Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Blossoms Combat Slugs

Sometimes I think that all of Alan's radiation treatment is making him radioactive and that the chemo is seeping through his pores and transferring to me. Because lately I have been so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open past 9. He tends to think that I am being overly ridiculous when I discuss such ideas with him, so I've stopped telling him about my theory behind my sluggishness. Or maybe studying for the quantitative section of the GMAT kills all of my happy, peppy cells and leaves me with dried out, used up cells that are best suited only to help me blink and eat copious amounts of snacks.

This is why it's so important to enjoy nature, especially now. Blossoms like this insert some extra zest into my day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monarch Migration

Have you noticed the monarchs recently? It seems they have all had their fill of margaritas, chilaquiles and hibernation and are migrating back from their winter stint in Mexico. On Saturday I walked to the Starbucks down the street and with every step, 3 butterflies fluttered across my path.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gimme That Summer Time Feeling

Despite how much sweat I will inevitably be sweating this summer, I can't wait. And to fill the time between now and then, there are some songs that really hit the summer spot. Spaceman by The Killers does an exceptionally good job of it. It makes me wish I could trade in all my black slacks for a really good swimsuit and drive to the nearest tropical island while listening to the song really loud and without feeling bad about how much I am increasing my carbon footprint. It makes me wish that tropical islands (the real kind that are featured in movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio) were within driving distance, but were somehow far away enough and off such a treacherous stretch of road that not many others ever ventured out to it. And when I got there I would take a swim, read David Sedaris, then do a dance like Brandon Flowers' does in this video.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Setting A Date For The Big Day

When picking my GMAT test date, I didn't want to schedule it too far out, like a check up at the dentist that you schedule 6 months in advance and forget about until you see the reminder scribbled in your calendar half a year later.

I definitely didn't want to schedule it after my trip to Oregon this June. I could just imagine coming home after a week of floating down the Lewis and Clark River, napping all day and eating all my favorite home cooked meals and completely forgetting how to find the surface area of a cylinder after it has been cut into 3 equal parts and then cut into 4,8, and 16 pieces respectively. And because forgetting how to do something like that completely unnerves me, I decided to give myself a good two months of study time and settled on a test day at the end of May (before the floating, eating and sleeping ensues).

Today I was reminded of another reason why my subconscious pushed me to pick a May test date. My duplex is insulated with a material that I imagine is very similar to saltine crackers, which is to say that when it's cold outside, it's below zero inside, and when it's hot outside, you could sweat out 5 pounds just from sitting inside.

When Nathalie and I got back from the gym today, we found the front door ajar and I entered with caution, worried that someone had broken in to steal my vintage pencil box from 4th grade. But it was only Alan, who was hot, and who probably figured that cracking open a window would be too unconventional and weird. And even though it's night now and cold outside, the day's warmth is still trapped inside where we are sitting all feverishly warm. So it's good that I won't still be studying when temperatures start to heat up even more. Sweat running down my face can be awfully distracting.

Hipster Babies

At first the desire to stock up on baby sundries started because of the cuteness of miniature things, particularly mini shoes. Like Crocs. But I never knew the full extent to which hip baby fashion extended to. Until I read Dooce's blog today, I definitely did not know prints, colors and accesories like this existed:

Modern Baby Bib

Maybe I could just skip the whole baby making and having process and just wear one of these myself. Or perhaps I could squeeze into this one-piece and wear it as a bathing suit:

Modern Baby Onesie

Summer is fast approaching and the cut looks pretty forgiving, especially around the mid-section.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Lycopene Reaction

Upon entering, freshly prepared salads with names like Crunchy Island Pineapple and Won Ton Chicken Happiness say hello. Next, colorful and neat piles of yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, waffle cut zucchinis, beets, mushrooms and garbanzo beans wave and jump on your plate. Add a drizzle of olive oil, some red wine vinegar and a dash or two of freshly ground pepper and you have a salad that the dinner salads you make at home only wish they could be. Around the corner, hearty soups, cheesy, buttery breads and moist muffins await to round out your meal. With so much variety and delectableness to be had, how could anyone not like Sweet Tomatoes?

Tonight, when Alan and I began our 1 hour nightly debate, otherwise known as deciding what to eat for dinner, I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to introduce him to one of my favorite restaurants and get him to eat some vegetables. When we got there, I went first in line so that I could demonstrate to him proper salad construction, first building the foundation with a layer of spinach, then layering on the different goods. I made it a point to stop at the tomatoes to encourage him to load up on them for their blessed lycopene.

Halfway through the salad building line, I turned around to see if Alan was following my lead and the most pitiful, saddest excuse of a salad looked back up at me from his tray. His salad was comprised of about 7 leaves of spinach, one cherry tomato, two slices of cucumber and three tiny mushroom shavings. From nowhere, the voice of my mother came out of my mouth and I could hear it saying to him, "We aren't paying $20 to have you eat like Oliver Twist! I said put some tomatoes on there!"

So he joylessly put a few more tomatoes on and threw 3 kidney beans on top of that, which I figured was an improvement so I didn't say anything else. Then he sat down with his face so long it practically was on his plate and began eating his salad like I was making him eat the remnants of his pet turtle (if he had one). Slowly, he picked something up with his fork and put it in his mouth, something that must have been filled with a combination of arsenic, vinegar and mayonnaise from the terrible, pained looked on his face.

"Gross," he said, with a look that said a small animal had just relieved itself on his plate. "I'm not eating any more of those."

I looked to see what the offending vegetable was and it wasn't anything truly gross -- like peas. No, it was just a small, harmless, lycopene-filled cherry tomato.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The One That Takes The Cake

Last week was a week full of astonishment. Nearly every day I discovered something new -- some things were "good to know" type stuff, some were surprising things and some were simply life changing.

On Monday, Alan visited his favorite radiation oncologist who, it was later discovered, was a Bruin. Bruin Doctor told Alan that his risk of infertility has decreased from 50% to 20% because of the new and improved radiation machine he's getting treatment from. It almost made me want to run out and stock up on baby Crocs.

On Tuesday, I had nothing but an exciting night of GMAT studying planned when Nathalie invited me to The Hut, the bar across the street from Santa Clara University. If I ever regret not having gone to enough frat parties in college, I'll sure be glad I found this place.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I thought about what color baby Crocs I'd dress my future baby in. And made 2 impromptu trips back to The Hut.

On Friday, I learned that if you want a jacuzzi bad enough, you can make one. All you have to do is run a hose from your apartment bathroom (it works best if you live on the bottom floor) to the outside lawn and fill up your inflatable pool with hot water. I also learned that if you set up these make shift jacuzzis at a party, some people will get in. Others will just point and laugh.

On Saturday, I was getting ready to go out to a club and realized that I hadn't gone out to a club in forever. As in so long ago that I can't even remember when the last time I went was. Something tells me that maybe the last time was when I turned 21. Having been out of practice, I wondered what the kids were wearing out these days. I contemplated wearing one of those backless shirts with some go-go boots, but because I don't have either, I settled for wearing some dangly earrings which are out of the norm for me anyway. You can see them below, along with the necessary steps needed to get a nice picture with Alan.

First he has to prepare his smile.

Then he prepares his eyes.

Next, the head tilt.

On Sunday, I saw I Love You, Man and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

But the best and most astonishing discovery happened on Friday. I needed to mail out 75 invitations in big legal sized envelopes and couldn't imagine licking all of them closed. That was when I asked Eric if he had a glue stick, and he gave me something even better -- an envelope moistener. Did you even know there was such a thing? It works like a charm, like a neat (never too sloppy), moist, envelope licking tongue at the ready. Do you know how much time and effort this little guy is going to save me every month when I have to mail my rent check?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grilled Cheese Realizations

Lately, my mom has stopped calling as much to ask about Alan. I think she is worried that the calling-every-day-bit was starting to stress me out. So now when she does call, she cuts right to the chase -- what is he eating? Is he eating? She is very concerned now that he will stop eating and will wither away into a bean stalk. For this very good reason, she takes every phone call to remind me to feed him canned soup. I have no idea where she got this recommended cancer patient staple from, and it seems rather odd coming from a woman who usually makes her own soups from the rinds of leftover summer watermelons. But because she has been down the road of radiation and chemotherapy before, I don't question her advice and I definitely do not tell her about the untouched, never thought of 5 cans of soup that have been sitting in the kitchen cupboard since I moved in.

Her phone calls don't stress me out because I can tell her honestly that he is eating. A lot. It's amazing how much he can eat now and how it all seems to disappear into thin air. He is as thin as he's ever been, maybe even thinner than when he was running everyday. After the initial shock of seeing him eat every meal like he hasn't eaten in days, the next thing that holds me in awe is the fact that he even has an appetite at all. It's hard to believe he has any room left for actual food after watching him swallow the stomach full of pills he takes every day. The pill menagerie is sprawled all over -- across his desk, in the kitchen, by the bedside table -- in all different sizes and shapes, but each working to either stop or stunt something or the other.

I really took note of the wild appetite the other night when he made grilled cheese sandwiches -- 3 for himself and 1 for me. Drenched in buttered bread and filled with hot American cheese, they reminded me of the cheese bread I'd buy during breaks in junior high. I started telling Alan about the similarity in taste and realized in horror that I was going to be that mom/grandma who tells her kids/grand kids about the times when she was young. With my mouth half full and my fingers greasy, I heard myself say, "When I was in junior high, I used to buy cheesy bread for only 35 cents!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Thing About Family

Daylight saving time makes me happy. The afternoon's sunlight stretches into the evening, and there is more time for romping around outside and listening to crickets. I don't really sit around listening for crickets, but I would if I had a house with a porch and a rocking chair. I'd definitely sit on the porch listening to the crickets then, all while drinking the fresh squeezed lemonade my Ma would make. But given that I don't have a porch and only really have a small side space outside which holds my garbage and recycling cans, romping around until 7 or 8 in the evening will have to do.

Last weekend the weather was so nice and the sky so blue, Alan and I went on a hike three days in a row. On Sunday we went to Villa Montalvo and for a few minutes I became The Girl That Thinks About Getting Married and pictured a grand canopy of interwoven white lights over the grass, with swans waddling around and the sounds of a lively wind or string band filling the air. Guests would be laughing and eating -- there would be lots of eating. Lots of eating of things with confit in the name or black truffle infused something or other. But then we walked past the grassy area and started our hike and I turned back into The Girl That Thinks Only Grown Ups Get Married.

This tree reminded me of a monkey's butt. It really grossed Alan out,
but I thought it was kind of funny.

This weekend the weather was not so nice as it was last weekend, so on Saturday we went walking through the mall so I could continue my endless search for sunglasses. As we rounded the corner from The Gap, we ran into my aunt, who I must admit I had been avoiding for some time. Although sometimes she can be fun and silly and light hearted, sometimes she makes me feel like she is peeling back my skin, pushing aside my muscles and inspecting and commenting on each and every one of my internal organs. It can be exhausting. But we ran into her and there was no avoiding it.

She looked at Alan and immediately said, "Alan, you look so skinny. Did something happen?"

Which made me look at him, then her, then him at me. It was odd to hear her asking this question because I knew my mom had already told her about Alan's diagnosis. But since I also know that sometimes people like hearing things for themselves straight out of the horse's mouth, I pretended like I didn't know she already knew. So Alan explained about the cancer, and she exclaimed that he was so young, and the next thing you know we are all sitting around drinking decaf coffee and eating pizza and cheesecake.

Thankfully, most of the meal was filled with her doing the silly, fun and lighthearted thing, but then she turned serious and started talking about cancer. The highlights were:

"You know, my boys have to watch out for colon cancer, too. My husband has 2 uncles that have died from it. Yeah, they just caught it way too late and then they died." As she said this I tried widening my eyes as much as I could to tell her that, oh you know, people with cancer don't like hearing about other people who have died from it. But then I thought this might have made it look like I found what she said to be intriguing and that she might think I meant: That's so fascinating, please continue. So I stopped.

"And how's chemo going? Don't you just feel so tired? No? Not really? Well, don't you just feel so fatigued?"

"Has it metastasized? So it has and it's spread to your lymph nodes? So you have advanced cancer. I see. That means it's advanced. Your lymph nodes are the ones that fight cancer and all the bad stuff, but see, now the cancer's spread to your lymph nodes..."

"Have you prepared your will, yet?" OK, she didn't ask this last one but she might as well have advised him to say goodbye to his loved ones now before all his hair falls out and he becomes skin and bones and shuns the light of day.

While he was in the restroom, she asked me if I had told my parents yet to which I said yes. But in my head I was thinking, of course I've told my parents and of course you know I've told my parents, but because we were so far into pretending like we live in a vacuum where my mom doesn't talk about me ever and to anybody, that was all I said.

When we got home later that night, Alan said, "That was fun! Her work stories were really engaging!" And I could see from his face that he meant it. That's the thing about those family members that you love and hate -- they're always more fun when they're not related to you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Glimpse Into the Life of Wearing Orange

I must admit, when I think of prison, images from Shawshank Redemption, American History X and the DVD cover of Charlize Theron's North Country (I never did see that movie) fill my brain. It was this limited, yet highly dramaticized, exposure to corrections facilities that pumped me full of inflated expectations on my trip to one's of Arizona's women's prisons.

As we pulled up to the parking lot, a team of search men dressed in black ordered us out of the car and large, ferocious, rabid looking canines jumped in and immediately began sniffing and tearing apart our luggage. I hoped they wouldn't pull out any embarrassing objects and cringed, remembering that in the morning rush I had stuffed my dirty underwear into the top of my bag. After determining we had left all of our AK's and grenades at home, we got back in and drove to the front. 

Once inside, we waited our turn to walk through the metal detector. I noticed what looked like family members holding freshly baked pies and could only imagine what cleverly concealed objects lay enveloped in the apple fruit filling -- a mini ice pick or a nail file perhaps? We each walked through the detector and were met with another uniformed man who frisked us before we were allowed to walk into the Sallie port, a small room with doors on both ends. One door had to be completely closed before the other one could be opened. 

I wanted to ask where the restroom was, but I couldn't hear myself thinking. As soon as we walked out of the Sallie port, the noise level was amazing. All I could hear up and down the floor was the rhthmyical clanging of tin cups against bars. Were we in the middle of a riot? Yells and war calls filled the air and we were quickly ushered into another meeting space...

...So that was all what I expected. But actually, nothing quite like it really happened. 

The dogs that searched the cars looked really happy and gleefully wagged their tails as they sniffed around and no one carried any pies holding hidden escape tools. I didn't even get frisked. After we walked through the Sallie port, what greeted us was the bright, warm Arizona sunshine and lots of open space. We waited for a van to come pick us up, but there was nothing around except squat gray buildings. The van dropped us off at our meeting space and every wall was covered with scenes of bears playing or horses running, all done by the inmates. 

As we sat around the table discussing business with our enthusiastic sales partners, I almost forgot I was in prison talking with prisoners. If only they weren't all wearing the same citrus orange from head to toe, I think I really would have forgotten. Outside in the courtyard, people laughed, milled about, walked around.

I remember when I first found out that the ladies who do our sales calls were in prison, I immediately thought about which gang I would join if I ever went to prison -- could I get away with joining a general Asian one or would I have to pick a specific one for Cambodians? Now when I think about being a lady working as a sales caller from prison, I think that I could benefit from being on a stricter schedule and that I might paint an underwater scene if no one objected. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trading Yoga for Cacti

When Sherry said one night during class that running is bad for you, I knew I had found my yoga instructor-match-made-in-heaven. After busting my knee (which never fully recovered) while training for the LA Marathon a few years back, I never did believe that running could be all that great for one's body. And it just feels good to have someone who can balance her entire body's weight upside down on her pinky and ring finger to second the notion. See, the great thing about Sherry's classes are that you can push yourself as hard as you want, and you can pick and choose which Sherryisms you want to adhere to.

Whether because of the Sherryisms (as Denise calls them) or because of the release my entire body feels after each class, I haven't missed Wednesday yoga for the past 2 months. Which is saying a lot considering that I didn't even miss it on the day I found out Alan had stage 3 cancer. Or on the day I had that wicked sore throat. And not even on the day I suffered from obscene amounts of gas from the soda Nathalie gave me after lunch.

Today is the first Wednesday yoga class I've missed and it's only because I'm in Phoenix for the next two days on a business trip, or, "On Business." (Sounds so much huffier and puffier when it's just "On Business," doesn't it?) Regrettably, since teleportation doesn't exist yet, I instead spent my evening admiring the many cacti just sticking up out of the ground next to the sidewalk pretending to be trees. Tomorrow we are going to prison (the real reason we're here) to meet with our "Business Associates" (the telemarketing team that does our cold calls is a group of ladies doing time...) I've never been to Phoenix before, and I've definitely never been to prison, so needless to say, I'm pretty jazzed about the whole thing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ab Envy

Sometimes, in the face of greatness, I am wont to ask silly questions I already know the answer to. This happened last weekend when I saw Nathalie's trainer at the make up and hair studio where Nathalie was getting all dolled up. I had seen her trainer before, but this time, Nathalie asked her to show Denise and me her abs. She pulled up her shirt and I swear I have never seen such perfectly formed abdominals lacking any fat on a real person like this up close and personal before.

Obviously, I knew that she didn't get that stomach by sitting on her couch watching re-runs of Dr. Phil during the day. Abs like that looked like the result of logging long hours in the gym and eating a careful diet, devoid of fluorescent Cheeto puffs or gummy bears. I knew all this (I am not without common sense all the time), but I could't resist asking her for tips on how to get a stomach like hers. I think a part of me was hoping maybe she had a miracle answer -- something manageable like not eating oatmeal.

So when I asked, all of a sudden I felt like a Cosmo reporter hunting down the answers and secrets for my next big summer piece -- "Rock hard abs without breaking a sweat." After I asked for her tips and before she answered, there was a pause that swelled like a huge ocean wave, right before it breaks. I waited for her to mention the oatmeal, but instead she said to eat fish and to not eat after 6 pm. The wave came crashing down. I had never even fathomed not eating past 6. This was mainly because I spend at least half an hour after work driving home, parking and walking to my house, which leaves about 15 minutes to make my meal and eat it. Also, I'd have to go to sleep at 7 if I stood any chance at all.

I suppose I'll just have to rely on other means to the summer goods. Hey, look! This one's even on sale.

Here we are outside Thi Make-up Studio, waiting for Nathalie's turn to get glamorized.

Here's a close up. Note my lip color (and Denise's (middle)).

While waiting, D and I tried on Thi's "perfect shade of red" lipstick made to complement Asian skin tones. Maybe I'm just not used to lipstick but my lips look oddly like I've been eating a popsicle.

A lot of time was spent here...

...but it was worth it! What a beautiful face!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tips on How to Maintain Someone's Interest and How to be a Creep

There comes a time in all of our dating lives when we wonder: how do I get someone to stay interested in me? Well, ladies and gentleman, I have a technique. A proven technique even. I wouldn't have dared to add the adjective "proven" before yesterday (as before then it was more like a hunch), but I think after yesterday it is safe to say it has been proven to work at least once.

So, here it is. The secret to getting someone to stay interested in you is this: don't do anything. Don't call them, don't pick up their calls, don't text them, don't email them, don't see them, don't do anything. Now, I must admit there is a catch. The catch is that it takes a very specific sort of person to still be interested in you even when you don't acknowledge them at all. Either the person is secretly an alien intent on capturing you for DNA studying purposes or the person is a weirdo. But, if that sort of thing is all small beans to you, this could work very well. As I mentioned before, it's worked for me at least once with a man that shall be called Charlie. After a few months of ignoring him, Charlie popped up again with incessant calls. A year later, he sent sporadic text messages. And yesterday, after a whole16 months of my doing-nothingness, he actually made another attempt at contact. Eerily enough, this time Charlie wanted to know (just because he was curious) where I live.

This brings up another good point and proven technique. If you could care less about wanting someone to stay interested in you, but have been dying for a fool proof way to completely creep someone out, here it is: Wait until just about a year and a half goes by since last talking to someone you used to know and who is currently treating you as though you don't exist and then text her to ask her where she lives. It will either melt her heart (if this happens, she might be an alien) or prompt her to tell all her friends the next day how creepy you are over gchat in capitalized stretched out words like "OHHH, i SOOOO have to tell you about this text."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well Wishes

My mom has increased the frequency of her calls, and I know that it is mostly to check in on Alan. I like hearing her comforting words -- "tell him to wear socks when he goes in for his surgery," "pray to the little Buddha I gave you," "radiation is easy." She means well and is supportive and I couldn't ask for more, but it's just sometimes her calls catch me off guard, when I am out and about and thinking about whether I should have a cookie or a piece of red velvet cake and not thinking at all about anything so terrible as cancer. One day last week I was completely caught off guard when my mom called, said hi and asked about Alan in less than a minute before handing the phone off to my dad. He asked how Alan was doing, inquired about the treatment plan and then instructed me to send him his best. Well, actually, word for word he said, "Tell him I wish him fine." (Which I think translates to something better than anything a get well card could ever say).

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Supernatural Healing

When I first moved to San Francisco, things started off rather bizarre. On my first day there, I had barely moved in all the boxes from my car when I met one of my new flatmates. She was sitting in the kitchen eating steamed vegetables and what looked like the roots of other exotic vegetables. I started off with some standard introductory chatter: My name is Sobrina, and I'm your new roommate! I like to do this and this... oh, no, no thanks, I just ate, but those roots really do look delicious... I work here and commute to there...

In response, she, too, opened up by offering some basic starter information: she had lived in San Francisco for some time now, but really hadn't been working or doing too much lately (since she had been sick and all), but she used to be a student. I offered some sympathy at hearing about her sickness and, thinking she had a common cold, offered her the advice that I often hear when I'm sick. I told her to drink lots of water and to get lots of rest. She graciously took my advice, but then went on to say that she had tried all that and none of it had worked. I nodded and asked, "Pretty bad cold, huh?" She said, "Well, no, not at all." Which was how I would come to hear about the voices and the disturbing visions plaguing her.

After hearing the details of her sickness, I relayed the information to friends. When I would tell friends about it, they would all respond with something like: "Oh that's terrible! She sounds like she has schizophrenia..." or "Just your luck to move in with a crazy!" But that wasn't the terrible part that I had moved in with a mentally unstable person, the terrible part was that a piece of me believed her and feared that whatever had done it to her might do it to me.

The crazy in me can be traced back to my parents, who had raised me to believe in the occasional occurrence of a supernatural event. Sure, it's rare, but it can happen. When I called to tell my parents about my roommate and her ailments, my dad said, "Yeah, maybe something happened in the house a long time ago and now it's haunting her." And my mom said, "You should find a Buddhist temple with monks to bless her." This all translated to me as You better watch your back because some ghosts or that creepy cat that lives there might try to possess you while you're living there. Anyway, the whole experience was odd, but save for one person's obsession with her knives, the rest of the flatmates turned out to be more level-headed and grounded in this reality.

Last night Alan and I went to a contemporary Christian church service in the City, just a few blocks from the house I had subletted with the roommate living in another dimension. There was lots of singing and dancing (wild, twirling dancing in the aisles) and after a while some people would go to the front of the room and lay down on their stomachs, completely stretched out and comfortable looking, as if they were about to take a nap. How odd, I thought. When are they going to sit cross legged on the floor so they can start chanting with the monks in a language I don't understand and lighting incense? Well, that part never came, it was more of the singing and dancing than anything else. But then, at the very end, the pastor asked people with ailments to come to the front of the room to receive prayer. Alan nearly had a panic attack thinking about going up there in front of all these people, but I just kept thinking these people were the ones doing flips and karate kicks while worshiping after all...

When we got up there, the congregation surrounded us. At first it was just me standing next to Alan and everyone else standing with other people. I started tapping people and asking them if they would pray for him since he had cancer.

What happened next is like something I would expect to see in a medicine man's hut somewhere in a mountainous region on the border of Cambodia and Thailand. Five... six... seven people laid their hands on Alan and then the pastor started speaking to the cancer itself, demanding that it be gone, that it had no place in Alan's body. The other people mumbled things in different languages under their breath; one woman cried. I half expected him to convulse violently and fall to the floor, after which he would come to with a smile on his face, declaring he could feel no more pain and that he was cured. It turned out that he didn't fall to the ground, but people asked him if he felt any differently afterward, to which he said he felt more relaxed. Later on the car ride home, he admitted he hadn't felt much of anything.

I couldn't believe in the dancing and the twirling and the laying down on the floor face down, but if there is anything I believe in, it would be supernatural healing done by spontaneous, intense prayer by seven strangers. I couldn't wait to go home and call my parents to tell them how the ways of the old country are still being used right here today.
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