Here’s what I did at the end of last week before going on our Homestay. Short, a couple significant things. I’ll keep it brief.
Thursday evening I got an email from Nick (my dad, but I don’t think many people are reading this who didn’t know that) saying that Kathy Kyker-Snowman, my ex-girlfriend’s mom, died recently. She’d had cancer (ovarian, I think?) for a while, and when I was with Kelly about 4 years ago, she was doing all right. She worked at Hampshire College doing outdoorsy, athletic stuff; she was in prime health, aside from the cancer. I hadn’t talked to her or Kelly’s dad at all since Kelly and I broke up Fall of 12th grade, and I think that’s probably part of why I was so surprisingly floored by the news. The surprise of it, and the regret that I hadn’t kept in good enough touch to even be aware that it had come back. I hesitate to say it, but I think it might have had a more immediate and noticeable effect on me than the deaths of either of my two grandparents. I didn’t really know my grandfather very well, and I was only 13, and when my grandmother died a month and a half ago, we had all known it was going to happen somewhat imminently for years. So, I sent a condolent facebook message to Kelly, as I don’t have her email. I walked to dinner in a mellow, shaken, contemplative mood. I had decided to skip the middle two of my events that night, partly out of justifiable laziness and partly just so I could eat dinner.
Thursday night I saw the FilmSoc showing of A Cock and Bull Story. It’s an adaptation (or is it an adaption?) of the novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”. I really enjoyed it; surreal and realistic at the same time. A lot of it I was unsure whether it was scripted (I think it was), or just filming of the actual interactions between the cast members. It was sort of a movie about the making of itself; very self-referential (naturally). As I said, I liked it a lot. Later that night I watched Talladega Nights on Peekvid. It was very funny; same type of humor as Anchorman in a different context.
That night I played with maps regarding my travel plans, and confirmed plans with this couple from Nebraska whom I met through Couchsurfing. Did I tell you about Couchsurfing? It’s this really cool site where you can find people who live in a place you want to travel to, and sleep on their couch or floor for a night, with the expectation that you will extend the same courtesy to someone else someday. Free accommodation, mostly young people, huge, expansive network. Very cool. Sound unsafe to you? You’re not alone; talk to most parents and a lot of young folk. But I’ll talk more about that later.
On Friday I prepared for the Homestay…