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AUG
19

After All

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Anyone who recognizes this picture is my kind of people. It's on the outside of the Small World ride at Disneyland, which is where I spent last weekend. I waited in line to see the princesses, got my face painted, and flew my Dumbo car at its full height while beating away the calls of reality with a stick. (More posts on this topic to follow...)

Small World isn't my favorite ride (although it does provide a few glorious minutes of air-conditioned sit-down time), but I always feel a certain amount of tenderness toward it because I remember my dad once remarking to me that he particularly liked it. Last time I was there I took a picture of the outside of it all lit up and sent it to him. It really is neat once the sun goes down and all at once about a billion lights come on and everyone standing in line gasps in unison. This past weekend I outdid myself. While sitting through my second Small World go-round of the day (it was hot, okay?), I thought about dear old dad and how much it would lift his spirits if I sent him not a picture, but a video from the actual ride itself. I filmed several minutes and sent him the longest of all the clips.

When I spoke to Dad and asked him if the clip made his day, he laughed in the sort of way that means, "Are you serious?" Yes folks. It turns out that my dad actually hates the Small World ride, and he thought all of my Small World pictures and videos to him over the years were a joke. He thought it was funny. And that the video goes on and on made it seem even funnier. Whereas I thought I was being thoughtful. And that the video goes on and on made it seem even more thoughtful. To quote Flight of the Conchords, what a hilarious misunderstanding. It's a good thing I didn't buy him a souvenir shirt. Although part of me wonders how long I would have gone on in this manner and had no idea...

JUN
15

For Dad

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My dad is a man of relatively few words, and being raised in a home with multiple siblings, it wasn't always easy (or common) to get time with just him. I never felt slighted, no person with my childhood could, but the memories I have of Me & Dad time are special. As is any connection that just he and I shared, for that matter. Like the story in Jeweled about the jewelry gifts he gave me...it was something he did on his own, just for me.

I'm writing my third book right now, and last week I was writing about a big decision I faced more than a decade ago. Teetering on making what I thought was the right choice but for all the wrong reasons, my dad offered (in a manner of two succinct sentences) some counsel that not only changed my decision but also my outlook on all future decisions on the same topic. It was pretty profound to ponder this week on how different my life would be right now had he not spoken up. In fact, when I think back on, say, the top 5 most important things anyone has ever said to me, I'm pretty sure they all come from my dad. For being a man of few words, he sure has a knack for making them count.

On this day and always, I am a lucky daughter.

 

MAR
01

This is just to say...

I talk to my parents regularly, but rarely do I get a call and see that it's coming from my Dad's cell phone. There's usually a slight sense of panic, like something might be wrong, especially because he's not the most chatty guy. So when I saw "Dad" as the incoming call the other day, I confess I was a bit alarmed. "Do you have a minute?" he asked when I answered. This sounded serious. But it turns out he had only wanted to let me know that a couple of my biggest fans had just been at his clinic. I don't know these people, but they went on and on telling him how much they love my book, how many copies they've bought, how many people in the community are reading the book and loving it. And my dad just thought I might want to know that I have quite the growing fan base back home. And even though home is small and said fan base is even smaller, it warmed my heart. So thanks, Dad. For making my day.

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MAY
17

For Dad: It's back to Billy

No, I don't have a Father's Day poem from Billy Collins for this post. But I do find it funny that he's making his way into the conversation again. Because today being Father's Day and all, I was reminded of the first thing my dad said to me after he read Schooled. He told me that he wanted to lodge a complaint, or at least go down on the record as saying that I had mis-stated something in the book. I asked what it was, and he brought up the "On Billy Collins" section that directly proceeds my graduation from college. In that section I mention that my parents don't consider his work to be poetry, but that since he was at that time our poet laureate, they lose the argument every time. Dad then insisted (in a surprisingly emphatic manner) that it is I who loses the argument every time, and that his work really isn't poetry unless the very definition of poetry has changed. I do think the definition has morphed over time, but I suppose what I really mean in the book is that I think they lose the argument, just as they are sure that I lose the argument.

No matter, the point of this post is simply that it's Father's Day, and my dad never ceases to crack me up. Why just today I was complaining to him about how much my vet will surely charge for the analysis of my cat's stool sample that he (my vet) is insisting be a part of my cat's check-up next weekend. My dad, himself a vet, said I could always bring some of her poop home with me when I fly out there in a couple of weeks and he would do the analysis for free. We were then in stitches at the thought of cat poop getting through security. Not to mention my neighbors on the plane who would no doubt smell it. What he doesn't realize is I may just be crazy enough to do it. What a story that would make.

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