youngster years

Carpe Diem

The passing of Robin Williams (not mention all the other awfulness in the news this week, I mean- none of that other stuff is new news, but just…so disheartening) was on my mind a lot this week, for many reasons. I had a friend who suffered from depression who committed suicide some years ago, and so when I hear about things like this, it brings that right back. My friend was a sweet, gentle, kind person who everyone loved, and hearing everyone who knew Williams talk about how he was all of those things just resonated with me in a specific-to-my-memories-of-my-friend sort of way. Depression is so real, so serious, and so misunderstood. I don’t have anything more to say about it than that, but it’s just been on my mind.

When I was in high school, I had the DVD of Dead Poet’s Society, and my girlfriends and I were OBSESSED with it. Some of us had been on a singing tour of England a year before (oh, geeky performing arts kids!) and so believe you me we were PRIMED to be obsessed with anything that had to do with teen prep school boys since we had been awash in school uniformed Brit lads (some more literally awash in them than others) while over there. My particular group of closest pals were all very different from each other, but the thing we all had in common was our unabashed, balls out exhilaration for life (oh, geeky performing arts kids!). We were not shy and retiring teens. We were drive-around-too-late, make-out, snort-laugh, sleep-in-a-heap, in-love-with-each-other pals. From our love of Dead Poet’s Society (which I haven’t seen since, so please don’t ruin it for me and school me on how bad it actually is), I remember we took to saying “Carpe Diem!” to each other instead of “goodbye” or “good luck.” If one of us had an audition or tryout for a team, we’d say “carpe diem!” as they left to go do their thing. If one of us got up the nerve to go talk to a crush, we’d say “carpe diem!” before they went for it. We felt full ownership over the phrase, in the way that teens who have discovered something feel exclusive authority over that thing. I even had it printed on my graduation party invites. Shut up, I really did! I was so all about it. Because we wanted to seize everything: the day, the future, our love for each other, and yes, maybe the preppy looking Dead Poet Society boys that we were sure would be waiting for us when we arrived at college.

I am just the right age for very age-relevant appreciation of Robin Williams. As an itty bitty, Mork and Mindy was exactly the silliness that spoke to me, plus, um, hello: cool rainbow suspenders! In middle school I felt grown up because I saw his stand up specials and understood them, with all their crazy fast references. In college, his melancholy Good Will Hunting performance was just right for my ripening seriousness. But out of everything, I think I loved Dead Poet’s Society best. Friendship, love, loyalty, kindness– those were the things that were most important to me at the age when I saw it, and still are now. Carpe diem, you know? Fuck yeah, carpe diem.

Those are my jumbled up, not so coherent thoughts from this week. It’s beyond me to speak coherently about all of it, because it’s been making me feel so many things. So anyway. Here’s a song.

Anna Nalick, Breathe

 

 

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My Surly Punk Rock Phase

Check out this photo that I discovered of myself while I was at my mom’s last week.

 

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This is the baddest ass in the motherfracking west, is it not? Is she not PISSED? Have you ever seen such a punk rock attitude on a little half pint? THE HAIR, DON’T CARE. The pants, THUG LIFE. The zipper, FUCK OFF DO I LOOK LIKE ZIPPING IS IMPORTANT TO MY LIFE? This is the face of someone who wants to give the next knucklehead who looks at her the BEAT DOWN.

I do not know where this was taken. I do not know what the hell I was so mad about. I have lots of photos from my childhood, and it is vastly documented that I was a cheery, smiley, happy child. I do not ever recall seeing a photo of little me looking so bent out of shape. I love it so much.

The day I found this photo was not a good day for me. The day was total garbage, in fact. But I found this photo, it made me chuckle, and so I posted it to Facebook. And then, just a few minutes later? My friend Josh (of Maiden Metallurgist fame) posted this back:

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Gritty Foreman (Forebaby) keeps tabs on the workers. She shoves them off if dissatisfied.

And also this:

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Batman and Batbaby are so sad. No one understands us so we must go avenge something.

And my personal favorite:

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Don and Joan are so happy about the leaves. It’s sad, though, because Surly Baby will soon murder them.

You guys. Such a bad day I was having and this turned it all around. Some days it doesn’t take much.

Din-din win-win

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Typing this blog post, waiting for Delium to come over, chatting with the chef.

I feel like I want to blog more, but I have been having trouble finding time this week, and when I do have time, I have little to say. How about I just blah blah for a minute while dinner is cooking?

I grew up in a house where we ate fresh food, with lots of variety, and cooking was always happening. My parents had a huge vegetable garden and there was never a moment where something delicious was not on the stove for me. As an adult, I now love fresh, healthy food, so major yay for that. To counter that major yay though, I did not grow up to be much of a cook. Well, that is not entirely true. I actually can cook pretty well. I just don’t really love doing it. Whatever that thing is that people have who love to prepare a tasty meal is a thing that I do not possess. I can do it, and will do it, and I won’t hate doing it. I just do not think of it as something fun to do. It is totally and completely utilitarian to me. And given my druthers (druthers from anothers mothers), I would rather just not. To make things even more of a pain in the arse, my upbringing spoiled me regarding variety. Meaning, I gots to have it. The thought of making a pot of soup for the week makes me have boredom hives, and you may be thinking there is no such thing as boredom hives but there are if you get bored ENOUGH, and I am talking fall-on-your-face boredom. Kind of like how you are feeling listening to me talk about cooking feelings.

AT ANY RATE. The point I am trying to make here is that Nordic Boy loves to cook. I feel like this is almost enough of a reason for me to have been with that dude all this time and the rest of it is pretty much a bonus. I think people should be finding their mates based on the complimentariness of the cooking/eating preferences. I am only partially kidding because I LOVE IT THAT I GET TO NOT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN YET I STILL GET TO EAT FRESH DELICIOUS VICTUALS.

How’s that for half-ass blogging? Whatever. I gotta go. Dinner time.

We are family

Yesterday was Siblings Day? It must be true because the Facebooks have told me so. I have never really heard of Siblings Day but ok, I am down with that. I don’t talk about my sibs very much on the blog. Mostly this is because I have sort of stringent rules for myself about what gets included on the blog, and lots of times the sibling stuff falls on the other side of that line. It’s weird because really, they have made me who I am in such a huge way. I couldn’t really define myself without talking about them, they have been so influential in my life. So sure, let’s talk about my sibs. I have two brothers and one sister, and I am the youngest. And yes, all that stuff you hear about birth order and how that affects people’s personalities is so true in our case. So true that every time I read something about birth order, it almost weirds me out. I am like DO THE BIRTH ORDER PEOPLE KNOW US? They say that youngest kids are supposed to be “uncomplicated.” Put another way, it is true that I am a little bit of a simpleton. I am not saying I am one-dimensional but I would say that my siblings seem a lot more complex, as people. Me, I am just the little baby dodo bird, goofing my way through life. It’s a bit galling, really. I’m not saying that this birth order business works for everyone- try to apply it to Nordic Boy’s family and don’t nothing match at all.  But for us? Just read an article on birth order types and you pretty much will know my family and how we relate to each other. As the youngest I definitely got more attention, from my parents but also they all sort of paid baby-attention to me too. That was the up side for me. The down side for me though was that the three of them (all of them very close in age) were tight with each other in a sort of peer group way that I never was. I spent all of my childhood trying desperately to tag along, be a part of their clique. I think that every person has ways that they think of themselves as outsiders, and that was one way that I did it. They were tight- they all immigrated to this country together, they all went to the same high school together. They even all went to the same college together. Man, I wanted to be a part of that stuff. The plight of the littlest kid: to always long to play with the big kids. To be a big kid.

Anyway. Here are some things about my sis and two bro-hams. I could write a novel about them, so this will be hard to keep short.

My oldest brother was basically born an adult. A little 40-year-old man masquerading as a child when we were little. I remember on Christmas morning, we would all get up and run downstairs to get our gift-ripping on, and he would insist on retiring to the dining room to sit down and eat a proper breakfast first before we could get started. It drove us bonkers. As a kid, he listened to NPR and read the newspaper. Like, really. On the other hand, he is the smilingest mothereffer you will ever meet in your life. He just has a face that smiles, and twinkly, cheery eyes. He is the best audience you could ask for, for a cut up like I was as a kid. He has a great, contagious laugh that comes easily and often. Of all my siblings (and we all enjoy a good chortle, it is a strong family trait), I have laughed the most with this bro of mine.

When we were growing up, my sister was the tough one. Like, she would knock your ass into next week (verbally, but trust me, that was enough) if you crossed her. I remember walking down the street with her and her getting catcalled: you really do not want to catcall my sister because she will yell back at you in a way that will jack your shit up for days. She’s also super self-sufficient and always has been. This is the person you want on your apocalypse team when the zombies come. For this reason among many others, I was in love with my sister when I was a little kid. Like, I wanted nothing more than to be just like her and copy everything she did and dress like her and act like her and be her. It was a huge leap for me when I was a teenager to realize that my sister was a real person with flaws and problems and stuff. She had always seemed invincible to me before that. She’s not invincible to me any more, but she is still the one to have on that apocalypse team. No question. I have a very particular tenderness for my sister that I can’t quite explain. Is that just a sister thing? I don’t know.

Bro #2 is the charmer of my family. Everyone loves my brother- all he has to do is walk into a room. He is magnetic and cool. When I was in college and I would introduce my girlfriends to him, they would always remark on his cuteness, and I would say: “do not date my brother, please.” Not that he wasn’t datable. Just, I didn’t want my friend-life overlapping my bro-life, because, ew. Of all of my family, I think he is the one who continues to see me as a little kid the most. I can almost see the surprise on his face every time I do something grown up or hard.

My siblings are all so different from each other. They all have very different jobs, have had very different personalities in their chosen partners, have made very different life choices. They all like different music, and have different hobbies, and are smart at different things. I am always fascinated with families who have a ton of things in common, because we are not like that at all. We are all over the map. Sometimes I wonder how we could all be from the same two parents, we are so different. There are some things I could say about my sis and two bros, though, across the board.

They are all really friendly, charming people. Some are more mouthy than others with the chit chat, but if you meet any one of them, they are just open, friendly, come in and sit-a-spell sort of folk. They are all compassionate people. All of them spend most of their time, in one way or another, in pursuits where they are helping people. They are all funny, funny, funny. Just witty as hell. They’re also all wicked smart. All in different ways, but still: good brains.

So they do have some major things in common after all.  It is in these ways that I want to be just like my sibs. Still wanting to play with the big kids, I guess. Some things never change.

Anniversary Eve

Monday was a day off of work for me, and it decided to be sunny and warm! I took the news with aplomb, by meeting my friend Kristin for coffee and a stroll. We were so excited that we pretty much skipped the coffee and decided to go for a walk. The sun clearly made these Seattle-Vitamin-D-deprived ladies drunk in love (SURFBORT) with the warm weather because we ended up walking literally all day. Like, hours and hours. I have been sore for two days from that walking marathon. It was worth it though. I can’t remember the last time I talked with a friend for that long. Good conversation is the best, isn’t it? Even when you’re walking your patoots off so hard that you may regret it later. Shooting the shit with interesting people is my favorite. I need more of that in my life.

In other news, tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Nordic Boy and I first eyeballed each other across a dusty theater scene shop as youngsters. Today I have been thinking about the day before I met that dude of mine. There is a weird suspense to thinking about that day. Young me! I had no idea what was about to happen! I remember that my parents drove me and my stuff to Chicagoland. They kissed me, told me they loved me, and hightailed it back to Michigan, leaving me with my little suitcase. I met up with the Production Manager, Billy, of the theater where I was to start work the following day. The apartment where I was to live was not ready for move in until the day after my work start date, and so Billy said that I was welcome to stay with an actress who worked at this theater as well. I was a little disappointed because although I had lived away from home plenty by that age from dance school dorms off and on since I was 12 years old to college, I had always had a roommate, so this apartment was to be my very first one all on my own like a goddamn grownup. I was excited. I showed up at the actress’ apartment that evening. Her name was Pat. She was a super nice lady who made me feel right at home. She ordered us a pizza and popped in a movie for us to watch for the evening. The movie was “Silence of the Lambs.” Let me tell you something right now. If a fresh faced teenager comes to your house and is about to embark upon her first ever all-on-her-own apartment-living adventure in a new city, DO NOT SHOW HER SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. I mean, the Lotion in the Basket guy alone was more than I needed to see that particular night during that particular time in my life. The whole thing freaked my shit right out. If a movie started to freak me out like that now, I would simply say that I’d love it if we could turn it off. But I was a kid then, and I didn’t want to seem like a kid while trying to pal it up with a sophisticated professional actress. So I watched the whole damn movie, shitting bricks the whole way through.

That night, I got into bed in Pat’s guest room, and I remember I talked to my boyfriend on the phone. I could already feel the two of us drifting apart, even though I had only been gone for one day.

The following morning, I got up and left for the theater, which was within walking distance of Pat’s apartment. It was a beautiful spring day and I remember being so excited to start my new job. I got to the theater and waited for Billy in the offices. He came out and told me that the first thing I would be doing that day was helping put in flooring in the scene shop. He took me on a tour of the building first. We walked through the offices of the directors and production staff, through the back hallways to the costume shop, down the stairs to the prop shop, over to the front of the house to the booth, into the lobby to say hi to the box office staff, across the stage into the wings, and back, back, further back to the scene shop. I was introduced to Mark, the Technical Director, and Ken, the Prop Master, and Steve, a set carpenter. And then Billy pointed up at a scaffolding, and said that that was Nordic Boy. He was up there with a nail gun in his hand, putting up framing on a flat. I will never forget it. He had on jeans, Adidas soccer shoes, and a purple and black plaid flannel shirt. He looked over his shoulder at me. I thought he was cuh-YOOT.

“Hey,” he said, and I smiled back. How could I have known that that was the first of millions of words he would say to me for the rest of our lives? That that would be my favorite voice coming out of my favorite face? To have it start with just a “hey” tossed over a shoulder? It kind of boggles my mind when I really think about how these things start. The biggest thing I know in my life, starting with something so small.

Hey.

Zero Point Zero Dark Thirty

In high school, I was a good student. The caveat is that my public school education was a little, well, let’s just say iffy. There were a few teachers that were effing gems (hi Steph), but when I look back at a lot of them I actually sort of wonder how it is that I became a functional learner at all. I mean, my 9th grade Algebra teacher was a guy who looked like Barney Rubble and had such a rage problem that one time he kicked the underside of a student desk WHILE THE KID STILL SAT IN IT and we all sat there and yawned because we saw that shit every day. 11th grade history consisted of our teacher making us read aloud from the text book all hour while he read the newspaper at his desk. My AP English class taught me nothing other than how to write a 5-paragraph essay in order to pass the AP test, so when I actually got to college and it was not 4 years of 5 paragraph-essay writing I was sort of fucked. So, when I say I was a good student, just realize the context and understand that this is not a brag.

By the time I hit 11th grade, I had gone through the rigors of natural science in 9th grade (my teacher there kicked me out of class because he told us that having a bowel movement 2-3 times a day was normal because science, and I argued that he was getting pooping mixed up with brushing his teeth), and biology in 10th grade (my teacher there brought in his skull x-rays to show us that he had a 6-inch nail lodged in his brain from a nail gun accident, which I guess is sciencey?), and it was time for chemistry. My chemistry teacher was actually not too bad, relatively speaking, and he kind of wanted us to pay attention and learn stuff. Which, what? He wasn’t that great with classroom management though, which I fondly remember because one day the shy little kid that sat in front of me and my friend Heidi who had Orville Redenbacher hair revealed that he knew the entire dance from the Thriller video and we coaxed him into busting it out in the middle of class which sort of caused a classroom mob and my geeky chemistry teacher looked terrified. That is probably my favorite science-class memory ever.

So I dug into chemistry, and listened to my teacher, and did the lab work, and learned some formulas. Pretty good, right? Wrong. The problem was that this teacher was wanting us to understand why we were doing these things, concept-wise, and not just memorize a bunch of stuff. This is not a thing that my teachers often asked me to do, especially in science. So the first test of the semester came around, and I took it, and I got it back, and dudes. It was not good. I do not remember the exact grade but it might as well have been–as my pal Nick would have said back in the day- a Q-minus. Like, I had bombed it, baaaaaaad. I was not a student that bombed anything, so this was shocking to me. I had played with the test tubes successfully! I had filled out my lab sheets! I had done all of the tasks! I had just not done any actual learning. DANG.

I went through that class, bomb after bomb after bomb. Not only did I continue to bomb, but it got progressively worse. Turns out if you don’t understand the basic stuff, you won’t understand the stuff that goes on top of that either. I remember being supremely stressed out about chemistry in a way that I had never been stressed out about school before. Why couldn’t I understand this? Why wasn’t it getting better even though I was trying (and truth be told, I wasn’t really trying in school most of the time)? And really, what it all boiled down to was a fear about something that I had labelled myself (and been labelled by others) my whole childhood: SMART. HOLY SHIT WAS I NOT SMART? Because look. Look at this test score! It has gone from a Q-minus to a Y-minus! These numbers are what determine our smartness, yes? And more than the numbers, the fact that I DO NOT GET THE CHEMISTRY SCIENCE TALK must mean that I have been falsely classified and my true identity as Dum Dum McStupidface is only now just being discovered! SHITTTTT.

This is the part where I am supposed to figure out how to ask the teacher for extra help and he turns into Howard Hesseman from Head of the Class and my brain is activated by science! Or maybe I realize that I need to look behind the homework tasks into the concepts behind them and I have a science epiphany where I realize that I have to work harder, work smarter, and that I can get myself out of this parade of Q-minuses. Or I find my own personal Brian Krakow who will sweetly tutor me with patience by day and ride his bike past my house at night, and have secret adult times with himself as he thinks about me but his love is unrequited because I only have eyes for future man-bun Jordan Catalano.

None of these things happened. What did happen though, was even better. I took an exam, I felt confused the entire time I was taking it, I got it back, and my score was a 0.0.

Do you hear me? Not an F. Not even a low F. A ZERO POINT ZERO. I got no points. None of the points. Not even a partial point.

And you know how I felt about that, after all the cowering I was doing about my identity as a smarty britches? I am not lying to you when I say that, surprisingly, but almost immediately, I felt awesome. Like, great, awesome. Almost euphoric. I will never forget it. It was a big moment in my young life. The reason I felt so elated was that the thing that I had feared for months had happened. I had FAILED. Not just done badly, but done so badly that I literally could not have done any worse. I did not pick up a crumb of a point off the floor. NOTHING, NADA, ZIP. But after I got that exam back, I went to my next class and still felt like me. And then I went to play practice with pals after school and felt like me. And then I went home and my mom and dad kissed me just the same, even though they weren’t excited about that score. Unfortunately I can’t say that I didn’t feel dumb, because I did. I was a kid, I didn’t know better about things like that. But fortunately, I had the things in life up until that point that added up to me basically feeling good about myself and my ability to handle things. I liked myself, and thought myself mostly capable, and able to learn things, and that I was a good person overall and that that was more important than knowing my chemistry lesson that day. There would be other days to learn that chemistry lesson and I would do that. I had faith in myself.

I feel like the zero point zero experience is one that every little (and big) overachiever should have. To crash and burn on something just so we can have the subsequent experience of realizing: huh. Look at that. I’m ok. I’m still me. And now other things will happen from here. The world did not come to an end.

I have been thinking about this today because as I am sure you are tired of hearing, I have had a rough year. The thing I feared most happened. This was followed by a lot of me flailing around (and failing around) not really knowing how to live in that reality, for months. Then a few months ago, some work stuff happened that made me confront some fears about where my career should be. Then last month, another scary medical emergency happened to a loved one, which also crashed right up against the fear and worry I carry around about losing people I love. Then, last week, another thing happened where some fears I had had about being a bad friend and a bad person were flashed in front of me quite unexpectedly that had me truly mortified. And now that all that has happened, I feel strangely like I felt when I got that Zero Point Zero. I don’t know if it even makes sense for me to say that for me, all of these things put together add up to me basically getting a Zero Point Zero at life 2013-to-present. But I feel good, y’all. Like, post-chemistry-test euphoria good. Because I’m still here, I’m still me, I’m still trying hard, and for every last thing that has happened that has earned me a Zero-Point-Zero, I have so many more things that are straight up Honor Roll. What is it about feeling defeated that sometimes turns into feeling triumphant? I’m going to say the cheesy thing. It happens when, at the core of all of these fears, the thing you have to hold onto is loving yourself. So when all the fears come to pass, you still have that.

So crash and burn is fine by me. I’m going to strut out of there right after tho.

My Dear Delium

When I arrived at college at not-yet-18 years old, I was a smiley kid who looked people in the eye, with unironic Snoopy sheets on my dorm room bed and a Brother Word Processor (yes, I’m that old, it’s true) under my arm. My plan was to transform my former dance accomplishments into full blown theater geekery, and with that I auditioned for a play. I was chosen, along with 9 other cast mates, and we all promptly became thick as thieves. One night during rehearsal, one of my new friends, Becca, said to me: “I think you should date Delium. I think he likes you.” To which I articulately said, “nuh-uh! Really?” and left it at that.

I was having a super fun datey time when I arrived at college. I had a cool ex-boyfriend back home, and he had done the “you’re moving away to college, go on without me, if you love someone set them free” schtick, but we kept in touch and also for the first 6 months he would show up at my dorm every couple of months so maybe it was more “if you love someone set them free but also I will show up sometimes in hopes of a booty call” which was the original draft of that Sting song. Aside from him, I was also just reveling in the fact that I was in college with all these new people and I was drowning in cute boy flirtations. When Becca said that to me about Delium, I was game. I liked him. He was a junior (automatic hottie points) and I remember that all of my dorm friends thought he was cyooooot. I am sure that I would have thought the same thing all on my own but at that age, what my friends thought was pretty much more important. Which, whatever. I was 18.

One day Delium called me on the phone and asked me to go on a date with him, which when I think about that phone call now I find it mortally adorable. He picked me up in his car and we went to some bar where his friends who were in a band were playing. It was some combination rock show plus sketch comedy thing. All I remember is that the band’s show was about them travelling through time and there was one point where one of the guys dressed full Abraham Lincoln and rocked out. It is a weird memory.

Delium and I had this strange relationship after that. On the one hand, we were both really silly people and we spent much of our time together making each other snort-laugh with honest-to-goodness hijinks. Our senses of humor lined up exactly- my very first Comedy-Kindred-Spirit. On the other hand, Delium was the first boy I ever knew who was intense. I didn’t have any experience with intense. I didn’t know what to do with it. He would say things like “I’m going to marry you one day,” or “I’m going to love you for the rest of our lives,” which would make me think “I am 18 years old, don’t be a nutjob, dude” but also “wow, that’s cool. He is Lloyd Dobler.” It was more than I could handle, for sure, but I pretended like I had it all in hand, even to myself.

That sort of intensity can only lead to a full-scale ride on the drama-trolley, and we were no exception. We had a few months of COMPLETE AND TOTAL RIDICULOUSNESS with jealousy! betrayal! declarations! tears on both sides! I shall spare you the details not because they aren’t interesting but because OMG so embarrassing. Still, the weird thing was, that even in the midst of all that, we always made each other laugh. We would be having some exhausting conversation and one of us would, right in the middle of it, DO A BIT. And the other one would laugh and be like “that’s funny, dude!” And then we would go back to being exhausting.

I can’t really remember how we managed to transition out of intensity-land into something else. I feel like it just happened. We just snapped out of it. Delium is not at all intense like that anymore so maybe that’s what did it. I left that school at 19 to go to Chicagoland to work at a theater, and Delium would come and visit me sometimes. I remember going to the Olive Garden with Delium and Nordic Boy there- the three of us. Then I moved to Madison, Wisconsin for a year and Delium moved there too because he was doing a grad program there, so we hung out some more. Then I went back to Fiji and while I was there, Delium switched grad programs to one in Seattle and needed to drive himself across the country. His driving pal? Nordic Boy. Look at how I bring a bromance together like that- those two are now straight up besties. I came back and joined up with them in Seattle, and we have all three been here ever since.

Delium is the busiest person I know. He has a day job, he acts, he dances, he goes on lots of trips. He has always been that way. But Delium is the person that Nordic Boy and I call when we need someone. With all that he has going on, somehow he is always there for us. (And do not even get me started about how Nordic Boy STOLE THAT BOY away from me). I don’t know where we would be without him. He’s our family.

Since my Dad died, Delium has called me pretty much every day. Every single day. Even when he is on a camping trip in Nevada. Even when he has work followed by a date followed by a performance. And he gets right up in my grill and talks with me about every last feeling I am having. And he remembers my dad with me. And he cries with me sometimes. And when I say “I’m so super tired, dude,” he says “I know you are. I know,” in the most gentle way. And we hang out and he still makes me snort-laugh every time.

He may not have married me like he said he was going to, but he did say he was going to love me for the rest of our lives. So, he was partially right.

You Send Me

Shared history is important, is what I have been thinking about lately. There is something about thinking back on something that happened in your life, and having someone else say: yes, I remember that too. Why does that feel so good? Does it validate us to know that our memories are not just ours, that someone else saw what we saw? Does it help us to know that we aren’t just dreaming up what we think our lives have been?

I love my friend Alli for many reasons. She is one of the best people I have ever met, just like, on an objective Good Person scale. She’s kind, she is hilarious, she is a phenomenal friend. But on top of all of this, we have known each other since kindergarten. This means that either of us can pull out a memory, and the other person will already know it.

Remember the night when we all went skinny-dipping in Map’s pool? And A. got out of the pool and laughed so hard that she literally peed herself, right on the side of the pool? Ha ha, yes!

Remember when those three guy friends of ours crashed your birthday party in high school and stole your cake right out of your house? OMG, yes. Effers.

Remember in 5th grade how Carrie F. had this talent for drawing Garfield, and she drew doodles of Garfield everywhere, and it seemed so cool? Totally!

Remember when you got in the middle of a tough girl brawl that night outside the 7-11? No joke, that was nuts! Those girls wanted to kill someone.

Remember that time that dude who had a crush on you wrote you a filthy love note and your mom found it and read it? Holy shit, yes. Death by mortification.

Remember when we learned tinikling in 3rd grade gym class and you got chosen to demonstrate it for the parents at the ice cream social? Because I am a fucking superstar, obvs.

I know what song was playing on the radio when Alli made out with the guy who tried to give her the old “back of the head push” when we were teenagers. She knows that I almost had a serious wardrobe malfunction while dancing on stage in “Guys and Dolls” in 10th grade.

I started thinking about this last weekend when an old song came on the radio and we both went “oh my god, this SONG.” I was thinking about how not only do we share the general nostalgia of remembering that song, but we share the same context surrounding the song. There’s a good chance that we were milling around the same damn party where the song was initially playing and it seeped into our brains at the same time. It sort of blew my mind grapes a little bit, the more I thought about it.

If you’re my homie, you’re pretty much my homie for life. I will keep the friendship going, unless one of us turns into a dick or something. I know people that let their friends sort of drift in and out of their circle with each passing phase of their lives, and I guess that’s ok too. But for me, going through things with my pals there with me, helping me to see my life, is so important to me that I can’t imagine it any other way. And I think that feeling originated with Alli, and my friend Map too, starting way back when we were teensy little kids. The older I get, the more I cherish that.

So what was the song that prompted all of this? It was a PM Dawn song. I know, all of this because of Prince B. Nocturnal? Yes, totally. For whatever reason, it made both Alli and I feel how it felt to be young together, right in our guts. “Oh my god, this SONG.”
 

Midwest, Midbest

Warning, incoherent blogging ahead!

The blog silence has been because I’ve been searching for words, which, let’s face it, I never really do before I puke-write on the blog.The trip through the midwest is over and I am completely confused about settling back in. Does anyone else get like this after a trip? So far it has been wall-to-wall bewilderment: my house, is that you? Oh, and walking around my neighborhood: this is my neighborhood, yes, I remember now. I have to go to a job and do job things, ok. But what am I supposed to be doing and thinking about? It feels mystifying, my life.

So to ease back into the blogging, I’ll just jot some things down about the last week of the tripsie.

Nordic Boy spent a goodly amount of time fixing up busted stuff at my parents’ house. He got them a new dishwasher and tv and installed them, fixed wiring, found every last loose closet doorknob or sticky screen door and fixed those up, just everything. This meant that we were at the local mom and pop hardware store every single solitary day, sometimes twice. The folks that work at the store quickly identified me as “cookie man’s daughter.” The hardware store also provides UPS service (seriously that place is like Oleson’s Mercantile) and my dad is constantly showing up there with packages of cookies that my mom has made for sending off to all the grandkids, and he often has a cookie or two for the staff there as well. My dad, therefore, is known as “cookie man.” Could you just die from the cuteness?

For more cuteness, see: my mom. Alli and Map dropped me off one night after we had all gone out, and my mom got her pajamafied self together to make them a snack, and then when they were ready to go, she says to me “they aren’t staying over?” Like, an assumed slumber party, as it was when we were kids, when none of us ever slept at our own houses on weekends like, ever.

I am so glad I grew up in a household where cookies and slumber parties were a given, with pals to share them both and parents who encouraged the tomfoolery.

One night Alli, Map and I put out a call on the Facebooks for some childhood friends to come out with us. Did we have fun? Dude, we had all the fun. Most of the people that I saw that night, I met when I was in kindergarten, and we all are so, so different from each other now and I love it. I really adore those people. They are just so genuine, and so freaking hilarious. And it’s so funny how we all think we have changed so much, and I guess we have, but really every last one of those people seemed, at their core, pretty much the same as they were when they were 5 or 15.

I also got to spend some time with my all-time favorite relative, my cousin R. We stayed up almost all night talking. What is better than staying up all night because you just can’t shut up around someone? It’s pretty awesome.

Also, there was a lot of time going back and forth to hospitals and such, which was the opposite of awesome.

Anyway, I feel sort of at a loss now that I’m back, just for words in general. So I guess that’s all I will say about it, even though I feel like there’s so much more to say. How about some photos from my week in Traverse City with my favorite ladies and we call it good?