rainy monday

I love rainy days.  Especially if there is little to no wind, and it’s not too cold.  Today dawned misty and gray, the rain coming straight down and pattering softly on the deck, the roof and the driveway.  Lucy looked up forlornly on our only walk, unhappy to be outside in the wet.

But I felt motivated today.  We spent the weekend in Mansfield (three out of the last four weekends is absolutely a record!) and despite having slept in a tent next to a luggable loo far too many times recently, I didn’t wake up in any pain.  I’d slept well (and through the night, which anyone with M.S. can tell you is a small miracle).  I’d planned on cleaning the house today (something I try to do on Mondays, so it’s done for the rest of the week) but thought better of it when I realized the rain wasn’t going to stop any time soon.

Instead I braved Wegmans at 8.30am before the crowds and then sat down in my office, determined to make a dent in the piles of paperwork that have (seemingly) grown exponentially in the past few weeks.  I had my first successful R + F interaction, signed up for an HR certification course, balanced our checkbooks and finally (after procrastination) rode over 21 miles on my bike.

Tonight, John and I will have some filet, fresh corn and zucchini for dinner (I love when we have real, well-balanced meals, and truly appreciate how much thought and time goes into creating them night after night).  I’ll probably fall asleep curled up beside him on our couch, watching sitcoms while he scrolls through his phone.  It will be blissful, because life has been so unexpected of late, and this will be a return to normalcy (before he heads to NYC tomorrow on business).

That’s the comfort of a gray Monday.  The release of pressure to be outside. The silence and stillness. The freedom to quietly tap away at keyboards, and get the things that need to be done finished.  The knowledge that cuddling up under a soft blanket in sweatpants is completely acceptable.

With a nice glass of red, of course!  🙂

focus

One of the things I struggle mightily with is staying focused.  I seem to recall a time when it wasn’t that hard.  But now, being unemployed and having M.S., I feel like after the wicked fatigue, the brain fuzziness is the worst.  This morning I stood scrolling through my phone for a good 40 minutes in the kitchen.  For no reason.  No purpose.  Just reading random articles about Steelers training camp and looking at people’s vacation  photos.  What’s the point of that?  I mean, the photos are always adorable (or funny) and I do care (maybe too much) about the status of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  But couldn’t I have used my time more efficiently?

Um, yes.  Yes I think I could.

And then, this afternoon, following some intense procrastinating, I finally made my way downstairs to the garage and set up my ‘Insanity’ workout.  And then wasted even more time.  Doing … I don’t even know.  I. Don’t. Know.

When I go to bed at night, it’s usually too late.  But I promise to get up on time anyway.  Which I don’t do.  Then, when I finally drag myself out of bed, I’m running behind whatever phantom schedule I’d made for myself the night before.  Today, when John came upstairs after his morning workout, all I said was “I have to make better decisions.”

And that is certainly part of it.  But another part of it is the idea that when you don’t have structure in your life, everything feels amorphous.  You just float around, certain there will be enough time.  Confident that all will be well.  There is something weirdly relaxing about that.  And I am lucky enough to feel that way because John is successful enough that I don’t need to work.  But it’s also a little disconcerting and disorienting.  I’ve spent my whole life independent.  Taking care of myself.  (Well, y’know, after my parents took care of me and I learned how to do a little bit of adulting).

But I’m so tired and so air-headed nowadays, that the idea of going back to the workforce is absolutely terrifying.  I think back to the end of my time at my last job, and I was so unhappy, I struggled so painfully every day to just keep my head above water….  Could I do it again?  Could I find the strength to have a career and keep my health under control?  Is finding out worth the risk?  I don’t know.

I read a quote recently — something about happiness is what you find beyond the fear.  It was the idea that if you felt uncomfortable or unsure, that maybe it would be worth pushing through to see what exists on the other side.

So I decided I would push through.  I would conquer my fear and reticence to try to sell skincare online.  I would reach out. I would embrace it.  What could the worst result be?  A no?  And so, this August, I am going to fully embrace selling Rodan + Fields skincare.  Because it is the best stuff I’ve ever used (and if you know me, you know I’ve been obsessed with skincare for a long time), because the people who brought me into the company have been unbelievably supportive and encouraging and I think it will be a work environment I can believe in and be proud to be part of.

I hope it helps me find whatever it is I feel I am missing.  I hope it is a positive experience.  And I hope I can help other people discover these great products (that might sound like a line, but I do inherently believe it).

 

revisiting an old friend

A few weeks ago, John and I spent the weekend in Mansfield so he could help his dad do some projects around the house.  This left me at a loose end, but I was determined to stay as healthy as I could so we got a portable blender and I brought up all my smoothie goods, plus my laptop to google some work outs.  We set up our tent and canopy, plus the love seat bench that we got this year with our REI dividends.  And when I was finally motivated (aka, ran out of ways to procrastinate longer), I looked up some things on You Tube, and got to getting sweaty.  I didn’t hit my move goal though, and that frustrated me. Three days in 2017 I haven’t hit it, and one was because I couldn’t manage to find a good workout.  Grr.

I was fairly determined not to let that happen again this past weekend.  I still packed up my blender and my laptop.  We set up the tent and the canopy (and Lucy, on her long lead).  But this time, I decided to pull the trigger and sign up for Beach Body On Demand. Because I’ve never done a workout that I’ve found as challenging yet satisfying, as ‘Insanity‘.

I think maybe I thought that since I’ve been working out regularly that somehow the program would be easier?  Um, not really.  I mean, some things were ‘less hard’ but let’s be honest here.  Those workouts are killer.  And now — added bonus? — there are a million different versions of ‘Insanity’.  I stuck with the original because I knew it was tough and I hoped it would burn calories.  And because I’m a little insane, I did two workouts in a row.

For the past two days, my legs have been so unbelievably stiff and sore, I wondered what in God’s name I’d been thinking.  I would never do an Insanity workout again.  But, then I decided to stop being a baby, and I fired up the laptop yesterday afternoon.  It was a very tough 40 minutes.  When I climbed on the bike for a cool down afterward, it felt like a cakewalk.  And then, I pulled myself up the stairs, and decided to take a bath with salts, in the hope that it would help my poor legs recover.

It did!  I woke up this morning and didn’t feel like my legs were dying.  Not only that, but for the first time since I began riding my bike last year, I was enthusiastic about a different kind of work out.  I got up, looking forward to my date with Shaun T, and set about my day.

I remember doing Insanity several years ago — before the MS.  It’s challenging in different ways now — I have little to no bounce in my legs, so I am working on that.  But I am less angry at Shaun T this time around. In fact, I’m not angry at all.  He makes me smile.  I feel encouraged. I am really enjoying it, and how it’s forcing different muscles to work harder.  Working out every day isn’t really anyone’s idea of a good time (well, maybe someone?  but I don’t know that person) but I am feeling really glad about my decision to branch out and do different things.  I need to work out every day — it keeps me strong, it keeps me focused on being as healthy as I can be. And to be honest, it’s a little bit of a relief not to ride the bike for an hour and fifteen minutes every day.  Although, I’m sure I’ll start to miss it eventually.

each new day

It seems a little strange to think that it’s August now.  The weather has been so funny all summer that just a few days ago, I would have sworn it was a late September day – perfectly warm at the height of the afternoon without being humid, but cool as the evening approached, a light breeze ruffling the leaves on the trees.

We spent last weekend in Mansfield, camped out in John’s parents’ yard.  It’s the closest we really get to camping right now, and this past weekend, we brought Lucy.  (This was a mistake.  But probably one we had to make in order to really know for sure that Lucy and Mansfield/camping don’t really mix).  The sky at night was full of twinkling stars, the air crisp as we cuddled under blankets in our tent.  Just me, and John and our little fur-creature, together under the night sky.  It was sort of wonderful.

July has been a funny month for us personally.  John began his new job at the end of June, so July has been an exercise in new normals.  How our days work, how our life is crafted.  When we moved into our house, a little over two years ago, we both worked outside of Chester County.  We both spent an amazing amount of time commuting.  Now, we are both home every day, enjoying our home, and enjoying our life out in the countryside of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The transition hasn’t always been easy — there  have been bumps and confusion.  But we have seen both our families more this year, enjoyed each other’s company more, and been able to devote time to our friends and our hobbies, without the endless fatigue of a commuter’s life.

Last night, as Lucy and I walked along the mowed paths between high grass up on the hill behind our development, the sun sinking slowly in the sky and coloring the horizon with fire orange and blazing pink and violet-purple, I knew something inherently, at the very core of my soul.

I am at peace.

Everything that John and I have done to this point, to get us here, has been worth it.  But nothing is forever.  And leaving toxic environments and allowing ourselves to focus on what truly matters to us has been liberating.  Terrifying, yes.  But also joyous.  There is a unique power and confidence that having a partner and a small family unit provide, that may explain mankind’s tendency to couple up and procreate across the centuries.  But it is truer than true, the idea of feeling settled, of feeling heard and understood.

To watch Lucy chase butterflies and sprint the length of her leash in multiple directions, with what can only be described as a doggy smile as the warm evening breeze touched  my face and swayed the grasses surrounding us — the sky a myriad of indescribable color — John’s warm steadiness beside me.  I knew more than I’d ever known before, that I’d made the right choices, I was with the right souls, and anything was possible.

 

fridays

I realized today, as I rode the elevator up from the parking garage, that I’ve been coming to UPenn for meds for two and a half years.  I’ve known my nurses for a long time.  They smile and wave as I sit in a bed, getting juiced up for the month.

Tysabri.  What a game changer.

It took me awhile to try it.  I spent 2014 in a downward spiral of frustrating physical handicaps – Lydia (my walking cane), numb limbs, the inability to climb stairs — and my favorite, when my right hand would just stop working out of nowhere.  I’d been on Avonex, Copaxone (my least favorite), Gilenya (oh lordy, the testing) and finally, Tecfidera.  Nothing worked.  My body was sliding into utter disintegration and chaos.  I burst into tears a lot, got huffy and wallowed in feelings of defeat and despair.  Dr. M prescribed Tysabri three times before I actually made an appointment.  Three times.  Three mailings full of shwag I would never use (bags, neck pillows, etc etc) and a welcome packet with smiling people who looked less like MS patients, and more like catalog models.

My first infusion (after sitting for hours in a room with John and Dr. M hashing it out) was on December 17th, 2014.  Hubs came with me because the entire experience was a little overwhelming.  My second infusion in January 2015 was three days after I was diagnosed with shingles (that’s right, shingles — I was thirty-five).  I didn’t really notice a difference, but John did.  Around April he casually mentioned that I could walk from our living room to the bathroom without reaching out to hold walls and countertops.  By July of 2015 I wasn’t even using Lydia that much.  I would forget her at home on work days.  We moved into our new house, with two flights of stairs, and I was okay.  I had to hold onto the railing and take my time.  But I was okay.  Slowly, it got easier.  I made the transition from taking one step at a time to one foot after the other.  It was a little like learning to walk all over again.

I wore heels again for the first time in March 2016.  I still can’t do stilettos, but a nice wedge or a thick boot heel?  Yes, please!  And then, this June, I got my first manual car for the first time since 2012.

I still have tough days.  I find the brain fog comes a lot more often, and a lot earlier than it used to.  But I ride my bike every day.  I eat as well as I can (which isn’t always great, but I do my best).  I come in for my medicine without fail.  All these lovely things help me live as close to a normal life as I can hope for.  I won’t give up wine (I know plenty of MS peeps who stopped drinking and I agree, it doesn’t help the brain fog at all, but man, it’s so tasty).  I still have cheese and gluten (albeit sparingly).  I try not to think about the terrible things my medicine has caused in other people.  Because for me, Tysabri gave me back my life.

In a small way, I have come to associate Fridays with medicine.  I know that Fridays are great for the working world — last day of the week before the weekend.  In my world, every fourth Friday is when I get to come into the hospital to fill up on whatever it is that makes my life better.  I’ll take it.

today’s goals

I definitely woke up  much less stiff and sore this morning.  But I also had to do a very modified work out yesterday (due to my sore knee).

Hubs and I are headed to his parents this weekend so John can help them do some projects (which involve climbing on the roof, so I’m guessing they are both serious and necessary).  I’ve struggled with travel since the whole MS thing, because I am a creature of habit, and those habits involve food (ahem, smoothies).  So yesterday, I set about finding a small, portable blender so I can have a smoothie in the morning while we are away from home.

Amazon really dropped the ball.  I originally ordered a blender that had a guaranteed delivery date of tomorrow, just to have the tracking information update this morning when I checked shipping.  Thanks Amazon, so glad I have a Prime Membership and infinitely more glad that it’s so efficient.  Smoke could be seen coming out of my ears and in a rage, I cancelled the order.  What good does a blender do me on Monday?  No good at all.  None.

So, today, my goals include hitting my Move goal (aka burning over 800 calories according to my watch), drinking at least four bottles of water in preparation for meds tomorrow (being hydrated means the nurses can find the veins and saves me additional angst because I really don’t love needles) and finding a portable blender at either Kohls (I’ve googled, it seems they have quite a selection) or BBB (I’d rather hit the jackpot at Kohls – it’s closer to home).  I’ve done my meal planning for the day – salad for lunch and veggie noodles with chicken sausage for dinner (I had sushi last night, because Hubs had to go meet a work associate at the last minute and take him to dinner).  We also have to pack up the truck for the weekend — tent for camping in the yard, air mattress, blankets etc etc.  I’m still trying to figure out what workouts I will do while in Mansfield.  But I’m sure I’ll come up with something.  Additionally, the paper has begun to accumulate on my desk, so I should probably sift through that before going away for a couple days.

Ah.  Life.  Always keeping you on your toes.  Wishing everyone a great day filled with lots of smart food choices, a healthy sweat and tons of hydration.  It’s a humid one in Southeastern PA, so I’m sure the MS will be buzzing!  (Literally.  It feels like buzzing in my fingers and hands).

a day in the life

I’ve had a rough few months.

Not in a bad way.  In a good way.  But the past few months have not been easy.  I’ve felt really lost a lot of the time.  I keep coming to this blog wondering what I’m doing.  What do I have to say?

What do I have to say.

I started this blog about six years ago, with the idea of learning to cook and sharing the amazing recipes I was sure I would be making.  And along the way, I got MS.  Which really changes the shape of a person’s life.  About a year and a half ago, I started to work out in earnest.  To be fair, I don’t know if I had a specific reason.  Just the idea that I knew I should be working out, and we’d spent some cash on a stationary bike.

Earlier this year, I though to myself, I should make this blog about MS.  But lemme tell you something — that is both challenging and slightly depressing.  MS is not fun.  It challenges a person every day in every way.  But it also makes you look at things from a completely different perspective.

Would I be biking nearly 170 miles a week if it weren’t for MS?  Maybe.  But probably not.

Would I have an addiction to green smoothies?  Um… I’m going to guess no.

Would I constantly be trying to push the boundaries of my dietary restrictions in the best possible way, and make things that normally sound dismal delicious?  Absolutely not.  I mean, I think we all start to get healthier as we age — recovery isn’t as quick, and we learn that taking care of this body we were given really does help lead a more fulfilling life.  But I think the extremities of the consequences I deal with really helped clarify my life.

I really don’t like absolutes, so when I try something new, I think of it in an 80/20 capacity.  I’ll be good 80% of the time, and take my chances 20% of the time.  Over the past few years, I’ve found this approach works best for me.  I think everyone responds to boundaries differently — some of us might like the all or nothing approach.  But all that all or nothing accomplishes for me is a truly terrible attitude and massive resentment and unhappiness.  That isn’t to say that over time I haven’t found certain things are better at 100% (green smoothies are an example — a day without a smoothie means feeling much more lethargic and foggy, having lower energy and waking up in gripping stiffness and pain the next day — all of which I’m sure, sound amazing).  But across the whole spectrum, 80/20 has become my go-to.

And as I struggle each day to make the best decisions I can (I succeed sometimes, but I also fail … a lot) I thought maybe it might be something I could share here.

I have meds on Friday, which means I’m tired this week.  And the heat and humidity of July are not my friends.  When I woke up this morning, after about ten hours of sleep, my entire torso ached every time I inhaled.  My legs were unbelievably stiff, and my left knee hurt.  I mean, hurt.  Which I find so depressing, because it means I won’t have a good ride on my bike, if I ride my bike at all.  And that, in turn, means that my “Move” circle on my watch might not get completed.  Highly unsatisfactory.

I knew John had a long conference today (we are still adjusting to him working from home – finding routines and rhythm). I tried to make my bullet point list for today — things I wanted to accomplish.  I was going over to a barn near my house that does therapeutic riding with disabled children with my mother, but otherwise, nothing on the agenda.  I’d done some grocery shopping yesterday, so I figured I’d make something yummy.

I did a slight variation of a black bean & citrus salad that I first made years ago (from Iowa Girl Eats).  Let me tell you something ~ making a recipe when you are infinitely more comfortable in the kitchen is so much more fun than freaking out about measurements and ingredients every five seconds.  This recipe *could* be healthier (I used Israeli cous cous cooked in chicken bouillon instead of quinoa and water) but it’s still a pretty good one.  It’s definitely a recipe that makes me feel both healthy and happy.

What I used:

1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit segments

1 can black beans (rinsed)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 ears of fresh corn (cut off the cobb raw)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 cup dry Israeli Cous Cous

1 1/4 cup chicken bouillon

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing:

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 cup EVOO

2 tsp Cumin

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

1.  Combine cous cous and bouillon in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer.  Cover and allow cous cous to absorb liquid — about six- eight minutes.  Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally so the cous cous doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Once the pearls are inflated, transfer to a  bowl and let cool to room temp.

2. Combine grapefruit, beans, corn, cilantro and cranberries in a medium to large mixing bowl.  I fold together with a spatula so that the grapefruit doesn’t break down too much.

3.  In a separate bowl, squeeze lime juice and combine with EVOO, cumin and salt and pepper.  Whisk together.

4.  When cous cous has cooled, combine with other ingredients, pour vinaigrette over and continue to mix until well combined.

5.  It’s delicious.  Trust me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m heading down to the gym now ~ I’ll probably do some burpees and squats (depending  on my knee) and then about 20 miles on the bike (again, knee dependent).  I’m hoping to get back to a regular yoga practice soon — my muscles are feeling tight from all the cardio and strength work outs.  Hubs and I have sweet potato noodles to make for dinner tonight (Wegmans = the best).

I’m already on my third bottle of water, so if I focus, I could probably get four in today (which may help with the soreness and stiffness).

 

conundrums

Having MS.

It’s sort of like everything all the time, and nothing at all.

I don’t really know how to better describe it.  How it affects everything, and is always on my mind, but at the same time isn’t that important at all.

When I talk about my MS, I usually feel like it’s a throwaway comment ~ not that big a deal, just the norm.  But then, halfway through the words coming out of my mouth, I realize (usually from the changing facial expression of the person I’m talking to) that perhaps, my comments are a little more jarring to them.

I guess it’s like …. nope.  I can’t think of anything that it might be like.  It’s just … my baseline, my reality.  I don’t want sympathy.  I don’t want pity.  But I also don’t know how to exist without it anymore.  It’s such a huge part of my whole life.  It influences everything I do, everything I wear, every decision I make.  I am no longer myself without the MS.  I am MS, it’s become part of my framework.

I don’t bring it up on purpose … and what I mean by that is, it’s so much a part of every aspect of my life, I don’t know how to exist without acknowledging it.  Yes.  Maybe that’s it.

I guess my throwaway bio on Instagram and Twitter are the truest of true … I am an MS warrior — BUT, I’m so much more than that.  Sometimes maybe, it’s hard to remember that there’s so much more, when I lead with such a wham bang punch.

phantom bruises

So, for those of you not blessed with MS, let me tell you that the amount of bruises I find on my body are both intriguing and puzzling.  I don’t know if everyone with MS bruises easily, but what I’ve found is that a stiff breeze can color my legs purple and it takes weeks for them to fade.

The problem with this issue is that in the summer, my legs aren’t safely ensconced in pant legs, and therefore, the challenge becomes how to minimize the purple and blue.

A few years ago I got really serious about taking care of the skin on my legs.  It sounds (to me) a little over-the-top, but I was tired of having ugly, discolored skin all the time.  I researched exfoliators (I currently use Shiseido Body Illuminator, which I like a lot), tried out a bunch of moisturizers (I like Vaseline’s Cocoa Butter but my favorite is Johnson’s Baby Oil with Shea Butter) and got much more serious about using shaving cream.  I order from Harry’s, because you can get eight blades and two cans of shaving cream for $28.  Pretty decent compared to what the hubs spends for his razor blades.

But the product that changed the game was discovering Tarte’s Maracuja Rainforest Glow ~ a sort of tanner/body perfecter.  I guess it’s kind of like a tanner/foundation for the legs (or anywhere?, but I only use it on my legs).  It definitely hides the bruises, and it doesn’t take eight hours to kick in.  Sadly, Tarte discontinued it, so I desperately ordered the last three bottles I could find on eBay to buy me some time to find something similar to it.  Fingers crossed!

Hubs and I are heading to two Fourth Parties ~ one today and one tomorrow, so hopefully I can cover up the huge bruises on my calves (from what?, you ask ~ yeah, I have no idea.  I think the one on my right leg was from brushing into the car door too hard while unloading groceries … but the other ones?  Complete mysteries).

Anyway, Happy Fourth of July everyone!  May your parties be fun, festive and patriotic!

brian o’connor

During my last year of college I lived in a row of three houses filled with theatre majors.  It was a fun block and group of people.  I’m not in touch with many of them today (other than Facebook, but we’re the generation who grew up without Facebook, so a lot of us function without it … which means not a lot of online living).  But through the years, oddly enough, I have stayed in touch with  my next door neighbor and friend Matthew.  And to some extent, through Matthew, his brother Brennen.  Matthew is a successful actor in New York City and Brennen is a successful architect back in Pittsburgh (where they are from).

But when I think of Matthew and Brennen, the first thing I think about is Brennen’s Laser (dark blue, and always sitting in the common driveway, the hood popped up and Brennen’s upper torso leaning over the engine -for a purpose none of us were ever too interested in).

It’s hard, in a few words, to describe that year I lived on North Atherton surrounded by those boys, but I have memories for days.  Brennen and the Laser, playing video games (the only time in my life, and only for a few months before Brennen took our Playstation away, pointing out that we’d completely stopped doing anything else).  Writing music, listening to music, sitting and talking for hours at a time.  It was a magical year.

It was also the year that I was first exposed to “The Fast & the Furious.”  And, for reasons I still cannot pinpoint, I fell in love with it.

When John and I started dating, we watched the fourth movie on a bootleg internet site – the coming back of Vin Diesel and Brian O’Connor after the (in my opinion) blasphemy of ‘Tokyo Drift.’  We saw ‘Fast Five’ in the theatre on opening weekend.  And the sixth.

And then, like a shock wave, Paul Walker died.

I cannot explain why it affected me the way it did.  I was absolutely devastated.  I watched all my DVDs for days, watched  Brian O’Connor wearing his chucks and vans.  Smiled with tears in my eyes when he spoke.  Tweeted too many times with the hashtag “Remember the Buster.”   I wore chucks for a week leading up to the release of F&F 7, and was there for a matinée showing on its opening day.  I don’t think I paid very much attention to the movie ~ I was transfixed with watching Paul Walker on-screen.  And I still cry every time I see the end sequence of that movie.  Big, hot, emotional tears.

So when “The Fate of the Furious” was released, I felt a little torn about seeing it.  Hubs was hoping that with the departure of Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker’s character in the movies), I would move on from my “Fast and Furious” obsession.  We didn’t see it in the theatre.  I listened to, but stayed quiet, about all the reviews.  Was I ready to see a new F&F movie without Brian O’Connor?  I didn’t know.

But I pre-ordered it on iTunes because deep down, I couldn’t turn my back on this series of movies that have grown more and more absurd as their popularity has grown. I love them too much.   I still think about Paul Walker asking for his tuna sandwich, no crust and am magnetically drawn to the films.  So John and I sat down to watch it this week.

To me, there was a gaping hole where Brian O’Connor should have been.  But, I also considered that life goes on for all of us when we lose someone we love.  Life continues, and the hole is there and the memories are there and the emptiness drums in the background, the heartbeat of the person we’ve lost.

It was better than I thought it would be.  It felt like there was a story again – something that I’d felt was missing from the sixth and seventh installments.  My breath caught in my throat when Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) mentioned Brian in the middle of the movie.  And I cried at the end, knowing but waiting for confirmation of what I’d guessed.

I don’t know why I love the movies.  Life, maybe?  Good memories?  And I certainly can’t explain why I was so ripped apart by an actor’s death — a person I didn’t even know.  And yet, I was.  I remain staunchly loyal to Brian O’Connor.  The Buster.  Tuna, no Crust.

And I’ll keep watching the Fast & Furious movies until they stop being made.  Because I can’t give up now.