for those who are in or around sane

Monday, September 18

what a life...

this is going to be a bit of a random post. a lot has happened over the past month, and consequently, i've been a bad blogger. to bring my frustrated readers up to par, i'll write a little medley.

on September 9th (two saturdays ago), after a brief but intense struggle
with end-stage lung cancer, my father passed away at 11:30pm. My little family had gathered with him before he slipped into a coma and finally passed - with no pain - a few hours later. We are doing as well as can be expected, and have been thankful for the time we can spend together.

we had admitted him into an incredibly nice hospice on Friday night, but after Saturday morning it was apparent he wouldnt last much longer. we packed up our overnight bags and camped out for the long haul. it was an amazing experience, and im incredibly grateful for all the prayers and support i recieved over the past weeks.

... i know this is a bit perfunctory, but i dont really know how else to explain it... we're doing ok here... i'm doing ok. :o) it's a good thing - he's in a MUCH better place now.

the funeral is arranged for this saturday, september 23rd at 11am at St. Joseph's Catholic church in Tiffin, Ohio - where Dad grew up. if you'd like to send flowers or a memorial, please email me for more information.

After all of the huge nitty gritties were sorted out, my grandparents (mom's parents) had us over for a night of love, food and comfort. and... a Colonial Kitchen Sink (scroll to bottom of page). The Colonial is an ice cream restaurant within walking distance of my gramma & pop-pop's house. my sis and i used to beg to go there on senior wednesdays so we could enjoy a PBF chipper or an oreo shake. gma & pops would accomodate us on most requested nights, and so on our Night of Need, they "dragged" us over and ordered the biggest, gooiest, ice cream dish they serve: the Kitchen Sink. as indicated, it's everything... including a miniature kitchen sink! boy we needed that... we did some damage to that sucker.

this past weekend, h & i took a bit of a break and drove up to MN for a friend's wedding. Dre & Daniel sure put on an amazing shindig. at the Mill City Museum, we were treated to dancing, hors d'oeuvres and amazing wine. h got to have his high school "reunion" as old friend after old friend were spotted in the small crowd. feeling a bit quiet myself, i sat at a table and took in the sights. i ended up in a very interesting conversation with a guy who looked familiar to me. i couldnt quite place him though...

that is, until he said something about taping a show at the Mall of America. the Mall of America? what show was being taped there? you may ask... i sure did. how about The Food Network Challenge? how about, i was speaking with award-winning pastry chef and emcee Keegan Gerhard. Yes, my shoulders brushed fame yet again. Keegan is a very down-to-earth, passionate guy who knows Daniel (the groom). and, if you share my rediculous addiction to the Food Network, you might know how excited i was to figure this out. [please note that last winter i dragged my pal lauren out on a slushy, freezing night just to have Alton Brown sign my cookbook.] meeting Keegan was definitely a highlight and gave me more respect for my favorite channel.

ok, i'm done gushing... heheh. unless you ask me about it, then i'll gush more!!

and so, dear readers, you are up to date. another week of work. another week of Life. Please, take care and enjoy the Life around you. say a little prayer, laugh a little bit and stop to notice that the tips of the trees are starting to change. it's beautiful out there - enjoy it with me!

Tuesday, September 5

and it was said:

**i totally forgot one book. doh!
by Michael Chrichton
short stories of Chrichton's life through medical school and his subsequent travels through the world and into the psyche. he's a bit far-fetched and self-righteous some of the time, but this is a good read. who else would prepare to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro by cutting down cigarettes to 3/day? who else would tell you that his personal spirit confidant was a store-bought cactus? i enjoyed these stories as lunch-time fare. one or two of them were perfect for the lunch hour.

**end of update. ;o)

it was a hard month kids, and i decided to tackle some big dogs, so i've got a short list for ya this month.

bizzare of the bizzare, 2 of the 3 books i completed in August were audiobooks. this is mostly due to high levels of travel. i find it hard to read text when in a moving vehicle.

so my first recommendation is:
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
WOW. this was a lot better than i thought it would be. i dont know if its an oprah pick or what, but book clubs everywhere have been gobbling this thing up. now i know why. it's a sweet story of 15 year old Lily Owen, which takes place in 1964 Georgia. Lily's mother was killed when Lily was 4, and her father, embittered by this event, treats Lily poorly. the black housekeeper, Rosaleen, takes a stand in front of the town's notorious bad boys on her way to register to vote. Lily rescues Rosaleen from an unfair jailing/beating and together, they run away to Tiburon, SC. They discover a family of 3 unique beekeeping black women. Taking refuge in this house leads Lily to many self-realizations and a lot of healing via beekeeping and real love. this book has a lot more depth to it than i expected. the narrator sounds/thinks/acts like a 15 year old through-and-through and i enjoyed every revelation and marvel that appeared.

my next endeavor was the third installation of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by Anne Brashares
the summer before they all depart for college! more coming-of-age decisions and scenarios. i enjoyed the development of 2 of the girls (Lena & Bee) as the author followed through with thier character development from the previous book. the other two girls (Carmen & Tibby) didnt seem to carry much over, and it frustrated me. i discussed this story with my mom and sister, who also read the series as voraciously as i did. we decided there needs to be one more book in this series. luckily, when i googled the sisterhood, it appears that a new book is coming soon to a bookstore near you! yay.

and finally,
Kafka on the Shore
by Murakami Haruki
A very different book than what i'm used to. i've indulged in fantastical fiction, noir fiction and all things psychological and supernatural this year. but this one takes the cake for "wierdest book yet". Kafka Tamura is a 15 year old runaway who finds himself searching for his forgotten mother and sister in a small town, private library near the shore in Japan. his story co-incides with Mr. Nakata's story: an old man who was mysteriously "bewitched" as a child and has become a simple-minded man who can talk to cats. Kafka, Mr. Nakata and Kafka's mother are all intertwined in this sexual/sensual murder-mystery-esque story. if you want to explore something totally out of the ordinary, i recommend this book. it's well-written, but has some very graphic scenes. overall rating of: bizzare.

i did finish a real book, but not until the 3rd of september, so you'll get to read about that one next time around. :o)