That's When It Sucks

Sometimes you never really realize how much you miss someone till you actually reach for the phone to call them and you realize, shit, he's dead. Peter Steele is dead.

Pete's niece Nancy called me last night saying, "I just watched a Lon Chaney silent film with a midget who made believe he was a baby. All I could think of was THIS must be the film that inspired the Bugs Bunny episode with Baby Face Finster."


As she was explaining the storyline, we both started giggling and said Bugs Bunny's line at the same time, "FINSTER ... Oh Finster Baby ...there  you are you naughty baby ..."

Nancy went on to say she had to call someone who would understand and appreciate the story ... someone who loved the Bugs Bunny episode as much as she did.

I knew exactly when she said it, that I wasn't her first choice to call. As soon as I thought it, Nancy took the words right out of my mind and said, " Usually it would be something that Peter would call me about or I would tell him ... especially since it's an episode of Bugs Bunny that we both knew by heart."

I smiled through the phone and said "yeah, I understand."  And I did. That's what happens when you lose someone ... you deal with the pain of missing them ... and you go on with your life.

Then all of the sudden, something happens and your natural instinct is to pick up the phone at 3am and say, "Hey Pete, I'm watching Channel 25 and Lon Chaney is on and there is a little person playing a baby who is smoking a cigar." Then you are staring at the phone thinking ... shit ... now who am I gonna talk to who understands me and my humor.

That's when it sucks.

But, I bring this up because it's a good Bugs Bunny episode. One of Pete's favorites. In fact, it's a phrase he'd use all the time. Finster ... Finster Baby ... When we weren't watching the episode together as kids, Peter would use that Bugs Bunny phrase to talk to kids and refer to babies as Finster. He loved to use his Bugs Bunny voice and tell jokes.

It's Friday ... go do something crazy ...  I'm gonna go surf the waves  at Rockaway Beach ... Enjoy

Canada Live Concert


  1. Aww, gosh I feel your pain there. The problem with losing someone so dear is that's exactly who you need to talk to about losing them. And then like you said, oh he'd LOVE this. Ten years later for me and I still cry a lot. Not sure if it ever really stops hurting. Love you guys. xxx

  2. Enjoy your time at your Boogie Board! You deserve it!!!!

  3. Touching post...as far as Bugs Bunny and all the loony tunes cartoons, they are classics and never get old. You all have a great weekend, thanks again. (-)

  4. You have lost someone loved, someone you have gotten used to talking to whenever you wanted or needed. It´s not so strange that you just by a reflex take the phone and plan to talk to Peter, You have done that for many years before he died. It´s only naturall. Hang in there, it will get easier as the years pass.

    Yes. that Bugs Bunny episode is great, love it. =)

    Since it´s friday I´m going to do something crazy with some of my friends. We plan to go camping for the last time this year, and we will celebrate that it´s friday in any way possible in the middle of the woods. =)

  5. When you have shared personal type phrases/jokes between friends or family for many years you really feel like a piece of you is missing when you dont have that other person there who knows exactly what you're talking about and gets it. You have history not only of the line/joke but also the different situations you have used it in. My friend who was my best friend for 40years died this year and I know what you girls are talking about. There have been many times I have wanted to pick up the phone and tell her a funny story, but she's not going to pick up. Peter may not be with you physically anymore but he knows what you're doing and still laughs with you all. I love how in lots of the old cartoons the humans are portrayed a complete idiots and the animals are the smart ones. A lot like real life actually!

  6. My heart aches for your family Darcie and for the loss of Peter... much love to the Ratajczyk family XΘXΘ

  7. I feel for you. If I surf the net and look at a bunch of pics of him, I get really depressed and think what could have been, why and all those questions. But I just throw on my After Dark DVD or Sympathy for the Devil, and it soothes me to watch him walk, talk, sing, be funny, live.
    Im in NY this weekend myself visiting a dear friend from New Rochelle. She is 64 and I spent all day yesterday talking to her about Pete, showing her pics and all that. I share him with anyone and everyone I can, and his memory will last forever.
    It is a gorgeous day, enjoy it for sure!

  8. Ah this really sucks & I feel so much with you – moments like these make it even harder to deal with the truth. I have always loved the BugsBunny episodes – too funny & especially this one with ‚Baby Finster‘ – great. I agree with Gayle – a lot like real life – indeed. Not sure what crazy things will happen this weekend but since always something crazy is happening in my life I won’t get bored. Have a great weekend & take care.
    Much love & respect to all of you

  9. i find myself wanting to still call my grammaw and she has been gone 4 years in march. st pattys day. times like that truly suck as this is the person we need to speak with...so i send up my "telepathic vibes" and speak that way. it helps a lot but i still dont get to hear her voice.

    you all have a fantastic weekend. much love & respect to the entire RATAJCZYK familia.


  10. It's hard to console those who have lost a loved one or try to think of the right words to say. There are really no words to express to to take away the heartache... Especially for the loss of peter.
    This is an emotional post with mixed emotions of heartache and laughter, reading about the memories of you and peter watching your favorite bugs bunny episode.. ( Finster Baby ).

    Thank you for sharing....Much love goes out to you all.

  11. Thats def. the worst part of it for sure. Hopefully he was watching it with Nancy and laughing right along with her and felt her wanting to share it with him.

    This made me laugh too because one of my cats was named "Finster"!! TFF

    I missed adding something to the "Pete-isms" blog but I like "and hatred for all, one and all" from "We Hate Everyone".

    Have fun hittin' the waves! The only crazy thing I get to do is work Trauma in the ER tonight, which is pretty f*@#%in' crazy!

    Peace to you.

  12. Yeah, I have that with dear friends of mine, only it wasn't the phone because I absolutely hate talking to people on the phone. I sometimes encounter the return emails from friends after my little "essays".

  13. Nie hat mich der Tod eines eigentlich unbekannten so berührt. Ich war und bin tief erschüttert über Peters Tod. Mein Beileid seiner Familie, seinen Freunden und all den anderen Fans.

  14. Much of my family died before I was 20. I went to thirteen funerals within a 15 year span. All my grandparents were gone by the time I was in my early 20's and I really REALLY feel the loss still. Sometimes it feels as though I have no family left (besides my immediate family I mean) so I know how that is, wanting to still be in touch with those that are gone. It's very natural to still have that connection...
    On a happier note, have a great day surfing those waves! Sounds like a perfect Friday. And happy weekend to you all :)

  15. The pain of losing someone we love.... arrgghhh. One year or ten years, the pain lessens but still exists. Still missing my dad, lost him in '98. We keep them alive with memories and sharing about them with others-- thank you Ratajczyk family for sharing your lives and including all of us who loved him also. Keeping Peter alive here in Iowa...xoxo Diana

  16. oh bugs bunny gotta love it!! it is true when someone is gone from your life you find yourself wanting to talk to them about certain things.my father was the only one i could talk to about work issues,he has been gone nearly 12 years, i really cannot talk much to my mother because she really did not work all that much,and does not really know how things are.just this year i lost 2 uncles within weeks of each other. then there was always the comments about how he would kick someones ass for messing with me. not that he really would have, but it was just kind of good to know that someone was in my corner.my dad was really the only person that stood up for me.i really miss that. soumds like Peter really looked out for you guys and that is a good feeling to have!!!

  17. I still do this almost 10 years after my Mom has been gone. I find myself wanting to pick up the phone to tell her about something I saw and then I remember I cant. Once in a while I'll call my Dad and have the overwhelming urge to ask to speak to mom. I thought I was just crazy. Love to you all xxxooo

  18. Ok, two comments eaten by Blogger. And they were actually on the topic- about quoting cartoons and movies. Well they say third time is a charm, but I'm just going to try to say- thank you guys for letting us feel like your extended family. I know these posts are a good way for you to remember the good times and let out some of the feelings that come with losing someone you love so much. But as I'm sure you know, Pete's fans( TONs fans) are anything but ordinary fans. We all felt a kinship to him, felt the humanity in him, and you guys must have known that to start this blog.

    Much love,
    Sherry Johnson

  19. Thanks for sharing the links! Hadn't seen "Finster Baby". Funny stuff! Most of my childhood was spent sans TV so I'm only familiar with '60's/'70's pop-culture TV because it re-aired years later.
    It's definitely the inside jokes that get you, though. Nancy called up when Pete's absence was most evident, when that little tidbit cropped up as a quirky reminder. That's great! I won't say it's a way of keeping him alive. It's a way of remembering happy times together, of reminding each other of the understanding all of you had and have.
    I had a death toll of nine one year, mostly family but not all. It was a constant sense of loss. Couldn't have gotten through it without the closeness of family and the occasional daredevil stunt. You go for it! Crank that stereo, let out a primal scream and hit those waves with a passion!
    Have a blast of a weekend everyone!

  20. Rose from NY now in CA3:31 PM, August 20, 2011

    Look at this man playing that beautiful music. Look at his amazing body, listen to that voice. Noone can touch this performance. TON will always remain my favorite band of all time. And yes I know how that feels to want to pick up that phone and talk to him. That is so sad. And we all must honor Peter by living our lives to the fullest, experience everything good. Remember him when you look at the ocean, feel the wind on your face. He's out there he's part of forever. Never ever to be forgotten, ever! I miss you so much Peter. Passionate, talented, sexy, real, honest. Your words are like prayers to me. Someone said that when you listen to the lyrics you can get something that you need to get you thru life's up and downs. I will cherish that Peter. Thank you for teaching us about love, about loyalty, compassion. We miss everything about you. Peace to you, Peter.

  21. Rose from NY now in CA3:57 PM, August 20, 2011

    Yes Peter walked this earth for a short time too short. But look what he did...look what he brought to us. He was a God to me, he was and still is one of the most amazing human beings of all time. Creative. He had smarts... geez nothing can compare to this man and what he did...nothing. WE can all try and we can get there as individuals. We can draw from him. He was the teacher. Passion, he brought it out of me. Love, he brought that. All his gifts to us....so many. Thank you we miss you Peter. EVeryday.

  22. Peter turned me on to... physics! God bless you all.