Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Always Sudden

Two months ago, I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my dad before I went to the movies. It was “The Body,” the episode in which Buffy comes home to find her mom dead on the couch. The episode had always been one that brought tears to Dad’s eyes and whenever we caught it, we would watch in silence. Mom would always ruin it with commentary about how many times we must have seen it and each time, including this time, we would shush her because she didn’t understand the brilliance and realism of the episode.

Dad started watching Buffy with me during the second season. It was just the right mixture of horror, thriller, drama, violence and comedy. He eventually became even more obsessed with it than I did, even going as far as to Google certain producers because he saw their names attached to other things and wanted to make sure that it was the same producers. If you knew my dad, Googling something was a bit of an adventure, since typing a name might take an hour. He would recognize an actor who played a bit part in one episode and joke, “I have no life.” However, if anyone wanted to play “The Seven Degrees of Buffy,” he would slay any opponent.

There is one scene in this episode that always made our silence go from one of attention to one of genuine immersion and relation. The Scooby Gang is getting ready to head to the morgue. Willow keeps changing outfits, trying to figure out the most appropriate, panicking about what to wear. Tara, always the comforting and loving one, doing everything she can to help Willow. Xander is angry and trying to find anyone to exact some revenge upon, whether it’s a supernatural force or a wall. Anya, a 1,000 year old demon who has never had to deal with death on a personal level, is just trying to understand. By the end of the scene, they all calm down and realize their job is to get to the morgue and be there for Buffy. Dad always loved this scene and I always knew it had a lot to do with the different ways everyone deals with death. But, I also knew that someone, if not all of them, reminded him of himself when his parents passed away. I could relate to it somewhat, because I had lost my grandparents, whom I loved very much, but it wasn’t until later that night I truly lived it and understood why it resonated so much with him.

Because, suddenly in the middle of a movie, I got a call that my dad, the most important person in my life and the only person who could sing along with me to every song from “Once More with Feeling,” was dead.

That night and ever since then, the following speech has been stuck in my head. Joss Whedon, I just have to say thank you writing my response for every person who wonders how I’m doing.

"I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's... there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. And Xander's crying and not talking. And I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever. And she'll never have eggs or yawn or brush her hair. Not ever. And no one will explain to me why."

Unfortunately, the world does not stop when something like this happens, as evidenced by my continuing to write and update this blog. I will not stop going to work, stop hanging out with my friends. I will attend the 3 weddings I am invited to this year and I will celebrate happily. I will take Meg out for her 21st birthday and make sure she has one to remember. (Or possibly not. It is her 21st afterall!) I will pay my bills and drive my car and read books and I will continue living. I will, however, never understand and I will never stop missing him. On the other hand, I will always do everything knowing that Dad is with me, especially when I am singing along to “Rest in Peace.”

And if you don’t get that last reference, look it up. You’ll like it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Booty Call Should Take Place in Private

Everyday I am amazed at how private conversations are taking place in public. Here is what happened when I was leaving work yesterday.

There is a fire lane right outside of my Starbucks, where people park all the time. I understand the need to run in and grab coffee, but if you’re in that big of a hurry, you should probably just go to your destination and wait on the coffee. Or, if you’re just that lazy, you should probably just re-examine your life in general. Anyway, not the point…

So I was leaving yesterday and there was a guy parked in his car in the fire lane, facing away from the patio where several people were sitting. He had his window down, and was having a conversation about how this woman he is seeing is treating him like a “booty call” and he was tired of it. In the 3 minutes I stood there to listen to his conversation, he used “booty call” at least 5 times, and each time I wanted to tell him that she probably just didn’t want to have a relationship with a man in his 40s who uses the phrase “booty call.” He also described how even though he enjoyed having a “booty call” every now and then, he really liked this woman and he wished she wanted more. He also didn’t want to seem too insecure by saying anything to her about feeling like nothing more than a “booty call” and thought she might stop talking to him if he said anything. I’m going to assume that when he got quiet, the person he was talking to on the other line was giving her advice on the situation. Hopefully, that person was telling him that he was too old for this and to grow up. But possibly not.

I walked away laughing as pointedly as I could to ensure he knew I was listening to his conversation.

Now, before you get all “well you shouldn’t be eavesdropping and why are you being so judgmental,” I beg to you hear me out. First of all, this man was parked illegally and in my way. Anyone who is going to block the walkway on my way out of work is already subject to ridicule. Second, he had his window down and was making no attempt to be quiet about what he was saying. I talk loudly so I know how it feels to sometimes be louder than intended, but if I’m having a conversation about being a booty call, I’m going to be a little more conscious of my volume. Lastly, DON’T HAVE THE CONVERSATION WITH YOUR WINDOWS DOWN UNLESS YOU WANT PEOPLE TO OVERHEAR YOU. If you want people to overhear you, then you had better be ready for judgment and mocking.

So, let this be a warning to everyone, if you are going to have a conversation in any public place, I will mock you in my blog. Unless I’m feeling particularly ballsy and mock you to your face when you hang up.

(On a side note…as I was writing this Wilmer Valderrama walked in and was talking on one cell phone, had one in his hand and another on a holster on his hip. I don’t know why he needs to many phones, but at least he was only having a conversation about when his friend was going to get there…Now that’s the kind of conversation appropriate for public places! Way to go, Fez)

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Officially Hate Christmas, Part 3: Taking it All Down

10 Reasons Putting Away the Christmas Decorations was Worse than Putting Them Up:

10.) Broken ornaments made Mom cry, even when it was only a few of the cheap, colored bulbs.

9.) Laughing hysterically at the fact that she was crying over broken colored bulbs and how funny “colored bulbs” are only made things worse.

8.) Climbing up on the old, unsafe ladder was not a good idea in the first place, but became an even worse one because it had been raining and the ground was not solid. Therefore, it sank about 3 inches with each climb, in addition to wobbling like a weeble.

7.) I don’t know how one of the strings of lights became wedged between two roof shingles, but getting it out of there was like an extreme sport. Yanking the damn lights off while on the old, unsafe ladder, was indeed, unsafe.

6.) While on the old, unsafe ladder, there was a preying mantis on the window screen, daring me to make a move so it could attack. I jumped off the ladder, missing the last 4 rungs. It can have the house...and some of my dignity.

5.) Nothing fit into the box it originally came out of, even with a significant amount of brute strength.

4.) Even though no new Christmas stuff was purchased, there seemed to be twice as many boxes as when I brought them down.

3.) Dragging the tree outside and then taking off the $11 stand was more work than putting the damn thing up.

2.) Tied to the roof on the way to the park for recycling, I prayed: “If the tree falls off, please let it be somewhere that will not hurt anyone and where there is no one around so I can just drive away.”

1.) After putting everything away, cleaning up, and getting dusty, sweaty and gross, but feeling overall accomplished for a job well done, I realized that the $11 Christmas tree stand was still on the front porch. I threw in the garage and hope it’s still there next year when someone else puts up the fucking decorations. I’m done.