Monday, July 27, 2009

These Dreams

After we tuck our kids into bed, mi Amor and I morph into couch potatoes and watch TV until our eyes succumb to sleep. (We usually last an hour; it's pathetic.) He skillfully controls the remote: fast-forward. stop. play. Perfectly edited and commercial free, no one has better DVR skills. No one.

We usually watch old episodes of Arrested Development or new episodes of Obsessed. But before we settle into that night's feature presentation, we watch VH1 Classic 80's. We browse through each video, watching the first 30 seconds or so. Then: badoop, badoop, badoop, we're on to the next. If one of our favorite songs comes on, songs like Culture Club's "Time"(my favorite), or The Clash's "Train in Vain" (his favorite), we let it play in its entirety.

While we sit through the video, basking in separate memories, I always ask:

"What are you thinking about right now?"

"How cool this song is," he'll say.

"Did you have a girlfriend while this song was popular?"

"Maybe," he'll say, meanwhile preparing for a tinsy interrogation.

"Did you kiss her...a lot?" I'll say.

"Is that a serious question?"


"I don't remember. I don't think about the past like you do."

Then he'll push his tongue against his cheek, making the side of his face look like he has a jaw breaker or piece of bubble gum stuck inside. He's cueing me to lean over and smooch him. It's his way of letting me know that I'm his one and only girl. always. I'll give in and kiss him.

"I love you," he'll say.

"Me too."

And then I'll fall in love with him over and over, again and again.

P.S. I'm leaving you a video of one of my past favorites. Hair doesn't get better. I miss the 80's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SYTYCD: This Woman's Work

We're addicted to watching the TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. It's become a family affair. Every Wed. and Thurs. night, our living room transforms into a faux judge's panel, where we sit and spout our witty verdicts before each dancer finishes his or her last 8 count.

Last night was an exception to our usual. Instead of making comments like, "5th graders dance better than that," we were choking back the ginormous lump that was sitting in each of our throats. We dried our tears and crowned the dance,"This Woman's Work," as one of our all time favorites.

Today I downloaded Maxwell's song,"This Woman's Work." I rarely prefer a remake over its original, but his version outdoes Kate Bush's, in a big way. His penetrating falsetto brings tears to my eyes quicker than slicing room temperature onions.

In actuality, the movie, She's Having a Baby, gave birth to my deep connection to that song. It was my favorite chic flick during my college years (thanks to my best roommate, Kim). Do you remember the scene when Kevin Bacon is crying his brains out in the hospital waiting room, anticipating the demise of both his unborn child and wife? Colossal tears are streaming down his face and his tears are simultaneously synced, in a split screen, with a drop of his wife's blood. Who is, unbeknownst to the viewer and Kevin, having her life saved on the operating table.

While this is all going on, Bush's "This Woman's Work" is playing in the background. Her ethereal voice floats throughout the scene like a feather from a set of angel wings, mercilessly bringing its viewer to blubbering tears.

So, when Melissa and Ade began dancing, I instantly recognized the melody and my prior connections to that song, "Pray god you can cope..." My feelings, combined with the dance moves, Melissa's post chemo hairdo, and Ade's strength in carrying the burden of it all, made me, once again, resign all composure. I've watched the dance again and again, and I have to choke back tears every single time.

P.S. SYTYCD's network removed the pirated version of "This Woman's Work." I've replaced it with a pirated clip from the movie She's Having a Baby. It made me cry, yet again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crazy Carol Follow-Up

Rudy did a great job trimming our Sasquatch tree. I warned him that Crazy Carol would be spying on him from behind her Battenburg lace curtains, watching his every prune. I wondered why she didn't burst from her perch when she saw Rudy unintentionally leaving behind a few branches.

Carolyn won't be able to let it go. The branches will drive her crazy and over the edge. She'll call me in the morning, and I won't answer her call. This will make her even crazier, so she'll leave a handwritten sticky note on my door, You missed a few! I'll flip over the note and write on its backside: SO SUE ME. Then I'll paper plane it over the fence, landing it underneath the branches. I'm willing to go to war over that tree.

P.S. Please note additional grapevines.

P.P.S Life really is too short.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - LDS leader presents President Obama with family history - LDS leader presents President Obama with family history

Looks like President Monson hit-up some face time with President Obama, and I love that the Church gifted several leather-bound books filled with President Obama's family history. I jokingly said to mi Amor, "Did they put proof of his birth certificate in those leather-bound books?" And that ignorant comment made him want to strangle me. Nothing gets under his skin more than when I begin parroting conspiracy theorists' points of view.

KSL quoted President Monson as saying, "President Obama's heritage is rich with examples of leadership, sacrifice and service. We were very pleased to research his family history and are honored to present it to him today."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don Music

When my kids practice piano, they sometimes feel like Sesame Street's Don Music. Do you remember him?

They bang the piano keys and yell, "Piano Stinks!" and "I'll never get it. Never!" I tell them to keep on practicing because something good is waiting for them at the end of Persistence Rd.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hungry Like the Wolf

Our family (thanks to my darling sister-in-law) is really into animal shirts. All of mi Amor's siblings and their spouses have T-shirts similar to those pictured above. We wear them when we get together and laugh at how outrageously adorable they are. Then we sport them at fancy restaurants and secretly note the envy we see in the eyes of passersby. If you'd like to start a similar family tradition, here's a website that can help get you started. (Thanks, again, to my sister-in-law for the link): Wolf T-shirt.

P.S. For a gut-busting laugh, read the customer reviews about each of the wolf T-shirts. Don't forget to grab a few tissues to dry your tears of joy.

Bitter, Sweet

We just returned from our trip to Southern California, and I'm already homesick. My entire family lives there, with the exception of my littlest brother. So when we visit, we cram as much as possible into our schedule. We got sun-kissed on the beach, twice. We visited friends in Burbank, passed the white Hollywood sign and got ride sick at Castle Park. (Never ride the Spider. It's horrible. Right, Ryan?) We ate Donut Star donuts for 3 days straight and updated one another on the happenings in our lives.

In my update, I mentioned to mi padre that I had been returned to my cash-only diet. I told him I've been counting my pennies, naming them one by one. His heart felt pity on me, so he said I could cash out the change he'd been storing in his pink paper mache piggy bank.

"Take the pig and keep the change," he said.

"I wouldn't dare. Remember when I did that a few years ago without asking? And then I got so busted?" I said.

"Take the pig, Katy."

So we did. We marched down to Stater Bros' Coinstar and cashed in the change: $170.00. I tried giving the money back to him, but he refused, saying, "Just go enjoy yourself." My eyes are going misty, right now, thinking about how generous he is (you too, Madre). What would I do without the two of you?

When we returned home to Arizona, I listened to phone messages, checked my e-mail, and thumbed through the snail mail. I found the notice pictured below, and all of the California sweetness drained from my veins as reality set in: Yours Truly needs to settle down and start focusing on important details like her household's water supply. Thank heavens for mi madre and padre and their little pink pig. They're always there to sweeten life's bitter shots of reality.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Carolyn: Complaint #234

Carolyn lives in the house directly behind my house. She's grouchy and her heart matches her ice blue eyes. I've tried to be nice, giving her freshly baked pumpkin cookies, talking to her for hours about her blooming rose bushes, accommodating her concerns: your dog barks too much, your kids yell too much, your house is too close, your trees are too big, and your yard guy blows too much dust. My niceties have had no avail because her complaints keep coming, clogging my phone line like hair in a shower drain.

While I was away on my staycation, Carolyn left me the following message:

Hi Katy, this is Carolyn (my eyes rolling until they ached). It's time to trim your Sasquatch tree (like she's my mom or something). If you need help seeing how it should be trimmed, my neighbor has done a really good job maintaining her tree, so you might want to take a look, get a few pointers. Just get that tree trimmed as soon a possible. K? Bye.

I was fuming, and I felt like lobbing rocks and weeds into her pool. I wanted to hang a sign over her fence, saying: SIT ON IT, CAROLYN! Instead I exhibited self control and called mi Amor. Being the good Christian man that he is, he called a professional tree trimmer. Since we don't have a chainsaw or a ladder high enough to do the job ourselves, we'll be shoveling out one hundred and fifty dollars (that we don't have) to trim the tree 3 centimeters back from the fence line.

Are you happy now, Carolyn? Taking money from the poor like that?

Tonight I'm praying that I'll get over this situation. After all, tomorrow is the Sabbath. I'm going to sing extra loud during the sacrament hymn in hopes for extra forgiveness. I need it in a bad way.

P.S. Maybe Carolyn should worry less about my tree and more about her grapevines.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Grandpa W.

My grandpa was a Lieutenant Colonial in the U.S.M.C. He was a career Marine and served in three wars, including WWII. When I'd go to visit my grandparents, I'd stay in their guest bedroom. Across the hall from my room was a giant picture of my grandpa, taken while he was serving in the in the South Pacific. I'd lean in the room's doorway and study the black and white picture top to bottom, starting with the picture's wood frame. I'd run my eyes around its perimeter, connecting all four corners of perfectly aligned seams. He had made the frame himself out of reclaimed wood. My eyes would shift to the top of the palm tree, tracing down to the sign nailed just above his head: SNAFU (I learned the meaning of that fancy Marine acronym too). There my grandpa stood, centered, just beneath the sign. I'd take note of his thick, wavy hair, while moving down his angular nose, to stop at his dashing smile. I'd lean in closer to get a better look. I liked his teeth: strong and confident, very square. There was a small gap between his front teeth, which added character to his overall handsomeness. He was casually dressed in military attire, wearing a collared button-up loosely tucked into khaki trousers. He could have been a pin-up model for the Gap. He was that gorgeous.

Two nights ago mi Amor watched Saving Private Ryan. Throughout the rest of the evening we discussed and tried to understand the price paid for our current freedom. He's visited Normandy and can't talk about it without getting emotional. "The white crosses go on forever, Katy. It's unfathomable. The water there turned to blood. A blood bath."

It's estimated that seventy million lives were lost during WWII (about six million were Jews). That number boggles my mind, so to put its immensity in perspective, I started adding up current populations in my favorite states. Getting rid of the entire population in Utah, New York, California, and Arizona only adds up to about fifty-eight million. I stopped counting after reaching that number because I was truly horrified.

I'll never understand the tremendous sacrifices that were/are made for my freedom, but I'm grateful for my grandpa's courage and for the man he was. I thank him and the others who served and continue to serve this country. Thank you.