July 2005

One of the merchandise booths sold a bumper sticker with the slogan “Down Syndrome People: A Little Different, A Lot the Same.” No kidding. Even they couldn’t escape romantic drama.

Bryan and Kerry
Kerry is a lovely, independent Down girl. Bryan is an average-looking independent Down guy. Kerry is sweet, sensitive and thoughtful. Bryan is excitable, sensitive and ADHD-governed. Bryan was the last to get seated at our table. He could not stop saying, “Gosh, Kerry, you look so nice!” She smiled at him and said, “Thank you.” Kerry is engaged and showed us her ring. We all raved and congratulated her. Somehow Bryan ended up seated next to Kerry. When she cried during a performance of “My Heart Will Go On,” he hugged her and cried with her. Then he privately sang to her to cheer her up. She dealt with all of this maturely, trying not to lead him on but also not rebuffing him too hard. He meanwhile grew very sullen at her lack of interest in him. An older experienced volunteer woman at our table told him, “Bryan, this is a happy place. You need to put on your happy face.” Bryan said, “I’m sorry, it’s just personal things on my mind, that’s all. I’m just going thru some sad thoughts.” Kerry told him, “No you’re not. You’re on cloud 9, because I’m on cloud 9, and you’re here with me.” Wow. I gotta remember that line for use with my future kids. A volunteer as equally inexperienced as me, one of my cousin’s friends, leaned into me and said, “Bryan likes Kerry but Kerry’s engaged.” I said, “And he has a girlfriend! He was just talking about her earlier. AND, his ex-girlfriend is here somewhere.” “WHAT?!” she exclaimed, “I missed all that.” I didn’t. I’m finely attuned to relationship drama.

Ballsy Guy and Blondie Volunteer
These people were not at my table so I don’t have names. Ballsy Guy is a burly, tough guy looking Down guy in a trendy checkered button-down shirt with a buzz cut. Blondie Volunteer’s got a pretty enough face with all her makeup, but she could stand to lose about 15 lbs. (Sorry, it’s the girl in me.) Ballsy guy was not a guy from Blondie’s table, but he came by to say hi to her. She greeted him and he pulled up a chair right next to her and put his arms around her shoulders, hugging her close. She patted his hands, but it became embarassingly apparent that he did not plan to let go. There was a romantic song playing, some couple was doing an interpretive dance routine onstage, and most of the Down people were swaying to the music. Ballsy Guy had half his face buried in Blondie’s hair. She kept patting his hand, more to ensure that his hands stayed at her shoulder height than for any friendly gesture. She pulled his hand down after another few seconds, and he left his face close to hers, staring intently at her; she refused to make eye contact. He started stroking her upper arm with his chubby undersized hand. She tried a few more tactics to get him to stop and he wouldn’t, so she told him, “I’ll be right back,” grabbed her purse, and walked out. I said to my cousin’s friend volunteer, “She’s not coming back.” Sure enough. She came back in after presumably visiting the restroom outside the ballroom and seeing Ballsy Guy still at her table, stood at the back of the ballroom. The Keanu Reeves Down guy engaged her in conversation. Seeing this, Ballsy Guy got up and started making his way across the ballroom toward them. She turned and went out another back door. Ballsy Guy isn’t permitted to follow; they’re not allowed to leave the area w/o an attendant. So he went back to his own table. He would cran his neck every few minutes to see if she came back to her table. Then eventually he just came back and sat at her table to wait for her, often popping his buzzed head above the crowd like a meerkat to see if she was coming in the door. I went out to the restroom and saw her just sitting in a chair outside the ballroom. I’d feel sorry for her if she weren’t flirting with a cute Bank of America volunteer. She was well taken-care of.

you can see Blondie Volunteer in the background
The 33rd Annual National Down Syndrome Congress Convention was held this weekend at the Hyatt Hotel a block from Disneyland. (Man, that is a niiice hotel. I had no idea.) Today is the talent show, held in a large ballroom. We volunteers were designated 2-3 per banquet table of about 8 Down-affected attendees, and our purpose was to keep an eye on the Down attendees at our table, be their friend, make sure they don’t wander off, make sure they get onstage when it’s their turn to perform.

N’Sync and Titanic…really big in the Down Syndrome community. Didn’t know that. Anytime N’Sync is performed, the room would be a riot with cheering and dancing Down people. Titanic musical performances would make most of the Down people cry.

To add to the list of things I didn’t know until today: You make one audible comment about how one of the Down men in a nice dark suit, had he not had Down, would’ve gotten women left and right, and about how he looks like Keanu Reeves with a touch of Down, and suddenly you’re the butt of all the jokes among the volunteers. “Oh, there’s your man in line for open mike!” “Hey, your man’s about to go up for his dance routine, you gonna scream and cheer?” “Hey, your man’s crying!”

All in all, I had a great time. After the conference, my cousin Jennifer, her “pal” David, and I went to Downtown Disney and had a late lunch and drinks at Restaurant Catal’s outdoor circular UVA Bar. Their caramel apple martini? AMAZING.

Having vacuumed (I hate vacuuming my stairs), windexed, thrown out the trash, organized the CDs between my car and my rotating CD shelf, and with my load of whites agitating in the washer, I decided to see if I can pre-register online for next semester’s jujitsu class.

I just discovered that the last day of jujitsu is August 3, and the next semester doesn’t start until September 12. I’m not looking at a calendar, but isn’t that like 5 weeks of nothingness? OMG, am I ready for that much free time? *hyperventilating*

I’m taking a break from my Saturday catch-up-on-chores day, and found this! This is the one! Not as sweet as dessert wines, but for those of us who don’t like the tartness in chianti, either. Serve lightly chilled.

Stepping aside from tradition, our Conundrum combines a medley of varietals grown throughout California. This white wine embodies the pioneering aspects of the California wine industry-a wine that escapes definition., yet pleases the palate with lush and spicy characteristics. The wines of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier and Muscat are blended to produce this wine of floral and tropical flavors. Caymus Vineyards Conundrum USA, California, Napa Valley, white blend, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Viognier & Muscat, 750ml

This should be a summation of all the entries on this blog. All my self-analysis, all my strives, all my relationship woes, it all boils down to this, and my friends would recognize things in here that we’ve discussed already (altho I just found this paragraph a few minutes ago on another site):

Cancer’s element is Water. Symbolic of the emotions, water
signs need to give and receive. They thrive on the exchange
of feelings. They need security and love to be wrapped in
an environment of love and comfort. Truly a wonderful
example of Yin receptivity, Cancer seems to absorb
memories, feelings and psychic messages. Of course, they
send back their own good vibes in the process. The
cardinal’ motivation energizes their strong ability to
provide for others. Few work as hard and as tenaciously as
Cancer. Without the balance of Yang assertiveness, however,
Cancer’s confidence can be a bit wobbly. After all, the
Crab is so very sensitive to everything. Just as the sign’s
ruler, the Moon, goes through phases, Cancer often
experiences mood-swings. Sometimes the desire to love
results in giving too much. In such cases, the Crab can
become over-protective or dependent. Balanced, the Cancer
adds personal independence to his or her priorities.

Speaking of horrible married men, I just remembered there’s this very helpful white belt in my jujitsu class who I think might be flirting with me. But I’m not sure and I didn’t think much of it because he seems quite a bit older and he’s married.

Incident 1: In class before the day of the Kata Contest, the instructor was asking around to see if we were going to go show support for our competing teammates. One guy in the class said, “Do they have those girls in bikini tops and tiny little hot pants who walk around holding signs that say ‘Round 1’?” Married Guy said to me across the room, “You’d be good for that, Cindy.” We all laughed it off.

Incident 2: In class on Wednesday, the instructor reminded us that next week is our final week for this semester. The New Girl asked if he was going to do anything for us on our last day, like throw us a pizza party. The instructor asked if there were any toppings we don’t eat. I said “pineapple.” Instructor said, “Why would anyone put pineapple on a pizza? To make it Hawaiian?” That started the class on wanting a Luau themed party, and one student asked if we’re gonna dress for it. I said, “Yeah, the whole class has to wear nothing but coconuts and grass skirts.” Married guy asked if I would wear a grass skirt. I said if he provided it, I would. He said, “I’ll make it myself!” The class laughed and joked about how he’d make it out of lawn grass, and he said there would only be a couple of blades of grass on the skirt but that I’d already said I’d wear it.

I was late getting to Irvine so I skipped visiting my cousins’ house and just met up w/them at Ruth’s Chris. I had an amazing wine. By appearance it was a white, almost looks chardonnay, but is made of 4 types of grapes. It was light like white zinfandel, but the flavor has much more depth and color. The nose was an explosion of grape bouquet. I wish I could remember what it was called, but I had some alcohol so foreign memory retention wasn’t at its peak. We started with an oysters rockefeller appetizer. All 3 of us had the petite filet mignon (melts in your mouth), and we shared sauteed mushrooms and a warm chocolate ganache cake a la mode. It was great catching up with my cousins over dinner, and to have frank, non-judgmental conversation about the raunchiest of subjects. We were an episode out of Sex and the City. With better food.

After dinner we walked to the Edwards Theatre and watched “Must Love Dogs” w/2 of their chick friends. This is the first time I can say I agreed with the movie critics. The reviews are lukewarm, but never was there a doubt in my head that I would enjoy this movie, this was right up my alley, it was quirky and sweet and it starred Diane Lane! While I was taking off my face earlier, I thought of all the comments I could blog about this movie, and I settled on these two: 1.) Of the parts of the movie that I did see, the best was when a large fluffy black dog named Mother Theresa climbed into John Cusack’s character’s boat from the water, because of how small the dog looked with his fur wet. 2.) The reason I say “of the parts of the movie that I did see,” is because for the first 1/3 of the movie, I dozed off at least half a dozen times. My cousin Diana was on my left, and I felt horrible because here they were, taking me to a movie with their friends, and I was falling asleep. I was afraid to turn and look at her, but I hoped she didn’t notice that I was dozing off. I did note that she was awfully still, tho. It wasn’t until after the movie when we talked about it, that I realized all 3 of us slept on and off thru the first 1/3 of the movie. We were all hoping no one else noticed. Of course none of us did, because we were asleep.

Okay, the enemy just left uneventfully with a “Have fun!” (re traveling to Spain). Whew, what a relief. I really don’t need to have an all-out battle at this point in my life. I’d like to remain as drama-free as possible. I’ve certainly earned it.

Looking very forward to this evening. I’m gonna see my cousins’ house in Irvine for the 1st time, we’re gonna have a girlie dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse (okay, so the meal itself isn’t gonna be girlie, just us bovine-munchers are), then we’re gonna meet up with with a bunch of other chicks (friends of theirs) to see “Must Love Dogs.” I love Diane Lane. She and Jane Seymour are the most beautiful pentagenarians ever. Except for my mom. I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out, and today’s opening day. I hope I don’t feel the need to spew anti-romance, anti-male venomous comments at the silver screen.

Dude, you’re sitting at Starbucks with your wife and 3 kids. Stop staring at my ass! Seriously, what is wrong with married men?! I hope his wife gives it to him when they get home. This is why I’m scared of Latin men.

Here I am, all armed and dressed for battle. And the enemy doesn’t even step up to bat. (I know I just changed metaphors right in the middle.) It has only been half a day, and who knows what the second half holds. A part of me is relieved that everything’s calm and quiet on the Southeastern front. I’m not sure I’m recouped enough to deal with much right now.

Judge decided to change our lunch hour for today, and also took 15 minutes of it. The gym time is already so tight that there’s no point losing 15 minutes to be all in a rush and work out for only 25 minutes. So here I sit, in the quiet and coldness of this barren courtroom. An unsuspecting innocent, wide-eyed and naively vulnerable. Ha, right. More like a black widow weaving her web and laying in wait.

Hell, I’ve got 25 minutes of lunch left. Time to take a walk across the street, thaw out, maybe grab a Starbucks. I’ve been wanting to try that green tea frapp.

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