Monthly Archives: May 2011


So we’re off tomorrow. Gone fishing for weddings and music.  Hopefully the world won’t actually end on the 21st, because I have a lot to do the week after, including but not limited to seeing these guys play some pretty music.

I’m also going to sit in the sun and feel pleased with myself, maybe drink some good coffee, eat some paella, stare at the sea (I will have a couple on offer), stay up too late, and generally have a nice vacation. 

See you in June.



Filed under Uncategorized

In Russia you only get one spoon . . .*

What a sweater!

Jeremy is in St Petersburg, Russia right now which means there were lots of Yakov Smirnoff** style jokes around the villa the last couple weeks.  A disproportionate number of sentences have started with the words, ‘In Soviet Russia . . . ‘  I hope he’s not doing that now.  Yakov Smirnoff aside, I don’t think the people of Russia probably care for those jokes very much.

Last night he saw a fireworks display to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis in WWII and he texted me the following: It kind of feels like I am in the middle of a communist rally, crossed with a protest march but with families and drunk people.
Jeremy’s always full of sensitive cultural observations.  Tomorrow he goes to another town, Veliky Novgorod, apparently the drive can take anywhere from 2 – 8 hours depending on the state of the roads.  Fingers are crossed that his travel time ends up being closer to 2 hours.  I keep hoping he’ll get a driver like the one in Everything is Illuminated, but I know that sort of thing only really happens in books and movies.  Plus that guy is busy with his band.
While he’s away, I’m eating nonvegetarian dinners and watching all the crap tv I want.  Plus, you know, missing his stupid face a bunch.  We had a friend visiting from the US last weekend so the house has gone from feeling slightly overfull to way too empty very quickly.  Oliver and I are doing our best to keep things lively despite this, but he’s a cat and they aren’t much for talking so things will probably be pretty quiet until Saturday.
*This is not a Yakov Smirnoff joke, it’s a Kids in the Hall joke, specifically it is a  line from a Gavin sketch that also features discussion of a bike race, chair painting and onions.  And upon review I have discovered that it is actually England where you only get one spoon!  I need to be more careful with my hoarded American spoons.
**Yes, I know he is technically Ukrainian, but his jokes refer to Russia so it’s okay


Filed under dorking it up, travel

Strange reminders.

It’s now been almost 6 months since my dad died.  Sometimes it feels impossible that it didn’t happen yesterday, and sometimes it feels like 6 years have gone by.  It’s not at all surprising, I imagine, for me to say that I am still grieving.  What is surprising though, to me anyhow, is the force with which it still hits sometimes and the small things that will trigger it.

This morning, for instance, I was doctoring my coffee and got a flash of myself at the hospital in Lapeer ordering coffee at the tiny Starbucks in the back of the waiting room on the ground floor.  Every day I would stop there before heading up to ICU and every day the lady would ask me what flavor I wanted in my latte.  And every day I would say, ‘Coffee flavor.’  And she would stand in front of her vast array of syrups and look at me all like, who drinks coffee for the coffee flavor? 

And then I would go to the elevator and up to Dad’s room and in the early days, maybe we would talk or he would write me a message, or we would watch CNN show the Chilean miners as they were transported above ground.  And then later, after the ventilator, I would sit there with my coffee flavored coffee and stare at him as I made bargains with god(s) and universal forces (I’m not spiritually picky in times of crises).  I would silently chant Kundalini mantras in my head (Ra ma da so, sa say so hung.  It’s supposed to be healing) and picture my dad healthy and laughing and surrounded in a glowing light.  Or I would sit by the window and knit or talk quietly to Mom or the friends who sat vigil with us.

And each day he would look older and weaker and each day we would take turns feeling dejected, hopeful, sad or optimistic. 

But you know where all that got us.  My mantras and bargains (I hesitate to call them prayers because they were so blatantly self-serving) didn’t change the outcome.  The lady at the Starbucks counter never stopped being surprised that I didn’t want a shot of vanilla or raspberry in my coffee.  Later, when we got to the hospital in Detroit, there were so many more people around that no one at the coffee counters there really gave a crap about how I took my coffee, which was kind of nice. 

Not that any of this matters, the coffee related stuff, anyhow.  It’s just another random trigger to those strange in between days spent expecting him to get better, waiting for it with such firm belief that he would get better only to be let down so drastically.

These memories pop up, fully detailed and high-speed, they go though me quickly and then they sort of echo in my brain (obviously, why would I be writing this otherwise?).  I never know where they’ll come from so the world is currently something of an emotional minefield.  Less so than it was a few months ago, but that makes it more treacherous in a way, because I let my guard down now. 

Grief is ridiculous and strange.  I don’t recommend it.


Filed under grief