the water got high and she never got dry

Thursday, April 27, 2006

aruba, jamaica, ooh i wanna take you

Between school, taking pix of spring loveliness (I like to stand under trees and take what I think of as upskirt shots, is that wrong?), lounging in the park, lots of drinking and dining with friends, champagne and dessert with M. and Miss A, looking at ring settings, and hitting Barnes and Noble repeatedly for the first of only many expeditions into the wedding section, it's been a busy week or so.

Grilling season has commenced and it's time to make sun tea and trade out cute snuggly flannel sheets on loan from the Boy for the swanky 800-thread count sheets I got from the parentals at Christmas. 800 threads, people. This is unheard of luxury for this girl.

I've decided there are too many islands in the Caribbean. It should be one uniform entity dammit, because how else are we going to choose where to get married? I've been poring over travel books, magazines, and webpages until my eyes started bleeding.

J wanted to buy me wedding planning books the minute I stepped off the plane and I told her that there will very likely come a day when she wants to hit me over the head with those books, so why don't we just enjoy me while I'm calm and sane? I was happy just to be engaged.

That indifference lasted about a week and now I'm slightly obsessed with us choosing one out of umpteen warm, beautiful, tropical destinations. I've been trying to rule out places with inconvenient hurricane seasons, ridiculous marriage license costs or waiting periods, and we want a place that's a happy medium, not too overdeveloped but not too rustic either. And I get really excited when I find venues like this. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Worry that important people wouldn't be able to make it to some far off destination made us think about doing a stateside wedding but we both know that a destination wedding just suits us best. Getting married by the sea with just family and closest friends is exactly what we both want and one of a million ways in which we fit so well.

Cripes, one of these days I'll have something non-wedding related to talk about. The madness has begun.

Monday, April 24, 2006

sail away with me honey, i put my heart in your hands

Whenever I use the word fiancé and I try to do so sparingly, all I can think of is

“I wonder what happened to my fiancé, I know he's here somewhere. Ellen, have you seen my fiancé?”
“He's upstairs.”
“Are you going upstairs? Tell my fiancé I'm looking for him, I have lost my fiancé, the poor baby.”
“Maybe the dingo ate your baby.”


At first I wondered if it was odd that I haven’t been jump up and down giddy since getting engaged. Why haven’t I been more “whee” and “squee”? Husband to Be got a little choked up when he proposed but I was relatively calm then and since.

But it’s not a lack of joy on my part. It’s just that it’s not as if I hadn’t already known that this was It for me, this was the man I was going to grow old with. Getting engaged to him felt as normal and natural as breathing. It feels really good to have it be official but our relationship isn’t suddenly dramatically different and I don’t think it should be.

But on the plane ride home the night of the proposal, I watched Husband to Be as he slept, listened to love songs on my iPod, thought about everything that has brought me to this point in my life and yes, stared unabashedly at the serious amount of sparkle on my finger, and just smiled. A lot.

Today as I was walking across campus, I passed under some trees and with a slow, sweet shower of pink and white petals gently raining down like a bridal benediction, I listened to Into the Mystic and visualized our first dance and it really hit me.

I’m getting married.

Sure, I’m really looking forward to throwing one hell of a party but what I’m most excited about is that I get to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing and loving person I’ve ever known.


Friday, April 21, 2006

fill my heart with song, let me sing forever more

Catching up on work has kept me busy all week, but it's been a nice one. Warm, springy weather, with the city all green and white and pink and blooming have just added to the spring in my step and the simple pleasures of time with the Boy and friends and the torrent of congratulations received have all made it extra sweet to be back home.

It's only very occasionally that I miss the gorgeousness of Hawaii and the ocean in all its moods, whether placid green or impossibly blue or dark and stormy or illuminated by moonlight.

The Boy and I have the promise of champagne with friends M. and Miss A and J is throwing us an engagement party that promises to be a fantastic time.

The variety of ways in which people have been congratulating me has been amusing, from girly giddiness to "Welcome to the club" to a friend feeling a thoroughly masculine satisfaction that he "beat" us to getting engaged by a few days to A's habit of grabbing someone and shaking his congratulations into them.

Seeing tornado damage around town has been a bit sobering, though, with one of our favorite bars being a casualty and a few of my students having lost their homes.

The Boy and I get to hit jewelry stores this weekend, I told him J and I could go, to spare him boredom. The Boy gave me his grandmother's ring, which is very beautiful and I love the romance and history of having an heirloom (not to mention a lessening of diamond-related guilt), but we are planning on getting the diamonds reset, just to make it my own.

Lots of things to celebrate at happy hour tonight, with plenty of good news going around. J. and A. won fellowships, because they're super smart like that. The town survived the tornado and summer is almost upon us. Life is good.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

yearning inside to swim with the tide and taste it, alright

Still pretty tired and I have tons of work to catch up on, so naturally I’m updating. It’ll take me a while to get pix up on Flickr.

Maui was more amazing than we could have imagined. Red, white, and black sand beaches, craggy sea cliffs, lush meadows and rain forests – each place was more beautiful than the last and all the colors more vivid than anywhere else. Everyone there is mellow, laidback, and cheerful and it’s easy to see why.

We lived the good life, hopping from one beach to the next, snorkeling, hiking, soaking up sun, and eating lots of delicious seafood, driving around in our little rental car listening to oldies or Hawaiian music and seeing rainbows almost every day we were there.

Living in a bathing suit, driving from one gorgeous beach to another, al fresco dining – a girl could get used to that kinda lifestyle, with the beachy look of wet tousled hair and pink cheeks to make her look good with no makeup and no effort.

Went to a luau and drove the Hana Highway, including mile and miles of unpaved roads that are unbelievably narrow and winding. Not for the faint of heart, but the scenery was totally worth it.

The B&B we stayed at was just perfect, a blissful and tranquil place tucked far away from tourist hordes, in a beautiful house with incredibly gracious hosts. The Boy and I have decided we want to be them when we grow up.

The wedding was beautiful and S. was without a doubt the most gorgeous bride in the history of brides. It was so good to get to spend time with her and help her get ready. There was a windy but lovely ceremony on a cliff overlooking the sea and a relaxed, intimate reception.

On Sunday we got up very early and drove up Mt. Haleakala to watch a spectacular sunrise. And there, at 10,000 feet above the sea, in the House of the Sun, the Boy asked me to marry him, and not being a fool, I said yes, yes and yes. Leave it to a geologist to propose on top of a volcano. In our last remaining hours of the trip we souvenir shopped, went to the Iao Valley, and then hung out at the beach watching kitesurfers. Best. Easter. Ever.

Turns out the Boy had been planning the proposal for months and it was completely without shock that I found out that our friends, especially J., already knew all about it. J and the Boy are ever the partners in crime, luckily for me, crime means making me happy, and they’re quite good at it.

Hence J pumping me for information about rings, asking me when I thought the Boy might propose, making sure I had no idea it was coming, and I’m sure laughing at me every time I said I had no idea what kind of time frame the Boy had in mind for us getting that serious.

It was so hard to leave. Being near the ocean makes me happy all the way to the core. I’ve never been able to adequately describe the soul deep peace I feel with sand under my feet and the sound and smell of the surf surrounding me.

But having been to a destination wedding, the Boy and I now like the sound of doing the same thing. J picked us up from the airport and she caught us up on everything that had happened while we were gone and was giddy and bubbly and excited about our engagement, all of which made me feel right at home and happy to be here.

someday somebody's gonna ask you
a question that you should say yes to
once in your life
-old 97s

Monday, April 17, 2006

then he asked me to be his bride

I'm back, tanned and exhausted, after the most amazing week in Paradise. So much to talk about, but just had to mention the most important thing first, in the form of the song that's been running through my head since very early yesterday morning.

i knew that he was mine so i gave him all the love that i had
and one day he took me home to meet his mom and his dad

then he asked me to be his bride
and always be right by his side

i felt so happy i almost cried
and then he kissed me
-the crystals

home, where my music's playing, home

Today Felicity comes home! In a little under an hour and a half, actually. Please comment to this post to welcome her home from Hawaii!

I really missed her while she was gone. I know, it was only a week plus change, but that's a long time when you are used to talking to someone just about every day.

I think it's really interesting that Felicity and I became friends to the extent that we did. With her love of photography, listening to music, and going to concerts, my interests in interior decorating, over-watching tv, and going to plays, it's amazing how much we have in common. And I'll always remember the we were "friends" but our bond became much tighter when we both broke-up with "the guy I thought I was going to marry." Sometimes, there are things that you can only go through with a girlfriend. I'm glad we were there for each other.

She's been a great friend to me, particularly over the last year (or two). There have been several "why-did-he-do-this?" phone calls that she always had time for, "I-can't-stand-grad-school" shopping therapy sessions and endless chick-flicks. I feel like she is always just a phone call away, ready for anything from listening to irrational venting to joyful news. I hope she feels the same way.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.
You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
-james taylor

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you're the only one who knows
What it's like to be me [...]
I'll be there for you
cause you're there for me too

Sunday, April 16, 2006

let's hear it for the boy

In my apartment I keep a chalkboard, where I write inspirational quotes, usually one per month. One in particular once caught Felicity's eye:

"How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?" ~Oscar Wilde

I think it is highly ironic that Felicity liked this quote, because she is no longer one of those women yearning for "love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love." She has a great thing, and fortunately for the rest of us, she knows it.

"The Boy" truly is an awesome catch. I am so happy for her to have found him. At first, I was skeptical. I mean, for how many people is the third time the charm? (The Boy being her third boyfriend.) And how many men ask their girlfriends things like "are you real?"

I wish you could all see them together. Ok, yes, sometimes they are a little too cute. Or they mention their own little inside jokes that no one else gets. But, they do seem inseparable -- in a good way. The way that when you see one of them and not the other, you feel like it is only a temporary state and soon they will be together again.

He has so much admiration for her, respects her, adores her, loves her. It is wonderful to be around. And, he is really one of those "good guys" a "nice guy" if you will. He is the kind of guy that I feel lucky to be friends with. The kind of guy that, if I had a sister, I'd welcome whole-heartedly as a brother-in-law. The kind of guy that everyone likes and everyone is thrilled for Felicity to have found.

And maybe he sings off-key
but that's all right by me (yeah)
cause what he does, he does so well
makes me want to yell
let's hear it for the boy!
~Denice Williams

In a perfect world
all the geeks the girls
~American Hi-Fi

Thursday, April 13, 2006

so happy together

Yesterday Felicity emailed me from Hawaii. Everything is going well, both Felicity and The Boy are getting lots of sun!

The weather here is really warming up and it really makes me miss Felicity. About this time last year, we would go get Italian sodas and sit downtown by the fountain and people watch. She'd tell me new things she discovered about The Boy and giggle.

Within a few months, we'd start ducking out of work early or leaving in the afternoon to enjoy an earlier Italian Soda or a appletini outside. She'd tell me about how happy she was with The Boy and how they still hadn't had their first argument.

One Friday in June, the group met for martinis at our favorite local Biergarten and then we headed out to the free open air concert. It was Felicity, The Boy and I. I scanned the crowd hoping to see someone whose eye I'd catch, trying not to look as they showed subtle displays of affection.

And then it hit me: that's him.

I remember standing there listening to the concert looking at how The Boy put his arm around her, thinking about how respectfully he had spoken to her earlier that evening, how comfortable they were with each other. That's him. The One. The One she is going to grow old with.

Just today in my lab I was talking about them. The context was "the grass is always greener on the other side." That people look as outsiders at a couple and think "they look so happy, aren't they cute?" And no one really has anything as perfect as it looks.

"Except Felicity and The Boy." I explained. "That's really like that. That's really how they are. I know, she tells me all sorts of things and their biggest problems are things like 'do we watch bsg or Lost tonight?' That's really how it is."

I remember when they started dating wondering how long this honeymoon phase could last. Surely someday there must be something. It can't always be rainbows and sunshine. But nothing ever declined. Felicity is as happy as she has always been, and The Boy still adores her.

I've never seen anything like it.

Romeo and Juliet
They never felt this way
I bet

Monday, April 10, 2006

she's got a ticket to ride

I think I'm gonna be sad
I think it's today, yeah
The girl that's driving me mad
is going away
-The Beatles

Today Felicity and her boy left for Hawaii. Ok, they didn't "ride" they flew there, but I'm going to do my best this week as a guest blogger. I've never been a guest blogger before, so this will be interesting. I'm hoping to do this blog justice and make Felicity feel good when she gets home.

I already made a word cloud for this blog, but I am having problems in blogger posting it. I've tried it on my laptop at home and on my same laptop on the Ethernet connection at work. No luck. I will let you know if I figure it out. If you want to make your own word cloud, follow the link above and then right click on the image on the second page and save it as a picture. It's kind of cool to see what you talk about most.

Some of the words that came up for this blog were:
boy, complete, content, dress, girl, happy, home, time, think, and love.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

dreams come true in blue hawaii

Bright and early tomorrow morning the Boy and I are off for our week in Paradise. Stay tuned for a guest post from J.

all i ever wanted
had to get away
- go-gos

Friday, April 07, 2006

and she's my friend of all friends

she's still here when everyone's gone
she doesn't have to say a thing
we'll just keep laughing all night long
all night long
-azure ray

In all my excitement about Hawaii, the one thing I haven’t talked about is the most important – getting to see my best friend get married after almost 16 years of long, late night talks about boys.

I’ve known S. since the sixth grade. She was a tiny little thing, fresh off the boat. That quirky girl grew into a beautiful, brainy, ballsy woman who takes shit from no one. One of the things I love most about her is her complete and utter lack of bullshit. What you see is what you get. And like any truly good friend, she's always straight with me and has the perfect knack for letting me know when I’m being an idiot about something.

We’ve come a long way together, helping each other survive the rollercoaster of adolescence and making it from a time when we couldn’t help obsessing over SAT scores and whether or not we’d have a date for Prom to dealing with the real world. Time and distance haven’t weakened that bond.

She and her fiancé have been together off and on for a very long time. It was a somewhat tumultuous relationship when they were younger and sometimes it was tricky for me to know how to be the most supportive. One week they’d be broken up and he’d be known only as Dipshit and the next week they’d be back together and I had to be careful not to continue calling him that.

But they both grew up and went their separate ways for a while and dated other people and then found their way back to each other and rebuilt a stable and happy relationship. I think it takes a special guy to fully appreciate S. and the full force of her personality and I'm glad she's found him.

When she called to tell me they’d bought her engagement ring, after we did our obligatory shrieking in excitement, she really caught me off guard by thanking me for sticking with her through everything and that she knew it couldn’t have always been easy to do when things were crazy with them. But I shouldn’t have been surprised, because that’s the kind of insightful woman she is.

I can’t wait to see her and share in her big day. I know that she’s going to be the most stunning bride ever.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

they're playing soul at the wrong speed

Just dropped off the last piece of the application for the academic advisor position. It occurred to me as I was walking over there that it might help my chances if I didn't look like an undergrad myself, in my hoodie, jeans, and flip flops. Oh well. I'll dress like an adult if I get an interview.

Because I'm, well, me, as I walked away, I thought, "Didn't Noel have this job?"

Crap I have to get done before I leave keeps piling on, coming out of the woodwork after relative quiet, as I look for new car insurance and need to make arrangements to get a new license and plates, notify loan people that no, in fact, I am not graduating this summer, thanks for rubbing it in, and the department keeps emailing stuff I need to fill out, blah blah blah.

Luckily, cupcakes make everything better.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

i'm special, so special, gotta have some of your attention

It's funny that you often need a vacation the most when it's the least convenient. I'd like to just sit around daydreaming about Hawaii but between trying to find someone to sublet my place, filling out job applications that have to get submitted before I leave town, and working on my damn prospectus, there's very little time to start packing and stocking up on snacks and reading materials for the plane, much less utterly frivolous things like painting my toenails and exfoliating all that pale skin that will be on display soon.

I'm trying to find some source of funding for next year that doesn't include flipping burgers and am now amused and frustrated both at the extent to which academia shelters people and turns them into pale lab rats squinting at the sun as they emerge from the maze. Grad school is just a processing plant designed to spit out batch after batch of academics like so many cans of Spam. So you learn that your top priority is to publish like nobody's business and keep track of all those pubs in a vita.

Now that I've been unplugged from the Matrix and know I don't want an academic job, I feel like a helpless baby as I try to turn my CV into a resume and think about what my skills are and plug said skills. In theory, I've been amassing many valuable skills in my time here. In theory.

I'm not any good at self-promoting. Tooting my own horn just doesn't come naturally to me, but it's something I need to do as of now, even for these small scale campus jobs I'm applying for. Am I qualified to advise undergrads? You bet. Let's conveniently ignore how much I bitch about them. Assistant to the university president? You bet, just ignore my lack of anal retentive organizational skills and the clutter that follows me everywhere.

Somehow "hire me, I kick ass" just doesn't seem professional enough.

Job application/resume writing/self promotion advice and stories welcome.

I've been spending all morning and afternoon on this. Bugger this, it's a beautiful day and J. and I are gonna take off and go to the outlet mall.

Monday, April 03, 2006

hawaii dreamin'

The latest Girls' Night was a rousing success. Had a delicious dinner at the new Ethiopian restaurant. Popped into a gourmet kitchen store to sample their truffles and then headed to one of our favorite bars for martinis, margaritas, mojitos and dessert. The flourless chocolate cake is amazing. We ended the evening at J's with more martinis, more girl talk, and Bridget Jones' Diary.

It's a gorgeous Monday afternoon and my mind is very much not on work. 'Cause holy schnikes, the trip is only a week away. I'll try not to blither about Hawaii all week, but can you blame me for being preoccupied? I spent my post-lunch lapse in productivity Map Questing various things and cursing those silly volcanoes for impeding more efficient routes.

And some time-wasters:

I’m sure you've seen this already, but just in case you missed it. Brilliant.

Who knew video games could be so esoteric?

Love this shirt.

Bustin' makes me feel good!