Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time For Something Lighter

This blog has been ENTIRELY too depressing, and I need to lighten it up.

So...let's talk about television, shall we?


Crystal was robbed? Yes or no? DISCUSS.

(Of course my personal (and biased) opinion is that YES! CRYSTAL WAS ROBBED. But for the sake of good discussion I'm open to hearing other opinions. Also, discuss further - in the long run is it better to be the Runner Up to the Idol?)

2. What are you looking forward to watching this summer?

I am looking forward to the new show on ABC about the family of thieves, I think it's called Scoundrels. I love a good heist story, so, I'm hoping ABC delivers with this. Also, I just got Season 2 of True Blood in yesterday's mail, so I am looking forward to watching that with Husband after the kiddos go to bed.

3. Glee - DISCUSS - Gaga songs on Glee? Love it or hate it?

I...think I loved it. (I need to write a post about Lana's question (sometimes I let her watch the music and songs from the show) about Rachel and her bio mom, because Lana heard the the words, "I'm your mother but I'm not your mom" and then she and I actually had a really deep and good discussion about her "other mother who had me in her tummy who I never met".) (By the way, KUDOS to Glee's casting agents for the match up of Idina Menzel as Lea Michelle's birth mother, because WOW, that was a stroke of genius.)

But, back to Glee - Burt Hummel is one of the most positive father figures on TV now, I think maybe ever. I love Burt Hummel a little bit. I liked the Glee version of Bad Romance, but my favorite part of the episode was the guy's singing KISS's Beth.*

Further, I think the writers should consult with an adoption attorney in the state where the GLEE is set because, HELLO! GLEE! WRITERS! in the state where you have set this story, Quinn cannot give the baby up for adoption without Puck's signature!!! So it's not "Quinn" putting the baby up for adoption, it's "Quinn and Puck" putting the baby up for adoption. Puck acts like he has no say in the matter. (And hey! Glee writers? It just so happens that I might KNOW of an adoption attorney in that state, so...if you want some assistance, just let me know.) ;-p

4. What other TV should I be borrowing from Netflix to fuel my continued treadmill walking? (The following shows have kept me on the treadmill at various times: Veronica Mars, Alias, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men, The Wire.) But I need MORE. Please rec me something addictive.


* Have I ever told you about the time Husband and I went to Toronto to see Phantom of the Opera, and Paul Stanley from KISS was playing the phantom and Gene Simmons was seated directly below our (balcony) seats? And can I tell you? Gene Simmons is very tall. Very, very tall. Also, the woman he was seated with had breasts the size of Texas. True story.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

After Your Laughter Like Thunder*

I have been compulsively watching Chevy Chase movies during lunch lately. Old school Chevy Chase films. Foul Play. Seems Like Old Times. Vacation. Movies I hadn't watched in years.

(Thank you kindly to Netflix Instant Play for allowing me to indulge in a little Chevy at my desk over chicken salad....)

For several days, I couldn't put my finger on what was driving me to seek out zany physical comedy from the 70s and 80s during my lunch hour.

And then...oh...yeah. J~ loves Chevy Chase movies. Particularly the Vacation movies, most especially Christmas Vacation, which I haven't actually watched. (Not since Christmas.)

J~ spent a long time after the release of Christmas Vacation on a quest to find moose-head-shaped eggnog glasses like those used in the movie. He ended his quest in a small shop in FINLAND about ten years ago. He didn't find moose-shaped eggnog glasses, but he did find reindeer shaped liquor glasses, and he decided that was probably as close as he was going to come.

Every Christmas thereafter he drank eggnog out of a crystal reindeer head, saying things like, "If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."**

I should stress that that was endearing...I suppose in a different sort of person it would be less endearing and more obnoxious. But it was endearing. It was endearing because J~ is an endearing sort of person...

Hospice keeps telling us he we leave us soon. He keeps breathing. And I, I guess, until the time for crying is upon me, will keep seeking out those things that will make me laugh.

* Sleep, Melissa Etheridge
** Clark Griswold to Cousin Eddie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How the sky turns to fire against a telephone wire, Burns the last of the day down*

Last Labor Day Weekend, Husband and I drove J~ up to his cottage in northern Michigan.

I went back through my archives to see if I had blogged about it, and, to my frustration, I had not.

As I recall, we left on Thursday afternoon. We drove him up north that evening because my aunt could not leave until Friday afternoon, and J~ wanted to have an extra day at the cottage.

Along the way we stopped at Fuddrucker's for dinner.

J~ loves Fuddrucker's, he always has, and there are none anywhere near our city.

We all ordered cheeseburgers and milk shakes, and they were delicious and decadent. J~ made the kids laugh, he was always good at making my kids laugh.

We didn't arrive at J~'s cottage until late, but the next morning, we packed a cooler with drinks and Husband helped J~ get the cover off the boat.

We set off in the boat, gliding across the crystal blue water. J~ was driving the boat and we had a perfect ride.

We didn't have our camera with us.

At the time it seemed like an unfortunate thing to have forgotten, but now?
At this moment? I cannot believe we forgot our camera. It seems like a crime...

How could I not have known that we were running out of good days? How could I not have known that that was the last day I would ride around the lake with J~? How could I have left the camera at home and not captured any photos of that day?

When I was a very little girl, on a different lake, in a different boat, J~ would let me pretend to drive the boat...or he and I my grandfather would walk down to the dock and sit in the boat, dangling fishing poles over the edge.

J~ was happiest on the water, or near it. As I have mentioned repeatedly, he is a joyful person, and was capable of finding joy in all kinds of places.

But on the water, near the the beach or at the lake. Those were his places. I am grateful, that in the last few months he was able to return both the beach and the lake.

He will not see his places again.

Ten days ago they told us he had two days left.

I guess they didn't tell him.

Yesterday he awoke from his deep sleep and announced that a friend, long dead, was coming to pick him up and take him to a movie.

I have no doubt that is true.

The not knowing when that last moment will find's killing me a little bit. Almost as much as the knowledge that I left my camera behind on that beautiful end-of-summer day.


Patty Griffin, Useless Desires

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dancing Queen

Lana had her dance recital last night. My very sweet friend Heather took these photos of my very sweet girl.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Tide Come In & The Tide Go Out, And the Waves They Come Toss My Little Boat About*

There are songs, at least two of them I can think of off of the top of my head, telling us we should "live like we are dying".

I'm not sure this is great advice, since, from my particular point of view at this moment, living like you're dying seems to involve spending a lot of time stuck in bed, and having your dignity stripped away from you one piece at at time.

But, that's probably not what those songs are talking about.

What I think about, as we watch J~ slip away from us...well, I think about a lot of things.

Sometimes...I think that I have never seen a sky so blue or a day more vibrant. I took a picture of the courthouse on my cell phone the other day because I was struck by how pretty it looked, how quaint and lovely. The squirrels were frolicking on the courthouse lawn and all the trees were blooming.

It's the same courthouse I see nearly every day. But, in that moment, it was as if I was seeing it for the first time.

I was joyful, in that moment, watching the squirrels, smelling the flowering trees - joyful in that moment, almost blissful. And I think - and maybe I'm wrong - that my ability to feel joy in those moments has a lot to do with knowing that J~, were he walking next to me, would feel joy.

He has always been one to find joy in small things, and his heart is so big.

Other times I am engulfed with the sadness of his absence, or rather his anticipated absence.

I had an amazing opportunity, recently, to see one of my favorite musicians play live. We had incredible seats, 4th row center seats - we were close enough to count the strings on the artist's guitar. The venue was sold out, the audience enthralled - and I spent most of the evening feeling like I was intoxicated by the whole experience. And then the concert closed with a song so mournful**, the sadness that swooped through me upon hearing the lyrics was painful. I cried through that last song...

This is such a strange roller coaster of emotions.

I cannot watch or listen to the news right now. It's as if my brain is incapable of processing it - my mind jumps immediately to, "the world has gone mad because J~ is dying and the Gulf is full of oil and therefore the world must be coming to an end" - and I have to turn it off. Because I don't want my head to go there.

I cannot bring myself to watch any television that hits too close to home, and sometimes I cannot figure out what, precisely, has hit me as something too sad. Husband and I watched the first 20 minutes of Couples Retreat - a movie that stars both Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell, both of whom I usually LOVE - and we turned it off and sent it back to Netflix. It's probably a funny movie...but the first twenty minutes made me so sad I didn't want to watch any more of it.

Yesterday afternoon I had to look for something in J~'s desk. It feels wrong to sit in his chair, and it strikes me that the office has been cleaned so many times since the last time he sat in his chair, that his office no longer smells like J~'s office. Now it just smells like an empty office, an office that could belong to anyone. Which is silly, really, because everything else that made it J~'s office is still there - his photos, his law books, his files, his desk drawer full of novelty pens. But all of it is overshadowed by the knowledge that he will never occupy his office again.

It is clear we have come to the end. There is no miracle coming to wash the cancer from his body. The cancer eats away at every part of him now. I ache with the finality of this knowledge. I am angry with God, the universe. I want to smack people who tell me this is "God's will" and "God has a plan." I cannot conceive of a God who would decide to do this horrible thing to a man who saw his 58th birthday only YESTERDAY.


In a just world, J~, who is kind and good and joyful, would have 30 more good years. But he doesn't. It was his last birthday.


* Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Leaky Little Boat
** A song, unexpectedly and painfully, about the untimely death of the artist's uncle
(As always, this link is not mine, I don't know who placed it on Youtube - the song is from Mark Knopfler's most recent album Get Lucky).

Free Hit Counter
Get a Free Hit Counter