A Personal Note on the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

I thought I’d take a moment and join my incredulous voice with the thousands of others on the internet regarding the dominating cultural event of the weekend, and I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I write about movies and pop culture a lot here, anyway, so I think it makes sense to share my reaction.


 July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014

July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014


On Sunday, when Callaghan broke the calm silence of our morning to blurt that Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead – the half-pause-prefaced audible raised eyebrow at the end of his statement being the damning clue that this wasn’t a hoax – my reaction was physical: my eyes instantly dampened, and my lungs sucked in air suddenly and forcefully, involuntarily, the way they do when you’re slammed in the stomach, and I shouted NO! as my fingers ransacked the keyboard in a fruitless search for evidence to the contrary. It can’t be true. But the reality of the situation darkened the room the more I looked. The lights were on, but the dim and shock lingered. I keyed in WTF NO on Facebook and spent the rest of the day swallowing back tears, a cloud like an open gut suspended above my head. I didn’t let a single tear fall because I felt like that would make it more real, but I was surprised. I don’t cry easily; that my reaction to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman was so visceral rather astonished me. I’m one of many who felt his death as a personal loss.

It just never occurred to me that there could be such a thing as a body of cinematic and theatrical work absent of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s genius, but that is what we have before us. Who is going to play all the parts he would have played, and so resoundingly make us believe that only he could have played them?

In the words of Brandt, “Well Dude, we just don’t know.”

An Engineering Flow-What??

“I’m going to make dessert!” Callaghan announced as we finished lunch on Monday.

“YAY! Carrot-apple juice!” I cheered. We’d been plotting to make that for our next juice combo, and I’d been looking forward to it.

“Apple-carrot,” he said.

This gave me pause. Carrot-apple. Apple-carrot.

“I didn’t hear the ‘apple’ part,” he explained over my ensuing torrent of giggles.

We made the juice, stuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes, and enjoyed the sweet, dense and cold concoction. It was delicious, and we felt very full after we drank it. Of course we did – we’d just consumed about five liquefied apples and seven liquefied carrots, each! That’s a lot of pure, undiluted nutrition in a glass. Heavy stuff. On top of lunch, no less.


This is SO GOOD, and it's gorgeous... the apples mellow the bright orange carrots down into a juice of a deep, rich persimmon-like hue.

This is SO GOOD, and it’s gorgeous… the apples mellow the bright orange carrots down into a juice of a deep, rich persimmon-like hue.


That same day, I discovered beet juice stains on the front of my beige pants, the pants an apparent casualty of last week’s unfortunate beet massacre. Somehow, I failed to notice the stains at the time, so they’re pretty well set into the fabric. It looks like I had “an accident” and didn’t have coins for the public restroom feminine products dispenser. Note to Self: DO NOT wear beige pants while juicing beets. Wait… let me revise that…

How about just, Note to Self: “DO NOT juice beets, period.” (No pun intended.) Urgh.

We love our juicer. It’s funny how we ushered it into our kitchen and immediately boosted it up into our Miraculous Domestic Essentials category of things, so it’s now in the prestigious company of:


–Duct Tape

–Goo Gone

The Holy Trinity of household products.

As can be seen in this classic Engineering Flowchart: (OH MY… I just keyed in the best typo ever and debated on whether to fix it. I did fix it, but I must tell you what it was. I can’t resist. I accidentally typed “flowshart” – !! (If you don’t know what a “shart” is, you can either look it up or just see the film Along Came Polly and blame Philip Seymour Hoffman for calling my attention to that term.)

Anyway, as I was saying, the classic Engineering Flowchart that most of us have seen before:   


Engineering Flowchart


Speaking of revisions, someone should take a pen to this flowchart, because it’s lacking. Where is the Goo Gone on this chart? One might need to account for the circumstance of: “NOW it should move, so duct tape no longer necessary –> GOO GONE”





Maybe I can use it to get the beet juice stains out of my pants….