The happiest of birthdays to the luminous, adventurous lil miss Charlotte St. Julien Patton, my childhood friend and travel buddy. This summer, we will be taking our propensity to drink rum before noon and perch on volcano jungle floors to Vancouver. CANADA WATCH OUT!
- Start your day
- Start your day with coffee
- Start your day with THIS in your coffee
I have a shooting pain in my butt muscle. A literal pain in the ass. I attempted yoga to address said pain, which I don’t do that often as I am not flexible or good at sitting still, and when they say Don’t think about your day, just be here, basically all I can do is think about my day and NOT be there. After class:
Me: Hi, can I ask you a quick question?
Yoga Teacher: Sure!
Me: I have a stabbing pain in my butt muscle –
Yoga Teacher: Glute –
Me: Yes, that — it’s real stabby and it’s shooting up and down my leg.
Yoga Teacher: Gotcha — sounds like something’s pressing on your sciatic nerve, maybe your piriformis –
Yoga Teacher: What?
Me: LIKE THE TONY KUSHNER PLAY?
Yoga Teacher: That’s not what I said at all.
Me: Well, that’s what I heard.
Yoga Teacher: Here are some stretches for you to do.
Me: DRAMA PLAYS!
What do you do when an old man dies, who has been hurting, whose body has been shutting down? There has been no injustice, there is no tragedy, except for the fact that humans pass on. We do not get to be here forever. And so, how much to cry? Is it less about tears, and more about active remembering, acknowledging the space where he once was?
My sweet, stubborn, quiet, fiercely observant and insightful Granddad slipped away last night from this world into the next. When I got the news, I turned off everything in my house that was making sound and sat in my kitchen and tried to remember him as hard as I possibly could, this man who made my Dad so that I could be, who took me to Yosemite, who rigorously researched our family history, and even more rigorously relayed it to me so that I might know where I come from (Pennsylvania, by way of Germany), who made sure I knew that Brunstetter comes from Brun Shtetls, which means Brown Town, because our ancestors were so poor they lived in burnt down villages. This news he delivered with GLEE, as now, the Brunstetters live in HOUSES.
It was not so much a time to cry, because I knew that his last eight months on earth, since his wife died, had not exactly been his favorite. Miserable, in fact. He hated that she was gone, that he was getting old, that his health was rapidly declining, that other people had to make his sandwiches, he was deeply annoyed with it all and was mostly content to just sit in a quiet room with a book and a milkshake, the only thing he felt like consuming. I’m grateful that in his last year, I spent a lot of time finally asking him questions, listening to him, interviewing him for my Heaven Play, where many of his thoughts / fears / preferences are now preserved forever until I rewrite it 900 times. When I last talked to him, Sunday, he said: You should stay living in your Disney Cottage. That way people will always remember you. Ever on point, my dear Granddad. And I will always you.
Big Brother Pete turns 35 on Thursday, I am nearly 33, little brothers are nearly 29 and 31 respectively, my parents turn 60 next year, and GAVIN ROSSDALE, FIRE OF MY MIDDLE SCHOOL LOINS:
IS 49 YEARS OLD.
THANKFULLY WE ALL STILL LOOK GREAT.
A large and weighty chunk of gratitude on my chest today for my brothers, for their service and for their spared and safe lives, and also for all those who have died for this country, so that I might take a badly needed, lazy Monday morning and spend way too much time crafting these breakfast tacos.
The lives lost are far more valuable than tacos, but if it is any consolation, the tacos were, uhhh…..
THEY ARE NOW ALL GONE.
Morrison is pretty cocky about his Mother’s (SUPER DELICIOUS) Lasagna, and I, in turn, am pretty braggy about My own mom’s zag (what my brothers call lasagna; apparently not a real word.) And so, he CHALLENGED ME TO A DUEL AND IT WAS REALLY SERIOUS. We forced our friends to anonymously judge us with 6 carefully crafted categories.
Really, ultimately, everyone won, but actually I won, but who’s counting?*
* MY MOM IS COUNTING.
Julien sent me a picture of this letter I sent to her when I was 15 and in my first week at fat camp, faded with years and possibly smudges from Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry body lotion. It’s kind of hard to read, so ALLOW ME TO HIGHLIGHT THE HORRIBLE AND IMPORTANT PARTS. (If you’d like a more thorough glimpse into the summer I spent at fat camp, please peruse my play, Fat Kids on Fire. You can purchase it Here.)
‘It’s so weird here. It’s like the twilight zone. Everything’s backwards. Let me explain. For one thing, I’ve only been here a day, and already 3 guys like me (13, 14, and 16, all ugly.) And all of the girls are like “Why are you here? You are not fat. I would kill to look like you. And I’m sitting here like What the hell?? And I’m popular, too. I’m not even bragging, I’m serious. I’m NOT skinny. I try to tell them that but they don’t listen. If I was, I wouldn’t be here!”
And I just. I just.
I want to punch myself.
Back then, the thought that a boy would like me, that girls would envy me was, was INSANE. I felt so gross and unworthy and desperate to feel the opposite, but at the same time, did not see a world in which the opposite could ever be true. So the thought that boys would like me, and girls would envy me, was MIND BLOWING. Also, while I myself felt so ugly, I had no problem calling other people the same thing. I was fixated, shallow, needy, obsessed.
What I really want to scream at my past self after I smack the WOW! Chips out of her hands: IT DOES NOT MATTER. NONE OF THIS MATTERS. ALL OF YOUR WEIRD FEELINGS ARE GOOD AND WILL BE TURNED INTO PLAYS. YOU WILL GROW INTO YOURSELF. DEAR GOD, EMBRACE YOUR OWN WEIRD WORLD. LET IT GO AND READ A BOOK.
For going on three years now, I’ve had a daily 60 mile commute up to Sunny Santa Clarita, where the magic happens, as it were. Over said years, I have developed a series of Car Games to pass the time, which I will share with you here, for your own commutes. NOTE: GAMES CAN BE ADJUSTING SLIGHTLY FOR TRAIN GAMES DEPENDING ON YOUR PERSONAL LEVEL OF SELF CONSCIOUSNESS.
- Listen to NPR morning addition and say ‘Hmm.’ or ‘Huh!’ every time you learn a new fact about corn / people / ISIS.
- Sing along to EVERY DIXIE CHICKS SONG THAT’S EVER BEEN RECORDED AS LOUD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.
- Try and remember everything you can from kindergarden. Progress slowly through the years.
- Morbidly wonder what will the funeral will be like of the INSANE MOTORCYCLIST WHO ZIPS BY VERY CLOSE TO YOUR CAR AND IT IS TERRIFYING.
- Pretend you’re from the past and you’ve been sucked through some sort of closet time portal and suddenly you appear in 2015 and you are driving a car but you don’t even know what a car is. Take in the world for the first time.
- Find the gum in your purse. Lose it. Find it again.
- Don’t hit other cars.