Little Dude is deathly ill. Really, he was taking a bubble bath while I read to him about a Nightingale and he interrupted to tell me matter-of-factly that he is dying. I think he'll survive but at the moment he sleeps and I read, comforted by the fact that his temperature has dipped just below 100 and that kitty girl stands (ok lays) valiantly by his side keeping watch. As you'll see she's even let him use her as a foot pillow. I wish you could hear the simultaneous snoring coming from these two.... so great! Even funnier, I'm now watching him push her away with his feet (in his sleep) and she's not even waking up. She just rolls across the bed and curls back up into a ball. Ok, so maybe she's no guard cat but she sure makes us happy. Wish me luck tonight. Sicky face fell asleep at 5:30 p.m. which means I should be getting a wakeup whine just as I'm falling asleep for normal bedtime. Oh wait, nope, there it is now. Signing off.
It's one of those days. The sun is shining, life is full and I am not thinking about what a sucky (fill in blank) it's been. I'm content and can see how much I have to be thankful for. Example...
Nature.When I pulled up to my home-for-the-night in AZ, I was greeted by a beautiful doe and her strong buck hubby (that's how things work in my mind, gimme a break) who waltzed up to my window and chatted with me. Ok, they stared blankly while I talked to them. Still, awesome. I was too caught up in the moment to think to take a picture so I had to snap these after I started driving and they ran off. And people wonder why I don't eat animals. Sheesh. Also, the ocean. I've gone on about it enough but really...
Thank you god of rock! Without you I would never have made it through 14 hours in the cab of a truck driving through the middle of nowhere with old people. Also, Fitzgerald for wisking me far away from the dusty flatlands of Texas.
Friends. Everyone knows about my Bonnie dependence and Taso obsession. Then there's my complete and total Katie fascination, my long term relashe with Wendy and sordid affair with Missy. The harem of men that swarm around me whenever I'm in Austin is old news too. What you might not know is that I have even more amazing friends than that. How can it be true?! I guess I didn't even realize how many I had. Sometimes I discover them in the most unexpected places (sweet Ashley) and other times I know the minute I lay eyes on them that it's meant to be... like with these fine folks in the video below. Sigh. How lucky can one girl be?
Funny how I can blog five times a day when life is boring but it's so hard to share the good stuff. Ok, so, here's what's been up with me. Get ready.
I drove out to California exactly a week ago. It was a peaceful, enjoyable drive with some snow and pretty scenery along the northern route. Flagstaff, what with its vegan food, snow and crazy cursing homeless lady, was awesome except for the devil bird who tried to kill me by way of loud squawks and slippery ice. The second half of the second day was pretty brutal. I don't remember much of the drive into California as it was dark and I was near suicidal. Once I got out of the car and into the bed at the trendy little downtown San Fran hotel, I was significantly less cranky and violent. Food helped as it usually does.
San Francisco was beautiful. The city is interesting and open, the sun was shiny and bright (although I'm told that's not typical, that I brought it up from Texas with me) and I had that moment where toes touched sand and the cold Pacific washed over my feet. I knew then that this is it. Things are changing. This is gonna be big. I spent plenty of time alone, taking in the city, the people, the beach and the fantastic cliffs overlooking the ocean. It was nice to have a vacation that I hadn't really planned on. But like all things...
I took the breathtaking drive down the 101 to Los Angeles on Wednesday (the 14th). Six hours of rolling green hills, farm land, castles (gasp!) and beaches--and a little town called Bradley that my own little B asked me to send him a picture from--is so not the same as six hours in Texas. Not even close. But L.A. snapped me out of happy driving land pretty quick. I don't think I need to elaborate. By the time I got to Nick's the California high had pretty much fallen out my butt and reality had set in. I just kept thinking that I would have to find my center here and try really hard to remember who I am... and it wouldn't be easy.
Despite seeing my old friend of 15 years, eating Pinkberry served to me by cute Swedish girls, looking at old records in vintage shops and walking all around Hollywood, something just felt off. A disturbing series of events, realizations, tears and conversations later I decided to turn around and head home. Bonnie and I talked about how when something awful happens, even if it doesn't directly involve your child, the instinct is to run to them, hold them close, make sure they're ok and be reassured that you're ok. It's primal and I think only parents, from my specific experience only mothers, can understand this.
Everyone has an opinion about what I'm doing and I don't really care. I'm a mom. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me and Bradley is my everything. It's not fair to either of us that we be apart for an undetermined period of time while I pretend to be someone I'm not, even for the sake of a "better future" or whatever. Nothing is more important than who I am at my core and who I am responsible for.
It is telling to me that of all the grief I've gotten over this, the two people who said to me exactly what I didn't even realize I was thinking are the two people who know me best in the world. The two people (other than B) who I love most and who I know love me most.
So! Knowing that I couldn't spend another uncomfortable night in the situation I was in, I picked up yesterday and started to drive. Mountain Dew, Red Bull, a broken speedometer and Notorious B.I.G. made me incredibly obnoxious but also efficient and I made it all the way to Benson, AZ by 3 a.m. It took me 45 mins in bed before I finally settled down and fell asleep. Then today it happened. I knew it was coming sooner or later but it was still a major buzzkill when my car decided to stop making forward (or backward) movement in Deming, NM. I handled the situation like a badass and singlehandedly pushed my car (steer, push, push, steer, push) into a Taco Bell parking lot where it now sits, spiritless and alone.
Me? I'm at a Comfort Inn down the street waiting for the g'rents to come to my rescue in New Mexico once again. Yes, painfully familiar. I'm totally happy (despite the fact that I watched Juno on HBO and ate an entire medium pizza while I bawled my eyes out and gave myself pity hugs--no one should ever let me watch that movie again) and can't wait to get back on the road. I just keep picturing those big, brown eyes and sweet little cheeks.
For the record, I have far from folded. It's all still out there for me, I just need to stay centered and come up with a better way to get to it. If you know me, you know that I don't give up on things. I've set my sights and I'll get there without compromising what's important.
Dad, I'm sorry I haven't called you back. It's exhaustion and near-delirium. Tomorrow, promise.
This is the first thing I shot with my new Flip MinoHD camera. It's fantastic. Vimeo doesn't do it justice. Also, Splinter is the most wonderful kitty in the whole wide world. If everyone had a Splinter there would be world peace.
I'm not even going to pretend like I have any authority to tell you what the best films of 2009 were, but I can definitely share with you my favorites. Isn't that what Cinemawesomeness is for anyway? Sure... So, here we go. My Top 10 of 2009!
I really wanted to include Goodbye Solo (it was released in the U.S. in 2009) but it made it's Toronto debut in '08 so I can't. It's on DVD now so add it to your Netflix. It's truly a beautiful film, one of the very best I've seen this year. Visioneers is also a 2008 film that was just released on DVD. It's a weird Zach Galifinakis movie, but I recommend it as well.
I'm kind of bummed by the lack of foreign films on my list, but what's a poor girl who can't go to festivals supposed to do? I see what I can as time, money and distribution allow but I'll never catch up.
Some films I wanted to see but never got the chance to are Precious, Away We Go, A Single Man andWhite Ribbon, and I wasn't brave enough to see Antichrist or The Cove but I'm sure they lived up to the hype.
Yup, there you go. I'm a regular Roger Ebert with my little list, eh? Speaking of, if you'd like to see real top 10 lists, Mr. Ebert's are about as good as they get.
I am so happy to put 2008 behind me. Enough of the dramatics, I know, but really it was not a good year. I'm excited for all the new possibilities 2009 holds. I'm excited to be a year older and wiser, and hope that will help me better explore those possibilities. I celebrated NYE with good friends and fireworks, and had a truly beautiful midnight. I did miss loved ones and longed briefly for old times but I feel very lucky to be where I am right now. There is only forward from here. (Patrick Michels took these pictures. I think they perfectly capture the feel of the night.)