You can feel it in the air. We had a huge end of summer storm roll through on Saturday and it left a lot of the city without power because of strong winds and fallen trees. It was quite thrilling for me, because it marked that shift into autumn. It's my very favorite. I painted my nails dark red and got out my boots.
Friday night I had a few friends over and around 9:30pm a girl in a tank top and pink panties, holding a chihuahua came barging in the front door mumbling about her sister and headed straight for Stephanie's room. We were super confused, and I told her I thought she had the wrong house, but then she said Steph's name and we got really confused. Stephanie was asleep in her room and this girl busted in and went straight to her window. Then she turned and walked back through the living room saying, "I just need my sister to leave me alone so I can put on my pants." YOU GUYS! It was so weird and happened so fast that we didn't even think about calling the police or anything. About 10 minutes later we hear a ruckus outside and the girl has punched her sister (our neighbor), Stephanie, in the face on their front porch. We flipped off all the light so we could peer out the window and watch the drama. Lesson from all this - don't do drugs. It was messed up. I don't even think the neighbors realize she came to our house. Ugh. We are not fans of them.
Anyway, Saturday was low key, running errands and what not. I went to JCrew and wanted all the things.
That was a $240 outfit. #keepdreaming #waitforthesale #stripes
On Sunday we celebrated Stacey's birthday with a huge dinner party. I think she had about 24 people there. Ack! I do not have that many friends. I mostly did dishes and kept to the kitchen.
It's September! Lots of things coming up this month - CT scan, Grandpa's 100th birthday party, EP's baby shower, Steph's birthday, Topher's going away party and many unpleasant work deadlines.
You know how I had cancer last year? And now I don't have a stomach and I take oral chemo everyday. And any minute it could come back and I'm done for.
One would think this would make me live life a little differently. . .except that I don't. Not at all. Is there something wrong with that?
A few weeks back I sent my sisters a screengrab of an Instagram that had a woman posing in a bikini with the caption "reclaiming my inner self after cancer". We got a good laugh. Is this what I should be doing? Oh, I'll show you my stomach scar!
I remember the first conversation I had with my oncologist. I was like, "Crap. Am I going to have to adopt the culture and start doing fun runs?" I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON.
I don't know. I'm just talking out loud.
Should I be "living life to the fullest"? What does that mean? I do the exact same things I was doing. I'm not a better person or more enlightened and that makes me feel like a jerk that I was put through this kind of huge thing and I didn't learn a dang thing. What is wrong with me?
My goodness, this GQ interview with Stephen Colbert is SO wonderful. I love him so much. I've put my favorite part below. You REALLY should take the time to read it. Like I just want to sob, it's so beautiful.
He used to have a note taped to his computer that read, “Joy is the most infallible sign of the existence of God.”
(His father and two brothers died in a plane crash when he was ten.)
That day after he got back from Michigan, we eventually got around to the question of how it could possibly be that he suffered the losses he's suffered and somehow arrived here. It's not just that he doesn't exhibit any of the anger or open-woundedness of so many other comedians; it's that he appears to be so genuinely grounded and joyful.
He sat silently for a while and then smiled. “Yeeeahhhh,” he said. “I'm not angry. I'm not. I'm mystified, I'll tell you that. But I'm not angry.”
There were such depths in the way he said “mystified.”
It was hard to talk about these things, he said. “I want to answer in ways that are not pat. And so I want to take a moment and think of a way to answer that isn't pre-packaged.”
. . .
Instead he said, “So my reaction when I hear that question isn't”—he shifted into a somber, sonorous voice—“ ‘Oh, I don't want to talk about that.’ It's that I don't want to say this—ready?” He snapped his fingers and locked eyes with me in a pose of dramatic intensity. “MY. MOTHER.” His face softened. “But the answer is: my mother.”
He lifted his arms as if to take in the office, the people working and laughing outside his door, the city and the sky, all of it. “And the world,” he said. “It's so…lovely. I'm very grateful to be alive, even though I know a lot of dead people.” The urge to be grateful, he said, is not a function of his faith. It's not “the Gospel tells us” and therefore we give thanks. It is what he has always felt: grateful to be alive. “And so that act, that impulse to be grateful, wants an object. That object I call God. Now, that could be many things. I was raised in a Catholic tradition. I'll start there. That's my context for my existence, is that I am here to know God, love God, serve God, that we might be happy with each other in this world and with Him in the next—the catechism. That makes a lot of sense to me. I got that from my mom. And my dad. And my siblings.”
He was tracing an arc on the table with his fingers and speaking with such deliberation and care. “I was left alone a lot after Dad and the boys died.... And it was just me and Mom for a long time,” he said. “And by her example am I not bitter. By her example. She was not. Broken, yes. Bitter, no.” Maybe, he said, she had to be that for him. He has said this before—that even in those days of unremitting grief, she drew on her faith that the only way to not be swallowed by sorrow, to in fact recognize that our sorrow is inseparable from our joy, is to always understand our suffering, ourselves, in the light of eternity. What is this in the light of eternity? Imagine being a parent so filled with your own pain, and yet still being able to pass that on to your son.
“It was a very healthy reciprocal acceptance of suffering,” he said. “Which does not mean being defeated by suffering. Acceptance is not defeat. Acceptance is just awareness.” He smiled in anticipation of the callback: “ ‘You gotta learn to love the bomb,’ ” he said. “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was 10. That was quite an explosion. And I learned to love it. So that's why. Maybe, I don't know. That might be why you don't see me as someone angry and working out my demons onstage. It's that I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.”
I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.
I asked him if he could help me understand that better, and he described a letter from Tolkien in response to a priest who had questioned whether Tolkien's mythos was sufficiently doctrinaire, since it treated death not as a punishment for the sin of the fall but as a gift. “Tolkien says, in a letter back: ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” Colbert knocked his knuckles on the table. “ ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” he said again. His eyes were filled with tears. “So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn't mean you want it. I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”
He was 35, he said, before he could really feel the truth of that. He was walking down the street, and it “stopped me dead. I went, ‘Oh, I'm grateful. Oh, I feel terrible.’ I felt so guilty to be grateful. But I knew it was true.
“It's not the same thing as wanting it to have happened,” he said. “But you can't change everything about the world. You certainly can't change things that have already happened.”
Consider that this is coming from a man who millions of people will soon watch on their televisions every night—if only there were a way to measure the virality of this, which he'll never say on TV, I imagine, but which, as far as I can tell, he practices every waking minute of his life.
The next thing he said I wrote on a slip of paper in his office and have carried it around with me since. It's our choice, whether to hate something in our lives or to love every moment of them, even the parts that bring us pain. “At every moment, we are volunteers."
We planned to camp on Friday night and made our way to the mountains midday. We drove and drove and couldn't find one, single open campsite. It was a bummer, but we decided to make the best of it and made our way back to Seattle for Fireworks Night at the Mariners game. The Mariners are pretty terrible this season, but those fireworks were worth it.
I woke up on Saturday morning and finished a book and then got a text from Rosie. She said she wanted to make brunch and to come over in 30 minutes. Um, OK. No complaints here. This is what she pulled together in 30 minutes. She has a real talent for making things delicious and beautiful. Her European roots, I suppose.
I spent the afternoon cleaning the house and sprucing up the backyard. We had the church folks over for an outdoor movie and it was so pleasant. We watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I forgot how much I enjoyed it.
After everyone went home I made a poor decision. Let me explain.
I used to be a champion sleeper - like the best in all the land. Once a doctor told me I should be tested for narcolepsy because I fell asleep so quickly and deep. The last year and a half has changed that. I can't sleep. I have to take a sleep aid or I will be up all night long. I've gotten out of bed at 12:00am and gone to the store for Benadryl. It's listed as a side effect of my chemo, but I don't know exactly what causes it. Anyway, after everyone left, I started a book and then finished it as the sun rose at 5:21am. Yeeeeahhhh. I've done this 3 of the 6 last Saturday nights. BUT I have gone to church each of those Sunday mornings! It's just not a great way to start the week, ya know? Must. make. better. decisions.
So yesterday was church, attempted napping, and Greenlake with Rosie and Alena. The light was so pretty because of the haze from wildfire smoke. It's bad, but makes for good picture taking. Rosie would hate that I'm posting this, but she doesn't read blogs so too bad.
I'm sure most everyone has seen this by now and I usually hate to share viral stuff like this, but oh well. When I first watched it, 90% of me was like, "she knows her husband is gay, right?" (see pose at 2:15 mark) and then the other 10% was like, "congratulations, girl. you've married the man of my dreams."
And then I opened google and found out they are both professional dancers and it all makes sense. No normal man moves like that. I'm reading a book about professional ballerinas right now too, so it sort of makes him even more appealing.
Enroll your sons in a dance class, why don't ya?
Also, the poor non-dancer groomsman.
And honestly my favorite part is at 6:48 when they are together. Super adorable. Super attractive.
Because of this book and because I really need some muscle tone, I've been looking into the Ballet Beautiful exercise videos. They are a fairly decent price and stream which is perfect. I'm going to become a middle-aged ballerina. Watch out.
This weekend didn't go as planned. We had torrential downpours on Friday so our camping trip didn't happen. People still went, but I backed out. Mud camping didn't seem as fun. I enjoyed being home in a cool (temperature) house and caught up on some cleaning and read one of the 13 books I have checked out from the library currently. 13! So ridiculous. They all become available at the same time, every time. So annoying!
Anyway, Alena and I went to see Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Saturday night and I thought it was great. Handsome men, beautiful locations and costumes and good, clean fun. I'd definitely recommend it.
We also watched Far from the Madding Crowd last night and it is so swoony. I love it.
Almost four hours at church yesterday. Rough. I did sneak out of Relief Society when a lesson about caring for the elderly among us turned into a conversation about Chatbooks and Instagram. Come on. . .let's elevate to conversation a little. I struggle with Relief Society. A lot.
Oh and we saw Mission Impossible last week too. Also enjoyed that one.
Have you seen this preview? I just saw the poster at the theater and it's one I'll definitely be seeing and reading.
We started the next season of opera going last night. This year began with Verdi's "Nabucco". I wasn't familiar with it, but the chorus is well known to me for some reason. Do you know it? TELL ME!
The best/weirdest part of the evening was seeing this poor older woman wearing no pants. She was wearing a shear tunic with slits on each side to the waist and black underpants. She had a cardigan for when she got cold, but NO PANTS!
The thing is that she was with someone much younger who was very aware and should have never let her out of the house like that. It was crazy. Basically, you see everything from no pants to black tie at the Seattle Opera.
Sharon's face was the best when she finally saw her after we'd been discussing it - jaw on the floor. The woman had almost stumbled on the steps when intermission started and Stan reached to catch her. He later said, "Good thing I didn't catch her. I may have caught more than I expected!" Bless her heart.
- I have been reading too much YA fiction because now I want some attention from a boy/man. I even started signing up for online dating sites yesterday and then realized how expensive they are! Did you know? It's a LOT. So that was put on pause, because dang, $50/month to be bothered by weirdos online seems crazy.
- Speaking of money, I spend close to $150/month on medicines. Blerg.
- Speaking of online dating, it's weird because what do you put in your profile? "I have cancer. Serious inquiries only." (via Tig)
- My boss is gone for a two week sailing trip and I have nothing to do. Hence, online dating sites.
- My surgeon left for good and now there is no fun anticipation of possibly seeing him when I walk down the hall at work. Time to find a new and more appropriate crush.
- I'm kind of obsessed with this Bob Schneider song lately.
Hi, Hi, hi everyone. Hello. You know how I complained that I had to take pictures at the faculty dinner last night? I shouldn't have. I feel like an ungrateful brat right now because my boss handed me a very generous check this morning and now I wish I would have worked a little harder. Eep. I was expecting maybe $40 and to leave early this afternoon.
This is the view from his back deck. Not too shabby. Just to the right is a great view of Mt. Rainier. They purchased the house below them so no one would buy it, knock it down and build a two-story house. Amazing. Anyway, it was a nice evening.
I buy this scone almost every morning at work and today was the first time the kid knew my order and it was a little embarrassing.
Has anyone seen Ant Man and if so, is it worth going to see on the big screen? What about Mission Impossible?
My weekend plans - Joseph and I are going to a Mariners game tomorrow and Rosie and I are going to catch up over dinner tonight. She just returned from a three week trip to Austria and Croatia. I had to substitute for her doing children's music the last few weeks at church and that is stressful! Happy she is back.
Ryan Adams has recorded an entire cover album of Taylor Swift's latest album and I REALLY hope he releases it. Her tweet is the best. "I'M CALM."