Dance Movie List

Some of you may have seen the awesome dance movie video made by Alana’s friend Karen, which I will upload soon. For those who want to check the full list of Alana’s favorite dance movies subjectively ranked from best to worst according to her, here it is!

Posted by Malkia Devich Cyril

Fancy dinners and wine tasting

Alana loved fancy dinners. I don’t remember all the places we went to, but we definitely went to Millennium, Firefly, and once splurged on the All About Vegetables Tasting Menu at Atelier Crenn. We were both vegetarians with similar tastes, so it was easy to agree on restaurants.

However, after a while, I wanted even more celebration with Alana. In 2010, I proposed a sparkling wine tour. (I never would have remembered this if I didn’t reread this email exchange, but she said she had never really done wine tasting up north. So, all of you who went wine tasting with her after this, you are welcome.)

We went wine tasting many, many times, sometimes springing for an oh-so-civilized tour where we could snicker inappropriately in the back of a group, Alana could flirt with the people pouring, and we could beam at each other over glasses of delicious, lip-smacking wine and congratulate each other for being so good at wine tasting. I’m pretty sure we hit almost every winery in Napa or Sonoma that made sparkling wine. Schramsberg! A fantastic trip with Penne and her Jacquie (vs *my Jackie*)—not exactly sure where we went (Quintessa, maybe, among others), but it was amazing! And of course J (the first time where we did the tasting menu and she decided to become a member, and then again last year when she and Mac needed to pick up wine)!

I miss her, her love for sparkles, and her general effervescent joy and light so much.

Posted by Nalani

Performance and dance buddies

Alana and I were performance and dance buddies.

We shared a YBCA membership for a while, went to the Intersection for the Arts regularly for a bit, and had season tickets for the Berkeley rep. We’d see music performances too (Yo Majesty stands out as one that I never would have seen if Alana didn’t suggest it, but it was awesome!), but we were really into seeing theater and dance together. We especially shared a love and amazement of what the human body could do. Aerial acts, yes. Keith Hennessy, yes. Alvin Ailey dance company, definitely. Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, of course. Marcus Bamuthi Joseph, we are there. Inversions, unusual gender combinations, the use of body weight, stillness amidst rhythm – perfection. We’d send breakdancing videos to each other. She’d send me an awesome Bollywood music video clip and I’d send her a clip from the Pina movie. She accompanied me to an absolutely incredible butoh performance at the Asian Art Museum. (Butoh is a type of Japanese dance/theater that is unlike any other type of dance I’ve ever seen and usually involves skinny people in white body paint doing things that many people may not recognize as dance.) We saw another incredible butoh performance later, where a child-sized person in rags crawled along the balcony in front of us. It’s very hard to explain, but it was so surreal and we loved it. And then, as happens with performances, we also saw a terrible version that called itself butoh involving a fat powdered white man with a red stripe painted down his hairy belly. I think we stared at him for about 2 minutes before deciding to not subject ourselves to that. It was a definite “do you remember when…” event.

I also had taken dance from a young age, but I’m not a serious dancer—I just enjoy it. I’d take classes at community colleges to keep in practice but not spend a fortune. However, I had been eyeing classes at Dance Mission and ODC Dance Commons. Alana, brave and fearless soul that she was, decided she’d go with me. She wasn’t a natural at learning choreography, but she kept with it. (After I moved, she even took a beginning modern dance class that I had taken a couple of semesters before and found too basic so she could better learn the terminology.) We rolled across the floor in one modern dance class, trying to be suave and not crack up, and tried to be extra-cute in a Bollywood class. We were works in progress. It was so wonderful to see her determination to learn something new and her joy when she got the steps down.

I wish I had even more dance and performance memories with Alana, but I cherish the ones I am lucky enough to have.

Posted by Nalani

Alana’s second stomach for sweets

Everyone who knows Alana knows that Alana loved ice cream and sweets. She once told me that she had a second stomach for sweets. When she lived in Noe Valley, one favorite casual spot of ours was Noeteca. At the end of the meal, you could count on us to get a coconut snowball. It was so good!!!

During the day, if it wasn’t a day we were having brunch, we’d go to Bi-rite. We’d both always taste a few flavors before deciding. When Alana liked a flavor, you’d see and hear one or more of the following: the happy little shoulder dance, “mmmmm,” with that look of appreciation in her eyes and a little smile. When she didn’t like a flavor: a quick shake of the head, an expressive frown, and some phrase like “I’m not sold” or “meh.” Then we’d go to Dolores Park and watch the pups. Alana always noticed that ones that were so busy! (Since I have always had dogs and it is part of my contract with them, I would proclaim that a completely fine-looking dog was ugly. Alana would look too and then negate my comment with a kind “no.”)

I moved away several years ago, but I tried to come back at least every six months or so, especially after Alana’s diagnosis. When she couldn’t swallow solid food a couple of years ago, during one of my visits I made her a soup to help nourish her—but of course I also made her a chocolate mousse and lemon pudding for her second stomach. She was so upset and scared, but she was also so strong, so brave, and so full of the desire to live and love. During that visit (and every visit), Mac was so careful to make sure she had everything she needed—a mask and hand sanitizer to protect herself from germs, the loving kiss from Mac to keep Alana safe until our return.

I last saw Alana in the middle of August this year. Her mobility had declined, but she was still so resilient. We drove to the mall in Emeryville, since she needed new sunglasses and makeup. As we came out of the parking garage, I spotted a Dippin’ Dots machine, and exclaimed about it. (My boyfriend loves his Dippin’ Dots!) It turned out Alana had never had Dippin’ Dots. We tried the cookies and cream flavor, which tasted strangely very similar to me as the only other flavor I’ve tried (banana split). She wasn’t a huge fan and we threw it out before finishing it. Yet, there was something that appealed to her. We were texting a month or so later and she said she needed to go back to the mall because she didn’t like the sunglasses she got, and she was thinking she needed to try it again—perhaps another flavor to see if the flavors really did all taste pretty much the same.

Alana’s text: Operation: Dipping Dots
My reply: I’m now picturing you ninja-style approaching the machine, most likely from the sky.
Alana’s response: Hell yes.

Posted by Nalani

Photos photos photos

Alana Devich Cyril at QWOCMAPI have been meaning to share these galleries for folks who want to use any of the pics for a while. Today is a good day to do it! Download, print, whatever you like.

Film Screening Sole Space – I can find the high resolution versions if you need them (July 2018)
Posted by Naomi Ishisaka

A haiku to Lisa Jervis

Always there Lisa Jervis, a haiku by bobdevich

Who was there, from the beginning to the end? Lisa Jervis.

Who was there to bring stuff? Lisa Jervis.

Who was there to move furniture? Lisa Jervis.

Who was there to brighten Muffy’s day? Lisa Jervis.

Who was always there to do a million things, big and small? Lisa Jervis.

Thanks for being Lisa Jervis!

[Muffy said there are rules about haiku, but bobdevich is all about breaking rules.]

Posted by Bob Devich

Eulogy segment presented by Alana’s dad at the Memorial 11/17/2018

Thank you to everyone who made this event happen, and to the community attending.

I need some help in this interactive eulogy. I need you to repeat 2 words whenever I give the signal. CRUSHED IT!. Please everyone now — CRUSHED IT! Here’s the signal that I just made up. CRUSHED IT!

Muffy was never one to let grass grow under her feet. She always had one goal or more she was working on.

As a girl her goal was to watch the Mary Poppins video every weekend — CRUSHED IT!

One summer, soon after college, Muffy was able to join us on a cruise. Her goals:
To lie in the sun long enough to become the bronze goddess of the Mediterranean — CRUSHED IT!
To try every cocktail they served on the ship — CRUSHED IT!
To go to every activity on the ship — especially those that involved drinking — CRUSHED IT! — CRUSHED IT!

To see every production of Hair
To see every movie that has a dance-off — CRUSHED IT!

She seemed to want to set a record for the most times passing out in a restaurant — CRUSHED IT!

She and Martha Fuller set the goal of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together before they were 40. They fell short of this goal. But a few months ago, to get out of the hospital, Alana had to build herself up to where she could climb the 8 steps to the apartment — her Kilimanjaro, her Everest. — CRUSHED IT!

Alana was all about joy — even to the very end, it brought her such joy when a member of her community visited her. In person, by phone, by skype, by text or email. And she wanted to bring joy to each of us.– CRUSHED IT!

Alana’s marriage to her studsband Malkia brought them both tremendous growth and joy. I’ll close with this silly little poem I penned to honor that love.

Mitts and Muffy
Mitts and Muffy sitting in a tree
First came love, then came marriage
Tooling ’round town in their bright red carriage


Posted by Bob Devich

11/17/18: Muffy’s Memorial Eulogy – Charlotte (Char) Devich

Thank you to Mac and Team Alana for all the hard
work in preparing and putting together this
wonderful tribute and memorial for Alana. Her
presence and spirit are here and I can feel them
along with her big smile … Yes, she would be so proud and saying “Crushed it.”

Thanks to all of you who have come out to participate in this day.

Matthew 7:14 sent by Alana’s Uncle Tommy.
Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to
Life, and only a few find it …

Blessed are those … who walk in the light of Ones

Our Muffy did find both the gate and the road;
while walking in the light; her joy of life, her
writings, and medical journey were living proof.

A short story of Alana and her precociousness and confidence around age 5 or 6

Hair short – Man at cleaners said “cute little boy”
Alana: before I could say something said “I am
NOT a boy” Man says “precocious” Alana: again before I could reply “Yes, I am.” At that point, the
man said nothing else and gave us our clothes.
When we were in the car, I said Scoob (that is what we called her then) do you know what precocious means; without skipping a beat she said “yes, it means “I can answer for myself”.

This poem, “Journey Remembered” to me, captures Alana’s true essence and how we will always remember, Alana Scoob, Babe, Muffy, Princess, Devich Cyril.

As some people journey through life, they
leave footprints where they go … footprints of
kindness and love, courage and compassion,
humor and inspiration, joy and faith. Even when
they are gone, we can look back and clearly see
the trail they left behind —a trail bright with joy
that invites us to follow.

To Muffy, we will always remember your journey,
how you shared and allowed so many to walk, cry,
feel your joy and most importantly your beautiful
smile that lit up the darkest of times and made
everyone feel your joy despite your pain, fatigue,
or discomfort. Even the morning of your passing
there was that smile and moment you shared
with the love of your life, Mac.

Babe, you will be sorely missed but never
forgotten — Much love with (a bright) light in the
heavens and universe, where your light will forever shine brightly.

Again, thanks to each of you for sharing in the special day, honoring Alana!

Love you and miss you, Babe!

Posted by Bob Devich