Monday, October 25, 2010

Who's to say?

Saturday night, we stopped by Brandon's apartment for a mutual friend's art show, spiked cider and a few handfuls of Halloween candy. After whatever sporting game event program had ended, we caught the last 15 minutes of Saturday Night Live. Usually the burial ground for half-baked jokes and unbearably unfunny recurring characters (I would rather watch grainy home video of a horse being born than sit through another Gilly sketch), this particular 15-minute wrap-up was genuinely good. Actually, really good. Maybe it was the fact that I was gulping my cider (the roof of my mouth is now a roadmap of blisters), but I thought this sketch was particularly hilarious.

*Update – turns out Sex Ed began as Paul Brittain’s one-man show at the IO in Chicago. We were probably on the same bus at one time or another. He probably saw me sneeze into the binding of my book or fall asleep with my mouth open.

In other news…
For the past year, I’ve made a concerted effort to get to the gym in the morning before work. It eliminates that painful evening rush-hour battle wherein I debate gym vs. dinner and television. It’s easy to guess what wins out 106% of the time. On the other hand, when I go in the morning, I spend the rest of the day fueled by self-satisfaction, an overinflated sense of pride and maybe a bagel.

But morning gym requires preparedness – a bag packed the night before with shower accoutrements and work clothes. Surprisingly, I’ve had very few mishaps, and most of them have been minor. Forgot shoes? There’s an extra pair in the car. No shampoo? Use that free stuff in the shower. It smells like Tang and burns the scalp, but it gets the job done. However, today I forgot a bra, which is kind of important when it comes to work attire. My sports bra was sweaty and showed through the collar of my shirt like a fluorescent green spandex dickey. I debated going all the way back home, but that would involve driving with morning traffic too far in the wrong direction. I scanned the locker room for any abandoned B-cups. And then, finally, I went to Walmart, where at 7:30 a.m., the aisles are empty and the elderly greeters are exuberant. I found the sale rack and grabbed the first one I saw that didn’t look like the top half of a mermaid costume.

I bought nothing else and fought the urge to explain my quandary to the girl at the checkout. After a quick change in the store bathroom, I was on my way to work. Comfortable, work appropriate, $5 poorer but one bra richer. If you're ever rooting through my glove compartment, don't be surprised if you find it nestled between McDonald's napkins and insurance documents. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, there's a spare bra in my car.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I want to write about our trip, and I will. The visual element is kind of key, so this weekend I'll mine the thousands of pictures of me looking bewildered in front of ancient ruins for a few good summarizing shots.

But first, and more importantly, since this is a record of life events, good and bad, I wanted to take a moment to remember someone… and say goodbye.

Last Saturday night, here in Omaha, Jessica Bedient and her husband of only a month, Tony, were driving home when they were hit by an 18-year-old drunk driver. Jessica’s injuries were severe, and she passed away on Tuesday. Despite having his own injuries – and what I can only imagine to be an irrevocably broken heart – Tony is going to be okay.

And it is all so incomprehensibly sad. The kind of sad that you will never be able to wrap your head around…

I had the pleasure of working with Jessica three years ago, before I moved to Chicago, and she moved on to her current job with the University of Nebraska system. And I say it was a pleasure not because it’s just one of those things you rattle off when remembering someone, but because it was, without a doubt, a gift. Jessica was quite obviously winning at life, and all you wanted to do was stand by and cheer her on. She was so sincere, kind, gracious. Her patience was infinite, her humility inspiring, and her work ethic enviable. We spent quite a few Saturdays working side by side in an otherwise empty office, and while I was there because I am a procrastinator, Jessica was there because something was always driving her to be better – not just for herself but for everyone around her.

In our last conversation at a former-co-worker happy hour in July, Jessica – who I distinctly remember swearing off marriage until she was at least 30 – talked about her wedding with the enthusiasm and confidence of a person who, unexpectedly but gratefully, had found her soulmate. She didn’t give a crap about the details. She just wanted to get married.

And she did. And from the pictures that now adorn the blog Jessica and Tony’s families have started, she looked beautiful.

I say all of this from afar, as a friend/acquaintance. I can’t begin to imagine the pain her family is feeling. One life has come to a screaming halt far too early, and many, many lives have been turned upside down. You will be missed, Jessica, and never, ever forgotten.

Omaha World-Herald article

Life is precious. Be good to the people you love (and everyone else for that matter). And please, please, please, don't drink and drive. It's never worth it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I move in water, shore to shore

We are back from a wonderful trip, and I am officially dead weight – just today. Tomorrow I will be better… energized, awake, able to focus on things besides sleep and the TV I missed while out of the country (where I only had access to CNN International’s ceaseless four-story loop and a few poorly dubbed episodes of The Hills). Before we left, I slapped a few songs together for an Italy playlist, but I actually only listened to my iPod once – on the train ride from Rome to Venice. The books were too good. The in-flight movies too… there. Just to give it a second life, here is said playlist. May it act as inspiration for things to listen to, or not listen to. As you can tell, I’m a recent fan of Phosphorescent. And Peter Gabriel covers Bon Iver! And then there’s that song Tune-Yards from the Blackberry Torch commercial. Anyway, here you go. A tiny, tiny list because I'm too tired to figure out how to make it bigger.


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