Monday, September 19, 2011

Life, Death, and Marriage

This was sort of an intense weekend that reminded me very much of the cycle of life.  For very good reason.

The first event was the birth of a daughter to a friend of mine with whom I have recently sort of reconnected, thanks to the interweb.  I think it's lovely that he and his wife now have a little girl in their family, in addition to their adorable twin boys.  Congratulations, and welcome to the world!

The second was a wedding, between two friends of mine who might be the cutest couple I have ever met.  She is certainly one of the most adorable people I have ever met, and I think the two of them have a very healthy attitude toward their relationship.  They are partners in life, and are still fantastic individuals.  Their wedding was gorgeous, too - on her parent's property in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania.  It was very "them."  It was friendly and earthy and welcoming and fun, with all sorts of people pitching in to help out in whatever ways they could. And dancing.  Lots of dancing.  Which killed my knees.  Honestly - my knees are really hurting two days later (probably from all of the jumping), which is making me feel very old.  As is the fact that for most of the wedding weekend, I was being hit on by a twenty-year-old.  What is it with me an inappropriately young men I meet at weddings?  Apparently, according to him anyway, I'm still hot even though I could practically be his mother.  But a lot of fun was had at this wedding by a lot of people who came from all over to celebrate the love that these two share.  It was gorgeous.

And the third was the passing of a dear friend of mine.  She had been diagnosed with ALS in late February of this year and now, seven months later, she is no longer fighting.  She was surrounded by friends and love when she passed, and we all know that wherever she is now, there's a huge party happening filled with love and laughter.  Always. 

I haven't really started mourning my friend yet.  She was the woman you wanted in the audience at your shows because her infectious laughter would encourage everyone else to laugh, too.  She was an amazingly talented designer and seamstress.  She had a heart bigger than anyone I've ever met and was beloved by everyone who met her.  I'm sad for all of the things she never got to do - she never married or had kids, so there are no little Vickys running around.  I can't really say she never found her life partner because I think she did in some of the friendships she had.  She had a beautiful family and beautiful circle of friends with her always, though it is a little sad to me that she never got to start her own family.  And from a professional standpoint, she was adored by the theaters for whom she designed the costumes, but her name never got "out there," you know?  And it should have because she was so talented.  On a personal level, she was the one friend from my circle of college theater friends who came to my shows after graduation.  Not all of them, but when she could, she came and that meant the world to me.  For as thick as my heart can be sometimes, I believed her when she said she loved me, and I am forever in her debt for that.  I used to dream that if I ever got married, I would ask her to make my dress.  Or that if I ever went to a big award ceremony like the Oscars or something, I would ask her to design something for me so as I walked down the red carpet, I could tell people I was wearing an original Vicky Strei.  I will miss her smile.  I will miss her laugh.  I will miss her hugs.  Life dealt her a lot of shit.  A LOT of shit.  But she will always be known amongst her friends and family for her tag line "Love and laughter."  Even when she was diagnosed with ALS, she kept smiling, she kept laughing (as best she could when she could no longer speak), and she kept loving the people around her.  We should all be so lucky to be that positive, and to know someone that positive.  The world needs more positive energy, and the world is a poorer place for the loss of Miss Vicky Strei.  I love you always, Miss Vicky.  Always.

So kind of a lot to process in one weekend, and a very immediate reminder of the circle of life and death and celebration and mourning.  Life is weird.  Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it is gorgeous.  And I guess the best we can do is love with all our hearts and keep laughing always.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Just Need a Little Motivation

I think y'all already know I'm a geek.  I'm proud to be a geek.  I like being a geek.  And a geek I am.  Not in the "bites heads off of chickens" way, but in the Lisa Simpson is a geek kind of a way.  Geeks are cool now and I dig that.

So in a rather large "geek" moment last week, I downloaded an app to my iPhone from a radio station in the UK for the sole reason that is has an alarm clock that you can set so that David Tennant is yelling at you to wake up in the morning.  I thought it might be funny to have Mr. Tennant wake me up.  I wasn't sure if it was going to work, though, as often times, I sleep through my alarm and usually the horrid, horrid alarm clock buzzing sound is just about the only thing that will get me.  Which is weird, because I am a terrifically light sleeper.  Anyway.  I didn't know if David Tennant's voice shouting, "Wake on up!  Wake on up!  This is David Tennant telling you to wake on up!  Come on, move!" would do the trick.

It does.

It completely does.

I start to anticipate him yelling at me two or three hours before the alarm is actually set to go off.

And when it does go off, I feel guilty snoozing it and making him yell at me again ten minutes later.  Which means I've actually been waking up when my alarm goes off.  And not just waking up, but getting out of bed and going on about my day.  I've done quick little 10-minute yoga workouts the last two mornings before work because I've had the time to do them.  Crazy, that.

The sad thing is, I sort of decided that I feel guilty snoozing him because it's like I'm letting him down if I don't wake up when he tells me to.  WHICH IS REALLY FRIGGIN' SAD, I know.  It's a friggin' iPhone app with a recorded voice! Nobody except maybe my neighbors would know if I snoozed it and made him yell at me again.  But it's true - I feel like I am letting David Tennant down if I don't wake up when he tells me to.  And considering he is the sort of actor I aspire to be, and the sort of actor I would love to work with one day, I don't want to let him down.  Not even his yelling, pre-recorded voice.

It then occurred to me that there are other areas in my life where maybe a little bit of this sort of guilt trip would come in handy.  For example, when I start mindlessly snacking in the evening, wouldn't it be nice if I had a little alarm in David Tennant's voice to yell at me saying, "You don't need to eat that.  Come on, you know better.  You're just eating 'cuz you're bored!  Put the snacks down and read a book!"  Or when I don't feel like exercising, a little alarm in David Tennat's voice to yell at me saying, "Get up off your arse and move!  It'll make you feel better, you know it will.  Move your arse!"  I think it would work; I honestly do.  I just need someone who I look up to like that to yell at me on occasion to do the things I know I should be doing for myself anyway to keep myself on track.

Just a thought.  There's money to be made here, Mr. Tennant.  'Cuz, ya know, I know you're sitting around twiddling your thumbs at the moment, wondering how you're going to make ends meet. Tee hee.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

To Tweet, or Not to Tweet

To Tweet, or not to Tweet; that is the question
Whether 'tis cooler on the net to join the
Throngs and masses of shortened conversations
Or to stand strong against peer pressure
And by boycotting, maintain individuality
To join, to Tweet with them; and by a Tweet
To say we reduce the thought process to
One hundred forty characters; 'tis a limit
Strictly to be followed.  To Tweet, to chat
To chat, perchance to meet - ay, there's the rub
For in that chat of Tweeting what friends may come
When we connect on the interweb
Must bring us joy; there's the conflict
That makes the sign up process such a conundrum.

Friday, September 02, 2011

My grandmother passed away today.

In a way, it was sort of a relief - she has been suffering so much for so long, it is good that she won't have to suffer anymore. But it's always a sad day when someone you love dies.

I think she knew that I loved her. I told her as often as I could, but in her mental state, I'm not sure how much of that got in. I'm not a terribly religious person, but I did get the image today of her in a happy place, where it is light and warm and she is back to her normal self, the woman I grew up with. A smile on her face. A warm, inviting house with the radio on in the background. I picture her with my grandfather, and how happy that reunion will be. I know she believed in those things and I hope they came true for her. I'm taking comfort in the fact that they did.

I love you, Grandma. And I would like to remember you with a smile on your face, arms outstretched for a hug, with the "WARNING: These premises patrolled by an attack grandma" sign on your door. I'll miss you. But I hope you have found some peace. God knows you deserve it.