Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sometimes you get the bear...

...and sometimes you flood the bathroom when you leave the sink on and walk away while attempting to hand wash your sweaters.

Shit. I was so goddamn proud of myself for actually washing my sweaters.

Monday, December 20, 2010


So...yesterday morning when I published that last post I was finally enraged and confused enough by how skinny my blog was on the computer screen to see if I could change it. Turns out blogger has templates? Whaaa?? 

Thank you, Blogger for probably having 12-year old computer geniuses locked up in a basement somewhere reading hipster home design blogs all day. Thank you for having those 12 year-olds create templates that look and feel original but are really just mass-produced to look like all the other blogs of the people in my demographic. That was a real help to me, because being original about this would have been a real pain in my ass. 

As you may have noticed, I changed the blog look a little. This was done in keeping with the way that I created, and have maintained, this little slice o'the internet. By that I mean I made the change after less than five minutes of looking at options and even less time of thinking about details, or the consequences, or what I actually wanted.

We'll see how long it lasts. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh hai

Did you know that they make Charlie Brown Christmas Trees in XL?

Apparently when you actually get your tree from the woods it doesn't look like the trees on the tree farms. Yes, this was news to me.

Oh, I'm sorry. Did you expect me to do something more productive than cuddling this month? You'll have to wait on that.

Monday, December 6, 2010


D$ is defending his dissertation in January. This means that, starting about a week ago, he has been deep in the throes of Physics Brain 24-hours a day. He works all day, thinks about work all evening, and several nights this week has ended up sleeping on the couch because he can't stop tossing and turning and thinking about physics during the night.

Now it is clearly my duty to be supportive here. The man has worked hard and is almost at the end of a really important goal. He deserves all the support I can give him. If the roles were reversed I would be visibly stressed, probably crying regularly and requiring a lot of care from D (meals, tolerance for bitchiness, etc.). D$ would supply these things abundantly.

Buuuut D$ doesn't get stressed like that. He doesn't get grumpy and still makes most of our meals. In fact a friend was in town last night and we all had dinner that he helped make. The only thing that D$ requires is that I tolerate his total distraction about everything in the world (including me). Unfortunately, being tolerant is not really one of my virtues. Neither is patience.

We've had several conversations where I talked and talked and he basically grunted in response. I think I actually caught him purposefully looking away from my naked body when I was getting in bed the other night. (Either that or he simply didn't notice, which, hello, that is worse!)

In my heart of hearts, being ignored like this makes me batshit insane. "Why am I invisible? Is he bored of us? Is my naked body boring? GAHHHH PAY ATTENTION TO ME! "

Obviously that response is totally unwarranted and childish and I'm working to keep in under wraps.* In fact, after I post this I am leaving the house for the day so that D$ has the space to work and I don't run the risk of bothering him every hour (which I will unfailingly do).  Part of writing this is to remind myself that a) all of this is simply a symptom of the upcoming dissertation defense and b) no my marriage is not failing and c) seriously, self: get over it and be supportive already.

I can do that...right?

*Except for, you know, posting in on the internet.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Call the Goddamn Presses

Over a year after breaking our old one while on our honeymoon, D$ and I have (gasp!) purchased a new camera.

This is part of the reason we were over budget last month (although mostly we just like to tell ourselves that). It was also our Christmas present to ourselves.

It is just a fancy point-and-shoot - we can't afford (and don't deserve since neither one of us knows jack about photography) a digital SLR. Whatever. The camera arrived today and I ran straight home and took this photo of my living room. At 7 pm in the winter. Without flash. Also, without cleaning my living room or even taking off my coat.

Isn't she lovely? Yes, I mean both the photograph and my living room. And Oscar the Couch, who is excellent for napping and book reading.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bills, Bills, Bills,

D and I went over last month's spending on Sunday (without fighting!).

We overspent on gifts, booze groceries, clothing, and "beauty"*.

We underspent on paying our credit cards, household supplies (read: mopping solution) and almost everything else.

What can I say? We luuuuv the finer things, dah-link.

*This is because I forgot to tell D that we need to budget $100/monthly for hair removal so that I don't get mistaken for Bigfoot and end up in the National Enquirer. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums that were in 
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

When D I first started dating, before we started sleeping together, I went to the local Planned Parenthood to get a birth control prescription and a fresh round of STD tests. When I went back to get my HIV test results* D drove me to the clinic and waited outside in the car.**

I had to wait a long time before the nurse called me back to give me my results and I remember being worried that D would think I had gotten bad news or that something was wrong. When I finally got my results (negative!) and went back out to the car I found him, seat reclining, writing the entirety of this poem to me via text.

*They had to give it to me in person, I'm not sure if that is still the case
**I'm not sure why he waited in the car but it must have been my choice, because I didn't (and don't) think it was a weird thing for him to do. Important information: I was not concerned that I had HIV (besides the low-grade what if terror that I think we all have) so neither one us was stressed about the results being bad. 
*** This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams
****Image: Plums by Pierre Antoine Poiteau

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Bitter Cookie (or: Random Fault Post)

From Not So Humble Pie
The trait I hate most about myself - a trait that has reared its head once again today - is that I have a hard time not being bitter about other people's success. Wait, let me say this honestly - I am bitter about other people's success.

Let's say a nice couple about my age on House Hunters is looking for a $450,000 house and has a $80,000 down payment. I immediately pick them apart - who are they to have so much money? What the fuck kinds of jobs do they have, anyway? They don't seem smart or interesting. Maybe their fucking parents gave it to them.

Or maybe I'm reading a list of bios of people in my career field. I pick out the person with the fellowships, accolades, publications, etc. Or the one with the Ivy League pedigree. "What an asshole," my bitter self mutters, without me being able to control it.

The worst: one of my dearest, oldest* friends gets some very good news about a project she has been working on. Instead of being happy I am filled with anger. All I can think is reasons why she doesn't deserve it, or how unfair it is, or how upset it will make people who have worked harder for similar things, or how easy her life is. How hard I work and how little it is appreciated. I mean - this is one of my best friends.

Let's not even talk about wedding blogs.

What is this? What, do I think that I deserve more than everyone else in the world? Do I, in my heart of hearts, really think that I am that much better than everyone around me? Am I just insecure?

It's like I turn the successes of others into my own personal failures - like everything someone else gets or does is something I feel like I should have been doing or getting. Either I beat myself up for not being better (not going to an Ivy League, not having a PhD, not being a paid blogger or mandolin aficionado) or I create a list of reasons why my super unfair life and that persons super fucking unfairly easy life are conspiring against me. And I don't even want to go to an Ivy League or get a PhD.

I'd like to say that this only harms me - that the worst it does is makes me bitter and unhappy - but it harms the people around me, too. How would my friend feel if she heard me say those things? Why should that poor fellowship-winning person get 'tude from me? I am putting unfair negative energy out into the world, and that isn't good for anyone. Luckily I don't really do this to D,  but if we're being honest that is probably because any success he has will directly benefit me. Jesus Christ, that sounds so bad.

I'm trying really hard to be better, but its been really difficult so far. Bitterness is a hard habit to break.

All suggestions welcome.

*oldest as in been my friend for the longest. Not as as in elderly. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

16 tons

I went to get a massage this weekend (a gift from my step-mom who is a magical human being). The masseuse is a friend of my sister and since I felt weird about being nekkid around a friend-of-a-friend I asked her to concentrate on my head and shoulders, since that is where I hold my stress. About halfway through the massage I mentioned off-hand, "Oh yea - I think I clench my teeth pretty badly at night, so it might be good to massage my jaw a little."

That was it for the rest of the massage.

Before I left the masseuse told me that my jaw is in pretty bad shape. The instant she tried to massage it it clenched up insanely tight. This could be linked to my headaches and shoulder aches, not to mention the jaw-popping sounds.

What, me, stress?

*p.s. I really, really don't want to get a night mouth guard. I have no need to be that unsexy or to be reminded on a daily basis of how horribly the inside of my mouth actually smells. The masseuse say she can do a few sessions of jaw massage and that might help. Frankly, laying in a quiet room and having someone rub my face sounds a LOT better than making D$ sleep with the worlds weakest hockey player every night. Opinions? 
**Diamond Skill from Damien Hirst

Friday, November 5, 2010

I don't even LIKE that song

I'm on my own for the weekend - D$ is driving up to Washington to see a friend and I elected to stay home. Although I didn't really mean for this to happen I have planned a very stereotypically "girly" Saturday: massage-getting, face-waxing and shopping.

But that isn't even the reason I am writing this post. Nope, I am writing this post to tell you how Katy Perry (who I sorta hate) transformed my evening.

The afternoon started like this: volunteered for a few hours, went to happy hour with a friend, had a glass of wine, no biggie. Friend and I part ways and I'm feeling good but fairly low-key. Then I get in the car and as I drive back across town to my house Teenage Dream comes on the radio. Instead of changing the station...I turn it up a little. Aaaaand then I turn it up a lot. Suddenly, boosted by the wine and the weekend ahead of me and the suddenly-catchy teenage joy of the song I am singing at the top of my lungs and shaking my ass in the seat. When I have to stop at a light and pull up to another car I purse my lips and drums my hands while bursting with the desire to sing and shimmy and I will the light to change before the song ends. It doesn't, and the next song sucks, but the energetic mood sticks enough so that I appease myself with "Rocket Man" from the Oldies station until I get home. (Not the same vibe at all, but you can really belt out that chorus. Plus you can imagine Shatner's spoken word version, which makes the whole experience that much better).

I don't think I am ever happier than when I am car dancing alone. Here's to weekends by yourself when you need them, to tinted windows, and to pop music.*


*Shout out to the little lady I e-mailed today who once, with me and my sister, stopped the in the middle of nowhere simply to pump up the car volume and dance in the middle of the road.
**Amazing Cat GIF from Jezebel's Cat GIF Party

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

I think this might be the last time I apologize for my disappearances from the internet and the total irregularity of my posts. Let's face it: the only things I do regularly are eat, sleep, shit (thank GOD) and worry excessively. Love me, love my blog-slackerness.

Still, I figured I owe you at least a short list of reasons why my internet presence has been lamer than the GOP takeover (amiright?). So here you go:
  1. My birthday.
  2. My dad's birthday.
  3. My best friend's birthday.
  4. My best friend's mom's birthday. 
  5. Halloween
  6. These fucking guys
I've been watching a lot of basketball and going out to dinner more than is recommended by your average financial manager or dietician. I also went on the best overnight trip of my LIFE. 

In a nutshell - I've been living my life.  

I'll tell you all about it soon. For on those links above to see the current men in my life. 

Love and alley-oops,


Images via

Monday, November 1, 2010


I'm not saying which one...but I might be in one of these photos.

p.s. Happy belated Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Slowly learning

The day before the housewarming party D and I had a huge fight. What started the fight was of course not really what the fight was about. At all. A small stupid incident set us both off and turned into a day-long battle - interspersed with us getting along for a few hours - that ended up with D storming out of the house and me furiously cleaning the bathroom while muttering to myself.

The fight was about money. Well, about how we treat each other about money. How my deep financial fears and penchant for projecting my insecurities onto him combine with his impatience and severe rationality to make us (mostly me) unable to make financial decisions without a lot of angst. Of course we didn't come to that nice conclusion right away. We had to endure lots of stupidity (on both our parts) before we got there.

The problems are many: First: numbers, to D$, are like the alphabet. Numbers, to me, are scary and make my brain turn off. Second: If I am going to make a decision I have to talk about it for a long time first.  I talk about is how the decision is making me feel - am I mad that I have to make the decision, what are my fears, etc. None of this is usually very logical but I have to get it out before I can make a rational decision. Example: when I needed to take out more student loans in order to pay off older and more expensive student loans, I spent several days saying, "I made pact to myself that I wouldn't take out any student loans for graduate school and so I don't want to take out any loans." I knew in the back of my head that it was stupid not to take out more loans - in fact I knew that I probably would take out more loans -  but the idea made me sick and upset and I had to talk about that before I could move on to the smart decision.

When D is faced with a decision he looks at the facts and decides. Done deal. So he thinks that all the talking I am doing is how I will make a choice -  that I will make a decision based purely on my emotions. During the student loan debacle he ran up some numbers for me (without walking me through it) and acted offended and contemptuous when I wouldn't readily admit that the loans were the best idea and go ahead with it. He thought I was going to refuse to take out loans, and end up spending more money in the long run, because I was upset at the ultimately meaningless act of taking out more loans.

Here is what happened (what happens): D$ feels like I don't trust him to look at the financial information and make the right choice even though crunching numbers is what he does all day long. I feel that D is treating me like I am stupid and is treating me as if I can't be trusted to make financial decisions. Massive hurt feelings ensue. It looks something like this:

MWK: This is how I feel

D$: These are the facts.

MWK: But this is how I feel.

D$: But there are the facts.



Both: *#$@!*#@%!

After the last fight we were finally able to get to the bottom of some of this. I made D understand that my emotions are just as legitimate and necessary to me as his numbers. I think D understands that he needs to let me express my emotions and give me the time to emote without being impatient or treating me like a child. D$ told me how frustrated he gets when I won't listen to him on the numbers stuff and I understand now how hard it would be to have your wife doubt you on what is, to be sure, your greatest skill (that's math, folks. The man loves math).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last weekend, about a week after the party, we sat down to talk about money again and to make a budget. There were a few tense moments but mostly we were able to have a calm and civil conversation. We came to an understanding about our finances and how we want to handle them. It was by no means fun, but I am proud of us for getting through it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The housewarming party was a success. My mom, D and I spent all day preparing. Went I went to pick my mom up from her house she had three five-gallon buckets full of flowers from her garden and she spent an hour filling our apartment with multi-colored dahlias in gravity defying bouquets. She even put a tea-cup full of awkward teenage-looking flower buds in the bathroom.*

D$ spelled our last name on some of the sixty cupcakes he made, all of my favorite people showed up. If you don't count me getting a little tipsier than I planned on in front of my new work friend I'd say the evening was a success. So...why did I sob myself to sleep?

My mother's best friend and her husband, who I count as two of my favorite people in the world, brought us a gift from Crate and Barrel. I didn't open it while they were there but as soon as everyone was gone I ran over to open the box and see what was it in. D$ must have been outside because I was alone in the apartment, sitting cross-legged in the hallway. I opened the box to find the platter pictured above. I sat there silently for a moment, petting the copper veins of the platter...and burst into tears.

I pulled myself together for a while - enough time to pay a visit to our downstairs neighbors who were also having a party - but soon had to retreat back to our place to be alone. I pretended to clean until D$ came to find me and noticed that I wasn't speaking. When he asked what was wrong and then pleaded for me to talk to him I finally leaned into his chest and let myself be totally wracked with sobs. He got me into bed and hugged me from behind while I continued to wail and hiccup and shake.

Yes, I was drunk, so there's that. But I was also completely overwhelmed by how much love and support we had in our new house. How lucky we are to even have a roof over our heads not to mention a gorgeous old apartment that we filled to the brim with loved ones. For the first time I hosted the majority of the people I love most in the world in my own home. People who raised me even though no one asked them to, from the man (and his wife) I met volunteering in high school, to my grandma who brought us (homemade) bread and salt and honey and wine****, to my parents, to the five or six other moms and dads I had in that room. All of them helped me become a person and all of them were there ready to welcome us home, eager to fold D into the community that made me.  

I don't think I was able to form any complete sentences to tell D$ why I was crying. He figured it out.

*I SO wish I had photos. They were so lovely. Alas our camera is still broken and the photos I tried to take look terrible.
**I wondered why she got so many packages! D$ has started greeting the UPS man by saying, "Hello, friend!"
***Not all of you...some of you are very far away and I miss you very much and wish you had been there 
****We got SO much wine. At the end of the night we had more bottles than we started with, and we started with a case and a half of wine...most of which was consumed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Watching football

D$: What are you doing, honey?

MWK: Commenting on people's blogs.

D$: Would you like to comment on my blog?

MWK: You don't have a -



MWK: That was a very nice blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010


The housewarming party is tomorrow and are pitifully unprepared. Laundry is piled on the couch, we have NO food or booze and it looks like someone threw up all over our kitchen cabinets. What I am doing today, my day off before the party? Going to the gym, the doctor, and the hair-cutting lady (thank god for that, my hair has been particularly heinous for the last several weeks). Oh, and to get some vacuum bags.

Tonight we clean. Tomorrow D$ makes a triple batch of Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes while my mom and I pick flowers and hit up Costco for vittles.

In other news: I think I am slowly building up a reputation at work for being the girl who chair-dances in her cubicle while listening to headphones. Whatever - I can't help it if Omarian, Lil' Jon, Fabolous (and Mariah, of course) get my productive juices flowing. I did have to suppress a wild fit of giggles when "Get Low" came on the other day - that song is so very NSFW. And so very against how I feel the world should be. And yet: so awesome.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


D$ and I are having a housewarming party next weekend, and today we are cleaning the carpets (an exciting life, I know).

We were discussing whether or not we wanted to move the bookshelves* in order to clean and had the following conversation:

MWK: Do you want to take the Star Trek Encyclopedia off of the main bookshelf for when we have people over?

D$: No, I'm totally comfortable with it being there. If people are going to judge...let them judge me for being awesome.

*We have three bookshelves in our living room and still need one more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meet Gomez

Name: Gomez

Genesis of Name:
  1. Wears dapper suit
  2. Loves ladies' laps
  3. Did not shit on self immediately upon arrival at MWK household; was therefore erroneously thought to be handsomer of two cats
  1. Spot-on impression of Cindy Crawford if Cindy Crawford were a wet rat

  1. Empty paper bags/boxes/suitcases/drawers/tupperware containers
  2. Endlessly yowling for no reason (preferably in the middle of the night)
Perversion of Choice:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Uncle Fester

Name: Uncle Fester

Genesis of name:
  1. Immediately shat on self upon arrival at the MWK household (see "skills," below)
  2. Is fatter of the two cats
  3. Would probably look good with a bald head

Skills: Standing on one leg to poop:

  1. Laser light shows
  2. Getting on highest apparatus in room and staring creepily into space
  3. Women's hair products

Perversion of choice:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Since you asked

There's meh boys.

They are named after the Addams brothers and have perversions to match.

I let them know that the people of the Internet wanted to meet them so they are busily preparing their online profiles.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Image via (you KNOW my couch is cuter than that)

I was completely useless this weekend. It felt so good.

I would like to state for the record that there is nothing wrong with going to a really early dinner and then coming home to watch 6-7 episodes of True Blood without stopping. This is perfectly acceptable Friday Night Behavior and does not make one (and/or one's husband) lame at all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Blog's First Birthday

A friend posted this photo on my facebook wall. I have no idea where it is from (or why she posted it)

Dudes, I just noticed that today is my blogaversary.

I am feeling sorta down on this blog and was just working on a long, heartfelt piece about how I am not sure what I am doing with it - my insecurities (mainly around the stupid fucking name), how I never write about marriage (and I'm not sure that I even want to), and bla bla bla...

But fuck it, it's my Internet Birthday. I'm going to go drink the last beer in the fridge and watch The Golden Girls.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick update

Ricardo is adorable and small and unironically wears normal, run of the mill sweatpants. You know, like the kind your dorky best guy friend wore for a year too long in middle school. I think I might like him.

The manager didn't do much for me - I ended up getting $50 off the fees but for some reason she made me work with the same Dishonest Sales Guy to do that. This was lame because I was trying to be super conflict avoidance-y with him but probably also good for my general need to Grow a Pair.*

The only other thing that happened was that I began to fully understand that I look really different when I am in my workout clothes. As in: I am not one of those people who can wear a workout outfit and still be considered as a sexual entity. Every time I go to the gym I am (duh) wearing my standard workout gear: baggy soccer/lacrosse shorts and a baggy t-shirt, with my hair up and a workout headband holding my bangs back. Up until now I guess I knew it wasn't cute, but I didn't think it turned me into wallpaper.**

Then I went back to the gym to sign my new (sans fees) paperwork...and I happened to be dressed for happy hour. I was wearing dark denim skinny jeans tucked into the boots and a black sorta flowy t-shirt thing. My hair was down and curly and I had make-up on. As I walked into the gym one random fitness-employee-man (lets call them f-e-ms) basically fell over himself asking me if I was a member. Then as I waited in the lobby he and another f-e-m sorta milled around a lot being very obvious about scoping my shit. THEN when Dishonest Sales Guy came out to find me he didn't recognize me and when I went up to him the first thing he said was, "You look so...different!" The whole time we were writing up the new contract the two f-e-ms continued to mill around and stare at me. As I was leaving, Dishonest Salesman commented again on how different I looked. All I could say was, "'s amazing how much difference a shower makes."

I mean, WHAT? I should probably be offended or insulted or something - why in the world was he talking about how I look at all? Mostly, though, I am simultaneously a) amused at the intense confirmation of how not cute my workout attire is*** is and b) bizarrely flattered that fitness dudes think I am hot. Sorry, feminism.

*Of ovaries, as my mother would say.
**Also, I am there to EXERCISE. What else would I wear?
***I went home and told D all about it. He laughed fairly hard and said, (lovingly), " really don't make an effort to look cute when you are working out. " He of course agrees that trying to look cute when exercising is totally stupid.

Friday, September 10, 2010

View from the Fremont Bridge

It is 12:45 in the afternoon on a Friday. I throw on a skirt and top, haul my bag over my shoulder and kiss D$ goodbye.

Outside it is 85 degrees with no humidity. I slip the mix CD C made me in college into the stereo. As I pull out of the parking spot the first song comes on, a song I had almost forgotten about, and a smile breaks across my face. I speed down the street, fingers drumming the steering wheel and head bopping. The sunroof is open and the windows are down.

I have no responsibilities today, nothing I have to do. As the car crests the Fremont Bridge I see Portland in all her splendor glitter below me on the banks of the Willamette River. I yell out loud with the sheer joy of this moment, of this drive, of this view.

I am out on my own in my city on my day off.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sold down the river

So I did it - I signed up for the personal trainer thingy. Unfortunately I am now feeling bad about it because it did NOT go as planned.

Buoyed by all of your comments and encouragement I was planning on waltzing into that gym and saying, "Yes, please!" Unfortunately I forgot that the minute I enter the gym and have to actually talk to a Fitness Person I transform from "Competent and Assertive" into "Mute, Socially Awkward and Totally Unable to Advocate for Myself."

Here is what happened.

  1. After saying I wanted to sign up, and after starting the paperwork I see on the screen (I am not told this, mind you) that there is a $99 processing fee. I start to balk but think: listen, you really want to do this. You can afford that. D$ will be annoyed but you are not D$ and it is okay. I say okay. I let them run my card and sign some stuff. Mr. Personal Trainer who I thought was not sketchy and who at this point I still like goes to print out my agreement.
  2. Upon viewing my agreement I am find out that I just signed up for a year-long agreement. If I want to get out early I will owe 50% of the monthly fees I would have owed. My heart starts to sink, but I am an Mute and Socially Awkward phase and am unable to say, "Wait, you didn't tell me that!" Mr. Personal Trainer is sitting right there and he is so FRIENDLY. I don't want to accuse him of swindling me and I still want to like him because he is going to be the one working with me each month. Right? Right?
  3. No. Again, after signing up to this program that has hidden fees and makes me commit for a year I find out, why NO, Mr. Personal Trainer will NOT be working with me. In fact they are going to assign me someone I have never met before and NO no female trainers are available for the time-frame I want.
  4. The trainer they assign me is named RICARDO. Even as I sit there and feel bad about how I am getting swindled, I wonder if his being named RICARDO means that I am contractually obliged to have an affair with him.
What is weird is that I don't get mad, I don't protest, I just sort of make faces and very passively let it be known that I am not happy. I do tell Mr. Personal Trainer that I feel like I am being sold down the river but I say it sort of jokingly because he IS still being really nice to me, I will be seeing him at the gym all the time and I don't want to feel awkward EVERY time I see him for the rest of my exercise-filled life. Still, I hate how passive and push-over-y I am being.

Clearly some of this is my fault - I should have asked a few more questions before I jumped in. On the other hand, this gym is inhabited by money-grubbing jerks. Right now I am trying not to let my annoyance over the sign-up bullshit color my enthusiasm for starting a new workout regime. I do have three days to cancel if I want (Friday at midnight) but I don't think I will. I really do want someone to help me work out, and maybe it will be good practice to learn to be comfortable in Fitness Land and around Fitness People. The year-long commitment sort of gives me hives - do you have any idea how long that is??! - but I came to a decision this morning. If I hate it or don't need it after six months, guess what: I can still quit. I will be out a chunk of cash but it will be a sunk cost and I will do my best to not feel bad about it.

My first appointment with RICARDO is Friday morning and I plan on going in early to talk to the manager to tell her (read: complain) about my experience AND to make sure that Ricardo is going to do what I want him to do. Mainly: make me a work out program and then change it for me each month as I progress. If that is not the deal then I am going to cancel.

But, who knows? RICARDO could be awesome.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scientists are both absent-minded and sort of stupid

MWK: So I was thinking of hanging that photo of us - the one from the wedding? - right there (points to spot in bedroom).

D$: What photo?

MWK: The one of the two of us, from the wedding. From the first dance.

D$: What?

MWK: The one that hung up in our living room in our old place?

D$: Silence

MWK (for some reason thinking that repeating herself will do the trick): The one of us from the wedding? We are dancing? It was hanging in the living room?

D$: I seriously don't have any idea what you are talking about.

MWK (now from another room): BAAAH! It is leaning on the wall by the fireplace. Go look at it.

(D$ obeys)

D$: We are dancing in that photo? It looks like we are smooching.*

MWK: Look at my arm!

D$ (walks into room where MWK is to inspect arm): Why do you want me to look at your arm?


D$: Oh! Uh...I believe you. But I really thought you wanted me to look at your arm just now.

* We are not smooching in the photo. But our heads are very close together. We may be just pre-smooch.
**I know the whole "heh-heh aren't men stupid" schtick gets very, very old, but this was too ridiculous not to share. I am not sure how D$ actually survives in the real world.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You can do side-bends or sit-ups

NOT what my fitness-guy looks like. I mean, look at this asshole.


Is it totally self-indulgent and stupid to pay $40 a month on top of my (to be fair, very reasonable) gym fee to have a nice and not scarily-muscular man act as my personal trainer once a month? He would make me a program that I could do three days a week and then one day a month he would do the program with me (and I hope, tell me what I needed to do next to avoid plateauing). I met him the other day for my "fitness assessment" wherein he a) made me think I might vomit from the exercises he did to gauge my health but b) did not make me feel bad about myself. I think this is a good sign.

Arguments for:
  1. My schedule is so stupid that exercising is hard but when I don't exercise I feel bad physically and beat myself up emotionally.
  2. Once I do get to the gym I honestly have no idea what to do and so end up running and making a feeble effort to lift weights without any knowledge of how to do so in order to actually get stronger.
  3. This guy doesn't skeeve me out and might actually help me learn about how to exercise.
  4. I really do want to feel better and healthier and like I am taking care of myself. I'm also pretty sure that this is not a time in my life when I will work in yoga or long runs outside or anything else that takes initiative and discipline and scheduling. I need something easy and thoughtless.
  5. A little external pressure might help me actually go to the gym.
Arguments against:
  1. It feels really indulgent. I can just make myself go to the gym three times a week. Really if I run half an hour and do a few weights I should be fine. I did this in the past and felt okay.
  2. I worry that I am just giving into some ridiculous vanity-thing, or even worse am sliding into a very-ugly-American tendency to spend my money on selfish wrong-minded things like the shape of my triceps.
  3. It is $40 a month! That I would be spending just on myself. When I could just save that money and, I dunno, have some willpower to exercise.
  4. I hate gyms, and gym people. They terrify me with their perky attitudes and tendency to wear track pants everywhere.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A little advice from D$

Listen. If you are ever kidnapped by an evil man who collects rare objects, and you happen to be kidnapped alongside an android with lightning-quick reflexes, and you use the number of the collector's safe, that you have memorized. to steal the collectors illegally-obtained body-destroying gun so that you and the android with the lighting-quick reflexes can try to escape...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GIVE THE BODY-DESTROYING WEAPON TO THE ANDROID WITH THE LIGHTING-QUICK REFLEXES.

You all can thank me for this advice later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cue the waterworks

Seriously, someone: buy me a smart phone. Or a camera.

D and I arrived home to find this on our doorstep. It is from G and her new hubbie, to say congrats on the job* and on putting down roots in Portland.

It is so freaking unbelievable to have friends who always know just the perfect thing.

Incroyable, ma petite chou-chou. Incroyable.

*Turns out there are *totes* benefits to your friends finding your blog!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A pig in shit

Photo taken by my brother's friend on the 200+ mile bike race they just did (freaks).

Today D was offered, and accepted*, a job at the Large Corporation where he has been an intern all summer. The job starts in March, giving him just enough time to finish his PhD before he starts.

After a year of planning and hoping and trying not to hope - of fighting and crying and losing sleep and trying, trying not to hope - the limbo is officially over. D won't have to apply for postdocs again next year. I won't have to face the choice of my-job-and-living-apart or living-together-and-committing-career-suicide. We are in Portland to stay. With two full time jobs that include dental insurance.

Trust me, I know how incredibly fucking lucky we are. I know it and I can't believe it and I feel like I have to start being incredibly nice to everyone around me because Jesus Christ, how did we make this happen? Is this karma for D getting that job at the homeless shelter to impress me? Or for me pressuring him (before we even started dating, mind you) to get a job at the homeless shelter where I worked? Or are we just obnoxiously lucky jerks?

Whatever it is: THANK YOU. Thank you, dear universe, for doing us a solid.
I - we - will strive to deserve it.

*No, he didn't negotiate. I clearly have opinions on this, but I'm practicing counting my blessings and keeping my mouth shut.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will wonders never cease

I am alone in my apartment.

I am going to lay down on my couch.

I am going to read a book.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bicycle Bicycle Bicycle Bicycle Ride

My plan to slow things down has been thwarted by the fact that my sister came into town on a whim. She demands a lot of attention, but she did help my get the living room put together and we found some great stuff at consignment shops. Other than that we mostly drank a lot and laughed hysterically while saying wildly inappropriate things. Then last night my best friend, also in town, came over for dinner and two other friends who were in town for the night stopped by for half an hour to eat blueberries and whipped cream and tell us how they got peed on by a drunk man at the wedding. All of this and I still had to get up at 5:00 a.m. for work.

So life is still hectic and I clearly haven't quite worked out the balance of alone time yet. But! My bike arrived from San Francisco a few weeks ago and I'm finally getting to ride it to and from my carpool. I am normally a very scaredy-cat bike rider, so this is a big deal for me. My brother (the San Francisco bicycle mechanic, but don't worry he is not a jerk) built me the bike and sent it up here. He also sent me pink and silver streamers for the handlebars and a bell because he is the best brother in the world. I took this picture today on my way home today - looking down at my little basket in the sun made for a very peaceful ride and a good end to the day. The streamers aren't on the handles yet or I would have included them in the photo, obvi.

Nothing else to report, except that I'm thinking of sending my shit in the mail to whoever wrote this article. You fuck with The Golden Girls (and/or the gays, for that matter) and I will fuck with you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You have got to be kidding me.

I just found out that today is my mother-in-law's birthday.

It is nine thirty at night. 12:30 am where she is. As in: not her birthday anymore.



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blotto (or: post wedding sleep deprivation)

Photo from my very NOT smart phone

Holy Shit I am so tired. Got back to my apartment a while ago. Immediately took off all my clothes and laid down on the foot of my bed in front of the air conditioner and conked out for two hours. Now I am sort of awake and wondering how I will fill the time until I am allowed to go to bed again. (D$ is at a different wedding and won't get home until tomorrow.)

The wedding was amazing. I'm pretty sure I've never worn a prettier garment in my life than that sari*, and I'm including my wedding dress. The days leading up to the actual wedding were filled with other ceremonies, 12 trips to Walgreens, and approximately five hundred aunties and uncles hurrying to accomplish a largely incomprehensible number of tasks that were seemingly wedding related. I calculate that G spent about 30% of her time over the last few days changing outfits. To be clear, by "changing outfits" I mean that G stood in a room packed with aunties and cousins and was adorned (and unadorned, then re-adorned again) with layer upon layer of gorgeous fabric and jewelry. She endured haggling over every detail of her appearance. I was mostly in the way during outfit changes - I did dry G's hair once while the aunties got her dressed but I was pushed out of the way by an auntie who thought my diffuser was an inadequate drying tool (and wanted G's hair to be straight, anyway). Oh - I also re-painted her toe nails at the last minute because the tumeric that we rubbed on her feet to give her good luck totally ruined her pedicure.

The wedding night officially ended (for me)when I was woken up by a phone call at 4:30 a.m. telling me that the friend who crashed on the floor of my hotel room had slept-walked himself all over the hotel and awoken in a stairwell. Today began with my alarm failing and me waking up when I was supposed to be leaving the hotel for the airport. After throwing all my stuff in my suitcase (including that gorgeous sari that I will never be able to wear again) I checked out of my hotel room, although I declined to tell them that my sleep-walking friend was still asleep on the floor in the room. Here's hoping they didn't clean it early.

Now I am home - smelling terrible and looking worse. Which I guess is how you know that the wedding was a success.

* Pronounced Sare-ee, not Sah-ree. At least among the people I was with.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Be Jealous

So I spent most of Friday biting my nails and furiously refreshing APW's site while going back and forth between elation and anxiety. Turns out that putting things on the internet where people actually read them will distract a girl from her regularly scheduled duties.

Saturday we had several large pieces of furniture delivered and I tried to tell the deliverymen about my newfound fame as a person who had their wedding put up on APW, but I don't think they heard me through the grunting and swearing and wall-damaging. We then ate dinner at my grandparents house (please note that it was NOT Friday). There is no way in hell that I want my grandparents reading this blog (because then they would find out that I had talked about their sex life on the internet) so I had to shut up about how I am totally famous.

Clearly, my head is getting bigger and bigger, but luckily enough an event is coming along that should shake me out of my egotistical delirium. Want a hint?

That's right folks, G's* wedding weekend is upon us. There will be days of parties. I will get henna'd on my hands and feet and wear a sari in front of hundreds of people. I will eat Indian street food and southern comfort food in the same meal. I am hoping that I will figure how to dance in a Sari without exposing the entire bottom half of my body.**

I leave tomorrow morning, arriving in time to hang out with G and perhaps get some tables set up. Thursday the is ceremony to "make the bride and groom,"*** and then the Mehendi party where the ladies get decorated with henna and the men "drink beer and play pool." Friday is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (plus some some one-on-one time with G to get our nails did). Saturday is the wedding.

So I'll be away for a bit, despite my urge to blog constantly in hopes of convincing some of you new visitors to stick around (don't leave me!).

Wish me luck? And, while you're at it, let's all wish G luck, too - she has had a hard few weeks and it is going to get crazier before it gets awesome.

P.S. Don't worry, when I get back I will totally get all "White Liberal American Who had an Ethnic Experience" on your asses. Get ready for black and white photos of babies with huge eyes.

*Hi, G! Um...hope it's cool that I had a super-secret blog that you found out about through APW...
**Poll: should I bring a slip to wear under my sari, or is that just totally lame?
***Actual description I got of this event: "It involves hanging out, lunch, and some other traditional Indian stuff."

images by the always amazing Punam Bean

Friday, August 6, 2010

Behind the scenes

Let me show you my flowers. MY FLOWERZZ. LET ME SHOW YOU THEM.

Holy shitballs, you guuuuuuys! D and I's (well I guess you know our names now) wedding is up on A Practical Wedding today. This pretty much blows my mind and makes me want to do the "WE'RE NOT WORTHY" dance from Wayne's World.

There was no possible way to fit everything I wanted to say into that post and so, in a desperate plea to convince any new visitors that I am cool, I am going to give you a rundown of some of the things I didn't cover in that post. In list form, of course.

1) We made our own song lists for the ceremony, dinner, and dance. To do this, D downloaded the BillBoard Top 100 songs from 1955 - 2009 (he purchased an external hard drive, which of course he was totally excited about). We then spent an afternoon sorting through songs that we wanted to play, with the help of my parents. Some of those songs included:
  • "Make an Ugly Woman Your Wife"
  • "The Seed" by the Roots (we played this at the very very end and I remember being dancing my ass off as I prayed that my aunt and uncle from Texas weren't paying attention to the lyrics)
  • Lots of John Prine (for dinner of course, I love him but you can't really dance to him)
  • Mariah Carey (duh, although I had to fight for it)
  • ODB ("Baby I got your Money")

2) The song I walked down the aisle to was "Feelin' Good" by Nina Simone. Go listen to it. Right now. I'm not kidding. It will give you chills (and I chose it for my aisle walk because I am self-important like that).

3) A good friend of ours, A, was our officiant. We were both friends with him before we even met each other, and he is one of D's best friends. It was really fun to have someone we knew so well give the ceremony and it turned out to be secretly funny for D and I, and also slightly disastrous. We asked A to speak a little about the two of us and gave him free reign. During his talk A mentioned that I was always caring for my friends. When he said this D and I had both been looking down, but our eyes shot up at each other instantly and we each suppressed a smile - we both knew that A was slying referencing the multiple times that I have cared for him when he was uncontrollably vomit-drunk in college. The other time that we shot looks at each other was when A mentioned the time he and D spent fixing up and riding their motorcycles. Motorcycles that D's mom didn't know he had. Whoops!

3) D is Quaker and we had had a Quaker marriage certificate that we asked everyone to sign. My brother designed the wedding certificate (if you look close you can see kitties on it, which sounds cheesy but is actually sort of cool). D's sisters had it printed out for us on nice paper the day of the wedding, and we had it framed shortly after we got married. Here is a photo. Cause I'm vain.

Yea, I made that chalkboard. Yea, I'm a trend-whore. But don't worry it was really easy and my mom helped. Also, it now sits in our kitchen displaying a really sexualized drawing of our last names (which are both nouns).

4) My most critical and hardest partying friend (a dude, who lives in Brooklyn and makes movies and is part of a trio of my close male friends who I dreaded telling I was engaged because I thought they would think I was selling out) apparently spent the weeks after the wedding telling a bunch of people that it was "the party of the decade." Also, that was maybe the longest sentence in the world. Sorry.

5) The second in the aforementioned trio of male friends, J, with whom I have a long and mildly sordid history, spilled a full glass of red wine on me as we were dancing. I just grabbed a B-maid, told her to find my step-mom, and ran to the basement where the two women dutifully sprayed down with Wine-Away. When I got back outside J was standing there looking completely out of his mind - I quickly assured him that no damage was done except for the fact that I missed dancing to Single Ladies.

5) The choreographed dance the bridesmaids and I did was actually a line dance that four of us had known since middle school. We modified it a little bit and taught it to the rest of the bridesmaids right after the rehearsal dinner, dancing in the grass at my dad's house. This leads to one of my favorite wedding stories:

5.a) While we were practicing our dance in the grass, after the rehearsal dinner, my dad kept coming over and looking from the porch to see if we were done. He would ask us to come up to the front yard and I would say "just a second!" When we finally were done my dad, having changed his mind about where he wanted us, made everyone left in the house (a significant amount of people) come join me and the b-maids in the grass of the side yard. As people came down I noticed that one of D's groomsmen (lets call him M), had definitely had too much to drink. I was pretty sure he was going to be sick but two of the other groomsmen seemed to be taking care of things and I didn't have time to worry more because my dad was calling to the group. He asked us all to turn in one direction and put our hands in the air to cover the street light. Then he had us all yell, "Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hop Hooray! Hooray, Hip Hip!" We confusedly obeyed, the whole group cheering in unison - just as I noticed that M was puking in the rosebushes behind us. I was worried about this, and wondering what the the cheer was all about, when fireworks burst open in the sky. The cheering had been a cue for my dad's neighbor to set off a fireworks display for us. Suddenly I was completely blissed out - laughing and cheering and clapping. I have this completely sacred memory of leading against D while watching the fireworks, of seeing his face in the multi-color light and feeling so happy and awed and at peace...all while hearing M retching between the booms of the fireworks.

Thems the deets, people. We laughed, we cried - I ate two pieces of cake and danced like a fool. In other words: best day ever?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 Rejected

Can I just say:

I know there is a stay on the decision but that doesn't stop me from being exhilarated about this.

Photos from the San Francisco Chronicle (links to the article as well).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Heart of Darkness

So I was going to write about what happened over the last two months.

"Oh, you mean how you and D were blessed with incredible luck and achieved everything you had been hoping for for years, and then the minute you got it you turned into a miserable fire-breathing wench?"

Yea, that.

I don't really know how to start. We drove across the country in separate cars (me with the kitties and D with the moving truck). I contemplated killing the cats. As I implied before, moving really took my mind and heart away from me in a completely unexpected way. I thought that once we got to Portland that things would be better. And they should have gotten better, but I got worse and worse. I got worse and worse despite the fact that I was working at a job I really wanted, living in my hometown that I loved, and starting a new life with my completely rad husband. I mean, WTF, self?

I know I know, bla bla bla I was going through huge transitions. Moving across the country, starting a new job, living with my parents. But so was D. Except it was maybe worse for him because it was he was living with his in-laws (although they are amazing as in-laws go ifIdosaysomyself). D was going through all of the same transitions and he was being how he always is: pleasant and helpful and patient and never a burden to anyone. He was getting up an hour early to walk my parents' dog, for chrissakes.

It sounds weak and spoiled to say the main issue was not having time to myself, or living with my parents, but I do think that was a large part of things. I was working ten-hour days with an hour commute on both ends of the day and when I came home there was always something: grandparents in town, friends in town, apartments to look at, I had to buy a car.* I dog-sat for a severely traumatized dog that took a half-hour of coaxing to go outside and went to the bathroom inside several times. I went to a friend's beachhouse for the 4th of July holiday even though I knew that I should stay home and rest - we ended up having to sleep on the floor in a hallway and I came home tired, grumpy and out-of-it enough to get a flat tire in my new car while pulling out of a Dairy Queen parking lot. Not once in over a month did I come home and just hang out with D, or read a book or, as you may have noticed, browse on the Internet or write.

Instead of realizing that I needed to find a way to spend some time alone I just kept going, until I completely stopped being able to handle things. Really really stupid things. I yelled at D when I was stuck in traffic and he tried to give me directions over the phone. If fact I yelled at D for everything. I freaked out at my step-mom because she said the downstairs of the house smelled like cat litter. I pouted around the house like a teenager, only worse than when I was a teenager. My step-mom took me aside to ask if something was wrong or if she and my dad had offended me. D finally told me, after weeks of giving me hugs and hoping I would improve, to "stop being a jerk to me all the time."

At the end of it all, we had a huge blowout over my anniversary present, of all things.** We fought for two days and we both were less than mature. To give you an idea: on the second night of the fight I thought it was very mature of me to call D an "arrogant mother-effer" under my breath instead of screaming it at him.

And then...and then I snapped back to senses. I bought Daniel a card and a porcupine finger puppet and propped them up on the sink to say "I'm Sorry." I talked to him about how I craved time to myself. We moved into our new apartment. Things haven't slowed down since then - we are only half unpacked because we went out of town the weekend after moving in, actually - but I am getting better at knowing what I need and then making sure I get it. On our weekend trip I built in time for D and I to do our own thing and stay somewhere comfortable. This most recent weekend we didn't make any plans and spent the whole two days furniture shopping and apartment arranging. One night last week we actually cooked dinner together and then ate it while catching up on episodes of The Closer*** and we both agreed it was the best night we had had in weeks. Lucky for me, it turns out he still wants to be married. To me.

I can't say what exactly caused me to be so horrible for so long, except that it was everything and nothing. I do know that getting our own place has helped and that being protective about a) time to myself and b) time with D has really helped. Being overworked and not having my own space doesn't excuse how I acted, however, and I still have to come to terms with how relatively easy it was for me to treat the people around me so poorly. For now I am focusing on preventive medicine - making sure to get enough sleep and saying no to nights out or weekend activities that will ultimately stress me out. I am also trying to recognize the symptoms and stop them before they get bad so hat I can put myself in check before I start swinging my negative emotions around the room.

So there you have it - my feeble attempt to work through That One Time That I Was a Jerk for A Month. Potential moral: porcupine hedgehogs solve all problems. That, or: for the love of God if you are being a jerk all the time go be by yourself for a while and/or see a freaking doctor.

*Oh dear god, so terrible. Car-shopping made me want to punch people and cry and stomp my feet. I actually did two of those things, come to think of it.
**It is a long story that will not translate well to Internet. But it wasn't about jewelry or anything stupid like that. It was about something else stupid.
***D loves Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson (Kyra Sedgewick). Sometimes he will sigh and say "Oh, Kyra, apple of my eye." This is okay with me because I love Fritz - that man is definitely in my top 5.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In Spite of Ourselves

Honey, we're the big door prize.

Happy anniversary, baby.

*Oh, did I forget to mention that I have a huge ass? I have a huge ass. I really, really like it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh, you

Thank you for all of the comments on the last post. They actually really helped and made me teary I was so grateful.

Things are going much, much better. Moving day was actually fun and uplifting* - except for one scary-yelly moment when we realized that we had taken a big chunk out of our (lovely, gorgeous) door-jamb because we refused to admit that our boxspring simply wouldn't fit up the 1900-era staircase into our bedroom. Have I mentioned that our new apartment is amazing? And that a boxspring that splits into two parts so as to fit up the stairs is a) totally affordable and b) available from the mattress store that is two blocks form our house? We recovered quickly. Presently, the only concern in our marriage is that D$ has started sleeping with someone from Comcast because he somehow arranged for us to get internet almost two weeks before they said we could have it.

Now that the worst has passed (hopefully) I am tempted to let myself get caught up in the clutter of unpacking and not write about the last month. I am going to try and resist that urge as much as possible, because (as you wise women all said in the comments) writing about it is important and will help me to keep myself honest and to learn about what the eff happened.But - But! This weekend we visit Seattle for a friend's engagement party and Sunday is our anniversary. I am going to let myself enjoy my new space with my sweetie for the next few days, relax on my trip, and then I'll be back to examine the cockles of my poor, twisted, heart.

In other news: I think I am almost done with my wedding graduate post for APW. I figured I should submit it before the one-year anniversary passes by, no?

Take care, y'all,


*I know! This sounds like a total lie because moving is hell. But most of our stuff was still in boxes in storage and my parents were SUPER excited and helpful...and I had stocked the fridge in our new apartment with nice beer and Diet Cherry Coke. We had everything moved in by 1:00 in the afternoon, I kid you not.

Edward Munch painting from here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Things are tough all over

I have been writing a post in in my head for days now in an attempt to sort through what has been a terrible month for me. Nothing seriously bad happened but I have surprised and frightened myself by the dark mood I have been in for the last month and the completely unacceptable way that I have treated the people around me (mainly D).

I need to get it out...but tonight is apparently not the night. D and I are getting along for the first time in a few days (more on that later), and I need to go snuggle under his arm before I head to sleep. The thing is, we move into our new apartment tomorrow morning and it looks like we won't have internet for two weeks. This totally slays me because I want to use this space to write about the past month, and I know that I really need to write about it. One of the things adding to my apparently black-heart and forked tongue is the fact that I haven't had a moment to myself since we arrived in Oregon. I have been yearning to get back to this space, to share a little of what I have been going through and attempt to make sense of it.

I am going to try to write a little off-line (what a concept) and utilize coffee-shop internet to post. If I don't get that done than I will absolutely, definitely, no-question-about-it be back in two weeks. Just in time to tell you all how it feels to be in the roughest patch of your relationship with your partner when are just two weeks shy of your first wedding anniversary. (Spoiler alert: it does not feel awesome).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tee Hee

So my job is trying to keep me from blogging by requiring me to work 10-hour (okay, only four days a week, but then I have to recover and pet my parents dog a lot).

I am hoping to be back by Friday, but until then I invite you to visit a funny little blog I just found:

Welcome to the world of the people who live inside your catalogs:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When I'm 82 (Hopefully. Sort of.)

Being home means being back around my grandparents,* which is both good and bad. Good because I love them and am happy to get to see them regularly. Bad because this means that my grandma won't send me any more packages with cookies and holiday socks, and because I have to come to terms with the fact that my grandpa is a pain in the ass who sits in his armchair ALL DAY LONG and watches Fox News and thinks that Sarah Palin is awesome.

My grandma came over for dinner last night (my grandpa, as expected, stayed home) and we had a totally awkward but still fairly awesome conversation. Before I tell you what we said, I think you need some background, here: my grandparents are pretty open about sex. As in, my Grandma gives my Grandpa a Playboy Calender for his shop every Christmas, and the whole family passes it around and makes comments.** Consider yourself warned.

So, as my Grandma was leaving I reminded her that I have Fridays off (I work four ten-hour days) so I could come see her some Friday soon. My grandma responded strongly, "Friday morning." Confused, I said, "Oh, yea, right! Okay."

Grandma: "Friday is 'Date Night.' "

Me (smiling awkwardly but pretending that this is totally normal): "Well I won't come over Friday then!"

Grandma: "Yea, we discourage it."

Me: "What, discourage people from coming over?"

Grandma: "Yep."

Me (too loud): "Cool..."

Grandma (sensing that I am totally weirded out by this conversation): "Well, doesn't it at least give you hope that we still have..."

Me (desperately trying to figure out how to end that sentence): "...DATE NIGHT?"

Grandma: "Well, actually it is more like Date Afternoon...but yes."

Me (too boisterously, to hid my embarrassment, but also honestly): "Heck Yea!"


So there you have it. My grandparents (my grandpa is in his mid-80s, people) have sexy-time "Date Afternoon" every Friday and my Grandma ain't afraid to tell you about it. And as awkward as that conversation made me feel, I think that is totally fucking awesome.

There is a lot about my grandparent's*** marriage that I find problematic and would not want to replicate. I have even found myself wondering if my Grandma was happy in her marriage. Yesterday's conversation just goes to show you that we never know what is happening in other people's relationships (and should probably keep our opinions to ourselves).

I might not want to have a marriage like my grandparent's marriage, but Date Afternoon when I'm in my mid-80s? I definitely hope that is us someday.

*Not my mom's parents. My dad's parents.
**I never said my family was classy. Hopefully you have found out through my excessive use of the F-word that we are not a classy people.
***Where the F does the apostrophe go here? Granparent's? Grandparents'? Where is my damn grammar book?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Home again

I don't know why I even take a shower before I go to my mom's house.

My mom and step-dad have a three acre plot of land that is split about evenly between garden and woods. Tending to this land requires a large collection of work clothes, which my mom has assembled over the years from her kids' closets, Goodwill, and the local Feed and Seed. My siblings and I have a long-running joke that you can't be at the house for five minutes without ending up outside in a ridiculous outfit, and this time was no exception. Within ten minutes of arriving at my mom's house I am wearing yoga pants, knee high rubber boots,* a purple and blue ski jacket from approximately 1984 and a yellow and black Caterpillar knit cap with a yellow pom-pom on top.

We start by admiring the dogwood tree and saying hello to the garlic stalks. My mom fusses with the basil and has a few choice words (of the four letter variety) to say about the excessive rains having melted her cucumbers. Then we head up the hill into the woods. Since the great Fuck You my mom has spent a lot of time in the woods. Today she is showing me the "meditation trail" she has built into the hillside, a pathway that tracks back and forth through the steep, steep hillside so you can walk them without becoming totally out of breath. She has transplanted around 50 baby fir trees. The babies spring up in the dirt under their Mama's crowns, but there isn't enough light or food there for them. So my mom painstakingly dug them up and transplanted them all over the hillside, like so many Charlie Brown Christmas Trees. I am in awe of their lime-green tips of new growth; they look inherently hopeful and I understand why my mom would love them so much.

As we head back down the hill we stop by the barn to take a gander at the beets and the radishes and I am dispatched to get the hose for some reason. As I am getting it I hear my mom squawk like someone has poured cold water on her head. This is the noise that she makes when her mortal enemy, the garden slug, dares make an appearance within a 5 mile radius of our house. I know what is going to happen next. With a crazy glint in her eye, my mom mutters, "Die, Fucker," and smashes the slug with a rock.

And it is then that I know that I am truly home.

*I'm not talking cute stripey galoshes from Target. These are industrial size, all black, meant for shit-hauling, real life farm boots. They are not cute and they do NOT mess around.

photo from here