Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day

Finally getting to the other side of the mountain, with a clearer perspective on life. With that in mind, my focus today is Top Chef. (Note: I've had a fantastic wish of being a chef for over ten years now. Had I known such things as Culinary School existed, I may have had a different life.)

And then there were five: Richard, Spike, Antonia, Stephanie, and Lisa.

Eww... The challenge is a Tomahawk Steak cutting race in a meat packing facility. Meat is yummy, but a giant slab of cattle just loses the appeal. OOooo! Rick Tramanto is the guest judge for the challenge! Now I really want a giant steak, but I'll have mine cooked medium.

Spike wins the Quick Fire and the troops get to cook in Chef Rick's kitchen. (!!!) I had dinner about half an hour ago but watching them get their dishes together is making me hungry.

And look who are the guest judges: Harold, Huang, and Ilan. The former is being constructive, the latter two are being snobby. Even the other judges aren't as harsh. I think it's between Richard and Spike to go home.

For the record, I like to laugh when I hear some of the pretentious crap that comes out of any judge's mouth during any of the tastings. It's the same reaction I have when I hear people talk about wine.

Moving on... I will post this and watch the end, chatting w/DO by text and guessing who will be the Final Four.

I will say that writing vapid thoughts about 'reality TV' helps keep my mind occupied. I've come to terms with losing my friend and now I'm learning to accept that the sky will be a little less blue for some time. It's still surreal, but life continues and I choose to live it with open arms.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ain't No Sunshine

from the San Antonio Express News:

Lisa Marie Castro, born March 15, 1970 in San Antonio, TX, went to be with the Lord on May 18, 2008 at the age 38. She was preceded in death by her father, Alejandro Castro. Lisa is survived by her mother, Inez Castro and companion, Robert Engel; her brothers, Alex and Mark Castro; aunts and uncles, Mary Arroyo, Celso Zepeda, Victoria Matustik, Consuelo and Raymond Gutierrez (her godparents), Jose Zepeda, Janie Kypuros, Lupe Tygett, Marty Zepeda and Isabel Zepeda. She is also survived by many loving cousins and a multitude of faithful friends.

Click to play Lisa Marie

Until I see you again on the other side of the shore, I love you...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Give Me Something to Believe In

(Christmas 2006: Suze, Claudia and Carla up front, Lisa Marie and I in back)

Since I was flying out today to visit Mom, I took Friday off and spent a good chunk of it with Lisa Marie in the hospital. Had a conversation with her, fed her some Whataburger and fries that her Auntie Marty brought over, but I mostly watched her sleep.

So I prayed.

Well, I tried to. It's been ages since I've actually done it so instead I had a conversation with God. And I held Lisa's hand. I wasn't able to tell her all the things I wanted to without making her upset, so instead I focused on making her laugh.

It was really hard not to start bawling when I went to grab a bite and beer with DO and Nat after leaving the hospital. I did lose it a bit after getting home and having a few beverages; DO encouraged me to cry it out.

All we can do now is wait. I have such mixed feelings about my trip to New England today...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow...

I hate hospitals. I know I've said it before, but each visit seems to only get worse. On top of this, I walked in with greater dread and tears in my eyes today. I found myself rubbing a huge glob of the free hand sanitizer on my hands the entire elevator ride.

My beautiful friend, my sister from another mother, is dying. The doctors came back and said yesterday that the cancer is metastatic and that they will manage her pain and illnesses in an effort to keep her comfortable. Two weeks at best, two months tops.

I've said these words five times today, and it's still not getting better.

What. The. Fuck.

I'm angry.
I'm angry that the hands I held will no longer be able to play with her dog.
I'm angry that she won't be able to go shoe shopping and comment on the smells of the store.
I'm angry that she won't be able to go for her long hikes, shop at Whole Foods, bake giant chocolate chip cookies, or try new wines.
I'm angry that I won't have her around to do all the sisterly things she's ever done.
I'm angry that the world is losing a great spirit, compassionate heart, and funny soul.

I'm scared that she won't be here when I get back from visiting Mom.
I'm scared to say goodbye to her, I don't know that I'll have the words to tell her what a wonderful friend she is.

My dearest Lisa Marie -
I am a better person because of your friendship. Your endless patience, curiosity and compassion has taught me that there is always a light in the storm, laughter in the heart ache, goodness in everyone, adventures to be had, and so much more.

My beautiful sister -
You've held my hand when my heart was breaking, reminding me that it would all pass. You've listened and shared at our sushi talks and martini laughs, reminding me that great friends are hard to find. I've valued your honesty and support more that I can express.

My beloved friend -
You are stronger than all of us, fighting and laughing your way through this so much that the rest of us can't help but smile. There are too few people who can pull off a feather boa and funny socks in a hospital gown.

I need to get these words out now, because I don't think I'll be able to remember them all tomorrow. Will I say the things I need to say?

And for the record, this is a really fucked up deal. Yes, yes, reason for everything, blah blah. Still fucked.