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.