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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Just another commute…

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“…you know, drivin’ back over the hill from Santa Cruz. Man, these winding mountain roads are so relaxing. Not at all treacherous or anything! And I’m sure none of the other drivers mind me swerving into their lanes– it’s like I’m just swinging by to say hello! Ahh, nothing like putting my foot out the window on a sunny summer Thursday to dial down that work-week stress…”

You guys. This moron nearly killed me today. Please keep both feet in your car when you’re driving, even if you’re driving an automatic and technically only need one.

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The Way-Back Machine

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Do you want to know a poorly-kept secret? I have been blogging for nearly seven years. Yes, sometimes sporadically, sometimes multiple times per day, all because I believe the world needs to hear what I have to say. Or, you know, read what I write. Whatever. This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers! “Looking Back,” according to the 20Something Bloggers, means that you are to “flip out your blog and pick a post from your first 2 months in blog-land that shows your mentality and outlook from the onset of your blog.” Because I have had four (yes, count them, four) blogs, including this one, through the course of my blogging life, I feel compelled to chart my sometimes-humiliating “growth” as a blogger. And so, in the name of community participation, I give you a look back…don’t say I didn’t warn you. (And hey, seriously, you might need some ice cream or a good, stiff drink when you’re done. Thanks in advance, B&J!)

The olde-timey-est of them all was Someday We’ll Know, started in the fall of my freshman year of college. It began auspiciously, with a one-sentence post:
“If Britney Spears and Fat Bastard were to have a kid, I’d like to think that this child would resemble Anna Nicole Smith.”
It quickly became about much else, but mostly is a pretty good representation of who I was when I was 19 years old. It is mildly terrifying to think that that was nearly seven years ago.

Next came the Xanga, around the time that I realized not having any readers or commentors sort of sucked. Also around the time that I began to date the first Big Love of college (who, spoiler, completely destroyed me about sixteen months later). There was quite a bit of “squee!” as well as a good deal of our friend passive aggression. Witness:
“Ok, so I got to work until 1 today, but it’s not as horrible as it sounds. I would have been up this late anyway, and Patrick came to walk me back, just so I wouldn’t be violated as I trekked back to the dorms along Gayley. Good times, and I got to take some sandwiches back with me (yay for free food!)…oh, and I think I got titled tonight. It was kind of something that was understood, I think, but it’s always nice to have clarification. And now, to climb up onto Cloud 9 (hehe, Erika…) and go to blissful, blissful sleep…”
and…
Did you ever feel like, when certain people pop online and don’t IM you, and you don’t want to IM them because you’re not sure if you’ll get verbally decapitated, it feels like a staring contest? Think about it… Oh, and of course I have an individual (or two) in mind, but I’m much too passive-aggressive to name names.”

Somewhere in the middle of the Xanga run began Tragic Maturity, a blog name that came out of an inside joke, and that I sort of regret not currently having (or at least posting on…it still exists, so whatever). Maybe I’ll go back. Who knows. TM started around the beginning of Big(-ish) Love #2 of college, the fall of my junior year. This was the second year I was living in my sorority house, so here is a fun glimpse of how I felt about Greek life and technology (aw, remember when Facebook was just for .edu people?). Oh, and fyi– it’s pronounced PREEE-sents, and not like the ones under the Christmas tree.

Presents and other debauchery

Last night was Presents, which is generally kind of debutante-sounding, even though the cutesy little part at the house during the day is followed by the most insane date party of the year. It’s like this every year– all the girls put on their black or white dresses (yeah, we’re cult-y, but every house does it…so I guess that makes it ok) and pack onto too few school buses, get to the venue, and proceed to dry-hump their dates. Of course this year was no exception– there were only two buses, so we had to triple up (or, in the case of my seat, quadruple. Not, fun, especially given that my and Mike’s seatmates were making out and groping each other already.) The place was really cute, and a good deal of quasi-espionage had to be done to ensure that we got back into the Coolest Couch/Chair Thing Ever (ha, like putting your jacket on a seat will keep other, possibly intoxicated people from sitting there? Idiot.) Two Red Bull and vodkas and a gin and tonic later, I was just about ready to be home (not even necessarily mine, just someone’s so that I didn’t have to watch other people make out)…the “early” bus left a little after midnight, and I was on it.

Woke up before my “alarm” at 11 (ha, I got more than three hours of sleep last night!) and had semi-breakfast made for me (yes, I’m counting a bagel as breakfast. He made me an omelette the other day, so there.) Watched some thing about killer whales and seals and penguins on the National Geographic channel, felt old. I feel a little guilty about making him go out last night when he has a midterm today, but am really glad that we got to go– I’ll make it up somehow, I promise.

Technology is so fucked up. Last night I heard one of the girls talking with her date about how she’s going to change her “relationship status” on her FaceBook profile to “in a relationship with ___” now because they’re official– as if the FaceBook profile is the thing that makes their relationship valid or legitimate. Even things like blogs (hello, Xanga, I believe you’ve become a little passive-aggressive, yet I’ll still continue to update because I’m so OCD) have become this whole other dimension of relationships, making shit that was already confusing even more so. No one can be completely honest in a blog about a relationship, especially when the interest might be reading. How do you get around the “Ohh, I like him so much!” when that’s a big part of what’s going on at the moment? Ok, off to the land of truth– the paper journal, which no one is allowed to read, although several have made attempts. Argh.”

Which brings us to the Tea and Cake Time. Ready to create (or reflect, rather) my new post-college persona, I started semi-lamely, with a meme. Things quickly picked up, as I revealed myself to be quite the reflection of Stuff White People Like, encompassing at least NPR and Being Offended:

Why I listen to NPR

Not just because I’m a bleeding-heart, West Coast-living, registered Democrat with a crush on Ira Glass…but also because on local radio, especially in the morning, one’s ears are treated to scintillating segments (sorry for the alliteration, it flares up when I’m annoyed) such as, “Is It Gay?” Debate is then held over whether things like having personalized checks or being a male cheerleader is gay. Not that these people are social scientists, but I’m going to have to point out here that correlation is not causation. Thank god for Morning Edition!”
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A jaunt into Memory Town is always fun, so get on board, friends! Embarrass yourself in the way that only Past You can– all, ultimately, in the name of ice cream!

Divorce, marriage…and tv

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I was twelve– nearly thirteen– when my parents divorced. When they sat down with me and my brother on the deck of our house, whatever warm late-summer evening it might have been, telling us that they had decided to end their marriage after seventeen years, I was not surprised. More than anything, I was relieved. I’m sure there was a time when my parents liked each other, probably even loved each other, but that time had since passed, and now my dad had taken to sleeping on the couch. It was upsetting to watch them constantly be at each others’ throats, and worse yet that the arguments managed to continue even after they weren’t even in the same place– there was a lot of under-the-breath commenting in the laundry room, in the car on the way to school, as one watered the lawn and the other, each just wanting out.

I write these things, of course, from the perspective of someone who has lived roughly half of her life with divorced parents. And I will repeat– I was relieved. I knew, even then, that the marriage wasn’t making either of them happy, and that it was beyond the point of being salvaged. I was relieved then and feel pretty lucky now that everything that followed went the way it did: my dad moved out, but never missed an opportunity to be around for me and my brother; my mom eventually remarried a man who makes her happy and truly cares about us, all of us, as a family; my once-broken and now reformed (mutated?) family that includes me, my mom, my dad, my stepdad, my brother, and a stepsister, regularly splits holidays and attends special events together, with no ruffled feathers or raised voices. I am incredibly lucky.

As GP and I move closer and closer to our wedding date, I am thinking more and more about the ideas I was presented about love and marriage growing up: love is a leap of faith, and marriage requires constant attention and nurturing. We are not religious people, GP and I, but we believe in love as if it were a prayer, an altar, a relic. I am not daunted by what my parents went through– I am hopeful that I have learned the lessons available to me on both what to do and what not to do. I will be the wife that I want and need to be…minus the occasional disagreement over taking out the trash (boy chore!) or washing the dishes as a team (just leave me alone, it gets done faster that way!).
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And yes, of course I have to comment on the media-saturated divorce of Jon and Kate (of “Plus Eight” fame). I became a fan within the last year, but loved to watch all! those! cute! kids! Also, sometimes Kate would remind me of my mom, all Type-A and whatnot. It was easy to see how their marriage would be challenging– twins before even a couple years of marriage, and eight children before either of them was thirty would be enough to drive any couple apart. It was hard to watch last night’s “special announcement” (which– come on, there is the internet now, how are we possibly going to be surprised by this news?) episode because, in separate interviews, neither of them took any of the responsibility. “I’m here for the kids,” each said. And me? Well, Jon and Kate, I am here to call bullshit. I would have loved to have seen them at least attempt to talk about their problems together (hey, like grownups!), and am sort of dreading the episode when they tell the kids about it (you know it’s coming! It’s going to be awful!). Did you watch? What did you think?

Summer adventure!

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Summer cooking is a tenuous topic in our house– GP has some sort of hereditary mandate to be constantly on top of the temperature of the apartment, and as such is pretty grumpy about some of my cooking methods. Coupled with the fact that we are not allowed to use the perfectly good grill that occupies a good quarter of our balcony (stupid county fire code!), this means that I have to be pretty crafty about our summer dinner menus. Enter an old friend– Whip It Up! You may remember that, last summer, a sizable group of bloggers began the challenge of cooking and sharing meals…and it’s coming around again! Details? I has them.

This year’s challenge will run from June 28 to August 22, and just in case you’ve slept since last year’s challenge, here’s a reminder of the rules!
  • Cook! Each week you must cook one “new to you” dish. As we did last year, we will have a theme for each week, however, the themes are a suggestion only. Feel free to run as far as your imagination will take you. The only hard and fast rule remains that you must never have cooked the dish before!
  • Post! Post your recipe, a photo and a wrap up on your blog. The post can be as short as you like, just remember the three basic questions. Was the recipe easy to follow? Did the dish taste good? Would you cook it again?
  • Email us! Email your permalink to [whippingitup at gmail dot com] so you can be included in the wrap up. Wrap ups will be on Sunday this year instead of Fridays in order to allow everyone to get their entries in.
There will be prizes again this year too! Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will be entered in a raffle to win one of 3 prizes.

So, you guys, even if you haven’t before…get in on this! Sign up by June 22 by emailing the address above, and then get to the WIU headquarters to grab a badge, join the photo pool, etc.

Please don’t make our names rhyme

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May, we hardly knew ye. GP and I agreed at the beginning of May that we had both written the entire month off, due to the planned-since-the-moment-we-were-back-on-American-soil engagement party that his parents were throwing us in New York. The thinking was that, since the bulk of his extended family and all of his parents’ colleagues and friends live out there, it would be best to have something near them if we didn’t want to end up having a Big Fat Armenian/Italian Wedding (hint: we didn’t. Don’t. Whatever.) And so it came to be, that when anyone asked us to do anything in May, the idea was almost immediately rejected– this is how absolutely looming this party was.

And…yes, it totally lived up to our expectations. Because GP’s mom can throw a party like nobody’s business, it was lovely. Because I had been threatening the weather gods with my unending fury if there was a thunderstorm during our outdoor photo shoot, the weather was sunny, even if the air was full of what I think was tree sperm (in the form of cute little puffs, but still). Because we are fortunate enough to have people that care about us, we had a complete blast. It feels like we had a good practice run for the wedding– minus ceremony and most of the toasts and dancing (no first dance, no parent dances, etc)– and now I have some idea what people are talking about when they talk about it going so fast.

We’re still awaiting the official pictures (yes, there are those– and a video. What the hell), and so far the only unofficial pictures are of the most mortifying moment of the whole party (and not a portion of Wedding Day that I am looking forward to)…the cake cutting. Someone explain to me why cutting cake feels so awkward, please!

Now it feels like the wedding is coming up so fast! My dress is here, invitations are ordered, and mom has been put on flower duty (turns out I care very, very little about that aspect of the wedding). Four months and two days…is it honeymoon time yet?

P.S. Re: post title. For some reason, it is very tempting for wedding/engagement party guests to use shortened versions of our names because they rhyme. This is fine for GP– that’s what most people call him, anyway– but it is awkward for me because no one calls me that, and it happens to be the name of his most recent ex. So…enough with the rhymes, people.