the water got high and she never got dry

Thursday, May 31, 2007

pressure's gonna drop on you

We're leaving in two weeks. No time to blog or sit or not be doing a dozen things at once. We're hunting down songs for the playlists (I'm taking recommendations for songs that get you on the dance floor every time. And how come no one has the Muppets song "Sombody's Getting Married"?), packing up stuff to move to the Halfway House, running an endless array of errands, and continuing to look for jobs. We're really lucky that we get to move stuff over gradually to our next place, leaving hopefully just furniture to move when we get back from the honeymoon, but it makes me a little sad to start packing already. I am going to miss our apartment so much.

I know that any place that was the first to be shared with Husband to Be would be special, but it's also just really nice digs. I love our big kitchen, the view of the sunset from our balcony, where birds flock to our feeder, providing endless entertainment for the cat, the generous amount of sunlight that pours into the living room, and the fact that both gelato and two of our closest friends are each a short walk away. Boo to leaving all that behind. I know it'll be nice in the new place to have a yard and a basement and hardwood floors and being a lot closer to the best taco place in town, but it's hard to imagine getting very attached to someplace we'll be occupying for only a month. It's just a stepping stone.

Everything is going to change so quickly, with the wedding being the first domino in a long line to fall. I guess I should just embrace being swept away into the unknown and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise*

Husband to Be is out of town again, because he won a Geek Dream Vacation - going here (I'm slightly jealous that he may get to meet Seth Green and Kristen Bell) and also getting his head digitally scanned and then getting his very own action figure. I have a hunch he's going to have just a little bit of fun. I'm 99.99% happy for him with just a teeny bit of "sucks that I have to miss him again this close to the wedding when it seems like just yesterday he was gone for-bloody-ever and oh how inconvenient that he's gone this close to the wedding because my god we have so much to do and cripes we're leaving in exactly three weeks. "

Ahem. Anyway. So in one of the rare delightfully absurd moments of the whole wedding planning ordeal the other day, we experienced what can only be described as The Jesus Cookie Caper. We ordered these cookies to go in gift bags for our wedding guests and got them individually packaged and paid extra to have our names put on the card that bears the "Legend of the Sand Dollar", which isn't anywhere on the website but I presumed it was something heartwarming along the lines of a little boy who finds a sand dollar and it cures his mother's cancer or something like that. We get the cookies and find the legend to be this ridiculously rhyming bit about Jesus! All down the front of the cards glued to the package. Because we refuse to proselytize to our guests via baked goods, we're cutting off all of the card except for the very top which says "Thanks for sharing our wedding day."

And in case you're wondering what Jesus tastes like - good, albeit diabetes-inducingly sweet.

A friend of mine entertained himself today with coming up with other religiously named treats - Baptist burritos, Methodist mojitos and Messiah Mixers among them. I smell a theme dinner party in the making.

*If you're able to name the Billy Wilder movie that's from, you rock.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

don't stop 'til you get enough

The chances of me having anything interesting and non-wedding related to say in the coming weeks are very, very small. We are just wedding preparation machines. I’m a bit of a housewife these days, since I no longer have school commitments. I’m not a big fan of all this unstructured time, it’s very easy to goof off and watch What Not to Wear and eat brownies instead of doing work.

Bought a very simple, inexpensive white gold band for me to wear when traveling post-wedding, as my wedding set will be a bit too blingy to be sensible to wear in far-off destinations. Finally ended up dropping off our wedding bands with our old jeweler who can hand engrave them for a very small fee. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find someone willing to engave the pi symbol, much less for a decent price.

After a lot of planning and headscratching about the logistics of hanging paper lanterns at our reception, we finally ordered some. Have started acquirings little things here and there to go into guest gift bags. Bought a Polaroid camera and a scrapbook to use as a photo guestbook.

Wedding planner continues to be disappointing. We still have no musician for the ceremony.

Have started writing/planning our ceremony in earnest, need to meet with the Honorable Miss A to start getting things set.

In one of the more absurd episodes of the past year, we drove to a total of FOUR Walmarts, two here and two in the next city over, to get green napkins for the reception. Colored linens are apparently difficult to come by on St. Thomas and I really wanted some more color on the table, so we decided to bring our own and actually found the perfect ones at the Walmart down the street, but they didn’t have enough, hence the driving all over tarnation to get the rest. Weddings make you do the wacky, yo. Our quest came to an end Saturday night and Husband to Be threw my hand in the air and started singing “We are the Champions” right there in the Walmart aisle. Loudly.

Got a new computer, which is very exciting. An upgrade from the cheap, crappy, lumbering Compaq desktop that I bought my first year here was long overdue. The warning graphic on the bag cracked me up.

In perhaps the only case of racial profiling in my life I find acceptable, when we were at the farmer’s market on Saturday, as we walked by a guy selling meat, a genial cowboy sort, he sort of points at me and tells us that he’s got a bunch of Korean cut ribs. Serendipitous, because they weren’t listed on his sign and Korean cut ribs are rather hard to come by in a small city. We bought a few pounds, bought some galbi marinade and grilled them Sunday night. So incredibly yummy.

Saturday and Sunday both started out with some breakdowns on our part but after some venting and wigging out, we went on to have an incredibly productive weekend, while also treating ourselves to little things like a nice dinner and a cup full of happiness from Sonic. My Sonic love knows no bounds.

Man, I can't wait to have my sanity back after the wedding, as well as the valuable cerebral real estate currently being squatted on by all things nuptial-related. I know it'll all be worth it but I wouldn't wish wedding planning on my worst enemy.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

it’s enough for me, baby

Yesterday was an angry day. It should have been a good day, because it was the absolute end of my teaching duties, I am done with it all. But an email from my bitchy former advisor and an email from our irritating wedding planner resulted in just a bit of rage. Sometimes I feel bloated with all the anger I’ve swallowed at my advisor and at the same time deflated with disappointment every time something wedding related falls through.

Things that helped – getting our asses kicked in an abs class at the gym. Oh my God. Most strenuous 30 minutes of my life. Husband to Be and I just giggled with exhaustion afterwards, his response being “What did you get me into?? I would beat you…if I could move.” I felt like a limp rag afterwards but in a really good way. We went out for our customary Tuesday dollar slices and my sweet, icy cold cider and being able to laugh with friends at the lunacy of my advisor went a long way towards dialing down the anger. I’m getting to the point where I just feel sorry for her and won’t take anything she says personally. If the negative emails continue, I’ll delete them sight unseen.

I made the mistake of telling HtB after the abs class yesterday that my session today with my personal trainer couldn’t be that bad after yesterday’s pain-fest. That was a stupid thing to say. My trainer decided it was time to ramp things up. I’m exhausted and sore all over. But he said my “body looked good” and I looked “skinny” and “ripped” (okay, ripped is an overstatement, but I’ll take it). Woot!!

I think I could get used to being a fitness buff, all the exertion of yesterday and today has helped drain a lot of anger and stress away. I appreciate that, just as I appreciate my stellar circle of friends. I’ve read blogs of other grad students who talk about not having any friends within their departments and I just can’t imagine how hard that would be. I got very lucky to find a core group of truly excellent peeps. There are people in my life who have let me down at a crucial time, but I recognize and am grateful for the others who have been true and steady all along.

Being engaged has been an endurance test and it has stretched us to our limits. I am damn ready for this liminal state to be done. And yet, as stress and grief and anger have raged around us, our relationship has been in a protective bubble and the maelstrom around us has never caused us to start sniping at each other or taken away the simple joy of being with each other and knowing we’re going to be married and knowing how right it feels to be together. As we’re taking walks together, going out for sushi, playing with the cat, I am always suffused with quiet happiness and everything else just falls away.

I could really do without all the crap that’s been thrown our way the past year but just as we’ve been pushing ourselves at the gym, I think all this stress has helped our relationship tone up and build up core strength and well, that’s worth something.

And every time I listen to Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day”, I feel so calm and am able to imagine so clearly what it’s going to feel like to stand on that beach. The song is my future joy, perfectly encapsulated. I love listening to the song but I can’t wait until I get to live it.


Monday, May 14, 2007

all things go, all things go

In exactly one month, we leave for the wedding. Eep! We’re driving to Chicago, spending the night, and then flying out the next morning. I’m happy that it’s so soon but also freaking out because of how much we need to do. The hecticity (I know that’s not a word but it should be) of our lives is not letting up any time soon. We’ve been gathering ideas for the ceremony, looking for things to go into out-of-town gift bags, we need to get our rings engraved, we need to arrange transportation and set our schedule for the big day, we need to make our playlists, buy presents for the parents, and a million other things. After some running around from place to place, I finally dropped off my dress for alterations and am now very nervous that I’m picking it up two days before we leave. I’ve got a sexy white dress for our day after pictures and actually found a bikini I don’t look awful in (how’s that for resounding body confidence?). Come June we need to start packing so we can take some boxes over to our home for a month, already dubbed the Halfway House. And oh yeah, we still don’t know where we’re moving. Jane, get me off this crazy thing.


Monday, May 07, 2007

puzzle pieces from the clay

I proctored my last exam (ever!) today and then got drinks with the officemates. Damn, but I am going to miss the ability to have happy hour any time of the day. There have been countless summer afternoons where we whiled away the time drinkin’ and shootin’ the shit. It is one big, big perk of being in school. It’s hard to believe it’s been six years and now we spend a lot of time talking about the big stuff – job interviews, house hunting, weddings, the slightly scary prospect of kids. The times they are a-changin.

I really miss Husband to Be, he really needs to be home already. Even though he’s tired and working long hours, I envy him because he’s so busy that the time is flying by for him and dragging for me. Only 42 days until the wedding, folks! I’m equal parts incredibly excited and incredibly impatient.

But hey, it’s good to have time to miss someone, right? To really appreciate how much better life is when they’re with you, to know that homesickness has nothing to do with geography. I’m sure I’ve said it before but I never quite get over it – to have a relationship that is so easy and so right makes it really hard to remember a time when love meant work and pain and struggle and self-doubt. It’s hard to remember what it was like to be with guys who loved me when things were easy or who grew to be contemptuous of the very qualities they fell in love with or who felt the need to try and shape me into a more manageable version of myself. I can tell you that knowing now what I do about how love can be, I would never again fucking settle for someone who feels the need to be my handler.

In the relationship literature, there are somewhat competing theories about people's needs to be seen as they see themselves and the need to be seen in a more positive light. Do I want someone who really gets me or do I want someone who thinks I'm a superhero? They’re not mutually exclusive of course but how amazing is it when you find someone who sees you with crystal clear accuracy, all your flaws, all the chinks in the armor, and yet can still see you as the best possible version of yourself? It defies logic and yet that's the way I feel with HtB.

Being with someone who’s absolutely wrong for you makes it horribly easy to think the worst of yourself – that clearly you must be difficult and unlovable and have so many issues that no one could ever put up with you. But maybe the transitive property of love says that if someone amazing, sane, and well-adjusted loves me, then I must be, as I’ve always deep down known, all of those things too.


Friday, May 04, 2007

are you saying there's a party in your pants?

Once upon a time there was a pair of red vinyl pants bought by a girl in college. They were a little on the outrageous side for her but she caved to friends’ persuasion and bought them. And they were hella fun and made this rollerskate skinny girl look like she actually had a booty. And she wore them clubbing, way back in the day when she actually did these sorts of things. And then she graduated and went to grad school and wore the pants just once her first year and enjoyed having her butt admired by Woody Allen-esque friend. And then stress, lack of exercise, an overly youthful and carefree diet, and a metabolism that came to a screeching halt all combined to make her unable to fit in her party pants. And she sadly put them away, resigning herself to never wearing them again but unable to throw them away.

Breaking from annoying third person, cut to my last year of grad school. My future in-laws buy me a gym membership and I splurge on a few personal training sessions and start going to the gym almost every day. It’s addictive, in a good way. Beforehand, if someone were to tell me they go to the gym almost every day, I’d think they need to get a life. But it’s such a great way to relieve stress and it just feels good, even when it kicks my ass. I’ve been feeling stronger and getting more toned.

I’m on my way to being obsessed with eating better - more fruit and veggies and whole wheat pasta and cutting way back on soda, watching my portion sizes and eating more frequently. Nothing draconian, I love food too much to ever diet. Just doing simple, reasonable things and enjoying everything in moderation and wondering why the hell it took me so long to pay attention to these things. I’ve never made it a goal to try and go back to my college size, because I thought that was unrealistic and unproductive, plus while I was thinner in college, I was not fit at all.

I do not have washboard abs yet and trying on bikinis at Target was dreadfully unfun. I’m convinced that the only women who really look great in bikinis are those with 0% body fat and that’s just not me. But I’m shaping up and slimming down and the other weekend I bought this cute green mini-dress and thought “Hey, there are my legs! They look pretty good!” And I went jeans shopping and kept grabbing sizes that were too big but wondering what the hell was wrong with the universe because I thought, I am not the size X I ended up with. It happened again when I went to the outlet mall and 95% of the things I tried on were way too big, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Gradual weight loss (and gain for that matter, I’ve been down both roads) is a funny thing in that even as your body changes, your perception of it doesn’t keep up.

But the final test was trying on the party pants. I tried on a couple of other things from college first, just testing the waters. And I was still convinced that there was no way the party pants could fit but that that was okay.

I slipped them on this morning and they fit like a glove. Huzzah!

The irony, of course, is that they look a little silly and disco-y now. Where the hell would I wear these? Not really big into the clubbing thing now, as I am old and like to go to bed at a decent hour. Maybe I should wear them to proctor my last exam?

But dammit, if I wanted to wear them I could. And that feels really frakkin’ good.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

no news, no new regrets

Husband to Be left town on Tuesday for a work trip and will be gone until next Thursday. Big thumbs down to that. I miss him but it hasn’t gotten bad yet. Give it a few days.

In the meantime, I am the guy of the relationship. When I’m gone, HtB would probably keep the place even neater and cleaner than otherwise, while when I’m the one at home, the clutter will accumulate and then be tidied up but quick right before he gets back.

I had my shower this past weekend and it was a good girly time. I got tons o’kitchen loot and had fun judging our very own little Iron Chef competition (secret ingredient hummus). The cutest entry was Miss A’s radish boats with scallion masts and cracker sails, which made her giggle every time she made them. And I had Dr. Pepper cupcakes. Yum.

We capped it off by going downtown and getting mojitos and then martinis and sushi at my favorite sushi restaurant (where my personal trainer also works as a sushi chef. Random!) and the girls made me wear a wee green tiara.

The semester is almost over and after a couple more stacks of grading, I’ll be free. But I’m swamped with things to do. I have to find plane tickets to St. Thomas for my mom, finish writing my gorram cover letter so I can send out job applications, and do about a million things for the wedding, like order the cake and flowers and work on our iPod playlists and gather ideas for the ceremony, and finalize where I’m getting my dress altered. It’s just nuts.

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