Help me, I’ve fallen into the chasm of probability algorithms and I can’t get out!

School has begun, which means that my Statistics course is actively underway and trying to kill me slowly. Thank goodness for coffee and Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, am I right?

AM I RIGHT? Of course I am.

Essentially, while doing stats, this is me:

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Technically, I’m the worst in the world at this. Naturally, I’ve been spending an inordinant amount of time trying to do other things. Like pinning things.

…and singing this song in my head:

Note: my dear friend has finally started to read the LOTR books. This is important for two reasons. First, I now have someone with whom I can geek out hardcore and say things like, “Can’t we just run away to Mirkwood? It’s got to be better than this!” and someone know exactly what I mean. Second, I have someone to sing this song with.

We’re going to Mooooooordor (Moooooooordor!)

Hang in there, kittens. It’s almost Friday.

Saying goodbye to Robin Williams.

I didn’t mourn my childhood when I left it.

This hadn’t occurred to me until the death of Robin Williams. I left my childhood behind with the same vigor with which I had participated in it. I did not grieve for my innocence. I did not weep for my loss of wonder and lack of skepticism. Rather, I bounded over such simplicity for independence and freedom and the great, wide world in front of me.

Now, it feels very empty in this great, wide world of mine. Now, I wish desperately to return to a time when my universe was small, before I knew the sting of loss or the definition of words like “suicide” or “depression” or “hopelessness.”

I did not know Robin Williams personally – let me begin by making that clear. And yet, as so many of us have commented over these past days, we did know him or, at the very least, we felt as if we did. I cannot speak for other generations, but for those of us who were children in the 1990’s, he was the voice of our very childhood. He was the genie who made us believe in magic, the mad scientist who made us believe in the possibility within the impossible, the man who just wanted things to go back to the way they were. He was the good father, the dreamer, the man who would do anything for those he loved.

This, friends, is what I can’t shake.

I won’t write about depression. There are those far more qualified than I who have taken this tragic event and started a very important conversation about how we need to be more compassionate to our fellows, about how we need to educate ourselves about mental illness and become comfortable talking about it. We need to remove the stigmas. We need to breathe empathy into this world.

These last weeks have been hard to bear. Genocide, war, famine, and countless other atrocities cover the newstape end to end. And yet,  here I sit weeping over the death of a comedian. Here I sit weeping over the irony of the fact that a man who brought so much joy and laughter to the world was unable to bring any to himself. His cup overflowed with the capacity to give laughter and yet, it seems, his brain would not let him partake.

I will grieve for Robin Williams. I will grieve for my childhood, long passed me now. I will grieve for the fact that when I tell my future children about Robin Williams, it will be in the past tense. That when I tell them about Robin Williams, I will have to say, “He was a man who clearly loved to make people laugh. He was a man who was the best at making people laugh and, from what I’m told, he was a beautiful, gentle human being as well.”

We need more of those.

As his daughter, Zelda, commented, “the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”

We must, then,  work twice as hard. As I see it, we don’t have a choice.

Once, when a guest on Inside the Actor’s Theater, James Lipton asked Robin, “ If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?” He said he’d accept God telling him a joke, just so that he’d know that, if heaven is real, there’s laughter there.

I am not without hope. In The Dead Poets Society, Robin quotes Whitman to his students, saying, “That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

I keep coming back to that question – what will your verse be? What indeed?

I think the legacy of Robin Williams is that we should all make an effort every day to make someone’s day a little brighter for having crossed our paths. May we use humor to light the dark corners. May we use compassion to heal wounds. May we have the courage to reach out to our fellows and say to them, “You are not alone.”

Let compassion, whatever else, be the tone of our verse.

I wish him peace. Above all, perhaps, I wish him the same kind of joy he brought to so many of us – an eternity filled with belly-clutching laughter and a knowledge that, somehow in the end, everything is going to be okay.

On Robin Williams…

I’m not really ready to write about Robin Williams. I admire and envy those who composed such beautiful tributes last night. I’m not there yet, however. Last night, I grew more and more upset with every status and tweet I read. I couldn’t place it. Then, my friend Ellen wrote that, “It somehow feels in reflecting on Robin Williams’s death and, subsequently, his work, like we’re simultaneously (re)mourning the end of our childhoods.” She’s absolutely right. So, I’m mourning my childhood as I mourn the loss of such a bright talent. 

My husband and I were talking last night and we realized that there will never be a “new” Robin Williams movie to take our future kids to. There are the old ones, though. And they’re good enough. This is hardly comprehensive, but these moments used to make me laugh and cry. I’m glad that they still do.

 


And as so many have said, if life feels a little too heavy to carry, don’t drop it. Please reach out for a helping hand. If you know of someone who is hurting, be a friend.

On Anniversaries…

Today marks my second anniversary to one very special human being.

To Carter: I love you more today than yesterday and, if we’re being honest, I loved you more yesterday than the day before. Though, that could be because you were being especially difficult on Saturday. (I kid, I kid.) We were at a wedding recently (congrats Maureen and TJ!). In her vows, the bride said, “If I could give you one gift, it would be the ability to see yourself the way I see you.” I know you remember this, Carter, because that’s the part of the wedding where I burst into tears, which always makes you very uncomfortable. I cried because that’s exactly what I wish for you. We don’t live in in a wizarding sort of world, alas, and so I’ll have to make do with what we have. If you could see yourself the way I see you, you would see how kind, compassionate, loving, funny, and wonderful you are. You would see a man who people admire for his ethics and his compass. You would see a man who is brave in the way that counts. (You know, that Mufasa sort of way. We’ve talked about this dozens of times.) Above all, I think, you would see one of the most amazing human beings that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. You’re tops, Carter, and I look forward to 6o anniversaries and beyond.  I couldn’t have picked a better partner.

To our family and friends: Thanks for loving us the way you do. Thanks for your support, kindness, and friendship. We love you very much.

To my friends who took bets that I would be pregnant by our second anniversary: Suck it. You all owe me $20.

And now, because I clearly haven’t posted enough wedding photos up here, I’m going to post some more.

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I know the best ladies around. Be jealous.

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Pre-bride

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Post-bride. This one always makes me smile. Glad that dress knocked you socks off, babe. 🙂

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Maid of Honor/Best Man “Let’s do these toasts!” high five, whilst I look on judgmentally. Proof: I have resting bitch face. EVEN AT MY WEDDING, I have resting bitch face.

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These faces kill me. Every time.

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We had some professional Wobbledancers on our hands. I refuse to say Wobblers.

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It’s easy to be married to you, Carter. And with friends like those ^, I’d say we’re pretty lucky. Happy Anniversary, Bird.

I’m in a glass case of anxiety.

I’m waiting for some rather big news about grad school. I’ve been waiting for 6 months for this news, but today is the deadline. As in…[source]

Now, because I am nothing if not a perfectly rational person, I have been coping with the stress by allowing my body to consume itself from the inside out, and not in that sexy, tapeworm sort of way. Rather, as my anxiety has reached a fever pitch this week, my body has reacted with insomnia, nausea, headaches, lightheadedness, and general misery.

And no, kittens – I ain’t pregnant. I checked. After all, taking pregnancy tests might be my superpower. I know, I know. It’s a huge sacrifice to do so much for the betterment of the world, but someone’s got to.

Anyway, life must go on, right? Even when waiting for news and chewing my fingernails off, I still have responsibilities to attend to. The art must go on.

I was painting this morning and watching The Golden Girls in the background. This is, normally, a perfect and amazing life choice. This morning, however, it was the episode where Sophia thinks she’s dying. That part isn’t as heavy as you’d expect. But then Rose tells Dorothy the story of her husband’s heart attack and how he asked her to dress him before the paramedics arrived and then they got in a fight because she was trying to put white pants on him in December and then he told her he loved her and died. And then Rose says, “I dressed him in gray flannel pants and a blue shirt. And he looked very handsome for the paramedics.”

And that’s the part where I started sobbing hysterically.

Let me tell you, my crying face makes Kim Kardashian’s look freakin’ gorgeous. Puckered lips. Swollen eyes. Snot bubbles.

I know. Gross. I’m just keeping it real for you. I’ll keep you posted with the news, good or bad. Until then, I can be reached on the floor, where I will be clutching a frantically-trying-to-escape labradoodle and sobbing hysterically, possibly screaming, “F*ck you, Rose Nylund! F*ck you, you beautiful, sensitive nitwit!”

See? Perfectly rational and even-keeled.

Happy Friday, y’all!