Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gullibility vs. Cynicism

Today, I found out that my very favorite non-"People I Know" blog is FAKE! My Super Hopeless in peace. Or, in guilt!

At first I was mad at the blogger (whom I also read regularly: Sue, of "navel gazing at its finest") who admitted it was her. One commenter noted that she felt like Sue had lied, was laughing behind everyone's backs--and because Sue was the one who'd directed us all to the other blog, was hurt that a friend, however virtual, would keep lying to her own blog readers even when the blog's stats got out of control in such a short period of time. Yes, this Crazy Thing We Call The Internet isn't to be trusted, blah blah blah, I should know this by now.. I'll get into that later.

Then I was sad, because the whole story was over, and more importantly, not real. When Cordy and her Seth got together, it was every chubby, ugly girl in high school (read: ME!)'s dream come true. I mean, of course I *have* my dream come true--he just left to go to the ARC in an adorably fuzzy hoodie, and I am so extremely lucky to have found someone who loves me so much--as much, even, as I love him! But I was the fat funny friend when I was younger, the one all the Justins and Clintons and Jamies and Jeffs and Matts went to when they had a crush on one of my ever-more-attractive friends. And I thought, reading this blog, "See?!! It doesn't always have to be this way. That girl can be sought after, by the very boy she's had a crush on for so long." And it makes me sad to know that: here's another example where it's just fantasy.

Then, I just felt like an idiot, because there were a bunch of doubters who suspected it was fake, but I ignored it. And when the fake blog's heroine had her happy ending within a month (and went from a size 12 to a 6 in that period of time, too), I thought it was a *leeeeetle* too perfect. But I like believing perfect. There's a reason I watch "Meet Me in St. Louis" every year. The most dramatic plot point is that they might have to move, and then they don't! LOVE IT! And what sitcom problem can't be solved over cheesecake and ice cream, sitting in cheated-out fashion at the kitchen table so the television audience can see all four Golden Girls at a time? (Although, I never understood the ice cream *with* the cheesecake. That's two awfully creamy things right at once. It would be too rich for me.)

Which brings me to gullibility. I am tooooo-taaaaaa-lllllly gullible. Have fun with that information all you like--I'll just get really pissed at you in the end. Because sometimes I hate that I believe anything I read. Why do I not hate that trait all the time, and start disbelieving everything I don't have solid proof for? Because that would be a f&*!ing wonderful way to go through life? Hell, no! If we don't have hope and/or believe the best out of everything, any happiness we have can only be for things that immediately make us happy (LIKE GETTING A STANDING MIXER FROM MY SIBLINGS OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU GUYS!), and I'm sorry, but that just doesn't happen often enough to sustain me.

So, yeah, this was disappointing to learn. But it was a fun, emotional ride that I was totally sucked into (and suckered into)--and even though I feel stupid and mad and sad, it's for something really minor. A girl who never existed!

And I'd much rather be a sucker than a cynic.

Frost on my Windows and a Tear in my Beer

...I don't even drink beer. It just sounded like a melancholy title.

My head is simply a-buzz with thoughts, and if I know me (and I think I do), it's best just to get it all out.

When Neil stepped outside this morning to cool off since I'd jacked up the heat to 74, he noted there was frost on his car windows. He was leaving then, a half hour before me, and I thought to myself "Don't worry, my frost will be all melted by the time I have to go." Which is, obviously, retarded. As if the half hour between 7:20 and 7:50 in the still-darkened morning would be enough to completely eliminate it, with 34-degree (28-degree, with the wind chill) temps.

So, I didn't bring gloves out. Christ, I wore flip-flops not a week ago--I'm not wearing gloves today. At Grinnell, it invariably snowed at least once in October and once in April. But this is not Grinnell, folks. I will not accept that it's wintry on October 29 when the trees are at their very best, when I haven't even been thinking of a decorating scheme for Thanksgiving, and when memories of my extremely fall-ish wedding are still so fresh. (Speaking of--I'll save the reception for a separate entry. It deserves its own space. Suffice it to say, it was fabulous.)

But back to gloves.

I have a very tumultuous relationship with outerwear. Socks, shoes, scarves, jackets, bulky layers, hats, ear-warmers of any kind and, of course, gloves/mittens. Don't get me wrong--I appreciate all these items individually. And when you find an adorably flattering coat that fits you perfectly (especially over a sweater), who doesn't want to wear the crap out of that thing so people might see you on the street and say "My, isn't that pretty young thing wearing a marvelous coat?"

But, I don't like the transition of "No socks ever! For months!" when I fly out the door to do errands because all it means is slipping my bare feet into a coordinating pair of flops, to the time when I have to pull out a pair of socks, find a clunky pair of shoes, and have to sit down for literally minutes to pull and tie them on. (Okay...I may be exaggerating. It doesn't take that long. But it isn't flying. You know?) This is one of the reasons why I want a pair of Dansko closed-back clogs in three basic colors (black, brown, and a sensible red brocade).

However, socks and shoes don't exactly bug me when I'm wearing them. I'm not going crazy, my feet itching to burst Free of Footwear. This is not the case with scarves, headgear, or gloves. Unless they are absolutely necessary, I won't wear them. The material bugs me, that it's covering parts not covered inside bug me (I believe you all know of my aversion to indoor scarves. I don't mean the filmy Hermesy things--I mean when people wear a scarf, intended for the outdoors, however thin and flimsy, around their neck, inside closed doors, often to achieve a hipster look)...I've tried the softest scarves imaginable...furry-lined gloves...velvety ear-bands...I just hate it all.

My rule about those types of items is: if I start to feel the material (in other words, if it is no longer cold enough for me to fully appreciate the protection the device is offering me) against my skin, it's off. This is especially true for gloves.

I understand that this may sound like I don't have all my eggs in one basket (look at me, mixing metaphors! That didn't even make sense!), but I assure you, the logic is perfect, to me.

So, no gloves this morning. And you know what? It was cold for a few minutes, but then I got in my warm car after scraping not half what the girl beside me did (I've told you about my car's turbo-defrosting skillz), and my hands were fine.

In other news:
I was loving this year's TV line-up. I couldn't believe so many brand new romantic-comedy-light shows made it, and I should have known it was too good to be true. Valentine, Ex List, Privileged? All so pleasant. Maybe Valentine was a little weird, but I'm trying to keep up with it, and swear I'll watch the rest of the eps before I delete them from the DVR. I heard that one was cancelled, and thought "Well, yeah. When your biggest star is the youngest tomboy girl from Step by Step (with a frighteningly bleached blond Staci Keanan [where are you, My Two Dads on DVD? WHERE ARE YOU???]), you may not go far." But now EW says The Ex List is getting the axe too?!! What do shows like that do when they know they have a limited run? What I mean is, that show has a single-goal plot line: a psychic tells Bella she has a year to marry or she never will, and she's going to marry an ex. So do the writers scurry to end it on a satisfying note, or finish the remaining episodes as planned without a real ending, embittered that they'll have to find new jobs now? Or, seriously, cancel Kath & Kim instead, man. That one suuuucks.
(I know. I know it's on a different channel and cancellation doesn't work that way.)
Oh, well. I still have Privileged (crossing my fingers pleeeeease don't go), Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, The Hills, The Office, 90210 (I can't help it, y'all, they keep bringing in original cast members), and [*gulp*] Rock of Love Charm School.

This weekend, Neil and I leave for Ohio (Thursday night) to see the Dazets. This time, we're breaking up the drives to & back so those days won't be as miserable, and since this is the closest thing we'll have to a honeymoon until spring, we're staying in a kind-of luxury room when we're there. And I am SO not on plan during this trip. McRib is back, people. You think I'm missing that just to fit into my new trouser jeans?? Speaking of--since Neil had been so sick this week, and I was also occupied with recovering from the weekend, I haven't even started planning or packing. I need to buy mini-mouthwash and mini-contact lens solution and check out where we're thinking of boarding Sean over the weekend. And I feel so good when I make a packing list, so maybe I'll curl up in the red chair when I get home and do that with a good sturdy notebook so I won't have to use a book underneath for a hard surface. I love that. (It's the little things, you know?)

I was at the pet store buying eight cans of crickets (it's a pain to keep going back, so I just bit the bullet) and was mindlessly looking at the woman in front of me--specifically, her coat. And I began thinking and thinking about her coat, and for the first time in my life, my head was filled with ideas for a book. I have only really ever been decent at this journal stuff--casual, stream of consciousness, my own point of view--but I wonder if I might have a little fiction in me. (I want to rephrase that, because it reminds me of those commercials about having a little Captain in you, and I HATE THEM.) I'm almost afraid not to start writing this down, because I fear I'll lose the instinct, and forever will have to say "I had this idea in my head once. But I don't have it anymore." You hear about the Rowlings and the Meyers who have these colossal stories in their minds and turn it into a phenomenon--these non-authors, and one of whom is...well...not a very good writer. I don't think I'm a writer, and I would never presume to think anyone else would want to read what I write, but I'm pretty sure I should take these ideas down in black and white rather than all floaty-abstracty in my head, for me.

A word about photos.
Something a friend wrote in their blog recently struck a chord with me. He apologized for the lack of photos/images in his entry, since most people are looking for that in a blog. I kind of despaired at his words, since for the most part the images in my blog consist of the most clever result from a Google Images search I can find (and I think that's against some law anyway), or on a rare occasion, a personal photo taken by me (very average) or Emily (always gorgeous, but since I didn't take it, I feel guilty about using it). And the process of finding/downloading/placing photos on here is, for me, tedious. At first, I tried to include images in every entry (generally from Google), but I began to notice when, in others' blogs, they did the same--and it began to look like clip art, a little. Not every single time. But a lot of the time.
And, bottom line, I'm not a photographer. I don't have an interest, I think if I do begin carrying a camera with me everywhere I go I'll become obsessive about capturing every little thing of interest or beauty I see, and I'll never have the eye or the talent many around me have. Since I'm more a reader, I really, really appreciate blogs with long textual entries--but am I alone in this? Is a blog not really entertaining unless it's illustrated? And should that be my first priority anyway--making sure my readers are satisfied? Or should I only worry about what I want to get out of this? I am sooooo philosophical today, guys! Eeeee! (Also, did you see? I underlined! I figured it out!)
So: I'm sorry my blog doesn't have many corresponding images, if that's your bag. If I have a photo that's relevant, or feel the entry would benefit from an image I find, I'll use one. But I guess I'm more of a journal-writer than an artist--no, no, there's no 'guessing' about that one--and though I've tried, I don't think any artistic skills are in my blood. Though I did some impressive sketches of Charlie Brown when I was younger. (Great Pumpkin was on last night, YAY!)
(This is why I love scrapbooking embellishments. It totally makes it seem like I might know what I'm doing, artistic-wise.)
I'm not done with the randomness shooting around my head, but I got things to do, folks. Not a lot of people to see...the life of a cataloger is woefully unsocial (what am I saying, 'woefully'?? I love this isolation!)...but I have a cart-load of books, and Library of Congress subject headings aren't gonna attach themselves to records.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We Did It! (Part two.)

First of all, I just completed the Wednesday NYTX in under ten minutes! I rawk.

Second, for a minute I made this thing underline, without using html! What did I do??


Saturday dawned gorgeously sunny, was like the weather had to get the gray and wetly cold week out of its system just to make sure Saturday would be good. I woke at 9 AM, determined to get a jump on the day with a shower before driving Joe and Steve over to the Lambsons' for singing practice. I went to the upstairs shower, set out my spanking-new Dove Go Fresh lemongrass body wash (yum!), and looked around for the shampoo.

No shampoo. It was downstairs in that shower, and I knew exactly what kind it was: moisture-rich Tresemme, for dry and damaged hair. And I knew exactly what it would do to my hair, too, since mine is neither dry nor damaged: it would make it feel like I hadn't washed it in days. Awesome. No one else was up, either, and I knew Dad was probably doing yoga or something in his room.

So I did the sensible thing and broke down until Steve heard me crying and got up to offer to drive to Walgreen's for something that would work. I felt so stupid and helpless...I was letting the wrong shampoo ruin my morning! I was seeing myself turn into the bridezilla they make shows on WE (Women's Entertainment) about. An hour later, though, sitting around the kitchen with my glorious fambly (with my hair, incidentally, squeaky clean), Dad voiced what I needed to hear: it wasn't about the shampoo. It was about me finally letting go of the stresses and the frustrations of the last few days, and the shampoo was the catalyst.

I packed up what I'd need for the next few hours, and Steve, Lily, Joe, and I set off. It was a treat to see my Emily, various other Lambsons, and wittle Noah, mellowly sucking on a bottle instead of napping. We trekked downstairs, where Jeanne and Kirsten were set up with their instruments, and the boys began singing with them. Noah was DANG cute down there...he was doing his own version of singing along at first by making absent-minded noises, then climbing up Joe's legs and scooting right up to Jeanne's cello. He was transfixed! I'm so glad Em got a shot of it.

After the session, Joe and Steve took off for home, and Em took me and Lily to Rocheport to have a quiet girly lunch at the Millers', where Lily would also do my hair in Kaye's luxurious bathroom. It was so, so nice to be out there...surrounded by peaceful hills and trees and to NOT worry about getting Dad's house ready, with the confident sun streaming everywhere, promising a beautiful evening. I wasn't hungry even one bit, but it was all so pretty (and I didn't want to collapse later)...I knew I had to eat. Sarah made hot olives (sounds weird, right? OH SO GOOD!!)...roasted red pepper and tomato soup...crustless quiche with sausage...salad with Lily's Balsamic Vinaigrette, and warm blackberry crisp with vanilla ice cream (WOW WOW WOW). Kaye even presented me with a Dutch Letter she'd saved from the last time she was at Jaarsma's! Such a pleasant afternoon. Lily did my hair in the aforementioned bathroom, with my girls surrounding me.
I LOVED my hair. Loved it. The curls stayed in all day and were soft and full (I don't even think she sprayed them), and the braid kept flyaways out of my face.

It was getting to be past 2:00, so Emily left to check in at home, and Sarah took me and Lily downtown to My Secret Garden, sash in place, to pick up my flowers. I was so excited to see what Ruth would dream up...I pretty much told her to do what she wanted, giving her a few ideas about what I like in the world of flowers (such as: nothing normal, please).

I was blown away when I saw her creations: one bouquet for me to hold, and a large (huge! so tall! so wide!) arrangement to put by mama's display up front. I can't do it justice the way Emily can (my hand-held bouquet is on her blog at, but here's my attempt at capturing the large arrangement in the sunlight:

The fall leaves, the marigolds from Stephanie's garden, the huge mushroom at the bottom, the Birds of paradise, the...oh crap, it was called something really looks like brains. Here's a close-up:

It was all so perfectly crazy colorful and fall-ish and gorgeous. We wrangled it into Sarah's car (had to use the floor, it was so tall), me and Lily squished in the back, and we drove on to Dad's house.

I gathered my dress, underthings, shoes, and jewelry, and went into Dad's room to change (nice and airy, and I suspect the only room in the house with a bed that was actually made). We were making decent time, but I was cutting it close, and to be honest...I was completely freaking out. I was positive Neil wouldn't show up, or that he was in an accident, or that he and Mark had taken off. It was completely unfounded (based primarily on the fact that he didn't answer his phone when I called, because he had been in the shower), but I think it happened because, while drifting to sleep the other night, I worked myself into a frenzy imagining the worst thing possible--that Neil wouldn't be there to marry me. Once I put the idea in my head, I couldn't shake the niggly feeling that it might happen. That he might run off. That this sort of thing happens in movies and books All The Time. Again, I had no logical reason to think this. I was just going through a crazy moment. I knew one thing: I didn't want to change into my dress until I'd heard from him. So when he called a few minutes later, I could have sobbed with relief. He said "I'll meet you in 45 minutes by the waterfall!" and I raced to get ready.

I wrangled myself into my layers of foundation garments and satin and lace, zipped it up (without help!), and stepped out to get my makeup applied. Lily did some things with powder and blusher, and tried to eyeline, but I jumped too much, so I did that part. We packed up (man, there was a LOT of packing up for all this), and were off--I was ready to go meet my love.

Neil and I had a few minutes by the waterfall (drained, but that was okay, since that meant less people were around), where he made me feel gorgeous again, and I felt entirely comforted. All day, I knew how I'd feel better--if he were there. And here he was. Handsome and tall and newly-shaven and hair-cutted, holding me and keeping me warm as he always has done, and always will do. We didn't have to jump right into the photo session, so we could go in the schoolhouse and see how the set-up was coming along. Everyone helped cart the wooden chairs in and set them up, and it looked so much better than I envisioned it. Dad joked that they thought about not setting the chairs up symmetrically, knowing it would drive me batty if I had to walk between them, but I don't even know if I would have noticed.

It was really neat to see everyone working together to get the schoolhouse ready, and gave us a chance to see it all and enjoy the surroundings before the ceremony. Emily arrived soon after, and the photos began, with different groupings of family, Neil and I, and sometimes *just me*!! We practiced our altar-kiss a LOT.

When it became clear that everyone had arrived with five minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to start, we decided to go ahead. Kristin stood facing us at the front, and Neil walked up to wait. I was surrounded by my wonderful Daddy, my beautiful sister, and the spirit of my mother, while Kristin said "Please stand to welcome the bride." This surprised me--I didn't know she would do this--but I guess it was okay to be looked at for a minute or so.

Lily set the urn up front, and Dad stayed with me while Kristin asked who blessed this union. Father said, in confident tones, "I bless this union!", and I turned to my Neil. We faced each other for the entire ceremony, which I loved, for I found strength in his gaze when I needed it. I wish I would have been facing the direction my family sat in (but maybe it was for the best, since Dad said he cried like fifteen times, and I managed to only let the tears fall twice. if I'd seen him, though, I would have been a goner). I can't say I remember Kristin's words...but since we chose them, I know what she said.

She introduced the sand ceremony, and I loved seeing our families walk up one by one to fill the vase. My feet, however, were killing me. The shoes were fine, but standing in one place for half an hour in heels, when I'm soooooo not used to them, was a chore.

Kristin read "The Blessing of the Hands," and I knew our vows were next. I tried to interject feeling into my words so it didn't sound like I was repeating them robotically, but I also didn't want to emote too much. ("I give you my HEART!!! It is the GREATEST gift I have to give!!")

Soon, we were close together, Neil taking my face in his hands to kiss me. We were done.

Kristin introduced my brothers, who stepped up to the front to take over the entertainment, giving a harmonious duet of "When I'm 64," with humorous banter during one instrumental verse. It was the perfect tone to leave the ceremony with--laughter and applause and hugs. We resumed our positions one last time, and Kristin pronounced us husband and wife...we took hands and left down the aisle, and I whispered to Emily to meet us by the waterfall after a couple of minutes. I wanted a moment, dangit!!

We sat on the same bench we'd occupied earlier, right before the ceremony, and marveled at our new relationship. Before long, the guests converged upon us so Emily could get a photo of the whole crowd: the Dazets, the Millers, the Southerlands, the Irwins, the Atkinses (Carmen wore mini patent leather shoes with her fall dress!), Roger, Kristin, the Lambsons, Gilbert, Tina, and the Dawsons. My one regret is that Emily wasn't in that photo!

After another half hour or so of friend photos and romantic sunset photos, we departed. Neil and I drove (first drive as a married couple!) back to our place, so we could change. We got into our casual-but-nice wedding-party outfits (dark green short sleeved button up sweater and trouser jeans for me, a new Vintage Wear Eddie Bauer button up with Buckle jeans for Neil), and wore our twin steel gray Doc Martens, our wedding gift to one another.

Dad's house was sparkling with the plethora of candles on the mantel and in the fireplace, and with the Christmas lights he'd strung tastefully on the crossbeams in the living room. It was gorgeous! Everyone I love was surrounding me in the warm house, happy for the leap we'd just taken. Dad's lemonade (with sparkling water, YUM!) was gorgeous in the glass dispenser I'd rented, the Blue Moon was grabbed up so fast that Lily and Gibs had to run out for more. We passed out the champagne and spumante for the toast, and Neil and I shared a bottle of Moscato d'Asti, my very very favorite.

The pizzas came a little while later, and it soon became clear I'd misjudged the popularity of the Hawaiian monstrosity Neil loves. I got one of them, thinking he'd be the only one to eat it and that he'd have plenty of leftovers, but WOW did that one go fast. Seriously, guys? Pineapple on pizza? Is this anything like that pumpkin/chocolate thing, Ems?

After we were all filled up, waiting for the pizza to settle so there'd be room for cupcakes (OH SO beautiful. I can't wait to show you! Vanilla buttercream in fall colors on spice, dark chocolate, and orange supreme cake, some with the cutest acorns you've ever seen made out of caramels dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, all dusted with gold or bronze edible dusting powder), Noah discovered the candles flickering beyond the glass fireplace doors. Oh my lord, that kid is freaking unbelievably cute when he's excited. He wanted to get to these strange moving lights so bad, was so thrilled to see something new...I could have watched him all night.
But, *he* didn't have all night. His huge eyes began to droop, and mum & pops gathered him up for the night. The very last thing he did was give me a smile before burying his head in Emily's shoulder.

Cupcakes were next...or two, or three or delicious and lovely. Bobby Short played on the vintage player (Could his CD "How's Your Romance" be any more perfect for a reception?), and we all mellowed out as the evening wound down. Poor Neil looked so tired and overheated, that I told him he should run home and I'd make my way back later--I wanted to clean up, and I wasn't at all ready to leave yet.

Is it weird that I enjoy cleaning up after large gatherings? It is so satisfying, and I like knowing I'm doing something to help, since I more than likely did very little to prepare for it. All the rental glassware needed to be cleaned, and I didn't want Dad to have to deal with it the next morning.

Before digging in, Sarah, Dad, Steve, and I sat outside on the porch while the boys smoked cigars. It was a perfect little ending to the most eventful day of my life...nice and mellow and pleasant.

When I went home an hour or so later, I closed the door behind me (after fate left the parking spot beside Neil's open, so our cars could sleep with each other too). Neil was asleep, but he called groggily "Is that my wife?" He got up and we cuddled on the couch, just enjoying one another's presence.


So...that was my October 18, 2008. I have to say, I'm still not a wedding person...and I'm so glad it was small and casual, with moments of laughter in the ceremony, not everything going perfect, and that we wore jeans to the party afterward.

More thoughts of life right now:

I've mentioned how righteous it is to have a birthday on FB...try getting MARRIED on there! Holy wall-posts and status-comments, Batman! Should we have babies just to get more of these?

The coming few weeks are just a mess of UTTER AWESOMENESS.

-This week: The children are all here!! I expect several games of Aps to Snaps and Scattergories are upcoming...
-10/25: Reception at the Millers' lovely home
-10/30: Leave for Ohio. Dine at The Hill, then drive for awhile before hotelling it up for the night.
-10/31-11/2: Ohio. I get to see my darling Dazets, officially as a new branch of my family! PP will preach and I'm sure we'll do a lot of porch-sitting and game-playing. And Neil and I are staying in an amenity-rich hotel room..hubba hubba!
-Early November: Lily and Gilbert officially move back home!!
-11/11: Leave with Em to meet Sarah in KC for NKOTB! I've been studying "The Block," which in all honesty is idiotic, for a week or so now. But it's still awesome. And Sarah tells me she likes it too! We're staying the night and will return the next day, and I have that day off.
-11/13: Get dressed up to go to Jesse for "Sweeney Todd"!! I called the other day for tickets, figuring only slim pickings would be left, but two tickets in the front row center balcony opened FAVORITE place to sit in that auditorium. I hope Neil loves the show as much as I do!
-11/17: My first day at the Missouri State Library! I can finally go to a doctor without a sliding scale! SarahJC every day! Paid days off!

....and then Thanksgiving the next week....and then it's basically Christmas...and we don't have to think about January right now. But WOWIE, what a fall this has been!

Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes and kind thoughts...your generosity...your love and friendship...your time...and your patience.

WE DID IT! (It's DONE!!) (part one.)

WOW, what a week it's been!! It's a testament to the dedication of the last-minute planning process that I, the Obsessive Checker of E-mail, didn't go online for over 24 hours at one point.

I'm just going to run down my days, starting with when it got really, really, no-spare-moments busy, around about last Thursday. I'd been doing stuff all week, but I knew there would hit a point where I couldn't waste any time.

So, I scheduled an appointment Thursday after work at Massage Envy, for my first-ever professional massage (not counting the one therapy students in training gave me, Mom, Ellen, and Alena one day when we skipped school in 5th grade). I knew I had to make it right after work, or I would find a way out of it to do other stuff, and boy HOWDY, did I need it. My lower back was killing me! Jaime was my masseuse, and she was fan-TASTIC!! She was very soft-spoken, and didn't ask me about the wedding at all (which I really needed--a break from talking about it!).

After the massage, I drove over to Dad's to work on the Porch Display. I swept the porch and the front walk, dragged the hay bales and pumpkins up by the front door, and, with Dad's help, lugged the huge, huge pumpkin up the steps in a wheelbarrow (how the hell did Neil carry that to the garage all by his own damned self??)...when who should float up the walkway but darling Trevor, home for a few days. He was smelling delicious as always, like a little ray of sunshine soaked in the sweat of an angel, and promised he'd be by the next day to see the rest of the children. (When will I stop calling them this? Joe, at 20, is the youngest.) I finished up the display, and awaited Neil's call saying he was ready. I probably did something productive at home in this slot, but the memory has disappeared completely.

Lily, Gilb, and Steve had arrived in StL, and were erranding around the city before Neil and I drove up to get them that evening--I drove to Fulton first to pick Neil up. We stayed late and...I'll be honest here, kiddos...alcohol might have been involved. They grilled brats and the best, fattest burgers ever, and June even got me some sauerkraut to accompany the brats. She is absolutely one of the sweetest women I've ever met, and her Carolinian accent only helps that impression.

We drove back, Neil snoring in the car and Lily contorting her body in ways only she can to sleep sitting up, slouched against the car door handle, while Steve and I yukked it up and discussed all things pop culture. I dropped Neil back in Fulton with his car (he DID wake up enough to drive it home), and took the children home, where they marveled at my outside display (well, Steve said the pumpkins looked like they spelled a racial slur, which...I don't think they do, right? Of course, now I can't look at them and NOT think that)

I took them to Dad's new porch, and they were properly amazed, while I ran to wake up Daddy so Lily could cuddle with him as only she can do. I was falling asleep standing up, so I bid my adieus and drove home late.

Friday dawned slightly gray, and I got up at 10:30, intending to leave plenty of time for showering before our mani-pedis at noon. I dawdled for a few minutes, checking mail that hadn't been checked since the afternoon before, and Lily called to say she was meeting Gilb & family at Missouri Furniture to pick up her curling irons for my hair. I had an e-mail from Kristin asking me to call to finalize the ceremony, and thinking I could get that done quickly, I called her. It would have been fine, but it took over half an hour, and during this time, Lily was frantically trying to call because the little crap Honda had broken down at the furniture place. She was upset, and I was worried for her, but I had to finish things up with Kristin...finally, I got off the phone and just as Neil was lacing up his shoes to go get Lily, her car started again.

Even after all the delays and drama, though, we were only ten minutes late for our appointment. The salon was absolutely beautiful, and I thought how I'd been pampered in the last two days more than I ever had in my life. I could totally get used to this. We found an absolutely perfect shade of polish to go with my sash/shawl/trim color, and went to our little massage chairs and put our feet into the hot bubbling footbaths. I'm extremely sensitive to other people filing my nails, and filing my toenails was even WORSE. I had to hold on to the chair tight to keep from jerking my foot away...but the payoff was good. My toes actually look pretty! And dang, did it feel good to get my feet all scrubbed and soaked and rubbed. (But P.S.? I thought you couldn't file nails that have been wet recently. Both my hands and feet were in a soak before she filed them. I guess it's an urban myth?) Next were manis...we were steered to another area, and the filing was much better this time. She did a slight squared-off look to my nails, which I LOVE, and they're still pretty even now! Both my manicurist and the one doing Lily said my plain nails were pretty, too! No one has ever said that before. I'm just so used to having stubby fingers and toes that it didn't occur to me that growing my nails out and taking care of them might change the appearance a little. When our nails were done, we let them dry for ten minutes (I got the special nail dryer thing, because I was totally the bride), and gingerly got our stuff together to go pick up Steve to tackle the next part of the day. They told us nails don't ever officially dry until TWENTY-FOUR HOURS after they are painted...I knew I'd never go that long without screwing them up somehow. Even when I was putting my hands into the dryer thing, my thumbnails touched, and I was all "Yeah, I knew that would happen." next, we got Steve from Dad's house, and malled it up for a couple hours. We found him a great shirt, sweater, and pants at Gap (and I bought Neil an impromptu collection of boxer briefs), ate at Panera (Broccoli Cheese Bread Bowl Soup, will you marry me if Neil leaves me?), bought makeup at Target (and ran into the always delightful Jason Stanley and his sister Katie, who my bro has a date with tonight--he moves fast, that one), and ran a couple more errands before racing home. I wanted to show Lily some cool Audigier shirts I'd seen in the Buckle, so I dragged her in there, realizing too late that the CA hoodie and tank she was wearing would cause the employees to freak out.

I guess I had everything I needed with me, because we went back to Dad's house and got ready for dinner that night with the Dazets. Mark had arrived, and Neil and his family went over to Sophia's to wait for a 10-top. The Dawson clan followed, and we were finally able to sit down and have some fun. I could hardly eat, but the Tomato Bisque was a Caesar salad yet remains uneaten in its little white box in Dad's fridge (and you KNOW how much I love Sophia's Caesar...), and when the waitress told us Neil and I could split a dessert on the house, my sweetheart of a man let me choose the Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake (to Father's chagrin). I'll be wasn't as good as my Zucatto Tre Suppore (er...Sippore? Sappore? Something), but I try not to let a holiday season pass without a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.

I dropped my charges off at Dad's after dinner, then went to the apartment to pack up my things and say goodbye to Neil for the night. I figured he and Mark would be up watching UFC and drinking beer for hours having their little mini-guys' night, but Neil later called me at eleven to say he was off to bed! This was one groom that wasn't going to have dark circles under his eyes the next day....

Unlike the bride.

Back to the story, though.

I flitted around packing for at least 90 minutes, knowing I couldn't get anything the next day. I also put together a gift for Neil--a binder of about a month and a half of IM conversations during the time we were about to meet and then right after, that I'd saved for the last couple years. It was over 300 pages!

I finally felt ready, confident that Dad's house could supply me with the basics like shampoo (NOTE: this will be important later), and took my approximately thirty-four bags and headed out. Sarah M. was already at Dad's to help decorate, Lily was ready and armed with highlighting gear, and Steve and Dad were both on hand to add colorful commentary. Trevor also stopped by again, and as always, he brightens up any place he goes. But first, Sarah presented me with my Bride gifts--a white sash with "BRIDE" down the front to wear the next day, and a white tote with wooden handles she'd labeled "Mrs. Dazet." SOOOO cute. I love it! Us girls cut a billion pieces of foil into small squares (apparently this is important for highlighting), and Lily began. Sarah was an UTTER godsend, and I released the reins and told her what I'd had in mind for the decorations when she asked if she could take that over. She did a fantastic job, better than I ever could have done, and the house looked AMAZING, with candles lining the mantle, in the freaking fireplace behind the glass doors, and on the hors d'oeuvres table. (Blogger says that's spelled wrong, but it totally isn't, BLOGGER.)

After two hours (or more...I have a LOT of hair), we took the foil out and rinsed out the now-purpley dye. My hair was so nice...lighter, reddish, subtle highlights, that didn't scream "I LOVE SUN-IN!" Lily played with my hair for awhile (ohmygod I love having my hair played with!) with some ideas she had for the next day, including a 1940s-style finger-curl wave of the bangs that Steve said looked like "Vagina Head" but that I LOVED. It was totally Lorelai during the Stars Hollow dance where Dean and Rory broke up. I've always wanted hair styled like that. But, it's kinda costumey, and didn't really fit with my dress. We decided on a loose French braid for my bangs, going down the side, with the flower pins my darling SarahJC made for me stuck in the end of it in a little spray, with soft curls in the rest of my hair, which would be down.

Lily, Steve and I sat around next (Sarah, bless her heart, was exhausted from her drive that day, but stayed so long to help out!), chatting and cleaning up the kitchen even more. Steve was a freaking machine, I kid you not! He suggested a little "Dream Phone" round about 2 A.M., and even though I was starting to feel the effects of a nonstop lifestyle, and even though I knew the more sleep I got before my wedding day the better, I was all "Dude, I'll never forget playing Dream Phone with my sibs on my Wedding Eve." It was our brand of a Bachelorette Party, kinda. Steve said there wasn't a strategy, but I totally figured one out.

We retired at 3 in the morning, and the day felt a lot like Christmas Eve to me...errands during the day, dinner out with a bunch of family, busy family time at night, all gearing up for the next day. It was really a wonderful, wonderful day.

Also, I don't know if Blogger will let me make this post even longer than it already is...and the Day Itself deserves a post all its own, don't you think? So I'll stop here, and this is to be continued...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The socks have literally flown off my feet. Well, not LITERALLY.

...How come no one ever told me how STINKING charming "Enchanted" is??

(Okay, I guess you did tell me. That's why I DVR'ed it off Starz HD the other day. But how could you have let me wait this long to watch it?)

Top nine reasons I loved it, in Not Necessarily Top Nine order because I Haven't Taken the Time to Rank Them (Spoiler warning):

*Generally, my eyes don't see anything but Scabbers when Timothy Spall is in anything. But I loved him in this, especially at the end when he's signing his books and they show his cutesy author's pose on the cover.

*Susan Sarandon's real-life version of her outfit was to die for. All fancy cobwebs and black iridescence...! Step aside, Bernadette, another beautiful witch has dethroned you.

*I totally appreciated the turn-arounds of both Idina Menzel (almost the only part of "Rent" I don't like, but I bet I'd love her in "Wicked") and James Marsden. Who knew they could pull off a double-whammy of making both seemingly one-dimensional characters (and one-dimensional in very different ways) endearing and kind of wonderful at the end?

*How Giselle made dresses out of curtains without even making sure that was okay with her host

*Of the apparent thousands of Disney references in the film, my favorite has to be that the troll's loincloth was made out of remnants of the Disney princesses' dresses, and his earrings are the shells from Ariel's bikini top. Or maybe that one of the dancers in "That's How You Know" was a chimney sweep in "Mary Poppins." I love "Mary Poppins" best of all. "Love us like a son and daughter/And never smell of bar-ley wa-ter..."

*That Edmund Lyndeck plays the Cranky Old Man. He was Judge Turpin!

You see, sir, a man infatuate with love
her ardent and eager slave
So fetch the pomade and pumice stone
and lend me a more seductive tone
a sprinkling perhaps of French cologne
but first, sir, I think... a shave.

*I LOVE when actors who we don't normally see singing are unexpectedly good at it. Like Gwyneth Paltrow or Nicole Kidman.

*Really cute that the three actresses who voiced Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas had cameos.

*I'm usually a big old sucker for small, cute animals in animated films (see Petri, Bartok, Scrat), so I figured I'd be completely enamored of Pip by the end. But even with his New York accent, he wasn't my favorite, and I liked that he wasn't--because it allowed me to focus on how cute everything else was. I can't hardly appreciate "Anastasia," for example, because I am always dying for a Bartok scene.

*She's just so....sweet. Who wouldn't fall in love with someone like that? I wish Amy Adams was my friend. And, I mean, I'm a Jim-n-Pam fan. We all are, right? But like...if I re-watch those episodes now, I might be rooting for her just a little bit.

On to real life.

Today was AWES. OME. I worked for a mere three hours, then arranged to leave early (isn't leaving work unexpectedly early so nice? But only when it's for a happy reason or because of the weather or something) to meet with Sarah JC for erranding.

We tackled Shoe Carnival, Linens N Things, Michael's, JCPenney, and Target, and were reasonably successful in all places. Also, when we were nearing Target, the huge military-grade security door was down, and rose just as we came close. When we later asked a Target cashier what was going on, he said "Oh, they were testing the doors or something." Yeah, right. There was totally a bomb scene or a hostage inside that they were told not to tell us about.

Oh, also, I had a YUM YUM YUMMY Insalata Blu with steak (medium) at Macaroni Grill for lunch. (Ems, why's it called "Insalata BLU" when there's no bleu cheese or really anything blue in it? Is it because it's sad? Like, a depressed salad? Because it sure made this mouth happy.)

The rest of my week won't be so great, just mounds and mounds of little things to get done with every moment I have to spare. I grab down-time when I can get away with it, because I don't want to go crazy (and there are plenty of treats just waiting to be enjoyed on the DVR). "Privileged" is a repeat this Tuesday (I think it's the Pilot, so you know what to do, all y'all who haven't seen it yet! The CW, 9 PM, 8 Central!), so I'm glad I have a new favorite to fall back on: "The Ex List." Elizabeth Reaser, I didn't like you in "Gray's," and the thought of you as Esme Cullen makes me have a bad taste in my mouth, but you are seriously fun in your new show. I just don't like the ads where you're sitting in a kiddie pool surrounded by slimy frogs all around your bits.

I'm making Black Angus burgers for dinner tonight. The cashier at Wal-Mart told me I'll never go back to regular after these.

We'll see if she's right.
As always, I'll let you know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That is some kind of a thing.

I was checking in "Elle Decor" this week at work, and saw that a designer featured in an ad had the first name of "Celerie." Yes, there's an "i-e" at the end, and one of the "e"s may have had an accent ague on it...but essentially, this chick's name is Celery. And that's awesome. (Even though I don't like celery. Too stringy, and the little taste it does have is nasty. Ruins a perfectly wonderful chicken salad.)

So, it's coming. One week from tonight, I'll be married! I have a million things to do, and definitely don't have time to be idly blogging, but I think I need to. Years from now, I'll wonder what I was feeling those days between Ms. Dawson and Mrs. Dazet...right? Right?

Which reminds me. When do I officially stop being a fiancee (Blogger! Allow us to insert symbols, please. It bugs me that I can't put an accent on that 'e'...) and become the bride? And then, when do I stop being a bride and become a wife? "Wife" seems...old. I don't mean to say, married lady-friends reading this, that you seem old. You don't. But for me...calling myself a wife...sounds like my mom. Who's always been older than me. Obviously. Perhaps when I am one, it won't seem like that. I'll let you know, though.

Neil and I have been working and working on next week's events, and though I'm not really overwhelmed, I know I won't be able to fully relax until we leave Dad's house Saturday night, full of pizza and Emily-cakes and sparkly-lemonade with simple syrup. And then there's the reception the week after that to look forward to, and our drive to Youngstown the weekend after that (we totally got the suite instead of the standard room, complete with whirlpool bath--fun!!), and then it's ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!

So, how am I feeling? I'm a bit nervous, bordering on panicky sometimes. This stems from, of course, the miles-long list I rewrite daily (to remind myself of everything that needs doing, and to motivate me to cross things off it), and the worry that I won't get it all done. But seriously, no one's gonna care. Steve's not going to bitch that the outside display of gourds aren't perfectly scrubbed if I don't get them washed thoroughly, for example. I'm also nervous, though, for the actual event. I've never done this! Will it change me? Will I begin taking my darling Neil for granted? Will he turn into a WoW addict who never lets me check my e-mail or, worse, status updates on Facebook? Will nothing change at all? Will I be embarrassed declaring my love for this person in front of 25 people I care about? I am not one to gush over things or be emotional with my family or friends whatsoever; when I called Emily in gasping tears after a recent turn of events shook my world upside-down, she said I hadn't called her crying before, and she was touched I'd turned to her in that moment. Plus, she made Noah laugh into the phone at the end, which made me melt, and cheered me up immensely.

I just...I sometimes think I want to do this alone. Just me and him. No one else, not even an officiant. How else, I think, can it be truly from the heart? We are performing for a crowd, repeating words that's their benefit to hear, even though it's technically for us...I wouldn't say 90% of the things I say to Neil at home, in public where everyone can hear. It's too gooey and silly and, you know--just for us. And if we're confirming our legal commitment of love together, why would we leave that stuff out, that's the essence of our time together?

But then again, maybe that's the very reason for the ceremony. So we can declare this publicly, in front of the one group of people we want to be with to witness it (and those that will be there in spirit). And that's pretty neat, right? I'll never forget Emily singing to Joe (you should have warned me, Em, because, damn), or Braden's smile as he watched Amanda walk to him, or Allen and Deborah's grins as they strode out of the church past us. I was surprised at how emotional I was during those moments, because in all three cases, I was single and felt a little left out of this world of romance. But witnessing something these people chose to share, intimate moments all, made me smile inside and out. And maybe that's what this is all about. Letting people in, for a little while, to see a window to your souls that's normally kind of private. Yeah, it may be a little uncomfortable, but this is the only time we'll be doing this.

So, this coming week in a nutshell:

Sunday: errands, errands, errands. Dad's, maybe. Probably Dad's. Very likely.
Monday: Work 8-1. Darling Sarah JC is coming into town to help me, and I may knock out some more errands shoe- and jewelry-related while she's around.
Tuesday: Work 8-1. Uncomfortable doctor's appointment after. Almost as bad as having a blood test. Tackle to-dos. Meme and Papa due to arrive! (Thank goodness I won't have to call them anything different.)
Wednesday: Work 8-1. Possible lunch out with Corrie and a vendor. Set up Fall Display at Dad's. Errands, errands, errands.
Thursday: Work 8-1. Finish as many things as possible before Neil calls. Drive to Fulton, pick him up, then go to Kirkwood to visit with the Marlowes. Steal Lily and Steve back and drive home, probably late.
Friday: Off work. Appointment at noon at Salon Adair with Lily for mani-pedis. Shop with her to get remaining needs, including flowers for my hair from Michael's. Make sure chairs, samovar, and glassware are picked up from US Rents It and Lindsey Rentals. Highlight/trim hair. Dinner with families. Mark arrives. Spend the night at Dad's or Sarah's.
Saturday: Most of day at Sarah's, girly luncheon, doing hair, makeup, dress. Pick up flowers at 2:00 from My Secret Garden. Ensure everything travels to Shelter that needs to be there. Meet Neil at 3:45 for hellos and start of early photo session. 4:40, be at door of schoolhouse to greet. After everyone arrives, the ceremony begins. After ceremony, take more photos at sunset, then go home to change. Meet at Dad's by seven or so for dinner.
Sunday: Trip to Fulton to see Neil's new work with Mark, Meme, and Papa.

Eeeeesh! How much will actually be done in time?? Thinking about it just stresses me out. I also have a manuscript to read. Yeah, that's a priority.

I should have gotten a massage appointment for this week.

Thank goodness this isn't a big-affair wedding. It would be so easy for me to go crazynuts.

Two epiphanies this week:

1. Choosing when to get gas these days is like playing to stock market. Gas went up to $3.39, stayed there awhile, and then a few weeks ago, went down to $3.29. Then, a few days later, $3.19. I had less than a quarter tank left, but I could have held out for a few days (my Corolla gets wicked gas mileage). But I wanted to take advantage of the $3.19 before it went up again. So I filled up.

Two days later, it was down to $2.99.

Then, this weekend, $2.89.

I sold too quick.

2. This may not be an original thought, but it occurred to me how much the seasons of the year are like a single day. Spring is morning, with chilly sunlight and the world beginning anew. Summer is midday, with the hot bright sun overhead, the hottest time of the day. Autumn is sunset, all oranges and goldens and burnished reds, beginning to pave the road for the night...which is totally wintry.

When do I get my laureate prize thing? Because this is serious and deep genius.

Monday, October 6, 2008

An Awesomely Exhausting Day

Saturday, we had big plans.

Our first and probably most entertaining stop was Hartsburg, Missouri. It was a gamble; I had no idea if they'd be selling pumpkins and gourds this early in October. I would have gone next weekend, except it'll look like this:

And as charmed as I am that this happens there every year, I don't necessarily want to be a part of it. So I decided to throw the dice in this Game of Life and nabbed Neil (and a large wheeled tub, just in case) to drive twenty minutes down 63 to see if they might rustle me up some orangey decor this weekend. (I tried to find out beforehand, but I wasn't getting answers...naturally, an article appeared in yesterday's paper--a day too late for my purposes--reporting that they were open.)

As we neared the town, I began to get a bit nervous. "Oh crap," I thought. "What if this town isn't as tiny as I remember it?" Dad always drove, not me, and I am horrible with directions. I don't know right from left, north from south, gravel from paved, etc. If I don't drive regularly in a place, I'm pretty much screwed (and often get lost even then, when I know the place, as well). So I began to wonder if I'd sent us on a wild goose chase both for pumpkins AND the actual place where we might GET pumpkins.

I needn't have worried. Hartsburg consists of two blocks of civilization, and my vague recollection of turning left past the main drag was a correct one. I wondered if the houses I remembered were still standing on that road, or if we'd even find them at all.

We found it, all right--at a house with a sign reading Hackman Produce, right off Main Street. It was entirely familiar to me. The huge, huge rows of gleaming bright orange pumpkins off to the side was as marvelous (if a bit surreal) a sight as I'd ever seen, and the front lawn was liberally covered in butternut squash, funny-looking watermelons (one looked like a huge green kidney bean), bright orange warty gourds with dark green ends, crates full of tiny gourds in every fall color combination imaginable, and pumpkins ranging from cute minis ($0.50) to the hugest pumpkins you have ever seen. You could comfortably ride four people on those things, I swear (and at $25? A seriously good deal).

I had one goal: nothing too normal. I wanted a Yoda gourd (grayish-green ovals with pointy ends that look, sitting flat, like the head of...well, you know) for sure, but they only had one, and it was only sorta-Yoda lookin' (which I got anyway). I spent an inordinate amount of time pawing through the crates of tiny gourds, getting far too carried away (but they were so cheap, it didn't matter). In this, Neil and I are superb matches--he walked up and down the rows of huge pumpkins, waiting for one to call to him, while I gourd-shopped and selected smaller pumpkins.

Y'all, I can't tell you how delightful it was. The weather was FREAKING perfect (high 70s), the shade was plentiful in that beautiful yard, everyone asked why I had such a load and I got to say "For my wedding!", and the price felt like I was getting away with something. Eventually, after an hour or so of meandering and piling and choosing, we loaded up Neil's Subaru...adding two hay bales for good measure. I've never worked with hay bales, and was surprised at their slipperiness (though I shouldn't be. A famous scene in On the Banks of Plum Creek told me long ago that hay is slide-able), but we got 'em in, and the car was loaded to the very top. No kidding, when we removed the bales later on, the car's padded ceiling was covered in hay.

We headed to Dad's house next to drop off our loaded car and tackle the remaining errands. None were as charming and wonderful as the Hartsburg trip, but satisfying all the same. After Neil refueled at Taco Bell with a chicken Cheesy Gordita Crunch and strawberry Fruitista Freeze (we sat in the parking lot and watched revelers walk below us on the MKT toward the Roots N Blues BBQ Fest downtown), we saddled up and visited Hobby Lobby, where we finished up some wedding-supply shopping, picked out some righteous paper napkins (you'll see, they're awesome), and just generally scored. Next was a quick stop at Pier 1, where the day before I'd found an awesome rust-colored metal turtle on clearance, and wanted Neil to check it out. As he was paying MUCH less than and arm and a leg for it, who should also be visiting the store but the wonderful Alla B., and as always, it was a delight to see her.

We were losing steam, but I wanted to get our last stop in...visiting our wedding site at around the same time as the actual wedding. As we were exiting the car at Shelter, a big white truck was letting off its passenger: a bride. A bride in a severely 80's dress, bright white with ruched long tight sleeves, satin everywhere the eye could see, and very, very big poufy brown hair piled on top. I whispered to Neil "Don't worry, honey..I'm not going to look like that."

We walked past Miss Arkansas 1987 through the front gates, and immediately Neil stifled a guffaw. Standing pensively on the foot bridge, awaiting his Vision In Glamour, was the groom. His back was to us, but that was enough...enough to see his spanking-new white tuxedo (WITH TAILS, mind you), gleaming white shoes, and unfortunate turquoise trimmings (the back of the bowtie, specifically). The tux was a little too big for him, which added to its appeal, as far as I'm concerned. I echoed my earlier statement and said in a low voice "...And you're not going to look like that."

We held our breath against the Designer Imposter fragrance he was wearing and scuttled past him to the schoolhouse to plan out our ceremony. For the next few minutes, we discussed chair placement and where things would go and where we'd stand and all that...but our serenity in that haven of one-room education wouldn't last. For Mandi and Derek appeared in the doorway, completely blocking any exit strategy, and we had no choice but to wait until the obligatory "schoolhouse doorway" shots were completed (Oh, I'm not complaining--I want 'em too! Also, I made up their names). When the photographer eventually wrangled her charges inside the schoolhouse, we made our exit...but not before I noticed the poor gentleman was wearing not only a turquoise bowtie, but a glaringly bright vest in the same color...and Neil made the most profound discovery: the presence of makeup on Derek's face. His hair was verrrry carefully gelled within an inch of its life, in spikes that I suppose he was attempting to look artfully mussed.

It was amazing.

Nothing would top this, so we dragged ourselves home to settle in for an evening of Elite XC fighting (all Neil), Mizzou football during the downtimes (both of us, but I wanted it more), Hawaiian pizza from Papa John's (ALL Neil, yuck!), and looking lovingly at one another.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm getting married this month. Oh my goodness.

So today was awesome. Uneventful, but awesome. I got so much done.

First, I just finished tomorrow's NYTX...this may be the first time I've done a Thursday without help. I'm getting smarter, people! Either that or Will Shortz wasn't as picky today.

I vacuumed today. This would have been enough by itself to make me proud of my accomplishments today; I hate, hate, hate vacuuming. And here's why:

1. The unplugging and replugging all the time.
2. The need to stop halfway and unload the dust compartment, and to pull all of the hairs out of the brush. It's less gross than doing a house or room where other hairs than my own are going into the vacuum, because I can't handle other people's long hairs.
3. The constant bending over.
4. Ultimate example of getting dirtier when you're trying to clean.
5. I get hot and sweaty, even without the aforementioned dirt.
6. The cord that gets in your way all the time.
7. The fact that after you're done...nothing *really* looks that different.
8. Our vacuum is beginning to make funny sounds. And it smells like burning rubber. Neither of which bode well for its future, I bet.
9. I'm anal; I need to get every spot I can, and I need to know that I haven't missed spots. When you're vacuuming an apartment all carpeted the same, with rooms leading into each other, with computer chairs and dining tables and La-Z-Boys everywhere, I can't go in a straight line and keep track of where I've been, and I can't be *sure* that I've gotten every inch so far. So I end up going over the same area several times just in case I've missed a spot. I also do this because I know I won't be vacuuming again for a very long time, and I want it to count. How would a Roomba know it hasn't gone over the same spot twice?
10. When you're done, the vacuum is filthy. So I feel like I have to wipe it down. Only I'm always too tired and pissed to do so, so I put it away dusty. And that makes me feel like I haven't fully completed the task.
11. My vacuum locks into a 90-degree position so it can stand on its own, and you need to lay down the front for it to go at an angle...which is most of the time during a vacuum job. But it very easily goes into the 'locked' position, which means in the middle of a sweep, suddenly it won't angle anymore. And I have to stop and put my foot on the front so it will be flexible again.
12. Trying to throw away the dust is a bitch, because it kind of clouds up above the trash can...then back onto the floor...and you have to vacuum it all over again. Once, I dropped the dust container right on the floor, making a worse mess. I didn't speak to anyone for hours after that one.

Okay, rant over! October is here!!

I've determined a guaranteed creepy feature, for me, in faces: eyes that are too close together. Case in point: Astros first-baseman Lance Berkman.

{I tried to find a really good image of him at bat...he gives this creepy glare where you can see the whites of his eyes from about a mile away. But no Google Images did it justice.}

Also, can someone please tell me why anyone ever thought chocolate was a good combination with pumpkin? I wouldn't call myself a pumpkin purist, but I do love my pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, preferably with some sort of creamy topping...and I've been known to enjoy a good pumpkin cheesecake. But pumpkin with chocolate?? No.

Lily called, and Gilbert is starting the MBA program at MU in January! They're moving back at the end of October! So this means our annual Schnucks Thanksgiving shopping trip is NOT in jeopardy!! And we all get to see Lily dance in May! Gilbert never has, I don't think, and neither has Neil. Yippee! (Speaking of Neil...he is having a TERRIFIC first week at work. They got him one of those brand-new iPhones, even! I get his Blackberry when I switch to his plan in December!)

No theme for this entry. Just an update on my day, and on the beginning of the Best Month Ever.

I love everything!

[this reminded me of mama...]