Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Dear Aunt Pat

After a long battle with cancer, my dear Aunt Pat passed away on Monday, at home with her husband, seven children, and nine grandchildren. Today was her funeral. As I was unable to make the trip to Milwaukee to attend, I wanted to take a moment here to pause at her memory. She was a wonderful woman, and my Uncle Ted loved her deeply. They were best friends throughout their 44 year marriage. As my Mom said, my Uncle Ted felt like the luckiest man in the world with Pat at his side. That kind of love is rare in this world, and though it makes her loss that much more profound, they were lucky to have found each other and loved each other throughout their life together.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Vince Vaughn Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Vince Vaughn used to live in our condo, presumably before he got famous. Every single day we seem to get mail for Mr. Vaughn. Scripts, requests for donations, fan mail, you name it. Please, if you want to get in touch with Vince, don't send things to Rossmore Ave. He's not here. It's a very small place, just big enough for two people and a sweet grey cat. No room for movie stars. Or their movie star girlfriends (that's right, Jen's not here either). Please, I beg you, no more mail for Vince.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

R & R & R & R

I've been a little lax in my posting lately due to the recent spat of Rs in my life. First, the traditional R & R - Rest and Relaxation. Dave and I headed back to Minnesota for the Fourth of July/Cammerpalooza celebration. After a horrid day at the airport (suffice it to say that I add Northwest to my list of hated airlines), we arrived at my parents' cabin around midnight with the party in full swing. My nephews came running to the car, with Cammer modeling his awesome monkey sleeping bag/backpack.

Very necessary beers were had to fireworks around the campfire and a wonderful display of "sparkle poses" and "sparkle phrases" by Cameron for his "sparkle fans." The party continued the next day, with cake and baseball and tractor rides and more beer. Monday featured a lot of lounging about and a canoe ride and some swimming with the boys. The weather was perfect, the water was warm, the sleeping was the best, and we had so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures (but my Dad didn't, hence the pic above). We headed back to the Cities on Tuesday, stopped at my old and my sister's new condo (it looks great!) before a meal of the best burgers ever at The Lion's Tap. Finally, we went to the airport and enjoyed an uneventful trip back to LA; we were able to see fireworks from the air at both take off and landing, which was awesome, especially as it spared us the overwrought patriotism of national anthems being played in honor of a country whose actions both domestically and abroad arouse nothing but feelings of shame in me.

Then came Recovery. A trip crammed full of fun and family takes a lot out of you. I pretty much spent the remainder of last week watching the Tour and laying around resting my old bones. Oh, and dissertation writing. I have 17 solid pages and 16 more cut and pasted segments to work through and expand. And, following the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Tamara, I celebrate each and every one of those 33 pages.

The last R? Bicycle Racing. The Tour is on and dominating my life. I will acknowledge that bicycle racing is, like all sports, rather meaningless in the grand scope of things. Still, I love it. I love the strategy, I love the endurance, I love the oddball fans, I love the drama. And now that they have hit the Pyrennes, it will be nothing but excitement. With the big boys out, there is no clear leader to this race, which makes every stage potentially monumental. I'm expecting big things from the Discos tomorrow in a hellish stage that features 5 climbs - 1 HC and 4 Cat 1s - with a mountaintop finish. Go Georgie!