Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dear Turkey,

I sacrifice you to the oven of my sister, in the spirit of gratitude for all things beautiful in my world.

Gratitude for my child and family and friends; gratitude for my own life. Gratitude for the opportunity that I have to be in Colorado to sit next to my dad, who did not die, and to simply hold his hand and talk to him.

It is a difficult thing to see fear in my parent's eyes and watch the reality of mortality dawn on the faces of those I love. It cuts deeply to see it all this closely, this way: nothing is guaranteed...we will all eventually leave each other. But it will not be this day, and for that, I am thankful.

So, I commend you, turkey, to your fate. I plan to sit on the deck overlooking the yard, watch the sun set over the mountains, and have a glass of wine while you finish cooking. I will gaze down upon the apparitions of my younger self and sister playing under hauntingly familiar trees and sky, and then we will render joyful destruction upon your carcass in the name of gratitude.

I am 28 years old, and you are the first turkey that I have made by myself. I know you will be delicious.


Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Pack for Your Dad's Heart Attack

Stuff to bring:

1. Your game face

2. Clothing for dressing in layers-the temperatures of airplanes, hospitals, and foreign states vary widely.

3. Pictures of your young daughter, son, or cat that he has only met once-guilt has healing properties.

4. Your book/IPod/cell phone/laptop/knitting-waiting around takes up a lot of time.

5. A full cast recording of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy-Keeps the mood light as you fly through the thin air of the Earth's higher atmosphere into an unfamiliar universe where your parents are suddenly mortal, and you have the power to consent to life-and-death procedures about which you know next to nothing.

Sub list- Songs not to listen to as you fly a shuddering airplane away from your young child and toward your possibly dying father:
-Freefalling, Tom Petty
-Dust in the Wind, Kansas
-Spirit in the Sky
-Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
-Porcelain/Wait for Me/Pale Horses, Moby
-My Father's Eyes/Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton
-Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve
-Radiohead (just too emotionally confusing)
Sub list #2-Songs that are OK:
-Everybody Hurts (So hold on...), R.E.M.
-Aerodynamic, Daft Punk
-Beautiful Day, U2
-All is Full of Love, Bjork
-Lord of the Rings Soundtrack (gives one the sensation of going on an epic quest)

6. Nice shirts and clean casual if you can swing it. (Doctors statistically give out 27% more info with 14% less condescension to those who appear to engage in business casually.)

7. A graphing calculator, protractor, scratch paper, and a math major prepared to assist in the moment-to-moment calculation of your dad's chances of survival, based on the string of seemingly arbitrary but in fact highly scientific percentages given out by medical professionals over the course of his stay in the ICU.

8. Snacks

9. A notebook-you will inevitably be filled with deep thoughts concerning mortality, your childhood, unfinished business with your parent(s), resolve over being a better parent yourself, etc. Your deep thoughts may occur in nebulous fogs floating through your head, or they may occur in lists. Either way, writing down your musings of staggering import and originality sometimes helps you feel better. Also, the awkward way people avoid your eyes after looking over your shoulder and reading "How to Pack for Your Dad's Heart Attack" is amusing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blogging because I don't really know what else to do.

My dad is in the hospital. I have gleaned most of my information about the whys and hows through the awesome power of texts from my sister, who lives with him in CO. (Ha! Take that, no cell phone policy!) It seems that he has had a heart attack and/or renal failure caused by severe infection and/or unbeknownst diabetes, and also loss of vision caused by a nerve being pinched by something in his neck. Nothing big. Nothing serious. Just, you know, everything at once.

You are right. I do sound removed. I am making light of a serious situation. It's how I deal.

So this is a conversation that has been going on between us and my dad for the past seven or eight years:
Us: Hey Dad. You should get that checked out.
Dad: I'm too cool to take care of my illnesses. See? I wear black sweaters and cop glasses.
Us: I don't know who ever told you that you are cool. Not us. Go see a doctor.
Dad: I will when I have the money.
Us: You don't need money. That's why you have health insurance. Through the business that you co-own. Where you are the boss.
Dad: As soon as things are straight at work, the real-estate market has leveled, the elk herds have moved to higher ground, and the moon is in the seventh house, I can deal with it.
Us: This is not really the kind of thing you put off, you know? You are almost 60.
Dad: What if I find out that I need surgery or something?
Us: Then you'll take off of work for a while, have surgery or something, and go back to work.
Dad: Well, if I am not working, the world could explode.
Us: If you die, you can't go to work. Think about that.

So, yeah. Glad you could make our point for us with such dramatic and colorful flair, Dad.

I might fly out to CO tomorrow. I don't know. Like I said, I don't actually know what the situation is. Texts from my sister. The fourth-party information from my mom (who is also highly dramatic).

But I'll tell you what, I have last minute Travelocity tickets up on my other tab , and I have a bag half-packed and ready to go.

I don't know what to do. So I blog. Thanks for listening, internets.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Wendy: Can I play your game?
Daddy: I don't know, you are only nice to me when you want my Bejeweled.
Wendy: I'll be nice.
Daddy: Oh yeah? How nice are you gonna be?
Wendy: Um....thirty!

Yeah, that sounds like enough. A good-ish amount of nice. Not enough for a cookie, but just enough for Bejeweled.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Get it? Cause it was Halloween and her name is Wendy? Hallo-Weendy?? HAHA-okay, no.

Just here to pass the cuteness on to you, the customers.

We trucked the kid over to our babysitter's neighborhood, where there is prime, small-child friendly trick-or-treating territory. We got rained on a bit, but Wendy worked pretty hard, and we came back with a decent haul. You know, for an almost-3 year-old.

She had a great time, and so did we. I should add here that I managed to psychologically scar my child this season (what? again? when will I learn?) by way of Halloween-themed library books. My mistake was letting Wendy make age-inappropriate decisions for herself. Now she is afraid of "pretend floating eyeballs" and "mad wolves in the walls, not happy wolves," and won't stop talking about them.

*note to future self: REMEMBER THIS GUILTY FEELING. Also, remember the crying. No matter how mature she seems, when she wants to pierce something or drop out of school to be an artist, or go riding off to the shore with Taylor the tattooed senior, remember the crying.*

Happy November, everyone!