Monthly Archives: December 2011

year in review

All of a sudden, I’m having a really hard time remembering everything that happened this year.  Alas.  Here’s a quick month-by-month rundown.  In my life, of course.  You’ve already read enough about the Arab Spring & Occupy Everywhere.

January: rang in a terrific New Year, had the best ever New Year’s Day party, made a lot of crafts and listened to a lot of Mates of State.  January conference and Of Montreal dance party in Tampa.  Spent evenings on the couch, exhausted, sleeping behind T-storm as he played some sort of sci-fi WWII zombie game.

February: attended a wedding in Clearwater that was filmed for (and appeared on) Bridezillas.  Both fun and hilarious.  Began serious crafting by hand-making 100 Save the Dates and hand punching infinite numbers of paper hearts.

March: work was balls out crazy.  Wedding planning was balls out crazy.  Went to a cool art fair with my friend N.  Played kickball on the weekends.  All things productive, but nuts.

April: work calmed down, wedding planning kicked up.  It was kind of a blur.  My good friend MD got engaged.  I started using Health Month and became properly hydrated for the first time in forever.  T-storm and I also did the fitness trail near our apartment more often.  More crafting.

May: the academic year ended on some serious good notes.  And then there was Fringe Festival, which was an amazing weekend in Orlando, filled with boots of beer, Big Queer Hootenannies, and deeply felt monologues.  We also met The Mud Flappers and our favorite Orlando cupcake truck that weekend.  All in all it turned out to be quite an important weekend.

June: taught over the summer.  It wasn’t my idea.  Played a crapload of Dance Central.  Attended the Stonewall Festival in downtown Wilton Manors, which was amazing.  Entertained visitors.  Picked up this baby again.  More crafting.

July: kicked off with one of the best Fourth of July weekends ever.  A concert night full of amazing a-ha moments began it all.  Started teaching at a language center, where I learned more about spoiled Spainyards and Saudi kids than I ever thought possible.  Made some money and subsequently spent lots of it.  Parties.  More crafting.

August: starting work again kicked my ass.  More crafting.

September: still kicked my ass.  Badly.  Horribly badly.  But.  It was the start of the best fall in recorded history.  Made all of my own damn invitations.  Probably barely did chores for three months (ask T-storm).  But we got through it.  More crafting.  Also someone decided I gave good advice and recognized me for it.  Which I needed badly at that moment.

October: hooray month!  Traveled to Boston where we partied waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard, too fast, but had a memorable time.  High school reunion was actually a total blast.  Bridal shower was a dream come true.  Things were coming down the line and lining up beautifully.  Work still rough, but alas.

November: the best.  Ever.  Amazing bachelorette party.  Friends EVERYWHERE.  Wedding was everything I wanted it to be and so much more.  Montreal was brilliant.  Three weeks off of work.  Once in a lifetime fabulous.

December: back to work, hard.  But newlywed life and all of the other stuff at hand is coming together.  And will continue to do so.  And we’ve started working out (exercising – not problems, but we do work through problems as well).  And I already feel better.  Some holiday crafting, lots of cookies baked.

Next year: more projects that are not punching out paper hearts.  Onward, 2012!!

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Filed under nostalgia, wedding

sleepy

Not 24 hours ago I was trying to be all old and wise and married lady, and say “if you sleep you’ll be pretty.”

I suppose I will never be pretty. If pretty = bedtimes, then I’m a troll who belongs under a bridge.

I was all feeling sorry for myself earlier, having a stupid “there’s nothing to look forward to” pathetic pity party. I thought I was like so above that when my wedding came to fruition and I wasn’t feeling sad, but rather excited and fulfilled and what not.

Some of the magic has worn off a little bit, that doubling with a different Christmas than I’d prepared myself for, I was getting all cranky about it. I’m also probably ovulating. Alas.

But then I realized – I know what I can do to cure my sleepiness: BUDGET!

But it didn’t cure my sleepiness. That’s because Mint.com is almost as fun to play with as lots of other websites (including this one). In the history of my websites I like to play with, this has to be at least up there with how much damn time I spent on angelfire, pretending I could write html code when I was a teenager.

Anyway. Do you have an unfortunate dislike for numbers and setting seemingly arbitrary rules for yourself? Yes, Mint can help even you. If it can help me, it can help you.

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Filed under advice, home

needed to delete an e-mail, but first…

…I had to figure out what blepharoplasty was.

I mean, I could have wikipedia’d it, but then where’s the fun in that?  (And yes, “wikipedia” is also a verb.  So is “bit torrent”.  It has been for years.  If “blog” can be a verb, then so can “wikipedia”.)

Additionally, the wikipedia entry on blarneypasty contains more graphic images than are contained here.  Unless you watched all of those shows from TLC & Discovery channel before all of their shows were about Mormons and midgets.

Let’s back up a minute.  I get the Miami Groupon deal of the day.  It’s actually not so bad – it’s how I got our engagement photos done (and we loved the photographer).  $10 photo sesh?  Yes pls.

But most every single day I delete these Groupons.  But today, my curiosity got the best of me.  For only $1,299, you too could get blurghyphotoed!

In actuality, blepharoplasty (okay, seriously, the actual word is no less ridiculous than the words I made up AND spell check doesn’t recognize it, either) is a surgical modification of the eyelid.  Groupon sez that you want to use it to prevent looking old.  Which is how you get so many 60 year old women with 35 year old faces and 80 year old bodies in South Florida.  Obviously.

I think that living down here has actually made me less looks conscious.  Okay, so once I tried the hemorrhoid cream on my face to counteract puffy eyes (and damned if it doesn’t work!).  But more than anything, I just don’t care.  I rarely wear make-up.  I guess I try to take good care of my skin, but then I leave my expensive organic skin creams in my desk at work and then I forget about them.  I don’t color my hair.  I rarely ever even paint my nails.  I wear earrings to feel girly.

I don’t know why I remember certain snippets so much, and others not at all, but I recall an interview with John & Theresa Heinz Kerry (who still kick ass) from years ago, talking specifically about babies’ levels of certain not-so-hot chemicals when they are in utero, and how those chemical levels drop dramatically when the baby is born.

That’s because the mother is putting on lotions & potions & hair dye and the such.  Mothers care a great deal as to what they put in their bodies when they’re pregnant, and not what they put on their bodies.  And to put it midly, lots of not super tested chemical buildup is not really good for anyone.

My complexion & coloring may be more at home in Dublin, but I love my fair-skin-dark-hair-even-in-a-tropical-climate look.  I don’t know that I want to ingest lots of solutions to change that, ever.  And maybe the key to youthfulness and looking young isn’t blagophisty or hemorrhoid cream on the lower eyes (I’ll stop I’ll stop), but just shielding oneself from the sun, drinking lots of water, sleeping, and not imagining that rubbing some stuff on your skin or cutting fat off of your eyelids (EW!) is going to keep you looking good.

At least, that’s my hope.  As long as I’m stuck within a 100 mil radius of Miami.

What else have we learned here today?  I am immediately jumping on marketing Blarney Pasties, for those black-out St. Patrick’s nights, and proposing a reality show about Mormon midgets who teach couponing classes.  Instant riches.  I’ll be in the 1% before I know it.

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Filed under cosmetic, women

so this is Christmas

Today was my first Christmas away from my mother.

When I went to college, I didn’t go very far away.  And almost immediately after I graduated high school, my mother moved down and almost sort of followed me.  When I played in concerts for the next six years, she’d always be there.

Ever since I graduated high school, Christmas had always been homecoming.  That first post-hs Christmas, it was a friend coming home from Parris Island, and everyone reconnecting after our first six months or so apart.  Last year, my brother had a fiance who had a kid, and for what it’s worth, Christmas with a kid involved is always more fun.  It’s about kids, anyway, even when they are horrible sometimes, to see their faces light up is always something magical.  His fiancee and her kid are no longer in our lives, but I do miss having a little, super excited kid around on Christmas.  And after the kid Christmas, it was me and my two best friends together, with T-storm as well.  It was really something special.

The lines about Christmas being too commercial and too whatever are quite honestly, tired.  Are you doing anything to change how the holidays are celebrated?  Then STFU.  Most of the time, whatever’s going on during the holidays, I just sort of give in.  It’s good to be surrounded by warmth and love and friends and family and I personally don’t care that I now ignore the religious aspect of it altogether.  It’s a good enough excuse to get together with family and loved ones and appreciate each others’ company.

And yes, this Christmas, I went to my husband’s parents’ house, and had dinner and hilariously fun card game time and even watched an episode of The Real McCoys (now on DVD!) with them, his brother, his brother’s fiancee, and her mother.  And the hubs, of course.

And then we watched the second half of Fellowship of the Ring (we started last night – from the extended cut DVDs) tonight and he fell asleep on my lap while the cat jaunted around the couch.

(Wait – you haven’t met the cat yet.  You will in a day or two.)

And I laid on the couch being grateful for all I had, and all I’d been lucky enough to receive this year.  Whatever homecoming and friendship rededication or whatever we usually wait until Christmas for, we had tenfold at the wedding in November.  I should watch our wedding slideshow again and remind myself of these things.

But I go to bed, not long after T-storm, for once, and I realize quickly that I cannot sleep.  It’s a futile effort.  When I’m out I’m out, and there is never any joy derived from waking me in the morning, but when I can’t sleep I know better than to let my mind wander while awake in bed.

In the last week before the holiday, I sort of overdid it on Christmas a little bit.  On sentimental things in general.  Rewatched all of the Christmas episodes of 30 Rock several times.  Must have listened to The Pogues “Fairytale of New York”, The Smashing Pumpkins “Christmastime”, and The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping” at least a dozen times apiece.  I made a dining room full of Christmas bunting in one night, and even a line of holiday card bunting.  I went through a Gilmore Girls greatest hits rundown.  I baked like a madwoman on Christmas Eve.

But nothing could be going home.  Nothing could be best friends, nothing could be having a morning of making fun of parades with my mother.

In all honesty, I wasn’t terribly connected and affectionate to my husband this Christmas morning.  We had gifts last night, and I think some of my last-minute holiday cheer sort of wore thin on him.  I was back in craft focus mode, and not marriage focused partner mode.  I can’t blame him for not being thrilled with that.

But we watched Fellowship and laughed at the cat, and all was better.  And now I can’t sleep.

Part of it is just the shift of moving toward being the old married lady.  All of our friends seem to be heading in all different directions.  Once I graduated high school, I was amazed at all of the different directions everyone would take.  I guess I’d never thought about it before then.

I continue to be amazed at all of the different directions everyone’s lives take.  But I guess it’s more important to be grateful for the bonds that keep us together, somehow.

A good end to this would be me going back to bed, into my husband’s arms, but I have a feeling there will be a few rounds of Peggle between me and that happily night after.

Merry Christmas, anyway.

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Filed under holidays, home, love

furthermore! on how not to be a douche.

One of the things I love deeply about living in Wilton Manors is that I never, ever, ever get harassed.  Go deeper into straight-ville Bro-town Fort Lauderdale, and it’s all over the place.  I was outside a bar called The Poorhouse (which has just somehow gotten into serving five star bar food…so many contradictions) this summer and some dude grabbed my ass in a walk-by.  I shouted out as severe an obscenity as I could think of as loudly as I could down the street, but he probably still snickered as he walked away.  Fucking asshole.

I wrote a few months ago about an odd fellow whose pick-up line in a Panera parking lot while I was on my lunch was “EXCUSE ME!”  (Incidentally the same line I heard some dude yell in the Publix deli aisle as he was about to start a grocery store brawl – I was just trying to pick up fried chicken.)

But not only do I avoid harassment here, it seems, so does everyone else.  All of the bars here make their intentions clear, whether they be Bear Bars or places with names like Ramrod, whatevs.  But whatever happens indoors, it doesn’t lead out into the street.

One of the greatest mythologies that homophobes have, I think, is the idea that if they encounter someone who is gay, they’re going to get hit on and made uncomfortable.  Having lived here, in the US city with the 2nd highest number of homosexuals per capita behind San Fransisco, for a year and a half, neither my husband or I have ever experienced anything remotely akin to this.  I get hit on in creepy ways by straight men in lots of places, but neither of us is ever bothered here.  I see women get hit on in compromising, uncomfortable ways all the time, but I don’t see anyone hitting on anyone uncomfortably out here.

Maybe it’s because the gay community knows what it’s like to be maligned, even bullied.  But the streets of my small city are some of the safest places to walk at most times of either day or night, it seems.  And not just in conventional ways.

I was reading this article a few days ago, and what I love the most about it is that the author brings up ways in which dudes can gather females’ attention without being creepy, stalk-y, and harass-y.  One of the more important ones being of course, don’t touch her.  (Re: earlier statement – just because my ass is big, whether I’m wearing something short & tight or not, does not mean it’s communal property.  I have plenty of friends who I will freely permit to smack away.  But I don’t know you from pig shit, so kindly back the fuck away.)

I have a couple more to add:

1. Smile.  A smile from across the room is the simplest, most effective form of opening up communication.  It’s an invitation to initiate conversation.  And no, not in the Usher inspired “noticin’ you, noticin’ me” sort of manner.

2. Unless you meet at a fetish club/orgy party, sex talk can wait.  At a coffee shop?  Don’t make bad jokes about foam.  At a bookstore?  Leave out the “between the pages” talk.  You get the drift.  Don’t be a Casanova.  Just be a person.

3. Compliment a conscientious detail of his/her style you like.  “You have really cool glasses,” is obviously kind of a targeted line, but it works.  Compliment something that you can tell the target of your affection picked out themselves.  And yes, dudes, you can compliment a girl’s clothing choice without sounding gay, if you are needlessly worried about that.  A dude I dated forever ago who is now one of my all-time ever best friends first caught my attention when he complimented my black and grey plaid corderoy pants.

4. Don’t be artificially nice, just be nice.  I would advise from doing anything you feel that you can’t really keep up throughout the course of well, anything.  Honesty is a good point to start from.  Women, men, everyone is starving to meet people who are kind and who are also upfront.

5. Be thoughtful.  Don’t reuse “techniques” or old lines.  Think of something creative, but not too eager.  And if someone wants to be left alone, as previously mentioned, take a hint.  Sometimes women (or men or whoever) just want to be left alone.  Sometimes people doing things individually are not starving for company.  Sometimes they are eating on the way home from work while their husbands are in grad classes.

Just be cool.  And maybe it’ll make the world at least a slightly more tolerable place.

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Filed under advice, civil rights, love, men, women