Saturday, January 31, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

Despite the fact that I haven't watched the Superbowl for years (not even the commercials or half time), despite the fact that I never know who's playing or where it is or how it works or even when exactly it is...I can't help being jealous anytime I hear about families getting together to watch the Superbowl.

When I was little (back when the Cowboys were really successful), my family used to go to my parents' friend's house for every single Superbowl and most of the other Sunday night football games. The family whose house we went to had an adopted son who was a few years older than my big brother and they had three different houses that I can distinctly remember (the first of which being across the street from ours' which is how we knew them).

I always brought a book or some toys with me because everyone there was an adult except for their kid and my big brother who always played with each other. Because we were the same size, the dog always thought we were playmates, but even then I wasn't a big fan of pets so I had no one to play with.

When the mom of the host family could tell that I was getting bored with the game, or if all of the other adults were picking on me, she would always let me have some Rocky Road ice cream while we sat in the kitchen, just the two of us. I hated Rocky Road ice cream because I don't like nuts or marshmallows, but I never told her this because I felt so special getting ice cream and didn't want to hurt her feelings.

Going to watch the game at their house was where I first discovered priceless things like beanie weanies, that you're not supposed to swallow gum, and that people who don't like the Cowboys wear giant foam pieces of cheese on their heads.

I also learned the words "breast cancer."

The mom of the family, Carla, had breast cancer for the third time. Her mom had had it too and she had died when she was three (this sentence, copied exactly how my mom told me, confused me for at least five years as I tried to figure out how Carla could've been born if her mom had died when she was three). Some of her sisters had it too and this was why they adopted their son so he wouldn't have it. Breast cancer was something that made you have no hair. Other than that, I couldn't figure out how it hurt you.

One night, when my parents had left my brother and I home alone for the night, Carla's husband left a message on the answering machine saying that Carla had died.

I remember my brother screaming as tears poured down his red face. He was nine. I was seven. I didn't cry. I wanted to, but I couldn't. I figured that being nine must mean that you understand something you can't understand when you're seven and that makes death more sad. I suppose I was right because, looking back on it, I didn't actually think Carla was gone. I knew she was dead, but I thought that meant she was my guardian angel now. A selfish thought, if you think about it.

Every year when the Superbowl rolls around or anytime a friend tells me that they're watching the game with their family, I get a little jealous. I miss that feeling of being around a bunch of people who (kind of) care about each other eating potato chips and home made salsa while the game plays on the television and the wives all gossip on the porch with the dogs running around their ankles and one lone kid (who never has and never will care about football) eats a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream in the kitchen.

Gabriela Garcia Medina

Last night, she performed at my school. She was awesome.

Earlier this week, a traveling Buddhist teacher (who holds a Masters from St. John's) came to speak and he mentioned how jaded college students get from professors always having to be politically correct. He said how people who don't give a fuck about being politically correct are very refreshing when you're in/just out of college. I'm not talking racial slurs or anything equally heinous. What I mean (and what he meant) is someone who just says what they mean without being concerned about offending someone in the room.

When he said this, I agreed about how the extent to which professors are PC is a bit bogus, but didn't really think I'd automatically enjoy someone just because they have an unadulterated way of thinking.

But last night I got it. I completely understood what he meant. Gabriela Garcia Medina (ps - for the past two weeks as her performance has been advertised on campus I keep mistakenly calling her Gabriel Garcia Marquez) says what she wants. I wouldn't even say that she's particularly un-PC, but her energy and her manner and her insistence that she is a revolutionary makes you feel that she is.

Here's my favorite verse of the poetry that I heard last night as well as the one that probably best sums up her style (and a style I aim for):

"Know that when the Revolution comes
I will be prepared in green fatigues, combat boots with a top of the line AK
And underneath it all….
my favorite set of matching lingerie"

Hahaha, great. Ok, that doesn't nearly do her rhyming and rhythm or energy any justice, but it's funny.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I was thinking today about a group project I did freshman year in my theatre class. We had to create a film company and block a skit and advertise for it and such. We spent a whole six weeks on it and it was loads of fun. I got to know the people in my group pretty well. We decided to give ours a Star Wars theme. To open our presentation we turned out all of the lights in the black box and staged a duel with lightsabers we made out of flashlights and gels we jacked from the stage lights. Our group ended up winning best overall film company.

As I thought back on the project, I realized that out of the six of us in the group one is now in jail and another has died.

Guess we weren't such a winning group after all.

Or were we? The boy who died was an amazing guy who left behind ingenius art work and the guy in jail was arrested for playing paintball inside the school one night.