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Summer In A Bowl

29th November, 2014. 9:52 pm. Thankful 1/1

This Thanksgiving has been neither the best nor the worst day of Ryan’s life, but it’s most definitely the longest. He can’t believe that everything that’s happened—shopping with Seth, meeting Heather at the beach, Sandy leading him to the motel, finally coming face-to-face with Volchok and hearing him talk about the night Marissa died, Thanksgiving dinner, and then the long talk he had with Julie about Marissa—all happened today. His mind is spinning, and as all the guests are leaving, he realizes that, for the first time, he can remember Marissa with fondness and love instead of guilt and anger.

He’s still bothered, though, by what happened earlier in the day. He’s frightened when he thinks about how close he was to killing Volchok. He didn’t, because it was hard to want to kill the pathetic, defeated-looking figure sitting there on the motel room floor, and because Marissa wouldn’t have wanted it and because, he knew, the Cohens would be devastated. But he’s having a hard time forgetting that until then, he really, genuinely wanted to kill him. He’s certainly punched a lot of people before, but the idea that he might cross a line and really hurt or kill someone terrifies him. He knows he’s really capable of it.

As he and Sandy are standing alone in the kitchen doing dishes, Ryan, his heart beating fast, turns to him. “Sandy?”


“What, um…” How can he possibly say this? “Today, when I went into the motel room…you said you trusted me, but…what would you have done if you were wrong?”

Sandy stares at him. “What do you mean, kid?”

“What if…what if I really had killed him?”

Sandy shrugs. “I knew you wouldn’t. It’s not you. You’re not a murderer.”

“Yeah, but…” How can he possibly explain? “What if you’d been wrong? I just…keep thinking about it.”

“You mean what I would have done if it had been just you who walked out of that room?”

“Yeah.” Ryan studies Sandy’s face nervously.

Sandy gives every appearance of giving the question serious thought. Then he shrugs. “Well,” he says, “I guess I’d have to prepare myself to be your lawyer again. I’d have to come up with a defense strategy, which wouldn’t be easy, and then I’d have to advise you either to take a plea bargain or go to trial. And if you did end up in prison…” He sighs. “Well, I guess we’d have to prepare to spend a lot of time visiting you. Maybe we’d move closer to Chino so we could see you more often…”

The lump in Ryan’s throat threatens to explode, and before Sandy can finish that thought, Ryan finds himself turning towards Sandy and putting his head on Sandy’s shoulder. It’s a gesture of comfort he hasn’t sought since that day at the bus station when Trey left. Sandy looks surprised, but it only takes him a second to wrap his arms around Ryan, one hand cupping the back of Ryan’s head. He leans forward and gently kisses the top of Ryan’s forehead.

“Please don’t ever leave us like that again.” Sandy whispers, his voice breaking, and Ryan realizes he’s not the only one crying. “It’s not just that we missed you, it’s…we went crazy wondering if you were safe.”

Ryan thinks his heart is going to burst with everything he’s feeling. “I’m sorry,” he says, still trying to process all this.

“I love you so much, Kid,” Sandy says, and pulls Ryan closer to him.

Ryan knows. For the first time in a long time, he really, truly knows that he’s loved. He remembers Sandy’s response when the Cohens first became his guardians and he asked what would happen if they didn’t want him anymore. “Like what, you steal a car? You burn down a house? You beat up the captain of the water polo team? Those ships have sailed, my friend.” And then, when he started high school soccer and got a two-day suspension, it had been a shock to realize that Sandy’s biggest concern was that Ryan might be taken away from them if he got into trouble. He’s done so many things wrong, made so many mistakes, but the Cohens keep forgiving him, keep on loving him.

He’s never really believed in unconditional love. His mother, after all, threw him out the first time he got into trouble with the police. Now here’s Sandy confirming that even if he did kill someone, they’d still love him.

He’d give anything to have Marissa back here with him. There are things he’d undo if he had to do life over again. But for now, he’s here with the people he loves the most and he’s thankful for the most overwhelming love he’s received or felt in his entire life.


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1st May, 2010. 11:14 pm. Meme

Age: 25
Where You Grew Up: Massachusetts

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks:
A brook

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called: A carriage.

3. A metal container to carry a meal in: A lunchbox.

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: A frying pan.

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people: Couch

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof:  Gutter

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: Porch or deck, depending on size (a deck is bigger).

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: Soda.

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: A pancake.

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: A sub.

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: Bathing suit

12. Shoes worn for sports: Sneakers

13. Putting a room in order: Cleaning.

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark: Firefly

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball: I actually don't know what this is referring to.

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down: A seesaw

17. How do you eat your pizza: I...pick it up and bite it?

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff: A yard sale

19. What's the evening meal?: Dinner

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: Basement or cellar (I think I'd say "cellar" if it was an unfinished basement)

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places:  Bubbler

Current mood: blah.

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30th April, 2009. 4:05 pm. My Subconscious Is Way Ahead of Me

This morning, I woke up, hit snooze, and got up and got dressed.

Or so I thought until nine minutes later, when my alarm clock went off again and I realized I'd just fallen back asleep and dreamed that I got up and got dressed.

Current mood: mellow.

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4th March, 2009. 10:42 pm. “Ugh, none of the pockets on these vintage jeans are the right size for my BlackBerry.”

My friend Rebekah introduced me to whitewhine.com. It's pretty hilarious, especially since I can hear myself saying some of these things.

At least two of them are about .docx files. People really hate those. Some other gems: 

“A kid with the same name as me died in a car accident this week and it is messing up my Google Alerts.”

“Really New York Magazine, you can put together a Fall Preivew Double issue but can’t manage to include an approval matrix?”

“Um, it’s Tuesday and the This American Life podcast hasn’t updated yet. Hellooooo?”

“Ugh, no “Mad Men” On Demand?  Seriously Time Warner, is this what you call offering me ‘all the best?’”

“Where have you been, Billy Joel?  Isn’t it about time you made a new album?”

“What am I supposed to do with four Starbucks cards that each have less than $2?”

“I hate Google’s new icon. It’s fugly.”

“‘Mary is can’t wait for the party this weekend!’ Seriously? Newsflash: You can delete the ‘is’ when updating your facebook profile.”

“You used Genius to make me a mix CD for our 1 year anniversary?!”

Current mood: amused.

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19th January, 2009. 10:49 am. Some hints on the songs that haven't been guessed

I'm going to give some hints on mine now.

1.       I don’t need to fall at your feet Go West, "King of Wishful Thinking" 



2.       It’s coming on Christmas Joni Mitchell, "River"


3. 41 Shots and we'll take that ride Bruce Springsteen, "American Skin (41 Shots)" scripted22 
Hint: This is the first full phrase, but "41 shots" repeats for awhile before that.

4. I always go the other way
Hint: I am pretty sure I got this song from one of you guys. Not sure who and not sure when, though.

5.       It’s Sunday night, I am curled up in my room Bree Sharp, "David Duchovny" 


6. Every day, a shade of blue
Hint: This song is by a male singer who's married to another celebrity.

7. It's not hard to reach back to that day beneath an Iowa sun
Hint: Great song, and it's about a World War II tragedy.

8.       Find yourself a girl and settle down The Raconteurs, "Steady, As She Goes" avipedia 

9. (I debated on this one where the first line ended, so I'm going to add a bit more to it.)
I sit and wait, does an angel contemplate my fate?

10. She don't run from the sun no more Anna Nalick, "Paper Bag bookie85 
Hint: You've probably heard of the singer who sings this, but maybe not this song. She's a 24-year-old singer from California whom I've seen in concert, and her first name begins with A.

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18th January, 2009. 12:34 pm. More First Lines

I'm glad we're doing this meme again. This was one of my favorites.

  • Step 1. Put your playlist on random.
  • Step 2. Post the first line from the first 10 songs that play, no matter how embarrasing.
  • Step 3. Strike out the songs when someone guesses correctly. NO GOOGLING.

1.       I don’t need to fall at your feet Go West, "King of Wishful Thinking" 



2.       It’s coming on Christmas Joni Mitchell, "River"



3.       41 shots and we’ll take that ride

4.       I always go the other way

5.       It’s Sunday night, I am curled up in my room Bree Sharp, "David Duchovny" 



6.       Every day, a shade of blue

7.       It’s not hard to reach back to that day beneath an Iowa sun

8.       Find yourself a girl and settle down The Raconteurs, "Steady, As She Goes"

9.       I sit and wait

10.   She don’t run from the sun no more

Current mood: calm.

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6th December, 2008. 10:22 pm. I Tried This Twice

Put iTunes (or its equivalent) on shuffle, take the first line from the first 20 songs and use them to make a poem. Use the first line of the 21st song as the title.

Number OneCollapse )


Number TwoCollapse )

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26th July, 2008. 6:44 pm. Voice Post

93K 0:29
“Hey, I'm gonna kill my friends if they ever get here. I'm out for my birthday and everybody is late. I've been sitting at the table by myself for 45 minutes. Christina is sick, Christina so she's not coming. The rest of the night better go better or you might get another pissed off ___ later on tonight ___ gone better, bye”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post - spoken through SpinVox

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16th July, 2008. 9:29 pm. The Answer

smrou got it: 

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15th July, 2008. 8:43 pm. IMDB That Shit

I am rather impressed with my IMDB search skills, if I do say so myself. 

Here's the story. I was remembering a movie I saw just a tiny bit of a long time ago, thinking that I should probably watch the whole thing, and trying to figure out what the movie was by searching. Here is what I remembered: 

-My parents were watching it, and I was probably about 9 or 10, so from that I knew that

a. It was not rated R, since they let me watch that little bit I saw (my mom was militant about movie ratings)
b. It came out no later than the mid-90s, and probably around then, since my mom tended to rent only from the new-release section. 

-The movie took place in the first half of the 20th century, although I wasn't sure what decade. 

-There were two kids living with their grandmother.

-Their uncle was a gangster.

-At one point, the kids were in a cemetery with a woman who was saying happy birthday to the dead person's grave. 

-The uncle and the kids, at one point, were crawling through a tunnel, and the uncle was talking about how when he was a kid, his mother used to lock him in a closet. 

After some IMDB searching, I was able to find the name of the movie, and this weekend, I rented it and watched it and confirmed that I was right. 

Here's my challenge to my friends list: can any of you tell me what the movie is? I'm going to screen the comments, and let me know whether you know the movie because you've seen it or whether you're guessing based on your own IMDB (or some other Internet) search!

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Current mood: curious.

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