to date, a number of letters beyond my ability to count (which is to say, I’ve run out of fingers and toes) regarding the subject of love, the subject of my love, addressed to… well, you get the point. I have killed four pens, 2.5 notebooks, and three packs of evelopes in just a couple of months. So for anyone wondering if The Duke of Glimmer has been writing… he has, but only for one person as of recently. And although she prefers not to share my attention, I’m sure she’ll grant me reprieve in this case.
My love is music, for I found her through music. My love is friendship, for I found her through friendship. She is dance, and light, and laughter… gorgeous hot days, and long desert nights. She is drugs – I will not lie. The greatest (seriously, the greatest) drug I’ve ever known. I am convinced she is the path to my enlightenment – if that is a thing and it can truly be achieved. And if not, I’m just fucking happy. Really happy. Happy enough to write this sappy post that you will probably read, say “awww,” puke, then take an insulin shot. And that’s fine.
The point is that it’s real and it’s out there – love. It’s not something you’re expecting to find, or that you seek out on purpose. It just grows, organically – non GMO, always fair trade. I didn’t even know I wanted it until love found me, but now I’ll fight with the passion of a thousand souls to keep it, this fire that burns in my heart. There’s no formula, just live your life and let it find you. It will. Somehow it found me. Somehow there’s a beautiful woman in this world who is just like me, but better… so much better. Genuinely, just ask Tracy, she’s better… and she loves me, lucky fool that I am. So for anyone struggling or lonely out there – trust me, if you’re holding the glimmer, sooner or later the universe will send someone to share the burden.
May 30, 2012
It’s been over a month since my dreaded…day…of…(it’s still really difficult to talk about. There is no closure. I still don’t understand it. I still can’t wrap my head around the events. I’m constantly questioning every single day of employment, what I could have potentially done wrong, how I got here…all that wonderfully depressing shit((yes, it’s worse than a breakup)) and I’m having a REALLY DIFFICULT TIME figuring out what to do now that I have all this free time to not meticulously plan someone’s day to day life. I’ve spent the last nine years building a career, saying a big “fuck you” to higher education, and building one of the best resumes I’ve seen thus far from a 27 year old, so having actual time to do whatever the fuck I want is….weird. Did I mention horribly depressing? I did. Let’s just set that tone real quickly; this post will be a lot easier to understand once you realize I’m a prime candidate to take over the Zoloft rock’s job.
… that was depressing.
Friends! Hi! How’s it going! Anyone out there still holding the glimmer? I sure as hell am! The excerpt above was the absolute last thing I wrote dedicated to this blog before my tailspin of depression which turned in to the absolute best six (err…nine…) months of my life. You see, life has been intense. I know you’ve all held your breath waiting for me to update you on everything Tracy, but for a while there, I didn’t think I would make it out alive. Maybe that was just my liver talking. Maybe my liver still doesn’t know what I’m doing. Maybe I hate my liver and my liver hates me. Maybe… We move along.
I never realized how difficult it was not having a job. (Before you read the following few paragraphs, please feel free to let out an audible groan. I realize how little sorrow you feel for me over the next few words you read, but I promise they have a point. Or maybe the don’t. I don’t give a fuck.) While I complained on a daily basis about sitting behind a desk, I didn’t understand how difficult it was to have a conversation about not sitting behind a desk. That desk became my identity. You see, so many interactions are formed around that job. It’s shocking how much self worth and value is established around a job- any kind of job- but just a job. I didn’t know how to not talk about a job or, not having one. Try going on a first date three weeks after losing your job. Let me know how awesome it feels when you’re trying to build yourself up as this incredibly worthy, date-able specimen (trust me- it ends in a paid cab ride because you had four too many Manhattans. Trust. Me.) Try having an interest in going to dinner or lunch with your friends and talking about their lives and their jobs and how much they are succeeding in life as you dive deeper in to an abyss of self doubt. It was daunting and depressing and instead of not talking about not having a job, I did everything that a person without a job did. (Get ready for the groans, kids…)
After a few REALLY LONG WEEKS of being more miserable than I can even begin to explain, I physically forced myself to snap out of it, and realized I was granted an early summer vacation. Time was of the essence and I was going to use that wisely (kinda wisely…) I made plans with practically every person I knew and every person I didn’t know. I inadvertently started a mission to thoroughly enjoy my life and whatever came of it. This included, but was not limited to: concerts, days on the beach, drinks, concerts, Disneyland, lunches, concerts, really awkward/amazing online dates, more drinks, dinners, fuck I spent a lot of money on concerts. While my parents weren’t too fond of the idea, I planned a solo road trip to Salt Lake City to see some of my best friends and my favorite band, Passion Pit. Apparently, the lead singer was going through some SEVERE inner turmoil as well and canceled the show (which may or may have not affected my already wavering depression issues), but I still packed up Winnie Cooper (that’s my ride, for any of the three readers who don’t know me…), and hit the open road. My trip was beyond enlightening. The Utah kids were Coachella friends that became family and I had a long week of whiskey and even more soul searching. I’m not exactly sure when it hit; between three caramel macchiatos, an entire jumbo pack of fire breathing beef jerky and an exhausting 13 hour drive home, I was determined to completely change my life. And, I did.
I came back to LA knowing fully well that summer was on its tail end and I would be diving off the deep end into my first semester of school in over nine years. I was an absolute nervous wreck at the idea of even walking in to a class room (Where would I sit? Would I be the oldest in the classroom? What if I saw people I knew? What if my clumsy ass fell while walking in to the classroom and everyone laughed at me and I would forever be known as that old girl who fell in slow motion on the first day of classes? What would I wear?), let alone the fact that I had to crash every single class…. (BIG shout out to Los Angeles Community College District registration dept. Really appreciate that registration date where all classes were filled four weeks prior to my registration date. That was super tight of you. Even more props for the financial aid I couldn’t get because of my 2011 income. GREAT, supportive start to my new scholastic me, really.)
Oddly enough, all of the fear and anxiety was completely unwarranted. My first day of school was…absolutely incredible. I felt completely in my element and inspired to put every effort in to achieving the one regret I’ve held on to thus far in life- not getting my degree.
Super fast forward to today, because Lord knows I’ve been doing a phenomenal job with staying accountable with my blog dreams: I managed a 3.0 in my first semester of school, stayed out of as much trouble as possible over winter break (not really, but that’s a whole different blog post..), lost about 30lbs, and found myself a suuuuper sweet boyfriend.
And that’s where I’m ending this post. A few doubts, a few questions, and a whole lotta suspense.
Love you guys xoxo
It’s been a rough one, glimmies. I’m sure all three of you were well aware of our absence (please just let me believe you were at least.. I need SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN right now….), but SHIT has gone DOWN in the last month and I haven’t had enough time to formulate words in to a post. Let me rephrase that- I’ve had MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME to write a post because I am officially unemployed.
(ps- this is Tracy.)
Ya, I made these for a friend’s birthday party AND St. Patty’s Day. Absolutely gorgeous, I know! I’m not that single, I just really enjoy baking (and compliments…) and making my friends happy! Barf, right? It’s true, it’s true. As disheartened as I may come off on this blog, my black heart really bleeds red and I guess I put a tiny bit of effort into keeping and making friendships, because that’s what it’s all about. Besides, the more value I put on you, the more likely I’m paying my friendship dues super hardcore, which means I’m REALLY GOING TO NEED YOU WHEN I CRUMBLE, WHICH IS AT ANY GIVEN TIME BECAUSE MY LIFE IS FREAKING INCREDIBLE RIGHT NOW AND THIS SHEER JOY HAS TO END AT SOME POINT AND THAT POINT COULD VERY WELL BE ANY SECOND, SO PLEASE REMEMBER THAT TIME WHEN I TALKED TO YOU FOR HOURS, COACHING YOU ON WHAT EVER LIFE LESSON IT WAS FOR THE DAY, KEEPING YOU OFF THAT LEDGE, SENDING YOU E-TISSUES OR E-CARDS, OR CALLING YOUR OFFICE TO TELL THE RECEPTIONIST TO RUN IN TO THE BREAKROOM AND STOP YOU FROM TAKING THAT BITE OF A BEAR CLAW. Really, I might need you one day.
Oh, glimmerheads, you make my world spin round. I want to thank whomever is doing our PR all over the eastern hemisphere. We had unique views from Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, Latvia (um?), Russian Federation and United Arab Emirates just to name a few! Granted, the 4 clicks from U.A.E. were blocked due to content (hahahahahah WHAT A SENTENCE! BLOCKED IN OTHER COUNTRIES?!?! Holding the glimmer worldwide!!!) and the 4 hits this morning from Mexico were all related to Google searches that may or may not include the words: gagging, Sarah Palin eats corn dog (it was Bachmann, you idiot), choking, and bald sweat, we really do value our insanely anonymous PR rep that’s not associated with the United States.
I’ve been coming around to this whole daylight savings thing. Kinda. Don’t get it twisted, 4 out of 5 days of the week, I’m still watching the sun come up and go down behind glass windows, in a 10 hour span, with a mere kiss of actual sun during my lunch break, but that 5th day makes it all worthwhile. The beach is far too close for me to neglect, so I’ve been trying to make a habit of appreciating those sunsets from the sand. It’s oddly rewarding. That’s all I can divulge without losing my street cred. Moving on.
Now that I’m face to face with the sun during my 2hour+ daily commute (I wasn’t lying. I’m legitly facing the sun in both directions and now have to apply sun block before driving (worst hangover cure ever…)), I’ve become even more fascinated with LA drivers. First and foremost- you’re all assholes. I know we covered this in previous posts, but I’ve compiled a list of the people I hate the most- Los Angeles Drivers.
The Rule Maker
Oh, we’re going YOUR speed today? Oh, you don’t mind that your speed is 20 mph below the speed limit? Oh, your violent “slow down” hand gestures totally negates the fact that you just made an illegal u-turn into MY LANE? Oh, you want to pump your brake lights a few times in an effort to warn me that you’re now approximately 100 yards away from the car in front of you? Ohhhh ok ok- YOU make the rules and we just abide by them. Ps- you really suck.
OhhhhhEMmmmGeeeee WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE SUPER AWESOME RIMS THAT DO THAT TWISTY THING?!? What IS that song that you’re playing so loudly that I heard it from the underpass of the onramp a mile away?! It’s 55 degrees and all of your windows are down, how DO you DO it? That’s right. You’re that guy, driving around aimlessly, proving nothing other than the fact that you know how to drive and are probably severely less endowed than your average male counterparts. You pull up to my window at every chance you get, forgetting traffic patterns or the fact that you are negatively affecting them and making your own, hoping I’ll turn to the left to check you out as you nonchalantly pretend to sing the lyrics to your favorite song.
The Makeup Artist
This one’s a little difficult for me to write. You see, I’ve genuinely perfected the art of car make-up. Seriously. Ask any single person I know (except Duke. Duke’s a boy. Boy’s don’t understand.) and they will tell you that one of my finest gifts is transforming my face in front of a rearview mirror. I get that it’s illegal, and really dangerous, but I’ve perfected the craft and cannot stand those who haven’t. If your mascara application is affecting the flow of traffic- I hate you. If I’m stopped behind your brake lights, seeing your fingers feverishly circling concealer in to those under eye circles, with 50 yards of open freeway in front of you, I will honk. And motion. And do my best to make you feel horrible about the lack of attention you are paying to that pavement. You probably think I’m a big ole hypocrite, but the fact of the matter is that this is not me. This is you. I already explained that I have perfected the craft and have yet to negatively affect traffic due to my fake face. You have not. Fix that. (and your face. Zing!)
I’ve been known to be a fan of flair, (mainly glitter) but my flair doesn’t fly far. I keep the fun on my desk (Whatsup awesome rhinestone calculator! Holler sparkly coffee cup holder!), or in my room, but rarely does it reach the outer limits of my car (except 2008 with my favorite Obama bumper sticker. All the cool kids were doing it.) I think it’s awesome that you want to “coexist” and that you’re a big fan of NOFX, but once you’ve passed the two sticker mark- I’m legally allowed to consider you freaking weird. And how the hell am I supposed to read whatever it is you’re promoting from the back of your window while I’m trying to avoid being stuck behind you in traffic. You are a distraction! Also, when did society deem it acceptable to not only place sticker figurines of family members in order from largest to smallest on the back of your window, but to also NAME everyone?! I’m positively freaked out when they call my name at Starbucks, let alone blasting my family on a car. Has anyone checked the national sex offender registry lately? Have you looked in to your local pedophiles (I do. Every. Single. Day. I also have a sick and twisted obsession with America’s Most Wanted, but you bet your ass I’ll be the one to find your killer. I’m still fuming I wasn’t the one to catch Whitey Bulger in Santa Monica..) Site is BOOMING and it’s because those freaks now know each of your kids’ names and their affiliation with their favorite sports. And friends, this is really important to me. If I ever happen to die, I swear to all that is holy that I will haunt your asses til the day you die if I see my name, date of birth, and date of death on the back of your car in sticker form. I’d rather be memorialized via billboard including cause of death (they never include that in obituaries and I’m always curious. Sure, they’re to honor and remember the lives of those lost, but I’m really just curious how. If I can’t be a trend setter now, I’ll be one after I die.) Thank you.