A Memory

Disclaimer: I’m grieving and have more feelings than I know what to do with. Writing is one way to sort through them. Not sure if they’ll make sense, but here they are.

Sometime during Carla’s final two or three weeks. Probably Mother’s Day. Maybe the Sunday before. In Reilly’s parents’ house.

We’ve had dinner.

We’re sitting in the living room, just hanging out. All the kids are there.

One of them asks, “Do you want to go downstairs and watch a movie or something?”

Carla says, “I like sitting up here, talking to all of you.”

We stay upstairs.

We talk.

She loves it.

We love that she loves it.

Because we love her.

Last Monday

Disclaimer: I’m grieving and have more feelings than I know what to do with. Writing is one way to sort through them. Not sure if they’ll make sense, but here they are.

On June 10 after work I went with Reilly and Z to a friend’s dance performance at the Provo Library. This was two days after Carla’s funeral. I admit that emotions were still a little bit raw and just under the surface. We made our way to the ballroom on the 3rd floor. Shortly after we arrived my friend walked up behind me, said, “Hey, sexy!” and gave me a hug. As we embraced she asked how I was doing. I told her I was doing ok. She said, “Just ok?” By this time I was choked up, and tears were streaming down my face. We released the hug. I looked at her and said that Reilly’s mom died. She looked at Reilly, and he nodded. The performance was about to begin, so she went to get ready.

We found some seats and settled in to watch the work: a series of dances choreographed by a master’s candidate as her thesis. My friend performed the second dance, and then Reilly and Z left to browse the library, as Z was getting a little bit restless and loud. I kept watching the dance floor/stage. A few minutes later my friend made her way over and asked if she could sit by me. We talked for a few minutes until she had to turn on the music for one of the following dances.

In those few minutes, my friend listened. She held my hand. She cried with me. She said something that’s often said as trite, but she did it with such tenderness and compassion that it opened my heart up to being comforted and not just vulnerable. She said fortunately most of the world has experienced what we’ve experienced. If we pick a random stranger on the street, it’s likely that they’ve lost a loved one–a parent, a child, a spouse.

It helped being reminded that people would be able to relate. To understand. To empathize.

I told my friend that I didn’t mean to come to her performance to dump my emotions on her. I just wanted to be able to partake of something beautiful that wasn’t associated with sadness. Still, she listened. She danced beautifully. AND she called me sexy. I am forever grateful.

Peace is a Parabola

by Becky, Guest Blogger

An evening at home with May, Alicia, and Deena:

When I got home tonight May was still high off of yesterday’s energy drink.

So I explained to everyone how binary and hexadecimal numbers work. Though, of course, May already had a sound understanding. 

It was Time Warner Cable’s fault that the subject came up; I had to call them tonight when Super Maynard (Deena’s DVR) decided to stop working.  I explained to Ronald that our cable box had been doing funky things and he asked me what kind of funky things.  I told him that it suddenly shut off and started counting down backwards from 500 in hexadecimal.  For whatever reason, Deena found that quite hilarious and laughed during the rest of my conversation.  Ronald complimented her on her laugh.

Without the ability to watch Chess on DVR, we listened to music on my computer.

I like it when May points out key changes in songs.  I laugh every time.  And I mean laugh.  And I mean every time.

Deena got up, after some encouragement, and agreed to play the game where I choose a song and she has to interpret it through dance.  Alicia accurately observed that Deena is not just a back-up dancer.

When that got old, Deena played ringtones on her phone for us.  What’s more fun than that?  They were mostly snippets from movies that she would make us guess and then glare at us when we couldn’t.

Alicia finally left to go do something “productive”.  May followed, as it was quite late for a week night.  Deena made parallelograms with her fingers as they were leaving and called them parabolas.  I missed May when she was away last week.

The cable box is counting down backwards again, in hexadecimal.

Seems Much Longer than 71 Seconds

So I have this friend. She’s kind of a new friend; I’ve only known her about a month. Her name is Deena. She’s one of Becky’s roommates. She’s managed to find a nice little niche in our ever so exclusive clique. She couldn’t bribe us to join, so she convinced us she could be a backup dancer for Mechanical VIOLET. Anyway, Friday night we’re all hanging out at Becky’s and Becky had to work late, remotely from home with her Blackberry, holstered to the back of her jeans, but in order to keep from falling asleep in front of the television we decided to go for a short stroll around Herald Square. My former neighborhood. With my former neighbors, the tourists. I love the thrill, the freedom of doing silly things in public, and it doesn’t lose its magic in a place where it’s accepted as perfectly normal. But we might have gone a smidge too far when we decided to talk to some pedicab drivers, who then decided they wanted our phone numbers. I mean, they already knew our names because we told them, and they already copped feels on our calves. You know, to make sure we were in good enough shape to drive a pedicab. Because that’s always been a career option for me. So, we pretty much had no choice but to come back (escape) to Becky’s apartment and have one of the best dance parties I’ve ever attended. And Deena pretty much sealed her position as our backup dancer.

Deena tells the story much better

Also, be very impressed with Becky’s photo editing skills.

Don’t forget to watch the video. But I’m also giving you the choice to forget watching it.

I Didn’t Use It

Today was a busy day:

Woke up at 7, when I meant to wake up at 6.

Went to work, but enjoyed the cool, comfortable morning on my walk to the subway and from the subway to my work building.

Went to a church meeting.

Went back to work.

Hung out with friends for the rest of the afternoon.

Went to a church singles mixer, where I met a lot of Latinos. They were from all over Central and South America. The chatter in the room was so fascinating.

I texted one of my Spanish-speaking girl friends: I’m meeting boys from peru and guatemala and ecuador and colombia and mexico. Of course they’re all 90. Still, you’d rock this room.

She replied: LOL. If you need some sexy latin pick up lines I’m only a text away …

I said: Gimme your best one …

She gave me: Tus labios son las fuentes de la vida y yo tengo sed …

My Spanish speaking and comprehension aren’t that great. I recognized “lips” and “life” and I could only imagine what the rest of it meant, and I was scared if I approached a guy with that line, he might take me seriously.

So I had a guy friend translate for me, and he laughed as he said it out loud, “Your lips are the fountain of life, and I’m thirsty.”

Yeah. NO.

I left by 10PM. The dance had gone on for 45 minutes by then, and the music was insanely loud. I need to preserve my voice.

I’m speaking in church tomorrow, you see.

Well, it’s that time of year that I lose an hour of sleep without even trying or thinking about it. I hope y’all remember to set your clocks forward one hour.

Movement In No Certain Terms

me:  what’s that called when you can’t calculate the exact position and velocity at the same time?
 Andrew:  heisenberg’s uncertainty
 me:  whew
my brain couldn’t cough it up
 Andrew:  no problem
how is it back all the way uptown?
 me:  it’s nice
quieter
cheaper
 Andrew:  all good things
 me:  yes
 Andrew:  so how did heisenberg come up?
 me:  i took some photos of a dance concert, and they’re all blurry, but they look kind of cool
so the movement won over the shutter
 Andrew:  heh
either way it is art!
 me:  i’m posting this chat, is that okay?
 Andrew:  yes
but i want to plug velociraptor roulette (http://plutor.org/velociraptorroulette/)
 me:  cool. i’ll keep it
 Andrew:  yay!
gotta run now – glad I could provide all the critical info
 me:  good night! and thanks.

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Saturday Night Post. Huh?

The weather. People. It’s not the funnest time of year for me. I wonder if any blogs exist that solely focus on the weather. Even more specifically, only complain about the weather.

I didn’t go to seminary Tuesday morning.

I didn’t work out all week. I used the weather as an excuse.

I did exercise this morning. I went into work for a few hours, then I decided to release some steam.

My roommate, Marin, had a dance concert last night. I love to watch people dance. Modern dance to me is a lot like modern art. I look at shapes and movement and color and transition. It doesn’t have to “mean” anything, but it does, always, elicit some sort of reaction, and it’s usually strong.

Dancers’ bodies are so controlled, so strong, so graceful, but they can lumber about if that’s what the routine calls for. I love the definition in their arms. I love their strong feet and extended fingers and toes.

It was a great performance. Will I be a snob about art and culture if I end up living somewhere else in the country?

It’s cold in this apartment.

I can’t focus.