the water got high and she never got dry

Thursday, March 30, 2006

the tune you'll be humming forever

all the words are replaced and wrong
with a shower of yeahs and whatevers
-new pornographers

If anyone could please get “Letter from an Occupant” out of my head, where it is nearly every other day, that’d be great. I love listening to it on my walk in, it’s so damn catchy with it’s woo-oo-oo-oo-oos, I don’t care that it turns me into a frackin’ iPod commercial, complete with dancing shadow.

it's the song, the song, the song that's shaking me

This is my least favorite part of the semester – time for students to do their data analyses. They keep me on my feet answering questions I’ve already answered with handouts and little monologues about the most common problems and questions students have encountered in the THREE years I’ve been TAing this class. Is it 4:00 yet? Every Thursday the prof buys his TAs coffee and sweets and I’ve become dependent on the weekly free sugar fix. Maybe I’ll go read some Piled Higher and Deeper that feels my pain. I really need to get me one of these.

Girls’ Night Out on Saturday, woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

queen for a day, ribbons and lace

Finally found a pic of my bridesmaid dress.
And just for good girly measure, a pic of my shoes. Can you tell I have Hawaii on the brain?

Monday, March 27, 2006

because what the internet really needs is MORE pix of cute kitties

Willow the lap junkie getting her fix from the Boy.

it seems the more we talk about it

With exactly two weeks until Hawaii, I’m beginning to think my mind is already on vacation, with my body still here on this rainy Monday. I’m already making lists of things to do, things to pack, places to eat and go when we're there, and getting more and more excited. While I'm enjoying the anticipation, because before I know it, the trip will be over and done, the anticipation of moving into the new place with the Boy just makes it a little harder to not be there yet.

The Boy and I keep saying how we can't wait, as we start looking at deck furniture and playfully bicker about how we're going to decorate, and I sigh about the continued back and forth of people and things between his place and mine, and won't it be great when there's just our place?

Recently got to meet Jorge Cham, creator of Piled Higher and Deeper. His talk was part of Grad Student Appreciation Week, which really just means free cookies. But getting to meet Jorge was cool. Due to some inside connections, friend A and I got to meet him for coffee before his talk and hang out with him for dinner and drinks afterwards. The talk itself was pretty amusing but even better was the feeling of solidarity, to be in a large room packed with other students who share in the same pain and ruefully laugh about shared indignities and frustrations.

Now, back to my Hawaii lists.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

home, where my music’s playing

Up to my ears in work, but had to share what happened last night. The Boy and I looked at two condos, both in the same behemoth complex where some friends of ours (two of my favorite people in the whole world) live. The condos all have pretty similar interiors, but differ a little in size and layout and of course, the view. The first one didn’t suit, the second one was just perfect. Big beautiful kitchen, deck with a view of a field instead of other buildings, a fireplace, big and roomy, plenty of closet space, available as early as we want it, lower rent than the other units we’d seen, and c’mon, my name was written in magnets on the fridge. This had to be a sign.

So our Landlord To Be says we should head down to the Culver’s around the corner to fill out all the paperwork, we meet him and his nice wife down there, they offer to buy us dinner. Everything seems perfect – we found the perfect place very quickly, our landlord to be seemed nice, and free food on top of that. We order food, sit down and start filling out applications. When we get to the item about pets, everything comes to a screeching halt. We had seen so many condos that allowed pets, including a previous one owned by the same guy, that we completely forgot to ask again. Landlord Who Was To Be says “no pets” in a very final tone of voice.

The Boy and I are completely dejected but our food shows up and we have to pretend we haven’t lost our appetites and make awkward conversation with strangers when all we want is to be left alone with our disappointment. They finally leave and we sit there and try to cheer each other up. We’ve got plenty of time, surely we’ll find something just as good, it wasn’t that great after all, etc.

We couldn’t have been sitting there for more than 10 or 12 minutes, stewing, vowing never to come back to Culver’s, when the Landlord to Be and his nice wife come back! They were willing to make an exception and try having pets in that building. He’s not even going to make us put down a pet deposit or pay extra pet rent! Shiny! By the end of the night the Boy and I were emotionally exhausted but in the end, very, very happy and excited.

We have found our home sweet home-to-be and I can’t wait to be there – to eat breakfast off the huge kitchen counter once we get some cute stools to put under it, sit out on the big deck with the Boy at my side, daiquiri in hand, and watch the sunset, have people over all the time, watch the kitty curl up in front of the fireplace in the winter, and wake up next to my sexy Boy every morning. It’s gonna be amazing.

Monday, March 20, 2006

life in slow motion

As a grad student, sometimes it’s hard to feel like a full-fledged adult rather than an oversized kid. I get tired of being on a tight budget, moving from one apartment to the next, and never really being off the clock. I want an adult life, complete with job and house and family.

Time spent with the Boy’s extended family and looking at places to live this past weekend made anticipated pleasures of hearth and home very salient. Half a day with two very cute kids resulted in both some biological clock tickage and an immense gratitude for my childless state. Just watching parents at work is tiring, what with the crying and running, the delicate heads that could hit sharp table corners, the grabby hands that reach for cake knives, and on and on.

I’m somewhere in between “can’t wait” and “so grateful to be footloose and fancy free”. But the sweet chaos of kids and dogs and family in a nice house and a yard that neighbor kids cut through does tug at me.

The Boy and I have our eye on some swanky condos and even though we probably won’t go with the one with vaulted ceilings that I drooled over, we’ll probably end up with something pretty similar, with a deck and a big kitchen and all sorts of nice things I’ve been going without. The Boy and I are so excited about finding new digs and making a new home together. So as much as I want a house, I am happy to not yet be dealing with all the hassles that come with home ownership.

I’ve been obsessed with job titles lately, how people got to be VP this and director of this and such and such manager. This poll at Be the Boy got me to thinking about it even more, what people do as opposed to what they'd like to do.

Now that I’m no longer on the professor track, the sky’s the limit on what I can be when I grow up, but I’m going to have to be creative. Even more than job titles, I’m fascinated with people who are doing exactly what they want to be doing, getting paid for their passions. Doing something I love is so much more important to me than title or salary.

Grad school makes it easy to feel like you’re running in place, stuck in an extended youth, not always the good kind. But the feeling of life being on pause is deceptive. I know people whose lives actually are going nowhere, stuck in one of an endless string of dead-end jobs, lacking the ambition to do anything else and content to forever do what’s easy and boring. I’m lucky enough to be in a very different place and I’d much rather be slaving away at school for just a little bit longer, with a purpose and a dream, than be some spoiled slacker brat.

Sometimes it feels like this phase of my life is just a holding pattern, but I realize that it’s not. Every time I ask myself what I'm doing here and when the hell I'm getting out, I have to remind myself that both personally and professionally, I’m building something, and every day is taking me one step closer to having everything I want.

It's nice that I can eagerly look forward to the house and the job and the kids and the white picket fence and still be pretty content not to be paying a mortgage, dealing with the stress of a high power job, or being woken up every few hours by a crying baby.

There’s something to be said for renting a condo, 4 months of vacation, going out for drinks whenever I want, and having my worst sleep disturbance be the occasional early morning yowl of the cat.

What about you guys? Do you remember the first time you felt like a full-fledged adult? Still working on it? What about jobs? Do you love/hate/tolerate what you do? If you love what you do, please share how you got so lucky!

Friday, March 17, 2006

spring cleaning

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Kiss me, I'm not at all Irish?

Spring Break is drawing to a close and I’m spending the last bit of it doing exciting things like taxes and cleaning. Whee! But I don’t care that I didn’t go anywhere because in 24 days I’ll be in Paradise.

Had a massive lunch (I love buffets!) with the Boy, came home and put on the 3-disc Smokey Robinson and Miracles anthology I just bought (on vinyl, baby!), and cleaned and hauled out stuff to take to consignment stores. I have a teeny little front yard so I closed the gate and let the cat out to play and got distracted taking pictures of her and the view from my front step. I am in love with both my new camera and Photoshop.

Satuday we’re headed out of town for a baby birthday party and back into town for a housewarming and then Sunday will be devoted to apartment hunting and Hawaii guidebook perusing. Have a good weekend, ya’ll.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

victoria, victoria, don't go

This (via Starting a Landslide in my Ego) is very funny, very mean, and a brilliant bit of psychological warfare. A pink locker room doesn't even compare.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

you'll be smiling like the night we met

A year ago tonight I went on an adventure, doing something pretty far out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t love at first sight and the heavens didn’t open up. But it changed everything.

We met for coffee and both got hot chocolate. His eyes crinkled when he smiled, something I found attractive then and love now. I was so completely at ease with him from the very first moment, the un-shy version of me stepping in for the evening.

I drove home suffused with equal parts giddiness and relief. I had no way of knowing what that night would lead to or that it would lead to anything at all, but I knew that whatever happened, I was going to be just fine.

Opening myself up to love was hard and at first the ride was just as bumpy as it was exhilarating. I didn’t know if I was ready to do the whole damn thing over again. But I found that I wasn’t doing the same thing over again, I was doing something completely new. Something better, stronger, and more genuine.

The things that mean the most are the hardest to write about. There are only so many ways I can say how much the Boy means to me. How perfectly he fits into my life, even down to how much my friends (and my cat!) love him. How he still looks at me like I’m something new and amazing. How the way he smiles at me when I’m doing something he finds endearing still makes me a little weak in the knees.

How I found real love, adult love, that’s easy and healthy and happy. No struggles, no over the top drama, no fighting, just puzzle pieces falling into place. I didn’t know love could be like that.

It won’t always be this easy, but I’m not worried. The past year has built something strong, stable and amazing and when crap happens I know we’ll be able to talk about it and handle it together.

Tonight after dinner we’ll go back to the scene of the crime and I’ll hold his hand and look at him and think about how the past year has led me home.

Happy Pi Day.

i didn't know just what was wrong with me
'til your kiss helped me name it
-carole king

Monday, March 13, 2006

you know it's gonna make it that much better

I think I can safely say all celebrations of the Boy's 30th birthday were a rousing success. On Friday, serving wenches, pimps, Chia pets, and Michael J. Fox characters all managed to overcome their differences long enough to drink and carouse together, smoke stogies, and walk by a whorehouse. Good times. Saturday was gorgeous, obligating us to lounge around at the park and then head downtown for ice cream and window shopping. Sunday was rainy, so we hit the mall and then stayed cosy inside, doing laundry and watching lots of Food Network.

There is glory to be found in mundane things when you're with the right person. So it only makes sense to take up residence with the right person when you've found them. Let the great apartment hunt begin!

On a more trivial level, we can stop constantly schlepping clothes, books, and food from each others' places. But more importantly, home the location and home the person will be in the same place. It's going to feel so right to come home to the Boy every night.

*Cue up the Beach Boys*

you know it’s gonna make it that much better
when we can say goodnight and stay together
wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
in the morning when the day is new
and after having spent the day together
hold each other close the whole night through
-beach boys

Friday, March 10, 2006

made with real girl scouts

The department's supplier just got in his shipment of Girl Scout cookies. Yum. Right into my tummy. It's hard to say if I love Thin Mints or Caramel deLites more. The peanut butter patties are just meh.

Discussing Yanni's recent run-in with the law naturally led to:

"What's next? John Tesh whaling on Connie Selleca?"
"Who's Connie Selleca again?"
"You know, that B-list actress, in lots of made-for-TV movies, and that show about the hotel?" (That show, of course, is Hotel.)
"Maybe Zamfir was into joyrides?"
"And Liberace liked to kill small animals?"
"And then wear them! Nah, Liberace was a certain kind of pirate, but that's it."

Tonight's the "80s jubilee in honor of our fallen hero", as my officemate put it in his email about this week's happy hour, when asking who would be carting his drunken arse there.

So if you'll excuse me, I have to go crimp my hair.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

he's the warmest chord i ever heard

“The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.” Ladies, isn’t it great when you finally find yourself dating a Man, as opposed to a Guy? Who knew maturity was so hot?

Today the Boy celebrates 30 years of sexiness, wit, brains, and sweetness. Happy birthday, cutie!

At drinks with girlfriend J the other night, one of her trademark zany segues made me mistakenly think that the Boy had done something to bug her.

“I thought you were gonna say something negative about [the Boy].”
“No. There’s nothing negative to say about him!”

Looking forward to a nice lunch with his parents at the same excellent bistro where the Boy surprised me on my birthday, after having told me for months that he had to be out of town that weekend. Then I’m making him a fabulous steak dinner and letting him open his loot. Tomorrow night he’s having an 80’s party. The 80’s of any century, that is, which means you’ll see mall hair, corsets, and space age slutsuits, er, I mean spacesuits, (sorry, J, but it is true that you’ll be wearing next to nothing) all in one place. It's gonna rock.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006



My new desktop background, taken by friends of the Boy's who were just in Maui, which is where we'll be.

Monday, March 06, 2006

sweet sunday kinda love

Who knew Mondays could be so good? I've gotten work done and I'm going home with a free pizza, courtesy of the department. I've got a fun week to look forward to, with my new camera coming in the mail and lots of birthday festivities for the Boy - lunch with his parents, cooking him a nice dinner, and then a rockin' party on Friday that a surprisingly large number of people are really looking forward to. Plus, have you seen the countdown? Only a little over a month until Hawaii, people!

The weather is brisk and beautiful and every day the feeling grows stronger that spring is coming and my body is ready to do the oh so slow striptease as sweaters and coats slip away into long-sleeved shirts and blazers, then t-shirts and hoodies, more fabric will get snipped away into tank tops, then halter tops and floaty wisps of skirts and my feet will slip out of boots into flip-flops and then go nearly bare in sexy strappy sandals. I am totally ready to give Nature a lap dance.

Was a really good weekend. You could say that weekend quality suffers from restricted range because with the Boy, weekends are either pretty good, really good, or great. Whether working out or going shopping, spending time with friends or staying warm and cozy inside, sleeping late, snuggling, and watching the Muppet Show during breakfast, it's all good.

An international spread of food and drink over the weekend - Indian food, tall, cheap margaritas, the fun of digging into Ethiopian food with your fingers and reaching over a half dozen other pairs of hands, White Russians as required beverages while watching the Big Lebowski yet again.

Realized yet again how much I'm gonna miss these folks when I get outta here - both the big eclectic group of weekly drinking buddies and the smaller inner circle - smart, funny, driven, amazing people all. I keep having flashes of my Dream Future - the job, the house, the family, because all those things are just around the corner now. But even with the light at the end of the tunnel getting ever closer, I'm still firmly planted in the simple pleasures of work and friends I have right now. Crazy but true, life can be satisfying even when you're stuck in grad school in the Midwest.

i can't remember all the times i tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments as they pass
-counting crows

Friday, March 03, 2006

i’m all about them words

over numbers, unencumbered numbered words
hundreds of pages, pages, pages, forwards
more words than I had ever heard and I feel so alive
-jason mraz

The schmoop level around here may increase exponentially for a little while. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Next week the Boy celebrates “three decades of quality service” and a few days after that we’re celebrating 365 days of quality lovin’.

And today? Well, one year ago today was when I first knew the Boy existed. I found him through the glory of misdirection, coincidence and aggressive advertising. I emailed him and so it began. I am so utterly susceptible to words as foreplay and the Boy? Is very good at foreplay.

What? Wordsmithing is a perfectly cromulent turn-on. Judge not. The right words can be hot and his were smokin'. That the man behind the words was even hotter? More about that another day.

I’m so glad you wrote me back, babe. You're just what I needed.

you change all of me
sleeping in my head
-arcade fire

Thursday, March 02, 2006

singing in my sleep

Sometimes I have to take my rose-colored glasses off long enough to realize that people have the bottomless potential to tarnish like cheap gold – just when you think you couldn’t possibly be more disappointed in them, they go and outdo themselves.

On a happier note, I am eagerly awaiting summer and my two new pairs of sandals (buy 1 get 1 free, whee!) including these in dark brown just make me more impatient. I have a countdown to Hawaii, a bridesmaid’s dress, and the pleasure of shopping for shoes and earrings to go with it. And while nothing can truly make up for my favorite martini bar going out of business, yummy $3 martinis at the sports bar around the corner and the accompanying giggling and girliness aren’t bad.

Currently listening obsessively to: The Damnwells. After listening to them at Come Pick Me Up (most excellent Ryan Adams song, btw), I had to have the album. Really good. “Sleepsinging” and “Texas” are a one-two punch. Go listen.

I have been such a fool for you
I put my faith in things you could never do
-the damnwells

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

am i an alt rock tool?

I don't know if the fact that I have all of these makes me cool or a tool. It's a good list, but still kind of makes me feel like Amazon's bitch.

Amazon's Editor Picks: Best Alt Rock of the Decade

And this was just too absurdly lame and funny not to pass on, courtesy of my friend M's demented brain:

Did you hear that Franz Ferdinand was touring and got kicked out of Denny's?
They ordered Eggs Benedict and threw it back, saying "It's so much better with Hollandaise, so much better with Hollandaise".

Gotta love musical humor.