my cries.

I cried three times today at work.

You must remember that I work twelve hour shifts… gotta spread the cry out.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t down today at all.  In fact, I was all smiles.  I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I have been ridiculously joyous lately… lots of random dance moves paired with normal life.

And only one out of the three cries were upset cries.

[let me remind you all that i work with people with mental disabilities.]

CRY ONE.

Josh has a pretty moderate brain disorder that puts him at about the mentality of a five year old.  His speech is very slow and sometimes a bit hard to understand… but he is definitely the happiest client we have.  All smiles, all the time.

I was helping  Josh write an email to his mom… which means that I sit there and type and he tells me what to put down on the screen…

– Okay, Josh… How do you think we should start this thing?

– “Dear……. Mom.”

– “Dear Mom”… Awesome, that is a great way to start things off.  Okay, what next?  “Dear Mom…..”

– “I love you.”

I started crying.  I don’t know why!  It just caught me off guard.  “Dear Mom, I love you.”  …  “Dear Mom, I love you.”  …. !!  I mean, how awesome is that?  Who leads with that??  Incredible people, I’ll tell you that.  He said it like he had to get it out before anything else… like it was absolutely urgent, the most important thing that he had to tell her.  Gosh, we need more of that in this world.

Dear Family, Friends, Loves, You,

I love you.

Sincerely,
Rachel.

CRY TWO.

Cindy is an older client, our smartest client.  She gets very anxious about things… LOTS of things.  Her diet is the latest…

– Who the hell decided we’d start cooking ground turkey instead of real beef?  This is bullshit.  I mean… We’re real people!  You can’t just start replacing things like we’re not going to notice!  Like we’re children!

– I don’t know, Cindy.  I didn’t do that… I’m just trying to follow the rules.

– I’m not eating turkey!  I hate it!  [approximately ten more minutes of turkey bitching.]

– [obviously fed up… I, in a admittedly bratty tone, said] Well then, you can have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

[mistake.]

[cindy throws her cup.]

– YOU’RE A F-CKIN’ BITCH!  YOU SHUT THE F-CK UP!

It scared me.  I walked away.  I went and knocked on the bedroom door of another client… a non-verbal client.

– Hey Kelly, can I come in?

[walk in.  sit down next to her.]

– Hi, how are you doing?

[she gives me the thumbs down.]

– Me too… Me too.

[and i started crying.]

CRY THREE.

All settled down around the house and it was time for Kelly [our non-verbal] to make a phone call.  She usually calls her family members and they ask her questions and she can make noises that they understand.  It’s really a beautiful thing.  But tonight we were trying her new tool called a “Go Talk”, which has buttons with pre-programed sayings like, “How are you?”, “I had a great day!”, “I had a bad day”, “Yes”, “No”, etc.

So, we called her brother, Josh [from cry one… they have the same disability but she is deteriorating at a much higher rate than him].  It’s incredible watching these two communicate in real life… and the phone is precious as well.  I dialed his number and put it on speaker phone and Kelly got so excited that it took her a good while to push any of the buttons.  But once she did, the conversation got going… and got pretty funny.  She would push random buttons and Josh would try to keep up and not get confused.

– ::I had a great day!::

– That’s good… Kelly… Did you… eat… dinner?

– ::Please::

– …..What?

– ::Yes::

– …..Hi Kelly.

It was pretty ridiculous for a while.  Listening to the recorded voice and then the confusion of Josh… it was actually pretty funny.  But then Kelly found that heart-strung button…

[amidst the confusing conversing, kelly pushes a button and the robot woman says…]

– ::I love you::

[a pause from josh… probably a realization of clarity… and then…]

– I love… you… Kelly.

It hit me.  Like a soft shove to the chest.  I had to put my hand on my collar bones, try to compose myself, tell myself, “Pull it together, woman.”  But no.  The warmth rose in my face and tears of preciousness fell right from my eyes.  And then my co-worker and I laughed at myself.

– Oh… That is so swe-… Wait a second, are you crying?!

– No!

– Haha!  Oh my god, you’re crying!

– It’s just so precious!

[it was.  i’m not sorry.]

[p.s. all names are changed for their protection.]

a big ol’ smile.

where the magic happens.

where the magic happens.

It’s no glorious studio… but it’s a little space… a simple space… where the magic happens.  [p.s. magic = mad computer skillzzzz.]  [p.p.s. mad computer skillzzzz = mostly blogging… when i should be designing.]  I’m kinda psyched on it.

And here is the song I’ve listened to only about a dillion times in that very space…

I cannot get enough of the song and I kinda la-huve the video.  Gosh, I’m pretty sure if a pretty boy sang this song to me [or put it on a mix cd, let’s be honest], I’d fall right in love with him.

“one kiss from you and i’m drunk up on your potion…
a big ol’ smile is all you are…”

…yep, I’m a huge softy.

[you, there, at the computer… staring… you, my lovely, have a splendid day.]

hey, excuse me… check this out!!

I must look like a safe person…

As I leave the post office this morning, I’m on the phone with a friend, walking my bike down the sidewalk.  A young boy on a motorized scooter approaches me and says…

– Hi!  I’m Joe.  What’s your name?

– Rachel.

– Nice to meet you.  [puts out his hand, to shake… we shake hands… adorable.]

– Ummm… Yeah, what?  Sorry… No, I just met a nice boy named Joe.  [talking on the phone still.]

– Did you see my scooter?

– Hey, I’m gonna have to call you back.  [hang up.]  Yeah, nahice scooter, dude.

– Thanks.  Do you have a motorized scooter?

– Umm, well, no… but I have this bike.  It’s cool, right?

– Sure.  Do you want to ride my scooter?

– No, I’m cool… you look like a pro… I would probably fall off.

– Yeah.

– So… [looking around, kinda confused] Do you live around here, Joe?

– Yeah… right over…. well, I can’t see it right now, but right over there is my house… wanna go?

– Ha, no Joe.  You shouldn’t ask strangers over to your house.

– You’re not a stranger, you’re Rachel.

– Good point.

– Wanna go?

– No, I gotta get going… [I get on my bike and start riding it.]

– Where are you going?

– Hard Drive.

– Hard Drive Cafe?  Me too!

– Alllllright…

So, we start heading the short distance over to the cafe, I’m riding ahead of Joe…  Then, all the sudden, a bit after I go over the small dip of pavement into the parking lot, I hear Joe yelling behind me…

– Hey, excuse me… CHECK THIS OUT!!

He speeds up and does a SWEET jump over the little dip.  I could not stop laughing… the way he said, “Hey, excuse me” so casually and then… “CHECK THIS OUT!” like it was the raddest thing to ever happen… ever… was priceless.

So, then I had to explain to him that I had to go in and work on some stuff.  He was very sad that I wasn’t going to sit outside and talk with him… and I would’ve… but to be honest, the whole thing was very weird for me… Joe seems like a great kid, but I was afraid his parents were gonna roll up and be like, “Who the hell are you and why have you stolen our precious Joe?!”

Thanks for showing me your sweet scooter, Joe.  You pretty much made my morning.

[OMG, UPDATE: I’m pretty sure no one has even read this yet, but I definitely just saw Joe RACE by the windows of this cafe.  Lemonade almost came out of my nose from laughing.]

i’ll take the dim sum.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA!

"hey rachel, do you like my hair like this?"

"hey rachel, do you like my hair like this?"

This is my mother in our favorite toy store, Toy Joy.  How can you not love that face?  If you know my mom at all, you know that she is one special woman.  And if you’ve never met her, trust me… she’s amazing.  I’ve noticed lately that I’ve had many honest conversations with friends that include me saying, “I want to be just like my parents.”  And the sweet heart and hilarious humor of my mom are a huge part of that.  So, today, may we celebrate this beautiful woman!

Happy Birthday, Momma!!  I wish I could be there with you.  I’m assuming you’re having a great day because you haven’t called me back from this morning… which is unheard of.  I hope the boys are showing you good birthday times.  Cannot WAIT to see you oh so soon!

And here’s a great story of the joy and hilarity of being in the presence of my Momma…

[in chinatown in san francisco via 2003.]

Waiter: [of the chinese persuasion] What can I get you?

Mom: I’ll have the Dim Sum.

Waiter: Okay, what do you want?

Mom: [talking a bit louder and clearer because she’s afaid the waiter doesn’t understand her] The Dim. Sum.

[oh dear lord, mom doesn’t realize that “dim sum” means “ala carte” in chinese.]

Waiter: Alright… What would you like?

Mom: THE DIM SUM.

Waiter: Yes, I know… The Dim Sum… You get to choose.

Mom: Oh…

Me: [an 18-year-old embarrassed beyond belief] Mom, it means “ala carte”.

Mom: [laughing] Oh, okay… Well, then I need a second.

[waiter leaves.]

[momma and i proceed to start laughing until we cry and have to wait another twenty minutes to order because we can’t stop laughing, repeating to ourselves, “I WANT THE DIM SUM!”]

p.s. I’m afraid your present isn’t there yet… I’m so sorry… I fail.

p.p.s. You mean the world to me, Momma… I love you so much.  Have the happiest day.

p.p.p.s. Let this awesome post not dissuade you all from continuing the discussion a couple posts down on your least favorite song ever.

who knew natalie portman could dance so happily?

Seriously.  I dare you to watch this and try not to be so smiley happy.

[thanks, Ashe.]

And, p.s., does anyone have a least favorite song ever?  Cuz I think mine would have to be “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison.  Correction: My least favorite song is “Brown Eyed Girl” by every college-aged, guitar-playing, hipster that ever sat in my living room, in the quad or at that coffee shop’s/bar’s open mic night… but from those [constant] renditions, I have a new-found disliking for any version of the song.  Over it.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have brown eyes.

Yes, “Brown Eyed Girl” or anything by Shaggy.