Monday, April 30, 2012

I Geek Boston (among other things)

Can we just talk about how much I love Boston? 

I knew that I liked it before, I've always been a baseball fan, thought the T was pretty easy to get around on, and felt like all my visits were a mini-adventure, so moving here for the fun stuff was a plus when I took the career advantages into consideration.  Now I was blessed to no longer have to nanny to pay the bills, because I have a job as a full time actor at a museum.  I feel like I have some freedom, a dream job with daytime work hours and the rest of the time to do what I want.  No cleaning, no waiting tables, no hour + commute... ahhh yes.

But let's just talk about how I have a new found pride in this city, as though Worcester were a faint memory.  My new job has taught me so much already in the first week about how amazing our history is, and how much our ancestors got done working as a team for a common goal of independence.  I think this year the 4th of July won't just be about the fireworks, but about how happy I am to be a part of the tourist experience and teach people about the rich and exciting history that is Boston, Massachusetts. 

(Alright it's a geeky thing to talk about, and YES I am fully aware that I'm not being very specific but I didn't want to dedicate a post to the French and Indian War and how it led to the Intolerable Acts because I didn't take the job to teach high school level history on my blog, I'm just saying it's a lot of fun when your acting job is to portray an important part of local and national history and culture.)

I'm so excited for my second summer living out here, it's unreal.  This will be the summer that I'm no longer a newcomer, but an experienced explorer.  I won't be completely poor, just making enough to still have a bit of fun once in a while.  I will have best friends that love to go on mini-adventures and a loving boyfriend to make it all the more enjoyable.  This year is already panning out so well, setting up to have a fantastic summer and no worries are on my mind.  Sure I'm very busy the next couple of weeks, but I like to convince myself I can do everything even if something else may suffer in the end, like my sleep.

Sleep is overrated.  There's plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.  Or on your day off.  Either one.

I think I want to focus on the acting job instead of the theater shows for the next couple months, and do more of my music (OUR music since I have a partner).  This summer should be light and happy and creative, I want to stay up late writing my stories and spend lazy afternoons and evenings writing songs with my talented readheaded friend.  Harvard Square is calling our names to come play guitar and make enough money to get a couple Sam Summers or J.P. Licks scoops after a long day.  I wanna pluck some strings at the beach and sneak a hot dog even though I try to be a vegetarian.

I never thought I would get this attached, but it is gaining on my one year anniversary.  In the past year I have padded my resume, gotten nice teaser experiences in the business, met some great folks, gotten into a fun social circle, found some awesome new friends, continued to build old friendships, and grew in a wonderful relationship.  Oh I love that durty watuh... yep, gotta love being home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rest in peace... I never really liked that phrase

Mostly because the anagram (is that the right word?) is RIP which just doesn't seem like a sympathetic word in the first place.  But also, they're not resting.  They're not in their body.  Their soul is gone from this world, and has moved on from it.  Unless you believe that their energy is haunting a part of our world and can't leave for one reason or another.  But I hate going down the road of what people believe, because a lot of the time people don't believe in anything, and that literally breaks my heart.  NOT the point of this post, however.

Last week, I got about three phone calls in 30 minutes from high school friends.  The first one was telling me that someone we graduated with, had died earlier that day.  The name was familiar to me, in fact more familiar than the caller may have known, and at first my thoughts were,
"Someone is playing a prank on facebook, there is no way that this is true.  Joe is such a great kid, nothing bad could possibly happen to him.  Who thinks this is funny that they can put something online and people think it's true?"
When what really had happened, is an old friend of mine had indeed passed away.  It doesn't matter how, because he was still very young and a very good person, and had a lot of friends who will miss him dearly.

The next two phone calls were asking how I was doing and if I had known him well, something about the wake, I honestly can't tell you what was said but I completely appreciated those who had called.  One of which we haven't spoken as often as I would like to, and we were extremely close in high school.  Seems like a trivial thing to some, but the friends that you have when you're young and becoming who you are, will never ever be forgotten and mean so much.

Some of us, like myself, have a hard time comprehending a situation when it first occurs.  When my great grandparents died, I was the only one in the family that could keep it together, because it hadn't hit me yet mostly.  I ended up doing both of their eulogies and mourning a few months later when I really understood they were most certainly gone.
My brain couldn't wrap around the fact that Joe's death was a true statement, and maybe chose not to believe it, despite the fact that I later showed up to a campfire where many old faces were drinking and mourning, smoking and crying, but I still wasn't that upset.  I was bewildered, mostly.  Didn't think it was really happening.  Then Sunday morning in church when Pastor Cliff had said, "The funeral looks like it will be Thursday for Joey..." I looked at my friends sitting next to me and at that moment I said,
"Well this just became very real"
and started bawling my eyes out.

Is it selfish of me to be upset?  I don't think so.  But I tried so hard to hold back my tears almost telling myself they were unjustified.  He left behind a sister and a mother, and friends who payed much more attention to him lately than I have, and I had the gall to mourn him, or have it still.  But I couldn't hold back, either.  I'm avidly praying for him and his family, and for his family to have comfort in this time of distress.  I'm even praying for our friends that don't particularly believe in anything, because sometimes they take death the hardest out of anyone, not that it's somehow any less hard to deal with if you do in fact believe in the afterlife.

When I was 13, almost ten years ago, I met Joe Vangos at church.  We were both young, making friends, and attended youth group together (though I think his sister was a more avid attendee, and I was always a bit closer with her).  I remember Joey and I laughing together, sharing stories, sharing thoughts we both had on prayer and God in our very young minds, and just how much of a happy kid he was.  I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face.  We learned how to hang sheetrock together, played instruments (badly) together, and as we grew older and I moved away to college and other places, I came home to see friends and he was there.  I would see him at Christmas service or at the Hotel Vernon, and as we'd catch up again there was that smile.  Never a disappointment and he was glad to see you and ask how your life was going.

So when it finally set in my brain that this person was gone, even today almost a week later, I don't really want to believe it.  There are other friends and family members who are closer to him now/lately than I have been, but at one time we were just a couple of kids together, trying to figure ourselves out.  But it's real.  I heard from a few people in the past,
That's how you know you're an adult, is when your friends all start getting married, and then one by one they all start dying.  I go to to a funeral every couple of years.
So maybe this is a part of life that I haven't been prepared to deal with. But can any of us truly prepare to deal with it?  Any of us could go tomorrow, right?  A car wreck, sickness, freak brain embolism, getting lost in the woods, choking on your morning breakfast... not to say we should all live in fear, but I suppose the only solution for yourself would be to (quoting a country song) live like you were dying.

I hope that's not a cheesy philosophy.  But maybe Joe would've wanted that.  His relentlessly smiling demeanor would have wanted that.  We could all use a hug right now....

... and Joey gave the best hugs.

I don't typically get many comments on here, but comment if you have a nice memory of our friend.