Dienstag, 21. Juli 2015

8th wedding anniversary

"Hey-mom told me that you guys picked a day for the wedding!  July 21st, right?  A perfect day as I see it.  Let me break it down numerologically for your punk ass. Twenty one is a perfect number in Black Jack.  We all know that.  But 7, the number associated with the month of July, is perfect too, not just in craps, or in slot machines, but also in the book of revelations, and in popular movies like "seven brides for seven brothers," "The seven year itch," and "seven" (well, maybe you should forget those last two).  Also, if you divide 7 into 21 you get three.  7 and 3 are both prime numbers, the purest numbers there are, bitch.  And three is universally recognized as a perfect number, not only in school house rock, in which it was celebrated as "the magic number," but again in the bible, where yout got all kinds of threes - not least of which is the father, the son, and the holy ghost.  Hello?  Also, don't forget the three stooges, the three Marx Brothers, the Three Caballeros, the Three Amigos, the Three Little Bears, and Huey, Louey and Dewey, the three nephews.  And guess what?  When you add the digits of the number of the day, what do you get?  Two and one are three!  I'm telling you, this shit is unbelievable.  Plus, it'll be the year 07.  That means that not only do you have seven again, but here you have two out of three of the numbers of the greatest spy in History, OK?  And if you say those numbers out loud your practically singing the chorus of one of the greatest reggae songs of all time, "007 (Shantytown)" by Desmond Dekker and the Aces.  So basically,  good going with the date.  I don't even think there could be a better date than July 21st. In fact, I dare you to think of one better.  Go ahead.  Do it."
I think of this email from my brother every year on our anniversary. If luck plays a role, then we picked a lucky day. If the support of family plays a role, than Ivo and I are in for a long and happy marriage. 

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2015

owning stories

Ivo and I subscribe to the rule that once we've heard a story 3 times, it belongs to us; a wonderful gift from our marital role models, Kendra and Zak. As in, I can tell an Ivo story in the first person if he's told it to me 3 times already. Typically, I will patiently listen to the 3rd telling in it's entirety and then ask him "Did I ever tell you about the time I...?" and then quote his story right back to him.
But I love hearing his stories. And would gladly hear them over and over.
One thing that many of my friends and loved ones have had to endure me talking too much about is how long Ivo and I have been trying to become parents.
But low and behold, I got an email from Ivo's goddaughter asking about our attempts to adopt in 2010. Apparently she can not yet say that she had to go through 2 state approvals to get in a waiting pool for an open adoption. She can't say that she got a call in Tucamcari, while traveling rt 66, asking if she'd be willing to adopt a child who'd been born the day before with a risk of epilepsy. She won't yet get to say that she said yes in Las Vegas, NM and got the call saying that the parents had chosen to raise the child on their own in Albequerque at a ceremonial dance show. She won't say that she waited to be able to adopt in Switzerland but found herself pregnant a month before she'd be allowed to. She may some day. But so far, either it was her first time hearing it, or she just needed it in writing for her Maturaarbeit (graduation thesis) on adoption.
Las Vegas, NM

Dienstag, 14. Juli 2015


As a kid, many of my schoolmates knew their ancestry to a point. That they were 1/8 or 1/16 or 1/20 this European or African people or something.
Here, I'm foreign. People think that I'm Dutch or Belgian or similar until I say that I'm American. But that's that. 100% American. There's no need to go into the schoolyard 1/2 Portuguese, 1/2 UK mutt, except with two cleaners in our building. One is a super sweet cleaning woman who does a couple of flats in our building, Lydia. Like many Portuguese immigrants, gets by in Switzerland on her french knowledge. When we first met and were trying to communicate, she said that she didn't speak German but that she understood it and I said that my French was the same. She asked "Ne tu parle portugais?" and I said no "Je suis Américainne." But she'd thought that I might be portuguese.
Lydia's husband, Norberto, once asked if I had portuguese family as well and I told him my grandparent's last names. "I was nearly named Joaquim! It's a first name!" I agreed that it was and he told me the story of how he came to be called Norberto.
The day that Norberto was born, his father was over the moon to have a son. He celebrated with some friends, nearly forgetting that it was his responsibility to get the baby registered at the town hall. He had to return the next day, and by then, another baby Joaquim had been born and registered promptly. "But a Norberto just died, you could have that name." Apparently this was a teensy tiny town and duplicate names were unfavorable, so Norberto's papa registered his new son and returned home and worked himself up into a froth. He told his wife, "Our son will be called Norberto and that's the end of it! It's my choice and I've already registered him!"
So, Norberto was no longer Joaquim, but apparently held on to that story proudly. His two sons are called Ivo and Remo, the same as my husband and brother-in-law. Living in the big city means that his sons' names needn't be unique. So he named his boys after two boys whom he'd watched grow up and thought to be intelligent, kind, respectful young men. And no happy celebration of their birth prevented him from giving them those names.

Dienstag, 7. Juli 2015

"It's too darn hot"

That was the song my roommate sang to me when our heating broke in our old apartment in the middle of winter. But today it isn't ironic. It's being written by a puddle of a woman.
Until now, I've tried to summon gratitude for the heat - or at least the sunshine - by remembering Jessy in the winter. But it was thoroughly mild this year and the only complaint that spurs grstitude was that of late sunrises.
Today, I'm trying to remember pleasant memories of heat. It started this morning. As I left on my bike, I rembered our evening in Needles, CA, the hottest place in the southwest statistically, and the waves emanating from the asphalt.
I remembered hiking in Tuscany on our first wedding anniversary and losing my breath, as Ivo said "but this heat is dry." And I argued that humodity is great for hiking and acts as a nebulizer.
I remembered the weekend I fell in love with Ivo, May 2004. hours before I realized the intensity of my feelings for him, he opened his car door and the moist heat of Philadelphia invaded our previously air-conditioned space and he groaned "oh, no!" In a way reminiscent of someone realizing that they'd lost there leyes back in another state. The following "I can't do this!" was vexing, as I wondered "Does he mean 'I can't leave this car' or '...go apartment hunting with you' or '...imagine a long distance relationship that involves visiting a place with the temp and moisture of my bloodstream.'?
I've briefly visited the memories of all the times I've had sun/heat stroke and/or fainted, but only as motivation to eat a banana (a food I loathe). Mainly, while I'm turning into a puddle here and Ivo is navigating the news in Greece (in astonishingly cooler temps) I'm just marinating in the memories of Ivo and I in sweltering temperatures.