There are a lot of special events happening and I haven’t been quick enough to blog them.
Friday was the last final. I wasn’t a 監考人 exam proctor, so I worked in my classroom with my colleagues all morning. After that was over, I went to lunch with R at El Rodeo, which is my favorite Mexican restaurant in the desert by far. We got a table on the sidewalk and ordered an appetizer AND entrees. Then we went to get frozen yogurt, and then to a local bar for a quiet drink and the desert version of the GFS. B was pumped when I texted him that we were carrying on the tradition. Next year Blanchet and Prep end on the same day, so maybe we’ll be able to carry on the tradition in Seattle.
After that, R had a thing, so I went and saw Rocketman by myself. I identify a lot with Elton John even though I am obviously not an excessively decadent rock star. “When are you going to hug me?” is a good freaking question. Finally, we all need a friend like Bernie Taupin.
On Saturday morning I went to IW coffee for breakfast and then Ernest Coffee to grade final exams. I was planning on a lazy day of lazy grading but then R showed up and told me to join him and A to see Booksmart. My first instinct was to stick with the lazy grading/lazy day plan, but I realized that if I turned on the turbo jets, I could have it all; I could grade the stack of papers AND go to a raunchy teen coming of age buddy movie with two good friends.
So I sat there and graded like the fate of humanity was at stake. It was mentally exhausting but R was there sitting on my right, and I felt like lazy grading/lazy day would be some depressing garbage. I finished grading the compositions with just enough time to choke down a beyond burger and join them at the movie theater. Actually I got there first.
When I put the clip on my stack of grading, I turned and looked R in the eye; he took out his ear bud; and I told him deadass, “I am going to need you to sit next to me every time I grade papers for the rest of my career.” He agreed, of course, which was the right thing to say.
We went and saw the movie, it was funny and as raunchy as I thought it would be. Funny. Of course R clutched his pearls afterwards but I think he does that for effect. Also I don’t think he researches movies as much as I do.
After that I got a 45 minute foot massage and then putzed around and went to sleep.
Sunday morning I met R for mass at St. Francis; it was the Feast of the Ascension; a nice model for a joy-filled goodbye. We went to breakfast at Shields Date Garden Café, which was a much nicer experience than I might have thought. You know, there are a few nice places in this valley, under the right circumstances: when the weather is not too hot, when there’s not a lot of pressure at work, when you have money in the bank, and when you can spend time with people you enjoy.
Our breakfasts at the café got us free admission to the garden walk, which depicts the life of Christ in sculpture. We walked through the tour backwards, starting at the Ascension and backwards through Christ’s life until the Nativity. At the beginning we were pretty focused on the cheesy “Precious Moments” aspect of the presentation, but by the end it was such a nice day that it didn’t really matter, to me at least.
I went home after that to get ready for the big despedida. My banana lumpia turned out to be a disaster this time, they didn’t brown before the bananas exploded. The result was that I served less than brown lumpia. They were gross.
As I was rolling them, I watched Always Be My Maybe, a predictable romcom that was a love letter to the Bay Area, complete with nerd rap. It was a nice thing to watch while rolling lumpia.
I wonder if my white friends understand that my experience of Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles is like that movie: mostly brown people. White folks are people I meet at work mostly. For my white coworkers, I think the opposite is true; their lives are mostly white, and they meet brown people at work. Anyway, just an observation; I do cherish the white friends who have become part of my life.
I showed up to the despedida with two boxes of soap and body butter to give away, and a bowl of bad lumpia. I was a half hour late and the first one there. We passed around 10-day old baby Camila, and passed around my phone to take pictures. We sang along to Whitney Houston songs on YouTube; I doled out soap and body butter. We ate snacks and drank dranks. There were some tearful goodbyes.