My favorite posts to read a few years down the road are the “things that are happening” posts. I find them much more interesting than whatever article was holding my interest at the time. Incidentally, I’m most motivated to post the “holding my interest” stuff over the life-happenings stuff. Paradoxical, no?
I went to Steve’s bachelor party, hosted by John. It was really really fun. I wish we could’ve stayed until 4 in the morning, but since we’re almost grown-ups now, we can only do that occasionally. Steve’s friends who I hadn’t met (Brian and Levi) were really cool, which made the whole event relaxed. John did a great job of making us all comfortable, entertained, and fed—it was really a good time. I particularly enjoyed reminiscing about some of the times that Steve has been coerced into doing things that are hilarious. His escapades dressing up as a woman for one of Nils’ movies will always always be funny. I really hope to see more of Steve and Nils in the coming months and years; they’re really good people I’ve fallen out of touch with. It’s completely comfortable to talk to them, even though it only happens occasionally, and I’d like to be their friends in the present-tense again. Incidentally, I’ve fallen out of touch with people from college, too (DAN, MARKOE, to start)—it’s starting to be downright shameful. I’ve got to make time. I came home from the bachelor party smelling like fire, and overjoyed to see my wonderful wife (Mykala).
Regarding my previous comment about the bachelor party, I find something healthy in staying up late and then sleeping in. Here’s an interesting anecdote: our landlord, Mary Alice, is currently boarding an Egyptian named Ahmad. At 37, this is his first time out of the country… he is here to teach Arabic to the local elementary children. We see him around the duplex fairly regularly; I talked to him about his teeth (he’s having some sensitivity after his flight over), and learned more about him. His family misses him (his 2 boys, especially), and he said he feels lonely. “Alex”, he says, “there is nobody around here, you see. In Cairo, on just a normal night like this, I would be out until 1 or 2 in the morning; there many people everywhere, and so many coffee shops open at this time.” It seems to me that this late night activity encourages a sort of camaraderie that one doesn’t get during daytime activities. I find it odd that our entire country seems to go to bed early. Ahmad gave us two bookmarks and one scene from the book of the dead, printed on actual papyrus. I found this gift quite thoughtful; we intend to frame it.
Mykala and I visited an apple orchard (Aamodt’s Apple in Stillwater), and found it really REALLY crowded compared to last year. I realized, belatedly, that we went on a Friday afternoon last year. Incidentally, the people there were rather unpleasant; “annoyingly entitled” was Mykala’s description. Hopefully, we can go again on a day with smaller crowds. We visited my old house in Stillwater (I think), and talked about what the future might bring: where I might work, where we might live. It’s all possibilities right now, no limitations.
Last Monday, we visited our landlord Mary Alice in the E.R. She is in her 70s (we think), and is still an active real estate agent. As such, she was preparing a house down the street for a showing, and tripped over a vine in the yard, taking a tumble off of a five foot retaining wall onto the concrete sidewalk. Ahmad stopped by at about 8pm to give us the bad news, just as Mykala was getting home from work. We hesitated, and Mykala asked “what would you do in this situation, at home in Cairo?” Ahmad replied that, of course, he and his neighbors would go and visit whomever was in the hospital. So, we all drove down to the University of Minnesota ER to visit Mary Alice. Thankfully, two neighbors were there as well, tending to the details, as Mary Alice’s family lives on the West coast. She had to have her head wounds stapled closed, and the pain from her injured back was such that she had two doses of morphine in her system by the time we visited. When we came in, she took Mykala’s hand and immediately asked “how is school?” The attending, who was cleaning Mary Alice’s head, tried to explain things, stating the amount of morphine administered. This was completely normal behavior, however—it was clear the pain medications were doing their job. We haven’t heard anything since, but we are hoping Mary Alice quickly recovers; she is an institution in the neighborhood.
Mykala and I have a 4 mile route around the West River Road, across the Lake Street Bridge, and back on the East River Road that I really love. It doesn’t feel like the city, except for the parkway close by, and the busy Lake Street. Along the way, we talk about our thoughts, opinions, feelings, and what we’ve read or watched recently. I love this time together, because I love growing with my wife. I love that she challenges me intellectually, and I’ll never forget these walks we take. As long as I am able, I’ll walk with her.
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