Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm such a dork, part 2

Ok I don't know what it is about me and keys lately, but I have another little story to share.

The school I work at has moved to the school site across the street (in a nutshell, it was available and we needed more space). So there has been a lot of walking back and forth to grab stuff from the old site.

Anyway, today I asked one of the secretaries for the master keys for the old site because I wanted to see if there were some posters I had left in my old room. She gave me the keys and I walked across the street. When I got to the gate, I unlocked it, let myself in, and locked it. I don't like being the only one on campus, so I locked myself in. I went to the room, got what I needed, grabbed my keys, and was on my way back to the gate.

Well, when I looked at my keys, I had only grabbed my keys, not the master keys. Which meant that they were still in the classroom. Which meant that I was locked in. Shit.

So I'm on this empty (creepy) campus, alone, without my phone, and without keys to get out. So what do I do? I jump the fence like a freakin criminal and walk back to the new site, sans master keys.

When I explain my story, they all laugh at me. Of course. I'm an idiot. Thank goodness my principal had another set of master keys for the old site. So I had to take the trek back to the old site (btw, it was about 98* outside, with mad humidity for CA), unlock the gate, go back to the classroom, grab the keys, lock the gate on my way out, and walk back to the new site.


Someone needs to install a key chain piercing on me somewhere.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sarah Thomas 555-5501

Totally watched Serendipity for the 5000th time tonight and the eulogy struck me. It's funny, I've heard that part in the movie before, but I've never really listened to it.

Jonathan Trager, prominent television producer for ESPN, died last night from complications of losing his soul mate and his fiancee. He was 35 years old. Soft-spoken and obsessive, Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic. But, in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, the courageous Trager secretly clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. Asked about the loss of his dear friend, Dean Kansky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor of the New York Times, described Jonathan as a changed man in the last days of his life. "Things were clearer for him," Kansky noted. Ultimately Jonathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny.

Freakin beautiful.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's still my birthday week

So I celebrated my 31st birthday this week.

Birthdays are an odd thing for me. One the one hand, I LOVE my birthday. It's really my favorite day of the year. It's my parents' fault. When I was younger, my birthday was my day. I got to do what I wanted (within reason), I didn't have to do chores, and my mom always made my favorite meal.

However, since I've moved out, birthdays have been a little hard for me to deal with. I still love that it's my day, but who's going to spoil me if my parents aren't around?

What I've realized in general this year is that I've got a giant fear of being alone on my birthday. I plan things weeks in advance so that I don't have to deal with the fact that someone else might not plan something. I planned a dinner this year and was so excited that all my friends and husbands (that live within 25 miles) made it out to celebrate with me.

Here's to being 31! I've been told by numerous people that this is my year. Oh, and that 31 = dirty fun. Well... ok, if you say so...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm such a dork

Today I was doing my usual weekend walk/run (mostly walk, downhill only run) of a hilly trail nearby. When I go, I drive there, park in a church parking lot nearby, and walk to the trail. It gives me one extra hill to walk, which I dig. The only things I take with me are my iPod (which is in an arm holder thingy) and my car key. I literally take it off my keyring and stick it in my arm holder thingy.

So I do the first hill, start to go down the next hill, and begin my first run. All of a sudden, I feel a click in my arm holder thingy, something bounces off my calf and hits the sidewalk. I stop immediately, turn around, and.... nothing. Nothing is on the very wide sidewalk behind me. I look in my arm holder thingy and my key is gone. My car key. The key to my car that holds my purse, my phone, and my apartment key. I immediately squat down and look in the nearby planters. At the same time, cars are passing by on a busy street next to me. I can only imagine what they were thinking. The bushes aren't grown together, but there are very low plants there. I'm on my hands and knees for about 10 minutes, combing through about 3-5 yards of planters. Nothing. Now, mind you, I drive a Honda and the key is not just a regular, metal key. At the top of the key is a giant black cover, where my automatic door lock buttons are. It's not a small thing I'm searching for.

So now I'm screwed. I can't find my key, I have no phone, I have no money. I do have my iPod, though (whew!). The only thing I can think to do is to walk back to my apartment, ask to use their phone, and call my parents, who are the only ones that have an extra car key. So I decide to start walking.

This walk back is like 2 miles. The entire way I'm trying to think of any other way that I can solve this problem besides calling my parents to drive the 25 minute drive out to give me my key. Nothing. I'm totally beating myself up the whole walk back.

I finally get back to the complex, ask to use the phone, and my mom says she'll leave in 10 minutes. I feel horrible, but she's totally ok with it and doesn't make me feel bad at all. I was partly hoping my dad would answer because he's so much more mellow than my mom, but she was cool about it.

So here I am, finally back from what should have only been an hour walk, two and a half hours later. What a mess.

Now I have to call to see how much another key is. And I don't think they're cheap. Great.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coincidence? I think not.

Fourteen years ago today, my brother's best friend, who was 17 at the time, passed away after being in a bad car accident. He was the drunk passenger of a car whose driver was also drunk. My brother's best friend, Jon, wasn't wearing a seat belt and suffered extensive head trauma, as they were driving an open T-top Camaro. They ran the red light into a truck who was making a left turn in front of them.

I remember getting the phone call from Jon's mom the next morning.
Me: Hello?
Sheree: Hi Brandi. Is Bryan ok?
Me: Um, yeah, I think so. Why?
Sheree: Is your mom there?
Me: Yeah, hold on.

Sheree asked my mom the same thing. My mom went to my brother's room. He wasn't there, as expected. He was at work.
My mom: Yeah, he's at work. What's wrong?
Talking on the other end.
My mom: Oh gosh. Is Jon ok?
More talking on the other end.
My mom: Well, I know he came in last night and he had to work early this morning.

After they hung up, I found out that Jon had been in a car accident and Sheree was wondering if my brother was ok because my brother was supposed to be in that car.

The night before, my brother and Jon went out to a bowling alley. They met up with another guy that Jon worked with. This other guy, *Sean, was older than the two of them and was spending a lot of time with Jon recently. Sean was buying the beer, and the pitchers kept coming in.

At the end of the night, as they were leaving, Jon went to get into Sean's car and told my brother to come along. My brother knew he had to work in the morning and decided to take his own car and go home. He told Jon to come with him, and (I will remember my brother telling this part until the day I die) Jon started to take a step toward him and then decided against it and told my brother he'd see him later.

It was the last time my brother saw Jon as the Jon that we all knew and loved. They sped out of the parking lot so quickly that my brother had no chance to catch up. (Thank goodness.)

After the phone call, we called my brother at work. At this point, the word was that Sean was doing worse than Jon. Jon was supposed to make it and they weren't so sure about Sean. My brother came home immediately and we all went to the hospital.

Those hospital days were a blur. I don't even remember how many there were exactly, but I do know it was somewhere around 5 days that Jon was in a coma. In this time, I formed special bonds with a couple of girls that knew Jon. What I do remember is forcing myself to go in and see him. I will never forget what he looked like. He was lying there, face swollen beyond recognition, with tubes coming out of his head and mouth, and wires everywhere. It was the first time I had seen someone look like that. It wasn't the good looking and full-of-life Jon that I knew for the last year or so.

It was evident that Jon wasn't doing as well as we had first thought. I remember that his dad kept promising him a new Acura if he would just come out of this. They put pictures of it in his hospital room. Every time I see an Acura like that even today, I think of Jon.

After a few days in a coma, we were all pulled into a small room. Looking back, it's odd to me that his parents wanted us all in during this moment. Sitting there with his mom and dad, my mom and brother, and a few friends that had been there everyday, the doctors told us that the swelling in Jon's brain wasn't going down and that there was no brain activity. This meant that he'd be a vegetable if he were to be kept alive. I couldn't believe it. We all couldn't believe it. The doctors told Jon's parents that they should consider donating his organs. That was August 2, 1995.

Jon's funeral was HUGE. The largest I have ever been to (then and to this day). He was friends with so many people, it was unbelievable. The line of cars leading to the grave site was longer than the eye could see. You would have thought that the way in which he died would have scared some of those kids out of living that lifestyle, but it didn't. Many of them went on to get multiple DUIs. Sad.

The days and months after Jon's death were a blur of sadness, remembrance, and seeing my brother break down. As I type this and remember what he went through, I get teary. My brother blamed himself for Jon's death. If only he could have forced Jon into his car. If only he would have made Jon leave earlier. If only. You don't want to see any of your family members go through what he went through, let alone your older brother. He was the one who was there to protect me, his baby sister, and I had no idea how to make him feel better. I remember night after night of him crying and yelling and my mom in his room all hours of the night, trying to calm him down. I didn't know how to deal with it. I didn't know what to say to him. I'm thankful that my mom was strong enough to pull him out of it eventually, though not without stories that I would later hear about my brother considering things I don't even want to think of. It was a horrible time.

On top of all of this, there was a court case building against Sean. My brother chose to speak about Jon in front of the court and I remember being so nervous for him. He cried, which always tears me apart, and he spoke about the events that led up to the accident. He also spoke about his relationship to Jon. In the end, Sean was charged with a DUI (his second, if I recall correctly) and Involuntary Manslaughter. He got 3 years in jail, which turned out to only be a year and a half for good behavior. If I remember correctly, the effect of Jon's death on Sean was no where near the effect it had on my brother.

We tried to remember Jon as best we could for as long as we could. There was a tree planted at the park near his house in his honor. But, as things happen this way, we eventually moved on with our lives.

His mom never really got over it. I mean, who could blame any parent for not being able to get over having to bury their child. But I don't think she ever had the strength to move on. We heard recently that she was diagnosed with cancer (I think lung cancer, as she was an avid smoker) and the doctors were only giving her 6 months to live. That was last month. She passed today. August 2, 2009. Fourteen years (to the day) after her Jon passed.

I got the news a couple of hours ago. A friend of mine who shared those hospital days with me texted me and told me. I broke the news to my brother, who had hoped that she'd last a bit longer so he could go and say his goodbyes.

For someone who doesn't believe in religion, I believe that her passing on this day was not coincidental. She got to be with her son again, 14 years after he left her. It brings chills to my body and makes me feel peace for her all at the same time.

Rest in peace, Sheree. I hope that seeing Jon takes away the pain you had to go through for the last 14 years.

*name changed for obvious reasons.