Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Delicious Ambiguity

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."
- Gilda Radner

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Boys" of Summer

Went to see the musical Jersey Boys earlier this week! For anyone unfamiliar, it's the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from humble beginnings in - you guessed it - New Jersey. (Or more accurately "Joisey".) It was a really fun show and along with having a toe-tapping time, I've had some of the songs stuck in my head for the past three days. On a silly whim the other day I serenaded Tony with one of the hits ("....At long last love has arrived, and I thank God I'm alive! You're just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off of you.") To which he responded with a laugh (my singing leaves something to be desired) and the question, "How do you know the words to so many of those songs?"

Good question. Granted I could explain away "Can't take my eyes off of you" as being present in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. And even "Let's Hang On" was covered by the a capella jazz group Manhattan Transfer on a CD that my sister and I listened to quite frequently as teens. But does that explain, "Walk Like a Man", "Sherrie", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Stay", "Dawn" or "Rag Doll"? I've always known that I had a good memory but I never quite realized how much song lyrics stay with me even more than obscure trivia or random memories. I know my parents - and even one of my coworkers - love listening to oldies radio, but I'm only just now coming to see how much I've enjoyed the old classics as well.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Our neighbor Howard passed away last night. When I say neighbor, I don't mean the people that you give a quick hi to when you're out walking the dog and otherwise know nothing about. We live in a condo, so aside from not being allowed a dog, it redefines neighbor as literally the person just across the hall from you. Someone that little by little you invite into your life, get to know, and just assume will always be there. Someone who is somehow, part of what you know as "home". That was Howard.

Everyone in our condo complex knew Howard. He turned 90 last December but his jovial nature and easy conversation reflected a much younger spirit. Summers in particular have always been marked by after-work patio conversations about current events, baseball, and sometimes even the nostalgic reflections of the good ol' days - Howard was a Navy man during WWII and pride always shone brightly in his eyes when he talked about his days on an Aircraft Carrier ("You wouldn't believe the size of that thing!"). And he used to grow tomatoes too. Even better than the farmer's market were Howard's patio grown tomatoes that he was always willing to share.

You get so used to someone that it's hard to stop and think that they're no longer in this world.

His wife is doing well and has the support of several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around her. She's assured us that Howard is in a better place now, and there is joy in knowing that, but he will be dearly missed.
Rest in peace, and thanks for being a part of our lives.