the water got high and she never got dry

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

the bed's too big, the frying pan's too wide

It's almost ridiculous how much I miss HTB after a few days apart. He's been out of town since Sunday for a conference and I really wish he was back already, if only so I could get a decent night's sleep.

It's not all bad. A little space is always good for a relationship, I enjoyed having some quiet time to myself, and it's nice to have a chance to miss and appreciate him. Living together denies you of that bittersweet feeling.

And it's not as if I've been sitting alone in the dark. Went out for dollar slices last night and then to a birthday party. Going to try and drag travel weary J out for drinks tonight.

But at the end of the day home is too quiet, the cat misses her favorite warm lap, and the bed feels strange. I sleep with my arm across his pillow as if trying to conjure up the missing warmth.

Why isn't it tomorrow night already? And would it be bad to make out with HTB in front of his boss?

Monday, August 28, 2006

the drinky drinky motion

Hugs from HTB and a chocolate malt helped to de-mope me a bit and a weekend of cuttin' loose and kickin' back carried me the rest of the way. Last week's Girl Night was a resounding success, with a heap of tasty food and drink - bellinis, mojitos (try topping them off with Mt. Dew, yum!), tiramisu, hazelnut gelato, Nutella cake, yum! The guys got together and had beer and pizza. It pays to be a girl. I'm looking forward to hosting the next Girl Night while the menfolk do their red-blooded American male thing down the street, watching football and drinking beer, boy howdy.

We had our first happy hour back at our favorite bar and it was good! With new furniture on the patio, martinis on special and a balmy evening breeze blowing, it was damn good to be back. Afterwards HTB and I got cart food and listened to a salsa band and watched people dancing in the square. It's usually only the eccentrics and the kids dancing at these shows, but that night everyone was getting groovy. A perfect summer evening.

Saturday there was an all day and night blowout party with what seemed like every student in the department in attendance. Good times. HTB missed out on the chance to pick up a couple of young clinical chicks who struck up a conversation with him and asked him who he was. After he pointed me out to them, they suddenly lost interest and walked away. Lol.

Drunk grad students are so much fun to watch. Friend E professed her love for everyone there and was all "You guys are such a great couple" and "HTB, you are a lucky man. She is such a catch. You are living the American dream!"

A while back a woman who was sitting behind us at one of those Friday night concerts came up to us at the end of the night and asked us if we were married and said we seemed like such a happy couple and having such a good time with each other. If strangers and drunk friends think we're a great couple, it must be true!

Truly, without healthy doses of liquor in good company, there's no way we could have all managed to survive school this long.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

it's the little things that can pull you under

This morning it was parking. Now that students are back in, the halcyon days of parking only a few blocks away are over. Yesterday I had to pass up on 3 spots because my parallel parking skills leave a lot to be desired and the spots were small. Today I parked further away than I ever have and it made me grumpy in a "this is not really about parking" sort of way.

It's a pleasant walk past lots of cute old houses that I want to photograph, but I couldn't help but think ahead to how awful the walk becomes in the winter. Instead of thinking "yay, my last year here and my last Midwestern winter" it was "I can't believe I have to do this (school) for another year" and "I can't believe I have to go through another one of these hellish winters."

Why is it so much easier to tell yourself to suck it up and do whatever needs to be done, whether it's walking to school or finishing my damn prospectus so I can actually graduate this year than to actually do it, with maturity and grace, or failing that, just with a minimum of bitching?

It's hard to stay rooted in the present when I spend so much time planning for the future. We've booked the reception villa and wedding planner and are working on designing a monogram and making save-the-dates, and need to start thinking about florists and caterers and on and on. I enjoy it but it's always a reminder of things to come - graduating, getting married, and moving - and it's hard not to be impatient.

The negatives in my life are far outweighed by the positives and I'm very satisfied with our homey apartment and our good friends and the simple pleasures of pre-kid years with HTB. But I'm also really tired of the rut that is grad school and the feeling that a more satisfying life is still on hold. I've looked at a lot of travel magazines over the past few months and it just intensifies the itch to be out there, somewhere. Adventure is calling to me and I'm pouting and kicking my heels because I can't answer the call yet.

Mopiness is so unbecoming. I need to snap out of it and just do what I need to do. Yea, I'll get right on that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

hoch soll sie leben

More later, but just had to wish a Happy Birthday to J, one of my favorite Leos! J is a fabulous, brainy, funny, caring, sweet and sexy chica and a crackin' good friend and maid of honor. I am lucky to know her.

Get back into town so we can party!

Friday, August 18, 2006

we have liftoff!

Well, okay, now it's exactly 10 months until the wedding. We finally found a venue for the reception that looked really good but they were booked for June 16. Cue bridal meltdown. Finally occurred to us to try and change our date. After a lot of debating which direction to move it in and second guessing (we liked the idea of the 14th, because we met on a 14th, but there was a strong chance that his aunt and uncle wouldn't be able to make it then. Then we debated the merits of a Friday vs. Sunday and finally ended up on a Monday.) and checking in with our photographer friend, who was flexible, bless his soul, we changed the date and are penciled in to have our reception here. It looks gorgeous, with over 5 acres of gardens, and lots of patios and outdoor space.

This is their new pavilion that might well be the spot. I'm hoping that the rafters offer lots of decorative possibilities like paper lanterns and draping some fabric to make it tent-like.

We have a reception venue! Keeping our fingers crossed that the wedding planner we've been talking to is available so we can officially hire her. And then we start writing really big checks...

After months of being closed for reconstruction, our favorite bar is opening back up! Yay! Girls' Night Out tomorrow! Yay! It's been a stressful and literally headache-y week, but things are definitely looking up.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

time to get going, what lies ahead i have no way of knowing

Shortly after my last post, Miss A called to congratulate me on not being unemployed. I'll be teaching the same class I have been for the past 3 years, and I am just fine with that!

Went to Chicago for a wedding, which was very nice, snarky comments about the universality of strapless ballgowns and reading from Corinthians aside. Being creatures of habit, HTB and I hit the Loop for shopping and had lunch at FoodLife. I was amazed at the sheer volume of ugly clothes at H&M and ogled huge diamonds at Tiffany's. Went to the Korean festival, there wasn't
much there but we got some tasty kalbi. Got some yummy pizza at Gino's.

Tried on a couple of dresses at Saeyoung Vu and was sorely disappointed. Up close the dresses did not impress.

As always, our friends S and L were fabulous hosts and talented photographer S took our engagement pix, which turned out wonderfully. And we have booked S for our wedding and set the date! Huzzah!

In 10 months and one day, we're getting married. Let the freaking out commence.

Not freaking out about getting married or married life, never that. I am however freaking out about having a countdown and getting everything done in 10 months. We still don’t have a venue booked. There are superficial things, like getting in shape and growing out my hair. But above all else, I'm wiggin' out about having less than 10 months to oh, get my Ph.D, find a job, and enter the real world. Those little things.

Must breathe.

Summer's just about over and my 6th, and knock on wood, final, year of school is starting. As much as I am ready to cast off the burden of school, the unknowns of the future are a little nerve-wracking. Sure I long for a job and house and new city, but wanting to leave the nest and actually doing it are entirely different things. Something about the devil you know…

I'm just going to have turn this panic into fuel for fire and get my ass in gear. Because the clock is really ticking now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

every other day is a kick in the shins

There are some days when I just want to throw in the towel and say screw it to school. Today is one of them. It's a week and a half until the semester starts and TA assignments still aren't out, a professor I talked to who saw a preliminary draft says he didn't see my name. It may be that a just a few days before the semester starts I find myself unemployed.

At the beginning of the summer my advisor said she would be in town pretty much all summer. She then disappeared for a month. When she got back, she said now she was available and then periodically left town for several days at a time, something I would always find out about after the fact. Just last week she said she didn't foresee leaving town anytime soon but that she would let me know. She then promptly, you guessed it, left town.

What am I doing here?

Monday, August 07, 2006

seoul searching

A while back HTB asked me what I thought of the idea of moving to Korea for a year after I'm done with school. He knew someone who really enjoyed his stint in Japan teaching English and made pretty good money. Being HTB, he knew I'd rather do something like that in Korea. I have to say the idea intrigues me, but I’m torn. It would be a great adventure and what better way to get in touch with my roots than to be immersed in Korean culture for a year? I think it'd be a fun, challenging, and incredibly interesting year.

HTB knows that it's really important to me that when we have kids that we nurture their biracial identity, which means at the very least I need to learn how to speak Korean fluently and how to cook Korean food. Plus, taking off for a year is also the kind of adventure I feel is most possible pre-kids.

On the flip side, the thing I most look forward to doing after school is putting down roots. I want a house and a yard and a dog and a job and a great city to call home. Putting that off for another year wouldn't be impossible, just hard.

We talked about it for a while yesterday and then when HTB was looking around online for possible things to do when we're in Chicago this weekend, he found that there'll be a Korean festival going on. Coincidence?

Whatever we end up doing, the fact that HTB can suggest such an adventure is one of the many reasons why I know he is so perfectly suited to me.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

weddings are whack

I wonder if there’s any research that shows an association between wedding planning and loss of brain cells. Because I’m at a loss for anything interesting to say. Because me trying to figure out what the hell to wear for engagement pix we’re getting taken next week or whether or not to buy a dress before the David’s Bridal sale ends or when we’re going to nail down specific locations in St. Thomas or should I be scared by Miss A’s piece of wisdom that when it comes to wedding expenses, numbers start to lose all meaning or wow that Milena on Bridezillas is a bitch from hell or sheesh, composing our first email to potential wedding guests is exhausting…these are not interesting things. Sigh.

On a tangent, I think the term bridezilla is quite annoying. On the one hand, it demonizes perfectly nice women who understandably might get a little frazzled and on the other, some women will use it as license to be as self-absorbed and diva-like as they want. I think someone on Bridezillas (which I watched for the first time the other night) actually uttered the words “I’m the bride, therefore I should get whatever I want.” Sweet holy Moses on buttered toast, get over yourself. As if the mere act of a woman getting married gives her free reign to demand things. Is this a woman’s reward for snagging a man? Disturbing on so many levels.

I know that there are some (mythical?) women who are totally laidback about their wedding and don’t obsess over the truly unimportant things like color of the tablerunners or what kind of ribbon to wrap around favors, but I have yet to meet them. The thing is, even if you are laidback at first and don’t care about the trivial details, you’re required to make decisions about place settings and centerpieces and bouquet wraps and oh should we have sea glass or petals strewn down the aisle and the act of having to make these decisions and pay money for them accordingly causes you to care. Probably a bit too much.

And I think a lot of men get a bum rap for not helping out enough or being interested enough. But it’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that they generally don’t care about the minutiae. All many man care about is that they will be there, their future wife will be there and at the end of the day they’ll be married. That’s all they need to know to be happy. Whereas many women, while they care most about that as well, have had it ingrained in them from birth that this day has to be not just beautiful and special, which it would be anyway, but pure perfection of fairy-tale proportions. That kind of pressure is the wedding industry’s bread and butter.

No one is immune. As much as I might shake my fist at this insidious affliction, I’m simply as vulnerable as the next bride-to-be. Asshattery.

On an up note, did you KNOW there are blogs all about cupcakes? Hawesome.