Happy February's end, Strangers. We have had a very odd February in Salt Lake City. For several weeks it has been sunny and warm. I'm talking t-shirt weather. I noticed just yesterday that tulips have started busting through the ground. Typically February in SLC is miserable. I think I really need to go watch that documentary about the Polar Bears because right now I feel like there is no downside to climate change.
On Monday night my good friend Hannah came over to my place and graciously made me dinner. You guys. Anyone who wants to come over to my house and make me dinner is welcome to stay for as long as they want, no questions asked. I would let the Queen of Colors into my house if it said it was there to make me dinner. And this is even though I know for a fact that the Queen of Colors has never made dinner for anyone who has lived to tell the tale.
Salmonella poisoning, usually.
Hannah stayed for a bit and we were happy to catch up, having not seen one another for several weeks. And then I, in a very gentlemanly manner, walked her out. Well, I was only half a gentleman. Because I only walked her to the front door of my building and not to her car.
I've been having . . . well . . . issues for the past many weeks. With my body. With the inside of my body.
So, naturally, I decided to share this with anyone who would listen. Also, naturally, Bob and Cathie and Daniel were the only people who showed any interest.
Bob and Cathie typically start sending me an infinite amount of articles about how whatever ailment I've described to them most definitely means that I'm dehydrated and will die by the end of the week. Daniel typically asks me fifty or so intrusive questions and then changes the subject. Then I ask him why he asked all of those questions if he wasn't going to offer some kind of advice or diagnosis. And he usually just says some variation of, "Oh, I was just curious."
Leading up to Mexico, I decided to text him and give him a warning.
It was strange to see Daniel last weekend. For months and months our lives were one. They were totally one. And then, suddenly, they weren't anymore.
Daniel and I spent countless hours training for an Ironman together. We lived together. We backpacked across eastern Europe together. And then we moved to the quiet Pacific together.
We lived, alone, in an apartment on top of a tall hill overlooking a tiny island nation. It was there that we both grew up considerably. It was there that we both learned lessons in sacrifice, compromise, charity, patience, disappointment, hope, trust, and a number of other crucial things that I can't seem to wrap my vocabulary around just now.
Remember one million years ago when I posted the Daniel diving videos? Remember how he was remarkably bad at diving? Remember how he somehow thought he was diving head-first into the water when in fact he was just jumping in feet-first with his hands clasped together? Remember how I had to record videos of him "diving" in order to prove to him that he was in fact not diving?
Well. I found something that Daniel is even worse at than he used to be at diving. Cartwheels.
We were playing on the beach in Mexico over the weekend when Anna Swayne started shooting videos. She told me to do a cartwheel because she had some creative plans for the video that I didn't really understand or try to understand. I just did what I was asked to do.
I mentioned yesterday that by the time we got to Mexico on Friday, I hadn't slept for a few days. Between working through the night and traveling and listening to Daniel update me on the last several months of his VERY ODD life, I was a total zombie.
We checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon and immediately went out to eat and wander the streets a bit and try our darndest to pick up a new version of ringworm since Axel left too soon a few months ago.
One of the reasons we wanted to go to Rosarito, specifically, was to check out the surprisingly nice art scene and to hopefully come away with a couple of paintings. Daniel and I looked at every piece in the town and listened to the life stories of every artist and fought over every contemplated purchase until finally threatening and blackmailing one another sufficiently to make our final selections. This is a scene we've practiced together in about half a dozen countries across the world now. And we've become very proficient at it.
When I was in the fourth grade I brought Power Ranger Valentines to school to give to everyone in my class. I don't know why I did this because for some reason I generally tried to hide my love of the Power Rangers. This was because even at age ten I knew that it was shameful that I got up at 6:00 in the morning to watch essentially the exact same story-line play out EVERY DAY.
Also, I still know the order of the dinosaurs when the Power Rangers would call out the mechanical beasts to finish the fight. LIKE THEY SHOULD HAVE JUST DONE AT THE BEGINNING WHEN THEY HAD TO FIGHT AN ENTIRE ARMY OF STORM-TROOPERS. Or whatever the Hell those things were called.
There was a treat inside each envelope, included with the Power Ranger cards. Cathie helped me prepare these the night before. Unfortunately something "happened" to ALL 30 treats on my two-block walk to school that morning.
Somehow in January I totally forgot to give you the annual "Worst Things Ever" list. It's like I wasn't even focused on complaining last month. What was I doing? Reading books and enjoying the weather?
Hahahaha. I couldn't even say that with a straight face.
The 2014 Worst Things Ever
2. When you have an itch on a hard-to-reach place on your back and nobody on the bus will help you
I have a new "what the kids are doing" to tell you about. There's this brand new thing that must have just started like within the last two months or something where you go onto what the kids are calling "the Internets" and you post pictures of yourself and your food. I don't know why they are doing this and I can only assume it's all about drugs and sex and it is for those reasons but I decided I should probably investigate it and find out what's going on so that you all won't be in the dark anymore.
It's called "the Instagram." And despite its VERY MISLEADING name, this is not a cookie that you get to eat instantly. I have been hearing people talk about this for a while and it piqued my interest much more when I thought it was a cookie.
Around this time of year it starts to feel like summer isn't a thing that ever happens. The distant memories of running in the grass barefoot, visiting the Farmers' Market, and not crying because of the snow start to seem like a dream. In Ukrainian the word for February is "Lyutiy" which means "fierce." I've had enough of fierce lately. Somebody get me a bucket of ice cream. And Paul Simon. If it's not too much trouble.
And now, your pictures and distractions.
My sister Krishelle and my niece Kamree. Happy birthday to Krishelle this week. She's the best sister you could ask for. And I once saw her kill a black widow with her fist.
Remember when I tried to do an Ironman that one time? Remember how it did not work out very well? Remember how I sacrificed my life for the cause and for six months I was always either undergoing self-inflicted water-boarding in the pool or lying on a flat surface sucking on a mouth-full of melting therapy ice cream, crying? Remember how right after the Ironman we had this conversation?:
About 14 years ago my younger sister Micalyne and I received a letter in the mail that would change our lives forever. It was December and Christmas cards from all over the world were arriving at the McCann home, mostly addressed to Bob and Cathie. Micalyne and I were 14 and 16 at the time, respectively, and neither of us were in the business of sending or receiving Christmas cards ourselves.
That's why it was with confusion that we, together, opened what looked to be a Christmas card addressed to the two of us.
We were correct that it was a Christmas card. But we were also sorely let down because this Christmas card was from our dentist. It included a professionally-shot photograph of the male dentist and the many female assistants that worked with him.