Homer Sunday, Oct 29 2006 

It’s been a while, and it’s been a tough while at that. My grandfather, Homer, died last week. That fact alone should give you an idea how I’ve been.

I don’t want to go into deep detail or anything, but I do want to talk about it a little. Homer had a heart attack. He was found slumped over in his car. He was 82. He had diabetes and hadn’t been in the best health over the past few years. My mom pointed out that she should have known that he wasn’t doing well — he was confused lately, missed holidays, got lost on the way to her old house once.

I’m really upset. I miss him, and love him, and sometimes it hits me that I’m never going to see him ever again, and it makes me miserable. But in spite of that, I’ve accepted it. I’m at peace with it, and I was at peace from the beginning. He had a long life, and had an especially wonderful past few years with his wife, Maryann, whom he married four years ago. That makes it easier to deal with.

Homer was my grandmother’s companion since just before I was born. He was always my grandfather, and he was my only grandfather, since both of my parents’ fathers died when they were teenagers.

He once came to my Humanities class freshman year of high school to talk about his experiences being a black soldier during World War II and his experiences at war and at home afterward, and how he was treated. (Later, I overheard a few of my classmates saying, “I didn’t know Kate was black!” I decided to let them wonder.)

Wakes are always the worst part. Seeing the body and kneeling in front of it is awful. This is the time when everyone cries the most.

And I don’t understand the point of praying for someone’s soul. Unless you honestly believed that they might not have gotten into heaven. Whenever I hear that someone has died, I always think, “God, please help their family.” Now I was the family. I kneeled in front of the casket, tears falling down (I try my hardest not to cry in public like that, but it doesn’t get worse than that), and thought, “Goodbye. I love you. Watch over us. Protect us. Keep us safe, keep us healthy, keep us together for a long time.”

I’ve always felt that when people die, they become omniscient. If at any point I think about Noni — my grandmother who was with Homer — I just know that she hears me, she knows what I’m thinking, and she knows exactly what’s going on. It’s the same for everyone who’s dead. And yes, this means that they know every single thing you do.

But there’s a hole in the logic, or if not a hole, it’s just an unnerving reality. Once I was in the shower and thinking about people who are dead, and my thoughts turned to Mr. Swanson, one of my Humanities teachers from high school. In fact, he was the teacher who put together Homer’s visit. (Now, don’t get up on me about thinking about Mr. Swanson in the shower. Don’t try to tell me that you don’t do any random thinking in the shower!!) And I thought to myself — WAIT. IF HE KNOWS THAT I’M THINKING ABOUT HIM, HE PROBABLY SEES ME NAKED. IF HE KNOWS EVERYTHING, HE KNOWS WHAT I LOOK LIKE NAKED. EEK!!

Well, nowadays, I just relax and think to myself that if random people know what I look like naked, they’re probably peaceful and accepting about it.

I have to say that it was really nice to meet so much of Homer’s family, who came up from D.C. and Georgia. It’s too bad that you only see family at funerals or weddings. And I haven’t been to a lot of weddings.

The party after the funeral was nice. We were eating great food and talking and laughing. One of Homer’s nephew’s is the CEO of Cracker Barrell (seriously. And jokes were told, and he told me to watch what I said!). And Homer’s sister Ruby, who we stayed with in D.C. once, wore the most AMAZING outfit — a champagne-colored suit, tailored beautifully with a bell-shaped skirt, trimmed with fur, with a matching hat and gold shoes. And a cream-colored cape trimmed with more fur. I gushed over how much I loved it. Now THAT’S a funeral outfit!

And then my mom stood up and suggested we tell stories and anecdotes about Homer, since there hadn’t been eulogies at the Mass. She started by talking about how she always loved how Homer would take her hand for a dance with him, since she never got to have a dance with her own father. She started crying, and that set me off again. And of course, she then looked at me and said, “Kate?” Like I could continue after that! I deferred to Sarah. I forget what she said; I was trying to get under control. And then I spoke, telling the story that everyone loves. I couldn’t help crying through it. When I was four or so, or at least when Sarah was a baby, I was walking with Homer and Noni on the beach (and know that whenever it pertains to my childhood, “the beach” is Revere Beach) and I kept putting rocks in Homer’s pockets. I put in so many that his sweatpants were falling down. Noni tried telling me that that was enough, but I kept putting in more, and Homer just kept smiling and laughing and holding up his pants.

Next, Sandy gave such a moving eulogy, I think everyone in the room was crying. I’ve always known Sandy as a friend of my mom’s family, but I never knew that she was the one who introduced Homer and Noni. And then Maryann’s daughter Krystal started to speak. She said that Homer was the only father she had ever known, but then she began crying so hard she couldn’t finish. Maryann hugged her, and she said, “I just wish….” and we all knew what she meant. She’s pregnant with her first child, and she wishes that Homer had a chance to meet the baby, and vice versa.

What I know more than anything is that Homer and Noni are together — she helped him across the bridge, as my mom always says — and my auntie Jill said, “She probably yelled, ‘What took you so long?'” That’s what matters. And though I feel so bad for Maryann, I know she’ll be okay.

I didn’t think I could write about anything else until I wrote about Homer. I’m feeling better now.

Thanks especially to Erica and Lisa, and to Nadine and Curran and Max and Mike at work for being so nice to me and understanding this past week.


The Aftermath Thursday, Oct 19 2006 

People say that it takes time to adjust to a haircut. So should it be a surprise that I know exactly how many milimeters (1.6) it’s grown since I chopped it off?

Seriously. This is the biggest mistake of my life.

At least I can still pull it into a French twist, albeit with a LOT of bobby pins.

By Christmas, it’ll be shoulder-length, and I guess that will be somewhat normal. But I can’t wait until it hangs all the way down my back again, long and curly. I had it SO GOOD! I never knew it!!

At work, I got the nicest thank you from the guy whose proposal I planned. His girlfriend said yes! 🙂 I’m thrilled. He told me he’s going to call me this week so that his girlfriend can tell me, too! Can you believe that?! I’m thrilled for them.

How ironic is that, me planning a marriage proposal?! Hahaha. It was fun, though. As long as it wasn’t for myself. SINGLE AND FABULOUS, BABY!

I have a ton of pics to post about last Friday night with Lisa and Erica and our shirts that we had guys write on — I’m still amused that my coworker Luca had to draw a nipple on me, using the hot pink marker, of course. LOL.

It’s so nice to write — with the commute and everything, I always feel completely drained, like I don’t have time for anything. But as I’ve said before, I couldn’t work anywhere else than Boston. And I’ll live there in a few months. (Might as well save the money now, though! My savings account runneth over!)

And, of course, now I can’t think of anything to write about.

It’s always like that, isn’t it?

The Haircut Sunday, Oct 15 2006 

How could I let this happen?!

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! Sunday, Oct 15 2006 

I got a haircut yesterday. I should have asked the hairdresser to only take off three inches or so.

Ten inches, in some places, were chopped off. I could have qualified for LOCKS OF LOVE.

My mom shrieked when she saw me, then yelled at me for getting rid of my signature look.

I’ve chopped it off a few times before, but it’s nearly always been at least shoulder-length. And I LOVE having long hair. It was just too tough to deal with and dry and straggly at the ends….

Long curly hair. All gone.

It’s above my shoulders now.

It makes my face look fat.

I’ll be shopping for a few hats at Target later today.

Reunions everywhere! Saturday, Oct 7 2006 

Again, it’s been a while. It’s tough to keep up with this when I have a 13-hour day, from when I wake up until I get home. But here goes.

Going back to Fairfield was a really great time. It was awesome seeing my friends, and James and Mike were wonderful hosts. We went to a party at Lauren’s house off-campus, a gathering at Joe Duffy’s townhouse, and ended up at quite the interesting bar in Westport. I drank copious amounts of alcohol, since there was a really hot guy giving out shots at the bar. Might as well go back to college 100%.

In retrospect, it was probably a little too early to go back — but I don’t care. It was just great to see my friends, since so many of them are seniors at FU this year. I’m really hoping to make it to the Philadelphia concert, but when my schedule changes, I’m not sure that that will be possible.

And Kelly came up to Woburn! She’s working for admissions at St. Joe’s in Philadelphia, and this month they’re sending her up to Massachusetts — staying in the next town over! I went over to see her, and we went to Joe’s, MY Joe’s, since it was right down the street. And we had Adriana, who was my favorite coworker — she’s Brazilian and got everyone to start calling me Cleuza, which is the name of a character on a Brazilian soap opera. They all thought I looked just like her — do you agree? And a bunch of my favorite former coworkers were there, so it was great. We definitely got VIP treatment! (I have to say, though, the calamari was disappointing — it was overgrown and enormous, which you think would be better, but I liked it tiny!)

We then went to Venetian Moon, the fabled Martini Bar, so I could show her Reading and bring her to one of my favorite local haunts (being pretty much the only bar in town that isn’t a Chili’s). We had some delicious martinis — key lime pie for me and chocolate for her — and mingled with scary men and some people that I recognized from Reading High as being a year younger than me. THAT was weird.

Kelly’s coming up next week, too, and she’s going to stay over at my house this time.

And tonight Alexa’s coming home for a little bit! I’m loving it. It’s a full-fledged reunion, these past few weeks. Grant is with her, and we’re going out to Fire & Ice with Lisa tonight — they love that place. And then Lisa and I read about a pub crawl that we might check out the scene on or actually take part it….

And Sars is home this weekend, too, but of course, is spending the bulk of it with her friends, who are all home from college for the first time.

I’ve resumed my research for apartments, but I just can’t get over how much money I’m saving by being at home….I think that it might come to me holding off until March or so, when the heating costs are lower. Think of all that money being saved….it’s going in my travel-around-the-world-for-a-year fund.

Time to get ready for the day — keep on tranglin’!