Friday, June 18, 2010

We Love Everybody, But We Do As We Please

Hanging out in Twiggs Coffeehouse while Jarrah is at Junior Theatre camp. Nostalgic for the days when I lived two blocks from here and used to walk over with a huge stack of essays to grade and stay eight hours, tossing back vanilla lattes. Wait--maybe for once my nostalgia is a smidge misguided.

Junior Theatre camp is not to be confused with Jarrah's last dramatic venture. This is a daily event at the venerated Junior Theatre in historic Balboa Park, with about nine other four- and five-year-olds. She is having a blast, though I have no idea what they're doing in there. I've noticed she's either not that forthcoming, or extremely forthcoming...about two weeks later, in a long burst of enthusiastic non-sequitur. Kids--what can ya do?

A lot of things are pleasing me today. The chilly wind layered over the bright sun. Seeing a young man carrying a Hello Kitty pinata the size of a 12-year-old down Park Boulevard. Hearing Men At Work's "Overkill" in the supermarket. I can't get to sleep/I think about the implications/Of diving in too deep/And possibly the complications...A mother and son discussing bagels in the bread aisle in the most gorgeous, melodic French. How my latte is not too sweet or too strong. Looking forward to a girl's night out with Jarrah, Grace and Julianna later on. Sliced oranges amidst the sliced lemons in the tea and coffee prep area.

I think I'm also feeling grateful today. Yesterday we had such a lovely time with people we'd never met before. I was introduced to Jalan over e-mail about five years ago because she had adopted from China, and now we've been Facebook friends for about a year. She lives in Louisiana, but she and her family are on a road trip across the country, so yesterday we met IRL for the first time. Since they'd never been to San Diego, I was determined to show off America's Finest City at greatest advantage, and they were happily disposed to succumb to her spell. Since Jarrah was in Balboa Park, we started with lunch at the Japanese Tea Garden, followed by a stroll through the park and museums (how I delighted in learning that a beloved Pieter Breugel painting that I studied in college, The Parable of the Sower, is available for viewing anytime in the Timken--free!), a quick jaunt to Coronado Island for ice cream, tide-pooling in La Jolla Cove, an up-close-and-personal audience with the seals, and dinner at Burger Lounge. All day I marveled at how easy it was to be with them, with absolutely no "I have no idea who you are" awkwardness. And the most beautiful thing of all was seeing Jarrah and their daughter, Nina, 7, become fast friends in about 10 seconds (I'm actually not exaggerating about that time frame) and remain glued to each others' sides, laughing, running and shouting the rules to "The Last Airbender: The Game" for about eight hours.

A more sobering occasion for gratitude happened Sunday, when I attended the memorial for my former castmate Ron, who died last week after a short battle with cancer. He actually played my fiance in last summer's Moliere in the park. I can't get my mind around how last Labor Day weekend, when we were frolicking in the grass at sunset, outrageously clad (he sported a red union suit and a fake belly) he was healthy, if a bit sweaty from having to dance in 90-degree heat. I know it's cliched to reflect on the fragility of life, but there you go. A few theater friends attended with me, and I think we were all in shock that he could just be gone. It was inspiring to see some 300 people filling his church to celebrate his life.

And yes, of course, there was Jarrah's last day of preschool. I will be posting a video from that performance, though not the whole thing, as it's too long. And, predictable as I am, I sobbed so much I felt I must lie down and sleep the rest of the day when it was over. But I didn't. I went to the potluck at the park and had a great time, and then danced my heart out at Nia. And then I was very, very tired. But I'm excited to see what comes next.

And Readers, I know that audition post was long, but I swear it gets funnier at the end.


Caroline said...

You're so good at capturing the emotion and atmosphere of your life. I love reading your blog.

The paragraph on things that are pleasing you today is especially wonderful. I love every detail. (And I love "Overkill," have to go give it a listen.)

My condolences about Ron.

Stephanie said...

Being in a state of gratitude is a very pleasing place to be. I love the description (and the feeling) of "the chilly wind layered over the bright sun".

Looking forward to the video.

The Wades said...

Ah, Sam. This was such a great post. I was happy and sad all rolled into one. Poor Ron. That is a quick go. Cliched to reflect on the fragility of life? I learn every time I stop over. I could have read on and on about the subject.

San Diego does sound awesome. Fun to meet your friend.

Loved "the chilly wind layered over the bright sun." Wow. I could feel that.

Soul mate over preschool sobbing right here! Grant still has one more year yet I sobbed for the friends that were moving on. And you're right, so very exhausting!