Hey gang! It’s Mailman* here, of Lancaster County & Boutros Boutros-Ghali BoFN fame. But enough about me and my too-brief funny names blogging career – we’re here to #RaveforDave!
I met Dave almost exactly a dozen years ago at the University of Calgary, home of the (not-so-inspiring-on-account-of-being-extinct) Dinos. Dave, Arto, and I all lived on the same floor in Kananaskis Hall (a funny name in itself) as first year undergrads. My first encounter with Dave somehow turned into a feisty debate about the 2000 election, during which it became clear he was one of the smartest, most interesting people I would have the opportunity to spend time with that year, and for many years to come. I always thought he had a big brain, and with the discovery of his gigantic brain tumo(u)r, it turns out I was even more correct than I thought!
Before I get too far down memory lane, here’s my humble solicitation to take a minute to try to bring Dave back to the level of us mere humans** by helping him to a) continue to rid himself of said brain tumo(u)r, so he can b) continue his med school studies and fulfill his dreams of helping and healing others. You can do this by donating to his GoFundMe campaign, which will help cover medical expenses while he continues to undergo treatment in the coming months and years. Go ahead – I’ll give you a few minutes – I promise I’ll still be here when you get back.
[play favorite hold / waiting room / grocery store music here]
Okay, thanks for the contribution! Now onto the fun stuff – highlights from that first strange year of quasi-adulthood and a few of my other favorite Dave memories:
- Despite my empathy toward folks with funny names, I think I can pinpoint my true moment of awakening to the broader world of funny names to a single conversation in the Dining Center. Dave and Arto were leading a robust discussion on great possible band names, and enlightened us all to the joy of knowing that Jonathan Cheechoo (!) hailed from Moose Factory, Ontario (!!) – a double whammy only thought possible in my wildest dreams.
- One time when I was on a road trip from Tennessee to Alberta, Dave invited me to tag along to Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where he was a delegate for Barack Obama’s first presidential run. It was an incredibly cool opportunity and is part of what inspired me to get more directly involved in politics and ultimately move to DC – I can’t imagine I’d have the life I have today if it weren’t for Dave’s invitation that fateful August.
- Naturally, Dave has impeccable taste in music. After he moved back to San Diego, we kept up via email and phone and many a discussion was spent talking about music recommendations (usually Dave’s) and lightly mocking each other’ Last.fm Scrobbles (usually mine).
- At some point during a nice -40oC evening, the fire alarm in our dorm building malfunctioned and forced our evacuation not once, not twice, but THRICE between midnight and 3am. After the first time we all went back to bed; after the second time, a handful of us started a game of Scrabble; and after the third, we gave up and decided to spend what was left of the night elsewhere. Dave was the only one with a vehicle but as the Californian, didn’t realize that plugging in your car in the winter is a thing in Alberta and other frozen hellscapes. Miraculously, he got the van started eventually and we made our way to warmer pastures (the local Denny’s) to continue our game, but I think it’s one of the only times I’ve ever known something Dave didn’t, and I will cherish that feeling forever.
- Terrible movies were kind of my thing, but I knew that I had officially met my match with Dave. Whether in recognition of, or perhaps a challenge to, my self-proclaimed love for the cinematic scrap pile, he introduced me to the magic of “Buffalo 66”, “Eraserhead”, and most notably – “Manos, the Hands of Fate”. So to anyone I’ve since forced to watch those gems – you have Dave to blame thank. And to Dave’s brain tumor – whatever it is you’re not doing, go don’t do it somewhere else!
- Every year from 2007 to 2011ish, Dave, Rob, Arto, and others would put together a list of the 100 Coolest People in the World. I joined in on the fun for the ’09 and ’10 renditions and loved being exposed to a new collection of the smart, the interesting, the odd, and the inspiring. By all of these measures, my hypothetical lists for 2017 and onward would have to include the following:
#1: Dave Carlson – witty intellectual, future neurologist, future former brain tumo(u)r host, lifelong inspiration
You’ve got this, Dave!
*Since my last post in…cough2013cough, I’ve married someone with a decidedly normal last name and it is a WHOLE NEW WORLD.
**This is never actually going to be possible because Dave is the best and who am I trying to fool?