As tulips start peaking through the dirt and the hills green up it’s time for a little father-daughter bonding in my world. It happens this time every year. My dad and I start calling each other in January to talk possibilities. By March these phone calls have become more frequent with details of research, news stories and changes we’ve heard about. By early April, with the big day a mere two weeks away, I’ll surly call him to ask yet another question. It’s tax season and my dad is a numbers man. Our conversation always goes a little something like this:
“Yo, Russ,” I’ll say when he answers the phone.
“Gebe!” It’s a name he’s called me since I can remember.
“Oh, I’ve just got a column of numbers,” he’ll say from his house in South Carolina.
“Got a question. How do I count the mortgage interest for our house in Arlee?”
“You can’t count it on the Schedule E and then itemize it. Do it all on the Schedule E. Keep the rental separate.”
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I have had a headache the past few days. It’s probably a headache like anyone gets: not enough water, not enough sleep, too much coffee. But for me, even the smallest headache sends me to a place of doctors and needles and ice packs on my neck.
An excruciating throb at the base of the skull is a tell-tale sign of meningitis. Ever since I had it last summer, headaches have become a bigger part of my life. I don’t think I get them any more often than I did before I got sick, I think they just hurt worse when I do and they seem to settle in the same place where the headache that sent me to the hospital did.
Mostly though, they freak me out. I try to convince myself that I’m not getting ill again. It’s extremely rare for someone to get meningitis twice. (I cannot count the number of times I’ve said that sentence to myself over the past few months.) I tell myself I’m much healthier, that I know what to look for if meningitis came calling again and that if I did get it again, I know where to go and that the doctors and nurses there will take care of me. I take ibuprofen, I go to yoga, I run if I can stand the pounding. These things ease the pain and tension but nothing helps the hard-wired fear.
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My daughter Lucille poured cold water on my face first thing Saturday morning and I’m not over it yet.
She made her way to our pillows as she does most every morning and stood, I thought, looking out the window above our heads. The window was locked. I knew she was safe so I kept my eyes closed hoping to squeeze out a few more minutes of sleep in the early morning.
“Up, up,” I heard her say. I knew she meant cup, and thinking there was no cup in sight, I looked up to see what she was doing. That’s when I saw she was holding a glass of water right above my head. Before I could reach her or even utter a word, she poured a full pint glass of cold water in my face.
It was 6:15 a.m.
I jumped out of bed shouting four letter words. I was soaked, my pillow was soaked and Lucille was smiling. I threw off my tank top, dried my face and, I’m pretty sure, screamed into the towel. Lucille made her way to the bathroom.
“Mama wet!” she said. Yeah, mama wet indeed.
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During one section of world-renowned choreographer Bebe Miller’s modern dance piece, “Prey,” two University of Montana students recreate the taking down of a water buffalo. It’s not what it sounds like; not even close.
For the audience, it simply looks like an intense duet between Lauren Belland and Stevie Teran. She approaches him from behind, climbs atop his back and ever so slowly positions her weight to drop him gently to the floor. The delicate balance between Belland and Teran, and Teran’s subtle switch to submission, looks anything but a scene from some late-night Animal Planet special. “Prey” may be inspired by imagery from the wild, but Miller says the piece deals with experience of everyday struggles.
“There is something about submitting to the utmost of what a situation calls for,” says Miller about the piece, which debuts as part of the UM School of Theatre and Dance’s Dance In Concert performance this week. [Read More]
The other day I asked Seth if my pants looked too tight. He tilted his head to the side and told me to turn around.
“I think they are a little tight,” he said. “Really, they just look uncomfortable.”
In case you were wondering, Seth never got the “No, babe, you look great!” lesson. If I ask what he thinks about what I have on, or the way my hair looks, I better be ready for the truth. He’s honest and I love it about him even though I don’t always agree with him.
But this day, I took off my jeans searching for another pair of pants that fit a little looser, not because I valued his opinion so much, but because he was right, those jeans were uncomfortable.
Let me say that Seth is not one of those men who wants his woman to look a certain way. Well, that’s not true. If I were to wear, say, peasant looking blouses with baggy, dirty Carhardts everyday, he’d be thrilled. Add long braids and his fantasy would be complete. But my hair looks infinitely better short and, occasionally, I’d like something in my wardrobe that I cannot buy at the farm supply store, which brings me back to those uncomfortable jeans.
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