Thursday, July 30, 2009

Going to the Chapel.

Coming soon to a blog near you...

I lose my nut on the wedding world....but I have hurt my back and have to go put ice on it again.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let's See How This Goes...

I have been in a vicious cycle of not posting anything on this blog, and then really wanting to, and then sitting and down and writing a little something, and then thinking it is really stupid, and then I shut the computer off, and then the guilt sets in and then we start all over.

My biggest problem right now is that I have so damn much to blog about that I honestly don't know where to start.

I could talk about how thanks to an activity that one of my children is involved in I get to spend some time every week with the most negative woman in the world. Soul sucking negativity. Everything is a chore and a burden to this woman. The first time I met her she spent a couple of hours telling me every detail of her quest to become a mother. Since that first meeting she has spent every minute of our time together complaining about how hard motherhood is. I am going to make a very real promise to post more often because you will really need to hear all the details when I finally go off my nut and scream " What the fuck did you expect?" at her. And trust me that day is closer that you might think.

( Child #3 just appeared in the doorway to tell me that Child #4 is up from her nap)

I could talk about how if you are going to run a group or activity for children, could you at the very least pretend to like the little rug rats? How about when we arrive at the door for Gluesticks and Glitter Art Camp, I'm not greeted ( and by greeted I mean totally ignored) by a gum chewing teenager, who stands slumped over a table and glares at me and my child. Seriously, this summer we have an activity scheduled every night ( Mon- Fri) at 6pm and every Saturday morning. We have a couple of weeks of day camps and hockey school too. Of course all of these are commitments of our time and our money. So if 6 people have to rush through dinner, and then chug across a rain sodden field to get to mini soccer could you at least introduce yourself, find out who the hell I am and then at least make an attempt to learn my childs name, so you don't accuse her of not listening when you call her Hannah.

I could spend some time bitching about Jennifer Weiner and asking why she gets the big bucks to write books when the last two have had the exact same freaking ending.

( Just so you know, since I started this a few minutes ago, I was told the baby was awake, I have received a request for a drink, a request to start dinner, asked for the 4000th time since 2pm about when the 7pm showing of G-Force starts, and was given one bulletin that the aforementioned baby has made stinky pants)

I am going to go now and deal with my family, but I am making a promise to you that in the next 24 hours you are going to get the " Since When Did Planning a Wedding Get So Weird" post.

I may just include a review of G-Force

( This has nothing to do with anything, but I lost my reading glasses a couple of weeks ago, and read a review of G-Force and thought that it said that that Zack Galifianakadacawhatever guy played a "super-gay guinea pig" instead of a "super-spy guinea pig"


Unusually Warm & Fuzzy

Chicago, I'm happy to report, was fabulous as always. The city itself is a joy to visit, not only because it's so logically laid out (thank YOU Mrs. O'Leary's cow) and architecturally fascinating, but because the inhabitants are friendly as hell and drive in a civilized manner. And the food is fantastic.

But the other nice thing about the weekend was the affirmation that old friends are sometimes the best friends. Our annual visit to Chicago is partially about letting me get my fill of burritos as big as swaddled infants (La Pasadita, I heart you) and letting the husband go nuts at Sam's Wine & Liquors (lunchbox let down this time, but we still think American wine stores are like Disneyland for adults) but it's mostly about seeing our friends Jeff and Seann, a pair of fun, intelligent, warm and wonderful people who let us invade their home every summer for a long weekend.

It occurred to me this visit, as Jeff reminded me of some embarrassing aspect of my past, that one of the benefits of being in your mid to late 30s is old friends like him. I've known Jeff for 15 years, and as much as I don't need him to recount the Dreaded Bucket story of 1994, and he doesn't need me to remind him of the time he McGyvered spats out of tape when his middle school marching band was on its way to Comiskey Park and he'd forgotten that essential piece of marching band regalia (this makes my cry with laughter but it would take too long to explain why), as much as neither of us needs to remember this crap from the past, it's awfully nice to have someone around who does remember it. It's awfully nice to have friends who, though they live far away and you only see them once a year at the most, can just pick up the conversation where you left off the last time and keep talking. It's nice to know someone for long enough that they've seen you change from a bewildered-recent-university-graduate to the adult you are now (and vice versa), even if it does mean that the dumb, dumb, DUMB crap you did in your 20s had a witness who is unlikely to let you forget it. But that, in itself, is a benefit. It's good to have people around who won't let you forget who you once were and appreciate who you are now.

I feel like I should wrap this up with some sort of pithy, kick ass conclusion but frankly that's enough Jack Handey-esque warm & fuzzies for today. Suffice to say, old friends are the best friends and La Pasadita burritos are totally worth a nine hour, cross border drive.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Introverted Extrovert/Extroverted Introvert

We're off to Chicago tonight for a mini-vacation and I'm so excited I can barely think straight. How I love that city.

Besides the obvious joys of the City of Big Shoulders (burritos, ribs, pizza, beer, sausage, beer...oh and art & architecture too!) and getting in a good visit with some old friends, there are two great things about this trip:

  1. We're driving there. It's about 9 hours if you take the highway the whole way, but we like to break up the trip to the city by staying overnight in Michigan and doing a little shopping. This means that on the way to Chicago I get to spend a day and a half alone with my husband, with no hyperdog barking at us when we hug (I'm sure the reason we don't have children is because our ridiculously jealous dog is secretly administering contraceptives) and no jealous cats competing for our attention by (cat a) not eating and (cat b) overeating. There will be quiet when we want to be quiet, and talk when we want to talk, we will consume Nibs and beernuts (our preferred roadsnacks) by the sackful, and we will get to sleep in a bed not recently befouled by cat b who seems to be making an artistic statement using urine, poop and our duvets as her media of choice.
  2. This is the last major commitment of the summer. Other than this trip (which I AM delighted about, trust me) and very fun wedding that I'm looking forward to in August, this mini-vacation is the last major commitment on the calendar. There is nothing else that I need to prepare for, cook for, board the dog and cats for, there is nothing else on the books that requires small talk or chat of any sort. And that, my friends, is pretty damned thrilling because July has been one long whirlwind of social gaiety and I am on the verge of a teeeeensy little breakdown if it doesn't stop soon.

Not that any of the social whirlwind has been forced on me. Oh no, no at all, in fact it was all my idea. I'm the one who agreed to events and trips on three subsequent weekends, I'm the one who decided to throw a big party for husband's 40th, I'm the one who decided that a night class comprised of two lectures and two tutorials per week was doable. I'm the one who agrees to dinners and lunches and all that stuff. And I'm the one who ends up panicking and cancelling and getting sick because of it.

I am, by nature, about 50% recluse. I would be delighted if I could stay home and potter around all day and not talk to people. When I left university, I said I was going to get a post-grad diploma in museum studies & conservation JUST so I could get myself a job labeling stuff in the basement of some museum and not talk to people. Half the reason I took to Facebook and Twitter like a duck to water is because you can communicate with people without actually having to talk to them. Okay, okay, I'm not a total freak, I don't mind talking to people in person (mostly), but I do loathe the telephone and I find it extremely difficult to talk to someone if I can't see their face. I get depressed (and frankly bitchy) if I don't get enough time alone, and will become physically ill (I can spike a fever like a five year old) if I don't get enough time to spend at home with no more company than my husband and the pets. I am the all time worst person to send to a conference because I just want to go to the sessions and learn stuff, I have no interest in "networking", which is apparently the whole point of conferences. Speaking in front of a crowd or group fills me with a gagging fear and my voice will get higher and faster in correlation to my discomfort -- I once had to make a presentation to a city council defending a grant application I didn't believe in and by the time I finished the only mammals that could have heard and understood me were bats or dolphins.

So what do I end up doing for a living? Do I spend my days shuffling around some museum basement, wearing acid free cotton gloves and labeling the detritus of the past, blissfully alone and silent? No. I somehow fall into fundraising, an industry based entirely on building relationships with people, a process that involves talking and being with people. All. The. Time. And I do it, and sometimes even well. I'm a great rodeo clown to have on a donor call as I can (usually) draw even the most recalcitrant person into talking about themselves while the other development officer zeros in for the actual donation request. I can write a wicked grant application and chat up funders like no tomorrow. If I believe in a cause I can sell it like Elmer Gantry sellin' that old tyme religion. And I kind of get a kick out of working events like golf tournaments and gala dinners.

My boss says she's much the same way and describes herself as an introverted extrovert, or perhaps an extroverted introvert, I can't remember which way it goes, but at least there's evidence of other freakily unsocial people ending up in this business. My mother figures I'm genetically predisposed to this type of behavioural confusion because I'm 50% her and 50% my father. My mum, left to her own devices is a pretty darned social person and before various small town arts organizations treated her like shit and took all her fun away, she was an eager volunteer in the community. My father, on the other hand, is so economical with his words that my friend Angela didn't actually hear him speak until about 4 years after she met my parents ("Omigod, your dad spoke to me, YOUR DAD SPOKE TO ME!").

But, whatever. Given that a windfall o' cash isn't likely to happen and I've got to work for a living, it's a pretty good gig and you do get to meet some very interesting people. And working in a museum basement might not be half the fun I think it would be. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Lied About Not Procrastinating Anymore (OR You People Are Going To Start Thinking I'm Obsessed with Shapewear)

So, I was going to write about how Roland Barthes and his semiotics (wait, that sounds a bit Motown..Tonight At The Apollo: Roland Barthes & The Semiotics!) fills me with cold, leaden fear.

I was going to do that, but first, I've got to finish this damned assignment for tomorrow's class. Remember that post a few posts ago about how I wasn't going to procrastinate anymore, about how at 39 I was older and wiser than in my undergraduate years and I know the value of sleep and blah blah blahdy blahdum?

Yeah, not so much. I am clearly in all-nighter territory now and it's a bit ridiculous. However I will say that this situation is not purely a product of procrastination -- there's a bit of that to be sure, but I also just haven't been happy about my essay for the past week. It's been revised any number of times and it's still not great. How do you write about foundation garments for men and limit yourself to 500 words? I ask you. 500 words on such a rich topic? It's torture. There are just so many things to say on the subject of the Core Precision (tm) Undershirt by Equmen . Check it out for yourself, you'll see what I mean.


PS If any of you are wondering where Kate is, she's got 4 kids under 9 and school's out. 'nuf said.