Monday, January 30, 2006

This, too, will pass

This weekend was nice and relaxing. Which I think everyone needed. My office's holiday party was on Friday (haha, yeah, we apparently run on Cuban time for EVERYTHING here). Dan couldn't go, so I went after work (didn't leave work until 8... party started at 7). I circled for parking for THIRTY MINUTES without finding a spot. I even stopped at a valet place, and they told me they didn't have anything. So unless I wanted to park in Egypt and walk through Beirut, Venezuela, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the restaurant (its near Switzerland), there was no way in hell I was going to find a parking spot.

So home I went, and from there Dan and I watched a bit of mindless TV before going to Fritz and Franz in the Gables to eat dinner and have drinks with Lisa, John, Andy, and Kim. Good food there, too. Dan made me try this shot called a Killabisch (spelling off, I'm sure, but that is because German is stupid). It tasted like rubbing alcohol, but left a strangely refreshing taste in my mouth the rest of the night. And probably burned a hole into my stomach, too.

And on Saturday, Dan and I had a very small gathering at our place to welcome home John. It was pretty nice overall. I always enjoy an opportunity to show off our home. Even if it ended up smelling like cigar smoke at the end of the night from the men being Manly Men (but not in Tights) and retiring to the balcony to smoke cigars in a strangely 18th century manner. Of course, that left us womenfolk in the apartment with all the alcohol, Eddie Izzard, and cookies. Hmmm. Somehow I think we got the better end of the deal. Just saying.
I thought about heading up to the Boynton Beach festival to see various people perform, but, well, that was really far and it was a lot easier to sleep in late FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE and enjoy a lazy afternoon with Dan. I feel like I got the best of all worlds this weekend... went out on Friday, had people over Saturday, and had Cathy-Dan time on Sunday. It was wonderful. After all the weekends we've been spending lately on home projects, being lazy and indulgent for a weekend was exactly what we needed. Especially with both of us being so worried about my dad.

We still don't know when the surgery will be (it looks like it will be scheduled when Dad goes to the surgeon on Thursday). I'll admit it... I'm scared of what may happen. I just want someone to tell me that it will all be okay, and mean it. And know it, somehow. I know that my main problem is that I read too much, and Dr. Google is entirely too informative about all the weird things that can happen in surgery and recovery for me to rest easy at night with my overactive imagination. I want to be strong for my parents, because I know they're going to need me. I want to be prepared for anything that can happen, whether it be good or bad. I don't deal well with spontaneity and unplannedness, especially in matters such as these. No, dammit, I want everything to go perfectly, as accoding to schedule. I'm sure you can imagine how little this happens with anything in life. And oh boy, does it ever scare the crap out of me.

Right now the waiting bothers me more than anything else. This in-between state is terrible. I just want to KNOW what will happen and when, not this limbo stage. In some ways, I'd rather know the worst than imagine it. Knowing that my dad will be having open-heart surgery is heart-rending in some ways. I just feel lucky to have such a wonderful family and incredible friends who have already shown their support or asked if they could help. Even my coworkers are being great about this, telling me to not worry about work and just focus on helping my dad recover when the time comes. And I can't even find words to describe how awesome Dan is being about all of this, brainstorming how he can get time off of work to go with me to Lake City when the surgery takes place, etc. I don't know what I've ever done to deserve Dan in my life, but thank goodness he's by my side.

I just have to keep in mind that this, too, will pass.

Monday, January 23, 2006

For the sake of a good cause

Hey everyone...

Its time to plug a charity here. You should go
here and read what Mir said about the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Walk. She'll be walking 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast cancer research. Even if it is just a few dollars, donate and spread the word. And you have until August to donate, so no pressure.

You can also read more about the walk
here, and donate via Mir's secure donation page.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Because some things are too stupid to not share...

Last week at work, some woman wanted to send out a press release. I was contacted about the Brazilian portion of it, and its translation to Portuguese. I told the English editor that it was so late in the day that we wouldn't have the Portuguese translation back until the next day.

"Oh, that's alright," he said. "She thinks Brazil is in Europe anyway."

"Excuse me??" I said incredulously.

"Yes, she said she wanted to send the release to Europe. She asked if Turkey was in Europe, and I said no, that's in our Middle East package. Then she asked if Brazil was included in the European package, and I didn't quite know how to tell her no, other than 'Uhh... no. Brazil is on the other side of the world.'"

"WOW. That's special!"

"Yes... it gets better, actually. She is a certified member of MENSA!"

I am astounded. I can understand people maybe thinking that Turkey is part of Europe, because there has been debates over that in the past. But BRAZIL? Hard to mistake South America with Europe...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Last Redneck in Miami

My father called me last night, excited as a little boy on Christmas, to tell me that he'd been driving on our property and found this and this. Apparently the sounds of his pick-up truck scared off their mom, who never came back (what a cold-hearted bitch!). They're looking for homes for the little guys, but I have a feeling they'll be keeping the gold one.

I showed these adorable puppies posing with my father to my coworkers. My senior editor said that my dad "looks like such a farmer" and I laughed, and explained that until just over a year ago, my dad lived in Miami. He's always had a love for pick-up trucks, John Deere, and country music, though. I called him The Last Redneck in Miami. Little did I know what I was starting.

"Wow!" he said. "What a great idea for a book title! That book would make MILLIONS! WE SHOULD WRITE IT!!"


"Yeah! Think of all the people who have been to Miami and not understood the whole Spanish thing! They'd love it! And then we should translate it into Spanish and call it 'El Ășltimo gringo en Miami'!!"

While [I think] we eventually decided to not write it, I couldn't help but think what my father's biography would be like. Would people stop reading out of offense after describing how my grandfather taught my Dad to stab his sunny-side up eggs with his fork during World War II, yelling "KILL A JAP! KILL A JAP!"? Or would they last all the way until Dad gave up trying to say Dan's last name, and just started calling him "Gonzalez" because, hey, at least its a spic name, right?

Would they be surprised that my emphatically mono-lingual dad knows more Spanish cuss words than his trilingual daughter?

Would they read with glee about Dad's first meeting with our lovely Korean Min, when he passed raw ribs under her nose as he took them to the grill and asked if they looked ok, because "it was the biggest cat he could find"? Or when he called my Japanese-hating Chinese friend and asked her to go with him to see "Pearl Harbor" to translate for him?

Would they overlook all his off-color jokes ("Hey! What do you get when you put 30 Iraqi women in a bomb shelter? A full set of teeth!"), his colorful language ("and THAT is when I told that nigger to drop the ham, or I'd shoot the bitch!") and his outward gruffness to see the other half of his personality he hides a bit more? How many people could envision him choking up on the phone and have to pass it to my mother because he was calling to say that my dog was very sick and wouldn't survive the night? How many people could imagine my father's deep voice going up an octave as he says "Hi Stephy!" to his two-year-old granddaughter on the phone?

I feel like sometimes people sell my dad short. He can be a difficult person to see all (or most) sides of. He's not just a funny guy, he's not just a gruff old man, and he's not an all-loving, tolerant father. He's a mix of that and more. As much as I'd like to, I don't think I could write the biography of The Last Redneck in Miami.

Besides, he'd totally kick my ass if he knew I called him a redneck.