Thursday, June 30

A bit of peace

I watched something tonight that brought me an unexpected amount of peace about the loss of Dad.

I watched a film I'd never heard of before called The Wildest Dream.

You can read the description for yourself at the link above but it begins with the discovery of George Mallory's body, on Everest, 75 years after he went missing. His remains proved that he suffered a compound fracture in his leg... a fatal accident when on Everest. I started to get uncomfortable as the story unfolded but kept watching despite several similarities between Mallory's accident and Dad's. I even watched as one climber slips and almost falls 7000 feet. When his partner asks if he's ok the climber replies "I'm fine. Just a bad step." which is what I've always believed killed Dad... just one bad step.

Ultimately the man who discovered Mallory's body decided to try to summit Everest with the clothing and gear Mallory used. He hoped to learn for himself if it was even possible. While suiting up in replica clothing and showing it off to his family, his wife turned to their youngest son and asked "Would you wear that to climb Everest?" The boys replied "No". The mother prods "What would you wear?" he deadpanned "I wouldn't climb Everest."

It was like watching a conversation I had a more than once with my Dad. When I finished reading Into Thin Air I immediately handed it to my Dad and told him he should read it. He did. Soon after, I learned that we completely disagreed with the idea of a father making such a dangerous trek. I argued that climbing Everest was irresponsible especially for a father of young kids. "Why would anybody DO THAT?! Why would anyone dream of dragging themselves through delirium to a place called THE DEATH ZONE?" I asked. Dad calmly explained that he completely understood the urge to do so despite the risks. He said he didn't necessarily dream of climbing Mount Everest but, for instance, he'd always wanted to visit Antarctica to see Emperor Penguins. Great. He wanted to go to Columbia too but Mom and I flat out told him no way. I sometimes wonder if he snuck over there and just didn't tell us. I should check his passport. Anyway, we argued about crazy travel several times. In the end I came to realize that whatever it is that pushes people to take those kinds of freaky, unnecessary risks, I simply do not posses. It's just nothing I've ever been interested in participating in. I love to READ about those people but have never wanted to experience any of their antics first hand.

Watching the film tonight somehow made me feel a little better about the way we lost Dad. Daddy knew the risks in his job and his hiking but he felt compelled to do it regardless. I believe he planned to hike and climb until he couldn't anymore and that's exactly what he did. I told Mom about this little revelation and she agreed. Mom and I don't have that risk taking compulsion in our make up but Daddy did and we always knew it. Mom said that one of Dad's uncles was a National Geographic interpreter... who knew?! Maybe being so in love with nature and the world around us and the uncontrollable need to explore and protect it is inherited. All I know is that I dodged that gene and I'm glad. It wouldn't be fair for Mom to have to worry about me too.

I know that Dad's death was very different than a famous explorer's but the obsession and compulsion that drove them was very similar. I'll never stop missing my Dad but I'm glad he had such a great wonder of nature in his life. I never liked the risks Dad took but I remain incredibly proud of him. He left such a wonderful mark on the world. Do I think the risks were worth it? No, but I think Daddy would disagree with me just like he did so many times before.

Thursday, June 16

Secret Shame

I'm here to confess. I have some secret shame that I somehow feel compelled to share. I'm not talking about now televised secret shames like watching porn, or hoarding, or eating chalk, or having to do things in threes, or anything like that, but I've got some secrets to share and the time has come. Here goes:

Deadliest Catch
My shame isn't with watching this show. It's a good show that I'd recommend to anyone. No, my shame lies in the amount of time I've spent watching it. Even reruns. I can watch this show over and over again and I just don't seem to tire of it. I'm sure I'll burn out some day but so far that day hasn't arrived. I miss Captain Phil.

Kiehl's Lip Balm
I've been known to spend up to $9 on lip balm. This, of course, is ridiculous but have you ever tried Kiehl's lip balm? Have you tried the Mango variety? It's delightful. I hate that I spend that kind of money for scented petroleum jelly but I do and I will do it again.

Super Hero Movies
I love super hero movies. I don't know why, I just do. Luckily this Summer has provided some pretty good options. I really liked Thor and I LOVED X-Men First Class. I'm going to see Green Lantern this weekend but I'm afraid my luck may have finally run out. The reviews are bleak.

Twilight Series
I, along with about two dozen co-workers, was obsessed with the Twilight books a few years ago. I loved those dumb books. They are poorly written and repetitive but I loved that Bella/Edward/Jacob thing. Of course, they lost me in the third book (hated it!) but, yes, I will be seeing the movie with my Twi-buddy and her teen daughter later this year. I saw Twilight in theaters on 3 separate occasions. 1) Opening night with my sister-in-law 2) Along with friends for a Director Q&A following a screening 3) with my Twi-buddy (college roomie) and her 13 year old daughter. The weeping guitars almost killed it for me but... there I was three screenings later.

Teen Wolf
As if the Twilight thing wasn't shameful enough, I started watching MTV's new series Teen Wolf. I've watched the first few episodes and they haven't lost me yet. I described it to a friend as "fun but sophomoric". Of course, sophomoric doesn't seem to be a problem for me, now does it. (Vampires are hotter, by the way. So much more cultured than those filthy werewolves!)

Little Women
I still haven't read it. I suck.

I like to watch QVC late at night when I can't sleep. I think it's because it's the least stressful thing on tv in the middle of the night. I don't like the jewelry shows (boring!) but the makeup and cooking slots are a good time. I'm especially fond of a segment called In the Kitchen with David. I'm ordinarily deeply saddened by closeted gay men but I just love that David. So does every elderly Southern woman in the country.

Crazy People
I enjoy the crazies. I don't mean the rude in-your-face variety crazy but I do enjoy calmly crazy people... like the old ladies who call David on QVC.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I don't like romance novels, and given the theme of this entry I would totally admit it if I did, I do, however, wish I liked romance novels every time I visit this blog. I just love it. I'm especially hooked on it's HABO (Help a Bitch Out) entries. Readers describe long lost novels they can't remember the names of and fellow readers try to figure out what the hell they read all those year ago.

Hallmark Channel Movies
Yes, they are saccharine sweet, yes they are entirely predictable, yes their heavy handed Christian slant is annoying, yes they assume no good can come from "city folk", but sometimes the reliability of those dumb movies is just what the doctor ordered.

Why do I spend time on this silly game? It's not even a game! It's just clicking around on a screen. It's annoyingly addictive. It's so lame but I can't stop. (Wanna be my neighbor?)

That's it for now. I'm sure I have plenty more to report but I just can't think of them now. I'll report more as they come. The more ridiculous the better!