Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Last Few Days

I have passed a few really lovely days.

Blue and Arabis in Fairyland

On Saturday, Arabis and I went to Children's Fairyland with my friend Lisa and her son, Blue. Arabis and Blue have known each other for over two years and it is adorable to watch the two of them together. He is enamored of her and she being the strong-willed creature she is, gladly tugged him along after her. If anyone is interested, the full set of photos is here. For contrast, check out Blue and Arabis on their first trip to Fairyland together, almost two years earlier.

On Sunday, Mojo and I went to Forbidden Island to hear Meshugga Beach Party, a mock-Hassidic surf band while my mother agreed to spend the afternoon and evening with Arabis. Mojo and I got three and a half hours of alone time together, something we haven't had for far too long. After two sips of my first fruity rum drink my head began to spin and I remembered that the last meal I'd had was breakfast, having forgotten to eat lunch. Oops. We ordered food, had drinks and I got delightfully tipsy. We flirted and joked and managed to not talk about either kid for almost an hour and a half.

After Meshugga had packed up this woman came up to Mojo and I and handed me a flier for her book, Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe. We started talking and after a while she said, "You are Jewish, aren't you?"

I laughed, "No. I'm Armenian, but I get that all the time."

"Wow. I totally thought you were a member of the Tribe. That's okay. Do you still want the flier?"

I told her I did and would pass it on to a friend in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Arabis was at home with Grandma having a tea party. As Mojo and I were walking out the door I realized I had forgotten my phone and ran back in to get it. Arabis was sitting very primly at her little table while grandma sat on the sofa at the other side. She was holding out a demitasse cup and saucer to my mother and saying very properly in a mock British accent, "Would you like a cup of tea?" I melted just a little bit.

Yesterday was relatively mellow at home, culminated by two hours in the community garden. Some other tenants were there as well, and as the sun set my neighbor Brad blew bubbles for Arabis which she danced in and then gleefully popped. The two of them were laughing hysterically and I found myself sitting back in the twilight, watching and smiling and daring to think that life was actually pretty good.

I took a few 30 second videos but unfortunately cannot download them since Arabis spilled yogurt on the USB connector cable for my camera and it is dead. If anyone has a spare Sony VMC-MD1 Multi-Use Terminal Cable for Cyber-Shot cameras, I'd be eternally in your debt! I'll have to wait until the first of the month to order a new one.

Today, we got up early and made pancakes, Arabis helping me in the kitchen. I had her stir the batter and she started singing the Mexican Chocolate Song at the same time, while shaking her little hips back and forth:

"Bate, bate, chocolate
Tu nariz de cacahuate
Uno, dos, tres, CHO!
Uno, dos, tres, CO!
Uno, dos, tres, LA!
Uno, dos, tres, TE!
Chocolate, chocolate!
Bate, bate, chocolate!
Bate, bate, bate, bate,
Bate, bate, CHOCOLATE!"

I had to call her padrino (godfather), Tio Riqui, and held the phone near her so he could hear her singing in Spanish. Hopefully she's going to have a good grasp of both Spanish and Armenian as well as English.

I think today we may head up to Lake Anza and go swimming. She has been asking for it since we woke up and I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Oh, before I forget, I had the oddest dream this morning. What I remember of it is this:

Robin and I are going to Cat and Peter's house for some unknown reason and we are standing at the front door ringing the bell. Only it is not their house, but a house across the street with the last two numbers reversed (this actually happened. To my mortification, I transposed the numbers of their address one night and spent 20 minutes outside the wrong house waiting for them. In my exhaustion and distraction, I was convinced that they had given me the wrong address and admonished Peter for it. But it was my fault all along). So Robin and I are standing on the porch of this yellow house, ringing and ringing the bell and finally the door answers and there they are, still in their pajamas. Cat is wearing a loose fitting, light-colored, pajama top and bottom set with white bunny slippers and Peter is clad in a pink bunny suit with attached feet that zips up the front (like the sort kids wear, only much bigger). Robin and I ask why they aren't ready and they tell us that daylight savings time has ended and it is an hour earlier than we think it is. Embarassed we apologize and offer to go have coffee on Castro Street while they get dressed. Peter is laughing at us and then I woke up.

Very strange place to live, my brain. Hope you all have a magical day. We're going swimming!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The State of the Brain

Yesterday I was making lunch for Monkey Boi (my not-a-step-son who is here for the summer) and Arabis. Grilled cheese sandwiches with fruit was the order of the day. I made Arabis' first so it had time to cool a bit, carefully trimmed the crusts and cut it into four pieces. No problem.

Next comes the sandwich for Monkey Boi, which I grilled to a lovely tan color and set proudly on the table, retreating back into the kitchen area to make my own.

From the table I hear his tentative voice, "Um...do you know there is no cheese in this sandwich?"

That's right, folks. I forgot to put the cheese in his grilled cheese sandwich.

He was very good-natured about it and ate the toasted bread while I made him a new sandwich, and I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

I think I need a vacation. Calgon couldn't even begin to take me far enough away!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brian Dall'Armi

I wanted to get out a public post for any of our lost and scattered Tribe who may google Brian's name in search of information.

Photo by Peter Overstreet of Brian and Cat Taylor, February 2007

Brian Dall'Armi
5 August 1946 - 9 August 2008

Brian died last night a few minutes before midnight. Nell was at his side.

I spoke to Nell for almost an hour today and here is what she wanted me to tell all of you:

"Brian got away in time to make the 12 o'clock show. There won't be any arguing over who will drive (the band) because Ricker will take over as he always did, and Bob Thomas and Brian will be goofing off in the background. Most likely, they'll both be kicked off the stage at some point.

I can hear Ricker yelling at them now: 'No Middle Eastern hootchie-coo on my stage!'

Bob and Brian will sneak off to the coffee house in the sky and sit around the table telling stories and laughing. No one else will be able to get a word in edgewise!"

The Brian Dall'Armi Memorial Tour will include stops in Vallejo, the Northern California Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta and the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Exact dates have not been set at this time, but expect the Vallejo memorial to be anywhere from two to four weeks away, perhaps the beginning of September. Once plans have been solidified, I will update everyone.

Nell thanks you all for the visits and the emails she has received. She read the emails aloud to Brian in batches and is awed and blessed by the love that is coming from our community, our family. Many stories made her cry, more made her laugh and a few she hadn't even heard before.

She also wants to thank everyone for their offers of help. She has more than enough food in the refrigerator and even more in the freezer, and asks that everyone save their food and beer offerings for the memorial. She did mention most emphatically: NO CASSEROLES!

Please feel free to contact Nell by email but to refrain from calling as she still has many details to iron out and needs to keep the phone relatively open. If anyone would like her email, please comment here with an address I can reach you at privately and I will send you that information.

I was able to spend the afternoon with Brian and Nell yesterday. Many of the Brunos and other friends have been coming by in the last five days to sit by Brian's side and play music for him.

Brian was loved and respected for his many talents and he will be sorely missed. Another fiddler has joined that amazing band in the afterworld.