Man Plans. God Laughs.

I really think it's tacky to announce a lot of life's major events and milestones on Twitter or Facebook. Like, if I ever tell you I'm pregnant that way, I should be banned from ever touching a keyboard again.

Likewise, I think it's pretty unfortunate to see status updates about people who have died. And I kind of cringe at all the "my prayers are with you" messages that pop-up. The intentions are there, and I appreciate that, but they are usually riddled with emoticons and/or spelling that hurts me.

But in this day and age where a good chunk of my connection with people, including some of my closest friends, happens in those forums, I can't really avoid it. Though there's probably a better way of making those announcements than I've yet to come up with.

All this is to say that life is fucked up. And weird. And stuff always happens at the same time. And there's no good way of telling people. Hence this blog post. Here's this week:

  • My sister's wedding invitations went out, and I helped write the announcement that will hopefully make it into the New York Times. (This will be hilarious.)
  • My step-aunt died yesterday at age 68.
  • My grandfather (other side of the family) turns 92 today.

Saba, just a few weeks ago, with my brother Reuben. It's strange how these things happen in close proximity, and in such stark contrast. Almost as if someone (God?) is making a point. Not that I'm so up on God these days.

Example: one of the first things my sister said to me when we got the news about Aunt Mary Jo was, "Oh, E, the wedding invitation will show up at her house tomorrow."

Yeah, funny, huh?'s life.

And even when bad things happen, that's just how it goes. It's better to concentrate on the good stuff, like 92nd birthdays and weddings. And even just remembering a really cool lady, who was really happy to add more nieces to her brood when my mom married her brother. And thinking about how happy she'd be to get that invitation.

Mary Jo and her son Matt at his wedding.So, here's to the good stuff.

Saba, here's to you. 92 and still going strong. You kick ass. And won't approve of my language, but probably won't see this anyway. (Unless someone shows it to you. Please don't do that, family.) But just know that I'm smiling like you always give me a hard time about.

And here's to you, Aunt Mary Jo. You always had the funniest, under-the-radar, sarcastic lines at family meals. And you understood more than anyone that family has absolutely nothing to do with genetics. I'll miss you.

Dogs...Cats...Mass Hysteria

I had a lot of directions I could go with this blog post title. It's been one of those weeks where a whole lot of big things started to go down. In that "when it rains it pours" kind of way. "Raining and pouring" led to "dogs and cats" lead to...Ghostbusters. All roads lead to Ghostbusters. No? Well, they should.

I digress.

I had a good week. It started with breaking through a big professional hurdle. As a new agent, I've had a lot of firsts these 2 years, but I have many firsts still ahead of me. As the kind of person who wants to be kick-ass at her job, the fact that a few haven't happened IMMEDIATELY has been frustrating. But I'm also insanely impatient. And yet, it happened, and I'm thrilled.

And THEN a million other things started congealing (congealing? gross...) all at once. Another interesting professional development, and maybe a good personal one too. 

Like, what's WITH that? How can things be so mediocre or even crappy for so long with no sign of breaking, and then BAM! The universe starts handing you things. And then you realize, shockingly, you're happy. I almost don't want to say it for fear of jinxing it.

Mass hysteria, I tell you. 

Life's Semicolons

This won't mean much to most of you, but Ernie Harwell died. He was a longtime baseball broadcaster in Detroit, for some crazy 50 years. Sure, he was still the steady voice of the Detroit Tigers when I was growing up, but he was more of a steady presence for my father, who'd listened to him for his entire life. 

This morning my dad sent me a text message (well, 2 because it was so long) saying:

Ernie Harwell's passing is one of those life's semicolons; causing those, at least of my generation, to pause and ponder the passing of one of those subtle constants that moors one's life. He epitomized baseball which in itself epitomizes certain immutable values of Americana. His passing is worth noting.

While I really enjoy my father's actual use of a semicolon after using that phrase (because I'm like that), and how eloquent my father can be over text message (he also says OMG when texting about hockey), I've always liked that expression. That built-in moment in life of stopping to think, "Huh." 

It's weird to think about things from your childhood no longer existing...especially when they are people. That sense of nostalgia is so bittersweet, because it's a great memory but you get slapped upside the head by the impermanence of pretty much anything. The things that feel constant won't be forever. 

Not to make myself seem stupid and young, but I imagine this must happen so much more often the older you get. My parents are both turning 60 this year, and while I don't think that's old by any stretch, I'm sure they're spending a lot of time going "How did THAT happen?" Hell, I think that as I get closer to 30. It's young, but not that young. There's so much left to do.

But back to the point, I'm sad about Ernie Harwell. He retired several years ago, but it's weird to think of that being permanently done. And I'm sad for my dad, who gets hit really hard by his sentimentality and nostalgia. But at least he has the entire Ernie Harwell box set to listen to and think about great things like baseball.