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|Saturday, June 5th, 2010|
|The Day was Really Hot and ...
I have a feeling of unease that I can only describe by telling an old joke. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Once, there was a guy who went on vacation. Before he left, he recruited a friend to look after things at home. He'd been gone about a week when he called his friend. The conversation went something like this:
Vacation Guy: Hey dude, wassup? How's everything going?
Dude: Your cat died.
Vacation Guy: (Gasp!) You know, you really shouldn't spring something like that on a person. You should lead up to it slowly.
Dude: Oh man, I'm sorry. What should I have said?
Vacation Guy: I dunno. Maybe you could have started by saying something like ... The day was really hot, so I had the windows open upstairs. Your cat was asleep on one of the beds, but then she wandered out onto the roof. I tried to get her to come back in through the window, but it wasn't working so I called the fire department. Then, before they could get here, the cat tried to jump into a tree. She didn't judge the distance right though, so she fell. She seemed pretty hurt so I took her to a vet. The vet tried everything he could to save her but it didn't work.
Dude: Yeah, I see the difference. Again, man, sorry.
Vacation Guy: It's okay. Now that we've got that over with, how's my grandma doin'?
Dude: Well--the day was really hot ...
So. My son had a doctor's appointment yesterday. Just his every-six-months regularly scheduled check up, CAT scans, bloodwork, the usual. Except, it didn't feel so usual.
The doctor took a long time looking in his mouth, feeling his tongue, looking in his mouth again. Then she reviewed the scans. She took her time going through the head and neck one, grumbling a little that the perspective wasn't exactly the same as the last one, so they didn't compare perfectly. (She's generally not much of a grumbler.) She used words like "fine" and "okay" to describe what she saw on the screen, and she qualified it all with "I think". The words she usually uses are more like "great" and "perfect" and the qualifiers are normally absent. One thing I love about her is the overwhelming confidence she usually exudes.
She looked at the chest scan next, flipping through that one much quicker. By the time she finished, the radiology report for the chest was already online. She read it to us: "No evidence of metastasis. Blah, blah (wonderfully boring) blah."
She clicked back to the head/neck scan again, looking for the report on that. It wasn't there. Then, here's the thing -- she scrolled through the scan one more time -- then told us they'd call with the final results.
I could be building mountains where molehills should be, but it felt very wrong.
And it didn't feel any more right when she scheduled us to come back in six months. And it felt even worse when she mentioned that he'd need more scans next year because - here's the other thing: On his last appointment she'd said that if everything looked good the next time (that being THIS time) my son would be done with scans and he would move to a once-a-year schedule of check ups.
There's a saying in the cancer world that goes: It's not cancer until they say it's cancer. There's another saying that goes: It's not back until they say it's back.
The doctor DID NOT SAY it's back.
But what if felt like she said was:
The day was really hot ... Current Mood: disappointed
|Sunday, March 8th, 2009|
|You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore
Oh, LJ, how I used to love you. Then myspace came along and turned my head. It was just a passing fancy though. I was still true to you in my heart. When Facebook batted its eyes at me, I couldn't resist -- but it didn't mean anything. I know I should have paid more attention to you, talked to you like I used. Hung out where you were. I'm sorry.
I promise. I'll be better.
It's just, well, I can't stay. Not today, anyway. You see, I'm launching this website with my coauthor, Charity Tahmaseb. Yeah, I know. It's called www.thegeekgirlsguide.com
and I really think you'd like it. There's a poll, a short story, an excerpt from our novel, profiles on some of the cool kids who helped us get our stuff together. There's even a contest for a Starbucks card!
So, well, I gotta go. I'll see you around, I'm sure.
|Tuesday, October 28th, 2008|
It's been a weird sort of day. One of those days when it feels like something is about to happen, like life is ready to get going again.
I guess it's been going all along. Anyway, uppity date-itty:
Kids: Doing good. Sara seems a bit unsettled but not really unhappy. Matt and Thanh babysat T's niece last weekend and took all kinds of pix and vids. There is light (a tiny, tiny, pinprick of it) at the end of the Maybe I Will Get to be a Grandma Some Day tunnel.
Other Fam: Gah to the third power. My brother is living with me. Most days that is a good thing. Some days, though, some days suck. My dad is done with radiation treatment. We're waiting now to see what happens next. My mom is good but feeling guilty. I think she feels like I got "stuck" with my baby bro. I don't usually feel that way about it -- but maybe I should leverage her mama guilt into some schwag? Did I really say that? Yes. I did. Sara comes by it honestly, I guess. Doug is the most wonderfullest guy ever. Really. The best/smartest/luckiest thing I ever did was to get hooked up with him.
Friends: Who knows? I almost never have time. Did recently find out that my bff has been having an affair ... for eight years! I wonder, do we still qualify as bff's if she could keep this from me for so long? C's been quiet lately. I miss our goofy chats. Sara W sold her book, Rival!
Work: Ugh! and Yay! I am bussssssyyyyyyyy. Kids on the Block is roarin' and fun. I seem to be achieving a little bit of fame as a speaker, which is kind of cool -- and kind of scary. I've been asked to speak at a fairly big public event soon. I'm excited. I think.
The Book: AAAAAAHHHHHH! Being a writer is the coolest thing ever. I received the typeset pages of Geek Girls Guide to Cheerleading today. It looks like the pages of a real, honest to goodness book. It's so like whoa, I wrote that (with C of course). New writing is not coming so well - la la la, let's not talk about that, k?
Woof! Current Mood: restless
|Sunday, August 3rd, 2008|
37 Odd Things About Me
1. Do you like blue cheese?
Call me a cheese racist but, no.
2. Have you ever smoked?
3. Do you own a gun?
4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite?
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
I think they are full of deliciousness.
7. Favorite Christmas movie?
It's a Wonderful Life.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Must. Have. Coffee.
9. Can you do push ups?
Even my undergarments can't do push ups anymore.
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding ring.
11. Favorite hobby?
12. Do you have A.D.D.?
Officially? No but -- hey, shiny ...
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts?
14. Middle name?
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
Is there really a need for a Tom Cruise 25 Years website? I need to finish the laundry. Mmmm, Diet Pepsi.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Mmmm, Diet Pepsi, coffee, water.
17. Current worry?
Worr(ies): my dad, my brother, my kids, my job, my bank accounts, my book, my friendships
18. Current hate right now?
My dad's radiologist. Ssly, it's been 3 months since he was diagnosed and STILL no treatment?
19. Favorite place to be?
20. How did you bring in the new year?
Trying to bring down my daughter's fever.
21. Where would you like to go?
22. Name three people who will complete this?
You, you, and you.
23. Do you own slippers?
24. What shirt are you wearing?
Plain White T.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Ugh, no. They are sweaty and slippery and they remind me of this really creepy guy I used to know.
26. Can you whistle?
27. Favorite color?
28. Would you be a pirate?
If they had a better dental plan.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Hmmm, though I sing all the time, I rarely do it in the shower.
30. Favorite Girl's Name?
31. Favorite boy's name?
32. What's in your pocket right now?
33. Last thing that made you laugh?
34. What vehicle do you drive?
35. Worst injury you've ever had?
36. Do you love where you live?
Most of the time.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
3 that work, one that doesn't. Current Mood: calm
|Saturday, July 26th, 2008|
|Cue the Tears
I guess I've been too busy with the book to notice but, in less than one week, my baby moves out -- possibly for good. She's getting an apartment with her boyfriend. All summer they've been amassing stuff. You would think that as the mountain of household goods grew ever taller, her impending move would have sunk in gradually. It didn't.
But it has now.
And, God, it hurts way worse sending her out into the world than it did bringing her into it. Current Mood: sad
|Monday, June 9th, 2008|
|Note To Self
Oh Darci, Darci [don't look so sad]
Don't let the daytime [get you down]
Because we will be wild like children [wild like children]
Once the black has veiled this sky
No pushing buttons [no telling lies]
No pointed fingers [trying to keep you quiet]
Just you and I misbehaving [misbehaving]
Oh trying our best to feel alive
We won't ever let them win
When we are younger oh our hearts are so much bolder
Oh the pressure is not as great
We floated weightless through the tops of trees
But as we get older, oh, our vision becomes blurred
And then the fog it slips right in
Now you're wondering how
Oh yeah, you're wondering how you ended up here
Oh how you end up here
The hateful, hateful [tough little boys]
That move their lips [whenever you're around]
So smart, just shouting answers [shouting answers]
I guess their fathers taught them well
So sit real still [they've got to size you up]
Don't move your mouth [they don't like when you talk]
They're trying their best to define you [to define you]
They're trying their best to keep you down
But we won't ever let them win
Because this world you know it can get so crazy
All these people talk a lot
They know this, they know it all
What a drag And you know there'll always be some oddball singing
Just remember to sing along
Yeah you better start singing a long
This place could be so beautiful
You just can't let them pull that cloth over your eyes
Just keep on screaming, oh yeah
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba
Bop bop ba, bop bop ba Current Mood: awake
|Tuesday, May 13th, 2008|
|Belly Up to the Clouds
Why can't things ever be perfect?
The annual volunteer celebration was today and while it was good, and I think my volunteers enjoyed themselves, there were still a series of small errors and missteps. Things I forgot to do, things I forgot to say, etcetera, etcetera.
My mom told me once that it is the reaching toward perfection that is living. Maybe she's right. Maybe I need to stop asking myself why things can't ever be perfect -- and start asking myself whether I should expect that they will be. Current Mood: grateful
|Tuesday, May 6th, 2008|
|I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (Time to Vote)
While my writing partner, C, has been doing something useful, I've been dreaming of Conor Oberst (from the band Bright Eyes) for the past two nights. That's just plain weird. Even weirder, I wake with a sense that the dreams have some political meaning.
According to an online dream dictionary (my dream book is still MIA): To dream that you are at a concert represents harmony and cooperation in a situation or relationship from your waking life.
I am in harmony with my political choice today. I'm voting for Barack Obama. And, to me, he represents the spirit of cooperation and conciliation that might bring all our fractious parts together. How young Mr. Oberst figures into this, I have no clue. Unless it's because he IS young, and both of my kids are voting today, and I am so terribly proud of them for paying attention and for participating in the election process.
How about you? If you live in Indiana (or North Carolina) will you vote today?
|Saturday, April 26th, 2008|
It will be a year, this week, since we knew it was more than a sore on his tongue.
In this year of hard things some of the most difficult have been our trips to Chicago. It's not so much the doctors or the needles or the procedures that have caused so much pain (although Matthew would disagree with me) as it is the view. It is maddening. The 4th floor window of the U of C Medical Center frames a perfect picture of the Chicago skyline. It taunts us and tantalizes us and reminds us of good times -- when our lives were lighter.
Every time we go there we say, "Some day ..." And then we sigh.
Matt had another doctor appointment last Friday. He's been feeling good so our only worries came from the length of time between visits. Due to bad weather and plain bad luck - it had been a while and we were anxious to be told things were still okay. We arrived a few minutes late so I dropped Matt and Thanh off near the medical center's entrance and left to park the car. I wasn't with them when they got off the elevator and made the short walk north. I don't know if the view took their breaths away from them. I only know what it did to mine. And then (to myself) I said, "Some day," and of course, I sighed. But before I took a seat and settled in to wait, I looked at my son, so alive and healthy looking, and I wondered whether some day might finally have arrived.
The visit went well. His doctor pronounced him 'perfect'. She introduced us to another young man who had been through many of the same things as Matt. The two of them stood there, grinning at each other, comparing scars and fates. Afterward I almost let it slip out, "Should we ...?" But the forecast called for storms and it was late on a Friday afternoon -- better to just slip out of town before something bad happened.
On the way home I remembered something Matt had said about the Indiana Dunes, how he and Thanh had tried to go there once. It was on one of those trips home from Chicago that came in the life before. They hadn't had enough money left to pay the entrance fee.
"How much was it?" I asked.
"Five dollars," Matt said.
"We have five dollars," I told him.
We pulled off at the exit marked Dunes HIghway and snaked our way around a few curves until we came to the sign for West Beach. We didn't even have to pay the five bucks -- the gatekeeper having abandoned his post for the day. "I hope it looks cool," Matt said. The sandy, tree and grass covered hills that surrounded us on our drive in were interesting, but Matthew is a veteran of North Carolina beaches. These were not the kind of dunes he had in mind.
One more big curve and there they were -- huge piles of sand that forced my head up, up to find the top. I considered my sandals, my bum knee, the extra weight I'd have to haul all the way up there. "You guys go. I'll wait here," I said.
And they went.
I watched them make their way, running at first, then going slower. After a minute, they stopped and ducked their heads against the wind. It was fierce that day and I could tell by the way they twisted from it that the sand it carried stung. It seemed that Thanh might give up -- but Matt tugged on her hand and she followed. The last few steps looked easier. Then there they were, hand in hand, at the peak.
Thanh stepped down a moment later, leaving my son to stand alone, looking so strong and sure silhouetted against the sky. The wind whipped his shirt into a flag and still he stood there, unflinching.
There may be more mountains in our future, more difficult climbs to overcome. I know this. But down below, my heart filled with hope as I witnessed this moment of triumph. I will keep the memory of it with me always:
My son -- King of the Mountain, Master of the View -- at last.
|Thursday, April 17th, 2008|
|Sick. As a Dog.
Despite growing up in the 70's I am really not much of a fan of drugs. While most people "my age" have a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions that :: if I weren't so sick I would insert witty stuff re mood stabilizers/enhancers/viagra __(here)__ :: Although I really like my doctor, I try not to visit with him very often. And I am pretty sure that the right combination of Excedrin, Bacitracin and Hydrogen Peroxide can cure almost anything. Except cancer. And this, which is (apparently): either croup or walking pneumonia (a toss up at this point though my doc's rooting for pneumonia), a sinus infection and infections in both ears.
woof. Current Mood: sick
|Sunday, April 6th, 2008|
|Cat Minus Bag (at last)
I'm pretty sure this makes it official enough to finally share it here. From Publishers Marketplace:
Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance’s debut THE GEEK GIRL’S GUIDE TO CHEERLEADING, the story of a self-confessed debating dork whose practical joke lands her a spot on the varsity cheerleading squad, where she realizes that if there’s one thing worse than blending into the lockers, it’s getting noticed!, to Jennifer Klonsky at Simon Pulse, by Mollie Glick at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.
Woot! Current Mood: happy
|Friday, April 4th, 2008|
|Wednesday, March 26th, 2008|
|Why I Write
There are lots of reasons but one of them is this:
I wish I could remember every moment of the day I got married, or the day that Matt was born, or Sara, or even the day the Massey kids helped me build my first treehouse. If I was writing back then I might remember more than the pimple that popped up on my chin, or almost tripping on my dress, or my bare feet in the flood. I might recall more than the weight of my new son on my chest, or the swooshing rush that was my daughter in her hurry to enter the world. Maybe I could bring back more than the solid thunk of a hammer on a nail.
Yesterday was one of those days to remember.
And while I can't really talk about it here, there are things I want to put down before they're lost. Here are a few of them:
My cellphone rang and when I glanced at the number, I didn't recognize it. My first thought was, 'Did I forget to pay a bill?' The voice on the other end was unfamiliar to me but her, "Hi, Darcy!" sounded a lot cheerier than any bill collector I'd ever encountered. Then she asked if I'd looked at my e-mail and all my breath left me.
My fingers fumbled on the keys but I got the program open. And I read. And I still couldn't breathe. Or say much of anything. I had an overwhelming desire to spin around in my office chair like a five-year-old. I excused myself for a second and I may even have told her, 'I'm going to spin around in my chair like a five-year-old now.' Whether I told her that or not, I did spin. Like a five-year-old.
I am still spinning. Current Mood: ecstatic
|Sunday, March 23rd, 2008|
|Thursday, March 20th, 2008|
|Monday, February 11th, 2008|
|Friday, February 8th, 2008|
If you ask me how I am, I'll tell you I'm fine (and I am) but I might hesitate for a beat before saying it. It's been one of those weeks. The weather in Indiana, never a selling point, has been particularly crappy. Last weekend we got snow. On Monday it warmed up and started raining. Because this is the second time in a month that a ton of snow was followed by a ton of rain, the ground is saturated -- except for the places that it's frozen. That means there is nowhere for all the water to go.
On Tuesday night a young friend of mine tried to stop but ended up driving through water. His car isn't working. I thought that was pretty awful ... until I got up the next morning and found out our medical director (at work) lost control of his car overnight in the rain/flood/fog, hit a utility pole and was killed.
Doc was a good man. Wednesday morning I had the responsibility of telling the volunteers who knew him. I was already feeling the loss but when I talked to some of them, I really started to understand how important he was to so many. Some of the comments I heard were: "He was the best doctor I've ever known." "He was more than my doctor; he felt like my friend." "He saved my son's life." As the days go by I realize more and more what a hole in the universe Doc willl leave behind.
And if the week couldn't get much worse, Thursday, one of my young volunteers was in an accident as she left our office. She's banged up but is going to be okay. That might not be the case for Marlin. Marlin (pronounced Marlene) was a puppeteer for me last year and the year before. She was a great girl with big dreams. Correction: She IS a great girl with big dreams. She's also a girl who was in a car accident a day or two ago, and now she's in critical condition with a head injury. I've made so many bargains with God this past year that I'm afraid He's probably sick of me. But, Father, please ...
In better news: My darling daughter turns 20 on Saturday. To celebrate, she and her roomie (who turned 19 on Wednesday) (Happy B'Day Nikki!) are diving into the music promotion business. Their first show is tonight. Nine great bands -- including James' band, Forthcoming, and my nephew Seths's band, Swallow Your Pride. It will be great to see my girl again, to celebrate her birth and to spend the evening with so many of the people I love the most. And it's been toooooo looooong since I've been to a show.
I'm hoping this event provides the yin that balances a little of the yang that the rest of this week dumped on us. But - just in case -
LET'S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, K? Current Mood: hopeful
|Wednesday, January 30th, 2008|
|Dear Sean's Dad,
Please remove your head from your ass as soon as possible.
Someone Who Cares About Your Kid
P.S. If you would like to discuss this further, bring it on m.f-er. Bring. It. On. Current Mood: pissed off
|Monday, January 28th, 2008|
|Fingers = Crossed?
From my e-mail folder:
Hi Darcy and Charity--
A quick note to let you know that I've pulled my initial submission list
together and am sending teasers out to (list of really prestigious young adult publishers)
this afternoon. Will let you know when I find out who's interested in
considering the full mscrpt!
Talk to you soon,
Your Incredibly Fabulous Agent (!) Current Mood: giddy
|Friday, January 4th, 2008|
|The Theory of Negativity
First off, I seem to have picked up a communication disease (which sounds almost dirty, but it isn't). I can no longer have meaningful conversations. With anyone. And I hate that. Talking, really talking,
to people was what kept life interesting, and I think it's also what bound me to the ones that I love. Now I feel those bounds slipping away and it's all because I can't make the words come out. Not the right ones anyway. Not the ones that say, 'I value you as a person and I am willing to bare my soul to you if you are willing to reveal yours to me.'
It's kind of like this old movie, Bobby Deerfield. It wasn't a great movie but it had this sad message that really touched me back then. In it, there was this guy, Bobby Deerfield (duh), who perpetually risked his life. He moved from one thrill to the next, never afraid, never even guessing he might fall or fail. Then he meets this woman. And for the first time in his life he realizes what he might lose. Then he dies.
Before Matt got sick I was fully engaged in living. I didn't stop (very often) to think about what I might lose. Now What I Might Lose is at the forefront of every thought. It's wrapped so tight around my heart and my tongue and my fingers that I can't get loose. I can't live because ... because ... oh hell, I don't know. I just know that what I have been doing is closer to sleepwalking than living. And I am sick of it.
I blamed a lot of it on 2007. Like when I pulled that last page of the year away everything would be better. I was so convinced that '07 was cursed that I went back in LJ time to find my old resolutions. I was going to post them here and show you: This, this, this -- these are the things I was prevented from doing by that bad old date on the calendar. But the funny thing is, I didn't resolve to do anything last year. I mostly just complained about what I hadn't done: 2006 was the year:
I (finally) grew up (again)
I gave up tequila forever (again)
I swore I'd finish the @#$@#!! novel (again)
Here's the true version of 2007:
It was the year I (finally) grew up (again) ... and found growing up to be WAY overrated.
It was the year I (really did) give up tequila forever (again). Thank you, Jesus.
It was the year I actually finished the @#$@#!! novel.
It was also the year I finished another novel. And got an agent. (!) It was the year I realized how important FAMILY is. It was the year I realized how much friendship means to my life. It was the year I almost lost the dearest thing ... and then let other dear things slip away without doing anything to stop it.
What will 2008 bring? I don't know. But if I don't WAKE THE HELL UP soon, I'm going to miss it.
Current Mood: embarrassed