the original kStyle blog.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Flavor of the Season

Each summer has its own mood. A lazy summer, a summer-love summer, a lonely, angsty summer, a beach summer, a carefree summer, a summer that whispers promises on shady breezes. Summer 2007 is kicking off as a crazy summer.

Two weekends ago we had my sister's graduation cookout-party all day Saturday. It was great fun, it was over an hours' drive. This is not inherently crazy until you factor in the teeming mass of chatterboxes we call my family. Take, for example, the act of getting up from the table to fetch a drink. I said, "I think I'll get a drink. Anyone want anything?" This led to a 3-minute conversation about how the table could use another chair. New plan: pick up extra chair, bring to table, get drink. I pushed up from the table, strode 3 steps across the deck, and ran into my dad's best friend, Roger. Roger and I talked for 10-15 minutes: how are his kids, how was his daughter's wedding, what his son, with whom I graduated from high school, is doing. My mom went by to get grandpa a drink; I mentioned I was about to bring an extra chair over. She handed me a chair, which remained in my hand as I talked to Roger. Mom went by again a few minutes later, grabbed the chair, brought it to my table. My dad came by to talk to Roger, and I escaped in search of thirst-quenching goodness. Two more steps, and there I was with Roger's wife, Beth, and my great-uncle, Ray. Another 10 minutes before I could disentangle myself and get to the coolers. Then there was getting back to my seat, which was a matter of reversing the process, but with different players. Later that day, I went inside to get my sister Chapstick and did not see her again for 40 minutes---having run into an aunt, uncle, and more friends of my parents---at which point she had found her own. A while after that, she went inside for playing cards and did not get back out for about half an hour. My husband passed her in the hallway, the cards dangling from her hand, talking to more relatives. G. was perplexed when were still at the party 2 hours after we'd agreed to leave. My dad pulled him aside and said, "There's something you should know, now that you're part of this family. You will never be able to leave until at least 45 minutes after you decide to go."

The next day was our anniversary, and we spent it in pretty seaside towns up the coast. We had a nice dinner. But boy were we tired. In between all the festivities, I was working my regular job, treating shiatsu clients, and planning to move my shiatsu office.

Then things got really crazy. I'd rather not get into all the gory details, but G's dad was embarking upon a happy second marriage, his wedding on July 7. I worked Monday and Tuesday after the graduation/anniversary weekend, G picked me up from work Tuesday night, and we drove straight to Connecticut, dodging accidents on the Mass Pike, to throw the mildest bachelor and bachelorette parties humankind has yet seen. Hartford rolls up the sidewalks at 9 PM sharp. Still, it was a loooong day for us, and then we spent the night at a Howard Johnson's. The next morning we drove to the town of our alma mater and ate lunch with good friends. I also found a wonderful oriental rug for ninety percent off, perfect for my new treatment room, which is spacious and well-located but poorly decorated. We were well but tired. We drove back home to spend Thursday in our place before returning to Connecticut Friday.

But not all was well beneath the surface. First, my friend in Florida emailed and said that she had a mysterious venomous bite on her neck that blurred her vision, but her acupuncturist's advice of applying warm compresses was helping tremendously. I wrote her back and strongly, strongly advised her to see an MD and not mess with this. Turns out she has no health insurance as a freelancer, and so can't afford it. I became (again) enraged at the joke of health care.

Oh but then we got a call. G's dad was in the ER. The day before his own wedding. Blood clot in the leg plus compartment syndrome. So we drove back down and had a hectic weekend between helping him and his bride at their home and the reception hall, and then back to the ER the morning after the wedding. The wedding itself was lovely and I only hope the groom will remember some of it through the haze of oxycontin and/or codeine. Then followed a harrowing week of him being in the hospital, getting surgery, and the hospital being a general ZOO and/or 3 ring circus of miscommunication. To the point where the new wife began keeping a log of every doctor's order so that she could call staff on it when they began giving him the wrong medication, oh yes. Fucking wankers, as I like to say. Lots of nervous phone calls and emails last week. But thankfully neither the hospital nor the clot killed my dear father-in-law, and as of this morning he is home and still temporarily drugged. And thankfully we did not have to return to Hartford and sleep at the HoJo's again this weekend, though I must admit it was a very clean and serviceable budget hotel. But I like my fancy mattress at home. It has memory foam and pocket coils. As a side note, if you're going to spend a lot of money on anything, a top-of-the-line mattress is an excellent choice. You spend a third of your life there. A good night's sleep is invaluable.

On top of all this there was some drama surrounding my current treatment room, which I'm thankful for in a strange way, because it reinforces my decision to leave.

So I worked at Day Job Mon-Thursday this week, and thankfully it was relatively drama-free, because I couldn't take much more action. Yesterday was also wicked busy, beginning with NIA class, and then shiatsu demos at a real estate office, and then a new--rather difficult-- shiatsu client, and then a trip to a farmer's market which was twice as far as we'd thought.

This morning I was exhausted and out-of-whack, still kind of tense from all the craziness, equilibrium not yet reached. But it's been a very therapeutic day, beginning with a shiatsu trade with a great practitioner whom I still can't believe likes to trade with me. Then G. and I went to a wonderful picnic-party with Italian food and mask making. This artist who makes amazing, astonishing masks opened his studio to us (and his wife is the amazing cook--her grandfather cooked for a king of Italy!). First we ate and chatted on the cool patio beneath a giant oak. Then we sat among his mythical, huge, beautiful masks--the sun and moon, a raven, Cyclopes, Bacchus, an Elder with a giant beard, dragons, lions, and on and on--and made our own humble creations with feathers, paint, pipe cleaners, sequins, and so forth. But each of us made an expressive, wonderful, unique mask, that was the coolest part. I was especially impressed with my own husband's mask, with the earnestness and concentration he brought to an activity he didn't initially think he would enjoy. Channeling perhaps some grad school angst, he glued gold rope in rows to look like the sticky, side-parted hair, and glued on a crazy mustache and beard of Easter basket grass: it was an amalgram of poorly-groomed professors and graduate students. He topped it off with silver pipe cleaner eyebrows angled a little too high and messily, just right for his character. I attached fake flowers and a teeny little parrot to a gold mask, creating something like a tourism mask for Puerto Rico, if you can picture such a thing. Two people used a cat mask base to create very different, wonderful felines. One woman made a lacy mask with devil horns of sparkly red pipe cleaner and a halo of sparkly silver pipe cleaner. Another woman took a mask covered with feathers and added some well-placed beads and sequins to make it her own Mardi Gras expression. It was very therapeutic, and somehow making these individual creations brought us together as a group.

Tomorrow, another cookout, this one a potluck at the home of my teacher who is recovering from cancer. (Oh yes, I also made a dessert for the potluck today.)

But tonight, a movie, I think.


Blogger Narya said...

I think *I* need a nap now! I know what you mean about season-moods, too. Last summer was just awful and crazy and anxiety-ridden; so far this one is just kinda nice.

6:37 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

I need a nap, too, now that you mention it! But last night I went straight from work to hospice volunteer training, and tonight G's best friend is in town. Yep, I'm going to get sick if I keep up this pace. Wednesday I plan to Do Very Little.

9:02 AM  
Blogger trifle said...

Your poor father-in-law (and everyone else)! What horrible timing!

The mask making sounds insanely awesome!

1:56 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Hi Trifle! Good news, he's home and resting and getting restless, which is an excellent sign of recovery.

Hey, thanks for the cat quiz. Awesomeness.

8:10 AM  

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