Monday, September 3, 2012

SO I MARRIED MY FYNSK VIKING...

















     It was the wedding I didn't think we'd have. ONE week before the wedding, I was diagnosed with acute pertussis (whooping cough). FOUR days before the wedding, my family was stuck in Paris, unable to get out for two days (due to SAS-ballyhoo).  TWO days before the wedding, they were in Copenhagen...with no baggage! ONE day before the wedding, there were threats of all-day Saturday thunderstorms. 

And then, in a poof, all of our troubles magically disappeared. Martin and I had the exact wedding we wanted to have. It sounds so cheesy, so cliché, but it was "the best day of our lives." 

We had a theme that incorporated both of our countries. Call it Danish-Americana, with a palette of white, red and blue.

We enjoyed: a beautiful, Catholic ceremony (in English), gorgeous sunshine all day long, a canal tour with homemade ice cream, 65 close friends and family present, frolicking in the park, dinner & dancing in a greenhouse, and heaps of Danish speeches, toasts, kissing traditions and singing. 



Yes, I coughed a few times during the day, so I puffed on my inhaler. Martin's knees went a bit weak during his heartfelt groom's speech. The day was full of honesty, laughter and gratitude. Our family members were phenomenal.


I felt lucky to be standing there, and I reminded myself constantly to remember to 'stay in the moment.' 

It helped. 

Our wedding was a day that I will always cherish because I got to marry the Man of My Dreams. The Dude of My Life.  The Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me. 

Martin is just so good to me. And now he is my husband!



























Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Ours







IT'S OURS

there is always that space there
just before they get to us
that space
that fine relaxer
the breather
while say
flopping on a bed
thinking of nothing
or say
pouring a glass of water from the
spigot
while entranced by
nothing

that 
gentle pure
space

it's worth

centuries of
existence

say

just to scratch your neck
while looking out the window at
a bare branch

that space
there
before they get to us
ensures 
that 
when they do
they won't 
get it all

ever. 

- Charles Bukowski

So, I'm having a tough week. Okay, a tough month. Possibly a few tough months. I take refuge in people like Bukowski, who had it far worse than I. I'll let him speak for me.

I dedicate this gem of a poem to all the people who feel pulled in a thousand directions. People who don't know what space they stand on. People with thin skin, fragile hearts and a stomach in knots. Who feel squeezed and bone-dry, out of blood and tears. People who are scared. Scared to see themselves turning into mean career-fuckers. People who stand on their head, so their frown looks like the opposite, to those who keep staring at them. Keep on chugging. 


Let’s never let them get to us? 

- Cammy

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Desiderata













The first time I read the Desiderata was in a dorm room in Dykstra Hall, my freshman year at UCLA. I was with my friends Joy and Casey, and found the framed poem on the painted brick wall next to Joy's bunkbed. We were giddy and high on life, having just eaten dinner followed by vanilla frozen yogurt on a sleepy Saturday evening. I asked Joy, "What is that story?" And she told me it was her favorite poem, as it gave all the wisdom she needed in life. Casey added that the poem meant so much to her, that the 3 of us should read it aloud together, in unison. Amused and laughing, we recited the whole poem together, the way kids might squeak aloud some Biblical gospel during church. I can't read that poem today without thinking of the wonderful Joy and Casey. They were my gorgeous Kappa sisters who helped me find my way and 'nurtured my strength' that first year, living on my own as a naïve 17-year-old. Though miles now separate us, they'll always have a special place in my heart. Joy now has two beautiful daughters, little Camryn and Charley, who will one day, read the Desiderata too. 
DESIDERATA
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
- Max Ehrmann, 1927
The poem includes some challenging words, so if English isn't your first language, here's a guide:
Placidly: gently, calmly
Haste: speed
Vexatious: cause trouble
Feign: pretend something
Cynical: distrustful + pessimistic
Aridity: dryness, dullness
Perennial: lasting year-round, permanent
Fatigue: exhaustion, tiredness
Discipline: training/behavior
Sham: something fake
Drudgery: exhausting work

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Playroom to End All Playrooms





When I was a little girl, my three sisters and I spent our days horsing around in our very own playroom. It was an incredibly spacious, square-shaped room with two separate doors for entering and exiting. It was positioned strategically near the garage, so the screeching sounds coming from it would float away in a curving motion off the west side of the house.


For the most part, my mom and dad stayed away from our safe space that was The Playroom. But one by one, my mom added pieces to it that slowly transformed our playroom into the most magical, the most breathtakingly creative, the most decked out, ahead-of-its-time, and yet-still-vintage space for four little girls to roam.


By the time our playroom was finished, there was: A train that you could ride on, a player piano, a gumball machine, a foosball table, a jukebox made in the 1950s, a costume closet, a Murphy bed, and a yellow and red pinball machine from 1961.

Entering the room from the west entrance, you’d find the old jukebox, that came to us stocked with songs by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, Dolly Parton, and even a few early Madonna hits. It had a hit for anyone (original songs from its heyday, and recent ’80s updates).  You’d only have to punch in the code–say, A14– and the clear yet scratchy music would spill out of the box, lit up in vibrant colors of turquoise, red and yellow. We would hop up and down, dance a jig, and perform routines to the Tune of the Week, accompanied by tap shoes, tutus and jump-ropes. Altogether now. Which was a challenge on hardwood floors. We grew up with permanently bruised knees.





The jukebox came to us from “Santa Claus” on Christmas morning, 1987. Jackie was not quite 2-years old, and though she was an easy, happy baby (mostly my baby, to be exact) she had a meltdown that particular Christmas morning. It was a classic case of her being overtired, sooped on Christmas fudge, and manic about certain presents, like the jukebox. I remember this incident clearly because we have a videotape of Jax sitting on top of the jukebox, dressed in her Cinderella costume, crying and throwing a galactic-size tantrum for reasons none of us understood. I think she wanted a cookie. You can hear the sound of three snickering sisters and witness one unsteady hand of my father’s, who recorded the meltdown on his old Sony VHS video-camera. The camera shook to the rhythm of his laughing.





The wall to the left of the jukebox housed a king-size Murphy bed. Which is one of those surprise beds stored vertically inside the wall that you pull down when you want to jump on it or use for overnight guests. To the right of the Murphy bed was our costume closet – bursting with ornate, hand-stitched costumes, like Christy’s green-sequin Mermaid “Splash” costume, Jax’s Disney princes gowns, Allyson’s “little Orphan Annie” outfit, complete with curly red wig, and my old pink tutus and navy blue sailor-girl costumes from various tap recitals. There were close to 30 vintage works of costume art in that closet. And even some of my mom’s old brown hippie-dippie clothes from the 1960s.

On the wall opposite the Murphy bed was our player-piano. Which was possibly the best toy in that room. The downside of the piano was that we had to have weekly piano lessons from Hot Jay, our piano teacher. I didn’t like Jay because I had a raging crush on him, which interfered with my ability to focus on the keys during lessons.

Jay had 3 jobs: He was a gifted pianist (playing at Nordstroms department store, hotels, bar mitzvahs and weddings); he was a piano teacher to spoiled children; and a model on the side. A real-life über-babe with a headshot. I saw him once on the cover of Sacramento! Magazine. I didn’t like Jay because he preferred Christy over me. I didn’t like him, but I secretly loved him. He struggled for years to teach me.  My heart was into the piano. It was into him. And that made me a lackluster pianist.

Finally, Jay found a genre that I liked to play – ragtime! – and when we ran out of score music, like “The Entertainer” from The Sting, Jay composed his own ragtime songs just for me, in the spirit of rag-master, Scott Joplin. I doubt I ever thanked Jay for going so above and beyond the call of duty, just for me.  I might write him a letter to thank him. Is that weird? To this day, ragtime is the only genre of music I can play by heart; it seems to pour out of my fingertips whenever I sit down on a piano bench.





But the brilliant part about our piano was that it played music by itself. It was an analog machine, where you could stick into the piano body a roll of sheet-music, and it would electrically scroll through the roll, with the punch-holes cueing which piano keys played. We learned all the Broadway classics from that player –piano, but our favorites were “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, the theme song from Hello Dolly! and the incredible “If I Ever Leave You” from Camelot.

In the middle of the room was the centerpiece of the gameroom—our foosball table. My dad bought the table when I was about 2 or 3 years old. I don’t recall ever being excited or happy for it, but I played foosball with my sisters nearly every day.  Ten minutes here and there, before dinner. I’d spend an hour each Saturday or Sunday with my next door neighbor, Amy engaged in foosball warfare. Sometimes she’d run home in tears.





But my sisters and I played often. We played, we spun, we cheated and slammed; we whipped the bars around so fast and with such control that we could position the ball to explode off the armless halfback’s right side, at just the right 45-degree angle that it would fly into the goal, every time. We knew how to win. Sometimes Christy would beat me. Or I would beat Christy. Allyson could sometimes beat either of us – and we often didn’t even keep score. We were training. What was most important was slamming the ball into the goal with such force and ferocity that your wrist would burn as the ball glided into the catching-well inside the machine.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his best-seller “Outliers” that for a person to become an expert at something—like hockey, Chinese, violin, or MS-dos coding—he or she must put in 10,000 hours of training first.





By the time I was 10 years old, I had put in my 10,000 hours of foosball. So my second summer at Two River Soccer Camp, when I strolled into the Rec-room where some 15-year old boys were playing foosball, I didn’t hesitate to ask if I could play a round. They sneered and one huffed back, “But you’re 6 years old!” And he was right. I had the body of a 6-year-old. But what he didn’t know was that I had the skills of an Olympic-level Taiwanese Foosball gold medalist, on steroids. They caved and let me play. So as balls were flying, heads went spinning, and football coaches and counselors started gathering around, I singlehandedly, one by one, took down all five teenage boys. They seemed shocked, but I wasn’t. I was a foosball champion.

Reading this, it probably sounds straight out of a corny rejected Disney script. But it’s true – all because I had put in my 10,000 hours. And with that, I had all the currency I needed to play a 10-year-old’s game of hustle.





I should add that foosball was the only sport I was good at at soccer camp. I tucked that memory away, and didn’t bother to tell my older sister Christy that there was a foosball table in the rec-room, knowing she would go in there and hustle some boys too, thereby stealing all my glory. Like she did every day, on account of her being gorgeous, and me looking like a cabbage-patch kid, only shorter.





Kiddie-corner to the playroom’s foosball table was the bespoke blue-checkered sofa unit and cherry wood-tabled storage unit, nestled into the corner. Atop the table was my favorite piece in the room, our red gumball machine-lamp. My mom always kept it stocked with colorful gumballs that cost a penny each. Like the pinball machine, we could open it up and fetch our money back after getting the goodies. We were under orders not to binge-eat gumballs, and after defying the order a couple times, the excitement over having double bloated cheeks  drooling over with gumball juice faded away, and we followed mom’s orders.

Our playroom was a hit with all the neighborhood children and was probably the single  reason my sisters and I had any friends when we were little. Our friends likely used us for our playroom, which we didn’t seem to mind.

We had each other, and our Camelot on loop. And that was all we needed.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to give my future children the kind of playroom that my parent’s gave me. It was magical.

One by one, my parents have been selling off the items in that room. The jukebox is gone, the pinball machine is too, and so is the gumball-machine lamp, which my dad hawked away in a garage sale for probably 10 bucks. He offered to throw in the cat, Timba, for free, but the buyer wasn’t interested. My dad’s favorite activity is hosting these tacky fire-sales! where he can purge the remaining remnants of our childhood...And finally lay his head in a less cluttered, more adult, modern home.

While my sisters accept this, my mom and I find it sad. One of my mom’s last craft projects that she accomplished with her own father was a bunny-cage for my pet angora rabbit, Heidi, whose home was in our playroom. The cage was only 50% of the attraction, because the upper 50% of the piece was a dollhouse. It had a shingled roof, a chimney and a bay window with doll people living inside. It was a work of art, made of sturdy copper wiring and solid oak wood. My mom loved that bunny-cage-dollhouse. It, too, went away too a new home during their last garage sale.

Soon, when my parents sell their house, our playroom will finally no longer exist, except in our memories.

Which is why I write about it here. It’s gone, but I feel better about it now, having etched it in permanent posterity in my new playroom that is the blogosphere. It’s not the same, but just as much tap dancing can be found.

XO

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things Copenhagen Should Have: More Schlock, please

I love Copenhagen. A lot. 

But I would love her even more if she had the following: In ’n Out Burger, Walgreens, braggarts, California Pizza Kitchen, Jews, Loehmann’s, waffle houses, soft values, Sesame Street, and chivalry...

...Whole Foods, Sephora, Trader Joe’s, drive-thru Starbucks, factory outlets, Boot Barn, Barnes & Nobles, Chipotle, Republicans, Arnold Palmers and love letters.

7-layer dip, Mystic spray tans, marital fidelity, church-goers, Arden Hills Country Club, Super Bowl parties, Apple Stores, drive-thru chapels, schlocky tchotchkes, J. Crew and breakfast for dinner. 


I'd love to see MORE excess in a way that doesn't involve percentage-alcohol. More wallpaper, more tacky, more bragging, more eye-contact, more diversity, more outbursts, more New Age, more pills, more acupuncture, more nice, more modesty, more calories, more largesse, more charity, more taboos, more therapy, more pilates, more blue cheese dressing, more cheap Porsches, more sun. 



Found at: http://cupcakesandcashmere.com/five-things-9/


More tomfoolery, more sober misbehavin’, more g-droppin, more country music, more hip-hop, more Christian debauchery. More postmodern pillow-talk.


And more and more more. 

That's all for now. Feel free to add more, or subtract.

Happy Friday!

XO
Cammy



Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Cowboy

Notice the Joe Lando photo on my bedroom wall.
I want to tell you about my best friend, C. I woke up today missing him. A lot.

I pulled myself out from under my warm ‘dyner’ (a Danish type of blanket-comforter) and realized it was an extra frosty November Saturday morning. The living room window revealed the neighboring building across the street was covered in white. The spires had dotted snowballs perched on top. And the snow was still falling. The building I peer out into happens to be the castle – Amelienborg Slot – where Queen Margrethe II of Denmark lives with her French husband, Prince Henrik. I imagined the two of them drinking tea and eating ‘bolle’ by the fire. Or making bolle by the fire. Either one. (Don’t Google-translate ‘bolle’ unless you want to learn that morning-rolls and ‘screwing’ are the same word).

Craving coffee, I stumbled toward the kitchen and, on the way over, glanced at the silver cowgirl boots I had kicked off my feet last night, after stumbling home drunk at 2AM. And I began to miss him. Cowboy.

You see, that’s his nickname. There are a lot of nicknames for a lot of people in my life, and I’m a firm believer that nobody gets to choose their nickname, the nickname chooses you. You cannot decide what people call you, and conversely, you cannot decide what you call another. The nickname simply reveals itself to the world. In my life, I have a Buggy, a Bugaloo, a Jax, a Sunny-bear, a Tisty, a Scooter (well, had a Scooter, he’s remarried now and probably got a new nickname), a ’Bine, a Tans, a Ditdot, and the list goes on. The nicknames personally bestowed on me are within the realm of: Tommy, Hammy, Joey Lawrence-lover and Angela. I’ll get back to the Angela later.

But my C. – who others call Chiuy (pronounced Chewy, because his last name is Chiu) – became Cowboy shortly after a Royal Caribbean cruise that I took with his family years ago, departing from San Pedro south of Los Angeles. The ship docked at the Ensanada port-of-call, where we traipsed around the Mexican town looking for the perfect pair of cowboy boots for C. He was a man on a mission – finding the perfect pair of cowboy boots was his only goal that entire cruise (after giving away all his money to the cruise-ship casino). It wasn’t easy; C. has a rule about only putting high-end luxury materials on his body. I don’t recall perfectly, but he was searching for a particular kind of snake-skin or alligator-skin boot, probably with an elephant-ivory-studded heel or something really pricey and endangered. But he found the perfect pair of cowboy boots during that outing in Ensanada. Delighted, we bought them and went off to eat enchiladas and avoid drinking the water. 

C. wore those boots into the ground. He used them to make a fashion statement in the hospital, beneath his green scrubs; and to give me a swift kick in the heiny when the need arose.

Somehow, a week or two after the purchase – we were still two students at UCLA at the time – C. was decked out in his new reptilean cowboy boots, as we gossiped over dinner at our favorite Third Street restaurant called Barefoot, ironically. And when I asked him to hand me something, the word “Cowboy” fell out of my mouth.

“Please pass me the salt, Cowboy.”

And it was decided. We didn’t discuss it – and he never mentioned it. But when he dialed my phone, I said “Hello Cowboy.” And when I screamed at him I would whine “Cowboy?!?” in his face. And being the stinker that he is, he would just smirk in return... pleased that he was in the same league as tough guys like Hoppalong Cassidy, Mr. John Wayne, and Zorro. C. was my urban, drugstore cowboy. Of Chinese descent.

So when I saw last spring a pair of sparkling silver ankle-length cowboy boots that just screamed “feminine tough-gir,rodeo-clown-ho-down in Denmark” I simply had to have my own pair of cowgirl boots. I love them and I wear them frequently, and they often make me think of my cowboy.

Nabokov buff
After university, I lived with Cowboy in a Beverly Hills-adjacent apartment, and that first summer of our cohabitation was filled with random experiences of buying Playboy magazines at the corner magazine stand, eating endless dinners together at our favorite senior-citizen diner called Jan’s Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard, and endless, sleepless marathon-movie nights chosen from Cowboy’s library of classics. He always knew precisely which film to put on and when. And some of our favorite movies from that time together include If Lucy Fell (with a 7-year-old Scarlet Johansson cameo), Beautiful Girls, and Dreams for an Insomniac.

C. took his cowboy boots with him when he left California in 2000 for medical school in Philadelphia. It was a sad and painful day, watching my best friend leave our little nest in Los Angeles. We kept in touch, of course, and he’d send me packages now and then to remind me of him and our shared love of storytelling...the best one being a VHS-box set of every My-So-Called Life episode.

Perhaps it was after watching all 21 episodes of the series over a lonely weekend in 2002, that I was inspired to dye my long blonde hair a bright copper red, in a nod to the show’s disgruntled young soul, Angela Chase (played by Claire Danes).

I called up Cowboy in Philly and told him I was no longer a blonde.


Expecting him to chide me for being "body dysmorphic" or "insane" or “futzing too much with my person,” he laughed and said it probably looked great. “Couldn’t be any worse than what was there before.”

I flew out to Philadelphia to see Cowboy that winter, and when he picked me up at the airport, he stood shoulder to shoulder with the many taxi, shuttle drivers, and hired chaperones holding up names of arriving passengers from faraway lands with monikers like “Mr. Kobayashi” or “Divya Shyama-lamalaman.” Cowboy held up a white paper too, obscuring his face. And the name on the paper read “Angela Chase.”

He always let me play Angela. The tortured wanderer.

Last year, in 2009 – after completing 4 years of medical school, 4 years of residency and one year of advanced training, Cowboy emerged from Philadelphia an official, full-blown doctor surgeon. He’s now back home in California, with family and friends who need him -- while I’m in Denmark, wondering what it would be like to live in the same city again with my cowboy-in-crime.

I need to get past it, but I still struggle to realize that Cowboy is a doctor. A  highly skilled surgeon, no less. His supervising Surgery Chief emailed me, asking for stories about C. that he could deliver to the audience during the graduation-banquet for the hospital's surgery residents. He wanted embarrassing juice on Cowboy, enough to add flavor and spice to a good old-fashioned doctors' roast. So I provided those stories – like the one where, in college, C. used his “For emergencies only!” credit card given to him by his parents to buy a Corvette at an auction. But I also provided a letter that shared the softer side of C. I don’t know if the Doctor chucked the letter, read it aloud, or folded it up and handed it to Chiuy.

But I keep a printed copy folded up in my desk, to read at moments when C.'s ridiculousness  gets me riled up; like the times when he huffs to me on the phone, “I will never ever come visit you in Denmark, because you chose to leave!”

So here is what I wrote the Doctor who gave Cowboy his diploma.

Dinner in Beverly Hills, better than dorm food!
June 7, 2009

Dear Dr. Weingarten,

I’ve known C. since we were 12 years old.

He’s an impenetrable person, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly those things that make him unique, though they’re myriad. When we were in junior high (7th and 8th grade), he was the smartest kid in school, always a level or two above his grade in math. He knew he was bright, and made a point of approaching the cars of the moms picking up their ditzy pre-teen girls from school, to tell them that their daughters were "airheads" (one of whom was my older sister). My mom laughed it off, told him to run along. C. didn’t do those things to be a jerk – far from it. I think he was trying to be memorable in the eyes’ of the parents.

When C.’s dear little brother Kenny passed away when we were 15 years old (Kenny was only 12), C. returned to high school a different person: a bit softer, but still with his trademark humor and friendly smile. He didn’t let any of his friends handle him with kid-gloves. My younger sister Allyson had been close with Kenny and his passing changed her life. It wasn’t long after that she fell into a depression that lasted through her high school years. C. always kept a watchful eye on Allyson.

C. and I would go off to UCLA together at age 17. I would have drowned in a sea of 35,000 students if it hadn’t been for him, my rock. He was straight with me and would tell me when I was being too anti-social, too sorority, too geeky, or too skinny. When I had bad days – received a poor grade on a mid-term or had a fight with my boyfriend – C. would leave roses on the windshield of my car. There’d be a picture he drew or a Dr. Seuss-like poem to make me laugh. C. had an open account at the most exquisite rose shop in LA – so every milestone in the lives of his many female friends would elicit a dozen white or red from their loyal friend.

If I ever pissed C. off, he’d get back at me by taking my roommate in the Kappa sorority-house out to dinner and to see the movie I’d been dying to see. It was his way of telling me where I stood, and I’d get the message to not take him for granted.

In addition to his brainy, rational side, C. is a gifted writer and storyteller. He’s a movie buff and a screenwriter who could be the next Quentin Tarantino if he wanted to, because that’s how twisted and talented C. is. His home-library today holds more than a thousand films.

C. spent most of his college years working as a volunteer at the CARE Center at the UCLA AIDS Institute. While other students were out partying, shopping or engaging in tomfoolery, C. was bringing joy and levity into the lives of patients with HIV and AIDS. One of his favorite activities was playing with the children in the waiting room – taking out coloring books and toys to keep them entertained while their parents sought treatment. 

When I became ill with strep throat while living in the dorms, my parents called C. and asked him to administer the nastiest tasting cough syrup I had been refusing to take; so he showed up at my dorm room, pinned down my writhing, laughing body, until he could pour 2 table-spoons of Robitussin down my throat. That day, I knew he would become a doctor.

C. has a sensitive and overflowing heart that hits you when you least expect it in the tenderest of places. He’s like an accidental mensch who can’t help but be selfless and gracious. He massages stressed shoulders that need a caring touch; he can get rid of a headache just by applying a little Chinese acu-pressure to that meaty spot your hand, all while making you laugh as you scream in agony.

We share a love of fine food, so we’d take each other out to classy 90210 restaurants – places like Wolfgang Pucks and Lawry’s Steakhouse – and fight with each other over who got to pay. Dining with C. is an incredible experience – he'd bring out bottles of wine, several appetizers, savory main courses, a rich soufflé, and endless laughs.

When C. and I were seniors in college – much more mature and evolved since our high school days – he drove 6 hours back to our hometown of Sacramento to take my little sister Allyson to her high school prom. That’s the kind of attentive person he is.

After graduating college we were roommates in a charming apartment in South Beverly Hills. I think he chose the place based on its close proximity to my therapist, Dr. Grenner. C. never saw him, never knew him, just heard stories about “Dr. G, Therapist to the Stars.” To this day, when I run into Dr. G., he doesn’t ask how I’m doing, he asks how C. is.

Since C. moved to Pennsylvania 8 years ago, my time with him has been less frequent. The time and distance have had no effect on his standing in my heart as my most treasured, most one-of-a-kind, most brilliant friend. I know we’ll be making each other laugh, cry, scream and grow, when we are old and gray. 

I beam with pride when I talk about C. and all that he has accomplished in his life. I would never let him near me with a scalpel, because he’d probably engrave the word “Cowboy” in my scar-tissue, but I trust him with just about anything else.

C., congratulations on finishing your Residency in Surgery. You’re kind of amazing, and I wish you good luck as you continue giving aid, reassurance and healing procedures to patients lucky enough to call you their doctor. 

Always put your best foot forward to show us your talent, your passion and your love. The world is a better place for it.

Sincerely,
Your Cammy