Thursday, April 29, 2010

World Class Chocolate - I'm thinking of You

Yesterday was a big day for me.

It was 31 cent scoop day at Baskin Robbins.

I'd been looking forward to it ever since this last free scoop day at Ben & Jerry's.

So, when I told Blake that I'd spent all day thinking about my flavors, he was confused. Because, as he said, "What? You've had your flavors picked out for days...weeks even..."

Well, yes, but just because I'd already decided on World Class Chocolate weeks ago doesn't mean I can't spend time thinking about it. Thinking about it in a "hello old friend, how have you been?" sort of way...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Living Well is the Best Revenge

Lots was going on at B. Gallagher's house last night. When we left to go to CVS (we had very important gum and Swedish fish needs, ok?) there was a rowdy game of touch football going on.

When we got back, the game was over and the street seemed quiet. But B. Gallagher was still out rallying the troops. He waved us over with a jaunty grin:

...Come on in here. It's my birthday today. There's cake...

So, we were intrigued (cake?!), and we went in -- listening as he proudly told us about his new used Mercedes that he'd bought himself that day at an estate sale.

As we walked through the front door we were greeted enthusiastically (and maybe a little bit tipsily --it's a word if I say so) by what looked to be the entire neighborhood and various family members. It was a scene not too different from this one.

I'm not kidding.

It was sometime after the two pieces of fudge cake, several rounds of Irish tavern music, and one seven-step-Irish-jig (the jig is definitely something that's going on my list of "Things to never do again in front of a room of strangers who live by you"...believe me, the list is longer than you'd think), that we finally left. Confused at what had just happened, but elated just the same.

B. Gallagher's 82! Doesn't that make you want to celebrate, too?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunshine city, sunshine city, sunshine city...

My students think I'm really cool because I teach them new words like "tipsy" (oh, so you mean like, half drunk or a little drunk?) and "wild card."

Oh, and I give them Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and then make them say tongue twisters. Tongue twisters like "Sunshine city ..." that, combined with the peanut butter, can have deliciously embarrassing results.

I've found my calling.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let me essssplain

Dear readers (all three of you):

Let me assure you that my life has not been and is not currently consumed with sadness. I am ok. Really.

I am generally a happy person. But even happy people have times of solemn introspection, which is sometimes painful.

April, I feel, has been a month of chaos. And I've spent a quite a bit of time thinking.

I stopped keeping a personal written journal several years ago as an attempt to keep my somewhat "revisionist" personal history up-beat. I'd been vigilant, up to that point, about writing in a journal and have several volumes from my high school and college years that are mostly funny and happy. Once they stopped being funny, or even had some semblance of happiness among the pages, I stopped writing because I no longer was writing anything I wanted to re-read.

So this blog is happy for the most part, but sometimes, as is wont to happen to everyone, I get sad. So sue me (I've got good representation!). And because I sometimes need to just write to get it out, and to help make sense of things, I write it here. For better or worse (probably just for worse), you three readers choose to read my soul's complaints.

My apologies.

Well, with that having been typed, here it goes.

On the Thursday prior to Easter weekend, my Papa (paternal grandfather) had a massive heart attack. I got the message at work during lunch from my Mom (who discussed it with me in her I-have-a-brave-face-on-but-I'm-still-worried-out-of-my-mind voice). No. No. I'm not ready for this. I know he's 80, but no. No!

I'm very close to my Papa. He's quiet, but he's a great conversationalist. He helped me with my French homework. We saw L'invalide Imaginaire together in Paris. He rescued Blake and me after we were locked out of my parents' house following our reception. He walks me through the possibilities whenever I've called him with a medical question. He's patient with me. He (and my Grandy) took me out to dinner on my 16th birthday when my parents were away. He's always on my side. He borrowed my Linguistics textbooks from me in college because he found them interesting just like I did. He's a perfect grandfather.

After three very tenuous days spent wearing through my cell phone battery at warp-speed, things started looking up. And up. And up. And last week my Papa bought himself a new Prius. So it doesn't look like he's planning to go anywhere anytime soon.

But that still left me with a taste (albeit a brief one) of the pain it would be to lose a family member. It hurts. A lot. And I don't like it. And I'll never be prepared for it.

And around this time I found out that two of my colleagues at work would be taking leave to get treatment for cancer. And one would be out getting surgery on her spine.

And a family friend passed away, leaving behind a grieving wife and kids (he was older, but it is still hard).

And then another friend passed away. He was just 40 and died of a massive heart attack in the middle of the night, leaving his wife and three young children in absolute shock. They had just invited us over for dinner two weeks before. And now he's gone. He was young and vibrant and happy and....and it was just about the saddest thing I've ever heard.

Then the Polish president's plane crashed in Russia. And my friend's father was on the plane. And it's just so public and so horrible. It was all just too much.

And yet here I sit, in my comfortable house with my just-so-close-to-perfect life, eating stale Easter candy, otherwise unaffected by the goings on. So I'm allowed to be introspective. You see what I mean?

But life is good. Great even. And --if you'll allow me to wax religious-- it's my firm (even firmer of late) knowledge of the Atonement and of the Resurrection, that allows me to find peace in all of this chaos. It doesn't make the enormity of the situations go away, but it does bring peace.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Turning the page

In Candide, Voltaire says: "Those who say 'all is well' have spoken foolishly, the should rather say 'all is for the best'."

How can that be true for all of us? I mean, I've had a pretty easy life, but some haven't. Some people have really hard lives. How is that fair?

I don't mean to be depressing (although that has seemed to be the trend lately, hasn't it...), but these are the things that have been going through my mind lately. Going through my mind last night as I ate my way through a movie-theater-sized box of Milk Duds (that's 3.5 servings, people!) and couched my way through an episode-and-a-half of Gilmore Girls.

Yeah. Wow. I'm turning into real winner. Blake's a lucky guy.

Actually, I'm the lucky one. In all seriousness here. There's no better person to cheer you up than Blake (even when Milk Duds and Gilmore Girls don't work).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Might be jaded, but I must confess...

Due to several recent events, I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed by the fragility of life.

I am learning that this is what it means to grow up and grow older.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Prayer

Thinking of you during this difficult time, Marta.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cha Cha Cha Changes

Remember 6 weeks ago?

Well, things are looking a little bit different now.

There is no prettier city in all the world than D.C. in the springtime.


if is English, I like to learn all.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

1st and Mass

I met Fenty on the way to work this morning.

And though I'm neither a Democrat nor a D.C. voter, I think he still felt a connection when he shook my hand in the middle of Mass. Ave.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The subtle differences in thug ages

It's 90 degrees here in Washington.

Let me repeat:

90 degrees. On April 7. In Washington, DC.

With this July weather in April, I can only hope that by some miracle we'll get April weather in July (hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Along with the horribly humid heat (ooo, alliteration!), April 7, 2010 brought along with it:

Large (FREE) rootbeer floats in honor of student appreciation week. I tried to justify my thievery because I'm a student at the Main Campus ...just not at the Law Center;

Lunch in the building musuem atrium with Blake;

and PublicSafetyAlerts like this gem:
Please be advised that on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at approximately 12:29 a.m., three unknown males in the 3700 Block of R Street approached a student, pushed her, and robbed her of her tote bag. When she screamed, a suspect kicked her in the leg.

Wait. Let's read that last sentence again: When she screamed, a suspect kicked her in the leg.

I'm thinking it's probably the hipster who stole Destiny's iPhone out of her hands on the bus. The same type of punk kid that my Dad likes to refer to as a "thuglet" (i.e. a young thug in training). You see, thuglets kick nice young Georgetown prepsters in the shins, and full-grown thugs just shoot you.

Thank goodness it was only a thuglet, then.

Let's hope there's an absence of thugs and thuglets on the next five Saturdays when I'll be here learning things like this.