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  1. Okay... here is a funny story. I'm getting married next weekend. Cliff was supposed to be my best man. (My current best man was supposed to be godfather of my kids). So I'm planning my bachelor party... which isn't going to be the same. I invited my fiancee's dad. She says "well, I guess that is okay... it isn't like there are going to be whores at the party." And I fuckin burst into tears saying "no, my whoring buddy is dead...." Well... on the up-side... I finally figured out what to do with his ashes. I am having a flask engraved with: the usual, name, date of birth, date of merge with the infinite... but also with "Rest in Slack" and "Don't knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run away. He hates that" on it. And... one of the up-sides to Cliff dying... his best friend in law school, Ryan and I have gotten pretty close since Dec. 30. I've asked Ryan to come to my wedding and take Cliff's seat. He'll have that flask in his pocket throughout the ceremony. My whoring buddy is dead...... that would sound so fuckin FUNNY if it was in a book or a movie. Fuckin sucks when it is in your actual life....
  2. Cliff, i found your Redwing boots.. I was using them for motorcycling, but man, those things suck! Oh yeah, and "they" say time heals all wounds... thats fucking bullshit. I dont feel any better today than I did a year ago. New Years used to be my favorite holiday.... now it is just "the day I stopped having a best friend." I didnt even bother to leave the house because I didnt want to be a downer at anyone else's party.
  3. Regarding me being "not a bad guy to contact...." feel free to do so. However, contrary to the incorrect stereotypes about lawyers, I have very strong ethics... therefore, I can't say that I'd take such a case. Not because I don't think it has merit. It might. I just don't think I am the best man for the job. This is the kind of case that, if you put it together, should be handled by the absolute best man for the task. I have seen many important cases that turned to a big double-malfunction because the attorney who took the case was motivated by lucre and/or ego. In situations like that, when the case is lost, the lawyer gets to go on with his career -- but the cause suffers a horrible setback. That all being said, I can think of nobody better to lead the team on something like this than Fred Morelli. When it comes to this area of law, he's the Jolly Green Giant, and I'm a Keebler Elf. On a case like this, I'd consider it an honor to just carry Morelli's briefcase for him. That being said, feel free to take any materials you find on my blog, and if there is some small way that I can help out -- don't hesitate to ask. One thing that I think I could do is this: I teach Sports Law, and I have a lot of talented students. If you wind up hiring a good lawyer for this case, no matter what, I'm sure that you will be hard pressed to fully fund the suit. This case could easily run to six figures. I'd be more than willing to talk to the attorney who takes the case, and put him in contact with some of my students. Perhaps some of them would be willing (under your lawyer's supervision) to do research and memos to cut down on costs for you, and gain practical experience for themselves. I'm not promising anything, but even though I don't jump anymore, I still consider myself to be "part of the community." I'm certain that if I put out a call for help for something on, I'd get more than I needed. (Actually, that has already happened -- back in January) So, in that spirit of "be excellent to each other," I'll certainly do whatever I can that will be both ethical and likely to help, rather than hinder, the cause.
  4. My friend Dena (Esclava Rodriguez) came over this weekend. Cliff was her AFF instructor, and Cliff and I were Esclava's "Rodriguez Parents." Anyhoo... I made Fish Head Curry for her and a few other guests. You haven’t seen pathetic until you see a guy holding a 5 pound grouper head, looking at it with tears in his eyes like it is motherfucking Yorick. Fortunately nobody noticed. Of course, I did not manage to hold it together for too much longer after that. (Yes, we ate the eyeballs). I am now officially the only person who could ever burst into hysterical tears while watching a “Jay and Silent Bob” movie. I watched Clerks II, and Dante and Randall are in a jail cell…. the scene that got me is actually is up on youtube. . Dante’s character doesn’t really remind me of Cliff at all, but I can certainly identify with Randall in this scene - and the two of them interact in a way that did remind me of Cliff and I. The scene is really funny until about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s where the tears started to well up. Of course, I just chanted in my head to myself “I will not cry in front of a house full of people while watching FUCKING CLERKS II”. About 60 seconds later, I totally exploded. And yeah, Cliff and I never planned to open a convenience store together, but there was this plan that I would drag him into the porn law business eventually, and spend the rest of my life working with my best friend. Fuckin Kevin Smith. "I hate everyone and everything seems stupid to me." "But you were always the counter balance to that... The yin to my yang"
  5. Yeah Hoo! Just before my 100th jump, someone noted that I was sporting the same color jumpsuit as Johnny. So, I got a fake beard (there happened to be one lying around), put on a frap hat, and started walking like Johnny, and I started screaming "YEAH HOOO!" and flipping everyone off. That day, the curse of Johnny Gates was born. (My 100th ended with a broken leg). FOURTH IMPORTANT SAFETY BRIEFING -- DONT IMITATE JOHNNY GATES! I wasn't very close to him, but I was sad to hear he died. Of course, once I heard HOW he died... I just had to say "what a cool motherfucker." Blue Skies Johnny... Say Hi to Cliff for me.
  6. Man, this video is awesome. Warning... if you thought you had "dealt with it" ... think again. I lost my shit after watching this. Missing man formation (discussed earlier) is such an appropriate way to describe this. Cliff was my wingman - in every arena except at work... and when he started law school, he began taking that duty too. I know that sorrow is part of the spectrum of human emotions, but I really wish I had gone the rest of my life without knowing what this feels like. Every fucking day... every fucking day... every FUCKING DAY.... something happens and I get that "Oh, I gotta call/email Cliff about this..." It only lasts for a nanosecond, and then reality punches me in the face. At least he was a skydiver... these videos would have been kinda lame if he was into knitting or something like that. I remember back when Cliff was "promoted" to being my best friend. We actually talked about it. He thought it was funny, and asked if he had to share the title with anyone. Its something awesome when you just realize that one day, the guy you're hanging out with is the best friend you have. Its even cooler when you tell them that. It gets even cooler when you tell them that 10 years later. Now I go through the list in my head of all my closest friends. I ask myself "so who is your best friend, NOW?" And my answer is ... "I don't have one anymore." It should follow logic that someone should be it now, right? Shouldn't it be that whoever my "second best" friend was should step into the void? I didn't realize that it doesn't work that way. I just fucking don't have a best friend anymore. This blows ass.
  7. Nice photos. I'd love a copy of that tribute DVD too, if someone can get it to me. I wish I could have been there for the ash dive. "Missing Man Formation" is a hell of a way to do that. Missing Man Formation ... :( Pretty much describes every triumph I'll have now. Aw man... I'm hitting that "acceptance" thing. But it isn't like what I thought "acceptance" would feel like. "Acceptance" has this connotation of "dealing with it." Not exactly an accurate way to describe this.
  8. Jen, You, of all people, have absolutely no need to defend anything to anyone. We all see different facets of our friends, and I know that if we all drew pictures of his psyche, while they would all resemble one another, they would certainly all look somewhat different. Once you say "I loved Cliff," everything else is just window dressing. Here, have some slack....
  9. Dont drop the Crazy! It makes you special. And not in a hockey helmet way... in a precious and "only you" way. Wanna hear something weird? There is a conference in Arizona that I really wanted to attend, but I was not going to be able to due to work responsibilities. This morning, I get an email that my firm is sending me after all. I guess I will have to make a little pilgrimage to Eloy. So, any Eloyians that may be present in February, I would love the opportunity to meet you. Marco
  10. Well, here I am ... back home in Florida. I had what can only be described as a voyage of a weekend. All expenses paid (well, paid by myself) to exotic Staten Island. I'm sad to report that this is not a hoax... and I was still holding out a wee bit of irrational hope. But I am happy to report that we did manage to laugh. Friday night we had a great time. We polished off a lot of Maker's Mark, Saturday it was a bottle of Patron, and a bottle of Maker's. The Eulogies did him justice. The service was perfect. And we actually managed to start making fun of Cliff -- which he would have done to us. I can't say that I actually "accept" this... but I'm not losing it anymore. Hugging Craig, and Vic, and Russ, and Brandi, Sherman, Crazy Cousin Cindy, Jen, Aviva, etc., started to put a little of my bleeding strength back in me. My big brother is gone... but i've inherited a little brother, and two sisters. Not a bad trade.
  11. Hahahah! Yeah, I remember that like it was yesterday. I jumped from the aircraft with my leg straps un-done, and was putting my rig on in free fall. Not my smartest maneuver. Of course, it got me disoriented, and it was either *try* and make it back to the DZ, or *definitely* make it to the golf course. Golf course is surrounded by a banana farm, and yes, I trashed the green. Some banana farmer puts me on his motorcycle and drives me back. That look on Cliff's face, as it went from abject worry to "you idiot!" was priceless. And my family would never put a hit on Cliff. We're not "that kind of Sicilians." That was Cliff's way of saying "I hope I didnt break him." Black, if you have any video of him... us... that weekend... let me know. I'm collecting it.
  12. Does anyone remember that "toast" that Cliff used to do, usually in the most inappropriate situations? Something like this: May prostitutes prosper, May fuck become a household word, ... Without further ado Cunt. Something like that. I know I am missing half the words because every time I heard it I was probably laughing beer out my nose. I remember taking him out one night, and we had a bunch of girls at the table. He stands up, stone cold sober, and bellows this "toast" out. He finishes, there is beer everywhere from me laughing, and the girls all fled. Cliff had this way of cock blocking you, but making you have *more* fun in the process. Cliff, you weird, offensive, hilarious bastard.
  13. One of my students read this thread... this is an excerpt from what he had to say: I can't help but be jealous of the relationship you had with your buddy, Cliff. It sounds like the ultimate friendship - the kind in those 80's coming-of-age movies (Stand By Me), but you got to continue that into adulthood. It sounds like you guys were the loudmouths at the restaurant that quiet people like me would mutter "look at those assholes" while secretly wanting to join in. No wonder he got an A in my course last semester. Ugh... im fucking losing it again.
  14. One of the videos posted uses the Repo Man theme as the background music. That is SO cool. In the movie, which Cliff knew verbatim, there is a point when Harry Dean Stanton screams with immense rage (at some guys called *the Rodriguez Brothers*: "GODDAMN..... DIPSHIT.... RODRIGUEZ..... GYPSY.. DILDO.. PUNKS!!!!" Whenever Cliff and I made a jump together, we'd always look at each other and yell that. He would have this funny assed laugh afterward...