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An Obituary we all Need to Read

“As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor.”

Chris Connors Obit.


Here’s the rest of the obituary in case it ever gets lost from the internet:

Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey

Chris Connors died, at age 67, after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on Friday, December 9, 2016, that which cannot be printed here. Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking Veuve in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. The way he died is just like he lived: he wrote his own rules, he fought authority and he paved his own way. And if you said he couldn’t do it, he would make sure he could.

Most people thought he was crazy for swimming in the ocean in January; for being a skinny Irish Golden Gloves boxer from Quincy, Massachusetts; for dressing up as a priest and then proceeding to get into a fight at a Jewish deli. Many gawked at his start of a career on Wall Street without a financial background – but instead with an intelligent, impish smile, love for the spoken word, irreverent sense of humor, and stunning blue eyes that could make anyone fall in love with him.

As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor. At the age of 26 he planned to circumnavigate the world – instead, he ended up spending 40 hours on a life raft off the coast of Panama. In 1974, he founded the Quincy Rugby Club. In his thirties, he sustained a knife wound after saving a woman from being mugged in New York City. He didn’t slow down: at age 64, he climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest. Throughout his life, he was an accomplished hunter and birth control device tester (with some failures, notably Caitlin Connors, 33; Chris Connors, 11; and Liam Connors, 8).

He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important – the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Although he threw some of the most memorable parties during the greater half of a century, he would trade it all for a night in front of the fire with his family in Maine. His acute awareness of the importance of a life lived with the ones you love over any material possession was only handicapped by his territorial attachment to the remote control of his Sonos music.

Chris enjoyed cross dressing, a well-made fire, and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. His regrets were few, but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from an unmemorable convenience store in the summer of 1986.

Of all the people he touched, both willing and unwilling, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Emily Ayer Connors who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together.

Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors. A “Celebration of Life” will be held during Happy Hour (4 p.m.) at York Harbor Inn on Monday, December 19.

In lieu of flowers, please pay open bar tab or donate to Connors’ water safety fund at www.thechrisconnorsfund.com.

Mark Forsyth on the Proper Advective Order (!)

“…adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can’t exist.”

Mark Forsyth


  1. Opinion
  2. size
  3. age
  4. shape
  5. colour
  6. origin
  7. material
  8. purpose
  9. Noun

Sensational!

Viktor Frankl on Success

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

Viktor Frankl

Chuck Klosterman on How to Write a Book

“So this book I had been sort of thinking about writing my whole life, but it didn’t dawn on me to write it until about three years ago. That’s how books work. It’s like you think about them for a long time without knowing it, and then something happens that causes you to make it into a physical book and if you really had been thinking about, it the book turns out to be good; and if you hadn’t been thinking about it, the book turns out to be forced.”

Chuck Klosterman

A Zen Master on the Goal vs. the Path

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master: “If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen.”

The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”

The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?”

Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”

“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then?” asked the student.

“Thirty years,” replied the Master.

“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?”

Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”

William Blake on Minding Particulars

Labor well the minute particulars, take care of the little ones
He who would do good for another must do it in minute particulars
General Good is the plea of the Scoundrel Hypocrite and Flatterer
For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars”

William Blake

The ‘Make Friends With Fear’ Game

“Give it a try, make friends with fear. Why? Because your life is a fucking nightmare and what do you have to lose and it’s worth it if there’s even a chance you’ll be happier with yourself. Right?”

Chase Reeves


This quote is from an article I wrote over on Medium about how to, you know, make a good life, not, like, be all {waves hands} fucked up all the time and moody or whatever. Give it a read.

Daniel Ladinsky on Becoming a Successful Poet

“I hear I am one of the most successful living poets in the world these days. And if someone asked me, ‘How in the hell did that ever happen?’ I could respond, ‘Well, I worked my butt off, and I have been lucky at poker, and the heart is more powerful than I knew.’”

Daniel Ladinsky

Alan Watts on How to Become Wise

What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”

Alan Watts


the whole quote:

“The whole approach is not to convert you, not to make you over, not to improve you, but for you to discover that if you really knew the way you are things would be sane. But you see, you can’t do that. You can’t make that discovery because you’re in your own way so long as you think ‘I am I,’ so long as that hallucination blocks it. The hallucination disappears only in the realization of it’s own futility, when at last you see you can’t do it. […] You know a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise. So you’ve got to speed up the folly. […] What you took to be a thinker of the thoughts was just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the experiencer of the experience was just a part of the experience.”

“You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.”

Rumi

“The part of you that wants to improve is the same part of you that needs improvement.”

Alan Watts

Alan Watts on the Legitimacy of Words

“The poet is trying to describe what cannot be said. And he gets close, you know? He often really gives the illusion that he’s made it. And that’s a great thing, to be able to say what can’t be said. I am trying to express the mystical experience and it just can’t be done. And therefore everything I’m saying to you is a very elaborate deception. I’m weaving all kinds of intricate nonsense patterns which sound as if they’re about to make sense and they don’t really [laughter]. […]

The patterns that people make with words are just like the patterns of ferns, or of the marks on sea shells — they are a dance and they’re just as much of a legitimate form of life as flowers.”

Alan Watts

What Alan Watts Calls Himself

“… fake, rascal, philosophical entertainer, ego inside a bag of skin. ”

What Alan Watts Called Himself

How his friends remember him:

“He saw the true emptiness of all things. He taught us to be free. To see through the multiplicities and absurdities to the Great Universal Personality and Play. He gave us the Dharma Eye of a new age…”

“Wide Mind, Joyous Mind, Careful Loving Mind. For the true life is beyond life and death, origination, and extinction. We are with you in the many paths you opened for us…”

“Alan Watts was a philosopher, a poet, a calligrapher, a lover, a friend, a dharma reveler, a revealer, a great founder of the spirit for all of us…”

Alan Watts is one of those lights in my life. I want to learn more about him. I understand there’s some scandal in how he ended his days, but this recount of his life makes me wonder how much is true.

Dude was a badass mystic trickster.

Bo Burnham on Who’s Qualified to Talk About Something

“I think the problem is that oftentimes, the only people that are qualified to talk about something are people that, were they to talk about it, they’d be hypocrites. I don’t think I would know certain things if I hadn’t benefited from it. So I feel like it’s sort of my job to just pull the rug out from under something.”

Bo Burnham

Still sort of reeling from watching his “Make Happy” special on Netflix. This video came out showing the final song of the show… that line about giving the audience what he can’t give himself. Damn. Got me.

Here’s another quote from this article that I liked:

“I’ve always just been very confused about how comedy is supposed to be about honesty, how everyone would always say to me, ‘You got to be more honest up there,’ but honestly what I’m feeling is: this is strange. That’s the first thing I’m thinking. That me standing up here is super weird. This is all very weird and us pretending this isn’t weird, pretending like I’m your best friend, just a cool guy at a party getting up making jokes, is really strange.”