24 August 2011

A Year.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
- For Good, Wicked

As I sit here and write, a year has passed since I last saw my father. (and, on the date this is published, it is a year since he passed onto his next adventure) I actually consider this a lucky thing...many of us don't see our parents on a super frequent basis, and it could have been much longer between visits if not for the summertime & River. And I'm lucky that it was a really fun day -- some wine tasting, him being concerned about me & my friend D eating, game playing at the River, and him being concerned about me & D getting home. So typical of my dad...even though I am (allegedly) a grown up, he still worried constantly.

It's very hard to believe, still, that he's gone. My brain is still having a hard time wrapping around this fact. More than once I have gone to call him, and very recently said something aloud about having to ask my dad something. There's a fuzziness I can't explain, and a sadness I just can't shake. I don't know if I ever will; I think a little brightness will always be gone from my life.

That said, the days have indeed gotten easier. I never would have believed it -- not a day goes by without me thinking of him -- but it's true. Things start to feel a little more normal. I can actually smile with true happiness, and laugh with glee. I don't know that I will ever be the person I was, but I am getting closer to her.

The grieving process is a funny one. It is not linear, as the common lore will have you believe. You can be going on in your day, happy as a clam, then all of a sudden you are knocked on your ass  by a smell, a song, or a random comment. You can be really angry at the world, and then in the next moment be laughing your butt off. You can feel empathy even through your own hurt, and joy through the pain. It is weird. I wish it was something I didn't know, but...there's nothing I can do about it now.

My father was scheduled to have a procedure the day after he passed away, first exploratory to see if there were any blockages in his heart, and, if found, to put in stents. Many have asked me if I feel this would have changed things, if I am mad that this procedure didn't happen earlier (it was scheduled for a few weeks). I find it a waste of time to think abut these things, and there is no sense in being angry. I truly believe things happen that are out of our control (which is REALLY had for a control freak like me).

What I'd rather think about is his last day. I know I spoke to him less than 12 hours before he passed -- I can't quite remember about what, I know part of it was about my mom's birthday present, part of it was about me coming to the hospital for his procedure, but not sure what else. My uncle said he was walking around all happy that day, "annoyingly" so...which makes me happy. I once wrote a paper in college about death (in Spanish), and wondered if, in some subconscious way, people realize it is their last day, and make peace with it. Not thoughtfully, but deep down, their psyche realizes it. I don't know, but I'd like to think this was the case, I'd like to think of his last moments as peaceful.

And that's the thought that has helped carry me through each day over this past year, and will continue to give me strength in the years to come as I continue on this new journey.

14 August 2011

Skip it: Something Borrowed

It's been a day or two since I watched this movie...and I am still struggling to figure out who thought it was a good idea. Maybe they thought if they put together a good cast, the movie would sell on that alone.

**may contain spoilers...which shouldn't matter, because you should not watch this movie...ever.**

Because there is nothing more there, really. I watched it and was let there wondering why Ginnifer Goodwin's character would ever be friends with a girl like Kate Hudson's character, and how someone like Colin Egglesfield character would love her that much to want to marry her.

Then, we are asked to be sympathetic to the fact that Ginnifer & Colin are really in love, go behind her best friend's back, and he never considers leaving.

I guess underlying it all -- we all have a friend at some point who always wins, who never hears no. But that usually ends by the time we're in our mid-20's (if not sooner). These people are 30+. The only person based in reality, to me, was John Krasinski's character, who was telling his best friend that he was tired of her shit and to grow up...well, until he then did the totally chick-flick (and NOT based in reality) thing of confessing love.

Movies like this bother me, because they ask us to like profoundly unlikeable characters, without any development. And this isn't a knock against the actors; all in this movie did the best with what they were given (except Kate Hudson, who was just kinda Shouty McYellerson all over the place). They treat us like we are stupid and lack any sense whatsoever...which, perhaps in choosing to watch this movie, we are.

10 August 2011

Read This: Hunger Games Trilogy

I have always been fascinated by writers (well, artists in general, but especially books). How they can have an idea that can carry through two hundred pages, and hold the attention of readers. This is especially true of more intricate stories, where consistency and attention to the smallest of details really count.

I had been hearing about The Hunger Games Trilogy for quite some time...I don't always take to the  most popular books (i.e. Twilight, Harry Potter), but something drew me to this trilogy. Perhaps because there's a movie coming out next year that I know will be popular...who knows. A week or two ago, I noticed that the book was around 5$ on the Kindle, and so I thought, why not?

I started reading it last week, and finished the 3rd book of the series by Sunday. Read all three in about 5 days. They were that gripping and exciting that I couldn't put them down. And completely, totally f-ed up.

The Hunger Games refers to a horrible death match forced upon the constituents of a post-apocalyptical world as a form of control. The books follow Katniss Everdeen, a rebellious teenager drafted into the Hunger Games, who ends up starting a fire that cannot be contained.  

On the surface, it's a messed up, gory story full of craziness. But, if you go a step further, there is a scary message in there about mind control, and a more philosophical question of how do we know what is real and what is propaganda. And also how terrible people can be to one another when they are fearful of losing control and there are no checks and balances.

There is some very messed up stuff in there, and I would love a peek into Collins's brain that she could come up with it. And that she could continue to come up with new twists along the way. There must be some crazy stuff going on in there!

I seriously could not put these books down, and now I am so excited for the movies. I can not imagine how they are going to translate some of this to the big screen...I just can't imagine it at all.

07 August 2011

Earning the Wine!

This past weekend was the "big" wine tasting event up at the River.

I put big in quotes because, while this is probably the biggest weekend up there, the event itself is two hours, where we get dressed up cute and drink wine, possibly win a prize or two, and talk about how we can't wait for the dance. It is one of the most fun weekends of my year, and this year didn't disappoint!

For the first time, I did the loop with a few of my friends. I usually only run about 3-3.5 miles while I am up there -- breathing is tough with the allergies -- and I'll admit I was a little scared to do the full 7.5ish miles with them. I hadn't run that far in over 1.5 years!

Pretty excited that I completed it with no walking. And without too much pain in the hips (until the end). We chatted the entire time and the miles went by rather quickly...and, since we were on a highway, we had to be alert for the cars, too! 

This gives me great hope for the training I'll need to do for the half marathon at the end of October. I kept this pace pretty easily, and hopefully in the next few months can pick up the pace a tiny bit and up my distance. 10min/mile is my goal for the half!

05 August 2011

Score Tonight!

A few months ago, my friends and I joined a bowling league. On my way there on Tuesdays, and now Thursdays, without fail, this song gets stuck in my head. I wish I could convince my team to dress up and sing like this...it would be quite awesome.

I first watched Grease 2 with my friend K in high school. She hearts and rainbows loved this movie. I prefer the original grease, but the campiness of this one has grown on me over the years. I mean, Michelle Pfeiffer acting the tough but sensitive girl (the new Rizzo?)? The double entendres? The decade confusion? This is all priceless.

And...nuns bowling. Can you beat that?

03 August 2011


It's funny how things can change so quickly in life. The winds shift and suddenly things are moving in a completely different direction, and there's little we can do about it other than accept and go with the flow.

Sometimes things seem so hopeful and bright, and before you know it, a false move makes that hope disappear and the brightness dull a little.

I think people have an amazing capacity to deal with these setbacks, but I wonder how much pushing must be done to keep moving forward, and not give in to the headwinds.