I wouldn’t have known I could love someone so much… I am incredibly blessed to be an aunt to the two most handsome, charming, smart, funny, loving little boys. From the time I was a little girl, I daydreamed about the day I would be an aunt. Max and Jude absolutely made it worth the wait.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
As I've gotten older, the dresses, while still very important, have had to play second fiddle to the speeches as my favorite part of the very long ceremony. I love the crying and the shout-outs to moms and dads. More than anything, however, I love when an actor takes their one moment to speak on behalf of a greater good. (Some people don't like their actors political. I, however, am not some people.) This is an incredible opportunity and the Oscar stage is a platform like no other.
"... you know, it fills me with great joy. But I am also filled with a lot of sadness tonight, because I'm accepting an award at -- at such a strange time. And you know my experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war, and the repercussions of war. And whomever you believe in, if it's God or Allah, may He watch over you, and let's pray for a peaceful and swift resolution. Thank you." - Adrien Brody 2003
Oh, and next time Sean, thank your wife.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I am very, very blessed. My sister Monica married Michael who has a twin brother named Brian who is married to Yen. Got it? So, not only am I an auntie to my sister's boys, but also to Brian and Yen's three little ones. This is what I love about life. You are born into a family and that family changes form as you get older, just as the love in your heart expands and shifts into something more unexpected and more vast than you ever could have foreseen. Right when you begin to wonder if there is any more room in your heart, a new person comes into the world, into your life, maybe into your family, and into your heart and, almost magically, there's more love than there was before. Of all the things I am grateful for, and there are many, my family is at the top of that list. The fact that the people who I am related to by birth and the families these people have married into are the very people I would have hand picked if I could have, makes me one very lucky girl.
Welcome to the world, baby Nova. I've only just met you, but I love you already.
(Thanks to my dear friend, Jen Beckwith, for introducing me to the lovely lyric that is the title to this post. You and your little birds, Lila and Lucia, mean so much to me. This post is about family and friends are the family you choose. I chose you all those crazy years ago. Thank you.)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In my previous incarnations, I was gangly and painfully people-stop-you-on-the-street-and-tell-you-to-eat thin with big hair and a big nose. I was idealistic, opinionated and kind, but I was single minded in my plan to, as my mother would say, get the hell out of dodge. I wanted so desperately to leave the isolated, close-minded, small town I grew up in and I think I believed the only way to do this was to abstain from anything that too closely resembled fun so that I wouldn't get sucked in. (Now, of course, I did have some fun, but those years were far more serious then I would wish for any potential future child of mine.) At the time, I believed the only future for people who stayed in my town was to become one or more of the following: a fisherman, a fisherman's wife, a drunk and/or a bigot. (Nothing against fishermen or their spouses and absolutely nothing against alcohol, but from a very young age I wanted something different.) I wish I could go back and grab my smaller self by the shoulders, shake her and encourage her to lighten up, have more fun, take more chances and, for the love of God, drink an alcoholic beverage before college! However, as Maya Angelou has said, "You did then what you knew how to do." I doubt very much that she meant, "If you knew enough to go back to your teenage years and try a little experimental drinking, you would have." You never know though, you just never know.
My journals outlined my achingly isolated life and how deeply I longed to experience more of the world, how deeply I longed to experience... joy.
As it turns out, I was wrong. It is embarrassing to go back and read my entries from the past. Some of the content of these diaries has made me call my best friend Carina, who I met on the last day of kindergarten and who was by my side through many of the adventures I wrote about in these journals, at midnight crying tears of hysterical laughter. (For example, the entry in which I wrote down all of the lyrics to, ahem, a Celine Dion song because it was the only way I could possibly explain the deep feelings I had for a boy whose name I can no longer remember had us rolling.)
I guess, more than anything, what I learned from going back and reading my old journals (other than the humor found in childhood entries that contain, "I get to spend the night with Heather! Hooray! She has a hot tub and a Nintendo and a puppy!") is that I have always walked a line (cue Johnny Cash) between pride and shame regarding my past. I am torn between being embarrassed by the pages and pages of unrequited love rants I wrote about twelve year old boys (I was, thankfully, also twelve years old at the time) and knowing that this is the job of sixth grade girls the world over. I am torn between being proud I found a way to get through what felt intolerably oppressive, even if it meant becoming a somewhat prudish sixteen year old, and wishing I could go back and tell that girl to sneak out of the house at least once. I walk the line between being incredibly thankful to have grown up amidst such hard working people who were, without a doubt, doing the very best they could and being so relieved that I, for lack of a different phrase, got the hell out of dodge and experienced things found only outside the confines of that small town.
Maybe this is why we grow up: to look back and think how very lucky we have been to have come so very far. What I know for sure is that, through it all, I still embarrass myself regularly with my awkward dorkiness. I still write down lyrics to songs and get excited about hot tubs and puppies and the occasional video game. I long for the simplicity of the place I used to call home, but am happy to only visit and then come back to the city with big plans for big travels ahead. I love to listen to John I-still-miss-the-Cougar Mellencamp sing, "gonna die in this small town." However, I love to travel far too much to ever die (and these are probably famous last words) in the town where I was born and raised. Although I can still be very serious, somewhere along the way I discovered a love affair with silliness, said goodbye to my past prudish tendencies and started a very long term relationship with cocktails.
If I could tell that younger, skinner, more idealistic version of Kathleen anything, I would say: Someday a part of you will love where you grew up. You will be proud of where you came from and you will be proud that you knew, even at such a young age, that you wanted more. Someday you will find that more. Someday you will find like-minded, equally opinionated people who don't, for example, talk about those outside of their race with hatred. Someday you will find those people and you will fit. Someday you will travel and you will travel far. You will fall in love with seeing the world through different eyes, through different cultures and these travels will change your life. Someday love will no longer be unrequited. Someday you will surprise yourself with your own confidence, your own uncontrollable laughter, your own joy. Someday you will be happier than you ever thought possible. I can't promise it will last. In fact, I can promise that it won't, but it will keep coming back to you, again and again, because you are, at your core, a deeply and unapologetically happy person. You just don't know it yet.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I first watched this movie when I was thirteen with my mom, aunt and cousins. My mother and I were the only ones to stay up throughout the entire movie and I sat on her lap and cried because, well, I was just that scared. For three weeks, I slept with the lights on. That was the first scary movie I had ever seen and it did the job. I've been hooked ever since. I'm still afraid of those two spooky girls standing at the foot of my bed saying, "Come and play with us. Forever and ever and ever."
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I love the picture I posted below because Jenner looks so funny and I look absolutely, unabashedly happy.
Monday, February 9, 2009
A highlight of this rather low day was finding W Magazine's March layout of new Madonna photos. I have loved this woman since I was a little girl (even though I have the sneaking suspicion that if I met her, I would probably not like Ms. Ciccone). Although I have been somewhat turned off by the split with Guy Ritchie and the whole A-Rod fiasco, these pictures take me back to the 80's when my room was covered in similarly unsuitable images and I tried to convince my best friend, Carina, that I liked Madonna more than she did. (Oh, and let's not forget the time I told my mother that the word virgin meant tiger. There was a tiger in the video, after all.)