Monday, December 29, 2008

rust belt christmas

This Christmas was the Christmas that my sister got engaged and the car crash that left me in a state of thanking God and awe at still being alive.

We were on our way to get some Ethiopian food on the east side Tuesday night and got no further than the Cleveland-Lakewood border when my friend started skidding on the ice and we spun across four lanes of interstate traffic before getting rear-ended on the other side of the road by the on-ramp.

As scary as it is to feel like you're on a Tilt-a-Whirl but with huge cars sliding towards you, I felt this weird sense of peace as my roommate and I prayed and realized that even as we weren't in control at all, God definitely was.

It looked like it was going to get ugly when the one guy got out of his car and started screaming at my friend about how his car was brand new and he was a Cleveland cop and that we were all in trouble but when I started dialing 911, he shut up pretty quickly. Didn't ask us if we were ok, just ranted about how his shiny new Ford Fusion was smashed up.

Meanwhile, we're standing on the side waiting for the real cops to come as cars slide like bowling balls down the highway. When they told us to move the car off the road at the next exit, we refused saying there was no way we were getting back on there.

Nobody was hurt too badly and we walked up the hill to a White Castle and I was craving everything on the Church's Chicken menu but decided against it and Kristy and her dad showed up to pick us up. In the meantime of Triple-A towing Daniel's car, her dad made a new friend that we gave a ride to.

But it really was a good few days here, the usual good food and good times with the family. I'm realizing more and more that these things are not something that everyone has, when I talk to friends who say that they spent Christmas alone. If you've got no one to spend the holiday with and it doesn't have any spiritual significance for you, that's got to be depressing as hell.

In the coming years, when this wouldn't involve inviting a crowd of lost souls over to my grandparents' or whatever, I'd like to at least make this time less solitary for others.

Checked out that Faberge/Lalique/Tiffany exhibit at the art museum, which is the first time I've been there in forever. The new wing feels so different, but the exhibit was great even though I couldn't look at the Faberge eggs without thinking about how the Romanov family died a few years later. As far as modern art goes, I love the whole Art Nouveau era and still don't understand why it fell so drastically out of favor. The museum store isn't as cool as it used to be though, because it now sells things like this:

Otherwise, totally loved the momentary thaw, spent the day with Kristy doing our usual running around with cameras taking graffiti pictures, hanging out at the West Side Market, getting cold at Edgewater Park. We revisited the Fun Wall, but someone painted over the building down there with that nasty gray color.

Still some good stuff around, but I wonder if the legendary spot's days are numbered.

Sunday, my roommate's sister was in town and we ended up hanging out with people from church doing the potluck thing, watched the Browns lose pitifully, still finding ways to laugh. Her sister and another good friend of ours were Steelers fans so they were entertained. I still still can't totally hate on Pittsburgh due to some kind of misguided Rust Belt solidarity I inherit from my dad, so I hope they do well since we were hopeless this year.

Had dinner with the Ethiopians, watched cute little kids run around, joked about how we nearly killed ourselves earlier in the week in pursuit of savory dishes and injera, and ended up with beautiful jewelry and scarves that our friend's wife brought back for us.

I only work 2 days this week, which still feels weird. But I do get to see a very dear friend tomorrow that I haven't seen in two years, and that's going to be a wonderful thing


Anonymous said...

I'm SOOOO glad you are okay! You are one of the good ones!

Christine said...

I'm really glad you're all right. That was a wicked night to be out - I felt very glad to get home in one piece. I had an accident like the one you described about ten years ago, and I recall feeling the exact same peaceful sensation: it's out of my hands. I'm also glad you don't seem to be too rattled by the fake cop and his "new car." It's amazing what some people's priorities are.

(ps - we really do have to get together one of these days. i dream in art nouveau.)

Valerie said...

i'm so happy you and jocelyn are okay! oh my goodness.

also, that exhibit was lame. well, not the bronze railing women, but everything else.

congrats to amy.

oh! i work with a girl who dated endr. she's trying to remember where some of his best stuff is hidden up here - most of it is in columbus, though.