Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The neverending cycle of birthdays

Happy birthday (uhm...yesterday...because I'm a bad person) to BabyBrotherInLaw! He can now legally go out and partake in alcoholic beverages.

But, really, after 21, it's all downhill. Sure, at 25 you can rent a car and ten years after that you can become President. The truly joyful parts of life don't come in the form of birthday milestones. They come in the middle of the summer when you get married or in the middle of the winter when your child is born or the middle of the spring when you see your first grandchild.

We're all getting too old, too fast. Wasn't I just a few days ago looking forward to summer vacation with my parents, my first birthday as a teenager, my high school graduation? Time marches on. And in just about three months I will be 23.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't be a jerk: This means you

I'm jazzed from drinking a Den pop the size of my head, and I'm feeling feisty.

So, here's some wisdom I've come across through interaction and experience that I think you can benefit from. Don't mess with people that prepare your food, fix your computer, or edit and/or lay out your manuscript.

Don't mess with the people that prepare your food. This goes without saying, as chronicled in the movie Waiting. They can always spit in your food or, if you're an ass after your dinner has already reached the table, "accidentally" overcharge you. Maybe you'll notice. Maybe you won't. One way or another, you're going to end up with the flu. Karma, baby.

Don't mess with the people that fix your computers. You're stupid. The IT people know you're stupid. You know you're stupid. Just admit it. Provide them with the information they request. Be gracious. And when they point out the idiotic error that's all your fault, acknowledge it. Remember who ultimately controls your precious lifeline of e-mail forwards and YouTube videos. If you're an ass, they will get you. They will. Fuck. You. Up.

Don't mess with the people that edit and/or lay out your manuscript. This is just a personal aside, straight from me to all the budding authors out there. Okay, so I don't pose as big of a threat. I can't give you my cold or hack into your private information, but I will be a total bitch to you. I won't return your e-mail for days and won't care if your deadlines aren't met or if there are errors when your book comes out. If you're nice to me, I will want to work hard for you. Otherwise, take a flying leap.

And keep me away from the Den pop.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One ring to rule them all...

As an addendum to last week's post about Husband and my beginning, I thought I would include a story about how we came to be married to one another: The Proposal.

I had just finished my sophomore/junior year at Dinky College and Husband and I decided to spend some time in the Biggest City Within 50 Miles that fateful June Saturday. It seemed like any other outing. We made the rounds and dined at O'Charley's with Diosthocles and his baby brother. Apparently, when I felt the call of nature and excused myself to the restroom, Husband whipped out his Precious from his cargo shorts and told the two of his plans (they were the only people to know when he would actually propose). He'd had the ring for a little while and had visited my parents to ask for their blessing several days before, unbeknownst to me (yeah, he's an old fashioned fella). I'm sure keeping that news quiet about did my talkative Mother in, but she succeeded and I was completely clueless, as I usually am.

In addition to being completely clueless, when it comes to Husband, I am also extremely gullible. On our drive home, at sunset, he suddenly said his car was acting up and losing acceleration (of course, he just took his foot off the gas pedal). He pulled off the main road onto the side of a quiet gravel road. I got all nervous and asked if he wanted me to call my Dad to come help, but he said he had the proper equipment in his trunk and that this had happened before. Here's the worst gullible part:

Husband had gotten me a small diamond ring for Christmas a year or so before. I always wore it on my left ring finger because it didn't get in the way as much on that hand. So, while Husband opened his trunk and walked to the rear of the car, he told me he needed me to look at the hot engine under the open hood, so I should take off all of my jewelry (uhm...so it didn't melt to my body?). I complied, taking off all of my jewelry (oh, yes, earrings included) and walked to the front of the car.

Then, Husband walked up and knelt on one knee. To be completely honest, my brain went into shock and I have absolutely no memory of what he said, aside from him addressing me by my full name. My memory jumpstarts again with me crying and answering with, "Yes."

We got back in the car, I put my earrings back on, and ogled the lovely ring he had offered me. We went to my parents' house first to tell them the good news (my Mother was, understandably, relieved to have her gag order lifted). On the way to tell Husband's parents, we called those nearest and dearest to us, repeating the story of Husband's improptu, perfect proposal. And THAT'S all she wrote.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I bring you news of great joy...

We got the house!

Uh...not really, just kidding. I'm a total liar. Had you going though, right? We're still waiting on that good news, but to satiate your need for something positive:

Husband got a new job!!!!!

It's a new position, but also a promotion, which brings a higher level of security clearance for him and a mortgage-soothing pay increase. He starts in just two weeks. The position is in his current department, so he gets to stay with the people he knows while also getting the opportunity (and a reason) to learn more about servers or some nonsense that I don't pretend to understand. This news could not have come at a better time, as we grow more anxious by the day awaiting a phone call about our offer. But, hey, I'll take it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My One and Only

Yesterday, September 18, marked the six-year anniversary of Husband and my relationship. Perhaps I should start from the beginning?

Husband was a senior at Middle-of-the-Cornfields High School when I was a freshman. He claims to have thought I was cute and tried to talk to me at that time, but one of my only memories of him from that year is when he played a scary Russian policeman in Fiddler on the Roof while I played the second youngest daughter, Shprintze. We also performed together in front of the local elementary students in The Princess and the Pea that spring. He was the king, and I was the princess.

Forward two years.

We begin chatting online, getting to know one another slowly over the months. Finally, I got up the courage to go on a date with him, live and in person. Turns out, I liked him better that way. After a few more dates, near-death experiences in my car (he is very brave), and evenings spent watching movies (or me falling asleep during movies on his shoulder) at each others' homes, he suggested we become exclusive. And, I guess, that's all she wrote.

Husband is my first sweaty hand hold, my first "I Love You," my first kiss; Husband is my first everything. When I explain our history in person, I always feel the need to justify and defend why it was okay for me not to take a break from the person that forever changed my life just to experience other boyfriends. However, this is my blog, and I don't have to defend anything to anyone. Sometimes, you just get it right the first time; We did. We have six years of proof that we're the right match for one another. I'm expecting about seventy more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just so you know

Things I am currently loving:
  1. The cloudless sky and soft breeze (read: still sandal weather).
  2. The September decline in bugs.
  3. My "Viva Pink" nail polish.
  4. Flight of the Conchords and Season 4 of House on DVD (plus, the new season of House on television, beotches!).
  5. Dreams about redecoration efforts for the house for which we still have lack of news on our offer.
Things I am currently hating:
  1. Lack of news on our offer.
  2. Big, Fancy University's office toilet paper: My nether regions are delicate, people.
  3. When people say "knock, knock" before they come through a door. As opposed to actually knocking.
  4. Gum chompers.
  5. The ridiculously long walk to get a Den pop. Also, my addiction to Den pops.


Recently, within the span of three days, I had the privilege to witness both intense joy and sorrow.

Husband and I were invited to attend the wedding of two very wonderful people. Everything was absolutely beautiful, from the five-piece instrument band that played what sounded like Irish folk music, to the lovely paper fans provided for each guest; the overwhelming excitement and happiness expressed on the bride and groom's faces was plain for all in attendance to see. The wedding perfectly reflected their taste and ideals; it was just them.

Then, just two days later, Husband and I attended the viewing for an elderly woman who was an acquaintance of his family. Her spouse stood next to her body, so disconnected from the person he'd made a life with. I had only met the couple once, right after Husband and my wedding, but I found them to be kind people, and my heart went out to the family for their loss and the grief they were experiencing.

The juxtaposition of these two events brings perspective to one's life. The beginning and ending of human relationships is beautiful and tragic. We enter into so many things-marriages, births, friendships-with the certainty that the ending will, most likely, involve deep sadness. But, as every Disney movie has repeated, the satisfaction and enjoyment-the true meaning of the endeavor-comes from the journey and not the conclusion.

So thank you for sharing in my journey, and thank you for letting me share in yours. We may not ride off into the sunset together before the credits roll, but today is what counts and I am grateful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Look it up

I just thought you all should know that I think this blog is really working for its intended purpose: helping me to stretch my vocabulary and compositional muscles. I feel my creative-writing prowess returning slowly (if there ever was any prowess to begin with...). Yesterday, I used both the words "effusion" and "proclivities" in casual correspondence. Granted, I spelled "proclivities" wrong, and I'm not convinced I used the words correctly, but, hey, give me a break, I'm trying, okay?

If I accomplish nothing else with this blog, I hope I use at least one word that is archaic or complicated enough to make you look it up. Whenever I asked my mother a question, she never failed to bust out the "look it up" phrase while pointing to our trusty World Book Encyclopedia. I unleash upon you my years of pent-up frustration of "Don't make it complicated; I don't want to look it up; just tell me already!"

An aside...

Big, Fancy University's maintenance crew is re-painting the outside of my office building (read: army barracks) and is making coming to work just that much less depressing. Hooray for an attempt to make my ghetto workplace look respectable.

P.S. Husband needs to update his blog. He hasn't posted since July 8 when he had a cold. He got over that cold two months ago and hasn't let the world know. Shameful.

Plans...or lack thereof

I am a serial planner.

It's kind of like being a serial murderer, only I ritualistically execute plans instead of people, and there is little chance of being jailed unless an unforeseen snafu makes my plans null and void and I go on a flame thrower-charged killing spree.

Perhaps my greatest planning accomplishment was our wedding day (including all of the events leading up to and following said day, down to the quarter hour). However, as I mentioned before, when my carefully thought-out plans are interrupted by some conniving outside interference, I get completely thrown off kilter and go in search of something large and metal that shoots fire at my command. For example, when we were scheduled to have access to Thomas Duncan Community Hall at 2:00 p.m. for the wedding ceremony (we arrived fifteen minutes early and waited patiently before ringing the doorbell), the caretaker decided to take a nap and sleep through our continuous (and later desperate) doorbell ringing, knocking on every door and window, and hysterical crying. In case you were wondering, it was me having the tear-filled meltdown. My plans had been thwarted! Thrown off by half an hour! Instead of the leisurely dressing and make-up preparation with pre-ceremony photographs of the bridal party members I had envisioned, we raced around like mad women (the guys weren't quite as worried as it took them five minutes to prepare). And we were sweating. Because the air conditioning wasn't turned on until we entered the building half an hour late. In July. I finally pulled it together without any significant casualties (the caretaker*** hid away behind a closed office door), but it was an unpleasant deviation on a day that I'd planned to a T.

Now, my planning obsession has come to a sudden halt. The outcome of our housing situation is not in our hands anymore; I cannot be in control of the situation. I feel impotent. Until Husband and I receive an all-important phone call and (hopefully) persevere through some additional negotiations, I don't feel as though I can confront the plans that are already swirling in my mind: what color should we paint the cabinets and walls; what kind of carpeting and kitchen tile should we buy; should I ask my mother to make us curtains or should I just purchase them ready-made; should we switch the gas stove to electric now or not make the switch at all; where should we purchase a dining room table and chairs and pots and pans and plates; what would be the best approach to unpacking and organizing; where will this knick-knack go; how will I hang this picture; should we repaint the garage door and shutters and complete a landscaping overhaul or wait until after winter; and on, and on, and on.

You're sure that phone is on, right?

***I suppose you could call the caretaker a casualty after all. I wrote a letter of disappointment in his performance to the director of Duncan Hall. The caretaker was fired (I believe his MIA act on our wedding day was not his first screw up) and I got a partial refund. Ah, the power of righteous anger (and a bitchy bride).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Increase your happiness today...

A blog I visit often entitled "The Happiness Project" (see KittyMarie's Daily Compulsions) has a tip every Wednesday that inspires acts to promote personal happiness. The fourth tip from the post yesterday is to "Sign up on the national organ-donor registry." I have been registered as an organ donor on my driver's license since I was 16, but today I made sure to sign up with the short on-line form (suggested by the Web site in addition to license notation).

Your final act on earth can be one of selflessness. Take control of your happiness. Someday, bring happiness to another family. Register today.



As an interesting and marginally irrelevant side note, in grade school each year I won numerous spelling bees and received several small gold plastic trophies depicting a grinning bee. One of the few years I lost, my downfall came in the form of the word "happiness." I listened to the word posed by my principal, paused thoughtfully, wrestled with an obvious spelling versus a ridiculous spelling, and finally decided to proudly proclaim: "Happiness. H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-S-S. Happiness."

Damn that gold bee.


"We're approved."

Those are the words Husband uttered to me last night after ending his phone conversation with a bank employee we've been working with for several weeks. Approved, of course, meaning pre-qualified for a home loan.

Approval on a home loan is probably going to be the easy part. Thanks to Husband's foresight, we've built up a respectable credit rating. Thanks to the foresight of my parents, they generated a healthy amount of college savings for me since birth. Consequently, thanks to me, I graduated from college a year early, so the leftover college savings will help with a handsome down payment for such young bucks as Husband and myself. Don't get me wrong, both Husband and I also have handsome college loans, but I don't lose sleep over those. They will get paid off eventually, as will the home loan we will inevitably sign our firstborn away for.

Now the true process of negotiations will begin, which I'm expecting to be the hard part. The entire ordeal is a special situation, the convoluted details of which I am not ready to disclose, but I definitely have my fingers and toes crossed that everything will work out and the bank will fly us a deed on a magic carpet for exactly what we want to pay with an interest rate that amounts to the change in my coin purse. This house would be a wonderful place to raise a few children and remain close to family and friends with a marginal carpooled commute to work. Go, ahead, get your hopes up with me.

At least we won't have to get too attached to our firstborn.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Happy Birthday...

Happy birthday to one of my faithful blog readers, one of my dearest friends, and the chick I would totally get with if I was not already happily married!